The Feast – 211 – Trouble Brewing

The Feast – 211 – Trouble Brewing

Chapter 211: Trouble Brewing

 

Translated by Gumihou

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com

 

Yang’shi said gravely, “The person we must guard against is not first madam, but the person who wished to use Chuan’er’s life to entrap her. Try and think back, if Chuan’er had really lost his life then, would first madam would ever be able to escape this stain?”

“Why are we talking about this again?” Concubine Jiang said helplessly. She frowned, “If sister has something to say, just say it. There’s only Rong’er here, surely there’s no need for you to beat about the bush like this?”

When Yang’shi heard her say this, she decided to be direct, “When Madam Yun was speaking to you just now, I saw her look at Chuan’er for a moment. I’ve told you this before. The incident with Chuan’er last time felt too odd to me, just think, if Madam Yun had anything to do with the matter… just thinking about it makes me shiver in my bones.”

“Sure… surely not?” Though Concubine Jiang had already decided to break off with Xu Ran Yun and look for a better backer for herself and her son, she still had some loyalty towards this mistress of hers. However, after hearing Yang’shi’s words, she suddenly recalled Duan Maochuan’s childish remarks that afternoon. ‘Second mother is getting scarier and scarier.’ Could it be that he had sensed something from Xu Ran Yun’s gaze that frightened him? Surely… this cannot be?

“How could it not? Madam Yun had always been the type to reach her goals by fair means or foul.” Yang’shi harrumphed coldly. She had been at the receiving end of Xu Ran Yun’s sneers and sarcastic comments lately, which was all fine, but that sudden look just now sent her heart racing with fear.

Concubine Jiang mumbled, “Chuan’er ate Snow Cream at first madam’s residence, which had nothing to do with Madam Yun. So, how could she be involved?”

“Though the Snow Cream had nothing to do with Madam Yun, you must not forget, the lord said that according to the imperial physician, just eating Snow Cream would not result in such a serious sickness. The little boy very nearly lost his life. I’ve asked Hong Lian about it too, whenever Chuan’er and the other little masters ate Snow Cream at first madam’s residence, they were only given a few mouthfuls at a time.

Also, have you forgotten already? When Chuan’er was incoherent with fever, first madam disregarded all suspicion on herself to help him vomit up whatever he had eaten. Because of this, Chuan’er managed to preserve his life. If it had just been the Snow Cream, it would have already passed out of him from all the times he went to potty earlier. What’s the use of first madam forcing whatever was in Chuan’er’s stomach out at that time?”

“You’re saying… that someone fed Chuan’er something else? And, it was given after his lunch? It had to be after his lunch because everything before that would have passed out of him.” Concubine Jiang really did not want to relive this horrible memory, however, as this concerned her precious boy’s safety, she could not just leave things alone.

Also, now that she had forced her mind to calm down, she was able to perceive the matter more clearly. In the end, the most important point was this: If first madam was not the one who harmed Chuan’er; that meant there was a hidden viper within this residence with eyes on Duan Maochuan’s life. If she could not flush this person out, how could she be at ease?

“That is exactly what I wish to say.” Yang’shi nodded seriously. Then, she added, “I still remember that when Madam Yun explained matters to the master, she mentioned that Little Master Ming was the one who told her that Chuan’er had eaten Snow Cream. If this is true, how would we dare to assume that she did not take the opportunity to do something against Chuan’er? If Chuan’er really had died that day, an entire basin of shit would have been heaped upon first madam’s head.”

“But, Madam Yun only arrived later. When she arrived, there were a lot of people surrounding Chuan’er, so when would she have the opportunity to do anything?” Concubine Jiang’s heart thumped hollowly in her heart. No matter what, she still did not wish to think that Xu Ran Yun would actually do such a thing.

It was at this time that Rong’er suddenly whispered. “Has madam concubine forgotten about that bowl of Sweet Ginger Soup?”

“Sweet Ginger Soup?” Concubine Jiang was stunned, she thought hard and finally had some vague impression that such a thing did make an appearance then. She looked at Rong’er and said warily, “What are you saying? You think that there’s something wrong with that Sweet Ginger Soup? Why would you say that?”

Rong’er quickly answered, “This one had no idea whether there really was something wrong with the Sweet Ginger Soup, but… but madam concubine just said that Madam Yun had no opportunity to make a move, and this one just thought of that bowl of Sweet Soup.”

