Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 37: Establishing Power In The Residence (Part 1)
Chu Jin Yao brought Gong Momo back to ChaoYunYuan. Sun Momo was initially standing at the doors of the courtyard, shouting arrogantly at the young maids. Upon hearing the doors opening, she immediately turned her head and spoke, “Fifth Young Lady, why are you only returning now…”
Before the sentence was finished, Sun Momo looked up and saw Gong Momo.
Sun Momo’s words were suddenly stuck in her throat.
How would anyone be ignorant of who Gong Momo was? They were all shocked when they saw Chu Jin Yao actually coming back with Old Furen’s capable arm. Everyone stopped walking and even stopped their hand movements.
Gong Momo swept a glance at the courtyard and said, “Is Young Lady arranging people to tidy up the courtyard?”
“Yes. Spring has arrived so one has instructed them to bring out those soft stuff to rid the moisture from them.”
Gong Momo nodded and did not speak as she followed Chu Jin Yao into the room.
After a while, there were instructions from the room, telling them to stop their work on hand and enter the room to let Gong Momo see them.
Chu Jin Yao sat on the armchair in the middle of the room while Gong Momo stood at the side as she pointed each one to Gong Momo, “These are my two First Ranked Maids, the taller one is Ding Xiang and the other one is Shan Cha. The next four are Second Ranked Maids, they are from the left to the right, Bai Shao, Jie Geng, Chen Xiang and Yue Qiu. Those standing outside are the remaining servants for coarse work.
Upon being pointed out, each one of them bowed to Chu Jin Yao and Gong Momo and Gong Momo nodded her head in response. When Chu Jin Yao spoke till the end, she then pointed towards Sun Momo, “This is the discipline Momo that Mother sent me. She goes by the surname Sun.”
With a pleasing smile on her face, Sun Momo nodded towards Gong Momo. Sun Momo was sent by an elder and thus had a much higher position than those few girls, however, Chu Jin Yao left her introduction till the end. Gong Momo understood in her heart and only nodded towards Sun Momo’s fawning.
Gong Momo’s arrival had immediately shocked those servants who had floating thoughts. They had initially seen that Chu Jin Yao had obtained many good things, and with her not being a Young Lady who had grown up in the Marquis residence, they were somewhat contemptuous towards her in their heart as they felt that Chu Jin Yao was not someone who could manage them. Thus, they pushed Chu Jin Yao to open up the chests for everyone to take a look and perhaps they would be able to obtain some profits. However, when Gong Momo stood there in the courtyard, without saying a single word, those few whose thoughts were floating, were immediately scared and dared not mention the matter again.
The news of Old Chu Furen assigning a Momo to Chu Jin Yao had quickly spread in the entire residence, and Madam Zhao was somewhat awkward. She had sent Sun Momo, a discipline Momo, to Chu Jin Yao not long ago and now Old Furen had personally assigned one over, showing an obvious distrust. Even the Second and Third household were shocked and sensed something unusual when they heard that Old Furen actually interfered in Chu Jin Yao’s courtyard matters.
Old Chu Furen was a lofty person and usually not close to the younger generations, so she would not do anything without a purpose. For Old Chu Furen to suddenly pay importance to Chu Jin Yao, did it mean that the direction of the wind in the inner-courtyard was about to change?
Gong Momo did not take any action in ChaoYunYuan, it was as if she was staying peacefully at Chu Jin Yao’s. Chu Jin Yao was also not in a hurry as she could afford to wait. Upon hearing Marquis Chang Xing’s words, Old Chu Furen had obviously prepared manpower for her, but did not take the initiative to mention it and instead made her request it personally before taking advantage of the situation for her benefit and sent Gong Momo over. This was the difference between Chu Jin Yao and Chu Jin Xian. If it was Chu Jin Xian, Old Chu Furen would have long arranged everything and would care about controlling tactics. However, when it was Chu Jin Yao, Old Furen was managing her at the same time enticing her, like a superior’s treatment towards a subordinate.
Chu Jin Yao was not close with Old Furen. As compared to a blooded ZhuMu, Old Chu Furen was more like a person of power and a protector with request. However, such a simple vested-interest relationship made Chu Jin Yao feel at ease, as if emotions were mixed in, Chu Jin Yao would find it difficult to handle.
Therefore, Chu Jin Yao had applied the same attitude that Old Furen had towards her, towards Gong Momo. The most important thing that someone superior should have was patience. If the superior had to speak of what they wanted, then they would lose their value and decisive opportunities. Thus, there was no need to rush. One must wait until the other part could not control and mention it.
