Chapter 22 – The Matriarch Extends an Invitation

When Nie Beihu and Fu Shan made their appearance, Huang Qianjun realized that the true spectacle had just begun. 

As expected, just a few moments had passed since their arrival, yet Li Tianhan and son had already slunk off in disgrace!

Furthermore, the way those in the surrounding area looked at Su Yi had changed.
When he saw this, Huang Qianjun was inwardly gleeful.

This was because, of those outside the clan hall, only he had anticipated this result!

Father was right.
Su Yi hides himself deeply, and you can’t judge him with common sense.
Otherwise, given the connections he revealed at the Immortal Gathering House yesterday, there’s no way he’d have to remain at the Wen Family as a disdained live-in son-in-law.

After returning from the Immortal Gathering House, he and his father had talked well into the night. 

In the end, father and son reached the same conclusion—

There had to be some secret behind Su Yi’s choice to remain in the Wen Family despite his immense capabilities!

That was why Huang Qianjun and his father, despite coming in person, didn’t go out of their way to initiate small talk with Su Yi.
They feared that if they caused too much of a commotion, they’d inadvertently reveal Su Yi’s secrets.

That was why they gave the Nine-Leafed King Ginseng to Wen Changtai and his wife and asked them to pass it on to Su Yi and his wife later.

Wen Lingzhao was just a convenient pretense.
They needed some ostensible reason for their gift, after all. 

What Huang Qianjun realized, Nie Beihu and Fu Shan had obviously picked up on as well.
They all sensed that Su Yi didn’t want to reveal certain matters, which was why they tacitly agreed to “put on a show.”

I’m afraid no one in the Wen Family will guess or even consider that me, my dad, and even Nie Beihu and Fu Shan, are all here as a show of respect for Su Yi….
Haha, this is way too much fun! Huang Qianjun laughed to himself. 

Su Yi would never have guessed that this domineering youth was enjoying this game so thoroughly.
Had he known, he would surely have laughed.

Naturally, he realized that all of four of them, Huang Yunchong and son, as well as Fu Shan and Nie Beihu, were here because of him.

No, that’s not it.
They’re here as a show of respect for Old Man Xiao and Zi Jin, he thought to himself. 

With the experience and mental state of his past life, there was no way he’d get complacent over this.
Besides, he disdained relying on others’ power to resolve his personal problems.

He hadn't asked the four of them to show up.
They’d all taken it upon themselves.

Back in the great hall.

After Li Tianhan and son left, the tense atmosphere mellowed significantly.

Wen Changjing was nothing but smiles as he warmly welcomed Fu Shan and Nie Beihu to sit down.
Both were prominent figures, and today, they’d become the Wen Family’s pillar of support, helping them head off a potential disaster!

“I’m here for another purpose, so I’m afraid I’ll have to abstain from the banquet,” said Fu Shan with a wave.
Then, he turned and walked up to Wen Changtai’s table with a smile.
“A certain distinguished figure requested that I deliver this gift on their behalf.
Please, pass this onto Su Yi and his wife.”

As he spoke, he solemnly retrieved a fist-sized, brocade box, then passed it over.
“Remember, only Su Yi and his wife are to open it.”

Wen Changtai and Qin Qing leaped to their feet as if they’d been electrocuted, practically knocking the table over.
They never would have guessed that someone as lofty as the city lord would personally give their family a gift!

The others were stunned too.
They looked at each other. 

Family Head Huang Yunchong had just personally delivered Wen Changtai and his family those pieces of “Nine-Leafed King Ginseng.” That alone came as an enormous surprise.

Yet now the city lord was doing the same thing?

Wen Changjing and the other higher-ups stared in wide-eyed astonishment. What exactly is going on today?

Why is Ol’ Three’s family so popular all of a sudden?

Thank you, City Lord!” Wen Changtai was so excited, he could barely control himself, and his voice trembled as he spoke..

