My apologies for the late post…
Chapter 10: Purpose of Prince Residence’s Visit
“Fourth Younger Biao Sister!”
“Why are you still following?”
“Fourth Younger Biao Sister.” Lin Xi Ning quickly took two steps forward and stopped in front of Chu Jin Miao before asking helplessly, “What is wrong with you?”
“What can be wrong with me? You keep on repeating Fifth Younger Biao Sister. Yes, I know that she has returned and I, the dove occupying magpie’s nest, have to give others the position. All of you can go to her! Why are you still coming to look for me? Have I not lost enough face today?”
When Lin Xi Ning heard it, he finally knew what was wrong with Chu Jin Miao. He spoke hurriedly, “What are you talking about? We have known each other since we were five or six years old but it is my first time seeing her today. I felt that she was pitiful alone and could not even find her way, thus brought her to WaiZuMu’s. Speaking of closeness, of course, it is you the Younger Biao Sister who grew up with me, that is closer!”
“You also think she is pitiful.” Chu Jin Miao sneered, “Yes. She is then the real daughter and I am a fake. One might even be kicked out sometime soon. It is only her that is pitiful and I who deserved it.”
“How can it be so?” Lin Xi Ning softened his voice and gently comforted Chu Jin Miao, “You are the child that grew up here. For thirteen years, everyone treated you as the real young lady. Even though Fifth Younger Biao Sister has returned, how long has she stayed here and how long have you stayed here? WaiZuMu and the rest wanted to make up for her and would pay special attention to her but in actual fact, WaiZuMu and JiuMu dote on you more. Think about it, if a guest comes, won’t one give the best to the guest first?”
Chu Jin Miao thought about it for a while and replied reluctantly, “Yes.”
“Then that is the truth.” Lin Xi Ning smiled, “You can understand the logic so you and Fifth Younger Biao Sister are in the same situation. Don’t worry about it. You are the daughter that was raised for thirteen years. Feelings are all nurtured.”
Chu Jin Miao was convinced by it and the long face that she was putting on finally revealed a smile, “Then why were you being thoughtful to her today? She looks good, do you…”
“What are you thinking about?” Lin Xi Ning smiled and reached out to poke Chu Jin Miao’s forehead, “To me, it is not an exaggeration to say that she is a stranger. Even if another residence’s young lady were lost at home, I would still bring them out. It has nothing to do with Fifth Younger Biao Sister.”
Chu Jin Miao softly snorted, “That’s good.”
“You still like to throw small tantrums.” Lin Xi Ning looked at Chu Jin Miao and smiled dotingly.
“But even if there wasn’t Fifth Young Lady, there are still Sixth Young Lady and Seventh Young Lady. Don’t think that I do not know. During the meal today, there were many young ladies that were secretly watching you.” As Chu Jin Miao spoke, she sighed, “You are a Di-son of the Prince Residence, while I am just a normal young lady of a Marquis line and what’s more, not a young lady from a direct line. Previously we were young and innocent but now that we are all grown up, one fears that we can no longer be as close as we were when we were young.”
Lin Xi Ning thought about his Mother’s purpose of coming to the Residence of Marquis Chang Xing, he replied softly, “It won’t happen.”
“Why could it not happen?” Chu Jin Miao smiled bitterly. There was a trace of weakness and bitterness on her face as she apparently remembered her background. “I can only blame myself. It is better for me to die of illness when I was a child. Instead, I lived till now and occupied the fortune of others.”
“Fourth Younger Biao Sister!”
Chu Jin Miao shook her head and did not continue speaking about it. She asked, “Older Biao Brother, for what purpose did you come back this time?”
Originally, the family had told Lin Xi Ning not to talk about it to outsiders, but Younger Biao Sister was not an outsider and she would know about it sooner or later. As he thought like this, he saw that there was no one around and whispered to Chu Jin Miao, “Mother came back this time to select two young ladies to accompany the Princess of Third Rank to study.”
GongZhu 公主 (direct translation: State Princess) Princess of the First Rank. All daughters of the Emperor
JunZhu 郡主 (direct translation: Princess of a Commandery) Princess of the Second Rank. It was usually granted to the daughter of a Prince
XianZhu 县主 (direct translation: Princess of a County) Princess of the Third Rank.
“Princess of Third Rank!” Chu Jin Miao covered her mouth. The Princess of Third Rank in TaiYuan was a famous figure. She was Prince Huai Ling’s Di-daughter and to these young ladies of the Marquis lineage, that was an unparalleled noble and unattainable position. Chu Jin Xian said with surprise, “With no rhyme or reason, why is Princess of Third Rank involved? Moreover, if Princess of Third Rank wants to study, one would have searched in the past. Why search now?”
