HCIC Chapter 01

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As one of the four imperial Duke of the Jin Dynasty, Duke Liu Mansion can be said to be a clear stream in the capital.

It’s not that Duke Liu himself was so upright and honest. In the eyes of outsiders, Duke Liu himself was actually a mediocre person with no great ability—— He liked to do business and like to make money. He didn’t have much knowledge, unable to accomplish anything in literature or martial art. In addition to making money, he also liked to eat. Especially delicious food.

The reason why Duke Liu Mansion was said to be the clear stream in the capital was mainly because of his ability to marry a wife and take concubines—— one wife and seven concubines, not to mention living together in harmony, there were a total of forty children. Each of them was born safely and grew up healthy, which makes people feel unbelievable.

The most puzzling thing was: the 22 sons and the 17 daughters can still love each other without disputed, which makes people feel incredible to the extreme.

The rich and powerful family in the capital were very envious of Duke Liu, and think he was really a strange person!

But Duke Liu himself was very troubled.

why?

Because there were too many children!

Seeing that the children have grown up, and will get married. The bride price, the dowry, and other things, once the accounts were settled, okay, if he really want to follow the standards of the big families in the capital, the entire family property will have to be hollowed out.

He was worried!

He used to think he was very impressive when recalling the satisfied smile his deceased father have when he saw his children.

After all, the only thing that his father worried about after he got the title of the Duke was that he was the only seedling. In the future, the member of the huge Duke Mansion was very spare, which made him marry a wife and take seven concubines one after another.

Well now, the family member was prosperous. But thinking that in the future he will divide the family property for his sons, and have to prepare a dowry for his daughters, and his sons will also have to pay a bride price to marry a daughter-in-law. Only when these things were placed in front of him that he realized the pain of prosperity.

After the pain, Duke Liu made a decision. Anyway, the children had grown up, he has fulfilled his responsibilities as the father. They can decide their own lives in the future, and don’t think about relying on him for the rest of their lives.

Therefore, Duke Liu discussed with his wife and set new family rules: all adult sons, no matter if they were born from the main wife or the concubine, will be separated as soon as they get married. Except for the eldest son who will inherit the title, he can stay in the Duke’s mansion. Everyone else has to move out.

As for the daughters, the dowry of the one born from the wife was 20,000 taels, and one born from the concubine was 10,000 taels. The bride price for the sons was also following this rule.

In addition after the separation whether the sons were from the wife or the concubine will get a three-entry quadrangle courtyard, a 500-acre farm, a shop, 10,000 taels, and nothing else.

As for the eldest son who was preparing to get married, the eldest daughter, as well as the sons and daughters who were still young and still need several years before getting married, didn’t have any objection.

At first, it can be said that the food and clothing expenses in the mansion were not very rich. The Duke said all day long that he had no money and was poor and the children actually believed it.

After all, the mansion has a large number of family members. It cost a lot of money for the monthly expenses of the masters and the servants, plus the clothes and jewelry all year round, socializing, New Year banquets, and so on, it was indeed very costly.

Therefore, the family really has no money.

Since there was no money and the Duke was willing to divide families with a bowl of water, they have nothing to say.

[Yi wan shui duan ping (一碗水端平) is a Chinese idiom, which means to deal with things fairly and not favor any party]

As for the eldest son, who will inherit the title and also get a large part of the family property. Others member said: Isn’t this normal?

That was mainly because the wife of the Duke was magnanimous and generous. If it was from another family, hehe, it was already a good thing to be able to get 10.000 taels. Do you still want to have a house, a farm, and a shop? What beautiful things are you thinking of?

As a result, Duke Liu Mansion once again become famous in the capital because of the family rules and the family separation after the children have become adults and got married.

Some people say that Duke Liu was stupid. He has so many sons. In the future, everyone’s money will be handed over to the family’s public account. Now the family rules have been set so early, then the eldest son will have less. 

More people actually say that Duke Liu’s wife was stupid. Those children from the concubine, just give them 800 taels or 1.000 taels. This family really thinks they have too much money to burn by giving a house and a farm.

But some people think that Duke Liu and his wife were very generous and kind. They treat the concubine’s children with kindness, they will not be too harsh on their daughter-in-law in the future.

In short, Duke Liu Mansion has attracted a lot of discussion among the noble and wealthy families because of the separation of the family.

However, Duke Liu and his wife quickly set up marriages for the eldest son, the second son, the third son, the fourth son, the eldest daughter, the second daughter, and other children who have reached the marriage age. The family of the betrothed was basically a noble and scholarly family, having an honest and upright family style, and harmonious family members. Even if it was a noble family, it was a family with a bright temperament, a simple population, and good nature family members.

