County Princess Gives Gifts
“County princess Ji An grants the guests from Feng Tong 18 main dishes, six cold dishes and four soups!”
“County princess Ji An grants the guests from Feng Tong 32 bolts of fabric for clothing and the county princess’ manor’s tailor to make the clothing!”
“County princess Ji An grants the guests from Feng Tong one fruit pastry each!”
“County princess Ji An grants the guests from Feng Tong 100 taels of silver each!”
The Feng manor began dinner with this announcement, as large amounts of servants from Tong Sheng pavilion entered the dining room. All of them wore very odd clothes and shoes. The clothes were made from some unknown material that was see-through and came with a hat. Both men and women wore the same thing with their clothes underneath. The shoes that they wore were boots, and they were also made of an unknown material; however, no matter if it was the clothes or boots, they were completely waterproof. Like this, they walked around in the rain without umbrellas, and they did not look to be in a bad state.
The things were brought over by Qing Yu. The dishes were placed on the table, and she turned to salute the matriarch and the granduncles. Only then did she say: “County princess heard that guests have come, thus she informed the manor’s chef to prepare some food to be sent over here. With the recent heavy rain, the families that usually send food into the city have been blocked. The capital has not had any fresh food deliveries in a few days. County princess was thinking that the Feng manor would definitely be suffering shortages. Fortunately, the county princess’ manor has a reserve in the cellar. Thus the food was prepared and sent over.” While saying this, she looked at the table. Before the food that they had brought was placed on the table, even pickled vegetables were not present. This truly was not a normal level of shabbiness.
The matriarch and Feng Jin Yuan’s faces were a little black, but they had to admit that the Feng family did indeed not have many reserves. They had plenty of grains, as there was a large amount saved up, and it could be preserved; however, vegetables and meat were not things that could be kept for long periods of time. For this large family to eat, they had run out a long time ago. At first, they were thinking that if they still could not buy vegetables for another few days, they would need to eat pickled vegetables every day.
The people from the old home knew that Feng Yu Heng was a county princess. Earlier, Feng Jin Yuan had said that county princess had her own manor, and since it was raining so heavily, he would not call her over to eat together. Who knew that girl would be so kind and actually send food over. The second granduncle and third granduncle quickly stood up to kneel and give thanks, but they were stopped by Qing Yu: “Would the two elders please not be so courteous. County princess said that the Feng family is in mourning today and feared that Official Feng would not be in the mood to take care of the guests. She would have to put in some effort to ensure that nobody suffers any grievances.” While saying this, she pointed at the bolts of cloth and continued: “The county princess’ manor has a tailor ready. This servant has already brought her over. When you have finished dinner, we will have her take everyone’s measurements to make your clothes. All of the expenses will be taken care of by the county princess’ manor. Also,” She took out some banknotes and handed them to the second granduncle: “Each banknote is worth 100 taels of silver. Every person gets one. Please take care of them. There is also some shattered silver for everyone to use normally.”
The second granduncle’s eyes became moist, “Heng… that’s not right. County princess really was thorough in her thinking. The Feng family taking us in was already a grand grace. Who knew that she would be so kind. It’s no loss that she is the Feng family’s daughter of the first wife! Good! Good!”
While the second granduncle was praising Feng Yu Heng with tears in his eyes, the third granduncle seemed to have heard something that was off, anxiously asking: “What did you just say? The Feng family is in mourning?” Puzzled, he looked around but did not see any trace of a sad atmosphere. Ever since entering the manor, there was not a single person that mentioned mourning. What did these words mean?
Qing Yu was startled for a moment then immediately looked at the matriarch. She then slapped her own forehead: “It seems that this servant spoke too much. Third granduncle, please treat it as though this servant did not say anything. Do not inquire any further!” After she finished speaking, she handed over the banknotes and shattered silver in her hand and said: “If there are any other needs, send someone to the county princess’ manor to say something. This servant will be leaving first.”
After Qing Yu finished speaking, she quickly led everyone out. They were still wearing their weird clothes and weird shoes, as they rushed into the rain, moving very freely.
For a while, everyone was in a daze.
The third granduncle, however, was still worried about earlier and asked: “What is the matter with the mourning?”
The matriarch saw that the matter could not be hidden and helplessly sighed. She then glanced at Cheng Jun Man. Cheng Jun Man understood what she meant, thus she spoke up and recounted what had happened with Chen Yu. She was very smart and concealed things. She did not reveal the exact reason, only saying that she had angered the Emperor and was executed, while Feng Jin Yuan was demoted to fifth rank.
The people from the old home never could have expected that this sort of change would occur. For a while, they did not know what they should do.
At this time inside the county princess’ manor, Xuan Tian Ming was eating a large pork shoulder with Feng Yu Heng. After trying a few times, he found that he could not defeat his wife and helplessly gave up. He frankly spoke about an official matter: “The flood of Feng Tong county has given me an idea.”
Feng Yu Heng picked at the skin on the pork shoulder while asking him: “What idea?”
He said: “I fear that Qian Zhou’s matter cannot be hidden for much longer, and we still need time to produce steel. Sending out troops immediately is not wise, thus I was thinking of sending those criminals back to Qian Zhou in this rain. Along the way, it would be useful for them to die in a flood.”
Feng Yu Heng’s eyes lit up and stared attentively at Xuan Tian Ming, “That could work! To be able to think of such a mean method!”