Qin Qing beamed.
Years of accumulated grievances and dejection seemed to melt away, as if they’d finally found release. 

She took a deep breath, then smiled broadly and bowed with the utmost respect.
“City Lord Fu, please allow me to thank you for your generosity on behalf of my daughter and son-in-law!”

Her gaze swept across the great hall, and she took in the crowd’s stunned expressions.
She felt nothing but pride and satisfaction, and despite herself, the corners of her lips tugged upward. My day has finally come! 

“There’s no need to thank me,” said Fu Shan.
“This is a gift from a person of eminence.
I’m merely delivering it on their behalf.”

“Might I ask who that eminent figure might be?” asked Qin Qing curiously.

The crowd’s ears pricked up.
Anyone capable of giving City Lord Fu Shan orders was surely extraordinary!

Huang Yunchong seemed to understand, and his heart shook.
A certain title floated into his sea of consciousness—

The Spiritjade Marchioness!

However, Fu Shan merely smiled and shook his head.
“I’m afraid it's not my place to disclose their identity.
Please, forgive me if I don’t answer your questions.
All you need to know is that this gift is intended for Su Yi and his wife.”

“I’ll pass it onto them personally,” said Qin Qing hurriedly.

The crowd’s expressions shifted subtly.
Fu Shan had repeatedly emphasized that this gift was for “Su Yi and his wife.” This undoubtedly had profound implications!

Lingzhao is now a disciple of Heaven’s Origin Academy.
Could that be why? Wen Changjing and the other Wen Family higher-ups looked at each other.
They all subconsciously assumed that this gift had to have something to do with Wen Lingzhao.

None of them even considered the possibility that it might have something to do with Su Yi.

“Commander Nie, please remain here and enjoy the feast on my behalf.
I have other matters to attend to, so I’ll bid you all farewell for now.” Fu Shan turned, gave Nie Beihu his orders, then left.

Wen Changjing and the others hurriedly saw him to the gate.

On his way out of the clan hall, Fu Shan paused as he passed Su Yi’s table.
He said with an amiable smile, “Young Lord Su, I’ll be on my way.”

Su Yi nodded.

Everyone witnessed this exchange, and despite their immense shock, they all assumed that Su Yi was riding on Wen Lingzhao’s coattails.
That had to be why Fu Shan was giving him special treatment.

After Fu Shan’s group disappeared, Huang Qianjun couldn’t help but whisper, “Brother Su, you’re the most respected person here!”

“You don’t hate me?” asked Su Yi casually.

Huang Qianjun froze, then looked ashamed.
He said sheepishly, “Last night, my father taught me a lesson.
He made me fully realize just how enormous the gap between us is….
I feel nothing but awe and delight at my good fortune.
I in no way carry a grudge.”

“Oh,” said Su Yi.
“I hope you really mean that.”

Wen Lingxue heard their entire conversation, and she felt increasingly confused. This entire series of events has been altogether too strange, hasn’t it….? 

Although Fu Shan only made a brief appearance, he’d had an enormous impact.

The atmosphere within the clan’s great hall regained its earlier liveliness, and many of the guests rose and toasted Wen Changtai and wife of their own volition. 

Wen Changtai was a simple man, but he wasn’t stupid.
He knew what was going on, and he was delighted.

Qin Qing was in even higher spirits.
Her eyes sparkled with exultant joy.
Although she wanted to hide her joy, she just couldn’t control herself….

Wen Changjing and the other family higher-ups were happy too.
Li Tianhan and son had left in dejection, and the Wen Family had averted a potential crisis. 

Even better, with Fu Shan and Nie Beihu’s show of support, the guests’ attitudes had shifted subtly. 

This was undoubtedly wonderful news for Wen Changjing and the declining Wen Family!

“So, Brother Huang, you’ve completely changed your attitude?” Nie Beihu sat beside Huang Yunchong and asked unobtrusively.

