Song of the Liberated Serfs
The day before Feng Jin Yuan left, he spent the entire day in Han shi’s courtyard.
Feng Fen Dai saw that Han shi’s room had a red candle lit in the middle of the day and knew that she had definitely been successful. All that remained was for Han shi’s belly to put in some effort. Not only did she need to get pregnant, she had to become pregnant with a son.
But she could not fully understand Chen Yu’s attitude towards Feng Yu Heng. Instead, the more she thought about it, the more she became worried.
Someone who was also worrying was Jin Zhen. Feng Jin yuan had suddenly gone to Han shi’s side, and this was something Jin Zhen did not foresee. She had even sent Man Xi to try and invite Feng Jin Yuan back, but Man Xi did not even get into the courtyard before being sent back by a servant dispatched by Fen Dai.
Jin Zhen felt ill at ease. The reason she had been able to establish a foothold in the Feng manor was reliant on Feng Jin Yuan’s favor. Even the reason Feng Yu Heng’s good treatment of her was because she was able to capture Feng Jin Yuan’s heart. If a day came where she lost his favor, she did not know what qualifications she had to stand next to Feng Yu Heng.
This was like an endless cycle. Without Feng Yu Heng’s blessing, she could not attract Feng Jin Yuan. Without Feng Jin Yuan’s favor, she could not receive Feng Yu Heng’s support.
Jin Zhen felt that she was stuck in a vicious cycle that she could not escape. This sort of day caused her to feel uncertain, but there was nothing she could do.
Man Xi asked her: “Should we go and tell second young miss?”
Jin Zhen was shaken and quickly said: “No! We absolutely can not! Just wait a little more. Perhaps husband is just enjoying a moment of something fresh. Either way, he will be leaving tomorrow. Who knows, perhaps he will have forgotten about Han shi by the time he returns.”
Man Xi did not say anything else. She could understand Jin Zhen. Thinking of how Feng Jin Yuan would be departing tomorrow, she did not think about it any further. After all, Han shi would merely have him for one night. There was no way to keep someone who had to leave.
Wang Chuan returned to Tong Sheng pavilion in the evening. She had been thinking of how Feng Yu Heng had said that she wanted to visit the military camp. The moment she entered the manor, she immediately asked: “Young miss, when will we be moving out?”
Feng Yu Heng, however, had already changed her mind: “We’re not going. To go from the capital to the military camp and back is not a trip that can be completed in one night. Feng Jin Yuan will be leaving the manor tomorrow, and I will need to be there.”
Wang Chuan nodded, “His Highness said so too, but he also said that it was not good to continue stopping you from going; therefore, if young miss wishes to go, he will personally send people to escort young miss.”
Feng Yu Heng laughed, “How could I be that delicate. Has seventh brother’s injury gotten better?”
“It’s already not too visible when walking.” Wang Chuan told her: “His Highness said that young miss’ medicine is very miraculous.”
She did not say anything further, as she knew that it would be fine if Xuan Tian Hua’s foot injury got better. As for the topic of medicine, she always avoided it.
Wang Chuan also stopped talking. The longer she spent at Feng Yu Heng’s side, the more she could feel that her young miss had a great number of secrets. There were definitely a number of people who would want to investigate these secrets, but it should not be her. Instead, it should be the people who were against the young miss or those who were with the young miss.
The next morning, everyone in the Feng family sent Feng Jin Yuan off, as he left the manor.
Because the matriarch was still unable to move too much, Feng Jin Yuan went to Shu Ya courtyard first to bid farewell to the matriarch before leaving the manor.
All along the way, Han shi stuck close to Feng Jin Yuan’s side. It was like before, as she smiled brilliantly. Both her hands held Feng Jin Yuan’s sleeve, as her body attached itself to Feng Jin Yuan’s arm.
Feng Fen Dai followed behind the two, and her face also revealed a hard to hide smile. The gaze she looked at Han shi with was a little bit warmer.
Feng Jin Yuan, however, did not seem particularly happy. He was also a little irritated; however, he did not push Han shi away and continued to allow her to stick to his arm. But when he saw Jin Zhen, he became remorseful, especially after seeing Jin Zhen’s swollen red eyes, which made him feel even more concerned.
