Chapter 11 Familes Gathering


In the afternoon of the 15th day of the first month, Su Wanniang was dressing up Shen Wen, who was going to the lantern festival at the Marquis of Changle's residence.

Not to look good, but ......


  "Put a round red blush on both cheeks, the colour should be deep red and very strong.


That dot between the two eyebrows should be painted large, like a copper coin.


Put big flowers in the hair, like for New Year's Eve ......"


    Su Wanniang sighed, looked around to see no one else, and whispered, "Miss don't make yourself look so ......” stupid either!


    Shen Wen also whispered, "First impressions of people are important, and a successful first impression can leave a opinion of the other person that is difficult to change.

In fact, everyone is so stubborn that if you want to change an opinion that has been formed, it takes many times of disappointment or surprise to do so."


    Su Wanniang frowned and thought, "Are you saying that you want to leave this bad impression of yourself to the other person, so that they can make many mistakes in the future when they can't easily change their opinion of you"


   Shen Wen smiled, "I knew that sister Wanniang knew me best."


    Su Wanniang rolled her eyes: are you complimenting me or yourself


The Changle Marquis's house is the Empress's maternal home, Yang Shi and the old Furen discussed it and felt that it was better not to let the eldest son, Shen Yi, accompany them so as not to appear too formal and have the meaning of friendship.

Shen Jian is almost fifteen years old, and accompanying them to a girl's lantern party would be suspicious of picking a wife for himself.

Just let the twelve-year-old Shen Zhuo take the Guards of the Marquis to go with the girls.Other House girls if they don't have brothers, the steward and Mama can also lead people to send them, since the Marquis Residence has three sons, one will just follow.


 When Shen Wen left the courtyard, she saw Shen Xiang coming this way.

Ten-year-old Shen Xiang is wearing a dark red jacket with narrow sleeves and snow-white fur, almost to her knees, with deerskin boots underneath, and a simple hairpin with red coral in her thick black hair, looking sanguine and spirited.


    When Shen Wen went out of the courtyard, she saw Shen Xiang coming this way.

The ten-year-old Shen Xiang wore a dark red jacket with snow-white fur with narrow sleeves, almost to the knee, underneath which were deerskin boots, and her thick black hair was simply pinned with a red coral hairpin, looking valiant and spirited.

In front of her stood Shen Wen, wearing a thick red cotton robe and a long skirt of the same colour that reached her feet, looking bulky and awkward.

Her face was painted with red circles, which made people laugh and cry.


    Shen Xiang glanced at Su Wanniang, who blushed and mumbled down, "Miss wants this dress ......"


    Shen Wen smiled and took Shen Xiang's hand and said, "Yes, sister, take a look, does it look good" She wiggled her body a few times.


    Shen Xiang looked at Shen Wen's chubby top and bottom bucket like figure, coupled with the happy smile on her face, like a round baby, she suddenly found Shen Wen very cute.


    Shen Xiang resolutely shook Shen Wen's hand and said, "Yes, it looks good! My sister is cute, she looks good in everything!"


  The two of them went hand in hand to Yang's place to say goodbye, and when they entered, they saw that the old lady was also there.

Su Wanniang was worried about what they would say about Shen Wen's attire, but the old lady smiled and said, "Wen'er is dressed so festively, that's what New Year looks like! How delightful!" She immediately called Shen Wen over and rubbed her face and arms.


    Su Wanniang let out a secret sigh of relief; older people really do see things differently.


Seeing this, Yang Shi immediately said, "Xiang'er is also dressed beautifully, which sets off her beautiful eyes."


     Shen Xiang smiled with some reserve and said, "Thank you, mother, for complimenting me." She was much more graceful than Shen Wen who was still nestled in the old Furen's arms, she was now grown up and did not share Shen Wen's views.


After a few words, Shen Zhuo also came in to pay his respects, wearing a blue silk robe and a cloak and knee pads because he had to ride a horse.


    After a few words of advice, Yang Shi said to Shen Zhuo, "Take your sisters with you, and if it's early, go and see the lanterns , but don't go far, you can come back at 10 o'clock." This meant that they should return to the house by ten o'clock at night.


    Shen Zhuo responded, "Don't worry, mother, I have more than fifty men with me, and Old Guan is also going with me, so it will be fine."


    Old Guan was the old leader of the escort team, but he was actually only 34 or 35.

