Now that Feng Jin Yuan heard that there was something related to money, his head began to hurt. Once the retainer said the words “demand payment for a loan,” His mind began to spin. He thought desperately. When had he borrowed money from a private bank? And 200 thousand taels at that? That was impossible! He had no recollection!
Feng Jin Yuan felt a strange feeling arise in his heart. The other members of the Feng family were also thinking similar things. Cheng Jun Mei asked him: “Was it husband that took out this loan?”
The retainer picked up on this: “This time, it really was not master. The person that came said that the money was borrowed by the elder madam before she passed. There is also a document with her fingerprint.”
Upon hearing that it was the matriarch, Feng Jin Yuan let out a sigh of relief. Although he was still nervous about the finances, in any face, he had managed to preserve some face on this matter. He said to the retainer: “Go bring that person over.”
The retainer was a little troubled and looked around the mourning hall: “This… is not very suitable, right?”
Cheng Jun Man helplessly shook her head and made the decision: “Let’s go to the front yard!”
The mourning hall was left for the servants to take care of, while the masters of the Feng manor went toward the front yard. Zi Rui shook Feng Yu Heng’s hand: “Sis, will we go back to eat or go to watch the show?”
Feng Yu Heng said: “Of course, we must go watch the show.” After saying this, she was still puzzled: “How did the elder madam manage to borrow this amount of money? The Feng family doesn’t even have a deed. What did she use as collateral?”
With such a question in mind, their group also went to the front yard. Ding Feng Bank was the largest private bank in the capital. It was said that a certain prince was a major shareholder, but it was not clear precisely who it was. After all of the guesses over the years, nobody was able to guess the truth.
The person that had come today was a man in his 40s. Wearing a set of blue robes, he looked a bit elegant, but his eyes revealed that this was a very smart person. When this person saw the Feng family come out, he quickly went forward and saluted. First, he cupped his hands and greeted Feng Jin Yuan and the Cheng shi sisters. He then partially turned around and kneeled to loudly shout: “This humble citizen greets county princess Ji An!”
Feng Yu Heng did not say much, only raising her hand and saying: “You may rise.”
That person stood up and nodded to Feng Yu Heng. Only then did he face Feng Jin Yuan and reach into his sleeve, pulling out a piece of paper. “Lord Feng, this is the contract that the elder madam of your esteemed manor signed to borrow money before her passing. At that time, there were three copies made. Both sides took one copy, and another was sent to the government office. Although the borrowing period has not come to an end, elder madam has already passed away. According to the rules, this contract must immediately be paid for by the Feng family’s people and the contract returned.”
Feng Jin Yuan frowned and received the contract. Sure enough, he saw the amount clearly written. The matriarch’s thumbprint and personal seal were also there. He felt a little annoyed. This was a full 200 thousand taels. Why had the matriarch borrowed this much money?
At this time, An shi spoke up, saying: “The second day after the heavy rain stopped, the elder madam sent the second and third granduncle from Feng Tong county away. When they left, this concubine had also sent them off for a while. I seemed to have heard second granduncle give thanks to the elder madam, saying thanks for the money that the elder madam had given them to allow them to resettle the family. At that time, this concubine thought that the elder madam had used her own money to supplement them. Now, it seems… that the money was this amount?”
Cheng Jun Man immediately ordered the servants: “Go see how much money is remaining in Shu Ya courtyard.” She then said to Feng Jin Yuan: “What sister An said was reasonable. At that time, I was also curious as to why they were sent off in such a rush, but if there was such a large amount of money, it would be no trouble to go somewhere else to settle down once more.”
Upon hearing this, Han shi exploded: “No wonder that old thing left so happily. It turned out that they took such a large amount of our money!” She grabbed Feng Jin Yuan in a panic: “Husband, you must chase them down. They must have threatened the elder madam. If the elder madam did not give them money, they would have just refused to leave. The elder madam must have been thinking of how the manor is no longer as glorious as it once was, and we were in a rush to move. In a bout of helplessness, she could only borrow some money for them. What sort of thing is this? This is extortion! The poor elder madam was threatened in such a manner before she went to borrow money. Just thinking about it makes people feel choked up.” As she said this, she moved to wipe away some tears. Unfortunately, she was just going through the motions. There was not a tear to be seen.
The person that had come from the bank could not bear to continue watching and said: “Lord Feng, as to why the elder madam borrowed this money or where this money has gone, this is all your Feng family’s business. Please provide the money first. As for everything else, please discuss that amongst yourselves!”
Feng Jin Yuan coldly snorted and said something that even a criminal would not say: “Go ask whoever borrowed this money to return it!” After saying this, he threw the contract at the person that had come from the bank’s face and waved his hand, “Send the guest out!”
“Wait!” The person loudly shouted and struggled free from the retainers that had begun dragging him. He then faced Feng Jin Yuan with a look of disbelief and said: “Lord Feng, how could you say such a thing? Although you are currently a fifth rank official, you were previously the prime minister! As the prime minister, there was only one person above you and countless below you. Is this something that someone of your status could say? This contract clearly states that the borrowing period is one year; however, if the borrower passed away, the debt would be transferred to their relatives. The government office has a copy. You cannot refuse to acknowledge it!”
He first built Feng Jin Yuan up with flattery then brought out Da Shun’s laws. This rendered Feng Jin Yuan completely speechless, but he was also completely broke. This large hole that the matriarch had dug, even if he had the heart to fill it, he did not have any dirt!
