Chapter 26 - Dowry
Su Yu subconsciously reached out and caught him.
The furball automatically and purposefully grabbed his lapel and climbed up, climbing up to his shoulders before it stopped.
He looked at Su Yu’s complicated and gorgeous crown with dissatisfaction and sat down on his shoulder reluctantly, condescendingly proclaiming his ownership to the crowd.
There was a moment of silence in the hall.
“Congratutation, Young Master Su.” Wang Gonggong was the first to react, he bowed calmly and gave him a mutton fat jade pendant, which was the first reward for crowning a Fei.
A mutton fat jade was warm and soft, like a beauty’s delicate jade hand. This jade pendant was hollowed out and carved into a set of two fishes in rippling water, which was very exquisite.
Su Yu held the jade pendant in his hand in a daze, a thumb-sized piece was worth several hundred taels of silver, and this jade pendant was worth at least a thousand taels.
However, looking at the expressions of those beautiful women, especially Cen Xiaojie’s blood-red eyes, he feared that this jade pendant was probably worth more than a thousand gold taels to everyone.
The rank of concubines in the palace was like the difference between heaven and earth.
CaiRen and ShiJun’s were only higher than palace maids, only ZhaoYi and ShangJun’s could have their own palace room, and Fei’s could manage their own palace and when there was no Empress, they could also assist in the management of the six palaces[TL_Note: Being in charge of all concubines/the residences of the imperial consorts].
In other words, the Fei was the sideroom concubine[TL_Note: A sideroom concubine is of higher status than a regular concubine] and those under it can only be regarded as chambermaids.
What’s more, Su Yu was a man. If he was released from the Fei’s position, he would directly be conferred Count[TL_Note: Just below a Marquis], which could be described as reaching heaven in a single bound!
A fish seller actually turned into a Fei directly, but these innate noble ladies could only start from being Cairen’s!
Bursts of coldness came swirling from all directions, Su Yu felt as if he was standing amidst a pack of hungry wolves holding a thorny and oily meat bone in his hand…
“The decree to bestow the title shall be delivered to your Excellencies' noble families in a few days.” Wang Gonggong kindly broke the increasingly tense atmosphere.
“Su Gongzi, follow this slave to send the sacred cat back, ba.”
With Wang Gonggong to accompany him, the others did not dare to say much. Su Yu secretly breathed a sigh of relief and rested his ear on the kitten on his shoulder, what a sin.
After leaving the Qingping Hall, Wang Gonggong reached out and took the kitten away, then he respectfully invited Su Yu back to the Xunyang Palace, speaking in a pleasant manner.
“Tomorrow someone will send Gongzi home, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs will go to your residence to take care of everything. Gongzi can relax and wait for His Majesty to marry you.”
“Gonggong, rest assured, this little one will certainly serve Su Gongzi well.” Yang Gonggong said with a big smile on his face.
Wang Gonggong glanced at him and said: “As long as Gongzi has any requirements, just do it according to the rules of the Fei position, if you can’t make up your mind, let me know.”
With what Wang Gonggong said in public, the people in the palace naturally didn’t dare to be irreverent to Su Yu.
Even in the few steps from Qingping Hall to XunYang Palace Yang Gonggong looked for a palanquin and was reluctant to let him take a half step more.
The next day, the news that the Emperor elected a male Fei spread to all levels of society from the imperial court to the common people, and in the Su family, it was even more explosive.
The concubine daughter of his eldest uncle’s branch family was eliminated early. Su Ying, who was originally full of expectations of flying to the high branches, was sent back by the Zongzheng Department people in tears.
Hearing his daughter say that Su Yu passed the secondary election, Su Xiaozhang began to feel ill at ease.
After a few days of not seeing Su Yu leaving the palace, he completely panicked and asked the person who promised to help him secure the title, this person was Lu Zhongliang, the second son of Prime Minister Lu.
Lu Zhongliang at the present held a post in the Ministry of Rites, and the Zongzheng Department and the Ministry of Rites were also considered one integral whole.
It was reasonable that Su Xiaozhang would definitely get help by taking such a path, that’s why he, secure in the knowledge that he had a backing, dared to treat Su Yu so fearlessly.
It’s just that he had sent back and forth a lot of gifts in the past few months, but it still had not been settled.
Su Xiaozhang was angry in his heart but didn’t dare to say anything, after all, the Prime Minister had nowadays great power and his granddaughter was also the GuiFei[TL_Note: highest-ranking imperial concubine] in the palace, he was not from a poor family that he could afford to offend.
“This matter cannot be done.” Lu Zhongliang seldom saw Su Xiaozhang, every time he goes to see him, the housekeeper was the one to receive him.
Today, he directly came out to see him, raising his hand, he threw all the silver taels that Su Xiaozhang had given him on the table, a solemn expression on his face.
It was not that difficult to fix a title of an impoverished family, Lu Zhongliang didn’t think much of it at the beginning, but something always went wrong when he was doing it.
