Just updated the post to an edited one… 🙂
Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 130: My Jiao Jiao (Part 1)
After the tribute banquet, the Ding capital was as lively as usual. In order to welcome the noble people of the Great Liang and the Qin country, the streets were much more bustling than before. No matter when it was, the Ming Qi’s Imperial family wanted to have a prosperous appearance in front of the other countries.
In the Shen residence, the servants in Qiu Shui Yuan started to discuss about a new topic.
“What kind of background does that Young Lady who just came to the residence have, that made Third Furen treat her in such an hospitable manner?”
“The newly brought over tea leaves were all boiled for that Young Lady first. Could she be an honoured person of the residence?”
The woman with a green unlined upper garment said in a low voice, “Heard that this Young Lady’s father was specially close with the Old General, and at that time blocked a blow for the Old General and almost lost his life.”
A young maid quickly covered her mouth and said in surprise, “No wonder. Having the Old General’s gratitude meant having the Shen family’s gratitude. No wonder she is honoured as a valued guest.”
“Heard that she came over to seek shelter, probably something happened at home. Looking at Third Furen’s attitude, one have to take good care of this Young Lady.”
“What take good care? Currently in the residence, one own people are living by pulling on lapels that exposes the elbows, and now a freeloader comes. Sooner or later one would be sent away.”
Once those words were said, a blanket of silence landed. The current Shen residence look alright on the surface, but the people inside were all well aware. Ever since Shen Xin’s branch was separated, money was very much lacking, that even the monthly salary was reduced by a lot. As a result, even if an honoured guest as great as Heavens came to be a freeloader, the servants would not be happy too.
“Do not understand why Third Furen treat this Young Lady so generously this time, and us so harshly on normal days.” Someone said in wonder.
In Qiu Shui Yuan, Chen Rou Qiu was sitting in the room at the moment, and pushed the teacup to the female sitting in front with a smile, “The newly received tea, Cui Er Jian. Young Lady Zai Qing, do try.”
The female sitting across her was wearing a jade green single plated embroidered long robe. The embroidery on the robes were not very good and this kind of clothing was very simple, and the colour was a nitpick to wear as when one did not wear it well, one would look like a country pumpkin. But when the female in front wore it, it seemed to be very appropriate, giving out a pleasing feeling.
This female was about twenty plus, and her clothes and hair accessories were all very simple. She had a gentle, graceful and tender appearance and most importantly, there was a thick scholarly air around her. From one glance, one could tell she was a young lady that was raised in a literary family, and looked very well educated.
Chen Rou Qiu had always disdained military personnel habits and it was the same with those people. This female in front had a sympathetic feeling thus she was polite.
When this female saw Chen Rou Qiu’s enthusiasm, she did not delay and picked up the teacup to take a sip before smiling gently, “The tea is light yet fragrant, the leaves scatter yet the smell is concentrated. Furen has outstanding talent in brewing tea.”
“Young Lady Zai Qing also has knowledge of tea.” Chen Rou Qiu’s smile became deeper, “Knowledge of tea is the best. However, nowadays there are very little young ladies like you who have knowledge of tea.”
“When the two breeze raises, one desire to go to the abode of immortals.” The female smiled, “Furen said correctly, knowledge of tea is the best. But Furen need not make fun of me, as I am currently twenty-six so how can one be considered as a young lady?”
“Twenty-six?” Chen Rou Qiu exclaimed, “Looking at Young Lady Zai Qing’s appearance, one only guessed just above ten. But it is also good. Even though one have ten plus years of appearance, one has the bearing of a twenty plus year old. It is indeed rare to have such calm and broad levelness.
