Second Young Miss of the Prime Minister’s Family?
“Hua’er.” On the road back to the capital from the East, a carriage rushed along. Imperial concubine Yun put Zi Rui to sleep, and the smile disappeared from her face, being replaced by the elegant look from when she had lived in the palace. it was ethereal and could not be described as human.
Xuan Tian Hua was flustered. It was as though this past half a year had been a grand dream. The imperial concubine Yun that had hid herself under his seat to follow him East, the imperial concubine Yun that drank and gambled with the men, the imperial concubine Yun that had could point at Bu Cong’s former subordinates and begin cursing loudly, the imperial concubine Yun that had strolled through every street and alley in Fu Zhou, even going into brothels, it seemed as though that imperial concubine Yun had completely disappeared. Now, he was facing the proud and slightly lazy imperial concubine Yun from Winter Moon Palace.
He tried to speak up; however, he could not call out “mother” in an intimate manner. Instead, it became: “Imperial concubine mother.”
Imperial concubine Yun had a bitter expression and pushed the curtain to the side. She peered through the window to look at the sights outside. After a while, she said: “I don’t want to go back to the palace. I pretended to be elegant formany years, and it is too exhausting. The one thing that I do miss is my former residence, along with my loved ones and friends from the residence. I even miss the black bears and magpies in the mountains. Unfortunately… I can’t go back.” She turned and looked at Xuan Tian Hua, “Hua’er, in the future, if you make some gains, imperial concubine mother will not ask you for anything else. I just beg that you find me some valley and build a residence for me there. Make it a natural and beautiful spot.”
Xuan Tian Hua choked up and averted his gaze. He did not reply for a long time.
Imperial concubine Yun repeatedly patted Zi Rui’s body and faintly said: “Back when you were younger than him, you were just as obedient. Youc ould quietly sleep on my lap while I sang songs from my time in the mountains. You were able to play songs when you were this young. Ming’er couldn’t do it. When he was young, he spent all of his time with a whip in his hand and whipping people. Back then, the imperial concubines of the inner palace suffered from being hit by him quite a bit.”
Xuan Tian Hua’s expression visibly changed. Memories began to flash through his mind, and his mind was pulled back a decade earlier.
Princes under the age of twelve did not need to live on their own and could still remain in the palace with their imperial concubine mothers. From a young age, he knew that imperial concubine Yun had adopted him. Imperial concubine Yun had once told him that she had just entered the imperial palace, and it was completely unfamiliar to her. She was also angry with the Emperor, neither wanting to see the other. She was truly bored out of her mind. This coincided with imperial concubine Zhao’s sudden death, thus she ran over and brought Xuan Tian Hua back. The previous Empress investigated; however, this was complained about to the Emperor by imperial concubine Yun. From that moment, he became her son.
At that time, he was two years of age, imperial concubine Yun’s relationship with the Emperor had improved, which resulted in old ninth. The two-year-old Xuan Tian Hua already had a great memory. He clearly remembered the night that imperial concubine Yun gave birth to his ninth brother. At that time, one of the imperial concubines had sent a servant to deliver a bowl of medicine. Imperial concubine Yun foolishly drank it and nearly died from complications. Nobody knew about this; however, he remembered this. After a few more years, he had some of his own power. He then sought out a pretext to have that imperial concubine’s maternal family punished. Following the extermination of the maternal family, that imperial concubine ended up living and dying on her own in the cold palace.
That was why he was no deity. Behind this face was hidden a heart that was neither harder nor softer than Xuan Tian Ming. It was just that this heart only made an appearance when someone that he cared about suffered some harm. In this life, the people that he cared about were: Imperial concubine Yun, Ming’er, father Emperor, and… he expanded his thoughts to the battlefield in the North. There was also Heng…
“I’ll just promise you.” He spoke and kept his voice as calm as possible, “There’s no need to wait until I make some gains. I don’t aspire to make any grand gains. Once Ming’er is able to have father Emperor feel at ease to transfer the throne to him, I will brother mother and father to live in a mountain village. I’ll build a residnce that will suit your desires to enjoy the mountains and rivers.”
This was the first time that imperial concubine Yun did not express any rejection upon hearing mention of the Emperor. Instead, she was filled with expectation. She was originally a mountain bird. She was never a bird to be raised in a palace. She was always someone that rolled up her sleeves to eat large mouthfuls of meat while drinking large amounts of wine. She was Yun Pian Pian, and she would sing when happy and curse when unhappy. She was never meant to be someone that wore a crown on her head, nor one that held back while smiling, nor someone that had to be saluted and addressed as imperial concubine Yun!
Spending 20 years inside the palace was enough!
Xuan Tian Ming’s army reached the capital first but did not enter the capital in a grand manner as it did before. All of the soldiers returned to the military camp, while only Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu heng brought a group with Li Sheng and Fu Ya into the capital.
In the instant that the carriage entered the city, Feng Yu Heng could not help but lament: “When we left, it was the start of Winter; however, it’s already the Spring of the following year. Xuan Tian Ming, I’m 14 years old now.” She blinked, “Where we were, 14 was an age where I would still be in school. I would only have completed my studies at the age of 22. Only then could I get married.”
Xuan Tian Ming raised an eyebrow and did not ask what she meant when she said “where we were.” He just stared at her and coldly said: “Say it again for this great one?”
She shrunk her neck in and fell silent; however, she was complaining in her heart. To begin with, being able to get married at 15 was truly too early.
“Don’t think about such weird things. Just obediently get married to this great one next year. If it’s delayed even a day, I’ll have you skinned!” He put on a fierce look; however, it no longer had the ferocity that it once did.
