And I am back… Jet lagging… But back… 🙂
Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 103: Female Charms (Part 1)
The scandal at the Shen family banquet did not spread out in the end. The ‘spreading out’ was referring to the public but as for the aristocratic circles, they had always been inextricably linked thus a furen would use it as a joke and tell another furen and in private, it had been spread out. Moreover Old Shen Furen’s clever words had now sent herself to the road of ruin. If she did not do as she had said, it would be as if she was slapping her own face but if she were to do as she said… How could she be easily reconciled with the loss of her most outstanding grandson.
But because of this matter, the Eldest household and Old Shen Furen were completely at a deadlock. Originally it was just estrangement from the Second and Third households, but because of Old Shen Furen’s attitude in the banquet, Lou Xue Yan and Shen Xin feel as if there was a fish bone stuck at their throats. They were not people who would grin and swallow it so they just folded their arms and watched a good show.
After Shen Yuan and Jing Chu Chu woke up, naturally Jing Chu Chu cried and only said that she was pulled in by Shen Yuan. Shen Yuan was furious and said that he did not know what was going on when he fainted and when he woke up, he was already lying together with Jing Chu Chu. He could not remember these matters and it was possible that Jing Chu Chu was still perfectly intact.
It was no longer important if Jing Chu Chu was perfectly intact since so many noble furens had seen such a fragrant scene, Jing Chu Chu’s next half of her life was over.
Perhaps it was this matter that provoked them or it could be due to other reasons, but the Jing siblings were no longer gentle and warm like previously and were instead aggressive, insisting that Shen Yuan take responsibility. Moreover, Old Shen Furen had previously said that if it was Shen Qiu, she would be able to be the Shen residence’s Eldest Young Furen so now that it was Shen Yuan, naturally Jing Chu Chu should be the Second Young Furen of the Shen residence.
Old Shen Furen’s scheme was exquisite so how could she let something like this happen. Shen Yuan was her most outstanding grandson but now had to marry a young lady from a small family, so she immediately fished for an excuse to reject. Jing Guan Sheng looked scholarly and he was very smart. Without saying a second word, he said that he was bringing Jing Chu Chu to the authorities and also wrote a letter back to SuZhou. Once the SuZhou side heard of all this, they were angry at Old Shen Furen for not keeping to her words and started their journey to the Ding capital to argue.
The original alliance was fractured and Old Shen Furen scolded loudly the two siblings all day as white eyed wolves, and the Jing siblings also mocked Old Shen Furen as Old Unrespectable One. Shen Yuan was also very angry but even if the matter was blown up, one could not just kill Jing Chu Chu as there were so many Furen’s watching. Once something happened to Jing Chu Chu then everyone would be suspicious of him. Moreover the Jing family was not easy to deal with.
No matter how much trouble there was outside, the Western courtyard’s doors of the Shen residence remained closed and everyone were still joyous and harmonious. On that day Shen Qiu did not even drink any alcohol but it was Shen Miao who made him act drunk. As for what happened next, Shen Qiu also did not know the reason why Shen Yuan was together with Jing Chu Chu. Even though Shen Miao was unwilling to tell him and threatened him not to tell Shen Xin and wife, Shen Qiu could faintly guess it thus when he returned back to the residence, he refused to even step in Rong Jing Tang.
In the room, Shen Miao sat in front of the desk writing a recipe to the kitchens. It was no longer possible for Jing Chu Chu to fawn the Eldest household thus Shen Miao no longer need to go to the practice field daily, but Shen Xin and the soldiers all looked forward to the soup that she made. Shen Miao was too lazy to personally boil it everyday, so she wrote some recipe down for the kitchens. At the end she was praised daily and those soldiers respected her more than Shen Qiu.
Luo Xue Yan had also asked before, “When did Jiao Jiao learn so many recipes? Could it be that there is an interest in cooking?”
Shen Miao vaguely responded to this. She was not the kind of woman who was willing to personally boil soup but in her previous life, in order to please many people, she lowered herself to learn recipes from the kitchens of noble families. But no matter how good she was, the person who received it would not be moved. But now it was different. Shen Miao shook her head. This was most likely treating a person well and was different from treating a beast well. Some people knew how to be grateful but some people would only bite the hands that feeds.
Bai Lu picked up the paper in which Shen Miao wrote to dry, and got up to send it over to the kitchens. Now that the Western courtyard no longer eat with the Eastern courtyard, a small kitchen was set up. This kind of actions obviously indicated that they did not trust the Eastern courtyard.
“One heard that Biao Young Master quarrelled with Old Furen again today.” Jing Zhe helped Shen Miao to clean up the paper and ink on the table and said, “It seems that the Jing family is on the way over and Old Furen see that the matter cannot be dragged on and got anxious.”
“What can be said was already said.” Shen Miao picked up the teacup to take a sip, “Biao Older Brother is a smart person and one cannot just let others take advantage for nothing.”
