Chapter 11 :
Mu Huanqing concealed the matter regarding the bridal chamber and tea serving* because she didn’t want her mother to feel upset for her. Moreover, she was not that weak minded to feel as if her entire world had collapsed just because her husband didn’t want to consummate their marriage nor served the tea with her. Her days would pass by as usual. However, her mother would definitely not believe her if she were to say everything was going perfectly well. Hence, she chose to answer with a half-lie.
“It’s after all a marriage conferred by the Emperor, he wouldn’t dare to defy the emperor nor provoke father. So he still treats me politely.” Thus, this was what she told her mother.
Concubine Li examined her daughter’s face, although she could not find a glimpse of Mu Huanqing being wrongfully treated, she knows her daughter very well; she was someone that would keep things to herself in order to not worry others. She lightly patted her daughter’s hand, and spoke in a soft voice, “No matter what happens in the future, you don’t necessarily have to conceal any big decisions from mother. You know exactly where I stand, right?”
Mu Huanqing gazed into her mother’s serious eyes, and understood what she was trying to convey intuitively. She nodded. “Mother, I promise you that I will let you know if anything big happens.”
“That’s good.” Concubine Li smiled gently, her gaze a tranquil calm.
As Mu Huanqing looked at her mother, she thought of how much she loved her consideration towards others, as well as the tranquility she gives to people around her. Among Father’s inner courtyard**, mother wasn’t the most beautiful one, but she was the one with the best skin maintenance. Although Mother was now thirty-five, she still looked as if she was in her twenties with fair and tender skin, void of any aging wrinkles, unlike the other concubines who depended on cosmetics to hide their traces of aging.
Mu Huanqing knew why her mother could maintain her youthful look. It was because mother had never envied, nor contend or fight with the others. Also, she would not waste effort to curry favor with Father. Mother lived only for herself; hence, it was why she had such a broad heart and passed her days with eating and sleeping well. Once Mother had Mu Huanqing, she begin to live for Mu Huanqing and herself.
After they had lunch in the Mu Manor, Mu Huanqing had to leave as it was not early anymore. When she stole a glance towards Fu Yanlin, she saw him talking and laughing with her father while upholding a fitting bearing, just like how any ordinary son-in-law would treat their father-in-law. There were no peculiarities at all.
She lowered her eyelids to hide the disappointment in her eyes, then sighed with regret.
“Why hadn’t they started fighting yet?”
She thought nobody had heard what she said. After bidding farewell to her father and mother, and before she got into the horse carriage, Fu Yanlin stretched his hand out towards her.
As she thought of how this was just acting, she did not act unreasonable and cooperatively placed her hand in his palm to let him help her up the horse carriage.
“You wished to see me fight with your father?”
Mu Huanqing paused at his statement and looked up at him in surprise. She came face-to-face with a pair of ice-cold eyes.
She had not anticipated him to suddenly speak to her. Before she could even react, he continued—
“Then you will be very disappointed. I am not a pitbull, nor do I have any interest in bickering with a fox. It would only let the other people see a joke.
Her eyes opened wide, and she looked at him dazedly. He saw her flabbergasted expression, then withdrew his arm and turned around to be seated after she had got onto the carriage.
Mu Huanqing looked at his retreating back figure. Only once he had gone far enough, did she pinch her refined brows and whispered, “What I am not a pitbull, your eye is as sharp as a dog’s. You can even hear when I speak so softly?”
The coachman released the reins to set out once he received the order, so the party left the Mu Manor’s gate and had just turned to the main street. When Fu Yanlin as a matter of course, urged his horse on to leave without a word.
Mu Huanqing glanced over at that gradually diminishing silhouette with indifference. Leaning back against the seat, she closed her eyes in meditation to regain her composure.
Once she was back at the Marquis residence, she threw a word of command to her servant. Saying that she wanted to take a nap, and no one was to disturb her. Although that’s what she said, in reality, she took this chance to slip out through the window.
*Serving tea: To express thanks to your elders on one’s wedding day: At the traditional Chinese marriage ceremony, both the bride and groom kneel in front of their parents and serve them tea.
**Inner Courtyard here refers to Mu Huanqing’s father’s numerous concubines.
If this was a paranormal series, I can imagine Fu Yanlin as a vampire with a bat as a pet. He’s cold enough, at least. Maybe he sleeps in a coffin as well, which was why he had to ditch Mu Huanqing. 😛