Chapter 44 “Nianxue? Whitey?”
“Have I saved money here?” Ling Zui stunned for a moment and came to realization that this was a nice way of Qiu Yelan to give him money in order to let him take it generously.
If Ruan Qingyan gave it to him, he would take it easily; but he always softened himself when he saw beautiful girls. Especially for Qiu Yelan who was such a belle, he wouldn’t hesitate to give her money to show his richness, how could he accept money from her instead? Then he smiled and said, “I’m sure that sister Ning Yi misremembered. I don’t remember saving money at the Ruan Family.” While he was talking, he shamelessly changed the referral affectionately.
But as soon as he refused to accept it, Qiu Yelan was annoyed.” What does this man want to do today? Did he come to drag cousin for supporting Penglai Yue and Yingzhou Yue?”
Because she hadn’t dealt with Ling Zui before and didn’t know his temper, Qiu Yelan pondered the wording for a while and didn’t know how to talk to him.
As for Ling Zui, he loved talking to beauties. Now when Qiu Yelan was not talking, he came forward and asked, “How old is sister Ning Yi this year? You seemed to be of similar age with one of my younger female cousins, she’s thirteen this year.”
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“Me too.” Qiu Yelan said casually. Just after she spoke then she realized that girls weren’t supposed to tell their ages to strange men in this world. However, Ling Zui was so experienced that he first talked about the age of his cousin. Surely Qiu Yelan fell for the trap. God knows if he had such a cousin.
Sure enough, there’s a smug look in Ling Zui’s eyes. He said, “Sister Ning Yi is just so nicely young!”
Hell young! Lolicon!
Qiu Yelan muttered in her heart, and said lightly, “Little Earl is at your prime days too.”
“I don’t think there’s any girls in Ruan Family whose age is similar as you are. What kind of pastime do you usually have?” Ling Zui could tell that she was not very enthusiastic. After thinking about it, he changed the topic, “The noble ladies in the capital like to keep Persian cats as pets lately, do you want me to bring you one next time?”
Qiu Yelan wondered, “Persian cat? She suddenly remembered Nianxue from Jiang Yashuang’s home.”
Ling Zui nodded and said, “These days, every noble girls have one, but Tao’s family have the best ones. I am quite familiar with the young master of Tao’s family, so there are many newborn kittens that I can pick at will... I wonder what kind of looks does sister Ning Yi like? Spear towed in the snow? Whipped hydrangea? Dark clouds covering the snow?”
Hearing the words “Tao’s Family,” Qiu Yelan remembered what she had overheard at the Ganli Palace last time. She asked carefully, “I heard that this Tao’s family was the original family of the lady of Marquess Qin?”
“Exactly.” Ling Zui saw her inquiring, and he immediately smiled and said, “The Tao family was elder statesmen for three dynasties. Although they had the glory of having seven Jinshis in a family, and having three father and sons as Premiers, they also have many disobedient children. They keep cats and dogs, join cockfighting, and horse racing. They have played many tricks relying on their family history, and they have become famous for it! If sister Ning Yi is interested in this kind of things, it must be right to approach them.”
Qiu Yelan thought that it was no wonder that eighth young master Jiang talked about Marquess Qin marrying Lady Tao to win over the Tao family. It turned out that the Tao family was so brilliant before. However, it had been doing not so well these years. She’d only heard that the nickname for Jiang family’s is half a government. She’d never thought that the Tao’s family, which she’d never heard about, was once so prominent that it had three Premiers. Even the Jiang family now had only one.
... Speaking of which, Madame Tao had also saved Qiu Yelan a few times indirectly. It was her who was enjoying plum blossoms next to the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe when Qiu Yuqing did it too loud beating Qiu Yelan. Then she sent Jiang Yashuang to investigate this and let Qiu Mengmin urged Qiu Yuqing and the others to rest for a while, so that Qiu Yelan was saved from being killed alive.
“Thank you, little Earl, for telling me. But now my grandfather is sick, and my cousin was about to take the exam. I have no time to do all the stuff, let alone raising a pet.” Qiu Yelan thought for a while and said.
Getting her meaning to invite her visitor to leave, Ling Zui was a bit embarrassed. However, when he was swept through by Qiu Yelan’s bright glance, he felt better again. He smiled and said, “What sister Ning Yi said was right... However, Persian cats aren’t that hard to keep. I’ll send someone to deliver you one later. Just let a more careful maid to raise it. Even if it dies, it doesn’t matter, as there are plenty at Tao’s family.”
Qiu Yelan didn’t want to take anything from him before asking Ruan Qingyan, so she said, “But....”
“Consider it done!” Ling Zui stood up and said righteously, “Brother Ruan and I are friends at first sight! His cousin is just like my cousin! I only gave one to each of my cousins a couple days ago, how could I not give one to you? You would be making me embarrassed if you don’t accept it.”
“Thank you then!” Qiu Yelan could tell that he doesn’t really mean it but did it for her instead. However, Ling Zui even used the word “embarrassed”. Young and rich masters like him treated their dignity very seriously, it would be really embarrassed if she refused further. Besides, just for the money, Ruan Qingyan gave this little Earl, it is normal to take some presents occasionally.
Ling Zui turned to be happy again, and asked, “What kind of looks does sister Ning Yi like? Oh, the so-called spear towed in the snow, is all white with a black tail....”
“You can just send me a white one.” Qiu Yelan was anxious to send him away, so surely, she didn’t bother listening to him anymore. Hence, she interrupted him.
However, Ling Zui stunned for a moment and murmured, “Pure white?”
“If it doesn’t work, you can just pick any one for me.” Qiu Yelan said quickly.
“Sure, it’s alright. I remember that the Tao’s family happened to have one like that... I’ll send it to you!” Ling Zui immediately said.
