Ye Lizhu began to feel a little uncomfortable once again.
She pressed her chest and frowned, not thinking too much.
Maybe it was because seeing her father again made her spirits improved a little
It was also getting late so Ye Lizhu returned to her room, and several maids hurriedly gathered around to help her undress.
Going back to the prime minister’s house, the rules are naturally different from those in the temple. In Ming Buddhist Temple, Ye Lizhu had taken care of her daily needs by herself and had never been tended to by others. Now that she’s returning to the capital, she must get used to having so many people around her at all times.
Ye Lizhu suddenly remembered a very important thing.
Mother has passed away eight years ago. During these eight years, has father remarried a second wife?
Ye Lizhu said to Mama Chen: “My mother has passed away, is there a mistress in the family?”
Madam Chen dared not conceal things from the eldest miss and said: “Six years ago, Master raised Aunt Wu’s status to a legitimate wife. Madam Wu usually treats people generously, Madam will certainly take care of young miss when you return.”
Ye Lizhu reluctantly nodded: “Father never mentioned this… Is there a new person in the family?”
Mama Chen shook her head and said, “Madam Wu has no children. Two years ago, the eldest son was still being raised by Madam Wu. Now that he has entered a school, he lives in a private courtyard by himself.”
After all, Ye Fu’an is the prime minister, his family is big and has a lot of businesses, so there must be a mistress who can manage the family affairs. When Jiang-shi was there, Ye Fu’an had three concubines; Wu-shi was the most outstanding one, with a gentle temperament and a beautiful appearance. After Jiang-shi died, Ye Fu’an raised her status.
Mam Chen said again: “The eldest son is clever and quick-witted, everyone in the residence loves him. Young miss, after you go back, you will also definitely love the eldest son. You share the same blood after all.”
Ye Lizhu nodded.
Now that her mother is gone, if Wu-shi is virtuous and kind and can make her father happy, she will not go against Wu-shi. However, Ye Lizhu will only recognize her own mother and will never call other people “mother”.
Towards her younger brother, Ye Lizhu wanted to see but did not dare to see. For so many years, the two hadn’t seen each other, Ye Lizhu was afraid that her brother would treat her as an outsider.
After all, she did grow up outside.
Mama Chen said: “It’s getting late, and we have to hurry tomorrow. Young miss, go to bed to rest, alright?”
When Ye Lizhu lay on the bed, the maids blew out two candles and left two candles burning.
Both Mama Chen and Mama Li were resting outside, listening alertly to the movements inside.
Although Wu-shi hasn’t done anything bad over the years, Ye Fu’an was already made wary of her because of Ye Jiayou’s ‘possession’ incident three years ago. Those who came to pick up Ye Lizhu this time were all the female servants can serve Ye Lizhu, they all had grown up in Ye’s residence, had served Jiang-shi, and had received her kindness.
When Ye Lizhu woke up the next day, she once again felt as if her chest was being pressed down by a chest.
She was dizzy for a while, and then slowly supported herself by holding onto the edge of the bed. It was a little noisy outside, the sound seemingly shaking the sky. Ye Lizhu said, “What’s going on outside?”
Mama Chen said: “His Highness Prince Qin is about to leave. They are checking the number of soldiers.”
Ye Lizhu nodded.
By the time she’d done washing, Prince Qin’s people have already left.
Ye Fu’an got up early in the morning. He was downstairs, from a distance, he watched his daughter who had changed her outfit. She was more delicate than any other lady he had ever seen. In his heart, he was especially proud of her: “Zhuzhu, go down the stairs slowly, everyone, you all holding the young miss well. If the young miss falls, you will all be held responsible.”
Ye Lizhu walked down slowly: “I just wanted to go by myself, and I’m not a three-year-old kid who has to be supported by someone all the time.”
Ye Fu’an said: “In father’s eyes, Zhuzhu will always be a little girl. Come, try these glutinous rice balls, with pine nuts, walnuts, roses, and sesame seeds as fillings, and there isn’t too much sugar, a little soy sauce, fragrant and sweet.”
