Right as they were speaking, they heard a cry of “mom”.
Shen Yi Yao looked to the source and saw her own daughter walking over swiftly while carrying an ample stomach.
Actually, Yan Yan could have appeared in an even more thrilling manner, but was afraid of scaring Shen Yi Yao. Therefore she had slowed down while still inside and switched to walking instead. Otherwise, Shen Yi Yao would have seen her daughter suddenly descend from the heavens, and probably would have fainted from fright.
Shen Yi Yao hurriedly pushed the doors open and leapt from the carriage.
She was also caught up in the moment and didn’t consider whether she was capable of doing so. Luckily that middle-aged man got off his horse and supported her. Otherwise, she would definitely have fallen.
After hurriedly thanking him, Shen Yi Yao rushed over, “Child, you’re about to become a mom. Why are you still so impetuous!?” Before she finished speaking, her tears started flowing.
Hearing this, Yan Mo who had gotten out from the other side said in exasperation: “Mom, enough. Since we’ve already arrived, don’t end up making sis cry as well.”
Yan Yan’s eyes were scarily red and her lips were trembling. Right as she was about to cry, she was stopped up by Yan Mo’s words.
She raised her eyes and saw her matured younger brother.
Compared to when she had left, Yan Mo had undergone drastic changes. Back then he was still a youngster. Now, he had become tall and lanky with fair and delicate features. There was still some immaturity in his face, and his body was filled with the air of a young scholar.
There wasn’t the slightest hint of Yan Ting in Yan Mo’s features. He also looked quite different from Shen Yi Yao. Instead, he looked a little more like Yan Yan.
However, Yan Yan was brash, dignified and incomparably beautiful. Yan Mo had become scholarly and elegant, like a thriving and growing young bamboo. His cyan robes made him appear taller, though his body was clearly a little frail.
Yan Mo hurriedly stepped forward.
Actually he was also having a hard time concealing his excitement. However, as someone determined to become a man who could prop up the heavens, how could he show weakness in front of so many people?
Yan Mo was Yan Yan’s younger borther, but due to those things that happened in the past, their relationship wasn’t ordinary. He had grown up under Yan Yan’s protection. This sort of relationship was extremely profound, almost like that of mother and child.
“You’ve also grown up.” Yan Yan tousled Yan Mo’s hair and lamented.
Yan Mo was embarrassed.
He was already so old but still got his head stroked by his sister!
“Alright, let’s go inside first.”
Luo Huai Yuan had already appeared at some point. He first inquired about Shen Yi Yao’s health and then greeted Yan Mo.
“Ah Yan, don’t do that in the future. My heart almost leapt out of my chest.” Luo Huai Yuan complained.
Shen Yi Yao agreed: “Exactly, exactly. As someone about to become a mom, how can you be so inattentive?”
Yan Yan was somewhat embarrassed and said: “It definitely won’t happen again.” She had been caught up in her excitement.
The palanquins had arrived. One of them was rather large and there were two smaller ones. The estate was too large so this was used as transportation. Shen Yi Yao and Yan Mo didn’t get back into the carriage and prepared to get on the palanquin.
Right as she was about to get on, Shen Yi Yao saw the middle-aged man who had been standing there for a while. She said to Yan Yan: “Almost forgot. This is Uncle Ran. You’ve met him when you were young. Your grandfather was worried about your mom going out this time and had Uncle Ran escort your brother and me.”
Yan Yan was a little startled. She had indeed met this “Uncle Ran” when she was younger, but those memories were extremely distant. In her mind, this was an elder who was taciturn but cherished her a lot.
Why did she have this impression? This was because she remembered that this person’s face was cold and stiff, and he didn’t know how to coax children. However, he brought out a lot of toys and handed them to her clumsily for her to play with.
This was Yan Yan’s only impression of “Uncle Ran”, but his relationship with her grandfather’s household wasn’t ordinary. Her second aunt had especially told her his identity. That’s why Yan Yan still remembered him. Although she hadn’t seen him in a while, he had never faded from her life. Every birthday, part of the gifts sent over from the Zhenguo Duke Estate was from this “Uncle Ran”. This was also the case for her wedding.
