Chapter 255: Gag Performance
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Onionpi
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Su Nuan Nuan couldn’t help laughing, “Just listen to yourself. What do you mean by ‘Her colour had faded due to old age’? Concubine Jiang is not even 30 yet, remember? When did she become an ‘old faded’ woman? Please don’t insult her. Also, what do you mean by ‘The master won’t be interested in her’? That Duan Tingxuan is the type to judge people by their faces, what does it have to do with me?
As for injuring herself to gain my confidence, I feel that it is quite unlikely. If Concubine Jiang had been instigated by Madam Yun to do this, no matter how stupid she is, do you think she’d still be loyal to her? Enough, even if she intends to stir up trouble here, that’s good too. I shall have every reason to roll her up and throw her out with the carpets. With you by my side, I have every confidence that she would not be able to pull anything worthwhile.”
When Hong Lian heard this, she nearly blushed at the level of trust her mistress had for her personal maids. Though it reassured that her Missy was not being reckless for no reason, she could not help but grumbled, “The master is right, Missy is too benevolent. Though you say that you have every confidence in our ability, but in the end, aren’t you just inviting wolves into your living room?”
Su Nuan Nuan immediately got up, stuck her hands onto her hips and spat, “Pei! Your master still have the cheek to say all that? If not for my benevolence, his inner court would have been set fire many times by yours truly. Anyone has the right to say that I am too benevolent, only he could not. He should rejoice in having such a benevolent, kind-hearted, just and clever wife. He is the one who married above his station, you understand?”
This caused Hong Lian to break into a bout of giggles again, she nodded quickly and said, “Missy is right. It is the master’s good fortune to be married to Missy.”
Su Nuan Nuan’s bitter laugh broke the mirthful atmosphere. “The struggle within a large estate is never-ending. It’s not easy for a woman like Concubine Jiang to survive in this world. If I can lend her a hand, why not? Who knows, she might even be someone who could assist me in the future, just like Concubine Jing. If I don’t lend her any assistance, who knows what would happen between her and Xu Ran Yun…”
Hong Lian’s lips twisted and she said, “That would only benefit us. When that happens, Missy can just ‘Sit on the Mountain and Watch the Tigers Fight’. After all, neither of them are good people.”
Su Nuan Nuan said nothing. Because she realised that no matter how she tried to explain Hong Lian would not understand. After all, the other party had never heard of the song <<Women Shouldn’t be Hard on Women>> . However, it’s also possible that she still would not understand or acknowledge this even after hearing the song.
On the other hand, Su Nuan Nuan can’t ignore the plight women the same way. It must be admitted, she could be considered something of a saint in this era in her defence of women’s rights and safety. In the end, she believed that Concubine Jiang was not a bad person. That woman’s greatest wish was to spend the rest of her life quietly, watch her son grow up safely and go on to marry and have a regular life of his own. This was, after all, the very basic wish all parents have in the world, ah. In the end, the culprit of this story was not Concubine Jiang, but this horrible feudal society that did not even acknowledge women as proper humans.
Naturally, there was no need to say all this. The thing that occupied her mind now was finding an excuse to move Concubine Jiang and her son into her courtyard. Her thoughts were interrupted by the tolling of bells outside. “What is the time now? Why isn’t your master back yet? Send someone to see what happened.”
Xiang Yun acknowledged the order and sent the quick-witted Xing’er to investigate the front hall. About 15 minutes later, Xing’er came back to say, “The crown prince is still with them. Since he’s still speaking with the master in the study, this maid dared not disturb them and came back to report instead.”
“Oh, I see,” Su Nuan Nuan said before leaning back onto the sofa. The study? Su Nuan Nuan thought: Could Duan Tingxuan have informed the crown prince about the fourth prince’s matter? Wu! This is certainly a good opportunity for a secret information transfer. Though the marquis estate is a bit eye-catching, it’s probably still a better place to talk about secret matters compared to the East Palace.
When she thought about this, her mind inevitably went towards the Su Dong Lou and Lu Feng Yu. She wondered what happened to those ‘Quarrelsome but Loving Couple’, surely that Poisonous Snake Lu had been eaten up by Fierce Wolf Su, right? Heheh, still, that fellow was a poisonous snake, a single bite from him could potentially destroy a man. Who knows if Fierce Wolf Su could really press down Lu Feng Yu to the point that he could never flip his fortunes over.
