Chapter 117: To Urge On
Translated by Gumihou
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She had just finished speaking when Old Madam Fang’s maid, Hu Po, came in. She seemed to have caught the tail end of the conversation and started laughing. “Our Old Madam was about to send someone to call all of you over for a chat when Granny Hua Dao happens to visit. Old madam mentioned that we should also include first madam in the Lantern Lighting Ceremony.”
“Why do I need to light lanterns for? Don’t those things cost a lot of money?” Su Nuan Nuan was curious. Her life now was very good. She could eat well and sleep well without any worries, what more could she want? Also, those Lucky Lanterns cost quite a pretty silver coin, you know? If she wants to throw money away, might as well throw them at the poor.
Hu Po, Concubine Jing and the rest all laughed. Concubine Lin shook her head and said, “The whole mansion is worried for first madam, but it turns out you’re the only one unconcerned. You’ve been married to the heir for five years now, but your belly’s been quiet. How could old madam not be anxious?”
Hu Po giggled and said, “Madam need not worry about spending your silvers. As long as you dished out something good to eat, others will be glad buy the lanterns for you.”
“What kind of talk is this? Are you saying I’m a skinflint? Since everyone wishes it, I shall go with you. Tell that Granny Hua Dao to prepare my share.” Su Nuan Nuan said with some embarrassment. She was already famous in the whole Capital as a huge foodie, and really did not want to add skinflint as her title.
They all set out for Old Madam Fang’s place, and was just in time to catch Granny Hua Dao expounding upon the virtues and advantages of the Pushan Temple expedition. Madam Yang, Liu Min and Shi Yurou were there too. All the ladies were listening with keen interest. Finally, Old Madam Fang said regretfully, “I’m old now, otherwise I’d be happy to join this expedition. It would be fun to look at all those sights you’ve just mentioned.”
Liu Min smiled, “If old madam wishes to go, it’s not too far. The horse carriage could set out early and reach the foot of the mountain by mid morning latest; for the mountain trip, we can hire porters to carry us up in sedan chairs. I heard that Pushan Temple’s chrysanthemums are most beautiful in autumn. After the Double Ninth, let’s pick a good day to go. We can admire the scenery and drive away all our cares by enjoying the flowers. What do you think?”
Shi Yurou also urged on from the side, “What an excellent idea, Madam Min. I shall sent word to the temple a few days early and let the monks prepare the temple for our arrival. Once we’re there, the temple could also block out other visitors, allowing old madam to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the temple properly.”
Granny Hua Dao too appeared most cheerful. She pressed her hands together and murmured, “I, too, wish to appeal to old madam. Normally, temples are quite crowded, especially the famous ones. With so many people around, it’s hard to even a quiet place to pray, let alone stroll about peacefully.”
Old Madam Fang was tempted by their persuasion, and that was when Su Nuan Nuan and her group arrived. She looked up and said, “Nuan Nuan, it’s been a long time since you’ve been out, right? How about coming with us on this lovely crisp autumn?”
Su Nuan Nuan was stunned for a moment, curses, just why is the old madam talking about this so suddenly? But… to be honest, it was quite tempting, ah. After transmigrating into this world, I’ve never left the Capital. Moreover, according to Duan Tingxuan, this country was currently experiencing its best years. Peace and prosperity reigns and the citizens were enjoying life. Humph, from the way he talks, he made it sound like the people in the past were living better than modern China. How can this be? I must confirm this with my own eyes.
With that, she smiled and said, “Why have old madam suddenly bring this up? If you really wish to tour about, this granddaughter-in-law must of course accompany you. So, where are we going?”
Old Madam Fang immediately cheered up, she repeated the itinerary from Granny Hua Dao and sighed, “When I was younger, I too accompany my mothers and grandmothers to pray at Pushan Temple. At that time, the temple was not that famous, and their gardens not very big. I wonder what it’s like now?”
Granny Hua Dao immediately chirped in, “That place is incredibly wonderful now. I’d say it’s at its peak of beauty now, set against a wonderful flowering backdrop. It certainly won’t lose to the temples backed by imperial families. I heard that several wangfeis often visited that temple. If old madam and first madam were to visit, it would become even more famous.”
