This chapter has been brought to you by me, Adnana, and Vivie.
Chapter Sixty-Three: Difficulty
“How come your hands are so cold?” Yan Jin Qiu touched Hua Xi Wan’s hand and then frowned. His large hand wrapped firmly around Hua Xi Wan’s hand. “It is so cold now. If you have something you want to say, then send someone to invite them to the fu to stay a few days.”
“Didn’t you say that it is wonderful to see the snowy scenery—how come you are so unrefined now?” Hua Xi Wan’s other hand held a stove warmer. She allowed Yan Jin Qiu to hold the umbrella with one hand and to hold her hand with the other.
“As long as it is for the benefit of your body, there is nothing wrong with being a bit unrefined.” Yan Jin Qiu smiled and released Hua Xi Wan’s hand. He reached out to wrap his arm around her shoulders before they continued to walk.
Hua Chu Yu who was silently walking behind them thought, Your Highness Xian Wang, when you are showing off your love, can you consider the people who are behind you?
Before they returned to the main hall, Yan Jin Qiu took away his arm. He adjusted his clothing and handed the umbrella to Mu Tong before walking through the door shoulder-to-shoulder with Hua Xi Wan, with a dignified and noble aura.
The main hall which had been very busy quieted when husband and wife walked in. After exchanging greetings politely, everyone was ushered by the younger members of the Hua Family to the meal hall to be seated.
The people of the Hua Family repeatedly invited Yan Jin Qiu and Hua Xi Wan to sit at the front. However, Yan Jin Qiu refused each time. He bowed towards Hua He Zheng, saying, “Zi Ling should not refuse the sincere invitation of Mount Tai. But with elders present, there is no reason for juniors to sit at the front. Mount Tai, please fulfill the wish of Zi Ling.”
Yan Jin Qiu was giving Hua He Zheng a good amount of face, and Hua He Zheng naturally felt happy. However, he could only act as if he was in difficulty and invited the old taitai to the front. Then he and Lu shi sat down on either side of the old taitai.
While Yan Jin Qiu allowed the three elders to sit at the front, the other members of the Hua Family did not dare to sit in front of them. So Yan Jin Qiu and Hua Xi Wan sat down below Hua He Zheng. No one said anything, and they would have to praise the two of them for being filial.
The old taitai was relatively healthy, but she was still an old person. Consequently, the dishes on the table that had meanings of longevity and good wishes were primarily bland, soft, or sweet. After Hua Xi Wan ate a few bites, she felt her mouth was filled with sweetness.
Because it was a family banquet, the atmosphere was lively, and so no one had the servants serving the food. Some of the food that was suited to Hua Xi Wan’s appetite was far from her. Fortunately, there was Yan Jin Qiu who had a long arm, so she was not in danger of starving or being rude.
“Jiejie, why aren’t you moving—is it not suited to your appetite?” Because of the previous matter, Hua Qing Mao felt as though he had failed Hua Yi Liu. So after Hua Yi Liu returned to the fu, he frequently paid attention to her and showed concern. Seeing her suddenly stop moving her chopsticks, he said in a small voice, “Or is it that you do not feel well?”
“It’s nothing.” Hua Yi Liu’s face was still sickly pale as she smiled at Hua Qing Mao. She bent her head and continued to eat the food that was not suited at all to her tastes. After experiencing so many events, she was used to the cold treatment of other people. It was not important that her food was not appetizing.
After the divorce, she now lived along in a yard in the assistant minister fu. Because of her mother’s coldness towards her, the servants who served in the yard were neglectful. If it wasn’t for Hua Qing Mao, her younger brother’s constant concern, she, the di miss of the assistant minister fu would probably be abused by the servants.
Thinking about her mother’s resentful face, and her scolding words about how much she, the mother, had felt embarrassed and slighted because her first child was a daughter, Hua Yi Liu felt that she and her mother were both tragic and humorous. The hate inside her surged. If the other really disdained her for being a daughter when she was born, for losing face, for having people laugh at her, why didn’t the other strangle her to death when she still didn’t know a thing?
Then she would not have to suffer like this, and her mother would not be talked about because her first child was a daughter. Wouldn’t everyone be happy?
“Xian Wang Fei and Xian Wang are really deeply in love.” Luo Taitai who was at the same table was speaking in a low voice, but that voice was enough to guarantee that those at neighboring tables could hear it. “Let me say something that is out of bounds. Just now when I saw Wang Ye and Wang Fei walk over, if it wasn’t that I saw Wang Fei in the past, I would think that the two were an immortal couple.”
Hua Yi Liu smiled coldly. This Luo Furen had once said behind Hua Xi Wan’s back that Hua Xi Wan’s beauty, if it was known, would cause a calamity. She also said that Hua Xi Wan was a lazy person and wasn’t suited to be a good woman for the family. Now she completely switched around. Hua Yi Liu really admired how flexible this person was.
After the banquet finished, the people sat down under the stage that had been built up. They started to watch the performances on the stage. Hua Xi Wan’s first role in her previous life had been as the young woman in the opera. She had heavy makeup, but not two minutes after she entered the shot, she was killed by the male protagonist’s guard when she tried to assassinate the other.
In order to act out this bystander who had just one minute of screen time, she had found a friend and learned from the other how to sing and move. Thinking about her previous life, it really seemed a whole world away.
“Bam!” The sound of a teacup shattering came from behind her. Hua Xi Wan turned around to look and saw Zhang Furen sitting awkwardly on the chair. There was a shattered teacup in front of her, the tea splattered on the ground still emitting steam.
“Dimei, what are you doing—is the tea too hot?” Zhang shi raised her chin slightly and said with slight arrogance, “Come, change the tea for Zhang Furen.”
