Though the second wife meant well, universal looks of dissatisfaction and reprimand turned her way.
Knowing that his wife wasn’t a bad sort, just sometimes muddleheaded, Qin Han tugged her sleeves. The reminder jerked her back to her senses. Qin Huining’s identity was awkward and she didn’t get along with Qin Yining. The entire family had ignored the foster girl, so what had she stuck her nose into things for?
Née Meng smiled awkwardly, took two steps back, and stayed quiet.
Qin Huining smiled gratefully at her second cousin-in-law. She finally had an opening!
“Hello, younger brother-in-law.” She dipped a curtsey.
“Brother-in-law?” Pang Xiao looked her over with an ambiguous smile. “You may forgo further courtesies.”
Out of respect to Qin Huaiyuan, the prince answered with a greeting gift on par with the other Qin youngsters. Though Qin Huining called him brother-in-law, his actions were befitting of his position and authority.
Deep satisfaction filled Qin Huaiyuan’s heart to see his son-in-law thus. The boy is really going to great efforts for my daughter.
Such a powerful grandson-in-law grew more pleasing to the eye the more the old dowager looked at him. But she still didn’t dare meet his eyes. The look in those eyes of his was much too sharp. It made one shudder to look at it head-on.
After a bit more conversation, the elder male generation invited Pang Xiao out and left the house to the womenfolk.
When she saw the men leave, née Sun immediately grabbed Qin Yining’s hand for a private heart-to-heart. She didn’t care what expression was on the old dowager’s face at all.
Within née Sun’s bedroom, Qin Yining and her mother sat side by side.
“How does the prince treat you?”
The tips of Qin Yining’s ears burned red and she coughed. “Very good.”
Sizing up her daughter carefully, née Sun was highly satisfied by the girl’s bashful, yet hard to conceal happiness.
“Absolutely wonderful. In my eyes, though the prince doesn’t have a good temper, he’s not one who will abuse his wife. Men of the battlefield more or less have a tyrannical streak in them. Just follow his lead and go with his desires. I’m sure he won’t mistreat you.”
“You’re very right, mother. I will follow your advice. The prince is very good to me.”
“What about your mother-in-law? And the two elders at home?” Née Sun continued worriedly.
Warmth suffused Qin Yining’s heart when she thought of how née Ma defended her.
“The prince’s grandparents are both welcoming and kind people. Grandmother roved the world in her youth and was a wandering hero! She’s very hearty and straightforward, and she likes me a lot. Grandfather has a milder personality but is wise and resourceful. He genuinely likes me too.”
“What about your mother-in-law?” Née Sun grabbed her daughter’s hand. “Has she disciplined you or made an example out of you at all?”
Her mother had suffered greatly at the hands of her own mother-in-law. Qin Yining had seen firsthand how the old dowager doled out punishment and made an example of her daughters-in-law. And look how she’d turned on her eldest daughter-in-law when calamity had befallen the Suns!
As a mother, how would née Sun bear to let her daughter suffer through the same torment?
Qin Yining shook née Sun’s arm.
“Don’t worry, mother. My mother and grandmother-in-law are both very honest people. Like you say, the prince is domineering, but he doesn’t bully me and even takes my side. Though my mother-in-law nurses certain thoughts, which mother in this world isn’t worried that her son will forget her after taking a wife? It’s all understandable. A life isn’t built in a single day. The road ahead is long, so things will only become better.”
Enchanted by her daughter’s description, née Sun also found herself hopeful for the future.
Her heart saw things clearly. She was of average talent to begin with and had some of the tempers that came with being raised as the treasured daughter of a noble house. The old dowager was highly materialistic, so née Sun had lost hope for harmonious relations a long time ago.
But Qin Yining was different. She had much of her life left to live and life in the prince’s manor would be her main stage in the future. There weren’t many in the prince’s family to begin with, so if someone didn’t like her, life would be very difficult.
Née Sun hadn’t slept well since her daughter’s wedding. Her mind tossed and turned, feeling like once out of her sight, her daughter would change from the apple of the Qin eye to a broken tile carelessly discarded.
She hadn’t treated Qin Yining kindly before, and her daughter had married shortly after they two had grown close.
Not having much time to lavish her daughter with attention, née Sun hadn’t even begun to make things up to Qin Yining. She was truly worried that the girl wouldn’t have a good life in her new home.
Though Qin Yining couldn’t fully comprehend her mother’s desire to compensate her, she could sense the sentiment. To prevent her mother from sinking into wild thoughts after her departure, she relayed a litany of good things about her new life.
“The prince is busy with official affairs, but he always makes time to come see me.
“My mother-in-law is kind-hearted. When she saw that I’m to learn how to keep a household in order, she sent her favorite granny servant to help me out. You see, she was afraid that no one would listen to my orders.
“Grandmother-in-law treats me like her own granddaughter. She always holds my hand when she talks to me. She’s so much friendlier than our old dowager.
“The prince’s manor is large, but few live in it. Therefore, everyone has a lot of living space and the servants don’t need to bunk together.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I have recovered (mostly) from my food poisoning! There's a first time for everything... and yuck it was bad. @@