Amidst all that was going on in the hall, Lin Ruoxi was spending some time with her mother-in-law in Guo Xuehua’s room.
Although Guo Xuehua shared a room with Yang Pojun, they still had their separate rooms. They used it to store their own possessions as well as take care of any private business they had.
Guo Xuehua had Lin Ruoxi sit on her bed while she burrowed through her closet looking for something.
Lin Ruoxi was feeling a little anxious being alone with her mother-in-law in her room. Her eyes started to dart around the room, looking at the antique furniture it held.
“Mom, do you need help? What are you looking for?”
“I found it.” Guo Xuehua stood up with a red box in her hand. “I’m alright. This box was just buried a little too deep.”
Guo Xuehua sat down gleefully next to Lin Ruoxi and unwrapped the red cloth to reveal a delicate box underneath it.
Lin Ruoxi’s eyes glistened and her mouth widened in shock.
In the box on top of a cushion of exquisite silver silk, was a jade bangle that caught her attention.
It looked like jadeite but it seemed more transparent than normal jadeite. It was so green that Lin Ruoxi thought there would be green liquid pouring off it.
The most eye-catching part was the two phoenixes carved onto the bangle.
Their tails were intertwined with each other and the bangle. It was so lifelike to the point that it seemed to be flying out of the bangle.
“What do you think? I bet you were immediately enraptured by it the moment you saw it.” Guo Xuehua smiled with satisfaction.
Lin Ruoxi snapped out of her daze and blushed. She couldn’t resist and she bit on her lips while nodding in agreement.
How was any normal woman able to resist such an exquisite piece as this?
“There’s nothing to shy about. I was once like you.” Guo Xuehua sighed as she reminisced.
“Yes.” Guo Xuehua twirled the bangle around with her fingers. “This bangle is called the ‘Feng Xiang Bangle. It is made from the most expensive emerald-green jade. The oldest daughter-in-law of the Yang Clan has the honour of keeping this in their care. It symbolizes the identity of the wife of the clan leader. Twenty years ago, when I first entered the clan, my mother-in-law passed this bangle to me. There was a rule in the clan which stated that this bangle must be worn by its owner until their first child is born. It is said to be a blessing…”
The moment Lin Ruoxi understood what she was trying to say, her eyes were already filled with embarrassment and surprise.
“Yes, that’s right. I am passing this on to you.”
Guo Xuehua chuckled and took out the bangle from the box. She held Lin Ruoxi’s hand gently and pushed it through her wrist.
Lin Ruoxi could only feel the coolness of the bangle when it touched her skin.
“I heard from your grandmother that this bangle had been passed down for many generations. It supposed to hold some special abilities which I did not delve too deep into. But what I do know is that it is supposed to help with recuperation. I’ve not worn it ever since I gave birth to Lie Er because it’s so precious and expensive.”
Lin Ruoxi nodded with understanding.
Based on her financial standing, she could’ve bought any piece of jewellery she wanted.
But even so, nothing would ever compare to a family heirloom with a history behind it.
She was thrilled to receive this but also felt the weight of generations on her small wrist.
It was at that moment she realized the significance of marrying into such a high profile family…
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the mansion, Yang Gongming was taking a nap in his study. He was woken up by Yang Pojun who was brought in by Yan Sanniang.
“Father.” Yang Pojun greeted him with a solemn expression. “Sorry for interrupting your nap but this could not wait any longer.”
Yang Gongming let out a long sigh and got up from the couch. Yan Sanniang passed him a cup of ginseng tea which he drank to soothe his throat for what was going to be a lengthy conversation. “How can I blame you for interrupting my nap when you came so far from Jiangnan.”
“Father, I already regret not being able to stand by your side more often,” Yang Pojun said earnestly.
Yang Gongming chuckled. “Xuehua came back recently so I’ve been feeling better. Your presence would only cause more trouble right now anyways.”
Yang Pojun frowned when he heard the word ‘Xuehua’.
“Father, I wanted to talk about that guy, Yang Chen.”
“That guy…Yang Chen? He’s my grandson and your son. Why do you address him as such?” Yang Gongming tossed the question to him.
“That’s not the point,” Yang Pojun said with a rumble in his voice. “Father, you are blind to what he had done to our ministers! He hasn’t even been back a day and things are already an absolute mess!”
“Oh?” Yang Gongming was very interested.“Spare no detail.”
Yang Pojun immediately told him what had happened.
Yang Gongming’s reaction was completely unexpected. He cackled while saying, “This is good! This kid, he’s braver than I thought! He’s a real descendant of the Yang Clan, haha!”
“Father, are you serious?! Are you really going to accept him back into the clan?” Yang Pojun blurted out in disbelief.
Yang Gongming nodded. “I already have. I had him kowtow to our ancestors in the shrine.”
Yang Pojun’s face went deadly pale when he heard that.
“Father!” His voice was stern. “You…how could you do that to me and Lie Er?! He hates Lie Er and holds some measure of hostility towards me! Now you want him back?! Whose side are you on?”
Yang Gongming turned around, his expression unchanged. “Pojun…I’m not being biased. I’m your father and Lie Er’s grandfather, of course, I care for you guys. But I am also the clan leader which means that I have to do what’s best for the clan. Both you and Lie Er combined are still not as capable as he is in terms of being an heir…”
“I don’t believe it…Father. He’s a tyrant whose existence would only bring trouble to the clan. Would killing really get us anywhere?”
Yang Gongming wasn’t swayed by his words. “It doesn’t matter to me if you are satisfied with my decision. If you have issues, take it up with Yang Chen. In our clan, only the strongest get to lead. I don’t care if you fight or plot against each other. I’ve had my fair share of that in my lifetime. I’ve already told Lie Er this, he’s my grandson and so is Yang Chen. But I only have one clan to pass on. I will bequeath the clan to the last man standing…”
Suddenly, Yang Pojun tightened his fist and turned red with fury.
“Father, does it mean…you never considered me as your heir?”
Yang Gongming kept his silence but it was more than enough for Yang Pojun.
“But I’m your only son!” Yang Pojun shouted with resentment.
Yan Sanniang couldn’t bear to watch it but she only shook her head silently.
Yang Gongming hummed and turned around. “I bet you’ve been wanting to ask this question for years.”
Yang Pojun stood still with a determined expression.
“Alright.” Yang Gongming smiled helplessly. “I was hoping to take this with me to my grave but since you have asked it so earnestly, I suppose I shall respond in kind.”
Having said so, he beckoned Yang Pojun over to the corner of the room.
There was a painting on the wall. A painting of a river, mountains and boats. The thing that stood out the most was the signature at the lower right-hand corner indicating that this was an antique.
Forlorn and confusion was written all over Yang Pojun’s face as he stared at the painting, waiting for Yang Gongming to continue.