Arranging Marriage Between Two People

Hua Manman knelt on the cattail cushion and kowtowed in greetings to the Old Madam, all according to the rules of tradition.
Then she offered up hot tea, holding the cup with both hands.

“This granddaughter is about to get married soon, and will no longer be able to serve grandmother in the future.
I pray that grandmother remains in good health.”

The Old Madam received the tea cup and took a small, shallow sip.

“Once you marry, you will become a daughter-in-law in their household.
You must not act as unscrupulously and self-willed as you did at home.
You must abide by your duties, treat your husband and children well, and not bring shame upon our Zhong An Bo household.”

“This granddaughter will remember grandmother’s teachings.”

Upon seeing that Hua Manman was behaving mild-mannered and obedient today, and not as impatient as she was in the past, the Old Madam’s mood felt a little better.

The Old Madam took out a land deed and handed it to her.

“So long as it is the marriage of a daughter from our Bo Household, I will always give a bridal gift.
This is for you.”

The Old Madam and He-shi are similar in this way; even if they don’t like it in their hearts, they will always do their best on the surface, and not let anyone realize something is wrong.

Hua Manman received the land deed with both hands and kowtowed again to express her gratitude.

She knows that the Old Madam didn’t particularly want to see her, so after finishing the tradition she wisely rose and bid farewell.

Once she walked out the door, she saw Hua Qingqing in the garden.

Hua Qingqing wore a smoky pink ruqun, slim and graceful with long hair that reached her waist, and with mirth visible between her brows.

She held a small white cat in her arms.

“Second sister.”

The little cat also meowed twice at Hua Manman.

Kitties are too cute!

Hua Manman wanted to stretch out her hand and pet the cat, but once she remembered the personality she was supposed to have, she had no choice but to suppress her desire to play with the cat and instead disdainfully ridiculed:

“What are you doing here? Don’t tell me you’re the one who raised this cat? It sure is ugly!”

The tips of Hua Qingqing’s lips lifted into a smile:

“This is my cat, its name is Xiao Bai.
I heard that you came to see grandmother, so I deliberately brought Xiao Bai with me to come see you.
You’re getting married tomorrow, so in the future you won’t have many chances to see Xiao Bai again.
Are you sure you don’t want to play around with it some more?”

The little white cat opened its pair of brilliant green eyes.
Its fur was snow white and soft, and at a glance you could tell it would feel nice to the touch.

Hua Manman’s hands were itching to move.

But in the end her reasoning overcame her impulses.

“This cat is so ugly, I would never want to touch it!”

After spitting out these words, Hua Manman ran away, stomping as she did so.

She was afraid that her resolve would crumble if she took one more glance at that little kitten.

Hua Qingqing watched the silhouette of her second sister running away and couldn’t help but laugh again.

“Second sister really is an awkward person.”

The little white cat let out a soft meowing sound, as if agreeing with her sentiment.

As soon as Hua Qingqing turned around, she saw the Old Madam standing by the doorway.

Of course, that means that the Old Madam witnessed the entire scene that happened just now.

Hua Qingqing walked over with the cat still in her arms and said:

“See Grandmother, I wasn’t mistaken.
Second sister’s personality is just a bit awkward, but at heart she’s actually quite nice.”

As the Old Madam recalled how Hua Manman held the kitten just now, she couldn’t help but furrow her eyebrows.

“According to my memory, Manman used to dislike small animals.”

Hua Qingqing replied: “It’s probably because she’s just too awkward.
She clearly loves them in her heart, but insists on pretending as if she doesn’t like them on the outside, as she did just now.”

The Old Madam was doubtful.
Was this really the case?

But she didn’t think too much on the matter.
After all, Hua Manman was going to get married off tomorrow, so no matter what Hua Manman’s actual character and personality was like, it no longer had anything to do with the Old Madam.

“Qingqing, as you are the eldest daughter, according to tradition you ought to have been married first.
But this marriage of Manman was arranged by Grand Eldest Princess Ningyang, and even the date for the marriage was personally chosen by Prince Zhao.
There is no way for us to change this, so I can only ask you to bear with this loss.
But don’t worry, I’ve already reached an agreement with the Song family.
As soon as Song Qing’s period of observing filial piety1 is finished, the two of you will be married.”

At the topic of marriage, Hua Qingqing’s cheeks flushed red in embarassment.

“I’ll obey Grandmother’s wishes.”

(End of chapter)

Observing Filial Piety = period of time in which family members mourn for a recently departed elder in the family.
Can last from a minimum of 36 days up to 3 years.
During this time, the mourner cannot participate in weddings and cannot enter new homes.

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