Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 48
On the morning of 27th of Second Month, the brothers Chen Jingzong and Chen Bozong still had to go to their respective job, but Hua Yang and Yu Xiu headed to Shiqiao Town after breakfast.
The forty-mile journey was only more than half an hour by horseback, but the carriage would take a whole morning, so the women would go first. Then in the evening, the brothers would ride back and stay for one night in the old house. After lunch tomorrow, the two families would then to go back to the city again. With just one day off, it could only be arranged like this.
The weather was noticeably warmer, one or two peach trees that occasionally appeared on the roadside would be covered with small pink buds, and some of the treetops had bloomed early on the sunny side.
Yu Xiu saw Hua Yang staring at the peach blossoms and said, “There are two peach blossoms in our courtyard. If they bloom, I will pick a few branches and send them to the Princess.”
Hua Yang smiled: “No need to bother Sister-in-law, someone else will give it to me.”
The first one that Yu Xiu thought was her brother-in-law, and immediately felt annoyed at herself for being so meddlesome. Compared with sister-in-law, the princess of course liked the gift from her husband more.
Accompanied by the cheerful chirping of birds, two carriages and a team of guards finally arrived at Shiqiao Town.
At a glance, the common people knew that the princess and others had come back to visit the Cabinet Elder Chen’s couple. Some watched the excitement with relish, while others were no longer surprised and continued with their business.
Before the carriage stopped, Wan Yi, Dalang, Erlang, and Sanlang were already rushing out.
The sister and brother, Wan Yi and Dalang, both threw themselves into Yu Xiu’s arms.
Yu Xiu was so happy and wanted to cry. This was the first time since she became a mother that she had been separated from her children for so long.
Erlang and Sanlang stood side by side. Seeing that there was no one else inside after their fourth aunt Princess got out of the carriage, the two little brothers felt a little aggrieved, and Sanlang even looked like he was about to cry.
When Yu Xiu saw them, she touched the heads of her nephews one by one and explained softly: “We are closer, so we arrived first. Your mother must be on the way too, don’t worry.”
Hua Yang didn’t want to coax the children, but she prepared gifts for her parents-in-law and the children.
Chao Yun received the look from her master, smiled and took out four boxes of cakes from the carriage, giving one box to each child.
With delicious food, the children were very happy.
At this time, Chen Tingjian and Sun shi also came over.
Chen Tingjian still wore a white coarse cloth robe, and his chest-length beard was neatly and elegantly trimmed. After mourning at home for so long, and no longer had to deal with government affairs from dawn to dusk like when he was in the capital, Cabinet Elder Chen, who was in his early fifties, looked a little more energetic and had a bit of an immortal spirit.
It was a pity that the children didn’t know how to appreciate their grandfather’s grace. They only knew that their grandfather was too strict. As soon as his grandfather arrived, Sanlang, who was in a hurry to open the pastry box, immediately held the box tightly. He was like this, and Dalang and Erlang were even more steady. Only Wan Yi dared to be a little more lively in front of her grandfather.
Hua Yang suddenly remembered her younger brother in the palace. When he was five or six years old, he was also so well-behaved and cute in front of her father-in-law.
After greeting each other, everyone moved to the hall to talk.
While his sons were away, Chen Tingjian could not question his daughters-in-law. Even if he had received information about some matters, he could only pretend not to know.
Sun shi smiled and asked about the current situation of the two young couples, such as whether they getting used to the food and living there, and whether her sons were busy with their errands.
“Okay, let’s eat later. You two ride on the carriage all morning. Go back and rest for a while. The house has been cleaned up in advance.”
Sun shi ordered.
Hua Yang and Yu Xiu took the children and withdrew.
Back in the west courtyard, the atmosphere became lively again. Erlang and Sanlang did not receive their mother, so they went to ask questions around their gentle and amiable aunt. Yu Xiu was also patient. Whatever the children asked, she answered everything she could.
Hua Yang thought it was interesting at first, but as time went on, she got tired of the noise and took the maid back to Siyi Hall first.
As soon as she washed her face, she heard Zhen’er calling “Miss” with a smile.
After a while, Wan Yi came in, holding a few pink peach blossoms in her hands, her clean and dark eyes looked at her happily: “These are newly picked peach blossoms, does Fourth Aunt like it?”
Hua Yang liked it.
In the spring of her previous life, she didn’t know which day, but Wan Yi also gave her peach blossoms. The cute little girl and the fresh delicate petals always made people happy.
