Marriage of the Di Daughter

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Chapter 4.1: Temple

The rain kept falling throughout the night; the next day, the sky cleared up.
However, the cotton-padded mattress inside the room was already completely wet.

Tong’er took the mattress out to dry in the sun while Jiang Li sat inside the house.
A pile of shoe soles was on top of the table.
This was also her daily task, to make 50 pieces of soles in exchange for a string of copper coins.
There was no use for copper coins in the mountain, and Tong’er couldn’t go down the mountain either.
They could only wait for a peddler to go up the mountain and buy some cakes to eat.

This was the only luxury Jiang Li and Tong’er could enjoy.

Through the window, she could see Tong’er standing on a small stool to hang the mattress.
Not so far away, a nun wearing a grey Daoist robe walked by, not even sparing them a glance.

They could not send these nuns on errands, and originally Jiang Li was sent here after committing a mistake, with only Tong’er by her side.
Tong’er was the servant girl that had been picked by Ye Zhen Zhen and had always been by Jiang Li’s side.

The small servant girl’s temperament was quite big.
Looking at the rear view of the two nuns going further away, she spat, “Pah!” Then in a high tone scolded, “Featherless hens!”

Jiang Li knew that she was turned down when she requested a dry bed this morning and only scolded them because her heart felt unhappy.
She couldn’t stop herself from laughing.

What kind of servant reflects what kind of master.
Tong’er had stayed here for six years and still acted this way.
Probably the former Jiang second young miss’s temper was even more intense.
Thinking about it, if her temper wasn’t very intense, she wouldn’t have cut her life short out of anger.

Such a hot-tempered person, would she cry out injustice after pushing her stepmother and causing her to miscarry?

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Jiang Li thought about what Tong’er had told her about this matter when she inquired about it.
It was said that the Jiang second young miss would rather die than admit that she had harmed her stepmother.
Jiang Li thought, if it was really her doing, she would have boldly and confidently admitted it.

But at the moment, it was not important.

When Tong’er was done drying the quilt, she returned inside and sat beside Jiang Li.
She was afraid that Jiang Li would once again jump into the lake while she wasn’t paying attention.
So these few days, she had been closely following Jiang Li and keeping watch.  Seeing Jiang Li lost in thought, she picked up a shoe sole to continue working.
Jiang Li saw the numerous needle pricks on the servant girl’s fingertips, then grabbed the shoe sole in Tong’er’s hand and threw it away, saying, “Don’t do this anymore.”

“Huh?” Tong’er was puzzled, “In three days the peddler will come.
Young miss, didn’t you wish to eat malt candy?”

Jiang Li shook her head and asked her back, “Do you want to sit here for a lifetime and wait every month to buy malt candy?”

“Of course not,” Tong’er said, “but at the moment we can’t leave from here either.” After she finished speaking, she muttered, “I wrote a letter to Master and Old Madam Ye some time ago, why has neither of them replied?” Tong’er’s little face fell, “It couldn’t be that we were forgotten, right?”

Jiang Li sighed, no need to even mention passing them a letter.
Most likely their every move was under someone’s nose.
Usually, when a young miss made a mistake and was sent to the temple, the Master would also send some silver money to entrust their care.
The people in the temple also wouldn’t go as far as to treat them badly and not allow them to go anywhere.
On the other hand, the nuns here were obviously making things difficult for them.
When Jiang Li got sick, they did not even invite a physician.
Most likely all these were ideas from Yanjing.

As for whose idea it was, one did not need to guess to know that it was the second madam’s ideas.

If Jiang Li had really caused her miscarriage, Ji Shuran definitely would not have let Jiang Li off.
If Jiang Li did not cause her to miscarry, the reason why Ji Shuran put up this scene would also be to not to let Jiang Li off.

Furthermore, right now, Jiang Li’s engagement had also been snatched away.
Jiang Li no longer had anything.
Only a maternal family that she had refused to have any contact with.  And discarding the first wife’s daughter in this place, even if she was murdered, it would also not cause any wind and waves.

But why hadn’t Ji Shuran resorted to killing her?

