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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 222 – The mysterious letters (1)
Qian Lianxue had almost always acted very cleverly. Her only foolish decision was using Muxu as her ally.
Muxu had been with Nie Sangyu for several years, but it only took one moment of kindness from Qian Lianxue for her to betray Nie Sangyu. And so, Ji Man was sure that Muxu would just as easily turn around and betray Qian Lianxue in return for a few benefits. Just like a stalk of grass, Muxu would bend in whichever direction the wind blew.
After this blade of grass had been blown left and right, it had finally sprained its waist and was ushered back to Feiwan Courtyard.
Ji Man poured Muxu a cup of tea and continued her questioning.
“At the end of the day, I’m still the Madam of this family.” Ji Man lightly smiled. “If you’re willing to tell me everything that you know, then I promise to immediately raise you into the position of an honored concubine as soon as you give birth to your child. But, if you continue to hide things from me and secretly help Qian Lianxue, then you can stay in her shadow as a concubine for the rest of your life. I’m okay with either choice.”
After a pause, Ji Man added, “You know that I recently lost my child. You’ll be giving birth soon. If I ask Old Madame for it, I’m sure it’ll be easy enough for her to agree to give me your child to raise.”
Muxu’s pupils contracted. She felt at a complete loss.
Ji Man didn’t let her off or give her the opportunity to tell more lies. She swiftly asked question after question, “Do you know what Qian Lianxue is scheming? Did you help her harm my child?”
“No.” Muxu hurriedly shook her head. “What happened when Madam was giving birth, this servant… this servant didn’t help Mistress Xue. It’s just that this servant went to Xuesong Courtyard a few days before that night and saw Danzhu bringing back incense… It seemed a bit off because Mistress Xue doesn’t like incense, but this servant didn’t think any more of it. Later on, when this servant overheard Xuesong Courtyard’s servants discussing that you had given birth to a toddy cat, they also happened to mention that Mistress Xue had lit incense in the outer room.”
“This servant doesn’t think that Mistress Xue stole your child and was only guessing that maybe the incense knocked everyone out.”
Ji Man nodded. “So during the days leading up to when I gave birth, you were frequently going to Xuesong Courtyard.”
Muxu lowered her head and stayed silent. At that time, Qian Lianxue would frequently invite her over to talk. Because of Qian Lianxue’s past compassion and continued care, Muxu naturally went over to Xuesong Courtyard. Furthermore, during that period, Muxu really wanted to help Qian Lianxue out. She was so much kinder than Nie Sangyu.
However, she didn’t expect that Nie Sangyu would seize her today. Muxu still couldn’t figure out how Nie Sangyu had found what she had done. It couldn’t be that Nie Sangyu was that powerful and had spies everywhere, right?
Ji Man looked at Muxu for a moment before she waved her hand and said, “Since it’s like that, you can leave first. As for the other matters, I already know what I want to do.”
“Understood.” Muxu withdrew from the room. As she walked back to her courtyard and thought about how Mistress Xue wasn’t easy to deal with either, her brow furrowed.
Although Mistress Xue was very gentle, she had several spies in the household and would definitely know that Nie Sangyu had brought her back to Feiwan Courtyard. What a predicament, both sides were unhappy with her.
Siting in her room, Ji Man thought for a long time, but she couldn’t figure out Qian Lianxue’s motive. She could only leave Gancao in Xuesong Courtyard to build up relationships with Qian Lianxue’s servants for now and try to get as much information as possible.
Unfortunately, the servants in Xuesong Courtyard were especially tight-lipped. Although they were easy to get along with, no matter what Gancao did or said, they wouldn’t leak any of their master’s secrets.
Dengxin was close to one of Xuesong Courtyard’s low-ranking servant girls, Meng-er. After idly gossiping with Meng-er for a long time, she finally found one piece of news.
Qian Lianxue’s maiden family would frequently send letters to her.
Ji Man remembered that Marquis Moyu had mentioned before that Qian Lianxue only had one sibling, Qian Yingchen. Then, who could be writing all of those letters to Qian Lianxue? Qian Yingchen? But, the relationship between these two siblings probably wasn’t very good, right? After all, Qian Lianxue was so sickly, but her brother rarely came over to see her.
Dengxin also said there was something strange about these letters. When these letters were delivered, it would always be by someone that came through the back gate, and Danzhu would go there herself to collect the letters instead of sending another servant. No one else in the household knew about this. It was only known to the servants in Xuesong Courtyard that found out by accidentally witnessing these exchanges and gossiping amongst themselves occasionally.
There was someone stationed at the back gate, but it was an older servant that would doze off from time to time. Also, if he saw anyone delivering something, he would pretend not to see the exchange if you bribed him.
After Dengxin told her everything and Ji Man had calmly finished doing her exercises, she gave Dengxin a bag of silver taels and sent her to the back gate to look for that guard.
Qian Lianxue seemed to have asthma and didn’t recover from this bout of illness until Gancao had taken care of her for several days. However, Ji Man didn’t have Gancao return after Qian Lianxue’s health had improved. Instead, she had her continue staying in Xuesong Courtyard to help Qian Lianxue work on recuperating her health. Qian Lianxue didn’t refuse. She even thanked Ji Man for her concern.
Ji Man sighed. What was that saying? Dogs that bite don’t bark? Wen Wan really should learn from this talented student.
A few days later, when it was the middle of the month, that old guard’s clever grandson ran over to Feiwan Courtyard and asked to see Dengxin.
Ji Man looked at Dengxin meaningfully, and Dengxin rushed over to Xuesong Courtyard to pass on instructions to Gancao before Danzhu could come back with the letters.