Feng Yu Heng laughed, “Isn’t that just the cold palace. It is the coldest and most desolate place in the Northern part of the palace. Word is that the beloved concubine who was whipped to death by the ninth prince was carried out of the palace through the Northern gate and placed into an unmarked grave. She did not even enter the imperial mausoleum.”
The matriarch trembled. She was now older and did not like hearing mention of dead people. But this matter involving head imperial concubine Bu revealed some information: It seemed the Bu family was about to meet with a disaster.
In reality, the Bu family had already met with disaster. Starting from the moment Lord Bu was smashed to death by head imperial concubine Bu, the Emperor no longer felt any compassion for that family. But, there was still the position of head imperial concubine, and Bu Cong’s position as general was still present; therefore, the feeling of falling out of favor was not as noticeable.
Now, however, the head imperial concubine had lost her power. The general trend of the Bu family was downwards.
“You are saying…” The matriarch hesitantly said: “Could it be that the Emperor will be moving around the officials? Then will anything happen to your father?”
Feng Yu Heng replied with a question of her own: “Does father have any things that can cause trouble?”
The matriarch was slightly startled. Carefully thinking over Feng Yu Heng’s question, she very quickly realized that the question she asked was whether or not Feng Jin Yuan had done anything that could offend the Emperor.
But how should she respond to this?
“The way your father behaves and the things he does are visible to you on a daily basis. Some things should only be talked about within the manor. Heng, our Feng family must not go down the same path as the Bu family!”
Feng Yu Heng finished up her massage then said: “Whether or not we will go down the same path as the Bu family, granddaughter does not know. Everything will depend on father’s plans. After all, he is the leader of the family. Nothing any of us says is worth anything.”
The matriarch also knew that Feng Jin Yuan was not someone who was very good at listening to advice. Although there would be times when he would listen to her, whether or not he would end up following through was another matter. In the end, they were just women. The rise and fall of the family never relied on women.
The matriarch sighed then received help from Feng Yu Heng to lean back against the cushions behind her. She then reached out and pulled something out from under her pillow.
“This is for you.” The matriarch handed a piece of paper to Feng Yu Heng, “Your courtyard has become the county office, and I heard that many people have gone to congratulate you. This is a bit of grandmother’s affection. Do not dislike it.”
Feng Yu Heng was slightly surprised then opened up the piece of paper. It was a shop in
“This is one of my personal shops. There are actually a few more. They are all kept for when you get married and will be used as dowry.”
The matriarch’s words were quite sincere, which caused Feng Yu Heng to feel a warmth in her heart. She then placed the deed safely in her sleeve, “Grandmother, this shop is not far from Hundred Herb Hall. I will think later on what it should be used for. When the time comes and it has earned money, would grandmother be happy with receiving half of the money?”
The matriarch’s eyes lit up upon hearing it, “Half of the money?” She then reacted and recalled that she could not ask for this money and waved her hand, “No, no, it has been gifted to you, so it is yours. Others have brought so many good gifts to your manor. As your grandmother, how can I not express myself at all.”
Feng Yu Heng patted the matriarch’s hand: “Grandmother has given Heng a personal shop. How could Heng leave grandmother needing money. Heng has received your affection, and I hope grandmother will be able to accept Heng’s affection.”
The more the matriarch heard, the more she felt this granddaughter was great. She could not help but praise: “In the end, it is thanks to the sharp-eyed and clear-minded Emperor, who knew what type of daughter had the qualifications to be the Feng family’s daughter to the first wife. Heng has a noble character and knows to show piety to the older generation. Only this is worthy of being called a good daughter of the Feng family.”
The two looked at each other and smiled. On the surface, the peace was pleasing to the eye. However, the matriarch was thinking that she definitely could not offend this second granddaughter. Whether the Feng family prospered or met with misfortune depended on what she thought. As for Feng Yu Heng, she was currently thinking of the countless times the matriarch had taken money from Chen shi and Feng Chen Yu, but she was still the first to lose her temper. Now, she intimately called her second granddaughter, but she was still the first to arrange for them to send them away after hearing Taoist Zi Yang say she was the star of disaster.
