When Xiao Heng heard that the Emperor wanted him to marry the Zuo girl, he couldnt help but feel that this situation was extremely ridiculous.
He retorted: “His Majesty thinks she is like my mom, so he wants to matchmake us Why doesnt he marry her himself Thatd be just right.”
These reckless words made the Old Madam very angry.
What a disrespectful remark! She fumed with rage between gritted teeth, her face pale and her legs trembling.
She pointed a trembling finger at Xiao Heng and said hatefully: “Y-you… What nonsense are you saying Isnt he taking so much trouble just for you You will become a prince after youre included in the genealogy.
Think of the other princes, the first Prince and the second Prince are not fuel-efficient lamps1Fuel-efficient lamps [省油的燈] – This term is used widely to refer to people who are shrewd, capable, and not easy to deal with..
That third Prince is even the blood of Her Majesty, the Empress.
Of these people, which one does not have a stronger backing than yours Who can you rely on If there is anything, RuiDing residence will naturally support you no matter what, but apart from us, who else do you have”
Seeing her get so angry, Xiao Heng raised his hand to assist her.
He lowered his head and said, “Grandma2T/N: Here, XH called her informally [奶奶] as opposed to what he did before in the previous chapter [祖母].
From here on, Ill be usinggrandmother when he uses the formal address andgrandma when he used the informal., you have to calm down.”
The old lady was so angry that her hands were trembling and her face had lost color.
Xiao Hengs words were too outrageous for her.
But now, after she saw him bowing his head and calling hergrandma, an abrupt sorrow overcame her heart, and tears spilled from her eyes.
“His Majesty is planning for you.
You havent married a legitimate wife so just do a favor and give this position to the Zuo family.
In this way, they will also become your loyal ally.
Later, help them stabilize their power besides developing an external force.
Otherwise, whatever empty position you give, wouldnt it just be them losing face”
“I have also told you if you really dont like this arrangement, its fine.
After all, its just about a position.
I know Suiers temperament.
She is a good person, so she wouldnt disagree with this.”
Xiao Heng respected this grandmother of his very much.
He was well aware that she was doing this for his own good.
However, there were some matters he was unwilling to put up with.
Xiao Heng held the old ladys arm lightly, with a respectful behavior while still insisting: “Grandmother, the Zuo family is my moms closest family.
If I can help, I would definitely be willing to help.
But Suier is simple-minded and Ah Chen is young, the mother and son need to be considered before taking any decision.
I dont want them to suffer any grievance due to this matter, and I also dont want to use my marriage as a bargaining chip.
How many women can tolerate their husbands favoring a concubine-born oldest son Once I really marry another woman, I dont know how much Suier and even Ah Chen, will suffer, given her pure temperament.”
The Old Madam sighed: “You can be at ease about this matter.
I am the least willing to let our Ah Chen suffer any grievances.
As for that Zuo girl, I have to slowly test her character.
If she indeed cannot tolerate Suier and Ah Chen and has no understanding of her position, I also dare not let her marry.”
Xiao Heng naturally disapproved of her words.
There were thousands of ways through which he could help the Zuo family.
As for whether he would help or not, it was upto him.
Could it be that he, as a dignified man, still had to rely on a marital relationship to win over other peoples hearts
Before this, Xiao Heng hadnt really thought about taking a wife, but today, he suddenly realized.
In this matter, he didnt want to be controlled by anyone.
Even if Gu Suier was still unable to become his main wife, he had enough time to wait.
He raised his head and looked at the aged woman.
Before his eyes was the person who had raised him by herself and was now planning a path for himself, except that it was not what he wanted.
But in this world, there were only a few people who thought for him so sincerely.
At this moment, the aged Old Madam was angry because of his contradictory statements.
Moreover, there was another person in the Palace who was also counting on him to marry the Zuo girl.
He knew that this was not a matter where he could just meet force with force.
Because, if the confrontation was fierce, it would make them dissatisfied with Gu Suier instead.
After a whiles pondering, he already had an idea in his mind.
He would simply have the Zuo girl sound out the difficulties and withdraw from the betrothal.
So, he deliberately said: “If this is the case, then we have to examine her tolerance closely.
If she doesnt get even the slightest bit upset or annoyed when she learns that I have a favorite concubine before she even gets married and even a concubine-born eldest son, and still holds the dignified bearing of the mistress of the household, the matter can be discussed.”
Hearing this, the Old Madam didnt think deeply about the meaning of his words.
