Slight trigger warning: Mentions of child abuse
That night, Tang Wan went for a walk in the garden after dinner and saw Lin Bo from a distance. Tang Wan jogged a few steps towards him, “Lin Bo, I have a question!”
The old man pulled out some seeds from his pocket and gave a knowing smile, asking, “What is the question?”
When Tang Wan saw his attitude, he knew that the other knew what he wanted to ask. He pretended to humbly ask for advice, “I want to ask about the Marshal and his mother.”
Lin Bos smile scrunched his eyes, and he teasingly asked: “Aiya, so concerned. Wouldnt it be better to ask the Marshal?”
Tang Wan heard the old mans teasing tone and he reached over to steal a few seeds from his hand, laughingly asking: “Lin Bo, youve given me the impulse.”
Lin Bo split half the seeds with Tang Wan: “Really?”
Tang Wan solemnly told him: “Im teasing, when you get old Ill steal your walking stick.”
Lin Bo paused between crack the seeds. Although this threat was certainly very childish, it was still……fierce enough!
“Very well, I wont tease you anymore.” Lin Bo returned to being proper, taking Tang Wan along for a stroll: “The old Madam wasnt like this before, an especially mild person. After becoming provoked, she changed.” Lin Bo pointed at his own head, “Roughly, not good here.”
Tang Wan understood. Lin Bo was subtly saying that there was something wrong with Zong Hes mothers head. This old man was too courageous!
“Once when the Duke went out to battle, he ran into a black hole. The battleship was damaged and the people had died. The Madam believed that the Duke didnt listen to her and went out, throwing away his life. At the time, the Marshal was only three years old, so he doesnt quite remember the situation. The Madams personality changed a lot. As a princess, she was young and beautiful. There was nothing wrong with remarrying, but she hadnt. She placed all of her attention onto the Marshal, wanting him to obey her every word. Every word he said, every step he took, every bite of food he took, and everything he drank was under her control.”
Tang Wan frowned, “It should be a sickness then? Some mental disorder.”
Lin Bo sighed, “We doubt that she has a mental disorder. The emperor before, the Marshals grandfather, found some people to speak to her, but she forcefully refused. Additionally, every time that she was stimulated, she would become even more critical. This turned into even more efforts to control the Marshal. So they didnt dare to get any more doctors to look at her. Originally, everyone thought that it would fade with time, that she would step out from under the shadow of the Dukes death. That was until once, she almost beat the Marshal to death and the old emperor finally realized that their method wasnt working. He took in the Marshal for a few days, not expecting that the old Madam would also go into a frenzy, looking for her child and endlessly regretting what she had done, so much that she didnt hesitate to hurt herself. The old emperor loved his daughter and so sent the Marshal back. He never thought that that night, the old Madam would hug him so closely that he almost suffocated to death.”
Tang Wan stopped walking, his heart feeling like it had been squeezed, aching. This was a problem with the heart that occurred after a huge provocation, she had gone mad!
“Since they already knew that there was a mental problem, why did they give Zong He to her to raise?” In fact, Tang Wan also really wanted to add: If shes sick, go see a doctor ah!
Lin Bo continued, his expression darkening, “At the time, they didnt think so much. They believed that she had just suffered a huge shock. She never mentally adjusted, and she refused to see doctors, who were strangers and would intensify her reactions. You must also know that the old emperor only had one daughter. He only had her when he was fifty years old, so he pampered her like she was the pearl in the palm of his hand. He hated to upset her.”
When Tang Wan heard this, he only wanted to curse. No wonder he had raised a cheating heir, the old emperor shouldnt be an idiot! He couldnt use the blurred vision of an old person to look at his daughter, even if he loved her dearly!
“Later, the Crown Prince, the current emperor, frequently visited the Dukes home and spent the night. He really was there to protect the Marshal. His Majesty is older than the Marshal by twenty years, and they had taken on His Majesty as a sort of older son. He could give the responsibility for the army to His Majesty without much worry. Their relationship was truly very good.”
Tang Wan was still tangled up in the matter of the Crown Prince fathering Da Zhuang, and he couldnt muster up any good feelings for this cheating man.
Lin Bo continued on: “When the Marshal was sixteen years old, he left home and joined military school. Only then was he able to pull himself from the old Madams control.”
Tang Wans heart loosened slightly. That was still good.
He didnt expect that Lin Bo would suddenly turn it back around, immediately saying: “Unfortunately, this kind of behavior stimulated the old Madam into another frenzy, and she sent a number of people to assassinate the Marshal.”