Yesterday at noon, for some reason, he suddenly felt an excitement in his heart upon seeing her wearing the pink clothes she had worn at the time they met. Not only did he allow her to remain in Pine courtyard’s study for a while, he even agreed when Han shi extended an invitation back to her own courtyard. Who knew that before he even finished eating, the more he looked at Han shi, the more she looked like a wife who had just entered his manor. Everything about her was good. Everything about her caused him to dote on her. He could not calm down at all, as he only wanted to dote on her for a while.
Like this, he doted on her through the night. Only when he noticed that Han shi stood next to him like in the past did Feng Jin Yuan begin to feel that yesterday’s excitement was truly too weird.
Fortunately, however, the relation between the two had been repaired a considerable amount. Adding on how Han shi had told him early in the morning how much she missed him, how much she thought about him and how much she wanted to take care of him, he recalled how this woman had exerted herself for him and how deeply in love they had been in the past. People always cherished old friendships, and there was no way for him to ignore Han shi, so he held her tightly for a while. Like this, the two could be considered as having reconciled.
But now that he had left the courtyard and said Jin Zhen, Feng Jin Yuan once again began to feel upset over what had happened yesterday.
Everyone walked over to the Feng manor’s gate, where Chen Qing had already been waiting to send off Feng Jin Yuan.
Feng Jin Yuan saw him and finally found a reason to push Han shi away. He then strode over to Chen Qing and said: “Qing’er, you must properly prepare for the imperial exam. Rest assured and live in the home. There is nothing for you to worry about. The coming exam in the Spring is the one thing of utmost importance to you, do you understand?”
Chen Qing bowed deeply to Feng Jin Yuan: “Qing’er understand, un…” He was just about to say uncle, when he saw Feng Yu Heng walking over with two servants from a small path that went to Tong Sheng pavilion. Frightened, he quickly changed the way he spoke: “Pupil has remembered teacher’s advice.”
Feng Jin Yuan also saw Feng Yu Heng and could not help but frown. Snorting, he ignored her. Instead, he turned around and said a few words to An shi: “I will be troubling you to spend a little more effort on the matters of the manor with mother. Also take a little more care of Qing’er. Do not allow him to be bullied.” As he said this, he glanced sideways at Feng Yu Heng.
How could An shi not understand what this meant. She only bowed and said: “Husband, do not worry. So long as mother-in-law is willing to make use of this concubine for the matters of the manor, this concubine definitely will not push these duties to the side. As for the Chen family’s young master, after husband leaves the capital, there will only be women left in the manor. How could he, a dignified man, be bullied by women. Husband is overly concerned.”
Feng Jin Yuan did not think he was being overly concerned. In his manor, none of his concubines nor daughters were easy to handle. Chen Qing was a child who only knew how to study. If he somehow wandered into the way of one of them, perhaps, when the time came, he would not even know how he died.
But he could not clearly say such a thing. After all, he could not possibly bring Chen Qing along. Chen Qing had been close with him from a young age. Now that he had already come to the Feng manor, he could not chase him away. He could only say a few words of advice and give a warning to the women: “If Qing’er performs well with the Feng manor, it would be an incomparably great glory for the Feng manor. You absolutely must not neglect this.”
Feng Yu Heng knew this was mostly for her, but she did not make a sound. She simply stood obediently behind An shi with an earnest look on her face. This ended up rendering Feng Jin Yuan speechless.
Seeing that Feng Jin Yuan was truly about to leave, Jin Zhen was finally unable to endure. Twisting her handkerchief, she began to cry.
Hearing her cry, Feng Jin Yuan truly felt distressed. He was about to go comfort her but suddenly heard Fen Dai say: “What are you doing? Father is going out for work, and he was personally appointed the imperial envoy by the Emperor. This is a great thing. What are you crying for? Are you treating it as a funeral?”
Jin Zhen was scolded and immediately held it in. She only looked at Feng Jin Yuan with a face filled with misery.