Anyway, their husband and wife don’t ask for any noble family, but only ask for good character and upright family style, which was enough.

Furthermore, the amount of dowry and betrothal gifts that their husband and wife set for their children, although not as good as that of a top-tier wealthy and first-class family, was still better than that of an ordinary noble family. Especially the concubine’s children, both sons and daughters have a dowry of 10,000 taels, which was quite a lot.

Therefore, when the eldest son of Duke Liu Mansion was married, the entire Duke Liu Mansion was very lively. All the noble families in the capital came to celebrate, which can be said to be very face-saving.

You must know that Duke Liu himself actually only has the title of Duke but has no official position in the court. If he was not a good person and had a good reputation, these noble families may not pay attention to him.

At the same time, Qi Yiniang gave birth to the family’s youngest third generation: the eighteenth daughter, which was Liu Fang.

    …

The seventh courtyard was the courtyard where Qi Yiniang lives.

Duke Liu was the founding father of the country after all. The mansion given by the former emperor was really big, so the front yard was lively, but the backyard was very quiet, especially the row of yards where the concubines lived.

At this moment, Qi Yiniang was so tired that she fell asleep.

Most of the people in the yard went to the front to watch the fun, and the people who stayed to serve also took turns having a meal. Duke Liu wife also prepares a feast, letting all the people in the mansion join in the festivities.

Therefore, there was only one nanny in Liu Fang’s courtyard, and a little maid guarding her.

Now, Liu Fang was a newborn and can’t do anything besides receive background information about this world.

This was an overhead dynasty,  the Great Jin Dynasty. She was the youngest concubine daughter in Duke Liu Mansion, ranked eighteenth. And the current emperor, Emperor Wen was the second ruling emperor, and the current time was five years of Emperor Wen’s reign.

Her father was Duke Liu, the second generation who inherited the title Duke, her eldest brother was getting married today, this was what she heard from the maid just now, and the customs here were probably messed up….

Formal aristocratic banquets were to sit on their knees and divide tables between males and females. There will be tables and chairs for the palace banquets. For the clothes, mainly Hanfu in Quju Shenyi style, but there were also mamianqun, and pleated skirts….

[Quju is the style of Hanfu Shenyi that was used in Qin and Han Dynasty]

[Mamianqun (百褶裙) literally means horse face skirt, is a traditional Chinese skirt. It originated in the Song and Liao Dynasty and continued to be worn in Yuan, Min, and Qing Dynasty]   

Alright, all in all, it was overhead. As for whether it was messed up or not it has nothing to do with Liu Fang.

In the end, Liu Fang transmigrated, except that she has the background information of this world in her head, which can be retrieved and used at any time. That can be used like a smart map, and she has an adult brain.

There was no so-called golden finger.

What can a newborn do? Eat, drink and sleep.

In addition, Liu Fang was listening to the maids and the nanny chatting all day long to understand everything about the Duke mansion, as well as the gossip of other mansions in the capital.

For the first three days, she couldn’t open her eyes. Only after the washing three did she open her eyes, but her vision was blurry like a severely short-sighted person. It will gradually become better as she grows up.

[Xi shan (洗三) is a very important ceremony in the ancient Chinese birth ceremony. On the third day after the baby is born, a bathing ceremony is held to gather relatives and friends to congratulate the baby. The purpose of “washing three” is to wash away the filth, eliminate disasters and avoid disaster]

Speaking of which, it’s really interesting to experience childhood again with memories like this.

In fact, there were not many topics in the Duke Mansion. That is, how much money the cheap father made today, how the eldest brother changed his ways to please his daughter-in-law and so on.

In short, Duke Liu Mansion was peaceful and tranquil.

Liu Fang has one older sister and three older brothers from the same mother. The older sister was ranked eighth, and the older brother was ranked eleventh, eighteenth, and twenty-second.

There were many sons and daughters in the Duke Mansion, and the rankings were separated. Because there were too many children, regarding the name only the middle word was the same, and the last character was casual. As long as it was not a taboo word it can be used.

The word for Liu Fang’s generation was “An“. In fact, the genealogy, the word for each generation, and family rules were all created after her grandfather became the Duke. Previously, there was no such thing.

[An (安) content / calm / still / quiet / safe / secure / in good health]

According to the generation, Liu Fang’s name was Liu Anfang, her sister was Anfen, and her three brothers were Anting, Ankang, and Anqing. As for the other brothers and sisters, because there were too many people Liu Fang couldn’t remember them.

And that was because her brother and sister from the same mother came to see her almost every day and she remembered their names. Others, I’m sorry, she’s still a little baby, and she doesn’t have enough brain capacity to remember.

