Real Empress from a Noble Family Chapter 33 - A Cousin Who Cares for You like Your Mother

Chapter 33 A Cousin Who Cares for You like Your Mother

“Your Grace!” Seeing Qiu Yelan coming out, Qu Shan and his family were all excited.

Qu Shan’s mother, Mrs. Li was about sixty. She was born in Prince’s Mansion of Xihe and had a talent for cooking. When she was only over 20, she took charge of the old Princess’ diet.

When the old Princess of Xihe passed away, Qiu Mengmin was in charge. He didn’t trust the servants of his official mother, so he sold most of them. Qu Shan’s family was supposed to be sold as well, but Princess Ruan kept them and some other servants, so they started serving Princess Ruan and her daughter.

It could be said that his family watched Qiu Yelan grow up, so they had a unique feeling for her.

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Now when the master and the servants saw each other again after a long time, Mrs. Li couldn’t help bursting into tears. Sobbing and bowing down on her knees, she said, “I couldn’t imagine that I would see Your Grace again!”

“Mrs. Li, please stand up!” Qiu Yelan was shocked by her act and hurried to reach her.

After she persuaded the Qu family to stand up and when they calmed down, Qiu Yelan asked, “Mrs. Li, didn’t you leave the Jing City?”

As Mrs. Zhou recalled, the Qu family was sold to an official who was relegated to a distant place, probably to Lingnan. Mrs. Li was old, and transportation was difficult at this time. If she did go to Lingnan, they would never meet again, so her excitement was no exaggeration.

“My family indeed was sold to Prefect Wu, who was going to Lingnan for office, and was taken out of the Jing City,” Mrs. Li just regained her composure but cried again after being asked, “But before the Lunar New Year, before we arrived in Jiangnan, Prefect Wu resigned because his parent passed away! So, he took us to his hometown, which was in a county three day’s walk away from Jing City. The other day, someone came and said he would buy us back to Prince’s Mansion under your order. Prefect Wu asked for my will and we certainly love to go back and serve Your Grace....”

Qiu Yelan’s heart sunk and looked at Ruan Qingyan who was also looking at her, saying, “I didn’t know where you were sold. How could I buy you back?”

“Yes, Your Grace,” Mrs. Li sobbed, “Actually those people were sent by Prince and Princess Yang to kill us. On the way back to the Jing City, they showed their true colors and was going to bind us to stones and throw us into the river! Luckily, General Jiang and his people came in time, and we were able to see Your Grace again!”

Qiu Yelan’s face was livid and said, “And then? Did Jiang Ya... General Jiang say anything?”

“General Jiang escorted us to the Jing City and told us to come here to Your Grace for shelter.” Mrs. Li lifted her sleeve to wipe her tears and begged, “We have always been planning to serve Your Grace and Princess for our whole life. Before Princess passed away, she told us to take good care of Your Grace! Now that we meet again, please take us!”

Before Mrs. Li’s voice faded, behind her, Qu Shan had silently held a set of slave contracts up with both hands.

Qiu Yelan sighed. She didn’t take the slave contracts but said, “Mrs. Li, I won’t hide it from you. I think it is because of me that you were almost killed.”

“How can we blame Your Grace? Although I’m not clever, I know the fact that I served old Princess is disliked by Prince and Princess Yang,” hearing this, Mrs. Li had no complaints but smiled bitterly, “It seems that by selling us to Prefect Wu, Lady Yuqing showed mercy. But if Prefect Wu didn’t resign and return to his hometown, if we had followed him to Lingnan where poisonous air and diseases were everywhere, I would have already died on the road! Qu Shan and my other family are not so good in health either. They might also have died! The masters in Prince’s Mansion obviously planned to exchange our lives for some money!”

She took the slave contracts from Qu Shan’s hands, staggered over and put them in Qiu Yelan’s hands, “Your Grace, don’t you want us to serve you?”

So far Qiu Yelan had to take the slave contracts. She had mixed feelings, but Ruan Qingyan smiled lightly. He thought now that the Qu family was former servants of Princess Ruan and was almost killed by Qiu Mengmin’s people, he could trust them. He had been worried that there were not enough servants around Qiu Yelan. Now Qu Shan and his family came back, his worry could be relieved.

Thus, when he saw Qiu Yelan took the contracts, he immediately rewarded them with 50 silver taels as a praise for their loyalty on behalf of her.

Qiuran and Mrs. Zhou went to help Qu Shan’s family settle down. Ruan Qingyan discussed with Qiu Yelan, “It seems that by agreeing to deal with Qiu Mengmin after the Lantern Festival, Empress Dowager Gu aimed to give him a chance to kill the witnesses!”

Qiu Yelan’s face didn’t look good, “We didn’t think of this. But even if we thought of it, it was no use, for we don’t have so many men! It’s lucky that the Jiang Family thought of it.”

She frowned, “Actually, as witnesses are all servants, they are not so reliable. I’m worried about the evidence.”

Ruan Qingyan said, “You mean the genealogy? I guess it’s hard to tamper with it.”

According to the rules at this time, only the wife can be written down in the genealogy. As for concubines, only if they gave birth to a son could they be recorded.

Madame Lu had Qiu Mengmin, so the genealogy had had her name. But old Princess drove her out officially, which meant not only Madame Lu never could come back to the Prince’s Mansion before old Princess died, but old Princess ordered to delete her name from the genealogy!