“Nonsense, aren’t we a mere marquis family? How could we have such a large impact? Don’t over do it, you old sweet talker.” Old Madam Fang scolded happily. Granny Hua Dao answered, “It’s the absolute truth, old madam is our honourable empress’ blood mother after all. Who in this Capital could declare themselves to be more impressive than old madam? This one heard that the Birthday Cake have received endless praises from the imperial couple.
Moreover, this one heard that the An Ping house plan to set up Cake Shops and restaurants? Let me tell you this, the shops haven’t opened yet, but everyone is already anxiously waiting for it. It is said that the food served would be similar to those eaten at the marquis house. Wondrous delights that not even a thousand, ten thousand teals of silver could buy.”
This sort of flattery made Madam Fang even happier, as part of the rich, aristocratic nobles, who doesn’t understand the benefit of making money? Therefore, about a hundred over years ago, the law that declares ‘No officers shall involve in business ventures’ was basically an empty law. Even the emperor have people doing business under his name, so, of course the rich noblemen have no qualms about getting into business as well. However, the businesses they engaged in must be of appropriate nature. A certain standard must be adhered to, businesses that exploited the weak or harmed the common people in any way would be punished, their names black listed and their sins exposed to the general public. In short, with just a stroke of a brush, the Ministry of Finance could ruin your life. Not even the meanest establishments will do business with you.
Still on cloud nine, Old Madam Fang said to Su Nuan Nuan, “We still haven’t decided whether to go or not by the Double Ninth, my health, well, I might not end up going. But, Nuan Nuan, no matter what you must go. For the sake of our new business ventures you must offer thanks to the Buddha. Also, your near death experience at Mei Yue Lou, why, Buddha must have looked out for you at that time, right?”
Privately, Su Nuan Nuan thought, Buddha did not save your granddaughter-in-law, the one he protected was me — a foodie from the 21st century. But, no matter what, since old madam already said it like this, Su Nuan Nuan couldn’t very well insisted on staying within the mansion. Also, the thought of having some light hearted fun after the Double Ninth Festival was appealing as well, so she happily agreed.
With this trip to look forward to, everyone within the marquis mansion all fought to be picked by their masters to go to Pushan Temple. The maid who would accompany Old Madam Yang would Qiu Ling, of course.
In a blink of an eye, it was the Double Ninth. Shi Yurou had already sent people over to Pushan Temple to give their greetings. The temple abbot knew that the An Ping Marquis he and his official wife were currently the most talked about couple in the whole of the Capital. If they were to personally come to the temple to pray, wouldn’t the temple joss sticks burn non-stop? When the time comes, even the Huguo Temple wouldn’t be able to compare to them. Therefore, the entire temple began to make preparations, all very careful preparations, of course.
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“How unexpected, this is certainly a big event. Not only us, but the some of the first madams of heir lords who got along well us would be coming as well. Looks like this Pushan Temple trip is going to be livelier than expected.”
The sun had already sank out of sight, but the sky still glowed with the soft light of dusk. The dining table of Spring Breeze Court had been set up at the sun deck along with two chairs. Duan Tingxuan sat in one and Su Nuan Nuan the other. They were chatting leisurely together as they ate, enjoying the occasional cool breeze that blew their way.
This was a habit Su Nuan Nuan started ever since she transmigrated to Mei Yue Lou. The little marquis also fell in love with this dining arrangement after free loading food from her all this time. Now that she had moved to Spring Breeze Court, she would dine outdoors whenever the weather was judged suitable for it. With the spectacular sunset as backdrop and the cool breeze at her back, dinner became even more delicious. Life was good, meals were delicious and she was as happy as a fairy in the clouds.
Author White Pear Flower: Hohohohou, everyone should know what happens next, right, right? It’s dog blood drama! Lalala…
[Gumihou: Oh shoot, temples are the worst places to go in an ancient world novel. It’s infested with assassins, funny incense, and intrigue of all kinds!! Whoever thought temples are peaceful places had to be deluded!!]
 Double Ninth – 9th of September  Wangfei – Generally the wives of princes
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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