Chapter 265: Overbearing Bully
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Vinisha
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Rong’er was so frightened that her legs turned soft and she collapsed into a kneeling position. Her entire body shaking with fear. Though she knew that Xu Ran Yun had pulled the trick to deliberately find fault with her, she dared not defend herself. Instead, she kept bowing and apologizing, “This maid is blind and stupid. This maid is too blind and stupid. Madam Yun, please spare this one, ah.”
“Blind and stupid? You’ve clearly bumped into me deliberately.” Xu Ran Yun laughed coldly, taking delight in Concubine Jiang’s white face, she said loudly, “Feng Xian slap this evil harbouring maid in the mouth. Slap her until she confesses her sins.”
“Madam Yun, your words are too strange. What is there to confess? It’s just a little accidental bump, surely there’s no need to treat it as though there’s some mastermind pulling strings behind such a common occurrence? I really can’t understand the purpose of masterminding such an inane thing. What good would bumping into Madam Yun do? It’s not like Madam is expecting, surely your body can’t be so weak as to break from a little bump, right?”
No matter how angry or aggrieved they are about being mistreated like this, social conventions dictated that Concubine Jiang had no right to resist. As for Concubine Jing, though she might be the one who officially managed half of the inner court, her background limits her influence. She could only raise objections and give suggestions, but not order these ladies about.
She could not give orders to them, but Concubine Jing was so disgusted by Xu Ran Yun’s way of using her status to bully others that she could not resist leaving a couple of barbs at the end of her remarks. As she held Concubine Jiang’s hand, she could feel the other trembling. Her thoughts flew back to the time when this woman had risked her life and reputation by throwing herself and her son before Old Madam to frame Su Nuan Nuan. She was really afraid that Concubine Jiang would do something rash at this moment.
Surely this was why Xu Ran Yun was behaving so provocatively? No matter the reason, a concubine attacking her former mistress would not have a good ending. Even if the An Ping Estate does not investigate the matter, Xu Ran Yun’s maternal family would not let the slight go without punishment. Within this large noble estate, there were very few people who would be as sympathetic to Concubine Jiang’s plight as Su Nuan Nuan. Even Duan Tingxuan probably would think that a mere concubine would not be worth picking a fight over against an earl family.
“A pleasure house woman like you dare to mock and ridicule me too?”
When Xu Ran Yun suddenly turned her ire at Concubine Jing, eyes blazing with hate, Concubine Jing went limp and feigned a frightened look as she quickly waved her hand, “What’s this, Madam Yun? This concubine… this concubine is just speaking the truth. Has this one spoken wrongly? If this one is wrong, would Madam please punish.”
“Don’t think that just because you have First Madam behind you that I can’t have you taken care of.” Xu Ran Yun’s eyes gleamed ominously.
Concubine Jing’s frightened expression cleared up just as quickly as it appeared, she rose to her full height and was as unmovable as a stone statue as she said mildly, “Madam Yun is right. Without First Madam, you would have been able to destroy me with just a little finger. How lucky that this concubine still has First Madam to give me justice.”
“Sister, enough. What’s the use of going down to the level of these people?” Xue Zhi Lan reminded her from the side. Xu Ran Yun said, “No, I must drive out this cheap slave. Now that I’ve lost power, not only has she abandoned my side but she still harbours evil intentions against me. Why don’t you think about what kind of trash you are? You think I can’t have you taken care of whenever I like?”
Concubine Jiang could not stand it anymore. She was about to say more when Concubine Jing reached out to block her. Concubine Jing said with a mild smile, “Madam Yun, though the Marquis of An Ping Estate is rich and noble, but from the Old Madam down to us secondary wives and concubines, when have we ever practised cruelty over our servants? Rong’er has been with Concubine Jiang for six years, if you wish to have her beaten without reason, isn’t that a little improper?”
“What is that? Are you saying that my status has fallen so low that I don’t even have the right to punish a maid?” Xu Ran Yun flew into a rage. Concubine Jing remained neutral, neither servile nor overbearing as she said solemnly, “It is not that Madam cannot punish her. But a large estate has a lot of people working in it, rules are set to prevent disputes. As the saying goes ‘Without Laws there are No Limits’. If you wish to punish your personal maids, outsiders would turn their eyes away. However, the rules for punishing maids from other courtyards are different. If a maid from a different courtyard has offended you, you must still bring up the matter with her mistress to have her punished.”
