Edited by TnyhyChapter 129: Prince Rui’s Neighbour (Part 1)
Shen Xin and wife returned to the capital with great fanfare, and Shen Miao even stole the limelight in the Ming Qi's tribute banquet in front of the entire court of civil and military officials, and at the same time when discussion were made in succession, the attention was turned to the original Formidable General residence.
Since the Formidable General is no longer there, the previously General residence had taken off the plaque and changed it to Shen residence. Initially when Shen Xin was demoted and left the capital, the Shen family not only did not send charcoal during the snowy weather, they actually brought out the separation from the family and wanted to draw a clear line between them and Shen Xin. Now that Shen Xin was once again highly regarded by Emperor Wen Hui, no matter what intention the Emperor had, others took joy and delight at the calamity that the Shen family had and as for the Shen family themselves, they could only swallow the bitter fruit down.
Within Rong Jing Tang, Old Shen Furen was sitting at the couch on the main area, and on the couch the fur that Shen Xin gave was still there. It was a wolf skin that was hunted in the Northwestern region and due to the long usage, it was worn out till one side was somewhat flat. In the past when Shen Xin returned to the capital every year, he would always gift Old Shen Furen some hide that he had hunted, and they were all good stuff that could not be bought in the Ding capital. Now that Shen Xin no longer gifted any hide, Old Shen Furen could only use the old stuff from the past.
Moreover Rong Jing Tang was no longer as exquisite and luxurious as the past, that even the decorations were lesser than before. Shen Xin originally was rewarded by the Emperor continuously and even the Shen residence was comfortably well off, but now without Shen Xin’s financial assistance and Chen Rou Qiu holding the power of managing the household, the days past were like one pulling on lapels that exposes the elbows (aka over-extended and unable to make ends meet).
“Number Three's family is becoming overboarding these days.” Old Shen Furen drank a sip of ginseng tea and the skin on her face seemed be all wrinkled up, “Now that the winter is coming, yesterday I told her to find the tailor to make a cloak for me, she also pushed and pulled. The money all fall into her own pocket.”
The maid behind carefully rubbed Old Shen Furen shoulders and lowered her head without speaking. Currently Old Shen Furen was getting more temperamental, ever since one year ago when Shen Yuan Bo died a premature dead due to smallpox, Old Shen Furen would often lose her temper.
Shen Yuan Bo’s premature death was currently the unspeakable pain of the Shen family. One year ago, there was an intermittent number of people contracting smallpox, and even though it was contained at the end and the epidemic did not have a greater impact, there were still some deaths and unfortunately, Shen Yuan Bo was one of them.
In the Second household of the Shen family, Shen Gui originally had two sons and after Shen Yuan died under the executioner’s blade, Shen Yuan Bo was to be relied upon but once Shen Yuan Bo died Shen Gui almost went crazy, and Ren Wan Yun used her waist cloth to hung herself to death in her courtyard after Shen Yuan Bo’s death. After Ren Wan Yun’s death, Shen Gui started to bring in more concubines but after about a year, there were no movements. Finally Old Shen Furen finally felt something was not right and got a physician to take a look at Shen Gui. The physician said that Shen Gui had taken medication to end offspring and had destroyed the roots for having children, and would not be able to have another child in this lifetime.
After Old Shen Furen heard this, she fainted and Shen Gui was stunned silly. After much investigating from Shen Gui, it all landed on the dead Ren Wan Yun. She had drugged Shen Gui with the medication to end offspring, and her motive was to secure Shen Yuan Bo’s Di son position, but who knew that Shen Yuan Bo’s life would be this short. Ren Wan Yun was dead and naturally Shen Gui could not do anything more to her so now in the Second household, Shen Gui was only left with one child, Shen Dong Ling. As the tide rises, Shen Dong Ling was like the boat that float and Wan YiLiang had taken on a new lease of life, and became the only person that had a child with Shen Gui.
Ever since Shen Gui knew that he would not have any offspring, he had no mood to progress forward with his career since there was no one to carry on his ancestral line, so what was the point of fighting for mountains of gold and silver. He now only spend his days drinking and philandering around.
Since it was no longer possible for the Second household to have any children, Old Shen Furen had to turn her eyes towards the Third household, Shen Wan. He had not taken any medication to end offspring, but since Chen Rou Qiu was able to control Shen Wan’s heart, even when Old Shen Furen sent two TongFang to Shen Wan, they were only decorative items in the third household.
Old Shen Furen said, “Not only the one managing the household is muddle headed, to even say that she was an unmarried daughter of a noble and scholarly house. One do not know where did she learn such habits of the small insignificant families. Not willing to help one’s husband to branch out his offspring, and only know those vixen moves so that the Third household do not have any Di son at all. Really do not know what intention there is.”
Zhang MaMa smiled, “Old Furen need not be angry. The Third Master currently do not know the advantage of having other young ladies. Third Master has deep affections, After a few days, the young ladies that were bought will arrive, and those two that Old Furen sent over are all at the age where they are delicate as a flower and refined as precious jade, naturally Third Master would discover the beauty of them.”
Old Shen Furen had sent people to the Yang province to buy rackabones (aka young ladies). For Shen Wan's kind of people, beauty along would not be enough to win over his heart. Chen Rou Qiu also relied on her idyllic appeal in poetry and painting for Shen Wan to look at her differently. Those rackabones from the Yang province were all trained since young, thus they were knowledgeable with the four scholarly arts and they had rather good looks, so there was no men that would not like them. Old Shen Furen did not believe that Shen Wan, as a man, would not be greedy for fresher meat since no matter how good Chen Rou Qiu was, she was already older.
