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Court Lady


Once renowned as Chang’an’s number one hedonist, Sheng Chumu could barely ride on a horse without falling off. Now, he has fallen head over heels for a seamstress from Guangzhou and will do anything to be with her, including giving up his previous lifestyle and going through a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree change to improve his literary knowledge and martial arts. But will his entry into her life be a blessing or a downfall?

A quick-witted and talented seamstress, Fu Rou manages her family’s embroidery business in Guangzhou. Unfortunately, a fire burns everything she knew into nothing. Left with nothing, Fu Rou and her family follow Sheng Chumu to Chang’an to start anew. However, her talent for embroidery eventually threw her into court. In a palace full of princes, Fu Rou has attracted the eyes of a particularly stubborn prince to herself. Determined to stick to her principles, Fu Rou has to navigate through schemes while staying true to herself. With the troubles of the court, will Sheng Chumu ever be able to reunite with Fu Rou? Or will the palace walls forever cut them off?

Court Lady by Feng Nong


The first year of Zhenguan. The Emperor of Great Tang, Li Shimin, was ruling the country. Under his rule, the country was at peace and the citizens were satisfied. The curtains had opened into the flourishing age and the citizens of Chang’an were particularly happy.

Third month of Spring. The peony flower in the Duke Lu Residence [1] had bloomed.

A beautiful lady strolled out from the main door. She had large clear eyes and neat eyebrows. She wore a high-waisted long skirt, decorated with beautiful round embroidery, looking elegant and delicate.

“Aaa—” A bird’s chirp filled the air.

The beautiful lady lifted her head, exchanging glances with the owl perched on the roof. Her demeanor caused the bird to fly away in surprise. She huffed before walking quickly to the front of the main building. She saw an old and a young man moving in circles in a hall.

The older one, with a fierce and black face, was her father. He was famous all over the land and his name was Sheng Xiaojing. The younger one, with a white and handsome face, was the eldest of her younger brothers. He was famous all over Chang’an for being a ‘playboy’ and his name was Sheng Chumu.

At this very moment, Sheng Chumu’s hands were shielding his own butt as he ran back and forth. He looked rather ‘graceful’. Although he occasionally got hit, he was still filled with energy. On the other hand, Sheng Xiaojing was panting, clearly tired from the chase.

“I, Sheng Xiaojing, have spent half my life on the battlefield. When it comes to bravery or accomplishments, I have never lost to Lu Yunji. Why is it that when you meet with Lu Qi, you always get beaten up? You useless bum!” Sheng Xiaojing bellowed as he chased. He wasn’t angry that his son got into a fight, he was angry that his son could not win the fight.

Sheng Chumu tilted his head. He was nursing a black eye but still did not admit to his abilities. He hit his own face proudly. “Who said that I cannot beat Lu Qi? Amongst all the men in Chang’an, I have always ranked first with the ladies.”

Sheng Xiaojing huffed, “What ranking?”

Sheng Chumu halted as he repeated seriously, “The ranking of man amongst ladies—”

Sheng Xiaojing took the chance to catch up. He swung his hand and the sound of a stick whipping through the air could be heard.

Sheng Chumu shouted, “Father, you cheated!”

“There is nothing called cheating in tactics!” A hint of pride appeared on Sheng Xiaojing’s face. However, he did not stop his actions, he was determined to make his son remember this lesson.

Sheng Chumu thought that he was screwed this time. All of a sudden, a flower appeared in the corner of his eye as someone stood between him and his father. The round flower embroidery and that elegant dress was very familiar.

“Elder Sister!” Upon recognising the person, Sheng Chumu quickly swapped places with the beautiful lady. The second he turned his back, he stiffened his back to bear the brunt of the stick.

Bam! One firm whack into his memory. It was so painful, stars appeared in Sheng Chumu’s eyes! The beautiful lady was married and was now known as Consort Han, taking after her husband’s surname. It was also his most beloved Elder Sister!

Consort Han’s expression was anxious as she held onto Sheng Chumu. She softly berated him, “Ah Mu, are you stupid? How can father hit me?”

