Lan You Nian sat with Lan Jian Jun and Lan Mo Xian in a horse carriage heading to Prime Minister An’s manor, which was the maiden home of An yiniang.
“Nian’er, today you must follow your older brother. Don’t run around,” Lan Jian Jun said with a worried heart. Then he said sternly to Lan Mo Xian, “Mo Xian, Prime Minister An is usually not in harmony with our Lan manor, in the past he has never invited our Lan manor, now, not only did he invite our Lan manor but also specifically wants Nian’er to come. There is most likely danger.”
Lan Mo Xian’s warm face was also severe. How can he not know father’s worries? When An yiniang married father to be a concubine, Prime Minister An threatened father to turn his mother into a concubine and make An yiniang into the Madame, but father, not only did he refuse, he also refused to accept An yiniang. Originally, Father and Prime Minister An did not get along in the official circles, and because of such a matter, the feeling of animosity became deeper. Later, An yiniang entered the manor as a concubine, but father never questioned about her. It was blatantly slapping Prime Minister An’s face. In the future, the two fought many times in the official circles.
Later, mother died. Father only wanted to mourn her. An yiniang attained power in the manor, and Prime Minister An’s side was a lot smoother. Even later, father went to the border to fight the war. There was no more interaction with Prime Minister An, so the two men’s grievances were put aside, but now looking at Prime Minister An’s attitude, he probably has targeted Nian’er meimei…
“Father, son knows. Today son will pay more attention and take care of Nian’er meimei,” Lan Mo Xian comforted. Today, originally, he didn’t want Nian’er meimei to come here but Prime Minister manor’s invitation not only named Nian’er, this morning the old madame and An yiniang persuaded many times. If they did not come, it will also cause a lot of tongues to wag.
“Nian’er, be more careful today. Protecting yourself is priority. No matter what happens, don’t be afraid. Father will be there for you!” Lan Jian Jun looked at the daughter who did not say a word. His heart was anxious. Although he was a military commander, he was aware of civil officials’ twist and turns. Prime Minister An better not touch Nian’er, otherwise…
“Many thanks for General Lan’s consideration,” Lan You Nian still looked the same with a gentle smile. There wasn’t even a little bit of anxiousness for today’s banquet.
“Nian’er!” Lan Jian Jun’s voice carried hints of severity, “No matter how much you hate father’s neglect in the past, father is willing to bear it. Whatever you want to do father will all agree, but you cannot be mischievous. Do you know if you make a wrong step today, you will be in danger!”
“Oh?” Lan You Nian raised her eyes, those eyes that were resplendent as the stars suddenly burst with a grim chill. This child made Lan Jian Jun, who was always on the battlefield year around, fear. This chill he only ever saw on one person. That person was Ming wang Feng Yi Xuan.
“Nian’er….” Lan Mo Xian was also shocked by the cold aura around his family’s little sister. He was afraid that Lan You Nian will defy father and add more problems to today. Lan Mo Xian pleadingly called Lan You Nian, he didn’t want his most respected father and his most loved little sister become enemies.
Lan Jian Jun seemed to feel that his tone was too heavy. He wanted to say something but Lan You Nian already closed her beautiful eyes. The mild look seemed like she never put anything or anyone into her heart, seemingly, in this world she was alone.
Lan You Nian considered today’s banquet. Today was the 50th birthday of Prime Minister An so the grand banquet invited all the capital’s noble people. Prime Minister An can be said to be living very smoothly. His eldest daughter was the noble empress of a country. He assisted second wangye Feng Shao Chu; if in the future second wangye Feng Shao Chu ascends the throne, then one can only imagine the high status of Prime Minister An. Moreover, Prime Minister An has now the official title of prime minister. People who want to curry favor with him were endless. Such a conceited person yet the daughter who was a concubine was not favored, how can Prime Minister An swallow this?
