Who Cares – Chapter 16
Chapter 16 First Rank
The next day, Guan Suyi habitually woke up at the beginning of maoshi (5-7am), and like in the past, read poetry and classic records a hundred times, and then began to practice calligraphy.
Half an hour later, the sun was rising and the sky was breaking. The stewards who had received the summons gradually arrived, ready to listen to the instructions of the new master, the so-called. Because the old madam had no intention to manage the household, they were often slack off. Waking up so early this morning, there were not a few people with sleepy eyes, yawned, and complained. As for those who were sincere and fearful, or had some reverence, there was actually no one.
Most of the servants in the mansion believed the previous rumors. After all, they were just servants, not very knowledgeable, let alone broad-minded, they always thought that lord marquis was a great official, and even the emperor had to give him three-pointed face. They heard that the new madam came from a poor family, and that the Guan family’s father and son entered the officialdom after she was confer the marriage to the Marquis Mansion. It showed clearly that she was in the light of lord marquis, so they looked down on her more and more.
The new madam brought only two maid on the day she entered the door, and the sending off team was laughable. It could be seen how impoverished the Guan family was. Now that she manages a huge Marquis Mansion, could she handle it? Could she read the account book? Would she able to take care of the matching cards? Wouldn’t those treasures in the storeroom blind her eyes? Thinking about this, several plump housekeepers snickered together, and several others rolled their eyes, looking very impatient.
They had come for a long time, but the new madam just flipped through a book slowly and didn’t say anything. What did she mean by this? Want to showed everyone a power play? Alright, let’s stand with you. Anyway, the master didn’t speak, and the servants couldn’t talk freely. In the end, it depend on who was in a hurry.
While thinking about it, a voice came from outside, saying that it was the eldest miss who came to pay respect to madam.
The eldest miss come to pay respect to the new madam? Didn’t yesterday she still point finger at the new madam and scold her for being cruel? Everyone was blanked at first, and then a little startled. Before they could think deeply, the person had already come in, her eye sockets were slightly red and swollen, her skin was pale from freezing, and looked very haggard.
“You are here. Sit down.” Guan Suyi put down the book and said lukewarmly. Whether it was for dowry or marriage, Zhao Chunxi had to come to the main house, she had long expected that from today onwards, the other would put aside her self-esteem and perform ‘compassionate mother, filial daughter’ with herself. This was also her old trick.
Zhao Chunxi bent her knees to saluted then said with a sincere tone, “Yesterday Xi’er speak without scruples and said things that shouldn’t be said. I hope mother will be magnanimous and don’t care about Xi’er. This set of head ornament is given to mother as an apology, please see if you like it?”
The golden nanmu box was covered with a layer of black silk, when the morning light spread on it, it showed a maltose-like burnt yellow luster. In this burnt yellow halo lied a set of head ornament with flower jadeite, gold and silver filigree, and hanging beads. The green ones were like spring buds and the white ones were like dew in the middle of the night, and the golden light, silver light and morning light reflecting each other, which was so beautiful.
Mingfang looked dumbfounded immediately, her face couldn’t help showing a coveted look, and the stewards standing on both sides were curling their lips, cursing Guan family for being really poor, couldn’t be put on stage. Minglan was also taken aback, afraid of embarrassing her master, she hung her head to cover it up. On the contrary, Guan Suyi was indifferent, only swiping the corner of her eye and drinking tea slowly.
Zhao family was a convicted court official from previous dynasty. After being assigned to the frontiers, they took shelter with the Jiuli tribe and earn a marquis title, which had a bit of a foundation. But the Ye family was different. They had been engaged in business for generations and had low status. They traveled between various vassal states and nomadic tribes, and managed traveling brokerage business, making it difficult for the country to make money. They sold whatever the war needed. Food, herbs, horses, etc.. Until the establishment of the Wei, they had accumulated a huge amount of wealth. With money, they naturally wanted to have power and status, so Ye Zhen became Zhao Luli’s wife.
This set of head ornament was her dowry. In her previous life, Guan Suyi didn’t know any of this and accepted the “filial piety” of her stepdaughter. As a result she was greatly reprimanded by Zhao Luli, and accused for being greedy. In this life, she dare not receive anything from Zhao Chunxi.
