The Emperor’s Imperial Instructions
Qing Shuang told Xuan Tian Ye: “This servant spent quite a long time at the county princess’ manor, and I entered the second young miss’ room a few times; however, I have never seen the phoenix hairpin. It was only today at the Refined Deity Building that I saw her take it out. This servant is wondering, could it be that the hairpin is not even kept on the second young miss, instead it is his Highness Prince Yu who keeps it?”
This was something Xuan Tian Ye had considered before, but it still could not explain how Qing Shuang had failed today. Moreover…. “A Nu.” He called Qing Shuang’s original name, “How many years have you followed this prince?”
Qing Shuang’s body trembled and quickly said: “This servant was saved by your Highness the year I was four. Up to now, it has been twelve years.”
“Twelve years.” Xuan Tian Ye looked at her, as a cruel light flitted through his eyes, “Twelve years of feelings could not compare with a pair of earrings?”
“Master!” Qing Shuang was extremely shocked, as she feared this topic this most; however, this was something he had truly taken to heart: “This servant truly does not know the eldest prince. I have not even met him before!”
Unfortunately, Xuan Tian Ye had already taken Feng Yu Heng’s words to heart. Moreover, Qing Shuang being unable to present the phoenix hairpin, which he had personally seen be placed into the sleeve pocket. All the signs told him that this girl named A Nu had already betrayed him.
“Guards!” Xuan Tian Ye angrily shouted, and an imperial guard immediately entered: “Lock her up. It will be fine so long as she does not die.” Throwing out these words, he turned and left.
Qing Shuang watched as Xuan Tian Ye left without a trace of feeling. Even though she was still kneeling and only wearing a belly band, a guard still went up and began dragging her. She loudly shouted: “Master!” But the other side did not even look back.
The next day, a large piece of news spread around the capital about how the future Princess Yu lost the phoenix hairpin personally awarded by the Emperor!
When this news reached the Feng manor, the matriarch was drinking tea. Upon hearing this news from the servant, the tea got caught in her throat, causing her to nearly choke herself to death.
“Where is Heng?” The matriarch grabbed granny Zhao and anxiously said: “Quick, quickly send someone to call Heng over!”
Granny Zhao complied and quickly informed a servant to go over to Tong Sheng pavilion. The matriarch continued: “What is the phoenix hairpin? How could she lose such a thing? Say, is this news real or fake?”
Granny Zhao was also in a state of shock. When she returned from the Refined Deity Building the night before, everything was still fine. Could it be that something happened after she left?
“Elder madam.” She helplessly said: “Regardless of whether it’s true or false, these sorts of rumors are not good to the second young miss!”
“It’s not just not good for her!” The matriarch could not stand it, “Most important is our Feng family. Originally, Jin Yuan had been appreciated by the Emperor and was allowed to go North, but now that he is sharing the burden of relieving the disaster, something like this happened at home. Tell me, is this….”
The matriarch was so panicked that she did not know what she should say. She wanted to say that Feng Yu Heng did not make enough of a good showing and caused too much trouble, but she was unable to say it. After all, she had put in great effort to take care of her back injury. Now, it was almost completely healed. So if she said anything bad about her behind her back, she would always feel a little as though she were abandoning her benefactor.
But if she did not say it, she would feel uncomfortable on the inside.
Like this, she kept it bottled up while waiting for Feng Yu Heng to arrive; however, in the end, it was just a servant that returned.
“Where is the second young miss?” Granny Zhao looked behind her while asking, “Didn’t we send you to invite her?”
The servant quickly went forward and saluted then said: “Tong Sheng pavilion’s Huang Quan said that second young miss lost the phoenix hairpin and is currently facing a wall to contemplate her mistakes. Apparently… it was the Emperor’s imperial instructions on her punishment.”
The matriarch nearly collapsed in fear, “The Emperor’s imperial instructions! When were they handed down?”
The servant said: “This servant does not know. This servant only knows that it was directly handed down to the county princess’ manor.”
Granny Zhao pondered for a while then comforted the matriarch, saying: “Despite losing such an important item, she was only punished with facing a wall to contemplate her mistakes. It seems the Emperor was not too angry. It’s nothing more than keeping up appearances, right? Also, elder madam, do not worry. With the imperial instructions being handed down directly to the county princess’ manor, it is clear that his Majesty is a righteous ruler. This matter will not implicate our Feng manor.”
The matriarch felt that this logic was correct and nodded. Although she was still a little nervous, there was nothing she could do. So could only inform the servants: “The next few days, go out more and inquire around. Bring back any rumors you may have heard.”
Feng Yu Heng losing the phoenix hairpin and being punished was not only heard by the matriarch. Han shi’s side also received the news.
At that time, Fen Dai was currently under the extremely strict guidance of the two grannies and was standing in the courtyard and holding a bowl filled with water on her head. Pei’er and Han shi deliberately spoke a little louder, just loud enough for Fen Dai to also hear.
That girl had originally been scolded to the point of exhaustion, but when she heard that Feng Yu Heng had lost something, it was like a shot to the arm, which immediately revived the withering person.
“What did you say?” Fen Dai did not have time to pay attention to the bowl on her head, as she turned to ask Pei’er, “Feng Yu Heng lost the phoenix hairpin?”
This movement caused the bowl filled with water to shatter on the ground.
Granny Wang became furious and walked over waving the whip.
But Fen Dai did not pay any attention to her, as she asked Pei’er: “Is what you said true?”