At present, she was too joyful that he relented, at last, to even think that he had already come up with another idea for preventing the marriage.
She hurriedly said: “Thats fine, thats fine.
I actually intend to observe her disposition and behavior before finalizing it too.”
After the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, because the Zuo family wanted to renovate their former residence, they could not live in the house for the time being and just rented a house.
And this Zuo familys young lady, Zuo XiuYan, came to stay at the RuiDing residence at Xiao Jins invitation for a while till her familys residence was refurbished.
At this time, quite a few major things happened in YanJing City.
The first sensation was, of course, the re-investigation of AnGuo ducal familys case and their exoneration.
The Emperor recalled the descendants of the Zuo family and reinstated their former title.
At that time, the Zuo family was full of children and grandchildren but unfortunately, there were only a few people from the fourth branch left now.
The Emperor specially decreed to rebuild the former AnGuo residence in sight of their several years of suffering.
Once the matter spread, everyone naturally discussed it spiritedly.
Some people felt pity for the former AnGuo ducal family but some people envied the luck of the descendants because there were only a few of the many implicated families who were able to be vindicated.
Suddenly, some people began to submit complaints, trying to redress the injustice meted out to their own families and clan.
Originally, people assumed that this was the most sensational incident in YanJing City now, but another big news was disclosed shortly after this.
It shocked both the Imperial Court members and the ordinary people.
They couldnt stop themselves from gossiping.
Due to this mishap, the Zuo familys wife-born eldest daughters betrothal to the current Emperor could not be fulfilled.
However, a few years after the fiasco, when he went to northern LiaoNing, the Emperor unexpectedly favored the young lady, and sired another prince.
As soon as these words spread, everyone began discussing.
Although it was inevitable that this matter would raise some questions about etiquette, the common people enjoyed things that were as lively as watching plays where the good-looking young lady meets the poor scholar in the west wing secretly3T/N: Probably a reference to Wang ShiFus popular rom-com play «The Romance of the Western Chamber»..
So long as one had a predestined affinity with their intended, they would certainly come together.
Although the relationship between the Zuo familys young lady and the Emperor didnt have an outcome due to her early death, didnt he give justice to the Zuo family and acknowledge their child as a prince That was enough.
So this incident surprisingly spread far and wide.
Some even added oil and vinegar4Added oil and vinegar [添油加醋] – To furnish something with minute additional details and make it more interesting.
Here, to literally cook up a story xD as to how that prince and the Emperor share a deep bond, have identical noses and eyes, and look pretty much the same.
Soon after, the Emperor issued another decree, jointly conferring the posthumous title ofNoble Consort upon the eldest young lady of AnGuo ducal family and instructing Xiao Heng to enter the ancestral shrine to join the Imperial familys genealogy records and pay tribute to the ancestors.
Following this incident, the people continued to add oil and vinegar to the story of the pair of ideal lovers while each and every one of the court officials was stunned till they didnt know what to do.
A major incident, this was a major incident.
Even if they had probably guessed it from the vague clues, acknowledging a prince out of the blue was still not something they could digest so easily.
There were also some clever people who set the helm as soon as they saw the wind.
They rushed to the RuiDing residence, determined to curry favor with the former third Young Master who was about to become a prince.
And if they didnt have the opportunity of flattering him, they would aim for the eldest Young Master, the second Young Master, the eldest Young Madam, the second Young Madam, or even the Madam and the Old Madam ah!
After all, this new prince was living in the same residence with them.
Naturally, he must have a deep relationship with them.
In an instant, the RuiDing residence was almost surrounded and cut off from the outside world.
The Old Madam had already foreseen such a situation a long time ago and instructed the Madam to close off the gates and refuse to meet guests without exception.
“Dont go out or socialize much for some days.
Instead, stay at home and embroider or write poems to cultivate your moral character.” She commanded.
And since she was the one who said it, everyone naturally had to listen.
Fortunately, Lu QingYi and Zuo XiuYan were both staying with them.
Thus, along with these two, Xiao Jin, Xiao Xu, and the two young Madams, quite a few young ladies were present in the residence.
Everyone would gather together, chat, play mahjong with the Old Madam, or listen to her recounting her days back in the Palace.
Gu Suier took care of Little Ah Chen, and carried him to the Old Madam now and then; her days were quite relaxed.
As for her reaction to Xiao Hengs sudden change of identity from the third Young Master of the RuiDing family to the fifth prince, it was different from others.
Her shock was not that big.
