Chapter 110 – A Peaceful Courtyard (3)
The next day, Chu Lian told Matriarch He alone about the invite she had been given to Prince Wei’s estate. The matriarch was overjoyed and held onto her hands before she instructed her to accept the invite without any worry.
When she returned from Qingxi Hall, she told Senior Servant Zhong to gather all the maidservants in Songtao Court.
Chu Lian handed over the matter to Xiyan and went off to her study to practise her writing.
Xiyan held the lacquered redwood tray in her hands and announced to the parlour filled with maidservants, “Third Young Madam’s birthday is coming soon, so a few days ago, she ordered these accessories to be made. She wanted to use this opportunity to award everyone and pass the fortune along.”
Xiyan’s words had been carefully scripted by Chu Lian, and they weren’t false in the least. The birthday of Chu Lian’s current body was indeed within these two days; the 26th of July, to be exact. It just so happened to be the day that Royal Princess Duanjia had invited her to appear at Prince Wei’s estate.
She had to give a reason for this bestowal of gifts, otherwise the expectations of her servants would be raised too high. Although Senior Servant Gui hadn’t said it outright yesterday, Chu Lian had already thought of this problem.
This was exactly like how companies would give a bonus on certain holidays. It encouraged the employees to continue working there.
Senior Servant Gui froze for a moment. She had completely forgotten to give Third Young Madam a reminder yesterday, due to her panic in overstepping her boundaries. However, Third Young Madam had still managed to come to the same conclusion, and as evident by Xiyan’s speech, she had already taken the necessary steps to avoid the problem. A tinge of guilt seeped into Senior Servant Gui’s heart.
When all the servants heard that there would be rewards today, all of their faces were filled with joy.
Xiyan coughed twice, and they all settled down into silence.
“Third Young Madam has passed down these orders: second-class maidservants are to pick one silver hairpin and two rings each. Third-class maidservants are to take one silver hairpin and one ring each. As for those without any ranks, they are to take one ring each.”
Then, Xiyan handed the tray in her hands over to Wenqing, instructing her to pass it around for the rest.
Everyone was overjoyed and said in unison, “Many thanks to Third Young Madam for the rewards!”
“Do your work properly from now on. As long as you do a good job, Third Young Madam will surely reward you again. However, anyone who doesn’t follow the rules will be immediately kicked out of Songtao Court.”
Upon hearing Xiyan’s strict reminder, the voices of everyone present blended together into a single, unanimous answer. “We will do our jobs properly.”
Baicha was one of the menial servants working in Songtao Court. Her parents were both family servants of the Jing’an Estate. However, they hadn’t been able to rise in the ranks. At first, her mother had been in charge of tending the fire in the main kitchen. When the main kitchen had been lit aflame, her mother had been burned. Now she couldn’t even get up from bed. Her father had been running errands for one of the main stewards in the outer court. However, a few years ago, someone had set him up to take the fall for embezzling some funds from the estate. He had been punished by Eldest Young Madam and was now working in the stables, shoveling horse manure.
Perhaps due to the shock, he had become an alcoholic, getting drunk everyday. Her two older brothers weren’t in very high positions in the estate either. Baicha had started working as a menial servant since she was ten. Even after four years had passed, she was still sweeping floors in the estate.
She had wanted to try catching Third Young Master’s eye, but Third Young Madam had entered the estate then.
Since Third Young Master had suddenly left the estate for the northern border, Baicha could only do her job quietly.
However, her mother’s health was deteriorating and she desperately needed money to get a doctor for her mother. All the funds at home had been taken away by her father for drinks. She was right at the point of no hope when Chu Lian had suddenly bestowed these rewards.
She grasped the three-leaf clover ring tightly in her hand, her eyes full of gratitude as she looked towards the main bedroom of the courtyard.