As Sheng Xiaojing saw his son’s face scrunched up in pain, he thought that at least this brat was protective of his sister. He then threw the stick away and returned to his seat. He was still huffing.

Consort Han asked, “Why did you suddenly fight with Lu Qi?”

Sheng Chumu reached his hand to massage his own back as he answered sharply, “Lu Qi was fighting with me for a girl named Yan’er at Swallow House.”

Sheng Xiaojing lifted his fist. “You still dare to speak? Bastard…”

“Bastard!” Consort Han took over the end of his sentence. She looked displeased. “Who is Lu Yunji? How dare his son beat my younger brother over a prostitute? Do they even have any respect for the Han Mansion?”

“Why are you and your mother the same? You all only know how to let him do what he wants!” Sheng Xiaojing had resisted saying this for a while. “Do you know that he is infamous for being Chang’an’s number one hedonist? The family’s business that I spent so much effort to build will go to ruins in his hands.”

“Father, the borders are facing unrest and the Emperor thinks you are too old. That is why he appointed Lu Yunji as the Great General. You are taking your anger out on me.” Sheng Chumu added on shamelessly and gave a constipated smile, “There is no use getting angry with me, the one you should find is His Majesty.”

Sheng Xiaojing fumed, “Even if I am old, I don’t need you to ruin my reputation!” After finishing what he wanted to say, he walked to the wall and took down the lance that made him famous. His face was murderous as he turned around and headed for Sheng Chumu.

Seeing how things were going downhill, Consort Han silently nudged Sheng Chumu. Sheng Chumu immediately got the hint and ran. Sheng Xiaojing was held back by his elder daughter and could only stomp his foot in anger.

No one would have thought that with this run, Sheng Chumu would take the first step on a life that is the complete opposite of ‘hedonist’.

Chapter 1: Spring

Second reign of the Tang Dynasty. Springtime. 

Life was booming in spring. The great yellow plains stretched as far as the eyes could reach as the boundless green grass of the paddy field waved in the wind. Two horses cut through the wind, kicking up puffs of sand, causing the sun to appear red. It looked as if someone had painted a haze over the scenery. The view was picturesque.

On the horses’ backs, there was a master and his servant. Luggage hung from the horses, they looked like they were going to a faraway place. The young master was refined and graceful. He wore a green garment, and anyone could tell that he was a scholar.

The young man suddenly heard someone shout for him from behind.

“Du Ning, Du Ning!” Sheng Chumu was sitting unsteadily on his horse. His horse was slightly uncontrolled, and he looked as if he would fall off at any moment.

Sheng Chumu had come out of his residence, wanting to find his good friend, Du Ning, to go have some fun. Who knew that Du Ning would not be around? He was told that Du Ning was headed to Guangzhou to attend a wedding. When Sheng Chumu found out, he rushed over, not wanting to miss out on the fun.

When Du Ning heard Sheng Chumu’s voice, he wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. With this guy around, nothing good would come out of it. Usually it was fine, but this time he was going to attend a wedding. He was not going to create trouble for his relatives. Although this was what he thought in his mind, he still pulled on the reins of his horse and waited for Sheng Chumu to catch up. After all, Sheng Chumu only had him as his only friend.

“Du Ning, why are you going so fast? Is your cousin’s wife that beautiful?” Sheng Chumu’s butt was sore from getting rubbed against the saddle. It was so painful he could not sit still as he kept on hissing in pain.

Du Ning could not bother to reply. He was not like Sheng Chumu who only had eyes for beautiful ladies and would eye his younger cousin’s future wife whom he had yet to meet.

All of a sudden, an army appeared in front of them. They moved in formation and their armour shone. They all wore satisfied looks upon their faces. Sheng Chumu caught sight of the flag that was waving in the air. The huge “Lu” character displayed on it caused him to squint. Acting according to the Emperor’s orders, Lu Yunji had led an army to subdue rebel troops and was returning victorious.

“Great General Lu has divided and conquered the rebel army. Brilliant!” Chang’an had received news and Du Ning was no exception.

