Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 68: Changing Marriage (Part 1)
The days got colder as the autumn passed and winter approached in the blink of an eye. This year in the General residence, it can be considered to be exceptionally depressing. Shen Miao was confined in the Shen residence, Shen Qing was still bedridden and only Shen Yue headed to Guan Wen Tang every day. Even during the Mid-Autumn Festival, only Chen Rou Qiu brought Shen Yue along so naturally Shen Yue was the centre of attraction, but these things had nothing to do with Shen Miao.
However as time went by, Shen Qing’s matter could not be dragged on. Ren Wan Yun let Physician Chen prescribe some pills and they relieved Shen Qing’s morning sickness quite a bit. Even though others were unable to see any problems, if this were to continue to be dragged on, paper could not cover fire.
“This cannot go on like this.” Ren Wan Yun frowned as she tampered her worries down, “Must find a way to let Qing-er out to avoid it.” In order to avoid others from speaking, she planned to bring Shen Qing back after delivering the baby by saying she was affected by an unpleasant ailment. Once the limelight passed, perhaps the world would be at peace.
“But with Young Lady’s health, she will inevitably suffer if she was sent out.” Xiang Lan was somewhat worried, “Moreover, this to and fro would definitely take some time. Young Lady’s youth would also be affected…”
Ren Wan Yun frowned. Yes. Shen Qing was of sixteen of age, in another year, she would be seventeen. In Ding capital, it would be just the right time for females to be married, but Shen Qing was an official’s daughter and naturally would pick noble families. By waiting one more year, she was afraid that all the better nobilities would be picked by others.
“Yuan-er can only rush back after the end of the year but now Qing-er’s body cannot be dragged on.” A trace of hostility flashed on Ren Wan Yun’s brow.
“Furen,” Cai Ju who was standing at the side, who kept quiet all along, suddenly spoke, “This servant heard that Vice Minister of the Legislative Bureau’s Wei Furen is recently close with Third Furen, and has intention to seek a marriage for Wei family’s eldest son and have requested for Fifth Young Lady.”
“Shen Miao!” Ren Wan Yun gritted her teeth, “She is really lucky!” The Vice Minister of the Legislative Bureau was a fourth ranking official. Even though it was considered to be overestimating one’s capabilities aiming towards the daughter of a first ranking official like Shen Xin, the eldest son of the Wei family was a youth with superior talents and looks. To marry an idiotic female in the Ding capital, at least in the aspect of talents, he is worthy enough for Shen Miao. Moreover Wei Qing had already entered the official circle at a young age, and in the future would definitely be a successful youth, thus Shen Miao really hit the jackpot with this request of marriage.
“Heard that the Wei family is interested in clinging onto this residence.” Cai Yu said, “So they bore the pain and used their son as an opportunity to build a good relationship with Shen residence.” The meaning of Cai Ju’s words were indicating that Shen Miao was an inferior person and not worthy of that Young Master Wei.
“Can considered it as her being lucky.” Ren Wan Yun’s expression was somewhat hideous. In these years, although Shen Xin’s rank was high, there was practically no one who came over to the Shen residence to talk about marriage, and it was all because Shen Miao was too foolish and weak. With Shen Xin’s achievements, Shen Miao’s future husband would definitely be from high ranking families but in those families, it was impossible for them to accept such a matriarch who was a laughing stock in Ming Qi.
So even with Shen Xin’s many meritorious service, nobody showed any interest in Shen Miao.
Now with the Wei family suddenly coming over to propose a marriage, even though Cai Ju mentioned about climbing up the ladder, if one were to think carefully, it was because of that day in the academy examinations, Shen Miao’s performance was so refreshing and because of the change from that original stupid image, that made the Wei family to could not help but take action.
Even it was usual, Ren Wan Yun would also not tolerate to have such a good marriage proposal falling onto Shen Miao’s lap. Not to mention Shen Qing was in such a condition now, she could not stand to see Shen Miao, the originator, to be better off.
“Furen need not worry.” Xiang Lan said, “Old Furen would definitely not agree with this marriage.”
In the General’s residence, Old Shen Furen bore the brunt for the hate on the First household. Since nothing can be done with Shen Xin, Old Shen Furen could however could secretly control Shen Miao’s marriage in the palm of her hands. Previously due to Ren Wan Yun’s management, Shen Miao’s idiot reputation was well known all over Ming Qi but now Shen Miao had shed off the foolish title, if someone come over with a marriage proposal, with Old Shen Furen’s ill intention, she would definitely find ways to dispel their thoughts.
