The two of them departed soundlessly through the manor doors. Their steeds pawing the snowy ground, the ground around the horses was a muddy mess. In a carriage nearby, Qin Yining happened to be lifting the window curtain and looking in their direction.
Delight flooded Pang Xiao’s heart to see his girl, and he expressed it with a cold snort. “What are you still doing here? Do you want to go back inside and join Madame Lu’s fun?”
Qin Yining took a look at Ji Zeyu and looked down, lowering her curtain without another word and had her groom flick the reins to set off.
As the clip-clop of hooves faded into the distance, the marquis asked with some resignation, “Don’t you like née Qin? Why are you so harsh to her? How will you make it up to her if you hurt her feelings?”
“What does it matter how much I like the daughter of my enemy?”
Ji Zeyu fell silent and then sighed softly. He clapped Pang Xiao’s shoulder. “Thank you for just now.”
“What need is there for thanks between brothers? Except, Ah Lan, you should talk to His Majesty about this.”
“So what if I do? His Majesty doesn’t have the time to spare for mundane matters like these. I’m supposed to serve the princess anyways. She can do whatever she likes. She can have her own harem, and I can only save myself for her.”
A man of few words normally, only in front of a brother would Ji Zeyu speak so freely and have no need to mince his words.
“Forget it, don’t think too much. Come, let’s go back to my place for a drink.” He grabbed his reins and adroitly jumped onto his horse.
Ji Zeyu also brought his horse over and tilted his head up at the prince. “I hear that your official mother’s come back. Is it still convenient for us to drink at your place?”
“The complex is so big, how can there not be a place for us to drink? Stop nattering already and let’s go!”
The Marquis of Northern Stability stopped asking and steered his horse in the direction of Pang Manor. The two brothers drank until the wee hours of the morning and fell asleep in a drunken stupor, sprawled over the heated platform of the outer study.
Meanwhile, Qin Yining didn’t find her father in a spare moment until dusk of the next day. She reiterated everything that had happened the day before and concluded on a worried note, “Father, can we really not afford to offend the Lu clan?”
Qin Huaiyuan nodded. “The Lus were a feared and revered name even back in the Northern Ji days. Their economic foundations run deep without visibility as to their actual depths. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that they’re as wealthy as a nation. It was due to their loyalty to the emperor and supplying rations and money to the revolutionaries that Great Zhou could destroy Northern Ji. We can see from this just how powerful that clan must be now.
“Although Madame Lu is just from a side branch, even a family’s side branch must be treated with caution if they’re surnamed Lu in the Great Zhou capital.”
Qin Yining frowned thoughtfully and responded fretfully after a beat, “Father, my actions yesterday probably offended Madame Lu and the princess to no other. Do you think I’ve unintentionally made enemies out of the Lus? Have I doomed our family? I’m really afraid of bringing trouble to the family.”
She didn’t regret her actions, but she was worried about the Qins.
They’d only just found their footing in Great Zhou—how could they possibly afford to be enemies with such a ponderous clan as the Lus?
Qin Huaiyuan burst out laughing to catch his daughter in a rare moment of sheepishness.
“You silly girl, what are you thinking about now? Did you forget what your father just told you? You don’t have to spend your time worrying about this or that, just do what you think is right. I’ll take care of anything that happens. We’re not here on this world to spend our time suffering through life. As mighty as the Lus may be, what can they do?”
Her father’s merry expression prompted a soft chuckle out of Qin Yining.
“You’re right, father. I’m getting too bogged down in everything. No matter how strong the enemy might be, we can’t shrink back. Plus, I believe that with father’s talent, becoming a renowned official of our age is just a matter of time.”
The two had a delightful conversation, just like the ones they had back in Great Yan.
Qin Huaiyuan had no son and just this one daughter. She was naturally the apple of his eye.
Qin Yining wasn’t the sort to become puffed up with pride. She had a maturity and open-mindedness beyond her years. No matter what political affairs Qin Huaiyuan talked about, she could always offer some thoughts of her own. They really did have a lot in common, which further made Qin Huaiyuan want to treat his daughter even better. A painful childhood had to be made up for.
Some rumors flared up two days later.
Apparently Madame Lu didn’t see eye to eye with the Qin fourth miss and they’d had a few run-ins with each other. Upon learning that the Qins’ current residence was a rental, Madame Lu was now declaring to anyone who would listen that she was going to buy the complex. She’d rather leave it empty than rent it to the Qins! She wanted the Qins to learn of her might, that some people weren’t to be offended in the capital.
Qin Yining chuckled delightfully when she heard the news.
“Well, this is interesting. Madame Lu is fun. My days in the capital won’t be as boring with her around.”
Bingtang frowned in mock anger when she heard this. “Miss, you’re being too relaxed about all of this. You offended Madame Lu to the point where she wants to turn the entire family out on the streets. Do you think the old dowager, madame, and lord will show you a friendly face when they know this? Instead of thinking what to do about it, you’re sitting here complimenting Madame Lu!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Lol, it's like a side quest boss has appeared for QYN.