Real Empress From A Noble Family Chapter 354
Never had the fourth branch expected that they would have got involved. Each of them was relaxed, waiting to watch avidly.
However, with the family property saved by him and his wife in Guanzhou for so many years, Xin Ke was slow and would not arrive until some days later. So, it might take some time to see the fun.
But the fight over the position of Jiang Yadan’s step-wife, the buzz topic right here in Jing City, was coming.
When Zhuang Man and Ou Qinglan got home that day, they each put the word out that they had heard from the nineteenth madame of the Jiang Family about the candidate of Jiang Yadan’s step-wife as Qiu Yelan instructed. Sure enough, countless visitors came immediately.
Having accepted the guests’ gifts, the two simply gave the details of An Zhenshang.
At this time, the families who were interested in becoming Jiang Yadan’s relatives by marriage stopped fighting. They sat down and discussed, agreeing that An Zhenshang should be eliminated firstly and then they could compete with their own means!
After receiving the news, Qiu Yelan no longer cared about An Zhenshang. The An Family was not rich and famous. Even if Jiang Yadan sent someone to protect her for private purposes, how could An Zhenshang get away from the joint calculation of so many families?
She thought An Zhenshang would be dead.
At the end of November, when Qiu Yelan took An to have her humble respects delivered to Madame Tao, she happened to see that Mom Hu was asked to prepare rewards for An Zhenshang after she married into the Jiang Family. Thus, Qiu Yelan was very surprised, ” How could it still be her?”
“Just take her as a concubine!” Despite this, Madame Tao’s face was still not good. She kissed An on the cheek and called for An’s wet nurse to carry him to the inner room, so as not to be disturbed by the sound of conversation. She then said lightly, “She is pregnant and she seems to have twins… The An Family has sent a generous gift to the first branch and asked them to help straighten it out with your grandfather! Your grandfather said that An Zhenshang could be accepted into our home, but not as a step-wife. The An Family was incredibly smart this time. They did not dare to bargain and agreed directly.
Still bargain at this very juncture? Did they want to die? said Qiu Yelan in the heart and she asked, “Is she here already?” A concubine was no more than just a commodity. It was not a big deal to have a concubine and so a feast for fun was enough. But considering that An Zhenshang was pregnant and she was disliked by Madame Tao, there might not even be a feast. ”
Not surprisingly, Madame Tao said coldly, “Send a sedan chair to get her tomorrow. Considering the babies in her womb, I will grant her some medicinal herbs… And as for the feast, forget it. Jiang Yadan still doesn’t have his step-wife and no one can be in charge of this. Anyway, the An Family has said they just want to seek a future for the unborn twins. If there is anything else, it will be a great gift.”
After a pause, Qiu Yelan said, “Should Sheng Shishui and I give a hand”
There are lots of concubines in Jiang Yadan’s home, among which many of them have children. That’s not new! Forget that! said Madame Tao decidedly.
Qiu Yelan was also impatient to pay attention to An Zhenshang. Having heard that, she nodded readily, Ok, Grandma. You’re the boss!
Qiu Yelan talked a little longer with Madame Tao. When the wet nurse came out and said that An was sleepy, she stood up and asked for leave, saying that she would take An back to the house for sleep.
Back in her own yard, Qiu Yelan had just got An settled when He Shuijin suddenly came to visit.
Qiu Yelan was a bit surprised. Having invited her to have some tea in the small Flower Hall, Qiu Yelan asked curiously, “Why do you come here in person?” After the downfall of Gu, He Shuijin lay down for a rest for a few more days before gradually getting better. During this period of time, Madame He had to not only take care of the huge Marquess’s Mansion but also deal with Madame Chi who would put a spoke in the wheel openly and secretly. As a result, she was exhausted.
Until recently, Madame He was ill in bed as no one knew whether she ran out of energy or couldnt stand it. In so doing He Shuijin stood out for responsibility and said, “Mother is not well, but affairs of the mansion cannot be left unattended. I cannot stand by, even though I’m still not fit. I’d better come out and do something.”
