"Mother." Qin Huaiyuan lowered his voice, displeased. "Daughter Yi is my only daughter and your granddaughter! She has been kidnapped and we know not whether she is alive or dead, but you’re not worried about her well-being at all. Instead, you brood over how to arrange for our family to marry into her husband's family? Is this something a grandmother should do??"
The only thing on Qin Huaiyuan's mind was his daughter's safety. He’d just managed to maneuver out of a rough patch, and he didn't know if His Majesty would dwell on recent events and come up with further suspicions. Even more worrying was whether anyone would discover where he had hidden his three in-laws.
These problems already had his mind in a whirl. Though the Tatars losing their supply lines had temporarily put a stop to impending war, who was to say for certain that Tatar wouldn't still declare war regardless?
If Siqin thought the same and intended upon quick skirmishes on horseback, they wouldn’t require excessive equipment. All they had to do was attack wherever food was stored and pillage their way through Great Zhou. Wouldn’t that mean certain suffering for their citizens who lived on the border?
Grappling with these thorny problems already left him mentally and physically exhausted, yet his mother decided to bring this nonsense up after a battle of wits earlier with his liege. No matter how much patience he had, her selfish words completely destroyed it all.
Having been chastised by her son, she cried in disbelief, "Meng'er, what is the meaning of this? How is this unbecoming of a grandmother? Do I not act in the interests of the entire family?
"You’re not wrong to say that daughter Yi is my granddaughter, but she’s not the only one. She’s not even the most filial of them all, might I add. Should I not plan out the futures of the other Qin daughters?
"Furthermore, if this granddaughter can’t secure her position as princess consort, isn’t this precisely the moment that we should be sending another to them? What are you being so stubborn for?"
Qin Huaiyuan listened with a neutral expression, calm as still water, his years of serving at court having taught him to suppress his anger while slowly letting it seep from his aura.
Though the old dowager spoke with self-righteous conviction, the icy look in Qin Huaiyuan's eyes struck fear within her. However, she saw no fault in her actions; he’d just thrown his lot in with outsiders. Now that he had a wife and a daughter, he saw no need to care for his mother!
The old dowager felt so wronged that she began to cry. Pounding the cushion across her lap, she sobbed, "Oh, woe is me! Is this how your father taught you to be? The way I see it, you have forgotten all of his teachings! Again and again, you continue to talk back to me. You think you’re ready to leave the nest now as the master of the house, so you’re no longer obligated to fulfill your filial duty to your mother!"
In the past, this would’ve been the point where her son would gently comfort and speak agreeably to placate her. However, this time, Qin Huaiyuan merely stood in place without a word and looked at her with a distant look of a stranger.
Seeing that no consolation was forthcoming as expected, the old dowager felt even more wronged and broke out bawling.
"Such sinfulness! I don't want to live anymore, I don't want to live anymore! Oh my heart, my good intentions completely squandered! You all despise me!"
She wailed as she pounded her chest and stomped her feet. Burying her face in a handkerchief, her jade hairpin slid halfway out of place from her exertions. Her round bun loosed, sending peppery hair messily scattering across her shoulders as if she had been assaulted.
The second elder master, second madame, and third elder master silently watched from the sidelines as the old dowager threw a tantrum.
The second madame had been about to step up to say a word or two; their family already had enough problems to deal with. It was unsightly for the elderly to throw a tantrum over something so unreasonable like she did.
However, the second elder master subtly pulled her back, not allowing her to approach.
The third elder master especially couldn't stand the sight of his father's official wife like this. With a quiet scoff, he turned and excused himself. Out of sight, out of mind.
Only Qin-mama was left awkwardly standing by the old dowager, not knowing whether to mollify her mistress or make herself scarce.
The room fell silent. The old dowager's throat had already gone hoarse, yet no one came forward to comfort her—not to mention Qin Huaiyuan hadn’t begged for her forgiveness yet! Her fury burned even hotter.
"This is all your fault, you bitch!” She pounded her chest and leveled an accusing finger at the silent née Sun. “You've talked my Meng'er into developing such bad behavior. Out with it—what kind of pillow talk have you been deceiving him with?!"
Qin Huaiyuan's face went as dark as the blackened bottom of a pot.
Née Sun's patience finally ran out. "What a joke!" she scoffed. I've talked your son into developing bad behavior? Take a look at him—he’s not a three-year-old child anymore! Would he fall for any of my pillow talk? I've even thought of telling him to kick out everyone who causes a ruckus, but would he possibly listen to me?!"
"You!" The old dowager's eyes went round with rage; she knew née Sun's indirect accusation was referring to herself.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Oh heave off Old Dowager. Get a new hobby. This is so sad.