Daughter-in-Law of a Noble House: Chapter 9

There’s something strange in this novel… Usually the husband’s surname will be used with the Furen title and the female’s maiden surname will be used with Madam.

Wei Jue’s wife
Wei Furen or Madam Guo

But in this novel, the author indicated the female’s maiden surname instead. So in the raws, it became Guo Furen (Wei Jue’s wife) and Fu Furen (Wei Tan’s wife aka FL). It is strange so I have changed all of it to the correct terms in the translation instead of what was usually indicated in the raws.

Edited by Halley

Chapter 9: Returning Back to the City

With Wei Jue’s return, the Heavenly Son personally left the city to receive him. Under the beautiful blue skies, I accompanied Guo Furen as I watched the tens of thousands of horses amidst the dust, returning from the wilderness.

“Arrived!” Wei Rong, who was behind, said suddenly.

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Daughter-in-Law of a Noble House: Chapter 8

Edited by Halley

Chapter 8: Business

On this fine weathered day, there were a number of people praying in the temple.

Upon knowing that the new bride of the Prime Minister’s residence was coming over to pray, the temple acolyte quickly came over to greet. I politely exchanged some greeting words before following him in.

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Daughter-in-Law of a Noble House: Chapter 7

Edited by Halley

Chapter 7: Matters of the Past

I was not angry with Yu Ying’s ‘slip of the tongue’. However when I heard about this matter, I was indeed surprised.

Wei Tan was twenty-five years old this year. Over these years, he had not married and I have not heard of him taking in any concubines. I was once perplexed but did not know about his past with Empress Xu.

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Daughter-in-Law of a Noble House: Chapter 6 (Part 2)

Edited by Halley & Larkspur

Chapter 6: Birthday Banquet (Part 2)

Wei Rong did not bring me to Wei An’s courtyard but nearby the kitchens. It was next to the firewood store. There was a simple wooden room and a small black burning kiln a few steps away.

Before reaching the doors, I heard sounds of wood knocking from inside.

Wei An wore a single robe and sat on a low bed, engrossed in wedging a piece of wood into a plank. He was so engrossed that sweat-drenched his hair.

“You are playing these things again. Have you memorized the homework the teacher has given out?” Wei Rong said.

Wei An looked up and was startled upon seeing Wei Rong and I standing at the door.

“It is none of your business.” Wei An said faintly and rose to greet me, “Eldest Sao.” Finishing, he continued to keep his head lowered to fiddle.

Wei Rong seemed to be used to it, she pouted.

I looked at Wei An’s handicraft and felt that it was interesting. After looking around, one saw that the small wooden room was filled with wood, bamboo and some odd-looking half-completed items on the floor. I saw that there was a variety of ceramics on a wooden shelf. There were small people and animals too.

“These are made by Fourth Shu?” I asked curiously.

“En.” Wei An answered.

I picked up one of them, “ This dog is truly well made.”

“It’s a tiger.” Wei An said.

I was embarrassed and placed the item back before picking up another, “This deer is realistic.”

“It’s a horse.”

“This female…”

“It’s a male.”

I turned my head back and saw that Wei An was looking at me. His face was a bit red, seemingly annoyed.

“Male… Hahaha…” Wei Rong, who was at the side, laughed so hard that she was gasping.

I was somewhat embarrassed and left the wooden shelf to walk to Wei An. I looked at the pieces of wood that Wei An was putting together and after understanding for a while, I was sure that there was no mistake before I spoke, “You are making a carriage?”

Wei An did not raise his head, “En.”

I looked again. “It does not seem to be similar to the usual ones.”

“Those are not good enough.” Wei An wiped his sweat, “Those spoil easily and the axles are not effective. Upon encountering muddy waters, it would get stuck on the road.”

Wei Rong disapproved, “All carriages are like this. Horses pull it, humans drive it. There is no need for you to spend this much thought on it.

Wei An ignored her.

I felt that I was the one making Wei An uncomfortable and thought that it was better that I left sooner, thus I handed the bag of new clothes to Wei An, “These are the new clothes that are made for Fourth Shu. May Fourth Shu accept it.”

Wei An looked at that cloth bag in surprise, his hands stopped moving.

“It is made by Eldest Sao, quickly give thanks.” Wei Rong said.

I quickly said to Wei Rong, “Fourth Shu is busy. Let’s not disturb him.” After finishing, I pulled her and turned around to leave.

***

If it was said that the Wei family could have an audience with the Emperor due to a new bride entering the family, then I was no longer surprised that during Wei Furen’s birthday banquet, hundreds of official families were invited.

In front of the gates of the Prime Minister’s residence, horse carriages were lined up like a long dragon. In addition to the families of important officials in court, there were many families from Wei Jue’s barracks. Wei Furen highly valued them and especially vacated the back gardens to entertain them. She greeted the guest at the hall and especially sent me to receive them, fearing that they would be treated coldly.

