Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 11: Prince Residence’s Luck (Part 1)
As soon as she entered, everyone’s gaze immediately turned to her.
Chu Jin Yao was startled. What happened? Why is everyone dressed like this? Could it be that a guest is coming?
Yesterday, when Chu Zhu returned to the residence, Chu Jin Yao had worn new clothes to receive the guest. At that time she was doing needlework with Chu Jin Xian in Old Chu Furen’s warm room. Later when leaving, Seventh Young Lady was not careful and spilled a cup of tea onto her.
She was really not careful.
Even if Chu Jin Yao had a thousand words to say, she had to go change her clothes and when she came back, it was already late. Thus, most of the people yesterday did not see Chu Jin Yao’s new dress. Today, she wore the newly washed dress out, everyone in the main hall looked both astonished and in wonder.
Chu Jin Yao had been doing farm work since she was young. Compared to the noble daughters who did not step out of the main gates, she had a lot more exercise and thus was in good health and taller. She wore an overlapping wide-sleeved jacket with large pink hibiscus embroidered at the cuffs. Underneath, she was wearing a pleated dress made from purple flower patterned brocade with a white background, the folds of the skirt were sewn with purple silk and lace. At the upper end of the pleated skirt, purple satin was sewn near to the hem and at the lower end, tassels were used to decorate it. The tassels would shake slightly when moving like a peacock that spread out its tail. As she was tall, her waist seemed even slenderer and slimmer when she wore the jacket and pleated dress.
Old Chu Furen saw Chu Jin Yao’s dress but did not say anything when she looked at it carefully. She thought that even though Fifth Young Lady looked the best, she was far inferior to the young ladies that grew up in the Marquis Residence in terms of rules and regulation. It was a pity. However, when Chu Zhu saw her, she could not help but ask, “This dress… Which embroidery workshop made it?”
Chu Jin Yao said, “It was the maids that cut it.” She had thought about it and did not mention it was herself. Else, she would be further questioned, and what was to be done if someone came to her doors with such a request?
When Chu Zhu heard that it was the maids that did it, she nodded, “Sao-zi has arranged a few capable maids.” This dress was indeed beautifully made.
Chu Jin Miao had just been impressive, overwhelming the rest of the sisters. However, when Chu Jin Yao came in, everyone’s gaze was attracted away. In terms of value, Chu Jin Yao’s dress was naturally far less expensive than Chu Jin Miao’s but it could not be compared to the dress cut of the other person as it was refreshingly new.
Chu Jin Miao was really annoyed to death.
Especially for Lin Xi Ning. When Chu Jin Yao had walked in, she was certain Lin Xi Ning’s eyes had lit up. She crumpled her handkerchief bitterly. It was indeed that all men had the same characteristics. Regardless of their words, they liked pretty things!
Chu Jin Miao and Lin Xi Ning were cousins from childhood, Chu Zhu also liked Chu Jin Miao a lot. When they were young, Chu Zhu had even joked with Madam Zhao that since Chu Jin Miao played well with Lin Xi Ning, why not marry them in the future. Madam Zhao had laughed at it at that time but kept it in her heart, and when no one was around, she had even asked Chu Jin Miao secretly.
At that time, Chu Jin Miao was unable to respond to it. She felt naturally different towards Lin Xi Ning but it was not to the point of ‘not marrying if it were not him’. Chu Jin Miao had gotten along with him as close cousins and had planned to take it naturally and adapt to the changes. Madam Zhao had this kind of feeling too. However, upon seeing Lin Xi Ning turning his head to look at Chu Jin Yao, there was a burst of strong discomfort in Chu Jin Miao’s heart. Even if she did not like Lin Xi Ning, he could not look at other females in front of her. At this moment, Chu Jin Miao was more and more motivated to obtain the position of study companion.
Her identity in the Residence of Marquis Chang Xing was too awkward. Even though Madam Zhao still spoilt her as always, what about the future? Marquis Chang Xing was more and more indifferent to her and Old Furen’s position was too high and would not care too much about her, and the servants would take advantage that she was not an official master and dare to be much more relaxed with her instructions. Chu Jin Miao had been in the forefront for thirteen years, so how would she be able to take it? If it were changed to the Prince Residence, then it would be entirely different. Perhaps it would be an even greater fortune for her.
