The Princess of Gu Shu’s Provocation
Once the words about frightening the princess were spoken, Huang Quan nearly ended up laughing. She thought to herself that it would not be fear but rather shock! This princess thought too highly of herself. Did she really think of herself as being the most beautiful in the world? Did she really think that Da Shun did not have beauties? Little did she know, with them coming, she would immediately be wiped out.
But Huang Quan had forgotten that Feng Zhao Lian was not someone from Da Shun. He was just someone that had followed Feng Yu Heng and lived in Da Shun. It was such that everyone forgot about his roots.
The seventh princess of Gu Shu, Fan Tian Man, however, did not think too deeply about it. She just heard that the person wearing the veil was scary, thus she could not help but cover her mouth and gently laugh, saying: “Since she does not look good, how could she be dressed so elegantly and gracefully? Imperial daughter shouldn’t be hiding a beauty, right? How about you have her remove the veil for us to see?”
Feng Yu Heng smiled and said: “Having her remove the veil would be fine, but I am worried about shocking her Highness the Empress. That would not be good.”
“Your Highness.” Fan Tian Man turned to look at the Empress with an obsequious look and said: “She’s already come. If your Highness does not take a look, would you not feel curious?”
There was nothing that the Empress could do. Although the princess of Gu Shu and Feng Yu Heng did not have any personal grudges, if the matters of the past were brought up, the relationship would be a bit complicated. Gu Shu was to the South of Da Shun, and their border with Lan Zhou was a chaotic region. Recently, the eighth prince, Xuan Tian Mo, had installed a court down there, and she had heard that he had a very harmonious relationship with Gu Shu. At present, Da Shun looked to be very peaceful and stable, but the position of crown prince was still vacant. The princes were all quietly competing in terms of strength, and they were all flaunting their power. The eighth prince having the support of Gu Shu was guaranteed, and the Emperor favoring the ninth prince was also guaranteed. Like this, the princess of Gu Shu and Feng Yu Heng would be considered enemies. At present, Fan Tian Man had found an opportunity to embarrass Feng Yu Heng. How could she make this decision lightly.
There were two sides. One had come from a long way, and she had to at least give a bit of face. No matter what, she could not go ahead and offend the seventh princess of Gu Shu. On the other side was the one treasured by Da Shun’s imperial family, Feng Yu Heng. The Empress thought that this would be a difficult decision.
While she was thinking, she turned her attention to the woman in the red clothes standing behind Feng Yu Heng. She saw that the woman’s figure was elegant and graceful. Regardless of whether they looked at the face or not, the figure was very impressive. Moving her gaze upward, the eyes that could be seen above the veil, though not looking sideways, did not appear to be servile. The look of shock from entering the palace for the first time also was not present. Instead, it was a look of great familiarity. It also had a bit… of a standoffish look? Looking down on it? It was just so so?
These sorts of feelings were placed in those eyes, and the Empress suddenly remembered something. When Feng Yu Heng returned to the capital, she had brought back a prince from Qian Zhou. When she entered the palace to greet the Emperor and the Empress, she advised to not make it too public. Thus the number of people that knew about it was extremely low as a result of the Emperor suppressing the information. Apparently, the prince had been harmed from a young age. It was such that he became a test subject in Qian Zhou. His body was neither male nor female, half yin and half yang*, but if one looked from the outside, that person would look entirely female. In fact, his appearance was exceptional. She had also heard that the prince loved red clothes, bright-red clothes. Thus, the one before her…
With these considerations, the Empress had an understanding, thus she smiled and said to Fan Tian Man: “Naturally, this One is very curious. Heng, how about you have her veil taken off!”
When she spoke, she was smiling. Looking at Feng Yu Heng with a faint smile, her gaze expressed an understanding. Only then did Feng Yu Heng return the smile and turn around, saying to Feng Zhao Lian: “Since that’s the case, you should take off the veil!”
Feng Zhao Lian was happier than anyone and did not delay in the slightest. He immediately removed the veil from his face and spoke up at the same time: “I already told you that wearing this thing is extremely stuffy and uncomfortable.”
He spoke very rudely and was completely lacking in female virtue, but at present, aside from the few that had seen Prince Lian, there were only Fan Tian Man, the Empress, Princess Wen Xuan and their servants, who all inhaled sharply. Even Fang Yi unwillingly blurted out: “Heavens! There was actually such a beautiful woman in the world?”
Feng Zhao Lian was exceedingly beautiful. This was something that Feng Yu Heng knew about long ago. Even more exceptional was that androgynous feeling. Mixed in with the exceptional beauty was a bit of a heroic feeling. This really was something of a rarity in the world, and they could not be blamed for being dazed. Even Xuan Tian Ge, who had seen him before could not help herself from looking a little more. She even swallowed a bit of saliva. As for Fan Tian Man, she had already stopped moving. Her mouth was opened and could not be closed for quite a while.
The Empress was also exceptionally shocked. She thought to herself that a thousand words really could not compare to seeing it for herself. To say that this sort of girl was the best in the world would not be wrong in the slightest, right? Thinking of the Feng family’s eldest daughter, everyone said that she was the most beautiful girl in the capital, and when she saw her, she was indeed beautiful; however, it was not as shocking as the one before her. It was just a pity that this exceptional beauty was actually a man.
“Alright, quickly put the veil back on!” Feng Yu Heng spoke up, “Look at how you’ve frightened the princess. She hasn’t been able to close her mouth this entire time. This matter will still be our fault.”
Fan Tian Man had also brought a maidservant. Upon hearing what Feng Yu Heng said, she felt a little ashamed and quickly helped her princess recover. When she finally managed to help Fan Tian Man recover, she heard her rush to say: “Where did this evildoer come from?”
