Aunt Shui was none other than Shui Ruolan, Qin Huaiyong's cousin, the daughter of old grandma's younger sister. She had come to take shelter under the Qins from a young age when old grandma's younger sister passed away. When she came of age, she got married, but her husband passed away later on before they bore any children. For this reason, old grandma brought her back to the Ningyuan Army General's house to be with her.
Shui Ruolan was a woman with a gentle spirit who had never said a word of complaint even though she had a sad life.
Qin Huaiyong had always had a soft spot for this cousin of his. Unfortunately, they each had their prearranged marriages respectively since young for this reason, they kept their distance in honor of their commitments. When Shui Ruolan returned to Qin Huaiyong's house as a widow, they continued to treat each other honorably. In fact, they did not see each other much within the manor grounds. Even when the need arose, they always met each other in the presence of some other people.
However, an accident happened 10 days ago when Qin Huaiyong came home drunk and went into Shui Ruolan's room by mistake and fell asleep on Shui Ruolan's bed. What was worse was in his drunken state, he had put his arms around Shui Ruolan and forced her to lie on the bed with him. When Mrs. Qin broke into the room and saw the scene before her eyes, she was so heartbroken that she broke down in tears and wailed.
When Qin Huaiyong came to his senses, he was deeply remorseful towards both Mrs. Qin and Shui Ruolan and was at a loss of what to do to solve this issue.
After that incident, Qin Huaiyong expressed his wishes to take Shui Ruolan in as his concubine, but Shui Ruolan refused the offer as she could not reconcile the idea and almost decided to become a nun.
Old grandma tried to talk her out of it until Shui Ruolan finally decided to go to the Buddha Hall to quieten her heart.
In the previous life, Shui Ruolan finally became Qin Huaiyong's concubine after taking old grandma's health into consideration. However, she had been unhappy because of the meaningless marriage arrangement. Subsequently she with child, but the baby came early at seven months and both the mother and the baby died due to the early delivery.
It was only later that Qin Wanru discovered that this was all part of Mrs. Qin's plan and that she had a hand in making the premature birth happen.
She did not really remember the incident which happened 10 days ago, but the memory of it became vivid at this moment. She suddenly realized that 10 days ago was the time the letter from Duke Yong arrived.
Just after the letter arrived, the incident of Qin Huaiyong getting drunk and went into Shui Ruolan's room happened. Stricken with guilt and remorse, Qin Huaiyong could not bring himself to take any action against the evil plan of her wife and eldest daughter.
Their plan was to set up the drama that happened today.
In order to reach their ultimate goal, the mother and daughter pair resorted to unscrupulous ways. On the surface, it seemed that they were taking a step back, but in fact, they were the ones who devised the entire plan with evil intent.
"Your Aunt Shui won't have the guts to do that!" old grandma sighed, frowning. This was another matter that was troubling her. What happened that day was blown out of proportion and the entire He family got to know about it. How could Shui Ruolan take such humiliation?
"The letter from the capital city, asking for the hand of Big Sister had arrived since 10 days ago, hadn't it? That coincided with the time father got drunk. Father had always treated me well, why then did he disregard my reputation but did as what mother and Big Sister told him to. Don't you think something fishy is going on?" Qin Wanru provoked.
Old grandma was smart enough to pick up the hint in Qin Wanru's words. The expression on her face changed suddenly as she exclaimed, "Could your Aunt Shui been set up so that she could be a pawn for them?"
"Grandma, now you can see clearly that father was obviously siding with mother and Big Sister in this entire matter," said Qin Wanru, lowering her long lashes.
Casting a look at Qin Wanru's pitiful expression, an irritated look flashed across old grandma's eyes. She banged the table with her hand and cried out, "This wicked woman, for the sake of her daughter, is out to destroy Ruolan and you!"
Putting together the incidents that happened these few days, old grandma deduced that Mrs. Qin must have used Qin Huaiyong's guilt to work to her favor. She must have requested for the chance in Yuru's marriage engagement. This must be why Qin Huaiyong kept this to himself instead of telling his mother about it. Old grandma had understood Qin Huaiyong's intention to marry his little daughter to the governor's household in place of his eldest daughter. It was not a big deal to sacrifice his little daughter so as to realize the bigger plan of marrying his eldest daughter into an even more wealthy and powerful family.
In addition to that, it was to make up to his wife for the matter regarding what he had done to Shui Ruolan.
For these reasons, Qin Huaiyong would not breathe a word to his mother.
"I'm going to get your Aunt Shui out of the Buddha Hall in a while. I won't allow the wicked woman to get what she wants!" said old grandma in rage as she made up her mind.
Not only did she set Ruolan up, but she also instilled guilt in her son and even manipulated Wanru's marriage. Mrs. Qin thought she could cover up everything that she had done.
"What if Aunt Shui is not willing?" Qin Wanru reminded old grandma the possible scenario.
In the previous life, Shui Ruolan had gone to stay at the Buddha Hall for half a year at one go and became a devote Buddhist in the family. It was only when old grandma fell seriously ill that she finally came out from there to look after old grandma. It was then that she finally became father's concubine.
Shui Ruolan did not have feelings for father by then, so she was never jealous of Mrs Qin. In fact, she would often ask father to go to Mrs. Qin instead. It was because the false stories weaved by Mrs. Qin's maid that Qin Huaiyong doted on Aunt Shui, that finally led to jealousy. Eventually, Mrs. Qin and her maid banded up to make trouble, which finally led to the death of Shui Ruolan and her baby.
In the previous life, Shui Ruolan had been especially kind to Qin Wanru. She continued to watch out for her even after old grandma passed away. However, how could she guard over Qin Wanru if she could not even protect herself?
In this current life, Qin Wanru would not allow Shui Ruolan to be mistreated by Mrs. Qin. However, she needed to consult old grandma's opinion. Shui Ruolan was a prideful woman and would never want to become someone's concubine, which was why she was not jealous of Mrs. Qin.
Qin Wanru dropped a hint to old grandma to get Shui Ruolan out of trouble.
As for Shui Ruolan, Qin Wanru's plan was to help her resolve the knot in her heart. Shui Ruolan may have a gentle spirit, but she was definitely not dumb. She was, in fact, a rather strong woman behind her gentle character.
"I will warn Ruolan about this and not allow her to become a scapegoat!" Old grandma snorted and Qin Wanru could see a determined expression on her face. Old grandma had been through much infighting herself and she could fully grasp Mrs. Qin's evil intent. Since this wicked woman did not treasure a nice lady like Shui Ruolan, old grandma made sure she did.
Qin Wanru could feel the burden taken off her shoulder once she knew that old grandma was going to take care of Shui Ruolan. She relaxed her tense body by leaning back and put away the cold look in her eyes. "Grandma, do you still have that Fenghua glass light?" Qin Wanru said, changing the topic.
She did not dare to take the matter regarding Prince Chen lightly.
When old grandma heard this, her expression changed drastically.