Looking at the garden that was filled with women who were talking cheerfully and wittily, I could not help but think of those officials that helped Wei Jue besiege cities. Wei Jue also treated them very well, at least he had used all means to win them over.

Being warm and urging others to drink, was a must-have technique for the noble women of ChangAn. Previously, I followed Mother and thus had long mastered it without a teacher. Due to the hardship and chaos of war, many military officials only set up families after Wei Jue chose a capital thus there were very few women from the countryside and many of them were neat looking daughters of ornamental scholars.

This made me relax a lot. At least they could understand my graceful words of persuasion to eat.

After being busy for a while, one saw that there were fewer guests streaming in and felt exhausted. After handing it over to the servants, I headed to the back of the hall for a drink.

“Ah Jin?” Just as one went up the stairs, a voice called out from behind.

Upon turning back, one saw a young woman standing behind, looking at me with a face full of questions.

I looked at her face and remembered, “Yu Ying?”

A smile appeared on Yu Ying’s face and she came forward to grip my sleeves, speaking with excitement, “Ah Jin, I indeed did not recognise incorrectly!”

I looked at her and likewise smiled gently.

Qiao Yu Ying is the daughter of Qiao Zhen, the Superintendent of State Visits (ref: 大行令), and was one of my playmates in ChangAn. After coming to Yong Province, I had seen numerous familiar faces and they were all those who used to be in court with Father. This was not difficult to explain since the Heavenly Son had moved the capital out of ChangAn, the hundreds of officials would also follow. However, Yu Ying was the second female that I was acquainted with after Xu Ping and this lifted my spirits.

“Where are you now? Are your parents well?” I held her hand and asked.

The smile on Yu Ying’s face dimmed, “Father is still around. Mother…” She did not continue and lowered her head to wipe her eyes.

I looked at her expression and understood that she was not doing well.

Yu Ying told me when ChangAn was being attacked by troops, her family fled to avoid the disaster. In the midst of the chaos, her mother and younger brother were killed by roving bandits. She followed her father and drifted through many places until they heard that the Heavenly Son declared Yong Province as the capital before returning. Wei Jue reinstated Yu Ying’s father’s official position, the Superintendent of State Visits (大行令). Yu Ying was now married to Wei Jue’s Division General and was currently settling down.

Upon hearing her narration, it was hard for me to avoid sobbing. However, similar stories existed everywhere. After listening to too many, even the one who loved to cry would become numb.

I softly sighed and could only gently touch Yu Ying’s hands while comforting, “The deceased have departed and you are safe. Furen would be able to rest contentedly.”

Yu Ying nodded and looked up at me. “Ah Jin, at that time you…” She just started speaking when she stopped and there was a look of cowardly yet ashamed inquiry in her eyes.

I knew what she wanted to ask and shook my head, “Yu Ying, there is no longer the need to mention the past.”

Yu Ying’s eyes slightly welled up with tears and after a few moments, she took a deep breath and smiled, “You are right, the past has passed. Ah Jin is now living well. One heard that you are married to Prime Minister Wei’s Eldest Young Master.”

I nodded in reply.

“How does Eldest Young Master treat you?” Yu Ying’s face was filled with curiosity and envy. “One heard that the Prime Minister mentioned you by name as the Daughter-in-Law! Ah Jin you are really amazing. One needs to know that there are numerous people in Yong Capital that want to marry their daughters off to Eldest Young Master!”

She was still similar to in the past where she liked to enquire about all sorts of things but she had skilfully avoided my past of marrying Lai Yang. Those years were neither short nor long but were able to turn an ignorant young girl into a tactful married woman.

After a change in topic, Yu Ying was obviously much more excited and pulled me over to speak some more.

“Ah Jin, did you see Eldest Young Master in ChangAn before?” Yu Ying asked.

“No.” I shook my head.

“I have seen before.” Yu Ying giggled, “Do you still remember when the Late Emperor once selected noble youths into the Yu Lin troops?”

Upon seeing my surprised look, she was somewhat proud, “Ah Jin, that year you were restricted within the Palace with the Empress Dowager. Didn’t you see those youths of Yu Lin? Eldest Young Master was one of them.”

“Really?” This indeed made me curious because no one had told me before.

“I have personally seen it.” Yu Ying said, “I also know who Eldest Young Master liked at that time…”

My gaze came to a halt.

Yu Ying’s face changed, like she was aware of her slip of the tongue, and she covered her mouth with her hands.

“Oh?” I calmly smiled as I asked, “Who?”

