Thinking of this, Luo Huai Yuan asked quietly: “Your grandfather still isn’t seeing your dad and mom?”
Yan Yan’s emotions were a little complicated. However, Luo Huai Yuan was also aware of this from their letters. Yan Yan didn’t keep it from him. “Err, for the sake of avoiding suspicion, I haven’t visited my grandfather in a while. It seems he hasn’t seen them yet.”
Luo Huai Yuan realized that made sense. If he wasn’t seeing his daughter and son-in-law but continued to go over their heads and treat his granddaughter and grandson warmly, wasn’t that causing problems for Yan Yan and her brother? Someone innocent wouldn’t overthink it, but how could Yan Ting be someone innocent?
He waved Shen Qi over, planning to get some inside information.
When Shen Qi came, he asked: “What is your household planning with little sis Ah Yan’s household?”
Shen Qi glanced at Yan Yan, his gaze complicated. He scratched his head and said: “I’m also not too sure. I overheard my mom and dad speaking once. It seems they will continue giving them the cold shoulder.”
He felt a little awkward since this matter involved little sis Ah Yan’s parents after all. He wasn’t clear what the adults were thinking, but always felt it was a complicated situation.
Luo Huai Yuan pondered and said: “You shouldn’t worry about it too much. Just eat and sleep like you should. This matter doesn’t have much to do with you and little Ah Mo.” This was said to Yan Yan.
This was all they could do at the moment.
Yan Yan was suddenly no longer in the mood. She looked at the sky outside and said: “The snow is getting heavier. I guess I’ll take Ah Mo back.”
Luo Huai Yuan cursed his own cheap mouth for making the little consort unhappy.
“Not staying a little longer?”
“I shouldn’t. It’s getting late. You guys should head back earlier too.” She then said so Shen Qi: “Big bro Qi no need to escort me. Have the carriage drive us back first before coming to pick you up. It’s cold outside.”
After Yan Yan left, Luo Huai Yuan also lost interest. He said his farewells to Shen Qi and went to call Xiao An Zi, preparing to return to the fourth prince estate.
Before he went downstairs, he ran into Manager Zhou.
Luo Huai Yuan didn’t beat around the bush. “I’ll take a couple of days to put things together. Send someone over to fetch it. The kitchen here has a rough idea of how to do it. They’re just lacking the details. The profit will be split according to the usual standard. Give me forty percent.”
Manager Zhou smiled bitterly and nodded, seeing off this little ancestor from the rear doors.
Afterwords, the Liu Xiang Restaurant gave birth to a new type of food. The eating method was very novel and the taste was extremely good. It attracted all the foodies in the capital.
This food was called “dipping pot”. The tagline was “anything can be dipped”. Normal ingredients dipped into the pot tasted extremely fresh. If it was combined with the Liu Xiang Restaurant’s rather pricy special sauce, it was essentially the best thing that could be found anywhere.
The Liu Xiang Restaurant’s business exploded in popularity. It was completely full every day. Soon, they opened up another branch in the western part of the city. Only then did the business reduce slightly.
Of course, this was a matter for the future.
The carriage stopped by the second door. An enclosed sedan chair was already waiting.
The two of them got onto the sedan and returned to the Ningxiang Chambers.
Right as they took off their coats, Matron Zou walked over with a serious expression.
“Miss, some things happened in the estate while you were gone. The old madam brought Concubine Pei to the Rongan Hall. Someone came to report just now. Concubine Pei is almost three months pregnant.”
Encountering this right as she got back, Yan Yan even wondered if Concubine Pei was going against her.
Especially since she was pregnant?
She was in disbelief. Yan Qian had just been making a fuss recently trying to get her released. Right as things calmed down for a while, this matter came up?
Yan Yan didn’t say anything. Matron Zou was afraid she didn’t understand some of the inner workings and delicately described the matters involved in a woman getting pregnant. Yan Yan was young after all, and hadn’t even gotten her period yet. How could she know about these things?
“The doctor who took her pulse said she was almost three months pregnant. This means that she had gotten pregnant prior to getting locked up, but no one knew about it?”
Matron Zou’s expression was grave as she nodded.
They had finally gotten the chance to knock this Concubine Pei down when this sort of dramatic event occurred. It was truly hard to accept.
“Let’s first take a look at the situation.”
Yan Yan had Mei Xiang help her put on her cloak once again. Seeing the heavy snow outside, she also ordered someone to bring a parasol. She wasn’t planning on bringing Yan Mo at first, but he refused to let go of her hand. She could only bring him along.
