Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 8: Helping One Other
After Qin Yi was sent to the border of Great Tong, the Imperial Tutors were very worried about it. However, he felt what the eyes did not see was regarded as clean. He was really fed up with that dog couple.
The frontier was poor and bitter, the guards could not relax even for a moment. Qin Yi brought people to the border a few times to pursue the Tatar cavalry. During the first lunar month, these Tatar younglings had harassed the commoners and robbed a few things before fleeing. He led some people and chased for five hundred Li (modern: 1 Li = 500m or 1,640 feet). When he surrounded the Tatar cavalry, he planned to cut the weeds and dig up the roots, but there were some accidents when he was not paying attention.
At that time, Qin Yi felt that his injury should be quite serious. He did not fear being without support afterwards because the troops of Great Tong were not that courageous. What he feared was that the news of his unconsciousness would be sent back to the Imperial City.
One feared that the Empress would be dreaming about this day. That year, she was able to hook up with her Brother-in-Law when her Older Sister was seriously ill, so Qin Yi knew that he should not have any illusions about this couple.
When Chu Jin Yao finished educating her jade pendant and saw that the other party seemed to be heeding to it, she said, “You have helped me a lot, now it is my turn to help you. Don’t worry and leave your matter to me. Nothing will happen. I guess that the key issue lies with this jade. One time when I was listening to Mother Su nagging, she mentioned that the Taoist Priest was rather mysterious and after he left the jade with me, he walked away singing something. When Father and Mother chased outside, they only saw the vast area of snow. I guess that this jade pendant has some magical power. Why don’t we search again? Perhaps there is someone selling such a jade-like this in other places. We will buy it back no matter the cost and try if we can transfer you over.”
It sounded like a decent plan. Qin Yi did not think that Chu Jin Yao could help him with anything, but upon listening to how sincerely she was planning for him, he had no choice but to speak perfunctorily, “All right.”
However, in his heart, he was thinking of finding a way to contact his confidants in the Eastern Palace and instruct them to look for the soul cultivating jade.
Chu Jin Yao racked her brains to think of where there would be a lot of jade stones. Or perhaps she should look for one who had exposure outside and instruct them to inquire about information about this jade. At that time the Taoist Priest gave her a piece and logically speaking, jade stones came in pairs, so this should not be a unique piece.
As for how to purchase it after it was found… Chu Jin Yao refused to think about this question, as there would always be a way.
Chu Jin Yao sighed silently. When Qin Yi heard it, he asked, “What is the matter? To even sigh like this.”
“I am worried about my future livelihood.”
Qin Yi burst into a peal of laughter. Chu Jin Yao glared at him and said solemnly, “Don’t laugh. I am seriously mulling over it. I want to help Older Sister, want to buy jade for you, and also have to plan for the future as the expenses are high in noble families. There is a saying that money can make ghosts turn the millstones. Then there is the other saying- there are a hundred matters to lament for a poor couple. I understand too well how difficult it is without money. I still have a long road ahead and cannot keep on counting on monthly allowance and that thirty taels to survive. I have to think of a profit-making income, and as for the other people in the Su family… I will not make a false countercharge but would not be a saint and not feel any resentment. From now onwards, each will walk on one’s road and will not disturb each other. It’s the best if we never see each other.”
“Then, what do you want to do?” Qin Yi asked with interest.
“I don’t know either. It is said that it is better to teach another to fish than to give a fish. I can give Older Sister money once but it is impossible to give her money for a lifetime. It is better to find her work so that her family can take care of themselves. It would be great if I have a shop, as it would be beneficial for both. However, I’ve heard that only when one marries would the elders in the family give shops to the young lady. I cannot just get married right away, right? Hey, why are you laughing?”
Qin Yi stopped laughing and deliberately said, “Isn’t it too early for you to think of marriage?”