“I also prepared a gift for Wan Yi.”
Chao Yun took out a small box as big as a palm. Hua Yang handed it to Wan Yi and asked her to open it with a smile.
Wan Yi did as she was told, and saw that inside the box was a peach blossom hairpin made of pink tourmaline. It was pink and shiny, and extremely beautiful.
Hua Yang picked up the peach blossom hairpin, personally help Wan Yi put it on, and then led her to the half-person-heigh mirror.
Wan Yi liked it very much, but she was also a little embarrassed. She blushed and said, “Fourth Aunt always gives me good things every time I come here, then I won’t dare to come again next time.”
It seemed like she was trying to please her fourth aunt just for the gift.
Hua Yang laughed and said: “It’s not every time. Next time you come, I won’t give anything, okay?”
Wan Yi also laughed.
“Princess, Third Madam is also here.”
Hua Yang definitely would not personally welcome Luo Yuyan at the door. She just pat Wan Yi on the shoulder and told her to go over, which was the etiquette that juniors should do.
Erlang and Sanlang had already rushed out, and Dalang was standing in the corridor waiting for his sister.
Noticing that her brother glanced at her head several times, Wan Yi’s heart moved, and she asked her brother to help her take off the peach blossom hairpin and carefully put it into the delicate purse around her waist.
Dalang asked: “Did Fourth Aunt give you this? Why doesn’t Sister wear it?”
Wan Yi explained in a low voice as she walked out with her younger brother: “Our parents have always been simple, and we are not allowed to be too particular about these. If I wear that hairpin to see Third Aunt, she will definitely guess that it was given by Fourth Aunt. Fourth Aunt has already given this to me, so does Third Aunt have to give me something good too? Why should I make Third Aunt to spend money?”
Fourth Aunt liked her, and when she gave her gifts, Wan Yi gracefully accepted them, but she could not take the initiative to ask for them from the third aunt intentionally or unintentionally.
She was nine years old and already knew about those worldly wisdoms.
The six-year-old Dalang was thoughtful.
Outside the Chen house, Luo Yuyan also prepared food gifts for her children and nephews.
Sun shi was sitting in the hall, waiting for her third daughter-in-law to come in to greet her. Chen Tingjian did not come this time. After all, he just wanted to welcome the princess. If it was only the eldest daughter-in-law that came back, there was no reason for him, as a father-in-law, to specially welcomed his daughter-in-law.
“Mom, don’t you often complain about sore shoulders? That day, Third Master was out incognito for a private visit. He saw someone selling a small mallet specially used to relieve sore shoulders. He bought one for you and Father. How about you quickly try it?”
Luo Yuyan enthusiastically presented the gift that the couple had prepared for the two elders, a pair of small wooden mallets with long handles. Even if the maid was away, she could use by herself any time.
Sun shi gave it a try and said with a smile: “This is practical, Old Three is considerate.”
After Luo Yuyan left with the children, Sun shi also returned to Chunhe Hall with the gifts.
Chen Tingjian saw the maid next to her holding a long box. He stared at the box.
The tea given by the Old One was a bit expensive, but it was not too outrageous. With the Old One’s salary, he could still afford it.
The Old Four would never bother to honor him. Those two boxes of bird’s nests were the princess’s thought.
He didn’t know what the Old Three had prepared.
Chen Tingjian was not worried about the children’s gifts. He was afraid that his sons would imitate those corrupt officials when they were outside and squander the fat and wealth of the people in order to act as filial sons in front of him.
Sun shi knew what he was thinking, so she took out the pair of small wooden mallets and stuffed them into his hands: “Check and see if there is gold hidden inside the handle.”
The maids smiled and then left.
Sun shi snatched back a small mallet, hit her husband on the shoulder with good force, and snorted: “Among those three gifts, the cheapest one is from the Old Three. But he has a slippery mouth, his words are better than singing.”
Chen Tingjian showed a little smile in his eyes. The Old Three was a little slick, but he never confused of right and wrong. What’s more, his wife obviously liked the Old Three’s behavior.
Luo Yuyan went to Guanhe Hall first.
The children were playing together, and she asked Yu Xiu alone, such as why the princess invited her to ride in the same carriage last time, and after arriving in Lingzhou City, did the princess invite her to Ningyuan to walk around?
Yu Xiu told everything she could, except for the awkward situation between the princess and her brother-in-law.