Sheng Chumu rolled his eyes at Du Ning.

Lu Yunji and Sheng Xiaojing were both founding officials to the Emperor. However, Sheng Xiaojing was much older and has suffered numerous injuries throughout his years. The Emperor no longer sent him out to the battlefield. On the other hand, Lu Yunji dominated on matters relating to the army and was extremely prominent in court. Their fathers silently competed against each other, so naturally, Sheng Chumu would clash with Lu Qi whenever they meet.

At this moment, Sheng Chumu’s personal manservant, Junhui, hurried over with a carriage. Sheng Chumu slowly got off his horse with Junhui’s help. Wincing and limping, he made his way to the horse carriage, crying out in pain with every step.

“Your father, Sheng Xiaojing, is famous all over the land especially back in his days. Yet, you didn’t inherit even a single bit of his powerful demeanor.” Du Ning did not care about Sheng Chumu’s eyeroll and said what he thought.

Sheng Chumu climbed onto the carriage clumsily and sat in. He turned back and grinned at Du Ning, not showing any hint of self-reflection.

“Ah ah, don’t be jealous. This is called fate! Predecessors plant trees so that the later generation can sit in the shade. Grandfather served the country his entire life, of course I have to enjoy the benefits on his behalf. If not, why would the emperor confer the title of Duke on our Sheng family? It’s for us to enjoy the rest of our lives!”

The Lu family’s infantry rode towards them. “Who stopped their horse carriage here? Make way!”

The soldiers brandished their whip at the horses attached to the horse carriage. The horses kicked up in a frenzy, causing the carriage to topple to the side. Sheng Chumu cried out as he was thrown out of the carriage, looking extremely dishevelled.

“How dare you! This is the eldest son of Duke Lu!” Du Ning was still extremely loyal and immediately brought up Sheng Chumu’s father.

The soldiers burst out in laughter, “Duke Lu, Duke Rou, who cares! We only recognize our great general! Look at you guys, a bunch of sneaky looking people. I am eighty-percent sure that you are spies from the rebel army!”

The group of soldiers rushed over as they surrounded Sheng Chumu and Du Ning’s group. They brandished their weapons as a murderous aura filled the air.

“What is going on?” Lu Yunji noticed the commotion and personally came over to take a look. All the soldiers immediately looked respectful.

“General, they are spies from the rebel army.” The infantry soldiers clasped their hands respectfully as they reported.

Sheng Chumu pushed away the soldiers that were holding on to him and neaten his clothes. Stepping up to Lu Yunji, he bowed, “Uncle Lu, I am your nephew, Sheng Chumu. Congratulations on your victory, Uncle Lu.”

Lu Yunji smiled, “Oh, it is you. What are you doing here?”

“I am headed to Guangzhou with a friend. We accidentally blocked the road with our horse carriage, and they framed us as spies. If you hadn’t recognized me, I believe my head would have been chopped off and offered to you.” Sheng Chumu replied.

Lu Yunji glanced at his soldiers as he asked coldly, “Is that true?”

His soldiers kneeled down in fear. “We were careless, please forgive us, Great General!”

Lu Yunji ordered lightly, “Behead them all.”

Incessant wails of anguish filled the air as blood stained the ground. In a blink of an eye, tens of lives were lost. Lu Yunji, however, behaved as if this was not happening in front of him. He continued to smile at Sheng Chumu and exchange greetings, asking him about the recent issues, speaking regretfully about how the emperor did not send him out to battle. He mentioned how in order to obtain fine wine from the emperor, he had to experience dealing with the rebel army.

Sheng Chumu may have sensed Lu Yunji mocking his own father but chose to ignore it as he replied modestly, “On behalf of my father, thank you, Uncle Lu.”

Lu Yunji addressed the remainder of his army that had just arrived, “Although they disobeyed military rules, ultimately, they were still part of our army and have made some contributions. Don’t let them be too lonely on their journey ahead in the afterlife. Select a hundred captives and kill them. Let them accompany our soldiers to the underworld, let them help our soldiers of the Great Tang army pave the way.”

