Chapter 145: Opening Move

 

Translated by Gumihou

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Duan Tingxuan grew somewhat angry at this. He scowled and said, “Ever since the Pushan Temple incident, I’ve been incredibly busy. So much so that I rarely even have the time to come to Spring Breeze Court, and only to eat before leaving right away. You should know this. Having said that, I really did found some time to visit her and Lan’er a few times, but to what end? She merely grew more spoiled and arrogant from the attention.

Since she’s such a narrow-minded person who could not tell right from wrong, there’s no need for her to be in charge of the housekeeping anymore. Didn’t Jing’er did a good job keeping the house last time? Just hand the housekeeping responsibility to Jing’er. You’ll just be the nominal House Manager, Jing’er will be the one to do all the actual work. No one would be able to say anything against it.”

“In the end, won’t I still be attacked from all sides?” Su Nuan Nuan was not at all satisfied. Her husband gave her a look, and laughed, “Do you actually believe that you’ll be left alone even if you don’t manage the house?”

“Here it comes again. I know all this, but I don’t want to hear it.” Su Nuan Nuan sighed, “No matter what, just give that person another chance. You go and give her a little warning, hopefully she’ll restrain herself a bit. Really, after the whole spectacle with Ms. Xue, she seemed to have controlled herself a bit. Just why is she sticking her face out like this again?”

Duan Tingxuan could guess part of Xu Ran Yun’s thoughts, and the knowledge only made him depressed. No matter what, she was still a daughter of a count, so how could her ambition be low? The person in the wrong was her, but her guilty heart just made her suspicious of the people around her. Instead of facing her own guilt, she lashed out at others. If he had known that her character would be like this, he wouldn’t have listened to Old Cheng Ming and carried her into his household[1].

Though he could not help his thoughts, Duan Tingxuan still could not just strike her because of a flimsy reason like this. After thinking through the matter, he decided to go with Su Nuan Nuan’s suggestion and went over to Autumn Rain Pavilion to give Xu Ran Yun a little warning.

 

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“You’re sure? Madam Yun did not sleep a wink the entire night?”

Xue Zhi Lan carefully lowered the teacup to the table and stared intently at Long Yan.

“Yes, this one is sure. When I bumped into Xiao He, she informed me that the master himself informed Xu Ran Yun how her explosive attitude had alarmed even the senior madams. He even suggested that, with the new year around the corner, she should take it easy. Moreover, a lot of the servants in the house are generational servers and deserved some face. Otherwise, if any of them were to complain to old madam, the offence would be even more unmanageable. I heard that not long after the master left, Madam Yun broke her teacups and began to cry. The light within the house were lit the whole night.”

Long Yan gave her report in a soft voice. Sure enough, a beautiful smile began to spread across Xue Zhi Lan’s face and she said, “Very good. The lord has really given me a big help. Looks like Madam Yun is getting closer to panic mode, I wonder, just what her face looks like now?” she laughed. Suddenly, she paused to inquire, “Oh yes, I heard some news from Spring Breeze Court. The little masters had been visiting that place quite often to eat Snow Cream. Is this true?”

Long Yan nodded, “Yesterday afternoon the little masters all went to Spring Breeze Court for lunch and had Snow Cream for dessert. Little Fan and Little Sen both ate it, and were fine.”

Xue Zhi Lan nodded, then lowered her voice, “Tell both Fan’er and Sen’er to reduce their visits to Spring Breeze Court. I am their true mother. They shouldn’t turn into little white eyed wolves just over a few edibles.”

“Yes.” Long Yan said. When it looked like Xue Zhi Lan had no other orders, she left.

 

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As per Xue Zhi Lan’s predictions, Xu Ran Yun had reacted badly to Duan Tingxuan’s scolding. Not only did she not understand that this was Su Nuan Nuan’s way of giving her a chance, it also had a completely opposite effect.

“You’ve heard what the lord said to me, just what is he trying to tell me? Just because I’ve scolded a few managers, your master, that oh so great master of yours with his important job at court; who always hideout at Spring Breeze Court the moment he comes back and never leaves until the next day would especially come over to my place just to reprimand me.

A busy man with his busy schedule actually took the time to come over and scold me. He had never been one to bother himself with inner court business in the past, to actually stir himself to come here? I tell you, it had to be incited by that woman.”

Xu Ran Yun paced about in her room. The moment she had some leisure time, she would rant about the same thing. Her two personal maids, Feng Xian and Cui Bing’s poor ears almost had callouses from being abused so much. However, neither of them dared to act impatient, nor do they dare to say anything. They could only stand there and listen as their mistress ranted her heart out.

“No, I can’t just sit and wait for death. I worked very hard to become the House Manager. There’s no way I’m going to just let them take it away from me. How much work have I put into maintaining this family? How many people I’ve offended on the way? The moment I lost this power, those measly people would trample me to death. I don’t have a refuge like Mei Yue Lou, nor do I have culinary skills that could turn the lord’s head. The only thing I have is this housekeeping responsibility, I can’t lose it. I can’t.”

“Madam, please don’t let your imagination run wild. The fact that the master is here to personally speak with you means that he’s prepared to give madam a chance. This is the time to remain calm, the calmer you are, the clearer you can see.” Cui Bing said helplessly, she had already said similar things to Xu Ran Yun who knows how many times, but her mistress just refused to listen.

Indeed, Xu Ran Yun lost her temper again. She glared at Cui Bing hatefully and snapped, “Why do you keep saying this? Why do you not see the way these people keep bullying me? Slip ups after slip ups, how could so many unfortunate things be a coincident? Your master only listens to that woman, said that I’m making mountains out of molehills, but don’t you know? When have I ever made mountains out molehills? They’re all belittling me, after sticking with that woman at Pushan Temple they all see that woman as their leader and all ganged to make my life difficult. If I don’t punish them, they would trample all over me just to please their new mistress. Am I supposed to just take all this abuse lying down?”

Cui Bing glared Xiang Yun, her heart filled with resentment. She thought: Our mistress tended to panic at the barest imagined slight, but here you are making up stories and telling her things that should never reach her ears. Are you happy now? Our mistress now is jumpier than a rabbit on hot coals.

Feng Xian too felt regretful. She was starting to think that she might have fallen into someone’s trap, but she dared not say anything at this point. Otherwise, Xu Ran Yun would tear her apart. The only thing she could think of to say was, “Madam should calm down first, it’s best not to be too hasty…”

“Enough. My ears are calloused from all your repeated talk. Calm down, calm down, that’s all you two know how to say. If you have nothing better to say, just leave. Leave! Everyone leave!”

Xiang Yun and Cui Bing could only bob in greeting, and was about to leave when a maid came in to report, “Madam, Madam Lan is here.”

“What is she here for? To laugh at me?” Xu Ran Yun snapped. But then she stood straight and puffed out her chest. Feng Xian and Cui Bing hurried over to tidy up her clothes and hair. When not a hair was out of place, she said with dignity, “Let Madam Lan in.”

 

[Gumihou: Nooooo, what kind of trouble is Madam Lan planning to stir up? I’m scared…]

 

[1] Carried her into his household – in a traditional Chinese marriage, the woman is carried on a sedan chair or palanquin into the husband’s house. Hence, ‘carried her into his household’

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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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