This County Princess Can Send You to See the Elder Madam
The laws of Da Shun clearly stated that only officials of standard third rank and higher were permitted to bring in or promote high-ranking concubines. For officials under standard third rank, you could take in as many concubines as desired, nor did it matter if you treated the concubines a little better, but you definitely could not call them high-ranking concubines.
For someone like Han shi, whose mind was only filled with thoughts of romance, she only thought about how she would fight to gain favor within the manor. She would think about how she could improve her and Fen Dai’s position within the manor. How could she spend any amount of time understand the laws of Da Shun. Once Cheng Jun Man’s words were spoken, Han shi immediately became unhappy, “On what basis can we not? Who said that we cannot have one? To control the skies and the land, they even want to control what sort of concubine someone has?”
Once this was said, Feng Jin Yuan’s face immediately blanched. Kneeling on the ground, his legs began to tremble. Cheng Jun Mei did not say a single word before taking a couple steps forward and slapping Han shi twice across the face. This caused Han shi to see stars.
Feng Jin Yuan was, in the end, still worried about the child in her belly. Hearing the sound of her being hit, he turned around and wanted to stop her; however, Cheng Jun Man said: “Husband, those slaps will save her life.”
Feng Jin Yuan closed the mouth that he had opened. That’s right, they will save Han shi’s life. He looked at Han shi with a look of disappointment for having failed to meet expectations, “Officials under standard third rank cannot have high-ranking concubines. This is a law in Da Shun. This was put in place by the Emperor. Han shi, how many heads do you have?”
Han shi was dazed upon hearing these words. This was then followed by waves of horror. How many heads did she have that she actually dared to insult the Emperor? If these words were spread, would she still be able to continue living?
Once these thoughts arose, she subconsciously turned toward Feng Yu Heng. Feng Yu Heng raised an eyebrow and asked her: “Concubine mother, what are you looking at this county princess for? It was you that insulted the Emperor. What is it, with this many pairs of ears that had heard it, you want to frame this county princess?”
Han shi was startled then quickly shook her head: “I did not, I did not.” She then lowered her head, not daring to say another word.
Feng Yu Heng, however, spoke up once more to ask her: “Then do you have anything else to add regarding this matter of high-ranking concubines?”
Han shi gently bit her lip. She felt extremely unreconciled but shook her head: “No.” She then muttered: “How could the elder madam not even know about this?”
“Hmph.” Feng Yu Heng shrugged and quietly snorted, “Whether or not grandmother knew, you would need to ask her yourself. If you really feel that you have suffered an injustice, this county princess can send you to see her.”
“No, no, no!” Han shi desperately shook her head, “I don’t want to go. I…”
“Enough!” Feng Jin Yuan angrily shouted, “This matter is concluded here. Nobody is permitted to bring it up again. Han shi, you are pregnant. There is no need for you to stand vigil. Go back!” He waved his hand, and some servants immediately came forward to bring Han shi out.
Han shi had been scared so thoroughly by Feng Yu Heng and the Cheng shi sisters that she did not dare remain. But as she was being taken out, she still shouted: “Husband, you must call a doctor for fourth young miss!”
How could Feng Jin Yuan be bothered with such a thing. Instead, it was Cheng Jun Man that called for someone to carry Fen Dai off. She then arranged for someone to bring a doctor in.
Just after the mother and daughter had been taken care of, a male servant ran in and shouted: “Second young miss! The young master has returned to the manor!”
Hearing the words, “the young master has returned to the manor,” everyone in the mourning hall was shocked. Even Feng Yu Heng was given a shock. Why had Zi Rui suddenly come back?
While she was feeling puzzled, she saw a young boy quickly walking in their direction. The young boy wore a set of blue clothes and was full of vigor. His eyebrows had a sharp look, and he had the bearing of a great young sir.
If this was not Feng Zi Rui, who else could it be?
She stepped in his direction to welcome him. When the young boy saw his older sister, the sharp look in his eyes that were similar to that of a young lord was immediately covered by a thin mist. He dove straight into Feng Yu Heng’s embrace without any ambition. He spoke in a very sad and aggrieved tone: “Does elder sister not miss Zi Rui?”
Feng Yu Heng’s heart melted in an instant.
It had to be said that in this life, aside from Xuan Tian Ming, the only person that could cause her to feel a sense of responsibility that she could not escape was Feng Zi Rui. But because this was the case, she did not dare contact Zi Rui too much. She had too many enemies. If they only went after her, there was nothing that Feng Yu Heng feared. What she feared was for her enemies to target Zi Rui. Yao shi had already been poisoned once. The academy’s kitchen had also caught fire. Although Zi Rui was fine, if this child had been harmed because of her, she truly did not want to think about what she might do.
Feng Yu Heng calmed herself down and hugged her younger brother, gently saying: “How could I not miss you. Elder sister is missing Zi Rui every day, but Zi Rui must attend school. As long as you have gained some actual ability, you will be able to protect yourself.”
Zi Rui looked up from her embrace and added: “Not just myself, I will also protect elder sister.” After this was said, it seemed as though he knew that Feng Yu Heng wanted to ask something, thus he lowered his voice and said to her: “It was big brother Ban Zou that brought me back.” He then raised his voice a little to say: “Because there were floods all over the country, the families of many schoolmates were dealing with the disaster. Headteacher decided that the academy would be closed for a month.” After he said this, he escaped from Feng Yu Heng’s embrace and turned to Feng Jin Yuan. With a very serious expression, he gave a salute: “Zi Rui greets father.” He was polite but lacking in familiarity. It was as though he was dealing with a stranger. The word father to him was a concept that he could not quite understand.
