You Sing, I Play
“Ah!” Feng Yu Heng shrieked. After all, her qinggong ability was rather lacking and had not reached the pinnacle of perfection. In such a short distance, she would not have the time to circulate the energy from her dantian. She could only accept her fate and close her eyes to wait for landing. She even began to consider whether she would land on her left buttcheek or right buttcheek.
Unfortunately, the expected “thump” sound and pain did not arrive. Instead, she fell into the arms of a person, and the sound of a sneer entered her ear.
Feng Yu Heng immediately understood. Before she could even open her eyes, she said, “I was wondering why there was nobody stopping us from leaping over this wall. It turned out that Xuan Tian Ming was waiting for me down below?” She opened her eyes; however, her attention was pulled toward the person behind the one that had caught her, “Seventh brother, you also came with him to heckle?”
Sure enough, Xuan Tian Hua stood behind him in his white clothes. Waving a fan, he was shaking his head and smiling bitterly at her.
The arms holding her held her tighter, and Xuan Tian Ming said: “Dear wife, you’ve become quite bold. You even dare to leap over Winter Moon Palace’s walls.”
Feng Yu Heng felt a little bitter inside: “I wanted to go through the front gate, but most importantly, I could not! Father Emperor’s desire to get in is endless.” She sighed and leaped up from Xuan Tian Ming’s body then waved up toward the top of the wall: “Huang Quan, come down.”
Huang Quan leaned over and flew down before saluting the two princes. Xuan Tian Ming grabbed his wife and said: “Let’s go, we need to quickly go in. Imperial concubine mother is extremely annoyed by this singing, thus she called seventh brother to come and play the zither for her.”
Feng Yu Heng looked at the servant behind Xuan Tian Hua and saw that they were holding a zither. In her mind, she began to wonder if the sound of the zither could drown out the Emperor’s singing.
At this time, imperial concubine Yun was leaning back in her bed against some pillows. She looked to have recovered a great deal. Upon seeing them, she quickly waved but said to Xuan Tian Hua: “Hua’er, quickly, quickly play a song for this One. If that old guy continues singing like this, this One’s life will vanish because of it.”
Xuan Tian Hua laughed and did not say anything else. The servant placed the zither on a zither table that had been prepared beforehand. He sat down and gently felt it.
Feng Yu Heng went to examine imperial concubine Yun’s health and provide an infusion.
It had to be said that Xuan Tian Hua’s zither playing ability was truly too mystical and moving. It sounded like a pearl falling on a jade platter, and it felt like an uncatchable shooting star. The sound that came from the strings greatly alleviated the annoyance that imperial concubine Yun had been feeling.
This was not the first time that Feng Yu Heng had heard Xuan Tian Hua play the zither, but the tone was different each time. It could change with the environment, and it could guide people’s moods to follow the melody. Feng Yu Heng recalled a rumor that she had once heard. Apparently, in ancient times, there were zither players that did not play for the sake of cultivating their tastes or for anyone else’s enjoyment, nor was it to attract ladies. Instead, they used the zither as a type of weapon. With just a few waves from the song and zither, the melody would have an extremely large amount of power. It was capable of being a sharp weapon, and it was as powerful as ten thousand soldiers.
There were many countries that expended a large amount of money to hire this sort of zither player, and they could often obtain a victory. Unfortunately, there were very few such musicians. In the world, it was already a blessing to find one or two such people.
This was a legend that she had read about in her previous life. Originally, she thought of it as just a simple story, but now that she had heard Xuan Tian Hua’s zither, for some reason it had caused her to think of this rumor. She felt that this rumor might not be false. Xuan Tian Hua really might be capable of it.
As she thought of this, she became even more intoxicated by its sound. But at this time, the Emperor’s singing seemed to have begun competing with the sound of the zither. When the zither was loud, he was also loud. When the zither was quiet, he continued to remain loud. In fact, he did not even hesitate to shout.