The soldiers obeyed and went to carry out their orders.

Immediately, cries loud enough to shock the heavens could be heard from the captives.

Seeing how the captives were all either old, weak or female, Sheng Chumu could not help but say, “My father used to say it was not ethical to kill captives. These captives did not do anything wrong. They are all elderly, female or children. Uncle Lu, please have mercy on them.”

Lu Yunji disagreed, “These are all family members of the rebel army. They are not even worth more than an ant. As a descendent from a family of generals, how can you be soft hearted?”

With a single command, the entire ground became bloodstained.

Sheng Chumu averted his eyes as he looked at the wide plains stretched before him. If he had to become a general who treated people’s lives as if they were nothing, he would rather be Chang’an’s number one playboy and spend his life cherishing an uncountable number of beautiful women.

Guangzhou. Fu Residence.

The ‘xi’ word was plastered all over windows, and the entire house was decorated in a celebrative red. People were moving about, exchanging congratulatory words as if a miracle had happened.

On a crescent bench, the shadow of a beauty could be seen looking thin and cold, a complete contrast from the indigo wedding dress she was wearing.

Second Madam gazed at the outline of her daughter’s back as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“Stop crying.” Fu Rou instructed coldly.

“You are going to be married soon, as your mother, why can’t I cry?” Second Madam ignored her.

“Rou’er, you should be more understanding towards your mother.” Third Madam said as she walked through the Fu family’s front door. Her figure was smooth, and she was dressed charmingly. “Your mother is not like me. I have a son and a daughter. Even when my daughter marries, I still have Tao’er with me. Your mother only has you, now that you are going to be married, how can she not cry?”

Third Madam looked at Second Madam. “Second Madam, you shouldn’t be so upset. Rou’er is blessed that even at nineteen she is able to find someone devoted to her from the Chen family.”

Fu Rou turned and looked at Third Madam coldly, “Third Madam, are you here for something?”

“Of course, I am here to congratulate you.”  Third Madam picked up a fresh flower from the dresser and moved to place it by Fu Rou’s temple.

Fu Rou avoided her and took the flower. “One flower is enough.”

“All these years, you took care of our internal affairs, it must have been tough on you. I should help you add one more flower.”

Before Third Madam finished her sentence, Fu Rou had already placed the flower back on the dresser. Third Madam’s expression darkened as she threw Old Maid Chang a look.

Old Maid Chang forced a laugh, “Congratulations, Lady Rou. As for the family’s accounts–”

Fu Rou’s servant, Ziyun, immediately cut her off, “Who comes to ask for the family’s account book during a time like this?”

“Now that you are part of the Chen family, it is inappropriate to continue holding on to your maiden family’s account book.” Third Madam looked as if she wanted to laugh, “Moreover, I am here on orders of our family head.”

Fu Rou stared coldly at Third Madam as a look of understanding flashed through her eyes. In the second that Third Madam averted her gaze, “Ziyun, hand over the accounts.”

Ziyun frowned, “But…”

Fu Rou turned her head and faced the dresser mirror. “Give it to her.”

Ziyun had no choice but to retrieve the account book. As soon as she turned around, Old Maid Chang had snatched it over and handed it to Third Madam.

“The sedan from the Chen family has arrived.” First Madam of the Fu family said as she entered the room with her daughter, Fu Jun, supporting her arm. Oblivious of the exchange that has just occurred, she called out joyfully, “Is everything ready?”

Fu Rou got up to greet them.

Fu Jun helped Fu Rou up and quietly reminded her, “Younger Sister, once you get to your husband’s home, you can’t behave as you have before. You must control your temperament and be filial to them.”

Fu Rou let out a soft sound of assent. Fu Rou grabbed onto a circular fan as she lowered her eyes and covered her face. She suppressed the coldness in her eyes and allowed herself to be escorted.

Meanwhile, Sheng Chumu followed Du Ning and had reached the Chen family.

First Lady Chen, who had long forgotten what Du Ning looked like, enthusiastically asked him about his official position and what his rank was. Du Ning expressed that he was currently still studying and only had some friends that were government officials.

