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This was the critical moment.

This time, the Lin Family was involved. The young miss of the Lin Family definitely was alredy destroyed. Would the Lin Family, unable to bear the grievance, come to cause trouble with their Ning Family?

Although the Ning Family was not afraid of the Lin Family, the matter between children implicated Ning Yunzhao and was denounced by the person himself.

Her son should be flawless. It was unlucky that one Jun Zhenzhen was entangled with him. Being associated with Lin Jin’er was really impossible to bear.

And he was angry.

Previously he had not cared about Jun Zhenzhen but now he was mad. If his seniors bestowed him with marriage he would not be mad, but right now Yanyan had used the position of a concubine as bait to show off. This he could not stand.

No one would be happy treated this way, even if it was his blood sister.

If it happened once, it would happen again. To stop this behavior, it required punishment and warning.

If Ning Yunzhao’s sister received punishment and restrictions for doing this kind of thing, outsiders would carefully consider the consequences of doing such things themselves.

Eldest Madam Ning looked at him at a loss.

One one side was her son. The other side, her daughter. Both the back and front of the palm are made of flesh [1]. How could she choose?

"Although Yanyan is young, but Mother you already had some ideas about who she would be marrying. This isn’t some sudden thing," he said. "Once her marriage is fixed, she can peacefully await her marriage at home and learn to manage the household as well as how she should pass her days, from mother,."

And she wouldn’t be with those girls, wantonly living her youth.

Her present days were too carefree; Miss Jun’s appearance to her was something she hated. Just wait till she married and became a wife, a daughter-in-law, a mother. Then she would know that this period of her youth was nothing.

Eldest Madam Ning looked at the resolution on her son’s face and sighed inside.

Daughters, in the end, belonged to other families. Sooner or later, they would marry out. The sooner she did, the sooner she would learn. This was for her own good.

"I do have plans for Yanyan’s marriage. I was thinking of finalizing them in December. Next year, your sister would turn fifteen and we would let her marry. Since you won’t be returning for the next year, it would be better to settle it down, so you won’t miss it," she said with a gentle smile.


Ning Yunyan was not aware that her marriage was being decided. She still wanted to charge in, but Cuizhu had the guts to lay a hand on her.

"Seventeenth Miss, you are already big. Do not act like a child who doesn’t understand the rules," she even said.

Ning Yunyan wanted to shake off this girl and slap her twice, but the head servant and the other servants were rushing over having caught wind of the news.

Responsible for teaching her etiquette, they urged her to stop.

Ning Yunyan hadn’t been this annoyed since she’d grown big.

"Fine, I won’t go in." Her face was flushed. "Cuizhu, you wait, wait for when mother asks me why I didn’t come pay my respects. Then you can’t blame me for being impolite."

She stormed off in a huff.

The servants hurried to follow.

Cuizhu’s face was impassive. Other servant girls were also there.

"Cuizhu, was this necessary? Wouldn’t it be better to let Young Miss wait in the side room," they asked uneasily.

"Madam instructed me to not let anyone in," she replied.

"Are you stupid, is Young Miss anyone? What did you do that for?" they said.

"Is Young Miss not a person?" Cuizhu retorted.

The servants were rendered speechless.

"Never mind, just do what you want."

Everyone dispersed. Cuizhu remained on guard in front of the entrance.

Not long after, footsteps came from inside of the courtyards, as well as the servant girl’s greetings.

"Tenth Noble Son."

Cuizhu turned around and moved out of the way and lowered her head in respect.

"Young Miss still hasn’t come?"

He stopped just before crossing the entrance.

Young Miss was not some sort of a mannerless person. Everyday she would ask after Eldest Madam’s health, but this time she was chased off by a servant.

The other servants looked at Cuizhu with schadenfreude.

"Young Miss came already," Cuizhu answered directly.

Ning Yunzhao smiled and nodded, then left. He didn’t ask why he hadn’t seen her.

The surrounding servants stared blankly. When Ning Yunzhao was far away, Eldest Madam Ning emerged. She didn't ask anything, much less rebuke Cuizhu for stopping Young Miss.