“Of course!” Xuan Tian Ming sat up straight, “What do you think of this idea?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “It’s really quite good! But the people sending them must be reliable. We cannot lose the lives of anyone from Da Shun for the sake of sending them along. It’s not worth it.”
Xuan Tian Ming thought a bit, “Have hidden guards go!” He then raised his hand: “Ban Zou, come out.”
Ban Zou appeared in front of the two, “Your Highness, master.”
Xuan Tian Ming ordered him: “Bring along six other people and come with this prince into the palace tomorrow.”
Ban Zou nodded, “This subordinate obeys.”
Xuan Tian Ming then waved his hand, “Then you can leave!” Ban Zou quietly disappeared in a flash.
This meal, Feng Yu Heng ate a large pork shoulder, four ribs, half a fish, six shrimp, two large meatballs and a pigeon. Xuan Tian Ming was helpless, “Can you not eat some vegetables?”
A certain person spoke very naturally: “I am not a rabbit.” She then asked Huang Quan: “Where’s Xiang Rong?”
Huang Quan told her: “Third young miss said that she would not be disturbing your time with his Highness. She went to eat with madam.”
Feng Yu Heng thought about it and felt that this was also good. Yao shi eating on her own would be quite bored. With Xiang Rong accompanying her, she would be acting as the daughter and being filial for her. She sighed repeatedly. In regards to Yao shi, there were times when she really could not do anything.
For dinner, the county princess’ manor enjoyed a joyful and rich meal, while there was nobody in the mood to eat on the Feng family’s side. Chen Yu’s death caused the people that had come from the old home to feel shocked. Everyone knew that she was the most beautiful daughter in the Feng family. They had once discussed it and said that she would definitely have a good future; however, they did not think that the beauty would pass away during her best years immediately after she became of age. It truly caused them to sigh emotionally.
Feng Jin Yuan used this opportunity to express his own thoughts, as he pointed at the table of food, saying: “Feng Yu Heng gave you some food, some fabric and some money, giving you all a good impression. Who knew that if it was not for her secretly harming her eldest sister, Chen Yu would not have suffered this crisis, and I would not have been demoted to fifth rank. And how could the Feng family have not been able to protect this residence!” The more he said, the angrier he became. In the end, he slapped the table and loudly said: “It’s all because of that little beast. Sooner or later, she will cause the destruction of the Feng family!”
This shout was a little too loud. It was loud enough that it was heard by someone that was far away but was about to enter the hall, as a shrill voice suddenly spoke up: “Who is it that Official Feng is cursing?”
Everyone in the Feng family was extremely shocked and turned their heads in unison. They saw a group of people walking in from the outside. At the front was eunuch Zhang Yuan, but his style was too imposing. A single eunuch actually had four people surrounding him and holding up a large canopy. This protected him very thoroughly, ensuring that he would not be soaked by the rain.
Feng Jin Yuan squinted his eyes and looked for a moment then very quickly recognized it. The canopy belonged to the Emperor. Every time that there was a heavy rain, it would be brought out and used. Who knew that the Emperor’s personal thing would actually be used by a eunuch. It was clear how well the Emperor treated Zhang Yuan.
He quickly stood up, and the matriarch also stood up. At the same time, she gave the two granduncles a look, quietly saying: “His Majesty’s personal eunuch.”
Once everyone heard this, they quickly stood up. Although he was just a eunuch, he had come from the palace, and he was the Emperor’s personal eunuch. Naturally, his standing was out of the ordinary.
Just as everyone stood up, Zhang Yuan had already walked into the hall. Looking inside, he casually said: “Oh! There are quite a few people.” He then stopped at the sill and pointed at Feng Jin Yuan’s face. Without wasting words, he said: “Official Feng, we came to exchange the deeds.”
Feng Jin Yuan had a troubled expression, saying: “Eunuch Zhang also saw it. With the rain being like it is, how can we move? Can it wait until it has calmed down, at least until the rain has stopped. Otherwise, the family full of old…” He turned around and pointed around, especially at the people that had come from the old home, saying: “Look, these are people that have escaped the disaster at the old home in Feng Tong county. The entire county has been ruined by the flood. They managed to reach the capital with a great deal of difficulty. They are either elderly or too young. Moving in the rain would truly cause this prime… cause this official to feel it unbearable!”
Zhang Yuan nodded, “His Majesty already knows about this matter, and people have been sent to handle the disaster. In regards to Feng Tong county, there will naturally be steps to correct this matter. There is no need for lord Feng to worry. Also, his Majesty has said that there is indeed no way to move in such heavy rain, thus there is no rush, and he will not ask for rent from Official Feng. But the deed must be exchanged today. This is to save me many trips out of the palace. You also know that there are many things going on in the palace. We do not even have enough time to take care of his Majesty. How could there be time to constantly be coming out here!”
Feng Jin Yuan anxiously said: “Then I will not trouble eunuch Zhang with coming out. This official will send it into the palace.”
“Oh!” Zhang Yuan let out a laugh, “Official Feng must be joking. Right now, you are a standard fifth rank official. You do not have the right to enter the palace at any time.”
“This…” Feng Jin Yuan was in a panic, and some sweat appeared on his brow. He repeatedly rubbed his hands together.
An shi asked: “Husband, are you cold?”
He glared at An shi with cold eyes then stomped his foot and said: “Fine! Eunuch, please wait a moment. The deed has been left in the study. This official will personally go and fetch it!”
(It has been said that old seventh likes Heng Heng)