Published at 1st of September 2019 10:47:39 AM

Chapter 137

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Two Ways of Persuading (2)

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Minglan firmly believed that her direction of struggle was always deviated from God’s plan for her. She would really like some hints from God. After all, she, Minglan or Yao Yiyi, was an obedient girl since she had been a little child and would never go against God’s will!

As the family war continued, Hualan who had initiated this marriage chose to lie low wisely and showed no intention to participate in the persuading. Instead, she invited Minglan to her home. Old Madam Sheng knew that Hualan only wanted to persuade Minglan by doing that. So she turned down Hualan’s request without any hesitation. After racking her brain for three days, Hualan still didn’t find a proper excuse to invite again. Luckily, God helped her with a good reason: She was pregnant again. And she really wanted to see her mother and her sister.

After hearing that, Old Madam Sheng was in silence for a long while. Then with the look on her face turning a little brighter, she finally allowed Minglan to go there.

Early in the morning, Wang shi brought Minglan to the mansion of Marquis Zhongqin directly. On this day Countess of Zhongqin had gone to her mother’s home due to certain matters and had to stay overnight. Wang shi was so happy that she didn’t need to greet this annoying woman and went straight to the side yard on the west.

Hualan was wearing a rose patterned silky ermine coat and a fair spider ornament with pearl inlaid on her head. She reclined on a soft couch with a pomegranate patterned faience warmer in her hands, talking smilingly with a blush on her face.

Seeing Hualan being in a good look, Wang shi finally released herself from the depressive moods she had these days. She held Hualan’s hand and asked about her condition while Hualan, with all smiles, answered all the questions, “... I’m fine. Everything’s fine. It’s my third child. And I already knew everything about pregnancy. Don’t worry, mother... Minglan, eat those nuts. Those walnuts are tributes to the emperor. It’s crispy and tasty.”

Minglan nodded while smiling. She approached the Ruyi (Note: Ruyi means good fortune in Chinese culture) round table and grabbed a tiny nutcracker. Then she started to peel the walnuts. In the meantime, Wang shi let go of Hualan’s hand and took a sip of the tea, saying in a smile, “It’s so lucky today. We can chat a bit longer than usual since your mother-in-law is not here.”

Hualan grinned, “A bit longer is not enough. My sister-in-law went with her as well. Why don’t you two have the meal before going back. I’ll let them prepare the table here. Yesterday my husband went hunting in the back mountain and brought back some deers. Although the meat is not as fresh as the ones in the forest, it still tastes great.”

“That would be great!” Wang shi laughed while peeling an orange slowly. Then she asked, “By the way, I heard from your father that your husband gets promoted again?” With smile filling in Hualan’s beautiful eyes, she answered pleasurably, “It’s not so certain yet. But... pretty close. This time he might become the military commander of the armed forces of five cities.”

Wang shi put down the orange with peels on and prayed to Buddha with both her palms together. Then she said, “That’s great, I got relieved seeing you two living so well; Yuan family should be happy to hear this too. I guess your mother-in-law wouldn’t nag at you anymore!”

With her lips curled up, Hualan snorted and said, “My father-in-law is really delightful about that. But my mother-in-law only always knows how to dampen our spirits. The moment we heard that my husband might get a promotion, she asked him to think of a way to seek a job opportunity for her niece. My father-in-law turned her down right away!”

“So your mother-in-law got mad because of that and left with your sister-in-law?” Wang shi burst into laughter while saying that.

“Not exactly.” Hualan chuckled and continued, “Her mother’s family is in a bad situation lately. The elders only know how to squander money. They have sold the landed property and married their mistresses. And the juniors make no effort to seek progress. They don’t study hard and only want to seek for my father-in-law’s help. He has been tired of them for a long time. This time my mother-in-law’s niece got married, and my father-in-law was unwilling to go. Thus they had to go back by themselves.”

After Minglan had peeled a plate of walnuts, she served the nuts to Hualan. Wang shi took over the plate and gave it to Hualan, saying with a smile, “No wonder your mother-in-law finds you unpleasant. It turns out that she is just being jealous!... Minglan, you should eat some too, you don’t need to serve us now.”

