Chapter 185 The Sachet, A Token of Love
It was not that she felt bad for Mo Xuemin. If the two daughters of the Mo Manor could only become concubines, then Mo Xueyan, whom she doted on the most, who was the daughter of a businessman, would not be able to marry well. They had come to the capital so that Mo Xueyan could go with Mo Xuemin to the banquet. There, she would be able to gain knowledge or perhaps find a good marriage.
However, she did not expect Mo Xuemin to keep getting into trouble. Even if her reputation was not ruined, it was not stellar. If she let Mo Xueyan follow Mo Xuemin around, it would drag down Mo Xueyan’s reputation. It would not be appropriate for Mo Xueyan to follow Mo Xuetong around either. Firstly, Mo Xuetong had just come to the capital and her health was poor. She did not know many people in the capital and usually needed someone to take care of her. Where would she find the energy to introduce Mo Xueyan to good people?
Furthermore, while Mo Xuetong was young, she looked beautiful, gentle, and delicate. The Old Madam knew that men like girls like this the most. Mo Xueyan was not as beautiful as her and was not even as beautiful as Mo Xuetong’s maids. Who would take notice of her?
She had come to the capital to find Mo Xueyan a good marriage and to send Lan Xinru before Mo Huawen. She wanted her to become Mo Huawen’s wife.
Whether Mo Xuemin became a concubine or not had nothing to do with the Old Madam. However, when she realized that it would affect Mo Xueyan’s marriage, the Old Madam was determined to object to it. Even if Mo Xuemin had to become a nun or had to die at home to maintain her innocence, the Old Madam would not allow her to become a concubine at the Duke Zhenguo’s Manor. As such, she insisted on defaming Sima Lingyun’s character.
“Mother, I understand what you mean. I will definitely find another way to deal with this matter since we have already had a falling out with Duke Zhenguo’s manor, and Qiong’er and Min’er do not want to marry him. While my daughters might be concubine’s daughters, they can still become the legal wife of some lower-ranked officials. The Duke Zhenguo’s Manor cannot treat them any way they want.” Mo Huawen felt disgusted by Sima Lingyun, and he was determined to settle this matter.
“Alright, then that’s decided. After all, you men are more knowledgeable about things outside the manor. I am an old woman of the inner courtyards and cannot help you much. But, look at your inner courtyard now. There isn’t even an official home keeper. The young ladies of your household were all taught by concubines and they all want to become one. It does not reflect well on you. Right now, the only one who has good prospects is Tong’er. You must not let those Aunties lead her astray.” The Old Madam changed the topic and sighed.
“Mother, your teachings are right. My inner courtyard is indeed a little messy. I have already told the aunties not to go to Tong’er’s Qingwei Garden if they do not have business there. I plan to clean out a courtyard. Qiong’er has been with Auntie Qing all these years and hasn’t improved. She might as well move out alone. There are a few empty courtyards in the north-west area. While it’s rather unfrequented, it is also very quiet. It is a good place for a person to cultivate her moral character. Qiong’er and Min’er can both stay there.” Mo Huawen felt angry when he thought of how Mo Xueqiong was to become Sima Lingyun’s concubine.
The Old Madam knew of that corner. She had wanted Lan Xinru to go there. However, it was too desolated, so it had not happened. She had not expected Mo Huawen to place his two daughters there. She knew that he was furious this time. As such, she sighed and nodded.
She said, “Since you have already decided, then do that. It is just that you have to have a proper mistress in your inner courtyard. Luo Xia has already passed away for more than a year. You have been a widow for so long, it is considered answering to the General’s Manor. I have only heard of wives remaining a widow for their husbands and never the other way round. Furthermore, the inner courtyard is in such a mess. Even if you do not think for yourself, you have to think of the children. After the new year, the children will be serious about getting married. Do you intend to have a concubine deal with all of that?”
“Mother, please let me consider this!”
Mo Huawen was also feeling troubled. A concubine managing the wedding in the manor was not really appropriate. There were some families who allowed concubines to manage the inner courtyards. But that was because the legal wife had passed away and there was no mistress to take charge. However, when weddings were being arranged, the legal wife had to be the one managing it, or the concubine had to be wedded and made legal before she could appear in public.
Mo Xuemin was not young anymore and Mo Yufeng was at an age when he should be considering marriage. It would not be considered early for Mo Xuetong and Mo Xuemin to consider marriage. When he thought of that, Mo Huawen felt even more troubled. He thought of making Auntie Fang his legal wife in the past so that it would be easier on his children. Firstly, Auntie Fang was the mother of his only son. Secondly, Auntie Fang knew how to behave and treated Mo Xuetong and Mo Xueqiong well on the surface.
She treated them carefully and was kind and gentle toward them!
Furthermore, Auntie Fang’s family background was good. She was the legal daughter of the Yu Family. As long as her family background was revealed to the public, it would be normal for her to become the legal madam of the Mo Manor. Who would have expected Auntie Fang to be so vicious though? Mo Huawen no longer had any intentions of making Auntie Fang his legal wife. Even though the Yu Family had made many hints, both secretly and blatantly, he pretended not to understand.
Later, he did not even agree to meet the Yus even when they came to the manor. His intentions were already clear. The relatives of a concubine could not really be considered true relatives. He was the master of the Mo Manor and did not intend to welcome them. Even though the people from the Yu Manor would still come to butter up to Mo Huawen occasionally, they rarely mentioned the matter. The Yu Family had just come to the capital and did not have many connections. They did not dare to bring up the matter too often.
