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Chapter 62 – Qin Family
Over the next few days, Lin Da Zhuang wanted to talk to Zhang Hui Niang about Lin Jia Bao, but every time he tried, he couldn’t get the words past his lips.
Afterwards, when he was discussing with Lin Jia Wen, he said: “Why don’t we wait for your wife to give birth first? Your mother has been busy lately, if we tell her she’ll feel ill at ease.”
“En, we’ll do as Dad says. It will soon be the autumn harvest. The family has more land this year, and the newly purchased land will have to be taken care of. The family will be busy for a while. I am afraid that there will not be enough manpower. It seems that we will need to hire two people.” Lin Jia Wen thought about it and agreed with his dad’s idea.
Translations are by vmnovels [dot] com, if you’re reading this anywhere else, then it was stolen.
“En, indeed, we need to hire some people. This time, let’s hire a few more people, ba. Jia Wen, don’t go to the fields this time. Study well, ba.” Lin Da Zhuang said.
“Understood, Dad. I will definitely study well.”
The crown prince had gifted him many good quality essentials of calligraphy and scholarship*, and also a lot of useful books. Lin Jia Wen vowed that he must pass the provincial level imperial examination. For his family, and for Jia Bao, he must prepare well for the triennial provincial imperial exam.
[*T/N: The essentials of calligraphy and scholarship are brush, ink, paper, and ink stone. These four things are known as the Four Treasures of the Study.]
In the following days, Lin Jia Wen worked ever harder at studying and reviewing the exam materials. It was to the point that he even neglected to eat and sleep. His teaching of Lin Jia Cai also got stricter. Wu-shi, his wife, would occasionally persuade him to pay attention to his health. She thought that the talents her husband met in the capital must have stimulated him.
In October, Wu-shi safely gave birth to a baby boy. The Lin family was very happy, and then Zhang Hui Niang became very busy with her daughter-in-law’s one-month confinement* and taking care of her little grandson.
[*T/N: one-month confinement – it is a practice that some people in the modern day still practice. The Chinese believe that the mother’s body is very susceptible after birth, so she must stay indoors for one month to recuperate. She should not be exposed to outside elements (like the wind and rain) and she can’t even wash her hair or bathe (because cold water is believed to be bad for the body’s health). The part about not bathing probably persisted from ancient times when it was hard for the common populace to be able to bathe with hot water. Modern people mostly ignore this part of the one-month confinement.]
As for Lin Da Zhuang, he was busy with the autumn harvest. He thought he should wait for a while longer, wait for his grandson to become one-month old, before telling Zhang Hui Niang about Jia Bao.
Xuan Yuan Han Cheng soon got the news that Lin Jia Wen’s wife gave birth to a baby boy. If he told his darling this good news, his darling would definitely be very happy.
Back then, not all of the cavalry that escorted Lin Da Zhuan and company back home had returned to the capital. Xuan Yuan Han Cheng had ordered two people to stay behind in Xu Province specifically for gathering news and reporting them to him.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
Lin Jia Bao was really happy when he got the news, and then he remembered that Xuan Yuan Han Cheng had said that he could send things back home, so he chose a few things from all numerous rewards conferred to him.
Every time Lin Jia Bao and Xuan Yuan Han Cheng went to pay respects to the empress, he would receive some rewards. Everyone knew that he was the crown prince’s current favorite. Sometimes when he met other imperial concubines within Yong Shou Palace, he would also receive rewards. In addition, ever since Xuan Yuan Han Cheng got Lin Jia Bao, he would often gather a lot of good things for him. The men under the crown prince also knew of the existence of a xiaoshi who held a big piece of the crown prince’s heart and they would also present gifts as a sign of filial respect.
Lin Jia Bao fiddled with a jade pendant carved in the shape of a pony. This year was the year of the horse, so Lin Jia Bao had a lot of horse-themed pendants and decorations in his possession.
When Xuan Yuan Han Cheng came in, Lin Jia Bao was swaying among a table of jade pendants, not knowing which one to choose.
Xuan Yuan Han Cheng hugged Lin Jia Bao from behind and asked, “Have you chosen yet?”
“Husband, do you think this jade pendant is good? There is a pattern of a galloping pony on it. It just so happens that my little nephew is born in the year of the horse.” Lin Jia Bao picked up one of the pendants and showed it to Xuan Yuan Han Cheng.
“En, it’s good. I remember there is a small decoration of a colored glass horse. That is also not bad.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng remembered that it was one of the gifts that his men had presented. He thought it was not bad and gave it to Lin Jia Bao.
“That, ah… that was given to me by Husband. I think… I think I want to keep it…” Lin Jia Bao said with reluctance.
He liked that colored glass pony very much. Lin Jia Bao didn’t have much in the way of toys ever since he was a child. It was only after he became Xuan Yuan Han Cheng’s xiaoshi that Xuan Yuan Han Cheng would often give him these interesting playthings. Lin Jia Bao liked it very much and he cherished it very much. He would be very careful whenever he handled it.
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“My dear treasure… my darling…” When Xuan Yuan Han Cheng heard this, he kissed Jia Bao hard. “Tomorrow, have Yuan Qing go to Qiu-momo to get the key to the inner warehouse. You can pick something good from there. You can’t be stingy with the present you give to your little nephew.”
Lin Jia Bao shook his head, “No need, I have a lot of rewards that are great, there’s no need to go to the warehouse to pick one.”
Lin Jia Bao was embarrassed to go to his husband’s warehouse to pick out a gift for his little nephew’s one-month celebration. When he thought about it, he felt that it was still better to use one of his rewards as a gift.
Xuan Yuan Han Cheng understood what Lin Jia Bao was thinking and smiled without saying anything. Xuan Yuan Han Cheng thought that his darling was still young. In the future he wanted to bestow his baby with the title of cejun*. In this way, the management of the East Palace can be passed into Jia Bao’s hands justifiably.
[*T/N: 侧君 ce jun – most likely a made up title since there were no male concubines in the imperial harem in ancient times. Individually the words mean “side” and “lord.” I’m not certain what is the equivalent for a female concubine, but anything with 君 jun in the title is usually a very well-respected position.]
“Husband, will the things I send arrive in time for my little nephew’s one-month celebration?” Lin Jia Bao looked at Xuan Yuan Han Cheng expectantly.
“Of course, baby. I guarantee that it will arrive in time for your little nephew’s one-month celebration.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng promised.
He got news from Xu Province, and he knew the current situation of Lin Da Zhuang’s family. He appreciated their low-key and non-exaggerated way of handling things. But Lin Jia Bao was already his person. This was not a shameful thing. And he didn’t like to hide it.
So he would just take advantage of this opportunity and tell the whole of China during Lin Jia Wen’s child’s one-month celebration. Let the Lin family have a good reputation in Xu Province. After all, Lin Jia Bao would not be just a xiaoshi in the future. The Lin family should also adapt to their change in status earlier…
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