Everyone Has Their Own Needs

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Zhu Kongshan had begun living in the Sheng Palace. When the members of the eighth prince’s faction heard about this news, they immediately began to move. Each family either sent out their madam or a young miss or both to visit the Sheng Palace.

Although there was the case of the entire Liu family being eradicated, and the officials in court had taken on an attitude of observing from the sidelines, the matters between men were just matters between men. Things could not remain frozen in this state going forward. Now, such an opportunity happened to come along. They could finally send out the female members of their families to try and covertly establish connections while maintaining their stance of observing. First, it was to find out the actual situation. Second, it would keep some doors open. It was impossible that a cousin would be brought into the capital for no reason. Also, she had openly moved into the palace, and she had already gone to visit the two noble ladies in the palace. This was something worth thinking about.

The female family members visiting was an outcome that Xuan Tianmo and Zhu Kongshan had both expected. Xuan Tianmo had even brought her in with this outcome in mind. He would increase the trust that the officials in court had through the inner courtyard. The Sheng Palace did not have a proper female head. To speak of interacting, the court was one aspect, but the force of women in the inner courtyard could not be underestimated. Occasionally, it would be possible that some pillow talk might cause an official who was hesitant to support him to become more resolute. That was why he brought in this cousin. First, he would use this cousin’s greatest ability to regain his reputation. Second, he hoped that he could have her improve his standing through the women that she interacted with.

Zhu Kongshan had a system for handling these matters. She welcomed everyone that came to visit with a smile. Regardless of whether the person that came was the house’s head wife bringing along the daughter of the first wife, or if it was a secondary wife bringing along the daughter of a concubine, she treated them all equally. She even brought out the best tea that the Sheng Palace had to offer. She even deceitfully told them: “This tea was originally served to guests in cousin Mo’s study. I secretly brought some out for you. You must help me keep this secret!”

Was it not just like this between women? Having a shared secret would allow them to become good friends. Although this was not much of a secret, and they all knew that Zhu Kongshan was just saying this, this sort of careless statement made it easier for feelings of friendship to be sparked between girls. Thus everyone quickly warmed up to each other. In addition to this, Zhu Kongshan had a good personality, and she had an elegant appearance. she was not too beautiful, but she had a comfortable appearance. This reduced the distance even further, and it reduced feelings of envy.

The eighth prince, Xuan Tianmo watched these girls through a curtain, as they became more and more familiar after starting out as strangers. Everything happened so quickly and naturally. He could not help but feel even more satisfied with this cousin.

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When the female guests had been sent out, Xuan Tianmo invited Zhu Kongshan to eat dinner together. During the meal, he said: “Bringing you to the capital was originally imperial concubine mother’s idea, but this prince has been paying attention to the situation in Peng Zhou. I know that you are an educated and reasonable girl. Now that you have come to the capital, I trust that you should understand what to do.”

Zhu Kongshan quickly put down her bowl and chopsticks and nodded, saying: “Cousin Mo, don’t worry. Eldest aunt has already told me about this. Kongshan does not have any other abilities, but capturing people’s hearts is something done quite often. All citizens are the same. Regardless of whether they’re from Peng Zhou or the capital, as long as we can do things that will provide them with a real benefit and some tangible benefits, they will accept the kindness. Even if there were all of those past mistakes, it will just become a matter of how many good things are done. Everyone’s hearts are made of flesh. Kongshan does not believe that they will not be persuaded.”

Xuan Tianmo nodded, “It’s good if you have your own ideas. If you need money, just take it from the treasury. This prince has already spoken with the treasury. They will cooperate with you fully.”

“Kongshan will keep it in mind.” Zhu Kongshan complied with Xuan Tianmo. When she raised her head, she looked to have something difficult to say.

Xuan Tianmo frowned: “If you have something to say, just say it. We are now standing on the same side. This prince does not like having things kept secret. This prince is clear on what is going on with the two servants at your side. Right now, they aren’t here. If you have something, just say it.” Xuan Tianmo never liked having servants around while he ate his meals, especially those that came from the outside. They were even more disliked. Even if those two servants were even more beautiful, he was not that sort of person.

Hearing him say this, Zhu Kongshan did not hesitate any further and immediately said: “Speaking of, it’s all to do with Peng Zhou’s Zhu family. I originally did not want these matters to annoy cousin Mo, but I just can’t feel at ease. After all, concubine mother is still in that manor. That’s why…”

“This prince understands.” Before Zhu Kongshan could finish speaking, Xuan Tian Mo took the initiative to speak. He was also starting to understand. In order to win over public sentiment, he could not flaunt his position as a prince, nor could he buy it with gold and silver. At a critical moment, it depended on other methods of providing benefits. “This is all minor.” He waved his hand, “This prince will have someone sent to Peng Zhou under the Sheng Palace’s name to send some things to your mother. I want to see who dares to bully the younger sister of a member of the imperial harem.”

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With Xuan Tianmo having spoken, Zhu Kongshan was finally able to feel at ease, repeatedly giving thanks. The two then continued eating their meal in silence after this.

At the same time in the Yu Palace, news had reached Feng Yuheng’s ears, as Ban Zou told her: “The one surnamed Zhu has been meeting with people in the Sheng Palace for many days. All of the members of the eighth prince’s faction have sent the female members of their families to visit, and they chatted quite happily. Also, the one surnamed Zhu visited the Feng residence and gave quite a few things to Feng Fendai but did not remain for long before being sent out by Feng Fendai.”

Upon hearing this, Huang Quan interjected: “She shouldn’t be intending to win over Feng Fendai, right?”