Yang’shi said calmly, “Rong’er, you must have realized something, haven’t you? During that rushed and frantic moment, even I have forgotten about that bowl of Sweet Ginger Soup. So, why did you remember that so clearly?”

Rong’er looked a little frantic, “It’s not that this one believes there was anything wrong with the Sweet Soup. If this one had, would I dare let little master drink it? Only…” she paused, hesitated for a moment before lifting her head and said bravely, “Only, when Sister Feng Xian sent the Sweet Soup over, I just happened to be escorting Physician Liao in. When I entered, I noticed that there was something not quite right about Sister Feng Xian’s expression.

At that moment I could not be sure, and therefore never said anything about it. It was only a fleeting impression and without any evidence to back it up… Afterwards, I dare not simply speak and slander the innocent. It’s only when madam concubine and Sister Yang brought it up that I suddenly recalled the matter.”

“You… you say that there was something not quite right about Feng Xian’s expression. What was the thing that made you think so?”

Yang’shi could not guess what Rong’er could have seen and immediately questioned her. Rong’er answered in a voice that was close to a whisper, “When I came in, I saw Sister Feng Xian looking at little master. Her eyes were… were filled with pity. She looked very sad, as though… as though our little master had already died…”

When she reached this part, she fell to her knees with an audible thump and said, “Madam, it is all this lowly one’s impression. This one dare not be sure of anything and could not guess a person’s heart. This lowly one has no special mind reading skill either. It’s possible that Sister Feng Xian is feeling sad for little master’s suffering. After thinking back many times, in the end, this one dared not say anything about it…”

Her voice trailed off.

Concubine Jiang said, a little woodenly, “I know, get up now. This… I shall think on this and investigate properly. If… if Madam Run really is trying to make use of my Chuan’er to entrap first madam. I… I…”

“What will you do?” Yang’shi was a little frightened by the vehemence in her voice. “Lil’sis, you better not do anything stupid. While Madam Yun is nothing compared to first madam. She is still beyond the reach of someone like you. Even if you hate her, you must be more vigilant and more careful in the future. Don’t try to ‘Strike a Stone with an Egg’. Think of your status, Madam Yun could squeeze you to death like an ant. What do you think will happen to Chuan’er then? Moreover, you still have family at the count’s residence. Though aunt and uncle are no longer there, your brothers and sisters are still working there. You must take them all into consideration.”

Concubine Jiang sneered, “My parents are no longer around. I have no one at that place anymore. Nor do I have any blood siblings there.” Then, she paused, and said haltingly, “But, sister, you may be at ease. You’re right, I was just stirred up with emotions just now. Moreover, we’re not yet entirely clear about what had happened. Alright, let’s stop talking about this, the walls have ears.”

Seeing her drop the matter so decisively, Yang’shi’s anxious heart settled down. She had no idea that Concubine Jiang had resolved to investigate the matter until ‘Water Recedes and Rocks Appeared [1]. Though Rong’er dared not be certain of anything, but she believed this maid of hers. Everything else aside, this little maid of hers had always been very quick and scrupulous with her work. If she felt that there was something not right about the look in Feng Xian’s eyes, then it may not be complete nonsense.

She slowly got to her feet and went to the window. The colours of spring had arrived, painting the garden in brilliant green and red. However, Concubine Jiang’s heart remained cold and wintry, as anger brewed in her heart.

Quietly, she thought: In the past, I dared not investigate this matter because first madam’s power was too great. Even if I pitched all my strength and resources, I’d never be able to touch even a single hair on her head. Not only that, she had no discernible weakness that I could exploit.

However, Madam Yun, you are different. I have served you for over ten years as a maid. Is there really anything about you that could be hidden from me? If I found that it is really you who tried to make use of my precious Chuan’er to entrap first madam. Well, when that day comes, don’t blame this lowly slave for treating you as an enemy.

There are things that should never be changed and things that would never change. You have never changed your hateful heart, despite knowing that Chuan’er is the most cherished treasure in my life…

 

Author White Pear Flower: This foreshadowing has finally come into fruition! A-woo! The curtain has lifted!

 

[Gumihou: Ooooh…. Uwooohhhh!!!!  ┌╏ º □ º ╏┐]

 

[1] Water Recedes & Rocks Appeared – Until truth comes to light

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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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