Feng Jin Yuan looked at this son that he had not seen for over half a year and he could not help but feel a bit emotional. Ever since Feng Zi Hao had died, he had felt more and more satisfied with this son. He also felt more and more interested. Helplessly, however, he was imperial tutor Ye Rong’s personal disciple. He was the current Emperor’s junior disciple. He spent most of his time at Yun Lu Academy. Not to mention wanting to take an interest in him, even seeing him once was difficult.
He was feeling emotional and subconsciously reached out. He wanted to hug this son, but he heard Zi Rui say: “Zi Rui came back in a hurry and only heard about grandmother’s passing after reaching the capital. I am feeling very saddened.” After saying this, he turned and kneeled in front of the coffin. He very frankly kowtowed three times then said: “This unfilial grandson Zi Rui will kowtow to grandmother. Zi Rui has been away for school and could not be filial to grandmother. This was Zi Rui’s fault. I hope grandmother will not blame me from the underworld.”
The hands that Feng Jin Yuan had extended came up empty. He was a little embarrassed, but Zi Rui was kowtowing to the matriarch. He could not say anything and could only gloomily put his hands back down then say: “You just returned. You should go rest first.”
Zi Rui did not get up. He just turned around and said to Feng Jin Yuan: “Zi Rui is not tired. Zi Rui will stand vigil for grandmother tonight. Spending time in prison is difficult. Father only just got out and must be feeling exhausted.”
An anger surged forth in Feng Jin Yuan’s heart, and he rushed to ask: “Who told you that father was in prison?”
Zi Rui shook his head, “Nobody told me. Father is wearing prison clothing. Just by guessing, it’s easy to guess that you just returned to the manor.”
Only then did Feng Jin Yuan recall that he had not had a chance to get changed since returning. He could not help but feel upset. He could not be bothered with anything else and quickly left.
Upon seeing Feng Jin Yuan leave, Jin Zhen thought a bit. Gritting her teeth, she followed him out. An shi helplessly sighed and said: “I really don’t know what’s going through their minds.”
Feng Yu Heng quietly laughed, “Who cares. They can think about whatever they want to think about. As long as they don’t place any of their ideals on us, it’s fine.” After she finished speaking, she helped Zi Rui up. Pointing at the Cheng shi sisters, she said: “Zi Rui, meet our two mothers.”
Zi Rui did not ask too much. He would do anything that his elder sister told him to do. He just saluted and paid respects to the two. Cheng Jun Man liked Zi Rui a great deal. Since this was the matriarch’s funeral, she did not have anything nice prepared, thus she could only say: “Good child. Mother will give you a gift later on.”
Feng Zi Rui could see that her elder sister was close with the two mothers, thus he was not too courteous and immediately nodded, “Many thanks, mother.”
Feng Yu Heng advised the Cheng shi sisters and AN shi: “You should go back first. Tonight is the first night. It should be on the younger generation to stand vigil first. I will personally stand vigil with Zi Rui and Xiang Rong. Just come back tomorrow morning to take over.”
They did not have any objections to this matter. After all, these were the rules, but Cheng Jun Man said: “County princess still needs to go into the palace tomorrow. You should rest properly tonight. Whether or not you stand vigil… is fine.”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “No, I am perfectly happy to stand vigil. After all, that is my grandmother.” After she said this, she waved her hand and sent the three back. Without saying much else, she brought Zi Rui and Xiang Rong to kneel once more.
When the three saw her act so insistently, they did not stop her. They just said a few words of advice then left the mourning hall. Xiang Rong had not seen Zi Rui for a long time and used her gesture while quietly saying: “You’ve grown taller.”
With no adults present, Zi Rui finally regained his childish liveliness. After all, the matriarch had not treated him and his elder sister very kindly. Even if he wanted to squeeze out some tears, he could not, thus he frankly gave up. Holding Xiang Rong’s hand, he very sweetly said: “Third sister is becoming more and more beautiful.”
Xiang Rong pinched his smiling face, “You really know how to speak!”
That night, the brother and sisters did not suffer from standing vigil, but Zi Rui was tired from his journey and fell asleep in the latter half of the night. Leaning against Feng Yu Heng’s body, he slept until the sun came up the next day.
The Cheng shi sisters came very early. They arrived just as Zi Rui woke up. After arriving, they quickly chase them out: “The sun has come up. You should quickly go back and sleep. As long as we are here, it will be fine.”
An shi also arrived very quickly. Feng Yu Heng saw that there was not much wrong, thus she brought the two children back to Tong Sheng pavilion.
Zi Rui and Xiang Rong were both exhausted, and they fell asleep as soon as they arrived. Feng Yu Heng, however, just took a four-hour nap before getting up once more. She did not have time to sleep. She had to visit the Jing Palace today. She also had to go to the palace to treat imperial concubine Yun. She had also received a gift from imperial concubine Gu Xian, thus she had to at least visit. She feared that this trip would only be concluded late at night.
She kept Wang Chuan behind to take care of Zi Rui while Huang Quan went out with her. Outside the county princess’ manor, Ban Zou personally drove the imperial carriage and was waiting there. Seeing her come up, he said without any expression: “I brought the child back for you. How will you thank me?”
Feng Yu Heng rolled her eyes, “What child. That is my younger brother. As for thanking you, how about I let you take a few days off?”
Ban Zou shook his head, “Then you may as well not thank me.” He then pointed at the imperial carriage behind him: “Get in!”
Feng Yu Heng was about to get in the imperial carriage. At this time, she heard Feng Jin Yuan suddenly shout from the Feng manor: “I want all of you to scram!”