Ch11 - The Dowry
“What is wrong with you”
Raising an eyebrow, Gong Zhuoliang placed the bowl atop the cabinet that was near the bedside, and then he laid on top of Qiao Yingze to check on him.
“Please don’t worry about me.
This is merely a fatigue, so I’ll be fine after resting for a bit”
Qiao Yingze’s glum slightly dissipated as soon as he saw Gong Zhuoliang showing concern for him.
However, since Gong Zhuoliang was pressing over him; he felt somewhat drowsier.
He’s been moving around since this morning, and so he was totally exhausted.
However, not only was his body fully worn out, but also his agitated heart.
“My dear Husband, if you’re unhappy, you could just talk about it to me.
Even if I’m incapable of helping you, you could always vent your feelings whenever you want”
Since he couldn’t relate to Qiao Yingze’s oversensitivity, and so Gong Zhuoliang couldn’t understand why he was acting like that** however, he had his own method of handling people; hence he imitated Qiao Yingze’s previous words and said it back to him as he shook the other’s body.
When Gong Zhuoliang heard him say this for the first time, he had to admit that he was very moved.
And so there’s no way that Qiao Yingze wouldn’t be able to feel the same way.
“Then… would my Wife allow this Husband to take a bite”
Turning his head to glance at him, Qiao Yingze couldn’t help but be amused over Gong Zhuoliang’s wacky behavior.
He then rolled over the bed and seized Gong Zhuoliang into his arms, before he sat up alongside him.
Could you pay me back first with what you owe me”
Gong Zhuoliang was electrocuted by Qiao Yingze’s smile for a bit; however, he only smiled back at him, then leaned on his embrace, while he continued to act coyly and teased him.
That bite varies”
Having Gong Zhuoliang in his arms, Qiao Yingze pretended to bite him with greed; however, just as soon as his teeth reached the other’s skin.
Gong Zhuoliang deftly slipped away from the bed, and then grabbed the bowl of hot soup from the cabinet to give it to Qiao Yingze.
This time, he did not decline the soup anymore.
Sensing the aromatic fragrance of the soup, Qiao Yingze did not feel nauseous at all as he drank it.
On top of that, since Gong Zhuoliang was right beside him, Qiao Yingze ended up eating half a bowl of rice than he normally did.
After their meal, Ruo Lan was holding a form; then she gave it to Gong Zhuoliang.
Written on the form were a detailed list of the red envelopes they received today.
Qiao Yingze saw that Ruo Lan seemed like she wanted to speak with Gong Zhuoliang about something, and so he waved his hands to them, and excused himself to his study room to arrange some matters over there; giving space for the Master and Servant to have a conversation.
Leaving their bridal chamber, when Qiao Yingze was heading to his study room in their new courtyard, he brought with him his reading partner― Qiao Ming.
Qiao Yingze had been living inside the Old Madam’s courtyard since he was a child.
It was only after he passed the county level of the imperial exam when he moved out of his grandmother’s courtyard, and only started to reside in a quiet and secluded little courtyard that was close to the Old Madam’s.
The current courtyard they’re officially living in now was the prenuptial present of the Old Madam for his Eldest Grandson
The courtyard was the third largest yard in the Qiao Household, and was only below the Old Madam and his courtyard.
Speaking of it, Qiao Yingze hadn’t actually seen the new courtyard before until he got married.
Previously, due to his illness, the Old Madam was the one who took charge of handling all arrangements and other matters regarding the courtyard, and no one was allowed to take even a single step inside the courtyard.
Even the little groomsman slept in another place for three days during the premarital.
“Young Master, what book do you feel like reading Ming-er will assist you to look for it”
Qiao Yingze deeply cherished his book collections so much, therefore, Qiao Ming was the one who handled every matter inside the study room.
Even he moved in with Qiao Yingze, and was the only person who arranged all of the books since he didn’t want others to lay a finger on Qiao Yingze’s treasured things.
“Try to look for interesting travel magazines and some articles.
Also, take out a few copies of your favorite colloquial books.
I must do something to keep our Young Madam entertained and won’t be bored”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Looking around the room, Qiao Yingze was extremely pleased with the layout of his study room.
With a smile on his face, he sat on the divan and gave instructions to Qiao Ming to look for the books he’s requesting, while he himself casually flipped through the books before he picked those that he thought were fascinating or strange, then he prepared to bring them to Gong Zhuoliang and have him take a look of it.
“Tbecu Ojvs, jybea atja tjcvxfgmtlfo atlr wbgclcu….
