Heaven and Earth
The formerly brilliant left prime minister was now in dire straits because of 150 taels. When Feng Jin Yuan left the imperial daughter’s manor, he did not understand how exactly he had fallen to the ground from heaven. Why exactly had he fallen like this.
Unfortunately, after thinking left and right, he still arrived at the same conclusion: He had chosen to hug the wrong leg.
His son’s school fees, huh. On the way back to the Feng residence from the imperial daughter’s manor, Feng Jin Yuan only had that one thought. How should he manage to scrape together the school fees for Zi Rui. If he could not even scrape that amount together, how should he bring up wanting to have Feng Yu Heng treat his problem? How should he bring up wanting to have Feng Yu Heng introduce him to a job to earn money?
He had gone with the original intent of asking for help. In the end, he returned with a debt. Feng Jin Yuan found that this second daughter really did not suffer a single loss!
In the blink of an eye, he had returned to the Feng residence. He got out of the carriage and happened to run into Fen Dai, who had also just returned. Feng Jin Yuan wanted to ask Fen Dai where she had gone, but no words came out when he opened his mouth. No matter what was said, he still needed to rely on this fourth daughter at home. He could not offend everyone all at once.
He prepared to lower his head and walk in, but him not paying attention to Fen Dai did not mean that Fen Dai would let him go so easily. In regards to this father, Fen Dai had already had enough. She looked down on Feng Jin Yuan. When she saw Feng Jin Yuan return in a sorry state, she knew immediately that things did not go well, thus she could not help but mock him: “What is it, could it be that when you went to ask your imperial daughter second daughter to arrange a good job for you, you ran into another problem?”
Feng Jin Yuan said in a subdued voice: “I still didn’t bring it up with her.”
“You didn’t bring it up?” Fen Dai was puzzled, “I heard that you waited outside the imperial daughter’s manor for a day and a night. How is it that you didn’t actually bring up the important matters? What did you end up doing?”
Feng Jin Yuan was also feeling depressed. What did he do? He didn’t accomplish his goals and ended up taking on a debt. But he could not say this to Fen Dai. Zi Rui’s school fees were something that he had wanted to take on. Only by expressing himself on this matter could he hope to have Feng Yu Heng begin to change her feelings toward him.
At present, he was already very clear on many things. Fen Dai and the fifth prince were just a small benefit for the time being. If the Feng family was to make a comeback, and if he was to stand up once more, the one he would need to rely on was Feng Yu Heng.
With this in mind, Feng Jin Yuan did not think too much of Fen Dai’s provocation and taunting. He was understanding. Once the father-daughter relationship with Feng Yu Heng had been recovered, what would Fen Dai be considered? She was just the daughter of a concubine, and the fifth prince was just a prince that was disliked. How could he be compared to the ninth prince.
He straightened out his back and coldly looked at Fen Dai, forcefully saying: “Father went out to handle some business. When has it been up to you to worry about it so much?”
Feng Jin Yuan suddenly becoming strict gave Fen Dai a fright. She subconsciously shrieked: “Have you gone crazy? After being instigated by Feng Yu Heng, you’ve come here to act crazy to me? What are you thinking?” Fen Dai had never been one to care about others. Standing in front of the entrance, she began to argue with Feng Jin Yuan, “You are currently living in my place, eating my stuff, wearing my stuff, using my stuff, yet you still dare to act crazy with me? Are you insane?”
Feng Jin Yuan became furious: “You are my daughter! I raised you! Could it be that you’re only able to feel unreconciled toward the Feng residence and can’t share its burdens? Don’t think that I will fall to the lowest point because of this. I will tell you that I, Feng Jin Yuan, will make a comeback eventually. Sooner or later, the Feng residence will return to its former glory. When that time comes, lowly daughter of a concubine, do not regret it!”
The sudden firmness of Feng Jin Yuan startled Fen Dai. Just as she was about to fire back, the servant at her side, Dong Ying, tugged at her and whispered into her ear: “Fourth young miss, it’s most likely that the imperial daughter promised some sort of benefit.”
Fen Dai’s heart went “thunk,” and she suddenly realized that it was not completely impossible for Feng Yu Heng and Feng Jin Yuan to reconcile. The reason that she dared to act so arrogantly was that Feng Jin Yuan was relying on her and the fifth prince to continue surviving. But once Feng Yu Heng spoke, Feng Jin Yuan’s current actions would not be empty nonsense.
Feng Yu Heng had the power to allow the Feng family return to its former glory. She still remembered that the fifth prince had once said: If imperial daughter so desires, the Feng family’s recovery would happen in a single night.
She froze in place and continuously wondered about this possibility. She could not help but begin to feel afraid. She did not want to return to the past. She did not want to return to a time when she did not even have a right to speak as the daughter of a concubine. But all of this depended on Feng Yu Heng. Did she have the ability to control it?
Just as she was thinking about it, she saw some horses galloping over before stopping in front of the Feng residence.
The person that got off of the horse looked like a guard. Based on the clothes, it could be seen that he was a guard for the imperial daughter’s manor. That guard hopped off of the horse and arrived in front of Feng Jin Yuan. Handing over a wooden box to Feng Jin Yuan, he said: “Master Feng, this is something that imperial daughter wanted this subordinate to deliver.”
Feng Jin Yuan was puzzled: “What is it? Why did she not give it to me earlier?”
The guard said: “The imperial daughter forgot about it earlier and only just remembered. The thing inside is a gift that imperial daughter brought back from Qian Zhou. They all came from the imperial family of Qian Zhou. Would master Feng please take care of it.”
