Chapter 154: Salvation
Translated by Gumihou
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Concubine Jiang’s tears fell like rain as she nearly collapsed to the floor. Xu Ran Yun hurriedly supported her, and held her hand tightly, “Be at ease, I am not going anywhere. I shall be here with you and Little Chuan’er and look after the both of you. No matter what, Chuan’er is the lord’s son and therefore born under a lucky star. He’ll be fine, he’ll definitely be fine. Don’t be afraid.”
Concubine Jiang ‘Nod like a rice pecking chicken’. By now, Physician Liao has already written down the prescription and had gone to fetch the herbs and boil up the medicine. While the medicine was being prepared, Duan Maochuan had already emptied his bowels thrice more. The consistency of his tool was all watery. The little child could not bear the pain anymore and was slipping into delirium.
Physician Liao came back again and once more asked, “Did you manage to ask what the child had eaten?”
Concubine Jiang jerked awake from her stupor and urgently questioned Duan Maochuan again. Now that the child was in a delirium, he answered, “I… I had… Snow Cream…”
Concubine Jiang’s face whitened. Xu Ran Yun appeared unable to bear it anymore and grabbed hold of her. She then turned impatiently towards Physician Liao, “What else can be done? Since we know it’s just some cold food, you can just give him some medicine, right? Why do you need to do all this for?”
“Madam, it’s not as simple as that.” Physician Liao scowled. “Every illness must be treated as an individual case, because we hold life and death in our hands. We cannot simply give out prescriptions without proper understanding of the situation…” he paused at this, possibly because he knew that further explanation would not help. He focused his attention on Duan Maochuan instead, and lifted the boy’s eyelids to check the colour of his eyes. His face looked very solemn.
“It’s her. It has to be her. Last time, she wasn’t able to kill poor Chuan’er, and now she’s at it again…”
Concubine Jiang’s whole body was shaking like a windblown leaf. Her face was flushed as red as chicken’s blood. She suddenly pulled away from Xu Ran Yun’s hold and was about to rush outside when she was stopped by Cui Bing and Feng Xian. Xu Ran Yun scolded severely, “You fool. Nothing is clear yet, and what are you trying to accomplish? What’s the purpose of going there? Chuan’er is still alive and he needs his mother most at this time. Have you gone so stupid that you can’t tell what’s important anymore?”
Concubine Jiang stood stock still. Suddenly she burst into tears. Xu Ran Yun quickly had Feng Xian escort Physician Liao to the living room for tea. Concubine Jiang sat down on Duan Maochuan’s bed. Looking down at her son’s pale, sweaty face, she whispered, “Little Chuan’er, you must fight on. Mother only has you to depend on…”
She had barely spoken when suddenly, the maids outside announced, “First madam has arrived.” The door curtains were flung aside and Su Nuan Nuan dashed in like the very wind had carried her in, her cloak still flying and her hair dusted in snowflakes.
“What happened to Chuan’er?” at the sight of the delirious Duan Maochuan, Su Nuan Nuan’s face paled. Of Duan Tingxuan’s many children, his two daughters were still very young, and the ones who would visit her were the boys. The one she liked most was this straightforward and lovable Duan Maochuan. Wasn’t this child still a cheeky, clingy brat this morning? When news came about how he might not make it through a sickness, how could she bear it?
“How dare you come?”
Red veins crisscrossed the white of Concubine Jiang’s eyes. She rushed forward to grab Su Nuan Nuan’s sleeves and howled, forgetting all about status and propriety in her anger, “You poisonous woman, you hateful snake! It pains you that Chuan’er did not die in your hand last year, didn’t it? How long have you planned it? Must you take his life before you’re happy? You… why would you want to kill him? What have we ever done to you that you would hate us so much?”
“What nonsense are you talking about? Have you lost your mind from grief? How dare you simply accuse our madam.” Hong Lian and Xiang Yun dashed in just behind their mistress. And, how could they bear to hear their beloved mistress cursed like that? They rushed forward to tear Concubine Jiang away and slapped her for good measure.
“Ignore her.” Su Nuan Nuan said, her eyes falling onto the nursemaid still keeping vigil on the bedside. “Speak. What happened to Chuan’er?”
“Get lost! Who wants you here with your fake compassion?” Concubine Jiang howled. She tried to rush at Su Nuan Nuan again, only to be stopped by Hong Liang and Xiang Yun.
“Speak.” Su Nuan Nuan did not even look at Concubine Jiang. Her normally cheerful face was now cold and nearly expressionless. Ever since the first madam had returned to the inner court, Yang’shi had never seen her speak like this. Frightened, she stammered, “Chuan’er… Chuan’er came back today and did not seem to want any lunch. He had a bowl of soup and… and he started going to the toilet. It’s been maybe five or six times now, and…. and everyone’s really confused. The physician said that he must have eaten something cold.”
“Still trying to pretend? Chuan’er already revealed it. He had Snow Cream at Spring Breeze Court. Only a poisonous woman with blackened guts would give a four-year-old child Snow Cream in the middle of winter. My poor Chuan’er, how could his little belly bear such cold things? If something happens to my Chuan’er, I’ll never forgive you. Even when I die I’ll haunt you, I’ll curse you…”
Concubine Jiang continued to howl and cry like a madwoman. Su Nuan Nuan gave her a look then turned to the two expressionless servants behind them, “Concubine Jiang is feeling unwell. Her crying and screaming will only disturb Chuan’er’s rest. Escort her to another room to calm down.” without another glance at Concubine Jiang she continued to question the nursemaid, “What did the physician say?”