First Lady Chen did not believe him and took it as Du Ning being modest. “As the saying goes, to meet the prime minister, you must first go through the seven ranks below him. Nephew, since you are close to them, you must be at least rank five, no, rank four?”

Sheng Chumu burst out laughing, “First Lady Chen, you must know a lot.”

It was then that First Lady Chen noticed him. “This is–”

Sheng Chumu joked as he self-introduced, “According to your logic, I guess I will be rank nine?”

First Lady Chen raised her eyebrows as she seemed to look down on him, “Rank nine is somewhat low, but I guess it is still a government position. You can still help keep up our appearance for today.”

Sheng Chumu held back his laughter and winked at Du Ning.

“Aunty, is the new bride’s household special?” Du Ning asked.

“The older sister of the bride had initially married a poor scholar. Who knew that he would end up performing brilliantly, leading to them becoming one of the main residences here. The Fu family is now like a peacock that opened its tail feathers.” First Lady Chen looked displeased. “If that was all, it would have been okay. However, during the last festival, my son caught a glimpse of Lady Rou and had his heart stolen. He stubbornly forced me to ask for her hand in marriage. I could not win against him and thought that I would casually ask for her hand in marriage and have them reject it so that my son could give up. Who knew that they would actually accept the proposal?”

“Isn’t that a good thing?” Du Ning asked.

First Lady Chen spat out, “Nephew, you don’t know Lady Rou. She is famous in our area for being picky and difficult. A few years ago, there were a lot of people that asked for her hand. All of them were rich and respectable, yet she never agreed. It was only later that I understood. She is getting old now and nobody wants her. That is why she agreed to our proposal. She even asked for a betrothal gift of five thousand taels. She is emptying out our family’s fortune. If not for your younger cousin only wanting to marry her and no one else, hmph – Guangzhou’s number one beauty? She is clearly a fox!”

Du Ning did not know how to react. Just then, an old maid ran into the room frantically. She waved a piece of paper as she handed it over to First Lady Chen.

First Lady Chen read the paper as her expression changed. She held the piece of paper in a death grip. “Very good, so she is indeed a fox. She did such an embarrassing thing and has the guts to use our family to cover up. Hurry and bring Sixth Matchmaker to me!”

Soon, Sixth Matchmaker was brought in. The old maid straightened out the piece of paper and presented it to Sixth Matchmaker.

Sheng Chumu definitely did not want to miss the opportunity as he read the content out loud, “Son of the Chen family…getting married…bought a daughter-in-law…not pure. Huh? Not pure?”

Du Ning froze, “Are they saying…that the bride is not a virgin?”

Sixth Matchmaker was shocked, “This cannot be!”

“You blind and foolish woman, now what should we do?!” A fire blazed in First Lady Chen’s eyes.

Sixth Matchmaker’s eyes flickered as her eyebrows rose. She seemed to have thought of something as she leaned in and whispered into First Lady Chen’s ears. First Lady Chen’s anger immediately dissipated.

Sheng Chumu saw this exchange. This was getting fun.

In front of the Chen family’s main entrance, the sound of a suona being played pierced the air as a marriage sedan was lowered to the ground.

The person who came to greet the new bride was not the groom but the First Lady Chen. Her actions were straightforward as she immediately asked for a small temporary tent to be built at the main door.

The sound of the suona stopped as the people around looked at each other in dismay.  Amongst them, an impressive looking man stared fervently at the carriage’s swaying door curtain. His gaze was expectant.

The Sixth Matchmaker, as she was known by others, mocked, “My bride, there are some debatable rumors about you floating around. For your sake, your mother-in-law wishes to reveal the truth. We have brought an old servant to check you out before you can enter.”

Ziyun, who had followed the bride over to her new residence, fumed, “Are you purposely trying to bully my lady? My lady has always been upright and honorable. She has nothing to hide!”

Sixth Matchmaker looked back at the First Lady Chen. First Lady Chen looked scornful. “If she is as pure and clean as you claim, why can’t we examine her? If you don’t go through with the examination, don’t even think about stepping into our door!”