Feng Jin Yuan felt a little emotional. It had been taken from the imperial family of Qian Zhou. He knew that Feng Yu Heng and Xuan Tian Ming had already conquered Qian Zhou. One could only imagine what sort of treasure lay inside this exquisite little box. That second daughter of his truly had a sharp tongue but a soft heart. It seemed that him waiting for a day and night was not in vain.
“Alright, I will accept it. Please pass along my thanks.” Feng Jin Yuan held the box in his hand and watched the guard depart. When he turned back around, he saw Fen Dai staring straight at the wooden box, a look of greed and unwillingness filled her eyes. Feng Jin Yuan snorted coldly then walked into the courtyard.
Fen Dai, however, gritted her teeth and quickly gave chase. She stopped Feng Jin Yuan before he could get very far and said: “Father won’t open it to see what’s inside?”
Feng Jin Yuan knew what she was thinking. This fourth daughter was extremely greedy. If there were nice things inside, she would naturally try to do her best to get it. But he was not afraid. Things taken from the imperial family of Qian Zhou would not be shabby. The box did not seem to be light in weight. When the time came, he could take any one item and use it to repay the fifth prince for the kindness of taking care of the family. From there, the Feng family would no longer owe him anything.
Thinking like this, he nodded, “Alright, although any item brought out will be extremely valuable, in order to thank the fifth prince for taking care of us for a year, I will choose something to repay him.” While saying this, he carefully opened the box.
However, the expected scene did not appear. The box was filled with countless fingers. They were all squeezed together, and the blood caused Feng Jin Yuan to let out a yelp then throw the box onto the ground.
Fen Dai was also given a fright. Looking at the ground, she was so frightened that her feet trembled. She was only able to stand with the help of the servants.
Feng Jin Yuan hoarsely said: “What is this? What is this thing?”
At this time, a servant ran over from the entrance and loudly said: “Master, the subordinate riding the horse from earlier came back with a message before leaving. He said that these are the fingers of all of the members of Qian Zhou’s imperial family. They were given to master to allow you to remember how young master Zi Rui’s hand became crippled.”
The gatekeeper finished repeating this message then ran back.
The ground was littered in broken fingers and nearly caused Feng Jin Yuan to become paralyzed. He stared in a daze, as the panic in his heart reached a limit.
But Fen Dai was very quick to recover. Forcing herself from looking at the broken fingers on the ground, she began cackling. Following this, she said in an even more taunting tone: “After a trip out, you’ve gained some prestige. I really thought you managed to obtain some benefits from going to the imperial daughter’s manor and thought that Feng Yu Heng had changed her mind to help you. Who knew, really who knew, Feng Jin Yuan, you really had the same outcome as these broken fingers! Harming your daughter and killing your son, don’t even think of making a comeback in this life!”
Faced with Fen Dai’s insults, Feng Jin Yuan did not have the strength to fight back. Sitting on the ground, his mind was a complete mess.
At this time inside the imperial daughter’s manor, Feng Zi Rui looked up and asked Feng Yu Heng: “Elder sister, do you think that father can afford the 150 taels?”
Feng Yu Heng said: “That’s definitely not possible, but if he’s willing to think of something, he should be able to scrape it together.”
“Oh?” Zi Rui thought for a bit then asked: “Then what if he isn’t able to scrape that amount together? Elder sister, could it be that you don’t have the 150 taels, and Zi Rui won’t be able to go back to school in Xiao Zhou?”
Feng Yu Heng smiled bitterly, “Silly child, do you really think that we’re missing that bit of money! Not to mention 150 taels, even if it was one-and-half million taels, your elder sister could afford it. Also, don’t you still have your brother-in-law? What are you worried about. The reason that I had him spend this money is to have him take on the responsibility of a father, and the reason that I sent him that box of fingers is to have him know that all of his past doings have not been forgotten. If he wants to be a father once more, I will not object, but if he still has some bad ideas, Zi Rui, remember that you absolutely must not be courteous to someone that has tried to kill you.”
Zi Rui forcefully nodded with a look of maturity in his eyes that should not be in the eyes of someone so young, “Elder sister, don’t worry. Zi Rui has not forgotten about the suffering of the past. Regardless of whether it’s the three years in the Northwest or the time after we came back, all of them have been remembered in my heart. Everyone aspires for a filial relation between father and child, but if he continues to treat us as before, Zi Rui definitely will not be polite!”
Feng Yu Heng smiled with satisfaction, “My Zi Rui has grown up.”
“Zi Rui is already nine years old.” He emphasized, “I am a grown man. I can protect elder sister.”
“Alright, elder sister will be protected by you in the future.” She hugged Zi Rui; however, there was something that she had to tell him: “I will bring you to the other residence to see mother. She really misses you.”
Zi Rui was stunned and was a bit against it; however, he did not refuse. He just nodded, “Elder sister can make the decision.”
“Un.” She continued: “We will be going next door to eat dinner with grandfather’s family. We’ll go and see the uncles, aunties and cousins.”
“Then when will I go back to Xiao Zhou?” The child looked up and asked her.
Feng Yu Heng thought for a bit, “Just wait until after eldest cousin’s wedding has ended.”
“Alright.” Zi Rui nodded but said: “It’s just a pity that once I leave, elder sister will be the only one left in this imperial daughter’s manor. Elder sister, quickly grow up. Once you become of age, you can marry into the Yu Palace. Like that, I can be at ease when I’m away for school.”
Year 23 of Tian Wu’s rule, Yao Shu’s wedding took place on the sixth day of the eighth month…