Edited by Halley & Larkspar
Chapter 10: Family Banquet (Part 2)
Wei Tan said, “ShangKe and ShangDong have been pacified and the Central Plains has been returned to the courts.” After finishing, he looked at me, “When I was returning, Duke Han was still the governor of LaiYang and Han Guang had married a new wife last month.”
I was astonished.
Wei Tan took a sip of tea, his expression was very natural as if he was merely speaking about what he saw and heard during the journey.
“So it is as such.” I nodded my head after a moment.
“I remembered that Furen married over to LaiYang at fifteen years of age.” He said.
“It is exactly so.” I replied.
Wei Tan’s eyes slightly narrowed, seemingly savouring the aroma of the tea, “I remember it was just after the Dragon Boat Festival (fifth day of the fifth month of the Lunar Calendar) and ChangAn was still peaceful.”
I was somewhat surprised. “Husband remembers?”
Wei Tan smiled lightly, “At that time, I was also in ChangAn and who does not know about the matter of Furen marrying off from the Palace?”
I thought about it and assented with a nod.
“Seems like it has been a long time ago,” Wei Tan said.
“En. It has been five years.” Ladling out the tea, I poured the warm tea into our respective cups.
My heart was somewhat unhappy. It was not because one was shunning one’s past, since it was not a secret anyways. However, Wei Tan had brought it up too straightforwardly and I disliked it.
“Now that Furen has entered the Wei doors, there is no need to think about matters of the past.” Wei Tan did not seem to have any intention of continuing as he placed the teacup down.
I smiled lightly, “Respectfully complying.”
In the main halls of the Wei Residence, the lanterns were brightly lit and rows of tables were lined side by side.
When Wei Tan and I arrived, the hall was already filled with people. All the elders and sons of the Wei family in Yong Capital had been invited to the family banquet. Everyone had joyously gathered and were chatting merrily.
“Meng Jing has arrived.” Wei Furen looked at Wei Tan and smiled.
Wei Tan went forward and bowed. “Greetings to Father and Mother.”
I also followed him and greeted them.
Wei Jue looked at Wei Tan before looking at me and smiled, “Meng Jing, it is a family banquet today, so there is no need to dine separately. Just sit with your new bride.”
The words seemed to be spoken intentionally as the people around giggled as they looked at us.
Wei Tan was unperturbed. He compiled before bringing me to sit down near Wei Jue’s seat.
Now that all those who needed to be present were present, Wei Furen called for the dishes to be served. After the wine was served, Wei Jue allowed everyone to greet me.
The first one was Wei Zhao.
He stood up from his seat, held the cup with both hands for a toast before giving me a bow. “Greeting Eldest Sao.”
I returned the greeting. “Second Shu.” After that I lifted my cup and drank a mouthful of wine.
When entering the city and the doors just now, I had no time to look at Wei Zhao in detail. Currently, standing before me, without the helmet and armor, wearing a white brocade robe, he actually seemed quite handsome. There were some similarities between Wei Tan’s and his facial features but it was not quite the same. His complexion was much fairer than Wei Tan’s and his brows were much more delicate. His voice was neither rough nor weak, it was very clear and suitable for idle talk. All this, coupled with Wei Zhao’s faintly discernible smile, he seemed to emanate an air of elegance.
As I mused, I furtively swept my gaze across the hall and felt certain that among the many people in the Wei family, only Wei Zhao was the handsome man.
In addition to Wei Tan and Wei Zhao, the children that Wei Jue brought along with him did not exceed five. They were all children of his brothers or the brothers of the clan.
Wei Xian was the oldest, over thirty years of age, with a face full of beard. He was followed by Wei Ping and Wei Gang, both in their twenties and finally Wei Lang and Wei Ci whose ages were similar to Wei Zhao.
Wei Xian, Wei Ping and Wei Gang all had families and when they came to greet, a large group of people came over. Their wives and children were all in Yong Capital and would often come over to the Wei Residence on normal days.Thus, I had long known them. Today, it was just to get acquainted with their husbands.
Wei Lang and Wei Ci did not have families and they just called out “Greeting Eldest Sao” before flinging their heads back to down the cup of wine. Wei Ci was smiling heartily, he seemed to have a good relationship with Wei Tan as he gave him a teasing look.
Once we were done with greeting one another, all the dishes were served. And after Wei Jue gave three toasts to everyone, we began to eat.
There were not many rules in Wei Jue’s family banquet, thus it was very lively. Wei Jue asked after Wei An’s classes, Wei Rong’s needlecraft and also the current situation of the other children. They answered each question, at times even accompanied it with a laugh. Wei Jue then spoke about the expedition and praised Wei Tan, his other sons and nephews.
Wei Furen was listening at the side and when she heard about Wei Tan’s matter, there was no change in her expression but upon hearing Wei Jue praise Wei Zhao, she could not hide the joy and pride on her face even if those praises contained only two words, ‘considerably good’.
Wei Rong and the rest of the children were naturally mischievous, so sometime into the banquet, the scene was a mayhem. Wei Jue, however, continued to drink and talk with the elders of the clan and did not care about it.
