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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 202 – Solicitude for the common people (1)
Yes, she did have an ulterior motive in involving Liu Hanyun, who Marquis Moyu had secretly been protecting. But, when in Rome, do as the Roman do. She didn’t have any allies in this harem, and it was difficult for her to execute any plans.
Fortunately, she hadn’t chosen the wrong person. Even after wearing slightly more glamorous clothing and expensive jewelry, Liu Hanyun’s eyes were still clear. She didn’t go around causing trouble. Other than going over to Old Madame’s place to pay respects each day, she didn’t leave Linghan Courtyard. She even sent over some snacks to Feiwan Courtyard to express her thanks.
Marquis Moyu also stayed over in Linghan Courtyard for a couple of nights. He always remembered and felt grateful towards Liu Hanyun for saving his life. Therefore, he wanted to help her by ensuring that her new position was stable. She was no longer safely at the edges.
Liu Hanyun normally had an unobtrusive presence. Now that she had suddenly been promoted to an honored concubine, Qi Siling was furious. Nie Sangyu had promoted Liu Hanyun right after she punished her with washing her dress. Wasn’t this just a deliberate attempt to be at odds with her?
Swinging her handkerchief and holding a few gifts, Qi Siling started walking over to Linghan Courtyard to “greet” Liu Hanyun. On the way there, she saw Muxu and her servant girl, Luqiao.
Muxu hadn’t received much favor since being promoted to a concubine and still had the demeanor of someone that came from a commoner’s family.
Luqiao was indignantly saying, “No matter what, you came into this household with Madam. It’s really baffling that Madam would choose to promote Mistress Yun instead of you.”
Hearing these words, Qi Siling’s resentfulness immediately dissipated. Smiling like a Cheshire cat, she walked over to them and said, “Ah, so it’s Muxu. Did you come here to see the new honored concubine?”
Since becoming a concubine, Muxu hated when other people addressed her by her first name as if she was still a servant girl. Unfortunately, she couldn’t afford to offend Qi Siling. She could only salute her and said, “Mistress Ling, this servant hopes you’re doing well.”
Qi Siling helped her up from her saluting position and sighed. “When I heard that Madam was promoting someone to an honored concubine, I thought it would be you. I didn’t expect that it would Mistress Yun. She’s not close to Madam at all.”
Muxu pursed her lips. Her expression didn’t look very good. “It’s up to Madam to decide who she wants to promote. Even if other people are unhappy about her choice, there’s nothing they can do about it.”
Qi Siling shook her head and said, “Alas, perhaps, Madam still remembers and resents you for stepping on her back in order to climb up. Does it matter that you’re a concubine now? Your status is still low, and you’re not favored at all.”
Muxu stiffly stood in place.
Qi Siling looked at her with sympathetic gaze for a while, then swung her handkerchief and resumed walking to Linghan Courtyard first.
Two months after the outbreak of smallpox, the epidemic had finally started to slow down. The imperial physicians had figured out a way to treat smallpox and had the various pharmacies provide the medicine to the common people.
Ji Man sent servants outside to inquire about the situation and found out that many people had died outside of the capital. However, the Heavens had been kind to Ning Errong. She had already recovered from smallpox, and it would only take about a month for her smallpox marks to fade away. Nie Qingyun had already bought her back to Nie Residence. After this episode, the relationship between these two people should have grown stronger.
Marquis Moyu had also arranged for medicine to be distributed outside the capital. Using the crown prince’s name, he collected medicine to help the common people. Not only that, he also had a congee stands set up next to the medicine distribution spots and gave extra food to the families that had lost members to smallpox. He also sent medical specialists over there to take care of people that were seriously ill.
As a result, the popularity of the crown prince suddenly increased among the common people. Ning Yuxuan’s popularity campaign was truly done very well. He didn’t spend too much money, but the crown prince had received a lot of public praise. When the time was right, he used a few scholars to plant a certain idea amongst the common people. Thus, the common people seemingly voluntarily wrote letters to express their gratitude towards the emperor for his vast and powerful benevolence, as well as the crown prince’s solicitude for the common people.
Therefore, when the third prince was energetically fighting for power, the crown prince’s popularity rose. After the smallpox epidemic ended, there were elderly that needed support, orphans that needed to be raised, and bodies to be burned.
The emperor left the palace and went out into the capital for an inspection tour. To his surprise, he saw the common people had constructed a shrine for himself and the crown prince. They had gathered here today to kneel and shout, “Long live the imperial family!”
Being worshiped like this by the common people, how could the emperor not feel overjoyed? The emperor had originally been a little biased in the third prince’s favor, but seeing the popular sentiment during this trip, his favoritism was swayed over to the crown prince. After returning to the palace, he heaped piles of praise onto the crown prince in front of the third prince and the rest of the imperial court. He also returned the phoenix seal to the empress and praised her for raising her son well.
Ji Man couldn’t resist sighing. Marquis Moyu had truly put on a good show. The third prince had won over the hearts of the officials, so Ning Yuxuan had helped the crown prince win over the hearts of the common people. Not only did he do that, he had used them to delight the emperor.
Even if you beat her to death, she wouldn’t believe it was possible for the common people to take initiative to plan out this series of events. Ning Yuxuan had done his good deeds under the crown prince’s name. Why would the average people think they should also express gratitude towards the emperor? They wouldn’t have been clever enough to know that they should make a statue of the emperor to avoid him feeling jealous.
Moreover, Ji Man felt distressed just looking at the estate’s large amounts of expenditures. Was there any chance that the crown prince would be reimbursing these expenses?
Since the emperor had praised the crown prince, then the activities for helping the common people naturally had to continue. However, Marquis Moyu had to turn his attention to fighting for power in the imperial court.
He tossed the account book to her and gently said, “You’ve done such a good job with managing the household’s accounts, so I’ll handle over the matter of managing the various congee and medicine stands to you. Just take the money you need from the estate’s general funds.”
Ji Man blinked and pointed at her belly. Didn’t pregnant women in ancient times not have to work and only needed to rest at home to make sure the fetus would be okay? Why was he giving her so much work?
Marquis Moyu smiled, stroked her bulging belly, and said, “Just think of it as accumulating virtuous merit for our baby.”
Ji Man seriously considered his words. Ning Yuxuan was naturally a very wicked person, and this child had half of his genes. So, it was only natural that this baby needed to do more virtuous things to make up for its father’s misdeeds. Otherwise, the Heavens might punish her baby just because of its connection to Ning Yuxuan. And so, she nodded in agreement.
Translator Ramblings: The first time that I read this novel, I thought Ji Man was being really selfish in dragging Liu Hanyun into her mess. Hanyun was already really nice to her without asking for anything in return, and she just wants to be left alone. But, can I blame her for being selfish when she’s trying to stabilize her position because she’s worried about protecting her baby?
Plus, even if Ji Man intellectually acknowledges that Liu Hanyun’s life philosophy is morally superior to hers, on a gut level, Ji Man doesn’t understand Hanyun’s perspective of choosing to not want revenge or even something as basic as yummy food because those are things that Ji Man thinks everyone wants. She does thinks that she’s improving Liu Hanyun’s life for the better.
That’s just my thoughts. What do you guys thinks?