Cgf sbe jigluta”
Qtfc atfs kfgf atf bcis bcfr ifoa lcrlvf atf gbbw, Eeb Ojc mbeivc’a tbiv yjmx tfgrfio jcswbgf, jcv lwwfvljafis lcdelgfv Xbcu Itebiljcu klat ecfjrlcfrr; ugjyylcu tlr tjcvr klat tfg
“Efra jrregfv, Eeb Ojc.
Mjmlcu atf ufcelcf mbcmfgc bo Eeb Ojc, Xbcu Itebiljcu tfrlajafv obg j ktlif, yea lc atf fcv, tf ralii abiv tfg atf ageat atja Hljb Tlcuhf kjr jigfjvs jkjgf bo tlr rlaejalbc.
Lbkfnfg, tf ralii mbcmfjifv atf batfg vfajlir ogbw tfg, jr kfii jr tlr oeaegf qijcr.
Lf bcis abiv tfg atja Hljb Tlcuhf qgbwlrfv tf’v yf xffqlcu tlr rfmgfa ab tlwrfio, jcv atja tf kbeiv regfis rffx j kjs ab rfa tlw ogff lc atf oeaegf.
Cybea atja yibbvrajlc, tf ilfv atja la kjr ogbw tlr bkc, jcv tf bcis rajyyfv tlr bkc jgwr ab mgfjaf j ojyglmjalbc bo atf yibbv; rb bc jcv rb bc….
“What a relief… I’m really glad for Young Lady to meet such a good person”
Ruo Lan’s eye sockets turned red due to joy.
She then decided to go visit the temple if ever she had the chance to, in order for her to give offerings to the Gods as her thanks, and to pray that Gong Zhuoliang will no longer have to suffer anymore, and he will have to live a blissful life in the future.
So, how much was my dowry”
As soon as Ruo Lam finally calmed down, Gong Zhuoliang immediately looked at the form that was given to him; attentively scanning the lists, before finally learning how rich he was now.
To begin with, the Qiao Family’s dowry was 3,000 taels of silvers; then afterwards, the Gong Family added another 3,000 amounts of silvers, so the total amount of their dowry is now 6,000 taels of silvers….
When Gong Zhuoliang had to simply balance the worth of silver during this era, he guessed that it should be similar to that of the Ming Dynasty.
When purchasing for a power, the amount should be the same.
So when one or two silver is equivalent to 500 RMB, then in overall, his dowry is 3 million…..
But thinking about Patriarch Qiao’s status as a prefectural magistrate, doesn’t he have the same status as the Mayor back in the present day On the other hand, the city of Bo was among the most prosperous cities, and when thinking back to the provincial capital in his original world, the power they held was totally the same.
So actually, the amount of silver they gave to their family’s Eldest Young Master for his marriage is a lot smaller than they should’ve been able to afford…..
“Young Lady… According to Ruo Lan’s evaluation; the amount of red envelopes that were given by the Old Madam, the Patriarch and the Madam is around 1,200 taels.
The amount of value that the Patriarch gave was 200 taels, while the Madam also gave a worth of 200 taels”
With her eyebrows lowered, Ruo Lan thought of something for a while, before she brought out a bunch of small keys from her bosom, and then she placed them all in Gong Zhuoliang’s hands.
“..What is this…”
Gong Zhuoliang sighed, thinking that the amount of his gift money for joining this household might be worth 800k, when he suddenly saw the keys on his hand and was stupefied for a while.
Looking at them one by one, he noticed that some of the keys looked really familiar to him.
He recalled that these keys were placed inside one of those precious caskets that were added to his dowries before.
Such as: The land deed, the title deed (for house), and then some jewelries and head ornaments.
Madam Gong had intentionally told Ruo Lan before, right in front of Gong Zhuoliang, that she must secretly keep the keys with her first.
And then after that, they’ll have to wait for a while until Gong Zhuoliang becomes ‘Widowed’, before Madam Gong will retrieve the keys back to her hands.
However, he did not expect that right after their wedding, Ruo Lan would give the keys to him instead.
Gong Zhuoliang always knew that Ruo Lan treated him very kindly, but who would’ve known that he’d be kind to him to that extent
“This servant had decided before that, if she ever perceived that the Young Master-in-law is no good at all, she would have to take all of these back to the Madam.
However, this servant will still beg for the Madam to not cause trouble for you in the future.
But since the Young Master-in-law treats you very well, then all of these things should obviously be on your hands”
(TL/N: Ruo Lan is been using the formal term for ‘You’ during this dialogue)
As Ruo Lan spoke, she was wearing a very joyful expression.
Finally, she no longer had to act like an adult in the future.
As a maidservant who had grown up beside Madam Gong, she had already learned the skill of distinguishing among objects, and she’s especially good at appraising jewelries and other precious stones.