Tang Wans face twisted. How much pain would Zong Hes heart be in, having his birth mother want to kill him? Just thinking about it, Tang Wans heart dripped blood, “Why?”
Lin Bo sighed, “Because the old Madam said that the Marshal was her son and that if he didnt listen, then he would be better off dead at her side.”
Tang Wan laughed angrily, “What kind of nonsense reason was that?!”
“After His Majesty was crowned, to prevent the old Madam from trying to kill the Marshal again, he placed her under house arrest in the Dukes mansion. If nothing happened, then he would let her out, and I was at his side to protect him. Only then could the Marshal grow up at peace.” Lin Bo finished speaking but suddenly stopped, fixing his blazing eyes on Tang Wan. “The Marshal really cares about you. I have never seen him care about a person so much. If he lost you, he would become even crazier than his mother. After all, hes still his mothers son; there are some aspects where they are indeed similar.”
Tang Wan listened calmly, his expression still for a while. Then he pulled over Lin Bos hand, giving him more seeds. The corners of his lips twitched, “You can relax, he would never become like that.”
When Lin Bo understood what Tang Wan meant, his eyes brightened and he gripped Tang Wans hand. Moved, he opened and closed his mouth, and finally managed to say: “Good, good!”
Tang Wan laughed and patted the back of the old mans wrinkled hand, admiringly saying: “Lin Bo, for having raised Zong He so well, you are the entire empires hero.”
The corner of Lin Bos mouth couldnt help but twitch, “Right, the Marshal is my pride!”
Tang Wan quietly teased him: “They say that the child will resemble whoever raises them, so really, so when Zong He blackens, hell be like you.”
Lin Bo quickly shook his head, his face full of innocence: “No no no, Im not that kind of person.”
Tang Wan grinned, the old man didnt have any regards in his heart at all. What natural blackening, that was the scariest thing!
Lin Bo still reminded Tang Wan, “In the old Madams mind, she should have had a say in the Marshals partner. If she meets you, she would definitely give you trouble. To protect you, the Marshal doesnt want you to meet her. You should listen to him and not meet her. The Marshal had experienced everything.”
Tang Wan laughed and nodded, “Okay, Ill listen, I wont meet her.”
He was afraid that if they met, he wouldnt be able to stop himself from verbally attacking her until she cried. Doing such a thing the first time he met her, it wouldnt be good.
When Tang Wan finished his stroll with Lin Bo, he didnt return to the room to rest but went directly to Zong Hes study. He was lying on the windowsill. What he was thinking was a mystery. He was staring outside, lying motionless.
Tang Wan directly opened the door and walked in. When Zong He heard his footsteps, his ears twitched and he turned his face slightly, remaining silent.
Tang Wan smiled and walked up to the others side, looking at the direction Zong He was staring in. There were only a few small mountaintops. It was so dark that there was nothing to see.
“Is the scenery pretty?”
“If its not pretty, you can look at me.” Tang Wan captured the others hand and pulled him up to leave, “Your business is done, so dont sit here and stare blankly. Well go back and brush your fur.”
Actually, Tang Wans heart was heavy. This time, he really was feeling distressed. He didnt pity Zong Hes bitter experience while he was young but felt genuine distress. If Zong He was a little weaker, he would have died or gone mad. The one who would have lost the most was him. For being so accepting of his partner now, if he went crazy, who would he seek out for compensation?
Zong He sensed that Tang Wans mood wasnt right, “What did Lin Bo say to you?”
“I went to ask him, and he just reminded me to listen to his words and not meet your mother. Theres nothing else.” Tang Wan pulled Zong He out of the room and up the stairs, easily locking up the strategic military room behind them.
Zong Hes footsteps stopped and he asked, confused: “Where are you going?”
“To the rooftop, of course.” Tang Wan unhappily glanced at Zong He. Dont think that Tang Wan didnt know what he was doing, “Going to the rooftop to look at the stars. The starlight tonight is so good. Theres nothing important, why do you always want to run back to the bedroom? Its still early.”
Zong He sighed regretfully.
Tang Wan remained silent. Your expression is too obvious!
There was a small loft on the rooftop with an especially large window. Standing there, one could get a wide view with a clear sight of the stars. Tang Wan had taken a fancy to this spot early on and had asked someone to place some interesting bamboo chairs and a bamboo table by the window. During the day, he could still come to sip tea while reading.
