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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter: 034 out of 513 – He loves her (1)
Marquis Moyu returned to his senses after hearing old madame’s angry voice. He pursed his lips, kneeled, and said, “This son greets mother.”
“Do you still remember that you have a mother?” Old madame’s anger wasn’t light. She pointed at Wen Wan and asked, “Did you even ask me once before marrying her?”
Ning Yuxuan lowly said, “Mother, please calm down. This son had planned to report our marriage to you after you returned.”
After saying this, he actually glanced at Ji Man.
Ji Man hurriedly hid away her glee and innocently looked at the decorative pattern on the carpet.
Marquis Moyu had been naturally talented and clever since childhood. Other than this marriage, he had never given his mother any reason to worry. Right now, there were rapid changes in the imperial household and the emperor deliberately wanted to oppress Nie Clan. Thus, she could understand why he had acted against Sangyu. But, even if she had calculated a thousand times, she would have never expected that he would welcome a woman without status into this household.
“You knew that I wouldn’t agree, so you acted first and reported later.” Old madame heavily harrumphed.
Ning Yuxuan raised his head. His eyes were full of sincerity. “This son truly loves Wen Wan. This is why I want to give her the best position.”
Old madame stared blankly at him for a long time. Wen Wan, who was still kneeling, started to cry again.
Ji Man found his words laughable, but Nie Sangyu felt as if her heart was being ripped out. Ji Man couldn’t help furrowing her brow.
Among the nobles, generals, and officials’ families, the most unspeakable word was love and the most difficult thing to obtain was sincere love. Old madame had loved Marquis Pingnan for over half of her life, but she had never said this word. And now, she was hearing the word “love” from her son’s mouth.
After she returned to her senses, old madame actually laughed. She laughed until her shoulders shook. “Xuan-er, do you know what love is?”
Ning Yuxuan kneeled with his back perfectly straight and didn’t cower the slightest bit, “This son wants to grow old with her.”
Wen Wan was extremely moved by his words. Underneath their sleeves, Marquis Moyu was gently holding her hand. She suddenly felt confident and kowtowed to old madame, “All of this blame is entirely Wen Wan’s. As long as Wen Wan can stay by the marquis’s side, whether it’s being the main wife or concubine, Wen Wan doesn’t mind either way.”
Ah, such a profoundly loving, harmonious, and affection couple. Ji Man looked at them with the cool eyes of a bystander. She felt that the male lead and female lead’s minds were completely different from everyone else's. For them, emotions could prevail over everything. The male lead’s one word, “love”, was supposed to make everything else inconsequential.
But, it couldn’t work out like that. This was a light novel about harem struggles, not a Grimm’s fairytale.
Old madame was silent for a long time. She finally said with a smile, “Look at the two of you. One is crying like a rained upon pear blossom. The other has a solemn expression and a stretched taut figure. If someone didn’t know any better, they would think of me as a malicious old woman that was tearing up a happily married couple that truly loved each other.”
Her tone had changed too quickly. Ning Yuxuan and Wen Wan both froze in surprise and looked up.
“I was just testing you. Wan-er, you also seem to truly love Xuan-er.” Old madame’s entire face softened and she indicated for Danggui and Shouwu to help the two of them to stand. In the passing, she also let Ji Man stand up as well.
“Actually, as long as you can undertake the role of marquis’s wife well, your family background isn’t especially important. I’m feeling tired. You can all leave.”
Wen Wan was overjoyed at the unexpected good news. She whole-heartedly thought that old madame had accepted her. She repeatedly kowtowed to express her thanks and pulled Ning Yuxuan’s hand to kowtow with her.
However, Ning Yuxuan’s brow didn’t relax. He only saluted old madame before taking Wen Wan with him as he left.
He naturally had a clear understanding of his mother’s character. But, seeing how happy Wen Wan was, he couldn’t tell her the truth and make her worry more.
Ji Man shrugged her shoulders. She saluted old madame and was planning on leaving the room too. However, the servant girl next to her, Shouwu, stopped her and lightly shook her head to signal for her to stay.
After the doors were closed, Ji Man gritted her teeth and kneeled down again in front of old madame. She still needed to kneel in order to have the courage to speak to her.
“Steward Qian said you changed a lot, but I hadn’t believe him.” The smile on old madame’s face faded. It was replaced by a deep sigh. “It must have been difficult for you. You use to have such a lively and straightforward personality, but it’s been grounded to dust by Xuan-er. You didn’t even cry or fuss when you heard him say that he loves someone else.”
At the mention of this, her reaction was prompt. As Ji Man bit her lip, she started to cry and sobbed out, “Old madame, I don’t want to accept this. I really don’t want to...”
That had definitely been Nie Sangyu coming out for a guest appearance. It was only for a brief moment, but Ji Man noticed her frailty.
It seemed that old madame truly cared about Nie Sangyu. Otherwise, Nie Sangyu wouldn’t have risked her life and wasted her spiritual energy to say so many words.
Her tears wouldn’t stop falling down. Ji Man also started to truly feel badly along with Nie Sangyu.
Old madame felt distressed for her. She hurriedly stood up and personally led her to sit down on the cushioned chaise lounge with her. “Silly girl, of course I know that you’re not willing. This old woman has seen how you treated Xuan-er during the past several years. You love him too much. Doing too much is just as bad as doing too little. Perhaps, he’ll understand your feelings one day.”
Ji Man shook her head. Wait until he understood? He would have already killed the secondary female character if she only waited.
“From what I saw of that Wen Wan, she’s not someone that has the ability to appear in public. In the short term, Xuan-er can repeatedly tell me that he truly loves her. But, in the long term, she won’t be able to withstand the pressure of being the marquis’s wife. In the end, that position will be returned to you.”
Old madam’s black eyes slightly sunk, “As for you, don’t act so impulsively and stir up trouble again. I heard the you barged into the palace with loose hair and that was why you were rebuked by the emperor.”
Ji Man nodded her head in shame.
T/N: I love how the author writes old madame not just as disapproving mother-in-law to Wen Wan and a tough love one to Nie Sangyu, but also as a woman that was deeply in love with a man in a polygamous society. We know that old madame loved Ning Yuxuan’s father, but I wonder if he loved her back. Does she see herself in Nie Sangyu? Right now, she’s this imposing 40 years old woman, but she was once Nie Sangyu’s age.
Also, old madame’s POV is one of the earlier hints to show the readers that Ji Man’s perspective isn’t completely right. Up to this point, we assumed that her demotion to concubine was strictly because Ning Yuxuan doesn’t like her. Now, we also know there was a political reason behind it. As the story continues, we’ll see more hints. Her perspective is very much limited to the marquis’s inner court.