“You, you, you’ll be the end of us! How will it look to have an old woman like you live in your grandson’s residence?! Am I going to hurt née Qin somehow?!” Yao Chenggu bellowed, red in the face because his inner thoughts had been revealed.
“Do you think I don’t know what kind of person you are after spending a lifetime with you?” Née Ma sneered. “You’ve already got one foot in the grave, would it be so bad to happily live out the rest of your days in quiet peace? Why do you have to stick your nose into Dafu’s family affairs? And you!”
She turned around and grabbed née Yao, hauling her daughter up by the collar. “You will spend some time reflecting in the side room and are not allowed to leave it without my permission! See if I won’t break your legs if you show your face at Pineheart Garden!”
One hand on her waist and another hauling née Yao in her wake, née Ma stalked to the side room and gave orders in a carrying voice for the door to be shut.
“The old madame has come down with a bout of hysteria. She will be recovering in this room to prevent her from hurting others. She can come out whenever she calms down and is normal again.”
The mama had eavesdropped by the door for a good amount of time; she’d clearly heard the entire conversation inside. Née Yao was normally a modest and gentle woman, but she didn’t think much of the servants. In fact, they weren’t even human to her. Seeing that the grand-madame wished to punish née Yao, the servant happily bobbed her head up and down.
“Aiya, a woman of the old madame’s age possesses a weak physique and frequent night sweats. It’s common to see them fall into hysteria. We must locate a good imperial physician to treat the old madame.”
Née Ma nodded and turned back to jab a finger at Yao Chenggu, the threat clear as day. She whirled around and flounced off.
Yao Chenggu leaned against the doorframe, trembling and shaking. Though his wife had once walked the jianghu, he’d felt that staying by his side and weathering the trials of life with him had built a staunch and steadfast love between them. He very much respected and depended on her.
When they opened their restaurant, he focused his efforts on experimenting with dishes while née Ma was in charge of the front of house. Their steady business was wholly a result of her winning ways with people and the fact that she could send any would-be robber or hooligan away with just a few moves.
Yao Chenggu had been quite content with life before. He had a wonderful wife who was just as presentable in front of others as she was capable in the kitchen, and their grandson was a prince! But who would’ve thought that a couple of a lifetime would see their relationship shatter in their old age on account of an outsider?
He was angry and aggrieved and frustrated. However, there was nothing else he could do but yank his hair and stoop on the ground with a long exhale.
Qin Yining was feeling much better after taking a nutritious supplement for the baby personally prepared by Bingtang. She leaned back against a soft satin pillow and stared blankly at the drawing for multitudes of descendants stitched into the bed curtains.
Pang Xiao sat next to her and asked carefully, “Are you feeling better?”
“Much,” she smiled. Though she nursed a bellyful of anger, her husband hadn’t done anything wrong. She wasn’t fool enough to vent her spleen on her man; Qin Yining knew how to maintain her image and position in Pang Xiao’s heart at any given moment.
She inched forward on her elbows and laid down on his thighs. The prince immediately pulled a thin blanket over her and gently combed his fingers through her scattered long locks.
“Don’t be mad, my love, I didn’t handle things right this time. My grandpa and mom really are thinking too much. I’ll explain things to them later, so don’t think too much. There’s definitely no need for rent or anything like that.”
“I know,” Qin Yining dimpled at him. “I was just mad and now rather regret taking that attitude with the grand-lord and old madame.”
“Look at you, you’re not calling them grandpa and mom anymore.”
Her smile widened. “They don’t treat me as family either, they suspect me.”
Both Pang Xiao and Qin Yining were quick-witted individuals, how would they not see what was playing out in front of them?
Pang Xiao was both furious and guilty when he looked at how exhausted his wife was. She hadn’t had a day of peace since she married him and now that she was pregnant, she had to face suspicion from his family instead.
He caressed her shoulder with a large hand. “No matter what other people think, my darling, we are husband and wife. I trust you and I know you, I’ll explain things to them. There will never be a repeat of what happened today, so don’t be sad, alright?
Qin Yining nodded, a curl of hair sliding down her shoulder and gliding down her pale nape to land on Pang Xiao’s legs. His heart clenched with pity to see her so fragile and he dearly wished that he could claw out his heart for her.
“Alright, rest for a bit. I’m going out to run an errand and will be back very soon.”
Qin Yining scooted back because she knew that he was going to Pinecrane Hall. She sent him off with a merry smile, one that slid off her face after Pang Xiao disappeared from sight. The princess consort laid back down.
She wasn’t a weak person. When née Sun had treated her poorly, she’d endured it because née Sun was her birth mother.
Though she was shocked that née Yao and Yao Chenggu suspected her and clearly drew the lines between them, she also felt that this was simple human nature. It was very understandable.
She’d seen plenty of the ugly in man when she was young. Née Yao and Yao Chenggu weren’t villains, just very realistic, ordinary people.
Née Ma treated her truly, so Qin Yining would respond to her a hundred times in kind. As for née Yao and Yao Chenggu, it would be enough for her to maintain barely civil relations with them for Pang Xiao’s sake.Previous Chapter Next Chapter