Shen Wen knew that this Old Guan had fled with his elder brother's two sons when the Marquis House was overthrown, but had failed to escape the capital and was killed along with the two children.


    Yang Shi nodded, the children bowed and said goodbye, Shen Zhuo took the lead, Shen Xiang gestured for Shen Wen to come over, took Shen Wen's hand and followed Shen Zhuo out the door.


    Shen Wen listened and calculated in her mind: the sun sets early in winter, and it was dark by 5pm.

It was about four o'clock when they arrived at the Marquis of Changle's residence, in the late afternoon.

The young ladies took advantage of the afterglow to write a few lines of poetry or something, and then it was time to light the lanterns for the riddles.

It would be enough to stay in that house for two hours and excusing themselves by seven o'clock, and they would certainly be home by nine o'clock in the night.

It was just that if the First Prince wanted to see her, when he did not come, someone must have stalled them to prevent them from leaving.

But they had to go to the Guanyi Pavilion, so they must not delay any longer at the Marquis of Changle's residence.

I hope that the First Prince will not be too late.


They arrived at the Marquis of Changle's residence.

Generally speaking, most Marquises were conferred with military honours or outstanding political achievements, but Jia Qing, the Marquis of Changle, was conferred mainly because his sister, Jia Shi, was the present-day Empress.


At the beginning, Jia was so outstandingly beautiful and ravishing that she was a side concubine(ceifei) when the Emperor was crowned Crown Prince.

When the Crown Princess became pregnant, she also became pregnant, except that the Crown Princess gave birth to a daughter and she gave birth to a son.

The first son was not yet a week old when the crown prince ascended to the throne.

There were rumours at the time that this son brought good luck to the Emperor, which led to Jia Shi becoming so beloved by the Emperor that the son she gave birth to became the Eldest prince, and she later gave birth to the fourth princess.

 After the Crown Princess became Empress, she never conceived again, her daughter died of smallpox, and soon afterwards the Empress died of illness.

Jia Shi was made Empress after the late Empress's illness and her brother was made Marquis of Changle.


    Once the Prince Consort became Empress, she never conceived again, her daughter died of smallpox, and soon afterwards the Empress died of illness.

Jia was made Empress after the late Empress's illness and her brother was made Marquis of Changle.

Of course the Emperor also had Consort Mei and Consort Jiang, Consort Yun and Consort Chen, whose holy favour has not faded to this present day.

In recent years, the Emperor hardly ever visited the Empress's palace, but none of this can diminish the status of Empress Jia Shi, who had a strong hand and maintained the stability of the harem.

Although the Empress's family was not powerful, the other concubines who had imperial sons did not come from prestigious families.


The emperor's offspring were not flourishing.


After the Empress gave birth to the eldest Princess who died of smallpox, neither the second Princess nor the Third Princess lived past their first birthday, and only the fourth Princess, born to Empress Jia, and the fifth Princess, born to Chen Guifei, were both okay.


Among the five royal sons, one is dead and one is still a toddler.

The Fourth Prince, since his leg was crippled, has lived in seclusion, rarely showing himself except when the Emperor calls.

The only healthy ones left were the First Prince and Third Prince.


The Emperor is somewhat partial to the handsome and sharp-looking Third Prince, but he is not indifferent to his eldest son, who has brought him good fortune.

The First Prince has been involved in politics over the years, taking care of simple imperial affairs for the Emperor, and has done everything in a steady manner, without fail, and the Emperor has often expressed his satisfaction.


   The Marquis of Changle, Jia Qing, is forty-two years old and has two Di sons and one Di daughter, as well as eight Shu sons and daughters.

The eldest son is twenty-five years old and already has children, so Marquis can be considered as having a large number of children and grandchildren.


The eldest daughter-in-law, Wei Shi, greeted the women and children of the various houses at the front door of the Mansion, greeting them with great communication skills and flatter around.

According to common practice, Shen Zhuo was only twelve years old and could follow Shen Xiang and the girls into the courtyard to watch the lanterns.

But as soon as they entered the house, Shen Xiang and Shen Wen had just been led inside by one of the Changle Marquis's concubine daughter, and Shen Zhuo was invited by the Changle Marquis's seventeen-year-old youngest son to sit in the study and enjoy a cup of tea for a short while, looking exceptionally formal.


