Chapter 59: Yue Yun Embroidery Floor’s Jiang Yingyun
“You are really going to ignore me now?”
That night, Lin Si Yao hugged Su Shuilian as they sat on the side of the bed. Smiling, he continued to whisper close to her ear, “But you promised before, that when the osthamus flowers are abundantly abloom, we would have another formal toast. Now that you are ignoring me, how are we going to have the toast?” His breath tickled her sensitive skin, though she had completely flushed red, Su Shuilian remained stubborn.
“That’s going to be in another 3 to 5 years though….” Su Shuilian quickly found an excuse. During the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, she had gotten herself completely intoxicated and had said many incoherent things. Although she does not remember most of it, he still insisted that she had said this then.
Fine, once there are a plentiful amount of blooming osthamus flowers, they will try the osthamus wine that she made. The wine jar that is currently buried by the cherry tree (being aged) in their backyard.
As for the (unaged) osthamus and glutinous rice wine that she had said to revoke for dinner, it was still given to the Shifu and disciple pair. The three enjoyed the wine along with the large river crabs. As for the wolf puppies who could not eat the crabs, they could only gnaw on mantou dipped in the crab dish sauce.
“So you plan to ignore me until then? Shuilian, you said so yourself, couples should be caring and intimate with each other. However, how are we supposed to do that if you continue to ignore me for three years?” Lin Si Yao did not yield and continued. After knowing her for more than six months, he had figured out her temper/personality.
Suddenly, Su Shuilian turned around; her face completely red. One cup of unaged wine was already very strong for her.
“I didn’t mean it that way…. Truthfully, I’m not angry… it’s just….” She just felt that she had lost face. In front of his twelve year old disciple, she had behaved like an ignorant fool.
“I know. Dabao needs a scolding….” He had long decided how to deal with that naughty, disrespectful disciple of his.
However, it wasn’t the right situation to say this. Lying on top of the soft bearskin mattress topper that was made several days ago, he’s gotta do something to maintain its softness and warmth…
The next morning, seeing that it was a good sunny day, Lin Si Yao took Tian Dabao to the foot of Xiufeng to practice swordwork. And following right behind was the excited-to-be free Xiao Xiu.
Su Shuilian woke up shortly after their departure. After she washed her hands, Su Shuilian sat down on a chair in the kitchen. She was preparing to make Lin Si Yao a pair of warm cotton shoes. Occasionally, she would glance at the millet porridge cooking on the stove, afraid it might overcook.
“Shuilian jie! Shuilian jie, are you home?” Sounds of knocking and Xicui’s voice sounded from outside the gates.
Su Shuilian puzzled at her sudden appearance, but she still quickly got up to open the gates for her.
“Xicui, why are you in a rush so early in the morning?” Su Shuilian smiled as she pulled Xicui in.
Just as she was about to close the gate, Su Shuilian noticed a lady in her twenties standing behind Xicui. There was even a luxurious carriage parked by the road.
“This is?” Su Shuilian turned to Xicui in question.
“Shuilian jie…. I….” Xicui held Su Shuilian’s hands, her face conflicted as she hesitated to continue.
“Don’t blame Xicui. It was I who insisted for her to allow me to meet Madam Lin*. I am the co-lady boss of ‘Yue Yun Embroidered Floor’, Jiang Yingyun.” Jiang Yingyun greeted Su Shuilian with a nod as she introduced herself. At the same time she unobtrusively sized up the so called ‘perfect embroider’ that Xicui had spoke about.
‘This is a typical embroider from a noble family.’ -was Jiang Yingyun’s first impression of Su Shuilian.
Her pulled up hairdo was an obvious sign that she was a married woman. And from what she had hear from Xicui earlier, her husband’s family name was ‘Lin’.
It was just that from her delicate facial features and her outward display, it made it seem as if she was a young miss from a noble family.
However which family would produce such a excellent embroider? Which noble’s daughter would marry a farmer and live by selling her embroidery?
Jiang Yingyun could not figure it out.
Once Su Shuilian heard ‘Yue Yun Embroider Floor’, she had a rough idea of what this matter was about.
Presumably, when Xicui went to reject the offer, the people did not want to give up and decided to come, meet, and persuade her.
“Shopkeeper Jiang, just as Xicui had told you before, this embroidery work, I can not help with. The time given is just too little. I’m sorry to have you travel all the way here…” Su Shuilian nodded back as she lightly smiled and replied.
“Wondering how many days does Madam Lin needs to be willing to take in <Drunken Beauty>?” Jiang Yingyun asked in a mild manner.
She was also in a helpless situation. Ever since the city lord had seen the <Paired Phoenix> work on a screen from the Wang House, he made a personal visit to the embroidery floor to request the same person into making his <Drunken Beauty> piece. Otherwise, from their large amounts of embroiders, it wasn’t hard to find a replacement.
“Shopkeeper Jiang….” Su Shuilian looked up at Jiang Yingyun in surprise. Since it was a request to the embroidery floor, the embroidery usually has no choice in the amount of time given. Wasn’t ‘Yue Yun Embroider Floor’ the largest embroidery establishment? How could they be lacking in idle embroiders?
