Today was New Year’s Eve. Luo Wei only realized this when little Luo You ran into his room for red envelopes. He hurriedly asked Wei Lan to bring some spare silver over so that he could pretend that it was meant as New Year’s money for his little nephew.
Xu Yue Miao was afraid that Luo You would try to climb on Luo Wei again. She picked Luo You up and didn’t let the little thing touch the ground.
“What about second brother?” Luo Wei asked.
Xu Yue Miao replied, “He won’t listen to the imperial physicians and wants to stay up all night on lunar New Year’s Eve with dad, mom, and the uncles.
“So it’s like this.” Luo Wei looked at Luo You and smiled, then asked Xu Yue Miao in a seemingly casual tone, “Did the uncles come by themselves this time, or did they bring aunts?”
Xu Yue Miao said, “The aunts have to take care of their homes, how could they come? But the uncles brought your sixth younger female cousin. She said she wanted to see the women’s selection at the palace.”
Luo Wei thought for a long time but still didn’t remember what this sixth cousin of the Fu household looked like. He couldn’t even recall her name.
Xu Yue Miao saw Luo Wei’s strained expression and pursed her lips in a smile. “The sixth young lady said that she’d lived in the official’s residence for quite a while as a child. The name she had as a little girl was just Wei.”
“Fu Wei?” Luo Wei said this aloud and still could not recall this person. But anyway, he did take to heart Xu Yue Miao’s mention of the palace women’s selection. The Fu family wanted to send a daughter into the palace?
Xu Yue Miao had seen her family joyfully and harmoniously assemble in the front courtyard on the night of Lunar New Year’s Eve. Luo Wei had instead stayed alone with Wei Lan, making Xu Yue Miao wish to stay and exchange a few more words with Luo Wei. One of Xu Yue Miao’s virtues was that as long as you treated her with sincerity, she would also treat you with the utmost sincerity. This was the case with Luo Wei. Before, Luo Wei looked down on her, so Xu Yue Miao avoided this little boss. Now that Luo Wei regarded her as a sister-in-law, would call her second sister-in-law, deepened his relationship with Luo Ze, and gave tender affection to Luo You, Xu Yue Miao also wholeheartedly treated Luo Wei as her little brother.
“Uncle,” Luo You struggled in Xu Yue Miao’s arms, trying to get down while at the same time showing off to Luo Wei, “I know how to paint bamboo now.”
Luo Wei smiled and replied, “Good, I knew our Xiao You was capable.”
“Then I want to paint it to show uncle.”
“Good,” Luo Wei agreed and then said to Xu Yue Miao, “Second sister-in-law can put You Er down, isn’t it tiring to hold him up?”
“You’re not allowed to tire your uncle out, do you hear me? If you won’t listen, mom will bring you away!” Xu Yue Miao scared Luo You into nodding, and then she put her restless son on the ground.
Since he couldn’t tire out uncle, Luo You pounced on Wei Lan the moment he alighted on the floor. “Uncle Wei, I want pen and ink to draw so uncles can see.”
Wei Lan held Luo You in one arm while grabbing for ink, pen, paper, and inkstone with the other.
At this time Luo Wei asked Xu Yue Miao, “Second sister-in-law, that Fu family young lady wants to enter the palace?”
“I heard mom mention it a few times. But mom said so herself that becoming an imperial concubine or empress in the palace couldn’t be such an easy thing,” Xu Yue Miao replied.
Upon hearing Xu Yue Miao’s response, Luo Wei knew that the Fu family had probably spoken to Fu Hua. “What else did mother say?” Luo Wei asked.
“Mom thinks that entering the palace isn’t better than matching with a prince.” Xu Yue Miao didn’t sense anything strange about her conversation with Luo Wei. Chatting about these sorts of topics–usually reserved for conversations between women of important households–with Luo Wei gave Xu Yue Miao enjoyment. Xu Yue Miao was not aware of the goings-on outside of the official’s residence. Even if asked to speak of those outside matters, she would not be able to.
“A prince?” Luo Wei laughed. “Which prince is so good that mother has her eye on him?”
“Mother says that the third prince as well as the second prince are going to marry proper wives,” Xu Yue Miao said.
