T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 223 – The mysterious letters (2)
Gancao was working in Qian Lianxue’s personal quarters. On a normal day, Qian Lianxue didn’t avoid her. Instead, she treated Gancao very well and had her feeling that Mistress Xue was a very good person.
Still, when Dengxin came over and told her to find a chance to look at Mistress Xue’s letters from her family, Gancao was still whole-heartedly loyal to Nie Sangyu and cautiously nodded before returning to the main rooms in the courtyard.
Soon after that, Danzhu returned to Xuesong Courtyard and was standing by Mistress Xue’s side.
Qian Lianxue said, “Gancao, you’ve been working hard. You can leave first and go rest.”
Gancao nodded, but after going past the doors, she went to go look for Dengxin. There had to be something strange with that letter. If it was just an ordinarily family letter, Mistress Xue wouldn’t send her away first. If there really was something peculiar about this letter, then this letter would definitely be burned after Mistress Xue read it, and no one else would get the chance to see the contents of that letter. Gancao’s plan was to have Dengxin cause a commotion so that she would have the chance to sneak into the room and steal the letter.
Dengxin agreed. After trying and failing to think of a good idea, she gritted her teeth and walked to the back area of Xuesong Courtyard. Taking advantage of no one being around, she took out flint and set the woodpiles in the woodshed on fire. The fire wasn’t big enough, so she took some of the wine that was stored in the back area and poured it onto the fire.
Original translation is from fuyuneko dot org. If you’re reading this elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
It was common to store random pieces of junk and jars of wine at the back of each courtyard. Once this fire got going, the people at the front of the courtyard would definitely have to come here. Dengxin dusted her hands clean, then she looked around to check if there was anyone nearby. After that, she stepped onto a random piece of junk and jumped over the wall.
Gancao was worried that Qian Lianxue would read the letter too quickly. And so, right after she spoke to Dengxin, she immediately ran back and knocked on Mistress Xue’s doors.
Qian Lianxue had only finished reading half of the letter. After a pause, she raised her head and asked, “What’s the matter?”
Gancao shook her head, pushed open the doors, and said with a smile, “This servant forgot to say this before leaving. Mistress Xue, your medicine was cooking on the stove. It’s almost ready to drink. Mistress Xue, when will you be drinking it?”
As soon as the doors were opened, Qian Lianxue hurriedly put the letter away into her sleeve. After a moment, she thought that her action was too conspicuous. And so, she took the letter out, neatly folded it, and placed it on the table. “I’ll drink that medicine later. Don’t worry, Danzhu will get it for me. You can go rest.”
As Gancao waited for Dengxin to start a commotion, she felt very unsure. But, she was afraid that Qian Lianxue would start suspecting her, so she could only nod and say, “Madam sent this servant over to take care of you, so this servant has to do a proper job. Older sister Danzhu is always so busy. How about this servant brings over the medicine while it’s still hot…”
“Fire!” the servants outside suddenly shouted.
Gancao turned her head and saw thick smoke drifting outside. It was coming from a fire in the woodshed. She could see the glow of the fire through the paper windows.
“Master! There’s a fire!” A couple of servants ran inside and anxiously said, “Hurry and leave. There’s a fire at the back of the courtyard. It won’t take long before it consumes these rooms too!”
Qian Lianxue was startled, but her hand still went towards the table to grab the letter.
Seeing this, Gancao hurriedly went over, pulled Qian Lianxue away from the table, and pushed Danzhu towards the outside as well. “Don’t just stand there and do nothing. Hurry, help you master leave!”
In ancient times, all buildings were made of wood, and it was especially easy for them to catch on fire.
With her eyebrows furrowed, Qian Lianxue looked back at Gancao, but her servants were already pushing her out of the room. It was true that main rooms had caught on fire too, but it was just the smoke that was thick. The flames weren’t close to engulfing it yet.
Qian Lianxue bit her lip and said, “There’s something I forgot in my room! I want to go back…” Her following words were cut off by a coughing fit.
People with asthma couldn’t endure smoke at all. Even with her back facing the main rooms, she was already coughing within an inch of her life. As Danzhu supported her and tried to help her regain her breath, Gancao hurriedly asked, “Master, where’s the item that you want to get. I’ll go get it for you.” Gancao didn’t wait for Qian Lianxue to reply before rushing back inside.
Qian Lianxue was moved far away from burning building. Looking at that building, she frowned and looked at Danzhu.
Danzhu understood her meaning and also ran back into that room.
The smoke became increasingly thick inside the room. Gancao immediately started running out of the room once she had snatched the letter on the table. But, she bumped into Danzhu on her way out.
Startled, Gancao instinctively tucked the letter into her sleeve.
“Hand it over.” Danzhu’s smile was very gentle, but she firmly stood in front of Gancao and wouldn’t let her pass.
“Hand what over?” Gancao averted her face. “Let’s hurry and leave. The fire is really getting worse.”
Danzhu coldly smiled and stretched her hands out to grab Gancao’s hand. She wanted to get the letter inside Gancao’s sleeve.
Gancao desperately struggled, and they fell onto the ground. Above them, the room was thick with smoke.
Outside, people were still trying to put out the fire, but the water was being used in the back of the courtyard. There was no else coming into the room.
Danzhu pressed Gancao against the floor. Danzhu’s hand had already reached inside Gancao’s sleeve, but Gancao headbutted her and kicked her away from herself. Gancao slowly staggered up and wanted to run outside.
The doors were half-closed, and the sound of people rushing around outside and trying to put out the fire could be heard inside the room. Just as Gancao had stood up completely, someone grabbed her ankle and she fell down on the doors, causing them to close shut. Her head slammed down on the ground.
Behind her, Danzhu came forward. Seeing that Gancao had been knocked unconscious and the fire had already spread inside, she hurriedly took the letter from Gancao’s sleeve and pushed her body behind a door. Then, she opened the doors and ran outside while coughing.
It had been too long since Xuesong Courtyard was built, and there were parts where the wood had worn out. And so, it was especially easy for it to burn.
Right after Danzhu left the room, she bumped into a servant that was carrying bucket of water and ended up getting splashed by the water. The sudden shock of the water caused her to drop the letter onto the ground. The water had also caused the ink in the letter to smudge.
“Hurry, make way for the water!” More servants came along with buckets of water. Danzhu stretched her hand out to get the letter on the ground, but her hand almost got stepped on several times. After the stampede of feet left, the letter had vanished.
Shocked, Danzhu hurriedly ran to Qian Lianxue’s side and whispered something into her ear.
Qian Lianxue’s face paled.