By the time Yan Yan arrived, the Rongan Hall was already full of people.
The eldest branch’s Xue-shi, the third branch’s Chen-shi and Shen Yi Yao were all present. Concubine Pei had her head half-lowered as she sat on a chair by the old madam, looking very docile.
“…..old two doesn’t have many sons and old three doesn’t have any. Mo’er’s health isn’t good and only Hong’er is capable. This has always been a sore spot in my heart. This is wonderful. If Concubine Pei can give Hong’er a little brother, our Yan household will definitely prosper in the future.”
It wasn’t clear if this old madam lost herself in joy or what, actually saying that only Yan Hong was capable in front of Shen Yi Yao. Not only was Shen Yi Yao’s expression not too good, Xue-shi and Chen-shi were the same.
Although the eldest branch didn’t stem from the old madam, the third branch’s third lord was birthed by her. Chen-shi hadn’t given birth to a son but the old madam’s words made it sound like the third branch wasn’t able to do so at all. But this was truly a shortcoming in Chen-shi’s heart. Although she felt very disgusted, she didn’t dare say anything.
Yan Yan had just walked in when she heard these words, and was immediately unhappy.
“Grandmother, according to your words, Ah Mo isn’t dad’s son?”
The old madam had realized her words weren’t quite right. She had noticed Shen Yi Yao’s expression and was about to say a few remedying words when Yan Yan interrupted her.
“How could grandmother think that? I was just overwhelmed with happiness for a moment.” The old madam’s tone changed extremely quickly and waved Yan Mo over. “Ah Mo is also grandmother’s obedient grandson. Ah Mo, come let your grandmother take a look. Did you have a good meal today? Grandmother noticed Ah Mo is filling out more recently…..”
She pulled Yan Mo’s little hand, seeming benevolent and amiable.
Yan Mo merely revealed a shallow bashful smile and didn’t say anything.
Yan Yan’s gaze flickered around Concubine Pei whom she hadn’t seen in a while.
She wore a light cyan long jacket, her pitch-black hair casually tied up in a bun. Her skin was still fair and exquisite, but it seemed a little bleak compared to its previously moisturized and glossy appearance. She had also lost a lot of weight. Her small face seemed smaller, making her eyes appear a little larger.
She still had the same pitiful appearance, merely lacking in her former calm. She looked a little more cramped. It seems she had suffered quite a bit during her confinement.
Shen Yi Yao seemed to have just arrived as well. The old madam released Yan Mo’s hand and continued explaining to her: “Ting’er wholeheartedly wants to help you vent your anger. But as you see, Concubine Pei is pregnant. The doctor who took her pulse said her body is frail and the pregnancy is a little unsteady. Therefore, this old woman thickened my skin and ordered her to be released. After all, this is for the child’s sake. We can’t let the child in her stomach suffer along with her in the small courtyard.”
Shen Yi Yao half-lowered her face and didn’t speak.
“I know you are generous and kind. No matter how Concubine Pei was in the wrong, the child is still innocent. She can atone for her sins by herself. After she gives birth, I’ll have her stay by your side obediently until you are satisfied….
Since she had spoken to this extent, what could Shen Yi Yao say?
“Your daughter-in-law doesn’t have any opinion. I’ll leave it up to mom.”
The old madam revealed a satisfied smile.
After she spoke, Concubine Pei knelt in front of Shen Yi Yao and solidly kowtowed a few times.
“Madam, this one knows her wrongs. In the future this one will play her part dutifully and won’t dare to reoffend. Thank you madam for your mercy. Thank you madam for your mercy.”
Concubine Pei kowtowed while she spoke sobbingly. Before long, her forehead was swollen. Shen Yi Yao could only for indicate Cui Qiao to lift her up.
Xue-shi’s smile was a little rigid. But what could anyone say under these circumstances?
This included Yan Yan.
After all, since ancient times, sons were important matters for a household. It could only be said that Concubine Pei’s luck was too good, to be able to make a comeback after falling into such dire circumstances.
After returning to the Ningxiang Chambers, Yan Yan’s face held no hint of a smile.
No one would be able to smile in her position. She had finally dealt with that person when this suddenly twist came. Without evening mentioning Concubine Pei’s revenge, this matter still made her feel disgusted.
How could she be pregnant!?
During this time, Matron Zou had just about pieced together the sequence of events.
