Chapter 40: Settling Accounts
Author’s Note: Hope you have a wonderful time reading.
Crystal Aris: Goodness knows why, you only appreciate things when they are out of your reach I guess.
Seawaterwitch: Love you for your understanding and continuous support!
Julie: Lol, the excitement trajectory is crazy!
The truth was, Si Ping had completely underestimated his master’s character. As a distinguished heir apparent with a reputation to defend, how could he allow himself to indulge in based impulses, and randomly vent his anger on one of his wives?
However, Xu Ran Yun had really pissed him off this time, so he still needed to at least knock her down a peg or two.
Sure enough, the moment he entered her courtyard, Xu Ran Yun had trotted out to welcome him. Upon seeing his unhappy expression, she also withdraw the smile on her face and said cautiously, “Did elder madam reprimand my Lord?”
Duan Tingxuan gave her a look, and without a word strode into the house. Xu Ran Yun also did not dare to say anything, and just followed him wordlessly. Her husband sat on one of the chairs, face as cold as a winter pond. This made her terrified, but at the same time wronged.
Her thoughts flew back to Mei Yue Lou, Su Nuan Nuan’s violent shrew actions had really upset Madam Yun who had always strived to maintain an image of meek loving wife and good mother. She felt stifled, as though she had been pushed into a corner, for what stupid reason that woman could scream and smack you around whereas I have to bow my head and play the obedient wife? Clearly I’m the wronged party here.
The moment she reached this conclusion, a rush of daring made her lift her head. Xu Ran Yun’s naturally hot temper suddenly flared itself as she stiffened her neck and sat down right in front of Duan Tingxuan. With a cold smile, she said, “Looks like my Lord have come to criticize me, since it is this way, since it is so, this lowly concubine shall not resist.”
Duan Tingxuan’s eyes narrowed, Xu Ran Yun’s stubborn attitude was starting to annoy him. If he can’t control her today, wouldn’t she be even more wilful next time? It’s fine if she had no intention of respecting him, but what if she tries to instigate the elder madam again, or try to find other ways to get rid of Nuan Nuan, that would be most unforgivable.
Annoyed and pissed off, Duan Tingxuan was not one to allow others to control him by force or by will. He gave Xu Ran Yun an indifferent look, and said. “From your words, it looks like you felt wronged somehow, why? Do you feel that what you did today was right?”
“Just what wrong did this concubine do? If the Lord wishes to care about his abandoned wife it’s his privilege. However, why would my Lord allow himself to be bullied and chased around all over the courtyard by that shrewish woman? If word gets out, then, my Lord’s reputation…”
The more Xu Ran Yun spoke, the angrier she got. Her face flushed red with anger. However, before she could finish, her husband stood up. With sudden anger, he said, “Who says that she’s an abandoned wife? I’ve never sent any divorce papers, so how could anyone say she’s an abandoned wife? As for her chasing me around, that’s up to me, how could a little tiff between between a husband and wife be something that ruins a man’s reputation? Whose tongue would be so busy as to leak this matter out? What happened to the family rules? More importantly, so what if it’s leaked out? Is my reputation based upon this matter alone? What sort of man do you take me for? An idiot who spends all his time hanging around his wife’s pants?”
Xu Ran Yun was shocked. Duan Tingxuan had never lost his temper at her like this before. She had a nasty feeling that she had said the wrong thing. However, this woman’s thoughts were very nimble, stubbornness would cost her her husband’s affections, therefore she immediately switched tactics.
Her lips flattened, tears gathered in her eyes and fell like rain. In a voice choked with emotions. “I… this concubine’s words are too hasty, how could this concubine consider so many things? I am nothing like my Lord, who is blessed with cleverness and wit. I am just a stupid woman, thinking that you’ve sent her to Mei Yue Lou because you didn’t want her any more. How could I know…”
“Since you don’t know anything, don’t act rashly.” Duan Tingxuan gave a cold snort. He glared at Xu Ran Yu and said in a heavy tone. “I still remember I’ve told Si Ping to inform you to continue with Mei Yue Lou’ allowance. At that point you were perfectly agreeable. However, what happened in the end? If Nuan Nuan had not gotten stronger, or if she lacks her excellent cooking skills, she would have starved to death by now.”
Anger flared up in Xu Ran Yun’s heart. That day when you threw them into Mei Yue Lou, wasn’t it to starve that poisonous woman to death? Now you turn this question back to me. Except, Duan Tingxuan’s arguments were all perfectly reasonable, leaving her wordless. She also realized that she could not allow her real thoughts to leak out.
She could only leak out more tears and said, “The Lord knows, first madam never did treat me well in the past, my character is especially stubborn, so…I became really angry. When I was looking after the mansion, there was so much to do and I sometimes…missed things. My Lord, I did not intentionally try to get back at her. Please forgive me this one time, there won’t be a next time.”
In the end, she was still a secondary wife, not a mere bed companion, which was probably why she dared to raise such trouble in the first place. However, now that he had knock her down a few pegs, she probably would not dare to make trouble for Nuan Nuan, this should be enough.[Gumihou’s Note: Hah, you think?]
As soon as he thought of this, Duan Tingxuan allowed his expression to darken a little. He stood up and said neutrally, “Ran Yun, you’ve always been a clever one and have kept your true thoughts to yourself until now. I know, you really hate Nuan Nuan, however, she is still my official wife, while you’re only the secondary wife. This is a matter of social rank, and as such, you must respect her as your superior. I can overlook everything that you did before, including today’s matter. However, you have better not try anything again, you understand me?”
