Xizhi had no choice but to follow. As Feng Rong’s personal maid, of course, she knew what Feng Rong was thinking. A girl’s feelings were always like poems, but Biao Young Master was the direct son of Xiangfu, and he would definitely marry a well-matched young lady as his wife in the future. Xizhi didn’t know whether knowing this was a blessing or a curse.
[T/N: Xiang fu: Ministerial family]
When both masters and servants arrived at the Yinchuan Courtyard, they heard laughter coming from within. When Feng Rong entered the room, she saw Feng shi sitting in the small warm room. In her early thirties, well maintained, with no fine lines on her face, wearing an autumn-colored skirt and a camel-colored jacket with slanted buttons. Although she was a married daughter she needed to keep filial piety because of Sui shi’s death. So, she didn’t have any extra jewelry on her head, only a few silver hairpins and combs.
When Feng shi saw her coming, she smiled and beckoned to her, and when Feng Rong came closer, Feng shi smiled: “We were talking about why you haven’t come over yet. Ting’er, hurry up and present the gift you have brought.”
[T/N: Feng shi- Here ‘Feng’ is the surname she got from her own family. In China ‘shi’ is added to the name of a married woman. Similarly, in Sui shi, Sui is her surname.]
She said the first sentence to Feng Rong. In the second half, she turned to another person. This person was Feng shi’s son Li Yanting, Feng Rong’s cousin. He was sitting just below Feng shi, surrounded by people. He was the one who made everyone laugh earlier.
Li Yanting went on a study trip to Shu China a while ago and came back two or three months later. Feng Rong had not seen him for a long time. She took a glance at him and felt that he had grown much stronger. He was sitting there, wearing a raven blue-colored round-neck and a jade crown with a white jade crane pattern, with a jade belt of the same color around his waist. He was also adorned with incense bags and jade pearls, he looked like a gentleman of Runyu. When Feng Rong looked at him, he also happened to look over, their eyes met. In an instant, Feng Rong’s ears flushed red, and she hastily looked away.
“I have not seen my cousin for a long time. I often thought of my cousin. I saw a lot of new and interesting things on my trip to Shu, and every time I thought about how I’d love to see these scenarios with my cousin. Does my cousin often think of me from time to time in these past two or three months?” When he said this, he stared straight at Feng Rong, with a seven-point smile on his face, and a three-point teasing tone. Feng Rong knew that he was doing it on purpose, but she couldn’t hold back her blush. The redness in her ears gradually stained her face. She was annoyed.
Before she could speak, a woman sitting next to Li Yanting who was about the same age as him pushed him and said with a smile: “Good for you, you’re just an apprentice and you know how to bully Sister Feng.” Then she turned to Feng Rong and said, “Don’t worry about him, sister. He doesn’t keep his mouth shut. He said the same thing to all of us sisters before you arrived.”
“Yes, sister Feng ignore him, he said the same thing to me.” Another young girl chimed in. Feng Rong was relieved, and obediently sat down, but the pinna of her ear was still red, and it wouldn’t go away. After she cured her feelings of shame, she glared at Li Yanting when no one was paying attention.
Feng Rong’s aunt Feng shi was the wife of The Right Minister Li Rui, who was born in a poor family, his father died early. He also had a younger brother. His mother worked hard to bring them up. Li Rui also worked hard. He was particularly outstanding in his studies. He became a court official and sat in Youxiang’s position all the way.
[T/N:Youxiang: The Right Minister, this term is used often. I am gonna stick to English translation so you guys don’t have to remember what it means.]
But his brother was not a good student. He had a bit of a crooked idea in doing business. He could barely make a living.
The first to speak just now was Li Yanting’s twin sister, named Li Yanjiang, who, like Li Yanting, was sixteen, she had been engaged at the beginning of the year, and will be married in the twelfth month.
Soon after Feng shi married Li Rui, she became pregnant with the twins. However, she suffered from dystocia and heavy bleeding during childbirth. Although she somehow saved her life, she fell ill and could no longer have children.
[T/N:dystocia=difficult birth, typically caused by a large or awkwardly positioned fetus, by the smallness of the maternal pelvis, or by the failure of the uterus and cervix to contract and expand normally.]
Fortunately, Li Rui was born in a poor family and he didn’t fancy beautiful women. In one fell swoop, Feng shi gave birth to both a phoenix and a dragon making it “auspicious”. Knowing that Feng shi’s illness was rooted in childbirth, Li Rui guarded Feng shi alone for many years. The husband and wife had not had a red face for more than ten years.
[T/N: red face: anger or fight]
This all came to be also because Li Rui’s mother made a great impression on his younger self. He remembered his mother was young and hard-working. She had been in poor health yet she still managed to support Li Rui, as a court official and married him to a good wife. She didn’t survive a fateful winter. Therefore, Feng shi was now the headmistress of the prime minister’s house. Her husband was also relieved. The backyard was quiet, there was no mother-in-law above, and although there was a brother’s family below, there were only small doors between the two houses for women to come and go. In fact, her life was still very good.
The one who spoke later was the eldest daughter of the second master’s family, named Li Congyan. She was 14 this year. She had two younger sisters and a younger brother. Today she originally brought her two sisters to visit the main house, but she didn’t expect to meet Li Yanting, who usually got along well with Feng Rong. She was also a straightforward person.
Li Yanting saw the two sisters tear down his joke, and saw Feng Rong glare at him. He immediately pulled out a square sandalwood box from his sleeve pocket and respectfully handed it to Feng Rong. He apologized and said, “Cousin forgive me. This is a jade bracelet I brought back from Shu. When I bought it, I saw that the patterns engraved on it were quirky and playful, very much in line with my cousin’s temperament. For the sake of this unique gift, can you forgive me for my mistake just now?” Although he made amends, his face was still smiling.