She had come by ship, when she left it was also by ship, but here lies the difference, she was on a passenger ship when she came, when she left however she sat in an official ship specially sent to meet her, she asked rather baffled as she looked at the exquisite and luxurious ship, “Eunuch, this is for only me?”
Eunuch Wang saw Zhao Jin Yu’s beautiful appearance, he recalled what his adoptive father had said to him before, His Majesty has never really been scrupulous with female charms, even though there were many imperial concubines in the palace, however in recent years there simply had not been a favourite, and amongst so many imperial concubine candidates, His Majesty stubbornly summoned for this Zhao family’s young lady, what did that say clearly?
Eunuch Wang grew up in the palace as a child, because he was obedient and clever did he capture the head eunuch’s attention, hearing these words he blankly asked, “Why?”
The head eunuch firmly patted eunuch Wang’s head, feeling resentful towards him for failing to meet his expectations and impatient to see improvement he said, “How can you grow so tall but your brain hasn’t grown? Is this a very straightforward matter? A few months ago, before the Tiangui sect where did the emperor go?” The head eunuch’s eyes held a serene radiance, twinkling with an excited ray.
Eunuch Wang said, “I heard you say before, His Majesty went to south of Changjiang.”
“And where is the Zhao family’s young lady’s home?”
Eunuch Wang said an “ah”, with an expression of sudden realisation, he said, “In Hangzhou, the beauty and affluence of Suzhou and Hangzhou is comparable with heaven, since His Majesty went to south of Changjiang there’s no reason he wouldn’t go to Hangzhou, that’s why…, adoptive father’s meaning is His Majesty might have taking a fancy to her earlier on?”
The head eunuch again firmly patted eunuch Wang’s head, hitting him so his scalp turned a little red, he said, “Where is this? This is the ruthless palace, some things you know needs to be hidden in your mind, how can you say it out…, you really want to worry me to death, where in the world did I find such an idiot as you, and hoped for you to look after me when I’m old and arrange my burial? Am I just a wooden club?”
Although the head eunuch knew eunuch Wang wasn’t too clever, but he did not think he was this stupid.
Eunuch Wang laughed hehe, saying, “Back then didn’t you say I was honest? You said you like this characteristic of mine.” Eunuch Wang fawned on him by pouring a cup of tea and handing it to him, a clever and obedient manner, looking at him like this he didn’t seem entirely stupid.
The head eunuch seeing eunuch Wang like this, most of his complaints also disappeared, helplessly he said, “Anyway you only need to remember, this is the greatest opportunity for you, serve this person well, you would have instant success, do you understand?”
“I understand, adoptive father I understand this situation.”
“Eunuch Wang?” Zhao Jin Yu once again called out recalling eunuch Wang from his memories, “Oh,
Lady Zhao.” Eunuch Wang turned his head, the smile on his face was even brighter, extremely affably, “There is only Lady Zhao on this ship.”
Zhao Jin Yu, “Why is it so?” Even though Zhao Jin Yu had accepted the imperial edict, but because this was the regular process of the imperial concubine selection , many outstanding candidates would receive a title before entering the palace, and she was given the title Zhaoyi only because of the Zhao family’s illustriousness, this was an honour given by the emperor to the Zhao family.
Who would have thought, she would be the only one in this imperial concubine selection? What was happening?
Eunuch Wang smiled saying, “Lady Zhao, Lady Zhao you are the only candidate picked for this selection.”
For some reason Zhao Jin Yu suddenly recalled the words the stone had said before when it was angry, if we say we are the current emperor, would you believe it?
Did she believe it?
Could it be the stone?
Zhao Jin Yu thought up to here, then felt a burst of pain in her chest, at her most challenging moment…, with no one to care for her, it was only the stone, although it was antisocial, a somewhat arrogant guy, but it always accompanied her everywhere, this sort of feeling was very hard to put into words, as if…, that person became your moral pillar, when it was there you felt it was natural, once it was no longer there, your chest was suddenly empty, a stifling pain, however she did not know want to fill the space with.
Zhao Jin Yu didn’t say anything, silently entering the ship.
Originally it takes at least forty-five days by ship, but because the official ship was quick, on top of that with eunuch Wang and Su Qing Chen’s protection, they were unimpeded and unhindered all the way, they were actually ten days ahead of schedule.
Although all the way Su Qing Chen had made a supreme effort to fawn over Zhao Jin Yu, always asking Zhao Jin Yu to call her uncle, but nevertheless he played his role scrupulously, following the rules extremely rigidly, giving Zhao Jin Yu doubts…, Su Qing Chen’s former ambiguity was her misconception.
After they reached the port, because Su Qing Chen needed to go ahead to give his report, he therefore made a pair of men and horses to escort Zhao Jin Yu, he would enter the palace himself first.
It was already winter at the capital city, some snow had fallen a few days before, eunuch Wang hurried to unfold the white fox fur covering Zhao Jin Yu, he worriedly said, “Lady Zhao, its cold, you ought to wear a bit more, it would not be good to get a cold from the chill.”
On this journey Zhao Jin Yu and eunuch Wang had become extremely close, hearing his words she smiled saying, “How am I so pampered.” Zhao Jin Yu’s gaze became somewhat reminiscent, as if she was remembering the year before last, she was still living by herself in the house, it was then when she met the stone…, thinking of the stone she again naturally thought of the issue which had constantly perplexed her, can it really be dispelled by entering the palace? What was actually the secret with the stone?
Eunuch Wang seeing Zhao Jin Yu not speak at all, he asked, “Lady Zhao, are you unwell?”
