Chapter 16 The Scholar’s Wife
Among the sons and daughters of Duke Liu, less than ten were still in the capital. Others were either working outside the capital, traveling around, or doing business. If the mansion has happy events, most of them come back in time, and others who can’t make it in time can only send in advance the adding makeup and blessings.
[Tian Zhuang (添妆) Adding make-up refers to the addition of dowry and private money to the bride by relatives and friends during the wedding]
But this time, for Liu Fang’s wedding, all the brothers and sisters came back, and it was the first time they gathered together since they got married, which was very rare.
However, because of the rules set by Duke Liu before, everyone still lives in their own homes, and not all of them live in the Duke Liu Mansion.
They came to help early in the morning, and the in-laws did the same.
Madam Zhen also came early, but still not as early as Princess Consort An. So when the elder sister Ansu came over, she happened to see the fifth younger sister sitting with her legs crossed, eating melon seeds, listening to Liu Fang.
Ansu: … (ー`ー)
Ansu’s brow twitched slightly, and she really didn’t know what to say about this fifth younger sister.
Outside, she looks like a human being, but when she arrives at her home, her manner and behavior become improper. She didn’t look like a princess consort.
So what the outside world said about “Princess Consort An is virtuous and elegant, with both political integrity and professional competence” was really too blind!
It’s also because the fifth younger sister’s disguise was too successful.
When Anfei saw her eldest sister coming, she was startled, and quickly straightened up, as if the scene just now was just an illusion.
Ansu waved her hand and said, “Put the melon seeds shells away, don’t let anyone see them.”
“Yes, elder sister.”
Anfei obediently handled the melon seeds shells so that no one could see— —Put it directly in the flower pot in the room and cover it with flowers and leaves. After washing and drying her hands, she tidied up her appearance and dress, and returned to sit beside Liu Fang, with an elegant and decent smile on her face, like a noble princess consort.
Ansu nodded in satisfaction, then turned to Liu Fang and said, “Congratulations, little sister. Today is your big day. My makeup list has been given to Shu Mo. You can check it later. If you don’t like it, you can tell sister later, and I will replace it.”
Liu Fang glanced at Anfei, suppressed a smile, and said respectfully and solemnly to Ansu: “Okay, eldest sister. Thank you eldest sister.”
Even in front of her mother, the fiifth elder sister was disobedient. But she was very afraid of eldest sister and ninth elder brother, which was also strange.
In Liu Fang’s opinion, the eldest sister⎯⎯Ansu, was gentle and dignified. Although she was a bit solemn, she has a very gentle temper. She has never seen her lose her temper, let alone do anything to her younger siblings. That’s totally impossible, okay?
Ninth elder brother⎯⎯Anjin was also a kind and gentle person. Still, it was strange that whether it was Anfei, Anhe, or the younger brother Anqing, they were all very afraid of the ninth elder brother.
Anyway, Liu Fang felt quite baffled. When she was a child, she asked her two sisters and brother about it.
She still remembers what the fifth elder sister said, “Little Anfang, you are still young, just remember not to offend ninth elder brother.”
As for seventeenth elder sister, she said to Liu Fang in amazement: “You don’t think ninth elder brother is scary?”
Liu Fang shook her head, Anhe looked at her inexplicably, “Ignorant people are really happy…”
Liu Fang: … ╮(︶﹏︶)╭.
But the little brother smiled meaningfully at Liu Fang, and did not answer.
No matter what, the eldest sister⎯⎯Ansu and the ninth elder brother⎯⎯Anjin were in charge of the family, and the brothers and sisters who were out of character were all dealt with clearly and honestly.
At least, in the eyes of outsiders, the young masters and young ladies of Duke Liu Mansion were all very excellent!
Ansu sat in the room. Even Anfei a princess consort had to behave, let alone others.
Therefore, the sisters who came to add makeup one after another all smiled gracefully and dignifiedly, talked and chatted with Liu Fang, and the room was harmonious.
As for relatives and friends who came to add makeup, seeing that Princess Consort An and Duke Zhen’s daughter-in-law were also present, they dare not be presumptuous.
What’s more, Duke Liu has no brothers or relatives. That is the children from his in-law, some old friends who have been with him for many years.
