Hui'er, as Yujia requested, began explaining to her, starting from the most important figure of the family— the old master— all the way down to the Yang Xiaoyi that Yujia knew. Yujia carefully listened, memorizing her every word. She knew that if she wanted to adapt to this new environment, she would have to know her information well.
The Yang family's old master, her father, was a man in his mid-fifties and named Yang Chen. He ran numerous small businesses, but they mainly focused on agrarian products, like imported spices and common grain such as rice. All in all, he could only be considered a lower tier merchant amongst the average merchants in the capital city of the Xiang Empire, Chang'an. However, Yang Chen did have three women in his romantic love story, his current wife, Madam Zhang, his former second wife who died after giving birth to the Fifth Miss, Madam Zhen, and Yujia's mother, Madam Liu. It turned out that even after having so many relationships, he could still not manage to produce a son, so all the children of the Yang family were female.
Madam Zhang, the main and only remaining wife in the Yang household, was the second ruler of the family. She was a woman in her early-forties, and was the mother of two of the daughters in the Yang family, Yang Qingxia and Yang Wanqing.
Yang Qingxia, the First Miss of the family and turning twenty-four this year, was infamous in the city, bringing bad reputation to the entire Yang family because of her past, involving a failed marriage, a pregnancy, and a miscarriage. Hui'er didn't know the details since all the rumors of exactly what happened varied, but all that was certain now was that no man would ever marry Yang Qingxia again, so she was forever stuck in the Yang villa, not even able to step out the front courtyard without being ridiculed by the rest of the world.
Yang Wanqing, on the other hand, seemed to share a different fate than her sister. She was the Third Miss and married successfully to a small merchant who was the Old Master's close friend. The marriage was very average, so Yang Wanqing would occasionally visit the villa again, but most of the time, she stayed in the household of the family that she married into, already raising a child of her own.
When Hui'er moved on to the topic of Madam Zhen and her daughter, she began to spoke with a hushed tone, for according to Hui'er, the woman had died and it would be unlucky to bring her name up very much. Madam Zhen was just a young woman who married into the Yang family from another of the Old Master's business acquaintances. Although she was just sixteen when she married into the Yang family, she quickly gave birth to Yang Yichen, the Second Miss of the family, but later on, when she was in her twenties, she gave birth to Yang Xiaoyi and sadly died during childbirth.
Besides these basic facts, Hui'er barely gave any other information to Yujia— the girl wanted to move over the topic quickly, so Yujia let her.
When Hui'er began talking about the Second Miss of the family, Yang Yichen, though, Yujia noticed that she became much more excited. The stories involving Yang Yichen could not be described as anything less than exciting.
Yang Yichen, now twenty-four, was born only a month after Yang Qingxia was born, but the girl was much different in terms of personality. Even as a child, she was stronger and bolder than the rest, and by the time that Yichen reached eleven years of age, she ran away from home out of pure recklessness. Madam Zhen and the Old Master were obviously worried and sent out people to search for her, but a few months after, they could not find her and automatically assumed that she likely drowned in a river or died from some other reason, causing the whole household to grieve for her death and even hold a small funeral with an empty casket.
Her story didn't turn out like everyone thought, however, and a few years after her "death", Yichen, sixteen years old, came back to the household, stepping across the front door like nothing had changed. Yet things definitely changed with her, and people could tell. It was a shock to see that she was alive, and that, more importantly, she found herself an adoptive father, who happened to be a small captain in the military that would later become an important general of the Xiang Empire.
Upon seeing that she had changed, the Old Master instantly arranged a marriage for her to attempt to settle her down in hopes that it would change her, but of course, Yang Yichen was utterly against the idea. She ran away yet again, after heavily injuring a few servants who attempted to block her during her escape, demonstrating that during the five years that she was gone, she had also learned a stunning set of martial art skills.
The entire event angered the Old Master to the point where he refused to call Yang Yichen his daughter anymore, claiming that if he couldn't control her wild instincts, then there would be no reason to have her as a daughter.
A couple more years pass, and Yichen was now twenty. Along with her adopted father's power of rising up in the military to the rank of general, Yichen's fame seemed to rise too when people began to hear stories of a girl who fought next to the men on the battlefield, to the point where they gave her the honorary title of "lieutenant". A large amount of the feedback given on this idea of women on the battlefield was negative. They couldn't believe that the emperor even approved of this concept. Nevertheless, there was still a similarly large group of people who found it amusing to see a girl in the military, so Yichen did gather quite a bit of fame.
By this time, Yujia's father was not happy with this. He knew that Yichen had greater power than him, so when Yichen decided to step back in the villa to pay respects to her mother, he attempted to reconcile and claim her as his daughter again. Yichen was obviously disgusted by his actions, and on that day, she completely severed all connections with the family and stopped going by "Yang Yichen", choosing to go by the surname of her adoptive father, "Wu".
And ever since then, Wu Yichen never took a single step back in the household.
Hui'er seemed extremely satisfied after telling the story, a proud smile on her lips.
Afterwards, she covered Yang Xiaoyi briefly, but again, like Yang Wanqing, there was not much to tell besides the fact that Yang Xiaoyi was the Fifth Miss and that she lived a relatively simple life in the villa, and recently, was just betrothed to the Yu family which Yujia was also marrying into.
By the end of Hui'er's explanation, Yujia seemed to have a new outlook on the Yang family. Things were definitely not as simple as they seemed. Although the Yang family was a small one, they certainly had more drama and interest than Yujia had expected.
Yujia thought back to Hui'er's explanation of Wu Yichen's story. That was certainly very striking, but one detail caught Yujia's eyes— the fact that her father, the Old Master, became so angry that Yichen refused her marriage.
It was interesting to wonder what he would think if Yujia handed him one-hundred silver taels and asked for the marriage to be canceled. The more Yujia thought about it, the crazier the idea sounded… but who knew? She didn't particularly have a better plan as of the moment.