195. A Messy Engagement Party 01
Miao’s voice wasn’t loud but Cheng was standing not far away from her. When he heard what Miao said, he remembered the decades of effort his wife had put into this family. She’d sacrificed so much for his years of leniency. Those words pricked into his skin as if every spoken sound was a needle. He couldn’t bear to hold himself back anymore.
“You said Yan didn’t greet you just now,” said Cheng as he turned to look at Miao, a cold look on his face. “But from the minute you stepped through those doors until now, have you greeted your sister-in-law yet?”
Miao was stunned. It had never occurred to her that her older brother, the man who had never spoken a harsh word to her, would act so cold to her all for an outsider. She was hurt.
“What do you mean by that?” said Miao. “I am the daughter of the Yan family. I’m your younger sister!”
His eyes slid close as he softly said, “You still remember you’re my younger sister? You don’t have an ounce of respect for your sister-in-law. Have you ever thought of how I felt? You are a daughter of the Yan family, yet you won’t do your utmost for our father. My wife wasn’t born into the Yan family but she does her best for our father. Shouldn’t you respect her? Shouldn’t you be thankful?”
“She married into the Yan family so she’s part of the Yan family. Isn’t it her duty to take care of our father?” Miao pig-headedly said.
Cheng thought his younger sister disliked his wife because of jealousy. After Kong Wen married him, Miao wasn’t the only person he and his father would think of. Cheng didn’t expect his sister to think of his wife as someone akin to a servant. Miao justified all of Wen’s sacrifices and efforts as part of “her duty”! Cheng was furious. His chest felt heavy. His breaths came out a little harsher than usual.
“So you do still remember she married into the Yan family,” Cheng said, staring into his sister’s eyes. “However, have you ever treated her like family? Wen waved it all away because you’re young, but you are now the mother of two kids. Have you still not matured?”
“I am your sister,” Miao roared. “You and I are family! You’d say that of me? Are you still my brother? Have you…” already fallen to her?
For the first time ever, Cheng interrupted her. “I am your older brother. I am fine with loving you, doting you and tolerate your selfishness. Your sister-in-law has no duty to do that! She married me because she loved me! She owes nothing to our family!”
Due to his anger, Cheng’s voice was raised. Kong Wen and the old Mr Yan had yet to walk so far away that they couldn’t hear what was being said. Wen couldn’t stop her eyes from going red with tears. It had been decades. Finally, the day had come. Her husband had spoken up and defended her from Miao’s barbs.
The old Mr Yan might be an old man but his hearing had yet to deteriorate. Naturally, he heard every word.
“Your man finally knows he should protect you,” he whispered to Wen, a smile dancing on his lips as he patted her on the hand. “Happy?”
Wen’s tears vanished at the old Mr Yan’s teasing. She nodded. Then, after a pause, she said, “Ah-Cheng was too harsh.”
“Not at all,” said the old Mr Yan. “He did well. Miao-Miao’s not a young girl anymore. She should grow up. No one would indulge her forever. Let her brother scold her. It’d only do her some good.”
Wen nodded. She then continued to help the old Mr Yan slowly up the stairs.
Miao had just been humiliated by the brother who loved her since she was born, and it was done in front of her husband and two of the younger generation she looked down on. She was so angry that her charming face was nearly twisted out of shape. It felt like her brother’s heart had been utterly bewitched by Kong Wen. The man didn’t care for her at all. If they kept talking, she’d suffer. The guests of the party were sensible enough not to walk closer due to the tense atmosphere around the host family, but Miao still felt her cheeks burning. Never once in her entire life had she been so wronged. She was still in public. Her pride meant she refused to let a single tear drop. She also didn’t want to give those two snickering kids a chance to laugh at her. That shameful male bride; he might be silently standing there but he’s actually laughing hard on the inside, isn’t he? She just didn’t know what her father and brother were poisoned with to have made them agreed to something so disgraceful!
Through teary eyes, she determinedly tilted her head up high and said to her brother, “I know you’ve not thought of me as family since my wedding day. All of you may not like what I’ve said but every word of mine is for the sake of the Yan family. You’ll regret it sooner or later if you don’t listen to me! The Yan family will turn into a laughingstock because of your foolishness! Since this family no longer welcomes me, why would I need to run all the way here just for some engagement party?”
Cheng was still furious at his sister’s immaturity, but his heart still ached at the sight of tears in the eyes of the girl he’d doted on for years. There was a huge age gap between them. He had kind of doted on his sister like one would dote on a daughter instead. That meant if she wanted the stars, he would never compromise with the moon. He too was responsible for her childish nature. In a fit of rage, he had spoken too harshly. She must’ve been feeling extremely hurt. Hence, Cheng said nothing.
However, Yan could not keep quiet at such an implicit attack. “It looks like you didn’t take a single one of Grandfather’s words to heart,” Yan coldly harrumphed. “YouRan and I are getting properly married. There’s nothing for anyone to laugh about. The real joke here is your lack of manners and propriety. You are a daughter of the Yan family. From childhood, you were taught by the best teachers. Look at you now. Shouting and screaming at your nephew’s engagement party. You are the one who’s giving the people an excuse to laugh and gossip about us.”