Feng Yu Heng began laughing loudly, “Ninth prince, on ninth prince, the people used to think of you as the ninth lord of the underworld; however, who knew that the ninth lord of the underworld was actually the ninth Bodhisattva. For the citizens of Qian Zhou to have met you, they really were extremely fortunate.”
Indeed, it was extremely fortunate. During this trip from North to South, aside from a few people in Luo City and Bin City, the rest went South with the Army and entered Da Shun’s territory. Xuan Tian Ming removed the Northern Pass and announced that Qian Zhou had ceased to exist, and the territories now belonged to Da Shun. The citizens that had followed along started being dispersed in Jiang Zhou. There were some that were left behind in the three northern provinces while others were sent to all corners of the country by the soldiers. They were scattered all over, with a few being left in a town here or a city there. When they found a plot of land in the wilderness where city could be built, they began reclaiming the land.
Practically half of a country’s citizens had suddenly entered Da Shun, bringing waves of vitality and prosperity with them. Da Shun’s farming techniques were taught to them, and Qian Zhou’s breeding techniques were brought to Da Shun. In just a short two months, the largest migration of people was completed.
Xuan Tian Ming removed his gold mask and handed it to Feng Yu Heng: “Store it in the space. That is the safest place.”
Feng Yu Heng placed the mask inside a secure closet in her space. She then smiled and said to him: “How should your completely undamaged face be explained to the outside world?”
Xuan Tian Ming replied with her with a smile: “I have a divine doctor at my side. What sort of injury can’t be treated? If there are any questions about it, just push it in that direction. This prince is happy with being idle.”
She smiled and cursed at him: “Using a woman to protect this matter. So shameless.” She then raised a curtain and looked at the capital that she had not seen for a long time.
At this time, the carriage happened to be passing by an embroidery shop. There, she saw a maidservant with a charming and proud appearance. She was holding a bright red dress while she had a hand resting on her hip: “People inside, get out here! Don’t pull back just because you’re reluctant to do something. You had the guts to ruin this Sichuan brocade wedding dress, but you don’t have the ability to admit it, right? Everyone, get out here!” As she said this, she even kicked the door with a “bang.”
The number of onlookers increased, and Feng Yu Heng quickly shouted: “Stop, stop, stop, hold on!”
The driver quickly brought the horses to a stop, and Xuan Tian Ming helplessly said: “This sort of thing happens all the time. What is there to see?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “But this shop belongs to concubine mother An.” She pointed at the embroidery shop outside and said: “This is an embroidery shop that was part of concubine mother An’s dowry. In the future, it will be left to Xiang Rong as part of her dowry. It’s odd. The embroidery done by that shop are usually applauded by people. Why would this sort of thing happen today?”
Xuan Tian Ming also became a little interested. Turning around, he also looked outside.
At this time, the servant that had kicked the door unfurled the dress in her hand and showed it to all of the onlookers. She then angrily said: “Has everyone seen it? It was this so-called best embroidery shop in the capital that ruined my family’s young miss’ Sichuan brocade dress in this manner! What is this? Did you all see it? What is this embroidered on it? It’s a duck! What we wanted were mandarin ducks, yet they embroidered common ducks. Isn’t this just a curse?”*
Feng Yu Heng saw the embroidery when the dress was unfurled. Looking over, she immediately began laughing, “It really is a pair of common ducks!” She laughed so hard that her belly hurt. Regardless of who was at fault, the fact that a pair of common ducks found their way onto a wedding dress was too funny.
Xuan Tian Ming helplessly shook his head, “Hold back a little.”
She agreed and held her laughter back a little.
At this time, the citizens also began to condemn the embroidery shop. After all, for a pair of common ducks to have been embroidered onto someone’s wedding dress was too unreasonable.
But there were also people that raised objections, “That’s not right, even if the seamstress of this shop is not the best in the capital, she is still very well-known. How could she have made this sort of mistake?”
Someone looked more carefully at the ducks then shook their head, “That’s not right, look at the stitches. They’re thick and awkward. How could the seamstress have embroidered this. Dear girl, you haven’t come to the wrong place, right?”
The maidservant’s face turned white, “My ass! I haven’t come to the wrong place. This is the place! Ten days ago, this girl personally brought the Sichua brocade to this shop and handed it to the shopkeeper. Look, there is even a contract!” She spread out a piece of paper, and there was indeed a contract. The maidservant began cursing loudly: “Accepting the job without the ability for the sake of earning our money. Do you know how expensive this Sichuan brocade is? Can you afford to pay for it? It’s extremely expensive. If you don’t give us an explanation today, this girl will immediately have someone come and tear down this shop!”
The shopkeeper of the embroidery shop came out. It was an older seamstress, and she helplessly said to the maidservant: “Dear girl, your family’s young miss is about to get married, and this is a matter to celebrate. A marriage naturally needs to have a top-tier seamstress to do the job, but you did not want a seamstress. After coming here, you picked our family’s third young miss to do the job. The third young miss is also from a large family. How could you humiliate her so much?”
The maidservant glared: “Someone from a large family? My ass! Her father is nothing more than a horsefeeding eunuch. What is she acting domineering for? Using her to embroider a wedding dress is because we thought highly of her. It would be best if you weren’t a fool that reject a face-saving offer! Our family’s young miss is the second young miss of the left prime minister’s manor. The girl that you are talking about isn’t even worthy of holding her shoes!”
*TN: It’s believed that mandarin ducks are lifelong partners, unlike other species of ducks.