Being pulled all the way up, Zong Hes expression was unhappy. He didnt understand why, to see a beautiful scene, they had to run all the way here to watch the stars. Could it be that this was the so-called romance? Men of steel didnt understand the romance of stargazing.
Tang Wans eyes glittered as he stared at Zong He. Please! Transform! Into! A! Big! Cat!
Zong He still couldnt bear this kind of gaze, and he transformed into his original form. He stood up, having no place to lie down.
“Aiya, just make do for a bit, lie on the rug!”
“This is a rug that people have stepped on. I can only rest on rugs that other people havent stepped on.”
“Right right right, Ill change it for you!” Tang Wan immediately asked Ji Yan to put out a new rug, teasing Zong He, “Marshal-daren, please lie down! This rug absolutely hasnt been tarnished by other people, it wont dirty your fur.”
Zong He loftily lay down.
Tang Wan fixed his posture a little so that he was facing the window, and he excitedly sat in Zong Hes embrace and lay against his stomach. He was very happy to look outside at the bright rivers of stars. It really was too beautiful!
Zong He used his paw to press on Tang Wans waist, dissatisfied. Where was the brushing they had agreed upon?
Tang Wan grabbed his big paw and kneaded the paw pad. It didnt feel as good as a kittens paw, “Tsk, Ill give you some healing cream for your paw!”
Zong He angrily pulled back his paw. He was a soldier, his hand doused with innumerable peoples blood. He didnt need that silly thing.
Tang Wan was already unwilling to listen to the others explanation, one hand grabbing Zong Hes paw again and the other holding a pair of small clippers. He cut away the loose fur from his palm. Lin Bo saw that the light upstairs was on, and he came up to take a look, noticing the two people nestled together. He stroked his beard, gratified. As he passed through, he pretended that no one else could hear him and said: “Youth, if theres good feelings, then they can quickly give birth to children. While this weary old body can still move, I can still help raise the baby.”
Tang Wans finger twitched. This old man definitely did it on purpose!
Zong He narrowed his eyes. When he thought of a child fighting with him over his partner, he unhappily shook his head, “Dont want children, theyre too troublesome.”
Tang Wan unexpectedly said, “They say that beastmen care the most about their childs species. Our child should probably look something like Da Zhuang.” Tang Wan patted Zong Hes neck and gave a deep sigh. “Da Zhuangs colors really resemble yours. The child hasnt come in a few days, he should be studying well.”
Zong He closed his eyes, “En.”
“If he eats more and exercises in the future, he can become the most handsome and the strongest child in the universe, like you.” Tang Wan rambled on, then became a little sentimental. Da Zhuang really hadnt come to see him. When he recovered, he really didnt need this father.
Zong He rested his head on Tang Wans leg, his entire body curved into a C shape. He wordlessly comforted Tang Wan. After being rubbed by Tang Wan a few times, Zong He sighed. He needed to find an opportunity to confess. His pride wasnt as important as his partners mood. Zong He really was distressed.
— — — —
After they ate breakfast early the next day, Zong He spoke with Tang Wan: “I dont have any pressing matters today, so can I take you out?”
At this moment, Lin Bo hastily ran over, “Marshal, Fūrén, the old Madam has come.”
Zong Hes expression chilled, “How could she have come?”
Lin Bo pointed towards the Imperial Palace, a helpless expression on his face, “The Imperial Familys guards brought her over, and the defense system didnt raise any alarms.”
Tang Wan looked at Zong Hes expression, his eyebrows furrowing.
“You really have grown up now. The Marshals mother hasnt been able to see her child for years, so she could only come herself. Would you still lock your doors and refuse to see her?” While he was speaking, a richly dressed woman had already arrived at the door. Even if he was already fifty years old, his five senses were still refined. Her princesss noble and haughty air oozed into the atmosphere. However, she had a melancholy look, so that her expression appeared somewhat pinched and made her look somewhat unkind. Her expression was also frigid and strict. At just a glance, she seemed unapproachable.
Zong Hes demeanor was calm, coldly asking: “What did you come here for? I havent died yet.”
Tang Wan tugged on Zong Hes sleeve so that he calmed a little. Being impulsive wouldnt settle their disputes.
When Madam Zong saw Tang Wans movement, her gaze became icy.
Tang Wan nodded slightly, neither backing down nor appearing arrogant: “Hello.”
Madam Zong sized up Tang Wan disgustedly, “What type of thing are you? Leave, I dont want to see an outsider.”
Because of these words, Zong Hes originally heavy expression instantly turned cold as ice and frost.
Mother-in-laws in these novels are always so…..(╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻
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