Lin Jin’er wore a frightened expression as she pressed down Miss Jun’s hand.
"Zhenzhen, it’s my bad; I didn’t mean it like that. It’s not that I’m scared of her. I'm just excited that we got to go out together. Wouldn’t it be better for us to play by ourselves today?" she pleaded.
Miss Jun squeezed her hand.
"I do want to play happily together today, so let’s go to the Jinyun Hall," she said, displeased.
Lin Jin’er made a face of helplessness. She had a pliant personality and would always defer to Miss Jun. When she heard what she said, she could only squeeze her hand in return.
"Then you must definitely promise me that you’ll only play with me and not meet with other people," she pleaded nervously.
Jun Zhenzhen was an arrogant and conceited person; the more cowardly the others were, the more she could show off her fearsomeness. When she saw Lin Jin’er acting so timidly, her heart would definitely blaze.
The Ning Family were the ones to owe her, so not seeking them out to settle accounts wasn’t wrong. Actually, she wanted to avoid Ning Yunyan, who had had enough with Jun Zhenzhen.
"I know," Miss Jun said, displeasure evident in her voice, like a stubborn and unconcerned child’s.
Lin Jin’er was about to say something when the carriage stopped in front of the Jinyun Hall. Miss Jun pulled open the curtains and hopped down herself.
This time, she had not brought Liu’er with her so that she could look after the courtyard at home. With such an important task, Liu’er was delighted to stay at home.
Miss Jun had just gotten off when the servants Old Lady Fang had assigned swarmed around her. There was almost no space for Lin Jin’er to get off.
Originally, the Jinyun Hall hadn’t been so; it was originally a house with a courtyard.
Miss Jun studied the broad, open courtyard entrance and the plethora of pavilions and kiosks inside. There were many kinds of trees, and though it was spring, they were already thick and heavy with color.
"This was originally the Chen Family’s private home and garden," said one of the maid servants next to her.
"You mean the Chen family of the Zhongshan Prince of the last dynasty?" Miss Jun asked in surprise.
Immediately, an explanation followed. "Yes, the Chen clan were originally from Shanxi province, Yangcheng."
The Chen’s were the ruling class of the last dynasty. A name related to the aristocracy was always a subject of interest. Other young ladies always excitedly asked questions when they first heard of them, so the servants were already well-versed on the topic, but they didn’t think she would speak of them so unenthusiastically.
Do you know who the Chen’s are? How they gained the prince title? How they declined? The outstandingness of their prosperous period? Any interesting anecdotes? Why isn’t a young lady like you interested?
The maidservant could not help but want to asker her these.
It’s not that Miss Jun did not have an inquisitive heart; she just didn’t have any interest in this.
Naturally, she knew of Prince Zhongshan of the Chen name. Of course, the Chen’s decline was not simply a change in dynasties. They were ministers conferred the title of aristocracy, who collapsed in the fourth generation.
She felt a bit sorrowful as she looked at the residence.
It was recorded in books, and Master had also mentioned them. The Chen Family, at that time, were domineering because they were involved in disputes over building a house and were reported to the emperor for it, but the emperor still specially granted them permission to build.
This was the house in question.
This residence occupied quite a bit of space. Although she hadn’t gone in yet, from here, she could see the skillful craftsmanship, the luxuriant atmosphere. As far as the eye could see, hanging red lanterns were arranged in a beautiful lack of pattern. If it were night, the lit lanterns would resemble a gorgeous fairyland.
Lin Jin’er squeezed out, clutching a veiled headdress.
"Zhenzhen, put this on," she said, interrupting Jun Zhenzhen’s reverie. "After all, there are many people milling about here."
Miss Jun truly felt nostalgic about the scenery. She accepted the headdress.
The servants hurried to help them put them on.
"Let’s go in," Miss Jun suggested first.
Miss Lin wanted to say something but hesitated. She latched onto Miss Jun’s hand.
