Shen Yi Yao and Yan Yan received the Zhenguo Duke’s message and hurried over to the Zhenguo Duke Estate.
The entire household gathered in one hall.
After Shen Yi Yao listened to the situation, her legs collapsed from under her. Yan Yan pulled her up and plopped her down in a chair.
“What should we do….” Shen Yi Yao’s face was filled with fear and shame. “I will go divorce him right away!”
The Zhenguo Duke waved his hand, “It’s already too late to bring up divorce. The situation is urgent, and if the information comes out right after the divorce, everyone would know we were aware of the matter. Furthermore, his going to the Pingsha Pass was arranged by our household. It would be hard to avoid responsibility.”
“It’s all your daughter’s fault for being so blind and picking such a person!”
Shen Yi Yao looked at her aged parents and her worried brother and his wife. She then looked at her daughter and suddenly felt grief well up from her heart. She started crying inconsolably. “It’s all my fault. I’ve implicated my children and also implicated my household….”
Shen Ding spoke: “It’s no use saying all this now. What’s most important is to figure out a way to get through this.”
“What way is there?” Second Madam Shen said while furrowing her brows tightly: “Unless we agree to his terms.”
“That is absolutely impossible. Our Shen household will never do something so disloyal and so unjust that will cause our descendants to spit on us! The Zhenguo Duke Estate’s reputation built up over many generations cannot be ruined overnight. We must live up to those under our banner, live up to the soldiers who died at the Pingsha Pass to protect their country, live up to the citizens of this nation, and live up to our own conscience! Don’t bring up this sort of suggestion in the future. The Shen household’s people will let themselves be eradicated before doing something like that!”
Second Madam Shen turned pale and she stammered: “Dad, I wasn’t thinking of doing so. I was just mentioning it in passing.”
As a daughter-in-law of the Shen household, Second Madam Shen worked for the sake of the Shen household’s glory. However, she hadn’t grown up there and thus didn’t understand the righteousness engraved into their men’s bones.
The men of the household had all grown up listening to the deeds of their ancestors. The honor and responsibility of the Shen household thus became engraved in their bones. Although they remained neutral in many things, they would never hesitate on major matters of right and wrong.
In the end, they weren’t able to come up with a solution. Luckily the other side had underestimated the speed of their information network, and had given them plenty of time. Therefore, they still had some time to come up with something.
No one slept well that night.
After Shen Yi Yao returned, although she didn’t show it, her heart remained unsettled and frightened. Yan Yan was also very quiet. She understood better than Shen Yi Yao the intricacies involved, so she had more to think about.
Actually, if it weren’t for her mom, herself and Ah Mo, the Zhenguo Duke Estate would be fine on its own. They just needed to abandon the three of them. Based on the Zhenguo Duke Estate’s contributions and her grandfather’s years of loyal service, by placing justice before family, his majesty would definitely not blame the Shen household. After all, it wasn’t like the disagreement between the Zhenguo Duke and his son-in-law was a secret.
However, her grandfather, aunt or uncle never mentioned this method.
The Shen household had clearly been implicated by them!
What was family?
Family was something that couldn’t be abandoned, even in the face of death!
Yan Yan had gone to bed early. The maids saw that her mood wasn’t good after coming back from the Zhenguo Duke Estate, and tiptoed around carefully.
Yan Yan lay there for a long time but was unable to fall asleep. She felt very restless, and had the urge to mess something up.
She tossed and turned for a while before deciding she might as well get up. She didn’t alert the maid on duty and changed into a simple training outfit. She put a black cloak around herself and snuck out of the Ningxiang Chambers.
Yan Yan’s lightweight arts were pretty good now. After figuring out the directions, she set off swiftly.
The streets of the inner city were extremely quiet.
The wind was blowing and the moon was bright. The nightscape was alluring, with the occasional sounds of the night watch ringing out.
Luo Huai Yuan had mentioned which courtyard he lived in to Yan Yan before.
He had ulterior motives in doing so, wanting to express how much he cared about her. He said that the fourth prince estate’s main residence remained uninhabited, awaiting its mistress. Therefore, Yan Yan knew the general location of Luo Huai Yuan’s courtyard.
