Chapter 26: Warm Silk
Back in the house, Qin Jiu sent Loquat to lock up Durian and Cherry separately.
Qin Jiu didn’t question Cherry again, because she already knew Cherry was working for Yao Xi-er. If she were to kill Cherry, that would comply with Yao Xi-er’s order. Qin Jiu believed that Cherry hated the Heaven Sect very much, but it wasn’t only because the Heaven Sect wanted to rebel, like she said, there should also be some other reasons. But why did she still work for Yao Xi-er if she hated the Heaven Sect so much? Qin Jiu couldn’t ask Cherry directly because Cherry didn’t know Qin Jiu already knew that she worked for Yao Xi-er.
So Qin Jiu now decided to let Loquat put Cherry and Durian together, hoping Durian could get more clues from Cherry.
The next day, Qin Jiu interrogated Durian.
“Durian, the life of Cherry is in your hands now. I have something to ask you, if your answer satisfies me, I will release her. I let you be a hero this time, all right?” Qin Jiu asked.
Durian had been tortured by fear for an entire night; he was exhausted and lost all vigor he had on the carriage yesterday. His eyes were filled with fear, but he still didn’t beg for forgiveness, “I don’t believe you, you cruel and evil woman!”
Qin Jiu sighed gently and said with a smile, “That’s how you think of me, cruel and evil? If that’s the case, you better tell the truth. If you lie about one word, I’ll let Loquat chop off one of Cherry’s hands . If you lie about two words, I’ll chop off two. If you lie about three words, I’ll chop off both hands and feet.”
Durian believed her words, so he looked panicked, “Everything that happened yesterday was my fault. I was drunk in Linglong pavilion, but not completely unconscious. I heard Mr. Mu tell you that the boys were ready, and that you would go to Zhaoping’s Palace in Jiuman mountain. I thought the boys included me so I planned to escape. I happened to see Cherry and told her everything, and asked her to come with me. Cherry said we couldn’t make it out but she would save me. Cherry just wanted to save my life, she didn’t betray you. You can’t kill her.”
Qin Jiu thought about this earlier and figured that was the case. She smiled and said, “So, like you said, Cherry had to get rid of me in order to save you? But how do you explain those bad words she said about the Heaven Sect?”
Durian answered in a cold voice, “Because the Heaven Sect wanted Cherry to join them, they killed her whole family except for her younger brother. If she doesn’t behave well, they will kill her brother.”
After Qin Jiu heard what was said, her complexion turned white.
Qin Jiu closed her eyes, there was a pink little face with black eyes moving nimbly, gently calling her sister.
Qin Jiu’s eyes blurred. She picked up the tea cup and tried to get rid of the water in her eyes.
So Cherry was forced to join the Heaven Sect. Her younger brother was under Yao Xi-er’s control, so she had to obey the orders.
Qin Jiu slowly put down the tea cup, squinted and said, “Really? I’ve never heard of it. Master probably doesn’t know about this either. If this is true, I will tell the master not to let it happen again.”
Upon hearing Qin Jiu’s words, Durian’s eyes immediately lit up and he asked anxiously, “So will you forgive Cherry?”
Qin Jiu was quiet for a moment and said, “It’s no wonder that Cherry had her reasons to hate the Heaven Sect, you can go and let her out. But remember to tell her this: if this happens again, she will die.”
Durian was overwhelmed with joy, “So, you will really spare Cherry?”
Qin Jiu said with a smile, “Durian, you are seventeen this year. There are things you must not only hear with your ears, but also see with your eyes.”
Durian looked at Qin Jiu in surprise, savoring the meaning of her words.
“You can go now!” Qin Jiu said and closed her eyes.
Durian stood there and didn’t move for a while.
“You…… You’re not going to kill me?” Durian asked warily.
Qin Jiu opened her eyes, leering at him and asked, “So you want to be killed? I just remembered a new way to kill people…” Before Qin Jiu could finish, Durian jumped up and shouted, “I didn’t say anything just now. I’ll leave right now.” dashing out like a rabbit.
In the hallway outside the warm room, Yellow Hair was standing on the shelf taking a nap in the sun.
Durian was in a good mood, and he couldn’t help but touch Yellow Hair’s hair.
Yellow Hair woke up all of a sudden, his feathers ruffled. He tilted his neck and said, “Go away, don’t touch my hair!”
Durian was stunned.
Qin Jiu put aside what happened with Cherry and Durian. As for Cherry’s report to Yao Xi-er, it was her business, but Qin Jiu was certain that she would not tell her the truth.
After Qin Jiu recovered, she went back to work.
The Brocade department had three divisions: sewing, dyeing, and purchasing.
Qin Jiu was the head of the department, and she was in charge of managers of the three divisions. Among the managers of the sewing and dyeing division were female officials in the palace: one was called Ning Shu, another one called Li Xiangrong. The eunuch in the purchasing division was called Cao Fushun.
All three divisions were very busy every day, but Qin Jiu was not at all. She only needed to go there once a day.
Today, Qin Jiu went to the sewing division and saw they were sewing a piece of white silk.
This piece of white silk was made from double silk threads. The cloth was thick and soft, its color very warm.
Qin Jiu was an expert in sewing, dyeing, and embroidery. When she touched the white silk, she had doubts. Were these warm silk threads from YunShao country?
YunShao was located in the south of DaYu, it had lakes and rivers, a warm climate, suitable for breeding silkworms, so YunShao country was famous for its silk. But this kind of warm silk was a silk speciality in Yunchao, which was made from silkworms from hot and humid areas. This silk didn’t feel cold like the others, instead warm and was very suitable for a winter dress. However, this kind of silkworm was extremely difficult to breed, so this kind of silk production was very limited and extremely hard to get. Only the royal family of YunShao would have chances to get them.
Qin Jiu was afraid of the cold, so she wanted to get a dress made of warm silk before, but she couldn’t get it. Now, she saw this in the dyeing division.
“Miss Li, this is the warm silk from YunShao, right? How did the purchasing division get it?” Qin Jiu asked the person who was following behind her.
Li Xiangrong was in her twenties and looked shrewd. Hearing Qin Jiu’s question, she answered in a clear voice, “Master Qin, we were not able to get this warm silk. I heard that it was sent here by His Highness Anling, who asked us to weave and dye this into a double layer of white silk, and then send it to the sewing division to make a dress.”
“It was sent by His Highness Anling, so he wanted to make a dress for his mother.” Qin Jiu said with a smile.
“No, Lady Xian has always worshipped the Buddha. She wouldn’t wear this kind of dress. This dress was made for Miss Su. The 20th of the first month is the famous Snow Festival in Lijing. You just came to Lijing, so you must not know about the Snow Festival.”
Qin Jiu squinted. Snow Festival, of course she knew!