Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 98: Demonstration (Part 1)
From the first day since Jing Chu Chu and Jing Guan Sheng came to visit, there was a subtle change in the atmosphere in the Shen residence. Everyone knew that Old Shen Furen was selfish and stingy by nature and was not warm or magnanimous, but facing the grandnephew and grandniece from her maiden family that she had not meet for so many years, she did not show any cold expression, but treated them so very kind and warmly that she often gave them gifts and money.
However these two people actually seemed to intend to stay in the residence for a long time as there were no intentions of leaving . Because Old Shen Furen treated them politely, when the servants saw that they also treated them politely.
In the Eastern courtyard of the Shen residence, at one of the side rooms of Cai Yun Yuan, Wan YiNiang was knotting a string bag and the colourful strings quickly formed a complex shape as she spoke to Shen Dong Ling, who was sitting behind the folding screen practicing calligraphy, “Has Old Furen changed her temperament? This good treatment towards Biao Young Lady and Biao Young Master is almost better than Ling-er’s already.”
“There are no mistakes in Old Furen’s calculations.” Shen Dong Ling sat behind the folding screen and her facial colour was much better than before, at least it was not as pale as previously. Now that Shen Gui come over often to Wan YiNiang’s to sit, he also started to give her more attention and sent over a lot of nutritious herbs. Shen Gui’s attitude gave a clue to everyone in Cai Yun Yuan but some people still had the wait and see attitude, as even though Ren Wan Yun went crazy, there was still a Di Young Master, Shen Yuan. No matter if Wan YiNiang was able to regain favour, Shen Dong Ling was after all only a daughter.
“Ling-er also felt that it is somewhat odd?” Wan YiNiang’s hands stopped, “But for what reasons does Old Furen treat those two people for?”
Shen Dong Ling smiled, “Old Furen naturally hope that some people would be attracted to Young Lady and Young Master.”
Wan YiNiang suddenly smartened up and understood it. She looked towards Shen Dong Ling, “Who does Old Furen want them to be close with?”
“Small family without any power or prospects and also from Old Furen’s maiden family.” Shen Dong Ling carefully placed her brush down, “Whoever Old Furen hate the most, naturally it would be them.”
Just as Shen Dong Ling was speaking, in the Western courtyard at the training courtyard for swordplay, Shen Qiu and Shen Xin just finished practicing a round and let their subordinates continue practicing, while they got ready to rest a while when they saw a yellow clad young female walking over towards the courtyard.
This young female had a countenance of a flower and face like the moon with a delicate and timid appearance. There was also a bamboo basket around her wrist which was carried in a way where it made one look pitiful. She walked over to the edge of the courtyard and lowered her head as she called out, “Biao Older Brother. Biao Shu.”
It was precisely Jing Chu Chu.
Luo Xue Yan was currently at another end giving pointers to soldiers and Shen Xin and Shen Qiu were somewhat surprise upon seeing Jing Chu Chu. Shen Qiu took a step forward and said, “What is Biao Younger Sister here for?”
When he spoke the words ‘Biao Younger Sister’, he felt not used to them because after all he had never seen Jing Chu Chu for all these years, and to suddenly gain an additional Biao Younger Sister, it was difficult for anyone to accept it.
Jing Chu Chu smiled shyly and placed the bamboo basket around her wrist down on a stone platform before speaking softly, “Chu Chu had personally made some snacks. Thinking that Biao Older Brother and the rest would be tired after practicing swordplay, one made these things, hoping that Biao Older Brother and Biao Shu would not despise.” After which she lowered her head to open the lid and took out a few dishes of snacks out of it. Those snacks were made delicately and smelt sweet and fragrant. Shen Xin had not yet said anything but Shen Qiu the glutton was already swallowing his saliva.
Shen Xin was also somewhat comforted that even though she was timid and delicate, it looked like she treated others sincerely. Other than being a little timid, a young lady who was skilful at making snacks would be welcomed by others, especially when this young lady looked good too. Luo Xue Yan was a female General, how would she know how to make soup thus Shen Xin and son had a good impression of such a young lady who can cook like this.
Jing Chu Chu said, “Had received hospitality for these days so one’s heart felt guilty. Chu Chu does not have any ability and can only make some snacks to show one’s appreciation.”
Look at this, even know how to recompense on a debt of gratitude. Shen Xin and son liked people who were well-mannered and thoughtful the best. Military Generals valued relationships and Jing Chu Chu’s performance was indeed not bad .
Shen Qiu said, “Biao Younger Sister do not need to worry and just treat this as your home. There is no talk about hospitality in one family.”
Jing Chu Chu lowered her head down shyly and Shen Qiu picked up a piece of pastry before speaking with a smile, “Then I would not be polite.” Just as he was about to bite down, he suddenly heard a voice from behind, “Eldest Brother.”
Shen Qiu turned around. He did not know when did Shen Miao come over and just stood at the edge of the courtyard with four maids behind her as she gazed chilly at him. He did not know why but Shen Qiu actually felt a guilty conscience in his heart. He subconsciously placed the pastry down and asked, “Why Younger Sister came over?”
