Chapter 7: Victory

Yang Hanlun narrowed his eyes and cautiously scrutinized the woman in front of him. Lin Haihai faintly smiled and poured herself a cup of water. She leisurely took a sip. 

 

The water from ancient times was clear and sweet. There was no contamination or bleach powder. Lin Haihai knew Yang Hanlun was analyzing her. She deliberately avoided his glance.

 

He can observe all he wants. If it’s something I can’t even explain, how could he, a person from ancient times, figure it out?

 

“Fine. I will fulfill your request since your arguments make sense. Starting tomorrow, you will move into a separate courtyard of one of my residences. I will give you a monthly payment of a thousand silver taels. Furthermore, I will give you an additional ten thousand taels for mental compensation, but you must guarantee that without my permission, you won’t step into the front doors of my residence. Or else, I will make sure you experience the aftermath of disobeying me.” 

 

Yang Hanlun spoke with a frozen expression. By the end, he was blatantly threatening her, but that didn’t bother Lin Haihai the slightest. Her smile continued to deepen and on the inside, she gave herself a victory sign. 

 

She couldn’t reveal too much joy though, otherwise offending this man would bring inconceivable results. 

 

Lin Haihai placed down her cup and stretched out her words. “I understand. I will abide by the rules and not bother you. Likewise, please do not pointlessly get others to bother me as well.” 

 

“Great! Don’t worry, as long as you behave yourself, I naturally won't bother you. But if you do anything that shames my residence, I will not let you off easily!” Yang Hanlun flung his sleeves and harshly left.

 

After Yang Hanlun’s robe sleeve disappeared from the corner, Lin Haihai finally burst out laughing. 

 

Now that I have a home and the compensation money, the living costs won't be a concern for me anymore! The next important thing on the list is to bring my little brother here. 

 

Lin Haihai called for Xiao Ju but didn’t see her anywhere. Then, she recalled she hadn’t seen her maid since this morning after she had helped make her presentable. 

 

Lin Haihai thought that was odd. Isn’t Xiao Ju supposed to be my personal maid? Aside from serving me, she shouldn’t have any other duties. Could other people be bullying her in the residence? 

 

With that in mind, Lin Haihai rushed out the door and happened to crash right into a running Xiao Ju. Due to her small frame, Xiao Ju spun and held onto her nose. Lin Haihai held onto her maid and gently massaged an acupoint on her nose. Xiao Ju instantly felt a lot better. She was deeply moved by Lin Haihai’s gesture. “Young Miss, you’re the best!” 

 

Lin Haihai smiled in return and called her silly. 

 

Xiao Ju was fifteen this year. In the 21st century, she would have been a junior high school student, but in this feudal society, she was stripped of her childhood. At an early age, she had already been sold to a rich man as a servant. 

 

Xiao Ju had gone through a lot of suffering. She had seen and experienced how apathetic humans could be. Her Young Miss’s little gesture was enough to make her tear up. 

 

Lin Haihai felt anguish soaking through her bones. Deep down, she pledged to give Xiao Ju and her little brother a warm and welcoming home. 

 

Yang Hanlun's residence had two other courtyards - North Court and South Court. As the name implied, South Court was situated on the south side of the capital; North Court was the opposite. 

 

Yang Hanlun emptied North Court for Lin Haihai. He dismissed all the maids and older servants and left only a servant girl to cook for her. He claimed to everyone that the sixth princess consort was ill and needed to move to North Court to recuperate. 

 

However, all the outsiders could see through the lie. Everyone was well aware that the prince had his eyes set on Minister Chen’s daughter. Unexpectedly, the daughter of the Lin family saved the sixth prince’s life, and the prince was forced to marry her under the empress dowager’s edict. All the commoners cried out a grievance for Miss Chen. 

 

Now that Yang Hanlun had made this decision, the common people felt much better. After all, Miss Chen was well educated, cultured, and refined. Not to mention, she was as gorgeous as a goddess. If she had to take a concubine’s position, it would be very unjust! 

 

Lin Haihai had no idea people felt this way, but even if she had been aware, she wouldn’t care. 

 

Yang Hanlun ordered the steward to help Lin Haihai move to North Court. Lin Haihai climbed on the horse carriage with Xiao Ju and held the banknotes in her arms. She wasn’t familiar with the currency exchange of this dynasty. But from what Xiao Ju had told her, ten thousand silver taels was a huge sum of money. She was now a wealthy woman! 

 

She could live by the sea, raise a few dogs, and do nothing for the rest of her life, but that wasn’t her style. Lin Haihai had other uses for this lottery money - although, she wasn’t sure what to do with it yet. 

 

The horse carriage jolted approximately the time it took to burn an incense stick. Finally, it stopped in front of a secluded courtyard. The moment the carriage came to a stop, Lin Haihai lifted the curtain and hopped down. The steward widened his eyes. 

 

She’s no well-bred lady from a prestigious house. A concubine’s child definitely lacks upbringing! She's lost all manners by leaping down like this. 

 

Xiao Ju hurriedly got off the carriage. She was astonished. When did my lady become so nimble? In the past, her fragile body could barely withstand the wind! 

 

Xiao Ju tugged Lin Haihai’s sleeve and whispered, “Young Miss, you have forgotten your manners.” 

 

Lin Haihai recalled the history books she had read in the past. She knew how high officials and noble persons were supposed to get off the carriages. But to her, stepping on someone’s back was obnoxious. That was crushing a person’s self-esteem and self-worth. 

 

So, Lin Haihai frowned and turned to Xiao Ju. “In the future, don’t bring this up again. It may be upper society etiquette, but to me, it’s barbaric behaviour. I have my own arms and legs. Why must I step on another person’s back to climb off? Servants are humans too. They have parents too. In their parents’ hearts, they’re priceless. Let us not belittle others, or worse, belittle ourselves. Understand?”  

 

Lin Haihai’s voice wasn’t loud, but it was clearly heard by those around them. Standing from the side, the servants were touched. They never expected a princess consort who had fallen out of favor would be such a considerate master. The servants didn’t say a word, but deep down had a favorable impression of Lin Haihai.

 

(P.S.: She was never in favor to begin with, though…) 

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