“Father and Madame Cao’s gone to great effort on my behalf.” Qin Yining rose and looked back at Xianyun.
The maid paused, then immediately fetched the money pouch when she grasped her mistress’ intention. She handed a hundred tael bank note to each of the four new guards.
Pang Xiao’s people are highly trained alright! Qin Yining smiled to see her maid with such an agile mind.
“This is just some spending money for everyone. There will be plenty of good days to come as long as you remain unswervingly loyal to me.”
Pleased looks crossed the four’s faces and they bowed. “Understood, miss.”
The fourth miss nodded. “Then you’re dismissed for now. I’ll send my trusted maids to you if I’m going out or have further instructions. Let’s introduce you to the rest of my people first.”
Qin Yining gave her orders to Xianyun and Jiyun, who led the four out and introduced Bingtang, Qiulu, and Lian Xiaozhou to them.
Cao Yuqing relaxed when she saw how generous the fourth miss was. Giving her new guards such a hefty greeting gift at their initial meeting was a sign that she was a sensible person. The guard captain took her leave after a bit of casual chitchat.
Jiyun returned to Qin Yining before long and exclaimed softly with amazement, “As to be expected of former Silver Masks! Though I didn’t spar with them, I can tell from the way they walk and their presence that they’re totally different from the usual hired hands that stand guard. Milord really does love you deeply.”
Thinking of her father’s understanding and lenience, Qin Yining was also moved. “That’s right, father really is very good to me. He doesn’t keep me under lock and key like other fathers. He takes my feelings into consideration and carefully looks at things from my perspective. He lets me live with freedom.”
Xianyun, Bingtang, Qiulu, and Lian Xiaozhou came inside at this time.
Xianyun also waxed eloquent. “Thanks to being at your side, miss, I can finally see for myself the impressiveness of the foremost official of Great Yan! Milord really does live up to his reputation! He’s so very friendly to us servants and good to you.” What she didn’t say was that the lord seemed to care about his daughter more than the madame did.
This particular maid hadn’t joined Qin Yining until later in life, so she didn’t know much about née Sun. If she’d known how the senior madame had been like before, she would’ve been equally eloquent about how much the madame had changed.
Qin Yining made her morning greetings to the old dowager and née Sun, then set out to find Steward Zhong.
Her father had clearly analyzed everything for her and didn’t suspect anything she did. He didn’t direct any of her actions, just gave her sufficient personnel to keep her safe so that she could let loose and carry out her plans in full.
How could she disappoint a father who trusted her wholeheartedly?
After giving orders to prepare the carriage, Qin Yining went inside to tell her mother where she was going. “I’d like to take a spin around the markets. We’ve arrived at the capital for a while but I haven’t gone for a thorough stroll yet. I also want to visit the teahouses.”
Née Sun found her daughter’s schedule amusing. “I’ve never seen you want to play so much. Alright, make sure to bring a few more servants with you. Do you have enough silver?” She’d turned to Jin-mama with the last question.
The smiling granny servant took out a brocade box from the redwood dresser and retrieved a silk pouch from inside.
“This pouch contains Great Zhou bank notes. Madame gave us instructions to prepare this a long time ago. It’s perfect for your outing today, miss.”
Qin Yining knew that her mother had a bit of personal spending money, as the farmstead that’d been part of née Sun’s dowry was in active production. It was just, the fourth miss didn’t lack for silver these days, so she was rather hesitant to accept the money.
Née Sun took the pouch and shoved it at her daughter. “Go pick some fabrics that really catch your eye. It’s about time that you had some outfits made. You lost much of your jewelry when we travelled here, so go and see if there’s any pretty new designs. Come back and let me know if you run out of silver.”
The girl wrapped her hands around her mother’s arm and played cute. “Alright, I know. I won’t be scrimping and saving since my mom is so rich!”
Her antics teased delightful chuckles out of the senior madame.
The sight warmed Jin-mama’s heart and she also laughed happily off to the side. “If only the old madame knew that mistress gets along well with the miss these days. Who knows how happy she’d be?”
Qin Yining sat properly upright. “I wonder where my maternal grandmother and aunts have gone to. Mother, should I send people out to investigate?”
Worry crossed née Sun’s face. “I really would like to conduct an investigation, but we’re so far away that it’s inconvenient to do so. I talked this over with your father not too long ago and he said that His Majesty is currently sending men to the south to investigate where Great Yan’s emperor emeritus hid his treasure. In fact, several waves of men have been sent. If our family sends people out as well right now, it’ll give rise to suspicion. It’s be better for us to lay low for now.”
“Father’s discretion is all-encompassing. Mother, it’d be inappropriate for us to make any brash moves at the moment.” However, Qin Yining had already made up her mind to privately contact Azure Justice and have them poke around. Since she wasn’t sure if the alliance would be successful, she didn’t see fit to mention this.
Giving it further thought, the girl continued, “You don’t need to be too worried, mom. Grandmother is very smart and my aunts and cousins are extremely filial. Even if they end up in an unfamiliar place, grandmother has it in her to reestablish the Suns.”
“I too believe that your grandmother can do so,” responded née Sun pensively. “I just think that their lives have been too hard and too full of misfortune.”
Tears welled up in both of their eyes when they thought of the tragic deaths of the innocent Sun males. Blood spraying from Qin Yining’s resolute eldest cousin, the last words of her maternal grandfather and uncles, and her baby nephew—all these lives lost, thanks to a single word from the trash emperor.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sigh, it feels like an eternity ago when we met the Suns. I really liked that family so much.