Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter: 018 out of 513 – Eternally classical cold cream (1)
Ji Man had seen Marquis Moyu’s attitude towards Nie Sangyu. It would almost be a fantasy to change his mind and get him to fall in love with Nie Sangyu. Ji Man pulled a long face as she looked at the crying person sitting on the ground. Her voice was low as she asked, “Were you planning on trapping me here forever and that’s why you mentioned a wish like this one?”
Nie Sangyu raised her head and stretched her hands towards Ji Man to show her something. Ji Man didn’t understand her intention, but when she lowered her head to look, she noticed that Nie Sangyu’s hands had already become somewhat transparent.
Nie Sangyu didn’t explain whether or not Ji Man had guessed her wish correctly. She turned around and slowly disappeared into the smoke without saying another word.
Ji Man furrowed her brow. She didn’t understand what Nie Sangyu was trying to say. But, Nie Sangyu had already left and there was nothing she could do about it.
When she woke up, she still felt burning pain on her back and couldn’t move. Ji Man inhaled and exhaled the cold air twice before quietly calling, “Muxu.”
Muxu had already brought water inside the room. Seeing that she had awaken, she hurriedly went to her bedside, “Master, don’t move. Whatever you want, let this servant get it for you.”
Ji Man was lying on her stomach and her chest felt very uncomfortable by the pressure, but she really couldn’t move her body. She could only painfully ask, “How long until I can move around freely again?"
“The ointment given by Madam has a pretty good effect. I asked Doctor Li. He said that you’ll be bedridden for three days because of these injuries.”
She had to lie on her stomach for three days? Ji Man let out a mouthful of gassy air. She considered for a while before asking, “I still don’t understand. How did they know that I left the confinement courtyard yesterday?
Muxu turned her head to glance outside before saying, “Master, have you forgotten? Liu Mama lives right outside. The marquis sent her here to watch you. If you leave the confinement courtyard, they'll naturally find out.”
So, there was something like that. Ji Man gritted her teeth. There hadn’t even been a hint of this previously. How could have known that Liu Mama was a spy? If she had known this earlier, she would have climbed over the wall instead of walking out through the front entrance. At any rate, she was getting better at climbing over walls.
She had already been beaten to this state and didn’t have any other methods. Luckily, that Marquis Moyu still had some degree of humanity. Knowing that she was seriously injured, he said that she didn’t have to embroider handkerchiefs during the next two days.
Really, she had to thank his whole family.
Even though she wasn’t embroidering handkerchiefs, there was still dinner. Aunty Zhao had done her work well after accepting her money. Muxu didn’t even have to get their meals. Aunty Zhao sent a young servant girl over here with their dinner along with the items that Ji Man had previously requested and the pot that Muxu had been looking for.
Dinner was two small side dishes and soup. The soup was surprisingly bone broth. Liu Mama furrowed her brow after glancing at the food.
The young servant girl cleverly said, “Since Master Sangyu’s body is weak and she was also punished according to the household’s laws, Madam ordered us to show more care. The kitchen servants simmered the marrow bones left over from making lunch to make her broth.
As a result, Liu Mama didn’t have any suspicions.
Original translation is from fuyuneko dot org. If you’re reading this elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
After Muxu finished feeding Ji Man dinner, Ji Man impatiently said, “Open that bag.”
The bag was neither big nor small. The young servant girl had been able to bring it into the room by hiding the bag under her skirt. Muxu curiously opened the bag and saw two packages of beeswax, a jar of almond oil, and a few jars and containers.
“Master, why did you want these things?”
Ji Man faintly smiled, “It’s for an experiment. I read about a recipe in a novel before. There shouldn’t be a product like that here. Let’s test it out for the time being and see if we can successfully make cold cream.
Master had recently been using words that she didn’t understand, but Muxu understood the last part, “What’s cold cream?”
“You apply it to your face and the cream will make you face whiter and softer.” Ji Man slightly moved and cold sweat appeared on her forehead again from the pain. She clenched her teeth and said, “I can only rely on this to change my fortune.”
Muxu still didn’t quite understand, so Ji Man ordered her, “First, go outside, pluck all of the osmanthus flowers in the courtyard, and bring them back inside.
This cold and cheerless courtyard naturally didn’t have any expensive flowers. Plus, it was autumn. The only flowers that she could use were osmanthus flowers.
Muxu swiftly completed her order and brought back a basket of osmanthus flowers.
Lying on a pillow, Ji Man instructed, “Fill the pot over there with a little bit of water and dump all of the flowers into the pot. Cook the flowers with lid on.”
Muxu did as she said. Once the pot full of osmanthus flowers had been simmered into a liquid, she poured them into the clean jars and sealed them up.
“Next, warm up the beeswax, but keep it separated from water.” Ji Man looked at the sky. Before the sky darkened, they should be able to produce a sample.
Compared to the dense skincare products made with lead that were available in ancient times, cold cream was naturally much better. The cost to make it also wasn’t expensive. It was just slightly complicated to make it and each batch might not be successful. As a modern day person, she should have a cheat. She had already previously thought about this. Cold cream was her only choice if she wanted to appeal to a woman’s desire to improve her appearance.
After the beeswax had melted, Ji Man had Muxu pour the almond oil into the melted beeswax. Finally, the osmanthus flower water was poured in. It was only a small pot, but it was very fragrant.
Muxu’s eyes were glimmering as the pale yellow liquid became denser and creamier. By the time she had finished listening to Ji Man on how much of each ingredient to add and blew out the fire, this item had already finished becoming a lovely cream.
“Remove the cosmetics from the containers on my dressing table, wash those containers, and use them to hold the cold cream.”
“Understood.” Muxu quickly carried a pile of the boxes out. Ji Man touched her face and gritted her teeth. She would have to act as a human guinea pig for those women.
The small pot of cold cream was enough to fill five large containers and three small containers. Ji Man sighed. It was only because Nie Sangyu had a lot of cosmetics. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have had enough containers. The cold cream was still slightly hot, so Ji Man had Muxu leave them on the table to cool off. She would check on them tomorrow.
T/N: Here’s a recipe for homemade cold cream https://www.organic-beauty-recipes.com/galen-cold-cream. This type of cream was very popular in China during 20's to 40's. There's even a much more detailed recipe for cold cream on Baidu (Chinese wiki.)
Someone in NUF’s spoiler thread mentioned they were confused with what Ji Man is trying to achieve. I interpreted her actions in this chapter and following chapters as procrastinating. Ji Man continues her original goal of improving her living conditions and her relationships with everyone else except Ning Yuxuan because she doesn't know how to fulfill Nie Sangyu's seemingly impossible wish yet. She would rather focus on work because that’s what she’s good at it. What do you guys think? This is just my interpretation.