“Ah. It’s because of that person.” Lin Xi Ning quickly pointed towards the North and hinted to Chu Jin Miao. “That person is in ShanXi. My Oldest Bo, wants to take a gamble. Our Third Younger Sister does not like studying and plays crazily all day. BoFu and BoMu are unable to control her at all and thus thought of looking for a few young ladies. With peers accompanying, perhaps Third Younger Sister would be able to sit down.”
At first, Chu Jin Miao did not understand who that person was. Why did Lin Xi Ning not speak clearly? But when she heard the latter part and thought of the direction of Lin Xi Ning’s figure, Chu Jin Miao was so shocked that she almost cried out, “You are referring to the Crown Prince?!”
“Shh!” Lin Xi Ning quickly covered Chu Jin Miao’s mouth, her eyes widened in surprise. Lin Xi Ning quickly looked around and upon confirming that there was no one, he released a sigh of relief. When he turned back, he realised what he had done. He quickly let go and took two steps back before rambling, “Apologies Fourth Younger Biao Sister, I was rude just now.”
Lin Xi Ning’s face blushed after speaking.
Chu Jin Miao shook her head in a daze and said, “It is all right.” However, she in fact did not pay any attention to Lin Xi Ning’s actions at all. All her thoughts had flown to another person.
To go to the Prince Residence to accompany the Princess to study. One might even be able to see the Crown Prince. If the Princess really became the Crown Prince Consort, what about the study companion?
In RongNingTang, Chu Zhu had dismissed the servants and was also talking about this matter to Old Chu Furen.
“Mother, you are also aware that the Crown Prince is in Great Tong currently. The Prince of Second Rank has some connections in Great Tong and heard from them that the Crown Prince had suffered serious injuries when he previously pursued the Tartars. These days he has closed the doors to recuperate and is not receiving any guests. When the Prince sent people to pay a visit, wanting to learn of his views on the matters, they were stopped by the Eastern Palace’s GongGong. Even though they did not see the Crown Prince, he is in ShanXi and this is the truth. According to the inside information, the Senior General had the intention to convince the Crown Prince to stay in TaiYuan to recuperate since the brother is just too dangerous.”
Even the well-informed Old Chu Furen was shocked and gasped, “His Royal Highness wants to come down to TaiYuan?”
“The Crown Prince did not give orders, so who would dare to say for sure.” Chu Zhu said, “However, it should be seven-tenths accurate.”
“Yes, Elder.” Old Chu Furen’s heart was pounding and she could not help but stand up and walk around the hall twice to calm the shock. When she had finally calmed down, Gu MoMo stepped forward to help her back to the couch to sit. Old Chu Furen exclaimed, “If the Crown Prince comes to TaiYuan, it will bring great glory to our Chu Family! If our Residence of Marquis Chang Xing is lucky to receive His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, then if one were to meet the ancestors in the future, one’s face would be very radiant.”
“That is exactly so.” Chu Zhu smiled, “A few days ago, Eldest Brother was busy and most likely was enquiring about this matter.”
With Chu Zhu’s reminder, Old Chu Furen also recalled the matter. Some time ago, after bringing Fifth Young Lady back, Marquis Chang Xing was so busy for half a month that one was unable to see his shadow. So it was then that he had heard the rumours. “He is really. Why did he not inform me of such a major event? It is better for me to be mentally prepared in advance.” She complained.
“Mother, the more joyous event has yet to arrive.” Chu Zhu smiled pointedly.
“Oh?” Old Chu Furen looked at Chu Zhu curiously.
Seeing that she had played up the mystery enough, Chu Zhu spoke proudly, “Mother, even though the Residence of the Prince of Second Rank is not in TaiYuan, it is only a day’s journey away. When His Highness the Crown Prince comes to TaiYuan, there are not many families that are of rank to receive him. If the Residence of Prince Huai Ling does not speak, who would dare to accept the Crown Prince reception? So obviously, the Crown Prince’s first stop is our Prince Residence. Mother, you also know that Princess of Third Rank in the Prince Residence is twelve this year and Crown Prince seventeen. Take a look at these ages, isn’t it a match made in Heavens that one cannot stop?”
It was only then that Old Chu Furen understood the intentions the Lin family was pursuing. The Residence of Prince Huai Ling was one of the few Princes in Great Yan that had a different surname. Seeing that these few years the Emperor had been suspicious of the vassal Princes and was not pleased with his blood brothers, much less pleased with a Prince with a different surname, if Princess of Third Rank really became Crown Prince Consort, then the Residence of Prince Huai Ling would rise to Heavens with a single step.
