Home Post 1875-chapter-13


The nephew of The Marchioness’s family, Pan Sai, is coming to the Imperial Academy to study. Accompanying him is The Marchioness’s niece.  

Where will they stay?  

The Marchioness was almost going crazy. 

When Chang Ke told Wang Xi about this, she was sitting in Wang Xi’s yard, nibbling on peaches beneath the grapevine, which had just sprouted tender shoots. 

“This time, Second Sister might really have to make way for Miss Pan,” she said with excitement, her eyes shining brightly, as if she was watching a play. 

Wang Xi found her amusing.  

Normally, she appeared as a shy and reserved girl, often keeping her head down and remaining silent. But as soon as she arrived at Clear Snow Courtyard, she transformed into a different person. She couldn’t stop talking, displaying a wide range of emotions on her face.  

She was lively and active, enjoying laughing and eating, like a child. 

Wang Xi handed her a damp cloth to wipe her hands and said casually, “You’re exaggerating! It’s just a matter of finding a suitable place to stay. No need to say she’s going ‘crazy’ over it.” 

Chang Ke took the cloth, smiled gratefully, and wiped her hands. She continued, “You don’t know this. If it weren’t for Mr. Pan, the Pan family might have fallen into dire straits. Aunt has always been proud of her elder brother, Mr. Pan, and she adores the Pan siblings immensely. Whenever she talks about them, Aunt acts as if they are her own children. Besides, Pan Sai is a young scholar, and the Pan family’s future depends on him. He is Aunt’s pride and joy. If Pan Sai comes, not only Second Sister, but even our fourth and fifth cousins might have to make way for him.” 

Thinking about herself, Chang Ke couldn’t help but wear a bitter expression. She said, “Grandmother won’t let Second Sister stay in the Jade Spring Hall, right? To be honest, the Jade Spring Hall is quite small. Initially, Grandmother planned to let me stay in her emerald silk wardrobe, but she realized I had grown too big, and some things were inconvenient. She had to arrange a side room for me. Even so, Grandmother’s two senior maids had to squeeze together. Second Sister has more attendants than I do. If she moves in too, I bet the maids around Grandmother will be crammed into one room.” 

Wang Xi had experienced a similar situation and couldn’t help but sympathize. “There’s really no other choice. It’s all because the Marquis of Yongcheng’s residence is located in Xiaoshi Yong Lane. If it were elsewhere, they might have expanded it long ago.” 

All the neighboring residences were more prominent than the Marquis of Yongcheng’s residence. Even if the Marquis of Yongcheng wanted to buy property to expand his residence, there needed to be available space. 

Chang Ke sighed and said, “The Elder Princess’s residence and the Duke of Zhengguo’s residence are really powerful. When the Eldest Princess’s backyard wasn’t enough, she simply took half of two nearby alleys. When the Duke of Zhengguo’s residence didn’t have enough space, they took half of the neighboring Garlic Sprout Alley. In comparison, our residence is not as influential.” 

Wang Xi was curious. “Does the Pan family know that the Marquis of Yongcheng’s residence is small?” 

“Yes,” Chang Ke nodded and picked a piece of pear from the fruit plate. “When my grandfather passed away, the Pan family sent people to offer condolences. At that time, the Pan family’s representatives mentioned that my several male cousins had grown up and needed to consider marriage and establishing their own careers. The implication was for my father to split our family apart. But my father didn’t want to become a rural landowner and pretended not to understand. I don’t know what my uncle and aunt were thinking; they didn’t say anything. So our family stayed in the Marquis’s residence.” 

She sighed deeply and said sadly, “I feel like I won’t be able to stay in the Jade Spring Hall for long. I need to make arrangements early. I wonder if my usual method of acting cute and throwing tantrums will work this time.” Then she fiercely exclaimed, “Ah!” and stuffed the pear into her mouth. 

Wang Xi felt a bit embarrassed, thinking she was neglecting Chang Ke. She quickly offered her another pear. “Try this; it tastes good. I’ll bring you some later.” 

Chang Ke felt awkward and kept declining, saying, “I’m staying in the Jade Spring Hall now; there’s no need.” 

” Wang Xi immediately understood. 

Living under the elders’ watchful eyes, one should show filial respect by offering them any good food, drink, or fun. The problem was, the pear she was holding was given to her by Wang Xi.  

Taking too much wouldn’t be fair to Wang Xi, and taking too little wouldn’t be respectful enough to Madam Dowager. Maybe it was better to refuse altogether.  

“It’s okay!” Wang Xi smiled and said, “I should also show my respect to Madam Dowager. I just entertained you first since these pears arrived. When you go back later, help me take some to Madam Dowager. It’s the same.” 

Chang Ke still felt very embarrassed, her mood dropping a few notches.  

Even though she took both pears and peaches when she returned to Jade Spring Hall, she hadn’t visited Wang Xi for several days.  

Wang Xi initially didn’t mind, thinking Chang Ke might be busy with something else. It wasn’t until she went to pay respects to Madam Dowager and noticed that Chang Ke, who had been quite close to her, was avoiding her that she felt something was amiss.  

Moreover, the sword dancer still hadn’t shown up, and the shopkeeper she sent to inquire hadn’t returned with any news.  

With nothing else to do, Wang Xi grew curious about Chang Ke’s behavior and found an opportunity to ask her, “What’s wrong with you? Have you been busy lately?” 

Chang Ke kept her head down and didn’t dare to look at her. Her voice was as soft as a mosquito’s, “I’ll come to play with you after I finish embroidering these two handkerchiefs.” 

Wang Xi was a very intelligent person. After thinking for a moment, she immediately understood why Chang Ke hadn’t visited her.  