Yu Ying’s expression was somewhat awkward and smiled embarrassingly, “Ah Jin, if I say it out, you must not take it to heart.” After which, she bit her lips and whispered to my ears, “It is Older Sister Xu Ping. That time I entered the Palace for a banquet with Mother and Older Sister Xu entrusted me to pass a handkerchief to Eldest Young Master.”

I was startled and thought back to Empress Xu’s eyes quietly watching during the audience with the Emperor.

Daughter-in-Law of a Noble House: Chapter 6 (Part 1)

Edited by Halley & Larkspur

Chapter 6: Birthday Banquet (Part 1)

Although the servants were bought for me, Wei Furen was the matriarch of the family.

During the journey, I had thought about the plea and led Ah Yuan to Wei Furen upon returning to the residence to tell her the story, from the past up till now, about the deep sentiments between master and servant and the separation between the living and dead. I did not conceal the matter of giving Ah Huan gold as that was from my dowry and naturally, it was up to my willingness to give.

I had the abilities of a good lobbyist and also somewhat added details to make the story interesting thus when Wei Furen had finished listening to it, she had an expression of being somewhat moved.

She took a look at Ah Yuan, whose head was lowered all along, and sighed, “Since it is an old acquaintance and it is difficult to be reunited, it is appropriate for one to lend a helping hand. Let this maid stay by your side then.”

After giving my thanks, I officially brought Ah Yuan into the Wei residence.

When old friends meet, a long talk was unavoidable.

That very night, Ah Yuan and I huddled together on the bed and chatted under the quilt, just like when we were back in the Fu residence.

After listening to what I had experienced, her eyes widened and she sobbed uncontrollably.

“That… How does Eldest Young Master treat NiuJun?” After thinking about it for a long time, she suddenly asked.

I smiled, “There is nothing good or bad. My interaction with him has not exceeded a day.”

Ah Yuan blushed and smiled in embarrassment.

“NiuJun,” she bit her lips before whispering with hesitation. “I have once seen Young Master Ji Yuan.”

When this name was mentioned, the smile on my face froze.

“Oh? When?” My voice sounded calm.

“Last year at Zhang Province, when one left the countryside.” Ah Yuan carefully watched my expression. “At that time he was under the tutelage of the HeBei’s Pang Cuo, seemingly an advisor. At that time we were walking and he walked past us from the opposite direction, leading many troops.”

I did not know what to say and only spoke after a moment, “He was considered to be acquainted with you all, yet he was unwilling to help?

Ah Yuan shook her head, “Young Master once helped us, that day he especially looked for us and stuffed a bag of money and valuables in Father’s hands. However, Father was unwilling to accept and said that he had vowed not to accept favours from people who turned one’s back against righteousness.”

My heart warmed. This was indeed what Li Shang would do. Father had not misread him.

“I understand. In the future, do not mention him in the residence again.” I said faintly.

“I understand.” Ah Yuan nodded her head and smiled, “NiuJun, Father had previously said that a physiognomist had gone to the residence to take a look at you. He had said that you have a face of good fortune.”

“Oh?”

“It is true.” Ah Yuan said, “NiuJun, first there was the Empress Dowager, then one encountered the Wei family thereafter. It is always misfortunes turning into blessings.”

I smile in ridicule. The Empress Dowager indeed saved my life but for the Wei family… One fears that one was unable to say precisely if it was a blessing or misfortune.

Ah Yuan still wanted to speak but I nudged her and interrupted, “All right, it is not early anymore, time to rest. Don’t forget that this is not the Fu residence.”

Ah Yuan pouted and went off the bed.

“Oh yes. Ah Yuan.” Just as she was leaving, I called out.

“Hmm?” Ah Yuan turned her head.

I said with a smile, “In the future I am Furen. Don’t make a mistake in addressing.”

Ah Yuan was startled and after a moment nodded her head before leaving.

That night, even though I was calm, I was unable to sleep well at all.

In the dreams, there was always a figure appearing in front of me, either playing chess, playing the Qin or chatting with others. Without paying much attention, he would turn his head to look at me and that handsome brows would suddenly smile with some craftiness.

“… Ah Qian, are my clothes nice?” That is my voice.

“… Ah Qian, I heard that you’ve bought a white horse. Will you lend it to me tomorrow to pull a cart?”

“… Ah Qian, I sold a plum bottle yesterday. Guess how much for? I only wanted to sell it for a hundred coins but that person used a hundred and fifty coins to buy it from me!”

“Ah Qian. Ah Qian…”

There were a lot of voices. I watched as Ah Qian rode his white horse, wearing brand new wedding clothes as a carriage followed behind him. An unfamiliar female sitting inside…

I woke up from my dream and gasped slightly.

What appeared before my eyes was the vast and deep night, and the soft insects called outside the windows.