Until this morning, when he attended the imperial court session, the Emperor announced that he would appoint Su Yu the title of Fei, only then did he come to his senses.
Think about how the Su family’s fish seller had caught the eyes of the State Teacher, there must be a noble person who helped him, and the power behind this noble person is enough to compete with the Lu family!
“Second master, why can’t it be done?” Su Xiaozhang was stunned.
“You’ll see for yourself when you get home.” Lu Zhonglian was too impatient to talk to him, these days, when the two Qinwangs entered the capital, the balance in the court was suddenly broken.
During this sensitive period, he naturally could not get involved in the affairs of the Su family anymore.
Si Xiaozhang returned to the Su Residence with a downcast face, just in time to meet Su Yu, who was sent back by the people of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
With him, there was also a bright yellow Imperial Edict.
“Su Yu, the youngest son of the Su family, has both virtue and talent and is of excellent character and appearance, a model of nobility, and is hereby granted the title of Fei by the order of the Empress Dowager, and is so permitted to enter the Emperor’s palace in three days to serve…”
Wang Gonggong, the Chief Steward of the imperial household, personally carried the decree and the people of the Ministry of Internal Affairs stood on both sides.
The Su family knelt down on the ground trembling and looked at Su Yu, who was dressed in gold and crowned with jade. The latter expressionless accepted the decree and thanked them for their kindness, without any excitement, which made his eldest uncle’s family branch even more frightened.
It's not that Su Yu was calm, he was just powerless to complain.
Wang Gonggong left after announcing the decree, but the people of the Ministry of Internal Affairs stayed. In the next three days, they had to prepare Su Yu’s dowry and the matter of entering the palace.
“The Su family ancestors have blessed us, the heavens have eyes!” Zhao Shi was so excited that she couldn’t help herself.
She never expected that Su Yu would be selected and be crowned Fei!
Two years later, when the crown prince was established and the harem was released Su Yu would be a real Count, who will receive a salary of 1000 taels every year and she would be the Count’s TaiFuren!
“How can this be…” The eldest aunt shivered for a long time, then rolled her eyes and fainted.
When Su Yu enters the palace, the title of the family was equivalent to being stripped, and when Su Yu was released, his rise in the official world had nothing to do with the first branch.
“Niangniang [TL_Note: imperial concubine], the matter of the dowry…” The people of the Ministry of Internal Affairs didn’t seem to see the Su family’s loss of composure, they smiled and asked Su Yu about the next arrangement.
According to common practice, the concubines selected in the Imperial Concubine Selection were allowed to stay in the palace directly, however, Su Yu was crowned Fei, and the Fei had to perform a receiving Fei ceremony and accompany the dowry, so the people of the Ministry of Internal Affairs had to rush over to serve.
The corner of Su Yu’s mouth twitched and looked at the honest-looking consul of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“Li Daren, can not call me Niangniang?”
The thickness of a concubines’ dowry represents the power of the family behind them. It was also a safeguard for the concubine after entering the palace.
The Su family was poor, so naturally, they couldn’t get any dowry. Su Yu’s own hand was the 40% shares of Xianmantang and the 1000 silver taels notes sent by Marquis Changchun’s Shizi.
To be forced to go enter the Emperor’s palace to serve a man he had never met, and to accompany with all his possessions, no matter how he thought it was not worth it.
Su Yu was pained to throw more than 200 taels of saving that he had saved over the past few months to the people of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and let them make the arrangements.
He then changed out of his fancy clothes, held the straw basket filled with chili peppers, and hurried out.
As soon as one entered the palace gates, it was as deep as the sea.
He only had three days to give instructions at Xianmantang and settle the chili peppers he had paid a great price for, no matter how he calculated it was not enough.
“Li Daren, this…” The people of the Ministry of Internal Affairs looked at each other in dismay.
When Lu Guifei entered the palace, the Prime Minister’s Residence took out 30,000 taels of silver and prepared 120 dowries, the Ministry of Internal Affairs sent eight people to handle it and this time, it also sent eight people.
They thought they would be busy running back and forth these three days, but who would have thought…
Li Daren looked at the pitiful 200 taels of silver, they were not needed at all, Su Yu could just pack a bag and bring it to the palace, and that’s enough.
The author has something to say:
Gao Family’s Ancestors Teachings: Be loyal and dedicate yourself to the country
Lu Family’s Ancestors Teachings: Honor the family, and take power over all levels of society
Su Family’s Ancestors Teachings: Sell fish well and restore the recipes
Imperial Family’s Ancestors Teachings: Secure my rivers and mountains and guard my fresh fish
Wang Family’s Ancestors Teachings: …(No one has passed it on, lost in the long river of history)
nobility ranks -> Duke > Marquis > Count > Viscount > Baron
reaching heaven in a single bound! -> instant success
TaiFuren -> title for the mother of a noble or an official
Niangniang -> queen/empress / imperial concubine / Goddess, Queen Mother of the West/mother/aunt
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