Yu Huang Rong smiled despite himself. He still believed that something was wrong about this woman but whether she was a charlatan or not didn’t matter to him as long as she could fulfill his wish. If that required him to sit in this stupid matchmaking pavilion, then he would gladly remain there the whole day and let those women from the other side of the river gawk.
“You prepared such an elaborate event today and presented so many people to us and I know you’ve planned even more for the following days but … I think I’ve already found the person I’d like to marry.”
“Is that so?”
“This person is truly something else. Just one look was enough to capture my heart. I won’t marry anyone else!”
“Mn.” Madam Yan picked up her cup and watched the steam waft up into the air. “I’m afraid this has nothing to do with my event. Ah, what should I do if this gets out? Who will visit my pavilion then?”
Yu Huang Rong’s lips twitched. “You’re quite perceptive for a woman.” He didn’t like that she was once again only thinking about her business though. Hadn’t she heard that he had fallen in love?!
Madam Yan looked up at him and flashed him something that didn’t look like much of a smile anymore. “You’ve got it wrong, General Yu. I’m quite perceptive.”
“That’s what I said?” He shook his head and waved. “Whatever. Can we talk about my matters now? If you can make sure that that person will be mine, then I’ll even go around and spread the word about your pavilion if you want me to.”
Madam Yan sighed and shook her head in resignation. Why would she expect any other reaction? Even if she said more, he likely wouldn’t understand. “Alright then. I’ll help you. But there are a few things I want to make clear first of all and I won’t budge on any of them.”
Yu Huang Rong nodded. “Please go ahead.”
“This isn’t about acquiring a treasure, it’s about a person.”
“Oh, but this person is a treasure.”
“He might be someone you treasure but he stays a person so neither can this be rushed nor can you force this. Everyone has their own things to consider and their own feelings to come to terms with. You will only be happily married if you keep that in mind.”
Yu Huang Rong frowned. “But doesn’t he like me? What’s there to consider? We should just ask him and prepare for the wedding.” Ah, he had thought of him so often … Why should he still wait? Now that he knew that his feelings weren’t one-sided, he should boldly march forward! With victory imminent, who would retreat?
Madam Yan sighed. As expected, this guy didn’t understand at all. “General Yu, have you considered what your family is going to say about this?”
“Mn? What should they say? They were the ones who wanted me to marry in the first place. I’m just fulfilling their wishes.”
“You can twist words as long as you want to but it won’t change the fact that they want you to marry a woman and have children.”
Yu Huang Rong tsked. “I’ll just adopt one from the branch family or groom my nephew to be my successor. What’s so difficult about that?”
“Nothing for you but everything for Scholar Zhang. Who do you think will have to bear their dissatisfaction and listen to the servants’ gossip? It won’t be you, that’s for sure. But he will. And it’ll get worse when you return to the battlefield and aren’t there to shield him. Somebody as soft-spoken as Scholar Zhang would never complain about it. He’ll bottle it up inside and smile but do you think he’ll be happy that way?”
Yu Huang Rong frowned. That was indeed a problem.
Madam Yan nodded with satisfaction when she saw that he started to understand. “Furthermore, there is also his own family to be considered. You might have brothers with children that can inherit and a branch family that might let you adopt a child but Scholar Zhang is different. He is the Zhang family’s only son. They depend on him to keep their family alive. Do you think they’ll easily accept that their son fell in love with another man and wants to marry him?”
Yu Huang Rong got up but with the narrow space in the pavilion, he couldn’t even pace up and down. He merely turned to the river and leaned against one of the beams, staring into the water gloomily. “Then what now? Are you saying I should give up?”
“No, I’m repeating what I said already: You shouldn’t rush this. Give him time to figure out just how important you are to him so that he’ll stand beside you even if either of your families makes trouble. In the meantime, we can come up with a plan on how to convince them.”
Yu Huang Rong glanced back without much hope. “Is there a way to do that? What you just said does make sense. It’s complicated. For him even more so than for me.”
“I’m the best matchmaker in the capital.”
“At the very least, you’re the one that likes to brag about herself the most.”
Madam Yan chuckled. “Then I should make sure that I have something to brag about. Don’t worry too much about your families. I’ll take care of that when the time comes. You should focus on making Scholar Zhang feel more comfortable around you and …” She glanced at the street and waited for the people to pass by before she leaned closer to General Yu. “There’s another, more pressing problem and it’s one that I won’t be able to solve for you.”
Yu Huang Rong raised his brows. “Yet another problem?” And one she couldn’t take care of? “Is it something I can help with?”
Madam Yan nodded and glanced at the street again. “You’re a General, extremely important to our Chen country. The emperor will have the final say in your marriage.”
Yu Huang Rong laughed. “That’s the important problem? Haish, you made me think it was something grave.” He shook his head with a chuckle and picked up his teacup.
Madam Yan leaned back. “So General Yu doesn’t regard this as a problem?”
“Of course not.” He took a sip of the tea and put the cup down, still smiling smugly. “Madam Yan might not know but His Majesty and I grew up together. It might sound conceited to say this but … I doubt he’ll make things difficult for me. If I want to marry Scholar Zhang, then he will allow it. In fact, we can probably count on his help to make this happen.”
“Mn, that’s good then.” Madam Yan nodded slowly. In that case, she could probably go all out with her future plans. Ah, this would be fun. She just had to prepare well. “What did you say in the beginning? You want to get married before the new year? Seems like I’ll need to move fast then.”
Yu Huang Rong smiled. “If it’s about marrying Scholar Zhang, then I’m willing to stay in the capital for a longer time. Naturally, I wouldn’t mind to marry him sooner rather than later.”
“Mn, I thought so.” Madam Yan smiled. “In that case, we shouldn’t let go of any opportunities. Which women did you choose for the second part of the event? Did you tell the others about it?”
Yu Huang Rong smiled. “Seems like I judged you right. You were thinking of making use of it if we happened to choose the same women.”
Madam Yan sighed. “General Yu, could you just answer my question first? Do the others know about your choices?”
“They do. I told them I haven’t been in the capital for long so I picked the women Scholar Zhang chose since I felt he had good taste.” His lips quirked into a smile. “Honestly, he does. It’d be hard to find somebody in the capital who’s better than me.”
Madam Yan raised her brows. With that kind of ego … she wasn’t sure if he was really the right one for a gentle scholar. But, well, Zhang Shi Lan had already fallen in love on his own. It wasn’t like she was pushing him into a trap or anything. No, no, she was just … playing the matchmaker.