Chapter 110 : Dong Yinger (Part I)
Xiao Shao handed a letter over to Jin Er, who then hurried out of the door.
Upon seeing this, Guan Liang Han was stunned. “It’s not the end of the year yet, what are you writing to the old man for?”
‘Old man’ was what Guan Liang Han called their master, Teacher Ba Qi and Xiao Shao had yet to formally go and greet him since returning from Miao borders. He said, “I’m making a trip to Mt. Jianan.”
Mt. Jianan was where Teacher Ba Qi lived, and was also where his eight disciples usually studied. Teacher Ba Qi was a rather peculiar person. He not only knew astronomy and geography, but was also proficient in internal medicine, and even understood battlefield formations. The late Emperor once invited him to a.s.sist him, but Teacher Ba Qi – who was just a youth at the time – rejected him, saying that it was impossible to go against heaven’s will. An array was laid out on Mt. Jianan which no one could pierce, so normally no one could ever find it.
“Going to Mt. Jianan? Third Brother, wait for me.” Mo Cong jumped up. “I want to go too!”
“What are you going for?” Guan Liang Han asked. With Mo Cong’s mischievous personality, he was the one most afraid of Teacher Ba Qi when he studied under him in the past.
“Recently, the Emperor has put more and more trust in that Grand Tutor Liu Min; last time I made a mistake he scolded me a lot. Normally I wouldn’t care but this guy is as stiff as a rock and gives a lecture for even the littlest things; he can’t tolerate even a grain of sand. He really p.i.s.ses me off!”
Mo Cong was a genuine aristocratic family’s pampered young master. Although he had been smart and crafty, albeit with a sense of righteousness, since youth, he was also brought up by his father in the midst of officials. He knew that water that was too clear had no fish. Upon meeting a strictly by-the-books person like Grand Tutor Liu Min, he almost vomited blood in anger. Therefore, he could only go to his master for help.
“You mean that new zhuangyuan?” Guan Liang Han had never been a scholarly type. “So pedantic, there’s no point talking to them. Just beat them up and it’ll be fine.”
“For a.s.saulting a court official, you’re not afraid of the imperial censor?” Xiao Shao stared at the eager Mo Cong, causing him to deflate like a punctured ball.
Guan Liang Han looked rather disappointed that he hadn’t succeeded. Turning to Xiao Shao, he asked, “When are you leaving?”
“Now,” Xiao Shao replied.
* * *
Jiang Ruan really wasn’t used to not seeing Xiao Shao for so many days and once she realized this, a faint worry arose in her heart. For Xiao Shao to let her get used to his presence in such a short time wasn’t necessarily a good thing for Jiang Ruan.
Though she still didn’t know what Xiao Shao did for a living, she knew it couldn’t be easy. There wasn’t even a hint of similarity between Xiao Shao and the many dandies in the capital. In addition, he also gave a sense of rea.s.surance that made people overlook his age.
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But in the end what Xiao Shao did had nothing to do with her. Rather, she cared more about the demons in the fu. For example, a few days ago, Hong Ying pestered Jiang Quan to invite a physician to the fu to check up on the pregnant women. Initially, the main wife, Xia Yan, who was about to give birth was in a very irritable mood, and had refused Hong Ying’s suggestion without another word. So then Hong Ying acted spoiled towards Jiang Quan until Xia Yan was basically forced to get her pulse checked. The physician said her pulse was stable, but the fetus was affected because Xia Yan was disturbed by Hong Ying’s actions. Thus Jiang Quan became angry and refused to go to Hong Ying’s courtyard for several days. He also felt guilty, so he accompanied Xia Yan more.
Calculating the time, it should be around now. Dong Yinger should be married by the time summer ends. After Dong Yinger married, it should be Lin Zi Xiang’s turn soon. In her last life, Lin Zi Xiang married Third Prince, Xuan Xin. Xuan Xin’s birth mother pa.s.sed away early, so no one cared about him and he eventually turned into a dissolute loafer. He rarely left his residence and barely ever entered the palace, so he became the least noticeable prince. He was known to be a lecher with many concubines and outside lovers. In the previous life, Imperial Consort Chen personally bestowed upon him a marriage with Lin Zi Xiang. However, in the end, Lin Zi Xiang lost her life because of fighting with one of his favoured concubines, taking the Lin family down as a result. Jiang Ruan frowned. Counting the days, there was still a period of time until the marriage proclamation. Should she think of a way to stop it, or should she ask Empress Dowager Yi De for help?
Shaking her head, Jiang Ruan put the issue to one side for the moment. She’d ask Lin Zi Xiang for news when she saw her tomorrow.
* * *
The next day, Bai Zhi and Lian Qiao got up early to help her dress because it was Jiang Ruan’s first meeting with all of the n.o.ble young ladies since her return to the capital. Dong Yinger was an affable person, so naturally there would be many well-bred ladies invited to the gathering. Furthermore, now that she was a princess, she couldn’t act the same as before, else others would criticize her every mistake.
After washing up, Jiang Ruan ordered, “Tian Zhu and Bai Zhi will go with me. Lian Qiao, Lu Zhu, stay in the fu, be careful when dealing with Yan Hua Yuan.”
Although Bai Zhi and Lian Qiao were first-rank maids while Tian Zhu and Lu Zhu were second-rank maids, Jiang Ruan saw them as equals. Tian Zhu knew martial arts and was suitable to bring out; Bai Zhi had a calm temperament so she should learn how to interact with other n.o.ble ladies in the future. Lian Qiao was daring while Lu Zhu was more quick-witted, so they should stay in the fu. If Hong Ying or Xia Yan made any movements against Jiang Ruan, they’d be able to fend them off for a while.
Lian Qiao and Lu Zhu had no objection to this arrangement.
Jiang Ruan also considered if she should look for an etiquette momo to have by her side for the sake of appearances as Zhou momo had been sent back to the Zhao family three years ago. She was already blind and Zhao Guang felt that he owed her, and would definitely see to her needs until the end.
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