Yu Residence’s Second Mansion
Nanny Liu thought, ‘Exactly!’
Madam Xie was indeed a formidable person. She had probably sensed that Master and Madam had already hooked up secretly, so she quickly made sure to help Master take in a smart little vixen like Concubine He immediately after giving birth.
It was said that she used to be the daughter of a down-and-out official in Quanzhou, but was later sold to get groomed in various aspects such as calligraphy and painting, so that she could be subsequently bought over by a rich man. It was also said that she had been specially trained. Not only did she know how to serve men in bed, but she also knew how to act learned and cultured. Which man wouldn’t like that?
Concubine He’s maidservant said that every time Master visited her room, he would spend most of the night and ask for her to make a few trips to fetch water.
Some had also seen the Master in embrace with a half-dressed Concubine He, fooling around in the study.
There were even whispers that they had also been seen entwined in each other’s arms, doing it in the gardens and behind the walls of the courtyard. Of course, no one dared to gossip about this in front of Madam Yang.
The Master treated his wife with respect, but his lower body belonged to Concubine He.
All these years, Madam had suffered a lot due to this concubine of his.
Thanks to Concubine He keeping Madam Yang busy, it also helped to ensure Madam Yang did not have the time to target Yu Youyao. Otherwise, even with Old Madam’s protection, Madam Yang might have tried more to sabotage Yu Youyao in her growing years .
Yang Shuwan calmed down a little after ranting and venting her anger. “Get Sang Ye to keep watch at the study room later. As soon as Master leaves, invite him to the main courtyard. His daughter has suffered such a grievance. How can he, as her father, not show any concern at all?”
It was the beginning of February; tender buds sprouted on willow branches.
Early in the morning, Chun Xiao brought a copper basin into the house and pulled Yu Youyao, who was sleeping soundly, out of bed. Yu Youyao was sleepy and sat on the round stool in a daze. She asked Chun Xiao tob and tie her hair into space buns, with a beautiful and exquisite bead bracelet tied around each bun.
She covered her mouth with her small hand as she yawned demurely. She had just woken up and her eyes had just teared a little, looking even more dewy and clear. “When will my cousin arrive?”
“About 9 to 11 o’clock.” Seeing that she was sleepy, Chun Xiao turned and walked to the table. She opened the ebony incense box, scooped out some incense slices with a jade spoon, then opened the incense burner.
The slices were thrown into the incense burner. With a faint sizzling sound, spirals of smoke rose from the furnace holes and dissipated.
Yu Youyao breathed in deeply, and the fragrance immediately awakened her senses, making her much more energetic.
As usual, Yu Youyao personally sent a pot of tea to An Shou Hall. Old Madam Yu’s eyes lit up.
The weather was getting warmer by the day. Yu Youyao was wearing a thin silk jacket with a scarlet and gold jeweled necklace, and it seemed like this round little girl had be long and narrow. Not only had she grown much taller, but she had also lost weight, and was now already starting to take the figure of a slender young lady.
“The weather had been cold, so it hadn’t been obvious when you were wearing thick clothes. Now that the thick clothes are off, it’s clear that our Yao Yao has really grown into a fine young lady.” Old Madam Yu sounded rather happy.
Yu Youyao smiled and offered her grandmother some tea. “I’ll be ten in two months.”
After drinking the spirit dew tea for more than half a month, Old Madam Yu’s spirits had be much better than before. Some of her minor ailments with her waist and knees had also been giving her less trouble.
Old Madam Yu merely assumed that it was due to the warmer weather that her bones felt stronger, not suspecting anything.
After breakfast, people who were visiting arrived one after another.
Other than Yang Shuwan’s family, even the Second Mansion hade.
Among the two branches of the Yu family, the eldest son, Yu Zongzheng, was Yu Youyao’s father. He was the Imperial Censor and had a fourth-grade rank. His duty was to investigate and keep the officials in check. He was the Emperor’s eyes and ears in conducting discipline. Although he did not have any real power, he reported directly to the emperor and he supervised hundreds of officials, so he was still a very important man.
Yu Youyao’s second uncle, Yu Zongshen, was even more impressive. He was drafted by the Hanlin Academy upon ranking second on their test. Now, he was already a third-grade Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Revenue, the Grand Secretary of Pavilion of the Imperial Library, protégé of the Emperor, and a cabinet aide. Anyone who saw him would have to call him “Elder.”
In addition, there was also an aunt, Yu Mengxiang. She was the daughter of a concubine and had married the third son of a concubine in the Marquis Residence of Zhen.
The Yu family had rather prominent ancestors, and their ancestral mansion was located in the best area of the capital.
Old Madam Yu had foresight. Her two sons held important positions in the imperial court, so the house had been split years ago. Now, the main residence was divided into the Main Mansion on the east side of the residence and the Second Mansion in the west.
Old Madam Yu followed her eldest son and lived in the East Mansion.
The east and west mansions were separated by a wall, but the wall had an archway, so it was close and convenient for the two families to visit each other.
The Second Aunt of the West Mansion, Madam Yao, came from a scholarly family. Her father was a fourth-rank official, in charge of official state examinations, and was a very mannered person.
She wore a red knee-length dress with phoenix and peony embroidery, and matched it with a red-gold peony hairpin and a jade bangle with gold detail. She looked elegant, gentle, and very proper.
Madam Yao greeted Old Madam Yu. The eldest grandson of the Yu Residence, Yu Shanyan, and the second young master, Yu Shanxin, followed closely behind. They greeted Old Madam Yu respectfully, “Greetings, Grandmother!”
Both of them were very outstanding young men and Old Madam Yu doted on them very much. “Why aren’t you in school?”
Yu Shanyan replied politely, “Mentor has caught a cold, so we took a day off from school.”
When Old Madam Yu heard this, she hurriedly asked, “Is it serious? Has a doctor examined him? I have some good herbs and tonics in my house. Bring them back to Mr. Hu Shan later. You’re his pupil, so you should be by his side to care for him when he’s down with a cold.”
Yu Shanyan said, “His fever has already subsided and he’s fine now. He’s resting in his room now, so I didn’t want to disturb him.”
Yu Shanxin, who was standing at the side, could not help but lean over to say, “Grandmother, even though Mentor is down with a cold, he was still full of energy when he bellowed at us.”
Old Madam Yu laughed. “Why? Did you anger him again?”
“How, how could that be! I was just speaking generally.” Yu Shanxin couldn’t even explain properly—it was obvious that he had really been shouted at.
Madam Yao smiled as she said, “Last night, their mentor was having a fever, and was in agony for most of the night. Shanxin was worried about him, so he got out of bed at midnight to check on him, but accidentally woke him up, making him so angry that he picked up his shoes and hit him on the head before shouting at him.”
After explaining, Madam Yao burst out laughing.
Everyone else also started laughing, and the room felt really lively.
Old Madam Yu almost cried from laughing so much. She dabbed her handkerchief on the corners of her eyes and looked at Yu Shanxin. “You deserved it!”
Yu Shanxin lowered his head, pouting.
Although her second eldest grandson was not good at studying, he knew how to care and show respect for his mentor. Old Madam Yu was very pleased. She immediately ordered Nanny Liu to fetch a top-grade lotus leaf ink stone and an ivory carving as gifts for Yu Shanyan and Yu Shanxin.
Ps: Character relations chart in the Second Mansion.
Second Master: Yu Zongshen
Second Madam: Madam Yao
Eldest Young Master: Yu Shanyan
Second Young Master: Yu Shanxin
Second Miss: Yu Shuangbai
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