Chapter 15 “So Rich”
This cousin was no ordinary. This was the first thought of Qin Yunuan after hearing the report from Maner.
“By the way, Tong said yesterday that the fourth aunt’s husband is a key official in Jianzhou. What kind of official position is that?” Qin Yunuan finished her last stitch and a vivid picture of plum blossom in the snow was completed on the handkerchief. She was going to let Maner find a way to sell these embroideries so as to save money for a few more poem copies for Baochuan.
Maner thought for a while and said, “I heard that he is the transshipment officer of Jianzhou.” “Miss, is this a high official rank?”
“Well, the rank is not high, but it’s quite well paid.” Thinking of this, it was reasonable that Su Chenghai was so generous.
“However, I heard that the young master had a bad relationship with him since a few years back,” Maner looked out of the window and whispered, “I heard that the young master wanted to travel far away to study medicine and cure his mother, but the old master refused, and then…”
Before Maner had even finished, the cheerful voice of Tong came from the courtyard. “Third Miss, Third Miss, the young master sent a lot of things over here. Oh, I can’t hold them anymore.”
As soon as Tong shouted, nurse Liao said anxiously, “Oh my dear silly girl, these are good silkwood boxes. If you stack them up like this, what if you scratched them?”
“Stacking them?” Qin Yunuan raised her eyebrows. “Huh, so there’s more than one box.”
There was actually more than one. When Tong and nurse Liao put the three wooden chests onto the table, even Qin Yunuan was dazzled.
Only looking at the boxes themselves, made with fine silkwood, inlaid with gold, and carved with pictures of looking for plum blossoms in the snow. They were extremely fine and luxurious.
“Timble, silk, more silk.” Tong picked the smallest box and took a look inside. She muttered with disappointment, “I heard that the box young master gave First Miss was all filled with pearl earrings and necklaces. The pearls were huge.” Just after she finished, she was stared at by nurse Liao.
“That you don’t know,” Qin Yunuan picked up a golden thread seriously and stared at it for a while. Then she said, “This thread is nothing usual. It is the purest golden thread. Do you know how much effort it takes to draw such a thin thread out of a thick gold bar?” Such a gold thread had only been seen once in her life. Her mother used it for his father’s birthday.
As soon as Qin Yunuan’s words came out, Tong, Maner and nurse Liao all took a deep breath and exclaimed secretly, the young master was so generous. However, at second thoughts, he gave such precious things to third miss, so apparently, First Miss and Madam got more. They felt a bit uncomfortable over this.
“Let me see this one,” Maner said as she opened another larger box and chuckled, “It’s a piece of clothes and a cloud paper fan.”
“Ok.” Qin Yunuan nodded. She did not expect Su Chenghai to give her anything too precious. After all, the childhood relationship had faded long ago. Given her identity, if Su Chenghai took too much care of her, that was real trouble.
However, when she held the clothes in her hands, Qin Yunuan was surprised again.
“What’s wrong, Third Miss? Anything wrong?” Nurse Liao was extra cautious.
“It’s nothing.” Qin Yunuan smiled warmly, but the touch of her fingertips told her that despite the simple look of this dress, it was made of Tian silk. Tian silk was worth a fortune, and it cost more than money. It was chilly when getting into contact with bare skin, therefore a perfect material for summer clothes.
Looking at the delicate and pleasing lotus flowers on the clothes, Qin Yunuan felt that her cousin really paid much effort this time. Thread, clothes, each of the seemingly plain gift was valuable and fitted her preferences exceptionally well. Or it could be that this cousin was so rich that whatever he gave people was worth a fortune.
“Would you open the biggest one?” nurse Liao’s wrinkled eyes were covered with a smile, thinking that the biggest one must have the best gifts inside, so that her miss could be pleased.
Qin Yunuan did not refuse, and she opened the lock. Her expression froze when she saw the contents inside.
“What’s inside?” Tong was curious.
“Books.” Qin Yunuan said plainly and emotionlessly. Tong thought that her miss was disappointed, so she shrank her head and kept silent.
Qin Yunuan touched the soft and smooth pages of the books inside the box. She casually flipped through the cover pages of a few of them but got more and more doubtful as she looked.
“Look,” Qin Yunuan flipped through the book’s cover one by one, “Pond’s Spring and Autumn”, “Mo Zi’s Art of War”, “Notes to Xiao’an Chapters”, “The Tales of the Mountains and Rivers”… ” Qin Yunuan had no attention in counting anymore, as each of the titles of the books was so familiar to her.
“Aren’t these all the books that Miss asked me to borrow from the academy yesterday?” Although nurse Liao was illiterate, she found the characters quite familiar. As Qin Yunuan read them out, everything was clear to her.
