How did these two groups of people bump into each other...
Wei Luo suddenly lost her interest in drinking tea and sat up on the couch. Her eyes turned and she asked, "Why did Prince Jing come?"
Last time, Zhao Jie had said he would wait until his injuries were healed to come to Duke Ding's residence to propose marriage. Now, he had suddenly come here. It couldn't be that he was here to propose marriage, right? How could his injuries heal so quickly? But, why did he come here at the same time as Count Zhong Yi's people? Now, the two families would meet each other and propose marriage at the same time. How would other people look at her?
This wouldn't do. Somewhat anxious, she quickly picked up and put on a moon white outer robe with a golden peony pattern that was next to her and prepared to go out to see the situation.
Fortunately, Bai Lin timely said, "I heard that His Highness Prince Jing came here to talk to old Master Duke Ying. It wasn't too urgent. He probably had some something he wanted to discuss."
Oh, she immediately relaxed and sat back down on the couch. Soon, she thought of something else and tilted her head to look at Bai Lan, "You said that Count Zhong Yi's people came to the residence to discuss marriage. What was that about?"
Bai Lan had recently come back from the main room and had handled everything. She replied, "Master Song Bai Ye and his wife came here to look for Fifth Master to discuss your marriage with Young Master Song Hui."
Wei Luo would soon be fourteen and Song Hui had recently finishing taking the court examination, so now would be a good time to settle their marriage. Song Bai Ye and his wife had thought this matter over for a few days before deciding to come to Duke Ying's residence today to discuss with Wei Kun the wedding date for their two children.
Wei Luo had expected this day would come, so when she heard Bai Lan's words, she wasn't as anxious as before. She quietly thought for a while, then she asked Bai Lan, "Where's my daddy? Is he meeting them right now?"
Bai Lan nodded, "Fifth Master recently went over to meet them."
She supported her cheek with her hand and frowned. If Wei Kun hadn't already gone to meet them, she could speak with him first to not quickly agree with this marriage. Unfortunately, Wei Kun was already there, so she didn't have the opportunity to say anything. However, this was still fine. Today, they were only discussing. They might not settle on a wedding date. It was very probable that they were just probing the other party's opinion and interest. She looked down and asked, "Did older brother Song Hui also come?"
Bai Lan said, "He came. Young Master Song Hui is also in the main room."
Wei Luo called Bai Lan to her side and whispered into her ear, "Stand outside of the main room and listen to what they're saying inside. Be careful. Don't let anyone notice you're listening."
Bai Lan cautiously nodded, then she turned around and left.
Wei Luo stood up and walked around in circles in her inner room. She couldn't keep delaying the matter with Song Hui. The decision couldn't be delayed. She should clearly say what had to be said. If she kept delaying this, the marriage might get finalized and that wouldn't be good.
Inside the main room, Wei Kun was sitting on an ironwood chair. Song Bai Ye and his wife were sitting to his left and Song Hui was sitting to his right.
Song Hui was wearing a dark blue robe with a grape vine pattern and a hat with jade in the center. He seemed calm and didn't seem any different from usual. If you had to point out a difference, the smile in his eyes was a little bit deeper and gentler than usual. He was holding a glazed white teacup with a lotus pattern. Without any change in his expression, he listened to Wei Kun and his parents talking and would occasionally add a few words.
Since they came here to discuss marriage, both parties knew that Song Hui and Wei Luo would intentionally or unintentionally be brought up during the conversation.
Wei Kun drank a mouthful of tea, slight turned his head to look at Song Hui, and asked, "Virtuous nephew, what are your plans after passing the court examination?"
The results for the court examination had already come out. Song Hui had received second place. The Director of Board of Rites's son, Zuo Chen Huai had received first place. Emperor Chong Zhen had personally graded his paper. Although Song Hui was below Zuo Chen Huai, Emperor Chong Zhen had also praised him. His future career would most likely go smoothly.
Song Hui put down the teacup and modestly and respectfully said, "If there isn't anything unexpected, I would like to stay in Imperial Hanlin Academy to take a position to compile and edit.”
Back then, Wei Kun had also started from Imperial Hanlin Academy and had a common interest in this topic.
The two of them spoke several words about this topic. On the other side, Song Bai Ye's wife couldn't resist saying, "Hui-er has been busying studying for the exams the past few years and delayed other things. Now, he finally succeeded and should be concerned with marriage." Then, she looked at Wei Kun and straightforwardly asked, "Hui-er and Ah Luo have been engaged since they were young. Shouldn’t their marriage be settled now?”
Wei Kun hadn't expected that she would be so straightforward. For a moment, he didn't know how to reply, "This..."
Although he intended for their two children to marry, he had painfully raised his precious daughter to this age. At the idea of her marrying, he was still reluctant to part with her. In addition, if he agreed to quickly, wouldn't he be losing face? No matter what, they should still discuss this for a while. If he easily agreed, then it would seem like his daughter wasn’t a good marriage candidate and he was in a hurry to give her to someone.
He steadied his mind, drank some tea, and slowly said, "Madam Song is right. We should carefully considered Ah Luo and virtuous nephew's marriage. Ah Luo is still young. I don’t want her to get married so early. We should at least wait until after her hairpin ceremony..."
Wei Luo would soon turn fourteen, so he was saying to wait one more year.
But, Song Hui was already twenty. If they waited another year, wouldn't it be too late? Madam Song was slightly hesitant. After quietly thinking, she thought her previous words were too hasty. She changed her tone and said, "It would fine to wait until after her hairpin ceremony. My meaning was to settle the marriage, then have the wedding ceremony later..."
As long as the marriage was settled, it would be fine to wait another year.
She had met Wei Luo a few times and was very satisfied with her. Not only was she beautiful, she was also very well behaved and understanding. The most important thing was that her son, Song Hui, really liked her. It would be worth it to wait a year for her.
Wei Kun thoughtfully nodded to reluctantly acknowledge her words. He looked at Song Hui and said, "What do you think virtuous nephew?"
Song Hui's eyebrows smoothed out. He smiled and said, "I'm willing to wait until Ah Luo's hairpin ceremony."
These words were already very clear, so they moved onto talking about betrothal gifts and the wedding date.
Servant girls came forward to bring fresh teapots and pour the tea into teacups. Bai Lan delivered a cup of e mei mao feng (green tea) to Song Hui. There was a piece of paper underneath his cup. Song Hui probably felt the paper. He glanced at her. Her head was lowered and without changing her expression, she said, "Young Master Song Hui, please enjoy the tea." Then, she turned around and left the room.
Song Hui held the teacup. While Wei Kun and his parents weren't looking, he opened the paper in hand to read. After he finished reading, he hid the paper inside his sleeve without leaving a trace, stood up, cupped his hands in salute towards Wei Kun and his parents, "Maternal uncle, father, and mother, please continue talking. I'm going out for a bit."
Seeing that he had a pressing matter, they didn't ask any questions and nodded their head to let him leave.