Chapter 121: Step Forward Bravely

 

Translated by Gumihou

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com

 

“Amitabha, thanks to madam’s warning, we managed to secure two spies. Both recently infiltrate the temple. We found psychotropic drugs on their persons.” said the abbot with a frown. Just thinking about those spies with their high level martial arts made him broke out in sweat: Luckily, Buddha had preserved them, otherwise there was no way Pushan Temple could survive this kind of crisis, ah.”

“Good, they didn’t get away with it.”

Su Nuan Nuan heaved a long sigh of relief, but very soon a servant boy was seen running over. He was completely flustered as he said, “Madam, the carriages we left a the foothills have been damaged. There were only two that could actually moved at all. As for the two guards we left to look after the carriages, one is dead and the other is still missing.”

“What?”

This kind of abrupt change of plot lines nearly caused Su Nuan Nuan to see spots in front of her eyes. It hasn’t even been a full day yet, but surely that’s still way too much drama? Dear god in heaven, please don’t play this kind of joke with me, please.

However, since the matter already happened, they could only deal with the shortfall. Su Nuan Nuan quickly calmed herself down, and was about to speak with the rapidly paling abbot when Madam Yang, Liu Min, Xu Ran Yun and the rest came out of the room. At the sight of them, Madam Yang whispered urgently to the abbot, “We must leave quickly for the Capital. It’s too risky to stay here any longer. Abbot, you must lend us a few high level martial monks to escort us back. The An Ping house will definitely reward you for your assistance.”

The abbot quickly answered, “Amitabha, one who has left their home[1] carries no desires for material wealth. We are obligated to carry out our charity work as the situation demanded. Only…” he looked over at Su Nuan Nuan, this old monk really didn’t know how to break it to the ladies that there were only two carriages left.

Thus far, Su Nuan Nuan had been making all the decisions and he left it to her to tell them or not. As expected, when she revealed that only two working carriages remained, a great alarm rose. Liu Min was the first to point a finger at her and denounced, “How could you mess up such a simple thing? What kind of official wife are you? Clearly the lord heir wasted his breath putting you in charge.”

This old lady, nothing had happened yet and you’ve already clapped a black pot on my head? Su Nuan Nuan was getting angry. Though this was a critical and time sensitive matter, she really could not afford to allow anyone to undermine her authority now. What if the lower ranking people decided to listen to Liu Min instead and walk blindly into danger following an idiot? No matter what, she could not let that woman gain an upper hand.

However, before she could say anything, someone else already beaten her to it. Madam Yang glared coldly at Liu Min, “Little sister, your words are too excessive. What does any of this have anything to do with Nuan Nuan? The people who organized this trip is Xu Ran Yun and Tingye’s wife. Xuan’er only entrusted a few words to Nuan Nuan before he left, have you forgotten all this?”

“I…”

Liu Min had nothing to say. Su Nuan Nuan looked at Madam Yang with some surprise. She knew that this old lady did not like her, but apparently she could still be fair during critical moments. Looks like all the good food she had fed this woman had not gone wasted, ah.

As she was pondering over this matter, Madam Yang said in a low voice, “If there are only two carriages left, not many people can fit in. Old madam must go, of course. As for the rest…” she glanced around the rows of pleading eyes and desperate faces. She sighed privately: At this point, anyone who stayed back might be dead by morning. She might as well have been tasked to decide who lives or dies at this point, ah.

“Sister is right. Old madam must go, therefore sister and I must be there to look after her and make sure she gets back home safely.” Liu Min was really afraid that Madam Yang would leave her behind. The official wife never liked her, so it’s possible that she might take the chance to leave her behind to die, ah. In the end, she really didn’t want to die, ah.

Madam Yang eyed her for a moment, but only said, “Little sister is correct. Why don’t you decide who else should come with us.” Since there is no way for her to abandon Liu Min, she might as well hand this hot potato over to this eyesore.

Liu Min went blank. She understood immediately that this was Madam Yang’s condition for letting her leave this place alive. This kind of thankless, resentment inducing job had to be done no matter. How could she have the mind to properly consider the delicate balance of who to offend or which relationship to preserve under this urgent circumstances? Bitterly, she gritted her teeth and said, “There are two carriages only, so aside from sister and I, first madam and Tingye’s wife must be there to attend to old madam in the first carriage. Ran Yun, Lan’er, Jing’er and Tingfang as well as the little children in one carriage. We can’t take anymore people. The guards had to be seated outside the carriage to protect the carriages. If we have more people the horses wouldn’t be able to move.”

Madam Yang’s heart was bitter. She too realize that this was the best arrangement. Though the woman before her has her own selfish motives, she had arranged for Tingxuan’s wives and concubines to come with them. Though this move was considered a betrayal to herself and her own son, it had also preserved the main branch line. By doing this, she earned good will points for Duan Tingye in this ongoing struggle for gaining social upper hand.

Though she knew all of this, there was nothing she could say: In the end the lord heir was Tingxuan, an outstanding and well respected man of the imperial court. He was currently the most important man in the family, though as a mother she might be biased, there was no way she was going to avoid being cruel in order to protect her son.

Behind them were several cries as the servants realised what this meant. However, they knew that this was what being a servant meant. A master’s well being always comes before their own lives. Therefore, no matter how bitter or frightened they might be, none of them dared to utter a single protest.

Concubine Lin clutched Duan Xinqi’s hand, her face were dead white. Just yesterday she had been so glad and happy that her social status had risen to the point that the mother and daughter pair were included in this mountain outing. Who would have thought that after getting to this point with so much difficulty, mother and daughter would be sent to deaths door today? For disaster to fall from the sky like this, how cruel is fate, ah?

 “No.”

While the servants were bitterly lamenting their fate in whispers, a sudden powerful voice rang out, shocking everyone out of their private reverie. The one who had spoken was Su Nuan Nuan, the person who had the most critical role to play, their very own first madam.

“Why not? If first madam has a better suggestion, do inform us.”

The fire in Liu Min’s belly flared up. Has this cursed creature stepped out to play a good Samaritan role now? Well, have at it. No matter what, I refuse to remain here. If you have the guts, you can have elder madam stay. Humph! Humph! Stupid, pigheaded creature, the final two carriages have been stuffed to the maximum, your brain must have been soaked with water to become this stupid.

Madam Yang let out a sigh. She had heard from many people that this daughter-in-law of hers had change for the better, but this was not the time to show compassion. Right now, we must break off all unnecessary baggage so that the most important people could survive. This was not the time to play the popularity game.

“Second miss must go, she’s the daughter of the marquis house. If she is left in this temple, well, I don’t have to tell you what will happen once the bandits found her, do I?”

Su Nuan Nuan still haven’t finished speaking when a sneering laugh was heard. She looked up and saw Xu Ran Yun smirking mockingly at her, “Dear sister is indeed good with words. Second miss is certainly pitiable. Only, if she gets on the carriage, surely someone must stay back? Who is sister planning to leave behind?”

 

[Gumihou: Okay, who else wants to punch Xu Ran Yun in the face? She sounds like she has a punchable face. Let’s punch her, ah ah ah ah!!]

 

[1] the term is 出家, literally ‘leave home’ to become a nun or monk

 

 

 

 

 

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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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