It continued to be the same tune. As he sang, who knew whether Xuan Tian Hua had done it on purpose, but the sound of the zither gradually began to harmonize with the singing outside. Like this, without anyone noticing, it had become Xuan Tian Hua playing the accompaniment for the Emperor’s singing. The father and son complemented each other very well, and it made the Emperor’s singing sound less terrible.
Thus, imperial concubine Yun was nearing the verge of collapse. She quickly waved the hand that was not connected to the infusion and shouted for Xuan Tian Hua to stop. She helplessly asked him: “What exactly are you doing?”
Xuan Tian Hua shrugged and smiled, placing his hand on the strings and causing the song to stop.
Feng Yu Heng felt that if there came a day when Da Shun went to war, the one to be relied on would not be Xuan Tian Ming’s soldiers nor Xuan Tian Hua’s zither. It would be the Emperor’s singing! This would be considered an expedition led by the Emperor himself, right?
At this time, it seemed that the movement outside had stopped. A palace servant came in and reported, saying: “His Majesty said that he will stop here for today. He… will come again tomorrow.”
Imperial concubine Yun’s face turned green and shouted at the top of her lungs: “Whoever can chase him away, this One will award one million taels!”
Once this was said, Feng Yu Heng immediately raised her hand, “Me!”
Xuan Tian Ming facepalmed. This was too shameful!
Imperial concubine Yun, however, did not think too much of it. She just said to Feng Yu Heng: “Heng is the most obedient. This matter will be left to you to take care of. If you can take care of this properly, this One will award you one million taels. I will then have Ming’er also award you with one million taels.”
Xuan Tian Ming looked at imperial concubine Yun with a bitter expression: “If you want to bankrupt yourself, go for it. Why do you also want me to pay up?”
Imperial concubine Yun rolled her eyes at him: “You even feel distressed giving something to your own wife. You really lack a bright future.”
Xuan Tian Hua faintly smiled from behind then said: “Then also count me in!”
Feng Yu Heng’s eyes became crooked from smiling so much. Three million taels! In an instant, she would receive three million taels. This deal was too worth it.
When they left the palace, Xuan Tian Ming asked her: “What trick do you have to ensure that father Emperor will not come tomorrow?”
Feng Yu Heng smiled in a criminal manner and said: “Very simply, I will have grandfather come into the palace tomorrow.”
Xuan Tian Ming was stunned: “Smart!”
Because the Feng manor was currently holding a funeral, she did not have Xuan Tian Ming send her back. The two went their separate ways at a fork in the road. Feng Yu Heng sat in her own imperial carriage and returned home.
Huang Quan held her belly, as she was so hungry that she was dispirited. Fortunately, Feng Yu Heng pulled out a pastry to help her out. This allowed her to endure until they returned to the Feng manor’s entrance.
Feng Yu Heng had left the manor early in the morning and only returned when it was nearly dinnertime. No matter what, she had to first light a stick of incense for the matriarch in the mourning hall. She brought Huang Quan along and entered the manor. The male servants were drowsy and cheerless, and even the maidservants that were moving about looked to be languid. In addition to everyone wearing mourning clothes, it looked… Huang Quan said: “Young miss, why does the Feng manor look so gloomy?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded. It was not just gloomy. It looked outright like a cemetery, but she did not say this. She just increased her pace and moved toward the mourning hall.
When they arrived, everyone in the Feng family was present. Even Zi Rui and Xiang Rong had come. The only one missing was Feng Fen Dai, who had been beaten.
Seeing Feng Yu Heng returned, Feng Jin Yuan’s already ugly expression became even worse. He just asked her: “The family is holding a funeral, yet you go ahead and leave the manor, not returning for an entire day. How could the Feng family have a daughter like you?”
Feng Yu Heng did not argue with him. She just calmly spoke the truth: “Imperial concubine mother fell ill. I went into the palace to treat her.”
“But your own grandmother passed away! Do you know what is important or not?” Feng Jin Yuan did not care for any sort of imperial concubine mother. He just knew that he felt irritated when he saw this daughter, and he was the one in the right this time, thus he pointed at Feng Yu Heng’s nose and began cursing: “You little slut, your grandmother doted on you so much before. Now that she has passed away, you don’t even stand vigil! You actually went to go and treat someone else. How could I, Feng Jin Yuan, have given birth to this sort of daughter! You truly are a disgrace to the family! A disgrace to the family!” The more he said, the more energetic he became, “I will show you to go treat people! Every person that you treat will die!”
