"Do you think that Yourui doesn’t like Mr. Helou but she can’t resist the pressure from Mother, so she has to come to our mansion and meet with him?" That evening, when the couple entered the inner room, Song Yixiao sat in front of the dressing table, taking off her hairpins and rings in front of the bronze mirror, while saying, "I heard the maids say that in the garden of our mansion, while Mr. Helou was very attentive, Yourui kept ignoring him, very reluctantly."
Jian Xubai smiled and said, "You think she was ignoring him, but Helou thought that was the kind of reserve a proper lady should have! He just told me today that Yourui was so immaculate that she was not like any other woman. He obviously likes Yourui’s cold attitude. Besides, you probably don’t know that although Yourui is kind to us, she’s always aloof and polite to outsiders. Helou is not our family member yet, right?"
"A girl should behave in a cold and reserved manner when she meets with the boy, so as to appear that she has a strict discipline and is not a frivolous person." Song Yixiao put the last pearl hair ornaments on the dressing table, took a jade comb and slowly combed through her waterfall-liked hair, saying, "How could I not know this?"
"But I don’t know that." Jian Xubai heard this and joked, "In that case, when you were so reluctant to marry me, did you also think that?"
Song Yixiao rolled her eyes, "I’m being serious. It’s reasonable for a girl to be reserved in front of a man! The problem is that Yourui has never asked me about Mr. Helou in private!"
At that moment, Jian Xubai happened to walk over, took the jade comb from her hand and diligently combed her hair. Hearing this, he was slightly stunned and said, "Has Mother already told her?"
Song Yixiao couldn’t shake her head because Jian Xubai was combing her hair. She only sighed and said, "You really don’t understand the mind of a girl! This is a lifelong matter, not an ordinary one! Even though Mother and I have told Yourui about Mr. Helou, it is still normal for Yourui to ask about him many times if she is really considering him as her husband."
She continued to say, "Besides, the first time we asked Yourui to think about the marriage with Mr. Helou was when we were on summer vacation last year. Because Yourui kept saying that she had no intention to get married at that time, we stopped mentioning this to her. If she was interested in Mr. Helou, would she not have inquired about his actions and behaviours over the past year?"
The point was, "Mr. Helou has been favoured by noble families. It is rumoured that he has been refusing the proposals for the sake of Yourui. Even if Yourui is not a vainglorious person, as a lady, she should have asked about it with indirect questions."
And what was the result?
After Pei Yourui came to the mansion of Duke of Yan, apart from treating Helou Duhan coldly in the garden, she just went to tease Jian Qingyue.
When she was alone with her sister-in-law, if Song Yixiao didn’t mention Helou Duhan, she wouldn’t ask a word about him!
"But if Yourui doesn’t like Helou Duhan, why does she make false pretences with him?" Jian Xubai frowned and said, "Although Mother thinks Helou Duhan is not bad, she doesn’t insist that Yourui must marry him. As long as Yourui refuses, Mother will find her another good husband without asking for the reason!"
Song Yixiao looked at him in the mirror and said, "I don’t know. Maybe she really wants to discuss her marriage after finishing her mourning?"
"You don’t know?" Hearing this, Jian Xubai smiled playfully, reached out and pinched her cheek, saying, "You really don’t know?"
"From the tone of your voice, you do have an idea?" Song Yixiao turned her head around and glanced at him, saying, "Why don’t you tell me? Maybe I’m wrong!"
Jian Xubai wrapped a stand of her hair around his finger and said, "If you think you are wrong, why don’t you say it out? But you ask me to tell you. Forget it. I won’t make it hard for you. It’s just about Jian Yiyou and Princess Changxing. What’s so hard to tell?"
Since Grand Princess Jinguo cared about Pei Yourui’s marriage for the first time in the summer vocation last year, Pei Yourui had been very resistant to it.
At present, she was forced by Grand Princess Jinguo to give her consent, but she was not interested in Helou Duhan. Such an unusual behaviour, combined with Pei Yourui’s simple upbringing, could be related to Jian Yiyou’s repudiation of her marriage.
But according to the couple’s understanding of Pei Yourui, this sister definitely did not miss Jian Yiyou or think of renewing their previous relationship. So, it could only be about revenge!
"And you blamed me for not telling you!" Song Yixiao raised her hand and smacked him, snickering, "You obviously understood it when you heard half of my words. But you still pretended to be silly and asked why Yourui made false pretences with Mr. Helou! You can play tricks on me, but I’m not allowed to pretend to be confused in front of you?"
Jian Xubai laughed and said, "How is it playing tricks? I was just saying to myself. I was about to say something about my speculation, but you said you didn’t know it first!"
"Do you think I’m talking too much?" Song Yixiao snatched her hair out of his hand and complained, "You said you’d comb my hair, but you’re just playing with it. I might as well do it myself!"
As she took the jade comb back from his hand and combed her hair, she said, "This is troublesome! Mother treats Yourui as her own daughter, but Yourui can’t let go of the matter of Jian Yiyou and Princess Changxing. If we tell Mother about this, no matter if she asks Yourui for the truth, there will be many gaps in their future relationship. After all, Jian Yiyou is Mother’s own son!"
