Published at 20th of March 2019 09:37:45 AM

Chapter 50

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Who Will She Marry in the Future? (1)

Minglan didn’t know the marriage customs beyond Youyang where girls were not allowed to banter the newlyweds in their wedding chamber. In addition, Minglan and Pinlan had received large amounts of information during the day, so they took a quick shower and hit the hay.

The new second sister-in-law, Kang Shi, had a rather Korean name, Yun’er. The next morning, when she served tea to the two old madams and her parents-in-law, Minglan was scrutinizing her carefully on the side. As expected, Yun’er was gentle and sweet as well as delicate and attractive. Minglan then turned to look at her second elder brother, who smiled so foolishly like a big pumpkin. It seemed that they just had a perfect wedding night.

Sheng Wei and Li shi both liked the new daughter-in-law very much, so they offered a thick red envelope as well as a pair of jadeite bracelets of high purity inlaid with dragon and phenix patterns. Kang Yun’er accepted them blushingly with the hair ornament of five-phoenixes inlaid with pearls trembling on her head as she moved. Li shi did not say anything about having children but just a few words about getting along with sisters-in-law for fear that her fist daughter-in-law might be upset.

After extending greetings, Pinlan secretly told Minglan that the dowry of Kang Yun’er was not as much as that of Shulan when she married Xiucai Sun. Minglan glanced at the innocent Pinlan and felt that the Kang Family was really a comedown, no wonder Yun’er married someone of lower birth while having legitimate parents from aristocratic family. However, disaster is blessing in disguise. Yun’er was a fortunate woman by reference to the life of her eldest sister-in-law, who was taken good care of by her husband and parents-in-law for many years even without having any child. 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.

Old Madam Sheng proved to be a very successful matchmaker judging by how Yun’er behaved in the next several days. Kang Yun’er was not only courteous and polite, but also respectful to her sisters-in-law. Although she was too reserved to be shy every now and then, she was a good match for the easy-going Changwu.

Yun’er treated Old Madam Sheng with great respect and constantly helped Old Madam Sheng to the braised arugula after learning that it was one of her favorite dishes. Sheng Yun, who was also at the table, teased, “It is said that the matchmaker would soon be forgotten after the wedding night. But look at my nephew's wife, such a grateful girl.”

Shied by the words, Yun’er was on the brink of finding a hole to burry herself. Big Old Madam Sheng put on a serious face and hit Sheng Yun hard to back up for Yun’er but then she herself couldn’t help smiling. Pinlan, who was then eating in the side room, deeply regretted for her absence of such a great opportunity to banter with her bashful sister-in-law, a hobby she just developed. However, every time Pinlan did that, Minglan would come to the rescue while Changwu would chase after his naughty sister all over in the house to do justice to his newly-wedded wife, filling the house with laughers and joy. Therefore, Pinlan didn’t always get the chance to enjoy her new hobby.

Li shi was delighted to see all in the family getting alone well but then worried when thinking of her firstborn. So she prayed in secret and wished that all her children would lead a happy life.

Seven days after the wedding ceremony, the whole Sheng family went to the ancestral hall to offer incense to their forefathers. Males first offered sacrificial meat then the ladies went in to kowtow. Their main purpose was to introduce Yun’er to those deceased and the rest of the family members, after which Yun’er became a true member of Sheng family.

Sheng family rose only for a few generations so there were not many recorded ancestors. Minglan followed the others to kowtow and offer incense in a daze. However, amidst the several rounds of kowtowing that made her head spin, she just recalled that, after Yun’er was written into the family tree, Big Old Madam Sheng and her grandmother exchanged some words with the wives of the elders. Then Sheng Wei the Patriarch added a few strokes to the pedigree, which Minglan had no clue about.

Minglan couldn’t help asking Old Madam Sheng in the carriage taking them back. Old Madam Sheng threw a heavy bomb in the placid voice she usually carried, “You’re credited to your legitimate mother, so now you’re the same legitimate daughter as Rulan.”

Dumbstruck by the breaking news, Minglan stuttered after quite a while, “How…how is that possible? Did Mada…Mother know this?”

Shooting a glance over Minglan, Old Madam Sheng remained composed, “Yes, I told her about it.”

Minglan sat in the carriage, silent and dumb: Old Madam was a man of quick action, who kept all this secret and mentioned it lightly after it was done. Minglan got so much to say but just didn’t know where to start, so in the end, she just buried herself into her grandma’s arms, muttering, “Thanks, grandma. I’m such a bother.”

“Nonsense,” said Old Madam with her eyes half-closed.

Staring silently at the cyan top of the carriage that shook slightly on the way, Minglan knew that only children credited under the name of legitimate mother were legitimate. However, that was only a mere title that sounded more decent as all relatives and friends knew of her concubine born identity. Yet even so, the title could get her more decency when choosing in-laws.

As her thought wondered, Minglan suddenly sniggered in secret, “Hahaha…now Rulan can never call me ‘girl of a concubine’…” Then something came to her in a sudden.

“What about fourth sister? Is her also credited under Madam’s name?” asked Minglan softly, her hands pulling at her grandmother’s sleeve.

Old Madam replied casually without opening her eyes, “You pose no threat to Rulan. While Molan…it all depends.”

Minglan pondered with bewilderment, “So even though I now become Wang shi’s daughter, I do not enjoy the same status as Rulan. If I somehow threaten Rulan, then…”

Minglan forced a smile, realizing she was merely a counterfeit of legal daughter. But that was great, better than not having it.