After sneaking in, the fourth prince estate’s guards were scattered. Security wasn’t tight at all.
Passing by the main residence, she noticed it was surrounded heavily by guards. There were even waves of guards constantly patrolling. Yan Yan merely smiled and continued past it.
This cunning person even knew to put up a smokescreen!
After arriving at the location, everything was quiet.
Yan Yan found a window and lightly jolted it with her hand. The window latch loosened and she agilely climbed inside.
The room was enveloped in the hazy moonlight and it was still possible to make out the details.
Yan Yan went over to the bed, wanting to wake Luo Huai Yuan up and have him light a lamp.
She bent over to wake him but realized the bed was empty. She was about to straighten up when something hard was pressed against her shoulder area.
A mocking voice sounded out. “Running over to my place in the middle of the night? Don’t tell me you came here for a stroll!”
The two voices rang out at the same time.
“Yan Yan? Why are you here?” His voice suddenly turned high pitched and he threw aside the musket in his hand. He then moved in for a hug. “Wuwuwuwu, did you come because you missed me? If I had known you’d come, I would have washed myself clean, put on some sexy pajamas and waited for you in bed.”
Yan Yan didn’t know what sexy pajamas were but she knew this fellow definitely was speaking rubbish.
Before she could speak, he had already mindlessly moved in for a kiss.
“I missed you and was just wondering if I should go visit you tonight. Looks like our thoughts are really in tune!”
This fellow continued with his kissing while expressing his yearning for her. Against Luo Huai Yuan’s earth-shattering assault, Yan Yan was completely defenseless. Firstly this fellow was large and there was no avoiding him. Secondly, this fellow was exceptionally talented. He could shoot his mouth off, making you dizzy, while doing his own thing on the side. He was also thick-skinned and couldn’t be pushed away.
Therefore, when Yan Yan finally managed to push him away, her small mouth was already sore from being kissed.
“Keep it up and I’ll get angry. Light the lamp, I have something to tell you.”
Only then did Luo Huai Yuan reluctantly release his hand and light the lamp.
Under the faint yellow light, the room became visible to Yan Yan’s eyes. This bedroom was decorated very simply. The only eye-catching thing was the extremely large bed. This bed would probably fit five Luo Huai Yuans with room to spare.
“What’s the matter? Let’s sit down and talk.”
Luo Huai Yuan pulled Yan Yan’s hand and took her to sit on the bed.
Outside, Xiao An Zi heard the movements and walked in while rubbing his eyes. After seeing Yan Yan who was sitting on the bed, he rubbed his eyes again in disbelief.
Luo Huai Yuan glared at him, “What are you looking at? Can’t you see that your household’s little consort has come? Why aren’t you bringing good food and drink over!?”
Xiao An Zi hurriedly nodded and ran off in terror.
This, this, his household’s consort truly wasn’t normal. His highness sneaking into the miss’s chambers in the middle of the night was abnormal enough. Unexpectedly, there was someone who snuck into the guy’s bedroom in the middle of the night. How did she manage to sneak in?
Xiao An Zi’s mind was filled with question marks.
“Why are you spouting nonsense!?”
Luo Huai Yuan was all smiles as he said: “What nonsense? You’re getting married to me in a few months. We’ll be able to be together forever then.”
His smile looked pure and innocent. This sort of smile was rarely seen on his face. Normally his smile would be wily or profound, or wicked with squinted eyes.
Regardless, his messing around was never anything positive.
However, could you say he wasn’t a good person? Some of his actions could truly be criticized, but at least he was truly devoted to Yan Yan. He fell just short of offering up everyting to her.
Yan Yan’s heart wasn’t made of stone. She had long since been moved by this sort of devotion that sought nothing in return. During this period of time, she would occasionally imagine her days after marriage. She felt she would be extremely happy and blessed.
However, this sort of happiness was once again going to be taken from her….
Her gaze couldn’t help but become sorrowful.
Luo Huai Yuan felt a surge of panic. This sort of sorrow made him recall his past life.