“Madam, just call me Yingyun. ‘Shopkeeper Jiang’ is just too cumbersome.” Jiang Yingyun politely amended her title given by Su Shuilian. At the same time, she rubbed her slightly stiffened forearm.
Although the winter morning had no wind, she still felt cold standing out for too long.
Moreover, she had gotten up at yin-shi (3am to 5am) and took the carriage all the way to Fan Hua Town. She had rushed back to the city yesterday because of this news from her sister. As well as a sleepless night, worrying about this matter.
One, not because of the five taels, but because they could not offend the patron as his identity as a city lord could put their establishment at stake. At the same time embroidery floor also had no right to disclose their embroider’s personal information and their reason for refusal.
Therefore, she had checked Xicui’s files stored in the embroidery floor and found this town. She had plead Xicui for while before Xicui reluctantly agreed to allow her to meet Su Shuilian.
“If that is so, then Lady Jiang can just refer me as Shuilian. Come inside… ” Su Shuilian naturally noticed her actions. She felt as if she had neglected her guests and with an apologetic smile, she invited the two into her house.
She brought them to the already heated Kang before heading to the kitchen. Su Shuilian extinguished the fire and moved the millet porridge away from the stove. After heating a pot of osthamus flower tea, she brought it to the main room.
“Shuilian, truthfully speaking, I would like you to accept the <Drunken Beauty> work. As long as you can hand it in before new years, it would be ok.” After taking a sip of the tea and silently praising its taste, Jiang Yingyun not longer spoke with courtesy as she directly stated her intention.
“Right before new years? But don’t you need to make it into a screen?” Su Shuilian endlessly wondered. Turning an embroidery into a screen was a complex process; usually taking about 10 to 30 days.
“You don’t have to worry about this. As long as you can hand it to us before New Years, we have our way…” Jiang Yingyun’s eyes shined with a glimmer of hope as she continued to appeal to Su Shuilian.
She and her sister, Jiang Yingyue had operated this business for more than a decade. So she was well aware of the amount of time needed to make a screen embroidery. However, since Su Shuilian was worried about the time given, she could only use this as a countermeasure to assure her.
Yes, Jiang Yingyun was taking a gamble. If Su Shuilian accepted the work and handed it in before new years, she could finish the job afterwards. In four days, she should be able to complete it, at the expense of her sleep,
In order to maintain Ying Yue Embroidery Floor’s prestige, she could only think of two methods. One was to use the name of ‘Ying Yue Embroidery Floor’ into persuading her to accept the work. However, after meeting Su Shuilian, she no longer bothered with this idea. And the second and last method was for her to persuade Su Shuilian into accepting <Drunken Beauty> by giving her more allocated time.
“Lady Jiang…” Su Shuilian furrowed her brows. From the experience of business dealings she had accompanied her brother with, Su Shuilian could not help but suspect Jiang Yingyun’s proposal.
“Just call me Yingyun, Shuilian….” Jiang Yingyun smiled as she corrected her.
“Yingyun, I’m afraid I have to ask a question: If the <Drunken Beauty> was due before New Years, to hand the piece after that due date, wouldn’t that be violating your agreement? Wouldn’t I be part of the blame then?” Su Shuilian smiled and firmly ask.
It’s not because she was being overly cautious. It was just situations like these, where it required transactions involving conflicting interest, she had to be prepared.
This was what she had learned from her brother.
“Haha…. Shuilian, should I say you are shrewd, or should I call you frank?” Jiang Yingyun smiled and said.
She was surprised by Su Shuilian’s reply. This doesn’t seem like the typical reply of a pampered young miss.
Su Shuilian, what kind of woman was she? Outwardly, she seemed like a delicate young lady, but in reality, she was as smart as a matriarch from a noble family.
However, the truth of the matter was that she was living in a remote rural town, a married woman, and a farmer’s wife.
The clever and crafty second ladyboss of Ying Yue Embroidery Floor, Jiang Yingyun, could not figure her out.
“Shuilian, if you believe me, please put in 120% of your effort. This deal is with me, when you are finished with <Drunken Beauty> before the end of the year, once you hand it in, I will give you an additional reward. Ten taels as a base amount, and I can reward even more if the quality is high.” Jiang Yingyun smiled as she stated what she had considered to be a tempting offer. “If the quality was the same as the <Paired Phoenix> work, then it would earn you no less than 8 taels.”
“Heavens!” Xicui who had been quietly sitting by the side listening to their conversation could not help but exclaim. Covering her mouth with her hand, Xicui could not help but call out “Shuilian jie” to tell her to quickly accept this offer. She anxiously looked towards Su Shuilian. Eighteen taels! Oh my god! This was ten taels more than what she had originally been offered with! Where could they find any better offer!? If she had the skills, she would have cried and plead to have this offer given to her! This was simply a gift bestowed from the God of Wealth!
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