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Chapter: 342

Jinxun looked around. Only after the other servants had withdrawn tactfully, did she say, "Isn’t that so? I didn’t know about it until I got the news. But since the wife of the heir of prince was there, I couldn’t remind you!"

"That’s strange. I’ve never even met Lord Xie. How could this have anything to do with me?" Song Yixiao could not help but be curious, "Tell me the reason!"

"Have you forgotten your uncle?" Jinxun whispered, "He wanted to return to the court a few years ago. But he didn’t find the job he wanted. Several years passed, and he gave up a little. He decided to return even if he was demoted to a lower rank. This time he came back to fill the vacant position of Vice President of the Imperial Academy. He is now the Governor of Lianzhou, a lower state, and the Governor of Lianzhou is a fourth-ranking official, while Vice President of the Imperial Academy is just a vice fourth-ranking official. It is two ranks lower than the Governor of Lianzhou. It was supposed to be a sure thing. But when the decree was issued, it turned out that he brought his family back for nothing!"

Song Yixiao was very surprised, "How could this happen? How come Auntie and her family didn’t even mention it when they were staying in the mansion? Does Xubai know it? No wonder Xie Yiren has come here today!"

She thought that Xie Yiren had really come to visit Jian Qingyue and to talk about her childlessness.

It turned out that she was afraid that Song Yixiao might have a problem with her because Xie Yan took the position that Ji Zhou had chosen.

Although Song Yixiao realized at this moment, she was not angry. Firstly, it was Princess Consort of Liang, or to be precise, the Prince of Liang and his wife who made it happen. It was not the Xie Family who deliberately fought with Ji Zhou. Secondly, although Song Yixiao respected Jian Lizhi and Ji Zhou, in terms of affection, it was Xie Yiren who had always been closer.

Therefore, she did not feel much empathy for Ji Zhou’s failure. And naturally she could not bear any animosity towards the Xie Family.

However, since Jian Lizhi was a relative of her husband’s family and not of her own, she told him about it when Jian Xubai returned, "Jinxun didn’t tell me about it until Xie Yiren had left. And then did I understand. What do you think we should tell our aunt and uncle about this?"

"The decree has been issued, and the post of Vice President of the Imperial Academy is definitely Lord Xie’s." Jian Xubai said in a low voice, "I hadn’t heard my aunt mention this either. Otherwise, I would have told Emperor about it. Even if Emperor wanted Lord Xie back to the court, he would have arranged another job. Then Uncle wouldn’t be frustrated."

Song Yixiao said, "So can you find another assignment for Uncle now?"

Emperor Duanhua had always been very close to Jian Xubai. With his current level of trust, it would not be difficult to get a good assignment for his uncle with a few words.

"I will discuss this with Uncle later and see what he thinks." Jian Xubai said, "Now that Emperor has just ascended to the throne. There is a group of people in the court who need to be changed. It is the right time."

Hearing him say that, Song Yixiao was not worried anymore.

The only reason why Ji Zhou had wanted to be Vice President of the Imperial Academy was that he was eager to return to the court, not because he really wanted a position that was two ranks below his current job.

If there was a better option, why would Ji Zhou be bothered?

The next day Jian Xubai took half a day off to visit Ji Zhou. When he returned, he thought in his study for a long time. And two days later, he went to Gu Shao’s place for tea. Finally he decided to seek the post of Vice Minister in the Ministry of Rituals for Ji Zhou.

The Ministry of Rituals was originally ruled by the voice of Qiu Shuxia alone. After Qiu Shuxia’s resignation, it was only natural that the ministry would change its personnel.

However, the post of Minister of Rites was appointed by the late emperor earlier this year to the post of Wei Xi, the father of Empress Wei.

At this time, the highest official position in the Ministry of Rituals was only the Vice Minister.

But Vice Minister in the Ministry of Rituals was a fourth-ranking official, which was one rank higher than the current post of Governor of Lianzhou. So it was a promotion that Ji Zhou wouldn’t be unwilling to accept.

Within a few days, Jian Xubai picked a suitable opportunity to privately recommend Ji Zhou to Emperor Duanhua. Emperor knew that Jian Xubai had only one aunt, who had been married far from home for nearly 20 years. At this moment, the aunt and the nephew had gathered together. Of course, he should be compassionate. After he asked about Ji Zhou’s ability, he thought Ji Zhou was enough to take the job. Therefore, he nodded on the spot.

Emperor took a stand, and the Director in the Ministry of Personnel, Jin Suke, who had been allied with Jian Xubai before, of course, would not disrupt the process. He quickly completed all the formalities, making the Ji Family stay in the imperial capital with peace of mind.

The Ji Family was overjoyed. Jian Lizhi personally came to the house with her daughter-in-law and daughters to thank them. It was not holiday when she came, so Jian Xubai was not at home. Song Yixiao welcomed them and brought them to the back hall. After they were seated according to the rules of host and guest, Song Yixiao said modestly to respond the gratitude of Jian Lizhi and the others, "Uncle’s experience and ability made him qualified for the court. Otherwise, since Emperor was wise, how could he allow it only out of personal reason? My husband only helped to mention it."

"Even if it was just a word of advice, it could often save people from wasting their lives." Jian Lizhi said, "So how can I not thank you?"

Jian Lizhi understood that her husband, Ji Zhou, had no problem taking the job as Vice Minister in the Ministry of Rituals in terms of talent and seniority.

However, this was an important position in the six ministries. And the supervisor, Wei Xi, was father-in-law of Emperor. Without the help of Jian Xubai, a minister of merit and cousin of Emperor, Ji Zhou would not have gotten his turn.

So, although Song Yixiao frequently refused to accept the generous presents, she insisted on giving them and thanked them again and again before leaving.

