TCPCHW Chapter 4 Part 1
The Crown Prince Chases His Wife
Chapter 4 Banquet Crasher (1/2)
Approaching Xi Courtyard, there were intermittent guqin sounds, mixed with the chatter and laughter of young ladies from time to time, which was very lively.
Qin Yan stopped, turned around, and looked at Zhang Quan as if asking him.
Zhang Quan spoke evasively, “Today is Miss Nian’s Hairpin Ceremony. After the ceremony, there will be a banquet held in the garden for the young ladies who attended the ceremony. Why don’t Eldest Miss come back when the banquet is over?”
Qin Yan’s voice was cold, “If I remember correctly, this garden belongs to my mother. Why should I avoid it?”
Zhang Quan opened his mouth but couldn’t say anything.
Looking at the attitude of the eldest young lady, something bad was going to happen.
Qin Yan turned around and strode into the garden. The Xi Garden was luxuriant with flowers and plants. The begonias in the garden were in full bloom, with bright colors and graceful stances. A gust of soft wind blew past, flying flowers fluttered to her face, and the fragrant fragrance that came with the wind was refreshing.
In the meantime, Qin Yan recalled those pleasant times in the garden with her mother in the past.
After passing through the rockery, the voices of the young ladies gradually became more apparent.
“The gold jade inlaid hairpins sent by Imperial Concubine Shu today are exquisite in workmanship. It must have come from the Minor Treasure Bureau in the imperial palace. Imperial Concubine Shu really values Niannian!”
“My aunt loves me dearly and remembers us, the younger generations.” Qin Nian was wearing a lake-blue dress with flowers and mist and had a beautiful and cheerful appearance.
“Didn’t you say that the young lady of Marquis of Yongding Mansion is coming to the banquet? It’s already past weishi (1 pm – 3 pm), why haven’t we seen her yet?”
“Miss Xie sent someone to inform us that she is sick and couldn’t come.”
“Hey, Niannian, I heard that Marquis of Yongding Mansion and your Right Prime Minister Mansion have a marriage contract?”
Qin Nian lowered her head and said nothing, feeling shame and timidity.
Though it might seem strange, they thought it was Qin Nian who was engaged to the Shizi of Marquis of Yongding Mansion.
“Shizi Xie came from a prominent background and is a talented person. Now he is in charge of the Northern Imperial Army. He really has a bright future. I don’t know how many girls in the capital have their hearts broken because of this marriage contract!”
“I heard that Shizi Xie hide a little beauty in the mansion?”
“I’ve seen her once. She’s so lovely and pretty, but unfortunately, she comes from a small family.”
“This person who was brought into the Marquis Mansion without name and status is at most a concubine, and she can’t be seen in public.”
The person who said this was Du Ling, the second daughter of the minister of the Ministry of Finance who had just entered the capital with her father and didn’t have a sense of propriety. Qin Nian, who she was flattering, didn’t that her mother was just a concubine, and the scene became awkward for a while.
The sound faded away. Qin Yan did not have the habit of eavesdropping and chose another secluded path. She turned around a rockery, passed through across the corridor, and walked towards her mother’s Qiushui Courtyard.
Zhang Quan noticed Qin Nian’s intentions, stepped forward quickly, and blocked Qin Yan’s way. He wanted to say something but then hesitated.
Qin Yan raised her eyebrows and looked at Zhang Quan with a puzzled face. She had a bad premonition in her heart.
Zhang Quan said hesitantly, “Madam Song lives in Qiushui Courtyard. If Eldest Miss wants to go there, let me pass the news first.”
Qin Yan thought to herself, as expected.
But this was not just the Qin Mansion, it was also the dowry garden of her mother, and there was no tolerance for others to occupy the magpie’s nest.
Zhang Quan thought of something and added, “A few days ago, Madam Song arranged to clean up Lanyue Pavilion. Eldest Miss can go there to have a rest first.”
“Lanyue Pavilion? I can’t go to my mother’s courtyard, and I can’t even go to my own courtyard?” Qin Nian narrowed her eyes slightly.
Zhang Quan never imagined that talking to this seventeen-year-old girl would be stressful.
“Madam Song is not in good health, so Prime Minister let Miss Nian live in Yanyu Pavilion for easy companionship…” Zhang Quan said bitterly.
It turned out that Song Mei lived in her mother’s Qiushui Courtyard, while Song Mei’s daughter Qin Nian lived in her own Yanyu Pavilion.
“Madam Song? Song Mei?” Qin Yan’s voice was slightly heavy.
Zhang Quan was afraid of what was coming, this shouldn’t have been said by him as a servant. Since Concubine Song took charge of the family and replaced most of the servants, everyone in the mansion was calling Concubine Song, Madam Song. Although it was unreasonable, Prime Minister and the old madam also acquiesced.
Qin Yan sighed, “Go to the lotus pond.” She walked away.
Zhang Quan hesitated a little when he heard the words, but he still followed.
The lotus pond not far from Qiushui Courtyard was originally shallow. In the midsummer of her childhood, Qin Yan and her mother often played in the water and fished there.
But under this inconspicuous pond in the Xi Garden was a warehouse, and the entrance was in the rockery beside the pond. When Shen Changshan, the Duke of Zhenguo, ordered people to build this Xi Garden, he prepared this warehouse to store Shen Shiying’s dowry.
Based on memory, Qin Yan walked to the location of the lotus pond, but only a locked room could be seen, and there were still traces of rockery and pond. Qin Yan wondered if her memory was wrong.
“How can it be like this?” Qin Yan asked Zhang Quan with a frown.
Zhang Quan stuttered when he spoke, “Prime Minister said that the bottom of the pool was too moist, so he ordered someone to move the warehouse up…”
The warehouse was built at the bottom of the pool to prevent outside thieves. The stone gate at the rockery could only be opened with a special key and there was only one key. It used to be in Shen Shiying’s hands, but now it was in Qin Yan’s hands.
Could it be that Prime Minister Qin couldn’t open the door, so he drained the pool, and broke open the warehouse?
Her mother’s dowry items were stored in them. In addition to jewelry, there were also land deeds, house deeds, and antique calligraphy and paintings. Her grandfather ordered the warehouse to be treated with special moisture-proof treatment, which had never been affected by moisture in those years.
Too moist? This reason was too pompous. It seemed that the thief in the family was difficult to prevent.
“No wonder Uncle Huai said that there was a problem with Madam’s shops and asked Master to come to the warehouse to get the land deeds…” Shen Ying retorted.
Qin Yan cut off Shen Ying’s words.
Qin Yan closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her father’s table manners were too ugly, and now she really had to think long and hard.