“Then you had best get to it. I think that that girl, Xinru, is not bad. She truly likes you and has liked you and only you for a long time. She is filial and behaves like a noble lady. Even though her family has fallen, she is still considered a young miss from a good family. It will not shame you to take her as your legal wife.” The Old Madam’s words made Mo Huawen, who was still frustrated, shudder.
Tong’er was right. The Old Madam truly intended to match him up with Lan Xinru!
Mo Huawen saw that the Old Madam was doing this for his own good. He would not forget the kindness she showed him when he was a child.
As such, he often turned a blind eye to the Old Madam’s doings.
He knew that the Old Madam did not like his three daughters and son. She also did not stay with them, so they did not have much of a relationship. That was normal! As such, he did not mind. He just cared about whether his children were respectful to the Old Madam. It did not matter if she was a little harsh on them. She would still leave in the end.
Ever since the Old Madam had her biological son, she rarely stayed over at Mo Huawen’s place for long.
Even so, Mo Huawen had carved out a courtyard especially for the Old Madam in his manor so that she could stay there whenever she was free.
However, the Old Madam was too much this time. There were things that Mo Huawen told himself he could pretend not to see. But if it happened right in front of him, how could he not see it? First, if there were young men who came to the manor, Mo Xueyan would be the first to go to them. She had gone to the front courtyard even though she was an unmarried young lady. Mo Huawen was her uncle, so he could not say much.
He had hinted to the Old Madam and even spoken to her about it. However, she pretended to not hear or understand him.
Some of the young men who came to the manor did not know who the young lady who snuck out to the front courtyard was. They thought she was Mo Huawen’s daughter and it had damaged Mo Huawen’s reputation. How could Mo Huawen not mind? Then, he had no choice, so he told the servants to watch the door to the inner courtyards. If Mo Xueyan came out, they were to stop her.
He did not know what Mo Xueyan told the Old Madam after that. But Mo Huawen received news that she had made things difficult for his children when they went to greet her.
Mo Huawen was angry. He disliked Mo Xueyan, whom the Old Madam brought with her.
After that, Lan Xinru had appeared. Mo Huawen thought of all the things the embarrassing things that she did and her lovestruck expression. Mo Huawen hated people like that and did not like her a single bit. When he thought of how the Old Madam had treated Luo Xia carelessly and at how the Old Madam pushed Lan Xinru to him enthusiastically, he felt even more displeased.
He wanted to treat the Old Madam well but he could not allow her to ill-treat his wife and daughters. Tong’er had once smiled and hinted to the Old Madam’s intentions. He had not thought that it was so serious. The Old Madam would just hint at it. He did not expect her to just suggest it so straightforwardly today. She wanted to force him to agree to it.
When he thought of having to spend his lifetime with the lovestruck Lan Xinru, Mo Huawen felt like vomiting. The courtyard she was staying in was close to his study. There was once a door that linked the two places. Since only his wife and daughters stayed in the inner courtyard, Mo Huawen would occasionally go through that door to the inner courtyard and not the main door.
However, that door had been locked since Lan Xinru moved in. He did not know how Lan Xinru found out about it. She had knocked on it specially one night. Mo Huawen was so angry that he did not even want to continue reading his documents. He flicked his sleeves and left the study. That was how the matter ended.
Mo Huawen complained to himself. The Old Madam had brought two people with her this time, and none of them were good. Lan Xinru was shameless and was even worse than Mo Xueqiong, who was ignorant of etiquette. A woman like this entering his inner courtyard to help care for his children would only teach them to be shameless like her.
“Mother, there is no hurry.” Mo Huawen gave an excuse.
“What no hurry? The children are getting older, and now that something like this happened… Since Xinru is here as well, you might as well settle the matter quickly. I can rest assured if the matter is done and I can take Yan’er back with me.” The Old Madam thought that Mo Huawen had agreed. There was a benevolent smile on her face.
Mo Huawen’s expression was a little stiff. His lips twitched. He knew that the Old Madam would not give up if he did not deal with the matter today. He pulled out a sachet from his sleeve. Tong’er had prepared this for him. Even though he had not decided, it was a useful prop against the Old Madam today.
He said, “Mother, I am not in a hurry because I already have a candidate in mind. Miss Lan is just a young lady from a small family. She is not suitable for me.”
“Xinru’s ancestors are also government officials. How is she not suitable? Furthermore, you said that you had long had a candidate in mind, why have I not heard of that?? Could it be that you are also ruining your reputation with someone else and you are having a secret relationship?” The Old Madam could not keep the smile on her face when she heard Mo Huawen’s refusal. Her expression grew dark and sharp.
“Mother, how would your son do something so classless? I am a third-grade official after all. I still know what shame is. Having a secret relationship, going to an inner courtyard, or if the girl goes to the front courtyard, these are all things that will cause gossip and embarrassment.” Mo Huawen smiled and explained leisurely. “My mother-in-law, the Old Madam of General Manor, she dotes on her granddaughter. She does not want others to bully her, so she found a young lady from a good family on her maternal side to be my wife. My second brother-in-law came to tell me about this morning and even sent me this sachet. I was about to tell you.”
Mo Huawen smiled and took out an exquisite sachet from his sleeves. He handed it to the Old Madam.