Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 6: Airing One’s Sentiments Without Restraint (Part 1)
Chu Jin Yao thought for a long time but was still unable to figure it out. Thus, she could only put the matter of her GuMu down. After a while, the maid brought the taels. Madam Zhao spoke a few more words to them before letting the young ladies prepare the clothes that would be used to greet the guests.
As it was rather free in the boudoir, the young ladies would spend most of their time in front of their elders, stay by their mothers, talk to the maids and sew a few stitches to pass an afternoon. It was like this for ordinary people but upon arriving in the Residence of Marquis Chang Xing, Chu Jin Xian did not choose to stay in front of her mother to do needlework but instead said, “Mother, you still need to meet with the maids and servants for household management. I will not disturb you then. I will return to my room.”
Chu Jin Yao took a look and hurriedly said, “Then this daughter will also withdraw.”
Chu Jin Xian looked back at Chu Jin Yao but did not speak. Madam Zhao did not hold them back and let them leave with a wave of her hands.
In the end, the Shu-daughter, Third Young Lady, looked over. The two Di-born daughters had left and instead, she and Chu Jin Miao remained with Madam Zhao. Just who was born from Madam Zhao?
Third Young Lady took the six-year-old Eighth Young Lady to pick flower patterns while Huang YiNiang and Fu YiNiang followed along to help their daughters with embroidery. Soon, only Chu Jin Miao was left by Madam Zhao’s side.
Chu Jin Miao leaned on Madam Zhao, “Mother, regarding GuGu’s return this time, why do we need to prepare so much? It wasn’t like this previously.”
Madam Zhao smiled but said nothing about it. “You just need to listen to Mother’s words. This time dress up meticulously and embroider the clothes well. Do you remember?”
Chu Jin Yao softly groaned, “I too want to dress up well but if one is not able to take out money to reward those servants, they will not embroider well for me.”
“What big deal is this? I have some remaining gold threads. Take all of them and don’t save it. Are there enough head ornaments? The other day, those outside sent me a set of ruby head ornaments. If you don’t have enough, then take these to use first.”
“Thanks Mother!” Chu Jin Miao responded immediately, “It is still Mother that treats me the best!”
Madam Zhao looked at Chu Jin Miao dotingly. One did not know what she was thinking of as she sighed, “You are a pitiful one. If I as a Mother do not subsidise you, then who else can one count on? Even though your Father does not speak of it, his heart is biased towards that one. Your Eldest Sister has your ZhuMu to provide supplements and one does not know how much private funds Old Furen has! Third Young Lady has Madam Huang’s help. In other words, only you are alone.”
“I still have Mother!” Chu Jin Miao hugged the other’s arm. Although she was still smiling, there was a loud thump in her heart. She was already accustomed to the high life of Fourth Young Lady and did not want to be defeated by her sisters! Chu Jin Miao’s thoughts started racing. What is GuGu’s purpose in returning to her maiden family at this point in time?
Madam Zhao wanted to supplement Chu Jin Miao. Not mentioning Chu Jin Yao and Chu Jin Xian, even Second Young Master Chu Cheng Ye was not comparable.
There was a reason why Madam Zhao doted on her second daughter more than her Di-born eldest daughter and Di-born eldest son.
Second Young Master was Madam Zhao’s only Di-born son, was the Di-born eldest son of the Eldest Household but ranked second in the clan. That year after Madam Zhao entered the household, she first gave birth to Chu Jin Xian. When Chu Jin Xian was born, she was taken away by Old Furen. Since Madam Zhao did not give birth to a son, she focused on getting pregnant but there were no movements for two consecutive years. However, the daughter-in-law of the Second Household gave birth to the Eldest Grandson. Madam Zhao was under great pressure so she stopped the medication for the YiNiangs and TongFangs. Not long after, she finally gave birth to her second child, which was Chu Cheng Ye, the Second Young Master.
However, before Madam Zhao could breathe a sigh of relief, the other two YiNiangs gave birth to Shu-sons one after the other. As Madam Zhao had too many worries when she was pregnant, Second Young Master was not very strong when he was born and was of weak health. Madam Zhao was the Marquis’s Furen and even though she did not give birth to the Eldest Di-Grandson, it was the Shu-born sons that were stronger than the son that was born with difficulty.