“Each one is all inciting my anger.” Old Shen Furen said in displeasure, “Even Yue-er also do not know why, but she learned from her mother and have been so superior in her state of mind. I already went to look for so many families for her, and each one were all rich and honourable, but she unexpectedly was not even a tiny interested in any. Could it be that she want to marry to a Prince?”
Zhang MaMa frowned as Old Shen Furen’s habit of shooting one’s mouth off, was the one thing that had never changed. She smiled obsequiously, “Second Young Lady is born good looking, so one fear that Third Master has the decision in his heart to keep Second Young Lady for a good family.”
“Keeping here and there would at the end, keeping an enmity.” Old Shen Furen scoffed, “Just look on. I want to see what kind of marriage can Number Three's family give Yue-er.”
In Qiu Shui Yuan, Chen Rou Qiu massaged her forehead.
Her personal maid Shi Qing said, “Furen, this servant went to Rong Jing Tang to inquire, and Old Furen indeed went to get a few rackabones for Third Master, and they would be sent to the residence in a few days’ time. Furen, Old Furen is slapping your face with this.”
Chen Rou Qiu closed her eyes and brushed all the books on the table violently to the floor. The crackling and rattling sound shocked the entire room, and no one dared to say a single word.
Even though Chen Rou Qiu, like before, was still gentle and considerate in front of Shen Wan, but the servant clearly felt that this Third Furen, Chen Rou Qiu’s temperament became much more violent in the past two years. Most likely because of the management of the common fund, one would need to pacify the money arrangements of the different households, and also due to Old Shen Furen’s extravagance, Chen Rou Qiu had to use her own money to subsidise. In the past she placed herself above the common populace, naturally one was able to cultivate one’s moral character but now one was ridden with ordinary affairs, making one felt that everyday was a mess.
Of course the most important thing was that there was still no heirs.
She coldly said, “This old undead bought rackabones for her son. Really do not know what extreme shame is.”
If Shen Wan was present, one fear that he will be in so much shock, his chin would have dropped off. The always gentle, graceful and soft person who was forever like the breeze and light rain, actually spoke such ugly words now.
Hua Yi said, “Furen have such good temperament. If this go on, Old Furen would sooner or later stuff people in Master’s room.”
Chen Rou Qiu took in a breath and turned around to glance at the two maids, Shi Qing and Hua Yi. These were the two personal maids that she personally promoted and currently they were at the full age, like a ripe fruit that has a sweet honey flavour all around them. Her lips hooked up, “Old Furen is really an old fool. If one really wanted to stuff females in our courtyard, why is there a need to search for those unclean people that one do not even know the background. Not afraid of destroying one’s reputation. It is better to find those clean ones by one’s side, so one will be assured when used and feel comfortable upon serving. I see that the both of you are also not bad.”
Although the words were gentle, her eyes were so sharp that both maids jumped in shock and quickly knelt down, “These servants do not dare. These servants only wish to serve Furen wholeheartedly and absolutely dare not have other ideals.”
Chen Rou Qiu looked down at them for a while and both maids were so scared that their legs were trembling before she then said lightly, “Get up. Since you all are not willing, I have no reason to force other to a difficult situation.”
“Many thanks Furen.” Both maids got up quivering and their hearts both sighed in relief without communicating to each other. Chen Rou Qiu looked gentle on the surface, and also treated others kindly but being Chen Rou Qiu’s personal maids, they had seen Chen Rou Qiu’s means and methods. Actually there were also some female servants that were good looking and also rushed to stick by Shen Wan. Even though Shen Wan did not show great interest, he also did not very much refused. Afterwards these servants were then dealt with by Chen Rou Qiu by some reasons. Not only one did not end up well, it also involved the entire family. Shi Qing and Hua Yi were very clear in their hearts, that Chen Rou Qiu was an extremely jealous person in her bones and had very vicious means. If one really got together with Shen Wan, one fear that there would not be even bones left upon death.
Chen Rou Qiu sighed, “One can only blame me for not having the ability to give birth to a son for Master. If I had birthed a son, how would one be in such circumstances??
Shi Qing and Hua Yi did not dare to respond as children were the torn in Chen Rou Qiu’s heart. Chen Rou Qiu murmured, “Now that the Shen residence had ended up in such a situation, there was not even a single son in the younger generation. Even if the Second household had, now there was none. Now I am actually envious of Luo Xue Yan as she have a son and daughter below and no in-laws on top. Shen Xin also treated her like precious gems that there is not even a single TongFang. It really make one envious.”
Thinking about the tribute banquet yesterday, Shen Miao stole the limelight. Then looking at Shen Yue, she was obviously more talented and much better looking than Shen Miao but because of the Shen family gradual decline, it was even harder to find a husband of a good family. Not to mentioned Prince Ding that Shen Yue anxiously longed for.
A glimmer of resentment appeared in Chen Rou Qiu’s heart. She was ambitious and competitive for her entire life, but now was step beneath the feet of the vulgar General’s daughter that she despised.
Just at this time, an old woman came inside, “Furen, there is someone at the residence door looking for Old Furen and was stop by Furen’s maid. Furen, one heard that that person come to rely on the Shen family.”
When Chen Rou Qiu heard this, she frowned as she thought that it was those far strung relatives of Old Shen Furen that came to seek gratuitous financial help. Thinking that the Jing family was gone but there were still these unfathomable people, her face immediate became cold, “Since they are seeking gratuitous financial help, then give them two silver and send them away. This residence cannot afford to raise idlers. Do not let any cats or dogs in.”
“It is not.” The servant scratched her head, “Furen, that person do not look like seeking gratuitous financial help, as she said that she was the Old General’s old acquaintance and she had no more options but to come over to ask for help as there were some circumstances in the family.”
Old General Shen.
Chen Rou Qiu thought for a while before standing up, “Show her to the side room, I will go take a look.”