T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter. Sorry that Sunday’s chapter was late.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 255 - It isn't easy being the matriarch of this family (2)
Ji Man didn't know why, but Muxu seemed to be especially dissatisfied with Xia-shi. Ji Man couldn't just straightforwardly tell Muxu that Xia-shi was someone that the marquis cared about. If it was a person that the marquis cared about, it was a bad idea to provoke that other person, no matter what her status was. Why did Muxu insist on clashing with Xia-shi?
"After I think of a punishment, I'll let all of you know." Ji Man rubbed her forehead and said, "For now, don't keep standing here. You should all go back to your places. It's not early anymore."
Even though Muxu was extremely unwilling, she could only salute Madam and leave this place with Luqiao.
Ji Man sighed. Pulling Xia-shi along, she asked, "How's Haohao?"
At the mentioned of Haohao, Xia-shi softened considerably. Her lips twitched as she said, "He was sleeping when I left. He's not like those delicate young masters that cry all day and night. He's very well-behaved."
"Then I'll go with you and take a look for myself." Ji Man pressed her hands behind her aching back. It wasn't easy being the matriarch of this family. She had to be fair and just in her decisions and be close with everyone while not being too close. She had to say kind words in front of everyone while still maintaining the dignity and authority of a matriarch. This job was really too difficult.
Her recent fall had felt somewhat painful, and she couldn't tell if the injury had been serious. Right now, that spot didn't feel too painful as she was walking. When she went back to Feiwan Courtyard, it should be fine after she had Dengxin rub that spot for her.
After arriving at Cailian Courtyard, she held Haohao, who had already fully recovered from the poisoning. The little fellow blankly looked at her. A bubble of snivel came from his nose as he giggled.
Ji Man's mood finally improved a bit. Soon after telling Xia-shi that needed to respect her superiors and couldn't offend them, she decided to go back to her own courtyard.
It was late evening, and Marquis Moyu hadn't said where he would be staying tonight. He might be coming to Feiwan Courtyard, so it would be best if she went back earlier.
After taking a few steps out of Cailain Courtyard, she passed by the guest quarters that were located in the southern part of the estate. After Marquis Jingwen's family had left, this spaced had been left empty. Ji Man inadvertently cast a glance in that direction and was surprised to see lit lanterns.
Ji Man asked Dengxin, "Who came over for a visit?"
Dengxin shook her head. "This servant didn't hear that there would be a guest today."
Then, how could there be lit lanterns? The night was dark, and the only light came from the room that Ning Mingjie had stayed in last time.
A chill went up Ji Man's spine. She clutched her cloak closer and started walking away.
From the side, Tanxiang's crisp voice called out to stop her, "Madam."
Ji Man paused her step.
Seeing someone coming over and finding it strange, Dengxin asked, "Why are you here?"
Tanxiang came over, saluted, and obediently answered, "The marquis is drunk. After reached the southern part of the estate, he started throwing up and made a huge mess. This servant could only have the marquis stay here for the night. Mistress Wan isn't feeling well and won't be able to attend to him tonight. Madam, since you happen to be here, you should help take care of the marquis."
Ning Yuxuan was drunk? Ji Man raised her eyebrows. How could such person that was so cool-headed and self-controlled person get drunk?
Right after taking another step, a sharp jolt of pain came from her lower back. Holding her waist, Ji Man gasped as she broke out in cold sweat from the pain.
"Madam, did you hurt your waist?" Tanxiang hurriedly came over to support her and said to Dengxin, "There's soup for sobering up in the southern kitchen. Older sister Dengxin, you can go get it. This servant will help Madam inside."
As she was saying this, she was already leading Nie Sangyu towards the room.
Dengxin didn't think anything of it and immediately left to get the soup. Ji Man felt there was something off about the situation, but her waist felt too painful for her to clearly think. And, since Tanxiang was still here, there probably wouldn't be anything too bad inside. And so, she allowed herself to be led into the room.
She was also pretty curious what Marquis Moyu looked like when he was drunk.
Right after Ji Man sat down, Tanxiang left to fetch tea. After Tanxiang closed the doors on her way out, there was a soft thudding sound. Ji Man was rubbing her waist, so she didn't hear. A while later, after the pain had lessened, she heard a surprise voice. "Sangyu?"
Ji Man's heart skipped a beat. When she turned around, she saw Ning Mingjie, who had walked out from behind the divider.
In an instant, flashes of drama fragments flashed through her mind. Ji Man's first reaction was to jump up and pull at the doors. For a moment, she had even forgotten about her waist injury.
The doors had been locked on the outside with a padlock. Ji Man wryly smiled; what a predicament.
What a blatant way to frame someone. If a woman was charged with infidelity, she would be drowned in a bamboo cage. She almost couldn't believe that she had fallen into this trap. Tanxiang was certainly very bold. This was clearly letting her know who wanted to harm her. And yet, it didn't matter. If people found out about her being alone with Ning Mingjie at night, they wouldn't believe her innocence even if she had a hundred mouths to defend herself with.
Ji Man turned her head and somewhat despairingly looked at Ning Mingjie.
Ning Mingjie wasn't stupid. After seeing her reaction, he brought over a nearby stool and used it to jump onto the upper part of a window ledge, then he jumped again and smoothly landed onto one of the beams of the room. Watching his swift and elegant movements, Ji Man was astonished.
She quickly helpfully moved the stool far away. Feeling another flash of agony, Ji Man sat back down as she grimaced in pain.
There was a jingling sound from the lock outside. Ji Man didn't bother standing up to try to open the doors. Her hand was still clutching her lower back, and her face showed the pain that she was feeling.
As Marquis Moyu casually followed after Tanxiang, he asked, "Why would she be here?"
Tanxiang said in a worried tone, "This servant saw Madam entering here, but she didn't come out. Perhaps, she was feeling uncomfortable…”
When Tanxiang raised her head, she was shocked. She looked around in surprise. Where was he?
After walking a few steps into the room, Ning Yuxuan saw Nie Sangyu's pained expression. He chuckled and asked, "What happened?"
"This servant fell down in the kitchen when this servant went over there to resolve something." While Ji Man was saying this, she curiously looked at him, "My lord, aren't you suppose to be drunk? Tanxiang led this servant into this room by saying that you needed someone to take care of you because you were intoxicated.”