Home Post 1861-chapter-11


Wang Xi’s grandmother often told her that people should rely on their own efforts, just like mountains rely on rivers to flow. In life, especially for women, if they want something, they must strive for it themselves. She admired people who could save themselves.1

Wasn’t Chang Ke trying to save herself as well?

Wang Xi felt she should help her.

She blinked at Chang Ke and said, “You want me to give you advice? But other than being coquettish in front of the elders, I don’t have any other skills. Are you sure you want my advice?”

“Coquettish?” Chang Ke looked at Wang Xi in surprise.

Wang Xi nodded, saying earnestly, “A crying child gets candy. This saying makes a lot of sense. I have many siblings in my family. I like to be coquettish with my grandparents. If it’s not a big deal, my grandfather usually agrees. But if it’s my grandmother, even for important matters, she tends to lean towards me and find ways to help me.”

Chang Ke seemed to be deep in thought.

Wang Xi took the opportunity to excuse herself.

In the afternoon, she received news that Chang Ke had tearfully pleaded in front of Madam Dowager, who then softened her heart and called the Marchioness over to discuss the matter of Third Master Chang’s new residence.

Hongchou worried, “Madam Dowager won’t reward Willow Shade Garden to Third Master Chang, will she?”

“She won’t!” Wang Xi said confidently. “Willow Shade Garden’s courtyard is large and dilapidated. It would cost too much to renovate it. Even if Madam Dowager agrees, the Marchioness wouldn’t. Third Master Chang and Fifth Master Chang also have their marriage arrangements settled. Once Third Madam enters the house, they will discuss Fourth Master Chang’s wedding date. the Marchioness won’t let Third Master Chang take her son’s share.”

Hongchou breathed a sigh of relief. “Are we really moving to Willow Shade Garden?” she asked.

Wang Xi nodded and threw her embroidered ball away.

Quick as lightning, Xiangye ran over, biting onto the ball and happily scampering back, laying the ball at Wang Xi’s feet.

Wang Xi playfully patted Xiangye’s head, took the ball, and tossed it again.

Xiangye quickly ran over once more…

This was one of its favorite games.

While playing with Xiangye, Wang Xi absentmindedly said to Hongchou, “Of course, living here is quite nice. Madam Dowager has always felt guilty towards my mother, hasn’t she? If I live here, she will take care of my daily life, and she would feel better inside. This could be considered my way of fulfilling filial piety for my mother.”

As for her marriage, she felt her mother’s expectations of Madam Dowager were too high.

For such a small matter like Apricot Courtyard, she had been dragging her feet for several days without resolving it. For something as significant as marriage, her grandmother might not have such good judgment.

However, Wang Xi could understand her mother. There was resentment, but there was also love.

Sometimes, blinded by filial piety, one could overlook certain things.

Her marriage matters were best left without Madam Dowager’s interference.

She smiled at Hongchou and said, “I’ve already arranged everything. We should receive news from Wang Xixi side by tomorrow morning at the latest. If we change our minds now, wouldn’t that be a waste of manpower and resources?”

Everything had a cost and couldn’t be wasted arbitrarily. Therefore, decisions had to be made cautiously, and once made, they had to be carried out fearlessly.

Wang Xi picked up Xiangye, scratched its chin, and continued speaking to Hongchou, “Keep an eye on the neighboring courtyard. See if he only appears there every morning.”

She could rearrange the time.

But it would be nice if he would take a walk there in the evening or something.

Wang Xi thought about it in his heart.

Hongchou smiled and replied, “Yes.”

Wang Xi sent her to keep watch, handed the cat over to Anan, and copied a few pages of Buddhist scriptures in the study.

Buddha Bathing Festival was approaching. Her grandmother was devout in her worship.

Wang Xi couldn’t forget her paternal grandmother just because she had come to the capital city. She should copy a few pages of Buddhist scriptures for her as well.

On the eighth day of April, there’s still a chance; they can catch up by the fifteenth day of July!

Wang Xi had stayed home for several days, but the matter of Apricot Courtyard still hadn’t been resolved.

The Marchioness proposed a few solutions, but either Madam Dowager was dissatisfied, or Second Madam wasn’t pleased.

Wang Xi couldn’t help but wonder. She sent Qingchou to inquire, “I didn’t expect Second Madam to contradict the Marchioness. Go find out if there’s any inside story here.”

Qingchou quickly returned with an answer, saying that the Second Madam of the Marquis Yongcheng Residence had lent a large sum of silver to the Marchioness’s family.

Not only Wang Xi, but also Baiguo and the others were astonished.

Qingchou explained, “The Marchioness’s maternal grandfather was just an ordinary scholar. Although he had some wealth in his early years, he nearly used it all up. When the Marchioness got married, her dowry was said to be grand, but there wasn’t anything of significant value. It wasn’t until recent years when her family’s two brothers both achieved success in the imperial examinations and served as officials in wealthy areas like Jinhua, that their family gradually became prosperous again.

“Second Madam is different. Although she is the second daughter, she’s very favored in her family. Her maternal grandfather was once a general for over ten years in Fujian. When Second Madam got married, although her dowry was also thirty-six carriages, it mainly consisted of properties and businesses. Her annual income was considerable.

“When the old Marquis was alive, he wasn’t good at managing finances. He married several concubines, and they had many illegitimate children. He accumulated debts outside. After the Marquis took over, he had to give the old Marquis a grand funeral, settle those illegitimate siblings, and handle various social interactions within the official circles. The Marquis simply couldn’t come up with that much silver, so Second Madam stepped in and lent several large sums to the Marchioness in the name of the Marquis Residence.”

