Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter: 015 out of 513 – Household punishment of five-rods thick rattan (1)
Their actions seemed rather like they were catching a thief. When Ji Man was taken to the main room in the courtyard, she was slightly at a loss.
“Why are you in this courtyard?” The man, who was sitting in the center seat, had a very ugly expression. When he heard the servants report the situation, his eyes seemed as if they were trying see through her deception.
Ji Man didn’t raise her head. She was more curious about another question than explaining why she was here. “Why were you looking for me?”
The confinement courtyard was a place where people rarely went. Logically, no one should notice even if she wasn’t there. No matter, wasn’t it strange that a large group of torch-holding servants would be looking for he?
In Ning Yuxuan’s ears, these words signaled that she was refusing to repent. His expression immediately sunk and he said, “Nie Sangyu, you’re still under confinement. Not only did you leave the confinement courtyard without approval, you were also sneaking around Qiangwei Courtyard’s back garden’s woodshed. What were you planning on doing?”
Ji Man opened her mouth, but before she had time to speak, someone came into the room.
“This concubine greets my lord. This concubine heard that the person has been found.” It was rare for Mu Shuiqing’s voice to sound so gentle and soft. She kneeled down next to Nie Sang Yu and saluted.
Ning Yuxuan raised his hand and said, “You can rise.”
“Thank you my lord.” Mu Shu Qing slowly stood up. Ji Man’s knees hurt from kneeling, so she stood up along with her and rubbed her knees.
Marquis Moyu was so angry that his face seemed almost green. “I told her to rise, not you. Continue to kneel!”
Of course, Ji Man knew that he wasn’t saying she could rise too. She was just taking advantage of the situation to rub her knees for a bit. Ji Man didn’t show the slightest resistance. As she kneeled down again, she secretly arranged her clothes to pad her knee area slightly more.
Wen Wan was sitting next to Ning Yuxuan. After waiting for Marquis Moyu to finish expressing his anger, she finally softly persuaded, “My lord, you should at least let her finish speaking first.”
Ning Yuxuan furrowed his eyebrows and looked at her, “She came here in the middle of the night. What else could she possibly be up to?”
Ji Man wanted to roll her eyes, but she still had to explain in a nice tone of voice, “Muxu hadn’t returned after she went out in the afternoon. This servant saw that the sky was dark and was worried that something might have happened to her. So, this servant came out to look for her, but ended up getting lost.”
Next to her, Mu Shuiqing quietly called out, “Lost?” She looked as if she was very surprised. Feeling that this might be lacking in manners, she immediately looked at Marquis Moyu and said, “This consort was impolite.”
Ning Yuxuan’s expression was very ugly, but the corners of his mouth showed a mocking smile. “Have you been confined for too long? You can’t even think of a good excuse? Nie Sangyu, you entered this residence six years ago. Is there even a single brick or tile that hasn’t already been tossed around by you? Now, you’re actually saying that you were lost. Out of all the possible places, you came to Qiangwei Courtyard’s back garden while being lost?”
Qiangwei Courtyard was the courtyard for the main wife. Nie Sangyu used to like qiangwei, so she had the servants plant them everywhere in this courtyard and named this place Qiangwei Courtyard. Wen Wan didn’t dislike flowers either, thus the flowers had remained here.
(T/N: Qiangwei is a flower in the rose family that’s native to China. Below is a picture.)
Ji Man secretly pinched herself. How could she have forgotten that Nie Sangyu wouldn’t have gotten lost in Marquis Moyu’s residence? She should have used a different reason. But, if she changed her to answer to say that she had accidentally come here, even she wouldn’t believe these words. Since she had chosen to climb over the wall and into this courtyard when the servant had passed by, she wouldn't be able to defend her innocence even if she had a hundred mouths.
“Regardless if this marquis believes this or not, this servant really came here accidentally.” Ji Man sighed and gave up on resisting.
Ning Yuxuan coldly harrumphed. Wen Wan also didn’t say another word. On the side, Mu Shuiqing waved her hand and Banxia led another servant girl into the room.
“Older sister Sangyu said she was looking for her servant girl. This was true. This servant had borrowed Muxu to help Banxia peel melon seeds. But, it was only for two hours. This servant didn’t except that older sister would get so anxious that she would start looking for her. Didn’t you use to frequently beat Muxu until she was mass of bruises?”
Muxu was pushed to the ground. She hurriedly went behind Nie Sangyu, properly kneeled, and quietly called out, “Master.”
Ji Man raised her head to glance at Mu Shuiqing. She lightly said, “This servant is now living in the confinement courtyard. Muxu is my only servant girl. Master Shuiqing, you even had the free time to send Banxia over to tell me to embroidered handkerchiefs for her. Why do you still need to borrow my servant to peel melons seeds for you?”
Mu Shuiqing’s smile froze. She checked Ning Yuxuan’s expression from her peripheral vision. Seeing that he didn’t have the intention to support Nie Sangyu, she freely smiled again. “Borrowing a servant girl is a small matter. Older sister, you should first explain to the marquis why you secretly went to Qiangwei Courtyard’s woodshed.
At the mention of the woodshed, Ning Yuxuan’s brow furrowed again. He looked at person kneeling on the ground, “Nie Sangyu, you’re still the same. I thought you had turned over a new leaf during the past few days. But, your malicious heart is still the same. It’s not enough that you tried to harm Ling-er, now you want to harm this marquis’s wife?”
In his eyes, he probably saw Nie Sangyu as a lunatic, the type of person that would start a fire if she saw a heap of firewood. Ji Man didn’t know what had happened in the past for Marquis Moyu to look at Nie Sangyu this way. But, she hadn’t even been holding a torch in her hand. What was the meaning of mentioning the heap of firewood? Was he going to falsely accuse of her wanting to burn Wen Wan to death?
“This servant hasn’t done anything. If the marquis wants to convict me of a wrongdoing, you have to provide a reason.” Ji Man calmly said, “If there’s a suitable reason, this servant will willing accept the punishment.”
Ning Yuxuan slightly narrowed his eyes. “Are you thinking that since I don’t have evidence, I can’t convict you?”
Ji Man didn’t speak.
“Very good.” Marquis Moyu angrily smiled, “No one saw you doing anything wrong, but you escaped from the confinement courtyard and entered Qiangwei Courtyard without permission. Do you admit to these two things?”
Ji Man nodded, “I admit it.”
Behind her, Muxu trembled. There was a hint of sobbing in her voice as she said, “Master…”
“If you admit to your wrongdoings, then you have to be punished.” Ning Yuxuan paused before saying, “Are you willing to be punished?”
(T/N: During the first half of the novel, I would recommend not viewing Ning Yuxuan as the male lead. I included a spoiler in the comments below to show why.)