Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter: 172 out of 513 – Reassigning the servants after the Lantern Festival (1)
Old Madame looked at Nie Sangyu in surprise.
Ji Man straightened her back, but she didn't dare to meet the old lady's gaze.
Marquis Moyu silently looked at Nie Sangyu before turning his head and ordering Guibai to scoop the bottle out of the pond. He also sent other servants to Feiwan Courtyard's back garden to examine the dead fishes.
After the bottle that had contained the poison was scooped out of the pond and the fishes were dissected and examined, it was confirmed that the bottle had fallen into the pond. The conclusion was that the fishes had bitten off the cork on the bottle and poison spilled out into the pond. The diluted poison had eventually killed some of the fishes. By the time everything was settled, six to eight hours had already passed.
Listening to this overly methodical analysis, Ji Man wanted to laugh. But, since this inspection proved that she was 100% innocent, she still put on a grateful expression as she watched the people perform their procedures.
Since the poison didn't come from this household, then how did Wen Wan get poisoned? And, who had poisoned her? Marquis Moyu ordered people from the Ministry of Justice to investigate this matter. Although it seemed that he was taking this matter very seriously, he knew that he wouldn't find the true culprit. He was just putting on a show for Wen Wan's benefit.
Surprisingly, it was Wen Wan that suggested, "My lord, since this matter has nothing to do with the people in this household, there's no need for you to continue pursuing this matter. Wan-er still has her life. Let bygones be bygones. If there are people that really want to harm Wan-er, they'll eventually make a mistake and reveal themselves."
The matter had already caused the household to degenerated into a complete mess, but Wen Wan had waited until now to say these words. Ji Man just smiled and refrained from commenting.
Marquis Moyu told the people from the Ministry of Justice to stop their investigation, but he kept Wen Wan company for several days in a row.
Once again, the male lead and female lead had reconciled and their relationship returned to a harmonious one. Although Wen Wan had become a servant girl, she received the marquis's favor night after night. The servants had astute eyes and naturally didn't treat Wen Wan as if she was an ordinary servant. If there was any work to do, it wouldn't be given to her to do. She even had servants fawning after her.
From this point of view, her life as a servant girl wasn't any worse than her life as the main wife.
It would soon be this dynasty's equivalent of the Lantern Festival. It was similar to the Spring Festival in modern times, but it happened about a month later. Every residence would become decorated with lanterns and colorful ribbons and everyone would visit their relatives.
Since Nie Sangyu was the marquis's main wife, Ji Man spent a large sum of money to decorate the marquis's residence. However, only a few of these expenses were recorded in the account book, which led to Old Madame praising her for being talented at financial management. Old Madame's vocal praise for Nie Sangyu caused Qi Siling to be ashamed and unable to calmly sit in front of the other women.
As Ji Man accepted the praise, she thought; it was naturally impossible for her to have bought these expensive items for the same amount of money it would have taken to buy cabbages. She had actually paid for most of these items with her own money. However, since she had plenty of money and didn't have any other use for them, she might as well use this money to make her life more comfortable.
On the first day of the celebrations, the crown prince and his consort were the first ones to pay a visit to the marquis's residence. Marquis Jingwen would be returning to his fiefdom after this holiday was over, so the crown prince's visit could also be considered as coming here to see him off.
Ji Man didn't know when this had happened, but Wen Wan seemed to have become much closer to Ning Mingjie. Ning Mingjie currently had his head lowered to speak with Wen Wan in the outside courtyard and his manner looked quite gentle.
In the end, he was the deeply affectionate supporting male character. Perhaps, it was inevitable that he couldn't resist his fate of being attracted to the female lead. And yet, Ji Man couldn't help feeling a pang of disappointment. She thought about that concealed daffodil painting and let out a small sigh.
Whatever, it wasn't worth thinking about. She couldn't have any lingering feelings for this place anyways, so she might as well concede that person to Wen Wan.
As Ji Man comforted herself with these thoughts, she walked inside and greeted the crown prince and his consort.
As always, the mere sight of Zhao Zhe made Ji Man feel annoyed.
Seeing Nie Sangyu entering the room, Zhao Zhe smiled and said, "Sangyu, I haven't seen you in a while. You've become even more beautiful and captivating."
Ji Man couldn't resist silently scolding him. He was addressing her so intimately as if the two of them were close enough to share a leg. How could he think this was a good idea? His wife was sitting right next to him
The crown prince's wife, Shen Youqing, was from an aristocratic family, so she was very poised. Instead of showing her true feelings, she smiled at Nie Sangyu and said, "It can't be helped that the crown prince is always praising Madam Ning. Madam Ning, you're a rare beauty that also has elegant temperament."
"Your Highness, you're overpraising me. This servant can't even be compared in the same sentence as the princess consort. It would be like comparing a star to the bright moon."
Shen Youqing covered her lips and smiled. "Look at you. Your mouth says such sweet words. It's alright. We only came here to join your family dinner. The propriety customs don't have to be observed so rigidly. It's okay to relax a bit."
Ji Man made a sound of agreement.
Wen Wan appeared from behind and stepped forward to bring a cup of tea to the crown princess.
Ji Man wondered where this prop had come from. She hadn't seen Wen Wan holding a tray with tea before she came inside.
Looking at the crown princess's slightly surprised expression, Ji Man waited for her to speak.
The crown princess had acted as the nominal matchmaker for Wen Wan and Marquis Moyu. Wen Wan's demotion to the position of a servant girl was unavoidably embarrassing for the crown princess.
After the crown princess accepted the tea from Wen Wan, she looked at her and said, "This consort has already heard about Wan-er's matter. You must be feeling very wronged. Fortunately, it seems that the marquis still favors you greatly."
Wen Wan furtively wiped away a tear before putting on a smile. "This servant failed to live up to the crown princess's expectations and kind regard."
The crown princess shook her head and sighed. It was unclear what she was sighing about.
The dishes for the family banquet had already been placed on the table. Shortly after, Old Madame came into the dining hall as well.
Ji Man sat down in her seat. For today's meal, she was the only women in the marquis's harem that had the right to sit down. All of his other women had to stay standing and assist in adding food to the bowls.
Wen Wan stayed standing behind the crown princess. Once the dinner started, she obediently added food to the crown princess's bowl from the center plates.
Ji Man chewed with her mouth closed and didn't say much during this meal.