She really liked her work, and she gets very excited whenever she sees any rare and precious items; however, she absolutely has no selfish desire towards it.
“Within the courtyard, there was a storehouse where all of your dowries were kept, and this place will be yours for your own private use.
While the other storehouse was for you and the Young Master-in-law.
Han Shu-jie and the rest were already making an inventory of all the keys, and then afterwards, it will be handed to you.
This servant had looked over them earlier on, and there were a lot of rarities that I have never seen before”
“If Ruo Lan had taken interest to any of them, I will look for a way to give them to you later”
Gong Zhuoliang quite liked Ruo Lan.
She’s not that much old-fashioned, and is only more like a typical 14-year-old girl.
“This must not happen at all! How is this servant worthy to receive such a precious thing from the Young Lady This does not conform to the rules, and we will surely be scorned by the Husband’s Family”
A recently married Daughter-in-Law giving their maidservants rewards from the Husband’s treasury will surely result in a rumor of them being a money-grubber and illiterate.
Ruo Lan will really not allow Gong Zhuoliang to do this.
“T-Then… I will find a way to earn money so I could buy you presents in the future.
In that way, no one will be able to say anything”
Gong Zhuoliang is completely aware that Ruo Lan was only saying this for his own good.
This made him feel even more indebted to her, and so in his heart, he decided that he’d surely repay her someday.
Thinking so, he spoke those words with an intentional innocent smile on his face.
“Then Ruo Lan is thanking the Young Lady in advance”
Gong Zhuoliang replied with feign anger, and Ruo Lan only consoled him with a smile.
She is very glad that Gong Zhuoliang was able to act freely with her.
She then told him as well that the present will have to be set aside for a while; after all, he’s still a child; so how could he possibly earn money by himself at his age, ne
As soon as she finished exchanging a few more words with Gong Zhuoliang, that’s when Qiao Yingze came back once again.
Ruo Lan tactfully excused herself, and when she finally left the room, she suddenly saw Ruo Zi standing by the door.
Her eyes were sparkling, and it was very obvious that she was thinking of something…
“Ruo Lan-jie, this meimei has been keeping an eye on a certain jewelry set among the dowries.
Actually, the Madam already told me before that I could have those set of jewelries”
When Ruo Zi pulled Ruo Lan over to the back of the room and they were the only ones left, she instantly stuck out her hands in front of Ruo Lan with a silly smile, which literally meant that she was asking for the keys.
Recently, when she was properly searching around the house, she couldn’t find the keys at all.
“How audacious! The Young Lady’s dowry isn’t something a maidservant like you should even think of! Just what place do you think are we in right now Do you want to be killed once you are found out”
Ruo Lan has always known that whenever Ruo Zi seeks for her, it’ll never be anything good at all.
Actually, if it weren’t because of Madam Gong, she would never have to deal with her again.
She then scolded her with a cold face.
“Just why am I not allowed to think about those Is it because he is more worthy to have those things than I do But the Madam even said that those are for me!”
When Ruo Zi saw Ruo Lan’s goody-two-shoes face, she instantly had the urge to rip out that fake face.
Thinking that she really might have to work together with that girl as the dowry maids, Ruo Zi felt so suffocated and enraged out of shame.
So why can’t you just stop teaching me a lesson every moment, while when you’re with others, you always pretend to be someone else That is definitely her true colors!
“Haven’t you mentioned before that this dowry was for the Young Lady, so obviously, how could the Madam dare to break the rules and just give it away to someone else This is certainly just your own greed for money, and for having wishful thinking of possessing the things that were originally owned by your own Master! Today, I’ll treat our conversation as though it never happened at all.
However, starting from today, if you still dare to scheme, then you’ll only have to look out for yourself lest you’ll be driven out”
Ruo Lan knew that if she couldn’t warn Ruo Zi today, sooner or later, this girl would surely proceed to stir up trouble due to that brash temper of hers.
At present, Gong Zhuoliang could only live a happy life for a few days, and so she’ll certainly not allow Ruo Zi to cause any disaster at this time.
As she flushed red with anger, Ruo Lan pointed a finger to Ruo Lan yet she couldn’t say anything at all.
In ordinary days, she always had this habit of acting spoiled and arrogant, back when she’s still living at the Gong Household.
Unexpectedly, as soon as she arrived at the Qiao Household, she always had to suffer from being taught a lesson everyday.
Nowadays, Ruo Lan–that girl who always had a gentle and kind temperament–even dared to scold her.
Ruo Zi was so angry that she couldn’t even think properly.