Yan didn’t wait for a reply. “Aunt, you said just now that someone in the room might be laughing at me right now. Ha. Marriage is akin to someone drinking a glass of water. Only the person would know if the water was cold or hot. I am the only one who’d know if I’m happy. It didn’t matter what other people say. I have found someone I love. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, I will never waver. Not even if everyone points and lectures me for it. Why would I care about mockery that might not exist and belonged to people who don’t have the courage to tell me? I am the one who must live through my life. I don’t need to live my life based on what others think and I don’t need the blessings of everyone in the world. I further do not need to force myself to be as glorious as gold! Anyway…” Yan glanced at He Yuan who was doing his best impression of thin air. “Who can say for sure if it’s actual gold or mere mud?”
“You’re just a kid but your ego is huge,” Miao said with a smirk. “Is this how you should speak to your elders? Is that what you mean by ‘manners’?”
Yan squinted his eyes at her. “If you want to be respected as an elder, you must first act like an elder. Your words are sharp and biting. The moment you stepped through those doors, you began spitting out barbed words. You’ve caused a scene at my engagement party and you’re criticising me for my tone towards you? Every word you speak is an attack on my mother. Even the tone you speak is an attempt to insult YouRan. If I am still able to smile and welcome you, I wouldn’t be called well-mannered. I’d be called a doormat. I can still stand here and talk to you in a civil manner all because you are my elder.”
Miao clenched her teeth. She didn’t think this man, Xu YouRan, would be quite so capable despite his quiet demeanour. He was able to make a forever-silent kid speak so much for him. There wasn’t a single word from Yan that didn’t sting! As expected, whores who would do anything and everything to get into a rich family, even if they had to climb into another man’s bed, would never be simple people. She had underestimated him.
She was about to bark back in rage when a deep voice interrupted her, “I’m sorry. Did we come at the wrong time?”
Miao looked up. It was the tall and muscular Mu JingYuan who had approached with the Little Master Bai. Their hands were linked together.
The Yan family was having an internal fight. Anyone who would dare to step forward could never be some average joe. Miao could be as much of a bully as she wanted to be in her home, but she knew how powerful the Mu family was. Mu JingYuan was the head of the Mu family. Solely based on status, this man was someone who could fight toe-to-toe with her father. She had to back down. All she could do then was shut her mouth.
Cheng had been developing a headache from watching his taciturn son lambast his sister. When he saw JingYuan approaching them, he let out a sigh of relief.
“How could you be?” Cheng said with a smile. “Our entire family is ecstatic that you’re both here so early for my son’s engagement.”
“You don’t need to be so polite, Uncle Yan,” said JingYuan with a smile of his own. “The Yan and Mu families have always helped each other. YiHan is YouRan’s friend and he’s quite close to your youngest son. It’s expected of us to arrive early to help out.”
“Indeed,” Cheng laughed. “Every time YouRan came over, one out of three sentences he speaks would always be about YiHan.”
Cheng turned to his future son-in-law and said, “YouRan, YiHan’s here for you. We’re almost done with formalities today. You kids go play.”
YouRan responded with a nod and a hum before walking over to YiHan.
Only then did JingYuan turn to greet Yan Miao and her husband. “Mr He, Madam He. How have you been?”
“Mr He, Madam He,” YiHan followed suit with a smile.
He Yuan’s jaw ached at the sight of YiHan. He greeted the couple back awkwardly before going silent. He was adamant to play out his act of a dead dog to the bitter end.
Miao was extremely unhappy with her husband’s cowardice tonight. However, she knew she couldn’t demean her husband in public. She’ll take care of him when they went home later.
Throughout the night, Miao had been lectured and scolded. There wasn’t a single conversation she came out of as the better. She was already feeling hurt and upset but then came Mu JingYuan and Bai YiHan. Those two were also here to upset her. When they approached, the taller man pretended to not have seen her and kept talking to her brother. They might not have talked much but every word spoken made Xu YouRan seemed greater than ever. Mu JingYuan had a stable hold on the position of head of the Mu family at a young age. Would he have no sense? It was clear the couple came here as a show of power for Xu YouRan.
Mu JingYuan only remembered to greet her after he was done talking to her brother. It was obvious the man didn’t respect her at all. Also, what did they just call her? She may be married but most people still call her the Third Miss of the Yan family. That’s right. When people in high society spoke of the “Third Miss of the Yan family”, they didn’t mean Yan Pei. They meant her, Yan Miao! However, these two men had intentionally called her Madam He instead. They were reminding her of her status as a daughter who had been married out. Were they saying she was no longer a part of the Yan family?
If anyone had dared spoken like that to her, Miao would’ve taught them a lesson. However, the person in question was Mu JingYuan. All she dared to do was suppress the rage building up in her and force a smile on her face.
“How do you do, Mr Mu,” Miao greeted back.
“YiHan’s throat must’ve grown hoarse over the past few days,” JingYuan replied with an expressionless face. “Did you not hear him just now?”
Due to personal issues (mom’s medical treatments), I will be busy for the foreseeable future. Updates will be reduced to 1 chapter a week. I might try and get more chapters in when I find the time but it is unlikely.