She squinted, and even though she was far away, she could see the man riding a horse at the front. He was exuding an aura far stronger than the others.
She clenched her hands into fists and furrowed her brows. She had thought that Fu Yanlin might come to find her and had taken precautions. But when things came to a head, she was still very reluctant to face him.
She sternly issued an order to Xin Yu behind her. “Tell Nanny Ji to hide Dou Dou.”
Xin Yu bowed in acknowledgement and climbed down the observation deck in a flash, running to the backyard.
Mu Huanqing was not afraid of Fu Yanlin’s investigation. They two had already separated and after leaving the Marquis mansion, she no longer considered herself a member of the Marquis’s family. As long as he wasn’t aware of Dou Dou, she believed that he would harbour suspicions against her.
The farmstead was some distance away and she had already had Li Yuan hide the black colt. There would not be any clues left over, she just needed to get this over with.
Mu Huanqing had thought of everything possible, but she had not considered a variable. He Guan. Since she couldn’t see He Guan, she would not have thought that her red line was being drawn by fate.
She was in the front yard with everyone else and coldly watched the man on the horse. He entered the front gate without hiding his presence, as though he was the master here.
Fu Yanlin sat high on horseback and slowly made his way into the manor. His face was calm and had an imposing manner. As soon as he entered the manor, he discovered that it was completely different from the one in his memories.
The manor was a sight to behold. Throughout the entire area, it was full of vitality. There were many servants, each one of them were bursting with life. They lined up in two rows in an orderly manner, demonstrating well-established standards.
Fu Yanlin scanned each person and finally stopped his gaze on that woman of the Mu family standing on the steps of the main house.
With just a glance, he could feel that she was a bit different from his original impression. In the past four years, she seemed to have lived excellently in this place.
She was not adorned in the manner of a Marquis’s wife. She was wearing a neat Hufu with narrow sleeves and pants. Her hair was simply done up in a single bun and wrapped in a cloth towel. She did not wear any hairpins or ornaments, even her face was bare.
She just stood there, looking at him quietly. Her face was very calm, there was no resentment and no surprise. Just like she was looking at a stranger.
Fu Yanlin got off his horse after finishing his examination. It didn’t matter whether they were separated or not, he was still the real master of this manor. He was the Zhenyuan Marquis and this manor was just one of his properties.
He was wearing a martial arts uniform with a sword by his waist and a whip in his hand. He was able to pressure everyone there, even though he wasn’t acting deliberately imposing. Due to his arrival, every person held their breath and waited. The entire area was shrouded in silence, even every breath was taken cautiously.
His boots landed on the ground making a low thump as he kept both eyes on that woman. But just as he had taken two steps forward, a little girl suddenly appeared from behind that woman. The girl hugged the woman’s thigh and a soft voice shouted out—
Mu Huanqing froze in shock. She had never expected that Dou Dou would pop out at this moment.
She stared at her daughter in disbelief and then looked at Nanny Ji and Xin Yu who were also hurrying over. The two of them looked very flustered. It seemed that something had happened that caused them to lose control over the situation.
Mu Huanqing didn’t have time to investigate because it was too late for it to matter. She turned to look at Fu Yanlin. As she thought, he was shocked, staring at Dou Dou. He then slowly moved his gaze onto her face. The look of shock was starting to look ashen.
Mu Huanqing knew that she couldn’t hide it. This man was not a fool. He would be able to connect the dots with a little thought. But what of it?
The black colt was hers. Her daughter was also hers. What was wrong with her taking back her horse and her daughter? He was the one who seized his horse and her daughter.
Dou Dou also discovered that something was wrong. Mummy’s face was really bad. Daddy’s face had also become scary. He wasn’t smiling and his star was so fierce. Completely different to the daddy that gently took her around the marketplace.
Mu Huanqing felt that leaning closer to her as if she was scared. Immediately she reached out her hand to protect her.
That man still had that cold face. Within the past years, he had not acquired a calm and restrained imposing aura.
She forged ahead and looked into those eagle eyes and couldn’t help but be on the alert.
She didn’t know what the man was deciding. If he wanted to bully her precious daughter, she would fight him to the death. Dou Dou blinked her pure and innocent eyes and looked towards the demon uncle who no one else could see.
He Guan pinched little Dou Dou’s pretty little face and smiled evilly.
“Don’t be afraid. The person your dad father really wanted to bully is actually your mum.”
Mu Huanqing didn’t want to leave a permanent shadow on her daughter’s heart. She calmly took the lead in breaking the deadlock.
“Steward Shang, bring these officers to the guest courtyard to rest. Hao Er, lead these horses to the stable and give them food and water. Nanny Ji, you go prepare tea. Aunt Zhao, tell the kitchen to prepare food.”