Ye Fu’an didn’t know if Ye Lizhu could eat meat after leaving the Ming Buddhist Temple. He specially asked people to cook some vegetarian dishes. The pots were all newly bought as he was afraid that there were bits of meat and fish that would make Ye Lizhu uncomfortable.
Ye Lizhu is a proper eldest young miss, the prime minister’s daughter is only one head lower than an imperial princess. She should have lived the most leisurely life but instead, has been reciting sutras in the temple for nearly ten years. Not to mention how much Ye Fu’an loves his daughter, even if Ye Lizhu wanted the moon in the sky, he would want to take it down for his precious daughter.
Ye Lizhu looked at the exquisite white glaze jade bowl in front of her. Three glutinous rice balls the size of a quail egg were floating in a clear lily and white fungus soup. Ye Fu’an specially invited the chef and took him along. Therefore, the glutinous rice ball is very delicious.
Ye Lizhu tasted one, and said, “I asked Mama yesterday, and she said that you promoted Madam Wu. Dad, you can dote on Zhuzhu but don’t do it too much. Madam Wu cooks for you. She will definitely feel uncomfortable if she sees you spoil your children too much.”
Ye Fu’an doesn’t really understand how to love a woman. He also felt affection towards Ye Lizhu’s mother, Jiang-shi, mainly because Jiang-shi was born noble, incomparably beautiful, and talented, and she is the first wife. Ye Fu’an loved her and respected her. Wu-shi is merely a wife who was once a concubine. As a matter of fact, she is still a servant of the family, no different from other concubines. How could Ye Fu’an treat her as his wife?
Ye Fu’an said: “Zhuzhu don’t have to mind the opinion of other people. You are dad’s flesh and blood, dad’s daughter. After so many years of hardship, dad will try to make it up to you before you get married. If Wu-shi makes you unhappy, you just tell dad. Dad will be fair for you.”
Ye Lizhu nodded.
Ye Fu’an said again: “You have a cousin from your maternal grandmother’s side, named Sister Ran. You must have forgotten. Sister Ran’s father, your third uncle, was transferred to the capital four years ago. Because of Sister Ran’s marriage, he was transferred to Wanzhou two years later. Your grandmother heard that you were going home and asked Sister Ran to come to the capital with your aunt. Firstly, so that Sister Ran could get married. Secondly, she was afraid that you will be sad after knowing about your mother, so she will let your aunt accompany you. Soon after you go back, Sister Ran and your aunt Jun-shi will arrive in the capital.”
Ye Lizhu was still young when she left home. The Ye family’s branches are flourishing, and the family is huge. She still doesn’t know how to recognize the people in her family, let alone maternal grandmother’s side.
However, Ye Lizhu also vaguely remembered that her grandmother’s family was in Wanzhou, also a prominent family.
Ye Lizhu was not clear about this, but Ye Fu’an understood very well.
Jiang-shi was the only daughter of the Jiang family’s old madam, and she was very much loved at home. Although old Madam Jiang had never seen Ye Lizhu, she loved her granddaughter dearly.
Jun-shi is old madam Jiang’s favorite daughter-in-law. She let Jun-shi come over firstly, to see if Ye Lizhu will be bullied by Wu-shi, and secondly, to prevent the relationship between the Jiang and Ye families from being broken because of Jiang-shi’s death.
Ye Lizhu is the legitimate daughter of the Ye family. When Ye Fu’an returned with the eldest lady, having just entered the city gate, and there was immediately news that Wu-shi was waiting at the door with a group of womenfolk and eldest son, Ye Jiayou.
May in the capital city with the big sun shining in the sky, Wu-shi, wearing a dark blue robe, stood at the front. Next to her was the eldest son, Ye Jiayou. On their sides are maids holding an umbrella to shade them from the sun and beside the maids are concubines Liang-shi and Zhou-shi.
Wu-shi lowered her head and whispered to Ye Jiayou in a soft voice: “When you see the eldest lady, don’t get too close to her, do you hear? The eldest miss is weak and can’t be touched rashly. Master loves her so much. If you frighten her, Master will no longer spoil you like he used to.”
