Chapter 34: Wedding Ceremony at 15
The matriarch finally recovered and took the initiative to approach Feng Yu Heng repair their relations: “A-Heng, stay at Willow courtyard until the moon gate has been opened up. When it’s ready, go take a look and see if anything is lacking. Just let grandmother know, and grandmother will provide it.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled: “Thank you grandmother. His Highness Prince Yu sent many pieces of furniture. It’s unlikely it is missing much. What I will need is help with moving and placing them.”
“That can be easily arranged.” The matriarch was happy, right! This was a normal conversation. If there were requests, that would be great. She just feared that Feng Yu Heng would say that there was nothing that she needed. It made her truly anxious. “Granny Zhao has already made arrangements with the servants. Take however many you will need.” Thinking further, she added: “These servants that were gifted to you will be your responsibility. There is no need to hand over their slave contracts to the manor. You can keep them. As for a monthly allowance, the manor will also provide some.”
Hearing this, Chen shi lost it and exclaimed loudly: “How can that be! All of the servants of Feng manor have their slave contracts kept within the manor. If others started doing this too, wouldn’t the manor become a mess?”
Feng Jin Yuan and the matriarch coldly glared at Chen shi. Chen Yu, seeing this, quickly picked up the role of mediator: “Mother, please do not worry. Chen Yu promises not to add personal servants.”
An shi and Han shi brought Xiang Rong and Fen Dai over and said: “Concubines will not as well.”
Feng Jin Yuan coldly snorted and asked Chen shi: “Do you have anything else to say?”
Chen shi was pinched hard by Chen Yu and could only lower her head in silence.
Feng Jin Yuan saw that she finally fell silent and let out a long sigh: “Since there aren’t any objections, we will proceed like in that way! It has been a busy morning, everyone must be tired. Let us disperse for now.”
Everyone properly gave their salutes and retired. Feng Yu Heng took a look at the matriarch as she left and thought a while before saying: “Grandmother’s waist illness, perhaps try the method A-Heng mentioned earlier.”
The matriarch immediately grinned: “Good granddaughter, don’t worry. Grandmother remembers everything you said.”
Feng Yu Heng then saluted again and returned to Willow courtyard with the two servants.
The matriarch watched her back as she left and felt quite happy with herself. Just now, that girl had been quite concerned for her right? If it was like that, then she was willing to accept her goodwill?
Unfortunately, Feng Yu Heng was not thinking in that way. In her opinion, the people of this manor were all lacking and in need of an overhaul, but she was still just a person. She still had to take Yao shi and Zi Rui in to account. Taking on too many things at one would simply not be a sensible thing to do. Perhaps it would be better to find those that go with the flow first. Or perhaps she should suppress the most stubborn people first before slowly returning to gather the others.
While returning to Willow courtyard, Feng Yu Heng asked for the names of the two servant girls. They were very special. One was called Huang Quan and the other called Wang Chuan. Huang Quan was a bit more lively, while Wang Chuan’s personality was bit more cold.
Huang Quan was very proactive in reporting the reason they had been given to Feng Yu Heng: “His Highness said that the prime minister’s manor is not much better than a bandit. Although Master Feng had passed the imperial exam that year, his family was not as well-educated
as him. Furthermore, Master Feng had studied in an odd direction, and was incapable of being a proper father. His Highness truly does not understand how he became the prime minister of this country. Thus his Highness sent Wang Chuan and myself to protect the princess. We cannot allow any accidents to happen to the princess and we must ensure that the princess is not bullied within the manor.”
Wang Chuan, seeing that Huang Quan had finished speaking, calmly added a few things: “His Highness also said that he would wait for the princess to turn 15 then immediately have a wedding ceremony.”
Feng Yu Heng’s forehead became sweaty. Marriage at 15, why exactly were these ancient people so hasty!
Thinking again of that person, she found that expectations were slowly taking root in her heart.
Lowering her mood slightly, she asked Huang Quan and Wang Chuan: “I see that your steps are light and graceful, and your pulse is even and steady. You do not seem to be normal servants. You have trained before right?”
Huang Quan admitted while smiling: “I am most proficient with sword play, while Wang Chuan is best with qing gong. His Highness said that we should protect and serve the princess.”
Feng Yu Heng felt that she was a little too lively, “How have I suddenly become the princess. I still haven’t gotten married to his Highness yet.”
“It will happen sooner or later.”
Huang Quan had an indifferent look, while Wang Chuan had made more considerations, “Huang Quan would do well to remember, this is the Feng manor. It doesn’t matter what direction Master Feng has taken with his studies, we can not break the rules here. Here, we must call her second young miss.”
Huang Quan nodded, “Ok, then we’ll give some face to Feng manor.”
Feng Yu Heng secretly chuckled. It seemed Feng Jin Yuan had left something to be desired while acting as the prime minister. At least that person had completely overlooked him. Otherwise the big drama would not have been acted out today, nor would Huang Quan and Wang Chuan have such a poor view of him.
“Wang Chuan, follow me in the future.” She had intention of correcting the two’s disrespect for Feng Jin Yuan. She trusted the person that sent them had guessed they would. They had said it in front of her alone, as they did not seem the type to arouse trouble.