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Jiang Li did not believe that the other party was compassionate and reluctant.
Perhaps to the second madam, she still had some other use in the Jiang family.
Didn’t this kind of thing happen regularly? Daughters were regarded as steppingstones to advance one’s career by connecting them through marriage, to pave the way for their father’s and brothers’ official careers, just like Shen Yurong.
The difference was, Shen Yurong regarded himself as a bargaining chip while Xue Fang Fei was treated as a stumbling block.

Marriage of the Di Daughter

Chapter 4.2: Temple

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Jiang second young miss reminded her of herself.
Just like her past self, someone snatched her things.
Just like her past self, the turtledove wanted to occupy the magpie’s nest1. Just like her past self, she was unable to defend herself.

Tong’er helplessly looked at Jiang Li’s dark look.
She couldn’t help but shiver.

For some reason, Tong’er felt that the second miss had become strange ever since she woke up.
The second miss was always frank and straightforward, one was one and two was two.
She had even fought with the nuns in the nunnery, easily agitated and easily angered.
Of course, it was not the second miss’s fault, it was all those bad people’s fault. 

However, since waking up, the second miss was not like before.
She was mild and gentle, her speech soft and slow, which made her unable to tell what she was thinking.
Also, Tong’er felt somewhat afraid when the second miss stopped speaking to ponder.

Jiang Li’s finger caressed the already sewn shoe sole in front of her.
The stitches were meticulous.
Although Tong’er was noisy, her needlework was pretty good.

She had to think of a way to get out of here. 

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The Xue Fang Fei from Yanjing should already be dead.
But she didn’t know how Princess Yong Ning and Shen Yurong, these two animals, would justify their lies.
In addition, she wanted to go and see Xue Zhao again and think of a way to return him to Tongxiang.
Xue Huaiyuan had passed away, his son and daughter had also passed away.
Who had received his corpse and held a funeral for him?  She was unable to see Xue Huaiyuan one last time before his final moments.

She had to depart from this place, but nowadays in the city of Yanjing, nobody in the entire government house remembered her, Jiang Li.
A person that no one remembered was unlikely to be brought out from here. 

Since this was the case, then she could only take the initiative to leave this place.

Nobody remembered, so she had to let everybody remember, it shouldn’t be a difficult thing to do. 

Jiang Li suddenly laughed.

Tong’er looked at her in surprise, this was the first time Jiang Li had smiled these past few days.
It wasn’t a sneer or a bitter laugh, but a comfortable and happy laugh.
In a split second, this single laugh made her withered yellow complexion become lively, blooming brightly like a flower in the morning.

“Tong’er,” Jiang Li asked, “You said a peddler will come up the mountain?”

“That’s correct,” Tong’er said, “Every year on the tenth of May, Mr.
Zhang would come up here at noon.
We had made an agreement with him, if there are any delicious pastries and candies, he would come to us first and let us pick them.”

Contrary to what one might expect, as the servant of a prestigious family, even though she was in dire straits and could only take out a string of copper coins, she still spoke in quite an imposing manner. 

“Is there a lot of pastries?” Jiang Li asked.

“A lot,” Tong’er asked, “does young miss want to eat pastries?”

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Jiang Li laughed, “I do.”

It was too bitter.
And because it was too bitter, her mind constantly thought of the sweet taste of honey.
These pastries could let her finally taste the sweetness, and at the same time could also make some other people feel bitter.

Tong’er excitedly said, “It’s good that young miss wants to eat some sugar.
A few days ago we saved up a few copper coins and can exchange them for quite a few baskets.
Young miss can eat as many as you want!”  

Jiang Li said, “You mentioned that this place is next to He Lin Temple, right?”

Tong’er stared blankly at her and asked, “Does young miss also want to burn incense?”

“No,” Jiang Li replied, “I don’t believe in Buddha.”

Tong’er was puzzled.

Jiang Li’s smiling expression softened a little as she said, “What trust can you put in Buddha?”

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Footnotes:

1:鸠占鹊, meaning for one person to forcibly take another person’s place.
A version of the idiom 鹊巢鸠, lit.
the magpie made a nest but the turtledove dwells in it, meaning to reap what one has not sown.

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