Chapter 29: Grandparent Grandson Chat
Translated by Gumihou
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“No, we can’t allow her and the master to come into contact any more.” In the room, Xu Ran Yun spoke angrily to Concubine Jiang. “It wasn’t easy to get her out of the inner court into Mei Yue Lou, I will not see my efforts wasted and have her traipse back in here.”
“But, Madam, if the master really have feelings for her again, even if you do not wish it, what could we do?” Concubine Jiang’s face was also filled with anxiety. This matter had happened too fast, so fast that it did not give them a chance to properly respond.
Xu Ran Yun narrowed her eyes, she laughed coldly and said. “This is not only bad news for me. That Xue Zi Lan has always presented herself as a virtuous little woman, hasn’t she? This is why Elder Madam Yang likes her, she will not risk her position in this round of battle. You think of a way to convey this matter to Concubine Jing. I will inquire for more news on my side. If this Xue Zi Lan really refuses to stick her neck out, I too will have to maintain my good wife and mother act. Once that woman arrive, we can all suffer from a series of mysterious bad luck. Let’s see how she keeps her cool after that.”
Concubine Jiang anxiously said. “Madam, you can’t! Though that Madam Lan will never go against you, when first madam was still at the inner court, she was the only who was willing to take the role of a concubine in front of her. Though that first madam bullied her, but because of her softer nature, first madam still hates you a bit more. Not to mention Mei Yue Lou’s allowances had not been given out these past few months. Wouldn’t first madam suspect you for this?”
“If first madam really comes back, she and Madam Lan would surely team up against you. I’m just saying this, but how would Madam Lan even stop her from coming back? Not mention, ever since you’ve been put in charge of the household accounts, she had been pushed into a lower position.”
Xu Ran Yun laughed coldly, “ I don’t believe that she’d work with that woman just to get out of a lower position. Besides, she is not stupid, do you think that once first madam destroys me she would just let Xue Zi Lan go? Don’t you know the saying ‘We’re all in the same boat’? Moreover, based on the Lord’s attitude, he has every intention of forgiving this woman. It’s likely that he has feelings for her again. If I were to make a move alone on this, wouldn’t the master hate me to death? She would have the net as well as all the fish caught in it. At this point, we’re stuck between two bad choices, so we might as well pull her into the hot water with us.”
Concubine Jiang stared blankly as she thought hard. Then, she sadly said. “What Madam said made sense, since it’s this way, this one shall go to Concubine Jing’s place and pass on the message, Madam Lan would surely do the same?”
… kitchennovel.com …
Compared to all the furtive scheming and gossiping within the mansion, conversation at the North Court was much more relaxed.
Duan Tingxuan and Old Madam Fang were exchanging some idle gossip when the old madam switched the subject, wanting to know about the origin of these special dishes. He decided to come clean at once. The old madam was incredulous as she muttered. “When I saw those two maids, I had my suspicions. As expected, these dishes are done by Su Nuan Nuan, just when did she picked up these strange culinary skills?”
Duan Tingxuan smiled. “You’re not the only one who’s curious, even I have no idea. According to Hong Lian she always had these skills, but ever since she married into the family she rarely stepped into the kitchen due to her higher status. When Zi Lan came, followed by Ran Yun the next year, well, ahem. Your grandson’s attitude, surely old madam understands the most. Su Nuan Nuan became angry at me, and so never revealed her skills…”
Not waiting for him to finish, the old madam shook her head. “Aih! This time the one at fault is her, it is perfectly normal for a man to have three wives and four concubines. She should have worked harder to secure your affections, if she had utilized these skills earlier, then all these other nonsense would not have happened. Then, would she ever have any fear of you turning away?”
As Duan Tingxuan listened, eh? Even though he really liked Su Nuan Nuan’s cooking, but he could never let old madam see him as nothing more than foodie controlled by his giant stomach. Once the news gets around, his glorious image as a little marquis would be ruined. So he quickly said, “Grandmother, it’s not like that. This Su Nuan Nuan had done all kinds of bad things in the past, your grandson certainly won’t forgive her actions just like that.”
“Oh really?” The old madam raised an eyebrow, and laughed quietly at her grandson: “Then, why are you forgiving her now? Is it not because of those delicious food?”
Duan Tingxuan turned red, coughed to cover up his awkwardness and said firmly. “Grandmother have you heard that people changed when they encounter near death situations? That Su Nuan Nuan tried to commit suicide once, and almost died. Ever since that day she had changed a lot. It is as though she had broke through a barrier and gained great wisdom. Your grandson have personally saw with his own eyes that she is no longer that bitter poisonous person from before and thus have decided, after much consideration, to forgive her. Otherwise, surely your grandson isn’t someone who could be blinded by delicious food and could not tell a wicked person from good?”
“I understand my grandson most,” old madam nodded slowly.
Duan Tingxuan breathed a sigh of relief. He grinned. “Right? Right? I knew grandmother knew me best.”
“Hm, my grandson is an outstanding child, always steady and cautious in his behaviour. When he speaks in such an overbearing tone, either he has something important to convey, or he has something to hide.” old madam continued to nod her head slowly.
“Grandmother, who says I have something to hide?” Duan Tingxuan didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. “That said, why would I have something to hide?”
“Once a person received an unexpected reward, they must pay for it later.” old madam Fang looked at her grandson with a very meaningful gaze.
Duan Tingxuan had lost. “Yes, yes, very well it is as you say, who ask me to be your grandson? As long as you’re happy I’ll treat you anything you like, I’ll cut my flesh for you to eat if you like.”
“Nonsense, I have restrained myself from eating delicious meats, whether it’s pork, mutton or beef, why should I eat yours? Furthermore, the folk tales have always said that human flesh tasted sour, unappetizing.”
Duan Tingxuan had thoroughly lost all sense of indignation, who would have thought that this old madam would be in such an excellent mood after such a good meal? He was in the middle of trying to think of a way to ease the matter of Su Nuan Nuan in when the old lady herself suggested arranging to have her move back in to the inner court. The old woman who had seen through his schemes, made a he-he laugh she said. “Since you said that Su Nuan Nuan had sincerely mended her ways, and since she could produce such excellent dishes, why not let her return to the inner court?”
“Who said she has mended her ways?” Duan Tingxuan blinked confusedly at the old madam: That woman is fiercer now that ever, okay? Just for these four dishes, do you know how much she had extorted from him?
“Didn’t you say so? That she had changed a lot, that she ‘had broke through a barrier and gained great wisdom’?” This time, it was the old woman’s turn to be confused.
“Well, it is true that she had gained great wisdom, but she definitely did not mend her ways.” Duan Tingxuan sighed sadly.
“Then…your grandmother do not understand. What is the meaning of ‘have gained great wisdom’ but ‘did not mend her ways’.” The old lady was becoming quite confused, especially since her grandson looked like a cabbage in drought season, his head drooping sadly.
Feeling greatly wronged, he said. “Grandmother, why must you ask questions when you already know the answers? Though Su Nuan Nuan had gained better wisdom, her hatred for me has not lessened a single bit. In fact, it had hardened into stone. Did you not see that though today is the Dragon Boat Festival, she did not even bother to show her face?”
Old Madam Fang was speechless. In her heart she muttered: My dear grandson, I was not questioning about things I already know, I really did not know anything, ah.
Translated by Gumihou at kitchennovel dot com
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