While Su Nuan Nuan’s mind travelled over to Jiang Nan, it turned out that Duan Tingxuan really was conducting secret talks with the crown prince in the study. The topic, as Su Nuan Nuan had guessed, was the true background of Fourth Prince Jiang Changjing.
When Duan Tingxuan first revealed the shocking secret of his fourth brother’s background, the crown prince actually collapsed from the weight of this news. He really could not accept this fact at all, ah!
Because the emperor had appointed the crown prince fairly early, there was very little turmoil within the imperial harem. The second and fourth princes were two adult brothers who had always looked towards the crown prince for leadership. This was also why Dayin Imperial family had always been so united and harmonious. It was the current emperor’s pride to have such an unusually united and happy family who valued close, intimate family relationship, something that was absolutely rare in imperial families throughout the ages.
Who would have known that a thunderbolt would appear from the vault of heavens to destroy this harmonious picture?
To have his two cousins (Duan Tingxuan and Su Dong Lou) act as spies at Jiang Nan and suffering under the unbearable humiliation (as imagined by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince) to discover the truth. To find out that there was a sleeping agent within his own brothers, with the sleeping agent tragically unaware of his own status as a traitor.
Duan Tingxuan had no words to comfort the crown prince. He sat quietly as His Highness stomped around his study, the rolls of fat on his body jiggling violently with every step. Round and round he went, round and round, jiggling around…
After a long time, the crown prince finally stopped pacing. Beads of sweat rolled down his forehead, splattering down his nose and shoulders. He made no move to wipe the sweat off his face as he turned fiercely at Duan Tingxuan, “Why aren’t you saying anything? What are you thinking about now?”
“I was just thinking that this is a most excellent exercise for Your Highness, you must have lost at least two catties of weight just now. It should be alright to eat a little more Buddha Jumps over the Wall tomorrow.”
Crown prince, “… …”
However, at Duan Tingxuan’s unexpectedly comedic answer, the fire that had been boiling in the crown prince’s stomach finally settled down a little.
He collapsed on the sofa and gasped twice, finally feeling a little stifled by the excess heat. He looked around and spotted a decorative feathered fan on the wall. He grabbed it and began vigorously fanning himself.
Duan Tingxuan frowned bitterly, “Your highness, I had a skilled craftsman especially made that with swan feathers. Even I could not bear to use it, to think you just grab it to fan yourself so vigorously… If you wanted a fan, you could have just told me, I have over a dozen paper fans here, why must you snatch my precious? With your current shape, you won’t look like Zhuge Liang  even with a feathered fan, ah.”
“Pei! Just what bad luck star is in the sky today? Any more nonsense from you and I’ll have you dragged out for the crime of disrespecting the imperial family. Humph, you just look around the imperial court, no, the whole of the civil and military officials in the Manchu Dynasty, is there any official who would dare to speak so disrespectfully to me?” The Crown Prince bristled in anger, immediately pulling up his cloak of authority as the Master of the Eastern Palace around himself, and glaring hatefully at Duan Tingxuan.
“I am merely speaking to my elder cousin, not the current dynasty’s crown prince. If I were to face the crown prince, of course, I’d observe all courtesies, ah.” Duan Tingxuan blinked innocently. Still, it was a relief to see a small smile on the crown prince’s face.
Just as Duan Tingxuan and Su Dong Lou had concluded that fateful evening at Immortal’s Range, His Royal Highness values family relationships and loves justice. Of the emperor and the crown prince, at least one of them must know of this family calamity. In the end, Duan Tingxuan chose to inform the crown prince. After all, the emperor would not be able to tolerate being cuckolded, not even by his own brother.
However, to His Royal Highness, the fourth prince was still his brother and would wish to protect him. In the end, it was not a difficult decision at all.
[Gumihou: Wu… His Royal Highness is a most excellent man, a wonderful man, ah!]
 <<Women Shouldn’t be Hard on Women>> a song by Winnie Hsin, here’s the official Music Video. There’s no English translation for the lyrics, though…
 Zhuge Liang – Seriously famous politician, military strategist, writer, engineer and inventor
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