Chapter 143 : Good Show
Translated by Gumihou
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Hong Lian came running back. She stamped her foot and declared, “Missy is too unkind. How could you make jokes on such a serious matter? It’s better not to make a match for me, I’d rather stay here forever with Missy. If you want to play matchmaker, this one will inform Missy now, better to ask master to match Xiang Yun and Shuang Xi”
“What are you talking about?” Su Nuan Nuan suddenly looked serious. She frowned and asked, “Is there something I should know about Xiang Yun and Shuang Xi?”
Hong Lian nodded, “This one noticed that they seemed to have some regard for each other, but Missy may be at ease, neither of them would dare to set a foot out of line for fear of embarrassing you and the master. I have also personally spoken to Xiang Yun about it and reminded her not to go too far. Otherwise she might have gotten overly excited over the matter”
“I’m not talking about this. For the moment, nobody in the mansion dared to openly go against me. However, schemes behind the scenes are still happening. Those who wish to embarrass me will not rest, if they can’t get to me directly they would target my maids. Zhao Cai’s terrible injuries from before was a case in point. With all of you maids keeping a watchful eye, this place is like a fortress without weakness, like an egg without a single crack, leaving them with no weak point to bite down on. However, if Xiang Yun and Shuang Xi really became involved as you described, it’s possible that they would target that. In truth, I have no intention of stopping any of you from forming relationships, but Xiang Yun is still too young. She’ll only be 16 come new year.”
Hong Lian laughed, “16 is not young anymore. Second miss is only 13, but elder madam and Concubine Jing are already looking for a marriage candidate for her. Missy is the only one who thinks we’re still too young. However, Missy is right about the security issue, I shall warn Xiang Yun to be even more careful. Her mother had disappeared back when we were at Duke of Ping’s. Since she grew up without support, Missy would be the one to make decisions for her future.”
Su Nuan Nuan nodded, and said, “It’s good of you to warn her, she’s not as steady as you and might not understand the seriousness of the situation.” She looked up at the sky and sighed, “You just look at the sky, yesterday it was still clear, but it’s all cloudy now with the smell of fierce wind in the air. Just look at that gloomy greyness, who knows whether we’ll be able to pass the new year peacefully with a weather like that.”
Hong Lian sighed too, “It can’t be helped. The life of a large house is like this. This maid understands that Missy has no intention of fighting or making life difficult for the others, but they probably won’t believe it. Just look at elder madam, no matter how gentle and good-natured she is, half a lifetime later, the lord marquis still prefers Madam Min. Aih, but elder madam is the type to endure, if it were Missy…”
“If it were me, I’d be able to endure even more. What’s the use of worrying about a husband’s love when it had nothing to do with food or clothing?” Su Nuan Nuan snorted, causing Hong Lian to laugh. She nodded and said, “This maid knows her mistake, it is pointless to use this kind of example with Missy.”
Both of them continued to chat casually as they made their way to the garden. After a while, Hong Lian said, “It will be even colder after this, how about we sit in the warm room first? Once Missy is warmed enough, you can come out again.”
Su Nuan Nuan said, “Sounds good,” she stood up and was about to enter the warm room when the hanging screen to the door lifted. Xiang Yun and Cong’er entered, both of them had plum blossom branches in their arms, their cheeks flushed pink from the cold as they smiled, “Missy, look, Cong’er and I went out early to collect these lovely plum blossom branches.”
Su Nuan Nuan hurried over and plucked one of the branches to inspect. “Looks like the snow had encouraged the plum blossoms to bloom, and here I thought we might have to wait a few more days before I can see these.”
Xiang Yun said, “Only a small part has bloomed. Most of the flowers are still in bud, Cong’er and I had to look for a long time before we found branches with most flowers on them.”
Hong Lian smiled as she took the branch from Su Nuan Nuan and place it in a vase. “How rare for you two to go to the garden so early in the morning, and here I was, thinking where the two of you had run off to play.”
Cong’er answered, “It’s Sister Xiang Yun who pulled me along, I’m almost frozen to the bones, but it’s all worth it since we get to see a most wonderful play. Missy should really take a stroll in the garden too. There aren’t many people now, and the tops of the tree are all dusted with snow. The view now is really quite beautiful. Madam Lan and Madam Yun had already visited. Half a day later more people would come and the snow would be all dirty from being trampled on.”
“It’s just the first snow, there will be more in the future. There’s no need to jostle with the others to view it right away.” Su Nuan Nuan waved her hand lazily. Then, she blinked and said, “By the way, you said that you saw a good show, go on, tell me all about it.”
Xiang Yun said, “The garden caretaker, Auntie Liu, somehow made a mistake and was spotted by Madam Yun and was soundly scolded. Tsk, tsk, that Auntie Liu has a pretty high position and values her face a lot. It’s been years since she had been scolded like this. On top of that, she was accompanied by several low level maids. You could say that Madam Yun wiped the floor with her face.”
Su Nuan Nuan shook her head, “And here I thought what the matter was. Isn’t this a normal occurrence? Surely there’s no need for you to be so gleeful about it.”
However, Hong Lian’s sensitive ears picked up an extra undercurrent to their words and hurried over to say, “How could this be? Isn’t Auntie Liu one of Madam Yun’s people? How could she be so unfeeling as to embarrass her like that? She normally took great care about treating these aunties in charge with courtesy.”
Xiang Yun giggled, “Who knows what wind blew across Madam Yun’s face today. Cong’er and I were behind a fake mountain when we heard her screaming at Auntie Liu. Is there anything more enjoyable than seeing dogs fighting each other?”
“The two of you certainly like to ‘Take joy in other people’s misfortune’.” Hong Lian laughed as she lightly poked them in their foreheads before collecting the rest of the plum blossom branches from them.”
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“That was certainly a good show. Since you’ve seen it with your own eyes, what do you make of it?”
After entering Autumn Cloud Pavilion, Xue Zhi Lan let the fox fur cape fall from her shoulders, leaving Long Yan to scoop it up and hang it properly in the closet. The maid then lit up a few lumps of incense, placed them into a portable hand warmer, and exchanged it for the one in her mistress’ hands. The original hand warmer only has a few glowing embers left. At her mistress’ question, Long Yan smiled and said, “This maid is stupid and can’t make out much. This maid only felt that Madam Yun seems quite irritable today. It can’t be helped, she always did have a bit of a temper. However, today’s show of anger seems particularly drastic.”
Xue Zhi Lan nodded. She smiled, “Not bad for seeing this much.” She leaned back into her chair, lying on a cloud of soft pillows as she warmed her hands against the stove. “If I remember correctly, when we were at Pushan Temple, Auntie Liu was one of those who came with us.”
Long Yan nodded, “Yes, this maid was in the same carriage with her, and therefore remember it clearly. This time, because old madam and elder madam both went, most of the high ranking maids and servants came along. Aside from Auntie Lu who could not leave.”
Laughter like silver chimes sang out from Xue Zhi Lan’s lips, and she said lightly, “That is correct.”
“What is correct?” Long Yan knew that her mistress has something she wished to convey. So, she picked up a pair of mallets, sat down by her mistress’ feet, and began to lightly strike those beautiful legs with her massage mallets.
Author White Pear Flower: And so, the curtain slowly rose to reveal the next scene…
[Gumihou: Of course, nothing good can last long. Schemers gotta scheme…]
 Shuang Xi – for those who might have forgotten, he’s the servant in charge of looking after DTX’s study.
Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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