However, it was said that in order to come up with a name, the cheap father used all the words that could be used. Fortunately, after Liu Fang was born, no one planned to give birth anymore including the main wife. Otherwise, the cheap father probably can only change the word sequence to form a name.

As for the grandchildren, Duke Liu said: name your own children yourself, He didn’t want to care. →_→.

After the eldest brother got married and the time second elder brother married his daughter-in-law. Liu Fang was already able to crawl, and began to babble and learn to speak, and the eldest sister-in-law was also pregnant.

After the second sister-in-law settled down, the third elder brother was about to get married.

Not long after the eldest sister-in-law gave birth to her eldest son, Liu Fang was one year old. And Zhuazhou was held for her. She honestly grab the needle and thread bag and will become a good wife and good mother in the future.

[Zhua Zhou (抓周) means one year old catch is a Chinese ritual held at a child’s first birthday party. The parents put various objects before the child and let the child grabbed. The parents can predict the child’s interests, hobbies, and possible occupations in the future according to the grabbed objects]

When the third elder brother got married, the second sister-in-law was pregnant. Not long after the second sister-in-law gave birth, the eldest sister got married, and then the fourth elder brother got married, the second sister got married, and the third sister got married…

When Liu Fang was fourteen years old and was about to decide on her marriage. There were only the eldest brother’s family, the sixteenth elder sister⏤An Qian, the seventeenth elder sister⏤An He, and Liu Fang, along with her biological mother, Qi Yiniang remain in the Duke Mansion

The other brothers have all moved out of the Duke Mansion, the sisters were all married, and the concubines have moved out to their sons’ place one after another because of the birth of their own grandchildren.

Only Qi Yiniang remain because she was worried about Liu Fang. She wants to wait until Liu Fang got married before moving to the eleventh elder brother place.

The sixteenth elder sister⏤An Qian and the seventeenth elder sister⏤An He was already engaged. The sixteenth elder sister will get married in August, the seventeenth sister will married next year at the latest, and finally Liu Fang herself.

Therefore, starting from the end of the nineteenth year of Emperor Wen, Liu Fang went out with her mother and attended banquets everywhere.

It’s just a pity, from early spring to midsummer, a full half year passed, and Madam Liu did not set a marriage for Liu Fang. Liu Fang herself was not in a hurry. Anyway, she was only fifteen after the new year, she was still young, okay?

On this day, Liu Fang was staying in her room to practice calligraphy, Shu Hua ran in angrily. Shu Mo, who was waiting in the room, frowned and said, “Why are you always so frizzy, where is your etiquette?”

Shu Hua was angry. She had a straightforward temperament and when she hear Shu Mo’s words, she couldn’t bear it and replied, “I’m dying of anger, How can I pay any attention to the etiquette?” 

Liu Fang has been writing calmly, her hand didn’t shake, and said lightly, “Who provoked our Shu Hua?” 

Shu Hua said aggrievedly: “Miss, this slave is not angry for herself, but for you.”

Shu Mo shake her head, she said angrily: “I see the young lady is not upset at all, but only you getting angry.”

Liu Fang smiled, finished writing, put down the brush, cleaned her hands, and took the cotton handkerchief handed by Su Mo and wiped her hands, and said, “Tell me, what kind of gossip is going on outside to make our Shu Hua angry?”

Shu Mo saw Liu Fang sitting on the soft couch beside her, and poured a cup of tea  for her. stand aside and look at Su Hua.

Shu Hua said to Liu Fang, “Miss, you don’t know the rumor on the outside was very terrible. It’s obviously the Madam despises those dandy, and loves you. She didn’t want you to be aggravated so she refuse several people who came to the door to beg for marriage. But they said that you look like nothing, with no talent and virtue, so you can’t get married. They also said that you…”

Maybe the latter words were too ugly, and Su Hua hesitated to say it.

But Liu Fang can probably guess it, it’s nothing more than, a girl with a temperament like a female yaksha, fierce like a tiger or something.

It was not the first time she had heard such gossip.

Speaking of which, these words were definitely not spread by the family,

Instead, it was spread by others as she grew up.

Probably because she was the most unattractive in their family, that’s why these rumors spread. Or maybe she was not too enthusiastic about attending banquets and making friends with the young ladies in the capital, which was why she was in this situation.

But no matter what, she didn’t care.

As far as appearance was concerned, everyone in the family was good-looking. The men were handsome and the women were beautiful. As for her, she was probably a little delicate and pretty but she was definitely not ugly and unpresentable.

Probably everyone had gotten used to the fact that all the sons and daughters in the Duke Liu Mansion were good-looking. All of sudden, there was a delicate beauty like her, others will naturally feel “ugly”.

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