Chapter 101: To Grasp One’s True Nature
Translated by Gumihou
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Duan Maoming’s words might as well be a knife plunging cruelly into Xu Ran Yun’s heart. She raised her hand high, but somehow could not bring herself to strike the child. Presently, a beautiful woman dashed forward and folded Duan Maoming into her arms. She smiled up tremulously at Xu Ran Yun, “Madam, the child is still young. Surely there’s no need to take his words seriously.”
It was Duan Maoming’s wet nurse, Mi’shi. Her own child had died young, so she loved Duan Maoming like her own. Therefore, how could she bear to see the little young master struck? Unfortunately, her fate was like a moth flying into flames. Normally, it pleased Xu Ran Yun to see this woman shower love upon her child. However, for some reason, this same expression of love pissed her off today. The hand came viciously down Mi’shi’s face. She shouted, “You good for nothing woman. So, you’re the reason for my boy’s bad attitude. How dare you barge in while I’m educating my son, you dare play the doting parent to make me look bad?”
How could Duan Maoming restrain himself when someone hit his beloved wet nurse? He pushed Mi’shi aside and stood protectively between the two women. Though his was still quite little, he had quite a manly air about him as he stood in front of his wet nurse. However, this only made things worse. Xu Ran Yun felt that the entire world was against her, veins throbbed on her forehead as she muttered, “Wrong, wrong, This is all wrong. Are you my son or her son? Feng Xian, Feng Xian! Throw this disrespectful bitch out! Who knows what unfilial habit she plans to incite my son into.”
Feng Xian hurried over, but before she could say anything, Mi’shi had thrown herself to her knees by Xu Ran Yun’s feet. Face pale, tears falling from her eyes, she implored, “Please spare this servant, madam. This servant dared not anymore. This servant is just afraid that the young master would be beaten. He’s such a small child, it’s normal for him to be a little naughty…”
Before she could say anything more, Xu Ran Yun had kicked her away. Her voice was cold as she sneered, “You still dare to talk? You think I don’t know your tricks? You’re just trying to plant ideas into my son’s head with all this pitiful excuses. Making me out as the evil mother while you, and only you, are the one who truly loves him, am I right? Still dare to pretend? Why don’t you take a look at your own moral standing? Hah! I’m lucky to have found this out so quickly. Feng Xian, get Madam Lu to throw her out now!”
“Mother is being unreasonable, I refuse to let Mother Mi go.”
Seeing that the situation had deteriorated to this point, Duan Maoming stuck himself against Mi’shi’s waist and refused to let go even when Feng Xian tried to pull him away. She said, “My little devil, please don’t make trouble now.” She turned to the rest of the maids who were still standing around, watching and called them, “Why are you still standing there? Go get Madam Lu now, didn’t you hear madam’s order? You useless bunch…”
Her words ended in an incoherent stutter. Because standing at the gate, expressionless with fury, was Duan Tingxuan. At her sudden pause, the rest of the maids all swung their gazes in the direction she was looking at and all stiffened. Someone yelled ‘Ah!’ and everyone hurriedly sank into a greeting and quickly made way for Duan Tingxuan.
Now that support has arrived, Duan Maoming tearfully ran over to him. He clutched at his father’s clothes and cried, “Mother is being unreasonable. She is so angry and yelled at my, and even want to send Mother Mi away. Father, I don’t want Mother Mi to go, wu wu wu…”
As a four year old child, he still hadn’t properly absorbed the ‘A Man only Shed Blood Not Tears’ mindset, but had already learned to not show weakness in front of his mother. At the sight of his father, however, he quickly collapsed under the weight of feeling wronged by his mother and was blubbering freely like the little child he was.
While Duan Tingxuan was not exactly a model husband, he was still a good father to his many children. He gently picked up his second child and began to his face with a handkerchief. He smiled at his son and said, “Your mother is just having a bad day. And since you’re such a naughty monkey, of course she’s get angry. It’s alright now, it’s all just things said at the heat of the moment. Don’t cry, father will take you to first mother’s place to eat Snow Cream soon.”
At the mention of Snow Cream, Duan Maoming’s eyes brightened. He nodded quickly, “Is it that thing we had at grandmother’s? Ah! That’s really delicious. I had to snatch some from big brother for third brother to eat, otherwise he’d have just eat everything.”