Once this was said, He Zhong, who happened to be in the mourning hall, stepped forward and covered Feng Jin Yuan’s mouth. “Master! Quickly stop talking! If word of this were to spread, even if every member of the Feng family had nine heads, it would not be enough for the executioner!”
Feng Jin Yuan did have a bit more strength in the end. After struggling a bit, he pushed He Zhong away and angrily said: “What are you doing?”
The other members of the Feng family also managed to react. Han shi’s face turned white with fear. Holding her belly, she shrilly said: “Husband! Quickly stop talking! Do not keep talking!”
Feng Jin Yuan angrily stomped his feet: “Have you all been bought by this little slut? The Feng family is conducting a funeral, yet there is someone that has asked for her to go treat their illness. This is truly too shameless! Too lacking in education! They should all die! Every single one of them should die!”
The Cheng shi sisters’ expressions also became ugly. Cheng Jun Man had been kneeling, but she stood up at this moment and glared at Feng Jin Yuan, loudly saying: “Husband, do not harm everyone that is in the manor!”
An shi spoke frankly and directly: “Second young miss already said that she went to treat her imperial concubine mother. Second young miss’ imperial concubine mother is imperial concubine Yun!”
Feng Jin Yuan’s curses had already reached his throat, and they nearly rushed out, but he still managed to force them back down. He then felt a wave of fear, and a cold sweat appeared on his back. His clothes had become soaked.
How could he have forgotten about this matter? How could he have begun cursing and ended up also cursing imperial concubine Yun?
Feng Jin Yuan looked at Feng Yu Heng with a pale-white face. He knew that this daughter was definitely about to get upset. What sort of situation would arise from it this time?
Unexpectedly, Feng Yu Heng did not get upset, nor did she hold onto this matter and refuse to forgive as he had believed. On the contrary, she was very indifferent, but the words that she said caused Feng Jin Yuan to feel a chill run from head to toe. “Huang Quan, inform the palace. Because of Official Feng’s objections, this county princess can no longer go into the palace to treat imperial concubine mother starting tomorrow.” After saying this, she quickly lit three sticks of incense for the matriarch, saluted and kowtowed before pulling Zi Rui and Xiang Rong’s hands and saying: “I’m hungry. We will be returning to Tong Sheng pavilion to eat.” She then said to the Cheng shi sisters: “The younger generation should stand vigil overnight. I used the time I had for sleep to go and treat imperial concubine mother. I will trouble mother with explaining these rules and logic to Official Feng. It’s fine if he wants to cause a fuss in his own home, but he absolutely must not go out and lose any face.”
Feng Jin Yuan’s calves trembled. Seeing that Feng Yu Heng was about to leave, he staggered forward and said with a trembling voice: “You must continue to treat imperial concubine Yun’s illness!”
Feng Yu Heng ignored him, but Huang Quan turned around and said: “Wasn’t lord Feng against our young miss going? Didn’t you say that she did not know what was important? What is it, now that young miss is acting in accordance with your wishes, you still are not satisfied?”
Feng Jin Yuan ignored Huang Quan. He just shouted at Feng Yu Heng, who had already moved to the yard: “I did not have that meaning. Imperial concubine Yun’s illness is not something that can be neglected. If you do not go, you would be lacking in filial piety! Feng Yu Heng, you had best know what’s good for you.”
The small hand to Feng Yu Heng’s left trembled. She turned her head and saw that Zi Rui was frowning while an aura of anger exuded from his face. She gently squeezed the child’s hand and said: “It’s fine. Ignore him.”
Zi Rui wanted to say something else. At this time, a male servant hastily ran in from the outside. Arriving at the entrance of the mourning hall, he said to Feng Jin Yuan: “Master, a person came from a private bank and said… they have come to demand payment on a loan!”