Real Empress from a Noble Family

Chapter 480 - The Death of Madame Jin

Chapter 480 The Death of Madame Jin

… There had been some incidents during the ritual that Lu He formally became a student of Jiang Yashuang. But in general, things went smoothly.

The sun came out after the snow. As plum blossoms scented the air, Lu He performed the ceremony of kneeling three times and kowtowing nine times in the presence of the audience invited by Jiang Yashuang. Lu He offered a cup of tea to Jiang Yashuang. And as Jiang Yashuang took a sip, their master-student relationship was settled.

After formally accepting the student, Jiang Yashuang graciously presented him with a set of four treasures of the study. Jiang Yashuang made Lu He rise and bring him to the table. And the originally solemn ceremony of worshipping the teacher was immediately transformed into a lively banquet.

After the banquet, Jiang Yashuang took Lu He into the yard to pay respect to Qiu Yelan. And then he called his nephew and son to come over to pay their respect. After all this, the two of them returned to the study to talk.

“I’m afraid I won’t be able to stay in Jing City for long. You also know about the war in Beijiang. If there are no accidents, I will go there sooner or later.” Jiang Yashuang said, cutting to the chase, “So, you have to make full use of the time when I’m still in Jing City. Visit all the people you should meet and see. After all, when I’m not in Jing City, these people will definitely treat you differently from when I’m there!”

Lu He respectfully said yes.

“You don’t have to be eager to study now. With your talent, you will definitely be able to rank second class in the imperial examination. But only three people can be at the first rank. It depends on luck.” Jiang Yashuang also cautioned, “The world is so big that there are many talents. Maybe there happens to be a talented person who comes out of nowhere! For example, my wife’s elder brother, Ruan Chunjun, was only three years older than you when he joined the Hanlin Academy. However, even though he did not rank first, he was still incredibly talented!”

“Ranking first is glorious. But those who rank first may not necessarily achieve more than those who rank second. Therefore, I do not ask you to rank first in the future. But I hope that you will refrain from arrogance and be impatient, and consolidate your foundation so that you can excel in the future…”

After teaching Lu He carefully, Jiang Yashuang let him go back, “Go back and stay with your uncle for a few days. And then pack up your things and stay here. As such, you don’t have to keep running back and forth and waste time. Besides, if you live here, it will be more convenient for you to go out to visit others! Now that you have formally joined my school as a student, you don’t need to keep your distance from my wife and children anymore.”

After sending Lu He away, he returned to the backyard and went to ask Qiu Yelan, “Hasn’t there been any word from the Yi Family in the past two days?”

“No,” Qiu Yelan smiled, “I’m wondering if they are waiting for us to say about it.”

“We haven’t given them any message, which clearly shows we don’t take an active role.” Jiang Yashuang mused, “I guess they plan to just leave it at that!”

Qiu Yelan said, “As you mentioned this, I am planning to call Lu He over in a couple of days to ask what happened. Now that he has formally been your student, I don’t think he’ll be so reluctant to talk anymore, right? Could it be that the girls of the Yi Family said something unpleasant? It’s a bit of a bummer. Didn’t you say earlier that our ninth brother-in-law had taken a liking to him first? Why didn’t he and his daughters agree on that? How could they make Lu He aggrieved without any reason?”

“Little girls!” Jiang Yashuang snorted. He was unwilling to bother with two female juniors, especially his nieces. But anyway, he was not very happy about his carefully selected student being looked down upon. So, he just said, “Since that they don’t like Lu He, let go of it! I won’t agree even if our ninth brother-in-law mentions it again in the future.” 𝗯𝐞𝗱𝗻𝐨𝘃𝐞𝐥.𝗻𝗲𝐭

“What about Lu He’s marriage?”

“Whenever there is a banquet, keep an eye out for appropriate ladies!” Jiang Yashuang didn’t have a suitable candidate for a while and so he mused, “You had better choose someone who is both pretty and clever. Not only she herself should be sensible, but her parents and brothers should be kind. He’s still young, anyway. So, it’s okay to delay for a few years. It’s better to be with no one than to be with the wrong one.”

“At the beginning of April, Princess Yongfu is getting married. And at the end of April, so is Chunxiao. At the two weddings, I think I will see almost all the girls in Jing City. I’ll keep an eye out for him then!” Qiu Yelan nodded her head.

