Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 75: Intended Plan (Part 1)
Shen Xin and wife finally returned back to the residence in the evening. Accompanying them back to the residence was a carriage full of rewards that were bestowed by the Palace. If it was like before, these rewards would have definitely be kept at the Shen residence’s public fund but today, Luo Xue Yan let the servants directly carry those chests into the Western courtyard.
The rewards from the Palace were lavish and expensive, and the servants of the Eastern courtyard could only look on helplessly as the chests passed by their courtyard. From time to time, there were sounds of objects breaking coming from Rong Jing Tang. Obviously that extremely cheapo Old Shen Furen was furious about the matter, and was putting on a tantrum for others to see.
But people from the military did not care for such a tantrum. The chests still continued their journey and very efficiently, everything was quickly moved over.
Shen Miao was sitting in front of the table reading. She was reading all about Ming Qi’s political and legal orders, and those poetry books that Gu Yu and the rest brought for her were thrown aside without even glancing a look at them.
One could hear hearty laughter coming from outside the door, “Jiao Jiao!”
Shen Miao turned her head and saw Shen Xin striding in with Luo Xue Yan following closely behind. They probably came over here directly upon their return to the residence as they did not even change their clothes. Shen Qiu was right at the end and winked and made a face at her.
Shen Miao stood up and rushed towards them to greet, “Father, Mother, Eldest Brother.”
Shen Xin and wife could not help but be stunned with her gentle look. Shen Miao was not close with them and in the past when they returned, she would leave after a few words and would be very impatient. This appearance of harmony have not been seen since a very long time. However in that gentleness, there was a slight alienation but even though it was very small, Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan as parents were sensitive to it.
Shen Miao sighed slightly in her heart. She was unable to be like a normal fourteen year old girl and whine to Shen Xin but also could not pretend as if nothing had happened. In the previous life it was her that dragged the Shen family down so when she faced Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan, guilt filled her heart and truthfully it was hard to be close.
Luo Xue Yan felt that her heart paused a moment and the care and concern for her daughter quickly overshadowed that suspicious point. She took a few steps forward and grabbed Shen Miao’s hand before asking anxiously, “How is Jiao Jiao feeling? Is there anywhere that is uncomfortable?”
“It is all right.” Shen Miao smiled gently as she replied.
“Jiao Jiao, Father had gotten a few big chests of precious stuff from the Palace today. When you are better, go pick something you like in the morning. Those jewellery and whatever hairpin, I heard they are first-rated in the entire capital.” Shen Xin words were pleasing to hear. Seeing such a tall and muscular man carefully noticing his daughter’s favourites, it made some people feel weird.
Shen Miao smiled gently, “Thanking Father but this matter is not a rush. Just place those precious stuff in the safe in our courtyard. In the long course of time, I will go and take a pick if there was an interest one day.”
When the words were spoken, the expressions on the people in the room changed.
In the past, when Shen Xin carried such chests back, naturally he let Shen Miao select first and the rest would be sent to the public fund. He had always doted on his daughter and no one refuted his words, because these rewards were earned by Shen Xin’s spears and swords. But if it was like in the past, Shen Miao would not pick for herself first and let Shen Yue and Shen Qing finish picking, and after Second and Third household finished picking then she would start to select. This was because she was close to Second and Third household so that was what she did before.
But today, Shen Miao did not push it out and proposed to lock the chests in the safe in her own courtyard. Even though Shen Xin did not intend to place the rewards in the public fund, but Shen Miao change of attitude towards the rest of the Shen family was clear in the eyes of others.
Even if they had no knowledge of the matters in the inner courtyard, they could tell that there was something wrong with Shen Miao. Shen Qui opened his mouth and Luo Xue Yan held onto Shen Miao hands and spoke gently, “Jiao Jiao, did something happen? Tell mother about it. Now that Father and Mother have return, no one would dare to bully you.”
“No one dare to bully me.” Shen Miao smiled, “Nothing happened to me.”
“What exactly happen on the day when the Ancestral Hall caught fire?” Shen Xin asked, “Why were you the only one remaining in the hall?” Both the couple went to the Palace to see the Emperor and only left some people to investigate secretly but it was too late to pursue the details of this strange event.
“I made a mistake and was locked in the ancestral hall. Who knew that suddenly the ancestral hall was caught up in a fire…” She said reluctantly.
When Shen Qiu, who was standing behind, saw what was happening, he held back the words which sprang to his lips. He knew what was going on but Shen Miao purposely and repeatedly told him not to inform the matter to Shen Xin and wife. Even though he really wanted to tell Father and Mother the truth, but she said that if Shen Qiu did not kept his promise then she would not be bothered with him anymore. Thus he dismissed the idea in his head.
Shen Xin asked Shen Miao as expected, “What mistake did you make? No matter how big the mistake was, one should not locked you in the ancestral hall alone.”
“Oh.” Shen Miao lightly mentioned the gist of it, “I contradicted Second Shu in front of Grandmother and others.”
“What?” Luo Xue Yan raised her eyebrows in anger but did not reprimanded Shen Miao. She however said, “Number two is really living backwards. For a grown man to quarrel with a young female, is nothing but embarrassing!”