The green clad female in front, was the person who came over yesterday to ‘seek gratuitous financial help’ she was called Chang Zai Qing. Her father, Chang Hu was previously the Old General Shen’s subordinate, and he blocked a knife for the Old General Shen in the battlefield, and thus harmed the foundation of his body and was unable to go up to the battlefield again. Chang Hu’s entire family relied on Chang Hu for support so the Old General Shen felt conscience-stricken, and privately took out his money to aid them. At that time Chang Zai Qing was young but Shen Xin was at the age where he could get married, so the Old General Shen even joked that he wanted Chang Zai Qing to be his daughter-in-law. It was just that the Old General Shen passed away before he could see Shen Xin married. Because no one knew that the Old General Shen was secretly providing aid to Chang Hu’s family, there was no longer any contact between the Chang and Shen family after that.
No one had ever thought that the Chang family would come at this time.
A look of grief appeared at the bottom of Chang Zai Qing’s eyes, “One’s heart really felt sorry for the sudden intrusion and for bringing such trouble to the Shen family.” She looked at Chen Rou Qiu, “Zai Qing knows that the request is abrupt and if Furen feels inconvenient, then Zai Qing will leave now and not give the Shen family any trouble.” Despite saying that, in a swift moment when her eyes were looking down, she could not help but bit her lips.
Chen Rou Qiu pulled her hand over cordially, “What is Young Lady Zai Qing saying, since your father saved my Father-in-law, your Chang family is our Shen family’s benefactor. Furthermore, at the beginning the friendship between the Old General and the Chang family was like brothers, so we are all one family. Since we are all one family, we cannot watch with folded arms as you have difficulties.” She patted Chang Zai Qing’s hands, “Young Lady Zai Qing just care about living in our Shen residence. Tomorrow I will bring to see Old TaiTai, but Old TaiTai health is not good recently and thus temperament is not so good. One fear that you will need to excuse a little.”
Chang Zai Qing quickly continuously said she did not dare. Her attitude was natural and polite and was not at all shy, but not all familiar which made one have good feelings. Even Chen Rou Qiu, such a careful and vigilant person also treated Chang Zai Qing with all smiles.
Chang Zai Qing’s family stayed in the Liu province. Most likely there were trouble encountered since one would suddenly come over to the Shen residence. Chang Hu had passed away a few years ago, and there was only Chang Zai Qing and her mother in the Chang family. Chang Furen was often bedridden due to illness and some time ago she passed away, after Chang Furen’s burial, there were some official’s sons who wanted to bring Chang Zai Qing back to be a concubine, and Chang Zai Qing had no way out and just as she hanged herself with a white silk, her nanny saved her. Her nanny told Chang Zai Qing that perhaps Chang Hu’s old acquaintance, the Old General Shen, could save her.
When Chang Zai Qing was young she had seen the Old General Shen before, and vaguely remember him as a generous and forthright military person, and as one was unable to think about any other way out, she then took a carriage over to the Ding capital. Upon reaching the Shen residence, she saw Chen Rou Qiu and after Chen Rou Qiu heard the entire story, she was settled down by her.
Chen Rou Qiu looked at Chang Zai Qing in smiles, “Young Lady Zai Qing lived in the Liu province, such a water town. The Ding capital is not like the Liu province, so one do not know if the meals are to suit one’s taste. Is one comfortable staying in the Western courtyard?”
“Furen is too modest.” Chang Zai Qing smiled and answered, “Furen’s care is very thoughtful. Staying in the Western courtyard is also very considerate. But,” She was somewhat puzzled, “Is the Western courtyard, such a big courtyard, all the while empty?” After saying that, she felt that she was too abrupt and smiled, “One asked too discourteously, may Furen not blame.”
“I take you as our own people, what is it about blaming and not blaming.” Chen Rou Qiu smiled, “To tell you the truth, you know that our residence actually have three households. You should have heard about the Formidable Great General. That is our Shen family’s First household and due to some misunderstanding two years ago, the First household moved out. Master and I wanted to explain, but Eldest Brother and Eldest Sao went to the Xiao Chun City and only returned a while ago. Even though we have the heart to explain, it is regrettable that the misunderstanding is too deep.” As Chen Rou Qiu spoke, a helpless look appeared on the surface and she spoke while shaking her head, “Really do not know what to do at all.”