"Zhenzhen, you must remember that we came here to have fun," she exhorted. "Do not let others ruin our mood."
Such sincere intentions were well received by the orphaned Jun Zhenzhen, who had just come to this place. No wonder she had no defenses against Lin Jin’er. Firstly, Jun Zhenzhen was truly stupid, and secondly, she was completely naive.
Miss Jun sighed silently. She really could not have seen through it. Obviously, strangers meeting by chance would not have any deep enmity for each other, so who would cause harm this way? Especially since she was just a thirteen-, fourteen-year-old girl.
Or perhaps she never had her youth, or maybe her status made it impossible for her to encounter such a situation.
"Okay." She squeezed Miss Lin’s hands. "I will remember it."
The servants escorted the pair through the courtyard gates.
The entrance was well lit. The first sight to enter their eyes was an immortal’s peak, that is to say, the garden on an immortal’s peak.
Jinyun Hall was normally a restaurant of extravagant luxury. Not just anyone could enter, but on the 3rd day of the 3rd month would the Jinyun Hall be open to the general public. Anyone could come to play games and eat and drink, even if they were beggars.
"This is the condition the descendants of the Chen’s made when they created the Jinyun Hall," a servant girl whispered to Miss Jun.
This was because Miss Juns had seen very many men and women, young and old, of plain dress and countenance, as well as beggars sitting by the side of the road, rapping their broken bowls with sticks, and had stopped walking in surprise.
Especially when they said it was a restaurant. It looked more like a garden.
Listening to the servant’s explanation, Miss Jun nodded in realization.
"A merciful heart," she commented.
"What merciful heart. That is because the descendants wanted to earn a portion of the profits for one day. They decided that on the 3rd day of the 3rd month the owner of the Jinyun Hall would stop business and won’t take in any income. The descendants of the Chen Family opened the Jinyun Hall as a park for the commoners to play. They also let merchants come in and take a portion of their profits," said a servant girl, hiding her smile.
So the Jinyun Hall was this kind of place. There were many people who wanted to take a round, so that there definitely would be people hoping to make transactions.
Miss Jun smiled.
"It gained a lot of reputation the first time, so the Jinyun Hall had no choice but to comply with the condition. Now, it is tradition," said the servant girl. She pointed at the beggars. "Even from the beggars’ money, the descendants will take a cut."
This was interesting.
Miss Jun smiled again.
Lin Jin’er frowned next to her. How could they really have come here to walk around the park. She coughed lightly.
"Zhenzhen, let’s go," she said gently. "There are too many people here."
Miss Jun tugged on Miss Lin’s hand, the servants following discreetly one step behind. However, they were still very close to her.
Lin Jin’er led Jun Zhenzhen to the left of the immortal’s peak. Here, there were several burly men all in black by the door, either standing or sitting as they chatted. When they saw them come, someone came out to greet them.
"The Lin Family," said a servant girl next to Lin Jin’er as she passed over the invitation. "The Lin Family’s young miss and Miss Jun.
The man gave the invitation a once over and swept over the two young ladies. All of guards stepped aside when they recalled their names.
It was said to be open to the public, but you couldn’t have dragons and fish mingling together too much, especially young noble ladies and young wives come to walk in the spring. Just as public places had two sides, the Jinyun Hall was also divided. The land-owning elite on the left, the farmers and industrial people on the right.
The people on the left could go to the right to play, but the people on the right could not enter the left garden as they wanted. They could only do so with the accompaniment of the land-owning class.
Lin Jin’er’s father was a bureaucrat so naturally she wanted to go on the left. And as she followed her, Jun Zhenzhen, who had become a merchant’s wife, could go with her.
Jun Zhenzhen entered unimpeded, but the merchant Fang Jinxiu, who was alone was stopped.
"I forgot about this dirty rule," said Fang Jinxiu through gritted teeth and clutched her horsewhip.