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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 254 – It isn't easy being the matriarch of this family (1)
Ning Mingjie silently looked at Wen Wan, but he didn't make any move towards carrying her. He only asked, "How about I tell the carriage driver to call over your servant girls?"
Wen Wan's eyes dimmed. She said in a low voice, "Wan-er is just a servant girl herself. How can I be that fragile and pampered? I'll just walk by myself."
After saying this, she stood up. As she was passing by Ning Mingjie to get off the carriage, she was in too much pain and fell on top of him. Her pretty face turned red. Biting her lip, she seemed as if she was angry with herself for behaving so stupidly.
Ning Mingjie stretched his hand out to help her up and out of the carriage, but he did this in a very proper manner; he only lent an arm to support her.
"Thank you... Wan-er is so useless..." There were tears in Wen Wan's eyes as she quietly said, "No wonder Yuxuan has been giving me the cold shoulder lately. If only I could be as clever and witty as Madam..."
Ning Mingjie paused before chuckling. "Everyone is different. Someone like Sangyu, there can only be one."
Wen Wan's expression became somewhat ugly.
Noticing that he had been indiscreet, Ning Mingjie added, "Miss Wen, you have your good points too."
"Young Master, you don't need to praise Wan-er. Wan-er knows that she's not praiseworthy." Wen Wan leaned her entire body weight onto Ning Mingjie's hand and moved one foot forward. In order to keep her from falling, he could only follow her forward.
Wen Wan entered the estate through the back gate. The sky was gloomy, and a moment later, it started snowing as Ning Mingjie had predicted earlier. By the time the two of them had walked to Qiangwei Courtyard, their shoulders had already become wet from the snow that had melted.
"Young Master, you should stay over in one of the southern courtyards," Wen Wan quietly said, "The snow is getting heavier, and your home is far from here. Wan-er will have someone tidy up a place for you to stay."
Ning Mingjie was used to staying in the marquis's estate. Looking at the weather, he pursed his lips and nodded.
Tanxiang went to the southern part of the estate and tidied up a place for him to stay the night.
Ji Man had just finished eating dinner and was continuing her embroidery for a picture that depicted Wan Zhaojun's journey.
(T/N: Wang Zhaojun is known as one of the Four Beauties of ancient China. She was sent to the northwest by Emperor Yuan to marry the leader of Xiongnu's ruling clan.)
Dengxin scurried into the room and quietly said, "Master, there a dispute in the kitchen. Chunfeng took Mistress Zheng's swallow's nest soup, and a fight broke out between her and Luqiao. This servant passed by and lectured them, but this servant didn't know that Chunfeng would go back and tell Xia-shi this matter. That Xia-shi is always lacking in manners. She went to the kitchen, rolled up her sleeves, and flipped over the simmering swallow's nest soup."
Dengxin's words painted a vivid scene and Ji Man couldn't resist laughing. Xia-shi was outspoken and had a peasant woman's shrewish spirit. It was amusing to hear that she would actually knock over the swallow's nest soup.
"Master, how can you be laughing about this?" Dengxin lightly stamped her feet. "They looked like they're about to start a fight when this servant left."
Putting down her embroidery, Ji Man stood up and said, "It's cold outside. Bring me a hand warmer before we go out. What's the big deal? It's just a bowl of swallow's nest soup. Let’s walk slowly. There's no need to feel anxious."
Dengxin let out a sound of surprise, but she still swiftly brought a fox-lined cloak and hand warmer to her master. When they went outside, she urged her master to walk faster as she held up an umbrella.
This servant girl still had a vivacious personality. Back when Gancao had just passed, Dengxin's eyes were full of hate. At the time, Ji Man had been worried that these extreme emotions would linger. Seeing that she had returned to her lively self, it alleviated Ji Man's worries.
However, when they reached the kitchen, the situation was truly very tense. Muxu had arrived here before them. She and Xia-shi had dragged their fight towards the doorway. Xia-shi was very strong. Pressing Muxu down, she swore, "I've never seen such a heartless person like you before. It's just a bowl of stuff, and you want me to kneel outside in the middle of winter for it? If someone is going to be kneeling, it'll be you!"
Muxu was so angry that her face was red. The nearby servants had come over to pull Xia-shi away, but she still successfully kicked Muxu several times before they could drag her away.
"You really have no respect for the difference in treatment between superiors and inferiors," Muxu angrily said, "You think you're a master just because you brought back a bastard? How dare you hit me for telling you to kneel? I'm going to beat you to death today. Who will dare to say that I'm wrong in doing this?!"
Luqiao pulled Xia-shi up and slapped her on both cheeks. Seeing this sight, Chunfeng and Muyu were extremely nervous and hurriedly went forward to pull Luqiao away. Pushing and shoving, they ended up bumping into Nie Sangyu on her way inside. She tripped on the doorstep and fell over.
Ji Man, "..."
As expected, you should always stay far away when women were fighting.
"Master!" Dengxin hurriedly helped her up, then she turned her head and shouted at the clamorous group, "All of you, stop!"
Muxu and Xia-shi both paused. Looking at the doorway, both of them were startled. Muxu hastily came over to support Nie Sangyu. Xia-shi felt somewhat embarrassed and stood in place as she fidgeted.
Her butt really hurt, but Ji Man had to maintain the appearance of a main wife, so she put on a stern expression as she asked, "What's worth the two of you causing such a fuss and even started fighting? Do you think this is a vegetable market? "
On the side, the duck that had been hanged upside down innocently quacked a few times.
Feeling very wronged, Muxu said, "Madam, please give me justice. What right did she have in taking this servant's swallow's nest soup? Just because Luqiao scolded her servant girl a little bit, that woman dared to hit me!"
Unwilling to accept Muxu's words, Xia-shi said, "Didn't she return that swallow's nest soup? Why did you servant girl still insist on slapping her? Isn't she still a person too? Why shouldn't I be able to slap someone back for her?"
Outraged, Muxu said, "You undisciplined..."
Ji Man pursed her lips and said, "Both of you take a step back. Causing such a fuss over a bowl of swallow's nest soup. People might start thinking that the marquis's estate is poor. Zheng-er, send someone over to Feiwan Courtyard. Dengxin will replenish your supply."
Unwilling to accept this, Muxu said, "Madam, didn't you say that the rules for hierarchy have to be upheld in this household? Xia-shi is only an ordinary concubine, and she offended her superior. She hit this servant in front of so many people. Madam, are you really going to settle the matter in this manner?”