Speaking of this, she suddenly remembered the question Madame Jin had asked her earlier. As she was curious, she asked her husband, “Have you ever given Jingmu or Jingman money?”

Jiang Yashuang said, stunned, “No. What’s wrong?”

“On the Lantern Festival, when I accompanied my fourth sister-in-law and the girls to the palace, we failed to meet my fourth aunt and Empress.” Qiu Yelan said, “So, I came back early. When I arrived at our fourth sister-in-law’s yard, I saw our fifth sister-in-law. And she asked me so, saying that she thought Jingman had been spending too much money recently and thought we had given him that money.”

“How is that possible?” Jiang Yashuang said, “They come to ask for advice every few days. I instruct them just because of my fourth brother and my fifth brother. They are not my students. The tuition is already free. Why would I give them money? Both of them have the monthly allowance. And their families are not poorly fed and clothed. If they are given more money, they will probably waste the money and learn to do ill!”

“Could it be that they had stolen something to sell?” Qiu Yelan guessed, “Our fifth sister-in-law wasn’t very concerned about Jingman before. Why would she be so anxious to find someone to ask around this time just because he spent much money? It’s probably because something is missing, right?”

Jiang Yashuang frowned, “They haven’t been in Jing City for a year. At such a young age… They are so bold?”

“It’s because they are so young that they can be thoughtless!” Qiu Yelan said, “Anyway, that our fifth sister-in-law paid much attention to this thing made me suspect that there’s something wrong. But they live there now. We can’t go there and check… I hope I guess wrong! Otherwise, even though we can put up with it, I’m afraid that our fourteenth sister-in-law will be furious!”

With that, Jiang Yashuang thought it made sense. So, he sought to keep an eye on it.

The next day was the day when Jiang Jingmu and Jiang Jingman came over to ask for advice on their study. He paid special attention to the attire of his two nephews and found that Jiang Jingman, who was always slightly less well-dressed than Jiang Jingmu, was indeed exceptionally well-dressed today.

What made him frown was that when he called Jiang Jingman to his side and pointed out the mistakes in his homework, he smelled a faint scent of powder on his nephew, who had not yet turned twenty!

“Could it be that this boy, at such a young age, has already been to a brothel?” Jiang Yashuang was annoyed. He glanced at his nephew without saying anything, and turned around and ordered someone to keep an eye on him to see what kind of places he had gone to!

After two days, the servant came to report, “In the past two days, the thirteen junior young master…” He began to report the whereabouts of Jiang Jingman one by one.

At first, Jiang Yashuang was marking official documents while he was listening to the report. But soon he put the pen down and listened carefully and gloomily. At the beginning, it seemed to be normal as Jiang Jingman went to a snack shop, a silk shop, and a bookstore. And then things started to go wrong. Jiang Jingman went to a fellow student’s house, a tea house, and a well-decorated boat. As the well-decorated boat docked, Jiang Jingman and his fellow students went to an antique shop and bought a pair of Peach Vase with turmeric juice yellow from a famous kiln of the former dynasty. They asked the shop to pull two feet of red brocade to wrap them. And then they went into the alleyway one street away, laughing and joking.

“And then?”

“Mrs. Ju lived in that alley. Her daughter has been a famous one.” The servant reported in a low voice, without looking up.

Jiang Yashuang had a decent style. But as he had a brother who was a frequenter of the brothel, he could understand some obscure words. He immediately asked, “So, that Ju Family is a secret brothel?”


Jiang Yashuang’s face darkened. Only after a while did he say, “You can go!”

He was not satisfied with Jiang Jingman’s qualifications and never had any intention of formally taking him as a student. But anyway, Jiang Jingman was his nephew. He couldn’t just watch him go the wrong way. This kind of thing was supposed to be told to Jiang Yawan. And he should be the one to discipline Jiang Jingman. For one thing, Jiang Yashuang should not overstep his bounds. For another, Jiang Yashuang, who had instructed Jiang Jingman several times, was so busy that he did not talk much to Jiang Jingman, which meant he was not very familiar with his nephew.

But Jiang Jingman had just made his concubine-mother lose her child and was still disliked by his biological father. If Jiang Yashuang rushed to say so, perhaps Jiang Yawan would be furious and drive him back to Kui County again, which would kill Jiang Jingman’s future.

