Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 36: Undeserved Fortune Flew In (Part 1)
Ever since Qi De Seng sent over the five to six mahogany chests to Chu Jin Yao, her life could no longer be peaceful.
Everybody wanted to know what the chests were filled with. Qi De Sheng had already sent two chestfuls of satin to Chu Jin Yao that day, so why was there a need to gift another batch?
Chu Jin Yao too did not know the answers to those questions. She watched as the servants carried the mahogany boxes from RongNingTang to ChaoYunYuan, but she did not open them up and instead instructed people to carry it directly into the storeroom before locking it in front of everyone. She had suddenly gained so many things, and it was enough to make others jealous. So, before her courtyard was cleaned up, Chu Jin Yao dared not open the chests up in front of all these people. Her intuition inexplicably told her that the things in the mahogany chests were of a totally different grade than those given by Manager Qi that day.
As Chu Jin Yao was living by herself, the area was rather spacious. She lived in the main room, and the Eastern and Western rooms were not used. Thus, the Eastern room was cleared out for attending to guests and needlework, while the Western room was used as a storeroom. The Momo, maids and the rest were staying in a distant Southern room. With one Momo, six maids, and Chu Jin Yao included, the eight of them filled up the entire little courtyard. The Western room was originally very empty, but now with the mahogany chests, it was filled up.
Today, after getting dressed, Chu Jin Yao sat in the Western room to do needlework while the remaining maids were around her, helping her or talking and laughing. Sun Momo came in and spoke with a smile after seeing Chu Jin Yao, “Young Lady, you woke up very early today.”
Actually, Chu Jin Yao would often wake up around this time. Chu Jin Yao was too lazy to continue the topic and wanted to see what this old maid wanted to say. Sure enough, Sun Momo paused for a while before speaking, “Young Lady, it is a sunny day today. It is rare to see such a good weather in spring. The wind is the most comfortable at the end of the fourth month, so it is ideal for us to bring things out to sun, so as to avoid things being damp and humid.”
When the maids heard it, they all looked at the sun outside the window. Ding Xiang then said, “The weather is good and indeed the beddings need to be sunned. Young Lady would be able to sleep comfortable when the beddings are sunned often.”
Chu Jin Yao, however, knew in her heart that Sun Momo did not just want the bedding to be sunned. She simply place her needle down and said, “The skirt is almost sewn, with only the sides lift. Jie Geng, sew the interlocking stitches. My eyes are somewhat tired, and I am too lazy to move.”
Jie Geng quickly complied and took the needle from Chu Jin Yao. Chu Jin Yao sat upright and looked at Sun Momo saying, “Momo is right. While it is still early, quickly bring these soft beddings out to sun. Oh yes. The books in my study should not be left behind. Carefully place the books under the eaves and get one or two people to flip the pages. Books are very delicate. They cannot be scratched or wet.”
The maids complied in unison. Sun Momo rubbed her hands together before speaking, “Young lady, those chestful of fabric in the storeroom. How about moving them out to sun them?”
Chu Jin Yao smiled and her eyes fluttered towards Sun Momo. It was obvious that Chu Jin Yao did not reveal a fierce expression, but this glance felt like ten thousand weight, making Sun Momo shrink.
Finally, someone had mentioned this matter. Although the maids did not speak about it, they were waiting for Chu Jin Yao to express her position. Chu Jin Yao had instructed the things to be locked up upon returning, thus no one knew what it consist. Even Chu Jin Yao herself was unsure. However, the more Chu Jin Yao was like this, the more curious the rest were. These chests looked heavy and just the wood used to make the chest was worth a lot of money, so what could it contain that made Chu Jin Yao this vigilant, not letting others see it?
Chu Jin Yao knew that she would be living deep in the Inner Courtyard in the future and thus she could not be like she was in a farmer family, secretly hiding her private fortune. In the future, most of her things had to be managed by the maids. It was difficult for properties and dowry to be an exception, so she had to train a group of loyal and reliable people.
It was now urgent to clean up ChaoYunYuan. In the past, she did not have many important things, so there was no issue in leaving Madam Zhao’s and Chu Jin Miao’s people in the courtyard. However, it was not the case now. If she still wanted to have a good night’s sleep, she had to send these people of different hearts far far away.
Chu Jin Yao stood up, “There is only so much space in the courtyard. I see that after bringing the bedding and books out, there would not be any space left. It is not possible for everything to be sunned in a day, so bring the books out first. When I return, and if there is still space, then plans will be made.”
Chu Jin Yao pushed the matter aside again, and although Sun Momo was not resigned to it she was helpless. After hearing Chu Jin Yao’s words, she asked curiously, “Young Lady, where are you going?”
“I am heading to ZhuMu’s for a visit.” Chu Jin Yao continued, “Although ZhuMu said that greetings are required on the first and fifteenth, to avoid us running around everyday, but as the younger generation, we must not be truly that lazy.”
Sun Momo had the heart to say that she really only went to give her greetings every first and fifteenth previously… However, Chu Jin Yao was now well versed in the workings of the Inner Courtyard, so no one was able to go against such high-sounding reasoning.
Chu Jin Yao faintly felt a few days ago that the elders in the family were treating her a little differently. The last time Marquis Chang Xing asked her if she was lacking in personnel, and even said that Old Chu Furen would make arrangements for her and instructed her to visit RongNingTang often. Marquis Chang Xing did not bother about matters of the Inner Courtyard, so he would not say these words without any reason.
She needed to confirm some things.
When Chu Jin Yao arrived at RongNingTang, she was seen by the maids before she entered. A maid, dressed in a lake green silk, smiled as she welcomed her in, “Fifth Young Lady has arrived early. Such filial piety makes one moved.”
Chu Jin Yao just laughed as she replied, “How would one dare to accept Older Sister’s praise? Is ZhuMu inside?”
“Naturally so.” The maid brought Chu Jin Yao past the dividing wall and walked along the corridor to the west. As soon as she entered the courtyard, she called a young maid over, “Fifth Young Lady has arrived, why are you still foolishly playing here? Quickly go in to report!”
When the young maid with two looped hairstyle heard it, she quickly ran in to report. The Maid then turned over, “These young maids are always so muddled-headed and cannot be compared to older ones. May Fifth Young Lady not place any blame.”
Chu Jin Yao maintained a smile as she watched everything. Previously, when she came to RongNingTang, how would she have such a treatment? The attendants before Old Chu Furen were more precious than Young Ladies, other than the official Furens, who would dare to instruct them to do anything? Now that this maid treated Chu Jin Yao like this, she would not believe if there was no one behind instructing as such.