Every male liked to tease a young lady, even Crown Prince Qin Yi was unable to get rid of such a bad habit. Chu Jin Yao was annoyed at being teased like that and picked up the jade to pretend to throw it. Qin Yi quickly said, “All right. All right, I will not tease you anymore. I think that you are suitable to manage a textile business.”
There was mirth in his voice, but it was obvious that he was holding back his laughter. However, when he was saying the words, it made one feel inexplicably solemn, and one could not help but believe him. It was as if whatever he said would come true.
As such, Chu Jin Yao trusted Qin Yi involuntarily. Whatever he said, she would feel it was true. She was familiar with the craftsmanship of clothes, however, heretofore she had no opportunity. Now that she had the exposure to precious materials like silk and satin along with a textile business to create clothes for people, it would definitely be popular. As such, Older Sister could go to the shop and help her earn money… Chu Jin Yao felt that something was wrong. She looked at the jade pendant helplessly, and said, “I am being led by you. What do you mean by me being suitable for a textile business? I think I am suitable to manage a bank! But someone has to let me manage it.”
Qin Yi was amused yet again. Chu Jin Yao was wondering why he was like this. Here she was speaking from the bottom of her heart but there he was laughing. After Qin Yi was finally done laughing, he spoke with a laughing tone but calm words, “There will be.”
She liked the sound of those words. She chuckled. “All right. Let’s borrow your auspicious words. When such a fool appears, I will definitely change your rope to a gold-threaded one.”
“Presumptuous!” Although Qin Yi said that, he was unable to hide the laughter in his voice.
As the sunlight shone into the room through the window panes, it lit up a golden shade. Sitting in the warm sunshine, Chu Jin Yao smiled while skillfully stitching laces onto the clothes. On the side table by her hand, there was a white jade with red flakes laying on top.
A few days later when Chu Jin Yao was at Old Chu Furen’s for greetings, she heard her say, “Zhu-er wrote a letter and said that her Mother-in-Law knew that she was returning and was compassionate, thus giving her a vacation very early. The Residence of the Second Ranked Prince Huai Ling is a day-long from TaiYuan and she should be able to arrive the following night if she journeys faster.”
The young ladies were shocked, “GuMu is arriving so soon?” It was ten days after than originally said. Their clothes were not ready yet!
“Yes.” Old Chu Furen nodded, “Your GuMu is returning. If you have anything prepared for GuMu, then quickly return to prepare. I will no longer hold you back. If anything is lacking, just inform Old Gu.”
Gu Momo was the part of Old Chu Furen’s dowry and was so deeply trusted that even Madam Zhao had to give her some face. The Young Ladies responded individually before rushing back to tidy up the clothes to meet the guests.
The daily affairs of unmarried ladies were just these few, so GuMu’s return was considered a major event. Like what Chu Zhu mentioned, on the evening of the third day, her carriage stopped outside the second gate.
Chu Zhu was the only Di-daughter of Old Chu Furen. She was treated like a pearl during her maiden days and was also married off well. Her husband’s family was the Residence of the Second Ranked Prince Huai Ling, a Prince of a different surname than Great Yan. Although Prince Huai Ling Residence was not an official Imperial family, a Prince Residence was after all a Prince Residence. Even though their Marquis Chang Xing Residence was a prominent family in TaiYuan, they were only citizens and still sincere and fearful when welcoming the people of the Prince Residence.
Chu Zhu sat in Old Chu Furen’s Rong Ning Tang, the laughter could be heard from far away. Madam Zhao and the other daughters-in-law stood at the side to accompany Old Furen and GuNaiNai in chatting. GuNaiNai and daughters-in-law were different. Unmarried young ladies were pampered guests, and when the married GuNaiNai returned to their maiden families, they were honored guests and had to be treated well. It was different for daughters-in-law. They had to serve the parents-in-law, educate children and in such scenarios, Chu Zhu would be treated by everyone like the stars twinkling around the bright moon, while Madam Zhao and the rest stood at the side.