Feng Yuheng, however, did not agree. She understood Feng Fendai too well: “That girl has more pride than the heavens. She really does not seem to like that Zhu… Zhu what was it again?”

Wang Chuan reminded her: “Zhu Kongshan.”

“Oh right, Zhu Kongshan. Let’s just wait and see how she will deal with her! Either way, the higher-ups have plans, while those below have their own ways of getting around them… Oh wait, she isn’t a higher up. How could she be a higher up?!” A certain person muttered to herself, leaving the servants to not know whether they should laugh or cry. While it sounded relaxed, the preventative measures that needed to be taken against someone who suddenly came were still in place. Ban Zou had been paying attention to the movements in the Sheng Palace for the past few days. From time to time, he would come and report to Feng Yuheng.

The next day, it was time for Feng Yuheng to give a lecture at her medical school. The medical school was right next to the imperial college. This made finding students very easy. There were quite a few students who had been studying at the imperial college and had come to register. There were also many commoner doctors and people with an interest in medicine who had come forward. After much deliberation and investigation into their backgrounds, a total of 50 students were taken in. Men and women were both taken in, which could be considered as having started something in Da Shun.

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In regards to this, there were still some who found it a bit awkward. There were even more outside with ulterior motives who considered this an offense against decency. As a result, they were all blocked up Yao Nao: “You have complaints? If you have complaints, when you get sick, men will look for male doctors, and women will look for female doctors. If you can’t find a doctor, just wait to die. All of the imperial physicians are male. This includes the head imperial physician. If things were all done as you said, shouldn’t all of the imperial physicians just give up on living?”

The people were left speechless by his words; however, they still felt uneasy. Feng Yuheng, however, did not care about such things. None of her things in Hundred Herb Hall belonged to this era. It was natural that the ideas would make the people of this era uncomfortable. The first class that she taught to these students was to teach them: In medicine, there was no division of men and women.

Anyone that had been taken in as a student of Hundred Herb Hall had been through many rounds of selections before being chosen. Although they were of different ages, their hearts were very aligned. Everyone viewed Feng Yuheng and Yao Xian as idols, and they thought of everything that the two said as words of wisdom, writing them down in their books. Whatever Feng Yuheng said was the truth, and nobody had any objections. Although men and women were classmates, everyone paid attention to the rules, and there were no unfortunate incidents.

After class, Yao Nan said to Feng Yuheng: “On the way to class today, I saw the eighth prince’s cousin on the street. I did not recognize her at first, but I found out that it was her after hearing the citizens speak about her. I saw that she was going to the North of the city. I wonder what the young miss of a noble family is doing in that sort of place.”

In the capital, the East was wealthy, the West was noble, the South was depraved, and the North was poor. Those living in the East were mostly merchants and were wealthy. Those living in the West were influential families with power. In the South, there were brothels and prostitutes. As for the North, it was where the poor people lived. There were also people who called it a slum.

In truth, regardless of whether it was the capital or another city, they would all be made up of all kinds of people. There would be wealthy people and there would be poor people. This was very normal. It was not as the two servants that were at Zhu Kongshan’s side had said, where everyone in the capital was wealthy.

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Yao Nan’s words caused Feng Yuheng’s mind to work a bit, as she recalled what Xuan Tianming had said that time about the Zhu family’s young miss being a Bodhisattva in Peng Zhou. The reputation of the Zhu family has mostly been maintained by her. It was such that the reputation of a lowly sixth rank official’s family was better than that of Peng Zhou’s prefect. And now that Zhu family’s young miss had gone to the North of the city… She smiled: “If Zhu Kongshan has that sort of idea, it’s also quite good. Regardless of what she is aiming for, at the very least, the people will be able to obtain some material benefits.”

Yao Nan froze for a bit then quickly reacted but said with a bit of concern: “Younger sister Heng means to say that the Zhu family’s young miss wants to do good things for the eighth prince and regain the lost reputation? Will that have any effect on us?”

Feng Yuheng shook her head: “It won’t. There are some reputations that will remain ruined and can’t be improved with just one person’s efforts. Also, the Zhu family is the Zhu family. The eighth prince is the eighth prince. Since the Zhu family’s young miss wants to do good deeds, the one to benefit should be the Zhu family.” She thought a bit more then turned slightly, saying to Wang Chuan: “You will make a trip to Peng Zhou tomorrow. Go and check in with Hundred Herb Hall to inquire about the Zhu family’s situation. It’s best if someone can be installed there to keep an eye on the Zhu family’s movements.”

Wang Chuan nodded, “Young Miss, don’t worry. This servant understands.”

At a dilapidated temple in the North of the city, Zhu Kongshan stopped at the entrance with A-Huan and A-Ruo. This temple no longer had a gate, and the paper in the windows could not block any wind. The autumn winds were cold and strong, making a mess inside.

A-Huan frowned and looked over, saying in confusion: “The capital actually has a place like this? Is this place really the capital?”

Zhu Kongshan calmly said: “Whether or not it is the capital, you should already know. You’ve even been inside the Imperial Palace. Why is it that you’re wondering about this sort of thing? Let’s go! We’re going in. This is nothing. The poor people’s region in Peng Zhou is even worse than here. You two haven’t been there before, but I frequently went over there and have gotten used to it. Remember, what I am doing was instructed by His Highness the eighth prince and Noble Lady Yuan. You two should know what sort of things can and can’t be said. It’s fine to harbor ill intentions toward me, but if you disrupt His Highness the eighth prince’s matters, I will not be able to protect you.”

After she said this, she began to walk forward…

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