The next day, the eldest mistress Yan Feng returned to her maternal household.
The old madam still cherished her only daughter quite a bit. Yan Feng was invited to the Rongan Hall upon arrival. The Weiyuan Marquis Estate’s women and younger generation were all present. This could be counted as the household welcoming this Weiyuan Marquis Estate’s proper eldest mistress.
Yan Feng was thirty-three this year. She was tall and slender with a full figure. She wore a pink set of robes embroidered with peony trees and her hair was done into a heart-shaped knot. Her hairpin was made with pure gold and inlaid with rubies. A dangling butterfly ornament with gold and jewels was inserted diagonally into her hair. Yan Feng looked rather similar to the old madam in her youth. She had a heart-shaped face, phoenix eyes, jet-black hair and fair skin. She looked tender and beautiful.
After those of the same generation gave their greetings, the younger generation also stepped up to pay respects.
When it was Yan Mo’s turn, Yan Feng pulled him into her arms.
“Mo’er looks much sturdier. Looks like you’ve been eating well.” Yan Feng pinched Yan Mo’s little face and said while smiling.
Yan Mo smiled bashfully and called out eldest aunt loudly in greeting.
“Ah Yan also grew taller by quite a bit, and looks to be more beautiful.”
Yan Yan also called out eldest aunt in greeting. Xue-shi said flatteringly on the side: “Our third miss has always been beautiful. Everyone says she looks like the eldest mistress.”
This Xue-shi had a way with words, but was just not very bright. Yan Feng had phoenix eyes whereas Yan Yan had slightly slanted almond eyes. The two looked completely different. However, under the circumstances, everyone could tell Xue-shi was flattering Yan Feng and no one was tactless enough to point it out.
Overall, despite treating all the younger generation similarly, Yan Feng still seemed to be warmer towards Yan Mo and Yan Yan. Of her sisters-in-law, she seemed a little closer with Shen Yi Yao.
If it wasn’t due to Shen Yi Yao being her sister-in-law as well as the Weiyuan Marquis Estate’s madam, it was for the sake of her husband’s family. There was nothing wrong with getting a little closer to the Zhenguo Duke Estate’s people.
After everyone chatted together for a bit, the old madam had everyone take their leave and pulled her daughter into the inner room.
Yan Feng also knew her family had something to ask of her. Otherwise they wouldn’t have anxiously called her back.
The old madam summarized the situation. Yan Feng knitted her willow brows.
“You also know mom wouldn’t be asking for your help if we weren’t in trouble. This matter concerns your younger brother. You must help with this.”
“Isn’t it better to ask the Zhenguo Duke for this matter?” Yan Feng wasn’t trying to avoid responsibility. She was just speaking the truth.
The old madam sighed and said: “Don’t you know old two’s personality?!”
Fine, Yan Feng understood.
“But mom, you also know your son-in-law’s personality….” Yan Feng had a troubled expression.
All in all, Yan Feng lived pretty well after marrying into the Chen family. Her husband Chen Chun was a little inflexible, but he was still a gentleman and noble at heart. There were concubines and chambermaids, but because the household rules were strict, the situation where a concubine was pampered and the principal wife neglected didn’t happen. Her father-in-law was busy with official affairs and her mother-in-law had a gentle nature. Her older sister-in-law was astute but also kind and honest. They got along very well. She wasn’t the eldest madam so she didn’t need to manage the household. Her days were very smooth.
After marrying Chen Chun, they rarely argued. The only few occasions had to do with her maternal family. This made Yan Feng a little helpless. She was the principal line’s eldest daughter and had been pampered since birth. Her dad cherished her and her mom spoiled her. Her two younger brothers treated her extremely well. It was impossible for her to cut them off just because her husband had issues with them.
In the past she had also gotten angry. Why does your Chen family look down upon my Yan family so? Why marry me in that case? But nothing is perfect in life. She was already his wife, and couldn’t leave him over this sort of matter. She could only endure and try to persuade him frequently.
After her second brother married the Zhenguo Duke’s daughter, her father-in-law had scolded her husband a few times. Afterwards, Chen Chun no longer prevented her from visiting home, which made her overjoyed with surprise. Although Chen Chun didn’t lack in saying a few sour words, it wasn’t really a big deal. At most, she brought him over less to her family’s place.
The old madam naturally understood her daughter’s difficulties. But if she had another way, she wouldn’t have troubled her own daughter.
She pulled Yan Feng’s hand and said: “Mom also knows your difficulties. But it’s your younger brother’s important matter after all….”
“Enough, mom. Leave it to me. I’ll go convince my husband. You don’t have to worry too much.”
Yan Feng was truly in a difficult position. It wasn’t convenient for her to bring it up with her father-in-law, and she could only have her husband do it. But recalling his personality, she felt her head aching. However, it was her maternal family’s matter, her own little brother’s matter. She knew how serious it was, and had to do it despite being troubled.
The old madam had Yan Feng stay for lunch. After eating, she took her carriage back to her husband’s house.
That night, Yan Feng waited until Chen Chun had finished reading and the two lay down in bed.
After lying down, she brought up the matter.
As expected, Chen Chun raised his brows after listening and said: “Isn’t that Yan Ting the Zhenguo Duke’s son-in-law? Why does he have to ask you?”
Despite being married for over ten years, Yan Feng would still be very angry seeing his appearance when mentioning her maternal family. She restrained her discomfort and shot him a glance, saying: “Isn’t he my little brother? Aren’t you his brother-in-law? A father-in-law is another step removed, and isn’t as intimate as us brothers and sisters. As his brother-in-law, if you won’t help him, who would?!”