Minglan answered tamely. Then she sat back and picked up a fat little walnut. As she was about to crack the walnuts, Hualan and Wang shi looked at each other with meaningful expressions in their eyes. Hualan turned around and talked smilingly, “Minglan, Zhuang missed you a lot recently. She’s in the back garden right now. I find you two quite congenial to each other. Why don’t you go play with her?”

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Saying that, Hualan called the maid besides her to serve Minglan to wash hands and get dressed. Minglan only smiled and thought that by no means would Hualan let Zhuang  run wildly on the outside in winter. She knew from the beginning that there was a treachery being planned here! Hualan always had a sense of propriety and was good at governing the servants, so Minglan believed that Hualan wouldn’t do anything ridiculous to her. After all, she was still in Hualan’s yard, so it wouldn’t hurt to go out, however...

Minglan smiled obediently while said in hesitation, “It’s so cold outside. We should let Zhuang come in.” Hearing this, the expression on Hualan’s face went frozen. Wang shi coughed and said in a heavy voice, “Zhuang is a naughty girl. I’m afraid she will cry by then. You should coax her to come in.”

After answering a ‘yes’, Minglan followed the maid out docilely.

Wang shi watched Minglan leave and turned around to ask her daughter doubtfully, “You think it’ll work? Isn’t it... a bit inappropriate? Your dad would be mad again if he knows about it. He always says to me that letting Minglan ask Old Madam Sheng by herself would only make things worse.”

Hualan straightened up and faced Wang shi while saying in a low voice with a serious look, “Mom, you only have a one-sided view. I know that Old Madam sees things clearly. She and Minglan have lived together more than ten years. So Old Madam will know from the first glance if Minglan says anything out of her own will! If we force Minglan to ask for her marriage, Old Madam will only get more furious! But what if Minglan is willing to get married?”

With doubt in Wang shi’s eyes, she said, “Minglan only listens to her grandmother. How could she know her own mind?”

Hualan shook her head with a meaningful look while smiling, “Mother, you are wrong about her. Though sixth young sister has been obedient since childhood, she is actually an assertive and thoughtful girl; I wasn’t able to find that when she was a child, but I have seen her understand Old Madam’s hints for a few times after you guys arrived at the capital; As long as she sees Gu Tingye and realizes that he’s not a monster, she will agree to this marriage for our family and her own future as well.”

Wang shi kept quiet for a long time. Then she sighed and said, “That would be great. I just feel sorry for your sister Rulan. Why could Minglan be so lucky to marry into such a prestigious family while Rulan could only marry to an ordinary man.”

“Mother, you need to stop!” Hualan’s face turned gloomy as Wang shi mentioned Rulan. She said angrily, “You have spoiled Rulan too much. How could she meet that man in private as a lady from a decent family! Her parents have already betrothed her to a great man. Not only did she feel ungrateful to that and make a scene, she even let General Gu know about her affairs! How shameless is that! Luckily, my husband hasn’t been too dedicated to the progress of their marriage. He only mentioned twice about my sister and never told General Gu which one would be married to him. That’s why the whole thing is not final. Otherwise... huh!”

Wang shi knew about Hualan’s difficulty so she didn’t dare to put on words for Rulan. And the only thing she could do now was sighing. Then Hualan said, “It was your idea to let Rulan marry General Gu at the first place. In fact, in my opinion, Minglan is more suitable than Rulan. Just look at her gestures of coaxing Old Madam, even I got softened by that, not to mention a man. Unlike Rulan who is so willful and always loses her temper! What’s more, Minglan is an independent girl. I think highly of her. As for Rulan, it’s better that she could marry to a family that has a lower family status than us. When she has conflicts with her husband’s family, we can still support her.”

Thinking of Hualan’s words for a while, Wang shi agreed helplessly. Then she got delighted, saying, “... You are right. Minglan doesn’t have any biological brothers or sisters, she can only rely on us; If she behaves well in Gu family, she can also bring honor to our family. And if she is despised there, we cannot back her up since Gu family is way too powerful for us. Actually, I really couldn’t bear to see Rulan being bullied there!”

Hearing those words, Hualan almost got choked by her own saliva. She glared at her mother without uttering a single word for a long time. At last, Hualan just ignored Wang shi while thinking whether Minglan had arrived at that place.

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