Feng Jin Yuan glared at Fen Dai and was about to say a few words of reprimand, but Han shi went forward and tugged at his sleeve, saying: “Husband, Fen Dai is a young child who does not know any better. Her words were a bit offensive, but do not argue with her.”
This gentle tone was extraordinarily calm. How could Feng Jin Yuan continue to blame Fen Dai. He only looked at Jin Zhen and comforted her, saying: “It will take at most until the new year before I return.”
Jin Zhen nodded, no longer daring to continue crying.
Fen Dai had always been an expert at being causing trouble. Seeing Feng Jin Yuan had once again said some words of comfort to Jin Zhen, she immediately felt uneasy; however, she could not continue to cause Jin Zhen trouble. The young girl looked around and had her gaze stop at Feng Yu Heng, “Second sister, how come you have not said a single word today?”
Feng Yu Heng glanced at Fen Dai then said: “Of the younger generation, aside from you who had been speaking the entire time, everyone else is understanding of the rules.”
“Is second sister insulting me by saying I don’t know the rules? I am worried about father. What is wrong with saying a few words?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “There’s nothing wrong with that. If you want to speak, then speak. But I must remind you, as someone from the younger generation, we must be aware that we are of the younger generation. While your elders are speaking, do not interrupt. Right now, you are at home, so nobody will care too much; however, if this becomes a habit, once you marry out of the family, you will only suffer great losses.”
“What elders are you talking about? They are all concubines! We are the proper masters!” Feng Fen Dai said these words without a care, causing everyone to glare at her.
But who could said anything? What Fen Dai said was correct. Concubines were the ones with the lowest standing. In fact, they had an even lower standing than the head servant in a courtyard. They had no right to have their own children call them mother, and they could not directly call their children by their names. They had to call them young master and young miss. Fen Dai looked down on them, and nobody could say anything.
Seeing everyone lower their heads in silence, with Han shi even losing face, Feng Jin Yuan could no longer endure and became furious. Pointing at Fen Dai, he said: “Who exactly taught you to be like this? How do you even resemble my, Feng Jin Yuan’s, daughter? Truly shameful!”
After saying this, he turned and left the manor.
Fen Dai had been cursed to the point of no longer daring to speak. Lowering her head, she followed everyone else out and saw that there were a great number of officials waiting outside. Upon seeing Feng Jin yuan come out, everyone greeted him, saying: “I waited for Prime minister Feng to send you off. Prime minister Feng personally going North to lead a relief effort for the disaster and sharing the Emperor’s burdens is an example for all officials to learn from!”
Feng Jin Yuan also returned the compliments to these officials.
Fen Dai, however, looked at the carriage parked outside the Feng manor early this morning, and her trouble-making heart once again began to stir “Doesn’t second sister have an incredibly great carriage? Father will be going a great distance, how could you do not think to give it to father to sit in?” She believed that this was speaking in favor of Feng Jin Yuan, so her tone was a little more stern, “Although second sister is now the daughter of the first wife, there are certain things that can not compare with eldest sister. Grandmother’s sandalwood carriage was gifted by eldest sister, right? That is truly what can be considered filial piety.”
Feng Yu Heng looked at Fen Dai and wanted to laugh, “That carriage of mine was an imperial gift from his Majesty. Does fourth sister think that can be gifted? Also, father is going as the imperial envoy, so he will naturally be sitting in an imperial envoy carriage. The carriage you are looking at is merely one used by the Feng manor to transport servants.”
Fen Dai had been rendered speechless and could not help but roll her eyes. Instead, she turned around and no longer looked at her.
Feng Jin Yuan saw his daughters undermining one another in front of outsiders from not too far away. He quickly cupped his hands to the visiting officials and said: “It is not early, this prime minister will be departing shortly. Many thanks to the officials for coming to send me off.”
While speaking, a group of guards for the imperial envoy came down the street. Just as Feng Jin Yuan was about to get in the carriage, someone suddenly shouted from far away: “Prime minister Feng, please wait.”
TN: The title for this chapter is also the title of a song singing the praises of the CCP and its liberation of Tibetan serfs. Not sure of its relevance to the chapter.