Chapter 164: Taking A Good Look (Part 2)
On the second day, the weather was excellent.
Luo Tan had recently fell in love with cutting window blossoms and thinking that it was the end of the year, one could cut some auspicious patterns to be pasted on the windows as decorations, thus she brought over a large pile of red paper and scissors so that she could cut window patters with Shen Miao.
As Shen Miao was cutting, she started to remember some matters of the past.
In the previous lifetime in Qin country, those Princesses and Princes would deliberately make fun of her and made her cut window blossoms and do embroidery. She would have to cut and embroider all day and night that her eyes became so bad that in the night her vision would be blurred and there was a layer of calluses on her hands which made it very rough.
After coming back to the Palace, she would get Shuang Jiang to bring sandstone to her so that she could sand off her skin but no matter what the calluses could not be worn off. It was at that time during Fu Xiu Yi’s birthday celebration, the beauties of the Palace would send gifts to coax the Emperor. Mei Furen’s played the KongHou (Chinese Harp) and her delicate jade fingers were fluttering by that everyone in stared at it.
When it was her turn, Shen Miao gifted an embroidery of a landscape. She was an Empress thus it was not dignified for her to sing or dance. That embroidery was magnanimous and Fu Xiu Yi was obviously fond of it and the officials all praised it but Mei Furen did not care and insisted on Shen Miao performing a song on the KongHou (Chinese Harp).
Shen Miao was unwilling and she looked pleadingly at Fu Xiu Yi but he just played it down, “Since Mei-er has some interest, the Empress should play a piece for this Emperor. This Emperor had not listen to you playing for many years.”
Shen Miao was forced till she had no choice but to play.
Shen Miao knew how to play the KongHou (Chinese Harp) as she had learnt a number of things for Fu Xiu Yi thus even though the music was not as moving as Mei Furen, it was still presentable. However it had provoked discussion between the officials, ridicule from the concubines and everyone was pointing and talked about it.
Why? It was really because that pair of hands that plucks KongHou (Chinese Harp) were just too ugly. It was because one would often did handicrafts all year and one could see thick big scissors between one’s fingers. That pair of hands were bulky and rough, unlike the hands of an Empress of a country should have and more like the hands of a rural farmer’s wife.
It was a stark contrast then the delicate and fair jaded hands that she had before.
She was very fearful. Not fearful that she would be shamed but was afraid that Wan Yu and Fu Ming would be pointed and talked about by others. When she was playing the KongHou (Chinese Harp) she watched as Mei Furen smiled seductively, saw Fu Xiu Yi’s cold facial expression and her heart was so saddened that she wanted to cry. It was just that Shen Miao could not cry. Because of Wan Yu and Fu Ming, she must be a dignified Empress that remained undisturbed either by favour or disgrace.
She had put on an appearance of uncaring but upon returning back to KunNing Palace, she would get Shuang Jiang to bring her two sandstone and grind down one layer of skin on her hands.
Luo Tan saw that SHen Miao was lost in her thought and called her, “Youngest Biao Sister?”
Shen Miao recovered to her senses and that pattern of a magpie welcoming spring was destroyed. She could not help but laughed bitterly.
After her rebirth, her hands were still delicate and tender but those calluses seemed to exist and would remind her of those past times when she was in tough straits.
Shen Miao threw aside the sissors and said, “Not cutting anymore.”
Luo Tan said, “Ah.” Before asking, “Why not?”
Shen Miao casually said, “Callus will grow.”
Luo Tan, who always had a fascination with Shen Miao, could not help but have a strange expression on as she said, “It’s not like one will cut day and night so how would callus grow?” She then said, “No wonder your little name is called Jiao Jiao.”
Shen Miao took a sip of the tea that was served and saw Gu Yu walking in from outside, “Young Lady, Furen wants you to go to the main hall.”
Luo Xue Yan did not have official duties today and was currently in the residence. Shen Miao asked, “What matters does Mother call me for?”
Gu Yu hesitated for a moment before speaking, “This servant does not know but the Furen of the Su family came to our residence today and is currently chatting with Furen in the main hall.”
“Su family?” Shen Miao’s hand paused before putting the teacup down, “The Count of Pin Nan’s Su family?”
In the main hall, Luo Xue Yan was talking to Su Furen.
Su Furen did not come here empty handed today, saying that her Master had gotten two snow sparrow and this sparrows were only available in the Northwestern region. Su Furen feared that one would raise it incorrectly and knowing that Luo Xue Yan was from the Northwestern region, she specifically came over to as how to raise the snow sparrow in order for it to survive?
Luo Xue Yan initially thought that Su Furen was joking with her but upon seeing Su Furen’s sincere appearance, there was no signs of making a joke. She also mentioned the two basket of fruits that was freshly sent from the country side that were especially sweet.
Previously the Formidable Great General residence and the residence of the Marquis of Lin An was on opposite sides and the Su family had a good relations with the residence of the Marquis of Lin An, thus naturally the Shen and Su family were not of the same route and were strangers. Two years ago when there was an incident with the Shen family, the Su family even threw stones and submit a memorandum on the Shen family. Even though at the end it made Emperor Wen Hui relaxed his vigilance, but Luo Xue Yan had remembered it.
It’s just that the other person came with such enthusiasm and since it said that one would not slap a smiling face, Luo Xue Yan could not put on a cold appearance. She felt somewhat puzzled in her heart as this Su Furen asked how to raise the snow sparrows but after talking for almost half a day, she did not even mention about the snow sparrows and instead talked about the novelties and stories of Xiao Chun City with Luo Xue Yan and kept on praising Luo Xue Yan had raise her children well and gave birth to such a good son and daughter. She praised her so much Luo Xue Yan’s face turned red.