“Take the gift back. I’m unlikely to bother with a little girl.” Guan Suyi tapped the book that was place on the side, and said with a long sound, “I just turned over “Records of Noble Family”. It turns out that your Zhao family is not the di descendant of the Zhao family in Tianshui, or even the shu branch. He’s just that a stablehand servant in Tianshui’s Zhao family who fled to Lincheng during the war to survive, and borrowed the name of the Zhao family of Tianshui. He originally didn’t have a surname, and have no noble blood. And your mother’s Ye family…” At this point, she seemed to be afraid of getting her lips and tongue dirty, so she said “Don’t say it,” and then gently blew the edge of the cup.
There was no abnormality on her face, but her every move showed strong contempt and despise, which made Zhao Chunxi, who had an extremely high self-esteem, very angry. The bunch of stewards were also captured by her graceful and stern bearing, and broke out a lot of cold sweats.
At this period, the literate people were extremely rare, and books were more precious than precious stones and jade, even if people had silver, they couldn’t buy it. “Records of Noble Family” was an exquisite collection that everyone were flocking to. With it, ones could search for family roots, ask about their ancestors, and trace their origins. If one’s own family was fortunate enough to be included in it, it would be a great honor, enough to engrave the relevant content on the inscription or seal, and pass it on from generation to generation.
Nowadays, the wealth of noble families had been more or less consumed by the flames of war, but as long as ones enter their ancestral halls, they would surely see a copy of “Records of Noble Family” enshrined in the most conspicuous position. When the old lord marquis was still alive, he had traveled to Tianshui and borrowed the copy of “Records of Noble Family” from Zhao’s own family, but he was severely ridiculed, and became seriously ill after he returned. When other people wanted to ask for more details, they were all dragged out and be given punishment by him. Even the old madam and lord marquis didn’t clearly understand the reason, and when they tried to investigate, it provoked him to fly into rage, in the end they leaved it like that.
Thinking about how during that time the old marquis made the Zhao’s family so turbulent and the people very anxious, these stewards still remembered it clearly. When they looked at the new madam and the scrolls in her hand again, first, they were suddenly enlightened, and then they were in awe. It turned out that Zhao family was run-away slave, it’s no wonder that the old marquis was ashamed to speak of it. Furthermore, “Records of noble Family” was not something that anyone could get. If didn’t have thousand years heritage, let alone nobility and prime minister, even the emperor might not see it. The new madam just casually threw it on the table, how confident is this?
Zhao Chunxi’s cheeks have turned from purple to blue to white, and she stubbornly resisted the desire to inquire about Ye family’s roots, and smiled forcefully, “Then which line of ancestors is you, mother?” If she had any background, how could she be so poor to the point of unable to afford a meal before?
However, the world were in confusion, wars were raging everywhere, and families who couldn’t afford to eat were many. She counted out more than ten after a little thought, but then swallowed the last sentence. Even if the children of Noble families were poor and begging for food, as long as they count the ancestor’s tablets one by one, there were many people who would help, even treat them as guests. Their poverty was only superficial, but their dignity was destined in blood.
Guan Suyi opened one of the pages and said slowly, “The surname Guan originated from the. During the period of Emperor Shun in ancient times, Dong’s father raised the dragon for the emperor. He was very proficient in this way and the emperor was very pleased, therefore conferred him with surname Huan Long (Raise Dragon). Because of this, my surname was originally called Guan Long, but was later simplified as Guan. My grandfather’s branch is a descendant of Guan Longfeng, the wise minister of Xia, who lived in Pingling to escape Xia Jie’s imprisonment and killing. Now living in Yanjing, my Guan family is a literary noble family, and a virtuous minister.”
