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Chapter 828 Hit the Wrong Target
According to the rule in the capital city, the chambers of the married daughters could be vacated or offered to their other masters.
It was set for the situation that many masters were living in the same mansion. Otherwise, those chambers would remain to be their original owners.
However, the next master couldn’t move in until the last one had moved out for half a year. So it would be unusual if Miss Zhao and Shao Hua’an couldn’t wait to move to Piaoyun Courtyard as soon as Shao Wanru got married.
Shao Wanru didn’t intend to give up her house. In the future, she needed to come back from time to time to visit and back up her younger brother Shao Yuanhao, who would return to the mansion later. Even if she didn’t live there herself, her maternal grandma, Great Elder Princess, could stay there when she occasionally came to visit her grandson. She was as worried about Shao Yuanhao as Great Elder Princess.
Moreover, there were not that many masters in Duke Xing’s Mansion. There was no need for them to occupy her chamber. But she didn’t expect that they had already set their eyes on it earlier!
No matter whose idea it was, she would not give it up. Besides, it seemed that Old Madam and other sisters had ulterior motives.
“Fifth Sister, you… how could you…” Shao Caihuan was totally in panic. She looked at Shao Wanru and then at Old Madam. She didn’t want to offend Shao Wanru at all. If it weren’t for Old Madam’s order, in any case, she wouldn’t have dragged Shao Wanru into this matter.
She had thought that it was not a big deal. After Shao Wanru got married, her chamber would be vacant, and her eldest brother could move in. She had never expected that Shao Wanru wouldn’t agree. At this moment, she didn’t know what to say to prove her innocence.
“Fifth Sister, you will have been married at that time. Are you going to live in your parents’ home after getting married?” Shao Jie’er didn’t scruple as much as Caihuan. Hearing Shao Wanru’s rejection, she questioned with an angry face, wholeheartedly speaking for Old Madam who was beside her.
Shao Wanru cast a glimpse at Old Madam, who was sitting high on the main seat and keeping silent with a cold face. She knew that what Shao Jie’er said was exactly what Old Madam wanted. She smiled, stood up and bowed to Old Madam, “Grandma, I have to go back for my own business. I’ll take my leave now.
“Fifth Sister, do you agree or not? Tell us!” Shao Jie’er was irritated. She stood up and stopped Shao Wanru from leaving. She would not let Shao Wanru go until she got a clear answer from the latter.
Shao Wanru was amused by her words. “Are they going to force me to agree?”
It was commonly accepted that an unmarried Miss from an aristocratic family, like Shao Wanru, should be meek and obedient to this kind of thing. Any aristocratic Miss, who was believed to be shy about her marriage, should do anything as told. Plus, an outsider of Minister Zhao’s Mansion was here. What Shao Wanru should do was to agree.
“Second Sister, you shouldn’t ask for my idea. You should discuss it with Grandmother!” Shao Wanru looked at Shao Jie’er with a cold face but in a gentle voice. Such a great incongruity scared Shao Jie’er and made her have to take a step backward. It seemed that Shao Wanru was able to read her mind, which made her feel inexplicably guilty.
Shao Jie’er gave a secret glance at Old Madam, who was still silent. She knew that Old Madam was not satisfied with what Shao Wanru just said. She made up her mind to force Shao Wanru to agree on it, by no means letting her go so easily.
“What will be the difference if I ask Grandmother? She will absolutely ask for your opinion, inquiring you whether you are reluctant to give up Piaoyun Courtyard.” Shao Jie’er continued, “You have been living there since you came back to the mansion, so we understand that you are reluctant to give up your chamber. But how can you let Miss Zhao live in such an ordinary chamber forever? It was planned that she lives in an ordinary one first and then move to Piaoyun Courtyard after you’re married. Since you are reluctant…” Shao Jie’er coughed in a deep and low sound and was ready to get straight to the point.
“Okay, I’ll give up Piaoyun Courtyard!” Shao Wanru suddenly interrupted. “If eldest brother needs it, I can give it up now!”
Then she turned around and bowed respectfully to the Old Madam, who was a little stunned. Shao Wanru continued to say, “Grandma, I am leaving. Since Third Sister had asked me to go and have a look at the wedding room, I delayed doing my jobs. There are a lot of them to do. I won’t chat with you anymore today. As for Piaoyun Courtyard, Grandma, it is up to you how to deal with it. Goodbye!”
She turned around and left with Yujie before Old Madam said anything.
Shao Jie’er was about to say something, but Yujie stepped forward and pulled her aside by grabbing her sleeve. Though Shao Jie’er intended to continue her meaningless argument, she couldn’t say anything at the moment.
Shao Wanru had agreed. What else could she say?
As Shao Wanru was getting closer to the door, Shao Jie’er became anxious, with sweat on her forehead. In fact, their purpose was not getting Shao Wanru’s Piaoyun Courtyard. Although it was good, it was not worth making such a scene with Shao Wanru for it. What Old Madam wanted was another chamber, but she didn’t even have a chance to mention it.
They, with strong confidence and flawless plan, aimed at gaining Quhuan Courtyard from Shao Wanru, but it turned out that their well-plotted plan was totally inefficient and even brought about an unexpected outcome. That made them intolerably aggrieved.
Shao Jie’er was not willing to give up such a good opportunity. She didn’t even have the chance to say what Old Madam had told her before. Believing that she would be blamed and even punished by Old Madam if she indeed failed to do so, she shouted at Shao Wanru and decided to say it out loud, “Fifth Sister…” But Shao Wanru’s unexpected halt made her pause for a while.
