Repayment After the Donations

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“I’ll give 3000 taels!”

“I’ll give 4000!”

“5000!”

“I’ll give 2000 and a set of jadeite head accessories!” The young miss that said they would add on a set of jadeite head accessories was very bold and generous, immediately beginning to remove the accessories that adorned her head and face. They were all thrown into the donation box.

Fung Tian Yu hurriedly kept track of things; however, there were people that threw things in too quickly, and she could not take note of things. But it was fine. Whether it was kept track of or not, it was all just for show. The people that had come to the banquet had a red piece of string tied around their wrist to commemorate the prayer for good fortune.

With these concubine mothers and daughters of concubines leading the way, the head wives and young misses of the first wife could no longer sit still. They could not allow the daughters of concubines to steal the glory, right? How could that be fine? Moreover, Palace Princess Wu Yang had placed quite a high hurdle for them. If they did not lose a bit of blood, they would have let down Da Shun! But since the daughters of concubines and lowly concubines had already donated that much, it would not do for people of their status to be suppressed by the little demons below!

Thus the head wives and daughters of the first wives made their move.

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But they had not prepared themselves for this, and they did not bring much money over, thus someone loudly shouted: “I will donate ten thousand taels, but I did not bring the banknotes with me. I will immediately send a maidservant to fetch it.” The maidservant at her side immediately received the order and quickly ran toward the entrance of the manor, preparing to go home to fetch the money.

Xuan Tian Ge nodded, “To this madam, this palace princess will accept your thoughts on Imperial Uncle’s behalf and will definitely remember to mention it to Her Highness the Empress.”

With someone taking the lead with the idea of “going back to fetch money,” the people behind her also imitated this, and they donated even more. Even the accessories that they gave were more valuable than what the daughters of concubines had given. In an instant, the “banquet to pray for good fortune” had become a gathering to compare wealth between the head wives, daughters of the first wives, daughters of concubines and concubine mothers. Seeing that they were competing fiercely, Xuan Tian Ge’s group smiled very brightly on the inside.

Just like this, one day passed; however, Xuan Tian Ge announced that they would continue the next day.

When the guests heard that they would be continuing, they all felt a little on the verge of collapse. Only when the banquet had ended did they notice that they had nearly spent all of their own foundations for the sake of putting on airs. They felt a bit regretful and a little distressed, but money that had been spent was like water that had been spilled. Especially when it was now in Xuan Tian Ge’s hands, who would dare to ask for it back? All of them could only do their best to keep their chins up and endure it. When they finally thought that it was about to end, what was that, it was going to continue tomorrow?


But Xuan Tian Ge quickly explained: “There won’t be any donating of money or items tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a day to repay everyone. Only the madams and young misses that have participated in today’s donations have the right to participate tomorrow.”

Upon hearing these words, the people felt at ease. Repayment! Repayment would be a return, right? In the end, she did have a bit of a conscience, and they had not wasted all of this money. Thus the people decided that they had to come the next day. They would definitely need to regain the money that they had spent.

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Thus, on the 11th day of the first month, the Wen Xuan Palace was once again filled with people. After the people arrived, they discussed what sort of repayment it would be; however, they never thought that the so-called repayment would also require a payment! This was because the repayment was actually an auction, and the things being auctioned were accessories that had been made by Craftsman Bai.

Bai Fu Rong was unlike Xuan Tian Ge and the others and did not have that much money, with each of them giving 100 thousand taels. Even if the Bai manor was sold, it was not enough. Fortunately, Craftsman Bai had this ability, and he had his fame. His things were all worthy of the imperial palace. Even the imperial concubines of the palace wanted them. That was also a kind of glory. Aside from Imperial Concubine Yun and the Empress, if the other imperial concubines wanted them, they would need to make a request with the Empress. Only by obtaining approval could they obtain something. It was very difficult.

But Craftsman Bai’s abilities could be seen. The accessories that he had personally made were indeed unique in the entirety of Da Shun. The skills that he had could not be replicated by anyone. There had once been someone that had wanted to take him as a master, and he had wholeheartedly tried to pass it on; however, the other side was completely unable to learn it. Gradually, people began to give up on that idea. They just secretly began to wonder. With Craftsman Bai reaching this age, if he was to no longer be around in the future, they feared that there would not be anyone to pick up his position.

Although these madams and young misses were a bit disappointed to find out that the so-called repayment would be an auction, when they heard that the things being auctioned were accessories that had been made by Craftsman Bai himself, the atmosphere exploded. Also, there were no people that suspected anything. First, the words had been said by Palace Princess Wu Yang. Second, Bai Fu Rong was also standing at the front. She was Craftsman Bai’s daughter. Moreover, the palace’s maid servants were holding platters and showing off a set of head ornaments that was to be auctioned. It was truly spectacular work, and its beauty shook their hearts.

Thus these madams and young misses felt regret once more. They had brought too little money! Thus some people sent their maidservants to fetch more banknotes, and there were some that simply asked: “Can we owe the money at first then send someone back to fetch it once it has been sold?”

Xuan Tian Ge laughed and nodded: “Of course, that’s fine. Madams and young misses, there’s no need to worry about not having money on hand. Just write up a contract, and it will be fine. Our palace will naturally send people to collect it.”

With this being said, the people were at ease to participate in the auction. There were a total of five items being auctioned, and without exception, they were priced above 200 thousand taels of silver. The last set of crystal head accessories was even sold at three million taels.

It could be said that the earnings from this banquet to pray for good fortune were quite plentiful. In the end, Xuan Tian Ge announced that the profits from the two days would all be used in the South to aid the battle.

