T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter: 150 out of 513 – You certainly were born with a beautiful face (1)
Qi Siling felt so regretful. Why did she come over and said those words to Nie Sangyu? She had been entrusted with temporary management of the account book on the premise that Nie Sangyu had been in the confinement courtyard. After Nie Sangyu had come out, she should have returned the account book to her. However, Nie Sangyu hadn’t asked her for it and she hadn’t mentioned it. Now, her words had provoked Nie Sangyu into demanding the account book back. She had tried to gain an advantage, but had only ended up worse off.
If old madame asked her for the account book, she naturally couldn’t avoid doing so. The duck that had come to her mouth had flown away just like that.
Qi Siling decided that she would take a detour when she saw Nie Sangyu in the future.
After Ji Man got the account book from old madame, she flipped it open and started to look at it. As she looked it over, she noticed that there was something off. “Aren’t these expenses a little too high?”
Old madame didn’t care that much. “The marquis has always been generous with the spending over food and clothing. It’s only normal that the expenses are little higher than average.”
Ji Man shook her head. She brought over the account book for old madame to see. “Three hundred silver taels were used just for half a month of food. Old Madame, do you think that’s possible? The food for your courtyard is the very best and it only costs twenty silver taels per month. Where did the rest of the money go?”
Old Madame wasn’t a person that knew about the costs of daily necessities. Hearing these words from Nie Sangyu, she furrowed her brows. “How could so much be used?”
If the food for her courtyard cost twenty silver taels per month, the other courtyards naturally wouldn’t spend more than ten silver taels. Even if they added the cost of the servants, it shouldn’t exceed a hundred silver taels for half a month. If she calculated it like that, there were over two hundred silver taels missing.
“When I first took over the account book, it was the same situation. I didn’t feel comfortable bring it up at the time, so I used my own money to cover the costs.” Ji Man looked at Qi Siling and lightly smiled. “Strange. When the account book returned to Siling’s management, this happened again.”
Old madame’s gaze abruptly sharpened. She looked at Qi Siling and asked, “Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
Qi Siling kneeled down and very innocently said, “The groceries have always been purchased by the kitchen servants. This servant only records the expenses and wouldn’t dare to embezzle money.”
“Then, where did all of the money go?” Old madame scoffed. “Did you think you were this family’s matriarch just because I allowed you to manage the account book? Do you think you can use the money without permission?”
Qi Siling hurriedly kowtowed and said, “Old Madame, this servant is wrongly accused, ah. This servant swears on her life, this servant definitely didn’t embezzle any money. Old Madame, if you don’t believe this servant, you can send servants to Siling’s courtyard to search.”
Qi Siling’s maiden family wasn’t poor. There was no reason for her to be this lacking in money. No, Wen Wan was the person that would need money. She had a gambling father that had always been like a bottomless pit for money. More likely than not, Qi Sling had taken this money to give to Wen Wan. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have such a good relationship with Wen Wan.
Although she had these thoughts, she couldn’t say them aloud. Ji Man closed the account book and seriously said to old madame. “It’ll be hard to manage the household if there isn’t a system of checks in place. In the future, how about have different people buy the groceries each time? As for the missing two hundred silver taels when Siling was managing the account, if Siling can prove to Steward Qian that three hundred silver taels worth of items had entered the warehouse in the past half month, then everything is fine. If she can’t prove it, then she can just pay back the money. What do you think?”
Qi Siling’s face looked extremely bad. She kept her head lowered and stayed silent.
“What? Are you not willing to agree to this method?” Old madame angrily said, “If you want me to decide, then I’ll have Xuan-er give you a separation letter for daring to manage the account book like this. Once you’re driven out of this residence, the matter will be done with.”
“Old Madame, please calm down,” Qi Siling hurriedly said, “This servant will go to Steward Qian and properly check this matter.”
Old madame harrumphed and waved her hand to indicate for Qi Siling to leave the room. She turned her head to look at Nie Mingjie, who had been watching the show, and said, “Mingjie, look at these women. In the end, it’s only people from our own family that set my mind at rest.”
Ning Mingjie was sitting next to old madame and filially peeling lychee for her. The sight of clear lychee juice dripping down his slender, long fingers made Ji Man stare blankly for a while.
“Old Madame is right.” He stretched his hand out and fed a lychee to old madame.
Old Madame’s expression immediately improved. She laughed and said, “At least you’re obedient. Looking at how Xuan-er has been behaving, I’m almost angered to death.”
Ning Mingjie glanced at Nie Sangyu, then he quietly said, “Mingjie actually feels that the marquis is a person that does major things. One can’t bother with trifles when he’s out to accomplish important matters. Old Madame, there’s no need for you to feel fretful.”
Hearing someone praise her son, old madame would definitely feel happy. She still harrumphed a few times before talking about daily household matters with Nie Sangyu and Ning Mingjie.
Marquis Moyu and Wen Wan were both in Qiangwei Courtyard.
Wen Wan was standing in a cluster of flowers. She pouted and acted cutely spoiled, “Paint a painting for me too.”
She was probably still thinking about the peony that he had painted in the garden a few days ago. The third prince had even said that he had captured Nie Sangyu’s essence. Wen Wan was very unhappy over this and insisted that he paint a painting for her too.
Standing in front of the numerous blooming flowers, Wen Wan resembled a snow lotus flower. She didn’t have a peony’s glamorous beauty, but she looked pleasantly fresh and pure.
Ning Yuxuan picked up a brush. From her beautiful, thick hair to the bottom of her skirt, he painted very carefully. But, he hesitated when he started to paint her face.
The smiling woman in front of him looked very beautiful, but his thoughts wandered to someone else. When he had returned to his senses, the woman in the painting didn’t resemble Wen Wan at all.
Shocked, he hurriedly crumpled the paper.
Wen Wan looked very confused.
He smiled at her and said, “It didn’t look good. I want to start over.”
Wen Wan wasn’t suspicious of him.
The crumpled paper ended up quietly lying in Marquis Moyu’s sleeve. He repainted the smiling beauty in front of him.
Wen Wan was satisfied when she saw the completed painting. She thought that the issue over the painting had ended.