Chapter 67 – Relatives and Friends
“Don’t worry, I will definitely bring you along…” Lin Chun Er said to her younger sister.
How could Lin Chun Er not understand Lin Xia Er’s thoughts, but it wasn’t a big deal. If her younger sister could marry well, it would also help her out, so she was happy to support her younger sister.
“Ah! I almost forgot the main reason why I came. Mother, you guys prepare some gifts and go to uncle’s house again, ba.” Lin Chun Er said to Ke Mei Li.
“Why do we have to go again, ah? It’s just passing the county level imperial exam. We don’t even know if he will pass the exam next year. There are so many old xiucais who can’t become a juren*. Why do we have to keep throwing ourselves at them? I’m not going.” The one that Ke Mei Li loathed the most was Zhang Hui Niang.
[*T/N: 秀才 xiucai refers to a scholar who has passed the county level imperial exam, and 举人 juren is a successful candidate in the imperial provincial exam.]
People said Zhang Hui Niang had a bitter fate [and would ruin those around her], but Lin Da Zhuang has always treated her well. Even when Zhang Hui Niang gave birth to a ger, Lin Da Zhuang and them have always cherished him.
As for Ke Mei Li, Lin Da Li did not treat her favorably after she gave birth to daughters twice in a row. Later on, Zhang Hui Niang was so lucky as to give birth to a pair of dragon and phoenix twins. Then the people in the village started praising her for being blessed.
Ke Mei Li snorted derisively in her heart. So what if their son passed the county level imperial exam? It was expensive to invest in studies, so Lin Da Zhuang’s family was not as well off as their family.
Ke Mei Li felt that right now their Lin family had land and a shop. Their eldest daughter would also supplement they from time to time. And right now, their young son was studying at the county’s private school. Maybe in the future he would pass the county level imperial exam or achieve even greater merits. In short, their days now were quite comfortable.
The previous two times, they had kindly sent gifts at the request of their eldest daughter, but both times the gifts were returned. Honestly, they were giving the other party face*, but the other party did not want it! Ke Mei Li did not feel the need to keep flinging herself at Zhang Hui Niang’s ice-cold wall, so she simply stopped going.
[*T/N: The Chinese concept of “face” encompasses respect, politeness, prestige, honor, influence, etc, so it’s important to a lot of Chinese people regardless of social status and wealth.]
“Mother, it’s different this time. That Lin Jia Bao became the crown prince’s xiaoshi in the palace. His Royal Highness even sent someone to attend the one-month celebration of uncle’s grandson!” Lin Chun Er told Ke Mei Li and her younger sister about Lin Jia Bao’s affairs.
“His Royal Highness! Is that true?” Ke Mei Li and Lin Xia Er exclaimed. Both of them could not believe it.
Since their family moved to the county, they seldom went back to Lin Jia Village, so they were not as informed as Lin Chun Er.
“Rumor has it that His Royal Highness is the God of War incarnate, brave beyond comparison…” Lin Xia Er has heard many stories from restaurant patrons in the city, and among them were stories praising His Royal Highness’s great achievements.
“It’s absolutely true. The county district magistrate personally went to attend the one-month celebration, and even the prefectural magistrate sent someone to present a gift.” Lin Chun Er said with great jealousy. What great face that must be!
“Oh! That’s really unexpected. That Zhang Hui Niang must be prideful up to the high heavens.” Ke Mei Li thought angrily. “Alas… if only Xia Er was two years older back then. That Lin Jia Bao wouldn’t even get the chance to enter the palace… our Xia Er is much prettier than that Lin Jia Bao. How could he compare?”
Lin Xia Er was also regretful and annoyed. Her small face was twisted beyond recognition.
“Anyway, you and Father must go back to Lin Jia Village tomorrow. Be sure to beg until you get uncle and his family’s forgiveness. If the two families resume contact, I will have more face in the Wang residence in the future, which will be good for our family, for Little Brother, and for Younger Sister.” Lin Chun Er exhorted, and instructed carefully and insistently. “You and Father should go and be vulnerable.”
Ke Mei Li thought about how she would have to go to Zhang Hui Niang again and have to bow and grovel, and she was very unwilling and dissatisfied. But she had no choice but to lower her head in a nod. What her eldest daughter had said made a lot of sense.
“That ger looks so gentle and quiet on the outside, didn’t I expect him to be so scheming. We don’t even know what methods he used to make His Royal Highness look upon him favorably…”
In the evening, Lin Da Li came back and listened to Ke Mei Li’s retelling of their eldest daughter’s words, and he was in complete agreement. “This relationship of ours must not be broken no matter what!”
Thus, this all led to the scene that Zhang Hui Niang and Lin Xiu Er witnessed.
Zhang Hui Niang thought about how if it weren’t for them, then her precious son would have never entered the palace in the first place. Then he would have never become the crown prince’s xiaoshi. So she said impolitely, “What did you guys come here for? We’re already said that our two families won’t have contact any more. Our family doesn’t welcome you guys!”
[T/N: Ugh, so shameless. If the two families reconcile, I’m gonna throw hands here.]