Pei’er nodded, “This was the news being spread around. This servant also inquired around Shu Ya courtyard, and they said the elder madam also sent people to ask. The news they received was the second young miss had been instructed by the Emperor to face a wall and contemplate her mistakes!”
“Hahaha!” Fen Dai suddenly exploded with laughter, suddenly turning around. Pointing at the two grannies, she loudly said: “Don’t be too happy. Your Yu Palace is about to suffer a great misfortune! She lost the phoenix hairpin. That is something personally awarded by the Emperor. It is also something that is used to ascertain the right of rule. Tell me, if something like that is lost, what sort of future will she have?”
Granny Liu and granny Wang were truly shocked by her words, especially granny Wang. The whip she had raised was stopped in midair. She could neither put it down nor keep it up.
But it was granny Liu who was first to react, angrily saying: “I have come on her Highness the Empress’ orders. Whether or not Princess Yu meets with misfortune, how is it related to us?”
Hearing her say this, granny Wang also turned around. She immediately realized she had actually been fooled by a child. For a while, she flew into a rage from her shame, as she brought the whip down, hitting Fen Dai on the arm. The pain caused her to cry loudly.
“Don’t hit her!” Han shi saw Fen Dai get hit and immediately began to feel afraid. Quickly going forward to stop the two, “Grannies, please calm your anger, calm your anger!”
But how could they calm their anger. They had just lost face, so should they not get it back?
Granny Wang only said: “The Feng family’s elder madam also said for us to not be lenient. Concubine mother, please get out of the way!” She said this while continuing to move her whip.
Fen Dai was unable to dodge and continued to cry from the pain.
Han shi was in a panic and could only use her own body to protect her. Just as the whip was about to his Han shi, Fen Dai suddenly shouted: “You two are impudent! If you harm our Feng family’s son, what sort of crime would that be?”
Granny Liu stopped granny Wang’s arm, stopping the whip in midair, “What is fourth young miss saying? Son?”
“That’s right!” Fen Dai put Han shi behind her then raised her chin towards the two grannies and loudly said: “Concubine mother Han’s belly is currently pregnant with the Feng family’s son. Even if you two are grannies who have come from the palace, you have no right to hit the family of the standard first rank official! If the child was lost because of you, her Highness the Empress would not be able to protect you!”
These words truly caused granny Liu and granny Wang to completely stop. The whip that was raised was slowly lowered, and the matter of whipping was no longer brought up.
But the two continued to gaze at Han shi for a long time. At times, they were doubtful and at times they were at a loss.
“Is concubine mother Han truly pregnant?” Granny Liu looked at Han shi and asked seriously.
“Yes.” Fen Dai quickly replied.
“This old servant is asking concubine mother Han.” She did not even pay Fen Dai any attention, only staring at Han shi and waiting for her response.
Han shi was stunned in place, and the words were stuck in her throat. She did not know what she should say.
Fen Dai glared at her: “This is a good thing, so why do you not quickly say it?”
She was forced to act and could only nod, “Yes, I am already pregnant.”
The two grannies became even more doubtful upon hearing this. They had lived for half a lifetime, and they had spent that time taking care of the Empress, so their eyes were like knives. No matter how they looked, Han shi did not appear to be pregnant, so why could she be so certain?
But she had said it, so it was not too easy for them to refute. They could only put away the whip then think about Feng Yu Heng’s matter. They could not help but become a little depressed.
As for Feng Yu Heng, she was only punished with facing a wall to reflect on her mistakes. Two days later, Feng Chen Yu, who had been hiding in her own courtyard and biding her time, received another piece of news “Third master’s people received word that second young miss has sent people to the Wen Xuan Palace, Prime minister Fung’s manor, and General Ping Nan’s manor; however, each family’s gates were firmly closed and they could not enter.”
Chen Yu’s was already on edge, and this made her even more so. She knew that this was Feng Yu Heng trying to make use of her connections. This meant that she was truly in a bind and needed help from others to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, it was very clear that the other side did not want to help.
She had never hoped for Feng Yu Heng to be safe and sound, as she did right now.
“How many days has it been now?” She suddenly asked this question.
Yi Lin also understood her. She knew what was on Chen Yu’s mind the most these past few days. Thus she quickly said: “It has been roughly half a month.”
“Only half a month.” Chen Yu’s face sank even more, “Tell me, will she be able to endure the remaining half a month?” After asking, she did not wait for Yi Lin to respond before shaking her head, “Whether we say she can or can not endure does not matter. It will all depend on the Emperor’s intentions. I just beg that girl Feng Yu Heng to not make another mistake. Whether she lives or dies, I do not care, but she must wait until she has taken care of my matter.”
Yi Lin was also worried for Chen Yu. The matter that had originally been arranged properly, but who could have thought that the second young miss, who had received the favor of many great people and was very able to cause trouble would actually be in trouble. She had seen too many unstable situations in large families before. Forget about half a month, it was possible that news of the second young miss’ fall would come the next morning. When that time came, who would take care of the eldest young miss’ matter?
“Take careful note of the days.” Chen Yu advised Yi Lin, “Count the days one by one. Once the day has come, immediately bring the bank notes and go find Feng Yu Heng. You can not be late by even a moment.”
“Young miss, do not worry. This servant has remembered it all.”
Chen Yu took a deep breath and thought to herself that the moment this matter was resolved, she had to immediately cut off all relations with Feng Yu Heng. If that wall came crashing down and caught the hem of her dress, that would be a terrible matter.
In Tong Sheng pavilion at that time, a voice that caused people to tremble came from Feng Yu Heng’s bedroom “Gentler! It hurts! Move a little more! Move a little faster….”