Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 33: Everything Returned (Part 1)
Chu Jin Yao’s incident on the street had alarmed a number of people, so after they returned to the residence, Old Furen deliberately retained Madam Zhao to ask in detail.
“One had heard from the servants that the journey was not peaceful today. What happened?”
Madam Zhao sat by Old Furen’s side and shared with her on what she saw at the jewelry store, the happenings on the streets and also the matter of the Qi family fabric store. Old Furen was silent for a while before saying, “My original intent was for you all to go out and relax. I did not expect that you would encounter such twists and turns. We cannot afford to offend those GongGongs of the Imperial family, so avoiding is the correct way. However, Fifth Young Lady looks gentle and warm on the outside, but she has a strong personality.”
When Madam Zhao heard these, she was somewhat surprised. Old Chu Furen was not usually close with the younger generation. With the exception of Chu Jin Xian, hardly anyone would be able to get a good word from her. Even though Old Chu Furen’s words were of accusations, she was actually praising more than complaining. Madam Zhao was very curious. Since when had Chu Jin Yao gained Old Chu Furen’s attention? She spoke along Old Furen’s words, “Mother is right. Jin Yao only returned home for two months, so to be able to get till today, it is all thanks to your teaching and guidance.”
Old Furen shook her head silently, obviously not agreeing with it. She had originally thought that the younger generation were all well-taught, and if there were any wastrels younger generation in any family, it must be the elders’ fault at discipline. However, now Old Chu Furen felt that educating was a responsibility, but human nature was the cornerstone of everything.
Take Chu Jin Miao for example, she was raised in a wealthy environment with delicious food and drink since she could walk, there was no shortage of discipline Momos and elders’ lectures. But take a look, wasn’t Chu Jin Miao still a crooked tree? And Chu Jin Yao grew up in a farmer family, and it was heard that the farmer couple were unscrupulous and ignorant. However, it was Chu Jin Yao that grew up with an upright and strong temperament. Now Old Chu Furen dared not even speak of it. Was it because there was things that could not be shaken from the very beginning?
Madam Zhao looked at Old Chu Furen’s expression and carefully spoke, “Mother, Miao-er went out with her sisters today and was very happy during the trip. She told me in the carriage that she really hopes to be able to move around with her sisters. Mother, seeing that Miao-er already knows her mistake, can her confinement be…”
Due to the invitation from the Prince Consort, the Chu family’s young ladies went out to buy jewelry and it was impossible to leave Chu Jin Miao out, thus in the course of it Chu Jin Miao also came out. Everyone tacitly understood, so no one spoke about the confinement, thus it was considered that Chu Jin Miao’s confinement was considered lifted. However, the younger generation could use such a coquettish method to act shamelessly but Madam Zhao, as a mother, could not. She had to discuss it with Old Chu Furen and obtain her approval.
Usually in such cases, the elders would turn a blind eye and acquiesce to it. Young ladies were all delicate guests, so no one would punish them seriously. However, when Old Chu Furen heard it this time, she said, “Did she ask you to intercede? A few days ago, Second Ge-er also came to speak to me about this matter.”
When Madam Zhao heard it, she quickly stood up with her hands crossed, “No. It is this daughter-in-law that felt heartache and came to look for Mother on her own initiative.”
Old Chu Furen had been dealing with women in the Inner Courtyard for her entire life, so how could she not see through these complex loops? Chu Jin Miao’s and Madam Zhao’s thoughts were like jokes in her eyes, that she could see through them with a glance. Old Furen saw it through but did not want to point it out, “Fourth Young Lady was raised by you, so it is normal that you will feel heartache for her. However, there is a saying among the people that a bowl of water has to be levelled. How many family’s disasters were caused by the favourites of the elders? You should not only favour one side and also take care of Fifth Young Lady.”
