Chapter 160: Lift A Rock Only To Drop On One’s Own Foot
Translated by Gumihou
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“Since Sister Yue is busy, we shall not take up anymore your time.” Feng Xian caught sight of her mistress’ heaving bosom and knew that she was very close to erupting. After quickly sending Mrs. Yue off , she quietly soothed her mistress, “Madam, please remain calm. Once Concubine Jiang made her attack, how many days would first madam be able to strut about? We must not do anything rash now.”
“Humph! Strut about for how many days? You just look at the attitude of these people. Do you really think the lord would disfavour her? Leaving the lord aside, even the senior madams haven’t said a peep about this huge incident. Oh, she might be given a stern talking to, and possibly even a cold shoulder for a few days. All she had to do is come up with a few fancy dishes, and half a year later it would be like nothing happened!”
The more she spoke, the blacker Xu Ran Yun’s face became. Was it because she was in a rush last time and miscalculated something? Allowing the boy to escape with his life? If she had known this plan would fail, she would have waited for a better opportunity and make sure all the elements are under her control first. Why had she been so hasty? Aih! What a waste, what a waste, ah. If only that little brat had died, that woman would not be able to escape the taint even with her death. That bastard was still the lord’s blood after all, and no one would be able to defend a child murderer no matter how much they like her.
Once they reached old madam’s place, they saw the usual suspects. Madam Yang, Liu Min, Su Nuan Nuan and Concubine Lin were all there. Xu Ran Yun made sure to compose herself, gave her salutations, and smiled widely at everyone, “I am late. However, you musn’t blame me for it. To be honest, I had set out earlier than usual, but it looked like everyone had the same idea due to the cold weather.”
Old Madam Fang gave a little heheh laugh and said, “Is it really that cold outside? Your cheeks are all pale from the cold.”
“Isn’t it? Though it’s not windy out, dry cold is still cold. But, let’s not talk about the cold anymore. Old madam’s room is so nice and toasty, I shall be all warmed up soon.” She made a show of looking around and faked a cheerful look. “Oh, I thought I am the last to arrive, but it looks like there are others even later than me. Second brother’s wife has always been incredibly courteous to old madam, I wonder what could be holding her up today?”
She had just finished speaking when a trill of laughter came from beyond the screen door. “I was held up by two matters the moment I set foot out of my place and had to settle those first before coming over.” Shi Yurou pushed past the screen door and bobbed a greeting at old madam. Then, she smiled warmly at Su Nuan Nuan, “Good sister-in-law, if you happen to be free today, I’d be ever so grateful if you would give my lord the secrets behind your Candy Floss Veggies. He keeps making sad eyes at me to come persuade you.”
“What’s this Candy Floss Veggie?” Old Madam Fang immediately asked. Su Nuan Nuan hadn’t even opened her mouth when Shi Yurou immediately answered, “Old madam doesn’t know? Well, sister-in-law did say that she had only made it once at the palace. I heard that her majesty and their highnesses the princes all could not stop eating it. We definitely haven’t seen it here before. Sister-in-law, why is that?”
Su Nuan Nuan eyed Shi Yurou for a moment. Though it appeared that this woman was bent on building friendly relationship with her, she would not let go of any opportunity to make trouble. Su Nuan Nuan laughed and said, “The Candy Floss Veggie is just too sweet. It’s basically sugar covered root vegetables. There are too many people who love sweets in this mansion, and this kind of sweet food would cause more ill than good. The reason why I made it at the palace that time was because her majesty the empress’ did not have much of an appetite, so I into Candy Flossed some vegetables to stimulate her appetite.
Right now with winter disaster refugees at the Capital, I had already exchanged the recipe for 2,000 teals of silver with second brother to purchase warm clothes and beddings for them. It’s nothing much actually, but since I am now being interrogated by old madam, I must reveal the truth.”
Old Madam Fang scolded, “Pei! You are getting too daring, how dare you play tricks with this old lady? What’s this about me interrogating you? Why don’t you just say that my ears perk up the moment food is mentioned? Since you say that it’s bad for health, just make a few for new year. Might as well let everyone have a little taste, hmm?”
