Chapter 68: Chapter 68
It was only after he managed to catch his breath that he could hear Feng Zhiwei’s indifferent voice speaking down to him: “Wastrels like you are more useless than horses and cows, and I even think that this rice and these vegetables are too good for you, and you dare waste?”
Feng Hao clutched his belly and paused teary eyed, staring upwards at Feng Zhiwei for a long moment before finally recognizing her. As the recognition dawned, his expression completely changed as he scurried behind Madam Feng, only daring to poke his head out from behind her as he yelled: “Mom! Look at this bitch! She hits me as soon as she comes back! And she even brought back a wild man!”
“Shut your mouth!” Madam Feng snapped back, her eyes glued to Feng Zhiwei ever since she had swept in through the door. Her eyes watered and billowed like waves as her breath caught in her throat. Finally, she managed to call out softly. “Zhiwei… you…”
The words stuck in her throat.
Feng Zhiwei smiled gently, turning aside. She could not help but focus on the dusty and cracked table, and in that moment a thousand emotions fought in her heart, and all the words she wanted to say mixed together and clammed up her tongue, and even a simple greeting was beyond her ability.
She breathed deeply, eyes still avoiding her mother’s face as she spoke: “I’ve come to see you, to ask you about a matter.”
Madam Feng’s eyes never left her daughter’s face, not a single complaint in her heart about Feng Zhiwei’s demeanor. “Sure.”
“I haven’t even told you what it’s about.” Feng Zhiwei replied, eyes still examining the table. “You shouldn’t agree so quickly.”
“Your plans have never been bad.” A small smile crossed Madam Feng’s face. “You must be thirsty? Have something to drink.” She turned quickly and busied herself with preparing tea, ladling some water from the water barrel in the corner and thoroughly washing an old and chipped tea cup.
“No need, I already need to leave.” Feng Zhiwei looked up, eyes avoiding her mother as she bustled around. “I want you to let me send Feng Hao to study at Mount Shou Nan in HeXi province.”
Madam Feng paused.
Feng Hao jumped upright.
“Mount Shou Nan!” He cried out in terror, even forgetting the unbearable pain in his belly. “Leaving Dijing? You want to send me out of Dijing to that miserable place where birds don’t even nest?
HeXi province was in the northwestern corner of Tian Sheng, and the seasons were bitterly cold. The Shou Nan Academy founded on the eponymous mount was also famous, and while Qing Ming was known for its nobility and freedom, Shou Nan was infamous for its rigor and rules. It was considered a punishing ground for scions who had made great mistakes, and was a place that polished away foolishness and unbridled arrogance. At its core, it was a disciplinary school, and no matter how arrogant or domineering a student was when they entered, when they left, they would have been transformed from a tiger into a household cat, and all of their energy would have been ground away. All these children of noble and rich families were terrified by the idea of this school, and Feng Hao was the same.
“Only a place like this is suitable for a person like you, don’t even think about Qing Ming.” Feng Zhiwei said, not even sparing Feng Hao a look. “I will arrange people to send you there immediately, and I will pay for three years of tuition and living expense.
“Piss off!” Feng Hao cursed loudly, his eyes reddened and his hair almost standing straight. “Who do you think you are? You dare make decisions for me? I said Qing Ming, and it has to be Qing Ming! What Shou Nan Mountain, and what HeXi province, I would rather die than go there!”
Madam Feng quivered at these words, her back to the brother and sister as they fought.
“I said you will not enter Qing Ming and you will not.” Feng Zhiwei said indifferently as Madam Feng stilled. “You have no choice.”
Feng Hao glanced fearfully at Gu Nanyi and examined his calm and assured sister and suddenly no longer dared to curse. He twisted around and clung to his mother as if by sticky glue. “Mom! You won’t let me go, will you! You really won’t let me go, right! You cannot bear it!”
Madam Feng still kept her back to Feng Zhiwei, though her straight back seemed somewhat stooped as the hand holding the water ladle quivered.
As Feng Zhiwei looked at this back, a faint despair seemed to rise up in her heart.
Finally, after what seemed like a very long moment, Madam Feng put down the ladle, holding onto the sides of the water barrel as she straightened. She moved very slowly, as if trying to straighten out her thoughts as she adjusted her posture, but when she finally stood upright, her back and waist were ramrod straight.
She looked into her small son’s hope-filled, begging eyes and smiled, reaching out and smoothing his messy hair.
Feng Zhiwei stepped backwards, her eyes turning cold.
“Hao er…” MadaM Feng said slowly, dotingly arranging her son’s hair. “Yes, your mother cannot bear it.”
Feng Hao gleefully looked into his mother’s eyes but suddenly paused; for a moment, he felt as if his mother was not looking at him, but through him towards another person. The feeling quickly disappeared, and in the next moment, his mother’s warm gaze returned to his face.
He let out a sigh of relief before turning to peer victoriously at Feng Zhiwei.
Feng Zhiwei leaned against the door frame, a smile marring her face as she watched the deep affection between mother and son.
“Truly a loving mother and a dutiful son. A perfect, loving family.” She smiled faintly. “I’ve meddled too much as an outsider.”
Madam Feng’s hands dropped and she lowered her eyes, her limbs suddenly stiffening.
“Since that is the case, the two of you should take care.” Feng Zhiwei finished, and without another word, bowed and left.
“Bitch!” Feng Hao called out, laughing coldly as he stepped out from behind his mother’s back. “Piss off far away. My business, and our Feng Family’s business, is not your concern!”
Feng Zhiwei did not look back, only stepping forward more quickly, a light rustling wind gathering with her steps.
But Gu Nanyi turned.
This young statue who never cared for anything not immediately in front of his eyes, who had never showed any interest towards other people or other things, suddenly turned around and peered at Feng Hao.
His whole face was obscured by his veil, yet Feng Hao felt as if he were pierced by a pair of cold eyes, cold and apathetic like the gaze of a frozen statue.
Feng Hao shivered, but before his shiver could end, the world blurred in front of his eyes and the sky was in his face as he was launched flying through the air.
The slapping of flesh could be heard for a moment before Feng Zhiwei’s voice called out. Feng Hao struggled in terror, his arms and legs flailing as he sailed through the air and crashed into the ground, the pain in his body made him think that all his bones had been shattered.
Sudden footfalls rushed forward and a dozen hands reached down to help him to his feet. Feng Hao wailed in terror for a long moment before finally realizing that he was surrounded by the Qiu Mansion guards.
Before he could wonder why the guards had come to this small yard to save him, he twisted his swollen face and cried out ferociously: “Assassin! There’s an assassin!”
The Qiu Mansion guards exchanged glanced as someone asked. “Where did the assassin go?”
“Went to kill the Madam!” Feng Hao cried out, pointing in the direction that Feng Zhiwei had left in.
“Protect the Madam!” The Qiu Mansion Guard Leader cried out, leading the guards away, leaving Feng Hao to crash heavily into the ground once again…