Old Lady Fang consented to Lady Fang's suggestion, and the two people did not continue speaking on that topic.
Since they had already decided to abandon Miss Jun, there was nothing for them to be melancholic about.
They had spent these past few years fighting all sorts of people and situations. They had already shed all their tears and polished their hard hearts.
Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law spoke of matters related to the exchange firm, while Lady Fang also attended to Old Lady as she ate. She had the maid servants and servant girls accompany Old Lady Fang and asked to take her leave.
When she returned to her rooms, she could see more than a few people sitting inside a room through the glass, resplendent and colorful.
When Lady Fang stepped into the room, the three young misses and the two other women stood up to welcome her in accordance to propriety.
"How are the accounts?" asked Lady. She changed her clothes with the assistance of the two women, washed her hands, and then, as routine dictated, asked her daughters about their daily assignment.
"Manager Gao brought good news," answered Fang Yunxiu, smiling.
"Other people might say it was doing well, but you must only believe half of it," said Lady Fang softly. "Not everything is true."
"Mother, relax. We aren't Jun Zhenzhen," interjected Fang Jinxiu.
"If you talk about her like that, then you are no different from her," scolded Lady Fang.
Fang Jinxiu did not get angry, but instead, respectfully made an affirmative sound.
"Okay, you have worked hard today. Go back to your courtyard and eat," said Lady Fang with a smile.
"It's also relaxing to eat with Mother," said Fang Jinxiu.
"Mother is saying that we bother her when she eats," said Fang Yuxiu, laughing.
The round-faced, thin eyebrowed women taking off Lady Fang's jade bracelets smiled.
"Stop joking around, Second Miss. Go and rest up. It is getting closer to New Year's and you will have to work even harder. Lady is being considerate of you," she said.
This was Concubine Yuan.
Fang Yuxiu smiled, but did not say anything more. The three sisters said their farewells to Lady and prepared to leave.
"Mother, that Jun Zhenzhen…" began Fang Jinxiu.
"You and your sisters just need to do your own work; I will handle her. You need not worry and do not lower yourselves to her level," interrupted Lady Fang.
The other woman standing next to Lady waved at Fang Jinxiu. This was Fang Jinxiu's birthmother, Concubine Su. She had the opposite of Fang Jinxiu's fiery tempe. Instead, she was slow of speech and laconic.
Fang Jinxiu did not say anything more and left with her sisters.
The three young misses had taken their servant girls with them, and the room seemed to become much colder.
"When Mother allowed master to have this many concubines, I was not happy, but right now, I regret that he accepted this little," said Lady Fang as she sat down. "If he had taken in more, he would have sired more children, and the house would be more lively."
Concubine Yuan scoffed.
"Lady, you really do not miss Master," she said. "What do you take Master for?"
Lady Fang smiled.
"I also had said such pretty words. At that time, when Master spent a night in someone else's room, I would give him looks for several days." She laughed and looked at the two concubines. "As a result, in the end only Concubine Su gave birth. Master is no longer here, and everyone else has left."
When she said this, she was frustrated.
"Only you two were left to help me guard the family. I don't know whether that is fortunate or not."
Concubine Su carried over a thick accounting book to the table.
"Whether it is good or bad fortune is not something a man decides," she said. She was not predisposed to talking, and after she said this, she paused for half a moment. "Anyway, I feel that I am very happy where I am."
Concubine Yuan got out the counting sticks and spread out the blotting paper and inkstone. She smiled as she sat.
"Lady, a person's fate is already predetermined. Do not dwell on the things that have happened. It will be hard for us just to go through life," she said. "Old Lady said that the women of the Fang Family cannot be scared by adversity. For through adversity we may also taste sweetness."
While she said this, she nimbly fiddled with the counting sticks.
This was an activity that they had done everyday for the past ten years. When the master was ambushed and died and the Shandong clan and Cao Family from Qixian came to cause trouble about dividing the property, they had said that a group of women were useless and would just lose the business. Old Lady Fang had slapped the table and said that they would make them see that women were no different from men. From that day on, the women of the house had learned business and accounting.
Concubine Su was raised to provide for the elders of the Fang Family and not to deal with money. If she would have returned home, she would have to remarry, but the Su Family would not meddle if she didn't.
