The family spent half the night discussing before finally deciding to use the Jing Consort as their entry point.
This was something unavoidable. The Jing Prince was antisocial and spoke little. Asking the mistress of the house, and having her bring it up shouldn’t be a big deal, right?
At this point, the Li family seemed to have forgotten that when putting it nicely this was trying to become a tighter knit family, but putting it harshly it was sending a concubine to the door. Not just that, they were asking the main wife for help. Which household’s mistress would be dumb enough to bring in a little cousin concubine as competition?
Qi-Shi also knew that her family’s actions were a little preposterous, but her husband didn’t have the face to discuss it with his nephew. Therefore, this matter was left to the women. The Li family also knew that Qi-Shi wasn’t good with words, and sent Concubine He along with her.
The Jing Consort sat there, her face so rigid she almost failed to maintain her smile.
Even without considering the Jing Prince’s attitude from last night, wasn’t this aunt a little too oblivious?
Qi-Shi was still sobbing and crying over there, “Consort, this lowly one also knows this request is a little preposterous, but my hopeless daughter, she’s stubbornly insisting on this. Yesterday due to your arrangements, this lowly one was planning on mentioning the matter of suitors to his highness, but my daughter refused to go along with it….only after this concubine from our family caught some hints did we realize that she had such thoughts….”
Concubine He sat on the side with the same miserable look, wiping her tears with a handkerchief.
“How is this lowly one supposed to live with this unfilial daughter of mine? I have no choice but to thicken my skin and apologize to consort….”
What are you apologizing to me for?! What sort of reasoning is this?! Your daughter hasn’t become his highness’s concubine yet, ok? You’re making it sound like you’ve offended me or something. What, you guys are so confident your daughter will be able to enter the Jing Prince Estate? The Jing Consort was cursing inside, and felt it was extremely laughable.
“Aunt, stop your tears for now. This matter….ai, it’s fine if you laugh at me, I can’t really make the decision for it.” The Jing Consort put on an extremely awkward expression.
Qi-Shi’s movements froze. She stared blankly at the Jing Consort before looking at Concubine He.
Concubine He glared at her several times but she wasn’t able to snap out of it. Concubine He could only open her own mouth and say, “Consort, you are the mistress of the Jing Prince Estate and his highness’s principal wife. Why can’t you be the one to decide?”
The Jing Consort frowned. She was a little displeased at having to speak with a lowly concubine. She had to deal with the aunt because of their relationship, but what right does a concubine have to interrupt?!
Since Concubine He was part of lord uncle’s family, the Jing Consort could only smile rigidly, “This concubine, you’ve truly overestimated this consort. I’m not embarrassed to say that despite being his highness’s consort, I can’t make decisions for his highness. There is someone who can….”
“Who?” Qi-Shi instinctively asked.
The Jing Consort sighed again, “Whatever, it’s not worth hiding, everyone’s family here. Speaking of which, my life as the consort is quite hard. Our estate has a Madam Hua. His highness hasn’t gone anywhere else these couple of years.”
Qi-Shi and Concubine He were completely stunned by the Jing Consort’s words. Where did this Madam Hua pop out from?
“It’s fine you laugh. This consort’s words aren’t as useful as that Madam Hua’s. His highness sleeps at the western pavilion every day, and doesn’t even return to his own Hall of Splendor. Actually, I’m quite fond of cousin Miao Lian. It’s more intimate with another sister around, but unfortunately I’m helpless….”
As she spoke, the Jing Consort’s tears also started flowing miserably, “Therefore, this thing isn’t decided by me. It’s whether his highness agrees, and whether Madam Hua agrees. Since I’m close with aunt, let me speak plainly. Madam Hua would definitely not agree to let Miao Lian enter. Think about it. She has his highness’s favor. Why would she share it with another person? Especially since Miao Lian is his highness’s cousin.”
The plan had been to get emotional with the Jing Consort and appeal to her magnanimity. Who would have expected that she wasn’t really against it, but instead this Madam Hua popped up.
After leaving the Changchun Pavilion, Qi-Shi’s expression was still bewildered, “She’s not just messing with us, right?”
Concubine He frowned, “It doesn’t seem like it. We’ve come several times, but have you ever seen his highness appear in the Changchun Pavilion?” Since she herself was a concubine, she knew just how much a favored concubine could influence someone. The Jing Consort’s words shouldn’t be false.
Qi-Shi was clutching at straws as she turned to the palace maid by her side and asked, “Do you know a Madam Hua in this estate?”
This palace maid in her twenties was ordinary in appearance. She lowered her head and said: “Naturally.”
“It’s really as the consort says?”
“This—-” That palace maid’s face paled, “This servant doesn’t dare discuss her superiors’ matters.”
“I’m your mistress now. Our nephew sent you over to serve me!”