Old Chu Furen asked her daughter, “Why did you return so quickly? Did your Mother-in-Law tell you to? You can return to your maiden family anytime but don’t let your Mother-in-law have opinions about you.”
“I understand. It is Mother-in-law that sent me back this time.” Chu Zhu said as she turned and looked back at Madam Zhao and the others. “The few SaoZi’s complexions are getting even better.”
Madam Zhao smiled as she said, “How can it compare to GuNaiNai’s? You have maintained a good physique, and your complexion is translucent. Those who do not know would think that you are our family’s Young Lady!”
Everyone laughed and Chu Zhu laughed especially happily. Without exception, females liked to be praised for being young and beautiful. Madam Zhao had only given birth to a son. She had been weak of health since young, thus she was very careful in front of her Mother-in-Law. Now in front of her Mother-in-Law, she could only flatter the Youngest GuZi and make her happy.
Chu Zhu smiled, “Eldest Sao is really good at talking. I am almost an old woman. How can one be compared to the young females at home?”
Second Furen continued speaking, “As GuNaiNai said, Ning Boy has reached the age of marriage. You will soon be called a grandmother!”
These words flattered Chu Zhu from ear to ear. She had always been proud of marrying up. There were so many noble official families in ShanXi, but it was only her that was married into the Prince Residence and her son was her greatest pride.
Old Chu Furen also cherished her only Wai-grandson (daughter’s son), “Where is Ning Boy? Why didn’t he come in?”
Outside Rong Ning Tang, Chu Jin Yao was going in circles around a cluster of courtyards. She lowered her voice and asked Qin Yi, “Just how to get out?”
Just now Chu Jin Yao and Chu Jin Xian were at Old Furen’s room to accompany the elder chatting when the servant suddenly relayed a message that GuNaiNai was almost arriving. She quickly got up and was preparing to meet GuGu when, in a rush, Seventh Young Lady spilled a cup of tea on her. She had no choice but to rush back to quickly change her clothes.
Old Furen had held them by the ear and given instructions for a few days, but she was late on the day that Chu Zhu returned. Chu Jin Yao did not dare to think about what would happen next. She rushed towards Rong Ning Tang after changing her clothes. Instead of taking the route that she often did, she took a shortcut and planned to cut across the courtyard. But something went wrong this time.
Chu Jin Yao was lost.
Yue Ji was a newly bought maid that was following Chu Jin Yao and she did not recognize the route here. There were vacant courtyards around the area and no matter how one looked, it was dark, and everywhere looked the same. Both of them walked around and became more confused.
Chu Jin Yao took advantage when Yue Ji was not paying attention and quickly whispered to Qin Yi for help.
“Get out from the corner, head out of this small courtyard and walk North along the road. When you reach the corner, turn West… Actually, you can head to one more corner before turning West and enter the courtyard by going up the steps, then head South for a few steps and it will merge to the route that you often use.”
Chu Jin Yao was taken aback for a moment, “Ah?”
“You did not remember?” Qin Yi was very surprised and could only repeat. “Head towards North first…”
“Where is North?”
Qin Yi was speechless at the question, “You don’t even know where North is?”
“I know it. But how do I tell it apart when all the rooms and courtyards are the same?”
“I think that you don’t know.” Qin Yi was so angry that he had no more temper left. With just a change in location, she was unable to find North. Was this considered knowing one’s location? He could only say, “Look at the corner of that door. Yes, just behind that room, then walk straight along the road…”
With Qin Yi’s intermittent guidance, Chu Jin Yao was able to slowly move around the area. After she had walked for a while, she was able to get out. And then when secretly spoke to Qin Yi, she felt that she was behaving like a thief.
“Where to go next?” Chu Jin Yao secretly asked Qin Yi when others were not paying attention.
“What are you doing?” A voice suddenly rang out behind her. Chu Jin Yao was startled and released her jade pendant in shock.