Yan Yan bent her waist in salute. Because his mother-in-law had introduced this person a little differently, Luo Huai Yuan also greeted him with a junior’s salute.
“Ah Yan has grown up. Yun Prince, highness, no need to offer such a large salute.”
When Luo Huai Yuan saluted him, that middle-aged man had turned away.
After a round of pleasantries, they went into the estate.
There wasn’t enough room on the palanquins. “Uncle Ran” had a military background so he wasn’t used to sitting on such palanquins for the wealthy. He thus walked beside it while the carriages with their luggage were also brought inside.
Yan Yan and Luo Huai Yuan sat on the large palanquin.
Luo Huai Yuan was quite the gossip and his eyes were keen. He could notice many things that other people didn’t. When the two of them got on the palanquin, he started gossiping, asking about that “Uncle Ran”.
This person was surnamed Shen and named Ran.
Based on his surname it was clear he didn’t have an ordinary relationship with the Shen household. However, he wasn’t really part of it.
Shen Ran’s father was one of the Zhenguo Duke’s followers back in the day. He could be counted as a servant born into the household. However, capable servants in the Zhenguo Duke Estate would usually end up having good prospects. Shen Ran’s father ended up being removed from the slave registry and became one of the private soldiers by the Zhenguo Duke’s side. He was also given a status in the military. Although he was just listed as the Zhenguo Duke’s personal guard, he had still come a long way. During a tough battle, for the sake of protecting an injured Zhenguo Duke, Shen Ran’s father had died. His mother couldn’t endure this blow and also passed away soon after, leaving behind the young Shen Ran.
To repay this favor and along with the fact that Shen Ran was around Shen Ding’s age, the Zhenguo Duke accepted him into the estate as an adopted son. To repay the Shen household for their kindness, Shen Ran’s father hadn’t changed his surname even after being freed from the slave registry. Shen Ran had his father’s surname, and was therefore surnamed Shen.
Therefore, Shen Ran had a deep relationship with the Shen household and was also extremely close with Shen Dong and Shen Ding. Apart from not having their blood in his veins, he was pretty much part of the family.
This Shen Ran was rather ambitious and worked hard to make a living outside. It was said his prospects were bright and the Zhenguo Duke rather admired him. Due to being busy with official affairs, he rarely returned to the capital. It was unexpected to see him this time.
“Since he’s close with your uncles, his children shouldn’t be young. Why have I never heard Shen Qi mention them?” Luo Huai Yuan asked.
Yan Yan blanked out. She also didn’t know. After all, she only knew about the matters of the older generation from hearsay. How would she know all the details?
Luo Huai Yuan’s eyes flashed after hearing Yan Yan’s explanation, and he didn’t say anything.
After arriving, they first arranged where Shen Yi Yao’s group would be staying. As his mother-in-law and brother-in-law, and another one who could be counted as part of the family, they weren’t outsiders. Therefore, they were arranged extremely close to the Xianyun Hall.
While the servants busied themselves with putting everything in place, Shen Yi Yao and Yan Mo filled Yan Yan in on everything that had happened after she left. Luo Huai Yuan was the host and naturally was responsible for entertaining Shen Ran.
Luo Huai Yuan was sharp and good at worming out information. After a round of conversation, he had pretty much figured out Shen Ran’s situation.
This won’t be mentioned for now. Soon, evening arrived.
Luo Huai Yuan and Yan Yan arranged a family banquet to welcome the three people.
After eating, they were all weary from the journey and went to turn in.
The couple washed up and got in bed. Luo Huai Yuan leaned over, “I have a secret to tell you” written all over his face.
Yan Yan naturally understood the meaning behind his expression. She leaned against the pillow and looked at him leisurely.
“I feel like there’s an affair going on between our mom and that Uncle Ran!”1
This phrasing was too thrilling and the words too stunning, making Yan yan raise her eyebrows and glare at him. Only now did he recall that the term “affair” wasn’t something that could casually be said in ancient times. He hurriedly acted like he misspoke and put it a different way, “I feel the relationship between our mom and that Uncle Ran isn’t ordinary.”
Dearest little fatty Luo. Having put it in such a shocking way previously, was it any use to pretend nothing happened?