Shao Wanru turned around to Shao Jie’er with a beautiful faint smile and said, “Second Sister, Big Sister once told me that she missed you very much when I met her in the palace. Someone also enquired after your health, worrying that you were hurt when you fell into the pool in the palace!”
After hearing that, Shao Jie’er’s anxious heart immediately turned piercingly cold.
Actually, it was Shao Yanru who fell into the water, not Shao Jie’er. They had made a deal to lie to others about it. What Shao Wanru had said suggested that she not only knew the truth but also got evidence to prove it. But who was the “someone”?
At that time, two princes also knew the fact. Could they be the “someone”? If it were in the past, Shao Jie’er would not have been worried that they would give it away. Her Big Sister had a good friends.h.i.+p with them, so they would not say anything even if they knew. But now it was not the same as before. Her Big Sister herself had got into trouble. How could she take care of Shao Jie’er?
“I…” Shao Jie’er opened her mouth, but she couldn’t squeeze a word out at all. All she could do was to watch Shao Wanru leave.
After Shao Wanru left, the whole main room was filled with an atmosphere of depression, which made it hard for everyone inside to breathe. With a secret glance at Old Madam of Duke Xing’s Mansion, the supervisor nanny of Minister Zhao’s Mansion took the opportunity to leave. She said, still in a hostile att.i.tude, “Old Madam, please tell our Old Madam how you’re going to deal with the matter. I’ll go back now and report it to our Old Madam first!”
Old Madam replied by waving her hand. Nanny Yu took the initiative to send them out, followed by a group of servants.
Only Shao Jie’er and Shao Caihuan were still there, standing in front of Old Madam.
Old Madam threw her cold glance at Shao Jie’er and Shao Caihuan. She was green with anger. How could she not be angry? They were almost about to make it! But they just ended up failing to stop Shao Wanru from leaving at the last moment. Their target, the Quhuan Courtyard, was even never mentioned.
Old Madam herself wouldn’t mention it, so only Shao Jie’er could do that for her. It was unexpected for Old Madam that Shao Jie’er was so of no use, so easily defeated by Shao Wanru. Shao Jie’er didn’t even say a word about their target, which, Old Madam thought, was such a waste of her intelligent plot.
“Grandma, I… I…” Shao Jie’er was frightened by Old Madam’s gaze. She knelt with a thud and cried in panic. She was really scared. Shao Jie’er had always been afraid of Old Madam and Madam of Duke Xing, Jiang family. After Old Madam called her over and instructed her on this matter that day, she had decided to make a good performance in front of Old Madam with heart and soul.
She didn’t think it was something so difficult to do. All she expected was that she mentioned it, and then Old Madam would take charge of it. As long as she said it out, she completed the task a.s.signed by Old Madam. Contrary to her antic.i.p.ation, she wasn’t able to mention Quhuan Courtyard to Shao Wanru. That was Old Madam’s real purpose!
Quhuan Courtyard was where the last Heir of Duke Xing should have lived, and it was also the chamber particularly for every heir of a duke of Duke Xing’s Mansion.
But the last nominated owner didn’t live there because he had been enn.o.bled directly before becoming the Heir.
If Shao Hua’an lived in Quhuan Courtyard, it was almost equivalent that he was admitted to be the Heir of Duke Xing. And if it was approved by Shao Wanru, that could be a perfect excuse for Duke Xing’s Mansion to rebuke the dissidents, especially Rui’an Great Elder Princess.
This was also the reason why Shao Jie’er suddenly changed her point when she was asking Shao Wanru to give up Piaoyun Courtyard. She thought that if Shao Wanru refused to give up Piaoyun Courtyard, she would have to promise to give up Quhuan Courtyard instead.
Quhuan Courtyard had been vacant for a long time. Shao Wanru had refused to offer it once, so it wouldn’t be possible that she would change her mind.
As long as Shao Wanru agreed to give up Quhuan Courtyard, Old Madam would immediately order her servants to overnight move all the stuff she had prepared for Shao Hua’an into that house. At that time, it would be too late for Rui’an Great Elder Princess to stop it. It was a compet.i.tion of speed. This dream of Old Madam almost came true if Shao Wanru said yes in a momentary carelessness.
In the future, Shao Wanru’s agreement would have been Old Madam’s strong evidence if there were any unfavorable comments. At that time, Shao Wanru would have been seen as a selfish person who voluntarily gave up Quhuan Courtyard to keep her Piaoyun Courtyard.
The Piaoyun Courtyard was not their final target, but Quhuan Courtyard was. But Shao Jie’er didn’t even mention it. How could Old Madam not be angry?
Noticing that Old Madam was staring at her with fierce eyes, Shao Jie’er was scared to death, with drops of sweat coming out on her forehead. She kowtowed heavily to Old Madam twice and stammered, “Grandma, I… I will go and ask again Fifth Sister to give Quhuan Courtyard to Big Brother!”
But Old Madam was enraged by her, and nearly picked up the teacup on the table and threw it at Shao Jie’er. “Shao Jie’er is really a concubine’s daughter, who is too stupid to see through the situation. Does she think that it is the proper time to say it again?”
“You… Go and copy the Woman Precepts!” Old Madam gritted her teeth and said hatefully.
“Yes, Grandma, I… I’ll do what you said…” Shao Jie’er stood up, wiped off her tears and rushed to leave, acting as if she had been just granted amnesty.
She was stopped by Old Madam before she got out of the house. “Copy it in your eldest brother’s bridal chamber. Do it through the night! You are not allowed to sleep tonight!”