Shen Miao did not respond and lifted her foot to walk over to them. When she was nearer, one was able to see the four maids, Gu Yu, Jing Zhe, Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang, were each holding a basket in their hands. Shen Xin asked, “Jiao Jiao, what are the baskets holding?”
“The weather today is somewhat cold so one thought that everyone would be thirsty when practicing swordplay so one made soup.” Shen Miao lightly swept a look at Shen Qiu and a chill went down Shen Qiu’ s back as he heard Shen Miao speaking, “Let those soldiers come over to drink the soup. The mushroom chicken soup has been stewed since the early morning and it is good to warm one’s body up.”
“I will go and call!” Ah Zhi who was standing by Shen Qiu’s side saw it and in a short time was overjoyed. He ran over to the other side of the field and in a short while, dozens of soldiers followed back to the courtyard.
Shen Miao let Jing Zhe and the rest serve the soup to everyone. These soldiers were Shen Xin’s and Shen Qiu’s most capable subordinates, thus they were directly placed in the General’s residence. When the soldiers saw that there was soup to drink, they were very happy and said with smiles, “Young Lady is considerate of us! Young Lady really have a good heart!”
Coarse people were actually the easiest to win over and Shen Miao deeply knew this logic. After Ah Zhi drank a mouthful of soup, he exclaimed surprised, “This soup is really not bad!” In a few moments he finished it and handed it to Jing Zhe, “Another bowl!”
Jing Zhe rolled her eyes at Ah Zhi, “Of course it is good to drink. This was personally brewed by our Young Lady.”
Shen Xin and Shen Qiu heard this and were surprised for a moment. Shen Qiu said, “Younger Sister personally brewed?”
“Yes.” Shen Miao said lightly.
“Do not drink, it all belongs to this old one!” Shen Xin hollered loudly, “All are not allowed to drink!” He rushed over to Gu Yu and roared, “Give me one big bowl!”
Luo Xue Yan had just drank the white thick soup and was very surprised, “Jiao Jiao, this soup is actually made by you? When did your culinary skills progressed this much?”
The aroma of the soup floated around and naturally it attracted the yearning of others. Shen Miao eyes dropped as she said with a smile, “Just casually made it.” In her previous life, in order to gain Fu Xiu Yi’s favour in the beginning years, she honed her culinary skills and after she went over to Qin country, she learned many difficult recipes from those people who deliberately made things difficult for her. Speaking of which, she was one who had the personal experiences of two countries’ Royal families’ dishes and had deeper knowledge than normal people. As for young ladies from small families who came over to the Ding capital for the first time… Shen Miao’s eyes swept towards Jing Chu Chu. Jing Chu Chu was standing behind a pillar and this time she did not lowered her head, but bit her lips as she watched on with teary eyes at the coarse people drinking lively, as if she had suffered lots of grievances.
One would feel that a Di born Young Lady’s personally brewed soup was much more precious than a Biao Young Lady’s snacks. Moreover Shen Miao even gave a portion to every soldier in the courtyard, thus in comparison to Jing Chu Chu who only prepared snacks for Shen Xin and son, she was considered too stingy and could not be taken to public .
Jing Chu Chu was ashamed and angry and her gaze towards Shen Miao had a trace of hatred.
Shen Qiu also wanted to drink the soup but Gu Yu and the rest did not give him any. Shen Qiu also detected this and guessed that it was most probably that Shen Miao was angry with him, but was unsure what did he do wrong so he looked at Shen Miao anxiously. Shen Miao waited till everyone almost finished the soup then let Bai Lu bring out a bowl from the utmost bottom layer of the basket and said, “You like it sweet so honey was included in this bowl. Drink it.”
“Younger Sister is great!” Shen Qiu was overjoyed and drank it up in big mouthfuls when he took the bowl over. His gluttonous look made Shen Miao somewhat unbearable to stare.
Those soldiers who had drank Shen Miao’s personally brewed soup were half touched and half fond of it. Naturally they flattered Shen Miao another round , and felt that Shen Miao did not have the noble temperament of a bossy and indulged young female, but was amiable, approachable and beautiful looking. She was simply like an angel.
Shen Miao was surrounded by the soldiers and Jing Chu Chu was completely left out in the cold. She had the desire to leave a few times but at the end she bit her teeth and stayed.
When everyone went back to practice their swordplay, Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan also went over and Shen Qiu was sitting on the stone lion to rest. Shen Miao then walked over to Jing Chu Chu’s side and said smilingly, “Biao Older Sister’s snacks are not badly made but people who practice martial arts would feel tired and thirsty after practicing swordplay, and you still made snacks which would have made their mouth drier.” Shen Miao said beaming, “Next time, it is better to brew soup instead.”
Jing Chu Chu’s face was green and white. Shen Miao’s words were obviously exposing her guise of sending the snacks. Her intentions were not for the people practicing else she would not have brought over dry stuff. Even though she was angry in her heart, on the surface Jing Chu Chu bowed her head in a panic, as if she was frightened, “Many thanks to Biao Younger Sister’s pointers. Chu Chu will take note.” Finishing, she looked towards Shen Qiu with pleading eyes, hoping that Shen Qiu would help her out of the situation.
