Yan Shi Ning’s peach blossom tree in life was pitiful.
She lived past eighteen years and had yet to see her peach blossom tree blossomed even once.
She wasn’t a bad match, she was sane and beautiful. But she didn’t know why she didn’t even have one suitor. It was an insane situation.
Her father was the prime minister, Yan Jing. It was a pity she wasn’t her father’s golden daughter.
Yan Jing was a poor scholar, he struggled to study for ten years. During that trialling period, Yan Shi Ning’s mother Dung Thi supported him. Yan Jing and Dung Thi had a loving relationship. Unexpectedly after he entered the palace to take the imperial examination, he caught Princess Kang Hua’s attention.
Yan Jing faced a difficult dilemma. On one side he loved Dung Thi and on the other side was his high ambition. His final decision was he wanted both and married Princess Kang Hua.
He thought he would live an ideal life. But on his wedding night with Princess Kang Hua, Dung Thi packed her belongings and returned to her family’s country home. Dung Thi never returned to the imperial city even though she gave birth to Yan Shi Ning in the country.
After Yan Shi Ning’s birth, half of Yan Jing’s heart was in the imperial city and the other half was with Dung Thi. Occasionally he visited his parents and Dung Thi in the country. He missed Dung Thi and wanted to visit more often but Princess Kang Hua was a powerful force and didn’t allow him to visit them often.
More than ten years past by quickly. Dung Thi worked hard to earn a living and died of pneumonia. When Yan Jing found out Dung Thi died, he cried continuously. Then he brought Yan Shi Ning to the imperial city. That year Yan Shi Ning was only sixteen years old.
Usually young ladies at the age of sixteen were the target of many matchmakers. But Yan Shi Ning’s family background wasn’t ideal. Even though she was the prime minister’s daughter, she didn’t have high hopes for an ideal husband. Prominent men wanted to marry someone who was most compatible with them to elevate their status. In the prime minister’s manor behind Yan Shi Ning was his golden daughter. The golden daughter’s mother was a princess and the princess was also the empress’ blood sister.
Compared to Princess Kang Hua’s daughter, Yan Shi Ning didn’t have any powerful family connections and Yan Shi Ning was alone in the world. It was the main reason why many court officials didn’t want to marry Yan Shi Ning. Their eyes focused solely on the prime minister’s golden daughter.
For two years Yan Shi Ning stayed in an endless restless state in the imperial city. No suitors wanted to marry her. When she was free she thought about the two consequences of not having suitors. One, soon she would past the desirable marriage age to start a family then it was logical that the ground below was forced to look at what was above. Second, her father stood behind Princess Kang Hua to support the princess, and Yan Shi Ning’s marriage state wasn’t an exception.
Although Yan Shi Nang aged as each day past, she didn’t care if she became an old maid. When other people pitied her, she smiled and silently maintained her gentle and docile image.
She remembered what her mother instructed her before dying, ‘the imperial city isn’t like Xuan Qing. After you leave Xuan Qing, you can’t follow your impulses. Princess Kang Hua isn’t someone you should offend. If you offend her, she’ll take revenge. You need to be careful of your words and actions.’
Since Yan Shi Ning lived in the imperial city, she listened to her mother’s warning and controlled her words and actions. She quickly became well known in the imperial city for being gentle and docile.
At the beginning she wasn’t used to supressing her impulses. The heavens knew she was someone who had a quick temper and restless. It was hard for her to be a well behaved young lady who never showed her teeth while laughing. Luckily the more she acted gentle and docile, it gradually became a habit.
Within two years living in the imperial city when people were free and talked about the prime minister’s oldest daughter they would associate Yan Shi Ning with gentle and docile. Of course afterward they would say that it was a pity someone so gentle and docile couldn’t be married off.
Yan Shi Ning didn’t feel it was a pity. The heavens knew she didn’t care about being unwed and that she had already prepared to live an independent old maid’s life.
But quickly it became clear that as she aged, someone else would see her marriage state as an obstacle in their path. She waved her fan, looked at the sky and inwardly realised it was possible for a person to be an obstacle in relation to marriage.
End of Chapter One