Chapter Thirty-Six (Part 2 of 2)
‘He’s my father,’ Yan Shi Ning said. ‘But his ambition is the reason why my mother was killed. I don’t need him to die. It’s enough that he loses his position in the imperial court.’
Pei Jin nodded his head. He couldn’t predict what his father would do to Yan Jing. But if his father wanted to execute Yan Jing then he would make a little plea to save Yan Jing’s life, because he and Yan Shi Ning knew in Yan Jing’s eyes being demoted was worse than dying.
‘Wife, why do you think Yan Jing suspects Yan Shi Ting isn’t his blood daughter?’ Pei Jin asked. ‘Why hasn’t he done anything to investigate the situation all these years? He’s not someone who would spare a person for deceiving him. I’ve sent someone to investigate Yan Shi Ting’s birth, but I haven’t received any evidence.’
‘Perhaps he’s either misunderstood or is certain Yan Shi Ting isn’t his daughter,’ Yan Shi Ning said. ‘It’s possible Princess Kang Hua convinced him that he has no evidence to confirm his suspicions. But you said that Princess Kang Hua panicked after she received copies of those two letters. So I think Yan Shi Ting isn’t my father’s blood daughter.’
‘Pei Jin, I want you to give me one of those letters,’ Yan Shi Ning said. ‘I want to show it my father. I want to see what his reaction is when he knows the daughter he loved since she was born isn’t his blood daughter.’
‘Yan-Shi-Ning!’ Pei Jin cried out. ‘Give back my loveable lively little lion!’
Yan Shi Ning smiled at Pei Jin. ‘Pei Jin, don’t worry. I’m still me, I won’t change.’
At the Yan Manor, Yan Jing thought that recently nothing had been smooth for him. He was ashamed of his youngest daughter’s behaviour before her wedding, it caused him to lose the emperor’s favor. Princess Kang Hua’s health was suddenly poor and Gentleman Su asked him to pay for the costs of Yan Shi Ting’s dresses and shoes.
Yan Jing did want to pay Gentleman Su, but the total cost shook his body and he asked Gentleman Su to receive the silver taels from Princess Kang Hua.
‘Prime Minister Yan, I did ask Princess Kang Hua,’ Gentleman Su said. ‘But she said she was unwell and asked me to come back another day. Honestly, I need the money to pay my merchants and dressmakers.’
Yan Jing tactfully asked Gentleman Su to come back another day then he looked for Princess Kang Hua in the Yan Manor. He didn’t know how many silver taels Princess Kang Hua possessed and he had never asked. But he knew she wasn’t a pauper so he couldn’t understand why she couldn’t pay Gentleman Su.
Yan Jing found Princess Kang Hua in her chamber and he asked her about the silver taels owed to Gentleman Su.
‘My silver taels has no relation to you,’ Princess Kang Hua said coldly.
Yan Jing thought Princess Kang Hua’s cold arrogance was too much. He suppressed his disdain and retreated toward the calligraphy room.
On the way to the calligraphy room Yan Jing was surprised to see his oldest daughter arrived at the Yan Manor to visit him.
‘Shi Ning?’ Yan Jing asked.
Yan Shi Ning smiled charmingly at Yan Jing. ‘Father, I came to give Shi Ting a pair of jade bracelets. It’ll look beautiful on her wrists.’
Yan Jing was proud of his oldest daughter who was gentle and considerate. ‘Shi Ning, you’re a good person.’
Yan Jing accepted the jade bracelets and he noticed Yan Shi Ning hesitated to ask him something. ‘Shi Ning, is something wrong?’
Yan Shi Ning bit her lower lip and spoke in a shaky voice. ‘Father… I… this… I didn’t intend to tell father about this. But forgive me father, I can’t hide this from you.’
Yan Jing had never seen Yan Shi Ning looked so sad and anxious like she did that she did that day. ‘Shi Ning, if anything bad happened you can tell me and I promise I’ll give you justice.’
Yan Shi Ning’s heart laughed coldly. She pulled out a letter and passed it to Yan Jing. ‘Father, last night someone delivered this to my husband’s manor. After I read it I was shocked and I wanted to ask father about this.’
Yan Jing read the letter and his body stiffened, it was clearly the letter he wrote to Dung Thi… it was his calligraphy and the same paper he used that year.
End of Chapter Thirty-Six (Part 2 of 2)