Personal Betrothal Gifts
If Prince Yu truly valued this marriage, then how could he give such shabby betrothal gifts? The eunuch’s singing made them almost want to hide their faces. The main entrance to the Feng manor was wide open, with many people listening from outside. This joke had become a big matter, they feared that rumors would have circulated all around the capital in under a day. How could the Feng manor show itself in public after that?
Finally, the eunuch finished his song, and the gifts had been carried in to the yard.
Feng Jin Yuan’s face was pitch black. The matriarch was so mad that she needed two servants to help her stand. Chen shi, however, did not seem too bothered. If Prince Yu had acted in this way, then they couldn’t be blamed how they would treat Yao shi and her children. It was time for those that still believed Yao shi to be the head wife of Feng manor to wake up.
Just when everyone thought this face losing charade had come to an end, lady Zhou spoke once more: “That is all of the betrothal gifts to the Feng manor. The following are personal betrothal gifts from his Highness Prince Yu for the future Princess Yu.”
The crowd erupted again!
What was a personal betrothal gift?
Who invented this kind of idiotic thing?
The matriarch’s stiff waist couldn’t stop trembling. Feng Jin Yuan’s darkened face distorted, and even Chen shi was baffled.
Feng Yu Heng was also dazed. What sort of thing was a personal betrothal gift?
Lady Zhou’s face was stoic, as she looked around at everyone in the Feng manor. Feng Yu Heng could see a hint of contempt in her gaze.
“Prince Yu declared that the treatment and upbringing of Feng manor’s second young miss is only worth this much. The 3000 taels of white silver is actually quite a bit more than planned. If investigated, the Feng family’s treatment of the second young miss does not even come close to that amount.”
The meaning was clear, the ones who raised the Feng family’s daughter will understand in their hearts that giving 3000 taels is considered favorable.
Lady Zhou raised her hand and a maidservant brought another betrothal gift list over. This time, lady Zhou handed it directly to Feng Yu Heng- “This is his Highness Prince Yu’s personal betrothal gift to the second young miss. Second young miss, please take a look.”
Feng Yu Heng received the list and looked. All she saw was an incredibly long list that was filled densely with words. The sheer amount of items caused her to feel dazed.
Lady Zhou did not wait for her to finish reading, as she raised her hand. The eunuch once again opened his mouth- “Please bring in the personal betrothal gifts from his Highness Prince Yu for the second young miss of Feng family!”
After these words were proclaimed, another group of people started to bring wooden chests covered in red silk in to the manor.
“His highness Prince Yu bestows upon the second young miss of Feng family: one piece of glass-type jadeite cabbage1, one pair of white jade treasure vases, one pair of Jiulong jade cups, a pair of luminous pearls from the East Sea, a topaz Buddha’s fingers flower pot, a pair of coral pixiu2, one scenic malachite table plaque, one octagonal, gold-plated, gem-covered, hollow, floral box, one light-green jade bonsai with daffodils, a pink quartz hairpin, an auspicious hairpin, a butterfly tassel hairpin, a white-peacock hairpin, a five-colored jade hairpin, one exquisite pearl hairpin, one pair of golden bracelets with small bells, one pair of pure gold bracelets, one pair of jadeite bracelets, one pair of white jade bracelets of the eight immortals, one pair of golden-wire bracelets, a set of eighteen golden bracelets handcrafted by Persian craftsmen…&rdquo
Everyone listening collapsed. From ornaments to jewelry to headpieces, not only were those in the Feng manor speechless, even the imperial concubines would be envious if they saw this. But Prince Yu’s people brought in wooden chest after wooden chest of these extraordinary treasures, as though he no longer needed money.
Not only that, aside from the ornaments and jewelry, the eunuch’s voice sounded again, “One gold-inlay decorated bed3.” When those words were announced, everyone’s eyes were opened wide, as they watched people carry in a magnificent bed.
For the sake of co-ordinating with the bed, screens, tables, chairs, bookshelves, curio shelves, dressers, even small things like tea sets were brought out. This was clearly to completely refurnish Feng Yu Heng’s room.
After all the pieces for the room were delivered, the eunuch cleared his throat and announced in an even louder voice: “His Highness Prince Yu gifts the second young miss of Feng family eight shops in the capital, six small hamlets in the suburbs of the capital, one residence on the large Qilin street in the capital. Additional gifts to the second young miss of Feng family, ten thousand free-use silver bank notes, twenty thousand gold bank notes-” The final words lingered in the air, as the hearts of those around began to tremble.
Finally, the eunuch’s announcement was over. All of the chests had been carried in to the courtyard. The once spacious Feng manor courtyard was now filled with chests to the point that there were no places left to stand. One of Prince Yu’s servants actually brushed past Chen shi, saying: “Could the head wife please move a little.”
Chen shi shouted loudly in anger: “Bold lowly servant!”
Lady Zhou’s face sank: “Prince Yu’s servants naturally have the backing of his Highness Prince Yu. How could you possibly have the right to yell at them!”
Chen shi’s eyes became fiery, as she wanted to retort. Feng family’s matriarch slammed her cane on the ground and glared at Chen shi until her fiery rage was repressed.
Lady Zhou brought a wooden box over and personally handed it to Feng Yu Heng. Her face displayed a kindly affection: “The silver and gold bank notes, along with deeds to the lands are all in here. Second young miss, please take care of them. I wonder if the second young miss is satisfied with the betrothal gifts from his Highness Prince Yu?”
Not waiting for Feng Yu Heng to respond, Chen shi was first to reply, “Satisfied, satisfied, this sort of betrothal gift is definitely satisfying.”
Lady Zhou instantly changed her expression, “This old servant is speaking with the future princess. Where is there room for you?”
Chen shi was suppressed again.
