Chapter 17: Meeting the enemies
Because of the generosity of the Duke’s household, the relationship between the General’s and Duke’s household improved.
The two families would often visit one another. Hong Xiang, who was the Duke and Zi You’s husband from her past life, and his mother would frequently visit the general estate as guests. Thus, not long after Zi You’s revival from her past life, she saw her enemies.
Fifteen year old Hong Xiang was indeed a handsome young man. He had cherry red lips and bright white teeth along with a pair of charming eyes. When he smiled, his eyes took the shape of a crescent moon. They were mesmerizing.
In Zi You’s past life, she was fooled by Hong Xiang’s handsome appearance. Additionally, he had the gift of gab, specializing in flattery. After meeting Zi You, Hong Xiang would murmur sweet nothings in Zi You’s ear, wheedling his way into Zi You’s heart.
At that time, Zi You did not have much friends and thought that he was sincere. She was tricked by this scum and agreed to her Grandfather’s and the current Duke’s arrangement (Hong Xiang’s father). She consented to marry this fake gentleman.
Currently, Hong Xiang’s mother, Madam Chen, is only a woman in her early thirties. She looks dignified and elegant. She and her son has similar eyes. Even when they’re not talking, they look amiable and approachable.
In the past, Zi You wrongly assumed that Madam Chen was an easy-going person. Now that Zi You has the chance to reevaluate things, Zi You felt a chill in her heart.
In the previous life, Madam Chen did not favor Zi You. She merely consented to the marriage to please her husband. In actuality, Madam Chen thought Zi You looked too stunning, too different. One look at Zi You and everyone could tell that she was not a person from Great Yan. Remembering that Zi You’s mother was of unknown origins, Madam Chen thought that having Zi You marry her son was inappropriate.
At the time, Hong Xiang was totally captivated by Zi You’s beauty. Only later into the marriage did Hong Xiang realize that Zi You had a cold temperament and did not cater to his whims. He increasingly became annoyed with her attitude.
Later, Hong Xiang met Lan Xuan. Under her influence, his dislike for Zi You grew.
Similar to Yi Ping, Lan Xuan has her ways with men. Lan Xuan’s blood related grandmother (aka Yi Ping’s birth mother) was an entertainer. Her grandmother was a convincing actress and imparted all her skills to Yi Ping and Lan Xuan, her daughter and granddaughter.
Lan Xuan’s grandmother even told her about how she captured the Prime Minister. There were rumors that Yi Ping’s and Yi Xiang’s birth mother was a woman the Prime Minister kept hidden from the household. Only after she was found to be pregnant was she brought to the Prime Minister’s estate. From this example, Yi Ping’s older sister, Yi Xiang (Lan Xuan’s mother), too had an affair with her current husband prior to getting married.
These women (Lan Xuan, Yi Ping and Yi Xiang) were not decent. It wasn’t surprising to find out that Yi Ping used the same tactics to hook up with Ying Rui.
Their entire maternal family had the origins of a mistress. They were promoted to their official positions through underhanded means. However, such despicable people are uncommon. It can be said that it is a trait of the family that leaves others speechless. Their shamelessness knows no bounds!
In the past, Zi You was shy and reserved. She looked unapproachable. Following Yi Ping’s urgings, Zi You didn’t attend celebratory events or social gatherings. Due to fear of being labeled a mutt, Zi You was unwilling to associate with noble ladies and befriend them.
All this because Yi Ping said, “Elder sister is not from Great Yan. Thus, these noble ladies look down on her. Hummpphh! If I were to guess, it must be because they’re jealous of sister’s stunning appearance. How could those laics compare to you? You’er, listen to mother; there is no need to concern yourself over them. If they look down on you, it is unnecessary to attempt to please them. What is the point of sticking your hot face on their cold asses?”
(show warm feelings but meet with cold rebuke, to be snubbed despite your enthusiasm)
Just like this, Zi You became more aloof. Regardless of who she faced, she had a frosty look.
On the flip side, what did Yi Ping tell the noble ladies? Of course, it was a whole different story.
Yi Ping would never talk about the issue directly. She would always act awkward and say things like, “You’er’s health hasn’t been great. She went to the temple to pray for her mother.” Yi Ping made sure that others saw her as a gentle caring mother, while allowing her maidservant to badmouth Zi You behind the scenes.
The maid servant would secretly spread gossip and complain about how difficult Zi You was, making sure those words would reach the ears of the servants and their noble ladies’. “Our eldest miss hates these gatherings. She says it’s so boring that she would rather stay at the temple to copy scriptures. Our eldest miss is so unfriendly. She never smiles and treats everyone coldly. Even us servants are frightened of her.”