Meeting With the Relatives by Marriage
The Feng matriarch was indeed telling a story, but it was not her that was telling it. Instead, she had invited a storyteller that was speaking quickly and eloquently.
What was eloquently being told? The story of Feng Yu Heng being raised in the Feng family from a young age. They spoke of how Feng Jin Yuan had thrown a grand banquet for three days when she was born. They spoke of how Feng Jin Yuan had brought the best teacher to teach her. They spoke of how the Feng family had once placed a great deal of hope in this daughter of the first wife.
This storyteller was quite skilled. Something as insignificant as a sesame seed could be made to sound amazing. Even something like Feng Jin Yuan bringing her a bowl of food could cause the spectators to become emotional.
Feng Yu Heng lifted the curtain and walked out but did not get down from the carriage. She sat with Wang Chuan and Huang Quan to watch the play. Their imperial carriage was behind the crowd and to the side. The people that were focused on listening to the story did not notice. The Feng matriarch had seen them but did not say anything. She continued to sit at the storyteller’s side. While holding her handkerchief, she wiped away tears and sighed.
The storyteller continued, and when he grew tired, someone gave him some tea. Feng Yu Heng let out a “pft” sound and laughed: “The treatment is pretty good.”
Huang Quan smirked and said: “I wonder how much the Feng family paid for this.”
Wang Chuan said: “Based on the elder madam’s feelings, at most five taels.”
Feng Yu Heng, however, shook her head, “I feel that this time, it must be at least ten taels. Look at the surrounding crowd. They are proper actors. They look so heartbroken when crying. The tears fall on command. They all must be paid!”
The two servants agreed with this analysis.
The three people chatted and laughed, but behind them, Yao Xian, who had no place to sit and could only stand, had become livid. He already knew that Feng Jin Yuan felt no love for his second daughter; however, he never thought that the Feng family’s matriarch would also be so shameless. She was already so old, yet she still actually went out and assembled outsiders to draw attention to her own granddaughter. This was truly not something a human could do!
He snorted and asked Feng Yu Heng: “How exactly did you endure this family until this point?”
He was able to very clearly remember that his granddaughter had a very explosive temper from a young age. She was able to take down three men in the military at the same time. There was a time when she disagreed with the opinion of a chief. That chief had a bit of a problem with abusing power, and Feng Yu Heng had once lost her temper and beaten that chief up in front of their commanding officer. This girl had never been one capable of enduring anything. She hated evil, and she would immediately seek revenge. She also kept a clear mind. When it came to playing tricks, she was the ancestor of scheming. How was it that her personality had also changed with the change in the era? This was no good!
Yao Xian’s expression sank as he said: “If you feel that you cannot bring yourself to do anything, maternal grandfather will help take care of them.”
Feng Yu Heng looked up at him with a smile. Her heart was so warmed! This was what it meant to have support! Her paternal grandfather had always been on her side. In her previous life, this was the case. Even if she had caused an extremely large incident, her paternal grandfather would still support her. But when it came to the Feng manor, she shook her head, “No need! Maternal grandfather, why use an ox-cleaver to kill a chicken. A lowly Feng family does not require grandparent and grandchild to work together to take care of.”
While she was speaking, the storyteller sitting beside the county princess’ manor’s entrance had reached the climax of “The Biography of County Princess Ji An”. It seemed that Feng Yu Heng had fallen ill when she was a child, Feng Jin Yuan had watched over her throughout the day and night. Even the reason for sending her to the Northwest had become them fearing that the Emperor would also implicate them in the Yao family’s crimes, thus they had no choice but to send them out of the capital. As the events progressed, it became about Feng Yu Heng’s turn to evil after returning to the capital.
Feng Yu Heng summarized these evils. The general idea was: Treated father poorly, treated grandmother poorly, treated eldest sister poorly, treated younger sisters poorly and treated concubine mothers poorly.