“Biao Young Master is also really ruthless.” Gu Yu also spoke, “Now he would threaten to report to the authorities all day. One obviously know that Second Young Master just returned back to the capital so if one truly report to the authorities, Second Young Master’s prospects would end. This servant sees that this time Second Young Master would need to marry Biao Young Lady. And this is all thanks to Old Furen’s solemn compliance to Old Master’s family teachings.” When she spoke to the end, her voice could not help but float high up even though she had restrained the joy in her heart.
Old Shen Furen’s conduct made one nauseated and now that she lifted a rock and smashed her own foot, how could it not make others happy?
“But…” Jing Zhe asked, “What good is there for Biao Young Lady to rack her brains for schemes to marry to Second Young Master? She had an acrimonious falling-out with Old Furen and Second Young Master will not be happy at all so even if she marry into the residence, she will not be loved. Is not Biao Young Lady finding trouble for herself?”
Shen Miao smiled gently, “Jing Chu Chu does not want to marry a person but money. Since it is so, then what is the difference between like or love?” In the previous life Jing Chu Chu married Shen Qiu and Shen Qiu treated her well but at the end, she still harmed Shen Qiu to such a state. For Jing Chu Chu’s perspective, as long she could climb higher, it would not matter who the partner was.
“Speaking of which,” Gu Yu pursed her lips, “Biao Young Lady wanted to harm Eldest Young Master but now she will marry in perfectly well. This truly made one feel unhappy. Since this matter originated from her, why do the evil-doers not have bad endings?”
Shen Miao opened the window and looked out, “Do you think that this is the end?”
Gu Yu’s eyes brightened, “Young Lady still left a hand?” After being with Shen Miao for a period of time, Gu Yu had more knowledge of Shen Miao’s means and was no longer surprised by them. If it was in the past, she would be surprised of Shen Miao’s viciousness and coolness but after experiencing each and every single matter, one did not have any good feelings of the other two households in the Shen residence at all. All that pity and compassion had long flown away.
“It is just the beginning for them to be forced to suffer in silence.” Shen Miao said, “Jing Chu Chu schemed against Eldest Brother first. Does she think that she could escape?”
Jing Zhe’s and Gu Yu’s eyes were looking dazzling at Shen Miao. Shen Miao waved her hands, “Go and settle the money with Fu-er first.”
Old Shen Furen was recently busy dealing with the siblings Jing Chu Chu and Jing Guan Sheng, and as for the reason why there was a change in the person during the banquet, she did not bother to investigate the truth. Sooner or later Fu-er will be married to the steward’s single eyed son so it is better to give her more money and think of ideas to help her escape from the Shen residence.
Gu Yu took the money over and smiled, “This servant understands. Is it correct to send a portion of money to Biao Young Lady’s personal maid?”
Shen Miao nodded with satisfaction, “Correct.”
It was the dog that one rear personally that would be the most painful when bitten by it. Just like the Xiao Li-zi of her past lifetime.
It was alright if she had experienced such a disadvantage as she had learned such a lesson and can use it on others.
Five days later, Shen Yuan’s and Jing Chu Chu’s engagement news had spread throughout the capital.
Shen Yuan was the Shen residence’s most outstanding young master, other than Shen Qiu, and just came back to the capital after learning through experience at other areas, and initially a good career prospect was waiting for him. There were no shortage of young ladies with good appearance and family backgrounds thus if one were to seriously take a pick, it was not difficult to find a wife that would be able to help him.
But at the end the chosen was a young lady from SuZhou whose family did not hold any government position. Even though she was Old Shen Furen’s maiden family, if it was other family’s matriarch, she would not let this kind of economically and culturally impoverish person be a Young Furen of a noble family.
Everyone in the Ding capital knew that there was something abnormal with that news. The why of Shen Yuan having to marry the Jing Young Lady as his wife had spread out privately, the reason was that he had slept with the Jing family’s daughter when he was drunk. This Jing family was not easy to deal with as they keep saying to report to the authorities. It was much better to marry a economically and culturally impoverish young lady than to lose one’s official hat. So Shen Yuan was forced to take such a route.
This matter was a joke that kept spreading in the circles of nobility and for several days, there were a number of colleagues who had looks of watching the show in their eyes when Shen Gui went to court, much less Shen Yuan.
Their reputation naturally tumbled due to this matter and for Jing Chu Chu, it was completely unrelated to her. She sat in a room and tasted the snacks in boredom.
After all pretenses of cordiality were dropped with Old Shen Furen, the originally virtuous and graceful image that Jing Chu Chu had was all gone and her true nature was exposed. She grabbed onto Shen Yuan’s weak spot and used the Shen residence’s stuff, living a very cozy life.
At her side, there only was her personal maid Tao Yuan who was tidying up the room. Jing Chu Chu did not trust anyone in the Shen residence and would hand over all matters to only Tao Yuan. Tao Yuan said, “Master and Furen will be seemingly arriving in these few days and at that time Young Lady’s marriage will be held lively. It would be very impressive when it is heard back on SuZhou.”
