Gossip spreads so quickly.
Chapter Forty Three
Wei Ran Shuang sat inside a blue cloth-covered carriage, holding a bag in a daze. The shaking as the carriage moved forward did nothing to clear her head.
After the carriage moved forward for a period of time, it suddenly stopped. She sat in a daze for a beat before asking: “What’s happening?”
“Guniang, Duan Wang Fu’s carriage is coming over, we have to clear the road.” The person outside answered.
Duan Wang Fu? Wei Ran Shuang’s expression changed and she pushed aside the curtain covering the window. She saw up ahead that there were guards clearing the road, protecting an Ashtamangala carriage pulled by four horses. From a glance, it could be seen that it was a carriage specifically for Duan Wang Fu’s womenfolk. Behind the large carriage, there were a few small yet finely made carriages. They most likely were used by the personal servant girls of Duan Wang Fei.
Wei Ran Shuang bit her lower lip, her heart uncomfortable. Even Duan Wang Fei’s personal attendants were riding in a carriage that was better than the one she had. She let the curtain down. As she listened to the people outside use astonished and admiring voices to talk about Duan Wang Fu’s carriage, her stare gradually became resolute.
After Duan Wang Fei’s procession had passed, the green cloth covered carriage that Wei Ran Shuang sat in started to sway as it made its way forward again. When she came out of the carriage, Wei Ran Shuang looked at the relatively bare door of her family’s fu. There weren’t any sedans. She held her yahuan’s hand as she walked in. Her family home was just this big, there were no high-ranking officials and basically no space to stand on protocol.
Wei Qin shi saw her daughter return and a crowd of people carrying gifts. She smiled and remarked: “You seem heavier. Guifei niangniang is very good at raising people.”
Wei Ran Shuang forced a smile and let her mother put away the objects that Jing guifei had bestowed down. Then she said: “Aunt said you probably were missing me, so she let me return.”
Hearing this, Wei Qin shi’s face slightly changed. After she motioned for the others in the room to leave, she said with some worry: “Did guifei niangniang not like you?”
Wei Ran Shuang shook her head, her voice carrying full of distress: “Guifei niangniang said Duan wang fei was very good.”
“What does that mean, does she spurn you to become her son’s ce shi?” Wei Qin shi’s voice was full of indignation as she ranted, “She’s our Wei family’s daughter. Now that she’s become guifei niangniang, has she forgotten her maternal family.” No matter what, her father-in-law and Jing guifei’s father had been full brothers. Now that their branch was declining, Jing guifei hadn’t done anything to help and even looked down on her daughter. It was somewhat upsetting.
But remembering that her own husband was only a minor fifth-grade provincial governor before transferring back to Jing and that both husband and her children needed to rely on Jing guifei in the future, she could only suppress her dissatisfaction and sighed: “Niangniang has bestowed down so many things, it can be seen she is still looking after you. As to Duan Wang … … I’ll try to think of a way for you.”
Wei Ran Shuang’s face reddened and she whispered: “His Highness Duan Wang is a good person.”
Wei Qin shi looked at her daughter’s bashful expression and decided to meet that Duan Wang Fei before making a decision. Her maternal father and brothers might not have great abilities but they were a branch of the Qin Clan, and could find someone who could speak out.
If her daughter went into Duan Wang Fu, it was a good road. At least there still was Jing guifei niangniang so Duan wang fei wouldn’t harshly treat her daughter. Duan Wang and her daughter also were cousins and would care a bit more based on the relationship. Going into the wang fu, it was better than marrying a minor official who was never going to come into the light.
The Princess Royal’s fu at this time was full of noise, clothing and music flying everywhere. When Qu Qing Ju walked into the houyaun, she found that if it wasn’t that these people were wearing medieval clothing, she thought she was at one of the modern parties.
When she came in, instantly a formally dressed mama carefully ushered her into a pavilion. She saw Wei Qing E sitting down next to a grandly dressed woman. That person was most likely Jin An Princess. She cheerfully came and performed an elegant bow: “So this must be jiejie. Nice to meet you jiejie.”
Jin An Princess stood and held her hand, returning the same greeting: “Er dimei, don’t be so still. I called everyone here just for relaxing and having fun, not to be so courteous.” Finishing, she pulled her to sit down beside herself, and let the servants serve tea.
Qu Qing Ju smiled and replied: “That’s great, I’m so tired of the rules everyday,” Finishing ,she looked at the surroundings, “Where’s nephew and niece?”
“I got the two of them to go play with the little guests from the other families,” Jin An Princess waved her hand, “Big people and little people can’t play together. They don’t come and disturb us, isn’t this nice?”
Qu Qing Ju smiled but didn’t respond. Even though young children were noise, but as an aunt, she could only hear this but not agree.
“Which child isn’t loud,” Wei Qing E responded. She herself had a son. When she talked about children, she always had enthusiasm, “It’s good for children to run around and be loud, their bodies becomes stronger.”
Jin An Princess nodded: “That’s so true, It’s so hard for a woman to raise a child.” Finishing, she smiled at Qu Qing Ju, “Dimei doesn’t have children now, you still have some relaxing days.”
Qu Qing Ju smiled as she took a drink of tea, “It’s nice too to have children around.” She detected the friendliness barely noticeable in Jin An Princess. If it was any other person, at this time they would asked when she was having a child, but Jin An Princess made it seem like a joke.