Gu Yu’s and Jing Zhe’s lips drew out as they continue serving in the room. It was not at all nonsense when one said that the First household would shield her shortcomings to the extreme. Even if Shen Miao were to beat up Shen Gui, it was feared that Shen Xin and wife would have blamed Shen Gui for making Shen Miao’s hands sore.
“Younger Sister, why did you contradict Second Shu?” Shen Qiu could not help but asked.
“Most likely because… I was not willing to marry.” Shen Miao said.
“Marry?” Luo Xue Yan and Shen Xin exclaimed out loud in shock one after the other. Luo Xue Yan looked at Shen Miao incredulously and asked, “Marry what person? How me and your father are not aware of it?”
Shen Miao lowered her head, “The Vice Minister of the Legislative Bureau’s Wei family proposed marriage for their Di son, Wei Qian. Birthday characters were already exchanged but I am not willing to marry so I contradicted in front of everyone.”
“Wei Qian…” Shen Xin pondered for a moment. “The Wei family is a large family and the Di son of the Wei family was considered to be a young talent. If one were to talk about it, it would be rather suitable for Jiao Jiao…” He was actually seriously considering this marriage proposal. As an official for so many years, even if he was not in the Ding capital, Shen Xin roughly understood his peers around seven to eight out of ten. If the Wei family had some wastrel son, he could see it out in a glance. Moreover Wei Qian was a rare and good son-in-law so in a short span of time, Shen Xin thought about some other things.
“Think about what!” Luo Xue Yan roared, “Even if he is the king of Heavens or even the Emperor, it will not do if Jiao Jiao is not willing!”
Luo Xue Yan’s words were shocking. She was a heroic female born in the Northwestern military lineage family and her marriage with Shen Xin was fought by herself. Thus Luo Xue Yan could not understand the logic of parents being the matchmakers. She continued, “And besides, both you and me were not aware of this matter at all. Who would know what kind of intention they had!” Ever since she saw Shen Miao trapped in the sea of fire while Ren Wan Yun maintained a peaceful state of mind, Luo Xue Yan was filled with disgust of the other people of the Shen family and all the good feelings she had were swept away.
Shen Xin also frowned. Based on theory, the Wei family marriage proposal was good. If it was arranged for Shen Miao, it was honestly not a loss. After all it was rare to be able to pick out such a young talent out. But since this was a good marriage, why did the Shen family hid it from him and his wife?
Shen Qiu’s mouth twitched. He knew what the matter was and was also mentally complaining about Shen Miao, for not speaking about the plan to exchange the marriages that the rest of the Shen family had. But he could only remain silent and he did not know why everytime Shen Miao swept her eyes at him, there was a kind of deterrent force. Shen Qiu himself was not willing to believe that he, one who was invincible in the battlefield, would be fearful of his own Young Sister.
“But Jiao Jiao,” Shen Xin spoke softly, “The eldest son of the Wei family is not bad. For you to be so against this marriage, was it because there is a man in your heart…” He hesitated. In the family reports from the Shen family, there were frequent news of Shen Miao being foolishly in love with Prince Ding. In this world, whichever male that Shen Miao liked, he and Luo Xue Yan would not obstruct but the Heaven’s family was different. Now was the moment where the princes were fighting for the position of the heir thus if the Shen family got involved in it, one was afraid that at end, the family would also be pulled into the mud.
But these kind of matters, Shen Miao, a young lady like that, would not understand. On the return road back, Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan had discussed numerous number of times on how to dispel the idea in Shen Miao’s head but at the end they came out with nothing. Shen Miao was stubborn in temperament and for things that she had decided, even nine bulls would not be able to pull her back. Moreover to tell a Young Lady to give up the person she liked, if it was anyone else, they would not accept it either.
Shen Miao was able to know what Shen Xin was trying to say with one look. She lightly said, “I do not have anyone in my heart, and was unwilling to marry because one heard that the Young Master of the Wei family already had someone in his heart. No matter how good he was, there would not be any light in one’s heart, so why do I need to become the person separating the love birds and destroy an unrelated person’s life?”
Shen Xin and wife felt somewhat dizzy due to Shen Miao’s words. Since when did Shen Miao speak in such a mature way, and with a manner like a female who had faced thousands of waves. Secondly, she said that there was no one in her heart?
With regards to Wei Qian, Shen Miao only gradually understood him when she became the Empress in her past lifetime. As there was no marriage proposal from the Wei family in the past lifetime, Wei Qian married his Biaomei and as a rare young talent in Ding capital, Wei Qian extremely doted on his wife and it was even spread around. For that to happen, Wei Qian and his Biaomei were certainly childhood sweethearts, so that Gentleman Wei’s heart was unwilling when the Wei family came over to propose.
“Jiao Jiao, do not you like… Like His Highness Prince Ding?” Luo Xue Yan bit her mouth but still asked at the end.
“Prince Ding?” Shen Miao heard it and lightly said, “His Highness Prince Ding is a descendant of the Heavens, how can I claim connections? In the beginning, I was ignorant but now have calmed down and know that I have overstepped the proper boundaries. At present, one no longer mention about the matter anymore.”