After seeing off the guests and returning to the back hall, Song Yixiao read carefully the gift list left by Jian Lizhi and was astonished, "Did Aunt bring out all the things she brought when she got married?"

She knew that although Ji Zhou was in a good relationship with Jian Lizhi, he was not really from a high class background. He was an intellectual from a poor family. After he ranked the Scholar, he finally got the chance to marry Jian Lizhi. At that time, Jian Pingyu was still working in the court. Although he didn’t have enough strength to control the court, he was still much powerful. Additionally, the family of Prince of Chengyang had not been brought down. Elder Lady Duanmu, Jian Lizhi’s aunt, was no less prominent than Jian Pingyu because of her relationship with Noble Consort Shentu!

Under such circumstances, Jian Lizhi was qualified to be a Princess Consort. But she married Ji Zhou, who had no family background and no permanent property. Song Yixiao thought that there would be stories between the aunt and uncle.

In any case, although Ji Zhou had no family fortune, he had been working as an official in another city for many years. From the fact that he had been tirelessly seeking to enter the court but had been unsuccessful, he should not have been corrupt. Otherwise with his seniority and his status as a Scholar, he could have paved his way back to the court with silver.

The list of gifts left behind by Jian Lizhi contained seven or eight items of heirloom quality alone. The quality of them was even higher than the box of items that Pei Yourui had asked Duke of Yan to dispose of back then!

This was definitely not something that Ji Zhou could take out. It could only be Jian Lizhi’s dowry.

Song Yixiao, for one thing, didn’t need these; for another, even if Duke of Yan had done the Ji Family a favour, how could they take the senior’s dowry? And there were seven or eight of them at once.

So when her husband came back, she told him about this thing, "We have to return them to Auntie."

"If we go and return them directly, Aunt will definitely not accept them." Jian Xubai read the gift list and asked someone to bring the items to him for inspection. After thinking about it, he said, "The good thing is that Aunt’s family has already settled in the imperial capital. If there are no accidents, they will stay here forever. If we count the years, our cousins will soon be getting married. So we won’t be afraid that we won’t have the opportunity to return the favors in the future. Just pick something of similar quality from our treasury to return the favor."

It was not that he was stingy and wouldn’t give back a better gift than Jian Lizhi’s. Jian Lizhi was married to a lower-class family then. And to thank her nephew, she had to use her dowry. So if her nephew and niece-in-law gave her a better gift, it would embarrass her.

Song Yixiao got this from her husband and nodded, "I’ll ask someone to write it down later, and we’ll do it then!"

Then she continued to say casually, "Wangxing and Wangzhu are still a few years away, but Wanglan is already ready to discuss marriage."

The Ji Family was not an imperial relative and did not need to observe mourning in addition to the state mourning, so they could discuss marriage for Ji Wanglan at this moment.

Song Yixiao thought that this family had been away from the imperial capital for twenty years and had asked for information about the current situation in the imperial capital the other day, so they must be even more confused when it came to proposing a marriage for Ji Wanglan. Basically they had to come and ask her about the situation of the young men of various families of similar age.

She had spent efforts on this. She even had gathered with Xie Yiren, Jiang Muting, Wei Yinlian and others to get a lot of information in private.

At the beginning of October, Jian Lizhi came to her door to discuss the marriage of her kid, but it was not about Ji Wanglan.

It was also not her young son Ji Wangxing. Instead, it was her legitimate daughter, Ji Wangzhu, who was only nine years old and whom Song Yixiao thought was not in a hurry.

"Aunt, please forgive me, but isn’t Wangzhu… a little young at her age?" Song Yixiao asked in confusion, "Although it is common for the man to be a few years older than the woman, it would be five or six years away from Wangzhu’s getting married! That’s a long time, so there are a lot of variables!"

What if the man died? What if the man couldn’t stand it and found a bunch of concubines and maids? What if something else happened and a concubine child was born?

In short, Song Yixiao thought it was not appropriate to discuss marriage at the age of nine.

Not to mention the fact that Ji Wangzhu had older siblings above her who had not yet started a family!

"The man is a few years older than the woman. It is a common practice." Before she opened her mouth, Jian Lizhi had already hinted at Song Yixiao to clear the room. At this moment, she pursed her lips and revealed it politely, "But the love of a childhood acquaintance is always more reliable. I suppose it would be great if Wangzhu could find a husband at the same age."

"The same age?" Song Yixiao froze for a moment, then suddenly realized that Commandery Prince Zhongling, who was currently Crown Prince, was also nine years old this year.

So this was what Jian Lizhi had in mind!

No wonder she showed particular interest in the preferences of Empress Wei before.

After understanding what Jian Lizhi had in mind, Song Yixiao felt embarrassed, "Auntie, speaking of the same age, I remembered that the current Crown Prince, who is my husband’s nephew, is also nine years old!"

What she meant by this was to remind Jian Lizhi. It was true that Ji Wangzhu was about the same age as the Crown Prince, that she was also beautiful, and that her father was a Vice Minister in the Ministry of Rituals at present. So she was not unqualified to compete for the position of mistress of the Eastern Palace.

The problem was that Ji Wangzhu was of the same generation as Jian Xubai and his wife. If Crown Prince was more approachable, he could call her "Aunt".

But Jian Lizhi thought it was no big deal, "What a coincidence. But the Ji Family is not a royal relative. So I haven’t heard much about it before."

Of course, this was not true. The point was that the Ji Family was not a royal relative. The Ji Family was not directly related to the royal family. Although from Jian Xubai’s side, Ji Wangzhu was a senior to Crown Prince, since ancient times, the royal family had confused generations when discussing marriage for too many times!

Crown Prince and Ji Wangzhu were at least not related by blood!

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