Chapter 10 Wind Crane: Marriage
Waving goodbye to Qi Jianqiu, Feng Luodi strolled casually along the streets. After waking up, Feng Luodi was informed of Xue Yiqi’s help in taking care of her. But when the two went to the opposite dining room to convey their gratitude, they found it empty, much to Qi Jianqiu’s disappointment.
Unlike her friend, Feng Luodi wasn’t affected by the absence of the group in the opposite room. With her mind preoccupied by heavy thoughts, it was only when she noticed the many handmaidens running around the household that she realised something was up. Calling one of them over to ask, she was told that her mother, the First Lady, has woken up, and was sending the handmaidens about their tasks. Hearing the good news, Feng Luodi quickly headed to her mother’s courtyard. As expected, she saw Lady Feng walking about with the help of two handmaidens, and quickly walked over to greet her mother.
“Mother.” Feng Luodi motioned for the two handmaidens to leave them and took their place, supporting Lady Feng lightly on one side.
“You’re back early. Had a good day, I hope?” Tormented by sickness for years, Lady Feng’s sickness had given her already outstanding features a sickly beauty; her skin was alabaster white having remained indoors for extended periods of time. Come to think of it, Lady Feng was only in her thirties. As Lady Feng was often weak, the Chamberlain often spent his nights with the Second Lady, so Feng Luodi meant the world to Lady Feng. She was overcome with guilt every time she thought of how Lady Feng would take the news if she returned to the 21st Century, as the Feng Luodi in this world passed away. It would be a devastating blow to lose her only daughter, for Lady Feng.
“I had a great day with an interesting friend I’d met a few days ago.“ Feng Luodi managed a smile.
“I’m glad to hear that. I was worried when I saw you spending all your days in your room with your zither a while back.” Lady Feng smiled.
“I’m sorry, I won’t make you worry anymore.” Feng Luodi carefully supported her mother as they walked towards a pavillion. Immediately, a handmaiden brought a cushion over to Feng Luodi, who carefully placed it on the bench before letting Lady Feng sit down.
“Sit down as well, dear.” Lady Feng patted Feng Luodi’s hand tenderly. “You are 17 now; it is time for you to find a husband. Have you set your eyes on anyone?”
Feng Luodi shook her head. “I’ve haven’t thought about it yet, Mother. Besides, such things cannot be forced; what will be, will be.”
“But if you don’t try, how would you know if things will work out?” Lady Feng looked at her daughter, “Do you know of the 7th Prince? His mother and I have been friends for a long time; I’ve heard he is gentle, and knows his way about a blade as much as he does his songs. I’ve been meaning to ask you this for some time: are you willing to be his concubine?”
“Mother.” Feng Luodi stopped her mother from continuing, “I wouldn’t marry him even if I was ready to marry. He is a prince, and that status deems that he will definitely have more than one wife, and I will not tolerate my husband having anyone but myself.” She saw the hint of sadness in Lady Feng’s eyes before she finished her sentence, and she realised she had broached upon a sensitive topic. Once upon a time, her parents were deeply in love with each other, and the Chamberlain had never considered taking a concubine. However, when Lady Feng’s health deteriorated with the birth of Feng Luodi, the pressure on the Chamberlain greatly increased. Though Lady Feng never opposed the decision of the elders for the Chamberlain to have a second wife, it would always be a painful topic for her. Feng Luodi was told all of these by her babysitter, and never said a word about it before.
“I’m sorry, Mother. I spoke without thinking clearly.” Feng Luodi cursed herself for her quick tongue.
“It’s good that you have already decided,” Lady Feng hid the glimmer of sadness in her eyes and continued, “but the right person can be hard to find. I just don’t want you to waste your youth waiting for someone that never comes.”
“I understand, Mother.” Feng Luodi stood up and looked around, “The winds are getting stronger now, shall we head back inside? It’ll be Summer soon enough, and the weather should be good enough for you to spend more time outside.”
Standing up with the help of Feng Luodi, Lady Feng slowly walked out of the pavilion and back to her room.
The Spring breeze passed through the courtyard, rustling the leaves and flowers alike. The winds have lost their chill, but her heart quivered uncontrollably, as if buried beneath the frozen snow of Winter.