Noble Daughter | Chapter 4: Pride and Indulgence

“You cunning little brat, you changed your ways again and asked me to reduce your homework.” He Shi scolded.

Wei Heng turned around and smiled, “Mom is smart, but everything I says is true. It’s not that I don’t want to learn or work hard, it’s just that my talent is limited. If my mother’s requirements are lower, I will definitely not let you down.”

“You’re so weird, I don’t know who you learned it from.” He Shi scratched Wei Heng’s nose, “Okay, five chapters in big characters, one in small characters, one poem, and one paragraph in the Analects, nothing less.”

“I know, mother.” Wei Heng smiled happily. Suddenly her face was like the rising sun, shining brightly and brightly. How could He Shi not fall in love with this lovely little girl?

“Since you don’t want to go to school, you can still eat now, right? Baby girl, you’d will look better if you put on more fat.” He Shi pinched Wei Heng’s face which still had some baby fat.

“Oh, I’m hungry now.” Wei Heng rubbed his stomach mischievously.

Although she was hungry, it was not meal time. He Shi was afraid that Wei Heng would eat too many snacks and be unable to eat lunch, so he only let her eat one chrysanthemum dumpling, and then sent her back to the room to do her homework.

When He Shi saw Wei Heng leaving with satisfaction, she couldn’t help but curl her lips . The little girl was still playing tricks in front of the adults. In fact, how could He Shi many years of knots be resolved in a moment? The reason why she gave in so easily this time was because she was somewhat intimidated by Wei Heng.

After giving birth to two sons, He Shi was looking forward to giving birth to a sweet little cotton-padded daughter. Not to mention her, even the second master Wei Jun was also looking forward to a lovely daughter. When Wei Heng was born, although she was weak, she was as cute as a dumpling. Even the old marquis is reluctant to let go of her, holding onto her without wanting to let her go.

Such a precious daughter, when she fell ill this time, she actually asked her to prepare for the funeral. She was so frightened that her legs went weak. The usually composed couple had a big quarrel, Wei Jun complaining that she pushed Wei Heng too hard, and after that, if she even acted like Wei Heng was not good, their relationship as husband and wife would be strained.

After all this trouble, no matter how stubborn He Shi was, she had to compromise. Of course, He Shi would never let Wei Heng have her way.

Speaking of which, after Wei Heng returned to the house, she practiced calligraphy obediently. Unfortunately, her handwriting had already taken shape over the thirty years in her previous life. It was what it was, with room for improvement but still surpassing many. However, at this moment, she had to hide her true skill because a nine-year-old’s hand strength wasn’t enough to replicate the refined writing style from her previous life.

At noon, Wei Heng went to He Shi’s courtyard to have dinner. Her sister-in-law, Ge Shi, was already waiting at He Shi’s side. Because she was from a low background, she was extremely cautious in her words and deeds, fearing that others might gossip. Although He Shi had already said that she did not need to serve her, Ge Shi herself still continued to pay greetings and serve meals every day. Observing her filial behavior, one might think she would willingly handle even the dirtiest tasks without a hint of displeasure.

In fact, Wei Heng also persuaded Ge Shi to sit down and have a meal, but she was unwilling. This woman was very particular about family background and reputation, and she could not claim the former, but the latter was the foundation of Ge Shi’s reputation. Even when she goes out to socialize, her back is straightened due to her reputation as a filial piety. In a daughter’s family, talent is valued before marriage, and morality is considered after marriage.

“Mom, when will daddy come back?” Wei Heng asked. Wei Jun was a civil servant. A few days after Wei Heng fell ill, the emperor sent him as a foreign missionary to Jiangnan to investigate disaster relief cases.

He Shi didn’t answer Wei Heng, but glared at her and said, “Don’t speak when you eat or sleep.”

Wei Heng was stunned for a moment. She forgot about this rule for a moment. This was what bothered her the most. They  didn’t have much time to talk together, especially when she went to school. She was not allowed to talk even after eating. She could only hold everything in her heart, how uncomfortable it was.