She was a bit surprised for a few moments but after that, she didnt know what to do.
On the contrary, Xiao Heng raised his eyebrows and looked at the calm Gu Suier.
After scanning her expression for a while, he finally couldnt help asking.
“Dont you think its strange”
“Its quite strange.” Gu Suier thought: “But when I think about it carefully, it doesnt seem so strange anymore.”
She already knew that Xiao Hengs mom was the one lying alone in a remote grave, not the Madam.
She was also aware of the Old Madams affection for Xiao Heng and how much she valued him.
As a result, he must be extremely honorable.
In addition to those, the Emperors unusual love for Xiao Heng could easily make even anyone suspect that there was something fishy.
So when she heard that he was Xiao Hengs biological father, she was surprised but not too much after a second thought.
Rather, she felt that it should be this way.
“What are your thoughts” For Xiao Heng, it had always been others guessing his thoughts.
Before today, perhaps even he himself would not have expected that one day, he would ask his concubine for her thoughts.
Unexpectedly, it was so tough to learn what other people think.
“I have no thoughts.” Gu Suier answered truthfully.
She really had no thoughts about this matter.
“……” Xiao Hengs expression was a bit hard to explain in a few words.
He hadnt told Gu Suier about this before because he was curious to know how she would react when it would be publicized.
For instance, she would be astonished and say, “So you actually concealed this from me”
Or, she would say in panic, “You actually have such a high status.
What am I going to do from now on”
Or, she would sigh sorrowfully and lament over the complications …
Or she could even ask him ignorantly, “What actually happened between your parents ah”
Xiao Heng stared at Gu Suier, noticing that she was folding little Ah Chens clothes without caring much about him.
He turned his face and looked at the bamboo outside the window.
The spring breeze was blowing outside, making the bluish-green bamboo leaves stir gently.
He suddenly felt that he was being childish.
After Gu Suier was almost done sorting out the clothes, she finally realized that Xiao Hengs expression was amiss.
She looked at Xiao Heng in confusion, and asked worriedly: “Third Master, whats wrong”
After saying this, she realized something: “What shall I call you Third Master or fifth Prince Fifth Prince sounds a bit strange to me.”
Xiao Heng replied in a sullen voice: “You can call me whatever you want.”
Gu Suier nodded: “Alright then, Ill call you third Master.”
Xiao Heng was silent for a long time before he slowly turned his head.
He looked at Gu Suier: “His Majesty has already prepared a mansion for me.
We have to move out and live in the Princes residence soon.”
Gu Suier didnt expect this one.
She felt a little disappointed for a while: “So ah, once we move to the Princes mansion, I wont be able to meet the Old Madam and the others”
Xiao Heng: “Its not too far away.
You can come over whenever you want.”
This time, her movements stopped.
Sitting on the edge of the bed and thinking about living in an official residence alone, she felt somewhat lonely.
Although it was not impossible to visit this place, she would be living in a different house and not be as close to them as now.
“That is indeed a bit tedious.” Gu Suier sighed.
“You have nothing to do all day so you can learn how to ride a horse and read books.
I will teach you when I have time.
For other times, I will invite a few teachers for you.”
Gu Suier suddenly recalled something.
“When will third Master take a wife ah”
Now, the Zuo familys young lady was staying at the Marquis residence.
Despite the fact that none said anything, Gu Suier always had the impression that she was certainly going to marry Xiao Heng.
Hearing this, Xiao Heng felt suffocated in his heart.
His expression suddenly became a little ugly.
When she mentioned this last time, he had punished her fiercely.
But unfortunately, she didnt get it.
Looking at her calm expression now, he was a bit skeptical.
If he did indeed take marry someone, would she turn a blind eye to it Would she really not feel even a sliver of bitterness in her heart Or would she actually aid the Old Madam to convince him
T/N: Our dear ML is a man-child confirmed.
Hes upset he doesnt have Suiers attention to himself xD
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1Fuel-efficient lamps [省油的燈] – This term is used widely to refer to people who are shrewd, capable, and not easy to deal with.2T/N: Here, XH called her informally [奶奶] as opposed to what he did before in the previous chapter [祖母].
From here on, Ill be usinggrandmother when he uses the formal address andgrandma when he used the informal.3T/N: Probably a reference to Wang ShiFus popular rom-com play «The Romance of the Western Chamber».4Added oil and vinegar [添油加醋] – To furnish something with minute additional details and make it more interesting.
Here, to literally cook up a story xD