The Feast – 291 – Mother’s Milk is the Best

The Feast – 291 – Mother’s Milk is the Best

Chapter 291: Mother’s Milk is the Best

 

Translated by Gumihou

Edited by Onionpi

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The nursemaid sobbed, “Ever since this one was selected as the nursemaid for the little master, Madam has never let me feed him with my milk. Our master said that… that it’s because Madam dislikes me that- that I was not really called in to serve, but to be bullied…”

“Tell your master to go die.”

This angered Su Nuan Nuan so much that she tucked the child in one hand and pulled the maid up with the other. Sternly, she said, “Enough, don’t listen to whatever that transvestite male is telling you. Believe me when I say that I am not ignoring you. A child grows up better when he has his mother’s milk. Listen to me now, once you get home, kick that useless husband of yours a few times. How dare he not show any trust in his wife? Trash like that deserves a beating.”

“Nuan Nuan, please calm down. You should also be more understanding of other people’s circumstances, ah. Aren’t they just a little bit terrified? You can’t blame them for misunderstanding. After all, it’s rare for a nursemaid to be this idle.”

The little marquis quickly came over to soothe his wife. Then he turned to the nursemaid and said, “Your Madam is just a little angry, don’t take her words to heart.” Heaven pity us all, ah, thought the little marquis: The number of people who have ‘Touched Ink’ are growing. Because of Nuan Nuan, the feminine rights situation at An Ping Estate is particularly unique, and to be honest, he would rather not have this kind of limelight on his house, ah.

“How could I not be angry? The people outside all call me a violent shrew. But you know the truth, am I really a shrew? Can Xu Ran Yun and Xue Zhi Lan blame me for their fates? Even Concubine Jiang is sinking into Buddhism. I… I can’t wash off this reputation even if I jump into the sea. After managing to achieve this bit of happiness, after all that hardship, the people here still dare to think that I’ll mistreat the servants for no good reason. Am I the boss of a black company [1]? You tell me, aren’t I more wronged than Dou’e?”

Su Nuan Nuan cried as she ran over to Duan Tingxuan. The little marquis quickly did his best to comfort her, “The commoners outside will always ‘Believe there’s Rain when They Heard the Wind’[2]. Those mediocre people are just jealous. Who ask my Nuan Nuan to be so capable and amazing? Even men had to hide their heads when they come in contact with your glory. If you become angry over such little things, you won’t be able to live well. Don’t worry, when I have some free time I will go on a patrol. If I find anyone speaking badly about you, I shall beat them up. I, your husband, from the time I was a child have never been prone to bullying others. However, for the sake of my wife, I will do it.”

“Wu! Surely… there’s no need to do that, ba? People will say that the little marquis is henpecked, and is going around outside beating up people to ease his own feelings. It will all end up being my fault anyway. Who knows, I might even pick up the reputation of having ‘Driven my husband to murder’. Why go to such lengths? Enough, enough, let’s just ignore it.”

Duan Tingxuan, “… …”

[Pu chi!] the nursemaid could not help but giggle at this. She thought: Drive my husband to murder? Madam sure is brave to just say that out loud. Just what kind of person did she imagine the master is? A wild wolf?

“Enough, go home and feed your son. Don’t forget to sort out that useless male trash in your house. Beat him up if need to.”

Su Nuan Nuan did not forget to give some ‘encouragement’ to this nursemaid of hers. When the nurse finally left and Duan Maozheng had already eaten his fill, Su Nuan Nuan stood up to walk around the room, patting him on the back until he burped. When the little guy hiccupped twice, she smiled and said, “Well, the weather looks very nice today. Why don’t we go and pay a visit to the Old Madam at the North Court? It’s been quite a long time since she had last seen Zheng’er.”

“Good plan, this husband agrees.” Duan Tingxuan laughed heartily as he accepted the plump and white little child into his arms. After kissing the warm, downy cheek, the three of them went down the steps and made their way towards the North Court.

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“Hou, although this Buddhist Hall of yours is not large, it’s very decent and peaceful. No wonder you’re not willing to leave once you’ve entered.”

