An Unlucky Year
The Feng matriarch’s death was actually quite unexpected for Feng Yu Heng. Once Wang Chuan said this, she subconsciously looked at Yao Xian, and the two saw traces of doubt in the eyes of the other person.
Xuan Tian Ming noticed that something was off but did not ask too much. He just asked Feng Yu heng: “Do you want to go and take a look?”
She nodded, “You shouldn’t go. A dignified prince does not need to trouble himself with this trip. I will go and take a look.”
Yao Xian also stood up, “I will go with you to take a look.”
Xuan Tian Ming did not stop him but did not show any signs of leaving. He just said: “I will accompany the madam. You can go.”
The grandparent and grandchild did not say anything else and quickly went toward the Feng manor. Xiang Rong also followed behind them. Her brow was tightly furrowed, and a bit a sadness appeared on her face.
Upon leaving Yao shi’s courtyard, Yao Xian quietly said to Feng Yu Heng: “Although the troublemakers threw quite a few punches and kicks at that old woman, as I saw it, it was not enough to kill her.”
Feng Yu Heng’s face became gloomy and said to Yao Xian: “Grandfather might not know this, but the Feng family’s waters are very deep. Every member of this era’s large families has all kinds of plots. There are endless battles that take place every day. How could this compare to before. The legal system was built by people with open minds.”
Yao Xian smiled bitterly, “In this feudal era, this is already pretty good.”
They chatted until they reached the Feng manor’s entrance. When the gatekeeper saw that Feng Yu Heng had arrived, he quickly welcomed her in. While accompanying her to Shu Ya courtyard, he said: “Because of the elder madam’s situation, the manor invited six doctors. Unfortunately, they were still not able to save the elder madam.”
Feng Yu Heng did not express her opinion, only asking: “Where are the madams?”
The gatekeeper said: “They are still at the palace. Someone has already been sent to invite them back. They should be returning shortly.”
Xiang Rong also asked: “Did those people really hit her that hard? With so many doctors being invited, they really could not save her?” While she spoke, her eyes were filled with tears, as she wiped away those tears repeatedly using her handkerchief.
Xiang Rong was different from Feng Yu Heng. Feng Yu Heng was merely using the Feng family’s second daughter’s body; however, the inside was completely unrelated to this Feng family. But Xiang Rong had truly grown up in the Feng family, after all. She was truly a member of the Feng family. Although the matriarch had not treated her well, since they were related by blood, it was impossible for her to not be a little bit saddened.
The gatekeeper brought them to the Shu Ya courtyard’s entrance then did not continue in. He just told them that everyone was at the bedchamber before returning to the front entrance to continue receiving people.
Feng Yu Heng brought Yao Xian and Xiang Rong over to the bedchamber. Before they could get through the winding hallway, they heard the sound of crying. Of them, Han shi’s voice was the loudest, and there were a number of servants advising her to pay attention to her health. She absolutely must not cry.
In truth, only Han shi, An shi and Jin Zhen were truly crying. Presently, the Feng manor’s population was dwindling. Fen Dai had also suffered severe injuries and was lying down back in Yu Lan courtyard. The Cheng shi sisters had entered the palace but had not returned, and Feng Jin Yuan had been locked up in prison. Xiang Rong was together with Feng Yu Heng, thus there were no proper masters left in the manor. Jin Zhen was not like Han shi, who liked to cry loudly. She only knew how to hold her handkerchief and quietly sob. An shi was even calmer. Tears flowed, but no sound seemed to come from her. Aside from Han shi’s voice, the majority of the sound in the bedchamber came from the maidservants and grannies that were there to help increase the numbers.
Feng Yu Heng’s arrival finally allowed the family to have some sort of pillar of support. Even Han shi let out a sigh of relief. While crying, she said to her: “Second young miss, you must support the elder madam!”
Once she said this, Jin Zhen, who was kneeling at the side of the matriarch’s bed also said something; however, her meaning was completely different. In fact, it was the opposite, as she said: “Second young miss, the elder madam has cause trouble in front of the county princess’ manor. Seeing as how she has already passed away, do not blame her any further.”