The most prominent ones were probably Prince Cheng’s Mansion, Prince An’s Mansion, and Duke Zhen’s Mansion.
Not to mention Prince An’s Mansion and Duke Zhen’s Mansion. Prince Cheng’s Mansion was Madam Liu’s natal family. Madam Liu was still alive and healthy. Her own brother brought her nephews and nieces and daughters-in-law over to congratulate her. Who dares to dirspect her?
Not to mention, the seventh young lady⎯⎯Anmo was married to her nephew, and become the third madam in Prince Cheng’s Mansion.
Therefore, everyone was very enthusiastic and the scene was very lively.
It’s just that for Yang An, welcoming the bride today was not that simple.
Yang An woke up early in the morning. He invited his teacher to help because there were no elders in the mansion,
His teacher was actually the neighbor’s family next door, and it just so happens that Fang Cheng lives opposite him—it was only after the incident in the lake that the two discovered that they were still neighbors.
But that’s all. Yang An didn’t plan to be in contact with Fang cheng.
Yang An’s teacher was actually an old Hanlin, who spent his whole life studying at the Hanlin Academy. He didn’t have a big achievement, but he was very kind and benevolent.
When Yang An was young, he lost his mother first, and then his father. He was only a nine-year-old boy with a young sister who was just born, and there were a group of people staring at his property. If it weren’t for this mentor, even if Yang An was smart, even if he had three or two loyal servants, he would not be able to keep his ancestral house and part of his property, and live in peace with his younger sister until now.
Therefore, Yang An’s teacher can be regarded as his other “father”, who has always protected him and his younger sister.
Now that he was getting married. He certainly has to ask his teacher. Otherwise, it would be too courteous and regard him as an outsider, and it would hurt his teacher’s heart.
Although the marriage was managed with the help of his teacher, Yang An still personally involved in it. Every day, he counted the days under nervousness, hoping to marry the wife he misses day and night sooner.
His younger sister also asked her brother every day: “Brother, when will you marry sister-in-law?”
Every time Yang An heard this, he became more and more anxious: He wanted to too (ㄒoㄒ).
But when this day really came, Yang An realized that he was even more nervous.
He didn’t fall asleep at all the night before, and he didn’t know what to think in his head. A bunch of thoughts kept pouring out, which he couldn’t suppress no matter how hard he tried.
So, before dawn, Yang An got up to take a bath and change clothes, and then had breakfast early. After his teacher came, he started to worship the ancestors and other wedding preparations.
It was almost time for the guests to arrive, and the hour was approaching, so Yang An brought a group of friends, as well as strong men dressed in uniform hired to carry the dowry went to the bride’s house to escort her back to the wedding.
He himself was riding a tall horse, with a matchmaker in front of him, a band leading the way, beating gongs and drums, distributing happy money, and walked all the way to Duke Liu Mansion in high spirits.
Along the way, the soldiers guarding the gates have already been prepared. These guards have also experienced a lot of this kind of wedding procession that went crossed the imperial city and inner city and have been trained.
Therefore, when the welcoming team passed through the two city gates, they were very fast and did not delay for long.
[Yin qin (迎亲) is a wedding procession where the groom along with a group of friends, relatives, and servants went to the bride’s house to escort the bride and her dowry back for the wedding]
Naturally, Yang An reciprocated by giving a red envelope as a gift of thanks.
The guarding soldiers all smiled, congratulated him, and accepted the red envelope very calmly.
This can be regarded as a customary rule.
After all, the capital was very big. It was a great distance to go from the outer city to the imperial city. It usually takes one or two hours, not to mention that there was a wedding today, and there were many people watching the excitement along the road.
The yamen servants have already been dispatched to maintain law and order, and Duke Liu Mansion will take care of these things afterward, so Yang An doesn’t need to worry about them.
It can only be said that the welcoming team came all the way with great enthusiasm. When they reached Huangcheng Middle Street, Yang An saw a group of men riding horses waiting for him from a distance.
Yang An’s heart skipped a beat, remembering the words that his fiancée specially sent Shu Mo to say two days ago: “My elder brothers will return to the capital this time, and gather together for my wedding. You should make preparations early.”
