T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter. I’m feeling too tired today, so I’ll translate and post an extra chapter tomorrow instead of today.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter: 176 out of 513 – A woman's cheap tricks (1)
Ah Zi as well as the other servant girls were terrified. They hurriedly knelt down and kowtowed, "Old Madame, please calm down. We didn't say those words with malicious intent..."
Errong harrumphed. "If you can say those type of words when you don't have any malicious intentions, then what will you be capable of if you have malicious intention? Old Madame, you definitely can't tolerate the presence of these servants. They've already climbed onto top of their master's head. Are the rules of what's right and wrong going to be completely thrown out the window?"
The four kneeling servant girls trembled.
Ji Man didn't have any intention of helping them. She had gathered them together so she could get rid of them in one swoop like gathering garbage into a bag before throwing it out. Today, they had practically thrown themselves in front of a shooting range. She wouldn't even have to do anything now.
"Danggui, fetch their servitude contracts and have take them away." Old Madame's tone was harsh with no wiggle room.
Behind them, the other servants heard Old Madame's orders and started dragging these servant girls away.
When Ah Zi was being pulled passed Nie Sangyu, she grabbed the edge of her skirt. "Madam, please show mercy! Please spare this servant!"
Ji Man lightly pulled her skirt away and directed a slight smile at her as she said, "Sorry, I'm a Scorpio."
She wasn't stupid enough to show mercy to someone that was walking on a different path than her.
Ah Zi clearly didn't understand what her words meant. After she blankly looked at her for a moment, another servant pulled her away.
Standing behind Nie Sangyu, Tanxiang slightly trembled. Perhaps, this trembling was because of fright or anger. Regardless, she was definitely glad that she had followed Nie Sangyu here. Otherwise, she would have been dealt with in the same way as those servant girls.
In a somewhat apologetic one, Old Madame said to Nie Xiangyuan, "Sorry for letting you see this embarrassing sight. I'll assign more sensible servants to Sangyu's courtyard."
Nie Xiangyuan nodded. "Old Madame, you've always favored Sangyu. With you protecting her, this old one doesn't need to worry."
Gancao and Dengxin went to fetch the boiling water. Danggui prepared the tea.
The group of people returned to Sangyu's outer room to sit down and continue talking. There was easy conversation and laughter. The mood was quite good.
Ji Man thought; as expected, your own maiden family was different. Her problem had easily been resolved by their visit. Now, she just had to wait to see how Wen Wan would react when she came back and saw that almost all of her helpers had been taken away. Would she still be able to maintain her well-behaved, docile act?
Old Madame had been the one that personally caught these servant girls in the act of speaking badly of their master. The princess consort probably wouldn't have the face to come here to plead on their behalf. Ji Man had started feeling suspicious since the crown princess's visit during the Lantern Festival. Did Wen Wan's sudden change have something to do with the crown princess? However, she didn't have any evidence. She couldn't just go up to her and ask, "Where's your household's supply of that slow-acting poison? Did you use it up? Had Wen Wan used the trick of injuring herself to gain the marquis's sympathy?"
Although this likelihood was very high, this guess was useless without evidence. It would be a better use of her time to cut off the connecting lines between Wen Wan and the crown princess. If it really was the crown princess that was secretly giving Wen Wan advice, then let's see how she would direct Wen Wan's actions without those servant girls.
As Ji Man savored the new spring tea, she waited for Wen Wan's return.
However, even after dinnertime had come, Wen Wan still hadn't returned.
Feeling worried, Ning Yuxuan sent servants to the guards at the entrance to ask several times. They only said that they had had seen Wen Wan leave the residence at noon and hadn't seen her come back yet.
Although Doufu wasn't close to the marquis's residence, two hours would be more than enough time for a round trip.
It was rare for Marquis Jingwen and Ning Mingjie to come back here to visit their relatives, so Old Madame had decided that the whole family would eat together for dinner too. However, because of Marquis Moyu's unpleasant expression, they had only been sitting at the table and hadn't started eating yet.
Seeing Nie Xiangyuan slightly furrowing his brow, Old Madame raised her chopsticks and said, "Let's eat now. Sangyu had cooked all of the dishes tonight. I'm sure you'll like it."
Ning Errong felt somewhat uneasy, but she picked up her chopsticks too. "It looks pretty good."
Marquis Moyu continued to silently look at the doorway.
Ji Man picked up her chopsticks and added some food to his bowl. She lightly said, "My lord, you don't need to worry. You've already sent people outside to look for her. You should eat some food first."
Ning Yuxuan's face didn't have even a hint of a smile. He didn't even glance at Nie Sangyu in response. The food stayed untouched in his bowl.
Ji Man twitched her lips. Whatever, if he didn't appreciate her effort, then she wouldn't bother with him either.
"The last time that Sangyu cooked was during the Southern Trip." Ning Mingjie seemed to be in a pretty good mood. He smiled after tasting the food. "The ingredients are better than the previous time, so this food naturally tastes even better than last time."
Ji Man glanced at him and lightly smiled. "It's good as long as Young Master likes it."
The female lead seemed like she might be in danger, but the secondary male character was praising the secondary female character's cooking. Wasn't this inconsistent with his role as the secondary male character? No matter what, he should have rushed out to look for the female lead in order to display the contrast between his steadfast feelings and the male lead's fickle feelings.
Ji Man quietly let out a deep sigh. Compare to herself, who was doing her best to fulfill her duty as the secondary female character, Ning Mingjie was really being quite irresponsible in his duties as the secondary male character.
As the group of people half-heartedly ate dinner, Nie Xiangyuan was clearly not happy. Fortunately, Marquis Jingwen was old friends with him and persuaded him to play a game of chess. Thus, a confrontation between Nie Xiangyuan and Ning Yuxuan was avoided.
With a dark expression, Marquis Moyu continued sitting in the main hall. From time to time, he would glance at Ning Errong.
Errong was starting to feel uncomfortable because of his frequent looks in her direction. In addition, she had been the one that ordered Wen Wan to go out to buy her snacks. And so, she hid behind Nie Qingyun and stayed silent.
Translator Ramblings: After I read Ji Man's silent critique of Ning Mingjie's lackluster performance as the secondary male character, I imagined a nonsensical cartoon where chibi-sized Ji Man is an A+ student that's giving Ning Mingjie remedial lessons in how to be a secondary male character and profusely gesturing at her child-sized chalkboard. While Ning Mingjie is just lured here by the idea of study-date and Ji Man's promise of snacks personally made by her.