When she heard that a young madame was looking for her, Qin Yining instructed Jiyun and Bingtang to wait on their guest and serve tea. She would be there shortly after a change of clothing.
Just after entering the old dowager’s house, her grandmother declared angrily before the girl even drew near, “Just look at what you’ve done now, you vile spawn!”
The sudden reprimand was completely baffling. “What’s wrong, Old Dowager? Why are you so angry?”
The Qin matriarch was so angry that she picked up a teacup lid to smash. But upon having second thoughts, since the family wasn’t as well-off as before, she put it back down after a deep breath in. Tea wares were a set; smashing one lid meant that the rest would be useless as well.
“How dare you ask me?! I tell you, you will do your best to apologize and compensate with gifts today. Madame Lu must be appeased! If this really does affect the family, I’ll have your father hang you up and whip you! You may not want to abide by the rules and have an easy life, but don’t drag the family into your nonsense!”
The old dowager’s words were exceedingly ugly. If an unmarried girl really was whipped by her father, her reputation would be ruined. Though she knew that the old dowager was just frightening her, anger still rose from the bottom of Qin Yining’s heart.
“Don’t worry, Old Dowager, I won’t drag the family down. But having gained power and prosperity because of me, I haven’t seen you show me one iota of kindness. The harshness is coming right back into play at the first sign of trouble. If all grandmothers reprimanded their granddaughters like this without knowing right from wrong, noble girls everywhere would hang themselves!”
“You!” The old dowager smacked the table viciously. “You don’t understand that repentance should be forthcoming after a mistake! You’re a wild thing that grew up in the countryside alright! Having not been properly educated, you’re much less than a noble daughter from a good family!”
“Please consider your words carefully, Old Dowager. I didn’t have the fortune of growing up in the family, but was that really my choice?”
The affairs of yesteryear were Qin Huaiyuan and née Sun’s greatest pain point. Everyone in the family knew to avoid the topic. Though the old dowager refrained from bringing it up as well, it still made her happy to put down an intractable granddaughter. Her son and daughter-in-law weren’t here at the moment, anyway.
The Qin matriarch was harassing the girl so endlessly because she wanted Qin Yining to bend the knee to Madame Lu.
But the Qin fourth miss would never do so.
“Old Dowager.” Qin Yining reverted to seriousness. “I know that you’re saying all this only because you’re mad. With your wisdom, you’ll easily get to the heart of a matter with just a bit of thought. I’ll say just this: father has just arrived in Great Zhou and is unfamiliar with both people and terrain. The conflicts at court are so complicated, so what do you think we should do for father so that he has an easier time of things?”
Her granddaughter’s coaxing tone, like she was talking to a child, elicited another wave of annoyance from the old dowager.
When someone rubbed her the wrong way, everything that person did and said was displeasing in the Qin matriarch’s eyes.
Qin Yining didn’t hope for any real sort of response from her grandmother either. She continued onwards of her own volition. “With father holding a position at court, what he wants most to do is to stabilize his position in Great Zhou. Old Dowager naturally knows what father wishes to do, so your granddaughter won’t go over what’s already known. The Lus are indeed powerful, but can father back down in this? If he shrinks back this time, the next person will climb on top of our heads and take a dump!”
The scales of the old dowager’s heart tipped slightly after hearing her granddaughter’s methodological analysis.
“Being an official, face and dignity is of utmost importance for father. No matter what the Lus want to do, they must consider the emperor’s reaction. Madame Lu’s not from the main family branch—she’s just the miss of a small side branch. Everyone knows that she’s used to throwing her weight around and kicking up a fuss. Someone will be along soon to take care of her, after she’s declared that she’ll throw us all out onto the streets. I will not go apologize to her! Father still has a job he wants to keep!”
Qin Yining broke the issue down as much as she could with all the patience she had. She really hoped that her grandmother could understand, and that she wouldn’t act of her own accord to do something that ended up dragging Qin Huaiyuan down.
The Qin fourth miss didn’t care much for her own face; the family’s attitude was what was important.
It was Madame Lu in the wrong here. If the Qins were the ones who ended up bowing their heads, then more people would come sniffing around to bully them. Were the Qins supposed to give way to all challengers?
It was more ideal to throw down with the madame then, making a statement to everyone that the surrendered Great Yan officials were no weaklings.
Qin Yining paid no more attention to the old dowager and quickly moved to the front yard. When she arrived at the door, Bingtang came up to whisper, “The Commandery Princess Consort of Yan is here.”
Commandery Princess Consort of Yan… Li Yanyan?
The old dowager had gotten worked up for nothing!
Both highly irritated and resigned, a good mood swept over Qin Yining and she chuckled. Stepping into the main hall through the lifted door curtains, the fragrance of good tea wafted into her nose.
Li Yanyan was wearing a deep purple, plain brocade cape with a hat of similar fabric on her head. The fur-lined brim of the hat came down to her forehead, highlighting the fairness of her skin and suppleness of her red lips.
Qin Yining curtsied with a smile. “To think that the Commandery Princess Consort of Yan would grace our humble abode. An honored guest truly brings grace and fortune to our home.”
Such blatant pleasantries faded the smile on Li Yanyan’s face, and her original words stuck in her throat, unable to be voiced at all.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Hmm... is this visit friendly or not? *thinking*