After being praised for so long, Luo Xue Yan thought that Shen Miao should come out to meet the guest and called someone to bring Shen Miao out. However her heart was suspicious, could it be that now that the residence of the Marquis of Lin An was about to fall, the Su family was looking for another backing for oneself so they came over to flatter the Shen family?
If it was so then one could not mix with the Su family. Thinking like this, Luo Xue Yan felt that she was somewhat impulsive to call Shen Miao over. Especially seeing Su Furen looking earnestly at the doors, she felt even more stuffy. However words that were said were like water that was poured out, it was not good to refute it.
When the servant outside reported that the Young Lady was coming over, Su Furen sat up straight and looked at the doors with excitement.
One then saw a young female wearing a yellow robes walking in from outside. She had a good looking appearance and her brows were somewhat heroic and complexion was wheat coloured and when she walked over, she was jumping over. Her hair was up in a deer style and only have a pair of pearl earrings on her entire body with a red dagger on her waist.
Su Furen, “…” She did not think that Su Ming Feng actually liked this kind of female that on first glance… Was really lively and untamed.
That young female saw Luo Xue Yan and smiled, “Youngest Gu.”
Youngest Gu? Su Furen was startled and only then saw clearly that there was another young female behind this young female. This one was wearing a lilac coloured plated robes with a crescent moon waist and a snowy white cloak was draped over her. Her complexion was as fair as egg shell, with a pair of round bright eyes. The little nose and mouth was delicate, making her appearance adorable. However there was a strange atmosphere that suppressed all the adorableness. She walked very dignified and proper mannered as if she was from the Palace. When Su Furen married to Su Yu, she went to pay a visit to the Empress Dowager ad saw the Empress and felt that this delicate and adorable young lady had the same vibe with the Empress and even more noble than the Empress. As she walked, the chin was coldly pointed to the woman and each single movement illustrated the nobility of what the position held.
That young female called Luo Xue Yan as Mother before looking at Su Furen.
Luo Xue Yan quickly said, “This is the Furen of the Count of Pin Nan’s Su family. This is my daughter and my Zhi Nu, Tan-er.”
Shen Miao and Luo Tan bowed and greeted Su Furen.
Su Furen previously did not attend the Palace banquet and only heard that Shen Miao’s confrontation wth Princess Ming An so she thought that Shen Miao was not an easy going person. Thus when she heard Su Ming Lang that Su Ming Feng had taken a fancy with Shen Miao, she was somewhat fearful. However one must come over to take a look and she thicken her skin to send her card over since this was a lifelong event for her son. Thinking that Shen Miao was an unruly female hero, she had unconsciously thought Luo Tan was Shen Miao. Now that she had saw the person for real, she really felt that the facts and imagination was as far apart as the north to the south.
She smiled as she took two pouches out and stuff them onto Shen Miao’s and Luo Tan’s hands, “Shen Furen really know how to raise people. This Zhi Nu and daughter are all so good looking. Just now I was still thinking where did this fairy came from. Shen Furen is truly fortunate.”
Luo Tan and Shen Miao looked at the pouches in their hands with some surprise. This was not the New Year’s so why the need for pouches to be gifted? If one were familiar it was still alright but Shen Miao had long known that the Su and Shen family did not have any relations. Could it be that matters had been exposed on Su Ming Feng’s end? But even if it was exposed, what did it got to do with Su Furen coming to the Shen residence?
Luo Xue Yan was somewhat stiffen after seeing those pouches. She wanted to say something but one did not expect that Su Furen held her down with both hands, “If you decline it then I will get angry. I only felt that these two young lady is beautiful and well-mannered and like them in my heart. It is only a small first meeting gift. Everyone said that Shen Furen is one who is forthright, so why is one so stingy?” She then sighed, “It would be good if I have two daughters.”
Luo Xue Yan was really confused by Su Furen that she was unable to find North and could only follow along with her words, “What kind of words is that? There are two sons in Su Furen’s residence and that is also excellent.”
“How is it excellent?” Su Furen shook her head, “Ming Lang is very stubborn and would not improve all day and only know how fool around with his Father. I cannot be bothered about it. One heard that your Qiu-er is very sensible when he was younger. I am really very envious of it.
“Isn’t there still Ming Feng?” Luo XUe Yan smiled, “The Eldest Young Master of the residence is a young talent.”
Su Furen’s heart was overjoyed as she looked towards Shen Miao and Luo Tan, “Two Ladies, we are chatting some boring matters and if you find that it is annoying then go play by yourselves. I will talk to Furen on some intimate stuff.”
This was obviously trying to separate them. Shen Miao’s heart became more vigilant. When Su Ming Feng was brought up, Su Furen sent her away, if one did not guess incorrectly, then Su Furen really came because of yesterday’s matter?
When Luo Tan and Shen Miao walked outside, Shen Miao use the short that as she was turning and said siftly, “Cong Yang, go to the main hall and listen to what they say.”
Sh knew that no matter how soft It was Cong Yang could hear it. Luo Tan saw it and asked, “Youngest Biao Sister, what are you mumbling about?”
At the main hall, Su Furen held her heard and took a glance at Luo Xue Yan, “One does not hide from Furen but Ming Feng is indeed not bad. For so many years, he had never let me and his Father worry about any matter at all. He is talented and also has high level of knowledge that he entered officialdom when he was young. Moreover he was filial and well mannered. One would not be able to find someone like him even if one carrys a lantern to look.”
Luo Xue Yan had a smile on her face but she felt awkward in her heart. Just now she was saying Shen QIu was good and now she was saying that her son was number one in Ding capital. How would one praise themselves like that.
Just as she was thinking about it, one heard Su Furen sighed exaggeratedly, “Just a little not good is that this son of mine is dead stubborn. Once he likes something, he would not like others. Thus he is not married until now. This is very troubling.”