You May as Well Come Give Me Gifts
The Feng matriarch, who had just received a noble title, was immersed in joy for the entire day, and Feng Chen Yu would fawn on her even more, as she picked out some nice things from her personal storage and sent them to Shu Ya courtyard. To put it kindly, the matriarch was now a noble lady, so the furnishings in her room had to match her status.
Before anything happened to the Chen family, Chen Wan Liang secretly gave Chen Yu plenty of money. Although the majority had been obediently sent to Feng Yu Heng’s hands, she still had over twenty thousand taels remaining.
Chen Yu was someone who was willing to spend her capital. Not only did she gift a bunch of furnishings, she even gave the matriarch a banknote for ten thousand taels that very afternoon, saying that it was to add to the happy event.
The matriarch had not really liked seeing Chen Yu after the event in Feng Tong County. After that, she would occasionally, change her opinion, but it was always in flux. Chen Yu had grown up in front of her, so how could she not understand the matriarch’s personality. Whether someone was good or bad depended on the number of gifts she received. For the matriarch, there were times when wealth was more important than the Feng family’s future.
Sure enough, after the busy day, the matriarch looked at the room filled with things and the banknote in her hand. Smiling widely, she whole-heartedly praised Chen Yu for being filial.
But at the same time, she was expecting her other granddaughters to express themselves to her, especially Feng Yu Heng. It had to be known that Chen yu’s things were mostly things that Chen shi had left for her, or they were the leftovers of what the Chen family had given. No matter how good, they were nothing more than simple trinkets. But Feng Yu Heng’s side had real gifts! Regardless of whether they were things gifted by the imperial palace or the Yu Palace. Which one of them would not be many times better than the leftovers given by Chen Yu?
As a result, she waited from before noon until after dinner time, but Feng Yu Heng did not even make an appearance. Not only did Feng Yu Heng not make an appearance, even Fen Dai and Xiang Rong did not make any movements. The matriarch was a little uneasy, as she hurried granny Zhao: “Have people go to each of the courtyards to take a look. What are they all doing?”
Granny Zhao was very helpless. Those that gave gifts would be considered people that were interested. You would go after the people that did not send anything? Moreover, they were all from the younger generation. Eldest young miss had money, but aside from the monthly allowances, what nice things could the third and fourth young misses have.
But the matriarch had spoken, so she could not choose to not go. She could only send some people to go inquire; however, she only dared to visit Fen Dai and Xiang Rong. She absolutely did not dare even approach Tong Sheng pavilion.
Not long later, the people that went to inquire returned. The person that went to Yu Lan courtyard said: “Concubine mother Han is not feeling very well, so fourth young miss is at her, side taking care of her. She is truly unable to leave her side. She said that she would definitely wake up early and come to kowtow to elder madam tomorrow.”
The servant that had gone to Xiang Rong’s side said: “Third young miss said that she has saved up some of her monthly allowance over the past half a year, and she will wake up early tomorrow to come and congratulate elder madam.”
Upon hearing this, the matriarch’s expression sank, “How little money is the monthly allowance?”
The servants’ faces darkened. Lowering their heads, they no longer spoke. The matriarch muttered to herself for a while then also felt irritated, so she simply decided to wave her hand and dismiss the servants.
Granny Zhao helplessly advised her from the side: “Third young miss and fourth young miss do not have any support from their maternal families. They naturally will have less to offer. But elder madam, think about it a little, this is also fine. Without their maternal families, that would mean that they can only rely on the Feng family. From this day forward, regardless of which family they marry into, they will do their best for the Feng family. Unlike the eldest young miss, this servant will say something very inappropriate, but Chen shi previously caused many problems in the manor!”
The matriarch felt that this analysis was correct. Upon mentioning the Chen family, her expression sank even further, “They tried a few times to harm my grandson, so we absolutely cannot be tolerant. Zi Rui is the son of the first wife, and he is the only heir of the Feng family. He currently has a great future, but we can only rely on him to bring glory to the family.”
