Chapter 269: Branch Family Gossip
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Vinisha
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Shi Yurou glared resentfully at Su Nuan Nuan, “Sister-in-law, I know I was wrong in the past and offended you. However, have I not been perfectly respectful and solicitous to you for a long while now? Can you not at least pretend to pity me? I’m fine if you just fake some sympathy for me, surely there’s no need to show just how obvious you are at ‘Taking Joy in Other’s Misfortune’?”
“Oh? Is it that obvious?” Su Nuan Nuan rubbed her cheeks. “I thought my acting was quite well done.”
Shi Yurou was so stunned by this remark that she was struck silent for a long time. Suddenly, she shook her head and snapped, “Pei! Your smile almost reached your ears, still have the cheek to say that your acting is well done?”
“Just be happy that I only let my feelings show on my face and did not stab you with my words.” Su Nuan Nuan laughed heartily.
Shi Yurou’s voice was a little faint, “Your expression is enough to hurt people.”
“Nonsense, no matter what, the power of speech trumps the impact a face makes.” Su Nuan Nuan said gravely. “For example, if I were to say ‘sister-in-law, why are you so unhappy? Come and tell me so that I can take delight over your misery, ah.’ If you hear me say this, how would you feel?”
Shi Yurou, “… … I want to spit up blood.”
“Exactly, didn’t I tell you that words are more hurtful than any kind of expression one could make?” Su Nuan Nuan laughed again. “Moreover, I haven’t even asked Hong Lian and Xiang Yun to bring me some melon seeds, snacks and tea. So, what do you have to be unhappy about?”
“Just… what has snacks and melon seeds got to do with what we’re talking about?” Shi Yurou asked cautiously. She knew, in her hearts of hearts, that she was probably better off not knowing, but curiosity made her ask anyway. Sometimes, people just couldn’t help themselves and knowingly walk into a trap.
“Do you even need to ask?” As expected, Su Nuan Nuan gave her the ‘You’re such an idiot’ eye roll before chuckling, “The melon seeds and tea are snacks that restaurants would often prepare for the customers whenever there is a play going on. Imagine just how satisfying it is to listen to a play while drinking tea and cracking open melon seeds with your teeth.”
Shi Yurou: … very well, it looks like she had guessed right. There was no real benefit to asking after these kinds of questions.
“Sister-in-law, don’t look like that. I’m in the wrong. I know I’m in the wrong.” Su Nuan Nuan said, worried that her source of gossip would just get up and stomp away.
Shi Yurou was not one to let go of an opportunity to guilt-trip someone either. After a long silence, she gave a painful sigh and muttered something unintelligible under her breath. When Su Nuan Nuan thought she was about to reveal why she was here, Shi Yurou looked up and said honestly, “I used to belittle sister-in-law’s hypocritical attitude and looked down at you with disdain. However, now that I thought about it, I had been very wrong. I believe that the hypocritical sister-in-law of the past had been very cute and gentle. This new, honest and straightforward sister-in-law makes me want to call up a few people to kick her shins for being annoying.”
Su Nuan Nuan: “… … so, you’ve also decided to reveal your true self? As expected, the truth is really unpleasant to the ears, ah.”
The two ladies glared at each other for a moment, before bursting out with laughter. Both ladies laughed heartily together, seemingly for no reason at all. When Su Nuan Nuan finally managed got herself under control, she found that Shi Yurou was still hunched over, tears of laughter rolling down her cheeks. Speechless, she thought: Surely this Branch Lady’s laughter point is too low? Did she really have to laugh so exaggeratedly like this?
After a while, Shi Yurou was finally able to control herself and she took out a handkerchief to wipe her eyes, “How nice, ever since I understood how the world works, I haven’t laughed so much. Now that I have laughed, the melancholy in my heart seemed to have lifted. I feel so much lighter. No wonder Concubine Jing and Jiang were subdued by you. Even elder brother is completely enamoured by you and worships the very ground you walk on. Sister-in-law is clearly a very brilliant person.”