Seeing that Old Chu Furen had come to understand the situation, Chu Zhu then continued speaking, “It is still not certain that the Crown Prince will come to TaiYuan and no one knows when it will be. However, the matters of Princess of Third Rank have to be prepared early. Princess of Third Rank has a noble status and has grown up stirring up trouble, thus she has an arrogant temperament. It is all right if the Princess of Third Rank is at home, but in front of the Crown Prince, how can she contradict him? If one seeks the position of Crown Prince Consort, Princess of Third Rank’s temperament has to change, thus the Prince of Second Rank and Prince Consort want to use the excuse of studying the rules to change her temperament. However, the Princess was not willing to learn and even drove two teachers away in one month. The Prince and Prince Consort had no other choice and thought of selecting a few young ladies from outside to accompany the Princess to study. As long as the Princess could be calmed down, it would be a great accomplishment.”
Old Chu Furen had understood the matter. “Your Mother-in-law meant…”
“Yes. Our Old Furen meant that the Marquis Chang Xing Residence is one of the most honored families in TaiYuan and the etiquette and character of our family’s young ladies are trustworthy. Thus, the Elder and the Prince Consort wanted to select two young ladies from our family to accompany the Princess in studying.”
When Old Chu Furen heard the smiles behind those words, she clapped her hands excitedly. “Good. Good. Good. The young ladies of our Residence of Marquis Chang Xing are naturally the good ones. Tomorrow I will gather the young ladies and dress them up to let you choose.”
“Mother, how can choosing a study companion for the Prince Residence be done so sloppily?” Chu Zhu held Old Chu Furen’s hands and smiled, “I took this trip back to inform you that the real candidate for the study companion has to pass the approval of Mother-in-law and Prince Consort. How could I make the call?”
OldChu Furen also smiled, “It is me that is confused.”
“I have seen the few young ladies today and am roughly aware of the situation. Mother, this time I have also brought two teaching MoMos. Let them teach some rules and regulations to our family’s young ladies. After a few days, Prince Consort will hold a banquet and at that time, all the young ladies should be brought over. This would be the formal way of introduction.”
“Yes. I understand.” As Chu Furen spoke, she secretly made her mind up. It seemed that she could no longer raise these young ladies dotingly. She had previously felt that since daughters would be married off and would need to serve their Mother-in-laws in other families, Old Chu Furen had been reluctant to be too critical about her granddaughters. Since they were not married yet, it was all right to live well in their maiden family. However, it seemed that she could not let them relax like this.
The next day, there were people who came early for greetings at RongNingTang. As Chu Zhu was present, the young ladies were all dressed up, trying to stand out from the other sisters. The young ladies were all secretly competing when suddenly the curtains parted and Chu Jin Miao came in.
Chu Jin Miao had heard about the inside information from Lin Xi Ning and thus was more concerned about dressing up today. She wore her most expensive makeup and clothes. Even though the colours were plain, they were radiant and extravagant. There was a circle of butterflies embroidered on her dress and the gold threads on the white brocade looked very noble.
When the other young ladies saw Chu Jin Miao, they all secretly complained that she was favoured and subsidized by others. The flowered patterns were the higher-end fabric of the brocade and could be considered the most expensive. When Chu Jin Miao wore it, instantly no one spoke.
Chu Jin Miao was secretly pleased. These were the clothes that she had prepared meticulously. Just the cloth was worth hundreds of taels, not to mention the gold thread and trimmings. She must obtain the position of study companion from GuMu.
At this moment, the maid called aloud, “Fifth Young Lady has arrived!”
Chu Jin Yao smiled as she entered RongNingHall. As soon as she entered and stood still, she noticed that everyone’s gaze was on her.
What happened? She was a little startled. Why is everyone dressed like this? Especially Chu Jin Miao. Could it be that she is going out today?
Chu Jin Yao was somewhat scared upon being stared at so intensively. She was wearing the brocade clothes that Old Furen had gifted. As she was splashed with water by Seventh Young Lady yesterday, she had rushed back to change her clothes and thus could only wear her newly made brocade clothes today. She was afraid that the dress would be plain and personally added some flowers at the skirt folds. Chu Jin Yao’s brocade was as bright as clouds and because there were numerous pleats, the dress spread out like a peacock tail. At a glance, she seemed to have stood out into the light and brought out a subtle beauty.