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Chapter 8 – The Double Relationship of Cousins

The Double Relationship of Cousins

Although water conservancy has been built in the State of Zhen recently, many people have never thought of the reason why inland rivers are connected and land values rise.

If her master is a merchant, he can sit and wait for the remote shop to appreciate its high price.

Liu Miantang was talking excitedly and heard a burst of banter and laughter outside the shop, “Ninth Master, you have such a good wife. You will be as rich as the enemy’s country in the near future!”

Liu Miantang looked up and saw that the highly skilled Doctor Zhao who was treating her was standing side by side with her husband Cui Jiu.

Both of them are handsome men with tall bodies. They are wearing fancy clothes and jade crowns, which makes them attractive. Fortunately, this is a remote alley. Otherwise, with just Cui Jiu itself, he would provoke the girls passing by to stop and look at him.

Liu Miantang didn’t see her husband for a few days. But she met them here at this time. She was surprised. She hurried over to them and said, “How did you and Doctor Zhao come here?”

Zhao Quan answered with a smile, “I went to Lin county to visit friends with Master Cui Jiu. When we came back today, we happened to see you leading the craftsman this way, so I followed him here to have a look…”

Now, the more Zhao Quan looks at Liu Miantang, the more comfortable he feels. Although many wives and concubines are in his Marquis’ mansion, they only know how to spend money but can’t manage it.

His first wife was the legitimate daughter of the Duke of Anguo. She was a dull woman. Influenced by her mother, she was obsessed with Buddhism. If the Duke of Anguo hadn’t stopped her, she would have decided to become a nun before marriage.

People who study Buddhism are particular about peacefulness and open-mindedness. But his virtuous wife was so into it that she became possessed and ignored worldly affairs. After marriage, she had no interest in husband and wife matters too. Zhao Quan was not as pleasant as a wooden fish in her eyes.

When the head of the household is obsessed with studying Buddhism, the affairs of the Marquis’ house are a mess. Therefore, Marquis Zhao thought that if he takes back Liu Miantang in the future, given her intelligence, she would certainly be able to support the affairs of the marquis.

Miantang listened and smiled with reserve. For fear of her husband being urgent for the shop, Miantang hired several craftsmen from the western market to renovate and set up his shop.

To save money, she and her two servants did a lot of work which doesn’t require much strength.

So the shop was a bit messy at the moment that it was difficult to sit down.

Miantang looked at the white shirt that her husband was wearing today. It was spotless and not suitable to stay in the shop where the heavy smell of oil was prudent. She said, “I will ask Servant Li to go back to the house to cook first. You can take Doctor Zhao back to the house to have a rest.”

However, Marquis Zhao had some secret plan in his heart. When he looked at Lady Miantang again, he naturally felt a little pity for his family.

After seeing her return to the shop, she stood up high, took the skirt, and tore the old oil paper on the wall. The Marquis immediately rolled his sleeves and said, “Lady L… Madam, come down and have a rest. I’ll do it for you.”

With these words, he rushed forward and tore up the oil paper. Seeing that the Marquis had climbed the stool and worked, the young servants who followed him naturally had no time to watch, so he also went to help.

Mo Ru, the servant of Cui Xingzhou, brought a chair from the shop and put it in front of the door for The Prince to sit down.

Cui Xingzhou didn’t sit down. Although it was early in the morning and the streets were quiet if he sat down, wouldn’t it prevent Liu Miantang from luring the enemy?

He looked at Zhao Quan coldly for his unusual attentiveness and capability, but he could understand Marquis Zhennan’s mind. He was captivated by Liu Miantang.

Thinking of this, he raised his voice and said, “Brother Zhao, we are going to be late for the chess meeting…”

Cui Xingzhou spoke in a low tone, but those who knew him well knew that he was unhappy. It occurred to Zhao Quan that he and Cui Xingzhou were going to meet the Dong Quan Buddhist who was coming to stay here for a while.

