Chapter 332 - It Has to be Her
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Yes, Ji Pei was already dead.
Shen Zhangqin was slightly taken aback, but his tender eyes revealed the pity he felt for her. He was empathetic, “Only the living mourn the dead.”
Ji Wanxin continued, “Those who remain have yet to move on. Please pardon this one’s stubbornness, Young Master Shen.”
Shen Zhangqin laughed bitterly, “Understood!”
He knew that Ji Wanxin had no feelings towards him whatsoever.
The two of them did not stay long; Ji Wanxin’s body did not tolerate the cold winds well. With her cough worsening, her servant girl helped her back to her quarters. Shen Zhangqin sat in the pavillion for a little longer before heading back to the General Estate’s front hall.
In the span of their conversation, Minister Shen and Ji Li were finished with theirs as well. When Shen Zhangqin had returned, the Shen Family hopped on their sedans and left the estate. Ji Li’s gaze darkened, his once humble smile stiffening as he remarked, “Old fox!”
Ji Heng did not understand like the uncouth man he was, “Big Brother, did you just call that Minister Shen an old fox?”
“Who else but him?”
Ji Li scoffed, turning back into the estate. Ji Heng followed, waiting for his answer. Ji Li replied, annoyed, “Didn’t you hear? That Minister Shen isn’t at all pleased with Wanxin!”
Was it true? Surely not…
Ji Heng stopped. He quickly picked up the pace to walk alongside Ji Li, asking, “Surely not, Wanxin is so loveable, how would Minister Shen not like her? Madame Shen was so pleased, praising her continuously.” Yes, Madame Shen did like Ji Wanxin’s character, complimenting her the whole afternoon.
Ji Li was not an idiot like his brother was. He stopped to face Ji Heng, looking at him with an exasperated expression, “Wanxin’s always been weak, poorly, unlike other average ladies. The thing most important to that Minister Shen is face; if Wanxin were to marry into the Shen Family but be unable to bear a child, what do you expect Minister Shen would think of it?”
“What are you saying?” Ji Heng was aggravated, “Does Minister Shen want to annul the arrangement?”
“That’s not too probable, seeing as our Ji Family is no pushover. That old wily fox won’t use hard tactics with us, otherwise the one at a loss would be him.” Ji Li rationalised.
Ji Heng was not as easy to pacify! How dare he despise my sister - this one is no weak coward! He bellowed, “What’s a mere minister? Isn’t he just a first-ranked official? That Shen Zhangqin is no better - all he has is looks, what brains? What own abilities? If not for his minister father, how could he take the position of assistant minister? A household full of useless trash!”
Ptooey! Sir, you sure are wild, like the general you are - his saliva sprayed everywhere during his outburst.
Ji Li wiped away his filthy saliva. He frowned, reminding Ji Heng, “Listen up - you can say this in front of me, but don’t go saying these things anywhere else, lest you get into trouble yourself.”
“What kind of trouble? Does Minister Shen dare to cause any?”
“Ji Heng, walls have ears. Some words can be shared between the two of us, but if His Majesty were to hear of this, it would be difficult for you to explain.”
“You’d better.” He gave Ji Heng a filthy look, then left, leaving Ji Heng fuming.
In the Shen Family carriage.
Shen Zhangqin sat before the curtains, pulling it back to stare at the scenery outside, making no comment. Minister Shen wore a displeased expression on his face. Madame Shen was quite different, however. She was full of smiles, asking her son, “Zhangqin, ah, how was it? What did you think of Wanxin?”
“That child is very graceful, gentle. It’s good that she can join our Shen Family. In the future, you two…”
Minister Shen cut his wife off, startling her, “This arrangement must be canceled.”
There was no room for discussion!
She said, “Master, what are you saying?”
Minister Shen explained, “That Second Ji Miss is a sickly one - our Shen Family needs no such daughter-in-law.” Shen Zhangqin should have agreed since he had already promised Ji Wanxin to call the arrangement off, but-
“Father, Miss Ji’s health and constitution are only weaker than the average lady. I thought she was alright, different from the other ladies. Mother is right, Miss Ji is generous, quite pleasant.” He only had good words for her!
Minister Shen was irritated, hearing his own son disagree with him, “What’s so good about that girl?”
“Everything!” Shen Zhangqin rebutted.
Sometimes, love at first sight was a mysterious thing that made one lose their mind!
Minister Shen looked at his son huffily, slapping his thigh, “Useless!”
“In any case, Zhangqin will only take Miss Ji’s hand.”
“Say that again!” It took all his power to repress his rage.
Madame Shen quickly grabbed Minister Shen, trying to defuse the situation, “Master, if Zhangqin is happy, then let him be. What’s more, you know better than anyone else the Ji Family’s influence. If our Shen Family could become in-laws with them, our days would pass more easily.”
“Our Shen Family is not so weak that we need the Ji Family to back us!”
“Stop there. I will be heading to Jinjiang soon, and take that opportunity to have a look at that Third Miss Ji. This arrangement can remain as is - it will be a Ji Family miss in any case.”
Madame Shen was troubled, “I’ve heard about that Third Miss Ji’s birth mother - she came from a brothel and didn’t have much authority or power in the Ji Family. That Second Miss may also not be a daughter of the first wife, but her kin brother is Ji Heng, Changlin General, ordained personally by His Majesty. If you want to pick someone else, why not pick that First Miss Ji?”
“Rubbish!” Minister Shen shot her down, “How can a person who has no right to even join the Crown Prince consort selection have the right to be a daughter-in-law of our Shen Family? You saw for yourself earlier, how cruel that First Miss Ji was.” Absolutely! Such a cruel girl had no right to enter even the Shen Family’s gates!
Shen Zhangqin furrowed his brows, annoyed at his parents’ bickering. Once Minister Shen calmed down considerably, he said, “Father, Zhangqin has made my intentions clear. It has to be her.” How stubborn!
Minister Shen almost popped a blood vessel. He gritted his teeth and reprimanded, “How did I bring up such an ungrateful son as you!”
Apples don’t fall too far from the tree; both father and son were mule-headed, neither of them backing down.
Madame Shen sighed, utterly defeated; she could side with neither party...
Grenn's Rants Corner
*sigh* A bundle of tangled love threads.
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