Fine Wine in Cups of Luminous Jade*

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The eighth prince had returned to the capital with 20 carriages. With these words entering Feng Yu Heng’s ears, she had no choice but to think about it a bit. Normally speaking, when a prince that was stationed at the border returned to the capital, unless they had family or would no longer be going back, that was when they would bring a bit more back. Otherwise, they would just bring a few attendants. But attendants and experts would not usually be seated in carriages. They would be riding horses. 20 carriages would be enough to seat a large number of people.

She became interested and began to ponder it. Xuan Tian Ge quietly said to her from the side: “The most common thing heard is that quite a few carriages were brought into the capital, but when he came back, those carriages went straight into the Sheng Palace without being exposed to the outside. But this cannot be considered strange. After all, with it being the new year, those carriages might not be only carrying people. I thought about it, and they should be some nice things that were brought back from the South. The capital is lacking in quite a few places. With some being sent into the palace, and taking a walk outside the palace, quite a few items will be needed.”

Hearing Xuan Tian Ge give such an explanation, Feng Yu Heng felt that this was reasonable, but after some thought, she still believed that it was not that simple. But in what sense it was not that simple she was unable to figure out for the time being. Yet it was at this time that another few madams began to whisper nearby. They were all speaking while covering their mouths, and she could neither hear them nor see them. It was natural that she could not figure out what they were discussing. But while the madams were speaking, they would occasionally look in her direction. Although they were very careful, she still noticed them. Intuition told her that they were definitely speaking about something related to her; however, she did not know if it was just idle gossip from around the capital, or if it was something else.

It was the conversation between the young misses from earlier that was very lively. As they chatted, they had already begun discussing the matter of love. One of them said: “Over the years, His Highness the eighth prince tempering himself on the outside has become even more experienced. His skin has darkened, and there is a bit of stubble.”

Once these words came out, someone immediately teased: “Experience? What experience? You like hearing about that sort of thing? Speak honestly, have you taken an interest in His Highness the eighth prince?”

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The girl that had spoken earlier was now blushing furiously. It was clear that they had hit the target, but after being bashful for a bit, she bit her lower lip then helplessly shook her head: “Mother said that the princes have noble statuses, and we could not hope for that. More importantly, the eighth prince’s prospects are immeasurable. If we really did try to seek connections with him, it’s inevitable that something would happen in the future, implicating other family members.”

These words were not said loudly, and Feng Yu Heng had determined what was said by reading their lips. She had a bit of a hard time thinking of what the eighth prince looked like, but nobody in the Xuan family was ugly. This point was guaranteed. The eighth prince was stationed on the border, and it was South. Thinking about it, he would have a bit more ambition. To have so many girls smitten over him was also normal.

That girl’s words caused the other young misses to also sigh, as one of them said: “Not to mention not daring to have any hope for His Highness the eighth prince, but which of the princes do we dare place any hope in? My family said that if I want to live a good life, it would be best to not marry into the imperial family. Although marrying into the imperial family would guarantee wealth and status and help obtain some glory for my family, such lofty positions are fraught with danger. Either way, we are not a poor family, and there is no need for us to strive for greater glory while taking this risk. Staying safe and steady is best.”

These words brought about a wave of emotional sighs from the group.

Feng Yu Heng, however, began to have some good feelings about these young misses. After all, ever since she had come to Da Shun, the majority of the people that she had met were like Feng Chen Yu or Feng Fen Dai, and the men were mostly like Feng Jin Yuan, hoping only to obtain even more power. Now, however, she found that there were quite a few families that were quite free of troublesome thoughts. Only asking for peace and not status, these sorts of thoughts in the ancient era were indeed quite rare.

She suddenly remembered something. During the Mid-Autumn Festival’s palace banquet, she had promised the Lu family’s eldest young miss, Lu Ping, that she would help take a look at her illness. Later on, however, she had been busy the entire time and had put that matter off to the side. With a number of things happening at the Winter Hunt, she did not have time to worry about Lu Ping. But after the Mid-Autumn Festival’s banquet, she had Wang Chuan deliver a spray. Thinking about it, it should be able to last for a while. This way, she would also go and take a look at Lu Ping while she went to check up on Lu Yan’s poisoning.

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She fell into a trance while thinking and did not say anything for a while. As for Xuan Tian Ge and the others around her, they began to ask about Bai Fu Rong’s situation. She regained her senses and quickly told them: “She’s fine. She has already recovered to 90 percent. All that remains is for her to slowly recover. It will be a slow recovery, and it’s not something that can be recovered from immediately. Although there are no complications with the illness, she cannot enter the palace. After all, everyone knows that she was ill. Someone that has not appeared for nearly half a year should not choose a palace banquet as the place to reappear.”

Hearing her say that Fu Rong was already fine, the group let out a sigh of relief and began to discuss when they would go over to the imperial daughter’s manor. Xuan Tian Ge had remembered something, thus she grabbed Feng Yu Heng and quietly said: “I heard that after eighth brother returned to the capital, his carriages entered the Sheng Palace, and he entered the imperial palace. After entering the palace, he did not go and see Imperial Uncle. Instead, he went to Noble Lady Yuan’s side, giving her quite a few nice things. The two even spoke for over two hours.”

Feng Yu heng said: “I heard that His Highness the eighth prince and Noble Lady Yuan get along very well as mother and son. Let’s not speak about how His Highness the eighth prince conducts himself; however, he is indeed quite the filial son and is very obedient to Noble Lady Yuan. He will practically listen to anything that Noble Lady Yuan tells him to do.”

