Our two favorite couples get together.
This chapter has been brought to you by me, leecherleechleech and vivie.
Chapter Seventy Eight
It was the first time that Luo Wen Yao visited Duan Wang Fu. She found that Duan Wang Fu was more magnificent and refined than Cheng Wang Fu. She couldn’t help squeezing He Ming’s hand, feeling sympathy for this person who was walking beside her.
He Ming assumed she was nervous and smiled at her, “Whatever you like to eat, tell er sao. We shouldn’t try to scrimp for them.”
“Even if you want to be frugal, you couldn’t save,” He Heng smiled as he led the others into the front hall. After everyone had sat down, he teased, “Your er sao takes great care of her eating and wardrobe. With her here, it isn’t possible to save.”
“Wang ye dislikes the fact that I eat too much?” Qu Qng Ju took a teacup from a yahuan and sniffed upon hearing his words.
“I’m happy you have such a good appetite, I wouldn’t dislike it,” He Heng smiled as he ordered, “Qian Chang Xin, go hasten the kitchen and have them make that peanut pastry that wang fei likes. Otherwise, your wang fei won’t forgive me today.”
“Nonsense. If they didn’t know, they would assume that I was a shrew,” Qu Qing Ju put down her teacup, and burst into laughter, “si shu and si dimei are still here. You just want them here to laugh at me.”
“Er sao, I didn’t see or hear anything,” He Ming smiled as he followed up, “Er ge and er sao are indulging in conjugal love. Us, being didi and dimei, can only be happy for you, not laugh at you.”
Luo Wen Yao used a handkerchief to cover the smile on her lips. Even though she didn’t speak, the uneasiness between the four people slowly disappeared.
Qu Qing Ju could see that He Ming was desirous of becoming closer to He Heng. He Heng evidently accepted He Ming’s goodwill, so her own attitude towards He Ming was very carefree. On the matter of how to treat people, if He Heng called himself second, there wasn’t anyone that dared call themselves first.
As expected, the topic slowly skewed towards the matter of He Ming being attacked. He Heng held a teacup as he put in: “Based on my opinion, si di’s attack by assassins might not be connected with san di, but the case of Jiang Nan definitely is connected to san di.”
He Ming nodded and said nonchalantly: “Since fuhuang isn’t investigating further, I will not think more. Either way, I’m fine right now. It’s not important who did it as long as I can have a good life from now.”
Hearing the words, Qu Qing Ju felt that He Ming was probably the least ambitious and the most easily satisfied among the four He brothers. But it was due helplessness. He Qi was the eldest. He Heng had a useful mother. He Yuan had the favour. What did He Ming have? His mother wasn’t favored, his father didn’t care for him. If his own attitude wasn’t good, how would he live?
Maybe He Ming understood in his mind that these matters had the shadow of He Heng, so he would say all would be well if he could have a good life in the future. This was expressing his attitude towards He Heng. The meaning might be that he, as the younger brother, was siding with lao er?
The peanut pastries came up. Qu Qing Ju picked a piece to put in her mouth. Her gaze fell upon Luo Wen Yao and saw her eating pastries thoughtlessly.
Qu Qing Ju smiled. It didn’t matter if she knew or she really didn’t know, but this girl wasn’t stupid. At least, she seemed smarter than Qin Bai Lu.
“Days always become better,” He Heng smiled, “It’s very good that si di has such goals.”
He Ming smiled upon hearing the words. Even his eyes were full of visible mirth.
They chatted and when it was noon time, the four of them sat at the table and watched the yahuan present the dishes. The dishes of Shu cuisine were mostly sour and spicy. Thehe color alone gave the viewer the impression of very hot and delicious.
Even though most of the table was Shu cuisine, there were some bland dishes. Qu Qing Ju had no immunity to good food. In her own home, she didn’t want others to serve her. One of the great pleasures in experiencing delicious food was reaching out to the dishes she liked herself.
The Sichuan poached fish was made from the tenderest part of the fish belly. For the meat, one had to use the fresh meat from the pig’s leg. The pickled cabbage in the dish was well-aged pickled cabbage so that when one took a sniff, their saliva would spill. The fish head and tofu soup were densely flavorful, the roasted tendons were crisp yet smooth. There were also some mushrooms with cabbage, steamed wild mushroom and other such dishes. The raw ingredients for those dishes weren’t any special things but the taste that was created was able to make Qu Qing Ju eat another bowl of rice.
Qu Qing Ju would never try to preserve her impression in front of He Heng through eating one less bowl of rice. After she elegantly yet swiftly finished two bowls of rice, she rinsed her mouth and washed her hands. Afterwards, she slowly wiped her mouth as she looked at the table full of food. She spoke with some regret: “Tonight, let’s eat hotpot. It’s much more enjoyable with four people.”
Luo Wen Yao knew of hot pot, but before she married, her family rarely ate it. Her family felt it was inelegant to crowd around a pot to cook food. Hearing er sao’s suggestion, she felt her heart move. She couldn’t help asking, “Is it two-soup pot?”
“Of course. If the moon tonight isn’t bad, we could set the pots up in the pavilion outside and admire the moon as we eat. We don’t have to care about the rules of not talking while eating. Tell some interesting stories, it would be great.” Qu Qing Ju felt that hotpot needed more people gathered around telling tall tales. If they didn’t happen then hotpot wasn’t perfect.