At this moment, Yang An looked at the approaching group of men on horseback, and finally understood what it means to overwhelm with numerical strength!
How did it feel to have twenty-two brothers riding horses blocking the road?
Yang An tells you, there were only two words: Terrible!
The twenty-two masters led by Liu Angeng, the eldest son of Duke Liu Mansion, and Liu Anjin, the ninth master, each rode a horse, four in a row, and divided into five teams.
At the front were the eldest master⎯⎯Liu Angeng and the ninth master⎯⎯Liu Anjin. The former has a serious face, while the latter has a smile on his lip. Although one was in his thirties and the other was only in his twenties, they were evenly matched in terms of momentum.
The first row behind them was the second master⎯⎯Liu Anyu, the third master⎯⎯Anyong, the fourth master⎯⎯Andu, and the fifth master⎯⎯Anbi.
And in the second row behind these four were the sixth master⎯⎯Anguang, the seventh master⎯⎯Ankuo, the eighth master⎯⎯Anlu, and the tenth master⎯⎯Anpang.
In the third row were the eleventh master⎯⎯Anting, the twelfth master⎯⎯Antang, the thirteenth master⎯⎯Anying, and the fourteenth master⎯⎯Anxi.
The fourth row was the fifteenth master⎯⎯Ansha, the sixteenth master⎯⎯Anku, the seventeenth master⎯⎯ Anlin, and the eighteenth master⎯⎯Ankang.
The last row was the nineteenth master⎯⎯Anlian, the twentieth master⎯⎯Anxu, the twenty-first master⎯⎯Anzhuang, and the twenty-second master⎯⎯ Anqing.
Among them, Anting, Ankang, and Anqing were all Liu Fang’s brothers from the same mother. Angeng, Andu, and Anpang were born from Madam Liu.
As for Anjin who made Anfei and Anhe afraid, it was actually born from liu yiniang.
Among them, Anlin and Anjin were brothers from the same mother. The brothers were six years apart. They also have three sisters from the same mother, namely Anmo, Anli, and Anhe.
Therefore, Anhe was deeply afraid of her own brother since childhood.
But now, Yang An, the little brother-in-law, was about to face “kind greetings” from so many brother-in-law.
The surrounding people were very excited to see such a spectacular scene: It’s so rare!
Which family marrying a daughter can dispatch so many beautiful men with different styles? ! Only Duke Liu Mansion can do it!
So, it was not a lie that Duke Liu Mansion was full of beauty. Just look at the twenty-two men from the Duke Liu mansion who were riding horses, all of them are handsome, each with their own charm and extraordinary bearing. You can know the rumors was true!
The welcoming team slowly approached. Even though Yang An was nervous, he had to bite the bullet and go.
Angeng remained expressionless, but Anjin, was very kind. After Yang An approached, Anjin slowly said, “Brother-in-law, don’t be nervous. We have a lot of people in our family, so we should get everything done that need to be done early, and brother-in-law can catch up with the auspicious time to go back to worship.”
Yang An smiled wryly in his heart, but he didn’t dare to show anything on his face, he just smiled and bowed, “Thank you, brother, for your enlightenment.”
Anjin smiled and said, “As for me, I am much older than you. If I make a move, it would be the big bully the small. As a dignified son, I don’t want to embarrass you. How about this, let’s be gentle. Let the twenty-first brother and the twenty-second brother compete with you in literary and martial arts, so how about it?”
What else can Yang An do? he can only agree.
Of course, even though it was said that it was a literary and military competition, it was impossible to really fight with swords and spears. The competitions were very elegant: throwing pots and comparing poems.
[Tou hu (投壶) a traditional Chinese etiquette and banquet game that lasted from the pre-Qin period to the late Qing Dynasty. Because the courtyard is not wide enough; or because there are too many guests, there is not enough to prepare bows for comparison; or some guests do not know how to shoot arrows, so throwing the arrows into the pots instead of bows is used to entertain guests. The one who hits more is the winner]
It’s normal to be blocked from welcoming the bride, but no one will really embarrass the groom. It’s not like they want to regret the marriage, and it’s fine to make a scene in a friendly manner.
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