Chapter 139: Alternative Comfort
Translated by Gumihou
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Liu Min was just starting to indulge in her resentful joy when Old Madam Fang said mildly, “What’s so nonsensical about it? Without Xuan’er’s wife, my old bones would have been scattered across the mountain by now. That child saved my life. Are you going to say that doesn’t even deserve at least an entry through the main gates? Are you saying that the dignity of An Ping house’s main gates is more important than this old lady’s life?”
Who could endure such an obvious put down? Duan Ni’s complexion immediately changed and he quickly knelt in front of old madam and said, “Mother please be at ease, that’s not what this son of yours is implying. Your son is ashamed of himself after hearing mother’s words. Your son is only thinking…”
“There’s no need for you to think too hard.” Old Madam Fang finally looked right at her son. She said in a solemn voice, “You only need to know that, I, your mother, is not yet senile. I, too, care about the family rules very much. Only this time, for the sake of this whole family she stayed back at the mountain and nearly lost her life. The fact that she could return to the An Ping mansion without even losing a single life, and even delay the bandits’ attack until Xuan’er and Ye’er arrived to back her up is a credit to the An Ping name. Why should she not be allowed to enter through the main gate? Even the ancients honour women as heroes. As a noble marquis, can you be any less magnanimous?”
“This son accepts mother’s teachings.” Duan Ni looked down shamefully. However, Old Madam Fang could see that he was actually quite touched by her words.
Seeing that her son understood the situation at hand, Old Madam Fang nodded and said, “Very well, get up. I wish to go and welcome the child. But the rest of you are unwilling to let me go, even though most of your lives have been saved by that child.”
Xu Ran Yun, Xue Zhi Lan and Shi Yurou quickly stood up. Madam Lin and second young miss were close to hopping with impatience. At Old Madam Fang’s permission, they both ran out beside Duan Tingfang. Even the maids and grannies followed behind them. In the end, a large crowd of people ended up gathering at the courtyard to welcome Su Nuan Nuan. The sight of the crowd filled Liu Min’s heart with vinegar: Just what the heck is going on, ah? What do you mean our lives are saved by her? That day when she stayed back, the only lives she really saved was Concubine Lin and second miss, what does it have to do with us? Why has Yurou gone out to welcome her?
Clearly, Liu Min had deliberately forgotten the fact that if not for Su Nuan Nuan’s alertness, and proactive actions to send people down to investigate. Their whole family would have been either killed or kidnapped by the bandits without even the chance to flee.
The welcome group quickly saw Su Nuan Nuan and Duan Tingxuan walking side by side towards the north court. Ignoring all propriety, Duan Xinqi tearfully ran forward to throw herself into Su Nuan Nuan’s arms. Concubine Lin was all tears and looked like she wanted to do the same but did not dare to. In the end, she stood on the side, tears rolling down her cheeks faster than she could dab them away.
Su Nuan Nuan opened her arms to receive the crying second miss’ hug, but then, at the very last minute, Duan Tingxuan snatched Su Nuan Nuan back and stepped protectively in front of her. He stared down at his sister and said mildly, “Second sister, please restrain yourself, your sister-in-law still has some injuries on her body.”
Duan Xinqi stopped as though she had run into an invisible wall. She covered her face and moaned, “This is all my fault. If not for me, sister-in-law would have been safely back at the mansion and not suffer such terrible horrors.”
“It’s just some bruises, why are you overreacting like that? Look, you even made second sister cry.” Su Nuan Nuan quickly pushed Duan Tingxuan away with a warning glare and gently fold Duan Xinqi into a warm embrace. “It’s alright little sister, don’t cry, don’t cry, ah. Look, your make-up is all ruined. There, there, let me have a look. Aiya, what happened to your eyes? Hong Lian, quickly order the kitchen to boil up a pot of eggs. We might have to use at least eight or ten eggs to reduce her swelling eyes.”
Duan Xinqi giggled at her remark and sniffed, “Sister-in-law, I’m already feeling guilty to death, but you still make jokes like this to make me laugh. Don’t you know last night was the worst night of my life? It’s worse than all the bad nights add together in all of my 13 years of life.”
“What’s to be guilty about? Your sister-in-law is someone who ‘Stands Tall and Sees Far’, and a ‘Wise and Brilliant Strategist’. If you were the one who was left there, not only you, but a few dozens other people would die as well. However, I, your sister-in-law, is different. I’ve learnt kungfu from your brother all this time, though my skills are meagre, but it’s still enough to preserve my life. Moreover, your sister-in-law is aided by a most sharp and resourceful assistant, so how could those shrimpy bandits win against us? This is why I stayed back and sent you away. Besides, how could I let a fresh young thing like you take credit over the capture of these bandits, I need it more in order to prevent your brother from bullying me.”
At this, the people who had been listening in burst out laughing on the spot. Duan Xinqi too could not help herself and laughed through her tears. She rubbed her eyes and said, “I know sister-in-law is just comforting me, but who is your resourceful assistant? Aside from the maids and servants, who else is there that could be termed as sister-in-law’s great helper?”
“You still don’t know? Of course my precious helper isn’t them. While I must applaud their bravery at rushing out to fight at the critical moment, they’re mostly out because they had no choice. No, the one who is the most amazing is Zhao Cai. Don’t look down on him just because he’s a cat. He’s the ultimate cat your brother battle against every single day for my food. If you think about how amazing your brother’s martial arts is, the fact that Zhao Cai could escape your brother’s hands with his life after thieving shows just how incredibly fierce and amazing this Cat King is, right? So, how could those meagre bandits be our beloved Cat King’s match?”
Su Nuan Nuan’s mouth was like a runaway train. The poor little marquis supported his forehead bitterly: My dear wife, you are welcomed to comfort second sister, you may even blow Zhao Cai’s trumpet for him as much as you like. But, can you please not blast it out to all and sundry about me fighting over food with the cat? For a noble little marquis like me to fight cats for food, surely… surely this is just too demeaning, ah?
“Alright, enough of that. Old madam is waiting for us inside. Second sister should also cool her eyes with a wet towel. How do you expect to find a good husband with eyes like that?” Duan Tingxuan finally had enough. There’s no telling what else might come out of Nuan Nuan’s mouth. Now that he thought about it, he had automatically bullied this second sister of his out of some weird reflex. This second sister never gave him much impression in the past, and when he was reminded how Su Nuan Nuan nearly died after giving up her own seat in the carriage to this sister of his, the little marquis’ expression became very frosty. It can’t be helped, just thinking about how close he was to losing Nuan Nuan still make chills run down his back. This lasted until Su Nuan Nuan started to make fun of him, and Duan Tingxuan basically had no choice but to look upon his sister with more tenderness, if only because his wife clearly doted upon this girl.
“Yes, let’s go and see old madam. We mustn’t worry her more than we can help it.” Su Nuan Nuan said and hooked her arms around Duan Xinqi as they entered the house together.
The mood within the hall was particularly heavy. After all, they just had a close shave with death. The heavy mood lasted until Su Nuan Nuan started talking about how she almost single handedly organized the servants and martial monks against the bandits in a ‘Battle of Wits and Guts’ that the atmosphere began to lighten. Certainly, no one had expected to hear such a thrilling story that sounded like something straight out of a play. It wasn’t until she reached the part where the bandits decided to storm in en mass out of desperate fear, and that both Duan Tingye and Duan Tingxuan had arrived in a nick of time to rescue them, that they all shivered from lingering fear.
Author White Pear Flower: Nuan Nuan’s comforting technique is certainly unique, no? Hehe
[Gumihou: Heheh, a chapter where DTX is bullied always makes my day]
Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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