Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 31: An Unforeseen Event in the City Center (Part 2)
Sure enough, three to four days later, Prince Huai Ling Consort’s invitation arrived at the residence Marquis of Chang Xing. The Prince residence invitation was grand and elegant with gold foil embossed patterns at the four corners. Madam Yan sighed as she held the invitation, “As expected of the Prince residence, it is sure large-scaled. It is just an invitation that is thrown away after one use but they actually decorate it with real gold! This is truly…”
Madam Zhao felt ashamed of Madam Yan and turned her face away. The few of them were dressed in new clothes as they gathered at Old Furen’s before heading out when everybody else arrived. The other young ladies heard Madam Yan’s words and although they felt that Madam Yan was somewhat small-minded, they all understood in their hearts that the difference between the residence of Prince Huai Ling and the Marquis of Chang Xing could be seen in these insignificant details. How would the residence of the Marquis of Chang Xing be willing to use gold to emboss the invitations? But the residence of Prince Huai Ling did not care at all. Even if Marquis of Chang Xin splurged, it would not be of such a level. These gold and silver decorations could only used by the Imperial family.
When everybody had arrived, Chu Jin Yao was led by her mother to greet Old Furen and upon getting Old Furen’s permission, she then boarded the carriage accompanied by her brothers and slowly headed down towards the main streets.
This was Chu Jin Yao’s first time in the market. When she was living with the Su family, she was not qualified to go to the county market with her father and afterwards left with Marquis Chang Xing, taking the carriage all the way back to the residence of Marquis Chang Xing. She had never had the chance to see what Tai Yuan looked like. Now that she was finally out, she was very excited the entire journey and could barely hold back pulling the curtain apart to look.
However, Chu Jin Yao wouldn’t dare. She was sitting in the same carriage as Chu Jin Xian, while Madam Zhao was in the same carriage as Chu Jin Miao. Chu Jin Xian was sitting in a dignified manner in the rickety carriage and even if she did not look in her direction, Chu Jin Yao knew that she would not allow her to do something improper like lifting the curtain up.
Perhaps Chu Jin Xian could see that Chu Jin Yao could not sit still due to her excitement. Actually, there was no need to look as Chu Jin Yao had already expressed it. Chu Jin Xian was helpless and felt heartache as she spoke softly to her, “There are a lot of people on the streets so it is inappropriate to be seen by others. When we reach Zhen Bao Ge, you can look around openly.”
Chu Jin Yao was stunned for a while before realising that Chu Jin Xian was comforting her. She said, overwhelmed, “I understand. Thanking Eldest Sister.”
Chu Jin Xian’s words were not false. After the Marquis residence’s carriage traveled a little, it turned into a corner keeping the noise outside the curtain further away. Now, the roads were much more even and the carriage no longer bumped up and down. Chu Jin Yao waited patiently for a while and heard a knock on the carriage and a maid’s voice from outside the carriage, “Eldest Young Lady, Fifth Young Lady. We have arrived at Zhen Bao Ge. This servant will help you down.”
Chu Jin Xian left first while Chu Jin Yao was supported by the maid as she slowly stepped off the carriage. Actually Chu Jin Yao was used to being active since childhood, so the distance between the carriage to the ground, she could manage with a single jump. However, in front of so many people, she dared not do such a thing.
After Chu Jin Yao stepped on the ground, she immediately turned her head to look at the streets. The entire street was selling jewelry, gold, jade and more. The wealthy and nobles were all around and the carriages of the officials and big clans everywhere. Chu Jin Yao’s eyes were wide as she toook in this scene. She had never seen such a broad and magnificent shopping street! This was many more times imposing than the county Father Su, Su Sheng, spoke of.
When Qin Yi saw Chu Jin Yao’s expression, he could not help but whispere, “It is just an ordinary street, is it needed to the extent? If you really like it, then you should go to the commerce street in the capital.”
Chu Jin Yao’s eyes were sparkling as she asked Qin Yi quietly, “Is the capital bigger than Tai Yuan?”
Qin Yi laughed softly, “It is just Tai Yuan. Naturally, it cannot compare to the capital.”
