Chapter 170: A Terrible Situation
Translated by Gumihou
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Bonus Chapter No. 2!
“What is it, Missy?”
Xiang Yun asked curiously as Su Nuan Nuan kept looking about her.
“Odd,” said Su Nuan Nuan, “I felt like someone’s watching me, but when I turn around there’s nobody.”
At this, Xiang Yun, too, began to look about them anxiously. However, no matter at which direction she looked, there were only plum trees, with hardly a shadow to be seen due to the brilliance of the snow. She was about to beg Su Nuan Nuan to leave when she saw her mistress’ eyes sharpened. She too looked in the same direction and caught a glimpse of someone’s shadow just beyond a line of plum trees.
“Who goes there?” Xiang Yun called out bravely. Then, equally loudly, she said to Su Nuan Nuan, “Missy, I shall go and have a look. See who is there pretending to be a ghost. I’m sure the master would be to glad to skin them alive.”
Her voice echoed oddly in the snow covered garden, but her strategy worked. Soon, the shadow detached itself from behind a plum tree and cried out, “It’s me, it’s me. Miss Xiang Yun, please don’t misunderstand. I am just admiring the plum blossoms when I saw first madam coming over. I hid myself because I was afraid of being scolded by first madam.”
Now that she had came out, Su Nuan Nuan immediately recognised her, “You’re Yang’shi aren’t you? Why are you here? Aren’t you Chuan’er’s nursemaid? It’s almost the new year, why aren’t you with him? Do you really have the free time to run over here to admire plum blossoms? What if something happened to Chuan’er while you’re away? Do you want to die that badly?”
As Su Nuan Nuan spoke, her voice grew more severe towards the end of her questioning. Ever since Duan Maoming lead the campaign to exclude Duan Maochuan out of everything due to the Snow Cream incident, she could only imagine how bad his situation was. While she did her best to caution those boys against bullying Duan Maochuan, she never imagined that his situation would be so bad that even his own nursemaid would abandoned him to admire plum blossoms when she was supposed to be watching over him. No matter what, Concubine Jiang was still the lord’s woman and Duan Maochuan was still Duan Tingxuan’s son by blood. Even if someone has fallen from grace, surely people shouldn’t stomp on them like this?
“First madam is wise. Our… little master is being looked after by someone else. Otherwise… otherwise this one dare not… dare not sneak out like this…”
Yang’shi ran up, gave a deep salute, and quickly explained everything in a soft voice. As she spoke, Su Nuan Nuan noticed that this woman kept shifting her eyes towards a spot behind a line of plum blossom and grew curious. She subtly looked in the same direction and spotted a shadow shifting behind a particularly large plum tree. As she watched, the shadow shifted again and a little yellow ears of a tiger headed hood appeared. Finally, she understood.
“It’s such a cold day, why have you brought Chuan’er out? What if the child fall sick? Children don’t know how to restrain themselves when it comes to playing, are you saying you don’t know either?” now that Su Nuan Nuan knew that Chuan’er was just hiding behind those trees, she gave a small relieved sigh. However, when she thought about how cold it was, she grew anxious again.
“In reply to madam, this one is… unable to persuade the child…” Yang’shi choked out, tears falling from her eyes as she looked at the ground.
“Just what is going on?” Su Nuan Nuan looked about, and spotted a stone bench nearby and bade Xiang Yun to place the cushion on it before sitting down. Once seated, she looked straight at Yang’shi and said, “You better explain everything to me. If you are not in the wrong, I shall overlook this matter.”
Yang’shi said gloomily, “What is there to understand? After Chuan’er told his lie in front of so many people to harm madam, everyone in the mansion began to avoid us. As for that school of his, who in that world don’t ‘Flatter the strong and tread on the lowly’? Our little master had always been simple and straightforward. In the past, he was protected by the master’s reputation. However, now that the other little masters all ignored him and told everyone that he ‘Bites the hand that feeds him’, little master’s life at school is getting worse and worse.