“With her kind of worthless life, how can there be such a luck in it. Afraid that after marrying shortly, she would die.” Ren Wan Yun’s words were endlessly vicious. She looked at the doors that were shut tightly. Shen Qing was still in the room, unwilling to see anyone, thus a trace of resentment flared in her heart, “But Master actually still hope for Qing-er to marry to that person!”
Shen Gui still did not know about Shen Qing’s pregnancy and Ren Wan Yun did not intend to tell him. Shen Gui, this kind of person who took relationships lightly, to Shen Qing who recently lost her innocence he could barely tolerate her now. But if he were to know about Shen Qing’s pregnancy, he would definitely disregard Shen Qing’s health and force her to abort the baby.
But even so, Shen Gui was afraid that the matter would be exposed and even urged Ren Wan Yun to search a marriage for Shen Qing, as long as Shen Qing was able to marry over quickly and the other’s family was of high rank. After picking around, they choose the Supervisor of the Minor Treasurer’s youngest son, Huang De Xing.
The Huang family was considered to be higher in rank than the Wei family and naturally would be bathed in glory and wealth. But as compared to the Wei Family, the Huang family’s Master and Furen’s were not people who were easy to deal with and Huang De Qing was a cut sleeve person who liked men.
Cut sleeves meant homosexuality, originating from the History of Western Han when Emperor Han Aidi was in bed with his lover Dong Xian and had to attend a court audience that morning. Not wishing to awaken Dong Xian, who was sleeping with his head resting on the emperor’s long robe sleeve, the Emperor used a knife to cut off the lower half of his sleeve.
It was because of that the Huang family was not very concerned about picking a daughter-in-law. As long as the daughter-in-law temperament was gentle and would close an eye on Huang De Xing’s indiscretions, they did not care about other stuff.
Shen Gui thought that since Shen Qing’s body was already dirty, it would be better to marry to the Huang family since Huang De Xing was not interested in females and would not touch Shen Qing. Naturally this secret would not be discovered. Shen Qing only need to have the Huang family’s daughter-in-law’s name and enjoy the wealth and splendour. And She Gui could also rely on the Huang family’s marriage and relationship and raise his career up another level.
Shen Gui naturally thought it was a good idea but Ren Wan Yun did not comply. Even if Shen Qing’s body was dirty, in Ren Wan Yun’s heart, she would still search for a good marriage for Shen Qing. Marrying to Huang De Xing was like living the life of a widow and she would definitely not use her daughter for this marriage. Because of this matter, Shen Gui and Ren Wan Yun had already argued for a long time. The couple’s relationship was already cold and now was even worse. Shen Gui almost never step into Cai Yun Yuan and spend all the time in the concubine’s courtyard.
“It would be best if only Fifth Young Lady and Eldest Young Lady were exchanged.” Cai Ju said resentfully.
The speaker had no particular intention but the listener read more meaning into it. When Ren Wan Yun heard what was spoken, her brows jumped and she suddenly looked towards Cai Ju, “What did you say!”
Cai Ju jumped in shock and stammered, “This servant said that if Fifth Young Lady and Second Young Lady marriage partners were exchanged, it would be best.”
“You said correctly!” Ren Wan Yun stood up suddenly and her face suddenly changed to a state of ecstasy as she said, “Exactly, as long as Qing-er’s and that little slut’s marriage are exchanged…” She mumbled, “It should be my Qing-er’s. This time let that little slut suffer the consequences of her actions.” As she said, she suddenly thought about something, “Bring my cloak over and head to Rong Jing Tang.”
“Whatever Furen go to Rong Jing Tang for?” Cai Ji and Xiang Lan was very confused with Ren Wan Yun’s sudden actions. But they only saw Ren Wan Yun grinning, “Naturally to get Old Furen to keep the good marriage proposal of the Wei family.”
In the winter day, the sunlight shone onto the plants at the window sill and reflected the colour light green. Even though daylight was extremely thin, it seemed as if it could break through if one was inattentive. Shen Miao was wearing a twin butterflies dress with a purple embroidered robe around her. The dark purple made her already fair skin seem transparent, and her pair of eyes were as clean as a fresh painting. Even by standing at the window without moving, the air of nobility came out lingered around her body.
Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang looked in a somewhat daze. Even them, who had served Shen Miao for so many years and had seen Shen Miao’s face for so many years, did not know why when they see Shen Miao now, there would be a feeling of unrecognition. That light magnificence appeared on this childlike young lady and became awe inspiring, and immaturity had become sombre and desolate.
“Young Lady seems to like wearing lotus purple clothes.” Bai Lu said, “Even though it looks good but commonly at this age, do not young ladies like brighter colours like pink and blue?”