“Then what about me?” Huang Quan was stunned, “Princess… no, second young miss, could it be that you don’t want me?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “Of course I want you, but you have a more important mission than following me around.”
Huang Quan could not figure it out, “What could be more important than taking care of the second young miss?”
Feng Yu Heng told her: “Take care of and protect my mother and my little brother.”
Huang Quan nodded that she understood. After his Highness Prince Yu had given them this assignment, Bai Ze personally told them everything about the Feng family and the second young miss.
Of course, so-called everything was just the commonly-known details. It did not include information like their encounter in the mountains in the Northwest. But he did say that through that one night, his Highness Prince Yu analyzed the second young miss’ personality.
Thus, Huang Quan and Wang Chuan understood. Having been abandoned for three years, if there were anyone in this world that the second young miss cared for, it would be limited to those that lived with her and suffered with her in that mountain village, her mother and her little brother.
“Young miss, don’t worry. I will definitely protect the madam and young master.” Huang Quan switched out her smiling face for a serious appearance.
Feng Yu Heng nodded, knowing that the servants sent by that person would act according to orders.
The road back to Willow courtyard was very long. On the path back, the three had questions to ask and answers to give, it seemed that they enjoyed their chat. However, Huang Quan and Wang Chuan never let Man Xi, who had been following them at a large distance, out of their sight.
Feng Yu Heng had noticed this long ago and had taken note of the satisfactory performance. That girl had started out walking alongside them, but as Huang Quan and Wang Chuan began speaking of the Feng manor, Man Xi slowed her pace and began to follow at a distance. She kept close enough to remain in sight, but far enough to remain out of earshot.
Her approval of Man Xi increased just a little bit more. Such an observant girl, if she could be steadily used for personal matters, then she would be considered a truly great talent.
As they returned to Willow courtyard, Yao shi and Zi Rui were waiting for them at the door. Seeing them return, Zi Rui was first to run over and dove in to Feng Yu Heng’s waist, “Big sis, big sis, why did you only just return? Who are the people coming in from outside? I want to go see, but granny Sun won’t let me go.”
She patted Zi Rui’s head and told him: “It was a very famous person’s elder that came to our house as a guest. Big sister and the elders welcomed them in the yard.”
“Then why can’t I go?” The child lowered his head and looked at his clothes: “Could it be because these clothes are too ragged and old, that they would cause the family to lose face? It’s ok, wasn’t there a new set of clothes? I can change in to them. Zi Rui doesn’t feel the collar is too prickly.”
Speaking of the clothes, Feng Yu Heng remembered something and turned around to give orders: “Granny Li, the matriarch said she would send people to a tailor for some ready-made clothes. Go ask when they will be ready.”
Granny Li did not say anything else. Complying with the request, she trotted all the way to Shu Ya courtyard.
What a joke! Second young miss Feng returning to a position of power was something that had been spread among the servants of Feng manor. Although they were a bit further away, they could still see signs of trouble. His Highness Prince Yu had sent lady Zhou to support Feng Yu Heng. She was an old lady, how could she have the nerve to go against Prince Yu’s contingent?
As granny Li left, Bao Tang felt a little embarrassed. She could see that Man Xi’s attitude towards Feng Yu Heng had changed like granny Li’s had. But she had not seen the happenings in the front yard. Furthermore, she was not as good at handling things as granny Li. So when Huang Quan and Wang Chuan knelt before Yao shi and said, “Servants Huang Quan and Wang Chuan greet the madam.” she subconsciously said: “Newly arrived? It seems you do not know the rules. The Feng manor’s head wife lives at Jin Yu courtyard. This is just a concubine mother.”
Wang Chuan blankly glanced at Bao Tang. Just one glance seemed like a dazzling gleam shot forth. Bao Tang hurriedly shrunk back and heard Wang Chuan say: “Our rules are the ones his Highness Prince Yu sets. If you have any objections, I can bring them up with the Prince.”
How could Bao Tang have that ability. Lowering her head, she remained silent.
Granny Sun saw that the two new girls were very polite towards Yao shi and became very happy. Grabbing Huang Quan and Wang Chua, she repeated: “In the future we will be on our side.”
In Willow courtyard, the master and servants were exchanging greetings, while outside, the housekeeper, He Zhong, directed people who were carrying the gifts given by Prince Yu’s contingent.
Yao shi previously only heard the gossiping servants speak of the happenings in the front yard. Only now that she saw chest after chest of items, did she realize that the marriage arranged years ago had actually come up. But it was not because of the nice things that she felt happy, rather she felt a little gloomy. Not even Feng Zi Rui’s happiness could affect her.
Seeing Huang Quan and Wang Chuan help direct the people carrying things, Yao shi pulled Feng YU Heng a few steps to the side and asked her: “I heard from some gossiping servants that the ninth prince’s face and legs were injured. They also said that there was no hope for an heir. This matter.. do you want to consider it a bit?”
Feng Yu Heng laughed: “Dear mother, what do you want me to consider?” She lightly patted Yao shi’s hand and consoled her: “Let’s not speak of how our current position in Feng manor is worse than it was before, but look at the time when you were the head wife of the Feng family and I was the daughter of the first wife. Even then, wanting to back out of an imperial marriage would have been impossible.”