Home Post 1876-chapter-14


In the grand and prestigious residence of Marquis Yongcheng, they still needed to ingratiate themselves with the Chen family!  

Wang Xi mentally rearranged the rankings in her mind.  

Meanwhile, Chang Ke continued, “But once we reached the age for separate seating, we couldn’t follow Third Cousin around anymore. The two young masters from the Chen family only cast a distant glance at us during Eldest Princess’s birthday banquet.” 

“What does he look like then? You should know,” Wang Xi continued inquiring about the neighbors. 

“I do!” Chang Ke smiled, “Both of the Chen brothers are tall and slim, with sharp eyebrows and starry eyes, very handsome.” 

This… was not much information at all! Wang Xi said, “They are not twins, there must be some differences, right?” 

“Uh-huh, uh-huh!” Chang Ke nodded repeatedly with a smile, “The elder young master from the Chen family is amiable and courteous to everyone. He makes people feel warm and comfortable. We used to play with him a lot when we were younger. When he rode a horse, he would always repeatedly instruct the servants around him to watch us, preventing us from running onto the grass field. When we ate, he would ask us what we liked, and he remembered our preferences. If there were snacks or fruits we liked, he would have the maidservants serve us. He was the same during ice skating. He would check if we were dressed warmly enough, afraid we would slip on the ice. He’s really a good person!” 

“But I asked about the Second Young Master from the Chen family, not the elder one!” Wang Xi stared at Chang Ke expressionlessly.  

She kept her gaze on her until Chang Ke snapped out of her daze, awkwardly smiled at Wang Xi, and started talking about the Second Young Master from the Chen family.  

Only then did Wang Xi reward Chang Ke with a smile. 

“The Second Young Master is a bit arrogant,” Chang Ke said, her tone measured. “He’s the Princess’s only son, and even the Second Prince defers to him. Not to mention others. Although he takes care of us, he’s always impatient, feeling that we are a nuisance. Sometimes when the elder young master instructs us, he would even annoy the elder young master. However, because several princes like to play with him, except for the Eighth and Ninth Princes who are too young and I haven’t met, I’ve seen the other princes.” 

“Perhaps it’s due to their age, the Eldest Prince doesn’t play much with us. The Second Prince, although he plays with us, is the Empress’s son. Like the Second Young Master, he’s quite arrogant and doesn’t pay much attention to us. It’s the Third Prince who’s very friendly, just like the elder young master. But the most handsome one is the Fourth Prince, elegant and graceful, truly a gentleman. He’s sharp, polished, and refined…” Chang Ke’s eyes lit up again. 

Wang Xi, however, was in doubt.  

If the Fourth Prince was really that handsome, didn’t that mean the elder and second young masters from the Chen family weren’t as good-looking? Was that person practicing swordsmanship next door so handsome? Could he be someone other than Chen Ying or Chen Luo? But could an imperial prince be that handsome?  

The information her father gave her indicated that the Fourth Prince was born of Imperial Concubine Liang1

The Emperor’s most favored consort at the moment is Consort Shu2

Wang Xi couldn’t help but ask, “Could it be that among the consorts, the lawful wife is the most beautiful?” 

The child usually inherits either the father’s or the mother’s looks, combining the best of both. Who knew Chang Ke would look somewhat embarrassed and stammer, “I-I haven’t seen the lawful wife. But I heard that the most beautiful one in the palace is Imperial Concubine Ning, the mother of the Seventh Prince. But the Seventh Prince looks like a little girl, even fairer than me. I still think the Fourth Prince is more handsome and elegant.” 

Alright! So-called handsomeness was entirely a matter of personal perception. But the Fourth Prince should be fairly good-looking.  

Wang Xi decided not to ask about the appearance of the several princes anymore. She steered the conversation back and continued to inquire about the people in Eldest Princess’s residence, “Are you familiar with other people in Eldest Princess’s residence?” 

“I can only say I know what most of them look like,” Chang Ke recalled the questions Wang Xi had asked her recently and felt that Wang Xi was particularly concerned about Eldest Princess’s residence.  

She pondered if Wang Xi had some matter and needed to seek help from Eldest Princess. Chang Ke hesitated and said, “But I do know who is on good terms with Eldest Princess. 

“If you need help from Eldest Princess, it’s best to ask her directly.” 

Wang Xi was now looking at Chang Ke with more respect than before. She didn’t expect Chang Ke to know about this too. “How did you find out?” she asked, surprised, her eyes wide open. “Who is this person?” 

Chang Ke revealed her familiar mischievous smile and whispered to Wang Xi, “I attend Eldest Princess’s birthday banquet every year, except for the years I was in mourning. Li Mama, who is close to the Eldest Princess, likes me a lot. She always arranges for me to sit in the small flower hall behind the waterside pavilion. She even quietly has sheep’s milk brought for me to drink. When you attend Eldest Princess’s birthday banquet this time, I’ll introduce you to Li Mama. However, Mammy Li rarely leaves the mansion. I’ve never seen her outside the birthday banquet. She took special care of me because I was snubbed by Princess Fuyang once. I don’t know if she will meet me if I specifically go to see her.” 

“So, if you want to meet Eldest Princess, you might as well find Lady Chen, the wife of Feng Ru, the commander of the Wucheng Garrison.  

“Her father used to serve as the Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Agriculture in the Imperial Park. 

“I heard that when Eldest Princess was in distress, he once helped her. Feng Ru was appointed as the commander of the Wucheng Garrison entirely because of Eldest Princess’s strong recommendation. Whenever there is a banquet at Eldest Princess’s residence, Lady Chen’s, Mrs. Feng, seat is always closest to Eldest Princess. Some people in the capital have received Eldest Princess’s recommendation through her. If you have any concerns, you can approach her.” 

