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Published at 29th of November 2016 10:08:14 PM


Chapter 7.2

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Chapter 7 Part 2




 

Gradually they are entering into summer. The day is blistering hot and the summer heat burns one’s skin. This day, Minglan is taking an afternoon nap in the inner house, the two day-shift young maids outside the hall idly gossiped.

“First Young Miss’ age of coming ceremony is certainly imposing, it is said that Madame invited some of the important madames and ladies in Deng Prefecture. Just the sedan chairs alone are arranged into two rows at the doorway. Because they are afraid that the guests will be hot, Madame still bought ten over carts of ice at a stretch to suppress the heat, valued water running towards ice bowl. Master also specially returned to the household to look at the ceremony.” One about eleven years-old young maid said.

 

“Madame specifically ordered a custom-made head ornaments from the precious jade building, mama said that is the capital’s first jade bead. Do not know how much money they have spent, also the clothes on First Young Lady, mama said the embroidery on it is Liushang1 embroidery, it seems like every stripe will move as she walks. That was sent over by the Old Madame from the maiden family of Madame, First Young Lady’s life is really good, Older Sister Xiaomei, you say our Young Lady in the future……” A round-faced seven eight years-old young girl said.

“Ai! How can our lady compare, First Young Miss is from the legitimate line……”

Minglan lied in the room, listening to the conversation of the maids. These two young maids are given by Wang shi to be her personal maids, the older one is called Qiuyu, the younger is called Xiaotao. The former is originally a third class maid from Wang shi’s place and the latter is from promoted from the Courtyard of Servants2, said to be able get along with Sixth Young Lady as they are of a similar age— thinking till here, Minglan cannot help but smack her face.

The entire inner Sheng household has to be reorganised, Sheng Hong wished that he could change all the servants. Other than Madame and Concubine Lin’s capable aides, the other second and third class servants are practically sold. After that picked some new ones from the Courtyard of Servants to replenish. Those that looked intelligent was all first given to the several older young masters and young miss. When it reached Minglan, only the foolish Xiaotao was left.




But…… also good, Minglan flipped her small small body on the bed.

Minglan did not watch Sheng Hualan’s age of coming ceremony but could imagine that scene. She did not especially admire or envy, during the daze of her sleep she thought, Sheng Hualan this kind of background ought to be a time-traveller’s reincarnation.

After the age of coming ceremony was over, Wang shi immediately with unlimited enthusiasm, threw herself into the job of finding the first son-in-law. From time to time, she wants to exchange her thoughts with Sheng Hong and the Old Madame, whenever it is this time, Hualan will just shyly returned back to the room. Minglan cannot help but sighed, the society sure enough has improved. Thinking back to those times when Mother Yao held up a picture of Yao Yiyi’s matchmaking partner, Yao Yiyi indeed participated fully and possess the final veto power and authority. But this place, even if it is Sheng Hualan who was this pampered, she is also unable to be involved in her marriage. For the first time ever, Minglan experienced what is called the order of the parents, words of matchmaker.3

After going through a periods of discussion, Sheng Hong husband and wife have the last two candidates left. Duke Ling’s fifth grandson and the second son from the household of Count Zhongqin. The conclusion of the couple’s discussion is not out yet, the one who is appointed to magistrate Kaifeng, His Excellency Qiu Jing has come to propose a marriage for his son.

“Hualan has just reached her marriageable age and we are originally not hurried to pick a son-in-law. But once this His Excellency Qiu has proposed, we cannot help but hurry. It is either we agree on this marriage of His Excellency Qiu if not we need a reason for not agreeing.” Wang shi sat on an ebony bat flying through clouds table, in front of her was piled up with several red and gold card. The tassels on her gold dragon phoenix hairpin would not stop moving.

“Brother Qiu is of my age and our two families also deeply rooted. Originally forming this marriage is also not impossible, but…… “ Sheng Hong held a little leaf box fan walking up and down the room.

“But what, Master quickly say it” Wang shi hurried.

Sheng Hong sat opposite Wang shi, picked up the blanc de chine teacup from the table and lightly drank a mouth “That Second Master Qiu I have seen before, both his appearance and conduct matches Hualan. Originally I did not like Hualan to be married into the households of aristocrats. Although it is rich and honourable there, in the end the doors are tightly locked, Hualan is also proud and arrogant. If she really married into that kind of place may not be desirable. We are well-matched on social status with the Qiu family, not afraid that Hua’er will suffer but this time I went to the capital, I see that it is not appropriate.”


Wang shi nodded her head continuously when she heard that difficulties if Hualan married into the duke and marquis household. When she listen to the last bit, she still lightly fanned Sheng Hong with the circular fan in her hands. Sheng Hong relaxed, moving closer and said in a low voice “The current Empress has no sons, regarding the legitimate, it cannot happen already and the next step would the older one is the more precious. Only Imperial Consort De and Imperial Consort Shu4 gave birth to the two princes, Third Prince and Fourth Prince, the Emperor delayed in establishing the crown prince. Merely because the Third Prince’s body is weak and still no news of an heir. And the Fourth Prince who has an heir simply is late in coming to the world. The Emperor’s body is still not bad and healthy now, in the future if there is a collapse of the Emperor, afraid that something will happen to the officials by the side of the princes.”

Wang shi do not understand a single matter regarding the imperial courts, she said at a loss “What has this matter got to do with Big Girl’s marriage? His Excellency Qiu is an outside official.”

