The horse carriage traveled toward the Yan Manor.
Inside the horse carriage Pei Jin kissed Yan Shi Ning. Instead of tasting her, he tasted makeup. 'Wife, why do you need to wear makeup to visit your family?'
Yan Shi Ning glared at Pei Jin. Of course she needed to wear makeup to protect herself. She decided to wear makeup on her body at night too that way he wouldn't dare kiss her impulsively.
Yan Shi Ning remembered last night mouthy boy crawled under her undergarments and he bit sensitive spots on her body. She blushed and considered putting sleeping powder on her face at night too.
The Yan Manor wasn't far away from Pei Jin's manor, about half a shichen hour by horse carriage.
Pei Jin and Yan Shi Ning were greeted by loud fireworks at the Yan Manor entrance.
Yan Jing saw how Pei Jin treated his oldest daughter lovingly and he smiled faster than he could say what a good son-in-law.
Princess Kang Hua hated seeing how Pei Jin loved Yan Shi Ning, but she smiled politely.
Earlier in the morning Yan Shi Ting ordered a maid to put makeup on her and fussed for a long time to choose earrings compatible with her dress. But Pei Jin only nodded to greet her politely. Like in the past his attention was never focused on her. Even the cold and arrogant seventh prince wanted to gain her favour, but Pei Jin would always ignore her.
Yan Shi Ting almost vomited blood after seeing Pei Jin doted on Yan Shi Ning as though Yan Shi Ning was a treasure.
Yan Shi Ting wanted to protest. What did Yan Shi Ning possess that she didn't? She looked resentfully at Pei Jin and Yan Shi Ning until she felt a sudden pain on her arm. It was her mother who whispered a warning to her, 'maintain your image properly.'
Yan Shi Ting hugged her pinched arm, pouted and followed her mother into the Yan Manor.
Everyone sat in the courtyard and gossiped while the celebratory banquet food and wine were prepared.
Yan Jing led the conversation and it gave Yan Shi Ning a headache, her father gossiped about court official Liu Guo. Although it was an inappropriate conversation, her father, Princess Kang Hua and Yan Shi Ting didn't care about her family life with Pei Jin. After Pei Jin answered her father politely, everyone quietly drank tea for a while.
Pei Jin smiled and purposely peeled a fruit to neutralize conversation. 'This is a fruit from Southern Jiang. I eat it often.'
Yan Jing's heart was deeply moved. He knew his son-in-law was being considerate.
'I heard the landscape in Southern Jiang is different to the imperial city,' Yan Jing said. 'Gentle ninth prince, tell us what Southern Jiang is like.'
Everyone at the table sat upright and were interested to hear Pei Jin talk about the mysterious Southern Jiang.
Pei Jin could see everyone's ears were sharpened. He passed the peeled fruit to Yan Shi Ning. Then he talked about life in Southern Jiang while occasionally smiling warmly at Yan Shi Ning.
Initially Yan Shi Ting was interested to hear Pei Jin talk about Southern Jiang. But she felt frustrated seeing Pei Jin's consideration toward Yan Shi Ning. Even the fruits her maid peeled for her didn't taste delicious.
Yan Shi Ning noticed Yan Shi Ting's strange behaviour. She didn't understand why it felt like Yan Shi Ting's body released a sour stench. Yan Shi Ting's eyes resentfully looked at her. She wondered if Yan Shi Ting was secretly intimate with Pei Jin. But in the past she never noticed anything shady between Yan Shi Ting and Pei Jin.
Yan Shi Ning looked suspiciously at Pei Jin. But Pei Jin always smiled warmly at her… she couldn't tolerate the demon's excessive loving act and she looked away.
Pei Jin noticed Yan Shi Ning's anger gradually increased so he continued to lavish affectionate attention on her in front of her family.
After the banquet ended Yan Shi Ning and Pei Jin were resting in the chamber prepared for them.
'Big brother, are you close to my little sister?' Yan Shi Ning asked.
Pei Jin predicted Yan Shi Ning would ask him about Yan Shi Ting.
'I'm not close to her,' Pei Jin said.
'Big brother, why do I feel the way my little sister looks at you is strange?' Yan Shi Ning asked.
Pei Jin laughed. 'Wife, you should understand her personality.'
'What?' Yan Shi Ning asked confusedly.
'Wife, come here and I'll tell you,' Pei Jin said.
Yan Shi Ning listened to Pei Jin talked about how in the past there was a period Yan Shi Ting followed him around to gain his favour. She thought in the past he would have found Yan Shi Ting's attention scary and laughable.
Yan Shi Ning realised even the beautiful and haughty Yan Shi Ting didn't want to be rejected by anyone. In the past Yan Shi Ning saw many men lower themselves beneath Yan Shi Ting's dress, but Yan Shi Ting dismissed them. Yan Shi Ting was indeed haughty. If a man coldly dismissed Yan Shi Ting then Yan Shi Ting wouldn't easily accept rejection. Instead Yan Shi Ting would use a thousand schemes to attract the man who didn't want to pursue Yan Shi Ting. Yan Shi Ting was a natural seductress, which was why if Yan Shi Ting purposely seduced a man usually the man would fall into a deadly trance.
Yan Shi Ning knew that the rare man who wouldn't be seduced by Yan Shi Ting was Pei Jin.
Yan Shi Ning thought that Yan Shi Ting's life would have flowed smoothly until Yan Shi Ting met Pei Jin at a banquet in the palace and Yan Shi Ting got to taste failure. No matter if Yan Shi Ting wore a beautiful dress and makeup or 'accidently' touched Pei Jin inappropriately, Pei Jin wouldn't glance at Yan Shi Ting. Yan Shi Ning could see in her head how frustrated Yan Shi Ting would have been to hear Pei Jin coldly warn, 'respect yourself.'
Yan Shi Ning remembered how Yan Shi Ting looked resentfully at her during the banquet and she smiled. 'Big brother, were you excessively acting during the banquet to provoke my little sister?'
'Wife, what do you think?' Pei Jin asked and innocently looked at Yan Shi Ning.
In another chamber Princess Kang Hua scolded Yan Shi Ting. 'Your behaviour is poorer by the day! Don't forget, you'll be the crown prince's wife!'
'What's the point of being the crown prince's wife?' Yan Shi Ting asked. 'The crown prince has always been cold toward me. He doesn't care about me like the way ninth prince cares about Yan Shi Ning. The crown prince doesn't love me!'
'That's because you're lacking!' Princess Kang Hua criticized. 'Even if ninth prince is gentle and loving, he's still a useless prince!'
Yan Shi Ting closed her mouth. She wished the crown prince was ninth prince. She didn't understand why she wasn't the one ninth prince cared about as though he held a grudge against her.
Princess Kang Hua's old nurse maid knocked on the door and entered the chamber. 'Princess, widow Li is here again.'
Princess Kang Hua frowned and spoke softly. 'I know. Bring her to my courtyard, I'll go there first.'
Yan Shi Ting watched them leave hurriedly and she thought it was strange. Who was widow Li? Why did nurse maid Liu speak in an anxious tone? Also, her mother's expression was strange too. She suspected they were hiding a secret.
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