Su Nuan Nuan yawned, “I always thought you’re too gloomy. It turns out you haven’t had a good laugh in your life. This is quite unfortunate, you must remember that laughter keeps you young. No matter what happens, we must all live our life. Rather than planning schemes against other people, or go around with a faint sneer on your face, why not let yourself be happy? If you continue to furrow your brows all day, day after day, do you think anyone would sympathize with you? Surely even you know that’s very unlikely, right? Especially in large noble houses where deceit is wielded by all behind the gates. If you don’t find a way to make yourself happy, no one would care about you.”
Though Su Nuan Nuan ended up rambling a lot, the basics of her message hit Shi Yurou in the heart. The Branch Lady lowered her head, as though deep in thought. Suddenly, she looked up with a wide smile, “Sister-in-law is right, in the past, I was the one in the wrong. Since you look a little tired, I shall not bother you anymore. Please excuse me.”
With that, she immediately stood up and rushed off, leaving Su Nuan Nuan to stare at her disappearing form in a daze. It took her a while to recover and shouted, “Aiya! You! How dare you say go and just go away, ah? At least tell me what sent you over here to hide in my place first, ah. After whetting my appetite for gossip like this, how could you just slap the dust off your bottom and leave like that? Isn’t this too mean of you?”
Hong Lian popped her head in to see what the commotion was about. She smiled when she heard the end of the rant and said, “The Branch Lady has already left, who are you scolding now?”
“You’re right, this is pointless.” Su Nuan Nuan muttered disagreeably to herself. “The next time we see her, close the door behind her and release The Zhao Cai. I won’t be satisfied until she’s properly tormented by our guardian.”
Hong Lian covered her lips and had to swallow a couple of times before saying, “Very well, if Missy wish to know what happened to the Branch Lady, this maid has already found out from Gui Zhi. Apparently, Madam Min used the excuse of Second Lady not having any children to arrange for the Second Master to take in a distant niece of hers as a concubine. The Branch Lady is extremely vexed by this development.”
“Why would she be vexed by this? I have two secondary wives squatting at the main house and I’m not vexed by them.” Su Nuan Nuan felt that this reaction was very odd for a local era woman. “Besides, your Second Young Master isn’t the sentimental type, is he? Didn’t he have a few bed companions of his own?”
Hong Lian smiled, “Is Missy alright? After all, how could a few low-level bed companions be compared to a niece of Madam Min? The lives of these women are in the hands of the Branch Lady, they live and die at her leisure. If any of them offended her, she could call a slave trader in and sell them off. How could she do the same to the niece of Madam Min? Moreover, she would marry into the house as a concubine, but what if she gives birth to a son? Naturally, her status would be elevated to that of a secondary wife. No matter how amazing she is, the Branch Lady would not be able to continue as she has anymore. Madam Min is not as good-natured as our Elder Madam. Otherwise, she would not have come over to Spring Breeze Court to hide.”
“I see.” Su Nuan Nuan finally understood the reason behind Shi Yurou’s odd behaviour and sighed. She shook her head and said, “Looks like Madam Min’s memory is too short. Has she completely forgotten why Duan Tingye and his wife could put pressure on the main branch? Isn’t it because the master spent most of his time working outside and neglected his inner court? If not for his big nest of main wife, secondary wives and concubines fighting and causing trouble. Would they even have the opportunity to strike at us? However, now that the whole of the main house is under my control, she couldn’t find any cracks in our defences. If she could not understand this basic principle, she has no business dabbling in inner court schemes.”
Hong Lian smirked, “There’s no need for Missy to bother yourself with other family’s business. After all, the Branch Lady is not someone easily dealt with. Just let them quarrel. The more they quarrel, the more peaceful our place would be.” Said Hong Lian as she tucked Su Nuan Nuan into bed and help her pull up the thin covers.
Su Nuan Nuan smiled, “That’s right, there’s no need to bother with outsiders. I only need to worry about my own family. By the way, do you get the feeling that Matron Liu is hiding some resentment against me?”
[Gumihou: Uh oh, Shi Yurou stay strong!]
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