Although Jiang Jingman had gone wrong, Jiang Yashuang still did not want him to end up staying in Kui County for the rest of his life because of it.

He thought about it over and over again and told Qiu Yelan about it, “… If you have time, invite our fifth sister-in-law over and tell her about it!”

Qiu Yelan was a bit worried that Madame Jin might disregard it, “She refused to accept your advice about the clan school before. Anyway, Jingman is not her blood. I’m afraid she won’t take it seriously even after hearing it!”

“It’s not the same.” Jiang Yashuang reminded, “At that time, although Jingzhan died, Mistress Yue had not yet entered the family. Now my fifth brother’s mind is on Mistress Yue. How long has our fifth sister-in-law been ignored? Mistress Yue is much loved. If she had a son, would she give her son to our fifth sister-in-law? Jingman is the only hope of our fifth sister-in-law. How can she not take care of him? If she doesn’t understand this, you can tell her about that. She is past her childbearing years. And she has no grandchildren. What will she do if she doesn’t look after Jingman?

Qiu Yelan thought about it and said, “I’ll invite her to come over tomorrow!”

However, the next morning, before Qiu Yelan went to find Madame Jin, the Ruan Family sent someone to send a personal letter from Qiu Jinglan and report, “News has come from Shazhou, saying that madame Ou is pregnant!”

“How long has it been?” Qiu Yelan was so happy to hear the news that she didn’t even bother to read the letter first. The year before that, Qiu Jinglan and Ou Qinglan’s marriage was supposed to be delayed due to the war in Xijiang. But Ou Qinglan didn’t want to have any unwanted epilogue. So, despite her shame, she took the initiative to travel westwards to Shazhou and married Qiu Jinglan. It had been two or three years since they were married. It would be worrying if there were no good news. Now they had finally gotten this pregnancy. Qiu Yelan was happy for her brother and sister-in-law, “How is my sister-in-law’s health? Is she able to withstand the bitter cold in Shazhou?”

The messenger said, smiling, “It has been three months. Because of the war, they didn’t ask anyone to come and say that until now.” He also said that everything was fine with Ou Qinglan. “Thinking that Princess Chunfu’s daughter was also born in Shazhou, madame Ou did not intend to return to Jing City for this reason.”

Qiu Yelan thought so. Even the delicate Jiang Qizheng could give birth to a daughter in Shazhou and both the mother and the daughter were doing well, let alone Ou Qinglan who came from Beijiang.

When she was done being happy, she remembered something, “Did you send the good news to the Ou Family?”

“Someone else has been sent there as madame Ou had a special letter for Young Prince Jingbo.” The messengersaid, “But no one has gone to tell Madame Ou.”

“I’ll go and tell. Or maybe the Ou Family can send someone to tell her.” There were still two months before the end of the mourning period for Sir Jibei in their mansion. And the Ruan Family had no direct relationship with Madame Ou. If they went to the door to tell her about that, it seemed to be flattering. There was no point in doing that.

Qiu Yelan asked him about the detailed situation in Shazhou and learned that the standoff was going on, with both sides winning and losing, and that no one could take advantage of anyone. The war wouldn’t end in a short period of time. Seeing that the messenger had nothing further to say, Qiu Yelan rewarded him with ten gold and let him leave.

It was only now that she had time to look for Madame Jin. But she was disappointed, “Madame took someone out early in the morning, saying that she was bored in the yard and wanted to go outside for a while.”

The servant who stayed behind reported so, “She didn’t say when she would be back. The nineteenth young madame, please forgive me. I beg your pardon!”

“It’s okay. It’s not a big deal. I’m just thinking that my fifth sister-in-law has been here for a long time. But as I have been busy, I haven’t been able to have a good chat with her.” Qiu Yelan smiled and said, “When my fifth sister-in-law returns, just tell her I came by!”

“Yes, madame!”

As she didn’t meet Madame Jin this time, Qiu Yelan thought she could make another trip tomorrow or the day after. So, she went back to her yard and left the matter behind to concentrate on his nephew, son, and daughter.

But she didn’t know that she would have no such opportunity.

Because that afternoon, news came from outside the mansion that Madame Jin had chartered a boat with her maids for sightseeing in the Mirror Lake. But the boat turned over and none of the master and servants were rescued!

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