At this point, Qingchou lowered her voice and said to Wang Xi, “Do you know that Third Master Chang’s marriage arrangement was done by the Marchioness Dowager of Xiangyang? Originally, she had her eye on Fourth Master Chang. It was Second Madam who pleaded with the Marchioness Dowager of Xiangyang to switch to Third Master Chang during their meeting.”

Oh! Wang Xi and the others exchanged surprised glances, their expressions quite excited.

Baizhu said, “Indeed, Third Master Chang is more handsome than Fourth Master Chang. Moreover, Third Master Chang is the eldest son of Second Madam and holds a position in the Dragon Guards. He’s also cautious and careful. No wonder the Han family chose Third Master Chang.”

Fourth Master Chang was currently living off the ten liang monthly allowance given by the government!

Baizhu said, “No wonder the Marchioness mentioned finding a job for Fourth Master Chang some time ago. Now, with such a situation,the Marchioness must harbor some resentment in her heart.”

Baizhu added, “I’m curious why Third Master Chang and Fourth Master Chang haven’t clashed yet. From the looks of Fourth Master Chang, his eyes are practically on top of his head. He surprisingly endures this humiliation, showing he’s just a paper tiger.”

Wang Xi listened without much concern; she was more interested in when she could move into Willow Shade Garden.

Particularly the next morning, she leaned against the wall of Willow Shade Garden, waiting until the sun shone on her face through the leaves. However, the person practicing swordsmanship in the bamboo grove next door never appeared.

She felt as though her heart had been cut in half, and she felt too weak even to move.

“How can this be?” she murmured, grabbing Hongchou’s hand. “Didn’t you say he practices swordsmanship here every day at this time? Why is there no one today? Could he have encountered some danger? Or is he sick? Has he moved away?”

Hongchou trembled in fear, her voice quivering, “I, I don’t know. Everything was fine before…”

Qingchou’s face also turned frighteningly pale.

She and Hongchou had discussed it before they came; they had to stay by Wang Xi’s side, in the Wang family. If they were sent back, not to mention their tribal leader, even their father and brothers wouldn’t spare them.

Baiguo couldn’t bear to look directly at the situation. She gently embraced Qingchou and took a few steps forward to support Wang Xi. She smiled warmly and said, “Didn’t you want to find out who was practicing swordsmanship? Maybe that person just had something come up today. We didn’t find anyone practicing in the bamboo grove before, did we? Don’t worry.

“Fourth Miss sent someone yesterday to say she wants to visit you today. Let’s go back to the Bright Snow Courtyard first. Hongchou can go and deliver a message to Wang Xixi. Maybe by the afternoon, we’ll know why that person didn’t appear in the bamboo grove.”

For the first time in her life, Wang Xi felt the urge to grasp something but found herself holding onto sand. No matter how hard you tried, it slipped through your fingers.

She and her companions returned to the Bright Snow Courtyard in disappointment.

Chang Ke arrived as scheduled. She brought a few pieces of her embroidery work to gift to Wang Xi and apologized sincerely, saying, “I know the Shu embroidery from your place is very famous; you don’t lack these. This is just a small token of my gratitude. You’ve helped me a lot.”

Wang Xi cheered up and entertained Chang Ke. She said, “Has your matter been resolved?”

“Not yet!” Chang Ke smiled. “However, Madam Dowager has already spoken. If it really can’t be resolved, she said I could temporarily stay in the Jade Spring Hall.”

This was also a good solution.

People naturally grew closer. In front of Madam Dowager, Chang Ke would receive more attention.

Wang Xi sincerely congratulated her.

Chang Ke smiled apologetically and said, “It was your good idea. I thought about it before, but I didn’t dare. I hope this time I can win Grandmother’s favor.”

Find her a good marriage.

Wang Xi nodded.

Perhaps due to their shared experience, Chang Ke felt closer to Wang Xi than before. When she spoke, she didn’t seem as distant as she used to be. She smiled shyly and said, “It was my own fear. Because next to Willow Shade Garden is Eldest Princess’s Deer Cry Pavilion. When the Second Young Master was a child, he once climbed over the wall and accidentally ended up at our place. I always felt Willow Shade Garden wasn’t safe, as if anyone could climb in easily. In reality, although the Second Young Master has a bad temper, he never bullies the weak.”

“Wait a minute,” Wang Xi’s ears perked up. She said, “What did you say? Willow Shade Garden is next to Eldest Princess’s residence, and how do you know? Who is the Second Young Master?”

Chang Ke widened her eyes, then covered her mouth and laughed softly, explaining in a low voice, “You’ve just arrived in our family; it’s understandable you don’t know. Isn’t Eldest Princess living next to us? Deer Cry Pavilion is the courtyard of Eldest Princess’s biological son, Chen Luo. He’s second in line in the Chen family. We all call him the Second Young Master.”

“The Second Young Master receives the Emperor’s favor, spending half of his time in the palace and the other half in Eldest Princess’s residence. When he returns home, he often brings a prince to play with him. He even fights with the common people in the streets of the capital. Duke Zhen Guo scolded him; he climbed over the wall, and once, the Second Prince and the Third Prince climbed into our yard with him. Duke Zhen Guo chased after them.”

“Their fights are legendary, but our family can’t afford to provoke them, so we closed off this courtyard.”

  1. That’s true but it’s a lot harder for women in the ancient times. Not unless a woman has an extremely great fortune, but that’s generally not the case. So one can only live by their connections, and that connection would be the family.
    But no matter, that would still ring true in all timelines. Relying on yourself would never fail you if you want to become a tree, so you can become a tree to other people as well. Reliable.