There were a number of people who came over to talk and toast Wei Tan and there were some females in the family clan that came over to me with enthusiasm. This meal was not lonely at all.
“Eldest Tang Brother is very fortunate.” Wei Ping’s wife, Madam Zhou laughed. “Tang Sao is able, virtuous and beautiful. We have not waited in vain for so many years.”
“Yes. It is difficult for Eldest Tang Brother to return, so stay for some more days.” Wei Xian’s wife, Madam Zhu, continued. “Tang Sao is a new bride but had to be home alone so Tang Brother must be feeling sorry for her.”
“Who said that I do not know how to feel anguish.” Wei Tan held a wine bowl in his hand and said profoundly, “Previously you all told Mother about the arduous difficulty of pining, this time did I not bring Zhong Mao and Zi Da back?”
The two women looked at each other and blushed before walking away with their sleeves covering their faces.
People coming over to toast continued, by now I had already drunk a lot of wine. Thus it was not long before I started to feel faint.
“Eldest Sao.” When Wei Rang came over with a bowl of wine, the smile on my face became ugly.
“Oh? Eldest Sao’s face is red…” Wei Rong stared at my face and blinked. Before she finished speaking, the wine bowl in her hands was placed down.
“Children are not allowed to drink alcohol.” Wei Tan said.
Wei Rong started to glare.
“I am not a child!” Wei Rong pouted, “Moreover Father said that one can drink alcohol today. Mother has also allowed it!”
“Oh?” Wei Tan was unmoved. “I will approve if you recite the Commandment of Women.”
The expression on Wei Rong’s face changed and just as she was about to speak, Wei Ci walked over and shouted, “Ah Rong? What is so good about drinking? Come with me to light up the fire performance.”
When Wei Rong heard those words, happiness returned to her face. She soon followed Wei Ci out but not before making a face at Wei Tan.
Just now Wei An had also come over. However, he did not follow the noisy pair and remained rooted to the spot.
“You are not going?” Wei Tan asked.
“Not going.” Wei An briefly replied.
Wei Tan looked at him and his lips curled into a soft arc.
“Come here.” He said.
Wei An walked over the table.
Wei Tan reached out, grabbed onto his shoulders and gave them a pat. Wei An was somewhat shaken as he used his strength to stand firmly.
“Not bad.” Wei Tan nodded. “It is much sturdier than when I left. Have you pulled apart the bow that I gave you?”
“En.” Wei An nodded.
“I have quite a number of Dong’s army’s crossbows and will give them to you tomorrow,” said Wei Tan.
Those words brightened Wei An’s eyes ever so slightly.
“En,” he said.
“An!” At this moment, Wei Ci’s voice suddenly rang from the front of the hall. He smiled as he waved his hands towards this direction. “Quickly come! The fire performance is really interesting!”
Wei An looked at Wei Tan.
“Go on.” Wei Tan smiled gently.
Wei An nodded and turned around to head out.
I watched as Wei An left, I couldn’t help feel that this Youngest Shu was absolutely fantastic. Upon turning back, I discovered that Wei Tan was looking at me.
“Drunk?” He asked.
I softly ridiculed and shook my head but after a moment nodded.
Wei Tan looked at me for a while, “Don’t drink anymore. If they come to toast, then give it to me.”
After the family banquet had finally ended, my footsteps had become wobbly. My mind was only sober enough to bid everyone goodbye without breaching courtesy. During my journey back to the courtyard, the lanterns in the servant’s hand seemed to be swaying, I was in a daze.
With one hand on my shoulder, Wei Tan’s voice was heard by my ear, “That is a corridor pillar.”
Being in a daze, I took a closer look. Indeed, that was a dark pillar in front of me and I almost ran into it.
“Dizzy?” Wei Tan asked.
I was already feeling so dizzy that I could not nod and could only reply ambiguously, “En…”
Wei Tan no longer spoke as he held my arms and led me onwards.
When I finally felt that I was lying on the couch, I almost let out a comfortable sigh due to the softness of the mattress.
“Bring over some hangover soup.” I heard Wei Tan instructing someone.
I squinted and saw a figure moving and swaying above me as those wide shoulders blocked the candlelight.
That shadow stayed there, seemingly far yet near, seemingly blurry yet clear.
Would he come over? And continue doing the things that were not done that night?
In this chaotic state, I actually thought about these questions. However, before I could think more about it, the shadow in front of me became thicker and heavier and I slowly closed my eyes.
Translator’s note: To all readers, do come back to this chapter to read the tea part when you’ve finished this novel. To me, the first read is all about our FL but the second is for the ML since I can now understand why he behaved as such. There are many things that were implied and we would only scratch our heads and move on since it was written from our FL’s perspective. FL doesn’t know = We don’t know
And one other thing… FL is a wolf!!!! SHE LIKES THE ML’S BODY!!! Look at how she was staring at our ML!
Side note… I wonder if the men in ancient times trimmed their brows. There are always descriptions of their handsome/ beautiful brows.