Née Sun pointed at the old dowager and the second wife, face ruddy with rage and chest tight. The corners of her lips trembled, unable to utter a complete sentence due to her fury. However, her blood-shot eyes were so filled with anger that they seemed as if they were about to pop out entirely, frightening the others profusely; even her raspy wheezing seemed eerie.
Qin Huaiyuan stood to hold née Sun back and consoled her gently. "There now, don’t be angry. If you hurt yourself, you’ll be the one to suffer. You must take care of yourself in order to help our daughter in the future, no?"
Née Sun looked at Qin Huaiyuan, her harried breaths finally evening out. Tears sprang to her eyes at once. Qin Huaiyuan busied himself with gently patting née Sun on the back.
Seeing Qin Huaiyuan console the crazed harlot, the old dowager's face fell immediately. "Meng'er, you......"
"Mother." Qin Huaiyuan interrupted the old dowager in a placid, weary tone. "I ask you not to make any more decisions in the future on daughter Yi’s behalf. I will arrange for daughter Hui and niece Bao's marriages when it is time. However, with current circumstances, now is not the time to discuss that.
"As for having sisters be wife and concubine to the same man, I must ask mother to refrain from bringing up such a proposal ever again. Daughter Yi is alive, and she is the only one in my son-in-law's heart. As her grandmother, why must you waste energy on such displeasing arrangements?"
The old dowager hadn't expected to be scolded by her own son. Her eyes went round with anger and she stammered in disbelief, "You, you say I am wasting my energy on displeasing arrangements? You are looking down on an old woman like me!"
"Mother, the situation at hand is truly fraught. Work has been so exhausting that I haven't the energy to attend to household affairs. I ask mother to save yourself the trouble. Let us keep things at the current status quo. As for my daughter's marriage, no one is to interfere. I will not allow it." Finished, Qin Huaiyuan held the tearful née Sun as he helped her outside.
Beet red with anger, the old dowager watched as Qin Huaiyuan left with his wife and slammed her hand against the mattress.
"Utter insolence, such impertinence! He forgets his mother when he has a wife! What a black-hearted wolf of an ingrate! Thankless bastard! I doted on him the most, yet he denounces me for a damned brat!"
The old dowager broke down into tears. Oh, the injustice of the heavens!! Why had her husband died so prematurely?? Now look at her ungrateful, unfilial son!
In other words, the entire world was against her.
The second madame and second wife found themselves slightly exasperated, but they couldn't just watch as the old dowager cried herself sick. All they could try was persuade her to cheer up, but the more they tried, the louder she wailed. She frequently peeped at the door through her fingers, as if expecting Qin Huaiyuan to return, console her, and admit his wrongdoings.
Qin Huaiyuan seemed to not hear a single hint of the old dowager's wailing and continued to hold née Sun. "Don’t concern yourself with mother's words, I still hold sway over daughter Yi's affairs. If I forbid it, no one can bully our dear daughter."
Née Sun nodded and choked out, "I’m the one who did wrong by that child. I have yet to treat her properly as my daughter. If the worst is to truly befall her, how could I live with myself?"
"It won’t. Rest assured, our daughter is a blessed child. Even if she encounters a setback, she can surely turn the tides to her favor. Furthermore, I’ve just received word that she is alive and well in Tatar. Don’t let your imagination trouble you."
"Truly?" Née Sun's tears were forgotten as she cried out in surprise, "My lord, do you speak the truth? Surely you’re not only saying this just to make me feel better?"
"Why would I deceive you like that?" Qin Huaiyuan led née Sun to their bedroom and placed his hands on her shoulders. "I am no hero, but I consider myself noble of character. I would not lie to you."
"I know, I know. I’m just too happy! Daughter Yi is alive? Really alive?"
"Indeed, she is. Though she’s run into some trouble, rest assured. She has me and our son-in-law. Nothing will happen to her." Qin Huaiyuan didn’t disclose the details of her predicament as he didn’t want to worry his wife, and the second to keep her tongue from wagging. Certain matters needed to remain discreet, and were thus unsuitable for careless conversation, lest trouble come knocking on their door.
Née Sun's tears were now replaced with a smile. "So long as she lives. If she is alive, hope remains. Our family has never done evil, so the heavens would not be so cruel to us."
"Indeed. Therefore, you shouldn’t cry any longer. If you fall ill, I won’t be able to explain myself when our daughter returns and thinks I’ve been mistreating you."
Née Sun's grief morphed into happiness at his words. She lightly batted Qin Huaiyuan's shoulder before leaning into his arms. Qin Huaiyuan held his wife, his furrowed brows of worry going unseen.
After a night's rest, the Minuo were finally able to replenish some of their energy. The ones in charge had already passed on Qin Yining's words during idle conversation with others last night.
At the crack of dawn, Harbhara and Caganbhara gathered their tribesmen together again and repeated their plans to all.
Though the weakest of the lot felt fear at their vague future, at least they knew they weren’t being left behind.Previous Chapter Next Chapter