She put “Records of Noble Family” into the brocade box, and her conversation changed abruptly, “So that you know that I, Guan Suyi, is indeed from a poor family, but not from a humble background. I didn’t raise my body not because of inferiority, but because I don’t think it’s necessary. Usually I don’t say anything, it doesn’t mean that my eyes and ears are clogged, or that I am confused, or that I let you bully me. When it comes to bloodline, honor and power, there is no shortage in my Guan family, let alone comparing it to the declining Marquis Mansion. The emperor has been in throne for a year and a half, when did you see your lord marquis go to court…”
“Mother!” Zhao Chunxi guessed that Guan Suyi would make a fuss about the discord between her daddy and the emperor again, so that everyone in the Marquis Mansion could see the reality clearly and thoroughly understand everything, so she couldn’t help but interrupted sharply. Ever since Guan Suyi learned that marrying into Zhao Mansion was the result of her daddy’s anxious begging, she had never stopped being disgusted with Marquis Mansion, and even lazy disguising it. She could stretch out her hand to beat her daddy, younger brother, and herself in the face. She could also open her mouth to pierce through the embarrassment of Marquis Mansion, leaving no room for others. The powerful methods were inconsistent with her soft appearance.
It was so hateful that she was so acrid and mean, but daddy and the old madam were still indulging her, on the other hand Zhao Chunxi, the eldest miss who used to get whatever she wanted, was pressed down until she couldn’t breathe. Last night she finally accepted the fact that the Marquis Mansion had fallen. Today, Guan Suyi would make all the servants understands the embarrassing situation of their master. This was really a ruthless trick! Worse because she peel the skins in public!
Zhao Chunxi couldn’t let her go on. She knelt on the ground and pleaded, “Mother, last night brother was not filial and offended you. I also made a mistake in my words, so I will apologize to you. Now that you have married into the Marquis Mansion, we are one family. We supposed to help each other through thin and thick, and be of one heart and one mind. So why bother to say those foreign words that hurt each other’s hearts? If anyone disrespecting you again in the future, daughter will not spare them!”
Guan Suyi stared at her for a long time before waving her hand, “Get up.” She actually didn’t think that the promotion to a high official position were so great, nor did she think that the dignity in the blood could represent everything. But after experiencing a humble and dusty last life, she suddenly understood a truth – if she wanted to live in the Marquis Mansion, she had to trample everyone under her feet, regardless if it was servants, stewards, or masters. As long as she showed a little humble attitude, they would humiliate her to their heart’s content, as if by doing this they could get the greatest joy.
To put it bluntly, the Marquis Mansion was sometimes as good as the Shura Field, and Guan Suyi didn’t plan to entangle with these demons and monsters, so she had to put on a high posture to let these people understood, not to mention humiliating her, even her heel was not something they could touch.
Seeing that the eldest miss was kneeling, the stewards also knelt down one after another. But there were still a few who held their seniority that barely straightened their backs, and seemed to be stubbornly resisting. But then an anxious voice of a maid could be heard from outside, “Madam, someone has come from the palace. Please hurry up and take the order!”
Guan Suyi did not panic, and led a group of people to the outside of the courtyard. Looking up at the sky, a third quarter of chenshi (7-9am), about the time when the officials go to court. This decree was probably requested by grandfather and father, it should be a good thing. Sure enough, the flattering little eunuch quickly issued the imperial decree, to the effect that His Majesty was grateful for the emperor teacher’s enlightenment, while Guan shi was warm and chaste, diligent and gentle, virtuous and honest… in fact she was an exemplary role model for women, so Guan shi was awarded the First Rank madam marquis’ title.
Zhao Luli and Sun shi also hurried over, and knelt down on the corridor, their expressions changed after listening to a long paragraph of praise. Because Ye Zhen hated Sun shi, at the beginning of the establishment of Wei, when the emperor conferred all the meritorious officials and their families, he left out the old madam of Marquis Zhenbei Mansion alone, which made everyone saw a joke. For this reason, Marquis Zhenbei Mansion had never walked with other Duke, Marquis, and Count Mansions, one, for fear of losing face and two, everyone would ignore them.
Now, the new madam of Marquis Mansion finally got a first-rank title, which means that the womenfolk of Marquis Zhenbei Mansion could finally go out to socialize with their heads upright. How could it not be exciting? Sun shi almost fainted with joy, Zhao Luli was also very pleased, but Zhao Chunxi was happy and resentful that she didn’t know how to react.
Those arrogant stewards were already scared to death, wiping their sweat while thinking about how to curry favor with the newly-appointed First Rank Madam. As for being a ghost behind the back? Who has the guts now?