“It was a dream…” I said to myself but my hands unconsciously touched my empty wrist. I lifted my quilt and lit the candle before opening my jewelry box. However, I was unable to find the thing I was looking for even after searching for a while.

Anxiety rose in my heart and I turned around to rummage through the unopened bundles. Finally, in a pile of old clothes, one found a small peach talisman. The handiwork was simple but there was a ‘Jin’ word and a ‘Qian’ word linked together.

I felt as if one was relieved from a burden and closed my eyes to take deep breaths while holding it tightly in my palms.

Tears suddenly sprang out and they could not be stopped.

The moonlight was like water, shining through the window still. I was able to see my shadow shrinking on the ground, just as helpless as I was those years back.

“It is in the past. It has passed. You will forget…” Mother’s words seemed to ring softly and soothingly by my ears.

As each day passed, in a blink of an eye, one month had passed.

Almost half of spring was over and the weather had already begun to heat up.

I lived my days in the Wei residence considerably well. Although Wei Furen was the matriarch, she was a person who was well versed in managing a family and handled the household affairs thoroughly with consideration. I knew that I had newly arrived and was hence very courteous to everyone and thus lived in harmony with everyone.

Ah Huan had sent some news over. He had found a small house with a courtyard in the west of the city and had moved over with Li Shang. He also invited a physician over specially for Li Shang. Two days ago, I allowed Ah Yuan a visit and upon her return, she said that Li Shang’s illness was much better and he could now get out of bed.

Not long after, there was news from the East. Wei Jue had killed Dong Kuang and his three sons, incorporating their generals and soldiers into the troops and would be able to return to Yong Capital in the coming month. This piece of news stirred up the family’s spirits and Wei Furen even decided what type of banquet should be held on the day of Wei Jue’s return.

“Eldest Sao, Eldest Brother and Second Older Brother are all coming back!” Wei Rong smiled as she said to me.

I smiled and instructed Ah Yuan to give her a newly made outer garment, “It is Furen’s fortieth birthday banquet in two days. Keep these new clothes well and do not ruin them again.”

Wei Rong stuck her tongue out and looked curiously at the new clothes before smiling, “Eldest Sao is really good.”

I smiled, “Where is Fourth Shu? I have new clothes for him too but I do not seem to see him.”

“He?” Wei Rong raised her brows, “Most likely playing with those oddments.”

“Oddments?” I was astounded.

“Yes.” Wei Rong seemed to be somewhat scornful but smiled mysteriously when looking at me, “Eldest Sao still does not know about it? I will bring Eldest Sao over to take a look.”

Although I was the new bride of the Wei residence, I was after all a newcomer and would not be family with many matters or people. Wei An was one of them.

Logically speaking, Wei An and Wei Tan were born from the same Mother and should hence have a closer relationship with me. His courtyard was near Wei Tan’s courtyard but he rarely appeared and would often have a cold expression during greetings and would only speak a few words. I did not know the reason and also did not like to plaster on a cold expression, thus one let Wei An go with such an attitude.

Daughter-in-Law of a Noble House: Chapter 5

My apologies… Did not set the post to release properly on Monday. 😦

Edited by Halley & Larkspur

Chapter 5: Labour Market

Wei Tan did not have many servants and all of them were brought along to the expedition. After the audience with the Heavenly One, Wei Furen instructed the steward to allocate servants in my courtyard.

Even though there was an abundance of servants in the Wei family, there was a shortage of maids. The steward asked for my opinion with great difficulty and I amicably replied that since it was the case, it was better to buy some from the labour market since I had not brought any maids over.

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Daughter-in-Law of a Noble House: Chapter 4

Edited by Halley & Larkspur

Chapter 4: Paying Respects

It was a troubling matter when a bride met the elders. Before entering the city, I had already dressed up in the inn.

YiZhuMu, Empress Dowager Liu, had treated me very well and personally conferred my dowry before her death. All the jewelries were items from the Palace. I did not use any gold or pearl hair ornaments as they were too eye-catching. One could not show off nor be too unadorned. Instead, one had to show one’s family influence in a low profile manner.

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Daughter-in-Law of a Noble House: Chapter 3

Edited by Halley & Larkspur

Chapter 3: Ambushed

I discovered that the horse carriage was travelling along the very road that was used to send me to the Wei camp a few days ago. When the familiar city in the distance appeared before my eyes, for a long time, I held the curtain up and looked at it.

The reason why I survived that year was due to my YiZhuMu (aka paternal Grandaunt), Empress Dowager Liu. Perhaps Father had long anticipated it, as he sent me into the Palace to accompany the Empress Dowager the day before. When the Minister of Justice came over, the Empress Dowager ordered people to deadlock the Palace door. Separated by a wall, she cursed and berated those that came together with the Late Emperor and Empress Bian.

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