Chapter 51 – Return Trip
Lin Da Zhuang was very grateful when he heard this, and he stood up and said, “Zuo-daren, please convey our thanks to His Royal Highness when you go back.”
After Zuo Jing Xian left, Lin Da Zhuang’s mood improved a lot. It seemed that His Royal Highness really attached great importance to Jia Bao, so now they can rest assured.
The next day, Qin Kai Xing’s party of people set off early with three horse carriages. Lin Da Zhuang, Lin Jia Wen, and Qin Kai Xing occupied one horse carriage, another horse carriage was filled with goods that they purchased in the capital, and the last carriage was filled with specialty products from the capital to be gifted as souvenirs to relatives and friends when they return.
The carriages came to a halt once they reached the outskirts of the capital.
“Why did you stop?” Qin Kai Xing asked.
“Young Master, it’s the daren from yesterday.” The person driving the horse carriage said.
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Hearing the answer, Qin Kai Xing and the other two men got out of the carriage quickly. Once they got out they saw Zuo Jing Xian waiting there. Behind him were two horse carriages and a small group of cavalry.
Lin Da Zhuang and them stepped forward to give salutes. “Zuo-daren.”
“Lin-laoye is too polite. His Royal Highness knows that you are leaving Beijing today, so he specially sent me here to see you off.” Zuo Jing Xian returned their salutes, and then pointed to the two horse carriages and small group of cavalry. “This is a meeting gift* from His Royal Highness to the family of Lin-xiaozhu.”
[*T/N: 见面礼 – “meeting gift” is a gift given to somebody when meeting them for the first time. Usually meant as a sign of sincerity.]
Zuo Jing Xian handed over a gift list to Lin Da Zhuang and said: “His Royal Highness gave the order. Lin-laoye, your journey is long, so this small team of cavalry is specially sent to escort you.”
Lin Da Zhuang accepted the gift list and processed the fact that His Royal Highness sent soldiers to escort them, but he didn’t know what to do. “This… His Royal Highness is too polite.”
Lin Jia Wen and Qin Kai Xing stepped forward to thank Zuo-daren when they saw this. In their hearts they were also a little surprised. After all, Jia Bao was only a xiaoshi of His Royal Highness, yet His Royal Highness treated them so considerately.
Since it was an order from the crown prince, it was not good for Lin Da Zhuang and the others to refuse. They could only bid farewell to Zuo Jing Xian and continue on the road while escorted by the cavalry.
After they got back onto their carriage, the three of them discussed in low voices. Lin Da Zhuang said, “It seems that what the crown prince did is a bit too much…”
Lin Jia Wen and Qin Kai Xing nodded in agreement. Lin Jia Wen opened the gift list and looked at it carefully. He found that what His Royal Highness called a meeting gift was very excessive.
There are many varieties of top-quality tea, ginseng bird’s nest, silk satin, gold, silver, and jade ornaments, and so on. The gift list also indicated which gifts were for which person. Everyone in the family has corresponding gifts.
Qin Kai Xing saw that everyone in the Qin family also had a share, and not one person was overlooked, “It seems like His Royal Highness has already thoroughly investigated us.”
Both Lin Da Zhuang and Lin Jia Wen were lost in thought.
“Bringing these things back is a bit ostentatious. Alas! I wonder how Mother will react when she finds out that Jia Bao has become His Royal Highness’s xiaoshi.” Lin Jia Wen thought about how their mother had always treasured Jia Bao.
“I’ll talk to your mother about this when I go back. If people in the village asks, let’s just say that they’re specialty goods from the capital that Kai Xing has gifted us.” Then Lin Da Zhuang said to Qin Kai Xing, “Kai Xing, ah, only let your family know about this matter and don’t spread it about.”
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Qin Kai Xing understood that his father-in-law did not want to act ostentatiously and show off, so he nodded and said, “Father-in-law, please rest assured, “I will restrict the servants that came with us this time, and make sure that they don’t breathe a word about this matter.”
“But there will be news in the provincial capital later.” Lin Jia Wen said worriedly. At that time, the village and county would surely explode [with the news]… Just thinking about it was a headache…
“Oh dear… Let’s just keep it a secret for now…” Lin Da Zhuang couldn’t think of any other way.
In the imperial garden, Xuan Yuan Han Cheng was strolling with Lin Jia Bao. Hearing that the chrysanthemums in the imperial garden were in full bloom, Xuan Yuan Han Cheng took Jia Bao with him to enjoy the chrysanthemums.
More than a dozen pots of chrysanthemum bloom wantonly, especially the two golden chrysanthemums in the middle were particularly eye-catching. Lin Jia Bao liked the bright golden color and the curling filaments.
Xuan Yuan Han Cheng took Lin Jia Bao’s little hand, “Do you like it? How about I have someone send these two pots to Ping Le Courtyard later?”