Today, the little masters brought some snacks made by madam to school and handed it out to everyone. Our little master had always loved snacks and wanted one, but was ridiculed by Little Master Sen. Having nothing to retort, he could only cry to me once back from school. This one brought him to the garden because he kept insisting on coming. Once here, he took out his temper on the tree branches and made a mess, but this one dared not stop him. This one felt that, it is better to let him take out his temper here. If he kept everything inside, this one really don’t know what would happen…”
“In other words, you are blaming our Missy for this?” Xiang Yun’s eyebrows rose up. To be fair, Yang’shi was only telling the truth, and did not hold any resentment against Su Nuan Nuan. However, when the words reached Xiang Yun’s ears, the meaning changed due to her extreme anger and loathing against Concubine Jiang and Duan Maochuan. So what if one of them is a child? Just because you’re a child you can just bite the hand that feeds you and tell lies for your mother? Now that you’ve tasted the bitter fruit of your wrong doing, how satisfying is that? Little Master Ming and the rest of the little masters had performed their roles beautifully. Missy was obviously too lenient for her own good. It annoyed Xiang Yun whenever her mistress told the other little masters to stop bullying that little bastard. In fact, if not for the large difference in status, Xiang Yun would have joined those little masters in giving this Duan Maochuan a lesson he would never forget.[Gumihou: In other words, Xiang Yun is basically a little brat]
As expected, after Xiang Yun’s words, Yang’shi fell to her knees in the snow, terrified. Concubine Jiang and her son’s days were pitiful enough already. After losing her House Manager position, Xu Ran Yun spent most of her time feeling sorry for herself, when would even spare the time to pity for these two? If she, a nursemaid, had offended first madam, her two charges would really have no leg to stand on. Who in this mansion did not know that first madam holds all the power now?
“Get up, explain what you’ve just said.”
Su Nuan Nuan quickly helped Yang’shi off the snow. She glared at Xiang Yun and said sternly, “She was just feeling upset, do you have to make it worse?” she turned her glance towards the tree line again, and noticed that the little tiger head had disappeared.
Su Nuan Nuan had always loved children, but never let herself treat Duan Tingxuan’s children as her own. Instead, she loved these little boys like regular person would admire other people’s adorable children. Since she did not have the responsibility of educating them, she still play with them for a bit and send them off with some small gifts. The kids were happy, the parents get a brief respite and she had some fun, everybody wins.
However, when she heard how Duan Maochuan’s days had been recently, a certain bitter feeling welled up inside her. Of all the little boys, Duan Maochuan was the most straightforward, and perhaps a little foolish. Unlike the rest of his sly brothers, who knew how to use their cuteness and position to demand for things, this child was too honest. Perhaps it was this was due to his lower social status that the child ended up with a bit of an inferiority complex. Because of this, Su Nuan Nuan felt especially tender towards this little boy. It vexed her that Duan Maochuan never came to Spring Breeze Court after that incident, but she did not feel like it was appropriate for her to order him over. However, she never thought that this cute and simple little boy would be in such a terrible situation.
As she thought of his suffering, all her hesitation disappeared. She stepped towards the plum tree line and came across Duan Maochuan. The child did not run away. He merely stood there with his head lowered, a broken tree branch still in his hand. As she stared down at the little boy, she saw his cheeks grew redder. He tightened his grip on the tree branch, drawing Su Nuan Nuan’s eyes to his scraped and bleeding hands. Looks like the plum trees were not the only victim of his rampage.
There were so many things Su Nuan Nuan wished to say, but when confronted by this child, she had no idea how to give voice to any of them. After a long while, she said, “You silly child. If you must rampage about, you should do it at home. Why must you be here when it’s so cold? You’ll turn into a snowman, you know?”
Duan Maochuan abruptly looked up, his eyes, which had been fogged up despair, cleared. Suddenly, large tear drops began to roll down his cheeks. One by one, the teardrops left tracks down his cheeks, bracketing a trembling mouth.