“But of course!” Granny Zhao agreed, saying: “Even if Princess Kang Yi marries into the family, and she has a child with master, that child would have the blood of a foreigner. It would be hard for that child to find a proper status!”
The matriarch sighed, “If we think like this, the Feng family truly only has Zi Rui as its sole heir, so we must carefully protect him.” Saying this, she felt a sudden surge of anger, “As someone of the younger generation, she does not even consider coming over here to congratulate me. Does she truly think that she can ignore me because she is a county princess? Presently, I am a first rank noble lady!”
Granny Zhao did not say anything, as she thought to herself, what about a first rank noble lady? Without rights or power, second young miss is someone with achievements to her name.
While the matriarch was complaining on her side, in Tong Sheng pavilion, Feng Yu Heng was seated in Yao shi’s room and asking her: “I was thinking of sending Zi Rui back to Xiao Zhou in the next few days. Does mother wish to go live with Zi Rui for a while?” When Yao shi had married into the Feng manor, she had been carried in on a larger sedan. When Chen shi was promoted from concubine to head wife, this bit of celebration was lacking. This in addition to them being in the Northwest, they did not have time to worry about such things. But now that Kang Yi was about to marry into the manor, she was still the eldest princess of Qian Zhou, after all. This celebration would definitely become lively. She feared that Yao shi would end up feeling hurt.
Yao shi was smart, so how could she not understand her daughter’s thoughts, so she immediately expressed: “I won’t be going. I have clearly given up hope on that manor. For me to leave at this time, it would appear as though I am running away. I would end up being gossipped about without any evidence. If he wants to celebrate, let him celebrate. Now that my daughter has a bright future, and is able to give me my own place to live, this is the greatest joy possible. I am only worried about living my own life. Whether the Feng family’s people live or die, rejoice or fall, it is all unrelated to me.”
Feng Yu Heng let out a sigh of relief. Yao shi saying this made her very happy, and she could not help but hold her hand and say: “Mother, don’t worry. Our good days are not limited to just this. In the future, Heng still wants to bring maternal grandfather’s family back to fulfill mother’s filial piety and also to fulfill Heng’s hopes for my maternal family.”
Upon hearing mention of the Yao family, Yao shi’s tears began to flow, and Feng Yu Heng quickly changed the topic: “Mother still needs to go to Wen Xuan Palace tomorrow. Zi Rui will be returning to Xiao Zhou. Mother, go and ask if aunty Lan has anything that she would like for us to bring along.”
“Yes.” Yao shi nodded repeatedly, “Last time, your aunty Lan said that she wanted to greet Zi Rui before he returned, so I will bring Zi Rui along with me tomorrow.”
Feng Yu Heng exited Yao shi’s room and began to think about giving a gift to imperial tutor Ye Rong. This gift could not be too exaggerated. Scholars did not have too much desire for gold and silver. If she did not choose a good gift, perhaps they would feel that she had given a rather plain gift.”
Thinking long and hard, she remembered that she still had a stack of unused A4 printing paper in her printer. That quality of paper could not be produced in this era. Using xuan paper normally was inconvenient; moreover, when copying things outside, it would not good to carry around the four treasures of the study.
She quickly returned to her courtyard and spoke to Wang Chuan and Huang Quan before entering the medicine storage room. After closing the door, she directly entered her space. From the desk drawer in her room, she pulled out a few pencils and a few erasers.
A pharmacy would not be lacking in these things. Previously, before Zi Rui had gone to the academy, she had taught the child how to use a pen. Feng Yu Heng pondered a little then decided to wrap up all of the printing paper. She then took out some pencils, erasers and lozenges before exiting the space.
She separated the things into two piles. The large pile would be given to Ye Rong as a gift, and the small pile would be left for Zi Rui to use. Exiting the medicine storage room, she called Ban Zou out and told him: “The day after tomorrow, personally go to Xiao Zhou and send Zi Rui back. Along the way, you absolutely must be more careful. Right now, the Chen family is like a stray dog. It’s hard to avoid the possibility of being bitten by an ambush along the way.”