Some time ago, Lan Ya and Lan Zhi went to Prime Minister’s manor frequently. They must have said something in front of Prime Minister An that will cause Prime Minister An to regard herself as a thorn in his side. Today’s banquet probably will be many deliberate difficulties for her. In fact, Prime Minister An’s purpose wasn’t difficult to guess. He and Lan Jian Jun did not agree with each other. However, although Prime Minister An’s official grade was high, but he had no military power. Originally, he thought that Lan Jian Jun will hand over the military power to Lan Yin in the future, but didn’t expect Lan Jian Jun will not have such an idea. So Prime Minister An, not only did he want to get rid of her, more importantly, he wanted to get remove Lan Mo Xian, so to let the military power fall into Lan Yin’s hands. In the future, it will be much easier to help Feng Shao Chu to win the throne, then, Prime Minister An can be described as under one person but over tens of thousands of people.
The carriage stopped. Lan Jian Jun led Lan Mo Xian and Lan You Nian down the carriage. The carriage following behind also stopped. Out walked down An yiniang and her children. Today’s An yiniang carefully dressed up in a big peony on jade green smoky gossamer green rosy cloud brocade (bi xia luo), the pink water fairy scattered flower with green leaves skirt dragged on the ground. She wore a thin coat of gold-threaded thin jade-green, low hanging hair obliquely inserted with a jasper hairpin inlaid with pearls. She was clearly over 30 years old but still deliberately dressed up as a young woman. It made people feel uncomfortable. Behind her, Lan Zhi and Lan Ya were carefully dressed up; they were also a beautiful scenery.
An yiniang seeing everyone’s appreciation of her, she wanted to throw up. Today she came back to celebrate her father’s birthday, but she couldn’t share a carriage with her lord husband. Don’t know how the noble matrons in the capital will mock her behind her back. However, father promised he will punish that whore. Let’s see how long she can be proud. Not only was the identity of legitimate daughter her daughers’, this glory and favor will also be her daughters’.
Lan You Nian with Lan Jian Jun followed the manservant into Prime Minister An manor. The red wall surrounded in protection, the green willows hang down, three hanging flower gates, and four sides of the hand-to-hand veranda. In the courtyard, the roads were intersected. The mountains and stones dotted, embracing the “An Manor” plague on the building. The entire courtyard was magnificent, grand and luxurious. The gardens clustered, delicate and exquisite. The inner courtyard was full of roses. A pool of water surrounded by a white stone road that crossed the Qi Fang River to cross to the other side.
“Isn’t this my virtuous son-in-law? My humble resident is honored by your presence!” Prime Minister An stood outside the hall and greeted the new arrivals. He was wearing a gold and black robe. Although he was already fifty years old, he looked very healthy. The looks were quite elegant and scholarly, but that pair of eyes were full of slyness that couldn’t be ignored.
“Prime Minister An’s 50th birthday, how can this general not come?” Lan Jian Jun didn’t pay heed to Prime Minister An’s call of virtuous son in law. He was not as respectful to him as to Tutor He. The surrounding people seeing this knew that General Lan had no intention of currying favor with Prime Minister An. He even fell Prime Minister An’s face.
An yiniang who followed behind paled. She did not expect Lan Jian Jun to still not recognize her identity on this day, as if her becoming his concubine dirtied his reputation. Lan You Nian looked at An yiniang‘s pale cheek and cast a smug smile. This smile was clearly seen by An yiniang.
Prime Minister An was very dissatisfied with Lan Jian Jun’s insensibility, but today was his big day, he could ruin his own banquet. Moreover, he and Lan Jian Jun have been fighting for so many years, there was no hurry for this single moment. Today he wanted to deal with Lan Mo Xian and Lan You Nian who followed behind Lan Jian Jun.
“This must be General Lan Che Qi. Indeed, heroes arise from youngsters ah!” Prime Minister An praised Lan MO Xian with a unknown undertone.
“Many thanks for Prime Minister An’s praise!” Lan Mo Xian put away his warm smile when facing outsiders. At this time, he was the General Che Qi who heroically slew the enemy on the battlefield.
“No need to be so modest. This is probably Miss Lan who just returned!” Prime Minister An deliberately exerted pressure when facing Lan You Nian. After all, the people who were sent to kill this girl have died without leaving a whole body. For a long time, he hasn’t been in such a tight corner. One little girl actually can deal with so many shadow guards, even if those shadow guards’ martial arts was very common.
