Chapter 115: Heartfelt Feelings of Fan Hua Town
At the end of the second lunar month, Liang En Zai sent a letter urging Lin Si Yao to go to the Imperial Palace.
It was already the end of the month, and it was the last line Liang En Zai could accept.
According to the person in the Imperial Palace, Lin Si Yao should have arrived during the first lunar month to receive his reward.
However, Liang En Zai knew that Lin Si Yao had just gotten back from the West Corridor. This couple needed some time to express their love. It would be best if his sister, Liang En Xu, would be blessed with another pair of rare twins. It would continue to distract his father, and the old man wouldn’t urge him to get married.
However, one month was the limit of his ability. If Lin Si Yao lingered further, the person in the palace would think that he had done something to hinder the other.
Thus, Lin Si Yao had lingered until the twenty-sixth, when the messenger from Guangci House came to tell him that he must arrive at the Imperial City before the sixth day of March, which was the fiftieth birthday of the Emperor. On that day, the Imperial City would be very bustling and lively. Liang En Zai suggested Lin Si Yao to bring his sister Liang En Xu to the Imperial City to feel the air in Feng Cheng, Da Hui Empire’s capital, on such a big day. But, the best case scenario would be that his entire family would decide to live permanently in the Imperial City.
And so, they set off before the third day of the third lunar month.
In his letter, Liang En Zai emphasized many times that no matter what, Lin Si Yao must come. Otherwise, not only Prince Jing’s Mansion but the entire Liang family would have to face a horrible disaster that had never been seen in their history. He was sure that Lin Si Yao didn’t want to stand and watch that happen.
If Shuilian hadn’t had any relation to the Liangs, of course, he would have just stood and watched.
After Lin Si Yao read the letter, the corners of his mouth rose to a cold smile. He crumpled the letter in his hand. Then, when he opened his hand, dust scattered, falling on the apricot blossom pot right under his window.
Lin Si Yao decided to depart on the first day of March.
The trip would take about five days. If nothing unexpected happened, they would arrive in The Imperial City before the sixth.
A generous five days was set in consideration of Su Shuilian, who rarely went on long road trips, as well as the twins that weren’t even four-months-old. They may get the same reaction as Long Xi Xue (who came here to support Su Shuilain’s labor), car sickness, due to bumpy roads and the shaking carriage.
Besides the renovation work and the private mansion’s construction, there would be nothing else to do. It would be better to depart earlier, enjoy their trip leisurely, and sightsee.
Thus, they used the last two days of the month to prepare for the trip.
Su Shuilian considered a lot. Eventually, she decided to bring the two wet-nurses, Bai He and Liang-momo. After Chun Lan and Xiao Heng had received their new managing positions, they became much busier. Thus, Su Shuilian decided to not count the couple.
And, Lin Si Yao decided to take Situ Yun with them. Firstly, he needed to go to the Imperial Palace this time. He needed a good hand to protect Shuilian and the twins. Secondly, they needed manpower.
Situ Yun was elated at the news. It seems his Uncle Si Ling and his beautiful jie-jie really needed him!
Yes, they needed him, however, Lin Si Yao only considered him a servant and a bodyguard.
After they got the list of participants, they began to prepare the necessary items to bring along.
Liang-momo and Bai He took a whole day and night to pack up everything including clothes and necessary daily items, food, and tea in case they couldn’t find an inn. They even brought the chessboard, books, and wooden toys Tian Da Fu had gifted the kids so that their Lady, their Young Lady, and Young Master could pass time…
Lin Si Yao drove a four-horse-two-car carriage, that Tian Da Fu had modified, to carry the delegation along this long journey.
The special carriage was used to carry Shuilian and the twins. The floor and the seats were cushioned with soft fox fur that could reduce shock while travelling. Tian Da Fu had expanded the back seats so they could lie when they were tired.
One of the two wooden chairs installed on two sides of the carriage were removed and replaced by a chest for the storage of miscellaneous items.
The two carriages were equipped with stoves that were secured by steel wire. They even brought coals enough for five days. During the trip, they could use it to boil water to wash their faces or make some tea… In case they had to stay outdoors, they could save it by going out to collect wood.
Prince Jing’s Mansion’s carriages were spacious. These two carriages weren’t exceptions. Each could seat twelve people. Thus, even if they were modified, they still had enough room for them. To ensure his wife and childrens’ safety, Lin Si Yao stayed in the same carriage with them. Situ Yun, Liang-momo, and the others took the other carriage. However, as Situ Yun had to ride with all female companions, he decided to sit with the driver instead.
Before they departed, Su Shuilian spoke to Chun Lan.
“Lady, don’t worry. This servant will take care of everything carefully.” Chun Lan could guess why Su Shuilian came to see her. She gently massaged Su Shuilian’s shoulder, promising her.
“I know you and Manager Xiao are hard workers. What I wanted to say was, if something happens in the village, for small matters, you can find the Town Elder. Otherwise, you should find Si Chong.” Su Shuilian smiled, gently pulled the hands on her shoulder, patting her.
“This servant understands,” Chun Lan carefully remembered her advice.