Although the palace maid appeared compliant on the surface, a hint of concealed mockery flashed across her lowered eyes, “A-aunt. Madam Hua is the only favored one within our estate. Everyone knows his highness keeps her at the center of his heart.”
Qi-Shi hmphed, “Why didn’t you just say so from the start, forcing others to push for answers.” She turned and said to Concubine He, “Looks like this matter isn’t going to be easy. Just from what I hear, this person doesn’t sound simple.”
Concubine He also frowned, “Let’s go back and tell the lord first.”
Hearing Xiao Xia Zi’s report, Xiao Hua had a very peculiar feeling. When the Jing Prince came, she looked at him weirdly several times.
The Jing Prince felt confused. He, who had never cared about his appearance in the past, checked himself in the mirror when he went to the bathroom.
The two children and their mother were playing together on the kiln. As of now, Yi Yi’s favorite game was throwing toys around. It was best when someone was there to play catch with her.
Normally this someone would be Zhuo’er. The two infants sat facing each other, throwing and catching, having a good time. However, Zhuo’er had a quiet personality, and would soon grow tired of playing. Yi Yi would grumble at him but he wouldn’t respond.
Seeing her brother ignore her, the intelligent Yi Yi would find someone else to play with. She would stare pitifully at you until your heart softened, putting aside everything to play this childish game with her.
Sometimes it was the wet nurses, sometimes it was Ding Xiang and the rest, and there was also Eunuch Fu. He was the happiest about playing with Yi Yi. Now it was Xiao Hua’s turn.
Yi Yi saw that her favorite playmate, the old grandpa, wasn’t around, and only her mother was present. She warbled a few words. Xiao Hua naturally understood what her daughter wanted, and put the account ledger in her hands down before sitting across from her daughter on the kiln.
A small rainbow ball was thrown back and forth. Yi Yi wasn’t good at throwing, and would often send it flying. Xiao Hua could only crawl all over to fetch and throw it back.
Seeing her daughter who was showing her gums in happiness, Xiao Hua sighed. This child was really blessed. Being pampered from birth, always having someone to accompany her in doing everything, and always getting what she wanted. In the future, her days would be smooth as well. Why did she as her mom not have such luck? Her days had finally become smooth when this new situation popped up. She even got smeared black by that person.
Just as Xiao Hua was thinking this, the Jing Prince came out of the bathroom. She was extremely grumpy, and smiled very sweetly as she said: “Highness, your daughter wants to play catch with you.”
Although Yi Yi couldn’t understand what her mother was saying, she could understand “Yi Yi”, “daughter” and “highness”. She turned her head and saw her daddy. She immediately cried out loudly, waving the little ball in her hand, seemingly saying to the Jing Prince “daddy hurry and come play”.
The Jing Prince’s gaze immediately softened. He walked over and sat on the kiln, playing catch with an earnest expression.
The Jing Prince had only watched on the side before, and had never personally participated. At first he wasn’t that used to it, throwing too high or too far. Yi Yi was still small after all, and her eyes weren’t that agile. Seeing the ball disappear, she looked around blankly. She didn’t cry, only twisting her head to search for it. Xiao Hua couldn’t keep watching, grabbing the ball and handing it over.
Yi Yi smiled when she saw the ball, letting out an “ah oh” sound with her mouth before throwing it to the Jing Prince. The Jing Prince’s lip curled a little. Having figured it out, he lightly tossed it back. Zhuo’er lay to the back left of Yi Yi. After watching for a bit, he seemed to be moved, twisting himself into a seated position. He only watched at first, and only when the ball landed by his hand did he suddenly throw it towards the Jing Prince. After throwing it, he even flashed the Jing Prince a bashful smile.
Zhuo’er wasn’t as lively as Yi Yi, and would rarely reveal such a cute appearance. Xiao Hua thought it was too damn adorable and pounced over, giving her son a couple of kisses, making Zhuo’er’s little face wrinkle up.
Now Zho’er also started participating. The Jing Prince purposefully threw the little colored ball towards his son. After a couple of times, Yi Yi grumbled a few words at him and he temporarily stopped throwing it in that direction.
After playing for fifteen minutes, Yi Yi seemed to be tired. After throwing the ball, she reached her small arms out towards Xiao Hua.
“Oh? Our Yi Yi isn’t playing anymore? Let mother feel. Aiya, covered in sweat.”
Yi Yi seemed to think that “sweat” was something good, and revealed another toothless smile.
After using a warm hand towel to wipe off her daughter’s sweat, Xiao Hua had Ding Xiang bring over two bowls of vegetable slurry. She and the Jing Prince each held and fed one. Compared to Xiao Hua, the Jing Prince’s movements were much clumsier. The large, slender hand holding the specially made tiny spoon looked rather amusing.
But his attitude was serious, and he didn’t spill or get any onto his daughter.
After the two little fellows ate their fill and drank some warm water, they returned to the bedding on the kiln. They each had a small pillow. These tiny pillows were handmade by Nana He using soft rush grass as padding. Xiao Hua covered them with a thin blanket and the two quickly fell asleep.