Su Nuan Nuan pulled a bitter face, “Old madam, this granddaughter-in-law of yours is really not trying to be lazy, but the people in this mansion really like sweet things too much. It’s snacks every day, and all the snacks are either sweet soups, filled with milk or cream, sometimes all three! Most of the dishes that came out of the kitchen also have sugar in it, not to mention all the different porridges. If I were to introduce this Candy Flossing technique… no, no, too much of it will spoil the teeth.” Su Nuan Nuan knew that the general public have no idea what diabetes was, and could only use the rotting teeth argument. After all, everyone knew that sweets are bad for the teeth.
Old Madam Fang refused to budge on the matter and kept saying that she would not eat too much of it. Finally, Su Nuan Nuan gave in. The old madam grinned like a little child who had gotten her candy. Just then, Xu Ran Yun chimed in, “Since sister already has the 2,000 teals from second brother, why do you still need to use the lord’s warehouse funds? I thought that sister must be hard-pressed for money to open up the warehouse and thought I’d contribute some from my private funds, but it looks like there’s no need. Really, dear elder sister, if you’re planning to do charity work, you should really give the rest of us a chance, ah.”
Su Nuan Nuan’s eyes suddenly sparkled. Then, they immediately turned into little crescents as she beamed at Xu Ran Yun. On the side, Hong Lian had to quickly turn away and cover her mouth. Madam Yun, ah, Madam Yun, you really should have learned your lesson by now. How many losses have you swallowed already? Still dare to scheme against Missy? Still not satisfied by the number of times you’ve fallen into her traps? Missy is now trying to do some good deed, and you still want to butt in, so why should we let you off easy?
As expected, Su Nuan Nuan was all smiles as she said, “Sister is right. I have been negligent. Aiya, I sure have too much guts. How dare I block everyone’s opportunity to do a good deed? Since sister has mentioned it, you must hand over whatever silvers you have to me. I guarantee that every single coin will be spent on the refugees.
To be honest, I’ve been working on this project for ten days now, and is perfectly familiar with the process. I promise that I won’t waste a single bronze coin. Aih! I heard that there are a few thousand victims of the winter disaster, but those rich noble houses and government officials only know how to bestow porridge. With the weather getting colder and colder, what’s the use of getting one warm meal a day?
Without proper shelter, they’ll die from the cold. The fate of those poor people bothered me so much that I can’t even continue my cooking research and busied myself over this instead. I’ve already spent all my personal funds, but the warehouse belongs to the lord. I have thickened my face to ask my lord for funds, but,I dare not ask for too much.
However, now that sister is so keen to help, I must say it’s a huge load off my mind. How much is sister willing to commit? I’ve been too inconsiderate to everyone. You must all be as eager as little sister to help, right? No problem, ‘Those who do good deeds will reap good fortune’. Since everyone wishes to donate, you may send all the money to me. Your money will be spent on helping victims of calamity, and I shall make sure to send reports of how the money is spent to everyone.”
She still hasn’t finished speaking, but Xu Ran Yun’s face has turned deathly pale. Cold sweat popped up all over her body and she cursed Su Meng Nuan and her innocent ancestors indiscriminately in her heart. It was all very unfair, since this black-bellied foodie was not even their real granddaughter, ah.
Madam Yang did not know whether to laugh or cry. She had no idea whether she love or hate this Su Nuan Nuan. She had really hated this Su Meng Nuan in the past, but this marquess was actually a kind person at heart, and her gentle heart was quite moved by Su Nuan Nuan’s desire to help the victims of natural disaster, but… did she really have to throw Xu Ran Yun under the carriage like that?
This was beyond roasting her on a fire. This was putting poor Ran Yun on a spit and grilling her for dinner. You even force her to give a number. If the number is too high, she probably can’t afford it, if the number is too low, it would not look good. Not only that, you’ve also pulled other people into this fire pit. Those who did not want to part with their money would hate Xu Ran Yun to death. This child kept talking about doing good deeds, but must you use such a potentially face losing way of forcing money out of people?
