Chapter 31

Translator’s notes:

Starting sponsored chapters again. Max two a week for now, to be released on weekends (or ASAP if someone sponsors entire chapter). Hold off on donations until the following week once the bar is filled if you want it counted towards a chapter.

Also decided to do a sponsored chapter each for the first 5 times referral code PCP is used to start a Yotta account. If there are more after that, I’ll add $10 to the donation bar each time. Wanted to give an option that lets readers sponsor a chapter without needing to spend money.

*****

This series of events happened extremely fast. The dust had already settled before it was past noon. The estate was unprecedentedly silent. At least, Yan Yan didn’t see anyone running over to their second branch to show off their existence.

It wasn’t clear where that doctor went, but he didn’t report things to the authorities as he claimed he would. Old Madam Yan seemed to not know about what had happened. When Yan Yan went to pay respects the next day, she didn’t bring it up. Seeing Ah Yan, she was as amicable and benevolent as before.

Since the old madam herself pretended nothing had happened, the rest naturally didn’t dare bring it up. The Weiyuan Marquis Estate was unprecedentedly peaceful. Even the amount of slacking little lasses had decreased.

As for what Shen Yi Yao thought about it, Yan Yan could no longer be bothered to care. Since she was sure of her own thoughts, she went ahead and carried them out. Why overthink things? They can fuss all they wanted. She just needed to protect Ah Mo properly.

Since her mom thought everything was fine, she can continue believing it.

Regardless, such good days probably wouldn’t last long.

…….

Actually it made sense for Yan Mo’s body to be frail. He was born frail and Shen Yi Yao had always pampered him.

He only learned to walk when he was three, and rarely walked around. His wet nurse and maids always carried him everywhere. In the winter he wore many layers and in the summer they still didn’t dare take them off. Without the ability to resist the cold or heat, it was no wonder he would often get sick. After all, the weather was unpredictable. It could be sunny in the morning and raining in the afternoon.

Furthermore, he had never stopped taking medicine. People in this age didn’t realize taking too much medicine would result in drug resistance. They only knew the saying about medicine being three parts poison.

After that imperial physician left, someone sent a letter to Yan Yan in the afternoon. Inside the letter, that imperial physician had listed the potential harmful effects of a frail person being over-nourished, and also provided some suggestions for beneficial foods. He suggested it was better to obtain nourishment through food rather than medicine. Yan Yan immediately regretted not having that doctor dragged out and beaten to death instead of letting him off just like that.

However, Yan Yan also knew that things wouldn’t be so simple to investigate thoroughly. Partly because Shen Yi Yao was the one who always remembered to order people daily to brew the medicine. Another reason was because this doctor had been chosen by the old madam out of concern for her grandson. The Weiyuan Marquis seemed to have spent quite some effort to find this “famous doctor.”

If they really made a fuss? If they said the grandmother and father were trying to harm their own grandson and son? Without a doubt, things would be pushed onto that doctor, and that doctor would have an easier time explaining that a weak body precisely needed nourishment.

Of course it was fine to nourish, but not excessively. But they could only accuse him of being medically incompetent. But ninety percent of doctors in this world were medically incompetent.

Furthermore, there was Shen Yi Yao present who cherished her son. Could you say the mom tried to harm her own son? As for Shen Yi Yao doing harmful things with good intentions, she could only be called foolish.

This was why Yan Yan didn’t try to get to the bottom of things, and merely whipped everyone who deserved it in her anger. She first vented her anger and also gave Concubine Pei a few strokes. This was both a warning and a sort of deterrence. It also bought her some time to make some preparations.

Yan Yan knew that her dad would soon return. There were more battles to be fought in the coming days.

……

Yan Yan’s predictions weren’t wrong. The very next day, Old Madam Yan called Shen Yi Yao over and burst out crying, saying how she had just found out about the quack doctor. She said she had invited him out of concern for her grandson, but didn’t expect to have harmed him instead. Luckily no problems had come out of it.

It was true there were no problems, but according to the letter Yan Yan received, major problems would have arisen had things continued for a couple more years.

It was always difficult to guard against shameful methods within rear residences. This was Yan Yan’s first time experiencing it.

