Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter: 014 out of 513 – The conflict won’t end (2)
Ji Man heard their discussion from inside. She walked to the doorway, looked towards the courtyard’s entrance, and called out, “Muxu.”
“Master.” Muxu ran back to her in a few steps. Her feet were shaking in anger as she stood next her, “They’re bullies!”
Ji Man looked at the servant girl that was standing at the courtyard’s entrance. Her gaze was probably too severe and threatening. Banxia retreated half a step in fear before she remembered her master’s words. The young servant girl mustered up her courage again and said, “Greetings, Master Sangyu. This servant has already brought over Master Shuiqing’s order. The marquis has also said that this household doesn’t support idle people. Since you don’t need to serve the marquis anymore, then you naturally have to do something else.”
Publicly and secretly, she was ridiculed for losing favor and becoming useless. This was why a servant would dare to order her around.
Ji Man snorted and laughed. Her hand was still holding a handkerchief that she had recently finished embroidering. She asked Mu Xu, “Muxu, how’s your master’s embroidery skill compared to the capital’s number one embroidery store’s embroideress?”
Muxu accommodatingly said, “Perfect down to the finest detail. After master’s handkerchiefs were given to madam, madam doesn’t even use the ones sent over by the embroidery store anymore.”
Ji Man nodded. “And how much does a handkerchief embroidered by an embroideress from the capital’s number one embroidery store cost?”
Banxia’s face was slightly green.
Muxu glanced at Ban Xia before replying, “Three silver taels each.”
“Okay, three silver taels it is. The materials to make the handkerchiefs are provided by the estate, so I’ll just count my work as two silver taels.” Ji Man smiled as she nodded her head.
She looked at Banxia and said, “Since Master Shuiqing likes them, I’ll give her a discount. I’ll only charge her one silver tael per handkerchief. Bring the money over and I’ll embroider her as many handkerchiefs as she wants.”
Banxia gaped. She looked at Nie Sangyu for a long time without say a word. She pointed at this pair of master and servant for a moment before turning around and walking away.
Muxu happily said, “Master, you’re amazing.”
Ji Man waved her hand, “If Mu Shuqing was an honored concubine, I would have embroidered handkerchiefs for her without saying a single word in protest. Mu Shuqing has the same status as me and still wanted to bully me. If she complained to someone higher up, there won’t be a good consequence for her.”
Muxu’s smile froze. She looked left and right before pulling Nie Sangyu inside. She closed the doors and said, “Master, don’t forget. Master Shuiqing was given to the marquis by the crown prince. Although she’s only a concubine, the marquis won’t punish her unless he has a good reason.”
Crown prince?* Such a formidable supporter? Ji Man was speechless with amazement. She had thought only Nie Sangyu had a formidable background. As it turns out, there was another hidden person. No wonder Mu Shuqing behaved so arrogantly. So, this was why no one had scolded her when she had spoken before an honored concubine at the wedding. She had the crown prince as her background supporter.
* T/N: (There was probably a mistake by the author in chapter 3? Ji Man shouldn’t know that Mu Shuqing was given to the marquis by the crown prince until this chapter.)
However, what was there for her to be afraid of? A silver tael for a handkerchief, it would be fine even if Mu Shuqing told other people. The marquis’s household didn’t support idlers? Nie Sangyu’s work was worth more than five silver taels and five coins a month. She accepted that she had to embroider two hundred handkerchiefs for free, but there was no way she would give any additional handkerchief as a free gift.
There was no need for Muxu to worry. Right after Ji Man put down the two handkerchiefs she had finished today, she started to prepare. “Go ask Aunty Zhao for a few, clean, never used before pots and a small, portable stove.
Muxu acknowledged her order, then she turned around and ran out of the courtyard.
Ji Man had already planned out her next move. According to the novel’s plot, after the old madam came back, Nie Sangyu would be freed from the confinement courtyard. Then, Nie Sangyu would do one thing after another until she caused her own death sentence. However, Ji Man didn’t want to die. She wanted to continue to happily live. And so, the most important thing was to establish good relations with other people and settled down to get on with the pursuit of a happy life.
Nie Sangyu had committed many wicked deeds in the past. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have provoked so much annoyance and dislike. Then, how should she try to fix past wrongdoings and win over people so that they would let go of their resentment towards her?
It was easy enough for the servants. Other than money, it was more money. Give them more benefits and all past hatred would be gone. Aunty Zhao was an example of this success. However, the honored concubines and ordinary concubines wouldn’t be so easy to deceive. She would have to put forth a lot of effort to win them over.
Women seem to only care about two things: appearance and men. Although she had only seen Marquis Moyu once, Ji Man didn’t have even the slightest bit of good impression towards him. The female lead definitely thought this man was extremely wonderful. Unfortunately, she was the second female lead. The second female lead had and would continue to suffer terribly because of the male lead.
Although she didn’t know how to fight for favor, she not only wouldn’t fight for favor, she wanted Marquis Moyu to dislike her, dislike her to death. The more that Marquis Moyu disliked her, the more likely she would be able to survive.
As for appearance, she wanted to do an experiment. If it succeeded, she would at least be able to ensure a minimal survival.
However, after Muxu left, she didn’t come back for two hours. Ji Man sat inside the room and waited for her. She saw that the sky would turn to night soon, but there still wasn’t any movement outside.
She couldn’t continue to keep sitting. Ji Man opened the doors and walked two steps outside. She thought of the marquis’s household’s rules. The person under confinement wasn’t allowed to go outside; otherwise she would be punished according to household’s laws.
But, she was completely alone without support. If something happened to Muxu, she would really be doomed. She couldn’t care about anything else. She had find Muxu first. It would be the best if she didn’t disturb the people above her.
With these thoughts in her mind, Ji Man kept close to the foot of the walls and slipped out of the confinement courtyard. But, she didn’t recognize any of the paths. She went left, then right. When she saw other people, she didn’t dare to ask them any questions. She sneakily walked for a long time until she got herself lost.
In front of her, there was a pretty good courtyard. Ji Man stood by the back garden’s woodshed and thought about looking for an excuse to ask a servant for Steward Qian’s location and have him order people to look for Muxu. This would better than if she kept blindly wandering around to search.
However, just after she had decided to flip over the wall and leave, she suddenly heard the sound of many chaotic footsteps behind her. The sky was dark and torches had been lit.
A servant at the head of the group saw her in the back garden and yelled out, “She’s over here!”
(T/N: A few people have asked/commented on why Ji Man doesn’t get divorce. This will be explained later in the story. But, if you want to know now, I wrote it in the comments below.)