When they saw that Madam was really occupied with something  and couldn’t meet with Young Miss, the servant girls could only guess what it was.

Ning Yunyan was also trying to guess it.

She waited until the sky was dark, but Eldest Madam Ning still hadn’t come to find her.

"This really is strange. Mother hasn’t seen me for a day. Doesn’t she miss me?" She twisted her handkerchief.

"Madam is busy," the servant girl said. "Earlier she went to Old Madam’s place, then went out with Old Master. When she got back she went to look for Third Madam and Fourth Madam."

"Big Brother is leaving in three days. Could it be that they are discussing about sending him off?" Ning Yunyan guessed. But she then slapped the table angrily. "But Mother definitely must miss me. Wait until she comes to ask me. We’ll see."

The next day, Ning Yunyan did not go to ask after Eldest Madam, but Eldest Madam Ning hadn’t sent anyone to ask after her, even in the afternoon.

Ning Yunyan felt something was not right.

What was going on?

Mother was that busy? So busy she didn’t call on her for two days? When Uncle was accused of misconduct, the house had been this tense, but Mother hadn’t forgotten to console her."

"Young Miss, Young Miss." A servant girl ran in joyfully. "Young Miss, someone from the Shi Family has come to arrange marriage."

Arrange marriage?

"Which Big Sister is going to get married? Why haven’t I heard of it?" Ning Yunyan asked.

"Young Miss, it’s for your marriage," the servant girl said happily.

The servant girl in the room went blank.

Ning Yunyan was like she had seen a ghost.

"Me?" she said with a strangled yell. "Why am I getting married?"

Of course she would be engaged, then married. She was a girl; they were all married. But not like this.

This year they would be checking out candidates. Although she could not say so overtly, Mother and Father would definitely come ask her opinion and let her secretly see. Although her family would choose the kind of family she would marry, her opinion was also very important.

This process should take at least a year to decide. As for exchanging Geng letters [2], that was something for next year or even the year after.

How could her engagement be so mysteriously decided?

"Did you hear wrong?" she shouted.

And, who was the Shi Family? From Yangcheng? Who was she being given to? How old was he, what did he look like, how was his studies? Was it a human or a ghost?

"It’s true. The matchmaker is already here. Tomorrow will be the formal arrangement." The servant girl bit her finger and her voice trembled. "They say it’s to take advantage of Tenth Noble Son being home. It is big news; everyone knows now."

Ning Yunyan’s face turned red then white.


Why would Father and Mother treat her so carelessly?

She violently pushed aside the servant girl and ran outside.


It wasn’t just the people of the Ning Family that knew of Ning Yunyan’s engagement. Many others in Yangcheng had received the news.

The Ning Family had changed from their low-key days of the past and invited many people to participate in the engagement ceremony.

Once daughters grow up they would be married; that was not rare. But the Ning Family’s Seventeenth Miss was beyond everyone’s expectations.

Generally speaking, when a family’s daughters grew of a suitable age, the big families in Yangcheng knew it exactly. Everyone had their own plans for combining families and status, and would start discussing marriage when the age was almost right.

But for the Seventeenth Miss to discuss marriage this year, why was it so sudden an engagement?

Although it would have been good for the Fang Family, and they were of comparable social status to the Ning Family, not a single piece of their news was leaked. This sudden engagement was much too rushed. Everyone couldn’t help but guess what had happened.

Other people had to guess, but Lord Lin did not.

He put down the invitation, his expression complicated.

"I didn’t think the Ning Family would really do it," he muttered.

An engagement meant she was to be married. She could not willfully go out like other girls to play. She had to stay at home and learn housekeeping, learn every rule, learn how to deal with others, learn how adults did things.

Although this would happen to every girl, Lord Lin still felt like sighing.

Children should be more cheerful than adults.

All kids would grow up, and would have to learn to bear responsibility.

"Go, tell Madam to pack up and send the Young Miss," he said woodenly.

The servant made a sound of confirmation.

[1] Both the back and front of the palm are made of flesh: are equally important

[2] Geng Letters: engaged couples exchanging eight birth characters

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