In this way, Madame Lu’s relation to the Prince’s Mansion had been completely cut off!

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She was not even allowed to go back to the Prince’s Mansion to mourn for the old Princess’s death and take this opportunity to regain her position!

“If it were hard to make some change to the genealogy, why would Qiu Mengmin sent his men to kill Mrs. Li’s family?” Qiu Yelan shook her head and said, “I guess not only Mrs. Li, but other servants are being killed.”

Ruan Qingyan thought for a while and said, “The genealogy is the most important thing in a family, and it will be hard to make changes. Especially it was 30 years ago when old Princess drove Lu out. If they wrote her name now, the ink marks would reveal it was newly added!”

“If it can’t be changed,” his words didn’t reassure Qiu Yelan and she said calmly, “the simplest way is to ruin the genealogy! A charge of poorly preserving the genealogy is better than a disrespect to the official mother! Also, in this way, Lu’s identity is blurred. It’s possible that under the support of Empress Dowager, Lu can gain a title of old Princess.”

“That’s impossible!” Ruan Qingyan sneered aloud.

He recovered his composure and said, “Empress Jiang intended to take this as an innuendo about Empress Dowager Gu. Even if Empress Dowager Gu wanted to make Lu the old Princess, Empress Jiang would not agree. The Empress and Empress Dowager are evenly matched. It’s hard for Qiu Mengmin to get away with it.”

Qiu Yelan thought for a moment and suggested, “What about we invite Jiang Yashuang here and ask him the current situation?” After the Lantern Festival, they would deal with Empress Dowager Gu as a team. If they didn’t exchange information now, how could they cooperate better in the future?

Seeing Ruan Qingyan became unhappy at once, Qiu Yelan didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry, “General Jiang is a good man. Why do you dislike him so much?”

“Will a good man meet a young girl at the back door at midnight?” Ruan Qingyan sneered.

A shot directly in the head! Qiu Yelan said unhappily, “I invited him....”

“That was also his fault!” Ruan Qingyan said unreasonably, “Do you want me to admit that my cousin is a dissolute girl?”

Qiu Yelan laughed drily, “Well... It was just a meeting....”

“Anyway, I will contact the Jiang Family and you give up your hope of seeing Jiang Yashuang again!” Ruan Qingyan said coldly and loudly, “Listen! I dislike that guy. If he tries to seduce you again, even though he is the nephew of the Empress, I will let him suffer!”

... Does the so-called “seduce” include the situation where I invite him or approach him?

Qiu Yelan sighed, “Then, what can I do? Stay in the mansion all day long? You see, grandpa is only awake for a short time every day. I have nothing else to do....”

“In that case, you can learn needlework,” Ruan Qingyan said sincerely, “every girl knows how to sew! If you don’t study it or other skills, you will be looked down on when you get married and live in your husband’s home. The saying goes that “Marry a woman for her good quality.” Every mother-in-law and father-in-law....”

Next, Qiu Yelan listened to Ruan Qingyan’s long teaching of “how to be a good wife who is liked by everyone”. At last, she couldn’t bear it and slapped the table, “Are you my cousin or my future brother-in-law? Which side are you on?”

Ruan Qingyan froze and said, “I said it for your good... I saw all mothers persuade their daughters in this way. Will a mother harm her daughter?”

“...” Qiu Yelan felt deeply defeated by him and pushed him out, “Go, go, go, go out now!”

Who could tolerate a cousin who, in his heart, tried to be a mother?

Although Ruan Qingyan determined to prevent his cousin from meeting other men, he still failed. Two days later, Ling Zui came and pulled him out to Jinpa Pavilion to watch Penglai Yue’s first performance this year.

As soon as he left, He Zifu, a man who claimed himself the shopkeeper of Renqing Pharmacy which was bought by Ruan Qingyan when he just arrived in Jing City, came sweating for help, “Renqing Pharmacy was destroyed by Prince of Zhou’s men!”

“Prince of Zhou?” Qiu Yelan was shocked, “Did he directly take his men there and destroy it? The Pharmacy is not open yet, right? Did you send someone to the court?” She faintly remembered that Chu Weizhou, Prince of Zhou, was Chu Weize, Prince of Yan’s younger brother. Their mother was Noble Consort Gu, who was only secondary to Empress Jiang. Yes, she was Empress Dowager Gu’s niece and Duke of Guangyang’s younger sister!

With this relation and the current situation, no wonder Chu Weizhou found trouble with the Ruan Family’s industry. Although Chu Weizhou was the Emperor’s son and Prince of Zhou, he shouldn’t dare to ignore Empress Jiang. She was not a loving official mother who cared for her fame. Didn’t he fear that Empress Jiang would make him suffer as he helped Empress Dowager Gu by making trouble unreasonably?

He Zifu wiped his sweat and said, “Young master ordered that the Pharmacy be open after the Lantern Festival, but a drugstore is about life and death, so we had some men to stay at the store. The day before, someone came at midnight and said his family had an acute disease. He took a prescription given by a doctor he knew well to buy medicines. The man in the store believed his words and gave him the medicines in case his family would die.... To our surprise, that prescription was tampered with. One of the medicines....”

“Okay. You mean Prince of Zhou destroyed the store for a good reason?” Qiu Yelan asked with a sulky face.

He Zifu’s face was full of guilt. He said anxiously, “Yes. And the man who took the medicines died. His body was put in the lobby of Renqing Pharmacy....”

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