Jian Xubai couldn’t help her, so he picked up the pearl hair ornaments that his wife had just taken off and played with it, saying, "I have to say it even if it’s troublesome! Yourui obviously has no intention of marrying Helou, but she still remains patient and makes false pretences with him. It’s just because she doesn’t want Mother to be suspicious. Although Mother can summon Jian Yiyou and Princess Changxing at any time, they don’t live in the same mansion with Mother. What if Yourui finds that there’s nothing she can do with Jian Yiyou and Princess Changxing and then harms Mother?"
"Will she?" Song Yixiao was surprised, "Mother treats her so well!"
"There are many people in this world who return favours with hatred." Jian Xubai seemed to have thought of something, his face sunken, but he hid the complexity in his eyes and said coldly, "Besides, although the health of Grand Secretariat Pei was not that good earlier, there was no big problem with him. If he hadn’t resigned and returned to his hometown because of Yiyou’s repudiation of Yourui’s marriage, he might not have died the year before last. If that’s what Yourui thinks, then she will revenge her father’s death on Jian Yiyou and Princess Changxing!"
She definitely couldn’t live under the same sky with those who killed her father!
With such a grudge, no matter what means Pei Yourui used to take revenge, it would be justifiable according to the concept at that time.
As Jian Yiyou’s own mother, it made sense that Grand Princess Jinguo became the target of the revenge.
Song Yixiao looked solemn, "Then… shall we go and speak to Mother tomorrow?"
Seeing Jian Xubai nod, she slewed her eyes and put down the jade comb, saying, "Relatives are favoured over outsiders. This thing… You should be the one to tell Mother. I’m not saying that Mother treats me badly. But it’s strange for a daughter-in-law to tell her mother-in-law that her goddaughter, whom she regards as her own, may have ill intentions towards her!"
"I’ll go and tell her." Jian Xubai raised his hand and thrust it into her hair, saying casually, "But what you said just now reminded me of what happened at the beginning of last year!"
Song Yixiao didn’t understand and asked, "What?"
"You can play tricks on me, but I’m not allowed to pretend to be confused in front of you?" Jian Xubai leaned down and kissed her on the cheek, smiling wickedly, "Didn’t you say at that time how could I be allowed to molest you but you were not allowed to molest me? Tonight, if you flirt with me to my satisfaction, I’ll do you this favour. How about it?"
"Impertinent!" Song Yixiao then understood. Angry and amused, she raised her hand to pluck him away, pouting, "You’re dreaming. I won’t…"
The sound of pouting ceased, and the veil of bed slowly fell down.
The next morning, Jian Xubai went to the court refreshed, but Song Yixiao slept again. She didn’t get up until almost noon. She saw that Jinxun and the others were snickering in private. She followed their sights and found the vague marks on the side of her neck. After all, she was a mother at the moment, so she still felt a little embarrassed in her heart.
She blamed her husband again in her heart and decided that when he came back tonight, she would pinch him more!
After freshening up, she went to the drawing room as usual, and asked the stewards to come up one by one to report.
After dealing with a few trivial matters, she remembered and asked those aside, "Have you prepare the birthday present and New Year present for Wuying? Bring me the gift list."
It was only October, nearly two months before Nie Wuying’s birthday and the New Year, but the land of Prince of Su was far away and cold. So, it would be difficult to travel there in lunar December.
Therefore, the gifts for them must depart at this time.
After asking about this, she wrote a long personal letter to Nie Wuying, so that the person in charge of transporting could bring it to her sister-in-law. When there was nothing else, she returned to the back hall for lunch.
Only later in the afternoon did she have time to ask someone to bring her daughter over and play with her daughter.
Jian Xubai returned to the mansion later than usual this evening. Song Yixiao knew that he had gone to the mansion of Grand Princess Jinguo.
When she asked him after they went back to the room, Jian Xubai said, "I have already told Mother what happened and what we presumed. Mother said she would take care of it and told us not to worry about it."
Song Yixiao was relieved to hear this. But several days later, the couple were summoned by Grand Princess Jinguo in the early morning on holiday. Only then did she realize that she had been reassured too early, "I’m calling you here today to make amends to your sister!"
Pei Yourui hurriedly said, "Mother, I’ve said that it’s really a misunderstanding! If you do this, how am I supposed to get along with Xubai and Yixiao?"
Grand Princess Jinguo ignored her words. She only said to her son and daughter-in-law with a sullen face, "Just because Yourui was unsure and didn’t ask Yixiao about Helou Duhan, how could you suspect her of intending to harm me? I’ve told you that I’ve always treated Yourui as my own daughter. I hope that you will love and respect her as much as you do to Qingjiang. But you are treating my words as if they are not important!"
Under such a circumstance, what else could be said?
Apparently, Grand Princess Jinguo listened to her son’s warning and turned to confront Pei Yourui. In the end, she was convinced by Pei Yourui that her son and daughter-in-law were bad and tried to provoke their relationship!
Song Yixiao and Jian Xubai looked at each other. They both were wondering. Had they been wrong in their assumptions? Did they really wrong this sister?
If Pei Yourui didn’t have any bad intentions, why did she keep delaying the marriage proposal, and then killed time with Helou Duhan, whom she had no interest in, when it couldn’t be delayed?
The two of them, in accordance with Grand Princess Jinguo’s wish, respectfully poured tea and made amends to Pei Yourui. After this, Song Yixiao couldn’t hold back her curiosity and asked, "Sister, Mother said that you are unsure. May I ask what your doubts are? Is there anything we can help with?"