All she could do was have the maids and grannies raise their awareness, and also build a small kitchen within her own courtyard. Actually, the Ningxiang Chambers had its own small kitchen the entire time, and was normally used to make a few snacks or soups. The food still normally came from the main kitchen.

When Yan Yan brought up wanting to build her own small kitchen to manage her and Yan Mo’s food in the future, no one in the estate said anything. Well, Concubine Pei did say a couple of things, but Yan Yan ignored her. Afterwards, Shen Yi Yao sent someone over asking about it. Yan Yan used the imperial physician’s recommendations of nourishing food over medicine to shut things down.

Under Matron Zou’s suggestion, the small kitchen’s ingredients weren’t sourced from the main kitchen either. Instead, they purchased things from the outside themselves. Although they called it purchasing, it was actually sent over by the servants of the Zhenguo Duke Estate. The maids just needed to receive things at the side door. They even sent over a granny who was good at cooking.

Many people in the estate were aware of Yan Yan’s actions. The old madam had also called Yan Yan over wanting to say a few things, but looking at Yan Yan who was restraining her anger, she swallowed her words, afraid that this little ancestor would make a huge fuss.

***

Yan Mo’s frailness wasn’t something that could be changed overnight.

Lady Hui was a martial artist. The basic intent of martial arts was to strengthen the body, so she knew a thing or two about it.

They temporarily didn’t dare do anything major. Yan Yan merely took Yan Mo on a walk around the courtyard after her morning practice. If the weather was nice, she would have the maids take him out often to get some sun.

Yan Mo was an obedient child. He listened to whatever his big sis said.

Actually, he sometimes also felt he should walk around more. But everyone by his side often said the young master’s body was frail and it was better to be held. Being too active would make one sweaty, which would make it easy to catch a cold.

It wasn’t bad to pamper someone, but pampering too much would cause a sort of invisible harm.

Yan Yan would order the maids to wipe off Yan Mo’s sweat and help him change into dry clothes every time after they exercised. He never caught a cold after several times, making Matron Qin pleasantly surprised and lament over having wronged the young master in the past.

Lady Hui had Yan Yan arrange people to get some medicinal ingredients and processed them for a few days. Then, Lady Hui had someone prepare a large basin of hot water every night and would pour the pitch black medicinal soup into it. She had Yan Mo sit and soak inside for a while, and would only let him out after he was thoroughly red and sweating.

Yan Yan had also soaked in medicinal baths in the past, though not on a daily basis. Furthermore, her bath was used to eliminate hidden injuries from her martial arts training, and was different from Yan Mo’s. Yan Yan had asked Lady Hui, who told her that Yan Mo’s baths were used to strengthen the body and dispel the cold air inside.

After a few more days, the Zhenguo Duke Estate sent someone over to pick up Yan Yan and Yan Mo. The explanation was that since their grandson seemed to have recovered, the two elders missed him and wanted to see him.

No one in the Weiyuan Marquis Estate objected.

***

Yan Mo rarely came to the Zhenguo Duke Estate, perhaps several times at most over these many years.

Early on they didn’t dare take him outside due to his frail body. Recently, Shen Yi Yao rarely returned to her maternal family’s place. Therefore, he only had a vague impression of his grandparents.

At this time, Yan Mo felt a little uncomfortable at being held in his grandmother’s arms who was wiping away tears. Only after seeing his big sis’s comforting gaze did he feel at ease and use his little hand to pat this Zhenguo Madam.

Second Madam Shen who was sitting on the side was all smiles as she said: “Mom, stop scaring Ah Mo. Look how obedient he is, knowing to coax his grandmother.”

Yan Mo was a little bashful. The Zhenguo Madam shot her daughter-in-law a glare and called some maids over with a water basin and towel to wash her face.

After washing her face, the Zhenguo Madam arranged the maids to bring some cakes and snacks, as well as fresh fruits. She placed them next to Yan Mo’s hand for him to eat.

She stroked Yan Mo’s tiny figure and said with heartache: “My obedient grandson is too skinny. How can it be good to be this skinny?”

The Zhenguo Duke Estate’s side knew all about the happenings at the Weiyuan Marquis Estate. Thinking up to this point, the Zhenguo Madam couldn’t help but wipe the corner of her eyes with the towel once again as she felt another round of heartache.