In the end, the storyteller finally brought the main theme of today’s story forth, “Just messing around inside the manor would be fine, but it has caused Lord Feng to get demoted to fifth rank, and he has been locked up! Everyone says that county princess Ji An is the star of disaster for the Feng family, and everyone should think about it. Is this title accurate or not?”
After he said this, he waved his hand, and someone immediately shouted from the crowd: “True! Too true! If this continues, the entire Feng family will be brought to ruin by her!”
There was someone else that said: “Starting from today, we must get lord Feng out. If county princess Ji An does not want to live in infamy, she should use her own power to help get her father out!”
Once this was said, everyone followed suit, “Save lord Feng! Save lord Feng!”
The Feng matriarch naturally felt that this was quite good and finally turned toward the imperial carriage and shouted; “She has returned!”
In an instant, everyone turned their attention toward them.
Feng Yu Heng, however, did not look at anyone else. She just looked at the matriarch. She saw that aside from granny Zhao, there was only Feng Fen Dai, who did not have the brain to orchestrate this sort of thing. The rest of the Feng family did not seem to have come out.
The matriarch received her gaze and was a little unnatural. She felt a little apprehensive, but this was not much. Since she had made up her mind to use this method to force Feng Yu Heng to save Feng Jin Yuan from prison, she had prepared herself to oppose her, but…
The matriarch’s gaze trembled, and she immediately saw the person standing behind Feng Yu Heng.
Why was he so familiar?
She closed her eyes and thought about it carefully. No matter how she thought, she felt that she had seen this person before. But that was an old man. When had Feng Yu Heng ever met with an old man? The people that interacted with her in the capital were mostly princes. There were also imperial daughter Wu Yang and the daughters of the large families, but she recognized those people! WHo was this?
She quietly asked Fen Dai: “Look at the person standing behind your second sister, do you recognize them?
The matriarch had organized this play. Fen Dai did not help out. At first, she did not want to oppose Feng Yu Heng, but the matriarch had said that as long as she helped out, once Han shi’s child was born, she would immediately be promoted to a high-ranking concubine.
This benefit was too attractive to Fen Dai. Presently, there was no hope of climbing to the position of head wife. Moreover, it was not easy being the head wife. She and Han shi had already given up on that thought. But the position of high-ranking concubine was truly tempting. First, there was no need to bear the responsibilities that came with the position of head wife. Second, the position of high-ranking concubine was the highest among concubines. The child of a high-ranking concubine would also be more valuable than the child of a normal concubine. This was the type of position that they needed.
Thus Fen Dai agreed to the matriarch’s conditions without another word.
It happened that the Cheng shi sisters had gone into the palace on this day, thus they chose this time to rush out of the manor. Fen Dai originally thought that this matter was basically guaranteed to succeed. No matter what Feng Yu Heng said, she would need to give in to the pressure, but who knew… She opened her mouth, her voice trembling slightly, “If granddaughter has not made any mistakes, that person… should be maternal grandfather, Yao Xian.”
The Feng family’s children all called Yao Xian, maternal grandfather because Yao shi was the first wife back then, thus the Yao family had become the Feng family’s maternal family. All of the concubine’s children had to call him the same way the daughter of the first wife did. That was why Fen Dai would call him maternal grandfather upon seeing Yao Xian.
Only then did the matriarch manage to react. The two words Yao Xian had formed a very real impression on her mind. That image then quickly merged with the old man behind Feng Yu Heng. She finally realized why she felt that this person had looked familiar. It was because this person was Yao Xian. He was Feng Yu Heng’s maternal grandfather, but she absolutely could not think of why Yao Xian, who had been exiled to Huang Zhou, would suddenly appear in the capital.
“Wasn’t it said that the Yao family’s people could not return?” She quietly asked Fen Dai. She had no bearing on the situation.
As a result, Fen Dai’s words caused her to feel even more lost: “Grandmother has forgotten, but the Emperor gave an imperial decree long ago. The grandchildren of the Yao family were permitted to participate in the imperial exams. That would mean that the exile has been invalidated, right?”