Hua Xi Wan saw Zhang shi bullying her adopted brother’s wife and her brow furrowed. However, as an outsider, it was not good for her to interfere.
“Were you burned?” Zhang Shao walked forward and carefully raised his wife’s hand. Seeing the patch of red on the back of her hand, he said tenderly, “How come the burn is so serious?”
“Didi, why act so emotionally? Someone come, invite a grand doctor for Zhang Furen.” Zhang shi smiled insincerely at her adopted brother and sister-in-law acting so intimately. Her expression was not good. “It seems that we have neglected a noble guest.”
Was something wrong with Zhang shi’s mind? Even if she really did not care about Zhang Shao and his wife, for the face of her parents, she should be at least polite to them. The older Zhang couple would need people to help them in their old age. If she offended Zhang Shao greatly, what was the benefit for her?
Or maybe she thought that Zhang Shao had received a lot of property and a title when he had been adopted by her parents? She could not bear it and had objections about the Zhang Shao couple?
What Hua Xi Wan did not know was that Zhang shi’s relationship with her husband and children was extremely tense due to the matter of Hua Yi Liu. Hua Zhi Ming had not slept with her after that. In their family, the three most important people treated her as though she was transparent.
Unhappy, she did not have a place to vent. When the Zhang Shao couple came today, she couldn’t help but be cruel and harsh in her words. It was just that strange feeling of privilege that supported her to act like this.
“Elder Sister is too serious. We two are used to living ordinary days, and it is a boon from the Heavens allowing the two of us to serve our parents. We are full of gratefulness. The Marquis and Furen are generous and honest people; they will not neglect us.” Zhang Shao bowed towards Zhang shi with a cold expression. “My wife is not feeling well. Please, Elder Sister, forgive us for our shortcomings in politeness.”
Finishing, he turned and bid farewell towards the old taitai and Hua He Zheng. He was preparing to leave.
Hua He Zheng had a good impression of Zhang Shao, so he did not make things difficult. He had someone go invite a grand doctor to wait in the Zhang Fu. Lu shi also had someone come with a burn paste for Zhan Furen to apply and relieve her pain.
In Lu shi’s view, Zhang Furen did not have the aura and presence necessary, but that kind of presence was something that was nurtured through gold and silver. Zhang shi thought highly of herself and looked down on others. It was just because she had lived better and had eaten better than most people in her childhood. If one really had to discuss it, what Zhang shi had done wasn’t something that women of prestigious families would do.
Hua Xi Wan saw the couple come in front of her to bid farewell and hurriedly reached out to help Zhang Furen who was bowing towards her. She said in a gentle voice, “Furen, do not eat heavily flavored foods in the next few days. It will not be good if a scar is left.”
“Many thanks, Wang Fei, for the concern. Subject-wife will remember.”
Zhang shi looked on with cold eyes as the Hua Family politely saw the two off. She felt even more uncomfortable inside. She was like an outsider among this Hua Family, and was isolated by everyone else.
The old taitai wasn’t very happy at Zhang shi ruining her banquet. However, there were other people present, and it was not good if she expressed her anger. So she pretended to not have seen a thing and focused on the stage.
Hua Xi Wan and Yan Jin Qiu did not stay for long. After a little while, they turned and bid farewell. When Hua Xi Wan left, there was an additional bundle in her hand that held a beautiful fox cape.
Caressing the soft and smooth fox fur on the cape, Hua Xi Wan said to Yan Jin Qiu who was sitting beside her, “Two years ago, I once thought to have Mother make a fox fur cape for me. Mother agreed. However, because of the marriage decree of the Emperor, Mother was busy with preparing my dowry and the cape was delayed.”
“It has been two years, and Mother still remembers what she promised…” Hua Xi Wan smiled. She hugged the fox fur cape and said, “My parents have raised me for more than a decade. It is unlikely that I will be able to repay in this lifetime all they have done for me.”
“They treat you well because they love you, not for repayment. True emotion is not something that can be measured.” Yan Jin Qiu looked at the cape in Hua Xi Wan’s hand. The color was very pure, and he could not find one strand that was a different color. The sewing was also good, and there were no marks where the fur was sewn together. It could be seen that the person who made the cape had taken great care.
“You are right.” Hua Xi Wan smiled and her lips curled. “I was incorrect in my thinking.”
Reaching out to touch her hair, Yan Jin Qiu laughed soundlessly.
When Zhang shi returned to the fu, she smashed a tea set. Looking at the empty room and the trembling servants outside the door, she dazedly sat down.
After an unknown length of time, she heard the sound marking the passage of time. It was already dark in the room, and the lanterns hanging on the corridors were lit.
“Come in, light a lamp.”
She stood and touched her slightly hoarse throat. She suddenly realized that because she had sat for so long and not called a servant in, there were no coals in the room and her limbs were so numb that they had almost lost feeling.
When a servant girl came in with a lamp, she couldn’t help asking, “Where is Laoye?”
“Laoye is resting in the study.”
“Young Master is studying. He said it is for the spring examinations, so he needs to focus.”
Zhang shi felt slightly comforted and then asked, “Does he find the soup that I have the kitchens make every day suitable to his taste?”
The servant girl froze slightly as she moved to cut the lamp wick. “This servant does not now.” In reality, the young master had the servants take away the soup that Furen had the servants deliver.
But she could not say this, and Furen would not want to hear.
Zhang shi’s expression changed slightly and then she sighed. “I know, you can go.”
Translator Ramblings: I think this is a case of a spoiled daughter growing up to be a spoiled woman … … who is now driving everyone away.