Chapter 3 The Scholar’s Wife
It was nearly lunchtime. Generally speaking, Madam Liu didn’t like the children of concubines coming to her.
It used to be too many people and noisy, but now, it has become a habit. She can’t look like a caring and loving mother.
“What? Is there something wrong?”
Madam Liu put down the ledger and looked at Liu Fang.
Speaking of which, this youngest child from the concubine was actually the most worry-free.
She has been well-behaved since she was a child. Other concubine’s children were naughty and mischievous when they were young, not to mention her own children. When they were still a child, she really wanted to strangle them to death.
Liu Fang was the only one who has never been naughty.
When she was a child, Madam Liu also worried that the child was too stupid, and she wouldn’t even know if she was teased by her elder brothers and sisters.
When she was older, Madam Liu know that this child was smart!
She was a wise man who looks stupid. But actually, she know what she was doing.
Moreover, this child’s heart most resembles her, not quite like her stupid biological mother who counts money for the person by whom somebody is sold.
[Bei ren mai le hai ti ren shu qian (被人卖了还替人家数钱) is a Chinese idiom that mean being duped or exploited without realizing it]
To be honest, if it wasn’t for the fact that she met Duke Liu, someone like Anfang’s mother would have ended up being eaten dry and even the bone was not left in any house.
That was also because of Madam Liu. At a glance, she was not a person with a vicious heart, and she had no habit of torturing others for pleasure. So Anfang’s mother can have a child in peace and survive until now. Leisure and relax without any worries.
Honestly, sometimes Madam Liu was quite envious of Qi Yiniang.
She was simply a fool, but she gave birth to several smart and well-behaved children.
She was also lucky enough to find a husband like Duke Liu. Although he was a scumbag, he has a conscience, no ambition, and doesn’t like tossing.
And met a big-hearted, kind-hearted like Madam Liu, and she was carefree all her life.
This was probably the saying, stupid people have stupid blessings.
[A summary of folk experience. People who are too smart often don’t last long. The so-called stupid people refer to those people who are sinceree to people , treat people kindly, and do their duty. Such people may be stupid in the eyes of some “smart people”, but they can often get more help and favor than ordinary people]
Madam Liu pouted, forget it, a fool has the blessing of a fool, and she also has her blessing.
Liu Fang saw that Madam Liu was stunned for a while, and then pouted again, the corners of her mouth twitching slightly.
Seriously, after getting along for so many years, she probably understood some of Madam Liu’s thoughts: she was just a little envious of her biological mother, thinking that she was a fool having a blessing of a fool.
The eleventh elder brother was now working as a Tongzhi in the northwest. The eighteenth elder brother was a soldier in the southwest, and now he was the fifth rank. The twenty-second elder brother was working in the Imperial Academy.
[Tong zhi (同知) is an official in Ming and Qing Dynastie, the deputy of the prefect]
Of course, the eldest brother was Dali Temple Minister. The fourth elder brother was the prefect, and the tenth elder brother was the second-rank general of the Qingzhou Navy.
[Da li si (大理寺) is the central judicial office in ancient Chinese similar to today’s supreme court. the Daili Temple manages prisons, reviewing major cases and rehabilitating the injustices]
In comparison, it must be the children of Madam Liu who were more promising.
The eldest sister was married to Duke Zhen Mansion. She was the wife of the young master of Duke Zhen Mansion and the wife of future Duke Zhen. The fifth elder sister, Anfei, married the eighth son of Emperor Wenjin. Now she was the princess consort.
And Liu Fang’s older sister, the eighth elder sister, Anfen, was only married to the eldest princess’s youngest son, which was also begged by the eighth brother-in-law. As for her, she hasn’t gotten married yet, and she probably won’t be able to marry any high-profile family in the future. After all, she’s not interested in that.
Looking at it this way, the children born by Madam Liu were not only promising but also married very well, with status and love between husband and wife.
And the children born by her biological mother Qi Yiniang, although they were also promising, and the married ones were also well-married, but they still can’t be compared with the eldest brother and the eldest sister, right?
Logically speaking, it should be Madam Liu who was proud of herself, right? But it’s the exact opposite.
Madam Liu felt that she had been working hard as a housekeeper and raising her children since she married her father, and she was busy like a spinning top every day. As for Qi Yiniang, she was silly and sweet every day, but she lives comfortably.
Now, Madam Liu can relax a little, but she still has to be busy. And what about the Qi Yiniang? Still silly and sweet, living comfortably.
Therefore, it was normal to be a little envious and jealous.
Liu Fang actually thought it was funny. Although Madam Liu always acted like she disliked Qi Yiniang and thought she was stupid. But in fact, it was usually her who takes care of Qi Yiniang the most—just like a big sister, protecting her youngest sister.
Maybe even Madam Liu herself didn’t realize her role in the mansion. In fact, it’s not the mistress, but the sister of all the concubines!
The kind elder sister who always protects her younger sister.
To be honest, an ancient relationship between wives and concubines was originally supposed to be deformed, and it was difficult to live in harmony, but it was forcibly turned into a family by Madam Liu, harmonious and peaceful, and loved each other for so many years.
As for who was redundant in the mansion, Liu Fang thinks, it was probably her father—Duke Liu.
Thinking back to the past years when the whole family got together, the concubines were talking and playing cards around Madam Liu, the brothers get together, the sisters were around her, and the sisters-in-law were with her. It was really only the father, Duke Liu, who was alone.
Cough, Liu Fang pulled back her thoughts, smiled and said, “Mother, I heard that you rejected several official matchmakers that asked for marriage, so I wanted to come over and talk to you.”
Madam Liu frowned. Relax and lean on the soft pillow, watching the maids pack up the books and ink, and serve tea again.
