Chapter 23

Translator’s notes:

I haven’t started sponsored chapters yet, but I will release an extra chapter as thanks for Anne Louie’s generous donation. Please enjoy this unofficial sponsored chapter. I’ll probably start doing sponsored chapters again next week after New Year’s celebrations and my sister’s birthday (also Jan 1st), so hold off on further donations until then if you want extra chapters in exchange! Should also start losing the weight I gained over the past few months….

*****

“Ah Yan, are you certain?”

The Zhenguo Duke frowned and looked at his resolute granddaughter.

She was clearly an underage girl, and she clearly looked gentle and beautiful, but the Zhenguo Duke could see she was like a moth to the flame.

He cherished this granddaughter of his not only because there were few girls in the Zhenguo Duke Estate. It was because despite being a girl, she embodied the vigor of the Shen household. This sort of vigor was something that not even Shen Qi possessed yet.

Decisive, straightforward, resolute, determined, and never turning back once her mind was made up.

“Do you know what will happen if you do this?”

Yan Yan tightened her lips and nodded. Of course she knew and understood.

“Mom has lived a dream her whole life. It’s time to wake her up.”

It wasn’t just for herself, but also for Ah Mo as well as her beloved mom who often hurt her heart. Yan Yan had considered perhaps she would be very upset at that time. But how could someone live a lie their entire life? She would have to wake up someday. It’s better to get it over with sooner rather than later. As for those troublemakers, they naturally couldn’t let any of them off!

“…..actually, it’s not always necessary to be so enlightened. Being muddled can also bring a sort of happiness….”

She could truly remain blissfully unaware, but wasn’t this sort of bliss very melancholic?

The Zhenguo Duke froze and then laughed loudly. “Excellent, excellent. As expected of my, Shen Mao Shan’s granddaughter.” He patted Yan Yan’s shoulder. “You’re tougher than your grandfather!”

They both understood the reasoning but his granddaughter had been more decisive than he was.

“No, it was—-” She recalled how that person told her not to let others know of their conversation and stopped speaking.

The Zhenguo Duke didn’t show anything on the surface but kept it in his mind.

After Yan Yan left, he called someone over. Only after asking did he find out his granddaughter had gone to the Tranquil Garden prior to coming here.

The Tranquil Garden. The fourth prince….

He was also aware that the three children often played together. However, he didn’t expect that child to have such keen insight.

The Zhenguo Duke was faintly aware of what game the emperor was playing. However, as an official it wasn’t convenient for him to say too much.

Avoiding is also good, avoiding is also good. Being able to get away was a blessing! He would have to forge his own path in the future…..

What the Zhenguo Duke didn’t know was that while Luo Huai Yuan did have keen insight, he also relied on his previous life’s experience. He merely cut through the mess and seized upon the vital thread.

As for the mention of “dream”, it was something Yan Yan had realized herself.

***

“Ah Yan, why are you going home?” Shen Qi asked. “Isn’t it pretty nice staying here?”

Yan Yan had always been a decisive person. Now that she had a plan, she would firmly carry it out. Her going back this time was something she took the initiative to bring up. After explaining things to her grandparents and her aunt and uncle, she now had to explain it to Shen Qi.

Oh right, there’s was someone else nearby who looked calm but had perked up his ears.

“I must go back. That place is my home. Especially since Ah Mo is there.”

The other person had already understood, but Shen Qi didn’t get it.

“Aren’t you unhappy when you go back? I’ve heard you say so before. Since you like it here, just live here at home.”

“Just because I like it doesn’t mean I can stay. I must return home at some point.”

“Enough, enough. Little second Shen, little sis Yan naturally has her own reasons for returning home!” Luo Huai Yuan interrupted.

“What about aunt—-” Ever since Shen Yi Yao left that time, things had been silent. The Weiyuan Marquis Estate also didn’t send anyone over to bring Yan Yan back.

Yan Yan knew all this, but like she herself said, she had to go back at some point, and she had to face what she needed to face. That was her home after all. Although she didn’t like the place, there were people there she couldn’t part with.

The Zhenguo Duke had also urged Yan Yan to stay. The Zhenguo Madam, Shen Ding and his wife did the same. They were all intelligent people, and knew what Yan Yan would face after getting back. Perhaps it wasn’t much for an adult, but for a ten year old girl to face those things made their hearts ache. The Zhenguo Duke even said Yan Yan could stay here without fear. However, they also understood the importance of the matter and therefore merely urged but didn’t force her to stay.

“Don’t worry, she’s my mom. She was just angry at the time. She won’t hit me.” These words used to coax children very successfully coaxed Shen Qi.

Luo Huai Yuan, who hadn’t objected to her going home the entire time, waited until Shen Qi retreated in defeat to speak one line: “Must you really go back?” His gaze was extremely unwilling.

So unwilling! Why did the plan he came up with after great difficulty require the little consort to leave his side? Couldn’t it be a little less of a tragedy!? How were they supposed to see each other after she returned to the Weiyuan Marquis Estate?

But if he could go back in time, he would still make the same choice.

After all, they had to face the truth. She had to do so, and he had to as well.

Seeing Luo Huai Yuan’s pitiful gaze and unwilling expression, Yan Yan merely thought he was clowning around. She said with a smile: “It’s not that far away. I can come every once in a while.”

That’s true. In the future he must often push little second Shen into bringing the little consort back to the Zhenguo Duke Estate. He himself had to remain low-key for the moment. As he thought of this, he looked at Shen Qi, his gaze full of evil design. Although Shen Qi was a little slow, he still sensed it.

