Chapter 003: Never accepted him
For a prestigious big family like the Jiang family, they had never tolerated and accepted Pei Cheng, the male wife of Jiang Second Master.
The old head of the Jiang family had only three sons, and the eldest son inherited the family business. The third son held the position of the prefectural magistrate of Hua Cheng Prefecture. Everything was going smoothly for him and he had a bright future in his official career.
But, the odd one was the second son, Jiang LinZhi. When he was five years old, he was highly praised as “Child Prodigy” by a noble man personally. However, only after a year, he suddenly suffered a serious illness and he was physically impaired after that. After being confined to bed for three years, he once again made an appearance, but he was already completely forgotten by everyone.
Six years ago, Pei Cheng married into the Jiang Family as a male wife, just to give Jiang LinZhi a “warding-off wedding”.*
*(T/N: Chong Xi (冲喜) / a ‘warding-off’ wedding: a wedding arranged for a young man who was dangerously ill, in the hope that the joyous occasion would ward off imminent death (by Pleco Dictionary) in ancient times, China)
Five years ago, Pei Cheng risked his life to give birth to Jiang YanZhi, and he narrowly escaped from death at that time. But, there was never even a shadow of Jiang LinZhi.
Four years ago, Master Jiang used a groundless reason and threw Pei Cheng into the auxiliary courtyard. Since that time, Pei Cheng could no longer enter the main house of the Jiang family again.
The only person who followed Pei Cheng to the auxiliary courtyard was Jiang YanZhi, who was still a baby in swaddling clothes at that time, and a few servants who didn’t listen to him.
Four years later (now), Pei Cheng took Jiang YanZhi, the only child of him and Jiang Second Master, and stood in front of the main gate of the Jiang family’s main house, just and honourable. He was standing in an upright posture.
Pei Cheng held Jiang YanZhi’s skinny hand, which had almost no flesh in its palm.
Jiang YanZhi quietly raised his head and glanced at Pei Cheng’s side face, and then quickly lowered his head. His other free hand, hiding in his sleeves, unsteadily clenched into a fist.
The wife of Master Jiang was called Hu XiaYun. She was from a prominent family of scholars and had a good hand of embroidery. Unfortunately, her husband was always indulging with several small concubines in the backyard*, but he never cared to give her affection and ignored her all the time.
*(T/N: the backyard: buildings or place for women, especially concubines)
Hu XiaYun gently wiped the corners of her mouth, glanced at Pei Cheng lightly, and finally put her eyes on Jiang YanZhi’s body and snorted: “Long time no see. But, it seems like Young Master Pei is not that great at raising his son.”
Pei Cheng frowned. He was not provoked by Hu XiaYun’s remarks, but he was still dissatisfied with the way Hu XiaYun showed her strength and authority, and it seemed that she had not made any progress in recent years. Even after many years, there was not a change in the impression she gave.
It was like that in the previous life, and it was also like that even in this life.
Hu XiaYun slammed the tea cup on the table and said coldly: “Pei Cheng, what do you mean by this?”
Pei Cheng nonchalantly pulled Jiang YanZhi by his side, walked in and sat down. He didn’t pay attention to Hu XiaYun. He turned to look at the little maid who had no movement to serve him, and said indifferently: “Do the servants of the main house need to be reminded of their duties?”
The little maid’s face became red instantly, and then she trotted all the way, carried and served the hot tea.
When Hu XiaYun saw that Pei Cheng completely ignored her, she was trembling with anger, but she had no way out to vent her anger on Pei Cheng. She had to endure for now, and could only say with a hard tone: “Pei Cheng, just now, the wet nurse and the maid waiting on you two came back. And, they said that when you are in the auxiliary courtyard, you have never taken care of YanZhi and always neglect him. Pei Cheng, you doing like this, can you call yourself a ‘father’?”
Jiang YanZhi abruptly squeezed his hands placing on his lap tightly, and his little heart was beating “thump thump”.
Pei Cheng gently touched the little boy’s head to comfort him. He was not worried about what Hu XiaYun would do to him, he only worried that the little boy would be scared. In fact, it was true. If it was not for his incompetent as a father, Jiang YanZhi would not be bullied by those servants to this extent.
“Looking at your expression, I guess you admit it.” Hu XiaYun lowered her eyes, covering the fierceness and ruthlessness in her eyes. Jiang LinZhi only had this son, Jiang YanZhi. As long as something happened to Jiang YanZhi, then, there was one less person to compete with her Qi’er in the battle of family inheritance.
As for Pei Cheng, being a male wife in a big family like Jiang family, should there be any right for him to speak? She didn’t think so from the very start!
Hu XiaYun continued: “Since you are not fond of YanZhi that much, just let YanZhi stay in my courtyard in the future. It’s just right that YanZhi can start going to school this coming spring of next year, then let YanZhi go together with Qi’er to school, let him start studying half year in advance.”
The corners of Pei Cheng’s lips were raised and he was smiling, but the tone was very cold. “Sister-in-law, you mean, let YanZhi accompany Qi’er to study?”
Hu XiaYun nodded as a matter of course.
Jiang YanZhi raised his head timidly and looked at Pei Cheng, his eyes were full of worry. He worried that he would really be abandoned by Pei Cheng. Only after he quietly looked and checked the child’s reaction, Pei Cheng withdrew his line of sight, and replied: “This matter, in my opinion, ........... It won’t do.”
Hu XiaYun’s angry expression was very fierce, “Pei Cheng, what do you mean!”
The little boy looked at Pei Cheng in disbelief, with a happy surprise in his eyes, but it was most likely unbelievable to him.
He would not be abandoned?!
This is for some names I used in this translation.
Jiang family had three sons.
Their father, the old head of the Jiang family, had died already.
Eldest son inherited the business and he became the head of the Jiang family.
Second son (ML) was a bedridden person.
Third son was a government official.
From here on, I’ll use (called by other people) // (called by family members) // (by their wives)
Eldest son - Master Jiang (Master) // Big uncle, Big brother // Master // Master Jiang (Narration)
Second son (ML) - Second Master Jiang // Second uncle, Second brother // Second Master
Third son - Third Master Jiang // Third uncle, Third brother // Third Master
This is purely just for translation and has no definite meaning. Please take it as a transliteration.
I’m sorry if this is confusing. I hope this will help.
***If someone has better idea for this complex relationship words, guide me, please!