Seeing that everyone was present, Old Chu Furen cleared her throat softly and the lively RongNingTang immediately quietened down.
Today, the young ladies wore bright clothes without prior agreement. Of course, there was the rationale that Chu Zhu was present but the root of the reason was with Old Furen.
Yesterday, Old Furen learned that the Prince Residence would be selecting a study companion for the County Princess and had the heart to let her granddaughters dress up and not lose any face for the family. Even though Old Furen did not say it out clearly, there were different connections in the Inner Courtyard, and the news quickly flowed from RongNingTang to the First, Second, and Third Household. Madam Yan heard someone recommending to let the young ladies tidy up and be more attentive and as such deliberately dressed up her two daughters even though she did understand why. Upon reaching RongNingTang, Madam Yan secretly knew that everyone had come prepared.
Of all the people present, one feared that only Chu Jin Yao left her courtyard without knowing anything. She lived further away, had no connections, and was not like the other young ladies who had their mothers to remind, and so did not know anything. When she saw the sisters’ clothes, she felt that it was very strange. She was deliberately tricked by Seventh Young Lady yesterday so her clothes were worn today, but why did the rest do this?
Now that Old Furen cleared her throat, it looked like there was an important event to be announced. Chu Jin Yao feared that she had missed out on something again and now she would soon know about it. She gathered her attention and listened carefully to what Old Furen was about to say.
Old Chu Furen spoke slowly, “Your GuMu has come all the way back from the Residence of Prince Huai Ling. First, it is to visit relatives and second, because of an important task. This task is related to many people’s future and even the face of the Residence of Marquis Chang Xing. And as such, this major event has landed on you all.”
Chu Jin Yao was still very puzzled as she listened. Since it was a major event for the Marquis Residence, why would it fall on them? Chu Zhu sat beside Old Chu Furen, she smiled and continued. “It is Mother-in-law and Prince Consort that trust me so handed the matter over to me. The County Princess of the Prince Residence is twelve years old this year, and at the right age to study. But it would be too boring for the County Princess to study alone and there are only a few young ladies in the residence, so no one can accompany her for a chat. Our Residence of Marquis Chang Xing is one of the most respectable families in TaiYuan with well-mannered daughters and even in-laws with the Prince Residence. Knowing one’s background, the Prince Consort’s intention is to select two young ladies from our family to be the County Princess’s study companion.”
After Chu Zhu’s voice fell, she looked down arrogantly and as expected, the young ladies and several SaoSaos were all pleasantly surprised. When staying at home, one would only see these few people daily. However, if one were to go to the Prince Residence, then the people that one would encounter would be totally different. Moreover, the Prince Residence and the Residence of Marquis Chang Xing were not far, so it was very convenient and one would still be able to return. The Furens thought about it and felt that this was a great thing and worth fighting for.
Chu Zhu had concealed the most important part. If the Furens were to know that the County Princess was studying to prepare for the Crown Prince Consort selection, they might go crazy. There would not be only one official Consort in the Eastern Palace and when the County Princess becomes the Crown Prince Consort, what about LiangDi and LiangYuan? The Prince of Second Rank and the Prince Consort had most probably considered this when choosing the County Princess’s study companion. There was no dearth of females in the Eastern Palace and the County Princess was not a virtuous person, so rather than being schemed by the females of other families, it was better to arrange someone familiar at the onset. If they were to unite in the very beginning, at least they would have a companion in the future.
Of course, this was only wishful thinking of the Residence of the Second Ranked Prince and it was a different matter if one was able to be chosen or not. However, the people in the Residence of Prince Huai Ling were preparing for the selection in full swing and dismissed the other possibility.
The few Furen’s eyes were brightly lit and the young ladies turned their heads to whisper with their personal maids. Old Chu Furen looked at the entire audience and coughed lightly, “Quiet down.”
The young ladies suddenly stopped talking and looked up at Old Furen.