Yan Yan gritted her teeth. If he didn’t give a convincing explanation, he was going to get it. This “going to get it” generally meant having him sleep on the couch that night.
For Luo Huai Yuan, that was an unbearable punishment.
For the sake of proving he wasn’t making things up, he brought up countless examples. How could someone who was usually very busy find the time to escort a widow thousands of miles to visit her daughter? He also brought up the billowing waves underneath Shen Ran’s calm gaze when he looked at Shen Yi Yao, as well as Shen Ran having strangely remained unmarried.
Shen Ran’s explanation was that having not accomplished anything before, it wasn’t appropriate to start a family. After he became accomplished, he was already old and those thoughts had faded.
These words were used to trick children, only children would fall for them! In any case, they couldn’t trick the god of wisdom little fatty Luo. He swore on his dick that there was definitely something fishy going on, and it definitely had to do with his mother-in-law.
For the sake of proving his words, he even came up with a tragic love story.
The story went like this:
A lonely orphan was raised by a kindhearted family after his parents died. Although his status seemed to have changed overnight, no one really understood his loneliness. Luckily, his adopted household was pretty good. The children treated him as their own sibling. This household also had a beautiful and cute daughter who always followed him around calling him big bro. This cute little girl warmed the orphan’s lonely heart and became the warmest sunshine in his youth.
As they grew up, their relationship gradually became different. The orphaned teen realized he no longer viewed her as a younger sister, and wanted to marry her.
But although he was an adopted son and everyone called him young master, he understood in his heart he was just an orphan. He was someone without parents. This little girl was pampered her entire life, and there was no doubt her future would be bright. She would marry some noble with boundless prospects and live happily ever after.
As for him, there was nothing he could offer her!
He wasn’t able to speak up, and he didn’t dare do so. She was too lofty, too perfect as though she were a dream. He was like dust and mud in comparison.
He didn’t know how he should face this girl, and didn’t know how to face that kindhearted family. He could only leave wretchedly, using his body to slaughter his way to some prospects.
Eventually, that girl got married. The person she married was someone like he had guessed. Eventually, the girl became a mom, and gave birth to two children….
He was in a remote place but he never stopped keeping up with her life….
He had finally made a name for himself but she had already become a mom….
This lasted until one day, it turned out that husband wasn’t a good person. One day, she became a widow…
At this point, the man who had experienced all sorts of things in life hurried back. There was only one wish in his heart….
To watch over her!
Luo Huai Yuan was someone good at telling stories. Normally, someone good at mouthing off wouldn’t be bad at telling stories. Furthermore, for a story to move others, it had to move himself. Luo Huai Yuan was immersed in that orphan’s hopeless love, and made himself sigh incessantly. Yan Yan was also frozen while listening.
She couldn’t deny that she was also moved.
Especially since Luo Huai Yuan was extremely good at piecing together limited information into a compelling narrative.
If it weren’t for those joking words of “he had finally made a name for himself but she had already become a mom” and “one day, she became a widow”, Yan Yan was almost tricked into tears.
Almost, which meant he failed to get his desired effect.
Yan Yan’s mood was extremely weird. She looked as his cunning smile and couldn’t help but hit him a couple of times.
“Keep talking nonsense, do your best. To think you dare use mom as amusement, you’re pretty gusty!”
He put on a frightened appearance and hid, but his eyes were actually smiling. He had also been amused by himself.
“I’m really not talking nonsense. I’m telling the truth!”
Yan Yan shot him a glare and lay on her side to sleep.
Luo Huai Yuan sat in a daze as he looked at his wife’s back.
Why didn’t his wife believe him? Was his explanation not convincing enough?
Actually it wasn’t that his arguments weren’t convincing, but he had mouthed off too much.
If he had toned it down slightly, Yan Yan might have really become immersed in the orphan’s hopeless love story. Unfortunately, he had ruined the mood and amused Yan Yan insetad. The effect was naturally reduced. Yan Yan merely assumed he was amusing himself.
I was really being serious!
Luo Huai Yuan’s cry resounded within his heart.
Dear, no one said you weren’t being serious. But since you were telling a story, she just viewed it as a story!