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In the main hall of the Jade Spring Hall, which was used for receiving guests, Madam and The Marchioness stared at the spread-out blueprints on the kang table. Both of them were slightly breathless.  

Renovate the Willow Shade Garden!  

They had dreamed of this.  

Especially when Chen Luo grew up, Chen Yu could no longer chase and beat his son. Chen Luo moved out because of disagreements with his parents. The rich and powerful children in the capital no longer frequented the Eldest Princess’s mansion. 

The once bustling Deer Cry Pavilion had become quiet, and the Willow Shade Garden was gradually regaining its tranquility. 

Not only them, but also the Marquis of Yongcheng had thought about it more than once.  

However, the cost of renovating the Willow Shade Garden was not small. Where could they get such a large sum of money?  

Now, an opportunity that was easily available appeared before them. 

Madam lowered her eyelids and remained silent for a long time.  

The Marchioness, anxious to get an answer, wished that Madam Dowager would agree. This way, her sons wouldn’t have to worry about building new houses.  

When her relatives from her maiden family came to visit, she wouldn’t have to act like a beggar in front of her aunts anymore.  

The Marchioness tugged at Madam Dowager’s sleeve. 

Madam Dowager woke up suddenly, her gaze somewhat complicated as she looked at Wang Xi. Her voice was dry, “Have you discussed this with your parents?” 

She knew the Wang family was wealthy, but this wasn’t a small sum.  

She was afraid Wang Xi didn’t understand the gravity of the situation, acting on her own, and secretly hoped that this was her daughter, who had suffered hardships outside but still loved her parents, using Wang Xi’s hand to show her filial piety. 

“There’s no need to consult my parents about such matters,” Wang Xi didn’t understand what Madam Dowager was thinking. In her view, this was a trivial matter that wouldn’t strain her resources.  

She could make the decision independently without bothering the elders at home.  

Moreover, she could help restore the Wang family’s reputation in the Marquis of Yongcheng’s mansion. She was only concerned that people in the mansion might not take her seriously.  

She sweetly smiled and said, “I’ve already had the head of our family calculate it. Renovating a garden like this would cost about seven to eight thousand taels of silver. I happen to have some private funds deposited in the bank that are due. I can use that. However, I’ve heard that there are rules for building houses in the capital. I’m afraid I might overlook something due to my lack of experience. That’s why I need Madam Dowager and The Marchioness’s guidance.” 

Madam Dowager and The Marchioness inhaled sharply.  

Wang Xi’s casually mentioning of seven to eight thousand taels was as if it were child’s play, as if she were taking out an apple from a basket and giving it away.  

Even though the Wang family doted on their child, there had to be a limit.  

For someone like Wang Xi, no amount of family funds would be enough for her extravagance. 

Madam Dowager’s lips twitched. She wanted to clarify the matter, but The Marchioness hastily spoke before Madam Dowager, “What biao xiaoji said is right. Your actions have been impeccable. Just look at these blueprints; I don’t see any prohibited areas. It’s evident that biao xiaoji has put a lot of thought into it. Besides, building and renovating a house is a plan for future generations. We’re the ones in the Marquis’s mansion who have received such favor. It’s not just me; even your eldest uncle here is grateful to you.” 

Afraid that Madam Dowager might say something that could ruin the situation, The Marchioness didn’t dare to look at Madam Dowager.  

She quickly picked up the blueprints, smiled brightly, and said, “Aunt, I won’t stand on ceremony with you. I’ll take this to Eldest Uncle to have a look. He can send someone to the Ministry of Works to report it, so we can start construction as soon as possible.” 

Wang Xi naturally understood The Marchioness’s thoughts. It happened to align with her own ideas.  

She immediately smiled and said, “That would trouble The Marchioness. I heard our family’s head say that this is the best time to start construction. After the sun in June, once summer passes, we can move in. If you finalize things here, I can inform our family’s head early. He can help find some good wood and stone materials to be delivered to the mansion and get this garden constructed sooner.” 

“Exactly, exactly.” The Marchioness responded joyfully. She glanced at Madam Dowager, who remained silent and didn’t express any displeasure. She felt relieved, knowing that she had passed this hurdle smoothly. 

Feeling even more elated, she greeted Madam Dowager and quickly left the west chamber. 

Madam Dowager sighed inwardly, blaming herself for not having the means to offer a substantial dowry or financial support to her daughters-in-law.  

In such a situation, even if she felt uncomfortable, she had no choice but to accept it. However, she also felt guilty towards Wang Xi, allowing her, at such a young age, to use her personal funds to assist the Chang family.  

She gripped Wang Xi’s hand in remorse, not knowing what to say. 

The Wang family was involved in business. Besides being amiable, they also possessed business acumen. Matters that could be resolved with money were never a problem for them.  

Wang Xi believed that spending a bit of money could solve her housing issue and also benefit the Marquis of Yongcheng’s mansion. Why shouldn’t she do it?  

She didn’t feel like she was at a loss, but she didn’t want to lift things up so high and put them down so lightly, not speaking up when she had the opportunity to show her favor. 

“You don’t have to feel guilty,” Wang Xi said, comforting Madam Dowager with a smile. “After I leave, you can move to the Willow Shade Garden. Although Jade Spring Hall is nice,it’s too close to the East Court where Master Hou resides, and it gets noisy during festivals. I plan to open a side door in the Willow Shade Garden, build a small flower gate, construct a back pavilion, set up a sedan hall, and arrange a few servants. This way, it will be more convenient. You won’t have to use the side door every time you go out; it will be more convenient.” 

With this change, Wang Xi and others could move in. Madam Dowager could live remotely and didn’t need to socialize with the relatives of the family unless necessary.  

