Striking You, Nothing to Consult
Jing Wan wasn’t in the mood to go see her new territory. After washing her face, rinsing her mouth, removing her hair ornaments, and changing her clothes, she nestled into her bed to rest. Only after sufficiently recovering her spirit, can she efficiently deal with the things that might happen next.
After waking up from her sleep, Jing Wan’s energy all returned. Her appearance also no longer appeared sickly and only looked too thin.
She drank down a bowl of sticky and thick blood swallow’s nest, and then changed her clothes. Even if it wasn’t a very vibrant color, Jing Wan could still firmly suppress it. She styled a simple hairstyle and inserted a pair of chong cao
dangling hair ornament. The craftsmanship was extremely delicate, thin like cicada wings and moved like it was flying.
Jing Wan brought her caretaker mama and Qing Zhu with her. Just by crossing through a small gate, she entered her parent’s courtyard. The small courtyard she was living in right now, because it was extremely close to her parent’s courtyard, was set aside for her three years ago.
Jing Wan glanced around this courtyard. It really was quite like how it’s named—Falling Plum Residence. Plum trees could be seen everywhere, each with its own posture. Picking any random one, and it can be used in a painting. It’s just a shame, the winter plum flowers have already withered, yet there were no spring plum flowers blooming in the courtyard, thus unable to see that beautiful scenery.
However, in Jing Wan’s previous life, what she specialized in was precisely plants and flowers. Towards the commonly seen plum flowers, she only needed to look at the tree to know which breed it was. Judging by the color, red plum, yellow plum, and white plum were probably used as the main focus; there’s also a few trunks of the rare green plum. For this place, these were already very hard to come by, especially the uncommon and valuable ones, truly a rare sight.
“Third miss, you’ve come. Master and Madam are all waiting for you.” A servant girl politely lifted the hanging curtain at the entrance. Although it was the first time meeting her, that appearance appeared exceptionally warm and full of smiles.
In this life, it’s been this kind of environment since birth. No matter how unused to it she was, she’d gotten used to it by now.
Jing Wan nodded and entered, neither quickly nor slowly. There were quite a few people present. Probably all the people in their second branch, aside from her elder brother, was present.
Because of her arrival, the originally chattering noises stopped, and all eyes turned towards her.
Without changing her expression, Jing Wan directly went before Luo Rong Yan and Zhang-shi and neither quickly nor slowly knelt down. Zhang-shi originally wanted to stop her, but after pausing for a moment, she sat back down again.
Jing Wan respectfully kowtowed to perform a big formal bow, “Having not served at mother and father’s side in this many years is this daughter’s fault. Daughter has been unfilial.”
Luo Rong Yan, who originally could still endure, at this moment, could no longer sit still anymore, even going a step ahead of Zhang-shi in helping Jing Wan up. “My child attending to the old madam, is equivalent to fulfilling the filial duty in place of your father and mother, where does ‘unfilial’ come from? The old madam also said, in these years, her body has been getting healthier and healthier year after year. My child’s contributions cannot go unnoticed.” Although they were father and daughter, Jing Wan was already this big, so after Luo Rong Yan helped her up, he naturally released his hands. It’s just, seeing this slender and elegant eldest daughter, his heart rather sighed in regret. It was as if it was just yesterday when he was still playing with her and teasing her.
“Isn’t being filial to grandmother what is one supposed to do? How can it be evaluated as a merit? Rather, how has father and mother been these years?”
“All good, all good.” Zhang-shi didn’t care anymore and pulled Jing Wan to her side to sit together with her. “This little face has finally recovered some color.”
Jing Wan smiled. Her mother, Zhang-shi, really made people quite speechless sometimes. Although Jing Wan can’t deny she was a good mother, it’s just her good, most of the time, would always miss the point. When she shouldn’t, she might overflow with motherly love, and when she should, she might not be in the mind to. Like consoling her, Jing Wang stroked her hand. Towards her own body’s condition, she didn’t say much. “Younger brothers and sisters have all grown up. This time, coming to the capital, I’ve brought some things. Once I finish settling in, I’ll let someone deliver them to you all. If you don’t like it, just tell me. I’ll definitely mend it with something you like.”
“If it’s from third big sister, what is there to not like?” A seven to eight year old little girl replied giggling.
Jing Wan, aside from her own elder brother, Luo Jing Bo, who ranks third among all the brothers
, also has two younger shu
sisters and one younger shu brother. The fifth ranked among the sisters, Luo Jing You, and the ninth ranked, Luo Jing Wei, and among the brothers, the sixth ranked, Luo Jing Yang. They’re respectively 13, 7, and 11 years old. The two younger shu sisters came from the same mother—Ji Yiniang
, a humble concubine taken in from the outside. The younger shu brother’s birth mother is her mother, Zhang-shi’s, dowry servant girl, Ping Yiniang.
The remaining two only said their thanks and didn’t say much more.
“This mouth of ninth little sister’s is getting more and more sweeter. It’s still Ji Yiniang who teaches well.”
Ji Yiniang quickly got up and modestly said, “This concubine doesn’t dare to claim credit, it’s all on madam. She’s the one who teaches well.”
Jing Wan smiled without expressing an opinion and didn’t say anymore. She turned towards the third Yiniang, “Previously, I didn’t even know that our second branch got an additional half-master
Luo Rong Yan slightly awkwardly coughed once. He always knew that this daughter of his didn’t like the Yiniangs very much, but taking him as the father’s face into consideration, she has never said anything out loud. However, sometimes it was quite obvious from her behavior. In actuality, he wasn’t a lustful person. It’s just, this one was gifted by his superior, thus it wasn’t good to decline. “This is Bai Yiniang. She entered a year ago.”
