Feng Family’s Choice
Feng Yu Heng felt that since the entirety of Lord Ding An’s family was so shameless, then there was no need to give them any face. She was not worried that Feng Jin Yuan would watch this as a bystander. This was, after all, no longer personal. This was the Ding An palace provoking the Feng family. Feng Jin Yuan was the noble prime minister. Was there a reason to ignore it?
With her departure, Princess Ding An’s birthday banquet came to a very ugly end. Nobody had the heart to continue listening to music or watching dances. Each and every person went up to Princess Ding An, saluted and bid their farewells. There was a woman who was particularly indiscreet and said with a smile: “Coming today really was not a waste of time. Not only did I hear the Feng family’s eldest young miss play the zither, but I also happened upon imperial daughter Qing Le’s good fortune.”
There was someone who immediately agreed: “When the date of imperial daughter’s wedding banquet has been set, princess had better not forget to invite us to enjoy the wedding.”
Princess Ding An angrily shouted: “Out! Everyone get out!”
Her cursing did not matter, as the people who had remained silent were already unhappy. They all made themselves clear: “You want us to leave, then we will leave! When you invite us in the future, we will not come! Let’s see how many people the Ding An palace can invite for next year’s banquet. In the end, it might be that you won’t even be able to have the shopkeeper of a steamed bun shop send their wife and daughter to come flatter you! Hmph!”
Following this snort, everyone quickly dispersed. The male guests also bid Lord Ding An farewell. In the blink of an eye, the only ones remaining in this large hall were the family of Lord Ding An and some servants.
Lord Ding An looked at the messy room and felt his vision go dark. In this darkness, he felt that the situation was more and more hopeless.
He looked at his wife and daughter, especially that disheveled appearance of Qing Le. With nobody holding back his leg, he once against kicked her.
Being kicked twice in a row by Lord Ding An, Qing Le coughed up blood.
Princess Ding An was dumbfounded. Seeing that Lord Ding An was truly enraged, she did not even dare to cry.
“Vile creature!” Lord Ding An pointed directly at Qing Le, “You are a vile creature that came to demand payment!”
In the main hall of Shu Ya courtyard, Feng Chen Yu was presently lying in the matriarch’s lap, loudly crying. Feng Jin Yuan sat by her side and could not stop himself from sighing.
Feng Yu Heng and Xiang Rong sat across from him. Xiang Rong was a little afraid, as she lowered her head, not daring to look at her father.
“Grandmother and father must support Chen Yu!” Chen Yu cried while recounting the humiliation she suffered at Ding An palace, “Chen Yu bitterly practiced the zither for many years, but for what? Father has also said it, Chen Yu’s zither playing must not be easily exposed. It should be left for…. But today, at Ding An palace, second sister forced me to play for a group of dancers. Father, Chen Yu feels incredibly wronged!”
Chen Yu had never cried in such a heartbreaking manner before. The feeling it portrayed was as though she could not continue living. Gasping for breath, it seemed as though she would start having spasms on the ground at any moment.
The matriarch felt sorry for her and continuously rubbed her back; however, Chen Yu’s cries became more and more violent.
Feng Jin Yuan slapped the table surface, glaring at Feng Yu Heng: “What exactly did you want to do?”
Feng Yu Heng frowned. Seeming completely confused, she asked her father: “Father, what do you mean by these words?”
Feng Jin Yuan absolutely could not stand her innocent appearance and fiercely said: “Ever since you came back, this manor has not been tranquil even once. Father asks you today, what exactly are you wanting to do? If you want seek revenge for being chased out of the manor three years ago, then direct it at your father. Why do you cause trouble for your eldest sister?”
Chen Yu came up with an excuse: “Second sister, previously, you were the daughter to the first wife. I loved you and respected you. Even though you left the capital, that had nothing to do with me. Why do you want to harm me so?”
Feng Yu Heng looked at the father and daughter pair, who were in perfect harmony. She put down the tea cup in her hand and stared straight at Feng Jin Yuan, not speaking for a long time. Just as Feng Jin Yuan was about to ask another question from feeling uncomfortable because of her stare, she faintly slightly opened her mouth and said: “Although this matter is very funny, I must again remind father. A-Heng is not someone with no temper, as you acted as you wished three years ago. If you still can not distinguish between what’s right and what’s right three years later, then you must provide me with a reasonable explanation.” She turned her head and looked at Feng Chen Yu, “Might I ask eldest sister, what do you mean I forced you to play the zither? I also ask you, did father not say that a concubine’s daughter must not steal the limelight of the daughter to the first wife?”
Chen Yu did not respond. Instead, it was the matriarch would responded, “That was indeed said, but how could playing the zither for a group of dancers be considered limelight?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “Grandmother is correct. A-Heng also believed this to be so and argued over this with Princess Ding An. Anyone who was present can attest to that. But that Princess Ding An insisted on saying that her palace’s dancers were not like normal people. They were raised in the same way as a young miss. She also said that the Feng family’s daughter being able to play the zither for her palace’s dancers was a heavenly grace. A-Heng was sent to a remote area at nine years old and really did not know that this sort of change had happened in the capital. Princess Ding An spoke so decisively and resolutely that I could not help but believe her.”
Feng Jin Yuan steadied his mind and asked Chen Yu: “Did Princess Ding An say something similar to what A-Heng described?”
Chen Yu was startled and helplessly nodded her head. She could only admit it. This was something that had been heard by many tens of madams and young misses. So long as Feng Jin Yuan casually investigated, he could discover the truth.
“Hmph!” The matriarch became angry, “A trivial lord’s palace actually dares to say such things?”