Today, while Concubine Pei was eating her meal, she suddenly threw up all over the place. Only then did she recall she hadn’t gotten her period in a while. The granny responsible for her meals didn’t dare delay and reported it to the old madam. The old madam had someone send a doctor over to take her pulse. The outcome of this examination was that she was three months pregnant.
“There’s definitely something fishy about this!” Matron Zou was firm as iron.
Yan Yan didn’t understand what she meant, but the experienced Matron Qin and Matron Dong understood.
“That’s right. She’s already had two children. How could she only notice she was pregnant after three months? Isn’t she acting like an unmarried virgin?!” Matron Dong said.
“This old woman, how can you say this in front of the miss?”
Matron Dong smiled in embarrassment. Yan Yan waved her hand dismissively.
“Which doctor took her pulse?”
Yan Yan got to the point. Matron Zou said after hesitating: “It was Doctor Chang.”
Doctor Chang had been working in the Weiyuan Marquis Estate for over ten years, and was assigned to adjust the old madam’s health. He played his part dutifully and has always been trusted by the old madam. If Concubine Pei could bribe Doctor Chang into lying, then the old madam definitely knew about it.
But it was impossible for the old madam to cover up for Concubine Pei. Especially since Yan Ting was currently doing his best to conquer the Zhenguo Duke. How could the old madam make trouble for her son?
But if Concubine Pei hadn’t gotten pregnant suddenly, the old madam wouldn’t have let her out. This was clear from the old madam’s disregard towards her during this period of time.
Then was Concubine Pei really pregnant?
Yan Yan still couldn’t believe she would be so lucky. But since the situation was like this, no one could refute it.
“Let’s wait and see. If there’s really something going in, there is bound to be some clues.”
Concubine Pei returned to the Ziyu Pavilion, which had been empty for a while.
Before she returned, the servants had already cleaned the place up. The heated vents were lit and the house was warm and cozy.
The Ziyu Pavilion looked the same as before, but the things and people were not.
Ever since that event, Concubine Pei’s previous servants have all either been expelled or sold off. Those who were serving in the residence were all new faces.
When the servants all took their leave, Yan Qian pounced and hugged Concubine Pei while crying. Concubine Pei’s eyes were filled with tears mixed with happiness.
Yan Qian told her everything that had happened these days, including Yan Hong’s ungrateful behavior.
“….mom is biased towards him all the time and even your daughter yields to him. He’s only lived in the Rongan Hall for so long but has completely forgotten about mom….”
Concubine Pei already knew about this. The two times Yan Qian went to see her, she had complained about Yan Hong.
Concubine Pei had comforted herself by thinking her son was young and couldn’t do anything. It was already hard for him to take care of himself.
But just now in the Rongan Hall, she had asked if Yan Hong wanted to return with her. Yan Hong wasn’t willing. The old madam smoothed things over by saying it wasn’t convenient to take care of this naughty child while pregnant. She said it was best to leave Yan Hong in the Rongan Hall first. As his grandmother, she wouldn’t mistreat him.
If Concubine Pei still didn’t understand what was going on, she would have lived in vain.
This son of hers was no longer close with her due to this old woman’s influence. Now she was preventing him from returning to her side.
Concubine Pei naturally wouldn’t hate her own son. She couldn’t only turn her anger onto her aunt, the old madam.
“Mom knows Qian’er is filial. If it weren’t for my Qian’er, no one would have responded to my cries. It’s all that damn old woman’s fault. Not only did she make me the scapegoat, she even stopped caring about me. She’s forgotten how much I’ve supported her over the years. Now she’s even caused my son to be estranged from me.” Concubine Pei resentfully wiped her tears.
She said to Yan Qian. “You also shouldn’t blame your little brother. He’s still young and insensible. It’s all that old woman’s fault. You are a girl and will be married off some day. The two of us will have to rely on your little brother in the future. Therefore, you shouldn’t blame him and should get along with him. You’re siblings after all, and this can’t be overcome by outsiders. As your mom, what drags me down is my concubine’s status and the fact I don’t have any brothers to support me. I can only hug onto that old woman’s leg. Look at that third miss. She knows she has to protect that sickly brother of hers. Why? Isn’t it to have some support once she’s married off?!”
Concubine Pei’s concise words convinced Yan Qian. Her expression was still unwilling but her attitude became better.
“You always say this. You always make me yield to him.” Yan Qian pouted.
“Mom is also doing it for Qian’er’s own good. I will slowly instruct Hong’er in the future. You are the older sister, and should also guide your younger brother properly.”