Chapter 157: The Charisma of Money
Translated by Gumihou
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“I heard that boy Chuan’er nearly died today. What happened exactly? Do you know? The doorman said he suffered stomachache from eating Snow Cream. If this is true, we might not be able to sell that at our shops anymore.”
At Autumn Rain Court, Duan Tingye wiped his face with a warm towel, before handing it back to Shi Yurou. He was actually quite concerned over this matter. He had a dinner engagement tonight, but cancelled it the moment he received this news to rush home.
“My lord have no need to concern himself over this matter. Why would the Snow Cream not sell? We’ve been selling it all this while, and we haven’t had any complaints.” Shi Yurou passed the towel to a waiting maid and sneered, “There are too many traps and schemes in here. Who knows what’s really going on? Are you going to take Birthday Cake off the menu is someone gets a stomachache from it? What will we sell in the end?”
Duan Tingye felt that there were some hidden meanings behind his wife’s words. He frowned and said, “You shouldn’t look at it like that. If this matter gets out, even if no one suffer side effects from eating Snow Cream, our rival use this to make trouble for us. All they had to do is say: One of An Ping household’s own children nearly died from eating Snow Cream, but we’re still selling it like as before, and hint at our lack of conscience. Also, since we are in the middle of winter now, and sale of Snow Cream is nearly at a standstill anyway. We might as well stop sales now and just resume sales in summer.”
Duan Tingye was still speaking as he made his way to his chair. He took a sip of warm tea before continuing, “From your tone of voice, I take it there’s a deeper story behind this matter? What do you know? Let’s hear it.”
Shi Yurou laughed and sat down, “What could I possibly know? It’s all guess work on my part, someone must have spotted an opportunity and jumped in with both feet. Isn’t that always the case with large estates? Otherwise, how could branch members like us have the chance to rise up? From what I heard, Concubine Jiang has accused first madam of poisoning Little Master Chuan. While it’s not good to eat cold things during winter, I know for certain that if Chuan’er ate Snow Cream. It was not given to him by first madam. He must have eaten some on the sly or tricked some careless maids into giving him some. There is no way first madam has anything to do with it.”
“Oh? And how do you know this?” Duan Tingye sat up eagerly. He was not really concerned about Su Nuan Nuan. He was just being a gleeful spectator to the main house’s problems. Who cares if it might negatively impact his profits, he could still sit and enjoy the gossip.
“How could I not know? Thanks to my lord’s orders, I have lowered my head before the great first madam. Since she was so kind as to invite me to Spring Breeze Court, of course I have to go. After all, I have already lowered my head, it’s better to use this opportunity to establish friendly relations for future interactions. Therefore, after leaving old madam’s place, I immediately head over to Spring Breeze Court. I happen to see her rushing back from Mei Yue Lou. She was about to enter Mei Yue Lou when Little Master Chuan ran out, I even saw her pick up that little rascal into her arms and ask the boy when he arrived.
It turns out that the reason she had rushed out earlier was because she had gotten news that there was a fire at Mei Yue Lou. So, the sequence of events is like this: She left the house for Mei Yue Lou, the boy came to Spring Breeze Court when she was away. I arrived just in time to see the two of them meet, and was there to see the boy leave without eating anything. He suffered stomachache right after lunch. So, you tell me when would the first madam had time to do anything?”
“Mei Yue Lou was on fire?” Duan Tingye panicked over what he deemed as the most crucial detail. “What’s the damage? How are the hot house roses?”
“Be at ease, only some common vegetable patch was damaged. First madam herself told me that it the roses were safe, but I still sent people to make sure. Everything looks alright.” At Duan Tingye’s frown, she smiled, “Didn’t I say everything is fine? Your precious Fresh Rose Pastries will make their debut in time for new year, what is there to worry about?”
“From what you said just now, do you think someone is out to frame sister-in-law?” Duan Tingye rubbed his forehead. It looked like he was struggling with some difficult decision.
“Isn’t it obvious? Sister-in-law was not even at Spring Breeze Court when the alleged poisoning happened. However, even if someone jumps out to accuse her, I am going to sit back and enjoy this. Well, I might relent if she begs me to help. Wahaha!” Shi Yurou cackled with glee. “Heheh, how droll, to think that I would see the day she comes crawling to me for help.”
Duan Tingye could not help himself as he snapped, “How could you just let yourself be carried away by the current like this? What happened to taking the initiative? Can you imagine under what circumstances that person has to be before she resorts to begging you for favours? If first madam is kicked out of here, what happens to our Fresh Rose Pastries?”
Shi Yurou’s face froze in a rictus grin. Her glee collapsed and she stammered, “So… so what if we don’t have the Fresh Flower Pastries? Do you really think we can’t have a good year without her pastries? It’s not like we haven’t gone through a new year without sister-in-law’s newly revealed culinary skills.”
“What nonsense are you yapping on? I’m talking about money. Money!” Duan Tingye glared at Shi Yurou. “Have you developed a dislike against money? If you hate money so much, why did you lower your head today?”
“You! If not for you, why would I lower my head? Money, money, money, the only thing you know now is making money. Have you turned into a miser? Second master, have you forgotten your true ambition? Don’t you want to become the… the lord heir? Why is your attention all on money?”
Duan Tingye was stunned. The heir’s position? That’s right, didn’t he want to become the heir? Wasn’t this a dream that had occupied his every waking and sleeping moment ever since he was a child? Without an innate talent for books, martial arts or politics, the only thing he could do was expand the family business. But, didn’t he want to become the lord heir? Only, how long has it been since he had thought of the heir’s position? He hardly have enough time to count the money pouring in, where would he find the time to obsess over the heir’s position?
“As long as I don’t step out to testify, Su Meng Nuan will be finished. No matter how she defends herself, no one would believe her. No matter what, Little Chuan really had eaten her Snow Cream and suffered a stomachache. There’s no going around this fact. Though nobody ever admitted anything, I know that Little Chuan’s near drowning last year have something to do with her. Hei, hei, now her bottom is stuck at the criminal’s seat, no matter how much elder brother dotes on her. The senior madams would never stand for it.
Once she’s kicked out, elder brother would also suffer a huge attack. Isn’t this the perfect chance for you to seize the heir’s position? In fact, it would be even better if elder brother kicks up a fuss over this and try to protect her. I wonder what the old marquis would think? Once father and son are estrange, with mother on our side to fan the flames, my lord, we can…”
The more she spoke, the more excited Shi Yurou became, until even Duan Tingye was caught up in the moment. Eyes bright, he licked his lips and said in a trembling voice, “You’re right, only, what should we do about our business once sister-in-law is kicked out? People with her kind of skill aren’t many…”
“You’re too narrow minded. So what if you’re rich man? Can a rich merchant ever challenge a marquis in terms of status? It’s a marquis’ position, ah. How many are there in the Capital?” Shi Yurou was really crossed about this stubborn husband of hers. She pointed sternly at him and said with glittering eyes, “If you really can’t let go of this business, once elder brother kicks her out, you can still secretly give her sanctuary, right? With us showing her benevolence, wouldn’t all her culinary skills belong to us in the future?”
[Gumihou: I think Duan Tingye and Shi Yurou are the most realistic people in this novel. Lol. What a great dream.]
Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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