"Go and inquire about Teacher Ji's situation. Come back and report the matter to me later."
"Understood." Guibai acknowledged the order and left.
It was only when Ning Yuxuan was alone that he let out a long sigh and started walking to the main hall.
He had used to laugh at Ning Mingjie for being too sentimental and thought that that his cousin wouldn't be able bear the responsibilities of an important position. But, as is turned out, it was his household that was an embarrassing mess.
Ning Mingjie had brought Kangyuan Junzhu along.
Right after Ning Yuxuan stepped into the main hall and had barely finished exchanged greetings, Kangyuan Junzhu announced that she wanted to go look for Liu-shi and have a chat with her.
Kangyuan Junzhu took a servant girl with her as she went to the inner court. Just as she was going to head over to Linghan Courtyard, she heard the sound of wailing from close by.
"Isn't that sound coming from where Wan-er lives?" Kangyuan Junzhu raised her eyebrows. "What happened?"
The servant girl that was leading the way said in a quiet voice, "The marquis has already ordered that no one can go near Qiangwei Courtyard. It's only Mistress Wan and Tanxiang inside that courtyard."
Confinement? Kangyuan was very shocked. Didn't everyone say that Miss Wan-er was the marquis's beloved? Why was she being confined?
The servant girl leading the way had been in the estate for a long time, so she knowingly mumbled, "It's not like this is the first time. How many times has she been demoted or sent to the other estate? Doesn't she still come back eventually?"
As Kangyuan Junzhu headed over to Liu Hanyun's place, she mused. There weren't many people left in the marquis's inner court. No matter how many times Wen Wan rose and fell, in the end, Marquis Moyu still hadn't abandoned her. This had to be true love.
Ji Man didn't mind that Qian Yingchen seemed to find her increasingly dislikable and had been very strict during the weighing of the tribute rice. She hadn't been serious about cutting corners with the tribute rice. After all, this was the first year, so she wanted the rice to be as good as possible.
After Ji Man put everything to order, the tribute rice from Ji Store finally entered the palace safely.
Yan Buba was smiling so big that his eyes almost disappeared. As he held the deed for a newly purchased place, he said, "Boss, it'll be easier for us to do business in the future. The tribute rice came from this store, and we're not selling the rice that much higher than other stores. If you open more stores, the rice shops of other families would probably go out of business."
She had purchased several granaries, and the road to Zhangjun had been built quickly, so rice was naturally being transported very quickly from Zhangjun to the capital. She was also familiar with the people in the Ministry of Revenue. Ji Man was on the verge of marrying Zhu Yurun. Even if the other rich merchant families wanted to take her down, Ji Man's position was too steady and stable for them to succeed.
The day of the two weddings quickly arrived. There were festive decorations hanged up in Qian Residence as well as in Zhu Residence. Ji Man sighed as she looked at the wedding clothes that she was waring. Was there something wrong with Qian Yingchen? It had already been four days. Had he still not figured things out yet?
Zhu Yurun was wearing a crimson wedding dress. She looked very uncomfortable as she looked at Ji Man and said, “I don't want to marry..."
Ji Man smiled as she comfortingly said, "It's okay. There's still time for things to turn around."
But, how could things turn around for the better? Qian Yingchen had already mounted a horse and went to Peng Residence to escort his bride home. It was said to be a spectacular sight.
There hadn't been complicated etiquette that had to be observed at Zhu Residence. Since Zhu Yurun's reputation was in tatters, Assistant Minister Zhu had agreed to Ji Man's request for a simple wedding.
No matter how simple the ceremony was, Zhu Yurun still needed to be brought to the sedan chair. Ji Man sighed, carried Zhu Yurun on her back, and placed her down in the sedan chair.
She almost broke her old back by doing this.
The processions for the two families happened to pass by each on a road. However, the procession for Qian household was a sea of red. Although Ji Man's side also had honor guards, it wasn't nearly as magnificent.
Zhu Yurun's servant girl, Zhuer felt furious.
Zhu Yurun was quietly sitting in the sedan chair. When she heard the ceremonial music that floated inside as the two sides passed each other, she finally gave up.
In the end, their fated encounter hadn't worked out. One misstep by her, and there was no way to go back and fix things.
Outside, a matron of honor shouted, "Hey!" The marriage sedan for Qian Yingchen's side suddenly stopped. From inside the sedan chair, a trembling voice said, "A-Almost."
Qian Yingchen stopped and turned his head to look. Ji Man also turned her head to look in that direction out of curiosity.
Both of the wedding processions had halted. A bride came out of the sedan chair and trembled as she took off her wedding veil. "Here should be good enough... Miss has probably already gone far enough. This servant... this servant can't enter Qian Residence."
Everyone was stunned. When they carefully looked at that face, they realized that the bride was actually Miss Peng's personal servant girl!
Qian Yingchen's expression sunk. He got off the horse and walked to that servant girl. "What's going on?"
"Miss... She doesn't want to get married." The trembling servant girl had already knelt down. "Sir Qian, please be merciful and spare this servant."
When Zhu Yurun heard these words while inside the sedan chair, she was overjoyed.
The young lady from Peng Clan had been very unwilling to get married to begin with. Knowing that her family would force her onto a marriage sedan, she had run away! What a huge joke. Ji Man guessed that the young lady hadn't thought about the consequences of her actions. Anyways, Marquis Moyu's scheming could be considered a waste.
But, there was another person that gave even less consideration to the consequences of her actions. Zhu Yurun happily came down from her sedan chair. With one hand holding onto her veil so that her head stayed covered, she skipped over to the other line, nudged that servant girl aside, and sat down inside the other marriage sedan. "Alright, you don't have a bride anymore. You might as well marry me so that this wedding won't be wasted."
Oh my god, Ji Man facepalmed. That girl was totally not caring about the wedding that was happening over here!