Chapter 18: A Mockery!(1)
“Papa, how come you are only arriving now? I was very much looking forward to having you here. Since today is such an important day, if Papa had not come then I certainly would have thrown a tantrum.”
The lively An Jin had an uncontrollable temper. When she saw Minister An arrive, she stood up and lifted her skirt lightly so that she could run up to him affectionately. She lovingly pulled on Prime Minister An’s hand, behaving in a spoiled manner; her behavior was similar to a playful kitten biting to show its affection and willingness to play.
Prime Minister An, who appeared very stiff and solemn as he entered, visibly relaxed when he saw An Jin. He laughed with his head perked up. His entire appearance became more gentle than when he had entered the room.
“Child, you… Papa has said this so many times. You are the eldest daughter. You must not run out to Papa and pull on his hands like this; it will just leave a bad impression on those who see!”
Though Prime Minister An said so, he had no intention of withdrawing his hands from her grasp. Moreover, An Jin did not heed his words and just stuck out her tongue.
“Who will dare to say anything about me? Jin’er will just shut that person’s mouth!”
Prime Minister An gave a hearty laugh, one which echoed within the entire courtyard.
Father and daughter walked happily towards the host’s seat. An Qing, who was more versed in etiquette, greeted her father while happily saying, “Qing’er greets Papa.”
Prime Minister An helped An Qing stand up
“Qing’er seems more dignified and magnanimous, unlike Jin’er. Jin’er is about to get married soon but she still acts like a spoiled child and clings to me.”
Hearing this, An Jin once again stuck her tongue out cutely.
Everyone present on the scene could make out how dearly Prime Minister An loved these two daughters of his, especially the vivacious An Jin. They all knew that within the entire manor, only these young ladies could ease the stern and solemn countenance of the Prime Minister and cause him to laugh freely.
“This daughter-in-law greets father-in-law. May my husband’s father be safe and healthy.”
Feng Yuewei, who stood beside An Shuo, took a step forward and gave a customary bow upon seeing Minister An. She didn’t put on any airs just because of her status as the second princess of the country.
Minister An was also very pleased with this daughter-in-law of his. He had originally assumed that due to her identity as a princess she would be very arrogant; therefore he did not expect her to be so down-to-earth and competent. After having been married in for just a few months, she was already helping Rong Xiu manage the household and was also behaving very politely. Thus he considered her to be the perfect daughter-in-law.
“You are family, where is the need for such courtesies? Come, let us all sit down. Today is my Jin’er and Qing’er’s birthday. All of you need not be too polite!”
Minister An was in a very good mood today. He stood up to give a toast for the occasion and smiled at the room at large. His smart and scholarly features had a happiness to it that hadn’t been seen for a while.
Seeing that happy smile which she had been missing for a while on Minister An’s face, Aunt Rong’s expression changed a bit and shone more brightly. Fearing she would be noticed by Minister An, she quickly lowered her head and straightened her brows bringing a cup of tea close to her pursed lips.
Apart from her, no one had noticed the emotions revealed on her face.
Everyone seated below the host’s area, upon hearing Minister An’s words, stood up one by one and held out the winecups in their hands. Facing Minister An, they all respectfully offered up a toast.
An Yan, seeing this, was even more unable to deal with the nervousness she felt. She quickly got up on her feet and offered a toast. Beside her, An Xi was smiling contentedly.
“It really has been a long time since I saw Papa so happy. Papa truly loves Jin jiejie and Qing jiejie dearly; Xi’er really envies them. Does Yan jiejie also envy them?”
An Xi’s originally happy expression was replaced with an envious and admiring one when she said these words. She leaned closer to An Yan and asked in a low whisper.
An Yan, seeing the scene in front of her, pursed her lips—how could she not envy her sisters?
“I am not jealous.” But what was the use of feeling envious? There was nothing in it for her. Inevitably, one day in the future, there would also be someone who would love and pamper her like her father did to her elder sisters.
An Xi stuck her tongue out, in a rather resentful manner. She thought, ‘It is no wonder I am most fond of Yan jiejie. She is really my worthy Yan jiejie.’
“Ah! On the outside not envious, but on the inside very envious. Xi’er, get away from her and come closer to your mother.” Aunt Lin mocked and sneered at An Yan. Her shrill and harsh voice grated against An Yan’s ears, startling her awake from her depressed and dejected mood.