“But Qiu Jing’s older brother is the classical teacher of the Third Prince!” Sheng Hong was enraged, he actually wishes very much to confide completely with his wife but his wife’s thoughts is always not on the same step as his. On the contrary, Concubine Lin’s is always the same as his yet unfortunately is a concubine.

Wang shi thought and thought and cannot help but turn pale in fright “Master, this is absolutely inappropriate. No matter if the Emperor wants to establish the Third Prince, so long as he cannot bear a son, in the future this title also has to give away! I heard that the Fourth Prince is not a vegetarian.”

Seeing that his wife finally reached, Sheng Hong nodded and sighed “I also often advise Brother Qiu Jing, it is alright to be like us outside officials, secretly make friends with the inner officials but must not by any means be implicated into big matters like establishing the heir. There are so many dukes, marquises, counts in the capital, everyone elite and several few mixed into it! At that time the former Emperor succeeded is also considered smooth, but also forced out a few good insightful aristocrats, removed do not know how many second ranked high officials, what more us. I advised a few times, Brother Qiu always do not listen and instead became closer to the Third Prince with his older brother. I also know that the Third Prince’s conduct is one that is kindhearted, highest virtue of filial piety, but, but……“

“But he has no sons!” Wang shi immediately supplemented for Sheng Hong, “No sons, No matter how virtuous the Third Prince is, it is also useless. His Excellency Qiu is also too muddle-headed, how is the strive to be the heir something playful, I see that the Fourth Prince is certain to have the leading position.”

“That might not be confirmed.” Sheng Hong counteracted with a sudden thrust “Brother Qiu as well as all the other officials by the Third Prince also are not completely muddle-headed, they know if not for the issue of an heir, the Third Prince would have been established as heir, thus they thought of an idea.”

Wang shi said “What idea?”


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Sheng Hong spoke in an increasingly low voice “This is also not some secret, they urged several ministers outside enthusiastically promote to imitate the story of Song Yingzong.”5

Wang shi twisted the handkerchief and indignantly said “Master just do not throw literature at me. I do not recognise a basket of big words, how would I know what Song Yingzong story.

Sheng Hong restrained himself from clicking his tongue, grudgingly explained “That is to say if after the Third Prince has been established yet still does not have any sons, allow him to continue the line from one of brother’s son. The Emperor’s sons did not just stop at these two princes. The several young princes all have sons, in any case they are considered Emperor’s grandson.”

Wang shi smiled and clapped her hands “That is a good idea, not mentioning about those several young princes’ mother clans are low, the Emperor will not need to careful. There is no competition for Emperor, having their sons to inherit is the most satisfactory; but… can this work? The Fourth Prince will agree?”

“Who will say? With current whole matter of enthusiastic promoting adoption, several have already become the Fourth Prince’s thorn in the side and flesh. Better to be safe than sorry. If in the future it is the Fourth Prince who is established, then the Qiu family…… “ Sheng Hong did not finish his sentence but Wang shi completely understood.

“This precisely is a gamble, if the Qiu family wins, they would be riding on success. If they lost, the Qiu family will receive a crushing defeat, but why is it necessary to gamble? Qiu family currently both have riches and honour.” Sheng Hong sighed.

“— Master, this proposal from the Qiu family, let us not agree. His Qiu family is willing to gamble we certainly cannot use Hualan to gamble. If it is not handled properly, our entire family being implicated is also possible.” Wang shi’s train of thoughts suddenly became clear. She took out a purple-red dry handkerchief embroidered sunflowers from her waist and gently pat her forehead, suddenly raised her head and turned and asked “Usually at work, Master’s conduct is kind and honest, often getting along with others, there is not one that can be tied in marriage?”

Sheng Hong said “It is not that there is none. When we were still at Quan Prefecture, I carefully surveyed that the group of friends of the same year, all are not suitable.”


“All are not suitable?” Wang shi suspiciously asked.

“How did you say you want to pick son-in-law that day?” Sheng Hong looked at her, imitating Wang shi’s tone and slowly said “Family status must be good, family properties many, simple people, parents-in-law and sisters-in-law must be good to care for. The most important thing is the younger generation must have the capability, either study and achieve scholarly honour, or handle properties or hold a noble position in the military. Usually the good friends I make are all scholars, the ones from my branch and age, not many are high officials. Good reputation and high position yet family properties little. However those with many properties have already been settled by their elders. Dali government office’s Brother Liu is actually suitable but his family’s legitimate son is still young, in the future can be discussed for Rulan instead. Ai—”

1. A super smooth and curvy embroidery like a long river that curves a lot
2. I am thinking this is where the servants who are not assigned to a master is just doing random tasks is kept or it is a place to buy servants
3. 父母之命, 媒妁之言 (Fu Mu Zi Ming, Mei Shuo Zi Yan): The children’s marriage are based on the parents decision and matchmaker’s advice
4. They are titles given to the concubines of the emperor and considered to be just below the empress. Both titles carry the meaning of virtue.
5. Emperor Yingzong of Song, he was established as crown prince as a result of his predecessor not being able to have sons so the ministers advised the former emperor to bring in his relatives for adoption.

Living in the ancient times, I think it is either I trust my parents a lot or I secretly resent them. Not being able to decide who is going to be lifelong partner, I cannot. Next up, in-depth discussion of candidate 2!

Special thanks to Reader who helped pick out all my mistakes, most times I do not have much time to read through properly before posting it. Having a third eye helps a lot.

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