Unfortunately even though Shen Qiu had a sincere and utterly honest personality, he was like a wooden lump of wood who knows no romance in matters of men and female relationships, and only felt unfathomable with Jing Chu Chu’s gaze. It was Shen Miao who laughed upon seeing this, “Just now Eldest Brother wanted to eat Biao Older Sister’s pastry, then eat it now.”
“Ke.” Shen Qiu waved his hands, “Just had a bowl of soup and one is currently somewhat full and will not be able to eat it. Later will eat it.”
Shen Miao was very satisfied. The bowl of soup that was given to Shen Qiu was extra big, and she did not believe that after Shen Qiu had finished this bowl of soup, he would still have the space in his stomach to eat Jing Chu Chu’s snacks. Unless Shen Qiu was a pig.
Jing Chu Chu was somewhat disappointed. Shen Qiu stood up and said, “I will also go and practice again.” And then he headed to the courtyard.
Seeing Shen Qiu’s diminishing back view, Jing Chu Chu was somewhat not resigned to it and wanted to say something, but could only bit her lips as she watched. Shen Miao smiled gently and pat her hand, “One fear that Biao Older Sister’s snacks would not be nice to eat when it is cold. If Biao Older Sister does not mind, it can be sent over to Second Older Brother .”
“Second Older Brother?” Jing Chu Chu looked puzzled at Shen Miao.
“Yes.” Shen Miao smiled, “Like my Eldest Brother and the rest here, they would be at the bitter cold land in the Northwestern region all year round, so they would not appreciate these exquisite things, but my Second Older Brother is different. He entered officialdom at a young age and even took up duty in the capital so his future prospects are limitless.” Shen Miao shook her head and sighed, ” Unfortunately there is no one to take care of his wellbeing. Males are often no meticulous with food and clothes and Biao Older Sister’s SuZhou snacks perhaps would suit his taste.”
When Jing Chu Chu heard this, there was some uncertainty in her eyes. But she heard Shen Miao laughter, “Perhaps in the future when Second Older Brother have a wife, he would most likely be able to enjoy culinary treats. One do not know which young lady would have the good fortune to be my Second Sao. Biao Older Sister does not know but my Second Older Brother is the man of many official families’ young ladies’ heart.”
“Second Young Master…” Jing Chu Chu hesitated a little before asking, “Does not have any young lady in mind till this day?”
Shen Miao said with a sigh, “Second Older Brother is busy with court matters all day. How could there be time to look at young ladies?”
Jing Chu Chu had some thoughts but Shen Miao did not exposed them. After speaking some more and seeing that Shen Qiu did not have any intention of stopping, it would be somewhat strange if Jing Chu Chu continued waiting so she then left.
After Jing Chu Chu left, Shen Qiu then came over and looked at Shen Miao carefully for a while before saying, “Younger Sister, why are you so strange today ?”
“How am I strange?” Shen Miao said in a bad mood, “Is Eldest Brother angry about me interrupting you eating Biao Older Sister’s snacks?”
“I did not mean that.” Shen Qiu’s anxious face was somewhat red but he heard Shen Miao waved her hands uncaringly, “Never mind. But now you are at an ideal age and a number of young ladies are watching you and waiting anxiously. In the future when one pick a SaoSao, one must open the eyes big.”
Shen Qiu understood these words and he reluctantly said, “What is Younger Sister talking about. Biao Younger Sister did not have that meaning. She only came over to gift some snacks.”
“If you really like her then go ahead and eat all of it.” After finishing speaking, Shen Miao walked away without even turning her head back. At this moment, Shen Qiu had never seen Shen Miao being so angry with him and jumped in shock, and could only watch as Shen Miao walked further away.
On the way back to the room, Gu Yu said, “Is it that Young Lady do not like Biao Young Lady? Else why would one be that angry.”
“Yes, I do not like.” Shen Miao massaged her heart. She really hated Jing Chu Chu to the extreme. For such a prideful person like Shen Qiu, to break his legs, let him wear a green hat (making him a cuckold) and at the end send him to prison for a crime of murder. Such a snake hearted female, she could not wait to skin Jing Chu Chu. But Shen Qiu had a kind temperament and would not understand that one’s heart was that bad, so when she saw that Shen Qiu was almost confused by Jing Chu Chu’s fake appearance, Shen Miao started fuming.
“But why does Young Lady mentioned Second Young Master to Biao Young Lady?” Gu Yu said, “Perhaps Biao Young Lady would turn her interest towards Second Young Master.” Shen Miao did not deliberately send away the few maids when speaking to Jing Chu Chu so Gu Yu could also heard the meaning behind Shen Miao’s words.
Shen Miao shook her head, “She is not stupid. If she was moved by my few words then she would not be Jing Chu Chu.” Shen Miao smiled gently, “But it is good to have some intentions of change.”
The few maids were somewhat baffled and did not understand why Shen Miao treated this seemingly timid and delicate Biao Young Lady like a big enemy.