To this end, Marquess Qin and Jiang Tianqi both praised her for her understanding and filial piety and rewarded her.
It was near the end of the year. All kinds of matters needed to be dealt with by He Shuijin as Madame He had just taken over the Marquesss Mansion for almost one year. Even though she had always been the one that wore the pants, she must be busy now.
It was obvious that she came in person for something.
He Shuijin took a sip of tea and said with a smile, “I’m asked to come here! ”
Being familiar with Qiu Yelan and pressed by time, He Shuijin cut to the chase and said pointedly, “Jiang Yadan wants to marry a step-wife, right? Someone comes to me!”
“Who?” said Qiu Yelan, frowning.
“Sixth sister-in-law.” said He Shuijin helplessly, “Her own family was trying to make her sister marry Prince of Lu, but it didn’t work out at last. After that, they also approached several families but were still not satisfied. This time, they want to betroth the girl to Jiang Yadan. Now Im very busy, otherwise, if it were not for their sake, I wouldnt care about it!
“A girl from sixth sister-in-law’s family?” Qiu Yelan thought about it and asked, “Do you know that Madame An has married into this family?”
As the one who was in charge of all the domestic affairs of Marquess Mansion, He Shuijin was well-informed. She nodded, “Certainly! She is wise this time. If she still dreamed of being Jiang Yadan’s step-wife, then the twins in her womb would never have the chance to see the world!”
Does sixth sister-in-law know?
“So what?” He Shuijin snorted, “So many families plot with each other for betrothing their daughters to Jiang Yadan. What are they up to? If they do care, they wont even mention it!”
“Well, but it’s no use for you to tell me about it. How can I have any say in this matter when grandmother is hardly capable of making decisions?”
He Shuijin smiled, “Grandmother can have some voice, or why does Madame An have not been taken as the step-wife? Moreover, Empress Dowager can have a say as well.” With a pause, she said again, “In fact, if you know what grandmother and Empress Dowager think in their minds, that is to say, if they are not annoyed when Madame Shi Junior is taken as Jiang Yadan’s step wife, I suggest that you should take this deal.”
Qiu Yelan asked in surprise, “Why?”
Have you forgotten that when the princes chose their concubines, none of Madame Shi’s girls but your Cousin Wang was chosen?” said He Shuijin, “Personally, Madame Shi was a bit angry with you after that and thought you spoke for your cousin by taking the advantage of Jiang Yashuang. But she did not say it and I can hardly explain it to you. So, if you can do them a favor, they would not be against you in the future!”
“At that time Madame Zhuang came over to tell me about Zhuang Man in person!” Qiu Yelan said as her face was dark, “They doubt me about this, but it is the Zhuang family that should be doubted! Two days ago Man came to my place but she didn’t show anything strange! Madame Shi is funny. Let us not talk about whether her suspicion is right or not. What if I really squeeze out her girl from her own family for Cousin Wang? I don’t know her well, let alone her girl!”
Qiu Yelan was never the one to grovel to anybody. Faced with Madame Shi’s anger, how could she buy that?
She snorted and told He Shuijin, “There is no need to put the feelers out to Empress Dowager and grandmother. I won’t interfere in the affairs of the Shi Family! If they can send Madame Shi Junior into the fourth branch to be my sister-in-law, I’ll accept it. But if not, let them keep going and find a good bridegroom for their daughter!”
Qiu Yelan thought in her heart, You doubt me but I have to do you a favor to remove your doubts and hostility! Do I really owe you?
Even though Qiu Yelan said she would accept it if the Shi Family had the ability to turn Madame Shi Junior into Jiang Yadan’s step-wife, what she thought was that she would never make that happen!
He Shuijin didn’t insist, ” I’ll tell Madame Shi that Empress Dowager and grandma seem to have other ideas. And It’s hard for you to interrupt.”
“Just tell her that I’m not going to lend a hand!” Qiu Yelan muttered.
He Shuijin said with a smile, “Anyway, I’m the one who’s going to say it. Why do you care about what I say?”
As she went off, Qiu Yelan beckoned to Su He to come, “Go and find out if Madame Shi blames me for her girl’s failure to be the princess.”
