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Chapter 43 – Family
Lin Chun Er wasn’t able to be proud of herself for long before she discovered that the days of a young madam in an official’s household was not easy. Although she brought good luck to the Wang family, and the two elders of the Wang family treated her well, her husband, Wang Xue Bo, didn’t like her much.
Lin Chun Er was put to work since a young age, so her skin was dark and coarse. Wang Xue Bo acknowledged that she brought luck into the family, and would on very rare occasions visit her room. Lin Chun Er was also illiterate. Although Wang Xue Bo wasn’t even able to attain the rank of tongsheng*, he still liked to have pretensions to culture, so the two did not have any common topics of conversation.
[*T/N: 童生 tong sheng – candidate who has not yet passed the county level imperial exam]
The thing that irritated Lin Chun Er the most was that Wang Xue Bo already has two bed servant girls. Those two bed servants were both prettier and more beautiful than her, so they dominated her husband’s time every night. Only now did she know how difficult it was to be a bride for luck, who did not have her husband’s favor, did not have any children, and did not have a strong maternal family to support her.
Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.
It was then that Lin Chun Er thought of her uncle’s family, especially after Lin Jia Wen passed the county level imperial exam and became a xiucai, she’s been wanting to restore the relationship between them, but every time Lin Da Zhuang’s family would refuse her.
Lin Chun Er was secretly angry as she watched the servant girl come back with the gifts. “Really don’t know good from bad…” Her parents had also gone to give gifts and apologize at her request, but they returned without success. Alas, if only her younger brother, Lin Jia Wang, weren’t a bum that only knew how to eat but not work, and didn’t pull her hind leg* that would be good. Then she wouldn’t need to depend on Lin Da Zhuang’s family.
[*T/N: to pull someone’s hind leg is to be a burden for them]
She heard that Lin Jia Bao was having a pretty good time in the palace. She wondered what would have happened if at that time she were the one who had entered the palace instead…
A few days later, Lin Da Zhuang and Lin Jia Wen waved goodbye to their family members and set off for the capital together with Qin Kai Xing.
Qin Kai Xing brought two large carts of cloth to test the waters in Beijing this time. Traveling with them were also two shop assistants and four servants. They traveled on the official roads for the entire journey and arrived at the capital after ten days without any troubles.
When they entered the capital it was already nighttime, so the group found a nice inn to stay at first.
“Father-in-law and eldest brother go take a rest first. It has been a long journey. Our travels were very smooth and we arrived a few days before the Mid-Autumn Festival. Tomorrow I will go inquire about the palace people first thing.” Qin Kai Xing took good care of the two Lin family members all throughout the journey.
“Kai Xing, you have worked hard. Rest early, ba.” Lin Da Zhuang was very satisfied with this son-in-law of his. Fortunately, they had traveled with his son-in-law this time. His son-in-law was very capable. He arranged everything really well from beginning to end, so Lin Da Zhuang and his son did not have to worry about anything.
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Early the next day, when they took breakfast, Qin Kai Qing had already inquired clearly about everything that he wanted to know, so he reported the information that he found, “On the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival, starting from seven a.m. the people will be divided into batches according to the palace they work for and they will be released from the palace to reunite with their families for two hours. The empress’s palace is naturally first, so I think we can see Jia Bao right away.”
“That’s wonderful!” Lin Jia Wen and Lin Da Zhuang were very happy when they heard this news.
After breakfast, Qin Kai Xing, Lin Jia Wen, and Lin Da Zhuang took a tour around the capital. The inn they were staying in was in the western part of the city. There were more of the common folk living here, making it very prosperous and lively. On the eastern side of the city lived the dignitaries, and further inside was the inner imperial city where the relatives of the emperor and the court officials lived.
After walking around for a while, Qin Kai Xing rented a small courtyard with a shop attached to the front. After paying for half a month’s rent, everyone left the inn in the afternoon and moved everything to the courtyard. Lin Da Zhuang and Lin Jia Wen helped organize the goods and set up the shop, and by nighttime they were all set up.
Qin Kai Xing planned to open the shop for business tomorrow and hang up the signboard of Qin Family Cloth House.
“Father-in-law and eldest brother, I have troubled you this afternoon. Tomorrow will be fine, there’s no need to bother you. It will be okay with just me and the shop assistants.”
“We’re all family, don’t be so polite. What your eldest brother and I have is strength. Ha ha!” Lin Da Zhuang said.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
“By the way, I found out that there is a place in the capital called “You Jian Bookstore,” where anyone with scholarly honor in the imperial exams can read and study books. Brother can go and take a look tomorrow. It is at the junction of the west and the east of the city.” Qin Kai Xing told them about what he had heard today while he was looking for this storefront.
“Then I definitely have to go take a look tomorrow.”
Lin Jia Wen was looking forward to it. There were not many large bookstores in Pei County, and there were few books that could be borrowed. Books were expensive, and his family conditions were average, so he couldn’t buy books too often.