Chapter 016: Right or Wrong?
The atmosphere during the banquet was a bit awkward, especially Hu XiaYun.
Hu XiaYun originally thought that the child was stupid when he saw Jiang YanZhi using chopsticks to pick the ribs. She wanted to use this opportunity to ridicule Pei Cheng, but as a result, all of her thoughts were disturbed by Jiang YanZhi’s next actions and it made her upset.
Hu XiaYun glanced at Qi’er who was sitting next to her, feeling aggrieved, and her eyes were full of sadness. Her son had never picked and given food or dish for her since he was a child, even if it was a vegetable dish.
Everyone withdrew their gazes in a confusing manner, and unconsciously, they all compared their own spoiled children with Jiang YanZhi, and finally, they had to helplessly admit that, although Jiang YanZhi was at such young age, he understood how to be filial to his parents, he really was a good child.
“YanZhi is four years old this year. Why hasn’t he learned how to use chopsticks?” The Old Lady’s voice came, indifferent and as if she did not care about it, but there was more gloating in her tone.
The Old Lady didn’t see the moment Jiang YanZhi picked and gave Pei Cheng the dish. Otherwise she would never be so stupid to jeer about this matter in front of everyone, after all, it could, in turn, turn into utter humiliation of herself.
Although being an old and dignified madam, the Old Lady was always going against Pei Cheng and picking on Jiang YanZhi. However, no one thought it was not normal or appropriate. In fact, in the eyes of everyone, it was not easy for a legal wife or a dignified lady to tolerate the child of the concubine.
Pei Cheng said blankly: “I used to be in the auxiliary courtyard, and I was in poor health for many years, thus, I’ve never had a chance to teach or care about him. Now, my health is getting better, and only then, I can think about putting him by my side to teach and look after him.”
Hu XiaYun’s lips twitched with a sneer. What was the meaning of Pei Cheng’s remarks? Could it be that he still wanted to accuse that they had always neglected and inattentive to him and Jiang YanZhi when they lived in the auxiliary courtyard?
Pei Cheng’s remarks really had made a refresher, and the Old Lady immediately lost her voice.
Before long, the Old Lady felt sleepy after eating.
Not intending to force herself to stay in the hall, the Old Lady only mentioned that Qi’er was going to her yard tomorrow, and then she got up and left. All this time, she did not even turn the corner of her eyes and glance at the person she was most sick of seeing, Jiang LinZhi and his family.
After the Old Lady left, this unremarkable family banquet was about to end.
Master Jiang returned to the study to deal with business affairs. Hu XiaYun wanted to take Qi’er back to the room to rest. The cousin Young Master, who had been Qi’er’s small attendant since he was a child, saw that Qi’er was taken away by Hu XiaYun. Although he was ashamed to follow Qi’er, he had to follow them in the end.
Almost all of the relatives from the Old Lady’s natal family who came were female relatives. Because the time was not early, they did not go home. Instead, they directly went to Hu XiaYun’s Western Courtyard to take a rest for one night. They had to wait till tomorrow to leave.
Seeing that Jiang LinZhi hadn’t moved yet, Pei Cheng took the initiative to say: “Second Master, it’s late, it’s time to go back and rest.”
LinZhi nodded and walked towards the door first.
Pei Cheng took Jiang YanZhi’s hand, and the two followed Jiang LinZhi’s back, slowly walking back.
After not taking a few steps, Pei Cheng heard a rush of footsteps behind him. Not long after, the voice of Third Master Jiang came, “Second brother, Second sister-in-law, wait a minute.”
Pei Cheng turned around.
Third Master Jiang caught up with him after a trot. He half bent forward, stared blankly at Jiang YanZhi, and then, said with a smile: “The last time I saw YanZhi was four years ago. He’s grown up so fast in the blink of an eye.”
Pei Cheng touched Jiang YanZhi’s head and whispered: “Call ‘Third Uncle’.”
