These profound words are not deep, everyone understands. The boys were still okay, Rulan immediately shot her eyes over, Molan who had her head down raised it to look at her. Sheng Hong knew what Wang shi meant and said without changing his expression “You are the legitimate mother, you ought to be more concerned about the yatous’ affairs. Now you still need Old Madame to fix your negligence, it really should not have happened.” He saw that Wang shi bit her lips and her eyes revealing her non-acceptance, Sheng Hong added “Never mind, anyways Ming yatou is being raised by Old Madame’s side and can only inconvenience you more.”
That four little maids are all below ten, two of them younger than Minglan, two older. Their names to distinguish them: Er’ya, Zhaodi, Xiaohua and Niu’zi.1 Old Madame Sheng smiled and let Minglan give them a new name. Minglan has some experience in this, Xiaotao’s name was given by her. This four might as well be called ‘Li’zi, Lizhi, Pipa, Guiyuan’,2 the entire set of fruits. How orderly.
When Hualan got married, Wang shi did not only give a big dowry, she still picked quite a few diligent and hardworking maids from the household to be sent as the dowry. Old Madame Sheng already wanted to reorganise the inner household, taking advantage of this opportunity rearrange the manpower. At first, Wang shi felt very conflicted about this manpower reshuffle but once she heard that it is to shorten the manpower at Linqi Pavilion, she immediately raised both hands to support.
According to the theory of feudalistic ranking, the concubines’ maids should be lesser. In the past it is because Sheng Hong was biased but Sheng Hong has returned to the shores, thus the staff in Linqi Pavilion must be reduced. It is not that Concubine Lin did not make a fuss, saying that these staff are for Changfeng and Molan to order about, thus Wang shi immediately retorted “Then what about Little Boy Bai and Little Girl Ru?”
Under the dusky light, Concubine Lin’s face looked bashful and very gentle. She gracefully and subduedly said “Darling Hong, today this concubine is very happy. First, it is because First Young Lady married well. Secondly is because of our Mo’er. A lot of ladies and madames all praised Mo’er for being easy-mannered and charming. Only… sigh…” She sighed, dragging out her grief.
“Since you are happy, why then are you sighing?” Sheng Hong is tired and wishes very much to sleep.
It was the start of May. A fine and sunny day, the weather was warm, suitable for marriage. The bride escorting procession blew and hit1 as they came to receive the bride. Flowers were hanging and there was red everywhere within the Sheng household, decorated to show joy. Minglan was pulled to dress up by Mama Cui early in the morning. Her hair was rolled into two round butterfly buns and held up by a pair of red coral bead embed on the gold hairpin. She was dressed in a crimson buttoned lilytree brocaded long sleeved coat with gold embroidery and a white cloud patterned satin skirt, exposing the knees. Looking at the reflection, the little fat cheeks bulged into a smile, small small dimples at the corner of her mouth, remarkably like a festive doll.
That night, Sheng Hong wanted to drink through the night with Sheng Wei. Wang shi accompanied Old Madame Sheng to talk. Before dinner, Mama Cui lead Minglan back, Danju and Xiaotao hugged two big bags of presents and there was still two coarse-work maids carrying a chest behind.
Old Madame Sheng pulled Minglan to her side, rocking her like a little darling for a long time. She smiled “This time, our Ming’er is really rich. Tell grandmother, what did First Uncle send over?”
It is almost April, the peach blossoms were glorious. Count Zhongqin household sent a letter from the capital saying that Yuan Wenshao will set off to receive the bride at the end of the month. Counting the days, he will be able to reach the Deng Prefecture in a few days. On this side, Sheng Hong’s first paternal cousin Sheng Wei has also arrived. Originally Hualan’s wedding should also have her maternal uncle present but that Wang Yan is now an official and he cannot leave his post easily. Only Sheng Wei who is in the restaurant business can easily move about. This time he brought along his second son, Changwu to congratulate and will still accompany Changbai to send Hualan to the capital.