... After sending Ling Zui off, Qiu Yelan asked the whereabouts Kang Lizhang was detained and was about to interrogate her. However, a servant came and reported that Deng Yi was back.
Qiu Yelan wasn’t sure if she should laugh or cry. She looked at the sky and said, “Isn’t he going home? Why is he back in a few hours?”
“Young master Deng said that he had already brought back what he went back home to get.” The servant coughed dryly.
It seemed that the reason why Deng Yi ran back again was that he was actually going home just to get something....
Qiu Yelan said, “Keep watching him! Don’t let him get close grandfather and cousin... besides, the meat was all prepared for grandfather.”
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The servant responded, but didn’t leave, saying, “Young master Deng said he wants to see you.”
“I won’t see him!” Qiu Yelan said simply, “Let him continue squatting! The journey of a thousand miles begins with his feet. If he couldn’t even do the horse stance well, how could he practice martial arts? Who does he think he is? Could he just simply come across a thousand-year-old Ginseng or Polygonum multiflorum that could increase your skills for 300 years?”
Ruan An on the side was startled, “The thousand-year-old Ginseng and Polygonum multiflorum could do that?”
“... Just kidding.” Qiu Yelan secretly wiped her cold sweat, smiled and directed the conversation away, “Is my grandfather awake now? I’ll go to accompany him.”
She talked a while with General Ruan who had just waken in the main room. After seeing him getting tired again, Qiu Yelan left.
Before leaving, she stomped to the study next door and peeped. She saw Ruan Qingyan leaning on the back of his chair, closing his eyes and resting. She didn’t know if he was really asleep or just resting. Out of fear that he would find her there, she signed towards Dongran, asking her to come out of the room. She found out that Ruan Qingyan was not disturbed today, and she left, relieved.
Back to Lvqiang Court, Su He was sewing excitedly.
Qiu Yelan saw that she was sewing some rags and was very surprised, “What are you going to make?”
“The kitten would need somewhere to stay!” Su He edged the needle and said, “I would make a little home for it!”
“... What if the little Earl was just saying it casually?” Qiu Yelan reminded her, speechlessly.
Su He paused a moment and said, “He’s an Earl! How could he?”
Qiu Yelan wanted to say that lying was probably a gifted skill for his kind, but seeing the disappointment in Su He’s eyes, she touched her head and comforted her, “I’m just afraid that he would forget. However, if you like cats, I’ll buy you one even if he doesn’t send us one. He just said that the Tao family has a lot of kittens.”
Speaking of this, Qiu Yelan suddenly thought, “Keeping Persian cats hadn’t been so popular in the capital when I moved here from the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe.”
Ling Zui said that nowadays, almost all the noble ladies in the capital have a Persian cat. Commandery Princess Ning Tai was also one of the noble girls. As for Kang Lizhang, even though she was not a noble lady, she actually enjoyed a higher standard than Qiu Jinzhu. According to her memory, both of them were very vain. They never missed out any popular things in the capital!”
If the noble ladies started raising Persian cats, how could they be exceptional?
“Did it happen in the past half a month? But in this world, it’s not as simple as in my previous life to make something so popular....” Qiu Yelan wondered, “Is it related to the Tao’s family?”
For the secret news of the Jiang’s family that she overheard that New Year’s Eve, the eighth young master Jiang did not have much respect for his step-grandmother Madame Tao. However, even though he talked behind her back, eighth young master Jiang still feared Madame Tao.
In other words, even if Madame Tao was married by Marquess Qin Guogong in order to win over the once glorious Tao’s family, he was not weak in the Jiang’s family. Even the eighth young master Jiang who dared to have an affair with the emperor’s uncle’s concubine only dared to talk about her badly in private.
“Will it be that the Tao’s family is planning to rise?” Qiu Yelan murmured, “But a family that had three Premiers planning to rise by selling Persian cats.... That’s way too much....”
She thought hard for a while, and suddenly came to realize, “Even that there’s a problem with Persian cats being popular in the capital, it has nothing to do with me! I haven’t even handled the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe yet!”
In this way, she put aside the thoughts about the Persian cats and started thinking about how to “talk” to Kang Lizhang.
However, Ling Zui was trustworthy, and the next day he sent a small Persian cat that was snow-white and had blue and yellow discolored pupils.
The palm-sized Persian cat was carefully supported by a silk mat. It was just a small fluffy ball, with pink paw pads. The way that it looked around curiously with the discolored eyes was so adorable. Suddenly even Qiu Yelan was left out. She sat alone in the hall, no one even offered her tea.
Qiu Yelan ran away with a grumpy face to make a pot of tea for herself. Then she sat back to her original position and waited for a long while. Finally, Su He ran over, carrying her skirt and shouted, “Your Grace!”
Huh! Now you know you’re wrong! It’s just a cat, and it’s more important than me? You people have no conscience! Hurry up and say I’m the most important one!
However, Su He said, “The Persian cat did not have a name yet. Would you please give it one?”
“...” Qiu Yelan said blankly, “Why bother me for such simple tasks? It’s so white, just call it Whitey!”
Su He paused and said, “But General Jiang’s Persian cat is also pure white like this. I heard that its name is Nianxue!”
They were all white cats, one is called “Whitey” and the other is “Nianxue.” What an ironic contrast?
Qiu Yelan continued to be expressionless, “Don’t you know it’s easier to raise if you give it a cheap name? It’s white, so why not call it Whitey?”
Su He thought for a while and was persuaded, “Well, yeah. Sister Chunran, sister Xiaran! The Commandery Princess had named the Persian cat Whitey!”
house Then, she hurriedly ran back to the little home she set up for the Persian cat, and once again left Qiu Yelan sitting alone in the hall. She looked angrily at the pot of tea that had already cooled down...
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