Chapter 169: Person Behind Her
Translated by Gumihou
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
Bonus Chapter No. 1!
After leaving the kitchen, the two of them made their slowly back to Spring Breeze Court. On the way, Xiang Yun began to complain, “Just what kind of reasoning is this? Madam is the heir’s wife, how could you be making snacks in the kitchen? Your status is all ruined.”
Su Nuan Nuan gave a bitter smile, “Leave it be. I’ve already been tortured enough by this lord heir’s wife title. Are you going to deprive me my one single joy? What’s wrong with making snacks in the kitchen? Everyone who eats them will be grateful to me. Do you think any of them would actually look down on me just because I entered the kitchen? This is called growing power through goodwill, understand?”
Xiang Yun muttered, “I’ve never heard of this power through goodwill thing, but, whatever. As long as Missy is happy.” Then she began lecturing again, “Missy, please don’t just look at the scenery, you must watch your feet as well. Though the snow is thick, it still isn’t enough to cushion a fall.” Suddenly, her cheeks puffed up in anger again, “Really, where are the cleaner servants? The had already stopped snowing yesterday evening, they should be here to sweep the away all the snow this morning. Where have those lazy bums gone off to hide?”
“Don’t just randomly accuse people. Who has gone off to hide? The mansion must be busy due to the new year preparations they must have overlooked this small lane. Besides, what other master would walk on this lane that leads to the kitchen aside from me? “ After defending the servants, she stood and looked about for a moment before smiling. “Let’s go, let’s go to the garden. Since it’s such a lovely quiet day, I want to enjoy the red of the plum blossoms against a pure white snow fully today.”
“Madam, you want to go look at the flowers now?” Xiang Yun didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Su Nuan Nuan laughed, “On days when half of the people are sleeping or working elsewhere is the best time to enjoy a pure white garden.” ignoring Xiang Yun’s protestation, she made her way towards the garden. In the end, Xiang Yun had no choice but to trail after her eccentric mistress.
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The moment they stepped into the garden, they were greeted by a pure white world. Nestled in strategic corners were several small pavilions and shelter points for blossom viewing. A frosty wind hissed through the decades old trees, making a cold atmosphere even colder.
Su Nuan Nuan had no hand stove with her. To keep her hands warm, she had merely tucked them under her mink fur coat. Now, her bare hands reached out to brush off a dusting of snow on a thin branch next to her. Cold finally penetrated through her hands, and she blew at them to warm it up, causing faint clouds of steam to form around her. Suddenly, a woman dressed in dark green padded jacket came hurrying over, her cheeks flushed with cold and excitement as she exclaimed, “Oh, it’s madam. May this one know why you’re visiting the gardens now? It’s so terribly cold.”
Su Nuan Nuan smiled, “Oh, it’s Mother Liu. Where did you come from? Why have you suddenly popped up like this? You nearly give me a scare.”
Mother Liu smiled, “I was just outside when I was told that some unknown person had entered the garden, and was recklessly breaking off tree branches. I came here immediately to have a look, but couldn’t find the culprit. I was still looking for them when I encountered madam. Is madam here to admire the plum blossoms? It’s really too cold to stand here too long without a stove. If madam would wait for a bit, this one would bring a portable hand stove over and have madam warm her hands on it.”
“No need to trouble yourself. I have no intention of freezing myself standing about in one of those little pavilions. I only wish to stroll through the plum blossom trees for a bit. If you happen to have a soft cushion, have someone bring one over.” Su Nuan Nuan managed to stop the enthusiastic woman before she left. A short while later, she rushed back with a plum cushion. She respectfully offered the cushion, saying, “This one has never been used. On it is the embroidery of a velvet duck, you’ll stay warm if you place it on the swing or stone seat.”
Xiang Yun took the offered the cushion and smiled at the woman, “Mother Liu, I heard that Sister Hong Lian will be marrying into your family next year. Has the betrothal gift been prepared? Though Sister Hong Lian is a maid, she’s our Missy’s most important servant. So, you can’t be too careless.”
Mother Liu quickly smiled, “How would this one dare? Daring aside, even if this one dares, how could I bear to do it? Hong Lian is a maid personally taught by the first madam. Appearance, poise and knowledge are all excellent, to able to welcome such a wonderful person into our house, is a great gift that our family have after generations of prayer. Therefore, we dare not show any slight.
