Hua Qingqing was originally born from Hua Dingzong and his former main wife, Liu Shi1.
Because Liu Shi’s body was weak and sickly, she passed away two years after giving birth.
Then Hua Dingzong moved on and married He Shi, and He Shi gave birth to two sons and one daughter for him.
This daughter is Hua Manman, and the two sons are both taking classes at the Imperial College of Supreme Learning2, and only return home on their days off.
He Shi hailed from a family of generals, and was a far cry from the delicate and tender Liu Shi.
He Shi’s way of speaking and doing things were both relatively straightforward, so the Old Madam, second wife, and third wife all didn’t like her much.
He Shi isn’t considered annoying to the daughter left behind by the former main wife Liu Shi, Hua Qingqing, but that doesn’t mean that she’s incredibly well-liked by Hua Qingqing either.
He Shi is not lacking at all in terms of the things that ought to be given to Hua Qingqing.
But she won’t even think about giving anything else.
He Shi’s approach to this matter caused the Old Madam to dislike her even more.
The Old Madam felt as though He Shi did not treat Hua Qingqing as well as she would a biological daughter, and so felt that He Shi was incompetent as a stepmother.
Therefore, the Old Madam kept Hua Qingqing close to her own side, and personally raised her and took care of her.
So it makes sense that amongst all her grandchildren, the Old Madam’s favorite is her eldest granddaughter Hua Qingqing.
The reason why the Old Madam wanted to reduce Hua Manman’s dowry was in order to leave more to add to Hua Qingqing’s dowry.
But both He Shi and Hua Dingzong refused to give in, and did not allow the Old Madam to do as she wished, so she felt as though she was suffocating and being repressed.
Time flew by, and with a blink of an eye it became the second day of the new month.
Tomorrow, Hua Manman will be married into Prince Wang’s household.
According to tradition, today she must personally bid farewell to her grandmother and parents.
She headed over to the Longevity Residence bright and early in the morning.
The Old Madam personally dislikes He Shi, and as a result isn’t very welcoming to He Shi’s children.
In the past, whenever Hua Manman came to the Longevity Residence to see the Old Madam, she would never even get a chance to see the Old Madam’s happy expressions.
If she made even the slightest mistake, she would be severely reprimanded by the Old Madam, so Hua Manman gradually grew to dislike coming to the Longevity Residence more and more.
So now that she’s been forced to come pay a visit, she couldn’t stop fidgeting in her seat, as if she was sitting on top of needles.
The servant girl told Hua Manman:
“The Old Madam just woke up and is still washing.
Please wait for a moment, Second Young Miss.”
As Hua Manman stood waiting outside the entrance, from the corner of her eyes she caught sight of a tiny little white cat crawl out from a nearby flowerbed.
Her eyes lit up.
She immediately bent down and beckoned for the little white cat to come over to her, even making mewing sounds, like a cat’s call, with her mouth.
The little white cat tilted its head and glanced at her.
Perhaps perceiving that she didn’t have any malicious intentions, the cat padded over with light steps and walked in front of Hua Manman.
Hua Manman picked up the little white cat and pet its head, scratched under its chin, and even smoothed back its fur.
The little white cat felt very comfortable as it was being stroked and couldn’t hold back from letting out rumbling purrs.
Its tail flicked back and forth, and it seemed very pleased.
From behind, suddenly a cold voice asked:
“What are you doing?”
Hua Manman was startled and hurriedly put down the little white cat.
When she stood up and turned around, she saw the Old Madam looking at her expressionlessly.
She immediately bent her knees and greeted the Old Madam by wishing her thousands of good fortune.
The Old Madam’s gaze was like a knife that swept over Hua Manman once from head to toe.
Her eyes were filled with critiques.
Upon seeing that quite a bit of white fur was stuck on Hua Manman’s clothes, the Old Madam was in the middle of opening her mouth to reprimand her when the little white cat took this chance to walk in front of the Old Madam.
It rubbed itself back and forth at her feet, and appeared very affectionate.
The Old Madam abruptly swallowed back her reprimands.
She whispered to the servant girl at her side in a quiet voice:
“Have Xiao Bai2 sent back to the Eldest Miss and tell her that if she wants to raise a cat, she has to watch it carefully and not let it run about.”
The servant girl bent over to pick up the cat, then turned around and left.
Only now did Hua Manman understand that this little white cat was raised by Hua Qingqing.
The original text never mentioned the fact that Hua Qingqing raised a cat.
Hua Manman guessed that, perhaps because this matter was so insignificant, there was never a need to specifically mention it in the original text.
(End of Chapter)
He Shi and Liu Shi = I just realized the character for Shi here means that it’s a title referring to the maiden names of the main wives.
It should be the equivalent of calling them Lady He and Lady Liu. Xiao Bai = little white in Chinese.
Hua Qingqing doesn’t seem to have a knack for naming lol.
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