The Yun consort of his past life always put on an extremely tough front towards others, but Luo Huai Yuan had also seen her lonely and desolate appearance before. The occasional sadness she revealed made his heart tremble.
He smiled splendidly and hurriedly interrupted: “What happened to you? Who bullied you? Tell you husband and I’ll crush them to pieces to relieve your anger.”
He arrogantly made a crushing gesture.
Yan Yan couldn’t help but want to laugh. Her sorrow and happiness combined into a weird expression.
“Luo Huai Yuan, I’m serious. You have to think of a way to reject our wedding. I can no longer marry you….”
His eyes were burning. Yan Yan didn’t dare meet his gaze and couldn’t help but lower her head.
“What’s going on with you? What’s wrong? Are you regretting it and no longer want to marry me? Has someone else caught your eye? You disloyal wench, my devotion was all in vain. Tell me who he is, I promise I won’t beat him to death….”
“Stop messing around, I’m serious!”
Only now did Luo Huai Yuan’s expression freeze, his gaze becoming scarily deep.
He slowly let out a breath and maintained an obscure smile. “Fine, since you are serious, then tell me the reason.”
Yan Yan wasn’t planning on hiding it from him. This was something she had decided after a lot of thought.
She told Luo Huai Yuan everything about the situation.
After listening, Luo Huai Yuan looked flabbergasted.
“This is why you can’t marry me? What does your dad’s actions have to do with you? It’s fine, it’s fine. Since we’ve settled the marriage, you are no longer part of the Yan household in name. You are Luo Huai Yuan’s wife. Even if everyone gets implicated, you won’t be. Don’t be scared, I’m not afraid of getting involved. I’m a prince that everyone looks down upon anyway. It’s not a big deal to have a wife descended from a sinner. This is what’s meant by not being afraid of feeling itchy after getting too many lice.”
“But I cannot abandon my mom, and also Ah Mo.”
Yan Yan still didn’t dare look at Luo Huai Yuan. She just spoke quietly in a soft and fleeting voice. “This matter resulted in the Yan household implicating the Zhenguo Duke Estate. Even if I’m unwilling, I cannot avoid the fact that my surname is Yan. I cannot let my grandfather and the Shen household suffer unfair treatment due to us. I’m prepared to discuss with my mom tomorrow, and have the three of us denounce Yan Ting’s actions while cutting off our relationship with the Shen household.”
This was the only way Yan Yan could think of to preserve the Zhenguo Duke Estate.
Since her grandfather’s side wasn’t willing to do so, they would do it for them. There was no reason to allow the Zhenguo Duke’s foundations to be ruined by Yan Ting!
Luo Huai Yuan became stirred up, “Did your head get jammed by a door or what? Why do you, aunt and little Ah Mo have to bear responsibility of Yan Ting’s evils?”
But Yan Yan’s expression was truly serious. Luo Huai Yuan also roughly considered it and this was truly the only available method at the moment. If the Shen household exposed this matter, it would represent the Zhenguo Duke’s position. Based on his years of service, his majesty wouldn’t blame them.
Even if he does, the Shen household still had their trump card of pardon that allowed them to avoid death.
But what about Yan Yan, Shen Yi Yao and Yan Mo?
To signify the Zhenguo Duke’s position, they would only have one outcome: to use death to prove their innocence!
Only by tragically dying could they prove the Shen household was truly unrelated to this matter.
Luo Huai Yuan could even imagine that if this was truly set in motion, Shen Yi Yao and the children would definitely commit suicide, using this method of severing relationships to announce Yan Ting’s crimes to the world.
Once that happened, of course there wouldn’t be anyone bringing up the father-in-law. Didn’t his daughter, granddaughter and grandson all die to show their sincerity?
Public opinion and people’s hearts were both sympathetic towards the weak. Although this method was perverse, it was truly useful. Perhaps the three of them would have died unjustly, but don’t forget this era was one were crimes implicated others. It was their fault for having such a husband and father.
Ever since Yan Ting committed this crime, it was like a ticking bomb that was only revealed now. It was unexpected that the moment it was revealed, it would blow everyone up like a bolt from the blue.
“Let me think, let me think. There has to be another way….”