Dong Quan Buddhist has a strange eccentric temperament, but his chess skills are superb. It is rare to see him giving his old friend Cui Xingzhou the face. It really can’t be delayed.

Marquis Zhao hurriedly pulled two pieces of oil paper from the wall, then smiled apologetically at Liu Miantang and said, “I’m busy today. I’ll help you with something else next time.”

Liu Miantang smiled and wrapped the green scarf on her head and said, “It’s very kind of you, Doctor Zhao. How can I bother you with such rough work?”

Zhao Quan jumped down from the table, took the wet towel and tea from the waiter, and said sincerely, “I am as close as a brother to the Ninth Master. You can also stop calling me ‘Doctor Zhao’. You can call me by my name, ‘Jia Yu’ will do.”

Liu Miantang smiled, but how could she call her husband’s friends’ names directly? So she changed her mind and said, “It seems that Mr. Zhao is short of water in your life. This name and the word complement each other.”

Zhao Quan also smiled, thinking that the woman was beautiful and intelligent and that he lacked a gentle and considerate beauty in his life too.

When they got back on the carriage, Marquis Zhao was still immersed in the moment just now. He frequently looked back at the beautiful woman standing in front of the shop to see her husband off.

It was not until the carriage turned that he reluctantly withdrew his head.

Cui Xingzhou felt that it was necessary to wake his misguided friend up, so he said lightly, “Marquis is kind-hearted, but don’t go too far. After all, that woman is the family member of the rebel. Once tainted, it will be implicated.”

Zhao Quan didn’t like to hear this. He glared and said, “How is she considered the family member of the rebel when she is being robbed? After this is over, you should uphold justice and give Miss. Liu justice!”

Cui Xingzhou, however, felt that his good friend was not familiar with the cruelty of the world, so he didn’t want to talk nonsense with him. He just picked up the scroll placed aside, looked it over, and said gently, “Her father and brother are all guilty. She is homeless and has a bad reputation that cannot be accepted in society. If she helps me make great achievements, she will be rewarded with some silver. By then, she can become a nun in the temple and spend the rest of her life in peace.”

Zhao Quan was scared by his wife, who was obsessed with Buddhist scriptures. Now, hearing the word “Temple nun” makes him a headache. He doesn’t know what he owed the Buddha in his previous life. His marriage is so rough in this life.

He finally like a woman, but Cui Xingzhou had to send her to the temple!

Marquis Zhao was unhappy at the moment. He thought that maybe his good friend didn’t understand his feelings towards the woman that he was being so cold-hearted, so he opened his mouth and said, “Ninth Master, you also have good news that will be happening soon. You are going to marry my second cousin of the Lian family and make a beautiful couple. Poor me for being a married man, but no one cares about the well-being of me every day, except for the lovely girl like Liu…”

It’s a pity that no one has spoken.

Prince Huaiyang leaned on the cushion of the carriage, held his forehead with one hand, and read the book carefully. It seemed that he was not interested in talking about the good things that were coming soon.

The second daughter of the Lian family, Miss Lian mentioned by Zhao Quan, is Cui Xingzhou’s mother, the old Princess Consort of Chu’s niece.

In those days, the Old Prince was romantic by nature, but the old Princess Consort had a bad relationship with the old Prince after marriage. She had only one daughter but no legitimate son after six years of marriage.

The Old Prince Cui Xie was so impatient that he has gotten himself three concubines. During the four years, he took turns in the villa, and they compete with each other, giving birth to eight illegitimate children.

In the seventh year, the fragrant oil money donated by the old Princess Consort moved the Buddism goddess, Guanyin, and became pregnant. Now that she was pregnant, she gave birth to her legitimate son Cui Xingzhou.

Therefore, although Cui Xingzhou was named his legitimate son, he was the ninth among his brothers.

Those concubines have good family backgrounds, and they all have sons under their knees. The rivalry and infighting are as deep as the palace, which is enough for storytellers to say.