The silent servants immediately began to move. Mu Huanqing looked at Fu Yanlin again and smiled faintly. “The marquis must be tired from travelling from the capital. Please, take a rest in the house.” She didn’t wait for his response before taking her daughter and walking into the house.
She knew that he would follow because he had too many questions for her. She believed that for Dou Dou, he would not have a falling out in front of everything and give her face. She saw clearly at the marketplace that the man’s kindness towards Dou Dou was not an act.
After she entered the house, Fu Yanlin nodded at his subordinates. “Go on.”
His soldiers only moved after receiving his permission, following the steward to the guest area.
Fu Yanlin had too many questions. He went up the stairs with a sullen expression and entered the main hall.
“Please sit, Marquis.” She said lightly.
Fu Yanlin stared at her. This woman was too calm and composed. Although four years had passed, this aspect of her had not changed. But he really just wanted to hear her explanations on how an extra daughter managed to appear.
Xin Yu carried over a basin and towel. Mu Huanqing took it and politely said, “Marquis, please wash. It will be more comfortable.”
Fu Yanlin also didn’t stand on ceremony and quickly washed his face and hands. He then took the towel she offered and wiped his face, his hands, then placed it on the table.
“Is she your daughter?” He got right to the point with not even a second of trying to speak in a roundabout way. Although Dou Dou called her mother, he still wanted to hear her say it.
Mu Huanqing saw his straightforward attitude and agreed in her heart. She also liked to be straightforward. So she told Xin Yu to take away the basin full of water and let Nanny Ji serve the tea. She then ordered the two of them to retreat and stay outside to keep everyone else outside.
After they left the room, Mu Huanqing also sat and pulled her daughter to her side.
“Her nickname is Dou Dou. Yes, she is my daughter.” She didn’t call herself by her title, showing clearly that she did not consider him to be her father.
“Who is her father?” He asked in a solemn voice.
“You.” The softly spoken word came out of her mouth with ease, but Fu Yanlin was shocked when he heard it. Although he had prepared himself mentally, he was still surprised when he heard her voice her acknowledgement.
So Dou Dou was really his daughter. Yuan Ji said that Dou Dou looked very much like him. He hadn’t cared at the time, but now he knew the truth, he couldn’t tell when he felt like in his heart. There was shock, there was anger. But most of all he was pleasantly surprised.
The anger was due to her concealment. How many secrets had this woman hidden from him?
“You were already pregnant in the Marquis household. Why say nothing?”
Mu Huanqing looked at him in amusement. “The situation at that time, Marquis himself knows. My silence was for the best of both of us.”
“She is my child.” Anger still in his eyes.
“Of course she is Marquis's child. Dou Dou. Quickly call daddy.”
Dou Dou very obediently shouted, “Daddy.”
That one word dissipated Fu Yanlin’s imposing manner. It was undeniable. He had been fond of Dou Dou from the moment he saw her. Now that he knew that Dou Dou was his daughter, that fondness in his heart had become absolutely unrestrained and he was unable to control it.
He did not want to scare Dou Dou. Furthermore, he did not want the grudge between the two of them to involve his daughter. So he ordered, “First let someone bring the daughter outside.”
“There is no harm in saying what one thinks. Dou Dou isn’t an outsider. Dou Dou really wants to stay by her father’s side, right?”
Dou Dou immediately nodded and turned her watery eyes towards her father, looking at him with childlike admiration.
No matter how ice-cold Fu Yanlin’s heart was, it would easily melt at his daughter’s eyes. The corners of his mouth subconsciously bent but his face sank again when he thought of his purpose in coming here.
“What we will talk about next is not suitable for her to hear.”
“Marquis wants to ask if I was the one who rode the black colt? It was me. As for the person who wanted to take Dou Dou away from the horse market, it was my people. These two things Dou Dou knows. Right Dou Dou?”
Dou Dou looked at her mummy’s smile and also began to smile. She replied in a childlike voice, “Little black runs fast. Lan Lan even loses against him! Li Yuan also runs fast. That Uncle Yuan Ji can’t catch him.”
Fu Yanlin’s face was black. The woman who snatched his horse, schemed against him, and punched him, was actually her. He wanted to flip out but when he saw Dou Dou’s smiling face, he couldn’t flare-up. He could only squeeze his fists until his bones creaked.
“You know martial arts?”
“Oh? The marquis doesn’t know?”
Although she asked, she already knew the answer and he suddenly began to feel his head ache. How was this woman’s smile so cunning? He discovered that he had never clearly seen her before.
Naz's note: Nothing interesting to note... OTL Sorry for such a late chapter, honestly I was busy with some stuff and then just let this get away from me.
Thanks for sticking by this and enduring my non-existent schedule. Let me know if you want me to clarify anything~