Since Wei Heng married into Fan’s family, the rules in their home have been loose. Her mother-in-law couldn’t impose her authority in front of her, and Fan Yong and Wei Heng always had plenty to talk about. Wei Heng hadn’t followed the “no talking during meals” rule for many years.”It was a gift.”

Decades of habits cannot be changed overnight. Wei Heng held it in for a while and then said, “Daddy, can he come back in time for the New Year?” Although he had experienced it once, the memory was too long ago, and Wei Heng no longer remembered it. She was just anxious to see her father, whom she hadn’t seen in decades.

He put down his chopsticks with a “pop” sound and looked at Wei Heng without saying anything.

Wei Heng weighed in her mind whether to keep silent from now on or to butt the cow with her mother. She thought about it for a while, and there would be many more places for her to butt the cow with He Shi, so she would just practice today.

“Mom, I just miss father.” Wei Heng pouted and said coquettishly.

“Can’t you wait until after the meal?” He Shi said helplessly.

“At that time, it’s now or never, right?” Wei Heng continued. “Dad has been out socializing. I don’t believe they don’t talk during meals. Instead, I bet they have ‘high-level discussions,’ right?” Ge Shi who was on the side couldn’t help but curl up her lips after hearing this. Her sister-in-law was much loved and very courageous.

“You are still unreasonable and dare to argue?” He Shi said angrily.

“Mom, there are no outsiders, and you are not allowed to talk during the meal. How uncomfortable it is to hold it in. Wouldn’t it be better for us to chat while we eat?” Wei Heng said, “Besides, when we are eating in grandma’s house we can speak, isn’t it better? Can you speak?”

“Then wait until you become a grandmother.” He Shi didn’t back down at all.

Wei Heng was about to open his mouth again, but heard He said: “If you keep talking, I will send you to school tomorrow to learn the words of the saint.”

He Shi thought that this would scare Wei Heng, but Wei Heng still refused to shut up. “Mom, are all the words of the sage right? The sage said that only women and villains are difficult to raise. He also said that if meat is not cut right, they will not be eaten.” Wei Heng then picked up a piece of meat, raised her wrist, examined it for a moment, and sighed, “This meat isn’t cut properly, Mom, do you still want to eat it?” Beside her, Ge Shi couldn’t help but burst into laughter, but upon seeing He Shi’s expression, she quickly restrained her amusement.

He Shi was so angry that Wei Heng fell back, “Wei Heng!” Even Zhu Zhu’er stopped shouting.

Wei Heng dragged out her voice, called “Mother” coquettishly, and said: “A saint is a man. Men eat quickly and accurately. They finish it in a few bites. It’s okay if they don’t talk, but when we sit through a whole meal, it’s suffocating not to talk. Besides, when Father and the others go out, I don’t believe they don’t talk while eating and drinking. It’s more like they engage in ‘grand discussions,’ right?” 

He Shi was left speechless by Wei Heng’s retorts.Wei Heng, triumphant, picked up a piece of meat and fed it to her, saying, “Eat your meal, you’re the one with twisted reasoning.”  

When Wei Heng saw He Shi “giving up” and adhering to the principle of “don’t chase defeated enemies”, fearing that He Shi would become angry, she stopped talking and ate a bowl of rice quietly.

After dinner, Wei Heng played in He Shi’s house. After Ge Shi left, He Shi tapped Wei Heng on the forehead and asked, “You little scoundrel, why is it that when you fall ill, you make it so difficult for people to relax”

The little Wei Heng pretended to be an adult and said plaintively: “Who can remain unchanged after walking through the gate of hell?”

Wei Heng’s little appearance immediately made He Shi laugh. She said, “Oh, tell me, how do you feel?”

Wei Heng said: “I feel like I haven’t eaten enough, haven’t played enough, and haven’t even talked enough. I still have a lot to say to my mother.” Wei Heng moved to He Shi’s side and hugged her Neck coquettishly.

He Shi pulled Wei Heng’s hand down and asked, “Oh, what are you going to say to me?” He Shi thought that Wei Heng would probably say something like she didn’t want to study.

