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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 301 - When falsehood is taken for truth, the truth becomes falsehood (2)
Not understanding what was going on, Xia-shi blankly looked at Nie Sangyu as she followed after her. "What? Does this gown not look good? It can't be, ah. I can see that Madam's dress looks pretty good."
Ji Man sighed and said, "It is pretty good, but I'm the only one that can wear this color."
Xia-shi scratched her head in puzzlement. "Why? Are you worried that someone will look better than you in this color?"
Ji Man didn't know whether to laugh or cry. She turned her head to look at Xia-shi and said, "In your village, did they not have the rule that only the main wife can wear red?"
"Nope." Xia-shi shook her head at a complete loss. Afterwards, she somewhat panicky said, "Have I done something wrong? Someone sent over this fabric. I didn't know that I couldn't wear it, ah."
Ji Man nodded. "I know you're not clever, so I won't blame you. Just come with me to change into something else."
Xia-shi finally obediently followed after her. After reaching Feiwan Courtyard and changing into a light purple dress that belonged to Nie Sangyu, she returned to the birthday celebration in high spirits again. Holding Haohao again, she said, "Madam's clothing feels so comfortable."
Liu Hanyun glanced at her. Nearby, Wen Wan sneered and said, "Of course Madam's clothing is comfortable, but you need to have the right qualifications to wear it."
Not understanding her words, Xia-shi looked at Wen Wan for a moment. Then, she lowered her head and teased Haohao.
There wasn't much happiness on Ning Yuxuan's face today. Instead, there was a faint trace of fatigue.
After the meal, it was time for the birthday grab. Xia-shi placed Haohao on the ground, plopped down nearby herself, and exuberantly shouted, "Grab the dagger in front of you. Grabbing the brush is okay too. Go on, grab it!"
Nie Chenyu was so annoyed by Xia-shi's noisiness that she couldn't resist saying, "Mistress Xia, what a child grabs is up to the child. There's no use in you shouting."
Xia-shi twitched her lips and finally sat back down in silence.
Haohao opened his eyes wide and looked at the pile of things in front of him. He crawled over and surprisingly grabbed a gold ingot.
Qi Siling smirked. "The heir will definitely enjoy a wealthy future."
For this family, the gold ingot wasn't considered a good item to choose. After all, this was an official's family, so it would naturally be better if the son could be talented in scholarly and military affairs.
Ning Yuxuan pursed his lips and subconsciously glanced at Nie Sangyu.
With her gaze focused on Haohao, Ji Man was lost in her thoughts.
Holding onto the gold ingot and not paying attention to Xia-shi's mumbling, Haohao actually turned around and crawled to Nie Sangyu's side. He dropped the gold ingot by her feet.
Everyone was shocked. Ji Man was struck dumb for a bit, then she leaned over and picked up Haohao and the gold ingot. "Haohao, are you planning on earning money and giving it to me to show filial piety?"
Nie Chenyu burst out in laughter. "Older sister, be careful with your words. They might make Mistress Xia furious. After all, Haohao is her biological son. Even if he's going to show filial piety, there's an order of priority."
"He's a child that knows filial piety." Ning Yuxuan stretched his hands out and took Haohao into his arms, then he took off a fine jade accessory from his waist and hanged it on Haohao's neck.
Xia-shi widely smiled again. Seeing that Ning Yuxuan was happy, she jubilantly said, "It's naturally the best to have a filial child."
After the informal ceremony was completed and everyone dispersed her own courtyards, Liu Hanyun brought Xi-er with her to Feiwan Courtyard.
She asked, "Madam, do you still think that Xia-shi is someone that can be allowed to stay?"
Ji Man poked at the jade waist accessory that was carved with the word "Ning" and said with a smile, "It's not an issue of whether or not she can stay. The marquis likes Haohao, and Haohao needs someone to care for him. Xia-shi is Haohao's biological mother."
