Chapter 172: Digging a Hole for Herself (1)
Chu Lian had taken a class on traditional Chinese medicine back when she was in university, so she could recognise a few types of herbs. She wasn’t too good at it until she read a few wilderness survival books later on and became somewhat familiar with the basics. Now that she was browsing through a medicine hall, she understood quite a bit. Chu Lian even picked up one or two types of herbs and took a sniff to check their quality, but that was the limit of her abilities.
Right across the street from Hengsheng Medicine Hall was the most famous jewellery store in the capital, Jinshi Pavilion.
At this moment, there were a few young ladies standing at a counter in Jinshi Pavilion, chattering away. Their eyes were lit up with excitement as they looked at the accessories a female manager was showing to them, probably so they could try them on.
These ladies weren’t strangers to Chu Lian; they were a few legitimate daughters of House Ying.
They had originally come out with two of their older brothers escorting them, but when they had reached Jinshi Pavilion, the two young masters had found excuses to leave, not wanting to accompany their sisters to jewellery shop.
Now, only the young girls were left in the store, discussing their accessories happily.
Fifth Miss Su took a liking to a lustrous, transparent green jade bangle.
Although the quality of the jade wasn’t the best, it won in its vibrant colour. Its hue alternated between green and blue, like the image of a flowing river. During this hot summer, it was especially cool and refreshing.
When worn on her slender, fair wrist, it brought out the colour of her skin.
She couldn’t resist asking the female manager, “Manager, how much is this bangle?”
The manager smiled and replied, “This jade bangle does match your fair and slender wrist very well, miss. What a good eye you have!”
As she said so, she brought out an exquisite wooden box from under the counter and opened it. There was a matching pair of jade earrings in the box, shaped like teardrops and extremely beautiful.
“Miss, if these earrings are to your liking, why don’t you have these earrings for free together with the bangle? Then this madam will simply accept fifty taels for it. What do you think?”
Although that wasn’t considered much, it was a little expensive for young noble ladies like them, who only received a small monthly allowance.
The legitimate daughters of House Ying only received eight taels of silver for their monthly allowance. A single jade bangle from Jinshi Pavilion actually cost half a year’s worth of their allowance…
Miss Su had brought sixty taels out today, but those sixty taels were the result of half a year’s worth of saving. It was still too much for her to hand them all over for a single bangle. She was still thinking of buying another set of accessories for her mother.
The corners of Miss Su’s lips tugged downwards and she set down the bangle. Her eyes carried a trace of unwillingness as she said, “Manager, I’ll look at something else.”
The manager seemed to notice her difficulty. However, she didn’t say anything more. Without any change in expression, she brought out cheaper accessories for her to choose from.
While holding a golden hairpin inlaid with jade and pearls, Miss Yuan chuckled, “Fifth Sister, you’ve brought more than fifty taels out today. Are you so miserly that you can’t even bear to buy a single jade bangle?”
Eighth Miss Yuan’s words made Miss Su flush.
Miss Su pressed her lips together, but didn’t say anything in reply. She lowered her head to look at the new set of ornaments, pretending she didn’t hear anything.
Miss Yuan chuckled again and passed the golden hairpin in her hands to the manager, boldly saying, “Manager, pack up this hairpin for me.”
The manager hadn’t expected this young lady to be so generous. Her smile seeped into her eyes as she brought an exquisite box over to place the hairpin in. “This young lady has a good eye, too. This golden hairpin has three emeralds on it, each of them the same size. The style of the flowers on top of it is good, too; only two flowers, simple yet elegant. It matches perfectly with the pink dress you’re wearing today, miss. This hairpin is the handiwork of our Master Liu. This madam will set the price low at a hundred and fifty taels, just for you, miss.”