Lotus purple was a solemn and royal colour, and unmarried young ladies other than the princesses in the Palace, would rarely wear such colours. First, it was easy to look elderly, second, it was difficult to bear this colour as it was easy to look like a child who wore adult’s clothes.
But Shen Miao undoubtedly had a tender little face but had an air and attitude of a Palace Lady wearing the clothes, making the maids puzzled.
Even though Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang lowered their voices, Shen Miao could listen to all of it. She smiled gently. Why did she liked to wear lotus purple? It was most probably because this colour could constantly remind her to be calm, reserved and to not be soft-hearted and hesitant.
When she was living in the Palace, she would wear the Empress’s attire every day and that gold colour was able to deter those palace concubines with sinister motives. She carried an air of an Empress and made others refrain from shooting at the rat for fear of breaking the vases, but that colour was really not suitable for her.
She married young to Fu Xiu Yi and had experienced many things that others at her age would not have. It was because of that that her innocent and foolish character was finally grinded to a pool of stagnant and placid water. Afterwards, she fought for favour with Mei Furen in the Inner Palace so that she could protect Fu Ming and Wan Yu. She also wanted to protect that brilliant yellow Empress’s attire but ultimately did not have anything left.
Evil purple took away the lustre of vermilion. It implied going against one’s higher ups and usurping the power. To often wear purple in this lifetime would imply that there would be a day, that she would snatch over the power that the Imperial family of Ming Qi was constantly thinking about, and step all over on those bandits and robbers.
But… Shen Miao suddenly thought of a handsome youth who always wore purple.
Evil purple took away the lustre of vermilion. Those below would mess up the top, but one did not know how about that unpredictable and mysterious eldest Di son of the Xie family. Would he also have the intention of usurping the power?
“Young Lady, it is not good!” Just as she was pondering, Jing Zhe rushed in from outside and said, “Young Lady, Mo Qing had gotten news from Chun Tao that Vice Minister of the Legislative Bureau’s Wei family came over to propose marriage, and Old Shen Furen had accepted the Wei family’s card.”
Shuang Jiang frowned as she asked, “Such a hurry. Whose marriage did the Wei family propose?”
“It is Young Lady.” Jing Zhe anxiously stomp her feet, “That Wei family situation was still not clear, how can Old Furen not ask Young Lady’s intention before accepting the card. Master and Furen do not know about it. This is obviously using coercion.”
Shuang Jiang all the while had held Old Shen Furen in contempt and naturally knew that Old Shen Furen’s actions would definitely not be good for Shen Miao. It was unclear if that Wei family was a good family, since Old Shen Furen would not let Shen Miao live her life easily.
“Young Lady, what can be done? This time, one must definitely write a letter to Master in haste.” Bai Lu’s expression exposed the anxiousness she had.
The maids in the room were busy beating their heads and scorching their brows but only Shen Miao was silent. After a moment, she lightly laughed under the surprised eyes of the maids and only said, “This is really odd. Even though the Vice Minister of the Legislative Bureau is a fourth ranking official, the Wei family’s financial situation is substantial and the Wei family’s eldest Di son, Wei Qian is also a talent. For grandmother to let such a good thing to land on my head, it made me feel flattered.”
“Young Lady?” Bai Lu was surprised, “Young Lady find that Wei family good?”
“More than good.” Shen Miao lightly said, “If Father returns and know that there is such a marriage proposal, there would not be any reason to refuse. For a young lady in an official family, Wei Qian is considered to be a husband worthy to entrust one’s life with.”
“How does Young Lady know?” Jing Zhe asked unconvincingly. Shen Miao was in the residence all day and even if she did go out, she only went to Guang Wen Tang. As for the family circumstances for whichever official family and nature of Di sons, there was no logic to how she would know about it. But the way it was spoken, she seemed to be very familiar with that person, which made Jing Zhe puzzled.
As for an unmarried female like Shen Miao, she naturally did not know which family’s son would be a good husband. But as Empress Shen, she knew clearly by heart which family’s juniors has talents and characters. Wei Qian was indeed a good talent and his character was considered upright. It was Wei family who came to propose marriage and Shen Miao would not believe in any way that Old Shen Furen would agree to this marriage.
Just at this moment, Gu Yu ran in from outside with a somewhat bewildered look, “Young Lady, Rong Jing Tang’s Xi-er came over to pass Old Furen’s words, to quickly take a trip to Rong Jing Tang.”
“The actions are really fast indeed.” Shen Miao’s eyes became slits and she smiled, “Then let us go over to take a look.”