Shen Xiao’s tall and sturdy figure appeared in Old Madam Shen’s line of sight. The dark expression on her face gradually relaxed. She faintly smiled and asked, “Why are you here at such a late time?”
Right now, the decorated lanterns were lit. The Shen Family residence was lit up as if coming to life because of the male owner’s presence.
“I need to discuss something with my mother.” Shen Xiao sat on the bed and received the teacup Mama Li brought over.
“You just came back. It’s better to rest first. We can discuss the matters in the future.” Old Madam Shen smiled kindly and amiably.
Shen Xiao nodded. “I can’t put this matter off. Mother, Jiao Jiao will be of age in two years. However, she keeps acting like a child. I want to find a mama from the palace to teach ehr the rules. That way, she can become reasonable and dignified sooner.”
So it was for his daughter...
Old Madam Shen smiled and replied, “It’s time to find a mama for the girl. I can’t teach her.”
“Mother, what are you saying? Haven’t you put in the effort all these years? However, you’re getting older and she’s too mischievous and playful. I’m just worried that it might be too tiring for you.”
Old Madam Shen felt a needle in her heart after listening to the words. “Then do you have a candidate in mind?”
Shen Xiao smiled and asked, “Mother has a lot of connections in the capital. Speaking of candidates, I’d have to rely on you.”
“I heard that Mama Zhong who had been released from the palace a few years ago is quite good. Many influential families invited her to teach the ladies at home.”
“How is Mama Zhong as a person?” Shen Xiao’s gaze flickered, smiling as he asked.
Old Madam Shen looked at him. “Since you want your daughter to learn well, but you don’t want a mama that is strict, why bother inviting a mama over then?”
“Sigh. Jiao Jiao has been motherless as a child, and I have neglected disciplining her. Naturally, I am a bit more lenient on her.” Shen Xiao said.
“I know you pamper her the most.” Old Madam Shen knew what her son was thinking about. He felt like he couldn’t do anything apologetic to his late wife, so he naturally pampered his children. He couldn’t stand any other people.
Shen Xiao picked up the teacup and concealed the hesitance in his eyes. “There’s something else…”
“What?” Old Madam Shen smiled.
“Jiao Jiao is about to reach of age. You have been managing the dowry the Pan Family left for you all this time. I’ve been thinking about letting Jiao Jiao manage it on her own now. After all, once she becomes the head of a family, she’ll know at least how to manage something.” After that, Shen Xiao lowered his head and observed Old Madam Shen’s expression from the corner of his eyes.
Once Old Madam Shen listened to the words, she felt a burst of anger rising, making her mind blank. She only heard ringing in her ears.
He had said all of this just so he could get Pan Family’s dowry back for the girl.
Mama Li glanced worriedly at Old Madam Shen by the side, frightened that she might say something inappropriate.
“Eldest Master, please allow this mama to say something.” Mama Li curtised and respectfully said, “Old Madam has been managing these dowries for Third Miss all these years, pouring her heart and soul to it. She also made some profit in the past two years. Letting Third Miss take it back at this time… is not suitable.”
Shen Xiao glanced sternly. “Why not?”
If it weren’t that Mama Li had served the Old Madam all these years, Shen Xiao wouldn’t have talked to her in such a peaceful tone.
“Third Miss is still young. If she fails to manage it well, then… it’d be a loss.” Mama Li’s heart trembled as she met Shen Xiao’s gaze, her voice becoming smaller.
Shen Xiao faintly said, “No matter whether Jiao Jiao knows how to manage it or not, it belongs to her. Whether she earns or loses money, she’d be responsible for that.”
All this talk made it clear that he was just doing this for his daughter! Old Madam Shen shook with fury. It was unclear how much strength she used to force herself not to throw the teacup on Shen Xiao.
“Your late wife’s brain wasn’t sober at the time and gave everything to Jiao Jiao. What about Kai’er then? As his father, you don’t consider your son, but I need to consider my grandson.” After a while, Old Madam Shen stiffly parted her lips.
Shen Xiao said, “Kai’er is a grown man. He needs to earn things by himself. Jiao Jiao is different. She doesn’t have a mother. When she gets married in the future, with the dowry in her possession, she’d be treated with more respect.”
“Do you know how much dowry the Pan Family gave?” Old Madam Shen was furious. Respect? She just wanted to take Shen Family’s things so that she could be respected in her husband’s family?
Then she should just stay in the Shen Family forever!
Shen Xiao knew that his late wife had quite a bit of dowry, but the Shen Family wasn’t poor either. It didn’t need the Pan Family’s dowry to support the family. Even more, his love for his late wife had nothing to do with the dowry.
“Pan Family’s dowry isn’t our Shen Family’s.” Shen Xiao said in a low voice.
Why not? Even the Pan Madam belonged to the Shen Family since she married over. Don’t mention the dowry. Old Madam Shen was furious with her son’s adherence to old ideas.
“I can give it to Jiao Jiao, but not like this. I will give everything back to her when she has the ability to manage it. Otherwise, I won’t have the face to see the Pan Madam when I die if she loses it all. Pan Family’s people might think that we, the Shen Family, have been coveting after the dowry instead.” Old Madam Shen’s gaze flickered, her anger vanishing.
“Mother is saying?” Shen Xiao raised his brows and asked.
Old Madam Shen faintly said, “I’d have her look after the business in two stores and manage the affairs at home. If she is able to make a profit in the stores and nothing goes wrong at home, I’d believe that she has the ability to handle Pan Family’s dowry.”
She is letting Jiao Jiao manage the household? Shen Xiao knitted his brows, in a difficult position. “Jiao Jiao has never managed the household before…”
“Then she dares to ask for the dowry?” Old Madam Shen asked coldly.
Shen Xiao sighed inside. She was purposely making things difficult for Jiao Jiao. He didn’t understand why his mother didn’t like her. “I’ll talk to Jiao Jiao about it. If she really is capable, I hope mother can give back the Pan Family’s dowry to her.”
“Do you think I want the dowry, huh?” Old Madam Shen leaned back, furious.
Shen Xiao hurriedly bowed and apologized, “That’s not what this son means.”
“You can go back. I’m tired.” Old Madam Shen clutched her chest with an unwell expression, not even looking at Shen Xiao.
“Mother, rest soon. This son will go now.” Shen Xiao knew that Old Madam was angry at him. He sighed in his heart. After saluting her, he quietly left.
After Shen Xiao left De’an Courtyard, Old Madam Shen smashed the teacup firmly on the ground. “This is the good son I raised!”
Mama Li hurriedly said, “Old Madam, please calm down.”
“He’s digging my skin!” Tears flowed down Old Madam Shen’s face due to anger. It was the same as handing half of Shen Family’s properties over to that stinky girl. Her heart ached so much that it felt like someone was cutting it open with a knife.
“Don’t you know Third Miss’ personality? There’s no need to fall out with the Lord. Once he knows how useless Third Miss is, he will naturally give up.” Mama Li added.
“Go, write a letter to have the second son’s wife come back.” Old Madam Shen wiped her tears and said.