Yeah, so, the response has been pretty good as of now to the first summary of the book. So now, I’m out with the second. Just for the information, @chairmanlichi may decide to change the a little of the plot of the book before I’ll actually get down to posting the full chapters. Okay, so we’ll move on then. Shall we?!
After the revelation, Mu Lan gets to know LOTS of things. But mainly, she realizes that Zhen Tao and Sheng Jie already know each other and are best friends. And Sheng Jie was already aware of his deception, but said nothing because he’ll need Tao’s support for the Provincial Elections in Shandong, which is basically the kingdom of Zhen Family.
The Zhens are an ancient family and have a strong foothold over the city of Qufu, which is their hometown. However, due to the Second World War and its aftermath, the surviving family members fled to France and USA, before they returned back to China and revived their family’s lost glory.
The family elders invited a very old Buddhist monk to set the auspicious date for marriage.
[Note: In traditional Chinese culture, first the eligibility of the match is checked by religious priests before an auspicious date is fixed.]
The monk reads the birth timings and dates of the couple and is slightly disturbed. He comments that this is match that has been made by destiny. But, there is a slight problem. So, the bride and the groom shouldn’t contact each other for the next forty five days.
The wedding date is set after three months.
In the meanwhile, Aunt Zifu returns and is shocked by the turn of the events. When she arrives, the elders of the Zhen family bow to her, though she’s younger than them. Mu Lan notices this, but doesn’t say anything.
Mu Lan and her sister Mu Jin begin bonding. And Mu Jin jokes about how she finds Zhen Chen cute and wonders if he’s gay because his younger brother is getting married before him.
Mu Lan agrees with her, but feels that Zhen Chen somehow doesn’t have the commanding aura of the man who’s supposedly the leader of one of China’s oldest and most distinguished families.
Mu Jin remarks that Zhen Tao looks better than Zhen Chen and would make a great leader.
Sheng Jie is missing in the dinner, and Mu Lan goes to look for him. She finds him in a corner, with Aunt Zifu. Aunt Zifu’s trying to console him as he lost the girl he fell in love with.
Mu Lan feels sorry for him and decides not to go to him, as her presence would only irritate him.
Zhen Tao has already left, and now she’s feeling alone and goes to her room. She wanted to make him answer to her, because she’d not said a word about them knowing each other to the elders as that would create a huge scene. But she could never get him away for a private chat. Especially after the monk’s warning.
Her mother and aunt come in to congratulate her. But she’s indignant.
Mu Lan: “How can I marry a man to whom I’ve never talked before?”
Provided, yeah she does know him and fell in love with him. But that was when she thought he was Wang Shide. This Zhen Tao is different. He’s like a tiger wearing a sheep’s skin. He curbs his natural commanding aura around his brother out of respect, but it was enough to see the family dynamics when both brothers stood side by side.
Her mother tries to assure her by saying that she never met her father before marrying him. But Mu Lan scoffs saying that that’s 20th Century. She turns to Aunt Zifu for guidance. But Aunt Zifu just gives a knowing smile and an affectionate pat on the head, before leaving the room silently.
Her mother realizes that their years of separation has made Mu Lan severe any sort of emotional connect with her. And that Mu Lan tries to love her only because of the fact that she’s her biological mother. But, it’s Zifu whom she considers as both mother and father.
She walks out of the room, sad but knowing that that’s the truth.
Now, Mu Lan is left alone in the room with her old nanny, the one brought her up before she left China.
The nanny closes the door and tells her to go to sleep. But Mu Lan stops her. She asks the nanny who set this match. The nanny respectfully replies that it’s Young Master Sheng.
Mu Lan frowns. “Why am I marrying the younger brother, when the elder brother is the one with the power?”
The nanny looks into her eyes, and Mu Lan could see the years of sadness hidden deep within them. That ancient face was full of pain, and it seemed as if there were many stories for her to tell.
“The Eldest Sons of the Zhen Family never live past the age of twenty five.”
Well, that’s another cliffhanger for you all. Actually, the flashback progresses simultaneously with the present. But then, for convenience’s sake, I decided to summarize the Present before the Flashback.
Strictly speaking, the Past is even more exciting and emotional compared to the Present. It’s set in the era of the Second World War and the war between KMT and CCP. The entire setting is breathtakingly beautiful, and I’m pretty sure that you guys will love it.
Until then, see you soon!