Unexpectedly, Wei Heng said: “Your daughter can’t bear to leave her mother. She hasn’t spent enough time with her. Even if she asks me to go to heaven and become a god, she won’t go.”

A simple sentence made He Shi’s eyes wet with tears. She was really a caring little cotton-padded jacket. Faced with such a smart and lovely Zhu Zhuer, He Shi’s determination will be softened no matter how much she insists.

“Zhu Zhu’er.” He Shi choked and hugged Wei Heng into her arms. She was scared when she thought of the days when Wei Heng’s breathe was more out than in.

After a long while, He Shi said: “You still have to go to school.”

Wei Heng raised his head and pouted, looking as if she had suffered a great blow, making He Shi want to laugh.

“Okay, didn’t Sister Xuan say that she would send you homework notes every day? If you don’t understand something after reading it, just ask Ge Shi. That’s the only useful thing she can do” He Shi said disdainfully, obviously looking down on Ge Shi’s family. She didn’t want to think about the fact that this daughter-in-law was the one she once approved. To be able to respect and balance her relationship with mother-in-law at the same time behave like a lady from a prestigious wealthy family. How could such a good thing happen?

In the past, Wei Heng, like He Shi, felt that Ge Shi was a bit petty, but now she understood that without financial support even a refined lady from an aristocratic family might not appear graceful.

Wei Heng was a person who had experienced a whole life and has also been a daughter-in-law. Having lived a whole life and experienced being a daughter-in-law herself, Wei Heng now saw some admirable qualities in Ge Shi. Ge Shi was educated, respectful to her in-laws, and devoted to her brother. With such dedication, other shortcomings seemed less significant. As someone who managed to enter a women’s school, a little guidance could surely help her improve.  

“I think my sister-in-law is already very good. She came from a women’s school. She is rare and free of sourness and arrogance. She is also capable in her work and handles things efficiently.” Nowadays, Ge Shi is in charge of the affairs of the second house, and there has never been a problem. This shows her prudence and shrewdness.

He Shi glanced at Wei Heng and said, “You are a brat, but your eyesight is not bad. If not for that, do you think your brother could have married her?”

“Mother is wise,” Wei Heng smiled and praised.

“Little flatterer.” Although she said this, He Shi was actually extremely happy after hearing this, and she couldn’t stop loving Wei Heng.

Wei Heng wanted to take a nap, so she asked the servant girl to get a comb for He shi, “Mother, please comb my hair.”

“You’re a little girl who knows how to enjoy, which really surprises your mother.” Madam He untied Wei Heng’s braid and combed her hair carefully.

Wei Heng rested her head on He shi’s lap, squinting her eyes and enjoying it all, but she still kept talking, “But my sister-in-law’s family background is a little weak after all. Without money in her hands, she naturally can’t be generous. Why not allocate two shops for her to manage?”

After hearing this, He Shi paused and said, “Oh, you have quite the confidence, speaking of giving away two shops just like that. Those are part of the dowry prepared for your marriage.”

Wei Heng said: “Mother, are you teasing me? How can these be my dowry? You must have prepared something for my brothers. Consider it letting Sister-in-law practice with these two shops. Third brother is definitely going to follow father’s path in the imperial examinations. He won’t handle these business matters, so it’ll all fall to Sister-in-law. Since she’s inexperienced with managing shops and her family has less wealth, it’s better to teach her now than to let her struggle later.” 

Wei Heng’s words made sense, but He Shi still couldn’t accept the idea. Firstly, she still didn’t like Ge Shi, and secondly, the notion of a mother-in-law gifting shops to her daughter-in-law was unconventional in her eyes.

“You little girl, what do you understand? Where is the logic that a mother-in-law gives a store to her daughter-in-law? It’s already good that I haven’t seriously set rules for her in daily life. In the entire capital, who doesn’t say she’s fortunate to be my daughter-in-law? Moreover, the words of the sage are also correct, ‘It is difficult to raise women and small-minded people; if you are too lenient with them, they will not be obedient, and if you are too strict, they will resent.’ If I treat her too well, as a mother-in-law, I won’t have authority in the future.” He Shi said.

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