“Greetings mother,” The various sisters curtsied sweetly.
“Have a seat, girls, remember to mind your manners when Madam aunt reaches, be sure not to anger your uncle, okay?” Yan Shi smiled affectionately as she reminded everyone before turning back to face her own daughter.
Everyone kept their silence while watching the mother and daughter chat about everything.
Gu Lian looked around the room, silently watching her sisters. On her right side was Gu Yi, the third miss, her half-sister born by another mistress.
Gu Yi was dressed in a cherry pink attire, she had been slowly sipping her cup of hot tea ever since she reached. “Big sister~” Upon noticing Gu Lian’s gaze, she immediately returned her a sweet smile.
From the memories left behind by the previous Gu Lian, she knew that this third sister of hers was a very careful person. Each and every movements of hers were calculated and elegant to the brim, so much so that the Main Mother had not been able to find faults and punish her for any reasons, causing the Main Mother to be wary of her.
Gu Lian, not noticing any hidden agenda from Gu Yi, nodded politely in respond before looking around the room at her other half-siblings.
Gu Wan, the sixth miss, who busy stuffing herself with cakes, quickly caught Gu Lian’s gaze. She choked nervously on her cake as their eyes met, downing her tea instantly to relieve herself.
“Pfft~” Gu Yi, who had noticed the commotion, giggled silently at her sixth sister’s unladylike actions.
Information of her sisters were recorded deeply in her brain as she merged the old memories together with what she saw in them now.
Before long, a servant came into the room and said with a polite smile, “Madam Aunt has arrived, as per The Lord’s orders, everyone here is required to greet her at the main door,”
Yan Shi, who was chatting happily with her daughter, gazed at the servant as her smile drooped slightly, but she recollected herself quickly as her smile brightened once again, “Girls, let us proceed to the main gate, Madam Aunt has arrived.”
Not wanting to anger The Lord, the big crowd moved quickly to the main gate. Yan Shi, who was leading everyone, was upset at this commotion. Who does she think she is? She thought angrily as her face screwed up in a scowl, She’s just a brat who had already married out of this house, why do they spoil her so much?!
As she reached the main gate, her face was back to her usual calm expression, Ah, whatever~ When had they not treat her like a princess? I’ll just act like the polite main wife, as always, and I’d probably not see her in a few years anyways~ She convinced herself silently as she did not want to lose her reputation in front of everyone.
Lord Gu was already at the gate when the women arrived, waiting patiently for his precious little sister.
Gu Lian vaguely sized up her father as the other women turned silent. Lord Gu was a man with a very strong aura of prestige around him, normal women would usually get intimidated just by fleeting gaze from him.
She frowned slightly at the man who was supposed to be her biological father, such a man would be hard to deal with, but one huge advantage from dealing with men like these were that they are usually over-confident and look down on women.
I might be able to use this to my advantage one day, she thought as she turned her gaze away from the man.
After a while, a glamorous carriage stopped right in front of the main gate, the curtains were lifted up slightly by a handsome man, who then turned around towards a woman beside him, smiling gently as he helped her down the carriage elegantly.
The beautiful woman blushed at the hand contact as she tried to retract her hands from him, but was held firmly in place instead.
The man lead the woman by her hands towards Lord Gu, “Big Brother,” He bowed politely.
“Big Brother~” The woman purred sweetly, smiling like an angel.
Lord Gu gazed intently at his precious sister, upon seeing her happy and blessed facial expressions, all of the tension left his shoulders.
He nodded firmly at the man, satisfied that his precious sister was happily married.
“Baby sister, I have things to discuss with brother-in-law, would you mind hanging out with Yan Shi for a while?” Lord Gu asked Gu ZhiDian gently as he patted her head.
Gu ZhiDian nodded sweetly as she left with Yan Shi, leading all the women towards Yan Shi’s garden.
Gu Lian sat quietly in a corner, watching her half-sisters surrounding the “Madam Aunt”, chatting and having fun like little chicks.
“Not joining in the fun?” Gu Yi asked as she sat down beside her.
