Cheng Du City
The black carriage was traveling in the bustling street, the sound of the peddles could be heard continuously from both side of the streets, the carriage stopped for a moment, continued to go after a while, these kept repeating (to stop and continue on) for a while as the road was busy. Lu Yi’s body already appeared to be better after she rested for several days, so she softly raised the corner of the hanging screen, as she was somewhat curious about the bustling sound from the outside. Murong Shu Qing also looked outside the window, this should already be the official county road to Cheng Du, it was not that big but the geographical location was good, so it was surrounded by all of the small villages that would go to these markets. There were greenish black brick houses on either side of the roads, and many small families’ stalls were on the side of the curbs. One could buy anything one wanted to buy, the people were eager to purchase something, with all of the brouhaha voices, it did not seem to be bustling like this, but it was actually auspicious and peaceful.
Lu Yi looked at the colored lanterns that were still hanging outside, the people’s faces were also brimming with warm smiles, as they could not help to be influence by this kind of festivity, she smilingly said: “Miss, why is it so lively here?”
“Today is the Winter Solstice Festival ah!” Zi Yuan smilingly answered, while she put down the bamboo curtain, one could already see the outside so that the cold wind was not blowing directly inside the carriage.
“Winter Solstice Festival?” Murong Shu Qing gently sighed: “Another year had already passed again?” Unconsciously, this had already been four years. Customarily stroking the bracelet that was on her wrist, could she still have the opportunity to go back?! Dad, mom and her two older brothers’ figures were still clearly printed in her mind, but they seemed to be so far away and it seemed that they could never be touched forever.
“Miss, we are here.” Zi Yuan’s gentle call made Murong Shu Qing recovered, the carriage had already stopped, so Murong Shu Qing nodded her head and got down from the carriage.
There was a small courtyard with greenish black bricks in front of her, there were already more than a dozen people who were standing in front of the door, all of them were respectfully waiting for her, this was the Murong family’s business. There were several clothing embroidery stores, a teahouse within this place. At that time, she thought that this place was connected by the major road, so there would be a lot of people who were doing businesses fairly often, so she put some businesses here, but she had never been here.
At this moment, a man who was wearing a plain clothing, and standing in front of the group of people, came up to welcome. He had a slightly strong figure, and was a little more than 30 years old. He greeted Murong Shu Qing extremely respectfully, and said with a loud and clear voice: “Miss, the rooms have already been prepared properly, after you rest for a little bit, you can eat a meal.”
“En.” Murong Shu Qing smilingly nodded her head, and followed him to go in. This person was still like this, at that time, when he became her coachman, he was also wearing a plain clothing, and with this voice, it had been three years and he had not changed. But she heard that he got married two years ago, she would think that he would not be a blockhead like this anymore, but he was still the same in the end.
When the group of people finished freshening up, the decorated lanterns were already lighted up.
When Murong Shu Qing, Lu Yi and Zi Yuan entered the dining room, Mo Can was already sitting there, his cold eyes were watching at the sunset glow that was already swallowed by the darkness. His cold and
expressionless face made the servants and maids unable to know how to response, and they were just standing far away on the side.
After the people sat down, the dishes were quickly brought out, even though they were some home cooking, but the foods were actually very delicate and refined. Murong Shu Qing looked at Zhou Jing who was hanging his head down and politely standing by the side, she smilingly said: “Zhou Jing, let your wife and children come and eat together.”
Zhou Jing promptly shook his head and said: “This is not acceptable.”
This Zhou Jing was good in everything, but he was just a blockhead, so Murong Shu Qing still gently smiled and said: “Today, if there are more people to celebrate the festival, it will be more lively.”
“This ~~~” Zhou Jing had an awkward face, but he still did not agree to move his feet.
Lu Yi knew his concerns, the master and servant hierarchy in the ancient time was unequal. The position was different, even the servants could not speak. Not to mention, eating meal on the same table even more, but Miss abandoned this rule, and it took her three years to gradually adapt to this. Lu Yi smilingly urged: “Alright, Shopkeeper Zhou, you do not need to be awkward, Miss is away from home, so you just let her (his wife) to accompany her (MSQ), it is livelier.”
Zhou Jing remained unmoved, and he even knitted his brows, after thinking, he helplessly and calmly said: “But, my wife, she is ~~~”
“There is no but, I have heard about her, I just have not seen her yet, since I am here, I certainly want to meet her. I am still rather hungry. Quickly go!” Murong Shu Qing smilingly interrupted his next words. She had heard about his wife who was a famous courtesan in Cheng Du city, Zhou Jing practically did everything he could to redeem her and married her as his main wife. Within this popular custom, it would be a joke if one married a prostitute as one’s main wife. For the so-called prestigious families, the matter was known as ruining the family principles even more. As a result, many people urged him to abandon this wedding, since his identity as the Murong family’s shopkeeper, he should just marry that kind of woman as a concubine.
But this Zhou Jing’s strong temperament was really tough, as he just ignored all of the people’s oppositions, and determined to marry that woman as a wife, for this reason, he still committed an offense to a lot of people. At that time, there was someone who came to report to her, and asked her to prevent Zhou Jing’s ‘obstinate persistence in going the wrong way’. This made her unable to know whether to laugh or cry.