How was Madam Zhao able to take this lying? She was unable to stand up straight in her husband’s family and when the Tartar came to disrupt the borders, Madam Zhao was separated from Old Furen and the group. She fled alone, with only her wet nurse, Zhang Mama. One did not know how much resentment there was in Madam Zhao’s heart. Afterwards, when she gave birth in the farmer’s house, Chu Jin Miao cried till she was out of breath but her little hands still clutched onto her skirt. At that time Madam Zhao felt that this was her daughter and she must bring her daughter and fight for her. Upon returning to the Marquis Residence, Old Furen felt apologetic and supplemented Madam Zhao. And Madam Zhao was so good to Chu Jin Miao that she almost lifted Fourth Young Lady to the skies. Even Eldest Young Lady and Second Young Master could not compare.
Later, when Marquis Chang Xing brought Chu Jing Yao back, Madam Zhao felt that the world had collapsed and was unwilling to accept it at all. Chu Jin Yao had returned for a month and even the few YiNiangs were laughing and chatting with Chu Jin Yao but it was Madam Zhao that treated her coldly and indifferently.
And for Chu Jin Yao… In truth, she was much more indifferent to it in her heart. When she had just arrived, she was eager for Mother but when she passed the most difficult hurdle, she felt that it was just flowers on a brocade. Even if Madam Zhao did not like her, she did not need to keep going forward.
Chu Jin Yao and Chu Jin Xian withdrew together from Madam Zhao’s. After leaving, in an area where no one was around, Chu Jin Xian stopped to speak to Chu Jin Yao. “How could you come out with me?”
Chu Jin Yao was surprised. “Yes. Is… There anything wrong with it?”
Chu Jin Xian did not know what to say, her heart was somewhat resentful towards iron for not becoming steel. “You are sure honest. I have ZuMu to take care of me and will be married off in a few days time, but what about you? In the Inner Courtyard, men are not dependable. You are only thirteen this year and have to stay in the Marquis Residence for a few more years. If you don’t stay in front of Mother to do needlework and interact with her more, what will happen to you in the future? Don’t forget that your marriage needs to be arranged.”
Chu Jin Yao was being told off and she did not dare to rebuke. Chu Jin Xian took a deep breath and calmed the anger in her heart before continuing, “Next time, be smarter. Didn’t you see that Fourth Young Lady did not withdraw? When there is no one else, she acts coquettishly with Mother and would definitely gain some items. The Inner Courtyard expenses are very huge, who is able to survive on the monthly allowance? It is all through being supported by the elders privately. If you are not smarter, then with one inferior step, all steps would be inferior and in the end, she will press you down. If finally your marriage is crushed by her, I will see what you can do about it.”
“Eldest Sister, I am wrong.” Chu Jin Yao honestly and sincerely lowered her head to admit her mistake. When Chu Jin Xian saw her attitude in acknowledging her fault was true, she felt a little relieved and vaguely guided, “A person’s heart is made of flesh. When you interact more around Mother, she will definitely see you. I will be married off soon and Father does not stay in the residence all year round, so you need to make plans for yourself.”
How could Chu Jin Yao not understand it? Chu Jin Xian instructed her to get close to Madam Zhao, act coquettishly, and play dumb so that she can live better in the future. Chu Jin Yao too understood the logic, but she just could not do it. It was all right to scheme against a stepmother but Madam Zhao was her biological mother.
Chu Jin Xian had already said what she needed to and thus no longer spoke. While they were talking, they had arrived at Chu Jin Xian’s courtyard. She stopped and spoke to Chu Jin Yao, “Keep the thirty taels well. There are a lot of expenses in the Inner Courtyard.” She wanted Chu Jin Yao to think of more ways to obtain more money to her side but after thinking, Chu Jin Xian was unable to think of any suitable ways of earning. In the end, she could only sigh. “Endure it a little now. It will be better in the future.”