“Yes, this concubine understands.” Xu Ran Yun felt her heart was like a ball of fire: No matter what, she’s a daughter of a Lord, why should she lower her head and voice while speaking to her husband?
Just because she’s a secondary wife? The Lord really knows how to talk, what social rank, has he already forgotten the way he was chased around by that crazy shrew around the courtyard?
However, no matter how indignant she was, in the end she had been caught red handed by her husband. Therefore, Xu Ran Yun could only bite her tongue and swallow this anger down.
No matter how clever a man this little marquis was, he still did not understand women. If this anger was really that easy to swallow, the weather would forever be fair and cool, and there would be less houses damaged by typhoons. His little beat down on Xu Ran Yun had merely added another layer of resentment buried under a lava like temper, waiting for an opportunity to erupt against Su Nuan Nuan. Nothing had been solved at all.
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The storm that passed through Mei Yue Lou was like a grain of rice dropping into a lake, barely a ripple disturbed them. Even Su Nuan Nuan was a little curious, only God knows what kind of flattery Duan Tingxuan had used to appease the elder madam and that bunch of troublesome wives and concubines.
However, when she thought about it, this outcome was not bad either: She did not have to leave the mansion, and could continue to free load on all the good things to eat and drink. As for that man slut, he probably won’t dare to simply swagger in and steal Mei Yue Lou’s food any more. He may have convinced Madam Yang to stop harping on about divorcing her, but things were probably still up in the air for the moment. From now on, Madam Yang and his many wives and concubines will have their eagle eyes on Mei Yue Lou. How wonderful, what an excellent situation this was.
As if to prove her theory, Duan Tingxuan was not seen at all for two consecutive days. This time, even Hong Lian and Xiang Yun had to admit that their Missy’s deduction was correct. The Lord probably did not dare to recklessly come to here any more.
This depressed the maids a lot. Though their mouths continued to say that this was a good thing, it was all to placate Su Nuan Nuan. Deep within their hearts, their master was still the best man in the world. Aside from his excessive love for beautiful women, he had no other bad habits. Furthermore, ‘Everyone loves a beauty’, isn’t it? As a man of high breeding, good looks, well verse in military skills and letters, furthermore in possession of the social ranking of a little marquis with direct relations with the imperial family, having three wives and four concubines is a normal thing, right?
Don’t know why Missy kept complaining about this matter and refused to accept his affections. It’s clear that Missy and the master got along very well. So what if their relationship stories were all ‘flying chickens and jumping dogs’? It looked the master really liked this kind of relationship, in fact, one could say that this was true love. If only Missy would soften her heart a little, wouldn’t they pass their days as a heavenly couple? When that time comes, who cares about Madam Ran or Madam Yun, who would dare go against their mistress? Smartly spoken flattery would only go so far.
These two maids prayed that Duan Tingxuan would come everyday to emit his hot passionate feelings at her, eventually proving his true love and warm up that piece of ice in Su Nuan Nuan’s chest into a real heart. Once Missy’s heart is all warmed up, the long awaited love story could finally start.
Who knew that before anything major could change, that dream broke apart like a soap bubble with the arrival of Madam Yang dousing the fires of love. Now that things have come to this, the two maids have nothing to say. They could only abandon their plans and prepared themselves to die of old age with their crazy mistress in Mei Yue Lou.
“White flowers smell sweet in spring~ lang li ge lang li ge lang~”
It was evening now, but since it was the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, the sky remained bright even though dusk had already past.
Su Nuan Nuan sat in her courtyard under a grape vine gazebo. She was happily eating a peach, as she pondered over watermelons, potatoes and sweet potatoes of this era. She had not any yet, she seemed to recall that these were produce that were recently introduced and wasn’t sure whether she would get to eat these familiar things. Thank goodness they still have peanuts, otherwise she would be heartbroken.
“Oh, very good, ah. Though it’s scorchingly hot, you really now how to enjoy yourself. Hiding under the shade of this patio and eating peaches and not bothering to cook. Yi? There’s two more left, excellent, let me have one, ba.”
The laughter that suddenly floated over from the entrance gave Su Nuan Nuan a shock. For a moment, she thought she was hearing things. Then, a tall, confident silhouette appeared in front of her. She still could not quite believe her eyes. Was this actually real?
An illusion, ba? Surely this was an illusion? Her eyes followed a set of beautifully slender and graceful claws as it reached out to grasped one of the white peaches. She followed the claws up a powerful arm as the peach was brought up slowly and gracefully towards a wide open mouth. One bite, and only half of the peach was left.
Not an illusion? Could this really be real? Her peach had really been snatched away, had really been eaten. She could even see the sweat on that familiar and hateful handsome face… and peach juice running down from that mouth. But, even if this was true, how could it be true? Surely she had not imagined all that had happened that day? Was that elder madam made out of paper?
“Wei! Nuan Nuan, what happened to you? Have you gone crazy? Surely this is not the first time you discovered that your husband, the little marquis as handsome as a jade tree, above mere common men, noble of bearing, confident and easy upon the eye, and thus have fallen under my charms?” From the moment Duan Tingxuan had taken the peach, his body was in a state of high awareness. However, even though he had taken a large bite out of the peach, this woman had not reacted in her usual crazy way.
The little marquis could not help but be surprised, then a sliver of glee went through him. Could this mean that this Nuan Nuan had really recognised his worth and have once more fallen for him, ba? This would be the best news in the world!
[Author’s Note: Au wu! It’s here, it’s here!…thank you everyone for their support!] [Gumihou’s Note: Who wants to kick Duan Tingxuan?”
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Translated by Gumihou at kitchennovel dot com
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