Jing Chu Chu smiled, “At least it did not waste my painstaking efforts.”
“But…” Tao Yuan was somewhat worried, “Now that Shen family’s Second Master and Old Furen treat Young Lady this badly, in the future when Young Lady marries over, what if they bully Young Lady?”
“What is there to be scared of?” Jing Chu Chu opened a box of rouge and said, “I have long inquired. Second Biao Young Sister is dead and Second Biao Shen is currently crazy and unable to preside over all the situation. There is only a YiNiang in the Second household and a YiNiang cannot intervene in matters concerning the Di son’s household. As for Biao Older Brother, he would not always stay in the residence. At that time I would be alone in the Second household courtyard and can do anything one want and be very free. Comparing to marrying into the First household, one would be much more comfortable.”
“Be that as it may,” Tao Yuan shook her head, “If in the future Second Young Master marry some concubine back to stifle Young Lady…”
“Then this would depend on you.” Jing Chu Chu looked at Tao Yuan and said like she was giving alms, “These years you have followed by my side and seeing your faithfulness and good looks, if there is such a day, I will let Biao Second Brother to take you in and you can win him over on my behalf, it would be considered as a return to your loyalty.” She smiled
Tao Yuan lowered her head and quickly said, “This servant… This servant will listen to Young Lady’s words.”
Jing Chu Chu closed the rouge box and her eyes landed on the bracelet that was on the dressing table, she could not help but pick it up and look at it in a daze. When Tao Yuan saw it, she said in surprise, “Is that not… The bracelet that Gentleman Sun gave to Young Lady?”
“Gentleman Sun…” Jing Chu Chu murmured as her expression became erratic.
“Speaking of which, Gentleman Sun really treated Young Lady very well.” Tao Yuan smiled, “Do not know if he would be very sad upon hearing of Young Lady’s engagement news.”
“What nonsense are you talking about.” Jing Chu Chu’s brows were standing up as she interrupted Tao Yuan’s words. Tao Yuan said unconvincing, “This servant did not say incorrectly. Even though Gentleman Sun and Young Lady did not meet up much, but were familiar at first sight and he even had the thought to send things to Young Lady. It can be seen that he really place Young Lady in his heart. If there was no Second Young Master’s matter, then Gentleman Sun would definitely think for ways to take Young Lady as his wife!”
Jing Chu Chu was surprised for a moment and some traces of blushing appeared on her face as she shook her head, “How would a Minister of Personnel’s residence take a culturally impoverish person like me as a wife?”
“But Gentleman Sun truly love Young Lady.” Tao Yuan’s words were somewhat a gaffe but even though she said that, Jing Chu Chu not only did not get angry, she seemed to be a little joyful. Tao Yuan still continued, “If Gentleman Sun becomes the son-in-law of the Jing family it would be good. Comparing Gentleman Sun and Second Young Master, Gentleman Sun loves Young Lady like precious jewels. If Young Lady married over, Gentleman Sun would put Young Lady in his palm.”
“Do not speak any more.” Jing Chu Chu suddenly interrupted her words, “Since I have chosen the Shen family, it is meaningless to talk about Gentleman Sun.” As she spoke, she actually became somewhat sad.
Shen Yuan and Jing Chu Chu were not very warm with one another, and because of the matter before they were in a mutually hostile position. It was that due to such a time, upon comparison one would miss Sun Cai Nan’s good points. Sun Cai Nan had an attractive appearance, was generous and treated her very gently and with great consideration, thus one would be lying if one’s heart was not moved. Moreover one would always be obsessed with things that one would not be able to obtain, thus Tao Yuan’s words were like ants crawling all over Jing Chu Chu’s heart, making it itch.
“Young Lady…” Tao Yuan hesitated for a moment, “There is no harm for Young Lady to meet up with Gentleman Sun. Gentleman Sun will know of this matter but would not know of the inside story and might have misunderstood you. If this is explained then he would be pained with your misfortune. It is difficult for one to meet a good person like Gentleman Sun and if Young Lady do it that way, Gentleman Sun would be very hurt.” Tao Yuan said, “In the last meeting, Gentleman Sun still mentioned of wanting to gift Young Lady that dragonfly hairpin.”
Hearing that, Jing Chu Chu’s gaze moved. The thing that Sun Cai Nan impressed her the most was the steady stream of gifts that was given. For Jing Chu Chu, it was considered enough if she married to Shen Yuan, but if she was also able to make Sun Cai Nan obsessed with her, it would be a great satisfaction to her vanity.
Seeming to be thinking about it for a long time, Jing Chu Chu said with determination, “What you said made sense. I should explain it to him.”
“But now Young Lady has an engagement with Second Young Master so this matter cannot be seen by others.” Tao Yuan said, “Why not let this servant handle it. This servant will find a place without anyone so that Young Lady can explain to Gentleman Sun clearly, and it can be considered as not letting him down.”
Jing Chu Chu nodded her head.