On the side of the border town, Jiang Mao had arrived successfully. It was hard for him to leave Su Qingbai and his son in the capital city.
In comparison with Jiang Mao, Su Qingbai was a bit idle. Usually, Jiang Mao practically was not in charge of household affairs. Now that Jiang Mao was away, Liu Yuqing and the others were the one who dealt with the big things. For miscellaneous household things, if the steward could not make decision, he would inevitably ask Su Qingbai. Again, adding on to having to take care of Jiang Fanfan, Su Qingbai was so busy.
This one morning, Su Qingbai, the good dad, changed Jiang Fanfan’s diaper and fed him milk. After he walked around the house with the chubby baby, only then he went to eat.
As he was eating alone, he heard someone said, “Gongzi, Gongzi, Lady Lou is back.”
Su Qingbai put down his chopsticks and sat up; mother-in-law! (wife’s mother)
For this mother-in-law, he had heard Jiang Mao mention about her several times, and so he didn’t have a very good impression on her.
Jiang Mao’s subordinates had also mentioned about her several times, in which all were not a good thing.
In Su Qingbai’s mind, the mother-in-law was one who paid more attention to her own enjoyment and easily ignored the image of her children. She was a bit irresponsible for being a mother.
After thinking about it, Su Qingbai stood up and said, “Let’s go and welcome her in.” Then he put down the chopsticks and wanted to go out.
“That… No need.” The person stopped him. “Lady Lou has come in.”
Su Qingbai was in a panic. For a while, he didn’t know what to do. After a while, he told the person, “First, take this table.” Consort Lou had come in, Su Qingbai couldn’t continue to sit down and eat as usual.
At this moment, Consort Lou was very sullen. She was forced out of the palace.
It turned out that Third Prince wanted to use her to contain Jiang Mao, by leaving her in the palace and allowed her to benefit from it. Now that the Third Prince was rendered powerless, the Fifth Prince and the Sixth Prince did not care about backing Jiang Mao like the Third Prince. Not only that, they even planned to sharpen their swords against Jiang Mao in the next step.
Holding Consort Lou? Not entirely necessary.
Previously, Consort Lou did those annoying things ― in order to strive for favor, she harmed the Empress, but fortunately the Empress was alright. The Emperor cared about the Imperial House’s prestige, and on top of that, he once really doted on Consort Lou, who gave birth to Jiang Mao―which was not open to the public― and merely rushed her to Cangzhou. She was not allowed to step into the capital city again.
Because of her, the Emperor didn’t like this son, Jiang Mao. The Emperor casually gave a small territory and conferred a Wang title to him and then didn’t care about him.
The Emperor had qualm about prestige, but the Fifth Prince and Sixth Prince were not. They immediately took out the previous events as reason to drive her out of the palace.
In this regard, the decision of Fifth Prince and Sixth Prince was unanimous. When Third Prince was in power, Consort Lou was extremely arrogant and oppressed on top of the imperial wives and concubines. The two of them could not bear it anymore.
Now, in addition to taking their revenge, they also wanted to take this opportunity to slap Jiang Mao in the face and embarrass him.
“Where is Jiang Mao?” Consort Lou was ablaze with anger. She had been bullied like this, but Jiang Mao hadn’t appeared yet.
Jiang Mao once said that Liu Yuqing didn’t have to listen to Consort Lou, but Steward Liu could do nothing about it and he summoned up courage.
In spite of Consort Lou’s fury, Steward Liu bowed and replied, “Answering Your Ladyship, Lord Wang went to the border town.”
“To the border town?” Consort Lou clenched her fists. “What’s important for him to go to the border town at this time?”
“Lord Wang went to father-in-law (gōng)……” went to do work (gòng shì).
Before he finished speaking, he was blocked by Consort Lou. “This consort don’t care about whatever official matters (gōng shì), go! Tell him to come back now.”
Today’s event was a disgrace to Consort Lou!
What could be bigger than that?
“Tell him to come back promptly.”
Consort Lou was back. The whole people in the residence came out to greet her. Su Qingbai naturally came.
