Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 232 – The winds of change (1)
In this era that valued men and treated women as inferior goods, no one would value the priceless emotional consideration and gentle care that a daughter provided to her parents. They would only smile and care about holding their chubby baby boy.
Ji Man was witnessing a demonstration of this bias right now. Both of the babies had been brought to Old Madame's place, but Old Madame only cared about holding Wen Wan's baby and had been playing with it for a while. She hadn't even bothered with lifting the cloth covering Liu Hanyun's daughter's face.
Ji Man sighed and went forward to hold the baby girl. Poor Liu Hanyun, she hadn't been able to give birth to a boy on her first try. Otherwise, she would have someone to rely on in the future.
Lifting the edge of her skirt as she entered the room, Dengxin whispered into Nie Sangyu's ear, "Master, Chunpi is waiting outside. She's requesting an audience with you."
Old Madame was currently in high spirits as she played with Wen Wan's son. Distant relatives had also come over to congratulate the marquis for having two children born at the same time and also for having another son.
Ji Man vaguely thought that Chunpi just wanted to talk about a domestic matter. It wouldn't be suitable to discuss something like that in front of the guests, so she said, "Tell her to wait outside for a bit. After the guests leave, she can come inside to report her news."
Dengxin made a sound of assent and went outside to pass on the message to Chunpi. Then, she came back inside and stood behind her master.
Ji Man carefully lifted part of the swaddling cloth and saw a wrinkly little face. Even though Liu Hanyun's pregnancy had lasted a full term, her daughter didn't look that much different from Muxu's son that had been born prematurely. Ji Man had only held the baby for a little bit when she started crying. Ji Man hurriedly handed the baby over to the wet nurse so that she could be fed.
While still holding the baby boy, Old Madame said to the person next to her, "This baby looks like it developed quite well. It doesn't have any signs of being a premature baby."
A thought flickered in Ji Man's mind. She went forward to look at Wen Wan's child.
Wen Wan had given birth prematurely and Liu Hanyun's pregnancy had lasted the full term. So, why did it seem like that Wen Wan's baby was bigger than Liu Hanyun's?
Remembering Dengxin's message that there was something Chunpi wanted to tell her, Ji Man hurriedly left the room and saw that Chunpi had already crouched down by the side of the building to cry.
Ji Man brought her back to Feiwan Courtyard to talk.
"This servant thinks that my master has given birth to a son. After cutting the umbilical cords, Midwife Yang took the babies away for a bath. She didn't even look at them before saying that my master had given birth to a daughter. This servant wasn't even able to look at my master's baby before she announced their genders. Wen Wan's baby had come out later, but Midwife Yang said she gave birth to a boy. The two babies were mixed together. Couldn't a mistake have happened? This servant isn't willing to accept this ..."
Chunpi's cries were very heart-wrenching. She shook her head and continued, "My master's life shouldn't be so unlucky. She endured so much. Things were finally looking up for her."
Ji Man thought about the two babies she had seen today. She also felt there was something off. How could a baby that had been born prematurely be bigger than a baby that had been carried to full term? The only reason that no one brought up this question was because no one else had paid attention to Liu Hanyun's daughter. No one had carefully looked at both babies.
Ji Man anxiously ordered, "Dengxin, hurry, go and stop that midwife from leaving!" Then, she started to hurriedly go outside too.
Chunpi wiped her tears and said, "Midwife Yang went to Qiangwei Courtyard to receive her reward. This servant had been keeping an eye on her this entire time. This servant didn't come to look for Madam until Midwife Yang went inside Qiangwei Courtyard."
Ji Man nodded. She had Dengxin go to stop the midwife, while she went to look for Guibai herself.
Little Five's body had already been taken to the local magistrate's office. Right after Guibai had returned from doing this, Ji Man found him and dragged him to Qiangwei Courtyard.
The midwife was currently receiving her reward with a jubilant expression. The money that she received from Wen Wan wasn't a small amount.
After a large bag of silver taels was handed over, Wen Wan said, "This will be enough for you to live well for the rest of your life. You don't need to stay in the capital or continue working as a midwife."
Just as the midwife was going to thank Wen Wan for her generosity, Dengxin had entered the room and said with a beaming smile, "Congratulations, Miss Wen Wan. Midwife Yang, Madam is requesting that you go over to Feiwan Courtyard. She wants to give you a reward too."
Wen Wan was lying against her pillow. Hearing these words, she frowned and meaningfully looked at Tanxiang.
Tanxiang said, "Nothing good happens to greedy people. My Miss has already given you enough. Midwife Yang, you should know when to quit while you're ahead. Don't make Madam spend more money."
Midwife Yang had assisted with childbirth for many noble families, but this was the first time she encounter a situation like this one. Feeling a bit panicky, she glanced at Dengxin and said, "No need, this old one won't take Madam's reward.."
At this time, Ji Man and Guibai arrived at the entrance. As soon as Guibai entered the room, he started to forcefully escort Midwife Yang out of the room. "In this household, it'll be better for you if you obey Madam's words."
A jolt of alarm ran through Wen Wan. Right now, her entire body was powerless. She didn't even have the strength to stand up. She could only look at him with widen eyes.
Tanxiang stamped her feet and angrily said, "Right now, Miss needs to recuperate. Madam, you brought people to cause trouble. Don't you think you're behaving too outrageously?"
Ji Man raised her eyebrows and sweetly smiled as she said, "Be more observant please. I'm inviting the midwife to leave with me. How can that be seen as causing trouble? If the midwife is causing a disturbance, then just have Guibai escort her out quicker. This won't interfere with your Miss getting her rest."
As she was saying this, Guibai had already finished forcefully leading Midwife Yang outside.
Wen Wan pressed her lips tightly together.
Midwife Yang was a relatively well-known midwife. When Liu Hanyun had been pregnant for nine moons, Marquis Moyu had brought Midwife Yang back and had her stay on the premises to wait for Liu Hanyun to go into labor.
Ji Man scrutinized her for a long time before finally asking, "Midwife Yang, can you clearly differentiate between a premature baby and a full-term baby?"
Midwife Yang straightened her posture. She was still holding the bag of silver taels and didn't speak until she had put the money away into her clothes. "It's naturally possible to differentiate. However, this time, the two women in your household have different body types, so they naturally gave birth to babies that look different. Mistress Yun's health is poor, so her child was born smaller than usual. Mistress Wan has been taking very good of her health, so she gave birth to a chubby baby boy."
When it was explained like that, it actually did seem quite reasonable. After all, the midwife was an experienced professional. After she said these words, no one would continue to be suspicious.
Ji Man couldn't be absolutely sure that the midwife had switched the babies. Perhaps, Wen Wan was just born under a lucky star and had given birth to a son. Without evidence, nothing could be done, no matter how discontent Chunpi felt.