The old Princess Consort is weak by nature, and the reason why she can stand firm in the open and covert struggle of a noble concubine, naturally comes from her father’s family background, and her brothers are both capable and strong backers.

What is more important is that her son strives for success.

In other words, when the old Prince died and Cui Xingzhou inherited the title, there were only four brothers left above him. During this bloody period, the people in the mansion kept a secret.

Seeing the foul atmosphere in his father’s backyard, the concubines were domineering. When it was time for Cui Xingzhou to get married, the choice of the new Princess Consort was naturally cautious. The first factor is to be gentle and not domineering.

He can’t help it. His mother is too weak. He’s afraid she can’t handle a domineering wife as a mother-in-law.

He is not unfaithful, and he doesn’t want to marry a concubine. He just wants his bride to be modest and kind. It is even better if she can be filial to her mother and have children.

Finally, under the strong proposal of the old Princess Consort. He chose Lian Binglan, a cousin whose temperament is similar to that of his mother.

Lian Binglan is the second daughter of the old Princess Consort’s sister of the Zhao Chu family. Her father is Lian Hanshan, the uncle of Zhao Quan, the Marquis of Zhennan.

Therefore, the second daughter of the Lian family, Miss Lian is not only the cousin of Cui Xingzhou’s aunt’s family but also the cousin of Zhao Quan’s uncle’s family.

Cui Xingzhou and Zhao Quan are also considered distant relatives, that can’t be separated.

In those days, cousin Lian had a group of excellent male cousins. She was almost dazzled. Finally, she chose such a handsome Prince as Cui Xingzhou in the end who envies other young ladies.

It’s a pity that things are not perfect. Miss Lian’s grandmother choked on a peach two years ago and died suddenly. Such an accident caught the children of the government unprepared and failed to avoid the funeral period and marry in advance.

So Lian Binglan and Cui Xingzhou had to postpone their marriage for three years.

Now two years have passed, and after another year, Prince Huaiyang’s residence can welcome the hostess.

However, the old Princess Consort of Chu often missed her future daughter-in-law, and because she was lonely and unaccompanied, she often took her to her mansion.

Cui Xingzhou did not question his mother’s decision, nor did he want his cousin to be criticized before marriage. When Lian Binglan was visiting the mansion, he avoided going back to the mansion, so as not to be passed on as a private meeting of filial piety, tarnishing each other’s reputation and giving admonitors evidence.

He hasn’t returned to the mansion for half a year. After this chess game, he will hurry back to his mother’s birthday party.

Playing chess with the hermit is very enjoyable. Cui Xingzhou is a master of chess. He doesn’t like the noisy wedding banquet. He only likes this kind of entertainment without opening his mouth.

Recently, the central government has been impeaching him for supporting the army and respecting himself. The emperor is also waiting for him to personally hand over the military token and demobilize the local army.

Cui Xingzhou was too lazy to deal with the verbal temptation of a cadre of bureaucrats. Instead, he got along well with idle people such as Zhao Quan and Dong Quan Buddhist.

After half a day of chess play, the Dong Quan Buddhist, who doesn’t like praising others, said, “I haven’t seen you for a few days. Prince Huaiyang’s skill in playing chess has become more tricky and poisonous. It’s really fun to compete with you!”

As he said this, he took out a volume of fragmented chess manual and said, “I admit defeat in the game, I lost three rounds in a row today, so I will give the Lan Ke chess manual to you. But this heirless chess manual has been handed down generation by generation. Now, only this version is left. If you can find the second half of this chess manual in the future, hope that you can borrow me to read.”

Cui Xingzhou smiled and agreed.

TL/ Notes: Hello everyone, just a side note, Prince Huaiyang is the King of the State of Zhen. Because he was granted a fief by The Emperor and to differentiate The Emperor and the real Princes, I use Prince Huaiyang instead of King Huaiyang.

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