“I ask the second young miss again.” Lady Zhou turned to face Feng Yu Heng. This time they looked each other eye to eye, and they maintained their eye contact for quite some time.
“A-Heng gives many thanks to his Highness Prince Yu’s kindness. Many thanks to lady Zhou for managing these betrothal gifts. They are extremely to my liking.” She spoke softly, her face displaying a smile, not at all showing that she was happy to see the wealth.
Lady Zhou nodded in satisfaction. She was very pleased with Feng Yu Heng’s attitude.
However, Feng Yu Heng also had some considerations. That person had given her such a vast amount of gifts as a betrothal gift, what exactly were his intentions? He shouldn’t know what type of person the second young miss of Feng family should be, and he even more should not know that it would be the person he’d met deep in the mountains to the north west. Since it is like that, then this gift was merely to the second young miss of the Feng family, and had nothing to do with Feng Yu Heng?
Thinking to there, her heart felt a little uncomfortable. Looking again towards Lady Zhou, she pondered. Lowering her head, she lightly spoke: “His Highness Prince Yu really values this marriage. It’s the second young miss of the Feng family’s good fortune.”
Lady Zhou patted the back of her hand and said a few words that greatly eased Feng Yu Heng’s heart: “As this old servant left the manor, his Highness wanted this old servant to tell you, the capital is very hot. It is not as cool as the mountains in the north west. Please make use of the refreshing tea.”
She could not keep herself from allowing a smile to appear on her face. So it seemed that he already knew. He already knew that it was her. Looking again at the yard full of gifts, her mood improved greatly.
As her mood improved, some people felt their mood worsen. Feng Fen Dai was one such person.
This girl felt that from morning when she saw Feng Yu Heng, her heart had been going through many highs and lows. Just now, she had felt that Feng Yu Heng had already lost most of her advantages. She had lost her position as daughter of the first wife. She had lost the matriarch and her father’s favor. She had even lost what would have been the perfect fiance. She had finally been dragged to the same level.
Yet before she could even savor the moment, it all turned around in the blink of an eye for Feng Yu Heng. This turn of events could arouse the outrage of men and gods alike.
In reality, it was not only Fen Dai. Aside from the ever calm and collected, An shi and Xiang Rong, everyone else felt their heart also go through highs and lows. Even Feng Chen Yu put away that Guanyin impression. No matter how hard she tried, she could not put on a generous expression.
“These things are all part of the personal betrothal gift his Highness Prince Yu has given to the Feng family’s second young miss. They have nothing to do with the Feng manor. Second young miss should personally take care of them.” Lady Zhou once again reminded everyone present that the gifts were for Feng Yu Heng alone.
Chen shi couldn’t take it anymore: “Lady Zhou, from ancient times, the betrothal gifts given from the groom’s family to the bride’s family have always been handled by the bride’s family. Where has there been a case of the bride herself receiving the gift? These are the rules!”
“Rules?” Lady Zhou sneered, “The concubine replacing the wife, this old servant has never heard of this rule before. Perhaps, could Master Feng tell us where your first wife, in other words, the birth mother of the future Princess Yu. Where is she currently?”
“She’s obviously in the manor!” Chen shi subconsciously responded. Feng Jin Yuan coldly sent a warning look in her direction, causing her to shrink in fear; however, she could not help but mutter to herself: “Whose fault is it that her maiden family was punished by the Emperor.”
This was said in such a small voice that even Feng Jin Yuan, who stood beside her, did not hear, but Feng Yu Heng heard it all.
She licked her lips and turned towards Chen shi: “Mother, what do you mean by those words? The Emperor did indeed punish my maternal family by sending them to Huangzhou, but he did not send for my dear mother who had long left her family?” She feigned a thinking expression: “It seems that there were no direct punishments for any one person. Even if the royal concubine’s maternal family were killed by the treatment, the Emperor would only lower their rank and forfeit their salary. Compared to the favor of the royal concubine, his Majesty found my maternal family’s medical knowledge more important.”
These words stunned all who were present.
Feng Jin Yuan furrowed his brow so tight, water could almost be squeezed out. Feng Yu Heng’s words were clearly meant for him. Thinking clearly, that was the case. At that time, the Emperor had not decreed that he must demote Yao shi, thus when he chased her away, it was all Feng family’s own decision. Even more, the Feng family assumed they were correct all these years, but why was it that when Feng Yu Heng brought it up, he felt that he had been too hasty?
That year, it could be said that the royal concubine was extremely doted upon. The Emperor had once set a record by calling for her only three months in a row. However even if he doted upon her to the limit, after imperial physician Yao caused the death of a person during treatment, he was no given the penalty of death. He was only demoted and exiled to Huangzhou.
At that time, the Feng family was worried about being implicated. Hearing the matter of Yao family’s punishment, they made arrangements that night for Yao shi. Thinking about it now, being demoted and exiled to Huangzhou, what of it? That father-in-law of his, the divine doctor was still alive and well. The rest of the Yao family was also alive and well. Only Yao shi, Feng Yu Heng and Feng Zi Rui suffered three years of punishment!
Feng Yu Heng looked at her father’s facial expression change, endless amount of ridicule rose in her heart.
Chen shi, however, did not understand that these words were meant for Feng Jin Yuan. She thought that this was Feng Yu Heng feeling outrage for Yao shi. Her eyes immediately widened, as she opened her mouth to refute- “Will the Emperor clearly state his every meaning? Isn’t it up to those below to figure out his meaning?”
As these words left her mouth, the matriarch of the Feng family slapped Chen shi across the back.
1: Jade shaped like Chinese cabbage
2: Mythical Chinese creature in charge of wealth and warding off evil spirits.
3: 大漆描金嵌百宝山水人物床 If anyone wants to get a better look.