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It was only at this point that the people began to react. The troops in the South had recently been transferred to the ninth prince, Xuan Tian Ming. This meant that the battle would be fought by the ninth prince. Put plainly, the past two days had been a fundraiser for the ninth prince! They understood the idea of needing money for war, but should it not come from the national treasury? The people were not clear on the situation. As for the madams and young misses from the eighth prince’s faction, they mostly did not come because their families had no money left. Everything that had monetary worth was taken by Feng Yu Heng. Even the things in their bedchambers had been stolen. How could they dare to come to a banquet to pray for good fortune?

Xuan Tian Ge kept track of those that did not come to the banquet. On the 12th of the first month, she sent people to inform them that they did not participate in the banquet to pray for the good fortune of Da Shun, the Emperor and the Empress, and Palace Princess Wu Yang would be entering the palace to hand over a list of names that had participated in the banquet to the Emperor. There was nothing that those madams and young misses could do. They could only grit their teeth and scrape together the remaining accessories that they had and hand them to the servants of Wen Xuan Palace for fear of offending the Emperor. Only then were their names added to the list.

It had to be said that this fundraising banquet also had Feng Fen Dai participate, but Xuan Tian Ge did not send an invitation to Xiang Rong. Instead, she sent a maidservant to tell her that she was reluctant to have her spend any money.

Fen Dai herself did not have much money, but she had a powerful backing in the fifth prince. Although she was quite disdainful of this sort of fundraising, Da Shun, the Emperor and the Empress had been named. She could not act too outrageously and could only go along with it, donating 1000 taels. In truth, she was quite interested in the auction on the second day. After all, there were no women that could defend against such pretty accessories, but the madams had raised the price too high. She was interested but powerless to act.

But after returning to the Feng residence, Fen Dai felt that it was a bit hard to sit still. The more she thought about the set of pink crystal head accessories, the more she liked it, and this made her throw a tantrum, as she threw a number of things all over until Dong Ying reminded her: “Young Miss must not think about that set of pink crystal head accessories! You must remember that His Highness the fifth prince likes white crystal. The only thing that can move him is white crystal. Even if we had the money, it needs to be spent properly.”

Feng Fen Dai immediately reacted. Nodding repeatedly, she stopped throwing things around.

But she still felt depressed. These days, she had been wanting to enter the palace to see Noble Lady Li. The sixth prince had also come back, and she had some ideas that she wanted Noble Lady Li to collaborate with. Unfortunately, she could not get into the imperial palace. Even if she got in, the Jing Si Palace where Noble Lady Li resided might be impossible for her. Now that the eighth prince controlled the inside of the imperial palace, apparently the atmosphere inside the palace was very strict. She did not know just how strict it had become. She had asked the fifth prince, but the fifth prince also could not speak clearly. There was nothing that she could do aside from think wild thoughts on her own in her residence.

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“Damn.” Fen Dai got angrier the more she thought about it, and she could not help but begin cursing: “I thought that His Highness the eighth prince was a smart one. Who knew that he was a moron! With just a few words, he lost control of his troops in the South. In the end, what exactly is he good for? He worked hard for all of those years, yet he handed over 300 thousand troops just like that? He really is a dunce!”

Dong Ying’s forehead became soaked with sweat from fear, as she quickly waved her hand to have the maidservants inside the room dismissed. She then pleaded: “My good young miss! You must not speak like this! The walls have ears. Although our manor only has you as its sole master, who can guarantee that there haven’t been some people with ulterior motives installed here? If word of this got out, you would…”

“Would what?” Fen Dai snorted coldly, “Could that moron have me killed?” She was speaking about the eighth prince, “He isn’t even able to keep control of his own troops. What ability does he have to kill me? If it’s hidden guards, our manor also has them. They were sent by His Highness the fifth prince. I just don’t believe that there is anyone that has the ability that can do anything to me. I just want to curse! His imperial concubine mother is nothing more than a lowly noble lady. What sort of infatuated dream is he enjoying? He returned to the capital in a decent manner, but he ended up losing the rights to command his troops. Why has he not died of vexation? Just like this, he wants to stir up the waters in the capital and is actually controlling the imperial palace. This really is infuriating!”

Dong Ying understood Fen Dai’s temper and that she could not be stopped. Helpless, she could only stand to the side. But she was thinking differently from Fen Dai. On the day of the banquet, she had taken a few glances at the eighth prince from afar and felt that he was very adaptable. He was not at all as stupid as her young miss had said. Cupping his hands and giving up 300 thousand troops in exchange for the imperial guard? There was most likely something else at play here!

But she could not say this sort of thing to Fen Dai. Her young miss’ temper was bad, and her mind was simple. After finding out, who knew what she would end up doing. She could not get in trouble with her.

“Say, is Noble Lady Li stabbing needles into a little figure actually effective or not?” Fen Dai began to ponder, “If it is effective, I’ll also stab a couple. One will be for the eighth prince and one will be for Feng Yu Heng. It would be best if they were both stabbed to death. Like that, this grand capital will become mine!”

Dong Ying’s face became pale with fear. Had her young miss gone crazy? The next time she met with the fifth prince, she would need to talk about this properly and have the fifth prince try to advise her young miss. How could they carry on like this?!

As Fen Dai was in the middle of her tantrum, the sound of some banging came from the outside. With gongs and drums, it was quite lively. She was puzzled: “What’s going on?”

Dong Ying opened the door and listened for a while, replying: “Young Miss, it seems that the sound is coming from the neighboring Lian Residence!”

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