Chapter Three (Part 1)
Yan Shi Ning fled from Pei Jin the moment the crown prince left.
Pei Jin stared at the back of Yan Shi Ning’s figure for a while and reminisced about the past.
‘Little brother, what are you thinking about?’ Pei Zhang asked.
‘Seventh brother, I’m admiring the palace gardens,’ Pei Jin said. ‘It looks like a heavenly landscape.’
‘Looks like a mortal landscape,’ Pei Zhang said.
Pei Jin didn’t refute his seventh brother.
Pei Zhang glanced at Yan Shi Ning’s back. ‘Little brother, do you know about our little brother and the younger Lady Yan?’
‘I recently returned from Southern Jiang,’ Pei Jin said. ‘Seventh brother, what has been happening in the imperial city while I was away?’
‘Little brother, you’ll be drinking celebratory wine at their wedding early next year,’ Pei Zhang said.
‘Truly?’ Pei Jin asked. ‘What good news.’
Pei Jin’s smiling face made Pei Zhang’s eyes itched.
‘Good news indeed for the crown prince,’ Pei Zhang said. ‘With Yan Jing’s support, the crown prince can sleep higher and more carefree.’
‘Prime Minister Yan is reputed to be a resourceful and diligent court official, who he supports will certainly become more influential,’ Pei Jin said.
Pei Zhang’s eyes darkened from the sounds of Pei Jin’s words that didn’t reveal one drop of water. Pei Zhang’s desire to seize the crown prince position was well known. He had always wanted his ninth brother’s support. But two years ago when he subtlety asked ninth brother to help him, ninth brother volunteered to go to Southern Jiang to subdue rebels. The moment ninth brother left, he knew that ninth brother had no intentions to join in the battle to contest the throne.
Pei Zhang watched Yan Shi Ning play with young children nearby for a while. ‘If Yan Shi Ting wants to marry then Yan Shi Ning needs to find a husband. It’s been a contentious problem for the Yan household.’
Pei Jin’s intuition told him that seventh brother had bad intentions toward Yan Shi Ning.
‘Truly?’ Pei Jin asked. ‘I have met the older Lady Yan. I enjoy talking with her. Seventh brother, what do you think about me marrying her?’
If Pei Jin’s intuition was right then his cold hearted seventh brother wanted to marry Yan Shi Ning. Pei Jin wouldn’t allow that to happen, seventh brother married many wives to gain power in the imperial court.
Pei Zhang knew ninth brother understood him well. If the crown prince marries the younger Lady Yan then Yan Jing would be an obstacle for Pei Zhang to become crown prince. He had intended to marry the older Lady Yan, but he didn’t expect ninth brother would voice an intention to marry Yan Shi Ning first.
Pei Zhang frowned at the sight of Pei Jin’s shiny eyes and Pei Jin’s careful words. Pei Zhang didn’t know if Pei Jin truly wanted to marry Yan Shi Ning or if Pei Jin wanted to oppose him.
‘She is known for being gentle and docile, she’ll be compatible with ninth brother,’ Pei Zhang said.
Pei Zhang knew it wasn’t worth fighting with ninth brother for a woman, it was beneficial for him to concede Yan Shi Ning to ninth brother.
‘But ninth brother, you’ll owe me one favour,’ Pei Zhang said, brushed the sleeves of his outer robe and left.
Behind Pei Zhang’s back, Pei Jin was smiling. Pei Jin turned his head and stared at Yan Shi Ning who was playing with children.
‘Little lion, I’ve helped you avoid a catastrophe, how will you thank me?’ Pei Jin asked softly.
End of Chapter Three (Part 1)