“What? Are you going to pick a random family to marry?”
In Duke Liu Mansion, Madam Liu never made this statement, especially when it came to the marriage of her children, she basically made it clear.
As for not complying with the rules?
Madam Liu rolled her eyes: Why do you still talk about so many nonsense rules in your family? How to feel comfortable. You don’t even have your own opinion on such a big thing as getting married, can you expect to have an opinion when it comes to big things in the future? That’s the brain hole.
She can’t live forever, and she can’t watch them all the time, and they will live by themselves in the future. When a husband and wife get along, only they know whether they were suitable or not. They didn’t even want this option, what else can they do?
Just keep it at home and be a waste.
Anyway, she didn’t care what other people’s families were like. That was how she taught her children, and they have to make up their own minds.
What matchmaker’s words, parents’ orders? Pooh!
A group of sour Confucians who got water in their brains made things, who will take care of them?
Liu Fang smiled, the Great Jin Dynasty was an overhead dynasty, and it was a new dynasty that had not been established for a hundred years, so the atmosphere was very open, and it was not the kind of time when the parent’s order must not be disobeyed it.
Of course, respecting and filial piety to the elders was also a state-advocated and customary rule of the people.
But, at least, at the moment, in Duke Liu Mansion, in front of her mother, Liu Fang can speak freely, say what she wants to say, and do what she wants to do.
“Mother, what daughter thinks is that you don’t have to look for a noble family. Just wait for next year’s imperial examination and choose a poor family child with good personality.”
Madam Liu took a sip of tea, glancing at her, and said lightly, “Anfang, are you afraid?”
Liu Fang understood what Madam Liu meant. She smiled and said, “Well, I’m afraid, and also tired.”
She sincerely said to Madam Liu, “In the future, I just want to live comfortably. With my mother, brothers, and sisters, I don’t have to worry.”
Madam Liu put down the teacup, half-lying lazily, and sneered.
“Oh, you are like your mother, you like to live a comfortable life without thinking. But do you think it’s possible? You can’t rely on others at any time, you can only rely on yourself. Do you understand? I have taught you in vain for so many years.”
Of course she understands.
It’s just that she was different. In such an era, you need to rely on yourself, but more importantly, you have to have a good family.
If she didn’t have, then it’s another story. But now she has, why should she find such a hard way?
Wasn’t it good to live comfortably?
It was also a skill to eat old! It was a kind of ability to be able to eat old for a lifetime!
[Ken lao (啃老) refers to the fact that young people choose to live on their parents because they do not want to make progress and do not want to work hard]
Although, she didn’t want to think about eating old, but since she has a good family to rely on, why didn’t she rely on it for the rest of her life?
You must go to toss and show your ability because having too much free time and feel bored.
Besides, the original owner’s wish was to live comfortably. She has no intention of marrying into any noble family. The same was true of Liu Fang.
Liu Fang smiled and said, “Mother, you are right, and your teaching is also right. But daughter still believes in you, and even more in the elder brothers and elder sisters you taught. If all of you are unreliable, then, even if I was reliable, so what? It’s the same.”
Madam Liu choked and said angrily, “Okay, get out of here when you’re done, I’m too lazy to pay attention to you, just because you are the youngest, you can torment me, roll! “
Liu Fang didn’t care about her words at all, she got up and saluted with a smile, “Then mother, daughter retire.”
Madam Liu waved angrily, ” Go go go! “
Liu Fang walked away with a smile, and Madam Liu rolled her eyes and instructed Yang momo, “Go and see the lunch for the young ladies, don’t let them get hungry and become thin, they’ll have to rely on me if they can’t get married by then.”
[Mo mo (嬷嬷) refers to old female servants, Mostly they accompanied their master since birth]
Yang momo held back her laughter, bowed in response, and went down to give instructions.
She knew in her heart that Madam loved the eighteenth young lady the most, worried that she would be swayed by rumors outside, so she said this. In daily life, who would neglect the young ladies in the mansion? It was just the motherly love of Madam.
After all, Madam was sharped tongue concealing a caring heart and protectived toward her children.
Madam Liu was still annoyed, “Hmph, you thought marrying a poor boy would save you worry? Naive! How many people want to suck blood from the Duke Liu Mansion. She’s just a fool like her mother, hum! Forget it, sons and daughters were debt, so I owe her. This dead girl, if after you get married and come back crying after being bullied, let see how I beat you to death. Dead girl…”
Liu Fang naturally didn’t know Madam Liu’s thoughts. Even if she knew, she will only smile helplessly, what else could she do?
When she returned to her yard, the lunch was just set. Liu Fang saw all the food she liked to eat, smiled, and her heart warmed: She was really fortunate, and the original owner was also very lucky to be born here and have such a good family. Otherwise, she would not regret it after her death and would be willing to pay merit to correct her life.
This was very good!
After lunch, a walk, and a nap, Liu Fang went to the garden to paint.
After came here, she wanted to learn more skills, whether it was calligraphy, painting, embroidery, cooking, housekeeping, etc., as long as it was something she didn’t know, she would work hard to learn it.
There was still a long time she needs to travel in the future, and there was no harm in learning more.
Moreover, what she learned will become her capital. Maybe she will forget it after she was reincarnated, but she believes that the habit engraved into her soul will benefit her a lot in the next life.
In August, when the sixteenth elder sister An Qian got married, the mansion was lively all day, and Liu Fang also entertained the guests and was tired all day.
Seeing Madam Liu’s eyes turning red, she sighed in her heart: Speaking of which, all their brothers and sisters have a deep relationship with Madam Liu. If there was someone in this world who would work hard for them, except for their biological mother, it would probably be Madam Liu.
Such a feeling was amazing! It transcends blood ties, and also breaks the inherent form under the secular concept.