Ziyun argued back, “Why should she!”

Sixth Matchmaker laughed apologetically, “This is also for the bride’s own good. If she passes the examination, then everyone will know that she is pure.”

Ziyun immediately rebutted, “So if she doesn’t go through the examination, does it mean she isn’t pure?”

“Ziyun.” Fu Rou came out of the carriage, the bright scarlet veil concealing her appearance. Her demeanor was graceful. “I’ll go through with the examination.”

Fu Rou immediately entered the temporary tent. Everyone stood rooted to the spot as they awaited the results.

Soon, the old servant reappeared. She held back her sleeves, whispering into Sixth Matchmaker’s ears. Sixth Matchmaker chuckled and walked up to First Lady Chen. “Congratulations, the bride’s body is untouched.”

First Lady Chen raised her eyebrows, “Are you sure?”

Sixth Matchmaker wondered why she seemed to detect a hint of disappointment in the First Lady’s voice. However, she brushed it aside as she nodded with certainty, “Yes, I am sure.”

First Lady Chen snorted softly.

Ziyun helped Fu Rou out of the tent and towards the marriage sedan. Fu Rou acknowledged the urging of the marriage coordinator but did not enter the sedan. Lifting her hand, she suddenly pulled off the red veil covering her face.

Her long black hair fell beside her snow-white face tinted with rouge. Her eyes resembled black gems as her beautiful face seemed to radiate moonlight.

The people gathered in front of the main entrance all gasped in surprise. Behind the door, Sheng Chumu seemed to turn into a fool. Only the impressive looking young man in the crowd had a hint of longing in his eyes.
Fu Rou was indifferent to all that happened. To everyone’s shock, she suddenly turned towards the wall, wanting to smash her head against it.

As if in a matter of life or death, a hand grabbed onto Fu Rou and pulled her back. She felt herself get pulled into something warm. She looked up only to stare right into the person’s eyes. It was a pair of deep eyes embedded into a handsome face that was illuminated by the sun. She felt slightly out of it.

Sheng Chumu had rescued Fu Rou. In the past, he was always able to present himself well in front of beauties. This time, however, he could only stare in a daze at the small flower that was falling from Fu Rou’s hair. He could hear his heart pounding wildly.

Without giving Sheng Chumu a second glance, Fu Rou pushed Sheng Chumu away and headed back towards the sedan. She instructed them to bring her home.

Sheng Chumu did not look away as he rolled something between his fingers gently. It was the small flower that had fallen out of Fu Rou’s hair. He had made up his mind. A beauty with a personality. As a playboy, how could he not chase her?!

The next day, the entire city was talking about what had happened at the Chen Residence. Fu Rou’s residence had already been cleaned and there were no signs of a wedding.

Second Madam walked into Fu Rou’s room. Seeing how clean it was, she became even more sad as she burst into tears.

Fu Rou sat near the window as she focused on sewing. It was as if her crying mother, who was sitting beside her, was simply a house sparrow. It was only when she carefully finished tucking the end of the thread did she pause her needle and lift her head.

“Mother, please don’t cry. I will never marry into the Chen family.”

Second Madam suddenly spoke sternly, “Are you planning to remain single for the rest of your life?”

Fu Rou’s face remained expressionless as the corners of her mouth lifted to let out a small chuckle, “If that is the case, then it is fate. In the past, the marriage with the Yan family also did not go through.”

Second Madam’s face changed, “The Yan family offended Great General Lu and was destined to be killed. Why would you bring that up? In the past, I rejected their offer for your sake.”

“You have really put in a lot of effort for my sake.” Fu Rou’s eyes became slightly watery, “How did my picture end up in public? How did the nickname Guangzhou’s number one beauty come about? It is all because you want a son-in-law with power. You were picky and rejected numerous marriage offers. As a result, people on the streets are calling me arrogant and that not being able to marry is my punishment. Don’t think that I am oblivious to all this.”