She felt somewhat sorry for Chang Ke. Chang Ke wasn’t treated well at home, and her monthly allowance was probably meager.  

Taking Wang Xi’s pears and peaches without anything in return, she could only embroider two handkerchiefs within her capabilities to give back, allowing her to continue coming to her. 

Around Wang Xi, there were plenty of people trying to gain some benefits from her. People naturally gravitated upward, and water flowed downhill.  

She didn’t mind those who had such thoughts; sometimes, she even opened doors for these people. After all, being able to please her was also a kind of talent.  

What she detested were people who received benefits but didn’t know how to be grateful, thinking she was foolish. 

In reality, she hadn’t given Chang Ke anything substantial, but Chang Ke took this trivial matter to heart.  

Wang Xi felt she was a person worth befriending. She smiled and whispered to Chang Ke, “Next time, I won’t let you bring anything. Just enjoy it at my place and then come back.” 

This was a bit off the beaten path. 

Chang Ke widened her round eyes in surprise. 

Wang Xi smiled gently and said quietly, “Our Wang family isn’t exactly a small household or an insignificant clan.” 

She understood Chang Ke’s predicament.  

Chang Ke pursed her lips, smiling, nodding repeatedly. In the end, she said, “I’ve finished one handkerchief already; I’ll finish the other one soon and bring them to you together.” 

The last time she had given Wang Xi embroidered items, they were exquisite. Perhaps this was Chang Ke’s unique skill.  

Wang Xi smiled and said, “Okay,” praising the things Chang Ke had given her last time.  

She asked if Chang Ke could help embroider a purse when she had free time. “The orchid flower you embroidered last time was beautiful.” 

Chang Ke looked very surprised. “Ah! You really liked it! I saw how you dress and your embroidery work is excellent. I was afraid you might find it lacking.” 

“No, no,” Wang Xi chuckled. “I’m not good at these things myself, so I particularly admire those who excel in them. Your work is very well done.” 

Chang Ke felt that Wang Xi was a particularly good person. She said, “This is the only thing I can do well.” 

Unlike Chang Ning, who played the pipa well, or Chang Yan, who painted birds and flowers skillfully. “Don’t worry, I embroider things quickly,” Chang Ke said. “I’ll be able to finish the purse soon.” 

Wang Xi didn’t really want Chang Ke to embroider the purse for her. She hurriedly said, “You don’t have to rush. Let me sketch a design first. How about we discuss what kind of purse to embroider?” 

“Okay, okay!” Chang Ke happily agreed and added, “Grandmother is in a bad mood, and I don’t want to keep hanging around her, making her worried. But besides here, I don’t have anywhere else to go. Being able to visit your place is really nice.” 

Wang Xi felt embarrassed; she hadn’t realized how difficult Chang Ke’s situation was.  

She contemplated when she should move.  

Unexpectedly, the next day, Chang Ke brought her embroidery frame and needles to discuss the design of the purse with her.  

Wang Xi learned that the Marchioness not only temporarily settled Fourth Master Chang in Fifth Master Chang’s courtyard but also wanted Chang Ning to accompany Madam Dowager. Madam Dowager was very unhappy and wanted Chang Ning and Chang Yan to squeeze together. 

“But Miss Pan is here for an arranged marriage with Minister Liu’s family from the Ministry of Works,” Chang Ke told Wang Xi. “Miss Pan definitely needs an elder to accompany her, and Madam Dowager can’t neglect Miss Pan. So, this time, even if Second Sister is unwilling, there’s no other way. But in doing so, Third Sister is also implicated. She definitely won’t be happy about it. I feel like this matter hasn’t ended yet; something else might happen.” 

Wang Xi was curious about Miss Pan’s arranged marriage. She asked, “How do you know about this?” She had sent Qingchou to gather information, but they hadn’t found anything. 

Chang Ke chuckled mischievously, “When Eldest Aunt came to talk to Grandmother early this morning, I was sitting there embroidering a handkerchief.” 

No wonder she was so well-informed. Wang Xi sighed inwardly.  

Chang Ke continued, “This matter hasn’t been finalized yet. It’s just that the Liu family has this intention, and the Pan family wants to make this connection. But Old Madam Liu met Miss Pan when she was only six or seven years old. After so many years, we don’t know what Miss Pan is like now. Young Master Liu has to manage both families, so the Liu family probably isn’t willing to easily settle the marriage. The Pan family, being scholarly, can’t be too obvious about their intentions. They used the excuse that Young Master Pan is coming to the capital to study at the Imperial Academy, but in reality, they sent Miss Pan to the capital for the Liu family to see.” 

In other words, this arranged marriage hadn’t even started yet!  

Wang Xi glanced at Qingchou, signaling her to see what Chang Ke was capable of.  

Qingchou blushed furiously.  

Wang Xi said, “If that’s the case, indeed, there needs to be an elder accompanying her. No wonder Pan’s siblings insisted on staying at the Marquis of Yongcheng’s residence!” 

As for what Chang Ning would do and how Chang Yan would react, they had no say in it.  

In the end, it would just involve the same few moves.  

Wang Xi was more concerned about the person practicing swordsmanship next door. She thought for a moment and directly asked Chang Ke, “Have you seen the Second Young Master from the Chen family?” 

“Yes!” Chang Ke said, “We used to see each other often when we were kids. Whenever my Third Cousin wanted to play with the Chen brothers, he liked to take us along. Because he brought us, the Chen brothers wouldn’t ignore us and would offer us candies or snacks, keeping us occupied while my Third Cousin talked to them. That’s how we became familiar with the Chen brothers.” 

Wang Xi was dumbfounded.  

She had seen people approach her older brother in this manner, but she hadn’t expected Fourth Master Chang to use the same trick with the Chen brothers.