Shen Zhuo was indignant at being killed by Zhang Yunming several times on the chessboard.

After viciously studying a book on the Go Chess game these days, he always thought of trying his hand against someone.

He had no interest in playing riddles in the garden anyway, so he dragged this young man, who was older than himself, to play chess.


   This task of Jia family's son was supposed to separate Shen Zhuo from Shen Xiang and Shen Wen, so why not do it Although Shen Zhuo was a beginner and had not beaten Zhang Yunjin, he was exceptionally clever and the youngest son of the Marquis of Changle had not put much effort into it.

The two of them played half and half, sitting down and not moving their seats until the moment when someone came to the courtyard to tell them about an emergency.


When Shen Wen saw Shen Zhuo being led away by someone else, she knew she had guessed correctly that about soon Shen Xiang would also be separated.

She took Shen Xiang's hand with a nervous look that she could not leave her.


    The courtyard was already full of lanterns of various colours, some of which were adorned with lantern riddles underneath.

Although there was still some light from the setting sun, the hall was already lit.


There were plates of fruit and desserts on a large table and a large bookcase with paper, inkstone and brush, as well as a strip of red paper, indicating that the girls could write poems and riddles as they wished.

The room was filled with the sound of girls laughing and playing.


    When Shen Xiang entered with Shen Wen, the people inside didn't notice at first, and there was a steady stream of ladies arriving from time to time.

By the time the girl accompanying them explained to the others that these were the First and Second Misses of the Marquis of Zhenbei's residence, the voices around them lowered for a moment, and the eyes of the many women looked over, about to see these two girls of ill reputation.


    Shen Xiang held her head high, not caring who was looking at her.She had been practising martial arts every day and had recently taken a liking to long weapons, thinking that one day she would go to the border to help her father.

In her heart, she despises these delicate girls who speak coyly, so she shows a little arrogance in her demeanour, perfectly matching the image of the arrogant and insolent eldest daughter of the Zhenbei Hou residence that everyone has heard about.

On the other hand, Shen Wen's mouth was half open, her eyes straight, looking left and right, being immediately matched with the rumoured stupid and dumb Second Miss.


The girls in the hall began to whisper: "This is the one ......" "Really ah ......" Shen Xiang had heard people saying.

She was very impatient, looked around.

She did not want to write any poetry, and was about to pull Shen Wen away, saying, "It's so boring here, let's go for a walk in the garden."


    Shen Wen pointed to the long case and said, "Wait, I'll get something to eat."


    With a helpless smile on her face, Shen Xiang led Shen Wen to the long case.

Shen Wen's eyes widened and she reached out to take two fried fruits and was about to put them in her sleeve when Su Wanniang smiled behind her and said, "Be careful of the oil on your clothes, let me take it." Without any further ado, she took the fruits from Shen Wen's hand.

Shen Xiang and Su Wanniang practised martial arts together and treated her like a sister, saying that she just loved her sister and didn't feel anything.

While the others felt that the maid had no respect for her master, how could she discipline her master like that in front of everyone


    Shen Wen said with a smile as if she hadn't noticed, "I'll get two more then!" She went to get two more pastries and put them into Su Wanniang's hand.


    A girl sneered and whispered, "You look like a hungry ghost."


    Someone sneered and said, "Isn't there anything to eat in the Marquis of Zhenbei's residence"


 Shen Xiang listened and glared up in anger, jerking her head back to see who was talking.

A roomful of people laughed indifferently.

Shen Xiang wanted to say something, but she could exercise her arms and legs in the martial arts training ground, but her mouth was not sharp.


Shen Wen looked up in confusion and asked, "I heard someone talking about the Marquis of Zhenbei's residence, what are they talking about" The child's voice was so loud that the room fell silent, wanting to hear what Shen Xiang had to say.

Shen Xiang blushed, but somehow she could not rebuke Shen Wen in front of everyone.


   Su Wanniang said in a gentle whisper, "Oh, Miss, I didn't hear what was said about the Marquis of Zhenbei's residence, but it sounded to me like someone who didn't like the food in this residence and said that whoever ate was a hungry ghost." Although her voice was small, the words were clear in terms of bite.

In a moment, scourge who led the way, gave the name Hungry Ghost to all those who ate.


The person who had made the odd remark was dumbfounded: wasn't mocking people for eating also a way of saying that the food in this house was not good