Having been married for ten years was sufficient for Yan Feng to figure out Chen Chun’s personality. He wasn’t a bad person, just a little too rigid in his thinking. There was also some chauvinism and a little pettiness.
As expected, Chen Chun’s expression became a little gentler. However, he still felt a little displeased and grumbled: “You noble descendants never take the proper route. No matter what you do, you want others to let you cut corners.”
Yan Feng rolled her eyes in her heart, and really wanted to say: You took the proper route, and are still just a graduate after passing the exam ten years ago. If it weren’t for your father, who would even know who you are!?
Her silent curses remained silent in the end. On the surface, Yan Feng leaned over extremely intimately, saying in a gentle and slightly pampered tone: “This lady’s married you already, and can only rely on you. Who else can I ask for help? It’s not good for me to ask father-in-law directly.”
Yan Feng was over thirty and she wasn’t young anymore. But women in wealthy households all took care of themselves, and she still looked in her twenties. Her gentle pleading completely exhibited the charm of a woman. Chen Chun was susceptible to this performance as expected. His expression softened and he nodded.
What happened after the lights were blown and the curtains drawn naturally didn’t need to be mentioned.
Before two days had gone by, Chen Chun had an answer for Yan Feng.
Chen Chun’s expression was a little ugly. He first said his dad couldn’t help with this matter, and then scolded Yan Feng sternly, telling her not to look into this matter anymore and let go of any thoughts. She should stay home and stick to her role properly, and not get involved. Afraid Yan Feng would only agree on the surface, he said further that this matter was arranged by the higher-ups and none of them could do anything about it.
This was the first time Chen Chun spoke so sternly to Yan Feng, and she felt a little panicked. Chen Chun didn’t allow her to leave, so she could only have her trusted aide send a letter home.
When she received the letter, the old madam’s expression was extremely ugly. Yan Ting’s was the same.
Chen Chun’s father worked for the third-ranked official, the Ministry of War’s esteemed left senior minister. Relocation orders were all under his arrangement, yet he still wasn’t clear about it. It had come from further up still. Within the Grand Xi, there were only a few people who were still higher up.
People’s thoughts couldn’t help but wander. Could it be their Yan family truly offended someone?
Following Yan Feng, Chen Chun also sent a letter over.
In his letter, he wrote a few archaic expressions. The gist of it was that since Yan Feng married into their family, she was now part of the Chen family. A married woman had her role in the family, and it was better if the Yan family didn’t bother her with their affairs in case they caused her worry. In the end, he added a hint as his brother-in-law: it would be better for Yan Ting to go ask his father-in-law. He’s the Zhenguo Duke’s son-in-law after all.
After reading this letter, Yan Ting was extremely furious. He cursed the Chen household in front of the old madam. He said this marriage might as well not have happened. What good was their Chen family? They still reeked of the countryside, but are putting on airs in front of their Weiyuan Marquis Estate.
Her son was her son, her daughter was her daughter and her son-in-law wouldn’t change his ways. What could the old madam say about it? She could only remain silent while her heart was panicked. She wondered whether they truly offended someone.
Yan Ting was like a caged animal and couldn’t sit still.
Actually this matter was a bit of a misunderstanding. The truth of the matter was this. Chen Chun had asked his father about it, who was truly unclear about it. However, he had felt there was something odd about it. He told his son not to look into it further, and that it had come from above.
Seeing his father being helpless and his solemn expression, Chen Chun had overthought things. This was why he ended up scolding Yan Feng. He didn’t like his wife getting involved in her maternal family’s affairs to begin with. Since his own father felt helpless, it was naturally a troublesome matter.
It wasn’t easy for their Chen family to raise themselves. Ten years had passed since they moved into the capital, and they slowly stabilized themselves. They were cautious and remained aboveboard. He was afraid his wife would insist upon the matter and make trouble for his dad, so he was especially stern in his scolding.
As for the letter he sent over, it was to save his wife some trouble in the future and also to give some advice.
Unfortunately, he was never good with words, and this matter happened to be a sore spot for Yan Ting. Yan Ting didn’t view his advice as advice, but merely as disdainful mockery.
Yan Ting could almost see Chen Chun’s appearance as he looked down upon him. Aren’t you the Zhenguo Duke’s son-in-law? Why are you asking our Chen family for help!
Apart from his anger, Yan Ting also felt the seriousness of this matter. Even he couldn’t help but wonder if he had offended someone. But since he had been stationed at the border for years, even if someone was offended, it shouldn’t have been because of him!
The mother and son came to a conclusion and they looked at each other. Yan Ting said: “Could it be that oldest brother’s family stirred something up?”
Why wasn’t it Yan Qu? It was because Yan Qu was always taciturn, and also stuck to his role more. In comparison, Yan Zhi was much more slippery. Although his status wasn’t high and his posting was an idle one, his network had always been wide. He had quite a few disreputable friends, and those he knew were all a little crooked.
The old madam didn’t really care about Yan Zhi’s matters so she wasn’t sure either.
“Back then we should have kicked him out during the division of the household. Who cares if others gossiped about it!?” Yan Ting said angrily with a frown. He was venting here. Everyone would vent to some extent.
The old madam remained silent. She also wondered if Yan Zhi had provoked some trouble and caused a calamity for her son. She hurriedly had someone call the eldest lord over.
This was what is meant by those above twitch their fingers and those below rack their brains. The mother and son were barking up the wrong tree, but could also be said to have stumbled upon the truth.
They had truly offended someone, and the person they offended was quite influential.