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The first part of today’s sponsored chapters is Ch.27 Part 3.
Ruan-shi wanted to protest, but her momentum was snatched by Cheng Yuanxian. Ruan-shi’s complexion turned ugly. But in front of so many people, she couldn’t speak loudly. In her heart, she couldn’t help complaining about Cheng Yujin’s meddlesomeness.
Old Master Cheng was taken aback at the crown prince’s unexpected action. However, it was good that His Highness was willing to take care of a Cheng family member. Even if it was just a granddaughter, it was better than having he completely detached himself. Seeing Cheng Yuanjing’s attitude, Old Master Cheng changed some of the words he prepared beforehand: “You all know about the amount of the properties in the public funds, and also know how much each branch can get. Besides those, I also have several private properties.”
All Cheng family’s adult members, including the Old Madam, immediately perked up their ears. The manor’s public fund has always been scrutinized under everyone’s eyes. They all knew that there wasn’t much money in it and had long been fed up by the fact. Outwardly, Yichun Marquis manor didn’t lack anything, but it was hard to say how much private property the Old Master and Old Madam had. For example, Old Master Cheng. In these years, he had been boldly raising outside mistress in a private residence and funding an expensive education for the son. The money he secretly amassed should be massive, but no one knew exactly how much. Now, the distribution of his private property was exactly what they waited for the most.
After a pause, the Old Master said: “From now on, this marquis manor will be under Eldest one’s control. The second branch has sons and daughter, you cannot not have a private house. I have a three-entries courtyard in the Chongjiao district, this will be given to the second branch. For the first branch, I won’t leave any house. I also have two farms in Wanping county. One is 400 mu(1), the other is 200 mu. The smaller one is for the second branch; the larger one is reserved for Bao’er future study expense.”
Chongjiao district was located next to Imperial College. Having a house there would be convenient for study. More importantly, it was a highly sought-after area. It was hard to find a house there, especially with a three-entries courtyard. The second branch has two sons, getting that house immediately solved their urgent need.
Qingfu was equally satisfied. A new house would be useless for her. Instead, she preferred farmland that generated direct income. Qingfu silently calculated the amount of money she could get by leasing a 400 mu farmland. Annually, it should be around six to seven hundred taels, right? And that still not counting the rice, chickens, ducks, and other products sent over by the farm. The second branch’s house produced nothing, but the farmland’s income would flow in years after years. Theirs was more practical than the second branch’s share. Qingfu Junzhu immediately smiled.
Old Master Cheng looked at Cheng Yujin and suddenly said, “Eldest girl, come here.”
Cheng Yujin was startled. But she slowly stepped forward: “Grandfather.”
The Old Master looked at her carefully. After a while, he sighed deeply: “You have always been obedient since a child. It was a pity that your engagement was canceled right when you are in a critical age for marriage. After having one engagement broken, finding the next one won’t be easy. Fortunately, you have the Emperor’s reward. If you also have money, you may be able to make your future in-law’s family value you a bit more. I have two shops in Zhengxi district, a ceramic shop in Xuanbei district, and an estate in Daxing county. All will be given to you. Since the eldest girl gets a share, the second girl should also have one. I’ll give Yumo one thousand silver taels and a set of silver and gold utensils as a dowry gift. Several shops in Yangzhou will be divided evenly between the first and second branch. In Jinling(2), I have ten qing(3) of land, all left for the ninth boy. Four boxes of calligraphy, paintings, and jewels I’ve accumulated over the years are to be distributed evenly. Eldest one, second one, and ninth boy each get one box, and the remaining box is to be split evenly between the children. I have another five thousand taels of silver banknotes, all for the Old Madam.”
So far, the farms, lands, industries, personal collections, and cash have been distributed. The old servant who had served the Old Master since young took out the deeds and account books and handed them to each recipient.
Cheng Yuanxian picked up his share and was about to open the account books to see how much money he would make in a year. But Qingfu Junzhu secretly pinched him. When Cheng Yuanxian looked up, he saw Qingfu winked, signaling him to quickly go to take his share of box from Old Master Cheng’s collection, lest the second branch made a preemptive move and took away the most valuable ones.
Ruan-shi’s eyes were very eager. She instructed her two sons to pick the collection. Children were ignorant and didn’t have the adults’ pretense, so they quickly went. Seeing this, Qingfu inwardly cursed Ruan-shi. She signaled the wetnurse that held Cheng Enbao to follow her. She then hurriedly walked over to the other room.
(1) Mu: Classifier for fields. Unit of area equal to one-fifteenth of a hectare
(2) Jinling: old name for Nanjing (a capital city of Jiangsu province in the south)
(3) Qing: Unit of area equal to 100 mu or 6.67 hectares
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