With a serious expression, Liu Hanyun said, "Forgive Hanyun for speaking bluntly, Xia-shi isn't a simple person. Since Haohao is the heir, then he should be given to you to raise. And yet, the marquis insists on having Xia-shi raise him. What will you do in the future once the marquis passes away and the little heir had grown up without having any affection for you?"
Ji Man thought; by that time, she should have already fulfilled her goal and returned to modern-day to eat watermelon while enjoying air conditioning.
"Moreover, Xia-shi continues to act inappropriately, but the marquis keeps tolerating her behavior. If one day Xia-shi does something that harms you and the marquis pardons her behavior by using the excuse that Xia-shi doesn't know the rules, will you really not feel wronged?"
Ji Man raised her eyes and interrupted her, "Hanyun, you've changed."
Liu Hanyun was startled.
"In the past, you wouldn't have cared about stuff like this." Ji Man looked at Xi-er, who was nestled in Liu Hanyun's arms. "Is it because you have a child now, so the things you want have increased?"
Lightly biting her lip, Liu Hanyun didn't deny the accusation.
"It's better if you don't get forget your original self." Ji Man patted her shoulder. "If you stay the same as before, then the marquis will treat you the same as before. You'll have Xi-er to take care of you for the rest of your life, so you don't need worry about the future either."
The room was silent for a while, then Liu Hanyun stood up and said, "Madam, you were right to lecture this servant. This servant will withdraw first."
"Be careful with walking. It's slippery outside because of the snow." Ji Man waved her hand.
Did she seem like someone that was easily manipulated? Xia-shi was someone that the marquis wanted to protect. There was no way that she wouldn't recklessly try to harm her.
Soon, the title and related fiefdom for the second prince was announced. She didn't know who had privately talked with the emperor, but the second prince, who was usually ignored by the emperor, was surprisingly given Zhangjun as his fiefdom. Zhangjun was a wealth territory that was very close to the capital. It was a pretty good place.
Although the second prince was getting a title before the first prince and third prince, this almost meant that the second prince wasn't in the running for the position of the crown prince anymore. And so, Zhao Zhe and Zhao Jue didn't have anything to say. In contrast, Pengyue came over to thank her before leaving for Zhangjun.
"I won't forget the promise that I made to you," Pengyue seriously said, "If you ever meet with difficulty, Ah Li and I will definitely do our best to help you."
Smiling, Ji Man agreed, "Okay."
Errong had already returned to Jing Province, and one after another, many people in Nie Clan had been demoted to a lower rank. Although the third prince was still regarded highly by the emperor, Nie Clan seemed to be on the precipice of a crisis.
T/N: The title of this chapter (When falsehood is taken for truth, the truth becomes falsehood) is a line from Dream of the Red Chamber.
Translator Ramblings: Ji Man downplays Xia-shi’s threat to her because she believe that Xia-shi isn’t smart and thinks that Liu Hanyun’s warnings are only because she wants to use her to get rid of Xia-shi to help Xi-er’s status. But, if Xia-shi was kicked out of the estate, wouldn’t Haohao automatically be given to the main wife to raise? This would cement Haohao's position as the heir even more, secure Nie Sangyu/Ji Man’s future, and drastically decrease the likelihood of Xi-er ever becoming the marquis’s heir. Am I missing something?
When I was re-reading the novel, it was more obvious that Xia-shi gets away with a lot of things just by playing the "I'm an ignorant peasant that doesn't know any better" card. It’s also possible that Xia-shi genuinely doesn't know the rules and other customs because no one tells her anything until after she messes up. See Exhibit A: Wen Wan, who messed up a lot in the beginning because she wasn’t aware of the stricter rules in a noble household since Ning Yuxuan didn’t bother hiring a tutor for her.
Anyways, I'm guessing that based on the title of this chapter that the author's intention when we read this story arc is to feel doubtful and unsure what the real truth is.
P.S. It was so cute and sweet when Haohao dropped the gold ingot by Ji Man’s feet.