Though a good half of the estate was under Concubine Jing’s management, she also realised that she was acting biased on behalf of the First Madam. But, what of it? Within this estate, not even the Branch Lady dare to offend First Madam, even if she dared to offend First Madam, there was no way she would make a move on Xu Ran Yun’s behalf and offend the First Madam.
Rong’er was Concubine Jiang’s maid, and Concubine Jiang was now one of the people within First Madam’s courtyard. Therefore, Rong’er belonged to Spring Breeze Court. However, her status was too low compared to an earl’s daughter like Xu Ran Yun. Without Su Nuan Nuan, not even the combine influences of Concubine Jiang and Concubine Jing would be able to pressure Xu Ran Yun. Therefore, they could only borrow the strength of the ‘Estate Rules’ to get out of this situation.
Just then, as Concubine Jing finished speaking, they heard Shi Yurou’s from behind them, “What’s all this? What are you all blocking this garden path for?”
Concubine Jing immediately made way for Shi Yurou, pulling Concubine Jiang with her. She approached Shi Yurou and, with a smile on her face, told her what just happened. When Shi Yurou had shared the duties of managing the inner court with Xu Ran Yun, the two of them had struggled endlessly in the shadows for power, so her enmity against this woman should still be there. Moreover, she was in a position to wish to curry favour with Su Nuan Nuan. Naturally, Shi Yurou has no real love or liking for Su Nuan Nuan, but the enemy was just too powerful, so she could do nothing but lower her head. How could she like or respect an overbearing woman like this?
That’s right, the Branch Lady had been seething over the ache in her neck from keeping her head lowered all this while. However, the large amounts of money her husband kept bringing in worked wonderfully as a salve for the ache. Eventually, the pain had dulled with time and more silver. In fact, one could say that most of her pains had been soothed away by the joy of money.
Putting on a patronisingly righteous expression, Shi Yurou smiled gently at Xu Ran Yun and said, “You’re already an adult, surely there’s no need to kick up a fuss over a little thing like this? Sister-in-law Yun, you’re a daughter of an earl there’s no need for you to lose your dignity for the sake of a lowly little maid, right? It’s not worth it at all. Furthermore, now that First Madam is expecting, it’s best not to disturb her too much. She has already exhausted herself in the first three months of her pregnancy and though she’s quite recovered now, it’s not good to ruin her mood.
Just a few days ago I brought a little problem to her and was immediately reprimanded.
No, I should say I was very badly scolded by First Madam. When Old Madam heard about it, instead of being sympathetic to my plight, she advised me to have pity on the poor new mother. After all, First Madam got pregnant at such an advance age after so much trouble, I really cannot take the matter to heart. If you absolutely insist on punishing Rong’er and angered her to the point that she storms into Autumn Rain Pavilion, I cannot help you either. Not only that, but others would say that you’re not broadminded and wish to pick petty fights with First Madam at such a sensitive time. Tell me, are you sure this is all worth it?”
“Just when did Rong’er became First Madam’s maid?” Xu Ran Yun still hadn’t let go of the anger in her heart. Her eyebrow twitched and she barked out a laugh, “If it’s First Madam’s maid who would dare to even contradict them, ah? I might even have to salute them when I next see those servants. Who in this estate did not know that the entire place is under the great First Madam’s thumb now? Who would dare offend her? However, this Rong’er brat, just when did she start serving First Madam? Sister-in-law, please don’t think that just because I no longer manage the estate that you can just fool me, ah.”
“Aiya, how could I?” Shi Yurou’s smile became even more splendid as she drawled. “Though she did not serve the First Madam, she’s still one of Spring Breeze Court’s maids, ah. These past few times when I visited Spring Breeze Court, I often saw Concubine Jiang coming in to show First Madam some little clothes she had made. When Hong Lian or Xiang Yun was busy with one thing or other, Rong’er was the one who poured the tea and bring in the trays.
Dear Madam Yun, though she is not First Madam’s maid in name, she must be one in her heart. If I had not come across this little tiff, would I have bothered myself to investigate? However, now that I’ve already seen and investigate, I could only blame myself for being nosy and suffer this dilemma with you. If both sisters-in-law felt that my little words are not good enough, there’s no harm seeking Elder Madam’s assistance and beg her to seek justice for you. I’m sure, as long as Elder Madam gives the order, even if First Madam is reluctant, she would still give face to Elder Madam. Well? Don’t trouble me anymore, please.”
[Gumihou: Lol, Shi Yurou you’re so hilarious and practical!]
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