“Yesterday, I was blind and foolish.
I was wrong to target Young Lord Su.
Why hold a grudge over my mistake?” Huang Yunchong laughed heartily.
“I really ought to thank him for showing mercy and allowing my son and I to avoid greater disaster.
I’m deeply grateful, which is why I decided to pay a personal visit, first to congratulate the Wen Family matriarch, and second to offer a humble apology gift as an expression of my penitence.”

Nie Beihu was stunned for a moment.
Then, he took a deep look at Huang Yunchong.
“I suspect you have other reasons you left unsaid.”

Huang Yunchong’s eyebrows shifted slightly.
“Care to enlighten me?”

Nie Beihu glanced outside the clan hall, and his gaze landed on Huang Qianjun, who was seated beside Su Yi. 

“I suspect you’ve already realized that with Young Lord Su’s connections, his future is limitless,” said Nie Beihu, his voice full of profound implications.
“Thus, you’ve decided to treat yesterday’s incident as a turning point, using penitence and compensation to build a connection with Young Lord Su.
Am I right?”

Huang Yunchong’s gaze shifted, turning serious.
Then, he laughed, “When parents love their children, they make long-term plans for their futures.
That’s true for me, but isn’t it true for you too?”

Nie Beihu raised his wineglass and laughed.
“Come on then, let’s drink together!”

Meanwhile, the Wen Family matriarch had watched all of this play out from the seat of honor.
Complex emotions filled her heart.

Today was her eightieth birthday.

Far too much had happened at her celebratory feast.

She was well aware that the Wen Family had only avoided disaster by borrowing others’ momentum.

If they weren’t strong enough in their own right, the Wen Family’s illusion of prosperity would be short-lived!

As she considered this, the Wen Family matriarch’s gaze passed over the guests of the great hall and landed on someone seated outside.

He was a lean youth in blue cloth robes, seated casually with a transcendent air about him, out of sync with the crowd.

She took a deep breath, then looked away and turned to the servant girl beside her.
“Call Ol’ Three’s wife over.”

The servant rushed off to do as she was told. 

Shortly after, Qin Qing arrived in a hurry.
She asked in confusion, “Matriarch, do you have business with me?”

The Wen Family matriarch stared at her gravely.
“You are not to keep the gifts City Lord Fu and Family Head Huang gave you for yourself.
Give them to Su Yi as soon as the banquet is over.”

Qin Qing’s expression shifted, and she forced a smile.
“There’s no need for concern.
I wouldn’t covet such things.
It’s just… These gifts are intended for my daughter and my son-in-law.
Giving them to just Su Yi….”

“I know what you’re thinking better than anyone,” said the matriarch with a cold laugh.
“Ordinarily, I wouldn’t bother getting involved, but today’s matter is different.
You’d best do as I tell you!”

Qin Qing froze.
She really had intended to keep both gifts for herself, but now that the matriarch had given such a command, she dispelled that idea and lowered her head.

After sending Qin Qing on her way, the matriarch rose and turned to the servant beside her.
“Now go tell Su Yi to come see me in the Floral Tea House.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Outside the great hall.

When he heard why the servant girl had come, a flash of unusual light shone in the depths of Su Yi’s gaze. It seems the old woman can’t restrain herself any longer.

That’s fine too. After all, I only came to the banquet because I wanted to ask her about what happened back then.

Su Yi drained his glass, then rose leisurely.
“Lead the way.”

With that, he followed the serving girl into the Floral Tea House. 

Seth's Thoughts

As a foreigner living outside of China, I'm not sure to what extent this happens/happened in real life.
Probably not so much nowadays due to smaller family sizes…? In novels, at least, it's common for families with multiple children to refer to them by their number.
Same applies to siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.
Thus, if it's not already clear, Ol' Three is the matriarch's way of referring to her third son, Wen Changtai, and the family head/second elder's way of referring to their younger brother. 

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