Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter: 173 out of 513 – Reassigning the servants after the Lantern Festival (2)
After dinner, the crown princess left the room with Wen Wan to have a private conversation with her. The crown prince, Ning Mingjie, and Ning Yuxuan went to take a stroll around the garden.
Feeling bored by herself, Ji Man randomly walked around the residence.
The woodshed, that Wen Wan had previously been confined in, had become a holy site for many of the servant girls. A lot of them would come here and light incense sticks in hopes that they would be as blessed as Wen Wan in receiving the marquis's affections.
When Ji Man passed by the woodshed, she saw a few servant girls kneeling in front of the woodshed's doorway and muttering prayers.
Based on her years of experience from reading light novels, Ji Man believed that the servant girls would know more gossip than any other group. Besides, she didn't have anything better to do. And so, she hid behind the wall to eavesdrop on their conversation.
"Stupid girl, you were muttering too loudly before. I heard everything that you said." After the servant girls had finished making their wishes, they started mutually teasing each other. Laughing, a slightly older servant lightly pushed the servant girl next to her. "With your looks, how can you have any hopes of attracting Young Master?"
The younger servant girl blushed, but she wasn't willing to accept defeat. "Look at Wen Wan. Hasn't she been sentenced to be a servant for the rest of her life? And yet, she was still able to get Young Master to come over here to visit her a few times while she was confined here. Since that's true, then I should have a chance to become Young Master's concubine and fly up socially."
"Dream on." Another servant girl laughed. "I just want to be the marquis's bed servant."
"Then, you should learn from Muxu. Climb up socially by stepping on your master's back." The oldest servant girl sniggered. "We're the lowest ranking servants. It'll already be wonderful if we can leave this back courtyard and serve the masters directly. It's pointless to dream about changing from magpies into phoenixes."
The group of servant girls started jokingly poking each other again.
Finding this conversation boring, Ji Man decided to leave. But, right before she started walking away, she heard a clear voice ask, "Why is there a lit incense burner here?"
Ji Man turned her head to look. A servant girl wearing purple robes had come over. She looked like she was a servant from an honored concubine's courtyard, but Ji Man didn't know who her master was. Ji Man hadn't seen her before.
The three servant girls immediately became well-behaved. They put away the incense burner and sweetly called out, "Older sister Ah Zi."
It was just a gathering of servants. There wasn't much to see. Ji Man yawned and resumed walking. However, before her mouth had closed from her yawning, she heard the oldest servant girl solicitously ask, "Didn't the crown princess come over today? Older sister Ah Zi, why didn't you go over there to serve her?"
The crown princess? Ji Man stopped yawning and went back to crouching in her original position.
Ah Zi said with a smile, "I'm here because I was thinking about you guys. Here, the crown princess bestowed a box of snacks to me. These snacks were made in the palace kitchens. I especially brought them here to share these snacks with the three of you."
The three servant girls were extremely happy. As they called out, "thank you older sister", they reached into the box for the snacks.
Ji Man considered what she had just heard. Wen Wan was from an ordinary family. Her entire dowry had been given to her by the crown princess. The crown princess had even sent over several servant girls as part of Wen Wan's dowry. However, Wen Wan only used Tanxiang as her personal servant girl. This Ah Zi seemed to be one of the crown princess's people. She had probably been sent over here as one of the dowry servants.
After Ji Man quietly left the area and returned to Feiwan Courtyard, Dengxin rushed over to report that Wen Wan and the crown princess were talking inside the side room.
Ji Man only smiled and ordered Dengxin to bring a plate of snacks from the kitchen.
Then, carrying the plate of snacks, Ji Man started walking over to the side room.
Seeing Nie Sangyu coming over, Tanxiang went inside to inform the crown princess.
By the time Ji Man entered the side room, she was greeted with the warm scene of the crown princess sitting and Wen Wan standing by her side.
"Wen Wan only recently recovered from her illness. She shouldn't stand for too long." Ji Man said with a smile, "The crown princess isn't an outsider. Wan-er, you should sit down to talk."
Wen Wan glanced at her and timidly shook her head. "It's fine. This servant will continue standing."
Ji Man's words clearly had another meaning as she said, "Oh, you're always so stubborn like this. It really makes me feel distressed for you. Why are you doing harmful things to yourself? Go on, sit down. It's not easy to snatch a life back from death."
The crown princess looked at Nie Sangyu and smiled. "Madam Ning, you're much more kind-hearted than rumored. This consort had been worried that Wan-er was suffering grievances. But now, this consort can see that Madam Ning is protecting her and this consort was worrying for nothing."
"How could I dare let Wen Wan suffer any grievances? She's the marquis's beloved. If even the tiniest of mishaps were to happen to her, the marquis would be overwhelmed with distress."
After putting down the plate of snacks, Ji Man continued, "It won't be good for me to intrude on the crown princess's conversation with Wan-er, Sangyu will leave first."
Shen Youqing nodded. She watched as Nie Sangyu left the room, then she sighed and said, "Wan-er, look at her. She's several levels above you. How can you think she's a person that you can easily deal with?"
Wen Wan raised her head. The previously displayed weak and delicate demeanor was completely gone. She clenched her jaw and said, "Your Highness, you can't say for sure that I'll lose to her! I'm still the only person in Yuxuan's heart!"
"You can't rush things," Shen Youqing said, "Show that you know your place for a while. Your future path will be considerably easier to walk than hers."
Wen Wan calmed down, took a deep breath, and solemnly nodded.
Holding a brush, Ji Man leisurely asked Steward Qian, "Tell me, what are the names of Wan-er's dowry servant girls. Wan-er isn't feeling well right now. It'll be better if I replace some of the people in my courtyard with her previous servants so that she has them to serve her. This way, the marquis won't blame me for not doing a good job with taking care of Wan-er."
Steward Qian didn't find anything suspicious about these words. He handed over the list of Wen Wan's dowry servant girls to Nie Sangyu.
That night, Ji Man replaced her courtyard's lowest ranking servant girls with Wen Wan's dowry servants. She also requested Ah Zi to be transferred to her courtyard from Honored Concubine Xue's courtyard.
Translator Ramblings: What do you guys think Ji Man is planning?