The room became quiet. The Jing Prince thought once again of Xiao Hua’s weird gaze, and asked quietly: “Why did you look at me like that earlier?”
Xiao Hua blinked innocently, “Did I?”
The Jing Prince gave her a slight glance. Xiao Hua pretended to busy herself with putting the blanket on the children. She smiled again while her back was turned. What should have been an annoying situation suddenly seemed more and more amusing.
When she heard Xiao Xia Zi’s description, she could tell just how “special” these women of the uncle’s household was. It was unknown just how sullen the Jing Consort had been, and whether those women would come find his highness as well. What would his reaction be like at that time?
Xiao Hua wasn’t worried at all about them coming to the western pavilion. Since the Jing Prince didn’t want outsiders to know about the children, it naturally wouldn’t be that easy to get in.
Just as she was thinking all sorts of nonsense, her waist was suddenly grabbed from behind.
Xiao Hua turned around and came face to face with the Jing Prince.
Their eyes met and their breaths mingled. Xiao Hua half lowered her eyes and could see the Jing Prince’s seemingly painted eye lines, his prominent nose bridge and those thin, pale lips. Her breath involuntarily caught in her chest.
Those lips soon approached and locked onto hers. His lips pressed against her as he said hoarsely, “Hurry and tell me.”
Aiya, this person has learned some seductive techniques! But how could Xiao Hua be so easily swayed? She laughed lightly and licked the corner of his mouth with the tip of her tongue. She bit his lip and then held on to it, nibbling gently. She then moved down and nibbled his chin, and then his neck. Her pink tongue lightly flicked and she lightly sucked. The breathing above her head soon grew chaotic.
She was pulled upwards, and her pink tongue didn’t have time to retract before it was held in his mouth. Xiao Hua’s soul was almost sucked out. After tangling for a while, the Jing Prince scooped her up and walked towards the inner room.
The two little babies slept soundly on the kiln.
“Special” people having a playdate with the Jing Consort while Repressed Jing and Xiao Hua play around.
Thank you so much…
She needs to tell him and he needs to cleanly take care of it. Thx for the translating.
Thanks for the chapter!
Xiao Hua thinks Xiao-shi has slandered her by saying that the one who has any say whether Prince Jing would take in any more concubine are just Xiao Hua or Prince Jing himself (?). I don’t understand which part of it is a lie. Does she forget how she panicked/ upset and crying at Prince Jing how she didn’t want him to have any other woman beside herself? Or when she’s complaining at him how she didn’t want Prince Jing to visit any of his other wives? Then he promised her he wouldn’t even care about them (and he follow through his promise all this years)? Or when she’d still resented Eunuch Fu for arranging those palace maids if Nana He didn’t told her Prince Jing’s experience in imperial city?
Lol. She did forbid her husband from having other women, even from visiting his other wives. But, anyone who talk about it is slandering her, huh?
Compared to the MC of the other novels, I respect them more. They openly own up their “misgiving” of wanting monogamy marriage in ancient setting and they don’t afraid people talk about it.
For me, the only light in this chapter is Zhuo’er. Sigh.
I think the whole “slandering” is all about is more about the implicit meaning and intention behind Jing Consort’s performance. Obviously, we all know that it is technically true, as most of the jabs and manipulations of women in the rear courtyard are, but the intention behind their words is what actually matters.
Even between men and their colleagues or between servants, they way the “truth” is presented is most important than the truth itself.
As much as I’ve read in many ancient china stories, a lot of the characters personalities shine through their implicit meanings.
Jing Consort’s intention of openly showing her unfavored position is to firstly, not having to deal with the humiliation to actually propose taking another concubine and the aftermath of being severely reprimanded, secondly to find an opening to reach to Xiao Hua so that in the future she could possibly deal with her. Obviously, it’s not gonna work.
But yeah, truth is whatever color you paint it to be.
I think you are seeing it the wrong way. The slandering here isn’t about what the Jing Consort said but more about what she implied. In those times, a woman who refused to allow her husband to have more wives was seen as an extremely unreasonable woman and was also seen as not magnanimous and not generous. She’s basically painting Xiao Hua as a person who restricts her husband and likes to cause trouble for him by not letting him ‘spread his branches/offspring. In ancient times, this type of woman was seen as the worst type ever.
Those are her personal thoughts. Jing Consort does not know any of that and she’s not a mind reader so yes she’s purposely slandering her. She’s pushing her out to make trouble. It’s be great for the consort if a rift developed because Hua fought with his cousin. They could say the consort agrees but this little concubine makes the decisions? I mean it’s a pretty simple and obvious scheme
And she has never “forbid” him from visiting his other wives at all. Have you forgotten that Jing Consort was on house arrest for poisoning the concubines and Qiao was recovering too? That’s why he stopped visiting them.