After hearing this, Luo Yuyan smiled half-heartedly: “Sister-in-law is a blessed person, you get the Princess’ favor.”
Yu Xiu also felt that she was blessed in life. Not to mention anything else, just to be able to befriend the princess meant that her life was not in vain.
After Luo Yuyan left, Wan Yi continued to stick to her mother’s side.
Yu Xiu saw the peach blossoms in the yard and asked curiously: “Are you going to give peach blossoms to your Third Aunt later?”
Wan Yi shook her head and said playfully: “Third Aunt doesn’t like these things.”
Yu Xiu: “How do you know she doesn’t like it?”
Wan Yi: “The garden was built last year. Every time we meet Third Aunt there, Third Aunt likes to stare at your clothes and jewelry. But Fourth Aunt is different. She likes to look at flowers and trees.”
Yu Xiu was surprised and delighted. She pinched her daughter’s little nose and said, “Your head is as smart as your father’s.”
Wan Yi: “Okay, my head follows my father’s, and my beauty follows my mother’s.”
The daughter was not shy, but it was Yu Xiu who blushed. She then told her daughter not to be so conceited when outside.
Sun shi had a simple meal with her daughters-in-law at noon, and then would have a grand family dinner when the whole family gathered together in the evening.
In the current Chen family, only Chen Tingjian and his wife should eat vegetarian food, while the younger two generations could eat freely.
The tempting aroma of vegetables kept coming from the kitchen, and Sanlang was so greedy that his mouth watered. It was true that his grandfather was usually too strict. His grandmother would cook them more braised pork, and his grandfather would frown when he saw it.
The sky gradually darkened.
Finally, the sound of galloping horse came from the street. It sounded like there were three of them. It turned out that three brothers from two places met halfway and returned together.
Yu Xiu and Luo Yuyan were going to welcome their husbands, and the children would definitely be going to welcome their father.
But Hua Yang sat firmly in her seat.
The adults all thought this was a matter of course. Sanlang took his mother’s hand and asked in a low voice as he walked: “Mom, why didn’t Fourth Aunt pick up Fourth Uncle?”
Luo Yuyan replied softly: “Because Fourth Aunt is a princess and the most distinguished person in our family. Unless she is willing, she doesn’t have to personally pick up anyone who comes back.”
Sanlang: “Then Eldest Uncle and Father have people to pick them up, but Fourth Uncle doesn’t have one, isn’t Fourth Uncle very pitiful?”
Luo Yuyan casually rubbed her son’s head: “Your Fourth Uncle is a casual person and doesn’t mind these things.”
While talking, they met head-on with the three brothers from the Chen family who were walking in.
The children went to pounce on their fathers.
Chen Jingzong stood on the side to his brothers and bowed lightly to his two sisters-in-law.
Sanlang got down from his father’s arms, looked at the lonely Fourth Uncle, his big eyes widened, walked over and asked: “Fourth Uncle, when will you and Fourth Aunt have a baby?”
The Chen Xiaozong’s and Chen Bozong’s couple: …
Sanlang innocently said: “Fourth Aunt is unwilling to come out to pick you up. When you give birth to younger brothers and sisters, they can come out to pick up Fourth Uncle like us.”
The complicated expressions on the adults’ faces finally returned to normal.
Chen Jingzong picked up Sanlang and playfully flicked him on the forehead: “Who said your Fourth Aunt is unwilling come to pick me up?”
Sanlang pointed inside: “Fourth Aunt is not here.”
Chen Jingzong smiled and said: “That’s because Fourth Uncle feels distress for your Fourth Aunt and has told her in advance that she doesn’t have to specially make this trip.”
Sanlang understood, turned his head, and looked at his eldest uncle and father respectively with his big eyes.
Chen Bozong was silent and glanced at his third brother from the corner of his eye.
Chen Xiaozong smiled and said: “Okay, I’m hungry now, let’s go in and eat quickly!”
The Old Four’s mouth could talk nonsense anytime and anywhere, but they couldn’t argue in front of the children about whether they feel distressed or not.
He hugged Sanlang again.
Chen Bozong’s family walked in the front, followed by Chen Xiaozong’s family. Chen Jingzong was the youngest, so he naturally walked at the end.
Chen Jingzong looked disdainful as he glanced at the two brothers who were surrounded by their lovely wives and children.
He hated these false-courtesy the most, even if she came out to pick him up, he wouldn’t care!