Zhao Jin Yu shook her head, looking into the distance with a profoundness in her eyes that eunuch Wang did not understand, a palace carriage was already waiting at the port, it was also nice and warm inside the carriage, eunuch Wang could see Zhao Jin Yu was distrustful, as he passed Zhao Jin Yu the hand heater he explained, “Before guiren arrived, of course the brazier was lit, naturally when guiren arrived it was removed.”
Zhao Jin Yu felt today was really incomparable to how she lived formerly, before she was a wild girl with no one who loved her, now? She simply was a pampered imperial concubine afraid to be blown over by the wind.
The carriage hurriedly quite steadily, Zhao Jin Yu practically did not feel it sway, only when they passed by a lane, Zhao Jin Yu suddenly uttered, “Wait, stop here.”
While eunuch Wang made the expert carriage driver pull the carriage to a stop, he asked “Lady Zhao, did you want to eat something?” This entire street sold snacks, there were sugar roasted chestnuts, osmanthus jelly, sugar-coated sticks, braised pork shoulder, fried noodles, it was an extremely bustling area of the capital city, eunuch Wang thought Zhao Jin Yu was a glutton.
Zhao Jin Yu shook her head saying, “Eunuch Wang, if I wish to come out after entering the palace…, isn’t it very difficult?”
Eunuch Wang nodded saying, “It’s common to go in and not come out.” This was the reason many people did not wish to send their daughters into the palace, those who married ordinarily could still have a first return of the bride to her parental home and so on, it was different when selected to enter the palace, unless there was a major event, then you died in the palace.
Zhao Jin Yu actually really liked eunuch Wang, he didn’t flippantly flatter her, and didn’t deliberately act cleverly and obedient to get what he wants, certainly…, he also tried very hard to want to gain
Zhao Jin Yu’s favour, but the things he did were rather frank and not an act, just like now, whatever she asked eunuch Wang would answer, never avoiding the important things and dwelling on the trivial, fob her off, moreover it seemed like he understood the grieve in Zhao JIn Yu’s words, a little sadness flashed in her eyes.
Eunuch Wang clearly still kept some conscience, not having his heart burned black by the giant vat of dye that is the palace, flippant and insincere.
Zhao Jin Yu pointed at a small alleyway with a poplar tree growing saying, “I used to live there.”
Following which she took out a silver ingot from her chest handing it to eunuch Wang, saying,
“Trouble eunuch to buy those snacks, and that braised pork shoulder…, buy two.”
Eunuch Wang was stunned, he said, “Buy two? Lady Zhao, can you eat them?”
Zhao Jin Yu smiled helplessly, saying, “I want to pay a visit to an old friend, these are things to give to her family, otherwise after entering the palace then leaving…it will be difficult.”
In fact Zhao Jin Yu also wanted to ask eunuch Wang, can I visit a friend? If eunuch Wang tactfully said it would delay the journey, Zhao Jin Yu would know she could not go.
Eunuch Wang also struggled in his mind, according to reason Zhao Jin Yu obviously had to directly enter the palace, not allowed to linger outside as she wished, but he could tell Zhao Jin Yu words just now were rather melancholy, making him quite sympathetic…, what’s more with the head eunuch’s previous instruction, “No matter what, you have to make her like you, she’s a newcomer, she would have no one to rely on in the palace, when she needs someone, once she’s used to using you, in the future you certainly will have boundless prospects, do you understand?”
“This servant will go buy them.” Eunuch Wang’s was slightly in two minds, very quickly he replied.
Zhao Jin Yu profoundly glanced at eunuch Wang, finally holding the person with her gaze, she faintly smiled in thanks saying, “Many thanks eunuch.”
Eunuch Wang was nevertheless very reliable in handling things, after a while he had bought everything, brightly coloured sugar-coated sticks, the sugar wrapped around it was shining, the braised pork shoulders were as big as a head, suitably with little fat…, Zhao Jin Yu smiled tactfully declining the small change eunuch Wang handed over, saying, “Take it as a tip for eunuch’s shopping.”
Eunuch Wang wanted to decline, seeing Zhao Jin Yu smile so joyfully, he thought…, the Zhao family really isn’t an ordinary family, naturally she did not care about such little amount of money, let alone, if he continuously turned her down gracefully it would seem like he did not know how to appreciate her kindness, beaming ear to ear he said, “Many thanks Lady Zhao.”
Zhao Jin Yu gave eunuch Wang directions, very soon they arrived at the Zhang family.
The maid Bi Xi stepped forward to help Zhao Jin Yu, Bilu and Jinyu carried the things, eunuch Wang stood to the side guarding her, nanny Li walked to knock on the door, asking, “Is there anyone at home?”
Zhao Jin Yu managed to convince Zhen Zhu but could not convince nanny Li, no matter what nanny Li wanted to follow Zhao Jin Yu, she said the thing the madam couldn’t feel reassured about the most was Zhao Jin Yu, that’s why she had to look after Zhao Jin Yu in place of the madam, extremely stubborn.
Zhao Jin Yu was without a choice, again remembering nanny Li’s absolutely sincerity, he could only nod in agreement.
In a mere moment, a familiar voice came from behind the door, “Who is it?”
Unaware of what was happening, when Zhao Jin Yu saw Wen Shi’s familiar face…, her eyes suddenly reddened.
“Who are you?” Wen Shi poked half her body out, seeing her dressed in brocade finery, noble and out of the ordinary Zhao Jin Yu she was very flabbergasted.