The matriarch’s heart trembled. The exile had been invalidated. That meant that Yao shi would inevitably make a come back. This has also come when Feng Jin Yuan had been demoted and sent to prison. The Yao family should not have come to get revenge for their daughter, right?
The people were still roaring for Feng Yu Heng to save her father, but after shouting for a while, they found that the county princess sitting on the carriage did not even speak with the matriarch. They just looked at each other. One smiled brightly, while one had a look of horror.
Gradually, the shouting stopped. Everyone was able to see that during this stalemate, the Feng matriarch, that had paid for them to come and cause trouble, had already begun collapsing.
Everyone began to feel worried. With the Feng matriarch becoming like this, she no longer had the aura that she had earlier! If the leader collapsed first, how could those that had helped her receive any benefits?
They were at a loss and began to discuss it amongst themselves. As they spoke, someone finally began to feel regret, repeatedly saying: “I advised you guys earlier that we could not oppose county princess Ji An. The person behind her is the ninth prince. If the ninth prince knew that so many people came to coerce his wife, wouldn’t he cut off all of our heads?”
Someone said something even more terrifying: “Having our heads cut off is nothing. I figure he might kill our entire families.”
Once this was said, everyone’s legs began to tremble.
At this time, Feng Yu Heng’s imperial carriage began to move forward, moving through the crowd of people and only stopping when it reached the Feng matriarch.
Feng Yu Heng did not speak, but Yao Xian said: “Elder madam Feng, long time no see!”
Originally, he had called them relatives by marriage, but that was in the past. Presently, Yao shi was no longer the Feng family’s wife. The two families were naturally separated.
The matriarch stood up with Fen Dai’s support and greeted him: “Sir Yao, it has been a long time since we last met.” When she spoke, it was clear that she lacked confidence. Even her voice trembled.
Feng Yu Heng was currently sitting cross-legged on top of the carriage. The long dress covered her knees, and she had a look of leisurely contentment. It seemed that she did not care for the earlier arrangement.
But she continued to look at the storyteller that had begun preparing to run away. That person had been stopped by two imperial guards. He could neither run to the left nor the right. He was so anxious that his head was soaked with sweat.
Feng Yu Heng shrugged and smiled: “The heavy rains have just passed. You don’t take the time to air your blankets, yet you have time to come to my county princess’ manor to wag your tongue. Tell me, who exactly gave you the courage?”
She had asked casually, but the pressure it applied on the person that heard it was very great. The storyteller looked at the matriarch then rushed to say: “County princess, it was your grandmother. It was the Feng family’s elder madam that gave me money to tell that story!”
Feng Yu Heng smiled even more, “For the sake of a few silver, you were willing to oppose a county princess. Do you guys have pig heads growing on your necks? You threaten this county princess to go and save Official Feng. Very well, this county princess will give you some face today. I will go and beg for his forgiveness. I will allow you to successfully earn this bit of money from the Feng family.” After saying this, she stood up on the imperial carriage, moving to get back into the imperial carriage; however, at the same time, she threw out: “Right, you only knew to cause a ruckus. Do you know what crime Feng Jin Yuan has committed?”
How could this crowd know. They all stared blankly at Feng Yu Heng and heard her say: “To ask for the forgiveness of a person, you must accept the burden of their crimes. I can go and ask for forgiveness on this day, but you must all follow me. Not a single one can be missing!” She turned around, and her gaze became piercingly cold, “Imperial guards, round up all of these people and have them follow this county princess! Have them follow the imperial carriage. We will be going into the palace!”
The people were immediately dazed, “Going into the palace?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “Naturally, we must go into the palace. Since you do not know, this county princess will tell you the truth that elder madam Feng did not tell you. Feng Jin Yuan’s innocence must be pleaded in the imperial palace because the crime that he committed is something that the governor has no say in. I will tell you, the crime that he committed is deceiving the ruler!”