Chapter 250 (Part 1): Back to the Mansion
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Onionpi
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
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When former Duke and Duchess of Ping saw Su Nuan Nuan, husband and wife clasped her to their bosoms and cried. Tears of gladness turned into tears of joy when they heard that they and their sons would be returning to the Capital soon. After experiencing terrible hardships, this family of four who had had to do hard labour as prisoners have had their eyes opened and were more than glad for the opportunity to leave this wretched place. Compared to unlikely dreams of returning to their previous luxurious lifestyles and lofty positions, safety and comfort were more important.
The whole Ping family reunited for two whole days, and Mid-Autumn Festival was just a little over a month away. Duan Tingxuan and Su Nuan Nuan became anxious about getting home on time for the festival. They knew that if they were not back by the 15th of the 8th month, the old madam would probably be waiting for them with big planks.
Since Su Nuan Nuan was the one with the impressive cooking talent, old madam probably won’t treat her too harshly. Therefore, the majority of her anger would fall upon the little marquis’ head. But, how could the little marquis bear be publicly spanked with planks for no good reason? As for Long Pingzhang, this fellow who had just recovered his memories and escaped from death was also anxious about seeing his parents. Thus, after some consultation, both men agreed to throw away all previous travelling plans and rush home on horseback. Su Nuan Nuan and Chu Xiu dressed in men’s clothing, and as before, the couples shared horses. To increase their travelling speed, they brought several horses with them and would exchange horses often to not tire out their mounts.
Very soon, they reached the gates of the Capital.
“Old madam, the lord heir and first madam have reached the second gate. The first madam has gone home to change clothes and the young master has gone to meet with the lord first. They would be here very soon.”
It was maid Zhou Ming who came to report the happy matter to Old Madam Fang. As expected, the old madam scolded happily, “I’ve waited for them for so long, but they still dared to run off and do something else first before greeting me. Have those two become spoilt from my favour?”
Liu Min quickly took the opportunity to say teasingly, “Old madam, don’t tell me you only realized it now? If not for you spoiling them, how would they dare to simply run off to Niu Tou Mountain with barely a word to us? Moreover, to frolic about outside without regard to our feelings and not sending word to those waiting anxiously for news, aiya. However, this also shows madam’s kindness and generosity, otherwise, how would Tingxuan and his wife dare to be so arrogant? If old madam had been a little fiercer would those two dared to be so wild?”
Old Madam Fang laughed heartily, she was too lazy to sift through the many layers of provocations hidden in that statement. As for Madam Yang, now that her son’s position has become more and more stabilized within the family, the inner court had become much quieter than before. People who once harboured delusions of grandeur were gradually losing hold on their unlikely dreams and resigning themselves to their current positions. She was quietly gleeful by this development as she observed Liu Min’s desperate attempt to make trouble: To think that the day where you hop about like a jackrabbit for attention would come, but what’s the use of your poisoned tongue now? You’re merely letting people understand just how superficial and petty you are.
Still, she has to say something. Thus, Madam Yang said mildly, “No need to be anxious, old madam. Aren’t both of them back at the estate now? Surely there’s no need to worry about them running off again? After all, they’ve just come back from Niu Tou Mountain, both husband and wife are covered in road dust. If they do not change and wash, how could they bear to face you?”
Old Madam Fang laughed cheerfully, “I’m most worried about this. Once they’re back at their estate, when would they come? They would immediately be entangled with matters within their court. I heard that Hong Lian girl is supposed to be married out this autumn, but because her masters were not around, her marriage date had been set back. Now that her mistress is back, how could she not be urgent about getting her marriage details sorted out as soon as possible? The discussion alone would take at least half a day, ah.”
At this, everyone laughed. Concubine Jing took the opportunity to say, “Old madam, please don’t look down on that Hong Lian girl. She has a steady and sensible temperament and knows the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important. She would never be so crass as to bring up her marriage matter at such an inopportune time.”
“A steady and sensible temperament, you say? Not quite so.” Xu Ran Yun made a little sneering laugh. “I heard that she had a low-level maid beaten up and kicked out of the estate just last month. Tsk, tsk, clearly ‘When There is No Tiger, The Monkey Becomes King ’. When first madam is around, she is steady and sensible, only revealing her true character when her mistress is not around. Now that first madam is back I wonder what kind of excuses she is going to make up to explain her actions.”
This mysterious remark plunged the originally lively atmosphere into silence. Old Madam Fang said nothing but merely looked at Xu Ran Yun with a frown. Madam Yang was fuming silently but was helpless to do anything. Ever since this Xu Ran Yun lost her House Manager position, she had become more and more snide and aggressive, gradually turning into the Su Meng Nuan of the past. When Madam Yang tried to admonish her, Xu Ran Yun would make a show of listening to her, but whether the advice penetrated her head was a different matter altogether. Finally, giving up the whole exercise as a bad job, she could only ignore the woman and wait for her son and daughter-in-law to come back and handle the matter themselves.
Xue Zhi Lan kept her eyes lowered as she maintained her silence. However, she was silently sneering at this woman: How vulgar, just because you cannot endure a couple of months’ worth of being cold-shouldered, you lost your cool and your House Manager authority in one shot. If you had lowered your head and bided your time, you might still have the opportunity to make a comeback. To think that you’ve actually resolved to smash the cracked jar instead of trying to find ways to fix it, clearly a sudden fall from a high position is the best test for a person’s resolve.
In the end, Xu Ran Yun lacked character and was now knocked out by the opponent. This is good too, thought Xue Zhi Lan, let everyone see your true face. In the future, I’ll have to devise some way to make Su Meng Nuan return to her original character. Only then could I breathe easy. Though this road is difficult to traverse, it is not impossible. What a pity that Xu Ran Yun had been reduced to this form. It would be more difficult to make use of her in the future… Wu! Wait, perhaps this is even better. Now that she’s so desperate to make trouble, I can fulfil her wish, hehehe…
[Gumihou: First madam is back! Also, Xue Zhi Lan is scary…]
 When There is No Tiger, The Monkey Becomes King – When there are no capable people, even ordinary people could rise to the top
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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