“First mother, I was wrong. I shouldn’t have lied. I shouldn’t have helped concubine mother to harm first mother, wu wu wu… I was a bad boy. I’m a bad person who forgot favours and bite the hand that feeds me. I’m a bastard, a son of a bitch, I will die a horrible death, wu wu wu…”
“What’s all this nonsense?” Su Nuan Nuan was shocked and angry. Where would a child learn words like ‘will die a horrible death’? Someone must have carelessly said this in front of him.
Yang’shi lowered her head and choked out, “It was from the school the little masters go to, the other little masters said it to Chuan’er had been keeping it in his heart ever since.”
“What’s this nonsense, how could those noble young masters spout such terrible words? They must have learned it from their irresponsible servants, If I know who they are I’d have then dragged out and punished.” Su Nuan Nuan was incredibly angry. ‘Die a horrible death?’ Did those little bastards knew they were cursing their own brother? Do they even know what ‘Die a horrible death means?
Yang’shi did not dare to say anything. After all, how could a lowly nursemaid like her offend people who would dare to speak these words in front of the little masters? Su Nuan Nuan crouched down and patted Duan Maochuan’s head gently, “Chuan’er, don’t say such things. First mother knows that you’re protecting your own mother, what happened before has nothing to do with you…”
“No, I was wrong. It’s all my fault. First mother should hit me, beat me to death… first mother… wu wu wu, if I had known earlier I should have just died. I should just got to sleep with my stomach full of Snow Cream, wu wu wu, just sleep and sleep and sleep…”
“What nonsense are you talking about?”
A child’s wish is simple and straightforward. He had no idea what dying really means, but his words cut deeply into Su Nuan Nuan’s heart. Unable to bear it anymore, she hugged Duan Maochuan close and whispered. “Chuan’er, you’re not allowed to say such nonsense. First mother never blamed you.” one should never look down on carelessly spoken words. It could potentially influence Duan Maochuan for the rest of his life. In the future, such deep-rooted emotional hurt could cause him endless plain. Su Nuan Nuan could not bear to let such a sweet little child suffer just because the adults around him were too careless and selfish.
Duan Maochuan began to cry, the grievances of the past two months, fear, guilt and humiliation all exploded. The little guy cried so hard he could hardly catch his breath. Snot flowed down his chin and dripped onto Su Nuan Nuan’s clothes. At this, Xiang Yun rolled her eyes: Our Missy is just too lenient with this brat. Last time a whole dress was dirtied when she was trying to save this brat, today it’s snot. Surely this child was deliberately trying to dirty our mistress’ clothes?
Xiang Yun’s bad impression of Duan Maochuan meant that she could only attached the most terrible intention onto whatever the child did. However, no one here was at all interested in her personal thoughts. A long while later, Duan Maochuan’s crying finally settled down to the occasional sniffle. Su Nuan Nuan fished out a handkerchief to wipe his little face and picked him up. She tucked his body close and wrapped her own cloak around him. She turned to Yang’shi and said, “Chuan’er is getting frozen. Autumn Rain Pavilion is a little far away. You should come over to Spring Breeze Court to warm up and have some tea and snacks first.”
Even in her most optimistic dreams, Yang’shi could not have imagined that Su Nuan Nuan would still be willing to take Duan Maochuan under her wing after that experience. She still could not believe her ears, but managed a somewhat calm smile as she replied, “That sounds wonderful, this one had heard that madam is a most benevolent person. This one finally understood that it is a most well-deserved reputation.”
Author White Pear Flower: I really felt that Chuan’er is too pitiful. Though he had framed Su Nuan Nuan, it was because he had been frightened nearly to death by his mother. Moreover, he’s still little more than a toddler, and believed his mother entirely. Therefore treated everything Concubine Jiang said as true. It was only much later that he realized that he was in the wrong.
[Gumihou: I really felt that the people here take things on face value too much, it’s almost like looking at a mob reaction]
 Flatter the strong and tread on the lowly – Respect the strong and bully the weak  Will die a horrible death – not quite an idiom, but a curse. “You will die a a horrible death!’
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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