“Haven’t you seen the temperament of the Qiao Family yet So now tell me, which one among the two patriarchs is the easiest to work for Don’t you know how many eyes are currently observing for each movement we make So you think that we’ll benefit over our Young Lady’s misfortune If so, I’m afraid that you’ll surely die more quickly than anyone else.
You must think it over”
Ruo Lan had really meant what she says.
Observing those two maidservants of the Qiao Family, she already knew that they had been disliked by them right from the first day, and so they will certainly be bullied in the future.
If you wish to survive in this place, you must learn how to hold on to your tail and become a well-behaved person.
If Ruo Zi couldn’t really understand this, then no one will be able to help her at this point.
As soon as Ruo Zi was done speaking, she left the room to do her work, leaving Ruo Zi by herself to ponder.
When Qiao Yingze went back to their room, he just casually placed the books he brought with him on the table, without saying that he specially picked out those books for Gong Zhuoliang.
Afterwards, he only washed his hands and face before going back to bed, thinking that maybe he’ll just take a short afternoon nap.
Following him over, Gong Zhuoliang reached out to Qiao Yingze’s clothes and took the initiative to hang it over.
When he caught sight of those stacks of books from the table, his eyes instantly lit up.
He had thought before that it’d be really bad if he were to stay inside this room, doing nothing at all.
Reading is a great pastime, and he himself used to be a bookworm.
Since childhood, he had at least practiced doing calligraphy before一 especially the Traditional chinese一 and he is currently proficient in that line.
With that being said, luckily he studied them before, and so he won’t have trouble associating to this era.
“Are you fond of reading”
When Qiao Yingze saw Gong Zhuoliang’s reaction, the corners of his mouth quirked up a smile, before he pulled Gong Zhuoliang over to sit in front of the dress table and started to groom him.
He assisted him to remove all of the jewelries over his head, then he started to straighten up his hair by properly combing it, before pulling all of his hair to his back and tying the rest of his hair into a domestic bun; clamping it with a ribbon.
He could tell that Gong Zhuoliang doesn’t really like his hair being done in a female style, but since they won’t really see anyone today, Qiao Yingze wanted to make him comfortable today.
Sincerely nodding his head, Gong Zhuoliang checked himself in the mirror left and right, and he was very satisfied with his look.
It really felt even better when all of those hairpins were finally out of his head, ah..
“If you feel like reading anything, feel free to look for it in my study room and get it from there.
But let us take a rest for now.
Last night, we didn’t had enough sleep, while this morning, we’ve been very busy”
Qiao Yingze pulled Gong Zhuoliang into his arms, and made them sit on the bed.
Seeing Gong Zhuoliang flipping the pages with gusto, Qiao Yingze was in a good mood once again.
But then he grabbed the other’s hand to pull the book away from him, before he made Gong Zhuoliang lie on the bed with him.
He could tell the exhaustion on Qiao Yingze’s facial appearance, and so, although Gong Zhuoliang really wanted to read this book for a while, he’ll unfortunately have to stop for now.
Quietly laying beside Qiao Yingze, unexpectedly, he entered the dreamland in that short moment.
Until he suddenly felt a warm, faint sensation from his lips; Gong Zhuoliang instantly woke up with a start.
Secretly squinting his eyes to peek at a certain someone, he saw an image of a blushing man who just stole a kiss from him.
He felt awkward for a bit, and remained asleep for a while to pretend that he hadn’t noticed him yet, until he finally ‘woke up’, then he stretched his body.
Gong Zhuoliang is too lazy to get up from the bed, and so he only pressed down his little Husband who’s apparently about to escape to his study room, and looked for a comfortable position to lie on top of him until he was satisfied, before he told Qiao Yingze to talk about himself and the Qiao Family’s condition.
Because knowing about your enemy will certainly let you win every battle!
Pondering over something for a while, Qiao Yingze decided to begin with Old Madam Qiao’s courtyard.
He talked about the never-ending dispute between the head of the maidservants, and the daughter-in-law of their steward; Then he also began to talk about the Old Patriarch, the Madam, as well as the people around them.
These people… were all unknown to Gong Zhuoliang, until he started mentioning the name of his blood-related younger brother― Qiao Yingxuan.
Qiao Yingze was slightly hesitating to talk about him, but then when he saw Gong Zhuoliang who was looking uninterested to listen recently suddenly becoming interested, Qiao Yingze couldn’t help pressing his lips together.
However, he still continued to talk.
During Ruo Lan and Ruo Zi’s conversation was my favorite! I’m already starting to like Ruo Lan~ (๑♡⌓♡๑)
And oh! Qiao Yingze loves to read books, while Gong Zhuoliang is a writer.
What an unbelievably matching pair aaa! ♡(> ਊ