Even mild-mannered Madam Yang already thought like this, but what of Liu Min and Shi Yurou?
These two spat silently in their hearts: Pei! Pei! What’s all this nonsense about ‘thickening your face to ask your lord for funds’? What ‘not daring to ask too much’? You think we don’t know the lord heir is basically wrapped around your little finger? Even the commoners in Capital have heard the saying ‘The An Ping heir loves his wife like his life, fears his wife like a tigress’? What’s this weak woman performance you’re putting on in front of us, ah? We all know you’re lying through your teeth. Shameless, too shameless, ah.
They were still lamenting when Su Ran Yun turned her beam at Shi Yurou’s direction. “Everyone must thank Sister Yun for speaking out. Now that she has brought this matter up, I might as well thicken my face and beg my dearest sisters for assistance. My dear second brother’s wife, ah. Our lord has taken out 5,000 silver teals from his warehouse. Second brother’s personal warehouse probably isn’t as large as ours, but surely you could consider something? En… how about 2,000 silver teals…” when Shi Yurou’s face suddenly blanched, she quickly retracted, “It’s my bad, my bad, of course I shouldn’t look down on second brother and sister-in-law. How about 3,000 silver teals? Now, you must not insist on going higher. I know you have the money, but we are still the main branch, so please let us keep some face, alright? Alright, yes. Then it’s all settled.”
Your mom, what is settled, ah? 2,000, no… 3,000 silver teals? Why don’t you just take a knife and cut out my flesh? Shi Yurou nearly went crazy. Luckily she was already seated, otherwise, her bottom would have hit the floor. She forced a miserable smile and said, “2,000… is not low, we dare not compete with the elder master…”
“Aiya, aren’t we all a family? Surely there’s no need for you to be all modest? I tell you, ah. Excessive modesty is arrogance. Arrogance! Don’t tell me you’re going to show your arrogance by shelling out 5,000 teals? Are you trying to belittle the main branch? Aih! Well, to be honest, more money is… more money, ah.”
Tears really brimmed in Shi Yurou’s eyes, but when she heard the last bit, she swallowed all her tears and stammered, “3,000 teals… 3,000 is good for us. Any more even we won’t be able to…”
“Second brother’s wife is just as public-spirited as Sister Yun, what admirable, benevolent people you are, ah.”
Su Nuan Nuan did her best to look ‘touched’ even as she cackled gleefully inside. The people in this era were just too naive, ah. Very few of them have encounter conmen or professional sales person that modern people have to fend off on a weekly basis. But, to be fair, the refugees really were in quite a desperate situation. Surely there’s a special place in heaven for her after prying money out of these scheming, backstabbing women and supply those poor orphans and women with proper warm clothes and bedding? Of course, if she could make said women hopping mad, that’s all a bonus.
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Xu Ran Yun you wretched woman!
At Su Nuan Nuan’s little reminder, Shi Yurou glared hatefully at Xu Ran Yun: If not for you bringing up this matter, we can all continue to ignore Su Nuan Nuan’s charity work, but now? After being led about by Su Nuan Nuan, I’ve just lost 3,000 silver teals. My lord had already agreed to shell out 2,000 teals for one recipe and now I’m cheated out of another 3,000 teals. How is this fair?
The more she thought about it, the sulkier Shi Yurou became. She turned her frosty gaze at Xu Ran Yun and said coldly, “With more people to gather firewood, the bigger the flames. Since Sister Yun wished so badly to donate, the number can’t be too low, right? Otherwise, how could you justify yourself to dear sister-in-law? I know you’re quite wealthy. Oh, but now that you’re no longer in charge of elder brother’s personal warehouse, you might not be able to contribute as generously as before, but ‘A skinny camel is still bigger than a horse’. Surely 2,000 silver teals is still reasonable, right?”
Author White Pear Flower: Madam Yun really can’t learn, ah. Never mind, Su Nuan Nuan is very generous with her lessons. Ha ha ha ha!
[Gumihou: Go Shi Yurou! Slap that bitch!]
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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