Chapter 34: The little marquis’s Hobbies
Translated by Gumihou
Posted at kitchennovel dot com
Crystal Aris: Ahahaha, this translator is just randomly saying stuff…
Moto: Ah, they were hoping to bury somebody else in that hole after all.
Kirindas: XXX, they’d make themselves right at home.
Seawaterwitch mira: XXX
“What’s so difficult about it? Since Xue Zi Lan personally saw it, then I wish to see it with my own eyes as well. I want to know just how this woman bullied my Xuan’er. Once I caught her red-handed, even if Xuan’er wants to protest, just what kind of face will he use to talk to me? It’s decided. Xu Ran Yun, you pay attention to Xuan’er’s movements these next two days, the moment he goes to Mei Yue Lou inform me immediately.”
At least our efforts had not wasted.
Xu Ran Yun and Xue Zi Lan had both waiting for this very words, and immediately breathed a sigh of relief. They laughed secretly behind their sleeves: It’s true that the elder madam has a mild temper, however there was no way she could keep from exploding when she sees first madam chase and bully the Lord like a dog that had gotten into her chicken coop. What mother would recognise such a cowardly son? By then, Su Meng Nuan’s role as a first madam in this palace would come to an end.
Duan Tingxuan had no idea what his mother and her daughters-in-law were scheming. These few days the Lord was extremely happy, though Su Nuan Nuan was never happy to see him every time he visited at Mei Yue Lou. Husband and wife were always trading barbed words, fists and feet often went flying, he actually developed a weird kind of joy through this very unique kind of interaction. It turned out that relationships between men and women, aside from an unending perfect harmony of happiness, there was this unburdening kind of interaction where each take what they needed from each other in an equal manner. Both laughed and jeered, mocked and screamed as much as they wish. This kind of feeling was unexpectedly beautiful and no less meaningful than a perfectly harmonious relationship.
Thus the little marquis really enjoyed his trips to Mei Yue Lou, aside from the delicious food, he always felt more relaxed and enthusiastic the moment he entered this place. Through quarrelling and fighting with with Su Nuan Nuan, he could decompressed from the day’s stress from all that cloak and dagger scheming that came with his job in politics. Who cares that the one who usually crawled away from these fights shamed and embarrassed was himself.
There was no choice, a good man does not quarrel with women. As a dignified heir of the palace, it would not look good if he raise his hand against a woman, right? Furthermore, this woman is now his lifeblood, without her there will be no more gourmet food. Even the grand old madam had been bought over by this woman’s food. If he were to beat her up for real, the old madam would probably disown him for it.
Today, it just so happened that there was nothing much to do at the government office, so he left early. When he arrived home, he saw one of the palace eunuchs, Eunuch Zheng, leaving his mansion. This eunuch was the Empress’ trusted confidant, and naturally was acquainted with Duan Tingxuan. Seeing him, the eunuch quickly jogged over to greet him. Duan Tingxuan smiled and said, “Oh, it’s Eunuch Zheng, what is it? Did her majesty make you come here to bestow something again? What did you bring?”
Zheng Wang smiled back, “Yesterday, an officer from Jiang Nan ‘s weaving company entered the capital. He gave tribute in the form of garment fabrics, in all kinds of pattern up to tens of thousands of bolts. Among them was a light and delicate piece called cicada’s wing satin, very breathable cloth and refreshing, perfect for summer. Her majesty was concerned about the people here, and had commanded this one to bring 100 bolts. On top of that, this one was instructed to bring other kinds of high quality brocade, some light snacks from the imperial kitchens and some small toys.”
At this point, Zheng Wang frowned in concerned. He leaned closer to Duan Tingxuan, “Young little marquis, the old madam, has she been unwell these few days?”
“Why would Eunuch Zheng think so?” Duan Tingxuan was puzzled as he questioned back. The old lady, unwell? Can’t be, ba? Last night when she battled against me over the Snow Soft Bean Paste snacks, her movements were really fierce. For each plate I ate only three while she swallowed the other seven. This Eunuch Zheng used what eye to see that my grandmother was unwell? Or was it me who had been too careless?
As he was thinking, he heard Zheng Wang said in a soft voice, “Old madam loves sweet snacks the most, therefore whenever her majesty sent something over, she always got the kitchens to make some sweet snacks. Normally, when the old madam sees them, she will snatch quite a few for herself first, and bragged about her wonderful daughter. However, when old madam saw the snacks today, she merely ordered the maids to put it who knows where, therefore, this one is truly worried. Young little marquis, as you know, our empress has a filial heart, if she knows that the old madam is unwell, think how worried she would be.”
“Haih! So it’s this, ah. Luckily the one you encountered is me, if you had asked someone else, who knows what kind of misunderstanding would occur.” Duan Tingxuan could only laugh as he waved his folding fan lazily. “Be at ease, the old madam is not at all unwell, it’s just the terrible weather that had shrunk her appetite quite a bit. Last night, someone just happened to make some snacks, and she greedily ate most of them. Most likely she ate too much and therefore could not properly appreciate today’s snacks. You just inform the empress that the old madam liked the snacks very much, so that her majesty would not overly worry.”
Zheng Wang smiled, “So it’s like this, then this one is at eased. Knowing that the old madam health is unharmed will put her majesty at ease as well. With her majesty at ease, we who serve her from below considers it a good fortune.”
Having said these, he invited Zheng Wang in to have tea in the hall. After a few cups of tea and palace gossip, Zheng Wang made to leave. At this point, Duan Tingxuan made his way to the North Court, on the way he heard Si Ping said, “What’s the rush, Master? The bolts of cloth that her majesty bestowed would definitely contain Master’s two wives and concubine’s share, there’s surely no need for Master to snatch any more for them? If second young waster’s wife knew about this, she will definitely bring it up in front of the elder master. This will cost you some face.”
