This time, Lan Waihu could sense that something had changed from the way his parents treated her.
Yan Chen's father did not make it very obvious. However, he would frown every time he saw her, as though her presence made him uncomfortable.
Yan Chen's mother, on the other hand, was clearly unsatisfied with her. She seemed to find faults with her all the time. For instance, she was always ready to complain about the way she sat, stood or even walked, saying that she was not ladylike.
His mother was a rather calculative woman. She would treat Lan Waihu with a benign countenance when her son was present, by arranging for her to have the best room with the most comfortable living condition. She even sent four servants to take personal care of her. Additionally, from the best dresses to the best accessories, his mother had prepared everything for her. Not a single complaint was heard. To Yan Chen, it was a comforting sight to see his mother treating Lan Waihu so well, as though she was her own daughter.
However, whenever Lan Waihu was alone, his mother would set her face against her. She would complain at every fault that she managed to find. Her words were so harsh that she almost made Lan Waihu hang her head in shame. She was terrified to see his mother and would avoid her most of the time; but where else could she go to hide?
Most of the time, Yan Chen was occupied with his practice and hot spring recovery treatment. There was not much time that he could spend with Lan Waihu; an hour a day at most.
Lan Waihu was scared to see Yan Chen's mother. Hence, in the absence of Yan Chen, she would spend most of her time outside of their residence to avoid being lectured.
However, that gave Yan Chen's mother another reason to teach her a lesson. She thought that she should spend her time at home. As a girl that Yan Chen adored, she should avoid being an object of public denunciation and uphold his reputation.
When she was out there, she had indeed heard some sarcastic remarks; wondering how an orphan like her could attract Yan Chen. It would take their entire generation of good fortune to be in her shoes, saying that she was merely a Cinderella who was lucky enough to be a winner at the game of life. They thought that she was not worthy of Yan Chen and that she did not even deserve to be his concubine.
The social conduct in the Yanzi Town was rather conservative. Most of the ladies would rarely leave their homes. Therefore, the sight of Lan Waihu wandering around in the streets was another topic for their never-ending gossips. Their words were very mean and unpleasant to the ear. She was completely triggered.
The gossip got out and became instantly widespread, even to his mother's ears. In order to preserve her son's reputation, she forbade Lan Waihu to leave the house.
Certainly, his mother did not make her stay at home forcefully. She managed to convey her message through her typical sarcasm. "Waihu, Yan Chen is the pride of our entire family, so his reputation must not be discredited even with a single disrepute. He has always been very disciplined, so we are not very worried about him. He likes you, so we have no place to interrupt your relationship. However, you have to be more considerate of him. Because of you, he almost lost his life in Tianju Hall for being overly obsessed in his advancement. The side effect will follow him for life. We will not blame you, but you should not discredit his reputation anymore by giving others a chance to gossip about your marriage in the future. Do you wish to hear people saying that he chooses to marry a mad woman who refuses to stay at home? A long time ago, the public denounced your mother for not upholding her virtue as a woman. That is why people have been holding a deeply rooted prejudice against you. If you continue to misbehave, how do you expect them to accept you? Moreover, there is always a place for you, here in our huge residence."
There was a harsh sting in the tail. Sharp-tongued, her words had completely destroyed Lan Waihu. She was too naive to say anything back.
Lan Waihu dared not step out of the door anymore. She spent all of her time at Yan Chen's residence. As long as she was around, his mother would definitely summon her and criticize her for every possible flaw.
Those were the difficult times.