Chapter 77: To Compromise
Translated by Gumihou
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For a moment, the lady of the house was stunned. Hidden in nooks and crannies around them were eavesdropping maids and servants from various factions, whispering away to each other. After a long time, Shi Yu Rou finally grew aware of her surroundings. From Su Nuan Nuan’s chilly expression, she knew that there was no way she was going to get away unscathed. Therefore, she could not afford to hold back and risk losing this confrontation in front of all these people. If she were to admit defeat to Su Nuan Nuan, it would be like losing to the first madam’s cat, how was she to hold her head up high within the mansion in the future?
“Do sister-in-law really not want to come in for tea?” Shi Yu Rou’s last hope to settle this matter in private was brutally shot down with a brusque ‘No’ from Su Nuan Nuan.
“Very well, I’m sorry to inform that you have wasted your time coming here. After all, I do not even know heads or tail of the matter, therefore I shall not stand in the way of your business.” Shi Yu Ran pulled out her most dignified lady in charge manners and made to leisurely stroll back into the house. Humph! You might have begun a fierce opening move, however, I will not play. So, what are you going do about it? Don’t tell me you’re going to just barge into my house to look for the culprit?
However, when she re-thought her words, Shi Yu Rou suddenly realized that she had used the worst combination of wording. Behind her, Su Nuan Nuan howled, “Have you all heard her? The lady herself said that she will not stand in our way! This is it! Granny Zou, go in there with Hong Lian and Xiang Yun. When you spot those disrespectful evildoers who bullied my cat, drag them out!”
“What? You dare!”
Shi Yu Rou turned around with a screech, her normally dignified and stately manner evaporating. However, there was no choice, panting hard she glared, thinking: This woman actually dared to deliberately misinterpret her words. If she were to correct them, wouldn’t it looked like she was just waffling?
“Is sister-in-law questioning the depth of my courage and feelings?” Su Nuan Nuan’s phoenix eyes narrowed. “Is that how you speak to an elder sister-in-law?”
“I…” Shi Yu Rou was speechless for a long time before she finally found something to say. “Sister-in-law, you’re after people who beat your cat, so what are you doing at my place?”
“Surely you’re joking? I’m here because the people who beat my cat came from your courtyard. I planned to enlighten you on what happened since you don’t know what’s going on, but then you don’t seem interested to know. Which is perfectly fine, since you obviously had nothing to do with it, why should you care? Since it’s like that, I shall not trouble you anymore, I will only grab those despicable servants and punish them.”
“Do you actually have evidence to back your words?” Shi Yu Rou said through gritted teeth. She had considered the matter from all angles for a long time before committing herself to this scheme. She would be able to kill Su Nuan Nuan’s authority and take out her anger against that beastly cat with this one move and there had been no disadvantages that she could see. After all, who would be stupid enough to go against a lady of the branch house just for a cat?
Surely even Su Nuan Nuan wouldn’t dare? Surely she wouldn’t want to loose the goodwill she had gained from the elder madam and older madam?
Who would have known that Su Nuan Nuan had no intention of arranging her playing pieces and picked her fights, but had played her most powerful piece immediately and personally fight against Shi Yu Rou, loudly declaring to the world that she was seeking justice for the cat.
Everything that Shi Yu Rou had thought would never happen all materialized too suddenly, shocking her stupid. She was still reeling from the impact, when her true nature reassert itself and she began to bluster in order to cover up her weak point.
“Naturally, I have a witness with me. I would never have stormed sister-in-law’s place for no reason. How would I ever dare to go against the rules and and break in? Well now, I already know that you have nothing to do with it. You and I are family, and you clearly know that this is my cat. So obviously you’re not the one who did this evil deed, right? Since it’s like this, you too wish to get rid of any evildoers in your household, right? I really don’t want to make trouble for you.”
This… Shi Yu Rou nearly spat up blood. To hear herself being scolded as an ‘evildoer’, this woman clearly wanted to step on her head, ah. How dare she say ‘not want to make trouble for you’? Who was the real evildoer here, ah?
However, these were all things that she could never say out loud. Shi Yu Rou nearly turned purple from choking down these words. In the end, she could only say, “How could sister-in-law just believe this woman? What if this slave wants to harm me?”
“Harm you?” Su Nuan Nuan widened her eyes, pretending to be shocked. “How can this be? Granny Zou never said that you commanded those people to beat my cat, only Granny Yang, Granny Fang and Granny Liu along with Tao’er, Li’er and Xing’er were seen going after my cat.”
Three grannies and three young maids were quickly brought out, one of the young maid had a swollen face and was limping along as though she had been recently injured. Shi Yu Rou glared at the maid called Xing’er before feigning calm and turned her head away, saying, “This Xing’er girl has sticky fingers. I caught her stealing from my room and have punished her accordingly. I expect that she must be the one who incite the others and attacked your cat. Since I’ve punished her, surely it’s clear that I had nothing to with them harming your cat?”
A sincere smile finally floated onto Su Nuan Nuan’s face. Shi Yu Rou eyed the smile with some suspicion, surely there was no way that this woman would just smile for no reason? As expected, Su Nuan Nuan drawled, “Dear sister-in-law, I never said anything about you inciting anyone, why are you suddenly taking up this responsibility? Are you trying to tell me that you’re the one behind all this?”
“You… you… stop your nonsense!” Shi Yu Rou was hopping mad, she had been battered by Su Nuan Nuan to the point that she no longer knew her own mind. Otherwise, how could she have been so careless as to reveal her hand just like that. She hatefully gritted her teeth and snarled at the servants kneeling around her, “First madam said you all had a hand in beating up her cat. Speak, who was the one who incited you? Who was the one who caused me to lose this face?”
The maids and servants began to kowtow and wail, Shi Yu Rou twisted around to face Su Nuan Nuan, “Look at them, these servants all insisted they had nothing to do with the matter. It’s their word against your Granny Zou, how are we to decide who’s telling the truth?”
Su Nuan Nuan ignored her, fixing her eyes upon Xing’er. She could tell that there were no hidden anger behind those bruised eyes, after some thought she gave little laugh and said to the girl, “Granny Zou told me that Zhao Chai was able to escape because you took a tumble at the most critical moment. I trust your injury is from that fall, am I right? Are you sure you still wish to stand with these people and deny the truth? There are some things you can endure… and others… you cannot.”
Shi Yu Rou’s heart pounded out a loud ‘no!’ As expected, the girl lifted her head and said loudly, “Madam, the cat was beaten by these women. This slave was on her way from the kitchen when they caught me up in their scheme and was dragged in. I dared not go against them, and could only follow…”
“That moment when you realized that it was my cat they are killing was when you slipped, am I right? That was when you created an opportunity for my darling to escape?”
[Gumihou: Tsk, tsk]