Consort Lou had lived in Yue Wang Residence for more than a year. The building in the residence was a little smaller and there were not many people, so she had met most of them. Su Qingbai had been kept all along the whole year, which made him quite conspicuous among a group of servants.
As soon as her fury was over, Consort Lou noticed him.
“You are the one my son brought back to the residence?”
Su Qingbai was called out. He was stupefied and nodded in response.
Consort Lou took a look at him, but didn’t pay more attention to him and turned to enter the residence.
Su Qingbai was so ordinary that one couldn’t blame Consort Lou for not paying much attention to him.
This was the first meeting of Su Qingbai and Consort Lou.
After Consort Lou left, Su Qingbai took a long breath and went into the room.
Having remembered of Jiang Mao’s great efforts in his house at that time to make his parents accept him, Su Qingbai tried to get along well with this mother-in-law several times in the next few days. Little did he know that she didn’t pay much attention to him and make him a servant.
From small to big, Su Qingbai had never served anyone else except for Su Caicai. Therefore, he did not go to make effort anymore.
Not making effort, Su Qingbai had been strolling around the small courtyard where he and Jiang Mao live, rarely going to other places.
Only, he still ran across with Consort Lou several times. Consort Lou ordered him around several times and used to it. Su Qingbai did the work of serving tea and pouring water several times.
Consort Lou was not a kind person. Whenever Su Qingbai saw her, she was mostly angry. Su Qingbai was terribly scared.
After that, Su Qingbai practically was not even in the room often but with people. If he had nothing to do, he would stay in the room to tease Jiang Fanfan.
Taking off Jiang Fanfan’s pants to change his diaper, Su Qingbai caught his white and tender foot, which he kicked in the air. Su Qingbai kissed him, extremely cherished. The little baby’s feet didn’t stink, and even smelled a little bit fragrance.
Su Qingbai didn’t go out much these days, so he stayed in the room with Jiang Fanfan all day. It might be that there were fewer beauties (JM) to see and that the servants who send them daily necessities were also ordinary in appearance that Su Qingbai began to think that Jiang Fanfan was pretty, though not as pretty as Caicai.
One must know that Su Caicai was practically carved with Jiang Mao’s mold.
Poor Su Qingbai, his impression of Su Caicai stayed still at more than half a year ago. He didn’t know what Caicai looks like now.
After Jiang Mao thought about it, he then decided to tell Su Qingtong about Su Ersao’s remarriage.
After meal, Jiang Mao called out to Su Qingtong, “Su… Erge.”
Su Qingtong was stunned for a moment, then answered with a simple smile “…..Eh.” His little brother’s partner was a man and on top of that this person was of status, Su Qingtong had still not adapted to it. Suddenly being called Erge by this person, Su Qingtong felt strangely embarrassed.
“Let’s go outside.”
Su Qingtong didn’t know the reason why, so he followed suit in blank.
“Well, there’s something, after I thought about, I had better tell you first.” Jiang Mao took a look at him. “It’s about Sun’s daughter.”
To suddenly mentioning his ex-wife, Su Qingtong was stunned. He pricked up his ears to listen.
“Some time ago, she remarried. She married an ordinary merchant.”
In ancient times, for a second marriage like Sun Yun had, it was impossible to marry a family with a high status. People with a high status loved prestige and marrying a woman who had once married was not pleasant to listen to. The Sun Family too, was afraid of bad reputation, so they married her off casually.
Su Qingtong was so shocked that he could hardly stand.
Su Qingtong was a man, so Jiang Mao didn’t console him much. He only hoped that Su Qingtong would be prepared to go back to the capital city no matter what mood he had, and would not embarrass himself to his old friends.
His wife, who was sleeping with him not long ago, became someone else’s wife.
It was hard for anyone not to have mood swings.
He had been with his wife for many years that he and his wife had deep affection all along. Except that in the last two years, because of all kinds of trivialities in life, they had quarreled and diluted their feelings, but they had also bred a daughter together.
Then he heard this news. After Jiang Mao left, he cried for a bout.
It was simply a bout of cry. Not for being unreconciled, but because he was incompetent and couldn’t give his wife happiness. Not for nostalgia, but because his wife was now someone else’s and he had a daughter to bring up.