Jing Wan nodded her head, “Mother, daughter sees that Bai Yiniang’s outfit truly is a bit old-fashion, and the accessories are also a bit plain. Bai Yiniang doesn’t seem to be much older than this daughter, precisely the age where one is like a flower, she should ought to dress up prettily and beautifully. That way, it’ll be pleasing to everyones eyes when they look, right? Let’s give some more bolts of pretty satin to Bai Yiniang. Daddy shouldn’t favor one and discriminate against the others, right? Gold and silver accessories whatnot, it’s not like our family lacks this bit of money.” She gave another glance at the other two Yiniangs.
As a man, Luo Rong Yan obviously was somewhat speechless. Having not seen in three years, Wan Wan’s personality changed?
Zhang-shi looked to Bai Yiniang and nodded, as if suddenly realizing, “I was wondering why Bai Yiniang seemed somewhat awkward. As expected, it’s still Wan Wan that has good insight. Fei Cui, go to my storeroom and pick a few bolts of brightly colored satin to send over to Bai Yiniang. Also send two bolts to Ji Yiniang and Ping Yiniang too.”
Zhang-shi thus said, and the three Yiniangs naturally quickly got up to thank for the favor.
And Ji Yiniang, who’d always been openly disputing and secretly fighting with Bai Yiniang, not only didn’t feel unhappy because Bai-shi got a few extra bolts of satins, but was full of smiles on the surface and even more so refreshed on the inside. She didn’t even have to look to know what Bai-shi looked like.
Madam was someone who didn’t bother with anything, but her place in master’s heart has always been steady. That Ping Yiniang, even if she did give birth to a son, was dimwitted. She herself was self-aware that she was someone troublesome, but as long as she doesn’t go overboard, her position in the second branch wouldn’t be low. It’s just, ever since this Bai-shi came, relying on the fact that she’s young and beautiful, not only wanting to compete for master’s favor, fighting with her long and short, she even wanted to climb on top of madam’s head. She carried a chaste and virtuous posture of a good wife and loving mother appearance. Those who didn’t know would think she was actually the Luo Manor second branch’s proper madam. Madam perhaps didn’t notice, or perhaps she didn’t care.
But third miss isn’t the same. Third miss matured early and has been smart since little. She was also steady, neither arrogant nor impatient. Often times, she was like a small adult. Although she didn’t like them, the Yiniangs, she’s never made it difficult for them. As long as you don’t touch her bottom line, she was too lazy to bother with you. Towards the younger shu siblings, she was a bit cold, but never treated them harshly. When going out, she even protects them. Bai-shi’s way of doing things clearly angered her. Third miss’s temperament was good and treated people kindly. But when it comes to sorting someone out, it was never the least bit sloppy. She certainly doesn’t believe that Bai-shi has the ability to go against third miss head on.
Bai Yiniang’s hands in her sleeves tightly clenched into a fist. Previously, she’d heard quite a few things regarding the third miss. However it was all like intelligent, filial, good tempered, and such. So she simply didn’t take any of it to heart. Now, she finally knew that her previous thoughts were gravely wrong. Ji Yiniang perhaps wasn’t a threat; perhaps third miss is actually her greatest opponent in the second branch.
Bai Yiniang quietly lifted her eyes to look towards Jing Wan. As a result, she just so happened to meet with Jing Wan’s eye. Those eyes looked extremely like master’s eyes, apathetic, not carrying the slightest emotion. However, Bai Yiniang instead felt that her own thoughts were all seen through by her. Completely startled, she lowered her eyes at once.
“Bai Yiniang’s complexion doesn’t look too good. Are you unwell? How about we invite a doctor over to see?”
“No need.” Bai Yiniang was aware she spoke somewhat hastily, “Many thanks third miss, but this concubine is fine, no need to bother.”
“The body belongs to the self, enduring and not saying anything, is only making oneself suffer.” Jing Wan saw very clearly. Just now, she’d unconsciously stroked her stomach again, though she withdrew her hand very quickly. Don’t ask why she was so sensitive to this. In her previous life, that woman that inserted a foot into her parent’s marriage rushed before her mom with a flat stomach saying she was pregnant with her dad’s child. She didn’t believe, however her mom became dimly depressed. At that time, she heard her say, women who were really pregnant, their movements were constantly careful, almost unconsciously so. “Mother, invite a doctor, by chance, he can also check my pulse for me, so to let you feel more relieved.”
“It should be like so.” Zhang-shi quickly replied.
To the side, Luo Rong Yan also nodded in approval. “Bai-shi, you shouldn’t turn back on Wan Wan’s good intentions either.”
What could Bai-shi say? No matter how she thought inside, on the surface she could only bow to Jing Wan with thousands of gratitude and thanks.
The others in the room perhaps didn’t think much of it, but Zhang-shi’s head mama, as well as Ji-shi, instead dropped their gazes onto Bai Yiniang. What kind of person third miss was, they knew very clearly. She wouldn’t be concerned about a Yiniang of her own accord.
 Chong Cao
– Caterpillar fungus; a type of root used in herbal medicine. The root looks like a caterpillar, hence the name. Mostly it’s used in decoration or accessories as a symbol of good health.
Cousins with same surname are also referred to as brothers and sisters in the family, thus here Jing Wan is referring to all the male in her generation in the family, and ranking by age. shu
– Children born from a concubine; they are lower in status to the children born from the legal di wife. Yiniang
– Form of address for concubines in the family, literally translates to aunt-mother.
Concubines are more or less considered half a servant rather than a master, or even a member of the family sometimes. Their form of self address is actually ‘bi qie’, which translates to servant-concubine. Most of the times their names aren’t even recorded into the family’s genealogy.