Ye Jiayou and Ye Lizhu were born to the same mother, the faces of the two were three-point similar. Ye Jiayou was only seven or eight years old. Born outstandingly handsome, he wore a moon-white brocade robe and his ink-black hair tied into small braids, his eyes a beautiful and clear shade of brown. When Wu-shi approached, Ye Jiayou retreated to the side calmly.
At this time, a young man outside the alley shouted: “Master’s carriage is coming!”
The people ran out to welcome them, and the womenfolk on Wu-shi’s side quickly took the kerchief, wiped the sweat on their foreheads, adjusted their appearance, and smiled lightly.
At this time, everyone also heard the sound of carriage and horses passing by. A dozen of the entourage cleared the way, and when the carriage finally stopped, Ye Fu’an was the first to get out.
Wu-shi’s smile was all over her face: “Master, you are back, where is the eldest miss? I have not seen the eldest miss for many years, and I miss her very much. I already had the eldest miss’ residence, the Yun Xiang pavilion, cleaned up. Quickly come down, eldest miss.”
Liang-shi also smiled and said: “Madam is right. Everyone missed the eldest miss. Just a moment ago, Madam said that the eldest miss’ health isn’t good and cannot be exposed to the wind and rain, told us to be careful with everything.”
Ye Fu’an said with a straight face: “Zhuzhu’s health is good, what ‘can’t be blown by the wind’ and ‘drenched by rain’? Never mind doing nothing all day long, cursing people behind their back is no good.”
Wu-shi hurriedly squinted at Liang-shi who embarrassedly said: “Master, don’t be angry, this concubine misspoke.”
Wu-shi smiled and said, “Master, it must be so boring inside, why don’t you let the young miss out of the carriage?”
Ye Fu’an said: “Zhuzhu is asleep. Carefully drive the carriage into the courtyard of Jing Shui pavilion.”
Wu-shi was stared blankly: “Eldest miss won’t be staying in Yun Xiang pavilion?”
“No,” Ye Fu’an said, “Go to Jing Shui pavilion.”
Ye Jiayou shouted “father” from the side, and Ye Fu’an touched Ye Jiayou’s head: “You’re sweating from head to toe, why did the nanny let the son wait here on a hot day?”
Ye Jiayou’s wet nurse hurriedly answered: “The son has never seen the eldest miss before, this is—”
Ye Fu’an said coldly: “If there’s a next time, you people will leave the son’s side right away and don’t need to serve him anymore.”
He walked inside and Ye Jiayou hastily followed: “Father, can I go and see Zhuzhu?”
Ye Fu’an knocked on his forehead: “Impudent. What ‘Zhuzhu’? It’s ‘older sister’. Go change your clothes and follow dad into the palace, His Majesty summoned us for dinner. When we come back in the evening, your sister would have already woken up.”
Ye Jiayou said: “You just came back, why did His Majesty call you over at this time?”
Ye Fu’an has never shied away from talking about court affairs with Ye Jiayou. Ye Jiayou will also be an official in the court in the future. Although he was young, he already has a profound mind.
Ye Fu’an said: “Prince Qin came to the capital. His Majesty will host a banquet, several ministers will be going. You can meet Prince Qin, take a look at his bearing. Don’t always cock-fight and dog-race with Prince Chen’s heir. You have to read more and practice martial arts more so that you can grow up to become a capable man.”
Nini: So, we finally got to meet the Ye family. Ye Fuan is a typical powerful man in that time period. The saying “the river is three thousand li long, one only drinks one ladle worth of water from it” obviously doesn’t apply to him. I feel bad for his women…
1) 姨太 (yí tài): concubine. ↑
2)私塾 (sī shú): a private schooling system in ancient china wherein they are taught writing, mathematics, poetry, and classical Chinese literature, and as preparation for the imperial exam, they also study theFour Books and Five Classics of Confucianism and hone their essay writing skills. Can be one-on-one or small group learning. ↑
3)斗鸡走狗 (dòu jī zǒu gǒu): Cockfighting and horse racing are ancient gambling games. In this case, it refers to games played by idle sons of the nobility or higher class. ↑