Duan Tingxuan had been feeling guilty about missing his appointment with Xu Ran Yun, which why he came to Autumn Rain Pavilion the moment he could. He had arrived just in time to overhear Xu Ran Yun and Duan Maoming talking about the tree climbing thing. He had been preparing himself to scold his son over this reckless behaviour when Xu Ran Yun unexpectedly lost her temper. Duan Tingxuan held himself back to observe the situation, choosing to step in at a critical moment.
He had seen all that needed to be seen and could deduce the rest. When he heard his son’s protective declaration, he nodded approvingly, “It’s good that you look after your third brother, but you must also respect your first brother. You must also be consistent with your chivalric attitude. When third brother fell from the tree, why were you not concerned for him and laughed at his misfortune?
Duan Maoming found himself lost for words. He lowered his head and said quietly, “This son knows he’s wrong. This son should not laughed at third brother, I shall go and see him now.”
Duan Tingxuan put his son down and watched as Duan Maoming disappeared like smoke towards the side room. Finally, he stepped forward and stopped before Xu Ran Yun. He turned towards the still crying Mi’shi and said, “Go and make sure the boy changes his clothes.”
At this, Mi’shi knew that her position was safe. Feeling like she had just snatched her life from death’s door she kowtowed her thanks, knocking her forehead against the floor several times before scuttling after Duan Maoming. Xu Ran Yun, too, knew that her position has fallen drastically at this action, hadn’t she just shown a vicious, poisonous side of herself to her husband? Was Su Meng Nuan’s previous fate of being ignored by the lord about to befall upon herself?
“Maoming is still young, and bound to be a little wilful. You used to indulge him all the time, what happened today?” Duan Tingxuan decided to give Xu Ran Yun face and an opportunity to explain herself. Also, he had no intention of airing this matter in front of all the servants, it’s better to solve this matter peacefully and behind closed doors.
Xu Ran Yun was still feeling bitter, “What about it? My lord should know best, doesn’t he? Last night, I found that I have wasted my happiness for nothing. I waited and waited until dawn as my lord spent his evening cheerfully at Spring Breeze Court. Have you never thought of this lonely woman waiting anxiously by the window for the sight of my lord? People who said ‘Wax Will Turn to Dust, Tears Will Dry’ is absolutely right. Last night, I faced the red candle and felt my tears mirroring the wax that slid down the candle…”
“Enough, these are things Zhi Lan would say, I expected better from you. Why are you throwing a feminine temper like this? Also, I know you’ve spent most of last night cursing my name when I missed out on our meeting time.” Duan Tingxuan shook his head, revealing Xu Ran Yun’s ‘tragic acting’ with this one line. Feng Xian quietly lowered her her head awkwardly, just how did this master knew of this? It was not like they this information all spread around.
Xu Ran Yun suddenly felt cold, she had intended to act pitiful in front of her husband, to prick her husband with the needle of guilt. She had always hated it when Xue Zhi Lan used this tactic, but who would have thought that the first time she tried it it just collapsed on her? No longer able to control her face anymore, she resentfully said, “No matter what, didn’t my lord say that he will come see me last night? It still did not change the fact that my lord hadn’t come. Well? Have my lord been seduced by the Snow Cream and could not bring himself to leave Spring Breeze Court? It’s one thing to allow yourself to be seduced but to drag Ming’er into that fox’s lair. Humph! No matter how delicious that thing is my son is not a common thing. If she has the ability, let her make her own son and feed that thing to it…”
Duan Tingxuan did not snap at her, but his quiet voice might as well have been a whip lash. Xu Ran Yun shivered, she had been happily listing out her grievances and had accidentally touched upon a taboo matter. No matter what, no secondary wife had the right sneer at a legal wife for being unable to have children, especially in front of their husband.
[Gumihou: Ara, ara, family drama. Not that I don’t understand Xu Ran Yun, but you showed your hand too early, ah]  ‘shi – basically ‘nee. However, since this novel uses both jia (family name the woman married into) and shi (maiden name), I thought I’d differentiate it using Ms. and ‘shi.
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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