Jiang YanZhi timidly hid behind Pei Cheng, and summoned the courage to call: “Third Uncle.”
Third Master Jiang smiled. He took out a high-quality jade pendant from his bosom, handed it to Jiang YanZhi, and said, “The quality of this jade pendant is not bad, why don’t you put it on?”
*(T/N: The original text used ‘从怀里掏出’ which literally could mean ‘take out from his bosom’. But, it does not literally mean ‘from his chest/bosom’, it could either be from his arm/sleeve pocket or from a kind of like pocket on his chest. Because of the style of ancient Chinese clothing, people could either put, store or hide things in their sleeves or on their chest where it was covered by layers of clothes and could be used as a pocket. If you are familiar or frequently watch historical Chinese dramas, there are always scenes of putting or taking things out from those places.
For the translation, I’ll directly use its literal meaning, ‘bosom’. It would be great if you have better suggestions for it!)
The quality of the jade pendant was indeed good. But, the most important thing was that this jade pendant was something taken out by Third Master Jiang, and it represented another level of meaning.
Pei Cheng did not stop him; this was the matter between Third Master Jiang and Jiang YanZhi. This was not something that he, a male wife, should interfere with.
What‘s more, Jiang LinZhi didn’t stop him either.
Jiang YanZhi stretched out his hand and took the jade pandent over. It was not clear to say whether he was happy or not, he only said: “Thank you, Third Uncle.”
Third Master Jiang touched Jiang YanZhi’s head, and as soon as he touched it, Jiang YanZhi retracted and turned his body away right away, as if his body was very resistant to Third Master Jiang’s closeness. Third Master Jiang didn’t care about anything with a child. He straightened his back up and said, “Second brother, I haven’t seen you for a while. I heard that your body has improved a lot recently.”
Jiang LinZhi said: “It’s been this way for so many years, and there is nothing like getting better or not.”
Third Master Jiang was a little embarrassed by Jiang LinZhi’s words. He coughed and continued: “I have business to deal with. I will go back first.”
Pei Cheng turned sideways and let Third Master Jiang walk over.
After Third Master Jiang left, Pei Cheng continued to hold Jiang YanZhi’s hand. Before he could walk, he heard Jiang LinZhi who was standing in front say: “You are quite disappointed.”
Not a question, but affirmation.
Jiang LinZhi seemed to have misunderstood the relationship between Pei Cheng and Third Master Jiang.
“Is Second Master very angry?” Pei Cheng dodged the question, he did not explain, but rather continued and said genially: “The jade that Third Master gave to YanZhi is very good. It’s really a masterpiece.”
Jiang LinZhi left a sentence, “It’s pretty good.” Then, he continued to walk forward without looking back.
Jiang YanZhi was still thinking about things with his head down. The next second, he was held in Pei Cheng’s arms.
Pei Cheng caught up with Jiang LinZhi, a little out of breath, “Does Second Master still refuse to believe me?”
Jiang LinZhi knew what he was talking about, but deliberately misinterpreted his meaning and said, “If I don’t believe, you will not be living in the Eastern Courtyard now.”
Pei Cheng’s breath was unstable. This Jiang LinZhi was still playing riddles with him even at this time, and he didn’t know if Jiang LinZhi completely gave up, or really didn’t care about the Old Lady and Master Jiang.
After walking for a while, the three of them stopped at the gate of Pei Cheng’s courtyard. Pei Cheng said: “Second Master, I’m going in first.”
Jiang LinZhi said “Umm” and waited for Pei Cheng to walk into the courtyard with Jiang YanZhi in his arms. Then, he tightened the cloak on his shoulders and walked towards his own yard.
There was only a wall between the two people’s courtyards, but Pei Cheng felt that between him and Jiang LinZhi, there was a very deep abyss that separated them and he had no way to pass it. Also, he didn’t know whether his choice to cooperate with Jiang LinZhi was right or wrong.