She was a little uneasy about He Shuijin.
Not long after Su He left, Chunran brought in a post, “It’s from your Cousin Xin, saying that her mother Madame Tianhe has taken back a lot of specialties from Guanzhou and she plans to give a banquet for her friends. She insists that you should be present!”
“It’s totally different that she stays with her own mother.” Qiu Yelan said to her followers as she opened the post, “Madame Tao was in charge of the Xin Family before, but now she was too old to go out frequently. And as the in-laws of our family, she can hardly say or do something. The Xin Family was not exactly short of money for a banquet, but since Fubing has been sent back to Jing City for many years, it’s the first time that she gives a banquet at home!”
Chunran smiled, “It’s all thanks to you.”
As they spoke, Qiu Yelan had read the post. The appointed time was very close, just two days later. Qiu Yelan and her knew each other well. Nowadays it is not necessary to post. But this was probably the first time that Xin Fubing hosted a banquet to treat her friends and so she was so glad that she especially followed the rules of etiquette.
Having asked a follower to put the post in the box, she began to search through her cabinets for that she determined not to spoil her friend’s fun. She got dressed up, with passion equivalent to the time when she first attended the banquet of a grand ceremony after years of mourning. In this way, she was able to show respect for Xin Fubing’s first time to be a formal host.
On the day of the banquet, Qiu Yelan arrived at the Xin Mansion as she was well dressed up. She thought that even if there were no lights and decorations in the whole house, at least the backyard should have been decorated well and young ladies in best clothes would have been present.
However, Zhuang Man and Xin Fubing, who arrived first, looked at her in consternation, “Why do you dress up like that?”
Qiu Yelan, who was in a gorgeous dress and wore ornaments, looked at Zhuang Man and Xin Fubing with anger. They were both in regular clothes. Xin Fubing, the host, wore a brand-new dress, but Zhuang Man was even in a half-new one.
How could that be for a formal banquet? It would not have been so free even for a casual meal at distant relatives’ place.
“Didn’t you send a formal post? I thought you were going to have a proper banquet!” Qiu Yelan gnashed the teeth in anger, “You should say it earlier if it’s just a casual banquet!”
“But I have only invited you, Man, and Xing.” Xin Fubing held back her laughter, “I would like to make it a lively event, but there are only four here. What else can we do but an informal banquet?”
Qiu Yelan sat down, depressed. Looking around, she found it was ready to treat three guests. So, she complained, “Why did you just invite us? We have gathered a lot usually, Ok? I thought you would have invited all of your cousins, thus I, for the sake of you, particularly wear a ceremonial dress and hairpins.”
Xin Fubing put the arms around her shoulders and apologized with a smile, “My fault! I originally wanted to have someone send the message, but the apricot blossom note taken from Guanzhou by my mother was so nice and pretty that I couldn’t help but write on it! As I was writing, I thought it would be better to share happiness and so I wrote a post for you to take a look!”
“Take a look?” Qiu Yelan was a bit speechless, “I didn’t notice at all. After reading it, I asked someone to put it in the box!” She had even forgotten the post’s color now.
“If it had been two or three years ago, I would have invited many people to come today!” Xin Fubing played with beads on her hairpins and said seriously, “But for the past two years, I found it enough to have you four! I’m not interested in others’ coming. The banquet is held for my happiness and guests’ happiness. Would we be happy if people like Mi Yinyin were here? Forgive me, please!”
Having heard that, Qiu Yelan was softhearted, “Well, I take this wrong myself. Did I mean it?”
Zhuang Man kept smiling as she watched them, but now she asked, “It’s too insincere to apologize like that! You have to do something for Madame Yelan, don’t you?”
Xin Fubing replied with a smile, “Definitely. Just let me know.”
I almost forgot but for you. Qiu Yelan wanted to say nothing, but something occurred to her, “The maid Nijin of Empress Dowager asked me for help last year. But I’ve put off doing that.”
“What?” said Xin Fubing hastily, “I couldn’t make a promise before, but my mother is back now. Unlike us, its more convenient for her to talk to Empress Dowager.”