I Really Didn’t Expect It.
Didn’t get the message?
Is that it?
Isn’t this reason a little sloppy?
The people in the room were silent.
“Isn’t this a little too coincidental?” Someone couldn’t help blurt out.
Miss Jun didn’t seem offended and nodded in agreement.
“It really is a coincidence.” She said, “I don’t believe it myself.”
You don’t believe it yourself. What else can we say?
The people in the room were silent again.
But someone squeaked.
It was a servant of the Fang family who was standing in the corner.
“Speaking of a child.” He suddenly thought of something, “I remember that there was indeed a child that came to the house, but all the ladies had just returned. The family was going in and out in a hurry to clean up the memorial service so when the child approached, everyone thought he was watching the fun and scolded him, and the child turned around and ran away.”
Such a family as the Fang family, which, according to Miss Jun this was the child of a firewood seller from the countryside, well, it was inevitable that he would be timid and afraid, and scared away by shouting.
So that was it.
This was really… one didn’t know what to say.
But Miss Jun obviously had something more to say. She looked at Old Lady Fang with her eyes twinkling.
“Does our family really have an imperial decree?” She asked.
Could the imperial edict be faked? If it was fake, wasn’t it a death sentence to take it out?
Besides, was now the time to be curious like a child?
Instead of apologizing for her recklessness, she only cared about asking this.
What does she want the imperial edict for?
Take it to the Ning family to force them to agree to the marriage?
There were still people in the room who couldn’t help thinking such nonsense.
“Of course it’s true. I took it myself last night.” Fang Chengyu said, as happy and serious as a child. With that, he looked at Old Lady Fang, “Grandma, grandma, show it to cousin quickly.”
It turned out to be an imperial decree.
The people in the room also turned their thoughts to it.
At that time, everyone was following orders and didn’t have time to think much. Now, after calming down, it made one feel dizzy, like a dream.
The Fang family actually held an imperial edict given by the emperor.
“Yes. It’s an imperial edict.” Fang Chengyu said with a smile. “So don’t worry. We’re not afraid of anything. Everything is fine as long as you’re fine.”
He said it easily and casually, as long as you’re fine.
He broke through the door of the Lin residence, turned Yangcheng upside down, and shocked the officials of Taiyuan Prefecture who had rushed back that night. From the white-haired old woman to the young maiden1, everyone ran around all night to look for her. None of these things mattered.
The people in the room looked at Fang Chengyu with a more complicated expression.
Everything is fine. As long as you’re fine…
Was this all right?
Prefect Ma snorted heavily.
Since you brought up the imperial edict, then let’s talk about the imperial edict.
“Fang née Cao.2” He calmed down, “How are you going to explain what happened last night to the public?”
They had entered the residence at this time, but the frightened people who gathered in the street last night were outside waiting for a reasonable explanation.
The imperial edict displayed in public was spreading like the wind.
The origin of the imperial edict and the origin of Deshengchang will surely become the focus of discussion, which will cause a huge disturbance. This storm will sweep Yangcheng, and then spread. It will not be long before it reaches the capital and the ears of the emperor.
Presumably, at the moment when the Old Lady Fang unfolded the imperial edict last night, the snooping Yangcheng Jinyiwei had already sent the news out.
It stands to reason that having a decree at home should be a happy and exciting thing, one didn’t know why everyone was a little worried.
Probably because of Old Lady Fang’s silent face, probably because of the identity of the merchants, and probably because this misunderstanding of Miss Jun’s had turned last night’s behavior into something ridiculous.
There was silence in the room.
Someone knelt down with a bang.
“Grandma, it’s all my fault.” The female voice said.
It seems that only then did everyone notice the girl standing in the corner by the door and the strange man beside her.
Who was this man? How did they get in?
Seeing everyone look over, Chen Qi was a little stunned.
“I, I…” He didn’t know how to introduce himself. When he saw Miss Jun looking at him, he was overjoyed, “Young lady, you know me, I’m a sugarman seller.”
Every year had weird things happen but there were just so many today.
First, the Fang family took out the imperial edict of their ancestors, and then there was a sugarman seller standing in the hall of their Fang family’s residence.
“Chen Qi!” A steward shouted in a low voice, “Don’t talk nonsense.”
“He came in with me.” Fang Jinxiu said.