Chang Zai Qing was surprised for a moment, “According to Furen’s words, that Western courtyard…”
“That Western courtyard was originally the place where Eldest Brother’s family stayed at.
Chang Zai Qing was suddenly enlightened, and saw that Chen Rou Qiu was somewhat sad and quickly consoled, “Furen need not be overly concerned, in this world, blood is thicker than water. Even if it is a misunderstanding, it will be undone, moreover one is a family. After a period of time, even if Furen do not say it, one thinks that the Great General Shen would not be troubled with these matters.”
Chen Rou Qiu smiled, “I know all these logically but hearing Young Lady Zai Qing saying it, one’s heart is much more relieved.” She looked at Chang Zai Qing, “It would be great if everyone in the Shen residence is as permeable as you. You are so knowledgeable, if one is free in the future, please teach Yue-er. This child is always at the palm of our hands and one fear that she is spoilt. It is good to be taught by someone as smart as yourself.”
“Furen words are too heavy.” Chang Zai Qing said with a smile, “Yue-er is well educated and exceptionally intelligent. In the Liu province I have never seen such a brightly intelligent young lady like her. One think that she is one of the best in the Ding capital. A female should be just like this, well-learned and versatile, it would give out a different vigor.”
To compliment that flawlessly, it fitted snugly into Chen Rou Qiu’s heart. The discussion carried on, and quickly it was almost noon before Chang Zai Qing left.
After Chang Zai Qing left, Shi Qing wiped the table and carefully asked, “Is Furen indeed going to keep that Young Lady Zai Qing?” She hesitated before reminding, “Now that the residence expenses has grown bigger, one fear that Old TaiTai will be upset upon hearing about it.”
Old Shen Furen gotten more stingy, and if she really knew that Chang Zai Qing came the Shen residence, and the Shen residence has to spend money to raise an idler, naturally she would not be satisfied. So Chen Rou Qiu told Chang Zai Qing that Old Shen Furen’s temperament was not good recently and hope that she tolerate it.
“What does that short-sighted old woman know?” Chen Rou Qiu scorned, “Unable to accomplish anything but liable to spoil everything. How could one see matters in the future?”
“Could it be that Furen find that there is some purpose for this Young lady Zai Qing?” Hua Yi’s brain starting moving as she understood her Furen’s mind-set. If it was two years ago, Chen Rou Qiu was willing to put up a kind and charitable fairy image to gain a good reputation, but now without any money and since she was unable to care of oneself, it would be strange to provide relief to others.
“Just from the speech and manner she is very intricate and do not seem to resemble the short-sightedness of an ordinary female. Her appearance is not bad and is gentle looking, and the rare thing was that her temperament was also gentle. For this kind of intelligence, even if placed in the residence, she would have a good role. It would be fine if one did not have the ambition but once there is an ambition, not surpassing five years, this female would definitely get whatever she want.” Chen Rou Qiu smiled. Since birth, she was surrounding by the schemes of females, and Chen Rou Qiu’s mother was very powerful in them, and Chen Rou Qiu saw a shadow of her mother on Chang Zai Qing. Even though Chang Zai Qing was still young, one fear that her future achievements would be even more outstanding.
“But what can such a powerless person do?” Hua Yi was puzzled, “Could it be that Furen want to create a chance for Young Lady Zai Qing, to fly into the sky and climb up the branches before returning to payback Furen?”
When Chen Rou Qiu heard this she laughed, “Such an intelligent person with an active mind, with a docile appearance but in fact with a heart filled with arrogance. How would such a person willingly bend down after reaching high branches? Do not expect to have any paybacks as she would turn her nose up.”
“Such an outstanding person, I cannot bear to give to others.” Chen Rou Qiu looked outside, “Do not let one’s fertile water flow into others’ field. Best steel is used to make the knife’s edge. But even I feel that I am unable to beat such a powerful female, one wonder if that person can hold up for how many rounds.”