Qin Yining continued chatting with her grandmother-in-law for a while. “It’s still early, I’m thinking of summoning the servants to the front hall for a chat. What do you think, grandmother?”
Née Ma nodded with a smile and was about to agree when née Yao preempted her.
“There’s no rush for that. You’re still not feeling all that well, so it’s better that you rest. Things have been established long enough that they run on their own. You just take your time to ease into them. Your health comes first.”
“Your mother-in-law is absolutely right,” agreed née Ma. “I almost forgot after all this conversation! You go on now and get some rest. I’ll get them to send you some tonic soup in a moment.”
Qin Yining smiled and nodded, not taking née Yao’s veiled animosity to heart. She responded meekly, “That sounds good. I will take my leave now then.”
“Go on, get some rest.”
Qin Yining rose and curtsied to her elders.
Pang Xiao cast a long, meaningful look at his mother, but burst into a sudden smile when the others looked his way.
“Grandfather, mom, I’d rather not my dear over exert herself. What if we have her focus on the Park of Resplendent Radiance in the future? Since mom likes to stay busy, the rest of the properties in the manor can be overseen by her as usual. From now on, the park and the manor shall be independently managed as two separate systems.”
Color drained from née’s Yao face. “Dafu, what do you mean by this?”
“Nothing at all, just precisely what I said. Mom’s in fine health and able-bodied. Managing the different quarters of the manor helps her while away the time. My dear is young and frail. This would be an act of consideration for her, so why don’t you help me out, mom?”
The prince turned to Zhao Kunjia’s wife. “You no longer need to wait on the princess consort, nor do you need to visit the Park of Resplendent Radiance. Just hand over the verification tokens for the park to the princess consort.”
Missus Zhao cast a hesitant look at née Yao.
The old madame’s expression turned stiff. “The park is part of the manor! Having separate verification tokens for that property isn’t keeping with custom!”
“Mother, customs are established by people. Although my dear’s inexperienced, she’s more than capable of overseeing the affairs at a single residence. That way, we wouldn’t need to ask for servants by mom’s side to help keep things in order. You can’t afford to not have Missus Zhao by your side.”
Qin Yining’s brows furrowed at that declaration.
She was well-aware of née Yao’s selective wariness and hostility, in particular when she’d almost taken over affairs management of the manor before. Qin Yining could understand her mother-in-law’s distrust, that she was reluctant to relinquish her authority.
Approval would be forthcoming in the long run! If née Yao didn’t want her in charge, so be it.
However, her husband sticking out his neck for her was wholly unexpected.
If things were done the way Pang Xiao desired, the Park of Resplendent Radiance and the rest of the manor quarters would be run as separate domains. If the word got out, it’d sound like they’d split the family!
Née Yao endured a lot of trouble to give birth to—and rear—Pang Xiao. No sooner had her son married than he fought for his wife’s rights in the family! Wouldn’t that enrage née Yao further, and incur more resentment against her?
Pang Xiao meant well by what he did. He just couldn’t bear seeing her being demeaned.
Qin Yining pursed her dainty lips and cast a beseeching look at née Ma and Yao Chenggu.
She could tell that née Ma wore her heart on her sleeve, and was decisive and forward in her dealings. Yao Chenggu and his daughter, on the other hand, were the same calculating and guarded sort.
The difference between father and daughter was that in his advanced age, Yao Chenggu could no longer be bothered with the frivolities of worldly affairs. The fact that he was a man also made him more reasonable, open-minded and understanding.
Née Yao, after all, was a woman, and once a serving girl in the Pang household. Verily, Qin Yining was reluctant to doubt her mother-in-law’s character, but the younger generation would never know how née Yao managed to give birth to a son with Pang Zhongzheng, and how she was later banished by Madame Pang. All things considered, née Yao was more than just a pretty face, considering her rise in life and ability to secure her son’s safety.
A woman with this sort of background knew only too well the intrigue and plotting rampant in wealthy and powerful families. She would be accustomed to the ploys to get what she wanted, and would have a lot more pages about duplicitous scheming in her playbook than her father would.
Née Yao naturally wanted to hang onto power out of fear that her future would be at risk, now that Qin Yining had come after her, and on the heels of taking her son away!
Worry and anxiety robbed Qin Yining’s face of its radiance. The sight made née Ma’s heart ache.
She’d always felt that her daughter was excessively obsessed with certain matters. By putting her new daughter-in-law into a difficult position and inciting her son into rebellion, she must feel just terrible.
It would be many more times worse for Qin Yining, stuck in the middle!
“Very well, let’s go with Dafu’s plan.” Yao Chenggu put down his tobacco pouch. “Let lass Yi get acclimated and settled in. She can pace herself and recuperate as she slowly takes things over.”
The connotations of “settling in” rang out more deeply than the words let on.
Pang Xiao understood that as well. “I have the same thing in mind. Helping darling Yi settle in will take some time. It’d help with building a clean break and my dear will benefit from the learning experience. So be it, then. Missus Zhao will deliver the verification tokens later. Your grandson will take his leave now.”
Pang Xiao bowed to his grandparents and strode out, Qin Yining’s hands in his.
Née Yao’s body, tense from the airs she was putting on, deflated immediately as soon as the two left. Shoulders sagged, she sobbed, “This is a typical example of the son forgetting his mom after he gets married! Daughter Yi’s great and everything, but he can’t just…”
“Oh, shut your mouth! Don’t you know this is all your fault?” Née Ma snapped. “You’re the mother-in-law and here you are, making things difficult for a sixteen-year-old lass! Some kind of family elder that makes you! What would the girl’s parents think if they found out? You’re a mother yourself. Your face should be burning with your ridiculous behavior!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Last call to get a red envelope~ Come celebrate our dear main couple's wedding! :D