Duan Tingxuan himself was shocked by these words, he was surprised by his own thoughts. Why is it that the moment he heard about the good cloth, his thoughts immediately flew towards that fierce female tiger occupying Mei Yue Lou? He had completely forgotten about the few beauties at his side, this shouldn’t happen, ah. This was really unnatural, just what had happened to him?
However, the young little marquis was not confused for long. A smart person will always be able to come up with reasons to explain his actions. He immediately sent a glare at Si Ping, and snorted coldly. “You useless thing, having only have thoughts for those two second wives and two concubines? The food that first madam feeds you would would have better be given to a dog. If I feed a dog, it would at least wag it’s tail at me.”
Si Ping was confused, and muttered. “So…so Master is now going to snatch cloth for first madam?”
“Must you call it ‘snatch’? The empress is my aunt, the things she bestow would definitely contain Su Nuan Nuan’s share. Nuan Nuan is still my official wife, since Mei Yue Lou is a bit far away, I’m just going over to help pick her share of things and send them over,”
Duan Tingxuan spoke grandly, but before Si Ping’s stunned expression, this thick faced little marquis also felt a little embarrassed, and said irritatedly, “What’s that look for? Yi? True, Nuan Nuan’s status appears to be somewhat similar to an abandoned wife, but she’s sill the first madam in name, ba? Furthermore, have you seen the things they were wearing?”
Suddenly, his tone changed to one that was rather deep and filled with benevolent sincerity, “Si Ping, ah. As human beings, we must be compassionate towards our fellow humans. Even a beggar on the streets will receive some coins from me. Your first madam is my wife, ‘One night as a couple equals a hundred day’s grace’. You tell me, how can I bear to see them walk around in those old rough clothes without lifting a finger to assist?”
“Cannot.” Si Ping resolutely nodded his head, doing his best to suppress the need to vomit: Your mother, did you not suffer a toothache from all these sweet words? If first madam is here, I guarantee that she will attempt to commit spousal murder.
Naturally these were words in his hearth that he will never dare to voice out. On the other hand, Duan Tingxuan also appeared uncomfortable as he coughed. “As for the others, do they even need my help when it comes to fetching fabrics? They’ve probably had all gone over to pick out the fabrics they liked already, absolutely no need for me to worry about them. There should only be Nuan Nuan left, furthermore it’s getting more and more difficult to negotiate better meals from her.”
“Hmpf! Trying to deceive me by serving those few same dishes over and over again. The ingredients at her place took up half of the kitchen, clearly mere ingredients could no longer excite this female tiger. Therefore I need to take a different approach, under this kinds of situation, cloth would certainly elicit better responses, don’t you think so?”
“Yes, Master is wise.” Si Ping raised his head slightly to look at the heavens: “This should be Master’s true intention, ba? Previously those words about how ‘One night as a couple equals a hundred day’s grace’ whatever was just a convenient excuse, wasn’t it?”
Duan Tingxuan cast an aggrieved look at Si Ping. “You want to die? Some truths can never be voiced out, you know?”
“Yes, this one is too noisy.” Si Ping lightly slapped his own face. “In the future, this one will cultivate more tactful speaking skills.”
Seeing that Si Ping knew his wrong, Duan Tingxuan felt quite satisfied. After a short nod, he continued his way towards the North Court, acting like a perfectly reasonable husband who had let bygones be bygones. Whether others watching this little performance really believe that this was the case was unclear, after all the little marquis himself believed this to be true.
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The old madam was enjoying some tea Qiu Ling had just prepared, she smiled as her grandson carefully picked out over a hundred good cloth, saying with a sigh, “Grandson of mine, although you are considered an accomplished talent in many things, you’ve never once shown an interest in cloth before. Even when that great beauty Lan’er entered your harem you’ve never shown interest in her clothes or make-up . Why the sudden interest in checking out good cloth material? Haven’t I told you that your wives have already picked out their share, just who are you choosing the cloths for? Surely it’s not for yourself?”
Duan Tingxuan gave the old madam a crossed look, “Grandmother, you’re asking after things you already knew, ba? When have your grandson made decisions for my own sake? All this meticulous planning and effort was for the sake of this family…”
“If you continue to be ridiculous, I won’t let you have a single.”
“Who else could it be for? Nuan Nuan and her two maids in Mei Yue Lou had not gotten their allowances for a few months, their clothes are all nearly in pieces. So I thought I’d pick out a few bolts of good material for them.” Duan Tingxuan firmly made himself stop all the self praises, while sighing privately in his heart. This old lady is getting harder and harder to deceive, she’s getting less and less grandmotherly these recent days. Could it be that she has eaten too much of that female tiger’s snacks and was influenced by her? I’ve heard that pets would eventually resemble their masters, could the maker of food influence others in a similar way? That’s just too scary.
The young little marquis had accidentally scared himself by a plot twist farted out by his own brain. After a bit, he calmed down: That’s not right either, there’s no one aside from me had eaten the most food from Mei Yue Lou, but you don’t see me becoming unreliable. Hn, imagination, it’s all just my imagination.
Once he calmed down, Duan Tingxuan focused on the work before him. He picked out another bolt of cloth made of thin satin, patterned with large hibiscus over a lotus root coloured background. He held it out to look, and nodded to himself. “That Nuan Nuan’s a restless sort, this kind of calm colour should help her steady her nerves a bit more.” So saying, he placed that bolt of cloth aside.
[Gumihou: …. …. …. I is speechless …]
Translated by Gumihou at kitchennovel dot com
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