Xuan Tian Ge snorted coldly, “What filial son or not, he is only filial to his mother. I have never seen him be particularly filial to Imperial Uncle.” With this being brought up, she sighed for a bit then continued: “Everyone wants to be the emperor, but what is so good about being the emperor? Officials do not act like officials and children do not act like children. His own sons treat him slightly better, but that’s mostly to curry favor, and they have their own goals. When has there been any sincerity? There are times when I think about it and really pity Imperial Uncle. I keep thinking that I should come into the palace more often to keep him company, but there are times when there is just too much to do at home, thus I cannot leave.”

Feng Yu Heng consoled her: “That’s just how life is. There are some things that will inevitably be lost. Moreover, our emperor does not appear to be truly alone. At the very least, His Highness the seventh prince and His Highness the ninth prince treat him quite sincerely.”

Xuan Tian Ge nodded and said: “That’s right. That’s why I like seventh brother and ninth brother. Of course, eldest brother and second brother are quite good, as is sixth brother. In truth, he’s the truly filial one, but it’s a pity that Noble Lady Li continues to insist on wanting her son to have a bright future. She feels that spending all day with a nose stuck in a book is not something that a man should do. After all, there is no need for a prince to take the imperial exam. There was nothing that sixth brother could do about her nagging, thus he went to the Northwest.” She lamented while reminding Feng Yu Heng: “Eighth brother has returned, so be careful. That person has always been very crafty. He has had colorful insides ever since he was small. Who knows what sorts of methods he will use on you and ninth brother this time around. He isn’t like old third. He is Imperial Uncle’s son, and he is a general that is stationed on the border. A-Heng, I’m not scaring you. With him coming back to court, the court will definitely not be at peace.”

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Although Xuan Tian Ge’s words were spoken quietly, they did not stay away from Fung Tian Yu and Ren Xi Feng, especially Ren Xi Feng. Upon hearing this topic, she quickly chimed in: “It’s not just the court that is a mess. Wherever he goes, it becomes a mess. My father has a few former subordinates in the South that were killed by His Highness the eighth prince. After father received this news, he fell ill for a while and angrily cursed His Highness the eighth prince for many days in anger. When the anger was at its worst, he yelled at my eldest brother to go South and wrestle back power. Of course, these were all just said out of anger.

Fung Tian Yu also sighed, telling the group: “Recently, father has been saying that the court will become chaotic. I don’t understand just how it will become chaotic, but hearing you guys mention it, it cannot be divorced from His Highness the eighth prince. Forget it, let’s just not worry about it. A-Heng, you should worry less about it. Either way, it’s a problem for the men to worry about. Just leave it to them to handle.”

Feng Yu Heng could only nod. At most, she could talk about it a bit with Xuan Tian Ming in private. She could not go and directly intervene in court; moreover, even if she was permitted to, she could not figure it out.

At this time, someone came from Fei Cui Hall to invite the female guests to head over. Only then did the Empress come out of the hall. Following behind her were the imperial concubines with palace maids carrying lanterns leading the way. Looking at it from a distance, it was quite a beautiful scene.

Fei Cui Hall in the evening was extremely beautiful. There was no need to mention the lanterns, as the most innovative part was a number of luminous white jade cups being placed around the banquet hall. This truly caused Feng Yu Heng to be shocked. Fine wine in a cup of luminous jade, this was a verse that had been stored in her mind, thus she always believed that this sort of luminous jade cup would definitely be a rare item in the ancient times like a luminescent pearl. Although the imperial family would definitely be able to use it, it would not be to the point of being able to bring out so many for a palace banquet, covering the tables of important people.

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She clicked her tongue and quietly asked Xuan Tian Ge: “Does the palace have a lot of luminous white jade cups?”

Xuan Tian Ge shook her head, “I have not heard. Our palace has two, and Imperial Father treasures them like no other. He does not even let me touch them. Thinking about it, it’s not possible for the palace to have too many in storage, right? Otherwise, why would Imperial Uncle only give us two when I repeatedly mentioned how much I liked it?”

What she had said was reasonable, but this made things even more curious. Feng Yu heng pointed at Fei Cui Hall that was just before them and asked: “Then how could they be so magnanimous? Where did these things come from?”

Feng Yu Heng was not alone in her shock, as everyone that arrived in the hall opened their mouths and inhaled sharply. For a while, a hissing sound could be heard around the entrance of the hall. There were even some young misses that could not control themselves and began to rush toward the tables at the front. Among them was Feng Fen Dai! That girl was always a greedy one, and she had even less defense against precious gems and treasures. Following the group of madams and young misses, she charged forward but was very quickly stopped by the palace servants.

Because it was the new year, although the servants felt a bit of disdain, it would not be good for them to reveal it, thus they maintained their smiles and said: “The spots ahead are for the masters. It’s inappropriate to continue forward.”

As for Feng Yu Heng and Xuan Tian Ge, they naturally had their spots at a table with luminous white jade cups. Xuan Tian Ge immediately dragged her forward. While walking, she said: “Where did these nice things come from? Imperial Uncle will need to remember to wrap a few up later on for A-Heng and me to bring home.”

The Emperor was already seated in his seat. The Empress and the imperial concubines also went forward, greeting the Emperor. Before the Emperor could speak, someone from the crowd of princes spoke up: “I knew that younger sister liked this sort of thing. Yours has already been wrapped up. Remembered to bring it with you when you leave the palace!”

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