Chapter 19: The Report
Translated by Gumihou
Duan Mao Chuan nodded, as the son born of a concubine, he was quite similar to his cautious and timid mother. Though he received his father’s love, he never thought of himself as a young master. In this manner, he was more similar to his third uncle rather than his own father.
“Father, mother was bullied by someone today.” Duan Mao Ming suddenly piped up. Compared to his brother who was younger than him by three months, this one has the characteristics of a world wrecking demon. His scoundrel-like attitude was similar to his father’s. One could say that if this chick was not properly brought up, he could surpass his father in terms of evilness one day.
“You mother was bullied?”
Duan Tingxuan couldn’t help laughing. He lowered his two sons to the ground and absently knock Duan Mao Ming on the forehead: “What nonsense are you saying? Who in this palace dares to bully your mother, even your second aunt don’t have the guts to do such a thing.”
“It’s not second aunt, “ Duan Mao Ming rubbed his forehead. He gave his father an indignant look, and said in aggrieved tones, “Mother went somewhere, when she came back her forehead was all green and blue, and she was crying.”
“Are you sure?” Duan Tingxuan could see from his son’s earnest expression that these were words from the heart and felt a chill up his spine. The inner court has always been a nest of intrigue with people jockeying for power, but regardless, they had always played within the rules. Who on earth had decided to flaunt the rules like this? Which nasty vixen had suddenly decided to use physical force like this? Detestable! This was the An Ping mansion, which upstart suddenly grew hairs on their chest and dare to flip heaven and earth?
As soon as that thought occurred, an uncontrollable anger rose against that upstart, he lowered his sons to the ground and entered the house. The maids quickly bobbed their greeting. Xu Ran Yun and Concubine Jiang who were seated together quickly stood as soon as they saw him. Xu Ran Yun’s eyes were slightly swollen, tears fell before a single word was said.
She dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief, bravely sucked in a deep breathe before ordering the maid to prepare tea. Then she invited Duan Tingxuan to sit on the left side of the Kang bed, while she seated herself on the right side. Concubine Jiang having read the situation, already lowered herself onto a nearby stool.
Duan Tingxuan was very satisfied with Xu Ran Yun’s ‘dignified and composed’ act. Before this, she had a tendency to cry and tell tales, which was something a spoiled, undignified, insensible, little concubine would do in order to gain favour. He looked carefully over this wife of his and noted the blueish forehead.
Wrinkling his brows, he said. “When I got back I heard you want to speak with me. Ming’er also said you’ve suffered a loss. I really can’t believe this. The rules and regulations of the mansion are strictly enforced in this place. Just what exactly happened here?”
Having said this, he gradually brought the teacup to his lips and took a sip. He was, after all, the heir, no matter what the situation, he still have to maintain a dignified and elegant atmosphere at all times.
“My lord is asking me? Then, should not the lord think for a bit, aside from those in the Mei Yue Lou, who else in this palace dares to ignore the rules?” Xu Ran Yun gave a cold laugh. A roiling anger bubbled in her heart, I’ve said my part and will not give you a chance to back away. I shall now see how you plan to deal with that shrew.
“Pu–!” the prince’s air of dignity and elegance disintegrated in an instance as tea exploded from his mouth. He raised stunned eyes at Xu Ran Yun: “You’ve been to Mei Yue Lou? Why would you go to that place so suddenly?”
“My lord, even if you say this, that person had been cast away by you into that place. While they might have been fine for few days, perhaps even a week or two, but it has been half a year now. Though I have no idea what is in my lord’s heart, I cannot with good conscience just watch as she suffered all alone in that wretched place. On a whim, I decided to visit her today. That’s not wrong, right?”
Taken out of context, these words would certainly touched anyone’s heart by its level of generosity and kindness. However, Duan Tingxuan naturally would not be fooled by these pretentious words. He lightly rotate the teacup in his hands, a well hidden sneer in his smile as he slowly said, “Didn’t you just said that those people don’t care for the rules? Where did this sudden concern for her health come from?”
Xu Ran Yun paused, she twisted her head aside and sniffed coldly. “If she’s cruel, I have no choice but be unjust.”
“Stop, there’s no need to put on a show in front of me.” Duan Tingxuan placed the teacup on the table, with a low hehe laugh. “You think I don’t know how much you hate her? Lay your cards on the table, and tell me, just what is going on.”
Xu Ran Yun also knew that her husband was a shrewd one. It’s fine to play around with words a few times, but saying too much would turn her into a hypocrite, and her husband hated hypocrites the most. So she pouted and said, “You’re right, I do hate her, do you know how much I’ve suffered under her hands? Even if your eyes did not see it, you heart knows. The day you banished her to Mei Yue Lou, I said nothing, to I say I gloated over it would be too much, but I was definitely relieved. After that, I just did not bother to think about them, and was starting to forget about her.”
“It was not until this morning when elder madam brought them up that I was reminded of their existence. No matter what, those are still living people. Do you really think that I have the heart to see them starve to death? I had really forgotten about them and felt ashamed of my forgetfulness when elder madam raised the matter up. As soon as I returned home, I immediately gather some people and supplies to have a look and… in the end… good intentions are paid with ill, my lord, just look at my face, and my body…”
Xu Ran Yun’s voice choked up as her fingers hovered over her bruised forehead, the sleeve of her dress slipping down to reveal two more bruises. She said tearfully. “This is what I get for my kindness. After so many days in Mei Yue Lou, not only did they do not reflect on their behaviour, but they have become even more destructive. I don’t believe even that palace could contain them any more. My lord, you must think of a way to deal with them, otherwise who knows what will happen.”
“Those women raised their hands against you?” Duan Tingxuan sucked in a cold breath. It would not surprise him to hear Su Nuan Nuan do these kind of things. She had tried to kick him over a few dumplings that time. He had dodged her attack, but a less martially inclined person would not have been able to avoid. However, he was still curious. This woman was a high born lady after all, so why was she always punching and kicking people over the smallest things? She had never been like this before. Did something in her broke when she became an abandoned wife and her real self emerged?
“No, she did not.” Xu Ran Yun still dared not tell lies, she huffed. “They were sunning beans at the entrance, and I… I accidentally slipped on them.”
Duan Tingxuan’s eyes bulged a little, unsure what to say, finally he snickered. “I see, that’s…ahem, Ran Yun, ah. It’s not that I want to lecture you, but as a person one can’t be too proud. You like to strut around with your nose in the air, but sometimes it is a good idea to lower your head a little, if only to check your footing.”
“My lord, please don’t say good words for them.” Xu Ran Yun, knew with just a look that her husband intended to smooth things over, and could not help but cast one more stone. She gritted her teeth and said, “I have misspoke just now, they weren’t just sunning beans. They were actually laying traps. Have you ever heard of anyone sunning beans at the entrance of a courtyard? Especially when they have a limestone balcony especially made for sunning things?”