Chapter 257: Compensated, Ji Zhangshu Leaves The Capital
She then ordered the old servants to take Lin Qianzi away after she was done speaking with a wave her hands. Bai Xiangxiu decided that she’d use the money gained from the sale to purchase some very high quality makeup and fragrance powders. She also didn’t forget about buying some of the newest and best quality cloth. Long Heng accompanied her to choose the goods. It couldn’t be helped as he was likely bored out of his mind. The banquet was to take place in ten days, so they needed to prepare for it as well. Naturally, one of the main reasons they went out today was to pick up some of the banquet necessitated goods, as well as to relax.
The female lead was apparently quite popular at the brothel she’d been sold to. Men that visited her were mostly well-respected and famous individuals, so the brothel kept their identities a secret. She wasn’t as a source of loss for the brothel. After all, an emperor’s woman wasn’t something anyone could taste any time they wished. The emperor likely felt very insulted when he realized that this was going on. Surprisingly though, he was able to swallow his pride and decided not to stir up any trouble for Long Heng. It was probably because he had no choice but to as he’d yet to take over the military.
The married couple met someone familiar while they were out shopping today. Ji Zhangshu was accompanied by two concubines, an old servant and a pageboy. It was rumored that he’d been kicked out from the Ji family as they were afraid that he might implicate the entire Ji family. He had been abandoned even though he was the eldest son of the official wife. Rumors also stated that Ji Zhangshu was only able to bring minimal amounts of money with him. Without his position as an official, life was likely going to be difficult in the future.
Bai Xiangxiu sighed and quietly took out notes worth two thousand taels and handed it over to Xiaoshi. “Go on. Hand this over to Sir Ji Zhangshu and tell him it’s a little something for his immediate expenses.” It was money gained from the sale of Lin Qianzi anyways, I’ll just treat it as something to cover his loss.
“Why are you doing this? He deserved everything that happened to him.” Isn’t it his own fault for being such a bad judge of character?
“Don’t be so stingy. It’s money we received from an unscrupulous move anyways.” Bai Xiangxiu insisted on having Xiaoshi go. When Xiaoshi returned, she reported that Ji Zhangshu had taken the money and even thanked the princess consort for her assistance.
Bai Xiangxiu nodded. Two thousand taels should be more than enough to last him a few decades if he spent the money sparingly. It might even be enough to feed him for his entire life if he used it to open a business. “I hope he didn’t say anything about that Lin Qianzi woman!” I will take back the money if he did. That man is hopeless.
“No.” Xiaoshi looked a little vexed when she heard that woman’s name. She’d never had a good impression of that woman.
“That’s good to hear.” Bai Xiangxiu seemed to be full of thoughts as she looked at Ji Zhangshu leave. It felt like there was now one less enemy. However, this also reminded her of Su Yun. That woman is probably the hardest to deal with! I can’t help but wonder why she hadn’t made her move yet. Can it be that something has happened to her? Or maybe she was kicked out of the palace?
“You needn’t spare them so much thought. They deserved everything that happened to them,” Long Heng mentioned.
“Mm. I know. Oh yes, how am I supposed to act in front of your relatives from the Long family? Why don’t you tell me something about them?” Bai Xiangxiu knew that the Long family was not to be trifled with. It wasn’t that Long Heng didn’t have any other extended family, it was just that they’d stopped all contact with each other. However, this banquet was something they had to attend as this was a very momentous occasion. Bai Xiangxiu wanted to know how to deal with those people, but Long Heng always defaulted to the same reply, “Why even bother? Just ignore them!”
Was she really supposed to ignore them? Bai Xiangxiu felt a need to think things over. However, the old madame and the gossipy mamas all seemed to agree with Long Heng. Since nobody was giving her any useful information, she decided to look into who Long Heng’s relatives really were. She wanted to know their background, especially the women.
Ye-mama told her everything in a very detailed manner. It seemed that Long Heng actually had two uncles that were both military generals. However, they were both low ranked generals as they were only fifth or sixth rank officials. Most importantly, they were both men who weren’t capable of much. It was actually Long Heng’s father who’d single-handedly supported the entire family in the previous generation. But after his death, all they could think of was how to split their older brother’s fortune. The old madame had been the mistress of the household at that time and had fought hand and limb to protect the fortune from their hands. And because of that, Long Heng was forced to enter the military for training since a young age.
When he began succeeding in his military career, the old madame immediately cut off all ties and split off into another family branch before Long Heng was even granted the position of prince. That burden of a family was all tossed aside. After that, the two uncles decided to branch off as well, but neither of them were doing too well. Bai Xiangxiu kept this story in mind. Even though there wasn’t to be a wedding ceremony, things quickly became hectic for her as she still had to perform the bowing rites. It wouldn’t be considered a real marriage in the ancient times without the bowing rites.
The Bai family finally appeared on this day. Bai Xiangxiu’s mother actually brought Bai Xiangxiu’s sister along to pay her a visit. Now these were rare guests indeed! Bai Xiangxiu was quite curious about her maternal family. After all, she’d always wanted to learn about their attitude towards her.
When they met, Bai Xiangxiu finally realized where she inherited her exquisite looks from. Her mother was already bordering on forty, but she was still as eye-catching as ever. Her sister was no slouch either. She was only one year younger than Bai Xiangxiu, but already an exquisite beauty. Her young beautiful sister was called Bai Rong’er. She had a personality that resembled the original Bai Xiangxiu in the novels. She was a little arrogant, but that was likely due to her looks. She seemed quite obedient, even though her eyes were darting around the room.
“Have you been well? Mother?”
“I have. What about you?” Née Xiao was genuinely breaking into tears. Bai Xiangxiu could tell that there was a bit of kinship from her mother.
Bai Xiangxiu immediately broached the main question after they were done greeting each other. “Why have neither you nor father visited me for such a long time?”
“That’s… because your younger brother has been busy preparing for his exams ever since you entered the manor. Moreover, your sister… your sister was facing an issue with her marriage. Her original in-laws rescinded the marriage without giving her a reason, which caused her to fall ill for quite a long time.” As she was talking, Née Xiao patted her younger daughter’s hands as tears welled up in the older woman’s eyes.
“Why did they suddenly rescind the marriage?” Bai Xiangxiu naturally asked. She didn’t even know who the family her younger sister was supposed to be betrothed to. Moreover, why was it such an issue that they’d chosen to rescind the marriage? Couldn’t they just arrange another marriage?
“It’s all because the other family decided to get betrothed to a young lady from a wealthy family instead! They decided we’re not up to their level! We wanted to come seek your help, but your father refused to let me come see you. Because of that, I wasn’t even able to attend your son’s baby shower.”
“Elder sister, father is probably still angry that you disobeyed him and married into the Prince Li Manor! But there’s no longer any word of complaint from him now that you’re princess consort.
“Rong’er, don’t speak nonsense.” Née Xiao looked around the room, seemingly afraid that someone might overhear this conversation. It wouldn’t bid them well if this entered Prince Li’s ears.
Bai Xiangxiu instantly understood the meaning behind their words. The biggest reason why they have never paid her a visit was because the previous Bai Xiangxiu had stirred up trouble, which made Master Bai very cross with her. However, what did “disobey” mean? She looked at Xiaoshi instinctively and noticed that how Xiaoshi was furrowing her brows, even though she wasn’t voicing out her opinion.