On the way to the back of the main hall, Wei Luo asked a servant girl where Second Madam was. The servant girl said she was in the main room, so Wei Luo started walking in that direction.
On the way to the main room, the verandah was empty. As she passed by a window on the way to the door, she suddenly heard people talking. Normally, she felt it was beneath her dignity to eavesdrop, but she heard a familiar voice and froze. Before she had time to think it through, the people had already stopped at the window.
There were two voices. One was second aunt Song-shi. The other was third aunt Liu-shi.
Liu-shi was speaking. Her words were intermittent and Wei Luo couldn't clearly hear everything, ".... Men are all scoundrels who can't control themselves. They'll fancy any woman that knows how to curry favor with them. Things have already reached this point. Come to an acceptance with this unpleasant fact. Don't continue being angry..."
Song-shi was sobbing and sniffling as she said, "Do you think I don't want to get over this? It's only that I'm too disappointed with him. To think that the feelings from this many years of marriage didn't matter..."
Liu-shi interrupted her in a sympathetic tone, "What does the feelings between a married couple count for? I've been married to Third Master for so many years. How does he treat me?" She sighed and indignantly continued, "His heart only has Jiang Miao Lan. I haven't even entered his eyes. He treats me with cold indifference. Some women have the type of skill to charm men into loosing their senses and willingly to do anything for them. We don't have this skill. We can only know our place and support our husbands and educate our children. One day they will discover our goodness."
Song-shi didn't say anything. She was stilling sobbing.
Probably because she had brought up the topic of her own heartache, Liu-shi couldn't hold herself back for continuing to say, "Back then, if Du-shi and I didn't act together... Jiang Miao Lan would probably still be here. As long as she was here, there wouldn't be peace in the residence."
Underneath the window, Wei's Luo's expression sank as she listened.
Liu-shi was comparing Jiang Miao Lan to Dong-shi? Dong-shi was an outside mistress that couldn't be brought out into public. Jiang Miao Lan had been Wei Kun's officially wedded wife! Could these two people be compared?
And what had she just said? She said that she and Du-shi had worked together to force Jiang Miao Lan to leave. So Jiang Miao Lan didn’t die?
She quietly turned around and walked back to Pine Courtyard. On the way, she kept thinking about Liu-shi's words.
Jiang Miao Lan didn't die. She had only been forced to leave by Liu-shi and Du-shi. If she hadn't died, why didn't she come back to see her and Chang Hong? In her previous life, Du-shi had sold her off and Li Song and Li Xiang had ruined Chang Hong, but Jiang Miao Lan had never appeared. Where did she go? She might as well have died. Wei Luo admitted that she blamed and hated her. Even though she knew Jiang Miao Lan had suffered through hardships, she still couldn’t forgive her.
However, while she hated her, she was also curious about what happened that year. What had Liu-shi and Du-shi done to cause her to callously leave behind Chang Hong and her? If she didn't find this out, there would be a festering knot in her heart.
Wei Luo had originally intended to go to the study to look for that painting. Perhaps, she would be able to find some clues by looking at that painting. However, just as she was about to walk there, a servant girl came from the front courtyard to say, "Miss, Marquis Ping Yuan's daughter is here to see you. She's currently waiting for you at the receiving room."
Liang Yu Rong?
Why was she here? What happened?
With doubts in her heart, Wei Luo walked towards the receiving room.
Arriving at the receiving room, she saw Liang Yu Rong sitting on an ironwood chair and drinking tea as she waited for Wei Luo. Seeing that she had arrived, Liang Yu Rong hurriedly came forward to grab her arm and smilingly say, "Ah Luo, I'm going shopping at Ba Zhen to buy candy and pastries today. Come with me, okay?"
Wei Luo was in messy and chaotic state of mind and was originally going to refuse.
However, when she slanted her head and saw Liang Yu Rong's eyes that were full of hope, the words of refusal hovered inside her mouth instead. In the end, she nodded and said, "Okay."
Ba Zhen was located in the middle of West Main Street. People were closely line up inside the store like the teeth of a comb. It was very boisterous.
Ba Zhen's candy and pastries were very well known. They had an endless stream of visitors every day. Wei Luo and Liang Yu Rong came down from the carriage and walked through Ba Zhen's front doors. In front of the pastries, they saw the back of a young man wearing a sapphire blue robe embroidered with the four blessings pattern. This store usually only had women coming here to buy their products. Men didn't like to eat this type of sweet foods, so when a man came inside the store, it attracted the gaze of many women.
Furthermore, his appearance was radiantly handsome and hearty. It completely moved the hearts of the women. From time to time, they would sneak a peak at him and blush.
The young man inclined his head, pointed at the round flat pastries with dried peach and roses and the fried twisted dough with honey and pine nuts, and said, "I want these two types."
Wei Luo finally had a clear look of his face. It was Fifth Prince Zhao Zhang!
The storekeeper quickly and solicitously wrapped up those items from him. Zhao Zhang also ordered a few types of candied fruit and small, flat and round pastries dusted with sugar. He turned to leave after the guard at his side stepped forward and paid.
When Zhao Zhang turned his head, he saw that Wei Luo and Liang Yu Rong had been standing behind him.
He only recognized Wei Luo. On Spring Lantern Festival, he had apologized on behalf of Li Song and had invited her and Song Hui to Emerald Restaurant. Seeing her now, he froze for a moment, then he smiled and asked, "Does House Wei's Fourth Miss also like to eat the pastries from here?"
Wei Luo shook her head, pulled Liang Yu Rong forward, and said, "I'm accompanied Yu Rong here." She paused, looked at the oilpaper packet in his hand, curved her lips, and asked, "Fifth... Sir, do you like to eat sweet things?"
Zhao Zhang knew that she had misunderstood. He faintly smiled and explained, "I went outside for work today and passed by here on the way back. This isn't for me to eat. I bought this to give to Lin Lang."
Oh right. He was Lin Lang's older brother. Wei Luo had almost forgotten this.
She smiled and nodded. She didn't ask any other questions. She pulled Liang Yu Rong with her to the side. Her meaning was clear without any words.
Zhao Zhang passed by them, then he seemed to have suddenly thought of something. He turned his head and asked, "I heard that Duke Ying's family went to Qian Temple recently. My second brother also went there on the same day. Did House Wei's Fourth Miss meet him there?"
At the mention of Zhao Jie, there was a slight delay in Wei Luo's response.