Once Jin Zhen spoke, Han shi immediately remembered this matter and immediately recalled that her own beloved daughter, Fen Dai, had participated in this matter. She could not help but feel her heart tremble, and her entire body swayed a little. She wanted to beg Feng Yu Heng for forgiveness, but when she looked back, she immediately saw Yao Xian standing behind Feng Yu Heng. A memory from many years ago resurfaced, and Han shi felt her surroundings suddenly become cold. Grabbing a maidservants hand, she endlessly shivered. Suddenly, she had a feeling that the Feng family was done for. Fen Dai had happily told her that as long as she successfully completed this matter, she would be promoted to the position of high-ranking concubine. Who knew that before she could get promoted to high-ranking concubine, the person that had made this decision ended up dying.
She wanted Feng Yu Heng to say a little more, but as she swayed, she quickly walked past her. Even Xiang Rong did not look at her.
Han shi finally realized that she was in the wrong, and Fen Dai was also in the wrong. In this family, they should have learned from the third young miss, Xiang Rong. Getting close to the matriarch was not the right move. Getting close to Feng Yu Heng was the truly correct move. Unfortunately, it was now too late.
Feng Yu Heng and Yao Xian walked over to the matriarch’s bedside, while Xiang Rong went to kneel at An shi’s side, quietly sobbing. Feng Yu Heng reached out and felt the matriarch’s wrist. She then opened up her eyes and looked at her pupils. Only then did she nod to Yao Xian, informing him that she had indeed passed away. She then turned to the puddle of blood to the side of the bed before a doctor standing to the side came forward and said: “This is the blood that the elder madam coughed up before dying.”
Feng Yu Heng furrowed her brow and glanced at the doctor. She then carefully inspected the blood then exchanged another glance with Yao Xian.
Looking at it, the matriarch had been beaten by people, which caused damage to her internal organs. She then coughed up blood before dying. But in reality, Feng Yu Heng and Yao Xian were able to see it clearly that this blood was not coughed up because of internal injuries. The cause of the matriarch’s death was… poison.
Her sharp eyes glanced around at the four doctors in the room, scaring the four into kneeling. They all said: “This lowly doctor was incompetent! County princess, please spare us!”
She sneered, “You really are quite incompetent.”
She then turned around and said to He Zhong, who was also in the room and wiping tears: “Grandmother has passed away. Immediately announce her death.” While saying this, she removed her identification from her waist and handed it over: “Take my identification to invite an imperial physician and a coroner.”
He Zhong was stunned, and the other people were also stunned. They were puzzled and asked: “Why are an imperial physician and coroner being called?”
An shi managed to react and blankly asked: “Second young miss wishes to… perform an autopsy?”
Feng Yu Heng smiled, “We are just going through the motions. That’s all. If it is said that she was beaten to death, that would mean it was a homicide. If we do not inspect the body and the injuries, how can we find the one responsible?”
Once this reasoning was provided, everyone felt that an autopsy was a natural outcome. Immediately, nobody said anything else. The Feng family’s servants began to take care of arranging Peony courtyard to handle a funeral. Han shi probed Feng Yu Heng with a question: “Second young miss, with elder madam passing away, will husband be coming back to send her off?”
Once this question was asked, Jin Zhen quickly followed up: “That’s right, this is a big matter. Second young miss, please discuss this matter with the government to allow it to happen!”
An shi frowned. Helping Xiang Rong up, she thought a bit then said: “Husband being able to come back to send her off would naturally be nice. After the funeral, he just needs to be sent back to prison.”
Once Han shi and Jin Zhen heard these words, they became anxious. Han shi supported her belly and glared at An shi, fiercely asking: “What do those words mean? Elder madam passed away. If husband does not come back, there will not be a single person left in the family to make decisions. What sort of situation would that be?”
An shi looked at her and faintly said: “There are plenty of people left to make decisions. There is the older madam and the second madam. There is also the young miss of the first wife. What is younger sister Han worried about?”
