Posted in Didn’t Love You Enough

Didn’t Love You Enough 28

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Chapter 28 – Red Candle

The two momos helped Lin Jia Bao get dressed and put on some accessories.

Qu momo took out an exquisite silver box. When she opened it, inside was a light green paste that exuded a medicinal fragrance.

Su momo scooped out a little and applied it to the back of Lin Jia Bao’s hand. The ointment absorbed quickly into the skin.

The back of Lin Jia Bao’s hand felt cool and comfortable from the ointment.

After that they returned to the reception pavilion. Su momo called for lunch to be served. The palace maids waited on Lin Jia Bao. It was awkward eating the meal under the watch of everyone.

Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.

During the meal, the two momos talked to him again, this time telling him about dining etiquette and other things to pay attention to.

While Lin Jia Bao dined, if he did something inappropriate, the momos would point it out to him.

The momos introduced every dish to him, expounding on the ingredients used, cooking method, and related stories or quotes from literature, etc.

“Little Master does not need to remember it all. As long as you have an impression in your heart and know the gist of it, then it’s fine.” Su momo said gently when she saw him listening intently.

After eating lunch, the momos taught him a few more rules of the palace and then told him to go take an afternoon nap.

Lin Jia Bao lied on the bed. “Momo, I don’t take afternoon naps. I can’t sleep.”

“Little Master, you are still young, it is precisely the time for you to be growing.” Su momo urged him. “Little Master, slowly calm your heart and soon you will fall asleep.”

Qu momo lit a calming sandalwood incense. The scent slowly diffused in the air.

Lin Jia Bao gradually relaxed and fell asleep unconsciously.

After more than two hours, the momos woke Lin Jia Bao. They served him a bowl of white fungus soup. Then they continued to instruct him on the palace’s rules and etiquette.

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Over a dozen days passed like this. Lin Jia Bao learned almost all of the palace’s rules and etiquette. The momos treated him with patience and deference. During this period, he had to drink some nourishing soup every day. The momos helped him take care of his skin and his health. In less than half a month, Lin Jia Bao was nourished until his complexion was plump and his skin was crystal clear.

The two momos also talked to Lin Jia Bao about the hierarchical status of the niang niangs in the palace and the interpersonal relationships among the royal family.

Lin Jia Bao listened to it all in a confused daze.

“You don’t need to memorize all these, Little Master. Just remember the most important ones. For the rest, the people around you will remind you when the time comes.” Qu momo comforted him.

On the day before the fifth day of August, the momos brought a basic diagram book and a big box to the study.

Su momo said to Lin Jia Bao, “Today is the last day. We are teaching you the last and the most important thing.”

Qu momo opened the diagram book and showed it to Lin Jia Bao. “That’s right, this pertains to your future. You have to learn it well.”

Lin Jia Bao saw the two naked people entangled together in the book. Red exploded across his face and his heartbeat quickened.

“You mustn’t be shy, Little Master. Only by learning how to please His Royal Highness can you get his favor. Only then his favor for you will last for a long time.”

Su momo explained in detail the actions, postures, and main aspects on every page to Lin Jia Bao.

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

Qu momo took out a pair of joyful Buddha models and demonstrated for him to see. The joyful Buddha models were carved very realistically. Lin Jia Bao’s cheeks burned a fiery red as he watched.

Su momo showed Lin Jia Bao a jade phallus.

“Little Master is still young, premature, excessive coupling will definitely be tough on you, so you can use other methods to try to please His Royal Highness. This way, Little Master won’t have to endure too much hardship, and His Royal Highness will also feel delighted and be interested.”

Su momo then taught Lin Jia Bao how to use his hands and mouth to please the crown prince, and she spoke at length about techniques and other main points.

After learning bedroom skills for a day, the momos let him retire to bed early. Lin Jia Bao stared at the ruyi scepter jade pendant that the crown prince gave him, lost in thought…

As a ger, he never thought about getting married. But starting from tomorrow he would be the crown prince’s man…

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Didn’t Love You Enough

Chapter 33
Chapter 32
Chapter 31
Chapter 30
Chapter 29

Let Me Shoulder this Blame!

Chapter 99
Chapter 98
Chapter 97
Chapter 96
Chapter 95
Chapter 94
Chapter 93

The Big Landlord

Chapter 120.2
Chapter 120.1
Chapter 119.3
Chapter 119.2
Chapter 119.1
Chapter 118.2
Chapter 118.1

This Alpha’s Pheromones Are Exploding

Chapter 21
Chapter 20
Chapter 19
Chapter 18
Chapter 17

FOD: Xue Zi Xuan

Chapter 12.3
Chapter 12.2
Chapter 12.1
Chapter 11.8
Chapter 11.7
Chapter 11.6

Male Lead 2 and Male Lead 3 Happy Ending!

Chapter 22
Chapter 21
Chapter 20
Chapter 19
Chapter 18

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Posted in Didn’t Love You Enough

Didn’t Love You Enough 27

T/N: Apologies for being a day late. Work was super hectic yesterday, and I passed out as soon as I got home. But I’m here now with an update for DLYE and also MLHE 17. Enjoy!


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Chapter 27 – Red Candle

Then, Lin Jia Bao was taken to the reception pavilion. The momos invited him to sit in the main seat.

Su momo and Qu momo stood to the side. Su momo said, “From today on, Qu momo and I will be your instructing momos for this period of time. We will teach you all the etiquette and rules a master must know.”

“We know that Lin xiaozhu has yet to adapt. Little Master does not have to be nervous. You can adapt to it slowly.” Qu momo saw Lin Jia Bao’s nervousness.

“That’s right. Lin xiaozhu, there is plenty of time, you can learn slowly, it’s not difficult.” Su momo added on.

Lin Jia Bao gradually relaxed as he saw the two momos’ amiable attitudes. “I will study hard.” Lin Jia Bao was the type who was always earnest and serious when he heard that he had to learn something.

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“It’s still early right now, Lin xiaozhu, let’s first go take a bath. Then it’s a change of clothes. You can’t wear the palace attendant uniform anymore.” Su momo said, and then had Qu momo go make arrangements.

