T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter. Sorry for the late chapter. I'll be post Sunday's chapter later today.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 220 – I know what you did (1)
Ji Man had always felt that the relationships between people were very simple. They were based on mutual interdependence. As for those frequent songs that extolled the wonderful feelings that existed between people… if everyone had those feelings, why was it worth praising?
The imperial noble consort was leaning on her cushioned couch and holding her younger son that was now old enough to babble. With a gentle gaze, she said, “Sangyu, this consort has always felt that you’re a sensible child.”
Whenever someone wanted you to do something that you didn’t want to, they would always start the conversation with words of praise. This would make the rest of conversation go more smoothly.
Sitting neatly by the imperial noble consort, Ji Man obediently answered the question that she knew the consort wanted to ask, “Sangyu knows what aunty wants to talk about. But, Chenyu’s matter isn’t Sangyu’s intention. It was the marquis that made this decision. Aunty, you can see that with Sangyu’s current figure, it’s impossible for Sangyu to be in the marquis’s good graces. So, how could it be possible that Sangyu has anything to do with the marquis giving my younger sister a difficult time?"
The imperial noble consort slightly furrowed her brow. After thinking for a while, she said, “Your words do sound reasonable. Chen-shi came by and complained about her grievances for a long time. This consort couldn’t just send her away. After all, she’s been with your father for a long time.”
Ji Man smiled. Nie Sangyu’s mother had died a long time ago too. As for the mystery of why she had a sudden attack of a serious illness that killed her, it remained unsolved even now. As time passed, it naturally faded from most people’s immediate concern.
She knew that the only thing that gratified Nie Sangyu was that although Chen-shi had been the main wife for many years, her father’s heart still only had her mother. In the main courtyard, the portrait of Nie Sangyu’s mother had never been taken down.
This was probably a sore point for Chen-shi and why she had never treated Sangyu well.
“Anyways, Chenyu and me are sisters. If there’s anyway that Sangyu can help her, Sangyu will definitely do my best.”
Seeing how fair and reasonable Nie Sangyu was being, without any hint of resentment or jealousy, the imperial noble consort thought she was truly very reliable. But her body…
It really was a pity.
That midwife had been her servant and had caused Sangyu to fall into her current state, but she didn’t know when her allegiance had been switched to someone else. However, her status was too noble, so she naturally couldn’t apologize to Sangyu. Right now, it seemed that Chenyu was more useful than Sangyu. And so, as their aunt, she hoped that they would mutually help each other.
After exchanging a few more words and bestowing Sangyu a few items, the imperial noble consort allowed her niece to leave.
After Ji Man returned to the residence and was walking back to Feiwan Courtyard with Gancao, she saw a flurry of servants rushing towards Xuesong Courtyard.
Gancao went over and stopped a servant to ask, “What happened?”
“Mistress Xue ate something that set off an old illness. The marquis is furious. He sent the servants to bring doctors over,” The servant hurriedly replied and sprinted away right afterwards.
Qian Lianxue? Ji Man raised her eyebrows. Didn’t she always keep a low profile and stayed out of earthly affairs? How could something have happened to her?
“Come, Gancao. Let’s go over there and see what’s going on.”
Ji Man still remembered that Old Madame had told her that Qian Lianxue wouldn’t harm her. But, for an inexplicable reason, she felt that there was a connection between this woman and the disappearance of her child.
Just as they reached Xuesong Courtyard’s entrance, they met Muxu.
Seeing Nie Sangyu, Muxu hesitated for a moment before coming over and saluting. “Madam.”
Ji Man asked, “Why did you come here too? Shouldn’t you be staying in your courtyard and resting?”
Muxu’s gaze was shifty as she said, “This servant heard that the marquis would be here, so this servant wanted to come here…”
Ji Man pursed her lips. After Muxu became a concubine, she no longer had frequent interactions with Honored Concubine Xue. On a normal day, she didn’t even come to Feiwan Courtyard either. For Muxu to use Qian Lianxue’s sickness as an excuse to appear in front of the marquis, it wasn’t unreasonable.
After Ji Man entered the main room in the courtyard with Muxu and Gancao, she saw that Jinse was kneeling in the middle of the room and slightly trembling.
Wen Wan was seated next to Honored Concubine Xue. She very angrily said, “You clearly know that Mistress Xue can’t eat peanuts and cashews. And yet, you made a snack with them and gave them to her. What were you scheming?”
Marquis Moyu was sitting on the side. He rubbed the spot between his eyebrows and said, “I’ve been wanting to send Jinse to the Royal Academy for a while. It looks like now is the right time.”
(T/N: The Royal Academy was technically an academy to produce dancers, singers, entertainers, and artists for the imperial court’s entertainment, but also a place for the womenfolk of disgraced officials to be sent.)
Jinse’s eyes widen in horror. She shook her head as if her life depended on it. “My lord, this servant didn’t know that Mistress Xue was allergic to nuts. No one mentioned it to me. This servant even said that there were nuts inside those pastries.”
“When did you say this?” Danzhu angrily said, “If you had said this, how could this servant not have reminded my master to not eat it? You did this deliberately!”
Ji Man found a seat by Ning Yuxuan and quietly stayed as a spectator.
“What benefit would this servant get for hurting Mistress Xue?” Jinse bitterly smiled. “This servant has always greatly respected Mistress Xue.”
Ji Man slightly nodded. This was certainly true. Although Jinse frequently gave Muxu and Qi Siling a hard time, she was always treated Qian Lianxue very respectfully. In the past, she had seen Jinse walking together with Qian Lianxue several times. Every time, it was Jinse following after Qian Lianxue with the demeanor of a servant girl.
Translator Ramblings: There’s more than one good reason why Ning Yuxuan doesn’t treat Nie Sangyu/Ji Man the same way he treated Wen Wan back when he was in love with her. For one, they have a completely different type of relationship. It’s easy to forget that Ning Yuxuan knows that Nie Sangyu/Ji Man isn’t in love with him. Not only that, she’s shown that’s she perfectly comfortable literally using his body to achieve her own goals. She treats him like a piece of meat that she uses as reward for the other women. Every time she fawns over him, it’s only because she wants something from him. I’m not saying this because I feel bad for him (he knows when she’s using him and he’s letting her). I just wanted to point out that they don’t have a typical MC and ML relationship.
And, even though it hurts Nie Sangyu/Ji Man to not know where her baby is, I think it makes sense why Ning Yuxuan doesn’t tell her. He’s prioritizing the baby’s continued safety over her happiness.
1) He needs her to be genuinely distraught. She’s not as good as an actress as she thinks she is. If he tell her the truth, it would be impossible for her to be showing such a drastic depression.
2) If he tells her, the first thing she’s going to want to do is to see her baby, which will only bring unnecessary danger to the baby. If he refuses, she’s going to try to scheme around him and find the baby herself, which could be disastrous. And, maybe she won’t do this, but by telling her, this risk is created.
3) A secret only remains a secret if one person knows. If he tells her, it would only take one tiny, totally unintentional moment of carelessness from her for it to stop being a secret. He doesn’t have any margin of error. No matter how much he regrets it later, there’s no going back once this secret is exposed.