He looked at Cheng Jun Man with a troubled expression and hoped that she could come up with an idea, but Cheng Jun Man was also unable to bring out such a large amount of money. She could only shake her head to him and express that there was nothing that she could do.
For a while, everyone was frozen there. Nobody knew what they should do.
Not long later, the servant that had gone to Shu Ya courtyard had returned. Arriving in front of Cheng Jun Man, they reported to her: “Reporting to older madam, aside from some items that have been kept in storage for many years, Shu Ya courtyard’s warehouse only had some shattered silver that does not total more than 50 taels. There was not a single banknote.”
Feng Jin Yuan’s heart became cold. He secretly cursed the matriarch for being foolish. To get rid of that group of beggars from the old family, was there any need for that much money? But the matriarch had already died. There was no purpose in continuing to complain. He looked at the family members in the yard. After the previous matter with the deed, he felt helpless once more.
At this time, something that nobody expected occurred. Feng Yu Heng actually spoke up, as she asked the person from the bank: “The Feng family is currently just a fifth-ranked official’s family, and even this residence has been taken back by his Majesty. This county princess asks you, what did the elder madam use as collateral to borrow this money?”
That person replied: “Replying to county princess, there was no collateral.”
“What?” Han shi shrilly shouted: “No collateral? You still dared to lend that amount of money? When had Ding Feng Bank become so magnanimous? Thinking back, our Brilliant Dance Building used a workshop as collateral to borrow 100 thousand taels, yet you were still unwilling. How could you now be willing to part ways with this much money?” Her mouth was lacking a filter, as she revealed everything that had happened before she had entered the Feng manor.
Once these words were spoken, they were truly a slap to Feng Jin Yuan’s face. Who in the capital did not know what sort of establishment the Brilliant Dance Building was. Although he had secretly oppressed the Brilliant Dance Building until it gradually vanished, it had still prospered for many years. If anyone inquired, there would still be many people that remembered.
Now that Feng Jin Yuan’s concubine had said “our Brilliant Dance Building” in front of so many people, was this not making her own background clear for everyone to see? Feng Jin Yuan was no longer able to endure it and sent a slap at Han shi’s face. Han shi saw stars from being slapped. If it was not for a maidservant supporting her from the side in a timely manner, perhaps she would have fallen to the ground.
But she did not dare say anything. She realized that she had made an error with her words earlier. This sort of mistake was life-threatening. If it was not for her being pregnant, she really wondered if Feng Jin Yuan would have had a hidden guard kill her on the spot.
Han shi had been hit, and nobody said a word nor went to stop it. Even fewer people felt any sympathy. Cheng Jun Man told her with a cold expression: “You must remember your own standing. If you really want to live like you did before, when the child has been born, I will arrange for someone to escort you from the manor. From that moment forward, you will have no relation to the Feng family.”
Han shi’s face became pale with fear. Trembling, she was supported by two servants and did not say another word.
Feng Yu Heng had no intention to continue watching this drama and asked the person from the bank: “Since there is no collateral, why would you give out this money?”
The person from the bank spoke as if it was natural, “Because she is county princess’ grandmother! When the Feng family’s elder madam came to the bank, she spoke using her status as county princess Ji An’s grandmother. County princess, at that time, you were taking care of the refugees outside the city. The Feng family was met with hardship, thus we could not choose to not help.”
This person continued to look at Feng Yu Heng while speaking. He did not hide nor dodge. His tone was stable, and he did not rush. He was very certain about every word that was said. Feng Yu Heng could see that everything that he had said was true.
She helplessly and bitterly smiled. It seemed that her face was worth quite a bit of money. It seemed that the Feng family’s matriarch was not stupid in the slightest.
Once Feng Jin Yuan heard this, he recovered a little. Looking at Feng Yu Heng, he asked her: “Heng, what do you think of this matter?”
Feng Yu Heng raised the corner of her lips and said: “What else is there to think of this matter. Ever since antiquity, debts of money had to be repaid with money. Could it be that father does not want to pay this debt? Grandmother passed away, and the person that is the main provider of the family is father; however, father is no longer able to be the provider. As the family’s daughter of the first wife, I will need to provide. Moreover, this money was used to provide second granduncle and third granduncle the money needed to settle their families down. They traveled a long distance to send the family’s memorial tablets here. For this bit of money, it is no loss for the Feng family.” She reached into her sleeve and pulled out a banknote worth 200 thousand taels from her space. She handed it to Huang Quan, “Accompany this gentleman to the government office and get the certificate back. But” She then looked at the person from the bank and put on a dark expression: “This is the first and last time. If there is a second time that someone dares to use this county princess’ name to go out and steal or scam, and your bank dares to lend to them, this county princess will definitely set the Ding Feng Bank on fire. If I said it, I will do it. If you don’t believe me, just try it.”
The person from the bank’s face turned white with fear. He did not doubt in the slightest that Feng Yu Heng’s words would be false. This county princess was the ninth prince’s future princess. Not to mention a bank, even if she said that she would burn half of the capital, perhaps the ninth prince would not even bat an eye.
He quickly kowtowed to Feng Yu Heng then left with Huang Quan.
Feng Jin Yuan let out a long sigh of relief. Before he could say anything nice, he heard Cheng Jun Man loudly say: “Servant! Go fetch some ink. Have husband write up a receipt for a loan for the second young miss.”