Unfortunately! She had returned, but the real Feng Yu Heng had already died in the mountains in the Northwest. She had promised that girl that she would definitely get revenge.
The next day at around noon, Feng Yu Heng had woken up slightly later. When Wang Chuan entered, she was carrying a set of newly made Winter clothing. It looked to be even thicker than the previous set.
Feng Yu Heng got up and went to grab her clothes, helplessly saying: “It’s so thick. Wearing it will be very cumbersome.”
Wang Chuan smiled and said: “There’s nothing that can be done about it. It’s snowing outside, and it’s extremely cold.”
“It’s snowing?” Feng Yu Heng was stunned then immediately felt a little pleasantly surprised, “It’s good that it snowed. The cold snow will cover
cover up the germs, so the number of sick will be lower.”
Wang Chuan was not as optimistic, taking care of dressing Feng Yu Heng and saying: “But there are some poor people who will suffer more during Winter.”
She paused while putting on her clothes and suddenly recalled the Winter disaster Xuan Tian Ming had mentioned last time. She began to feel a bit of worry, as she put on her outer robe and walked towards the door.
Wang Chuan worried that she would catch a cold, so she quickly followed behind and wrapped a cloak on her.
Pushing the door open, large snowflakes swirled through the air. A cold wind blew through, causing her to begin coughing.
“Young miss, quickly come back inside!” Wang Chuan pulled her back, “It’s currently snowing quite heavily. You just got up, so it would be best if you did not go outside.”
Feng Yu Heng did not argue with her. Removing the cloak, she went to wash up. Qing Shuang brought breakfast for her to eat in her room. Just as she finished eating, Qing Ling ran over from Yao shi’s side. With her head covered in snow, she said: “Madam has invited young miss to go over. Concubine mother An and young miss Xiang Rong have arrived.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded and called for Wang Chuan to prepare a hand-warming hot-water bottle. Only then did she follow Qing Ling over to Yao shi’s small courtyard.
It seemed that the snowfall was becoming more and more heavy. As she walked along, she found it hard to see the path. If she were not familiar with Tong Sheng pavilion, she feared that she would not dare walk forward at all.
Yao shi stood at the door of the room to welcome Feng Yu Heng. Seeing them arrive, she quickly raised an umbrella and went to receive them. But in such a storm, an umbrella was completely useless, as the wind scattered the umbrella.
Feng Yu Heng pulled Yao shi and quickly entered the room. Fortunately, when Tong Sheng pavilion became the county’s main office, the number of servants was increased once more. When they entered, some servants immediately went and removed their cloaks and handed them warm tea.
An shi also went forward to receive them and blamed herself: “If I knew earlier that the snow would fall so heavily, I would not have come over today and caused you to have suffered as well. What would happen if you fell ill.”
Feng Yu Heng sipped some tea, as her body regained some warmth. She quickly had everyone sit down then said: “Concubine mother An, what are you saying. You and Xiang Rong coming is something that makes me very happy. Either way, I would need to come over here to see my mother.”
Yao shi stood up and carried a pile of clothes over to Feng Yu Heng, saying: “Take a look. These are all handmade by concubine mother An for Zi Rui. There are a total of three sets. She spent many days and nights making them.”
Feng Yu Heng delightedly received the clothes and looked through
looked through them. They were all Winter clothes. There was a lined jacket, an outer robe and a cloak. The fabric was good, and the style was unique. The craftsmanship was also very good. She could not help but praise: “Concubine mother has great hands!”
An shi smiled and said: “This is the only thing that is worth bringing out. Every day, I see people coming and going from the county’s main office to send gifts. I have been anxious over not knowing what to send to congratulate young miss on this happy occasion. You do not lack money, and you do not lack items. I thought about it long and hard before remembering that second young master is alone in Xiao Zhou. How about making him some clothes. It’s just bit of our affection, and I hope second young miss and elder sister Yao will not dislike it.”