A bit ago, when Old Lady Fang and her party left for home, although she did not specifically ask her to come back, Fang Jinxiu had hesitated and followed.
Originally, she had thought she would never step into Fang residence again, at least not for this period of time. Unexpectedly, she came back after an interval of only one day.
Whether it was the women of the Fang family or the maids or the guards, there was no stopping her or doubting about her entry, as if this were a matter of course.
Or maybe just insignificant.
Because he was close to Fang Jinxiu, no one paid attention to Chen Qi when he came in like this and stood in the hall of the Fang residence where not everyone could enter.
“Actually, I didn’t want to.” Chen Qi muttered, “I was embarrassed to be left outside when you came in.”
No longer paying attention to Chen Qi’s interruption, Fang Jinxiu looked at Old Lady Fang and knocked her head.
“I caused this.” She said, “I admit fault.”
Old Lady Fang looked at her and said nothing. Madam Fang didn’t look at her from beginning to end. Concubine Yuan’s expression was complicated, and Fang Yunxiu and Fang Yuxiu had a little worry in their eyes.
“How can you be blamed for this?” Miss Jun said.
“It’s her fault. Miss, that is, she said that you were caught by Master Lin, which led us to make trouble.” Liu’er wiped her tears and said, “She must have seen that Miss has a stable position at home, and she was kicked out and jealous…”
That servant was standing in the back looking at Fang Jinxiu.
This was the daughter born to the concubine placed in the Fang family. Up to now, she really had no place in the Fang family and had been expelled. It was really pitiful. It was normal to be jealous and resentful.
She said that Master Lin caught Young Lady Fang? What’s the story? What’s the entanglement?
Prefect Ma and other officials frowned. If there are more women, there will be more trouble!
Miss Jun didn’t question this story, but stroked the girl’s head with a smile.
“No.” She said, “It’s not her fault. What she said is the truth. I did talk to Official Lin, and then it happened that neither Official Lin nor I went home. What’s more, there are still some old complaints between Official Lin and me. If anyone had see it they would have thought the same, didn’t you think?”
Liu’er said oh, thinking of what happened last night she was afraid for a while.
“Yes.” She nodded and cried.
What more did Fang Jinxiu have to say? Old Lady Fang slapped the table to interrupt her.
“Shut up.” She shouted and then looked at prefect Ma, “What’s the explanation for this? My child may have been kidnapped by bad people. Isn’t it normal for me to find someone?”
Prefect Ma smiled angrily.
“Normal?” He said and raised his eyebrows, “Your family rampaged3 through Yangcheng with the imperial edict, trying to overturn the sky. Is this normal?”
Old Lady Fang had a wooden expression.
“Yes, the imperial edict was given to my family in the beginning to protect us and help us solve difficulties when we encounter them.” She said.
That is to say, women’s ideas are really inexplicable and unreasonable.
This was the result of not having a man in the family.
Prefect Ma pointed his finger at Miss Jun and then to Old Lady Fang.
“Difficulties.” He said, repeating this word, “Difficulties, this is the so-called “difficulties” you have encountered.”
After saying that, he sneered and brushed his sleeves.
“Fang née Cao, since you did this by order of the decree, then I have no qualifications to explain it to the people. You can explain it yourself.”
With that, he turned around and strode away.
The onlookers in front of the Fang family eagerly watched the officials come out and couldn’t help rushing forward to hear the expected news.
However, the officials only got on their horses one after another under the escort of the soldiers, dispelling everyone and leaving without saying a word.
The people in front of the Fang family made a loud clamor, which attracted the officials who had left to look back and their expressions were complicated.
Truly unexpected. Unexpected.
That servant did not look back. As before, he looked honest and easy-going as he followed closely behind the officials.
“I really didn’t expect it.” Miss Jun said.
In the hall of the Fang family, the officials were sent away but none of the Fang family had dispersed, and Miss Jun looked at the imperial edict taken out by Fang Chengyu with a complicated expression.
Footnotes and Chinese Idioms
1– The term used is 豆蔻少女 which translates to “cardamom maiden”. Apparently “cardamom” is used figuratively to mean a girl’s teenage years/maidenhood/a budding beauty.
2 – Prefect Ma calls Old Lady Fang “方曹氏”. Fāng Cáo shì, where 氏 attaches to the maiden name.
3 – 横冲直撞 – “bashing sideways and colliding straight on”; to push through shoving and bumping/to charge around violently