The Zhenguo Duke sat on her left, his expression a little unwell. “Enough, stop scaring the child. This old woman was so fierce in her youth. Why so many tears in your old age?”

The Zhenguo Madam was raised in a military household, and her martial arts didn’t lose out to the boys when she was young. Her personality was firm and her actions straightforward. After marrying the Zhenguo Duke, the couple got along well and peacefully. They lived their lives together happily, but now that she was old, her face was covered in tears daily due to her worrisome daughter.

Therefore, the Zhenguo Duke grew even angrier at his unfilial daughter.

“Am I wrong to be worried?”

“I told you back then I didn’t want any of that in our household. Such a good daughter turned out like this. What’s good about being a proper lady?! Her thoughts are rigid, her mouth and mind are foolish. She did read a lot, but digested none of it since all those books ended up being completely useless….”

“Do you think this was what I wanted? Wasn’t it because I myself lacked a good upbringing? All the noblewomen in the capital are gentle and virtuous, knowing when to advance and when to retreat. If my daughter turned out to be like me, how is she supposed to move around in the upper echelons of society? She would be shunned, and even her marriage would be in question!”

The Zhenguo Duke’s beard trembled in anger. “Would my, Shen Mao Shan’s daughter’s marriage be in question? Didn’t you marry me back then? Are you saying you lost out in marrying me?”

“It’s not that you aren’t good. I merely felt bad for our daughter and wanted a better life for her…..”

Seeing the two elders start arguing, Matron Xu smiled and sidled over to Yan Mo, saying gently: “Young master Mo, let matron take you somewhere fun.”

Yan Mo looked at Yan Yan. Only after she nodded did he take Matron Xu’s hand and leave the room.

Actually, Yan Yan also knew the reason her grandparents were arguing.

This matter needed to be told from the beginning. The Zhenguo Madam was a fierce lady from a military household. Because her father was stationed at the border, she had grown up there. The land was vast and people were few at the border. The folks there were more open, and along with her upbringing, she became someone outspoken who didn’t lose out to men.

Afterwards, her father was transferred back to the capital so their entire family followed him back. Noblewomen had their own social circles. The Zhenguo Madam’s father was a quite highly ranked official, and her household was also a merit-based noble household. Her status wasn’t lacking, but a girl who grew up on the border was very different from those pampered young ladies who grew up in the capital.

Those pampered ladies disdained the Zhenguo Madam for not being elegant and virtuous enough. Her actions were brash and her etiquette wasn’t good. She completely lacked the bearing of a proper lady, so they would always exclude her. When she reached the age of marriage, several young men were interested due to her family background, but after they heard this girl could pull a bow while on a horse, fight off several men while off the horse, and had a fierce personality to boot, they all took a step back.

She squandered away her years and gradually grew older. Although she had married the Zhenguo Duke in the end, which was a top-notch marriage, this matter had still left a scar in her heart.

Therefore, she had decided at that time that if she had a daughter, she would raise her to be the finest proper lady within the capital. After Shen Yi Yao was born, the Shen household treated her as a treasure. Although the Zhenguo Duke wanted to raise his daughter in his own image, and wanted her to learn martial arts, he couldn’t persuade the Zhenguo Madam. Furthermore, Shen Yi Yao’s nature was gentle and timid, and thus she grew up to be completely different from the Zhenguo Duke Estate’s norm.

The current situation didn’t really have anything to do with her being a proper lady. However, the Zhenguo Duke had a deep impression of his wife’s insistence back then, and thus ended up taking out his anger on her. Of course they both cherished their daughter. Their daughter had just not turned out well, and had become a little twisted.

Actually, how someone turned out did depend on their upbringing, but also on their own fate, encounters and nature. Second Madam Shen was a proper lady who came from a major household, but was she like Shen Yi Yao?

Shen Yi Yao’s maternal family was also very good, but why did she turn out this way after marriage?

Therefore, Yan Ting became a source of vented anger once more.

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Bookwormie
Bookwormie
1 month ago

Nothing actually wrong in raising their daughter as noble lady BUT I think the only failure thing the Duke Family did in raising Shen Si Yao was they “sheltered her too much”… Her personality lacked awareness of true human nature and only view world as rose-tinted glasses. Because of this, she was easily brainwashed and manipulated by greedy people due her pushover attitude.