“And, Xiao Chun has not been home for several days. I think he ran to the mountain. You don’t need to worry. That dog is really smart. It’ll be okay. If something unexpected happens, you should find Si Chong.”
A Yao told Si Chong to stay in Bamboo Garden to take care of Si Luo and protect their house.
“Oh right, are the construction masters okay?” After A Yao came home, she hadn’t left the house. Thus, she didn’t know the progress of the planning and the private mansion’s construction.
“This servant has met with them every day. Most of the time, it’s just trivial matter during the construction. There were simple solutions, so this servant did not disturb you.”
“It’s good. If there’s something you can’t decide, you can ask Si Chong. When A Yao and I aren’t here, he’ll be the stand-in master. So don’t become too lax!”
Su Shuilian used to live as a rich first daughter of a prominent family. She understood the mindsets of the servants well. Also, she wanted to take the chance and remind Chun Lan. She was just afraid that the maids and the servants would be lazy as their masters weren’t home. If this were to displease Si Chong, their lives could be lost in a blink of an eye!
“My Lady, don’t worry. This servant understands all of this. Actually, most of the workers and craftsmen working on the private mansion are staying in Fan Hua Town. The construction masters said that they would start the work on a massive scale by the middle of the month, but they haven’t recruited enough workers. This servant wonders if we should recruit more people from the two adjacent towns?”
“You and Manager Xiao discuss and decide yourself. When you need help, ask the Town Elder.” Su Shuilian nodded. Since their positions have risen, for these matters, the meticulous Chun Lan and sensible Xiao Heng could decide themselves.
Moreover, A Yao had already asked Town Elder, Wang Geng Fa, to keep an eye out for their household while his family was away.
Of course, Wang Geng Fa agreed without a bit of hesitation.
After Prince Jing’s Mansion had bought the entire Fan Hua Town, the villagers who decided to stay always wore a happy face.
Firstly, they didn’t need to pay taxes anymore, which would reduce the burden on their livelihood.
Secondly, after the construction masters came, the map of Fan Hua Town’s planning and construction had been posted in front of the ancestral hall in the center of the village for quite a long time.
Soon, in the near future, they would be able to live in a place that could be compared to the Garden of a Hundred Flowers with two spacious roads leading to Fan Luo City and the surrounding towns.
Thirdly, the mountains around would be re-scaped to become natural resorts where they could go and enjoy.
Pavilions would be built on the mountains’ flanks. The villagers could go there to rest when needed. By the stream, there would be a place to go fishing and a preinstalled barbeque grill. When they got the fish, they could cook it immediately.
In more detail, there would be a river to be dug up; a stone bridge crossed over the river; a clean, vast, and deep lake would be dug, filled with fish, shrimp, and even crabs. By the river, was a slope covered in green grass. On it was a pavilion and stone benches so the villagers could rest and chat some.
Talking about the public construction, the greatest change would be the new big, imposing ancestral hall.
As soon as one walks into the central courtyard of the hall, there would be multiple stone tables and chairs. On the tables were chess boards carved on top and surrounding them were green bamboo and wisteria. The main building of the hall was built with five rooms. One room was a dedicated office for the Town Elder, equipped with a wooden desk and wooden chairs. Another room was constructed to be a counselling room. This room had an elongated oval table accompanied by small circular stools that could seat twenty or even thirty people. The other two rooms were filled with rows of bookshelves that were as high as the height of two adults. Each row holds different kinds of categorized books. The villagers could come and borrow any book as they liked. Of course, if someone damaged the books or didn’t return the books in time, the Town Elder would ban them from reading and borrowing books here. The last room did not yet have a specific purpose. Currently, it was used to store the village’s public appliances, for example, the large-sized farming tools and equipment. Previously, they could not afford such luxury goods. However, now Prince Jing’s Mansion had brought the tools and let them use them during the harvesting season.
After these plans were posted, the people in Fan Hua Town would happily discuss the matter to others.
When their relatives visited their homes from the two adjacent towns, or when they visited their friends or family out of the city, whenever they spoke of the changes in Fan Hua Town, everybody would show an envious look. Either that or the listening party would ask if they could move to Fan Hua Town!
Thus, within one night, Fan Hua Town became the hot news of Fan Luo City. Even the two neighboring towns, Huansha Town and Tian Shui Town, came to inquire if such good news was true or not. When they got the confirmation, the local rich families and landlords hoped to build a small villa in Fan Hua Town, for the sake of a vacation house.
The Town Elder, Wang Geng Fa, was initially stunned at the news. After getting himself together, he couldn’t hide his joy.
He had hoped that one day, he would lead Fan Hua Town out of the sticks, making them well-known in their country. And now, Fan Hua Town was considered Wangye Jing’s Fan Hua Private Mansion. And this happened while he was still in leadership, wasn’t it?
Thus, no matter if it was big or small, simple or complicated, as long as it pertained to Fan Hua Private Mansion’s situation, he was happy to extend his hands. No matter what, these matters indirectly benefited the entire town, this was not only the Town Elder’s, but also all of the villager’s, heartfelt feelings.
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