Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 336 - Getting married is only a trifling matter (1)
Ji Man felt despondent. What did Ning Yuxuan mean by canceling the classes? She had been planning on teaching Haohao how to sing nursery rhymes today.
After changing her clothes, she went looking for Ning Yuxuan. However, when she got to his courtyard, Guibai stopped her and said that the marquis was with a guest.
He was holding Haohao while he was with a guest? Who was he trying to trick?! Ji Man stood at the doorway and looked at Guibai with awkward smile for a long time. She remained here so that she could eavesdrop.
It seemed that there were people talking inside. She even heard words like, "congratulations, congratulations" and "will definitely show up". She was helpless though. Haohao was Ning Yuxuan's heir, so she couldn't take Haohao away by force. Since he wouldn't allow her to give Haohao lessons today, then she could only accept it for now.
Since she had agreed that she would marry Miss Zhu, she had to start preparing for their wedding. Regarding the problem of a betrothal gift, Ji Man had already figured out what she would do. According to the rules of this era, she would have to spend several hundred silver taels to buy the traditional gifts that would be up to par, then she just needed to hire a matchmaker to go to Miss Zhu's home on her behalf. Assistant Minister Zhu was in hurry to marry off his daughter, so he wouldn't be too picky and complain.
As Ji Man walked through the streets and ordered red silk and other wedding decorations from one store and jugs of fine wine from another store, she continued to have conflicting emotions. After she had finished with most of the preparations, she dropped by Zhu Residence to discuss the specific details for the wedding day.
Assistant Minister Zhu was broadly smiling. Ji Man had fixed the big problem that had plagued him. Although he felt a bit wronged that his daughter's wedding would be done so casually, it was already a blessing from the Heavens that someone was willing to marry her.
Teacher Ji seemed like a trustworthy person, and he heard that Teacher Ji was from a well-off family too. If he opened a few paths for Teacher Ji, his future son-in-law would definitely have a bright future. His daughter wouldn't suffer by marrying this man. Thinking of it like this, Zhu Shuyou was full of smiles as he exchanged many words with Ji Man.
At the end of their discussion, he even offered to visit Ji Man's rice shops to look around.
Ji Family's rice business was going pretty well, but their customers were all normal citizens, and their stores weren't big. Although there was a store in the north, west, south, and east parts of the capital, each of their stores only took up the space of two standard storefronts.
Before leaving his estate, the assistant minister of revenue had changed out of his high-ranking official's attire and into plain clothing in order to go about incognito. He had also brought along a few trusted aides during his tour of Ji Family's business. As they visited each of the four stores, he gave Ji Man some pointers. By his side, there was a person scribbling down his advice. After they had taken a tour of all the stores, Ji Man and the rest of the group bumped into Shopkeeper Liu.
Since the election for the new head of the grain merchant association was at a critical point, Shopkeeper Liu was putting forth his full effort. He had invited Director Tang out today and spent a lot of money to entertain him. They had just come out of Luoyan Pagoda and ended up bumping into Ji Man.
Ji Man politely bowed. "Sir Tang."
Director Tang still had a very good impression of Ji Man, so he nodded his head to acknowledge Ji Man's greeting. Just as he was going to continue walking forward to go browsing at a jade artifact store with Shopkeeper Liu, he saw that the curtain of the palanquin that was next to Ji Man being slightly parted.
Director Tang's expression slightly changed, and he went forward to politely bow at the palanquin. He didn't call out that person's title and only bowed deeply.
Shopkeeper Liu was quite startled by this sight and hurriedly followed with a bow of his own. Why was Teacher Ji with a person that even Director Tang had to greet with a bow?
Assistant Minister Zhu cast a glance at Director Tang and said, "No need to bow, I just came out to walk around with Teacher Ji. You can withdraw first."
With a broad smile, Director Tang looked at Ji Man and said, "Teacher Ji, you're certainly an extraordinary person."
Smiling, Ji Man responded with a trite formality, "It's all thanks to Sir Tang's help."
Shopkeeper Liu's expression didn't look good. Fortunately, they were in the middle of a busy road, and it wasn't convenient for them to continue standing here to talk. After Ji Man left with the palanquin, Director Tang resumed walking forward.
Director Tang changed his stance, which he had recently stated before they had bumped into Ji Man. "There's no needed to rush with that matter with the rice merchant association that you brought up before. There's still one more month left. Your qualifications are sufficient. You don't need to worry too much."
Shopkeeper Liu was barely able to keep a smile on his face as he made a sound of assent.
When they returned to Zhu Residence, Assistant Minister Zhu said that it was more important to focus on the wedding preparations and that Ji Man didn't need to worry about the rice business. After Ji Man thanked him for his favor, she followed a servant girl to visit Zhu Yurun.
Servants had already started putting up wedding decorations in Zhu Yurun's courtyard. Zhu Yurun seemed to have also gained more weight since the first time Ji Man met her. Her plump body was sitting down at the table. Seeing Ji Man, she said, "Older brother Man, come over here and take a look. What do you think of this handkerchief that I embroidered?"
Ji Man chose to automatically ignored Zhu Yurun's address and walked over to look. There was a strange-looking duck embroidered on the red handkerchief.
The corners of Ji Man's lips twitched. "Donald Duck?"
"... What duck?" Feeling annoyed, Miss Zhu pouted and said, "This is a mandarin duck!"
(T/N: A pair of mandarin ducks symbolizes a happily married couple.)
"Okay, it's a mandarin duck." Covering her mouth to hide her expression, Ji Man sat down. Unable to resist her impulse, she took the embroidery hoop from Miss Zhu and said, "But this isn’t the right way to embroider. Don't most women learn embroidery skills? How can even a simple mandarin duck design turn out to look like this?
The nearby servant girls tactfully left the room and closed the doors to give these two some privacy.
"My dad never forced me to learn feminine skills like embroidery, and I found it bothersome, so I haven't tried embroidering much before."
Watching as Ji Man fixing her embroidery, Zhu Yurun pouted again and said, "Ah, you actually know how to do this?"
Ji Man hadn't embroidered in a long time, so Nie Sangyu's hands had felt itchy with the desire to practice her craft. Without even being consciously aware, she had started trying to rescue the badly embroidered mandarin duck.
"I picked up the skill during childhood from my mother when I was feeling bored.”
Zhu Yurun looked at Ji Man in admiration. "My mother died young, and I'm the only daughter that my father has, so I've been spoiled to the point of not knowing how to do anything."
Ji Man nodded. She had already figured that part out. For a woman to dare to force a man onto a bed, Zhu Yurun must have been spoiled to the point of being out-of-control.
"It's okay. The servants can do this. I've discussed our marriage with Sir Zhu today. I'll send the betrothal gifts the day after tomorrow, then ask a matchmaker to choose an auspicious day for our wedding. I'll marry you before this month is over."
Zhu Yurun's eyes curved into small crescent moons. "That's great. I can finally wearing a wedding dress."
But as she smiled, her eyes started to redden. "It's just a pity that you're not him."
(T/N: I want to recommend a new novel that my friend is translating! https://www.novelupdates.com/series/transmigrating-with-a-cleaver/ If you like isekai-type novels, but you’re tired of bland, beta main characters (bonus points if you like zany humor), I’ll think you’ll enjoy reading this novel a lot.
P.S. I was ambivalent during the first few chapters, but by chapter 8 of the novel, I was hooked XD.)