Feng Zhao Lian lost it: “Is that a head on your neck? Isn’t that a mouth under the nose? Why do I see that you not only don’t have a brain, but you also don’t know how to speak? Gu Shu really is a wasteland of savages. Even the dignified princess of the imperial family is lacking in education, much less the citizens of the country. Even that sort of place can be called a country? It really is the joke of the world.”
This person had never cared when speaking, and this was considered holding back. If he was not in the palace, and if he did not give some face the Empress of Da Shun, he really could have insulted Fan Tian Man until she died. But after thinking a bit, the term evildoer really was not an insult to him. He thought of it entirely as praise, thus he held back a bit and coldly sized up the opposition.
Fan Tian Man had suddenly been insulted so impolitely and was unable to react for a while. When she managed to react and wanted to counterattack, the Empress and Princess Wen Xuan had already changed the topic. They did not even bring up the earlier matter, only warmly saying to Feng Yu Heng: “In the blink of an eye, the days really have passed quickly. You’re already 14. After the new year, you will need to begin preparing for when you become of age. This One was thinking that when the time came, this One will have his Majesty give an imperial decree for you to enter the palace for this One to personally brush your hair.”
Princess Wen Xuan immediately added on to this: “How could imperial sister-in-law forget that although becoming of age is important, our Heng’s coming of age day has an even bigger matter to prepare!”
The Empress immediately managed to react and quickly said: “Oh! How could this One forget about such an important matter. Heng will be having her wedding on that same day! Then there’s no need for an imperial decree. His Majesty has already expressed his desire to personally officiate the wedding for Heng and Ming’er. Thinking about it, this One will also be able to enjoy the liveliness.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled and thanked the Empress. The few began to chat happily. With them chatting happily, Fan Tian Man had been completely left behind. Even Feng Zhao Lian was chatting with Xuan Tian Ge. Who was there to pay attention to her?
Fan Tian Man could not get a single word out and felt uncomfortable from holding it in. The servant at her side, however, quietly reminded her: “You are a princess. You must not lose yourself over such a small matter. At present, we are in Da Shun. Princess must be a little more tolerant.”
With her saying this, Fan Tian Man was able to very quickly adjust her mood. Gu Shu was small, but it was still whole. The imperial family was still the imperial family. Fan Tian Man’s education was real, but it did not mean that she did not lack in schemes. She understood immediately when her maidservant brought it up, and she very quickly recovered from the earlier matter. She simply ignored Feng Zhao Lian and said to Feng Yu Heng: “Speaking of imperial daughter Ji An’s wedding, our Gu Shu has already prepared a gift from the beginning of the year. Next year, Gu Shu will specially send someone to congratulate you. When the time comes, I hope that imperial daughter will not dislike it.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled and replied: “Naturally, Gu Shu putting forth all its might for this gift, how could I dislike it.”
Fan Tian Man was stunned once more, how had it become putting forth all of the country’s might for a gift? When had she said that the country would put forth all of its might? She wanted to refute it, but after thinking a bit, she endured, forcing herself to smile and say: “Imperial daughter is joking. It can’t be considered a gift that required the might of the country. That is just respect for Da Shun’s palace princess.”
These words were not polite, and they managed to provoke Xuan Tian Ge and Feng Yu Heng.
But what sort of person was Feng Yu Heng? When had she ever lost in a battle of words? She immediately laughed, “That’s true, to say that the country put forth all of its effort, it would not need to be prepared a year in advance. Gu Shu really is hard pressed. I hope that the gift prepared after the year will be a plentiful gift.”
Fan Tian Man was left feeling a bit flustered. She had just spoken casually. What was this about preparing it at the start of the year. It has not even been prepared yet, alright? But she had already spoken, and Feng Yu Heng was calling her out on her bluff, if a decent gift was not provided, things really would not be so easy to handle. Although Gu Shu wanted to get close to the eighth prince that was located near the desert in the South, Da Shun still did not belong to the eighth prince. Gu Shu could not cause any disturbances at a time like this and follow in Qian Zhou’s footsteps.
Upon thinking of this, Fan Tian Man quickly smiled and said to Feng Yu Heng: “Imperial daughter, don’t worry. It will be a plentiful gift.”
The Empress saw that Gu Shu’s princess knew to give way. Only then did she smile and wave to everyone to sit for a little while longer. Xuan Tian Ge then mentioned that she wanted to go out for a stroll with Feng Yu Heng.
The two left, and Feng Zhao Lian followed. Right before leaving, he did not forget to provocatively glare at Fan Tian Man, angering her greatly.
The group quickly left the palace then gradually slowed their pace. Xuan Tian Ge dragged her along and went toward the garden. Feng Yu Heng asked: “Why did Gu Shu’s princess come without any information of it coming out?”
Xuan Tian Ge helplessly said: “I heard that she came into the capital with Lan Zhou’s prefect but did not have an insignia, thus her identity was not exposed. Just like that, she entered the capital. After that, the explanation that she gave was fearing that something would happen to the princess on the way, thus she did not dare make it public. She was just determined to be a guest from far away, and it was settled like that.”
Feng Yu Heng wanted to ask a bit more, but it was at this time that she heard some quick footsteps getting closer from behind. The group turned back and saw Fang Yi, who was in the palace, quickly chasing over. After reaching them, she bowed then said: “Palace princess, imperial daughter, please wait. Just after you two left, people from the palace gate came to report saying that while waiting in line to enter the palace, the Feng family’s third young miss caused a disturbance with some people and was slapped. At present, she has been kept in place. Does imperial daughter wish to go and take a look?”
*TN: Yin is the female essence, while Yang is the male essence