Half month later, Changwu would soon set out to the capital to assume his office of Director of Zhongwei Guardian Team. Though much unwilling to part with her son, Li shi knew the post was much pursued by many and her son only got it under Sheng Hong’s help. Yun’er was the one that worried most, fearing that her mother-in-law would detain her in Youyang. In which case, could her husband resist the temptation in the prosperous capital? How many concubines would her husband take in their next reunion? Her mother had experienced this.

Thinking of that, Yun’er turned more panic yet all she could do was to serve her parents-in-law with all her might and respect, humble and modest to all. The whole Sheng family liked her more.

One day on their greeting to Old Madam Sheng, Li shi couldn’t help signing, “When son pursues the career, mother shouldn’t stand in the way. However, I’m much worried as my son is parting with parents in such a young age. I’m sincerely hope that aunt you could do me this favor and watch over him.”

Yun’er stood at the side with thin sweat on her forehead. Li shi turned back, took a glance of her daughter-in-law and continued, “Wife of Wu’er is new in the family for just a few days. I’m much worried that she may still need some guidance, so I’m thinking about letting her stay. Yun’er, what do you say?”

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Yun’er was chilled all over with tears welling up in eyes. Yet she still managed a smile and replied obediently, “This daughter-in-law is much grateful for mother’s guidance.”

Minglan was nodding off in her Grandmother’s arms but was awakened by their conversation. So she chimed in, “Big Auntie, let Saosao (sister-in-law) go to the capital with brother.”

Li shi asked, pretending not getting it, “Why?”

Minglan explained shyly, “Um…I’m gonna miss Saosao.” As if fearing her reason too unconvincing, Minglan added, “Ummmm…in fact, it’s brother who will miss her much.”

Yun’er blushed upon Minglan’s naïve words then glanced secretly at Minglan with gratitude.

A few days later, the big daughter-in-law was diagnosed with three-month pregnancy. Sheng Wei and Li shi were overjoyed, claiming it was all due to the good luck Yun’er brought to the family, which Wen shitruly believed and much appreciated her sister-in-law. The two sisters-in-law had quite a happy conversation about it.

In fact, Li shi was not trying to be mean. She just feared that, with aristocrat origin, Yun’er might go wild and neglect her son without the surveillance of parents-in-law. Now she reconsidered it, it was not a big deal as she could still call back her daughter-in-law in case any insolence or negligence occurred.

Learning that, Yun’er was ravished with joy but dared not to show a bit, listening obediently to Li shi’s instructions on how to get along with connections and how to take care of her husband.

Changwu left for the capital a few days later, and Sheng Mansion restored to its previous tranquility.

This day, it was warm with gentle breeze. Old Madam Sheng said to Minglan after breakfast, “Ming’er, accompany me around the town.”

Minglan was then doing her needlework, Danju measuring with a ruler, Cuiwei thumbing through some embroidery patterns while Xiaotao watching over the tea stove. Pinlan was forced to learn some accounting under her mother’s surveillance these days. Therefore, without company to play with, Minglan decided to make some baby aprons for her sister-in-law, Wen shi. Minglan was still in a bit daze when hearing Old Madam Sheng’s words, “Going in town? Are we not in town?”

Was Youyang not a town but a country?

Old Madam Sheng smiled, “My silly girl, you’ll know what a town is like when you are in Jinling. We can take a look at our own mansion there. After all these years, some old furniture and jewelries should be sorted out again or they might be eaten by insects.”

Years before, Great Old Master Sheng left his three sons each a mansion. Since his second son had successfully become a scholar, he therefore bought his son a mansion in Jinling before this son married the daughter of a marquis.

Old Madam Sheng and Minglan mounted the carriage, bringing with them half of the girl and women servants. Fearing that these servants might not suffice, Sheng Wei dispatched about seven or eight women servants for heavy labor. The carriages then set out slowly towards Jinling. The moment they entered the gate of Jinling, Minglan felt the extraordinary hustle and bustle of the big town. Driven by her extreme curiosity to the lively street yet constrained by her identity of a lady, Minglan could only stay still in the carriage, trying to tell what was on the street by the peddling from vendors just like a martial artist.

Old Madam Sheng was quite amused by her granddaughter, who, curious like a squirrel, fought hard to not lift up the curtain and only listened attentively with her ears against the carriage wall. Old Madam Sheng quite enjoyed her granddaughter’s adorable restlessness and just let her bear with the curiosity.

Upon arriving Sheng Mansion in Jinling, Danju first helped Minglan down the carriage then Old Madam Sheng. Before the gate stood a dozen of elderly servants waiting for their arriving. An old steward in the lead immediately kneeled down and kowtowed, hailing, “These servants welcome Your Ladyship and Sixth Miss back home!” All the other servants and maids all followed, behaving quite uniformly.

Old Madam Sheng nodded slightly, seemingly satisfied. With a wave of her hand, she gestured all servants and maids up and walked into the mansion with Minglan helping her by the hands. All servants and maids followed after. The steward was quite excited to reunite with Old Madam Sheng and nagged all along their way, “This servant is overjoyed to finally see Your Ladyship. The mansion is always empty without a master. What about Your Ladyship sitting on a sedan chair and taking a tour around? Ah! This must be the sixth young lady. I haven’t met you before. Truly a graceful girl of manners!”

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