Lin Jia Bao came to the bathroom. The palace maids had already prepared the bathing supplies.

The huge bathing barrel was filled with hot water. The palace maids stepped forward to help Lin Jia Bao take off his clothes.

Momo, I can wash myself.” Lin Jia Bao was very embarrassed when he saw the palace maids wanted to help him get undressed.

“Lin xiaozhu, it’s normal for the maid to wait upon the master in the bath. Just get used to it slowly.” Qu momo said to him.

Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.

Lin Jia Bao had no choice but to let them undress him until he was butt naked. Then, under everyone’s watch, he stepped into the bathtub. For the first time in his life, he was bathed in front of so many people. He was embarrassed to the extreme.

Su momo saw that Lin Jia Bao was embarrassed and personally cleaned him up herself.

“Lin xiaozhu’s hand was burnt yesterday, so be careful not to touch the water.” Qu momo wrapped his hand in a cloth towel to prevent it from getting wet.

Momo, I’m much better already. It doesn’t hurt anymore.”

“Lin xiaozhu, now is different from before. The skin on your body should be taken care of carefully. After you’re done washing, Su momo will come and help you apply medicine. His Royal Highness heard that you got scalded and specially sent first-rate burn medicine. After using it there will be no trace of injury on your hand and your skin will be more tender.”

Qu momo echoed the sentiment, “It’s a rare medicine. His Royal Highness is really kind to you.”

His Royal Highness… In Lin Jia Bao’s mind the image of the crown prince’s tall figure and handsome profound face appeared.

In the palace, rumors about the crown prince were often heard. First was the rumor of His Royal Highness’s ruthlessness and cruelty. Lin Jia Bao was a little scared when he heard it. But later, he accompanied Lin momo to the empress’s palace, saw the crown prince many times, and he didn’t believe in that rumor anymore.

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

His Royal Highness was very filial to the empress and often accompanied her. A filial person should not be a bad person.

The crown prince was sometimes expressionless, and the powerful pressure exuded from him was quite scary, but His Royal Highness was not at all scary when he spoke to him. The crown prince’s voice was very nice, and he was very gentle when he spoke to Lin Jia Bao. And he also gave out rewards often.

After Lin Jia Bao was washed, the two momos massaged him and applied fragrant ointment on his body. After application, his skin was even more exquisite and smooth. Furthermore, there was a faint sweet smell.

“In the future, starting from tomorrow, we will help you care for your skin. You are now at the best age. Take advantage of this natural advantage. After a little glow up the day after tomorrow, His Royal Highness will definitely like it very much.” Su momo said to him. Then she also spoke to him about some points to keep in mind concerning the maintenance of one’s health.

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Posted in Didn’t Love You Enough

Didn’t Love You Enough 26

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Chapter 26 – Red Candle*

[*T/N: Red candles are used during birthdays or other celebrations.]

Early the next morning, Lin momo accompanied An Zhu to wait for the teaching momos.

A total of two old momos came. These two momos were both older than Lin momo.

When the two old momos saw Lin Jia Bao, they first saluted him together. “Paying respects to Lin xiaozhu.”

One of the momos said, “Lin xiaozhu, we came under the command of Her Majesty. We are in charge of instructing Lin xiaozhu. I am Su momo. This is Qu momo.”

Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.

It was the first time that someone saluted Lin Jia Bao and paid him respects, and he did not know how to deal with it. He could only return the regard. “Pleased to meet you, Qu momo, Su momo.”

“Qu momo, Su momo, you’ve come.” Lin momo recognized these two. She greeted them.

Qu momo also exchanged conventional greetings with Lin momo. “Lin momo, it has been a while. You’re quite something. A guiren* originated from your Royal Snack Kitchen.”

[T/N: 贵人 gui ren – nobility / person of high rank]

Lin momo laughed and said, “It is all this child’s own fortune. An Zhu is young, and needs you two momos to look after him more.” Lin momo slipped an embroidered pouch to each momo.

Qu momo and Su momo smiled at each other. This Lin xiaozhu was no ordinary person, ah. Yesterday, the crown prince sent someone over and over again to instruct them, and also gave them a lot of benefits, which was more than their one-year’s worth of salary. They did not dare to be careless!

“Lin momo, don’t worry, ha ha.” Qu momo said.

Su momo asked, “Are all of Lin xiaozhu’s things packed? You only have to bring some important things. Clothes and such, you don’t have to bring those.”

Lin Jia Bao nodded. “It’s all packed.” He only took one bundle with him, all of which were commemorative little things.

“Then let’s go, ba. There is still some distance from here to Wu Tong Courtyard. Let’s not tarry anymore.” Qu momo hinted.

Lin Jia Bao gave Lin momo a big salute. “Momo, I’m leaving.”

Lin momo hugged him, reluctant to part. “Go on. In the future, when you want to eat pastries, just send someone to the Royal Snack Kitchen and say it. Momo will make desserts for you.”

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“En! Momo.” Lin Jia Bao took a step forward, looked back, and then followed the two momos away.

Lin momo watched Lin Jia Bao’s departing back and her eyes were red, hoping that the child would be happy in the future.

Su momo and Qu momo saw Lin Jia Bao secretly wiping away tears, and their favorable impression of him increased by a few points. This was a child that understood gratitude. Such a child who was pure and kindhearted, and had no ambitions, could be read like a book. Don’t know if in the future he could adapt to the struggles in the crown prince’s harem.

After half an incense stick of time, they finally arrived at one of the courtyards in Chu Xiu Palace.

After entering Wu Tong Courtyard, all the eunuchs and palace maids who saw them would salute. Lin Jia Bao was a little overwhelmed, and he looked towards the two momos.

“These, we will teach you in the future.” Qu momo said to Lin Jia Bao with a gentle attitude.

The two momos led him into the courtyard. First, they brought him to where he would be living to put his things away. His living space was very big. It was comprised of a reception pavilion, a bedroom, and a study room.

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

The bedroom had an inner room and an outer room. And there was a large bathroom next to it.

The room was completely furnished and beautifully decorated. The closet was already full of clothes in Lin Jia Bao’s size.

“Lin xiaozhu, you will be living in this place prior to the fifth day of August. Are you satisfied with it? If you have any thoughts, you can bring it up with me or Qu momo.” Su momo guided Lin Jia Bao around on a little tour.

Lin Jia Bao followed the two momos and looked around. “Momo, it’s all very good.”

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Posted in Didn’t Love You Enough

Didn’t Love You Enough 25

As voted by patrons, this week’s bonus update is for DLYE!  \( ゚ヮ゚)/ 🎉


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Chapter 25 – An Imperial Decree

“Tea is coming.”

Yu Long carried a full pot of boiling water on the tray and stepped forward carefully. When she walked in front of An Zhu, she pretended to be careless. Her body turned askew, and she splashed the tea onto An Zhu’s face.

“Aiya! Be careful.”

One after another, everyone pulled An Zhu away. Lin Jia Bao also subconsciously blocked it with his hand.

“An Zhu, are you okay? Where did you get burnt?” Lin momo looked over Lin An Zhu nervously.

Momo, my hand hurts.” The back of Lin Jia Bao’s right hand was red and swollen.

“Quickly flush it with cold water. Bring the medicine for burns over.” Lin momo brought An Zhu over to the sink.

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“I’ll get the burn medicine!” Yu Ling ran out quickly.

Lin momo saw Yu Long who had fallen to the floor, went forward, and slapped her. “Yu Long, what the hell are you doing?!”

Yu Long covered her face in disbelief. Momo had never hit her before. “Momo, I… I didn’t do it on purpose. My ankle sprained.” Yu Long said, choked with sobs.

Lin momo was an old-timer within the palace. How could she not tell the difference between real and fake? This Yu Long actually had such a vicious thought. It seems that she couldn’t keep her here anymore…

Yu Shuang, who was helping An Zhu run cold water over his hand, looked at Yu Long with disappointed eyes.

“The burn ointment is here.” Yu Ling ran back with the medicine.

Lin momo carefully applied the medicine for An Zhu. Fortunately, the injury was not serious. It was a little red and swollen, but it did not blister.

“An Zhu, momo will accompany you back to help you sort things out. You can’t move your hand. Then you should rest early and don’t think too much.” Lin momo took An Zhu away.

Momo, I will go help you, too.” Yu Shuang also went together, not looking at Yu Long who was kneeling on the ground.

Momo, I will also go…” Yu Ling quickly followed. Yu Ling was childish, but she was not stupid. That pot of hot tea was definitely aiming for An Zhu’s face. Just thinking about it made her furious, how could Yu Long do this?!

Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.

In the inner study of the crown prince’s East Palace, Xuan Yuan Han Cheng received the news that Lin Jia Bao was scalded and his eyes instantly turned cold. When he learned that the injury was not very serious, he was slightly reassured.

“Yuan Fu, have you warned the teaching momos yet?” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng asked.

“Replying to Your Royal Highness, I have already prepped the two momos over there.”

“You go again. Bring the first-rate burn medicine over.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng ordered Yuan Fu.

“Yes.” Yuan Fu retreated.

Xuan Yuan Han Cheng called the secret guard over again. “Tell Lin momo to deal with that palace maid. If she’s not willing to do so, you help her.”

Anyone who hurt his baby had to pay a price.

The imperial bodyguard outside the study room announced, “Qiu momo asks for an audience.”

“Send her in.”

Qiu momo was originally a managing momo in the empress’s palace. She was nearly forty years old. She was a strict person with experienced conduct, and she was swift and decisive in her reactions.

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

That fact that the crown prince’s palace could be cleaned out so nicely was all due to her credit. Thanks to her, his harem has settled down a lot. Ever since the crown princess got “sick,” he handed over all matters of the crown prince’s harem to Qiu momo to manage.

“Greetings to Your Royal Highness, this old slave came to ask you for instructions. The Lin xiaozhu* that Her Majesty conferred, which courtyard in the harem should he be settled in?” Qiu momo first kowtowed to the crown prince, and then stated her purpose for visiting.

[*T/N: 小主 xiaozhu – “little master”]

“Not in the harem. Put him in Ping Le Courtyard, ba. Have people redecorate the main palace hall.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng had already planned everything. Ping Le Courtyard was relatively closer to his inner study. Since his rebirth, he has been living here. It was comparatively peaceful. The surrounding scenery was pretty good, and it was far away from the harem. Xuan Yuan Han Cheng didn’t want to let those women get near his treasure.

“Make the bedroom more festive. Then go pick out two good palace maids and eunuchs. Also, in the future, Ping Le Courtyard will be using the small kitchen on the inner study room’s side.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng continued to instruct.

When Qiu momo heard this, she understood right away that this Lin xiaozhu was not ordinary. She made calculations in her heart, in the future when serving this little master she would have to be more mindful.

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Posted in Didn’t Love You Enough

Didn’t Love You Enough 24

T/N: I’m anticipating a busy day tomorrow, so I’m posting this chapter a day early. Enjoy!


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Chapter 24 – An Imperial Decree

The empress and Zhou momo glanced at each other, knowing that the crown prince was satisfied. “Today’s pastries are very good. Zhou momo, bring him to get a reward.”

“Yes.”

The empress saw that the crown prince was satisfied and felt relieved. “Let’s go with this one, ba.”

“Yes, Mother Empress, it’s him. Thank you Mother Empress for looking for such a good person. The age is a bit young, but it is also easier to teach.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng looked at his mother gratefully.

“It’s good as you like. I will mention it to your Father Emperor. If there are no problems, then I will make an imperial decree.”

Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.

Lin Jia Bao came out of the main hall of Yong Shou Palace and saw that Lin momo was waiting there. He quickly stepped forward. “Momo, are you better?”

“I’m much better now. How about you? Going by yourself, were you afraid?” Lin momo asked.

“I wasn’t afraid. Today, Her Majesty complimented how well the pastries were made! Her Majesty and His Royal Highness also asked me a few questions. Momo, this is the reward that Her Majesty bestowed. There’s also this jade pendant. His Royal Highness bestowed it.” Lin Jia Bao gave the bag of reward that Zhou momo gave him to Lin momo, and he also showed her the jade pendant.

Lin momo looked at the jade pendant and then returned it to him. “Since His Royal Highness rewarded it, you should keep it well.”

When the empress mentioned the matter to the emperor, he also felt that this method was feasible. Immediately he sent someone to investigate Lin An Zhu’s background, and it took no more than two days. Everything regarding Lin An Zhu’s life, from the small things to the big things, everyone in his family, his relatives, his neighbors, etc., and even the prior generations of his family’s ancestors were all clearly investigated.

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“Zi Tong*, the candidate you chose this time is good.” The emperor praised. For many generations, the Lin family made a living as farmers. His family background was clean. Also, the Lin family’s eldest brother became a xiu cai this year with outstanding achievements. There was also a big chance that he might pass the provincial level imperial exam in the coming year. The emperor has always been fond of talented people. “In the future, he will be from an official’s family, this kind of life history is not bad.”

[*T/N: 梓童 zi tong – appellation of the empress by the emperor]

“That’s right, Your Majesty. This family is prosperous in children. Look, this Zhang shi gave birth to a dragon and phoenix pair*, so blessed.” The empress was very pleased.

[*T/N: 龙凤胎 long feng tai – twins of mixed sex]

“Zi Tong, look, the Lin family’s eldest daughter also gave birth to a dragon and phoenix pair last year.” The emperor was also very satisfied.

“It would be nice if he could give our Cheng Er a dragon and phoenix pair.” The empress sighed with feeling.

The emperor thought about how the Xuan Yuan Dynasty’s royal family had yet to give birth to a dragon and phoenix pair. “If there is really a dragon and phoenix pair in the future, then I must reward him handsomely, ha ha!”

The empress took a look, saw that the fifth day of August was a good day, and had a momo make arrangements.

In the evening of that day, the empress’s imperial decree smashed the tranquility of the Royal Snack Kitchen.

Lin Jia Bao was stunned when he heard the empress’s imperial decree.

“An Zhu, quickly give thanks, ba. Tomorrow morning, there will be a specialist momo to come pick you up.” Zhou momo came personally to read the empress’s imperial decree.

“Giving thanks to Her Majesty’s grace.” Lin Jia Bao’s little face turned pale white, and he knelt down to thank her.

“Zhou momo, you see, this child is so happy that he’s in a stupor. Ha ha.” Lin momo helped An Zhu up, and spoke to Zhou momo with a smile.

Zhou momo did not mind. Before she left, she kindly reminded, “Tonight, you guys should make some preparations. Don’t make the momos wait tomorrow.”

Zhou momo and the person who came to pass the message left.

Lin Jia Bao began to cry.

Momo, I’m afraid…” Lin Jia Bao cried loudly.

Yu Shuang and the other two girls surrounded him, giving him congratulations, and telling him not to cry.

“This is a great thing, ah. What are you crying for? Other people can beseech and never get it!” Yu Long said sourly.

Yu Ling patted Yu Long. “Don’t talk anymore. Look at how broken-heartedly An Zhu is crying, ah.”

Momo, does this mean I can never leave the palace? Wu wu*…” Lin Jia Bao didn’t know what he had to do as the crown prince’s xiao shi, but he vaguely sensed that he would never be able to get out of the palace again.

[*T/N: wu – onomatopoeia for humming, whimpering, or crying]

“I miss my family very much. I was thinking of reuniting with them when I leave the palace. They’re all waiting for me!” Lin Jia Bao cried so hard that he couldn’t breath properly.

“An Zhu, ah. Don’t cry anymore. You will be the crown prince’s person in the future. Good days will come later. It’s not for certain that you can’t leave the palace, and it’s not for certain that you won’t be able to see your family.” Lin momo stroked his back as she consoled him.

“Yeah, An Zhu. Don’t cry anymore. Your eyes will go bad.” Yu Shuang also comforted softly, and reached for a cup of tea for An Zhu. She touched the teapot and found it cold. “Yu Long, help me add some hot water.”

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

“An Zhu, listen to Lin momo. This is the empress’s imperial decree. It can no longer be changed. You can only accept it. If you resist the decree, not only your own life is not guaranteed, but it will also affect your family. Think about it carefully.” Lin momo spoke to him with a bit of severity.

“Wu wu wu wu… momo, I understand. Wu wu…” Lin Jia Bao also knew that Lin momo was right, but he couldn’t stop his tears.

Yu Long came over with a tray, put the teapot on it, and went to the place where the water was boiling. In her heart, the more she thought about it, the more jealous she got. Why? An Zhu was so lucky! Wasn’t it because Lin momo often brought him along with her to show his face before the empress? If the one that Lin momo brought along were she, maybe the one with a lucky life today would be her!

The more that Yu Long thought about it, the more unwilling she was. She looked at the boiling water and a vicious thought sprouted from her heart. If An Zhu’s face was ruined…

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Posted in Didn’t Love You Enough

Didn’t Love You Enough 23

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Chapter 23 – An Imperial Decree

July 7th, Qi Qiao Festival

The Royal Snack Kitchen was very busy. In addition to making cakes for the empress, they also needed to make a great amount of qiao guo*, to be sent to other palaces as gifts from the empress in celebration of the holiday.

[*T/N: 巧果 qiao guo – there is no English equivalent translation that I can think of. It’s a fried dough snack.]

The way to make qiao guo is: first put white sugar into the pot and melt it into a syrup, then mix in flour and sesame, combine well and then spread it out onto a flat surface to cool. After cooling, use a knife to cut it into squares, fold it and twist it into spindle shapes, and then deep fry until golden. It was not difficult to do, but the amount of work to be done was relatively large. Lin Jia Bao and the rest were busy from early morning till now.

“An Zhu, stop what you’re doing for now. Come with me to deliver the bird’s nest cake to the empress niang niang first.” Lin momo handed over a food box to An Zhu.

Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.

“Yes. I’m coming, momo.” Lin Jia Bao put down the things in his hands and then went to wash his hands.

“Lin momo, how about you take me too?” Yu Long asked Lin momo. Today was the Qi Qiao Festival. She purposely wore the delicate embroidered pouch that she spent a long time embroidering, and wanted to show her face in front of the empress.

“No need. It’s fine with just An Zhu and me. The three of you pay attention to making the qiao guo.” Lin momo ignored her request. How could she not know Yu Long’s intentions?

Yu Long watched Lin momo and An Zhu leave, feeling indignant in her heart.

When Lin momo took An Zhu to the main hall of Yong Shou Palace, she saw Zhou momo waiting right outside the hall.

“Lin momo, you two are here. Both the empress niang niang and the crown prince are here, they’re waiting for your desserts.” Zhou momo gave Lin momo a meaningful glance.

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“This must be An Zhu. I heard from Lin momo that your skills are quite good.” Zhou momo said to An Zhu with a beaming smile. She was really satisfied with his appearance, and thought to herself that she should be able to report back on her mission with this.

“Greetings, Zhou momo.” Lin Jia Bao stepped forward to say hello to Zhou momo, and smiled shyly at her praise.

Lin momo walked in front. Suddenly she bent over cradling her stomach. “Oww, why does my stomach hurt so much all of a sudden…?”

Lin Jia Bao nervously supported Lin momo. “Momo, what’s wrong?”

“Ooh, my stomach suddenly feels uncomfortable, oww… An Zhu, ah, you and Zhou momo go in, ba. It’s too lacking in manners to go see the empress niang niang and crown prince like this.” Lin momo said to An Zhu.

“Lin momo, what will you do? Is it really bad?” Lin Jia Bao asked, not assured.

“It’s nothing. I’ll be fine after going to the restroom. Just go.” Lin momo said.

“Yes.” Lin Jia Bao carried the food box into the main hall with Zhou momo.

In the main hall, the empress and the crown prince were sitting and talking, when the empress spotted An Zhu coming in with the snacks. Lin Jia Bao stepped forward and knelt down to salute. “An Zhu of Royal Snack Kitchen, kowtows to empress niang niang and Your Royal Highness.”

“Rise.” The empress looked at him carefully. It was indeed as Zhou momo had said; he really was a child with a pleasing face.

The empress saw the magpie-shaped pastries on the plate. “What kind of dessert is this? The shape is very seasonal.”

[T/N: Magpies are associated with the Qi Qiao Festival. It is said that a flock of magpies fly together to form a bridge that reunites the two lovers, cowherd and weaver girl.]

“Replying to Your Majesty*, this is bird’s nest cake. It is made of maltose, crushed bird’s nest, sugar, and cake flour, and it tastes sweet. Today is the Qi Qiao Festival, so we specifically used the magpie mold.” Lin Jia Bao replied carefully.

[*T/N: The text and the characters often refer to her as 皇后娘娘 huang hou niang niang, which translates to “empress” (皇后 huang hou) and “suffix for empress / imperial concubine” (娘娘 niang niang), which I’ve been translating as “empress niang niang” in dialogue and “the empress” in text, but I decided to change it up to “Her/Your Majesty,” because “Your Majesty” matches more with “Your Royal Highness” (in reference to XYHC).]

The empress saw that he answered in an orderly manner, did not panic, and was not timid. She liked him a little more.

Xuan Yuan Han Cheng looked at Lin Jia Bao’s cute little face. “How long have you been in the palace? How do you feel about the palace? Are you used to it yet?”

“Replying to Your Royal Highness, An Zhu has been in the palace for more than a year. I am already accustomed to life in the palace. The palace is very good, and I have learned how to make snacks from Lin momo.”

Xuan Yuan Han Cheng asked again, “Where are you from? Where does your family live? Who else is in your family? Do you have any siblings?”

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

“An Zhu is from Pei County in Xu Province. My family is in Lin Jia Village, not far from Pei County. In my family there is my father and mother, I also have an older brother and two older sisters, and one younger brother and one younger sister.” Lin Jia Bao answered truthfully.

Everything that Lin Jia Bao just said, Xuan Yuan Han Cheng already knew. He watched his treasure speaking each word with his little mouth, and a passionate fire lit up in his heart.

“Your family is prosperous in children. Very good.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng put emphasis on the words ‘prosperous in children,’ speaking with ulterior motive.

The empress listened to the crown prince’s words, and nodded in satisfaction. “Your mother is very blessed.”

“Ha ha, you are also a blessed person. Take this, a reward for you.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng gave a ruyi scepter jade pendant to Lin Jia Bao.

[T/N: The ruyi scepter is a symbol of power and good fortune. 如意 ru yi also means “as you wish” or “as you desire”]

Lin Jia Bao looked at the ruyi scepter jade pendant and froze.

“His Royal Highness is rewarding you. Quickly give thanks.” Zhou momo tugged on An Zhu.

“My thanks to Your Royal Highness!” Lin Jia Bao received the jade pendant and smiled sweetly. This was the first time he received a reward alone.

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Didn’t Love You Enough 22

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Chapter 22 – Prelude

Lin momo came into Zhou momo’s room with a food box.

“It’s almost the Qi Qiao Festival. We, at the Royal Snack Kitchen, came up with some new snacks. Zhou momo, you serve by the empress’s side, you understand the empress’s tastes the best. I want to ask you to help us sample these desserts.” Lin momo said as she put the food box on the table.

“Elder Sister, if you made it then it is definitely good. Empress niang niang loves eating the snacks that you make.”

Both Zhou momo and Lin momo were from the empress’s family, and between the two of them, they had relations as in-laws. They both entered the palace together, and have looked after each other all these years, treating each other like sisters.

Lin momo took out a plate. “Try this one. This is bird’s nest cake. The cake mold is also newly made.”

Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.

“This magpie’s shape is good. Elder Sister, you’re so attentive. The empress niang niang will definitely like it when she sees it.” Zhou momo picked up a piece of pastry, and put it in her mouth to try the taste. “The flavor is great! Elder Sister, you just wait to be rewarded, ba.”

“Then I will take your lucky words, ha ha.” Lin momo also smiled. She saw the roster that Zhou momo had placed on the table. “It seems like you’re busy. Did I disturb you?”

“Ai! Elder Sister, I am precisely worrying about this at the moment. The empress niang niang wants to bestow a xiao shi* from Yong Shou Palace to the crown prince. I looked and there is not one that is suitable. How am I supposed to report back** on this?”

[*T/N: 小侍 xiao shi – supposed to be the lowest ranking concubine]

[**T/N: 交差 jiao chai specifically means “to report back after completion of one’s mission,” but here she can’t even complete the mission.]

“There are very few palace attendants in our palace. This is a difficult task.” Lin momo said with concern.

“There are only two who meet the conditions, but their appearance is too ordinary,” Zhou momo grumbled.

“Then what to do, ne? Appearance not good. The empress niang niang definitely would not be satisfied.” Lin momo agreed. “Speaking of appearance… the ger at my Royal Snack Kitchen is very good.”

“Alas, it’s a pity that he’s just thirteen years old.” Zhou momo said regretfully.

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

“Not thirteen years old. He turned fourteen years old just last month. But he’s still a little small.” Lin momo said. “His appearance is really good. He has big expressive eyes, and also very pleasing dimples.”

Zhou momo listened to what Lin momo said, and thought about it. “Why don’t I report all three of them to the empress niang niang? It would be nice to have one more name on the list.”

“That’s right. Two candidates are too few. It would look better to have another name on the list.” Lin momo guided carefully.

“En, then let’s do it like this.”

The next day, Zhou momo handed the names of the three candidates to the empress. After looking over the list, the empress slapped the roster onto the table. “Zhou momo, what are you doing? Why are there only three candidates? And there’s even one as young as thirteen years old to make up for the shortfall in the number of people!”

Zhou momo hurriedly knelt down, and gave the answer that she had previously thought out. “Empress niang niang, it’s not that I was not diligent. The number of palace attendants in our palace is really too few. There are only two suitable ones, but their appearances are just barely satisfactory, how could they possibly make the crown prince “specifically favor” them? I could only add another one. His age is a bit young, but his appearance is very good, and won’t bring disgrace or humiliation to His Highness, the crown prince.”

Zhou momo saw that the empress’s expression looked a bit better, and continued to say, “This ger works at the Royal Snack Kitchen. He’s very lovable and sensible. He just turned fourteen years old last month. He’s a bit smaller, but gers and girls are different, being a little younger just so emphasizes their freshness and tenderness.”

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“Although that’s the case, I’m afraid that Cheng Er won’t like.” After listening to Zhou momo’s explanation, the empress no longer had a reason to blame her.

“Empress niang niang, why don’t you let the crown prince take a look. If he doesn’t like him, then we can only choose among the palace attendants in other palaces.”

“En, let the crown prince make his own decision. It’s the person that he will be favoring, so he must like him. Zhou momo, you go and make some arrangements.” The empress did not want to choose a candidate from another palace. If it were not someone from her own palace, she wouldn’t be at ease. Moreover, selecting someone from another palace would draw more attention, which was inappropriate. I hope that Cheng Er will be satisfied with this candidate.”

“Yes.”

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Didn’t Love You Enough 21

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Chapter 21 – Prelude

“Mother Empress, there’s no need. I still have to nurse my health for another year or two. I’m afraid it’s not appropriate to take a concubine right now.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng shook his head.

“Why do you need another year or two? A year has already passed. What is Imperial Physician Qian doing? Didn’t he follow the army to help nurse your health?” The empress was a little angry.

“Mother Empress, don’t blame Imperial Physician Qian. He was very diligent in helping me detoxify and taking care of my health. But, going to battle outside, inevitably it will be hard to manage sometimes. The poison has already been cleared from my system, but in terms of recuperation of my health, it is still somewhat lacking.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng replied.

Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.

“Then what should we do? You went to war for close to a year, this doesn’t matter, but now you’ve come back. If you don’t get near female charms for another year or two, and don’t have any sons, like this, I’m afraid there will be rumors about the crown prince having some sickness again, ah.” This was what the empress was concerned about.

“But right now, I’m not fully recuperated. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Although I could force myself to go to bed* with someone, there still won’t be any sons.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng continued to mess around with the empress. Actually, his body has already recovered, but for his baby, he would rather drag things out for another year or two than to get close to another woman.

[*T/N: 行房 xing fang – he used a word that was a euphemism for sexual intercourse, so that it wouldn’t sound vulgar]

“How is this good in any way?” The empress worried.

“Don’t worry, Mother Empress, I thought of a way.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng said to his mother.

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“I want to concentrate my favor* on one ger. I will dote on this ger in particular, and don’t go to any other concubine. And it’s harder for a ger to get pregnant, compared to a woman. Then even if I don’t have any heirs for a year or two, it would be very normal.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng elaborated his plot.

[*T/N: 专宠 zhuan chong – the words he used here are telling. 专 zhuan means “for a particular person / focused on one thing / concentrated / specialized” and 宠 chong means “to love / to pamper / to spoil / to favor”]

“Specifically favoring a ger, this kind of reputation for favoring beauty…” The empress heard him out and thought that this idea was okay, but it would still hinder the crown prince’s reputation.

“Mother Empress, this is the best method. Compared to the rumor of the crown prince having an illness, this rumor is already much better. I’m still young. It’s not a big deal to say I adore beauty.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng continued to lobby his idea.

“Ai*! Then it can only be this way. Do you have someone in mind?” The empress asked the crown prince.

[*T/N: 唉 ai – an interjection or grunt of agreement or recognition. Can also be a sigh (of defeated consent).]

“Not yet. Requesting Mother Empress to help me look for one. It’s best if it’s someone from mother’s palace.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng said, calm and collected, without batting an eyelid.

“Zhou momo, you heard what the crown prince said. Tomorrow, give me a list of suitable candidates within Yong Shou Palace.” The empress looked at her trusted aide, Zhou momo, who was standing to the side, ready to serve.

Whenever the empress chatted with the crown prince, she only left Zhou momo in the vicinity. She trusted Zhou momo.

“Rest assured, empress niang niang, I will have the list of names ready by tomorrow.” Zhou momo patted her chest confidently.

Xuan Yuan Han Cheng listened to Zhou momo’s words, and his face revealed a joyful expression.

At the same time, Lin momo of the Royal Snack Kitchen received a message from His Royal Highness through his secret guard. After Lin momo heard the message, her brows furrowed together, and she sighed.

After receiving the empress’s order, Zhou momo went back to look through the roster of Yong Shou Palace’s personnel.

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

Zhou momo took a look and became muddle-headed. There were only five ger palace attendants in Yong Shou Palace! Two of them were already over twenty years old. One of them was only thirteen years old. Only two of them were of appropriate age: fifteen and sixteen years old. These two gers looked after the gardens within Yong Shou Palace. Zhou momo specifically went to take a look at these two people.

Both of them were average in looks, and did not stand out at all. How could the crown prince “specifically favor” either one of them?

Zhou momo walked around her room in circles. How was she supposed to report to the empress tomorrow?

Knock knock.

Zhou momo heard the knock on her door and opened it to see Lin momo standing there. “Elder Sister*, what brings you here?”

[*T/N: 老姐姐 lao jie jie – she called her 老 lao “old (as in age)” 姐姐 jie jie “older sister,” which might sound rude in English, but I doubt that was her intent, so I opted for “elder” instead.]

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Didn’t Love You Enough 20

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Chapter 20 – Prelude

“None of your business!” Lin Li Er heard Lin Jiao Jiao’s mother said her brother was an odd jobs man and hissed angrily at her.

“I heard that it was a big package. It should be a lot of money, ba.” Lin Jiao Jiao’s mother probed unrelentingly.

“Not telling you,” Lin Li Er retorted forcefully.

Wu shi also did not want to divulge the information to her. She knew that wealth should not be exposed. “Not much. Aunt Lin*, our family still has matters to attend to, and it’s not convenient for me to entertain you. Please return, ba.”

[*T/N: 大娘 da niang – “aunt” used as a polite address, not actual relative]

“Oh my! Are you putting on airs now that you’re the wife of a xiu cai? Even if you don’t say, I know. Just an odd jobs man, nothing more. I bet he sent a big bag of copper coins back. Ha ha ha ha.” Lin Jiao Jiao’s mother saw that neither of them was willing to say, so she speculated maliciously.

Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.

Lin Li Er took out a big broom to drive her away. “Are you leaving or not! Leaving or not!”

Lin Jiao Jiao’s mother left Lin Da Zhuang’s house, cursing and stumbling at the same time. “You damn girl, so spicy. Be careful, you won’t get marry like that.”

It was almost noon when Zhang shi arrived at her in-laws house. Everyone in the Qin family was there. Lin Jin Er was also very happy to see her mother.

“What brings you to visit, Mother?” When Qin Kai Xing saw her, he also came forward to give his mother-in-law a salute.

Zhang shi first gave her regards to the father-in-law and mother-in-law of her daughter, and then she saw her eldest grandson, Cong Ge, and the baby twins.

After that, she told them all about the letter that Lin Jia Bao sent back. When the Qins heard this, they were also happy for their in-laws.

“Mother-in-law, when are father-in-law and Jia Wen preparing to set out?” Qin Kai Xing asked. He had an idea.

“They are preparing to head out mid-August. It will take half a month’s journey.” Zhang shi replied. The family had discussed it. Only Lin Da Zhuang and Lin Jia Wen would be going. She also really wanted to go, but her eldest daughter-in-law was going to give birth in October, and there were three children in the family who all needed looking after.

“Consider if this is possible or not. How about I accompany them to the capital this time? I’ve never been to the capital. It just so happens that I could take this chance to go take a look. There are some goods in the shop. I’ll bring them along with me, and scope out some social connections. These products are all good. It’s just that the decorative designs around here are a little out of date, but maybe it’ll look fresh to the people in the capital. At that time, I will also buy some popular cloth from the capital and bring it back.” Qin Kai Xing was very business savvy, and he has calculated everything.

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Old Master Qin heard this and also agreed very much. His son had already gotten married and started his career, so it’s not bad for him to go out and learn through experience. He said to Zhang shi: “Mother-in-law, ah, Kai Qing said it well. Let him go along. We have a horse carriage and everything else. You don’t need to spend money to rent one. I’ll also send along a few more shop assistants* and servant guards** as escort. This way, the journey will be a bit safer.”

[*T/N: 伙计 huo ji – can mean “partner, buddy, waiter, servant, or shop assistant,” so I chose the meaning that seemed most compatible with the context]

[**T/N: 家丁 jia ding – servant hired to keep guard, run errands, etc]

“That’s a good sentiment. Thank you, in-laws. When I go back, I will talk to them about it.” Zhang shi naturally agreed.

At noon, the Qin family enthusiastically had Zhang shi stay for lunch. In the afternoon, they sent her back via horse carriage.

When Zhang Hui Niang returned home, she told them about the Qin family’s intentions, and everyone felt good about it. After that, Lin Da Zhuang’s family got busy.

Just when Lin Da Zhuang’s family was happily renovating the house and making preparations to go to the capital, Xuan Yuan Han Cheng was also drawing up his plan.

In the blink of an eye, July arrived. Xuan Yuan Han Cheng rejoined morning court. The way he dealt with matters in court was increasingly mature and slick. The court officials all sensed that His Highness, the crown prince, was getting more powerful and intense with each passing day. They had confidence in his abilities, and were also afraid of him.

In the afternoon as usual, Xuan Yuan Han Cheng came to Yong Shou Palace to spend time with his mother, chatting and eating snacks.

The empress was very pleased that the crown prince often came to accompany her. Her second prince, Xuan Yuan Han Qi, preferred physical activities, and didn’t come over as often. In comparison, the crown prince was more considerate, often coming to keep her company. All the married women that paid visits to the empress would praise the crown prince for his filial piety.

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

“Cheng Er, look, in just a few more days it will be the Qi Qiao Festival*. I invited some unwed women of court to enter the palace for dinner. What do you think? How about we take this opportunity to first help you select a side concubine? Right now, you only have three concubines by your side. That’s too few, and they are all old by now. I don’t think you much like them anymore.”

The empress was thinking of getting a concubine first. When affairs with the Xue family were settled, then they could take their time and carefully choose a crown princess. After all, she would become the future mother of the country. She must be a ruling mother to the land. So they could not be sloppy or careless.

[*T/N: Qi Qiao Festival a.k.a. Qixi Festival is the Chinese version of Valentine’s Day. It celebrates the annual meeting of two lovers, the cowherd and the weaver girl, in Chinese mythology. It falls on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month.]

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Didn’t Love You Enough 19

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Chapter 19 – Presage

After listening to Jia Wen’s reading of the letter and looking at the drawings that Jia Bao painted, Zhang Hui Niang wiped her tears. “This child’s paintings are so good. That pastry looks just like real.”

“It seems like Jia Bao’s life in the palace is good, so I can rest assured.” Lin Da Zhuang was also very happy. “Tomorrow, make a trip to our in-laws. Jin Er has also been worried all this time.”

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

When Lin Jia Bao’s eldest sister, Lin Jin Er, heard the news that Lin Jia Bao had entered the palace, she was so sad that she nearly had a miscarriage*. Luckily, it was just an alarm and not actual danger, and she safely gave birth to a pair of twins of mixed sex**.

[*T/N: 动胎气 dong tai qi – when a pregnant woman gets upset, stressed, or angry and it affects the fetus negatively.]

[**T/N: 龙凤胎 long feng tai – one male twin and one female twin, it’s auspicious, with the male baby representing a dragon and the female baby representing a phoenix]

The Qin family was happy to the extreme with this birth. The rarity of giving birth to twins of mixed sex reaffirmed Madam Qin’s belief that Lin Jin Er has a good life fortune. After Lin Jin Er’s one month confinement* was over, Madam Qin handed over the rights to manage the household to Lin Jin Er, and she became a good grandma who spoiled the children.

[*T/N: The Chinese believe that a woman’s body is weaker after birth, and that she should stay indoors for an entire month to recuperate.]

Lin Da Zhuang opened the kerchief, and indeed there was a lot of money. They counted a total of one hundred and thirty-five silver taels. “So much money, ah!”

“Wow! Wow!” The dragon and phoenix twins were very excited. With so much money, how much delicious food could they buy?

“Why so much? Isn’t the salary one silver tael per a month? Plus the twenty taels that he brought into the palace before, at most there should only be thirty something taels. I heard that Lin Jiao Jiao only sent back twenty something taels.” Lin Jia Wen said with doubt.

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When Xuan Yuan Han Cheng saw that Lin Jia Bao had packed thirty-five taels of silver, he had someone add another hundred. Then he thought about it again and was afraid that it would not be appropriate, so he ordered them to use fragmented pieces of silver*. This was why the bundle that the Lin family received became a much bigger package.

[*T/N: Because a giant piece of silver would be too conspicuous for commoners to use. It’s like paying with a hundred-dollar bill versus paying with a ten-dollar bill.]

“So what? Jia Bao is working in the empress’s palace. The empress in the biggest in the harem, of course she is the most generous, and gives out lots of rewards.” Zhang shi* said. When the family heard this, except for Lin Jia Wen, everyone thought that it was reasonable!

[*T/N: Zhang shi = Zhang Hui Niang (the mother). 氏 shi is a suffix meaning “clan name / maiden name” so it is attached to a married woman’s maiden name to indicate the family that they came from. I see this used a lot in stories with a harem to differentiate the harem members without referring to them by their full name.]

Lin Jia Wen’s wife, Wu shi, was also thinking that there would be enough money for when her husband goes to Xu Province for the xiang shi* exam next year.

[*T/N: 乡试 xiang shi – the triennial provincial imperial exam during the Ming and Qing Dynasty]

Lin Li Er touched the exquisite embroidered pouch. The embroidered flowers and plants on it were so beautiful. The pouch was also bulging. The contents spilled onto the table. “There is still more in this pouch!”

Five silver fruits and three gold melon seeds poured out of the pouch.

“Ah! This is made of gold. It’s so beautiful!” The little girl pinched a seed to examine it up close.

“This really is palace made. It’s so skillfully carved. This silver fruit is about two taels in weight.” Zhang shi estimated the weight of the silver fruit by bouncing it in her hand.

The entire family was so happy that they circled around the table in delight.

They discussed what to do with this large sum of money. First, it was travel expenses for the trip to the capital. Second, it was money for Lin Jia Wen’s xiang shi exam at the provincial capital of Xu Province.

As for what was left, Lin Da Zhuang planned to renovate the house and add a few more rooms to expand the house. Seeing as there would be a new addition to the family population and the children were getting older too, matters of the house were of imminent concern.

Originally, he had wanted to save money for his son’s xiang shi exam next year, but now he didn’t have to worry about it. Building a house in the rural area was not expensive, manpower plus raw material; a few dozen taels of silver could get the job done well.

If there was still money left, they could buy more land. Right now, there was no need to pay land taxes. And more land equaled more income.

No one had any objection to putting this new land under Lin Jia Bao’s name. And if Jia Bao sent more money back in the future, they could buy even more fields. Then, when Jia Bao came back, he would have something to rely on.

The things in the embroidered pouch were left alone for now. If by any chance some pressing matter came up, they could use that as emergency funds to respond to the problem.

Early the next morning, Zhang shi went into the city to visit her daughter. Lin Da Zhuang and Lin Jia Wen went to Li Zhen’s house to discuss the renovation of the house and the purchasing of land.

Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.

Not long after they left, Lin Jiao Jiao’s family showed up at their door.

Lin Jiao Jiao’s mother heard yesterday that Lin Jia Bao had sent something back and was very curious, so she came bright and early today to get the news.

It was not good for Wu shi to chase her away, so with Lin Li Er supporting her, she could only invite the other person to sit down. “So early in the morning, is there some matter?”

“I heard that your ger sent some things back, so I came to inquire. Haha. Your family’s ger, where is he working now? My family’s Jiao Jiao is working at a high-ranking niang niang’s palace, ne!” Lin Jiao Jiao’s mother gossiped.

Wu shi could not stand her manners. “Our Jia Bao is working at the snack kitchen in the empress’s palace, ne!”

“At the empress’s palace, ya!” Lin Jiao Jiao’s mother paused, and then proudly said, “That’s just doing odd jobs in the kitchen. My family’s Jiao Jiao works in the presence of the niang niang. How much money did your family’s ger send back?”

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