Second Madam took out her handkerchief, intending to help Fu Rou dry her tears. But in the end, she could not bring herself to move and instead scrunched up her handkerchief.

Fu Rou used her sleeves to rub away her tears roughly. Her expression turned cold once again. “Mother, please leave, I am tired.”

Second Madam could not say anymore and eventually left. As she was leaving, she bumped into Fu Jun.

“Please help me persuade her, she refuses to listen to me.” Second Madam could only pin her hopes onto Fu Jun.

Fu Jun nodded. “Second Madam, rest assured. Rou’er is the kind that can be coaxed but not coerced. She still listens to reason.”

Second Madam sighed, “I hope so. I only wish the best for her. If only she could be like you and be happily married.”

Fu Jun smiled and sent Second Madam off. Shen then turned and walked into Fu Rou’s residence. Fu Rou stood up to greet her.

Fu Jun kept her smile as she huffed and sat down. “I know you are capable, but I did not think you would do something like this. First, you asked people to go to the streets near the Chen family and paste notes with rumours written on them. You then asked the matchmaker to bring up the idea of examining your body to First Lady Chen. I really don’t understand. If you didn’t want to marry, why did you agree to the Chen family’s marriage proposal in the first place?”

“I want their endowment gift.” Fu Rou confessed.

“You!” Fu Jun’s mouth gaped open. “Is it worth it?”

“Elder Sister, you are already married so you don’t know the financial state of the house. Recently, the sea has not been peaceful and in this year alone, our ships have already been raided twice. Military taxes have been increasing every year and both the dye workshop and the embroidery house have had trouble breaking even. Our Fu family is left with nothing but an empty shelf.” Fu Rou threw out a laugh, “When I was praying at the temple, Chen You was disrespectful to me time and again. His mind is filled with nothing but dirty thoughts. I am already being merciful to only ask for five thousand taels.”

Fu Jun sighed, “But you can’t exchange your own happiness for five thousand taels.”

Fu Rou shook her head. “I didn’t have a choice.” She then handed a letter over.

As Fu Jun read the letter, her expression completely changed. “Didn’t Third Brother go to Jiuhua mountain to learn martial arts? How is it possible that he killed someone?”

“The victim’s family demanded that we pay five thousand taels, or they will take Third Brother’s life. Now that the money has been sent over, Third Brother should be returning home soon.” Fu Rou did not elaborate further.

Fu Jun grumbled, “You should have discussed such a huge matter with me. After all, your brother-in-law is now the magistrate of the county.”

Fu Rou cut her off, “Brother-in-law has just taken up his new position, how will he get five thousand taels?” Of course, Fu Jun knew this.

“Elder Sister, don’t worry about me. I don’t intend to marry anyone in this life.” Fu Rou stated in a matter of fact.

Fu Jun stood up and walked towards Fu Rou, catching sight of the almost completed embroidery placed on the embroidery rack. It was a picture of an arrogant eagle, soaring through the sky with its wings spread out.

Fu Jun silently sighed, “After all these years, you still haven’t forgotten about Yan Zifang.”

Fu Rou’s body jerked slightly as she clenched her fist. How could she forget?

After his entire family met with misfortune, Zifang was left alone and came to rely on them but was rejected by her mother. How could she forget?

That day, it was snowing heavily. It looked as if the snow would engulf Zifang’s small silhouette in a matter of seconds.

Fu Jun sighed a long sigh once again, “But Yan Zifang is no longer around. He was chased by people from the general’s residence and fell into the river and drowned.”

“Yes, he is no longer alive.” An immense grief radiated from Fu Rou as she stretched out her hand. The tip of her finger ran over the wings of the eagle. “That is why I cannot forget him. Otherwise, no one will remember him anymore.”

A commotion suddenly broke out from outside.

“Where is the bride? Tell her to come out immediately!” First Lady Chen’s sharp voice was louder than the rooster at daybreak.

Fu Jun was startled and prepared to head outside. However, Fu Rou held her back, her expression not showing any signs of giving in.

Written by Hong Nong
Translated by Coca
Edited and proofread by audiowuxia.

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