Published at 21st of February 2019 04:57:36 AM

Chapter 40

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A Girl at Age Should Be Married (2)

Miss Liu pretended to be astonished and inhaled, causing other girls in the group began discussing. A bit shocked, Minglan turned back to the shameful Yanran and then took a glance at the ladies who either took pleasure in the tragedy or avoided eye contacts. The most kind of them just said, in an indifferent tone, a few words to comfort Yanran. Minglan hit the ceiling. She knew they reacted in this way was out of nothing but mere jealousy.

Speaking of it, Yu Yanran had the highest ranking among all the girls. Although her father was just Vice-Minister, her grandfather was Head of the Cabinet with world-wide prestige. The former Emperor granted him a four-character calligraphy praise written by the emperor himself “restriction, diligence, prudence and endeavor”, so the family was qualified to make a direct match with the second legal son of the Marquis. Many years ago, they had tried every means to marry Hualan, as first legal daughter of Sheng family, to the second son of a degrading Marquis.

Minglan wanted to relieve Yanran from embarrassment, so she pointed at herself and shouted, “Boys are of course naughty when they are young! What’s more, rumors are not reliable. Sister Liu heard I was eccentric and weird before she saw me in person, but look at me, how pretty and kind I am!” Miss Liu smiled in awkwardness while all others burst into laughter. Minglan continued to be cheeky and said, “Am I not right? Am I not pretty or kind-hearted?” Approved Only. For any use of this content, please contact us at [email protected] for authorization, or we’ll resort to legal means for copyright protection.

The whispering in the house turned into bursting laughers. Noticing Yanran’s blushing face was getting lighter, Minglan felt pity for her, so she decided to further step up to finish the drama, “Sisters know little news. What’s fresh about Yanran’s match? I wanted to make a match between little Red and little White in my fish tank!” 

Everyone laughed harder, filling the room with joy. Minglan said with a serious face, “Little Red and little White have accompanied me for a long time. Since they are at age, it’s my duty, as their lady, to consider about their marriage!”

The girls laughed with their bodies leaning to all directions. Wu Baozhu tiled upon another girl’s shoulder, face blushing from laughter, and wiped out tears, “Is it successful?” Minglan nodded, “It’s quite difficult.”

Chen Xinya got stomachache from laughing and tried so hard before she could speak out a few words in a high pitch, “…Why is that?” Minglan looked cautious and answered with wagging head, “Marriage, a life time significant event, must obtain parents’ approval and match-maker’s testimony. However, I… Where should I find the fish’s parents and the match-maker?”

Chen Xinya guffawed, “Why not you be their parent and I be the match-maker? Let’s hold the ceremony now!”

The girls almost laughed out their minds. Rulan laughed her way to Minglan, giving her a hard pinch, “Little girl, you have most jokes. What would you do if other sisters over-laughed?” Seeing what Rulan had done, they crowed to Minglan one after another and touched and rubbed Minglan, who struggled to escape. However, she had a tiny figure and was pinched all around, but she still shouted, “Be serious! Be serious! We’re talking about serious marriage!”

The girls were happier, running and jumping all around the yard. Since they were immersed in playing, Minglan was relieved and winked at Yanran who had moved to the door. Yanran nodded and slipped away when no one saw her. After quite some effort, Minglan got rid of those girls when her clothes turned messy. With an excuse of tidying herself up, Minglan left while Rulan’s laugher could still be heard, “Isn’t my little sister funny? My father and brothers also love her so much…” 

Then was Molan’s voice with a little sneer, “The girl is sharp-mouthed!”

Other girls’ voices could also be heard, “I think she’s good, both funny and honest.”

Another girl said in a low voice, “…She’s nice, …outstanding and funny…”

Minglan ignored them and went straight back to the House of Clear Dusk with Danju. They stepped into the room, finding Yanran was already there. At the sight of her, Minglan raised her eyebrows and pointed to her, “You dare to say I’m heartless? As sister, you turned me down to go fishing and hide me from your marriage, but ask me to rescue you when you’re teased! Look at me, how would you make up for me?!”

While speaking, she lifted the wrinkled hems of the skirt, looking ferocious. Yanran stepped forward and bowed with two hands holding together, repeatedly saying, “My good sister, my good sister. It’s all my fault. If I deliberately hid the thing from you, let an ugly scar grow onto my face. I’m here today to tell you about it. Thanks to you just now, otherwise I don't know how would they laugh at me!”

During the conversation, Cuiwei took over a piece of green slanting-front coat made of golden brocade and a green embroidered skirt. Minglan went behind the quarter-fold peach-wood screen carved with flowers to get changed. She still remained a cold-face, “Tell me, what’s on earth going on? Tell me the truth.”