The betrothal gifts are still being prepared, though we are servants of a great house, my ancestors are men and women who had served this family for ages. Therefore, if nothing else, face must be taken care off. Therefore, how could we offer up unsightly items for the betrothal? Madam and Miss Xiang Yun please be at ease, my Sheng’er truly loves Hong Lian, and would not even dream of mistreating her.”
Su Nuan Nuan smiled, “He looks like a good child. Otherwise, no matter how much Hong Lian likes him, I would not agree to the match. It’s rare to find a man who had spent so much time working outside, but did not pick up any loose male slut habits. A man who would spent the rest of his life with one woman, and grow old with her is a rare one indeed. That he’s also willing to forgo a harm is also a point to him. I hope your family will continue to support this couple’s relationship and not make a fuss about this in the future.”
Mother Liu smiled, “First madam please be at ease, what use does a harem have for a servant? It would only serve to destroy the body and break the harmony of a family. We are not such ignorant people as to invite ruin like that. Our family will definitely support these two once they get married and not let madam worry.”
Su Nuan Nuan nodded. Knowing that Granny Liu must be very busy in this eve of the new year, she dismissed her. With the servant gone, she continued to stroll among the trees. Beside her, Xiang Yun muttered, “I just don’t understand Sister Hong Lian, how could she reject the offer from Head Manager Auntie Liu’s son for this Liu Sheng? What’s so good about the Liu family? Though they are respectable enough, but the only thing Mother Liu is in charge of is the garden. Her husband in charge of rent collection but he’s only part of a division and not even the person in charge. So, why is Sister Hong Lian so set on marrying into that family?”
“What’s the use of having power or influence? Given the choice, in the end one should choose the person you love. A lover who cares for you, and you alone is a priceless treasure of immeasurable value. Liu Sheng is someone that Hong Lian fell in love with. Even the lord confirmed that the Liu family are an honest lot, and that Liu Sheng is someone who really loves Hong Lian. When given the condition that he is not allowed to have a harem, he agreed without hesitation. To be able to love each other so harmoniously is a wonderful thing. Status and power is nothing, as long as I am here, no one would dare to bully Hong Lian or her family, right?”
Su Nuan Nuan sighed. When she saw that Xiang Yun was still looking anxious for Hong Lian’s sake, she snapped, “There’s no need for you to worry so much for Hong Lian’s sake. Let me ask you this, now that Hong Lian can’t marry into the Liu Family, how about you marry him instead? If you’re willing I shall immediately get the lord to speak to the Liu family. I believe they’d probably won’t refuse you…”
She hadn’t finished speaking when Xiang Yun’s little face drained of colour. She hurriedly said, “Missy, this one is knows her mistake. Please forgive this one. This one is still… still too young.”
“Pei! Still young? This too young person still dare to carry on a relationship with a certain Shuang Xi? To the point that they’re on the verge of promising themselves in marriage? Still dare to pull wool before my eyes? Humph!” Su Nuan Nuan sniffed coldly at this pert little maid.
As soon as Xiang Yun heard this, she knew that her mistress already knew everything. Better to lose some face and beg Missy to intervene on her behalf then to deny this connection. After all, what if some high level servant with managerial positions ask elder madam for her hand? If this were to happen, it won’t look good for Missy to reject them on her behalf. Moreover, this Missy has always been rather easy going, surely she would not bother bother herself with such house rules? It’s possible that she might even support her, right?
Thought process completed, she no longer hesitate. She knelt in front of Su Nuan Nuan and began to beg her to intervene on her behalf. Cross now, Su Nuan Nuan quickly pulled this silly maid up and scolded, “I’ve already made up my mind already, what’s all this kneeling and kowtowing? Are your knees made of jelly? For the matter between you and Shuang Xi, let Shuang Xi himself approach the lord. If he did not even have the guts to do this much, you may tell him to get lost.”
Xiang Yun stuck out her tongue cheekily and grinned, “Clearly Missy is on my side. Be at ease, Missy. If I tell him to ask, he won’t dare to stay his tongue.”
Su Nuan Nuan stared at her, and was about to say something when she suddenly turned around. There was no one behind her, but she could not shake the feeling that someone was watching her.
[Gumihou: Oooh, who’s watching Nuan Nuan? Suspicious person, show yourself!]
Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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