Before he could figure out the meaning, little fatty Luo sidled over with a smile, “Little second Shen. It’s not going to be as much fun playing with the two of us after little sis Yan leaves.”

Shen Qi felt the same way and nodded.

“Then, little sis Yan, you must come back often!”

The two identical pitiful faces made Yan Yan burst out laughing.

***

The third miss had returned.

This news immediately spread throughout the Weiyuan Marquis Estate.

The third miss’s procession was rather grand.  The Zhenguo Duke Estate had sent over five or six carriages.

Two of those were filled with all sorts of food and toys. The rest were filled with people. Yan Yan would always bring a lot of extra things whenever she returned from the Zhenguo Duke Estate so the servants weren’t surprised. They merely discussed in private how the Zhenguo Duke cherished this granddaughter of his!

Yan Yan didn’t only bring the two carriages’ worth of things they had given her. She also brought back some of the servants the Zhenguo Duke Estate had gifted her. These people were all requested by Yan Yan, and Second Madam Shen especially prepared them. Of course, the Zhenguo Madam also put in some effort. This grandmother and aunt pair also doted on Yan Yan, and put a lot of thought into things.

Matron Xu was the one who led them over. She and Yan Yan first went to the Rongan Hall to pay respects to Old Madam Yan.

As the Zhenguo Madam’s matron in charge, she represented the Zhenguo Duke Esate and naturally had the qualifications to do so.

That day Old Madam Yan had sent Shen Yi Yao over to the Zhenguo Duke Estate to sort things out. She had returned not long after, and didn’t take the initiative to stop by the Rongan Hall. It wasn’t convenient for Old Madam Yan to make inquiries, so she had Concubine Pei go over to investigate.

Shen Yi Yao seemed to have a lot on her mind and merely said the matter had been resolved. Concubine Pei paid no mind to her preoccupied state, merely assuming she had been scolded back home. She even fanned the flames a little, saying that the third miss had too much support and would be hard to discipline in the future.

Old Madam Yan had thought things were settled, but she didn’t expect her granddaughter to return with such fanfare.

Seeing the two people in front of her as well as the dozen people outside the door, Old Madam Yan’s expression wasn’t too good. What was the meaning of the Zhenguo Duke Estate sending over a bunch of maids and grannies?

Old Madam Yan was smiling, but her smile was a little withdrawn.

Matron Xu wasn’t simple, and turned a blind eye to Old Madam Yan’s unhappiness. She merely smiled and gave an explanation.

Her general meaning was that the Zhenguo Madam truly cherished her granddaughter. People at that age were all the same, eager to force all the good things onto the younger generation. Therefore, she had sent all these servants over to serve Miss Yan.

Their estate had also been hesitant, but it was hard to refuse the older generation. They felt that Old Madam Yan was a wise person and would understand her emotions. Therefore, they toughened their skin and sent the people over. They also said that since it was the Zhenguo Duke Estate who sent them over, their salary would naturally be paid for by them. This could be counted as an apology.

Since they had spoken so thoroughly and even given Old Madam Yan an out, what could she say?

It wasn’t like she could accuse them of being afraid their estate would abuse their granddaughter.

Saying this would mean shedding all pretenses, and would also bring up the matter of their estate locking Yan Yan up. Old Madam Yan naturally wasn’t that foolish, and merely smiled and agreed. She even pulled Yan Yan over and said that she had already scolded her mom, saying that she definitely can’t treat her dearest granddaughter Ah Yan this way in the future.

Everyone received sufficient face, at least on the surface. As for Old Madam Yan’s depressed air, she had to deal with that herself.

Yan Yan’s expression was indifferent. After saluting and taking her leave, she took Matron Xu and the rest of the maids and grannies to the Jinse Pavillion to see Shen Yi Yao.

Seeing her long absent daughter, Shen Yi Yao’s expression was indifferent. It wasn’t clear what her thoughts have been these past few days. At least, Yan Yan had never seen such a cool expression on her mom’s face before.

Actually, mother and daughter were quite alike. Neither of them knew how to put on an act, and everything would be revealed on their faces. Seeing Shen Yi Yao’s expression, Yan Yan felt a little hurt.

She knew what it meant. Mother and daughter had finally become estranged.

Luckily she had already thought things through. So be it, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Shen Yi Yao had her maids bestow some coins to Matron Xu and those maids and grannies before having them take their leave. She didn’t say a word to Yan Yan the entire time.

After leaving the Jinse Pavilion, Matron Xu spoke to Yan Yan before she left: “Third miss. Let matron take advantage of my age to say something: grudges between mother and daughter aren’t held overnight.”

Yan Yan froze and then said with her head lowered: “Matron, you don’t understand.”

Her thin frame looked bleak against the residence’s backyard. Matron Xu stroked her hair and left worriedly to report back to the Zhenguo Duke Estate.

At the same time, a letter from home was sent from the Zhenguo Duke Estate over to the border.

The wheels of destiny have already started slowly turning. No one knew what fate had in store for the future.

Author’s notes:

Screwing over dad is already on the way. Tomorrow, the struggle against the dregs in the household begins. When she no longer has any expectations, no longer hopes for anything and no longer has any misgivings about anything, what can stop our kick-ass consort? Haha, sounds like a catchphrase from a movie preview. Ah Yan has gone home. The little fatty should also start thinking about his own future. Fatty Yun, don’t let us down.

One thought on “Chapter 23

  1. Thanks for the update. Have an awesome new year. Looking forward to the drama and chaos that will be unleashed.

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