Yao shi quickly said: “Such good clothes, how could I dislike it. They are much better than the clothes I sent Zi Rui off with.”
Feng Yu Heng was also very satisfied with this congratulatory gift, “Concubine mother An is the best.” Looking towards Xiang Rong, she said: “These past few days, you have not come over to run. I have also been lazy for a while. Let’s start up again tomorrow.”
Xiang Rong was very happy and repeatedly nodded: “Ok. We will run when second sister says we should run.”
They then continued to chat for a while. An shi tried to leave a few times, but not only did the snow outside not appear to show any signs of letting up, it seemed to be snowing even harder. By the end, it was as though someone in the sky was pouring out barrels of snow. It was extremely scary.
Xiang Rong was a little afraid, as she asked An shi: “If this continues, will we be able to go back?”
Feng Yu Heng quickly comforted her: “If you can’t go back, then just stay here. Would it not do to use two rooms in my manor?”
Huang Quan pushed open a window and threw something outside. She then observed for a while before turning around to tell them: “Right now, the snow should go up to the base of the thigh. Forget about walking, there’s a chance the door can’t even be opened.”
Hearing this, Feng Yu Heng and Wang Chuan quickly went to the door to see. They tried a few times to open the door, but they only succeeded in opening it a crack. The moment they pushed it open, chunks of snow began falling into the room through the crack.
The two quickly closed the door, and Wang Chuan helplessly said to Xiang Rong: “Third young miss, it seems that you really will need to stay here.”
In truth, it did not matter to An shi and Xiang Rong where they stayed. Either way, they had left people in their courtyard, and they had informed them that they were going to Tong Sheng pavilion. If the people of the Feng family asked, they would be able to give an answer. give an answer. Moreover, they were unable to leave the room. Would the people of the Feng family be able to? Perhaps Feng Jin Yuan would be stuck in the palace because he had gone to court early in the morning.
As for the real reason An shi was worried, it was the disaster that would accompany the snow.
“In previous years, it never snowed this heavily in the capital.” An shi spoke while returning to her seat. Receiving a hot-water bottle from a servant, she handed it to Xiang Rong and continued: “I heard that only the Northern areas of Da Shun would see this sort of heavy snow that seems to have been poured out of a barrel. Every year, five or six provinces in the North will suffer from a Winter disaster. In the worst-case scenario, nearly ten will suffer from the disaster. Those affected by the disaster will head South. Along the way, there will be some who die from the cold or from hunger. The number who can truly survive is truly very few.”
Yao shi continued, “That’s right. My father had gone North at one time. He had even opened up a clinic along the way. Since the amount of manpower was lacking, the people who could be saved were in the minority. The majority died from freezing in line. But that was in the Northern provinces. When had anyone ever heard of there being such heavy snowfall in the capital?”
Hearing the conversation between the two, Feng Yu Heng frowned and asked: “Mother and concubine mother mean to say that this snowfall had only ever been seen before in the North?”
“Correct.” The two nodded in unison.
Feng Yu Heng suddenly had a bad premonition. Could it be that this year’s Winter disaster would reach the capital? But if even the capital had been hit by the disaster, what of the other places? Would their situations not be even worse?
She could no longer sit still, as she walked over to the window. Pushing it open, she took a look then turned back around and said to everyone: “Mother, help arrange a room for concubine mother An and Xiang Rong to rest in. I need to go to the medicine storage room to take a look. At the very least, our Tong Sheng pavilion needs to make some preparations in terms of medicine.”
Yao shi nodded, “Don’t worry. You go ahead. Concubine mother An and Xiang Rong will stay in my courtyard today. As for yourself, be careful on your way back.”
Wang Chuan replied: “Madam, there is no need to worry. Ban Zou is present. He can carry young miss.”
Yao shi knew that Feng Yu Heng naturally had a method for getting back, so she nodded and did not say anything further.
She saw Feng Yu Heng push open the window and deftly climb up. Just as she squeezed out the window, a shadow caught her then flew with the use of qi gong.
What they did not know, however, was that the medicine storage room was just a cover. Her real goal was leaving the manor.