At that time, she did not say whether she was in favor or opposed to it, if Zhou Jing was unable to endure the gossips, in that case, it would be a thousand blessing if that woman did not marry him. If his heart was like a boulder, he did not have to care about whatever words that people were saying.
“Alright.” Zhou Jing finally nodded his head, and walked to the back courtyard. Marrying Mu-er as his wife was the biggest happiness in his lifetime. The reason why he did not let her to come out to meet the Miss was because Miss was a daughter of the prestigious family, if she was blamed in the future, then he caused her to be wronged. Since Miss was not a common people, he, Zhou Jing hoped that people in the whole world would know that Mu-er was good even more.
A moment later, Zhou Jing was holding a baby who was still wrapped tightly in a blanket in his hand, and followed by a woman, she was wearing a plain yellow color gown, her figure was petite, but one could see that she was exquisite and delicate. Entering the hall, the woman gracefully walked to the front of Murong Shu Qing, she half-kneeled and saluted: “Jing Mu gives courtesy to Miss.”
Murong Shu Qing got up, and supported her up, she smilingly said: “No need to be too polite.” She was afraid that she would never get used to this kowtowing etiquette.
The woman finally lifted her head up, so Murong Shu Qing looked at her, she was really a beauty, even though she could not be said to be an outstanding beauty who could ruin a country. But that gentle and graceful personalities, lustrous and delicate appearances, and natural bearing, could already enough to call her a top beauty.
Those group of people were just barely sitting down, when Lu Yi looked at the child who was in Zhou Jing’s embrace, she praised: “The baby is so cute ah! Zi Yuan jiejie, quickly look at her.” She could not wait to hold the baby in her arms.
Zi Yuan looked this time, this child’s facial features were gentle, her skin was sparkling and translucent, and she was just smiling sweetly in Lu Yi’s embrace, and was not afraid of strangers for a little bit. She also seriously liked her in her heart, while she was teasing the child’s hand, she smilingly asked: “Shopkeeper Zhou, what is her name ah?”
“I have not chosen any yet.” Zhou Jing helplessly shook his head, he had lost his parents from young, Mu-er did not have any father or mother either. He was not knowledgeable with words and only a crude person. Mu-er even said that this name should be given by him (as the head of the household), so he was afraid that he would make a mistake to name this child, so he did not dare to give her a name. Looking one glance at Murong Shu Qing who was always smiling and looking at the child, Zhou Jing cupped his hands and sincerely said: “Zhou Jing is being bold here, please Miss confers a name to her.” Miss was a scholarly and able person, it would be better to let her give a name to the child.
“I?” Murong Shu Qing stared blankly, she could not choose any name. But everyone was eagerly looking forward with their expressions, so Murong Shu Qing did not know how to decline it properly. Especially, looking at Zhou Jing’s simple and honest eyes, she could not say it out even more. Forget it, so Murong Shu Qing nodded her head and answered: “Alright.”
Looking at the child who was in Lu Yi’s arms again, she was pretty, and full of cleverness, what name was good for her? Hoping that she could eternally maintain this quiet and beauty, Murong Shu Qing was thinking, and finally said with a light smile: “Call her Ruo (as if) Shui (water).”
Jing Mu who did not speak all along, suddenly and happily praised: “As if the best quality of a person is like water?! Good name.” Husband always said to her that this Miss Murong was very capable, very impressive. At the beginning, when she saw her first today, she felt that her appearance was average, but a very gentle and auspicious woman. Besides that tranquil and calm personalities, she could not see any other special character. It seemed that since she could think of choosing the meaning from ‘the best quality of a person is like water’ for a name, she was definitely an intelligent person, and her temperament was certainly tougher than any other person.
Murong Shu Qing did not think that she would understand what the meaning of the name either, the two acquaintances smiled, and felt happy because of this mutual understanding.
“Wife also likes the name! Then, we will just call her this!” This was the happiest time for Zhou Jing, this name that Miss chose, was very rare, Mu-er also agreed so this was actually good. If Miss did not come coincidentally today, he did not know when he could choose a name for this child. Since everyone was delighted and satisfied, the foods were also eaten happily. Zhou Jing suddenly remembered that today was Winter Solstice Festival, so there would be the rare lantern displays and traditional folk performances, so he made a suggestion: “Miss, there will be Lantern Festival tonight, it will be very lively, are you also going to see it?”
Lantern Festival? It was nothing else but putting several small lanterns along with a big pile of people. Just barely wanted to refuse, she looked Lu Yi and Zi Yuan whose eyes were bright. So Murong Shu Qing could not help but laugh, how could she forget that this era did not have any entertainment. Especially for the women, since they could not go to a brothel, this Lantern Festival, and some temple fairs, they were the rare entertainments during this time. Lu Yi’s health was a lot better also, so she would let them go out tonight.
Murong Shu Qing smilingly said: “Alright ah, we will go after we eat.” Looking at Mo Can who always looked cold and did not say anything, Murong Shu Qing raised her head to show a trace of smile and said: “Mo Can, you also go together.”
Mo Can’s hand that was holding the chopsticks, stopped for a moment, after a few moment, one could only see that he faintly nodded his head. He really hated this kind of place that had a lot of people, but if he did not follow her, he would not feel at ease either, what was wrong with him!