Chapter 111 – A Growing Distance (1)
Chu Lian didn’t know that her decision to bestow rewards to keep her courtyard peaceful had calmed the fire in the heart of one of her maidservants.
When everyone received their silver hairpins and rings, their faces filled with pleasant surprise.
One by one, the servants inspected their rewards and immediately realized that these were no ordinary accessories.
Firstly, the craftsmanship was excellent. Secondly, their designs were so lovely that they couldn’t bear to sell them off.
For servants of an estate, the majority of them could only wear roughly made silver earrings. Their finest jewellry were those same types of earrings engraved with a few simple patterns. However, the accessories that Third Young Madam had bestowed upon them were completely different.
These earrings were perfectly sized, and there were many different shapes: three-leaf clovers, hearts… there were also some other patterns that they didn’t know the names for, but regardless, all of the earrings looked beautiful!
Some of the younger and more vain maidservants immediately put them on.
These accessories looked so exquisitely made, surely only the capital’s Cuiyin Pavilion could have made them!
Third Young Madam had really spent a lot of effort on this reward.
Initially, the servants had thought that there was no future in serving the third branch of the He Family. Third Young Madam didn’t have much status, and was merely a young lady from the Ying Estate known for bearing sons. She didn’t seem to have any other redeeming qualities that had brought her into the Jing’an Estate. And just a few days after their marriage, Third Young Master had left, so the servants became even less diligent in carrying out their duties.
However, based on Third Young Madam’s gifts today and Miss Xiyan’s words, they would definitely work harder from now on.
Getting silver accessories as rewards wasn’t something very common amongst the servants. Taking Baicha’s mother as an example, although she had served in the Jing’an Estate for her whole life, she had only gotten two or three pieces of silver accessories. Those had been bestowed by the old madam only when she had gotten married.
The servants who had gotten their rewards dispersed happily.
When Xiyan was done with the distribution, she reported to Chu Lian in the study.
Chu Lian set down the account book in her hands and stood up. She picked up the case next to her and walked out to the outer room before calling Senior Servant Zhong, Senior Servant Gui and her four handmaids to her.
She pushed the case towards them. “I had these prepared specially for all of you. You’re my most trusted servants, so I couldn’t possibly miss your share of rewards!”
Fuyan had been wondering why all the lower classed servants had gotten rewards, while she and the other personal maidservants hadn’t gotten a single thing.
She hadn’t thought that Third Young Madam had already prepared their share and was waiting to pass it to them.
Fuyan had seen all the silver accessories being handed out. They were finely made and their designs were beautiful and novel. Even just looking at them, she found it difficult to hold back her desire.
Senior Servant Zhong acted like Senior Servant Gui had the day before: she looked at Chu Lian with a disapproving gaze.
How could Third Young Madam act this way? Handing out rewards so generously the moment she entered the estate was a grossly inappropriate use of money.
However, she didn’t say a word out loud. She simply kept score in her heart, preparing to report all of this in a letter to Third Young Master.
Wenqing and Wenlan were just second-class maidservants, so of course, they weren’t included in the share for Chu Lian’s personal handmaids.
“Come here, take a look and see which ones you like the most!”
When the case was opened, pairs of golden earrings and rings were revealed.
There were two sets of accessories that had more traditional designs and contained more gold. Chu Lian had prepared those two sets for the two senior servants.
The other sets were made of more new and interesting designs with lovelier patterns.
One pair of earrings was shaped like peach blossoms. They were pretty within the box, but they were even more charming when worn: two delicate, golden peach blossoms glinting against the curve of a young lady’s ears.
The earrings and rings were slim and the patterns were drawn exactly to Chu Lian’s designs, so they didn’t use up too much gold. This was all that was made from melting the two golden hairpins she had gotten from her childhood jewellery box.
These golden accessories’ main value laid in the exquisite, novel patterns that they had.
They suited Xiyan and the other young ladies well.
All the handmaids were jumping for joy. Senior Servant Zhong looked at the pair of earrings and ring in her hands and snorted arrogantly in her heart.
Third Young Madam, even if you try to bribe me like this, I’ll still report everything to Third Young Master, word for word!
I definitely won’t put in a single good word for you!
Chu Lian smiled and waved them away to return to their own tasks.