Shanglin Park was where the royal family managed the estates. Jia Vegetable Office, despite its sounding elegant, was essentially about growing vegetables.  

Chang Ke worried, “But I don’t know what Mrs. Feng likes. You have to ask your family’s steward to inquire!” 

Wang Xi’s mood was complicated.  

She had initially thought Chang Ke was a pitiful girl. She didn’t expect this pitiful girl to know more about the capital than her father did.  

Truly, everyone should not be underestimated!  

Wang Xi couldn’t help but pinch her round face and said, “There’s something I want to ask you, don’t know if you have time?” 

Chang Ke didn’t even ask what it was and hurriedly replied, “I have time, I have time!” 

This was like being sold and still paying for the goods! Wang Xi said, “You don’t even know what I want you to do?” 

Chang Ke squinted her eyes and smiled, saying, “You have so many capable people around you. Since you’re asking me, it must be because only I can do it. In that case, there’s nothing I won’t agree to.” 

In reality, in her entire life, not many people had asked for her help. She really hoped to help those who had been kind to her. 

“Speak, what’s the matter?” she said casually. 

Wang Xi smiled and, remembering Chang Ke’s comments about the prince’s appearance, assumed she wouldn’t be too surprised about her peeking at the person practicing swordsmanship next door. She waved at Chang Ke and whispered the details to her. 

Chang Ke stared at Wang Xi, unblinking.  

“If you feel it’s inappropriate, then forget it,” Wang Xi sighed disappointedly in her heart. She thought she had found a playmate. 

“No, no, no,” Chang Ke exclaimed in surprise. After a moment, she looked at Wang Xi with eyes full of heat, “I’m willing to help you. However, I need to pay respects to grandmother tomorrow morning. After that, Shi Mama usually asks me to do some small tasks for my grandmother. I don’t know if I can make it in time!” 

Shi Mama asked Chang Ke to do tasks for her grandmother?  

If it were Chang Ning, Shi Mama probably wouldn’t dare to order her around like this, right?  

Wang Xi’s gaze flickered, and she said softly, “That person hasn’t appeared in the past few days. Maybe we won’t see him again in the future. There’s no rush for now.” 

Chang Ke admired, “Based on what you said, this person must be very handsome, so he should be the eldest son of the Chen family. But the eldest son of the Chen family wouldn’t appear in the Deer Cry Pavilion. It’s either the second son of the Chen family or someone close to him. I only saw his attendants when I was a child; I can’t say what they look like now. However, it’s also possible that he’s one of the Eldest Princess’s guards.” She pondered and then asked Wang Xi in confusion, “You could have asked someone to draw his portrait back then!” 

“Why didn’t I think of that!” Wang Xi regretted and her evaluation of Chang Ke increased even more. “But Baizhu can paint flowers and birds, but her skills in drawing people are quite ordinary. What if the portrait doesn’t resemble him, and I end up mistaking someone else?” 

Chang Ke also felt that this was a troublesome task. She comforted Wang Xi, “Cross the bridge when you come to it. Maybe that person will show up again tomorrow, and it just so happens that I know him!” 

Wang Xi laughed heartily, feeling that Chang Ke understood her temper well.  

Suddenly, she felt that living in the Marquis of Yongcheng’s mansion wasn’t bad at all.  

Who knew, she might even encounter more interesting things when she met Shi Zhu.  

She decided to inform Chang Ke about her plan to move and told her not to worry and be patient for a few more days.  

“I’m afraid Madam Dowager and the Marchioness will think I’m trying too hard to please them. I’ll talk to Madam Dowager and the Marchioness about it when the matter gets bigger.” 

Chang Ke understood this well. “You indeed shouldn’t mention it too early. Otherwise, Second Aunt will think you’re hypocritical, and Eldest Aunt will blame everything on you. After you renovated our courtyard, they not only didn’t appreciate it, but might even think you’re just being pretentious.” 

Similar incidents had happened before. 

Wang Xi valued Chang Ke more and more and pulled her to see the design she had made earlier for the Willow Shade Garden.  

“What do you think? Is there anything unsuitable? With this, you can move to the Spring Shade Garden, and Miss Shi can stay in the Clear Snow Courtyard.” 

Chang Ke knew that Wang Xi was preparing to discuss this matter with her aunt early because of her.  

Seeing Wang Xi’s enthusiasm, it seemed like she had already moved into the Willow Shade Garden, and Chang Ke would soon move into the Spring Shade Garden. However, upon closer inspection, after these changes, the Spring Shade Garden had become a very good courtyard.  

Most likely, Eldest Aunt would arrange for Miss Pan to stay in the Spring Shade Garden, and Chang Ke would probably continue living with Madam. 

Chang Ke didn’t want to dampen Wang Xi’s spirits, so she sighed inwardly and calmly examined Wang Xi’s design again. Unexpectedly, she noticed something. 

She pointed to the location where Wang Xi had planned to build a pavilion and said, “This place is too close to Eldest Princess’s mansion and might be seen as prying eyes. It’s better not to build a pavilion; plant some flowers and trees instead.” 

Wang Xi vaguely remembered that there was indeed such a regulation in the court.  

After some thought, she decided that if the person practicing swordsmanship continued to appear, she would clean up the weeds near the row of willow trees, lay stone bricks underneath, and place stone tables and benches, creating a leisure area. When needed, she could continue to watch the person practicing swordsmanship next door.  

After revising her design several times, she felt satisfied. She then went to meet Madam Dowager and the Marchioness.

  1. Imperial Concubines (嫔 pín) (x6): This is a mid-tier position.  Tier 3
  2. Usually 4 spots and only one individual can hold any of the titles at one time. The character given depends on the Emperor/Author-sama. Tier 2. Higher than concubines.