“Physician Liao told us to quickly invite an imperial physician over. He said… the situation looks bad, and could… get worse.” Yang’shi continued to tremble as she spoke. Privately, she thought, this first madam sure is formidable. To think that the warm, and smiling version is actually all faked. Even now she still refuses to break character and reveal the truth, though it was clear that she was the one who harmed Chuan’er. She even ordered people to drag Concubine Jiang out of the room with barely a blink, how truly poisonous, ah.
Su Nuan Nuan’s eyes swept past Xu Ran Yun, catching the teary eyes, the calm and dignified countenance. Hatred and resentment welled up in those eyes, pouring down her cheeks like tears, however, Su Nuan Nuan could still detect a trace of triumph in them. After all, as a transmigrator from hte modern society, what kind of people had she not encountered in her extensive travels? Not to mention all the television dramas, where even the side characters’ acting would put this woman’s to shame? This kind of unsubtle glee, how could she miss it?
As they spoke, Duan Maochuan passed motion twice more. Su Nuan Nuan clenched her fists as her heart grew cold. She forced herself to stay calm as she went through the modern emergency first aids for poison treatment. Duan Maochuan had always loved Snow Cream ever since it was first introduced in summer. During autumn and winter, with that gluttonous father of his as a role model, he had eaten quite a lot. At the very least his stomach should be getting used to eating cold food. Though he might suffer cramps or even diarrhoea, it would not be to this extent. Even if he had eaten a whole bowl and drank hot water later, it would not develop as fast either. Therefore, someone must have chosen this moment to ‘Fish in troubled water’ and feed him other things, in order to ‘Add frost onto snow'.
As to the why, well, most likely it’s to harm herself.
When she reached this conclusion, Su Nuan Nuan’s whole body went cold. However, she also knew that now was not the time to pursue the culprit behind this matter. Duan Maochuan’s life was at the edge of a sword, no matter what, she must save this child.
“Bring in warm water, make sure it’s a large glass. Bring in a basin too.”
As her thoughts crystallized into clarity, Su Nuan Nuan sat on the bed and pulled Duan Maochuan up. Hong Lian and Xiang Yun glanced at each other, both were frightened and anxious. Under these circumstances, after being accused of poisoning, if Missy were to stick her hand in… what if Duan Maochuan really died? How would she explain herself?
“Now!” Su Nuan Nuan snapped when no one appeared to be moving.
“Missy…” Hong Lian and Xiang Yun could not just stay quiet like this, but then their mistress looked up. Her eyes were like twin swords as she snarled, “Did you not hear me? Go now!”
“Yes.” the two maids had no choice but to obey her orders. Concubine Jiang had somehow managed to escape the servants, hair falling all over her face as she tried to dash in. Howling, she tried to throw herself at Su Nuan Nuan, “Are you so afraid that Chuan’er won’t die that you just have to personally do the deed?”
“You stand right there. I am trying to save Chuan’er. If he really dies today, I will pay with my life. However, if you intend to stand in my way out of some misunderstanding, I shall not hesitate to make you leave. Go sit in a corner and shut up. We’ll settle everything later.”
Su Nuan Nuan’s stern matter of fact voice declaring that ‘I will pay with my life’ was heard by everyone. Even Concubine Jiang heard it, delirious with grief as she was. Stunned into stillness, the servants managed to subdue her again and dragged her out.
Hong Lian and Xiang Yun quickly came back with warm water. A servant half knelt on the floor with the basin. Su Nuan Nuan pulled Duan Maochuan upright, and had Xiang Yun force his mouth open as she carefully poured water down into his mouth. About half a glass later, Duan Maochuan shook his head in protest, his chest heaving weakly. Su Nuan Nuan quickly tipped him forward, and with a faint [wah!], Duan Maochuan vomited up water and the contents of his stomach.
“You… you evil woman…”
Concubine Jiang could only watch as this process was repeated several times. She tried to rush in again and stop Su Nuan Nuan, but was blocked by the servants. Interestingly enough, these two servants were the ones who had gone to Pushan Temple with them. They felt they owe their lives to the first madam, and were only too glad to repay her by following her orders. Neither of them believed that first madam would ever hurt Little Master Chuan. If first madam was really such a malicious, evil woman, why would she take second miss’ place at Pushan Temple and face danger with the servants and maids? And why would she personally rush over here, risking Concubine Jiang’s temper and all this accusation to try and save Duan Maochuan with this odd technique? Also, would a scheming, poisonous woman really utter ‘I will pay with my life’ with such ring of conviction?
In less than half an hour, Duan Maochuan had vomited three times. When the final heave was all water, Su Nuan Nuan paused her strange ministrations to wipe the boy’s mouth and neck. During this time, he passed motion twice more, soiling Su Nuan Nuan’s light coloured skirt and dress. Though there was no bad smell, quite a few of the maids and servants had to turn their head away. Eww, though it was a child’s urine and faeces, it was still disgusting, ah. First madam had always been a bit of a clean freak, this must be hard for her too, ah.
Concubine Jiang was still busy howling and crying. She screamed and yelled abuse at the two servants who had forced her to her knees as she cried, “Heavens, ah. Where is god, ah? Is there anymore justice in this world? That evil woman in my house is killing my son. I can’t even stop her, ah. Madam Yun… Madam Yun… you must save my Chuan’er. Please, please, please someone save us, ah, ah, ah!”
[Gumihou: Erm, lady? You’re kind of cursing and praying at the wrong people…]
 To fish in troubled water – To take advantage of a crisis for personal gain.  To add frost onto snow – to make a bad situation worse
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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