Chu Jin Yao let out a soft sigh of admiration. Tai Yuan had already opened her eyes to the world but the capital was more vast and magnificent than Tai Yuan, so what kind of scene would it be? Chu Jin Yao pondered over it for a while before speaking in frustration, “It is a pity that I do not have a chance to see the capital and can only dream about it.”
“How can it be?” Qin Yi said, “If you want to visit, isn’t it easy?”
Chu Jin Yao shook her head, “I am a young lady who would not even go out normally, what’s more going to the faraway capital? Even if one is to be married, one would not want to go to such a far away place. No matter how good the capital is, it has nothing to do with me. My home is in Tai Yuan, I do not want to be too far from my parents.”
This time Qin Yi was silent. He once again realised that he was vastly different from Chu Jin Yao.
“Young Lady!” Shan Cha’s voice sounded from behind. She lifted her skirt and hurried down the steps before walking over to Chu Jin Yao’s side and complained repeatedly, “Why does Young Lady hide here alone? I thought that you went in with Fourth Young Lady and the rest. I had a hard time searching and was even scolded by Eldest Young Lady! Why are you always running around alone!”
When the words were said, Qin Yi’s face turned grim and almost scolded this maid for being rude. Who gave her the courage to talk to Chu Jin Yao like this? Chu Jin Yao vaguely felt that Qin Yi was somewhat irritated, so she placed her hand gently on the jade pendant and said to Shan Cha, “I understand. Is Eldest Sister waiting for me inside?”
“Yes.” Shan Cha was scolded by Chu Jin Xian, thus she felt angry and wanted to say more. However, she saw Chu Jin Yao walking past her, straight into the shop.
Shan Cha was totally ignored by Chu Jin Yao. She was even more annoyed but fortunately, she was aware of her identity. There were so many masters in the store and any one of them would be able to crush her to death single-handedly, thus she would not dare to kick up a fuss with Fifth Young Lady at such a place. As such, she could only hold back her anger and pout as she followed Chu Jin Yao into the store in despair.
Chu Jin Xian was waiting at the doors and breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Chu Jin Yao crossing the threshold. She spoke with a frown, “What is wrong with the maids by your side? There are so many of them following you but they can actually lose you?”
“Eldest Sister, say no more.” Chu Jin Yao tugged Chu Jin Xian’s hands lightly, “It is rare for us sisters to go out together, so don’t be angry with this kind of things. When I return, I will discipline them.”
Chu Jin Xian looked at Shan Cha’s floating eyes and then at Sun Momo who was following Madam Zhao’s and Chu Jin Miao, how could she not understand Chu Jin Yao’s predicament? However, she could not settle everything for Chu Jin Yao. Chu Jin Yao herself had to understand the ways to survive in the inner courtyard.
Chu Jin Xian sighed and said no more. Upon seeing that, Chu Jin Yao sighed in her heart. This was how a family was. Chu Jin Xian could not find her and the first words upon seeing her were to ask if she was doing fine and the next was to reprimand her maid’s dereliction of duty. If it was Madam Zhao, she would only say with a frown, “Why do you run around? What kind of propriety is this?”
Madam Zhao seemed to always have a strong prejudice against her whenever she saw her. Madam Zhao wanted her daughter to be a decent young lady as soon as she appeared, no matter what she had encountered. Chu Jin Yao sighed. Perhaps, what Madam Zhao needed was Chu Jin Miao, a young lady who was frail, articulate with her words and relied on Madam Zhao heavily and not her, the biological daughter who came back midway.
Chu Jin Xian was already engaged and not supposed to go out anymore, but she had strongly plead that she be allowed to go along. Looking at Madam Zhao’s and Chu Jin Miao’s affectionate figures, Chu Jin Xian thought to herself that she had guessed correctly. Madam Zhao only had Chu Jin Miao in her eyes and had totally forgotten that she still had another daughter to look after. Chu Jin Yao had returned after such a long time, but Madam Zhao was not willing to adapt to the new situation. If Chu Jin Xian had not come today, the rest of the young ladies had a mother to bring along to look at jewelry and only Chu Jin Yao would be left behind. And that would be very awkward.
Even Chu Jin Xian had developed a sense of resentment towards Madam Zhao for failing to meet expectations.