Feng Yu Heng continued: “Not only this. Thinking about it, grandmother and father have not heard what happened next. That imperial daughter Qing Le privately met with a man in the back hall and was meddled with by everyone. When everyone entered, imperial daughter Qing Le’s clothes did not cover her body, as she was in a bathtub with the man. The man was not even wearing clothes, yet imperial daughter Qing Le said that it was A-Heng that privately met with this man. She said that she went to catch me.”
“What?” This time Feng Jin Yuan was also moved, “Do they take my Feng manor as some sort of incapable furniture merely for show?”
“There’s more!” Feng Yu Heng was having fun telling this story, “This event was not only seen by the female guests, the male guests were also all present. Right before his Highness the seventh prince left, he said that he would inform the Emperor to sanction the marriage between imperial daughter Qing Le and that man; however, imperial daughter Qing Le begged Lord Ding An to have him speak with the Emperor. She did not want to marry that man, she wanted to marry Prince Yu, and she wanted to be the official princess.”
“What a strong implication!” The matriarch trembled with anger, “The official Princess Yu is our family’s A-Heng. How could it fall on that odd imperial daughter!”
“I guess Ding An palace’s meaning is to have Prince Yu’s palace cancel the engagement with Feng family!” Feng Yu Heng lightly sighed and very helplessly said: “In the end, they are a palace. Thinking back to that year, did they not also ask the Emperor to sanction a marriage to his Highness the ninth prince, when A-Heng was already engaged to him.”
Feng Yu Heng’s words successfully transferred the anger from herself over to Ding An palace.
Feng Chen Yu saw that her father and grandmother went from accusing Feng Yu Heng to condemning Ding An palace. She could not help but cry out in grief: “Father.”
Feng Yu Heng did not wait for her father to speak and quickly asked: “Father, how can a powerless lord dare to bully the prime minister’s daughter? Placing the daughter of the Feng family on the same level as their palace’s servants. Just where does Ding An palace place the current court’s first rank prime minister? Would father please back up us two sisters!”
Feng Jin Yuan nodded and comforted Chen Yu: “Do not worry. Father has remembered this debt. That Ding An palace, my Feng family refuses to coexist with them!”
Chen Yu wanted to say I did not want you to hate Ding An palace, I wanted you to hate Feng Yu Heng! But these words could not be said like this. Since her father had already determined it was Ding An palace’s fault, if she continued to blame Feng Yu Heng, it would seem as though she did not love her sisters. She could not display any poor behavior before her father. She could only lower her head and pitifully let out an “un” sound. While Feng Jin Yuan was not paying attention, she fiercely glared at Feng Yu Heng.
The matriarch felt in her lap that Chen Yu’s mood was a little strange. Looking down, she happened to see the fierce glare and could not help but feel her heart tremble.
Feng Yu Heng was not virtuous, this was known by all. Moreover, Feng Yu Heng did not even try to pretend. Whoever made her unhappy, or whoever became her enemy, she would normally report it on the spot and definitely would not make a mess of it.
But Chen Yu always maintained the face of a Bodhisattva before others. Previously, she felt this granddaughter had the best temperament and best personality. Only this sort of person could be the mother of all under heaven. Recently, however, she found that this Feng Chen Yu was not the agreeable person she had believed. Instead, she seemed to hide a fierce temperament like Feng Yu Heng.
The matriarch felt a bit of profound panic. It was not that she feared Chen Yu was adept at scheming. If she was focused on becoming the mother of all under heaven, how could she do it by being too honest. What she feared was Chen Yu not having plans, instead she worried that she would be sinister and vicious without much thought like Chen shi. If she truly were like that, perhaps she would not be the Feng family’s hope and would instead become the scourge of the Feng family!
The events of today made Feng Jin Yuan return to Pine courtyard with a lot to ponder. Feng Yu Heng’s words reminded him, how could a powerless lord not place his Feng family in his eyes? Thinking about it back and forth, was it not because the Feng family did not have a reliable mountain to lean on. Although Feng Yu Heng and Prince Yu were engaged, everything good that Prince Yu had was given to Feng Yu Heng. He did not give any face at all to the Feng family. There were people that understood the reasoning and some that outright knew, Prince Yu did not like the Feng family. Do not speak of how the Feng family was fine, even if something did happen in the future, if he did not kick them while they were down, that was pretty good. They absolutely could not hope for any help.
He felt that it was time to make a decision for some things.
“Servant.” Feng Jin Yuan called out in a low voice and a servant immediately opened the door, “Prepare the carriage.”
The servant was startled. It was currently almost midnight. He still wanted to go out in the middle of the night? But he did not dare ask. Complying with the order, he went to prepare the carriage.
After the servant left, Feng Jin Yuan could be heard calling out: “Hidden guards.”
A person’s shadow immediately appeared, standing in the middle of the study.
“Previously I had you investigate the third prince. Did you discover any movements?”
The hidden guard nodded, “Third prince went to meet with Prime Minister Feng five days ago, but Lord Feng did not meet him. Two days later, Lord Feng went to see the second prince. Also, the third prince already had the intention of secretly preparing an army and horses. He has already conscripted many soldiers from the outer provinces. Based on reliable information, he has already stationed roughly thirty thousand.” 1
Feng Jin Yuan nodded, “Very good. He’s someone with courage.”
“My lord, are you going to third prince’s Xiang palace?”
Feng Jin Yuan nodded, “It’s time to take a trip over. My Feng family, no matter what, can not escape this battle with many enemies. If I still do not take a position, perhaps… it will be too late!”
The hidden guard did not say anything more and vanished into thin air.
Feng Jin Yuan left the manor overnight and sneakily entered the third prince’s Xiang palace.
1: The other prime minister Feng. Feng Tian Yu’s father.