Of course, you didn't have to leave if you didn't want to. Concubine Yuan chose not to leave. They learned accounting with Lady, as well as how to manage everything else.
Lady Fang picked up the accounting book.
"How has it been trying to find those people?" she asked.
Concubine Yuan set down the ledger in her hands, her smile broadening.
"Lady, Old Lady agreed?" she asked.
Concubine Su raised her head and stopped moving.
Lady Fang nodded.
"This is something that she did herself, so she cannot blame others for not protecting her," she said.
Concubine Yuan beamed.
"What's there to protect. Having her marry out is protecting her. Old Lady not letting her get married isn't protecting her." She smiled. "After Lady instructed me, I have meticulously sorted through the candidates. Finally, I decided on a family."
"Let's hear it," asked Lady Fang excitedly.
"It's a scholar from Zhao Prefecture," said Concubine Yuan.
Lady Fang frowned slightly.
"Isn't it unstable there?" she -asked.
It was far enough, but if the place was unstable, there would be gossip.
Zhao Prefecture was part of the Hebei Road. The Jurchen and Zhou Dynasty had been fighting over it for many years. This northern region was fought over constantly; it would not be pleasant to stay there.
"Lady, the Duke of Chengguo is there. The northern lands have been safe for many years," Concubine Yuan said with a smile.
Although they were not from the northern lands, they would not be unfamiliar with this person from the north.
The Duke of Chengguo Zhu Shan had recovered the northern lands from the hands of the Jurchen. He was from a military family and had achieved countless military victories. He had received the deep regard from the former emperor and was bestowed a dukedom.
Today, the Duke of Chengguo had protected the Hebei Road for six years. The northern lands were, indeed, safe.
Lady Fang relaxed her crinkled brow.
"Moreover, he is a scholar," followed up Concubine Yuan. "His family has generous lands, but he is looking to remarry."
Lady Fang frown appeared again. She stroked the ledger while thinking.
"So you're saying the family has an heir," she said.
Concubine Yuan smiled and nodded.
"So, they do not care whether or not the female can continue the family line. Just looking for someone to be intimate with and care for them," she said.
To say it honestly, they were looking for a young and beautiful source of fun, so they did not really care about the girl's background.
Far away, able to deal with the Ning Family, a scholar, and would suit Jun Zhenzhen's status.
"Okay, now leave it to me," said Lady Fang.
Concubine Yuan smiled and made a sound of agreement. Concubine Su did not have any thoughts on the matter. The chatter stopped there. It seemed that this was a small, yetnot quite a small matter. Everybody lowered their heads, busied themselves, and did not bring it up again.
The servant girls stood by quietly, occasionally serving some tea. On this winter night, three girls were sitting in the room, not lonely at all.
Miss Jun did not know that a major turning point in her life had been decided, but if she knew, she wouldn't be surprised.
She was very clear on her present circumstances.
Maidservants at the gates that had received the news were to take strict precautions and not wait for Miss Jun to come again. They quickly left the surrounding area.
Soon after, Miss Jun began her activities in the rear courtyard.
The maidservants and servant girls in the gardens, who had been too late in receiving the news, trembled in fear.
Miss Jun was irrational. Although, Miss Jun would not looking at them in contempt as before, she wasn't be nice to them either.
"Young Miss, the day is cold. Why do you want to go to the garden for a stroll?" asked Liu'er while carrying a hand warming stove.
Moreover, Young Miss was also walking so quickly. It was tiring and chilly.
Because this body was too weak, Miss Jun needed to increase her activity to strengthen her body. Even if she wouldn't be able to ride a horse and shoot an arrow, at least she should be able to walk for a long period of time.
The capital was very far away; it would not be easy to walk there.
"This is good for the body," she said.
Liu'er was nodding when a hoarse voice suddenly came from over their heads.
"Old Heavenly Father is really unkind. People who don't want to live actually can live so well!"
Miss jun stopped in her tracks to look. In the rocky gardens she had just stepped into appeared a twelve, thirteen-year-old boy.
This boy had an elegant appearance, his two eyes bright. However, it was just a pity that his physique was as sticky as firewood. He should have had the elegant posture of a young man, but he was neither standing nor lounging. Instead, he was almost limply sitting in a wheelchair, a thick blanket covering his distorted figure.
This was the Fang Family's cripple young master that would not live past fifteen.