About an hour later, Li Song finished washing his face, rinsing his mouth, and changing into a clean sky blue robe embroidered with golden thread. His appearance was impressive when he left his room.
He arrived at the receiving room and saluted Prince Ru Yang and Elder Princess Gao Yang, then he said, "Father, mother, let's leave."
Prince Ru Yang (Li Zhi Liang) severely harrumphed. It was clear that he was displeased with Li Song's behavior during the past two days, "You can still remember to come home? I was going to treat it as if you had already died somewhere outside!"
Li Song straightened up from saluting and his handsome eyebrows went up. He looked incredibly rebellious as if he was the devil’s incarnate. "If I had really died, would father be happy?"
Li Zhi Liang furrowed his eyebrows, "You..."
Seeing that her husband and son were going to start arguing again, Elder Princess Gao Yang (Zhao Xuan) discontentedly glared at Li Zhi Liang. She disliked that he couldn't calmly speak and would frequently yell and shout instead. "Our son is well. Why are you saying such unlucky words? Why can't you calmly and even-temperedly speak?" Then, she immediately turned around to look at Li Song and her tone changed to loving and pampering, "Everything is fine now that you returned. In the future, don't stay out all night for so long. Mother will worry."
Li Song slightly nodded. He would occasionally listen to Elder Princess Gao Yang's words. He wasn't beyond redemption.
Seeing her family gathered together, Zhao Xuan smiled and said, "Okay, let's go. After such a long delay, I'm worried that we're already late."
Soon, Zhao Xuan left the hall with Li Xiang supporting her and Li Zhi Liang closely following them.
Li Song quietly walked behind them and slowly put away the expression on his face.
At Duke Ding’s residence.
Fourth madam Qin-shi had also brought along Wei Chang Mi to Duke Ding's grandson's one-month-old birthday. This was Wei Chang Mi's first time participating in this type of occasion and he had excitedly cheered with his hands and feet on the way here in the carriage. When they arrived at Duke Ding's residence, he obediently quieted down and stayed in Qin-shi's arms. His eyes turned and the high spirits he was showing just a moment ago completely disappeared.
Qin-shi scratched his nose and laughed at him, "Didn't you just say that you want to meet younger brother? Why aren't you saying anything now?"
Wei Chang Mi wrapped his arms around Qin-shi's neck. His small tender white face curled into a ball, "Mother, there's so many people. I'm scared."
These words were true. Many people were visiting Duke Ding's residence today. The women had entered the residence through the side door. The front courtyard was full of people and there was continuous laughter that traveled to rear courtyard without stopping.
Duke Ding and Duke Ying had similar levels of famous reputations and splendid prestige in the imperial court. In addition, Duke Ding was an amiable person unlike Duke Ying who was very stubborn, so he had many friends. Today was his grandson's one-month-old birthday. One after another, people hurried here to help him celebrate.
Qin-shi laughed and said, "Why are you scared? Mother is here. Older sister Ah Luo is also here. No one will bully you."
At the mention of older sister Ah Luo, Wei Chang Mi's eyes brightened. He looked left and right, but he didn't see her. His mouth shriveled and he said, "Older sister Ah Luo isn't here."
Qin-shi also looked for her and discovered that Wei Luo really wasn't here. Until she asked Wei Zheng, she didn't know that Marquis Ping Yuan's carriage had been behind them and Wei Luo had gone to the back to look for Liang Yu Rong to talk with. Qin-shi shook her head helplessly, "That girl."
Wei Luo and Liang Yu Rong were walking behind the crowd. They didn't have any urgent secret news to tell each other. They were just casually sharing what they had recently seen and heard.
Liang Yu Rong pulled Ah Luo closer by the wrist and whispered into her ear, "Guess who I just saw?"
Ah Luo slowed her steps, tilted her head, and thought, "Li Xiang?"
Liang Yu Rong immediately showed an incredulous expression. She widened her eyes as if she were asking, "How did you know?"
Ah Luo curved her lips, gently laughed, and objected to her surprise, "Other than her, is there anyone else that you would especially mention to me?”
This was quite true. Liang Yu Rong didn't continue to be surprised. Shoulder to shoulder, they walked on the cobblestone path. Fortunately, the front courtyard was noisy, so the people in front of them didn't hear their words. Liang Yu Rong knew that Wei Chang Hong had been injured by Li Song and didn't have any good feelings towards those siblings.
She was a straightforward person that was very candid about who she liked and disliked. Thus, at the present moment, she shared the same hatred as Wei Luo for those two enemies.
By the time they walked to the rear courtyard's reception pavilion, there were already many women sitting inside. At the center, Duke Ding's wife was sitting at an Eight Immortal beech table. She was receiving the guests with her daughter-in-law Sun-shi. Sun-shi was holding her son Gao Zhan. He was wrapped with floral brocade swaddling clothes. The little fellow was still very small. His face was white and his eyes were big, but he looked femininely beautiful. His personality was shy. He wouldn't let outsiders hold him and would only lie down in his mother's arms. If anyone else touched him, he would cry.
Wei Chang Mi was the youngest person in his family. He hadn't met a person younger than him before, so he was very curious about Gao Zhan. He left Qin-shi's arms and walked to Sun-shi. He picked up a chestnut and osmanthus pastry from the Eight Immortal table and asked Sun-shi, "Why does he keep crying? Is he hungry? Does he eat this?"
Sun-shi smiled and shook her head.
Wei Chang Mi placed down the chestnut and osmanthus pastry and picked up a pea pastry, "What about this?"
Sun-shi still shook her head. She laughed and said, "He can't eat that either."
Like this, Wei Chang Mi went through all of the pastries on the Eight Immortal table. But Gao Zhan couldn't eat any of it. He pouted, "Why doesn't he eat anything? Then, what does he eat? No wonder he's crying from hunger."
After these words were said, one after another, everyone in the reception pavilion started laughing. A few madams held their handkerchiefs to dab at their eyes. They laughed so hard that they cried. They thought Wei Chang Mi's actions were extremely cute.
Wei Chang Mi didn't know why everyone was laughing, but he knew that they were laughing at him. Standing in front of Sun-shi, he finally felt a bit embarrassed. He turned around, ran over to Qin-shi's side, did his best to hide himself, and only showed a pair of dark eyes.
Qin-shi also laughed. She rubbed his head and said, "Silly child, younger brother doesn't eat the same things as you. He won't starve."
He seemed to understand, but also not understand and said, "Oh." He tilted his head and asked, "Then what does younger brother eat?"
Coincidentally, Gao Zhan's nurse was going to feed him milk at this time. Qin-shi let him go over there to look. Shortly after, Wei Chang Mi ran out with his small face taut. With a blushing face, he said, "So, younger brother doesn't need to eat. He only needs to suck to be full."
Qin-shi laughed involuntarily. She knew that he didn't understand and didn't continue explaining.
Fortunately, he didn't continue asking. After he saw Wei Luo, he focused on bothering her.