Yanran replied with a bitter face, “Just as you heard. My daddy’s senior made the match…” She stopped in hesitation.

Cuiwei and Danju were considerate. Understanding that the young ladies had confidant words to say, they quickly left together after Xiaotao served tea and refreshments. Minglan took a glimpse at the door and sat back besides Yanran, saying in a low voice, “Sister Yanran, I’m not blaming you, but how can you make the news known to everyone when the match is still undecided? If it’s not successful, what should you do?”

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Moved by Minglan’s words, Yanran reached out to hold her hand and said, “My dear sister, no wonder my grandma always praises you for your honest and kind characters. I have many friends but only you said this to me! What a pity that my mother died long ago, leaving me no sisters or brothers. They say when you get a stepmother, your father will become your stepfather. It’s true. After my father married a new wife, he only took my stepmother and brothers to proceed to his post, leaving me here all alone. Luckily, my grandparents feel sorry for me, otherwise…” The speech was filled with broken voice and watery eyes.

Minglan was sad, lowering her head and gently rubbing the edge of Yanran’s clothes. Yanran sniffed and continued, “The match isn’t my grandparents’ will but my stepmother’s. She gained connection with a somewhat relative of Ningbei Marquis, so she urged my father to say yes to the match-maker. Luckily my grandfather didn’t approve until he got more information. However, that woman…she made it known to everyone.”

Yanran couldn’t utter clearly anymore and only cried in a low volume. Minglan felt sorry for her. Not able to think of anything to comfort Yanran, she just gently patted her back and took out a new handkerchief to wipe out her tears. After a while, Yanran stopped crying, inhaled and nodded hard, showing a smile, “Look at me, being like this when your family has good news. Sorry for that! I guess my father won’t do things hurtful to me. A girl has to be married sooner or later. I should ask my grandfather to stop searching around. I have to marry the guy after all.”

“Don't think this way!” Minglan listened in quiet and shouted out hearing Yanran’s opinion, “You can’t get married in confusion! A woman only marries once in a life time to one person. If you’re not carefully enough, you’ll be regretting in the future! Ask your grandfather to get as much information as possible! If he is no good person, don’t marry him!”

Yanran turned from sweeping to laughing, “You little girl! How can you keep saying marriage all the time? Do you also want to get married?”

This level of jokes was far from Minglan’s punch line. With no change in her face, Minglan said seriously, “Sister Yanran, I know you don't want your grandparents and your father fight, but you should think more for yourself! Though I haven’t met with your stepmother but I heard about her being not easy to get along with. I must say something unpleasing. If you marry to a good family, she will sure ask for favors from you; if not so, do you think she will assist you?”

Yanran’s face turned pale, having no idea of what she should do. Minglan stood up, thumped the palm with fist, and said solemnly, “Sister Yanran, don't pity yourself in the future. Although you lost your mom, you’re still a legal daughter with grandparents. What about me? I’m a daughter of a concubine with only a grandma! However, though I’m no better than you in every aspect, I won’t marry a bad guy even if at the cost of my life!”

Yanran looked, with astonishment, at Minglan whose tender face was peaceful with looming fortitude and decisiveness, which greatly encouraged Yanran. She held Minglan’s hand and said in a low voice, “My sister, rest assured. I won’t belittle myself. I shall never forget your sincerity and kindness even until my last day!”

Minglan was a bit shy and looked to Yanran who seemed self-possessed. Minglan said in relief, “Don't talk about death! In the future, stop making friends with those gossiping girls. My Old Madam used to prohibit me from hanging out with them, saying ‘true friends lie in not quantity but sincerity’. Today I finally understand how wise she is!”

Yanran smiled, “Your grandma’s intention is more than that. My grandma told me that your marriage has been decided by your grandma. However, their mouth is as tight as clam. No matter how hard I try, they won’t tell me more.”

Minglan was curious and couldn't help blushing, “I’m too young. Worry yourself first!”

In fact, Minglan quickly understood Old Madam Sheng’s intentions. There were just a limited number of youth marriageable, which could be easily known in daily activities. With two elder sisters of similar age and tough Wang shi and concubine Lin, Minglan couldn’t be left with good choice. Therefore, she was never allowed to meet boys—a track off the beaten one.

Old Madam Sheng talked with Minglan with almost everything, but once it got down to marriage, no message was revealed. Minglan shouldn't ask in haste, so she would just wait. Minglan now only hoped that Old Madam Sheng’s choice of grandson-in-law would be better than that of son-in-law.

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