Qin Yunuan couldn’t afford books. However, yesterday she heard that nurse Liao’s son brother Dashi was working as a carpenter for the White Horse Academy, so she let him ask for her whether she could rent the books and pay according to the rented days. Before brother Dashi had even replied, the dream books of hers had already arrived.
“Nurse Liao,” Qin Yunuan’s tone was slightly fluttering, “The book list I gave you…”
“I really didn’t tell anyone,” Nurse Liao insisted. “After you gave me the book list yesterday, I passed it on directly to Dashi.” Nurse Liao paused and patted her thigh, “I’ll go ask my kid Dashi.”
“Hey, nurse, don’t rush.” Qin Yunuan stopped the panicking nurse Liao. Leaking things out of the house was her taboo, but she trusted nurse Liao and brother Dashi. Besides, the book list was not some kind of secret recipe, so there was no value in leaking it.
Tong and Maner also tried to stop the rarely excited nurse Liao and succeed after a round of persuasion.
“Nurse Liao, don’t worry,” Qin Yunuan laughed, “It’s no big deal. These books are classic good books. Every reader would read them a dozen times. It might be a coincidence. Besides, cousin had just arrived in the capital. How come he had such information? Right?”
Nurse Liao responded with her head down.
“OK, put everything away. As for the books, give the thinnest to Baochuan, and put the rest away too.” Qin Yunuan didn’t want to show off to cause herself troubles, although there was nothing to show off, to be fair.
Maner, Tong and nurse Liao were all busy again. Qin Yunuan was holding the hot water for warming her hands and leaning against the red pillar by the door. It seemed that she was basking in the sun lazily, but there was clarity in her mind. Her cousin had not seen her in ten years, but he sent gifts that fit her preferences perfectly. And those books! “Cousin, my cousin, are you still the silly cousin I know who only knows how to protect me?”
A snapping sound interrupted Qin Yunuan’s thoughts. In the middle of the yard, a thin little girl was looking at Qin Yunuan, shacking. Under her feet was a copper basin toppled. The hot water was flowing out and it was steamy.
“Always clumsy,” nurse Liao scowled, frowning. “Always sneaking casually, and have no energy left for work?”
Qin Yunuan tilted her head. She recognized the little maid, the one Maner said who loved eavesdropping. Just now nurse Liao described her as sneaky. It seemed that her yard was really messed with someone “unclean”.
“Hurry and clean it up.” Nurse Liao gave a push to the slightly retarded little girl. Her direct glance at the room made her feel uncomfortable.
“Forget it, Mother Liao,” Qin Yunuan suddenly said, warm like the winter sun. She looked at the little maid and said, “Return to your room and get changed first. See if you’re burnt by the hot water.”
“Third Miss.” Nurse Liao was confused.
Qin Yunuan smiled more brightly to the little girl and said, like to a child, “Go.”
Looking at the little maid ran away like flying, Qin Yunuan’s smile was even deeper.
“Third Miss, the little girl is called Fusheng. She was not only the madam’s maid, but also an eavesdropper. Why did you…” Nurse Liao had just praised her miss’ toughness, but now she was worried again. Seeing Fusheng running away like that made her feel unsettled.
“Don’t rush, nurse,” Qin Yunuan stroked her dark hair, “You have to remove its roots to chop off the weed.” Arranging people in her yard. Since her legal mother did that, she would remove them completely.
Just as Qin Yunuan predicted, today, Dou Qing’e was not home, Fusheng appeared in Qin Yunzhuang’s room after a quarter.
“Is everything you said true?” Qin Yunzhuang was still veiled, and her tone was slightly excited. She directly blocked nurse Gui who was pouring tea for her, just because she blocked her sight, “Look at me, and say it again honestly. Did cousin Su really give Qin Yunuan some needlework tools and clothes?” In private, she had always been calling Qin Yunuan with her name.
“It’s true,” Fusheng had an oval face and a pretty look, but there was fear in her eyes, as if someone had been holding her neck and she couldn’t breathe properly. “There’s a big chest that I didn’t see clearly, but by listening to their conversations, it should be some books.”
“It’s just some useless books,” Qin Yunzhuang’s eyes curved into crescent shapes, as she arrogantly took out the small box on the mahogany desk. It was a box full of pearls. Every one of them was round and smooth, all of the best quality. “I told you. How could cousin do such dumb things like caring more about a motherless commoner’s daughter instead of his first cousin girl? What happened in the childhood happened in childhood after all.”
Qin Yunzhuang smiled, looking satisfied. She randomly picked a pearl from the box and gave it to Fusheng, “Here, it’s your reward.”
Fusheng kotowed and thanked her. Just when nurse Gui was about to lead her out, Qin Yunzhuang added slowly, “You are my mother’s maid, and she loves me always. Her people are my people. Whenever you hear anything about my cousin in the future, you should report to me first, understand?”