He Ming didn’t think that er sao would be like this in private. He looked with some degree of shock at er ge and found that his gaze was on er sao, a wide smile on his face. In this instant, he understood.
“Alright, if that’s the case, then si di and si dimei won’t leave tonight. After the evening meal, just sleep for the night at the fu. It will be refreshing,” He Heng called in Ming He and ordered him to let the kitchen servants prepare. After he finished, he added another sentence, “Prepare more wild mushrooms.”
“Yes,” Ming He knew that wang fei liked eating all kinds of fungi. Wang ye was taking care of wang fei.
“Dimei, this is your first time at the fu. Why don’t we take a walk? After eating, if one sits too long, they’ll gain weight,” Qu Qing Ju smiled as she stood, giving the two He brothers the room to talk.
“Then I will trouble er sao,” Luo Wen Yao also stood and followed Qu Qing Ju to walked out of the front hall. She herself also knew that wang ye most likely had things to discuss with Duan Wang.
He Ming watched as his wife followed saozi out before asking; “Er ge, er sao’s paternal family … …” Chang De Gong Fu was on He Yuan’s side. Even he knew that.
“She doesn’t have good relations with the Qu Family. These years, she endured a lot from the Qu Family,” He Heng’s brows furrowed. When the Qu Family was mentioned, it always caused a bad mood, “The people of Chang De Gong Fu, you don’t have to have any qualms. Your er sao won’t care about it.”
He Ming nodded, “If that’s the case, the matter of the Qu and Liang Families, I’ll get someone to leak.”
“Families like this one, they shouldn’t have been kept for this long,” He Heng remembered the wrongs that the Qu Family had done to Qu Qing Ju and coldly ordered, “keep them alive. Living but having nothing, it’s better than death.”
He hadn’t expected that er ge would dislike the Qu Family that much. He Ming nodded in a daze. He remembered that the Qu Family had a daughter who was a qie in He Yuan’s fu and mused: “I wonder if san ge would help.”
“What lao san is like, is he the kind of person to give aid for a qie?” He Heng raised a teacup to take a sip and scorned, “He always enjoys having people revolve around him, when would he revolve around someone else?”
“That’s true,” These years, He Yuan was arrogant even when interacting with him, much less a qieshi. A smile appeared on his face, “That Qu Family is quite pitiful.”
Luo Wen Yao and Qu Qing Ju took a tour of the gardens before going to the zhengyuan. When she saw the furnishings in Qu Qing Ju’s room, she couldn’t do anything except gape. Glass lanterns worth cities, a night luminous pearl of great craftsmanship and a variety of other finely made decorations. She had heard her grandmother mention when Duan wang fei married, the Qu Family didn’t add much to the dowry. What she brought to the wang fu was the dowry that her birth mother had when she married into Chang De Gong Fu and the additions that the Tian Family and other relatives and friends added.
Luo Wen Yao’s dowry could be considered to be very generous but seeing that the decorations in this room were finer than the objects in her dowry, so she knew very clearly, these objects wasn’t Duan wang fei’s dowry. Rather, it was what Duan Wang had brought for her. Thinking about the gift that Duan wang fei added to her dowry before she married, Luo Wen Yao couldn’t help but exclaim: “Er bo treats er sao so well.”
Hearing this, Qu Qing Ju gave a light laugh. She pulled the other to sit by the window. A white jade orchid was blooming right outside the window.
“Si shu treats you very well too,” Qu Qing Ju smiled as she looked at Luo Wen Yao, “I can see that si shu treats you truly well. This is the best scenario.”
Hearing this, Luo Wen Yao gave a sweet smile. For some reason, she felt it strange that er sao used the word “truly”. She hesitantly glanced at Qu Qing Ju, her gaze somehow coming to rest at the orchid outside the window, “This flower is very beautiful.”
Many in Jing City liked to plant orchids in their gardens because of the rumor was if orchids were planted in the home, their lives would become better and better. Some lovers liked to exchange orchids and use white jade orchids to represent the sincerity of their love.
Luo Wen Yao didn’t know what the truth was, but she believe that if a man would go to such an effort to seek out these objects to give to a woman, no matter what, the woman occupied a spot of some size in his heart. She looked at the faint smile on Qu Qing Ju’s face, hesitantly offering: “A person’s heart can be seen slowly through interacting. There isn’t a clear line between truth and lies.”
The hand Qu Qing Ju held a teacup with slightly paused. She looked at Luo Wen Yao. She didn’t know if the other was speaking of He Ming or if she meant something else. She followed Luo Wen Yao’s gaze to look at the orchid outside the window, smiling and responding, “You are right. It’s not so easy to separate truth and lies. It’s better to work towards a better life.”
“Er sao’s words are sensible.” Luo Wen Yao’s smiled as she nodded. She pointed at the orchid outside, “Just like the orchid flower, the days would become more and more beautiful.”
Qu Qing Ju blew on the surface of the tea and lazily glanced at the orchid. She suddenly remembered that a short while ago He Heng had sent over a set of orchid hairpins and jewellery. But due to the fact that He Heng would always send things over all the time, she had never worn the set of orchid jewellery.
Musing, she curled her lips. A good life was controlled by people, was it possible to live well just by depending on a flower?