The third prince Long Xing was birthed by Empress Luo Zhi Yi. Luo Wei lowered his head and dusted off his lapel, hiding the sneer curling up the corners of his mouth. For influential clans, their daughters looked like a swath of brightly colored decorations, but were actually nothing more than these clans’ tools in their struggle for profits. Long Xing was a man who loved language and played with ink. Could he love the daughter of a clan of generals?
Wei Lan came over holding Luo You, pens, ink, paper, and an ink stone.
“Uncle I’m going to draw bamboo for you to see.” Wei Lan carried Luo You to the side of the table, and Luo You began to draw on the paper.
Luo Wei saw that Luo You didn’t successfully draw the bamboo but instead got ink all over his face and even splattered some on Wei Lan’s clothes. He wanted to tease Luo You, but then suddenly heard noise from the courtyard. A woman’s clear and crisp voice sounded out, such that those in the room heard it easily.
Qi Zi rushed into the room and met with Luo Wei’s slightly sullen expression. “What’s going on? Why is there a woman making noise in the courtyard?” Luo Wei asked.
Qi Zi answered: “Young master, it’s your lady cousin who blocked big brother Ning.”
“Ning Fei?” Luo Wei asked, not very convinced.
“Yes, big brother Ning Fei,” Qi Zi confirmed. “Young master hurry and take a look, your cousin is chasing big brother Ning over, she says she wants to challenge him!”
Since this matter concerned Ning Fei, Luo Wei couldn’t continue to sit still in his room. He hurriedly donned a thick overcoat and exited the room.
In the courtyard, a slightly helpless Ning Fei stood with his hands behind his back.
A young woman dressed in pink blocked his way, and even pointed a narrow sword that glittered like frost and snow at Ning Fei.
“Sixth cousin!” Xu Yue Miao followed Luo Wei out of the room. When she saw the young woman, she hurriedly exited the veranda and leapt down the stairs two steps at a time. She reached the young woman in a few steps and said, “What are you doing?”
Luo Wei heard Xu Yue Miao call this woman “sixth cousin” and knew that this was the Fu Wei whose family wanted to marry her off to Long Xing as a proper wife. Luo Wei borrowed the light of the courtyard’s lanterns to seriously glance a few times at this sixth young lady of the Fu household. Her looks were actually top-notch, but this daughter of a general’s family did not have the delicate refinement of other ladies. Her lotus flower countenance unexpectedly held some of the free and unrestrained deportment unique to men. She and eldest sister-in-law Ye Xiu were different tunes sung with equal skill (T/N: idiom meaning different methods leading to the same result).
“Second cousin.” (T/N: specifically used for wife of older male cousin from female line) Fu Wei, standing in the courtyard, didn’t notice the person watching her from the veranda. She only glanced at Xu Yue Miao and then looked back at Ning Fei across from her, then said to Xu Yue Miao, “He could avoid my blade. I want to compare my skills with him well, just once.”
“Don’t be like this!” Xu Yue Miao gave Ning Fei an apologetic smile, and then pulled Fu Wei away while saying, “This is a guest of the official’s residence. How can you as a girl of this family whip out your blades and spears?”
“I didn’t whip out my blades and spears, the thing in my hand is a sword.” Fu Wei shook the narrow sword in her hand for Xu Yue Miao to see.
Luo Wei began to laugh. So it turned out that it was a foolish girl.
Once Luo Wei laughed, everyone in the courtyard began to laugh except for Ning Fei, who really couldn’t find it in himself to.
Fu Wei looked at the place where the laughter started. When she saw Luo Wei, she was stunned. This was her little cousin’s courtyard, but who was this? He seemed to be this courtyard’s owner. Fu Wei’s eyes widened as she stared at Luo Wei. This person was her fat little cousin?
“Cousin Wei,” Luo Wei called out, “blocking our General Ning like this and asking him for a match is a bit improper.”
“You’re Luo Wei?!” At this time, Fu Wei could no longer care about Ning Fei. She ran in front of Luo Wei and yelled, “Are you really Luo Wei?”
“He’s You Er’s youngest uncle ah,” Xu Yue Miao chased after Fu Wei and returned to the veranda.
“The saying goes that a woman changes eighteen times between childhood and womanhood,” Fu Wei continued in a loud voice, “do men also change when they get older?!”
Hello filler my old friend, the only friend I’ve ever known~~
Thank you Rose for the Ko-Fi :* :* :* you got this translator all trigger happy–3 chapters today!
The only sad part is that it’s filler… :'<