Gu Lian glanced at the uninvited guest, “I’m no good at chatting, wouldn’t want to anger the honored guest,” she scoffed at her third sister’s words.
“Madam Aunt sure is lucky,” Gu Yi sighed as her eyes shone with admiration at the scene.
Of course she’s lucky, marrying such a handsome and gentle man, Gu Lian thought as she nodded her head at her sister’s words.
Gu Lian watched her sister silently, giving no response to her words.
According to the old-Gu Lian’s memories, Gu ZhiDian was only a few years older than Gu Qing, the main daughter of House Gu, but because Gu ZhiDian was the youngest child of grandmother, she had always been the most pampered child in the family.
Her current husband, was the eldest son of a prestige family, born to the main wife. He had only one biological brother, meaning that Gu ZhiDian would, in the future, be the wife of the Head of the House. If this was not lucky, nothing else would be.
Due to this, Yan Shi had been raging without Lord Gu’s knowledge. She had originally wanted this man to be Yan Qing’s husband, but due to the pressure from grandmother and Lord Gu, Yan Shi had failed.
Gu Lian chuckled silently at the family drama as she turned around, wanting to know if Gu Yi was jealous as well.
Gu Yi and Gu Qing were born in the same year, just three months apart. Yan Shi had already started searching for satisfying man for Gu Qing, whereas there were no news at all for Gu Yi.
Knowing Yan Shi, she would most probably marry her off to a poor man so she could suffer forever, as bastard children are trash to the main wife’s eyes.
But Gu Yi was not someone so easily pushed off. She had her own ideals and dreams, plus those cunning eyes that seem to glint in the sun every now and then, Gu Lian wondered what she had planned to escape her hopeless fate.
Gu Lian turned her gaze towards Gu ZhiDian next. It was a known fact that she had a weak body, which was unsuitable for pregnancy, if she died to a miscarriage or during childbirth, House Gu would jump at the opportunity of sending another daughter over to be wife. A thought flickered through her mind as she realized what Gu Yi had planned.
Gu Lian sighed tiredly, cursing whoever that sent her to this accursed house of drama.
After what seemed like forever, the women gathering had finally come to an end.
Gu ZhiDian could be seen grasping Yan Shi hand cheerfully, “Big sister, see you soon at Princess ChangDuan’s feast party in two days~” She smiled sweetly while Yan Shi’s polite smile froze.
Princess ChangDuan’s biological brother, the third prince, was next in line for the throne, as Gu ZhiDian’s husband was a minister working under the third prince. Hence an invitation would be sent to Gu ZhiDian, but not House Gu, who had no relations at all with Princess ChangDuan.
She did this on purpose! Yan Shi’s teeth clenched tightly as rage burnt in her eyes at Gu ZhiDian’s words. Just as she hated Gu ZhiDian, Gu ZhiDian hated her as well as she clearly remembered how, before she was married, Yan Shi had tried to gain favor for Gu Qing, while using her as a stepping stone.
“We’ll see,” Yan Shi said flatly as she removed her hands from Gu ZhiDian, “Are you hungry? I’m sure the family meal is ready.”
And without waiting for a reply from her sister-in-law, Yan Shi commanded a hand-maiden to lead them to the dining room.
Gu ZhiDian’s face darkened at the disrespect as she clenched her fists, but said nothing as she followed the crowd to the dining room.
Gu Lian slowly followed the crowd from behind, watching everyone’s back view with interest.
“Miss…” MeiXiang whimpered beside her, “Even though third miss was trying provoke you into getting angry at Madam Aunt or Second Miss, what she said was also correct…”
Gu Lian smiled gently at MeiXiang, calming her down. As the owner of the Player System, plus her mastery in poison, she was not at all worried that she could not find a man, even if she is destined to be alone, she could always survive outside, the world is huge after all~
What worried her more was the possibility of Yan Shi assigning her to a horrible engagement with a horrible man.
What shall I do if this happened? She wondered curiously as she counted her fingers, Shall I ruin the engagement? Or fake a death so I can escape from this house of drama?
Gu Lian chuckled happily at her options as she sped up her walking speed, easily catching up to the other women.