The Buddhist Hall within the An Ping Estate was built on the west side of the main garden. Its position was rather remote, comparable to the once-isolated Mei Yue Lou.

The courtyard was very small. Apart from the three main buildings, there were three smaller buildings linked through a series of small covered corridors. The largest room in the middle building has a large statue of the Bodhisattva [3] inside and was meant for worship. The east building was where the sleeping quarters were located. Aside from a large kang bed in the rooms, there were also a few simple, but well-made furniture around. The west building has a Luo Han Couch [4], fitted with a small kang heater at each end. To make it more comfortable, a soft cotton rug had been placed over the seat. Right now, Su Nuan Nuan and Concubine Jiang were both seated on this couch.

In Su Nuan Nuan’s hand was a set of child’s clothing. The women were chatting idly as they sew clothes together. Concubine Jiang let Nuan Nuan lead the conversation. When they reached this topic, she smiled, “The world of man is fleeting and filled with abstract things. How could I find time to rest there? To be able to snatch a shred of peace in this Buddhist Hall is so rewarding. One only has to sit for a while and be attracted by its wonderfully tranquil scenery. Ah, but if one stays too long, even peace becomes suffering. Madam, please don’t think too much of it.”

Su Nuan Nuan’s hands stopped, she looked up and said, “If that is so, why won’t you come back?”

Concubine Jiang started, and finally realized her error. With a forced smile, she said, “This lowly one is used to the peaceful life.”

“What’s this about getting used to a peaceful life? I was just saying that you’re still in the prime of your life, how could you be used to this kind of life? Have you really cultivated yourself to this point? After coming here for a few times, I can tell that you’re just faking it. Well, I’m afraid you’ve been exposed, so why don’t you just tell me the truth. Just what is going on? For you to force yourself to stay in this, has someone frightened you to the point that you’re hiding yourself away like this?”

“No, no, of course not. Madam, please don’t misunderstand.” Concubine Jiang panicked, and she quickly stood up. Su Nuan Nuan smacked the table next to her and stood up as well. The First Madam paced back and forth before the couch before stopping to yell, “Don’t want me to think about it anymore, huh? Well, why don’t you tell me the truth, then? In the past, you’ve always been so respectful and honest, but now you dared to hide things from me.

I’ve known there’s something not right all along and came here for answers today. No… that’s not right. No one in the inner court could force you to hide away in this hall and cultivate yourself. The only person who could do this is Duan Tingxuan, am I right? It has to be him, who else would dare force you to stay here?”

After the explosion, Su Nuan Nuan calmed down and sat on the couch again. In a low voice, she said, “You tell me the truth now. Why are you here? Does it have anything to do with Xu Ran Yun’s death?”

Bitterness filled Concubine Jiang’s heart, but she dared not say anything. Duan Tingxuan was determined that Su Nuan Nuan should never know about this matter. As for herself, she did not wish to cause the First Madam any distress. But, how could she speak the truth? Moreover, she was fearful that once First Madam knows the truth, she would hate her. More importantly, she might even spurn Chuan’er.

However, Su Nuan Nuan refused to give up. She tapped her fingers against the tabletop before saying, “I had always thought that something was not quite right on that day at Autumn Rain Pavilion. However, I just can’t put my finger to it. Till the end, Xue Zhi Lan refused to admit to the crime of harming Xu Ran Yun. I had always thought that was very curious… could it be possible that there is something I still don’t know? Also, for the Lord to arrange for you to stay here…”

When Su Nuan Nuan reached this point, Concubine Jiang realized that she could no longer hide the facts from Su Nuan Nuan. She sighed and said, “Madam, that Madam Lan has gone quite deranged. While it is pitiful, at least she is not the type to run around screaming and crying. She stays quietly in her courtyard with maidservants to look after her. This one believes that it would probably be best to move her here and let me take care of her. Though she has Long Yan to look after her, she’s only one maid and might need assistance.”

 

[Gumihou: Er, Concubine Jiang, what are you planning now?]

 

[1] Black Company – a corrupted company that mistreats its employees

[2] Believed There’s Rain when They Heard the Wind – Believed in rumours

[3] Bodhisattva – Guanyin or Goddess of Mercy

[4] Luo Han Couch

 

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