The Madam Dowager couldn’t help but be moved. She didn’t think of it in terms of Wang Xi’s benefits; she just felt that her granddaughter-in-law was gentle, thoughtful, and very filial. Although she was young, she considered others in every aspect.  

She seemed to be a rare considerate person. 

“It’s hard for you to think so thoroughly,” Madam Dowager’s guilt turned into substance and landed in Wang Xi’s palm. She squeezed Wang Xi’s hand twice and said, “I have two precious pieces of Hetian jade jewelry. I’ll have Shi Mama fetch them for you. Take them and enjoy.” 

This should be an item that the old Madam Dowager kept for an emergency. It might even be prepared for burial. Wang Xi quickly stopped Madam Dowager, “Your words make it hard for me to manage the renovation of Willow Shade Garden! I was planning to have the head of our family help find a luxurious bed made of sinking fragrant wood or golden-threaded nanmu.” 

Sinking fragrant wood and golden-threaded nanmu were not easy to find, especially for making a bed. Especially sinking fragrant wood, it had a calming effect and was especially good for older people.  

Madam Dowager felt that Wang Xi was doing all this for her. She was so moved that she didn’t know what to say. 

Seizing the opportunity, Wang Xi continued, “This way, we shouldn’t lack places to live at home, right? Why not take this opportunity to renovate the adjacent Spring Shade Garden too? Divide it into two courtyards. When Miss Shi comes, she can stay in the Clear Snow Courtyard, and when Miss Pan arrives, she can stay with Cousin Ke in the Spring Shade Courtyard. If Aunt returns for a visit someday, she can also stay in the Spring Shade Courtyard.” 

There was something she didn’t say.  

When Madam Dowager moved, if there were young people she liked, they could also be arranged to stay in the Spring Shade Courtyard, not too close or too far away.  

It was just right for morning and evening greetings, allowing them to chat every day. 

Madam Dowager was obviously considering this too. The Spring Shade Garden and Willow Shade Garden used to be a single courtyard, and the old Marquis didn’t mind having many children.  

When the family grew larger, the courtyard was split into Spring Shade and Willow Shade. Now, with this change, it became one large and two small courtyards, solving the urgent need for the Hou Mansion. 

Madam Dowager was tempted.  

Wang Xi continued to advocate for Cheng Ke, “I think Cousin Ke is gentle and tolerant, and Miss Pan is from a scholarly family. They will certainly be understanding and get along well with each other.” 

She was afraid that if Cheng Ning came and wanted to stay, Cheng Ke would continue to squeeze in the Jade Spring Hall. 

Madam Dowager thought about Cheng Ke’s temperament and nodded.  

Whenthe Marchioness came to respond, Madam Dowager brought up the topic of Spring Shade Garden: “Why not take this opportunity to renovate that area too? Build a flower wall in the middle and divide it into two courtyards. One for your niece from your maternal family, and one for Cheng Ke. When A Ke and the others leave, the seventh and eighth grandsons can have separate courtyards. It will provide space for expansion for the Marchioness’s three unmarried sons.” 

The Marchioness was delighted but hesitated, “But the money for building the flower wall…” 

Madam Dowager sighed. Even though the Marchioness was benefiting from this, she was reluctant to spend even this small amount of money.  

Sympathizing with the Marchioness’s situation, Madam Dowager said, “I will find a way. For now, make this arrangement.” 

The Marchioness felt grateful and thanked Madam Dowager repeatedly.  

When the wood and stones were delivered to the mansion, Wang Xi sent the shopkeeper to help and told her, “Learn from this; it might come in handy someday.” 

The main concern was not letting the mansion’s steward embezzle her money. She had clearly marked on the blueprints that they needed thick pillars, but they might change them to thin ones. 

The shopkeeper obediently replied, “Yes,” and went to Willow Shade Garden.  

Wang Xi had free time, so she invited Cheng Ke to play chess.  

Cheng Ke was quite reluctant, saying, “I don’t know how to play chess!” 

Wang Xi’s eyes lit up upon hearing this. “You don’t know how to play chess? Let me teach you. Don’t worry; it’s very simple.” 

Under the grape arbor in the courtyard, they set up a table. Baizhu fetched the chessboard, and Cheng Ke hesitantly took the white pieces.  

Concentrating hard, she played for half an hour, only to realize that compared to Wang Xi, she was no match!  

Cheng Ke raised her eyebrows and laughed, taking Wang Xi’s four pieces.  

Wang Xi, who had set up the game, was missing a corner. 

Wang Xi was furious; her cheeks puffed up like a goldfish. “I thought you didn’t know how to play chess?” 

Cheng Ke laughed, saying, “I really don’t! But I didn’t expect your chess skills to be worse than mine.” 

Wang Xi felt Cheng Ke’s words were cutting, so she decided to focus and win the game. She propped her chin and contemplated her next move.  

At first, Cheng Ke patiently waited for her, but when A Xi brought dried fish to entice Xiangye, Cheng Ke couldn’t sit still. She secretly played with the dried fish, then ended up holding Xiangye in her arms, feeding it. 

Wang Xi was furious and scolded Cheng Ke, “Is this how you play chess? You don’t respect your opponent at all.” 

“Oh!” Cheng Ke quickly placed the dried fish on the ground, saying to Xiangye, “Play with yourself for a while.” She then sat back properly at the table. 

Xiangye remembered that Cheng Ke had fed it dried fish before, so it crawled under Cheng Ke’s skirt, meowing continuously. 

“You traitor!” Wang Xi scratched Xiangye’s chin. 

Xiangye lay on the ground, limbs up, allowing Wang Xi to rub it. Cheng Ke, looking jealous, squatted beside them, admiringly watching Wang Xi and said, “You’re amazing. In our family, only you dare to keep a cat.”