Gong Momo came over to help Chu Jin Yao to be the villain, and this was a matter that both of them knew clearly. Chu Jin Yao did not take a position and only instructed others to take care of Gong Momo. She would treat Gong Momo courteously and not mention about any other things. Gong Momo waited for another two days and after knowing everything from top to bottom, she took the initiative to speak when she was serving Chu Jin Yao tea, “Young Lady, this Old Servant has something to say to you.”
Chu Jin Yao lifted the teacup to drink. She pushed the tea leaves aside unhurriedly and only after she slowly took a sip and placed the cup down, did she say, “May Momo speak whatever is in your mind. Without orders from me, they would usually not come in.”
Chu Jin Yao was currently sitting in the Eastern room. Previously when Qin Yi was around, it was inconvenient for others to enter, thus she had set the rules that no one could easily enter the study to disturb. Even though Qin Yi had left, the rule remained, so as long as the maid saw that Chu Jin Yao was in the Eastern study, they would not go over to serve if there was no major events.
When Gong Momo saw Chu Jin Yao’s genuinely calm expression, she secretly thought that this Fifth Young Lady could really keep her composure. Gong Momo then spoke, “Young Lady, this old servant would not need to speak more about Old Furen’s intention. Young Lady has just returned and does not have much foundations, thus it is inevitable that there would be blind servants neglecting you. This old servant has coldly observed for a few days and has a rough understanding of the people in your courtyard. To put it abruptly, you are already thirteen this year and discussion on marriage selection will be happening within these years. You are the daughter of the Marquis and thus a proper selection for candidates would be indispensable. It is also because of that, one cannot be careless about the staff by Young Lady’s side. Calculating the time, it is only two to three years from Young Lady’s boudoir departure, so the staff that are prepared now would be part of your future dowry. Young Lady is still young and might not know about the importance of the dowry, but this old servant is used to seeing storms and thus spoke more to remind you. Upon entering the husband’s family, the dowry maids are your arms and face. Whatever they say or do would represent you.”
Chu Jin Yao replied, “It is just the reason why I have to rely on Momo to look after. According to Momo’s view, how should things proceed?”
Gong Momo continued, “This would depend on Young Lady. One does not know what kind of courtyard Young Lady wants?”
Chu Jin Yao’s expression became serious as she sat up straight and spoke, “Not to hide from Momo, when I just returned, I do not have knowledge about many matters so all these maids and servants are used as how they were arranged by others. I do not expect to be able to manage my courtyard as orderly and airtight like a military camp, but the most important thing is to be loyal to the mistress and not speak of matters outside.”
“This is their basic duty.” Gong Momo said, “Young Lady, you have a Momo, two First-ranked maids and four Second-ranked maids. Even though the number is filled up, the discipline is still rather lax, thus it is necessary for things to be adjusted slowly. Not mentioning the Second-ranked maids, the two First-ranked maids are your arms, but they are still lacking. I observed that Ding Xiang is honest but doesn’t speak much, is taciturn and does not know how to be flexible, so in the future if one were to encounter anything, one fears that she would drag Young Lady back. As for Shan Cha, even though she is lively and eloquent, she is one that does not have a stable heart.”
Chu Jin Yao straightened up, displaying an attitude of baring one’s heart, “Ding Xiang is honest and even if there is no credit earned during this period of time, she has put in hard work. One would trouble Momo to guide her.”
Chu Jin Yao only spoke of Ding Xiang but not Shan Cha, thus her intentions were very clear.
“It is this old servant’s duty.” Gong Momo also understood. Even though Old Chu Furen had instructed her to temporarily manage people for Chu Jin Yao, there was no reason for people that the elders sent out to return. The high likelihood would be that she would be following Chu Jin Yao to live, marry off and afterwards Chu Jin Yao would be providing for her retirement. Therefore, Gong Momo showed her best abilities to Chu Jin Yao. Gong Momo had heard that the family had other arrangements for Fifth Young Lady and one reckoned that she would be facing great fortune. Since it was as such, Gong Momo wanted to show achievements earlier and occupy the capable position by Fifth Young Lady’s side.
With the same goals, it was easier for the both of them to proceed. Gong Momo said, “One heard that Sun Momo used to be disrespectful to you, but as Sun Momo was sent by Furen, a third of face is still required. For the time being, Sun Momo would not be moved, but for the rest of the maids, there is a need to knock some sense into them.
“All right.” Chu Jin Yao reached out and pointed to a few people on the namelist, “These few people always love to run out, and I do not know why. Perhaps it is better to change personnel.”
Gong Momo looked at it and noted secretly and said, “This old servant understands Young Lady’s intentions.”