Chapter 171: Mercy
Translated by Gumihou
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
“Heheh, benevolence, ah. Yes, because our Missy is too benevolent that she became the victim of certain people.” Xiang Yun muttered on the side. The maid would have said more, but a glare from Su Nuan Nuan soon caused her to look away. At this, even Yang’shi felt awkward. In a low voice she said, “The incident from before, Concubine Jiang is very sorry…”
She hadn’t finished speaking when Su Nuan Nuan broke into a laugh, “No need to speak for your mistress. I know she’s not sorry at all. For the sake of her children, a mother would do anything to secure a safe environment for them to grow up. No, she won’t be sorry. Why do you think I never blamed her? No matter how outrageous her actions had been, it all stemmed from a protective mother’s heart. If it had been for any other reason, do you really think I’d let her get away with it?”
The words sent a shiver through Yang’shi. She thought back to all the rumours surrounding this first madam. Though they were all fairly good things, and that first madam’s benevolence was the real thing, one should never try to bully her. From status alone, she could make your life a living hell just by lifting a little finger.
“First mother, you really don’t blame concubine mother?” Duan Maochuan whispered from within Su Nuan Nuan embrace. He peeked up furtively to check her expression, feeling excited and frightened at the same time.
“Of course, have first mother ever lied to you? Well?” Su Nuan Nuan pinched the freezing cold cheeks as she made her way out of the garden. Yang’shi and Xiang Yun hurrying after her.
“But… mother said that you’d definitely hate her to death. She hugged me and kept saying that she did not have long to live, and, and, how I was going to live in the future. Every time she talks about it, she would cry and cry.” Duan Maochuan hung his head, clearly reliving the moment. It looked like Concubine Jiang had been living in fright for a few days and was nearly out of her mind with terror. Su Nuan Nuan wondered if this woman had gone beyond nearly out of her mind to really out of her mind.
“First mother really doesn’t hate your concubine mother. Because everything she did was to protect you. Only, Chuan’er, you must remember that some things should not be done no matter what. That time you lied to harm first mother, I know it’s because your mother forced you into it. But, you know, Chuan’er? That is wrong, you should never have done that, understand?”
“I know, I know, I won’t do it again. Fourth brother said I’ll turn into a wolfdog. I won’t do it again, wu wu wu… first mother, I don’t want to become a wolfdog.”
Duan Maochuan burst into tears again. Su Nuan Nuan quickly comforted him, assuring him that he won’t turn into a wolfdog. As she wiped the little fellow’s tears, she turned to Yang’shi, “Wolfdog? Just what is he talking about?”
Yang’shi nodded, “In reply to madam. Fourth Little Master Sen really said this once. To be honest, this one did not understand it at that time, but after some thought, this one believed that Little Master Sen probably meant ‘Heart of Wolf and Lungs of Dog’. However, since he’s still so young, he probably didn’t remember the whole idiom correctly, and just remembered the shorthand version of ‘wolfdog’.”
What the? Heart of Wolf and Lungs of Dog became Wolfdog, just what kind of creative talent is this? Su Nuan Nuan had to laugh, this was clearly something that sharp little Duan Maosen would invent. She was feeling amused when she heard Duan Maochuan whispered, “First mother, if… if I go to Spring Breeze Court, could I eat something there? Today, Elder Brother Ming brought some Fried Cake and shared it with everyone, it looks really delicious.”
“Of course. It’s only a simple Fried Cake, that’s nothing. Your Brother Ming is too miserly, there’s no way he’d bring really delicious snacks to school to share with everyone. You wait until we’re at Spring Breeze court. First mother will let you know what truly delicious snacks are like. I have only one rule, no more stealing Snow Cream.”
She turned to Yang’shi and asked, “How is the child’s stomach?”
Yang’shi quickly replied, “In reply to madam, Chuan’er’s stomach has been quite good. There hasn’t been any problem so far.”
“That’s good, that’s very good. Luckily he’s still a child. Though his immune system might be weaker than adults, a child’s recovery strength is excellent. If an adult is hit by such bad diarrhoea, they might end up stuck in bed for a few days.” Su Nuan Nuan sighed with relief.
Yang’shi nodded emphatically, “Isn’t it? I had a distant aunt that had gotten stomachache from eating bad rice half a year ago, she nearly died from a terrible bout of diarrhoea. Luckily a kind passing Chinese doctor managed to save her life. From that day onwards, she dares not eat any kind of seafood. Even a little soup and rice was enough to send her running for the toilets.”
As they chatted together, they eventually made their way to Spring Breeze Court. Hong Lian and the rest of the servants were shocked to see Su Nuan Nuan carrying Duan Maochuan in. However, unlike bratty little Xiang Yun, Hong Lian was shrewd enough to not let anything show on her face. After the first shock, she pulled a smile onto her face, thus elevating whatever anxiety Duan Maochuan had.
Su Nuan Nuan sat on the kang bed in the outer room and said to Yang’shi, “Though the warm room is the warmest, Chuan’er is half frozen from messing about in the snow. He might fall sick from the sudden temperature change. This place is just right. Since it’s a bit chilly here, we can just wear our outdoor clothing for the moment. We’ll go into the warm room after a couple of glasses of warm milk.”
Of course, Yang’shi had no problem with this arrangement. In a short while, Cong’er and Hua’er came in with the warm milk and a few, delicately made snacks. It had been a long time since Duan Maochuan had Spring Breeze Court food and he ate until his lips were covered in crumbs. Luckily Su Nuan Nuan and Yang’shi kept a sharp eye on him, otherwise he’d probably try to stuff himself to death.
As they ate and chatted, dusk soon came upon them. No matter what, Duan Maochuan was still a little boy, after entering Spring Breeze Court, hugged by first mother, and enjoyed various snacks here. He felt that everything between himself and first mother were in the clear. For first mother to so obviously show her love like this, he was already very happy.
On the side, Yang’shi could not help rubbing her eyes with her handkerchief and whispering, “After Chuan’er’s illness, this was the first time I’ve seen him so happy. I’ve never seen him laugh like this for so long. Just seeing him like this warms up my heart like nothing else.”
Since it was getting late, Su Nuan Nuan said, “Concubine Jiang must be worried sick with you two out so long. I shall not ask you to stay back for dinner.” Duan Maochuan piped up, “Alright, I will go home. But, first mother, where’s the mittens you promised me? It’s been so long, surely you’ve finished making it, right?”
Yang’shi’s face paled, but the words were already out. It’s not like she could snatch them out of the air. She sighed inwardly: Child, after making so much trouble for first madam. Do you really think that she would still have the mood to make mittens for you? But now that you’ve brought it up, aren’t you just making things awkward for no good reason?
She was still lamenting over this when Su Nuan Nuan clapped a hand on her forehead, “Oh, what happened to my memory? Hong Lian, go and fetch Chuan’er’s mittens over.”
[Gumihou: *Sniff* Su Nuan Nuan is the best person…]
 Heart of Wolf and Lungs of Dog – cruel and unscrupulous  Fried Cake – It’s not really a Fried Cake, but a fried rice dough pocket stuffed with sweet filling, but that’s the direct translation
Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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