Ban Zou nodded, “Master, don’t worry.”
Ban Zou had her relax, thus she was able to. She then went to chat with Zi Rui for a while. After explaining the pencils and paper, she finally returned to her room to rest.
After the matriarch announced the marriage of Feng Jin Yuan and Kang Yi, the Feng manor entered a period of preparation. Under the lead of housekeeper He, the entire manor began to work hard. Kang Yi was arranged to live in the Tian Xiang courtyard nearest Pine courtyard. As for the courtyard that they had lived in previously, the matriarch decided that Ru Jia would reside in it alone. She then promised Xiang Rong and Fen Dai that they would also be given their own courtyards once they turned 12, and they would no longer live with their concubine mothers.
These days, Feng Jin Yuan was also busy. Following the visit by Gu Shu’s prince and princess, Gu Mo’s special envoy also entered the capital. Unlike the three previous countries, Gu Mo, to Da Shun’s West, sent the same government official that it had sent in years past. It was not a member of the imperial family, which allowed everyone to let out a sigh of relief.
As the prime minister, Feng Jin Yuan was always busiest when the special envoys from the four countries were in the capital. The matriarch knew about this, so she would not ask too often what he was busy with. Moreover, she herself was busy receiving gifts.
News that the Feng family would be receiving an eldest princess into the manor as the head wife had already spread. No matter what was said, Feng Jin Yuan was a standard first rank official. The number of people waiting to curry favor with him could form a line from the Feng manor all the way to the capital’s gates. Normally, they would not have much chance to give gifts, but using this celebration as an opportunity, they would naturally want to come and express themselves.
As the prime minister, Feng Jin Yuan normally had a diligent and strict attitude in front of others. Everyone knew that if they gave gifts, they could not give them directly to Feng Jin Yuan. Fortunately, the matriarch had been conferred the title of first rank noble lady, thus everyone began to carry their nice things towards Shu Ya courtyard.
The matriarch had always been a person that was satisfied with receiving gifts. How could there be any logic in pushing away the nice things that were placed in her hands. Thus, for a few days in a row, she welcomed guests with a smile on her face. Even if her back was beginning to feel sore, she was still happy.
But she also kept a clear account of what gift each family sent, as she had the treasury keep a note of such things. Afterward, she naturally re-evaluated things based on the value of each gift. Of course, she would naturally need to discuss such things with Feng Jin Yuan, so that he could socialize with others in the future.
The matriarch received gifts for a full five days. Gifts finally stopped arriving after the 15th. Normally speaking, after the 15th, the new year’s celebration would be considered completed, and the celebratory atmosphere in the capital would be reduced, but the Feng family could not allow the celebratory mood to disappear.
The matriarch was very happy, as she thought about how the Feng family’s children could not be shabby on the day that Kang Yi married into the manor. She had ordered a new set of clothing for them. Now that she thought about it, she would use this opportunity to have a set of head ornaments for each of them!
She told the children about this idea on the morning of the 16th. Aside from Feng Yu Heng, who did not celebrate too much, the other children were very happy.
After all, regardless of whether it was Chen shi that took care of the manor’s finances or the matriarch that took care of them, normal accessories would not be made, not to mention head ornaments. Even for the new year, the matriarch only had new clothes made for them, as she did not even mention accessories. Who knew that Feng Jin Yuan’s marriage would allow them to receive a set of head ornaments. They quickly stood up and saluted the matriarch to give thanks.
The matriarch stared blankly at them, thinking to herself that these little ones had no conscience. Aside from Chen Yu, the other ones did not show much to express themselves. Xiang Rong was even more shabby and disgusting, as she sent 50 taels. This truly was a slap to her face.
But her mood today was very good, so she did not argue. She only ordered granny Zhao to go tell the treasury to bring out the money then have someone rush to craft them. No matter what, these sets of head ornaments had to be completed before the 28th of the first month.
Granny Zhao complied and left. When she returned, however, her hands were empty. Completely helpless, she said to the matriarch: “The treasury said… there is no money.”
TN: The four treasures of the study are writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper.