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Chapter 42 – Family
In the Lin Village, the expansion of Lin Da Zhuang’s house has just been completed. According to convention, Lin Da Zhuang ordered half a pig from the village butcher to entertain some of the families that they were familiar with in the village.
After the expansion, the Lin family house was much larger than before. Now there were seven to eight rooms of different sizes, and the area of the yard was twice as large as before. Now there was a central room, one room for Lin Da Zhuang and his wife, one room for Lin Jia Wen and his wife, one room for Lin Li Er and Lin Xiu Er, one room for Lin Jia Cai, and they also set aside a slightly larger room for Lin Jia Bao.
“Da Zhuang’s family, these days your family has been living more and more prosperously. Jia Wen passed the county level imperial exam, and there will soon be a new member in the family. And Jia Bao has such prospects in the palace. It really is enviable!” At the table someone praised Zhang Hui Niang.
Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.
Everyone in the village has already heard from Lin Jiao Jiao’s mother that Lin Jia Bao was working the empress’s palace. Although Lin Jiao Jiao’s mother repeatedly emphasized that Lin Jia Bao was only doing odd jobs in the kitchen of the empress’s palace, whereas her family’s Jiao Jiao was directly serving a noble concubine, the people in the village were not stupid. The empress was the mother of the empire. Working at her palace wasn’t the same as working in any other place. And did you not see the big package that Lin Jia Bao sent back? The Lin family has also already built a big house. Henceforth, they would be considered one of the top families in the Lin Village.
“Haha… it’s all because the children themselves are working hard.” Zhang Hui Niang was very happy after hearing those words, and responded modestly.
“If I’m the one talking, I’d say, Hui Niang, you just wait to live comfortably. Your children are all so outstanding. Your family’s Jin Er is married so well. There’s also Li Er, she’s not young anymore, and she grew up well*. Have you had Jin Er look for a good match for her in the city yet?” One of the women on the side spoke up in agreement.
[*T/N: 长的好 – could mean she grew up well, her body developed well, or that she has a nice face]
Zhang Hui Niang looked at Lin Li Er, who was greeting Zhou Hai’s family, and smiled, “Li Er is not in a hurry. Besides, I don’t want to marry her too far away from me.”
From outside in the yard came the sound of horse hooves. It was Lin Jin Er along with her husband, Qin Kai Xing, and her eldest son, Cong Ge Er.
“Oh my… it’s my dear grandson! Come and let grandma hug you…” Zhang Hui Niang picked up her little grandson and kissed him soundly on the shoulder. Cong Ge Er gurgled with laughter.
Qin Kai Xing stepped forward to say hello to his father-in-law and mother-in-law, “I came this time to congratulate father-in-law and mother-in-law on their new home, and I’d also like to discuss with father-in-law and elder brother about going to Beijing.”
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While they were talking, they heard the sound of more horse hooves from outside the yard, “Who else is coming?” Lin Jin Er looked outside the yard. There was a small carriage stopped outside. A servant girl jumped out of the carriage, took some gifts from the carriage, and then came towards them.
They only saw that servant girl coming towards them with an armful of gifts. Then she spoke to Lin Da Zhuang and Zhang Hui Niang: “Greetings to Master Lin and Madam Lin. I am a servant of Official Registrar Wang’s family from the city. I am here on behalf of the young master’s wife, here to give you presents.”
Everyone in the Lin family frowned upon hearing this, and Zhang Hui Niang even said rudely to the servant girl: “We appreciate the kindness* of your young madam**. Just take back the presents, ba. We won’t accept them!”
[*T/N: 心领 xin ling – “I appreciate your kindness.” This is a conventional reply to turn down an offer.]
[**T/N: The term in Chinese here is 少奶奶 (shao nai nai) which means “wife of the young master” and I’m translating it as “young madam” in English.]
The servant girl stood in a stalemate with them for a while. She saw that they definitely would not receive the presents, so she could take the presents and return back to the city.
The young madam of Official Registrar Wang’s family was Lin Chun Er, the one who married into the family in hopes of ushering in good fortune for the Wang family.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
Lin Chun Er’s luck was indeed good. After marrying into Official Registrar Wang’s family, her husband’s state of illness gradually improved. This made the two elders of the Wang family like her very much. They felt that she really was the right match for promoting luck.
At that time, Lin Da Li’s family was very pleased with themselves, especially when Official Registrar Wang’s family sent people to speak with Li Zheng and the elders in the clan to get rid of Lin Da Li’s jiafa*.
[*T/N: 家法 jia fa – can mean “the rules of discipline that apply within a family,” “a stick used for punishing children or servants,” or “the traditions of an artistic or academic school of thought, passed on from master to pupil.” In this case it is the first definition.]
Everyone in Lin Da Zhuang’s family* was so angry that their teeth itched. Official Registrar Wang’s family had effectively announced to the clan that they did not recognize Lin Da Li’s family as in-laws.
[*T/N: Not sure if it’s a typo, but in the raws it did indeed said Lin Da Zhuang and not Lin Da Li.]
Lin Da Li and his wife did not take it seriously, and they acted extremely ostentatiously in the village. They bought silk and satin clothes, and bedecked themselves richly in gold and silver, as if afraid that other people would not know that they were well off.
After that, Lin Da Li’s family lived in a big house, bought ten acres of good land and rented it out, and bought two servants girls to wait on them. Lin Da Li no longer worked as a carpenter. He has a good life now, collecting rent and enjoying comforts. Anytime they met someone they would brag about how wealthy they were and how they were in-laws with a government official. This made everyone in the village dread bumping into Lin Da Li’s family.
Lin Chun Er’s husband recovered after half a year, and Lin Chun Er lived the life of a wealthy young madam. Under Madam Wang’s guidance, she also entered Pei County’s upper class circle for womenfolk.
Lin Chun Er had seen Lin Jin Er several times, and she was very jealous. She saw Lin Jin Er’s style of dressing and the dignified air that seemed to permeate her entire body. It looked as if she was living much better days than Lin Chun Er. Humph! Lin Chun Er thought that Lin Jin Er only married a merchant. What’s so great about that…?