“Looking at the noise in other families, I find it much harder to care for a child than looking.” Jin An Princess had no desire to keep discussing children and turned to say, “When er ge and dimei married, I wasn’t in Jing, and didn’t have the luck to meet you. Today, I have to say that my didi is very lucky to marry such a good person, it’s an event of great fortune.”
Trying hard to let herself reveal a bashful expression, Qu Qing Ju lowered her head.
Jin An Princess saw Qu Qing Ju’s red cheeks and knew she was embarrassed. She smiled and teased: “I forgot you’re newly married, you’re embarrassed now.” When she first saw the other, she had felt she was eye-catching, but this bashful young girl in front of her made her agree with the empress’s words. This Duan Wang Fei was very suited to er di.
Wei Qing E saw that Jin An Princess Royal had the desire to be close with Qu Qing Ju and looked at Qu Qing Ju in surprise. Today, her er dimei was still dressed vibrantly. That already beautiful face, if it was a nine before, today it was a ten. She knew very clearly how men liked this type of beautiful woman, but she was even clearer of the fact that, just based on a face, a woman couldn’t keep a man.
“Princess, Rui Wang Fei has arrived.”
Jin An Princess heard the servant’s report and the smile on her face dimmed. But if one didn’t look closely, they wouldn’t have seen it. “Quickly welcome them in.” She had never interacted closely with Rui Wang, but the arrogant conduct of Rui Wang had passed into her ears a long time ago. As a married princess, she never commented on these kinds of matters but she didn’t like Rui Wang and his family. A man with this personality, if he succeeded, then all of his siblings won’t have easy lives.
Qin Bai Lu’s mood wasn’t very bright but the usual smile on her face didn’t dim. She walked into the pavilion and after exchanging bows with Jin An Princess, she sat down next to Qu Qing Ju.
Sitting closely together, Qu Qing Ju found her face seemed slightly swollen. Qin Bai Lu had applied heavier makeup today and seemed more mature.
Wei Qing E held a teacup and blew on the tea leaves on the surface. She slowly took a drink before smiling at Qin Bai Lu, remarking: “San dimei is a bit late today.”
“When I came out today, I met some matters. Sorry, da jie and the two saosao, for waiting,” Qin Bai Lu forced out some mirth, the hand holding the teacup tightening, “It was dimei’s fault.”
“Your da sao is joking with you, you aren’t late,” Jin An Princess saw that something wasn’t right from her appearance and her voice softened, “Since you have all arrived and come with me to chat with the others. After so many years, I’m not familiar anymore with Jing’s womenfolk.”
Since the sister-in-law asked, the three dimei naturally stood and accompanied Jin An to converse with the women. The three sat at the front with Jin An Princess and found that many young girls were sitting in the garden. They didn’t know why Jin An Princess had done such a thing and smiled without speaking.
Qu Qing Ju found Liang shi was in the gardens as well with Qu Yue Su and Qu Hui Xue. She tilted her head to look at Qin Bai Lu. As expected, her face had become darker.
Watching the scene, she couldn’t help but sigh. Liang shi was in too much of a rush and too short-sighted. She knew that Rui Wang Fei was coming today, why did she come, did she think that Jin An Princess would favour Qu Yue Su?
“Today, so many lovable guests have come. Ben gong likes having a good time. Why don’t these lovable guests look at some paintings and compose a few poems to widen our scope,” Jin An Princess’ tone was a consulting one, but when her words landed, people appeared with drawings and brush and ink.
To show off in front of the princess and the wang fei, many were very willing. So these young girls started to examine the drawings and compose a good poem.
Qu Qing Ju saw the excited young girls and, in a flash, felt that Jin An Princess was amusing herself. These young girls didn’t have many important connections to her and having some fun was a good thing.
These people were appreciating drawings. Qu Qing Ju and the others naturally wouldn’t partake in the activity and so they chatted as they drank tea.
“I heard that the lanterns a few nights ago at the Lantern Festival were very beautiful. It was a pity I didn’t have the time, otherwise I would have gone to see,” Ning Wang Fei Wei Qing E’s voice held regret, “The lanterns in the fu might be beautiful but they don’t have the same flavour.”
Qu Qing Ju saw that Qin Bai Lu’s face became even uglier.
“Er dimei, did you go?” Wei Qing E pushed the topic onto Qu Qing Ju’s head.
By now who didn’t know that Duan Wang had taken Duan Wang Fei out to see the flower lanterns and onto Rui Wang’s boat to see the fireworks? Qu Qing Ju raised an eyebrow. Wei Qing E was asking this just to instigate a conflict between her and Qin Bai Lu. That was because, Qu Yue Su was like her, they were all named Qu.
At the same time in Duan Wang Fu, He Heng heard expected news.
“Lao san is taking the Duke of Chang De’s third daughter as ce fei?” He Heng repeated with a calm face as he looked at Wang Chang Ming, “You are sure?”
“Rui Wang Fu has already sent the letter and the gifts to Chang De Gong Fu, it’s very likely.” Wang Chang Ming said, “But it’s unknown if Chang De Gong Fu will accept.”
Wang Chang Min didn’t dare to mention wang fei so he only said: “Dai Duo has also passed along information. Rui wang ye is very angry at the attempted assassination of the imperial envoy. He is suspicious it was Ning Wang that purposefully framed him.”
He Heng lowered his head, putting down the carved root. He tapped the bottom of the root: “Let him have his tantrum.”
It could be seen at the bottom of the carved root, there was a hollow building. It looked beautiful, but in reality, it wasn’t strong.