Old Chu Furen was saying that she was biased again, Madam Zhao was somewhat fed up about it but responded respectfully. Old Chu Furen saw that she reluctantly agreed to it and knew that she definitely did not take it seriously, thus her tone of voice became heavier as she shouted slightly, “These kind of things are the responsibilities of a matriarch. I do not wish to remind you a third time. Officially, you are a woman of the Marquis residence and must manage the internal matters of the entire clan. Privately, you are the mother of the daughters. You have to remember your identity and don’t keep on focusing on only Chu Jin Miao! Not mentioning Fifth Young Lady, look at Eighth Daughter, she is only six years old but what kind of negligence are there by the maids and servants beside her? I am just too lazy to mention it to you. You really think that I do not know about it?”
Madam Zhao was scolded till she had cold sweat. She knelt down by the arhat bed and said, “It is my fault. May Mother calm your anger down.”
Old Chu Furen had originally planned to stop after mentioning it, but she did not think that Madam Zhao’s brain was this muddled, and she had no choice but to put it like this. Old Chu Furen became angry as she took a deep breath, “Get up. You are already a mother of several children and I do not wish to shame you in front of others. As long as your actions can be brought up to others, I would not say this to you. In the future, go back and have a good attitude about it and clean up the courtyards of the few Young Ladies. The Elders’ favouritism is the source of disasters!”
“I heard Xian-er saying that she has used her private funds to purchase a set of head ornaments for Jin Yao today and you also gifted a set. Seeing that Fifth Young Lady is growing up, it is necessary to prepare more clothes and jewelry. After all, she is the Di-born Young Lady of our Marquis residence and there should not be any disorder between Di and Shu. Even if her expenses are not the best, one cannot let outsiders see a joke.”
Madam Zhao responded in agreement. Even though Old Chu Furen mentioned the order of Di and Shu, Madam Zhao understood that Old Furen was alluding to Chu Jin Miao. After all, she was the official wife, so how would she let a Shu daughter rise above her Di-daughter? Old Furen was still dissatisfied with Chu Jin Miao and wanted her to reduce Chu Jin Miao’s expenses and ensure that it would not exceed that of Chu Jin Yao’s.
Old Furen just said that a bowl of water had to be leveled, but now she said these things instead. Madam Zhao was not a totally confused person, she knew that Chu Jin Yao was her real daughter, so would she purposely treat Chu Jin Yao harshly? However, ever since Chu Jin Yao’s return, the people around her had been persecuting her, reprimanding her and reminding her. Madam Zhao disliked it and unconsciously wanted to rebel.
It seemed that they were all good people and only Madam Zhao was a bad person. Madam Zhao was very annoyed with it.
In fact, for Old Chu Furen to say as such, her thoughts were much further than that of Madam Zhao. Old Furen was thinking that Chu Jin Miao was completely useless. Not to mention that she did not have this blessing, even if she did have, Old Chu Furen would not dare to let her marry up. With this kind of temperament, it would be the Chu family’s catastrophe if she married up. Chu Jin Xian was raised by Old Furen and was perfect in every aspect. In terms of marrying up, she was the best choice, but Old Furen had some selfishness. She still wanted the child that she watched growing up live smoothly in the future, so she kept silent and let Madam Zhao arrange a marriage with her maiden family’s Biao Older Brother for Chu Jin Xian.
However, the residence of Marquis Chang Xing was at its last generation. The younger generation were all addicted to the wealth and honour in front of them and were too lazy to think about their future. But she, the elder, could not be lazy like them. Chu Jin Xian’s life had been decided and the rest of the young ladies, Second Young Lady and Third Young Lady were Shu-born. Even though the current dynasty did not value the Di-Shu relations as heavily as the previous dynasty, a Di-born young lady was still after all proper. Initially, Chu Jin Miao was the Di-daughter of the residence of Marquis Chang Xing and her identity was the highest, with the exception of Chu Jin Xian. Thus, Old Furen had spent a lot of effort in education, but the result was unsatisfactory. Old Furen had always disliked Chu Jin Miao’s temperament as she would throw tantrums frequently and was small minded in many things. After Chu Jin Miao, there was no need to even think about the daughter of the Third Household. The rest of them were too young, and their identities were not suitable. So after much calculation, there was not one young lady in the Chu family that could be brought out for Old Chu Furen to give a shot at wealth and honour.