A lot of eyes around looked at Lan You Nian who stood there like a scenery. She stood quietly beside Lan Mo Xian. The gentle wind swept over the veil on her cheeks. Silk strands of hair danced in the wind, bursting forth with a delicate fragrance. Even if her face was ruined, many people present were still immersed in this beautiful painting.
Lan You Nian’s lips lightly opened, eyes cast low, “This little girl greets Prime Minister An,” the sound was crisp and elegant, surpassing Lan Zhi and Lan Ya behind her by far. Appearance was irrelevant only temperament.
Prime Minister An carefully studied Lan You Nian who was still just a child in front of him. With his many years of sensitive experience while navigating the official circles, he sensed the danger of the girl opposite him. Even if she had no strength in her hands, was very young and had no backing, but Prime Minister An perceived danger. This woman cannot stay!
“An-niang is back ah. Yin’er is also back. Come, come, let grandfather see!” Prime Minister deliberately did not pay attention to Lan You Nian, giving Lan You Nian the cold shoulder.
Everyone thought Lan You Nian will feel wronged and awkward but Lan You Nian dealt with this with an easy grace. Although the expression of Lan You Nian could not be seen under the veil, everyone could sense this girl was not arrogant nor had a rash attitude. In comparison, it was clear that the Prime Minister, as an elder, was a little petty.
Lan Jian Jun was very dissatisfied with Prime Minister An’s disregard of his daughter but at this time, he can’t vent his anger. Even if he was a military officer, he was not stupid. Lan Jian Jun could only withhold the anger in his heart. He tugged Lan You Nian into the inner courtyard of the banquet.
Many people came today. Almost all of the capital’s official family children have arrived. The power of Prime Minister An in the official circles can’t be underestimated. Today, second wangye and fourth wangye were also here. Even eldest princess Feng Xiao Luo came a lot earlier. Everyone greeted one another. Lan Jian Jun was led away by some people from the official circles. When leaving he reminded Lan Mo Xian to take care of Lan You Nian.
Lan Mo Xian knew his sister has never participated in such a banquet. Neither did she know any of the unmarried young miss. So, he dragged Lan You Nian to an inconspicuous place in the banquet, afraid his little sister couldn’t adapt to such a situation.
Lan You Nian observed the banquet. It was nothing more than colorful unwed young ladies and fine young men. Whether it was the small talk of the official circles, the kind of banquet she really didn’t like. In the previous life, taking over the family clan, she often waded through such situations like these. In this life, this was the first time participating in such a banquet, inevitably she was bored.
“Nian’er, don’t like?” Lan Mo Xian sat next to Lan You Nian. Seeing the impatience in Lan You Nian’s eyes, he asked.
“En, it would have been better to use this time to sleep,” In the presence of intimate people, Lan You Nian restored her natural personality. She was really as endearing as a child.
“Hey? Isn’t this third little sister? How come third little sister is sitting here?” Lan Zhi’s voice was filled with surprise. But that voice still attracted many people’s eyes. Originally everyone was curious about the Lan manor’s legitimate daughter who just came back, so looked at Lan You Nian’s matters as if they were watching something amusing.
Lan Mo Xian frowned. His eyes looking at Lan Zhi was like looking at the enemy. He can tell Lan Zhi came here to find trouble. She really is restless. Did she really think she can be unscrupulous in the Prime Minister’s manor?
“Third little sister, today’s pastries were specially made from Zhen Wei Pavilion. Third little sister has probably never tasted it yet!” Lan Zhi’s voice was soft and deliberate but the sarcasm contained in it was clear. Her third little sister was just a bumpkin from the countryside, how can she have eaten such things before?
“What? Third little sister really never had it before? It really is a pity! Zhen Wei Pavilion’s pastries are novel and delicious. Third little sister must eat more today!” Lan Zhi smacked her mouth with a handkerchief as if she was really surprised.
“What are you saying? A few days ago, I went with Lan meimei to Zhen Pavilion to eat. Who treats your own little sister like this? Really is hypocritical!” A female voice rang from the banquet.