“You-” Han shi was rendered speechless. If An shi only mentioned the two madams, perhaps she could come up with something to say. After all, the Cheng sisters were not present; however, An shi had mentioned Feng Yu Heng. She was standing right there. Even if she was lent the courage of 100 people, she still would not dare to oppose Feng Yu Heng. The matriarch being beaten outside the manor was something that she had heard about. Although Feng Yu Heng had not personally taken action, she had certainly added fuel to the fire. The matriarch had blindly been biased for many years and went to invent wild stories with evil intentions. When Feng Yu Heng took action, she went straight for the heart. What could she still dare to say?
Han shi had lost her arrogance; however, Jin Zhen had a look of grief and quietly asked: “Sister An, do you not want husband to come back?”
An shi glanced at her. Although she did not say anything, she revealed a look of irritation.
Feng Yu Heng had no intention of continuing to argue with them, as she left the bedchamber with Yao Xian. She then heard Yao Xian quietly say: “The people of this Feng manor are quite fierce in their actions. The blood that the elder madam spat out was dark green. That sort of poison is not something that should exist in these parts. You should prepare yourself.”
After Yao Xian finished speaking, he quickly left. Feng Yu Heng, however, furrowed her brow tightly and remained standing in Shu Ya courtyard’s yard while contemplating what her grandfather had said.
Back inside the bedchamber, Han shi had begun crying and screaming once more. She felt that it was irritating and brought her two servants back toward the front yard.
The matriarch had passed away, and the entire Feng manor had become busy. A mourning hall was being constructed, funeral invitations were being prepared and mourning clothes were being made… He Zhong went over and asked Feng Yu Heng: “Second young miss, where should the manor’s funeral invitations be sent? Master is currently just a fifth rank official, and he is still locked up in prison. Can the officials that used to get along with the Feng family still be invited?”
Feng Yu Heng snorted coldly: “One should act within their abilities. A fifth rank official should act like a fifth rank official. Send invitations to the families of those that are equal rank or lower. Do not send a single one to any family of an official above standard fifth rank.”
He Zhong received this order and left without any hesitation.
Huang Quan smirked, saying: “Young miss only just returned to the capital today and has not even had time to stop for a moment. How about returning to the manor to rest for a bit first! Get some sleep. When the work over here is done, someone will naturally come to call.”
Feng Yu Heng helplessly shook her head, “If I go back to the manor to sleep at a time like this, I would truly be too magnanimous.” She ordered the two: “Stay alert. In a moment, an imperial physician and coroner will be arriving. We still need to provide them with some advice.”
Wang Chuan was able to pick up on a clue a long time ago. She was a little puzzled and could not help but ask Feng Yu Heng: “Does young miss think that elder madam died in a strange way?”
Feng Yu Heng replied with a question: “You are both people that have practiced martial arts. When the elder madam was being beaten, you were both watching. Do you two believe that beating would cause her to die?”
Wang Chuan shook her head, “Not at all, it would have been a serious injury at worst.”
“But she is indeed dead, and she had died from poison.” She sneered, “It seems that either someone really hated the old woman and wanted her to die, or someone wanted to frame me, causing Feng Jin Yuan to hate me even more.”
Huang Quan could no longer understand, “Is there any point to framing you like this? Our relationship with the Feng manor was already bad. Also, the troublemakers were paid for by the elder madam. If there is a rebellion in the nest, how could it become related to us? What a joke.”
“It is pointless. This county princess also does not fear Feng Jin Yuan hating me even more. It will just provide a more interesting chapter to the story. That’s all.” She shrugged, “Speaking of, the Feng family is really having an unlucky year!”
Just as they were talking, they saw a carriage come to a stop outside the manor. The Cheng shi sisters got out and quickly walked into the manor. Just as the two walked in, they saw Feng Yu Heng standing in the yard. Cheng Jun Man quickly ran over to her and grabbed Feng Yu Heng, anxiously saying: “County princess, leave the matters inside the manor to me. Quickly go into the palace. Something has happened there!”