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Chapter 24: Cannot Take Any Concubine

Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations

Duke Anyuan was usually very busy, but after returning from the trip to the North Mountain, he had a few days free.

Although he knew that the Duchess was still angry at him, he had to discuss with her about the selection of the crown princess.

When the Duchess came back from the Jin Garden, she saw Duke Anyuan waiting for her, and she asked coldly, “Why are you here, Your Excellency?”

Duke Anyuan said, “This is my mansion. Why can’t I be here? Now that we’ve found Jinniang back, can’t you just forgive me?”

The Duchess sneered coldly. “Forgive you? For the sake of my children, especially my poor Jinniang, I’ve already forgiven you. Otherwise, I would have divorced you and gone back home!”

“Your beloved little concubine ruined my daughter’s life. If it weren’t for the fact that Jinniang would be blamed if I divorce you and that Nian’er is still young, I wouldn’t have tolerated you anymore!”

Duke Anyuan sighed. “She has been beaten to death for what she did. Why are you still so angry? I came to you because His Majesty said today that he wanted to become in-laws with me.”

The Duchess was surprised to hear this. “Really?”

Duke Anyuan nodded. This afternoon, in the imperial study, the Emperor suddenly said this to him.

Duke Anyuan thought the Emperor wanted Qiao Ruoshui to marry the Crown Prince. “I’m afraid that we can’t decide on Ruoshui’s marriage. Since His Majesty has said so, let Ruoshui come back from the manor as soon as possible!”

In fact, for the past few days when Qiao Ruoshui was in the manor, the Duchess had been worrying about her every single day.

After all, she was her daughter.

But thinking that Qiao Jinniang had been ill for three days and had become so gaunt, the Duchess felt that Ruoshui deserved it.

The Duchess said, “If Ruoshui comes back, what should Jinniang do? I don’t care. Jinniang has been away from me for eighteen years. I will never let her return to Lin’an. Ruoshui needs to be taught a lesson.”

“With such a personality, even if she marries into the East Palace, how long can she survive? Xie Yun is the most renowned girl among those powerful families…”

Duke Anyuan asked, “Has Jinniang recovered from her illness?”

“Do you still have Jinniang in your eyes? If you didn’t favor that b*tch, my poor daughter wouldn’t have suffered for so many years…”

The conversation returned to the previous subject.

Duke Anyuan sighed secretly and left the courtyard.

A mammy tried to persuade the Duchess: “Madam, why are you still angry at His Excellency? Although he used to like that b*tch, he still respects and loves you. Who doesn’t envy you in Chang’an?”

Duke Anyuan had only one wife and two concubines. Qiao Ruoyi’s mother was a maid who took care of Duke Anyuan since he was a child. They were more like families than lovers.

This was why Duke Anyuan allowed her to give birth to Ruoyi.

As for the concubine who swapped Jinniang and Ruoyun, she was forced to drink sterilizing medicine when she entered the Duke Mansion.

All the noble ladies in Chang’an envied the Duchess for her husband’s deep affection for her.

The Duchess sneered. “Respect? Love? Women in this world are only allowed to have one husband, but men can love two to three women at the same time!”

“Now that I’m going to choose a husband for Jinniang, the most important thing is that he must vow not to take any concubines or concubine maids.

“If there is no such man, it would be better to let Jinniang raise gigolos like those princesses do. Having the Duke Mansion behind her and with the care of her younger brother, she can live happily in this life.”

The mammy was shocked at her words and hurriedly said, “Second Miss will definitely find her Mr. Right. I heard that the Buddha in Yuanxi Temple outside the city is very effective in facilitating marriages…”

The Duchess said, “Then go prepare. I’ll take Jinniang to Yuanxi Temple tomorrow.”

The mammy responded. “Yes.”

Qiao Jinniang was leafing through the almanac and trying to pick an auspicious day to reopen the Tasty Pavilion, but in the end, she felt that she should go to a temple for advice.

She was about to go out to tell the Duchess that she was going to a temple tomorrow when she saw Duke Anyuan coming over.

Seeing him, Qiao Jinniang saluted. “Father.”

Duke Anyuan was only thirty-five years old. Although he had a beard, he still looked very handsome.

When Duke Anyuan saw Jinniang, a gleam of guilt flashed across his eyes. It was not unreasonable for the Duchess to hate him. If it hadn’t been for him to indulging in that b*tch too much, she would not have the chance to swap his daughter.

“Jinniang, are you going to your mother?”

Qiao Jinniang nodded and said, “Yes, Father. I’d like to open a restaurant in Chang’an, so I want to go to a temple and ask for an auspicious day to open it.”

Duke Anyuan asked, “Which restaurant? Tell me the opening day when it’s decided, I’ll bring my colleagues to visit your restaurant.”

Qiao Jinniang had thought that the Duke would not allow her to open a restaurant, but to her surprise, her father was very supportive of her. “Tell me when you decide the opening day.”


Duke Anyuan looked at Qiao Jinniang kindly. “Is it about Tuan’er? I’ve ordered my men to search for him in Chang’an according to his portrait that you painted.

But they can’t find him. Did your ex-husband lie to you? Maybe they didn’t come to Chang’an?”

Qiao Jinniang clenched her handkerchief and said, “Father, I’ve made up my mind. Since that… jerk had given me a divorce letter, I’ve nothing to do with him anymore.

“But if he comes and forces me to marry him as a concubine, will you protect me, Father?”

Duke Anyuan was instantly irritated. “If I see that guy, I will break his legs!

“How dare he make such a ridiculous demand? You can rest assured that I must not let him humiliate you.”

Qiao Jinniang was relieved to hear that. The Emperor was wise and benevolent.

If Duke Anyuan refused, the Emperor wouldn’t force her to marry the Crown Prince as a concubine.

After saluting the Duke, Qiao Jinniang went into the Duchess’s courtyard and explained her intentions.

A mammy said, “Oh, Second Miss, you really have a telepathic connection with your mother. Madam is also going to go to Yuanxi Temple tomorrow to offer incense.”

The Duchess held Qiao Jinniang’s hand. “You can inquire about the auspicious day there, but I’ll beg the Buddha to bless you to find a good husband. His Majesty intends to let Ruoshui marry into the East Palace. So before that, we have to choose a fiancé for you.”

Qiao Jinniang was surprised. Lu Chen, that b*stard! Did he want her and her sister to marry him together?!

She didn’t know if she should tell the truth.

Even if she did so, Qiao Ruoshui would not give up marrying into the East Palace, and she would be involved in it, so it would be for her better not speak it out.

It was a sunny day the next day. In late April, it was a bit hot.

Yuanxi Temple was on a mountain outside Chang’an. There were already many noble madams and girls who came to offer incense early in the morning, as well as many commoners.

The road was so crowded that the carriages could not move at all.

The Duchess opened the carriage curtain and asked a maid outside, “How come we haven’t arrived yet?”

The maid replied. “Madam, the abbot is holding a dharma assembly in Yuanxi Temple today, so there are many people who came to offer incense.”

Qiao Jinniang also opened the curtain to look at the long queue in front, and said to the Duchess, “Mother, shall we get off the carriage and walk to the temple? It may take a long time for the carriage to pass.”

The Duchess nodded.. “Okay.”

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