Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Translator: Fuyu Neko
Chapter 447 - Men aren't dependable (2)
It had been a while since Ji Man had seen Mu Shuiqing. She thought that Mu Shuqing looked better than before. Perhaps, it was because she had untied the knot in her heart and no longer had stress. Although her skin was a bit too pale, it was clear and glowing.
"What's the big deal about the emperor choosing concubines?" Ji Man handed her a snack.
"There'll be a lively drama to watch." Mu Shuiqing chuckled. "Who doesn't know that Consort Shen is a jealous woman? Right now, Shen Clan and Xiao Clan are in-laws without any hostility, so the emperor's position is stable. However, once the number of people increased in the emperor's harem, there will inevitably be characters that are difficult to deal with. If something bad happens to Consort Shen, will there still be peace? Once a leg is missing on the throne, the emperor won't be able to securely sit on it.
Ji Man thought there were times that Mu Shuiqing showed great wisdom. Once Mu Shuqing explained this to her, she came to a sudden realization.
Zhao Zhe had always been a playboy. Once he ascended the throne, the imperial harem would increase at an alarming speed. Picturing Shen Youqing on the verge of facing off with a giant group of court ladies in competing for favor, Ji Man thought that it was actually better that Ning Yuxuan wasn't trying to compete for the throne. If he became the emperor and had palaces full of consorts, it would be difficult to avoid having the same ending as Zhao Li and Pengyue.
"I heard a lot of gossip from the servant girls while I was recuperating. Marquis Jingwen's daughter from a concubine is participating in this selection. She's Marquis Jingwen's youngest daughter. She's turned sixteen this year. I'm not sure what happened after she entered the palace."
Errong had a younger sister? Ji Man was initially somewhat surprised. However, after thinking it over, it wasn't surprising that she wouldn't know this. The statuses of concubine-born children were low, and it was inappropriate for women to leave their homes. Errong, who was a titled lady and the daughter of the deceased main wife, was an exception. It wasn't unusual that her concubine-born sisters wouldn't have much of a social presence.
After Haohao had been found, Errong didn't want to immediately return to Jing Province anymore. First, traveling was exhausting for a young child. Second, she was worried that her son, Rui-er, would feel lonely. If they stayed here, he would have Haohao as company. It was more fun for the older child and younger child to play with someone closer to their own age.
However, Nie Qingyun and Marquis Jingwen had to return to Jing Province because of work. When Ji Man went over to the southern courtyard, she saw that Errong was mirthfully laughing. Haohao and Rui-er were rolling around on a thick carpet.
"Careful, don't hurt yourselves. Errong, as a mother, how can you just sit there and laugh so happily?” Ji Man lightly scolded. She picked up Rui-er and put him on the bed, then looked at Haohao.
Haohao was also very happy. His cheeks were rosy. He had eaten lots of good food during the past few days, but his health hadn't fully recovered yet. He still looked a bit too thin and weak.
Ji Man stroked his head and softly said, "Heir, it's time for your nap."
Haohao obediently nodded. He climbed onto the bed and went to sleep next to Rui-er.
Ji Man pulled Errong outside to talk. "What's your younger sister's name?"
Errong naturally knew that her concubine-born sister had gone to the palace. She pursed her lips and said, "She's called Erxin. She's very cunning."
Cunning? Ji Man raised her eyebrows. What did Errong mean by that?"
"A long time ago, when the emperor was still the crown prince, he and Erxin met in Jing Province. Erxin has had her mind set on him since then. She's lucky that our older cousin recommended her to enter the palace. Otherwise, she wouldn't have the opportunity to realize her dream." Errong sighed. "Older cousin is such a good person."
Ji Man propped her chin as she looked at Errong. So, Erxin was someone that Marquis Moyu had sent to the palace? And she had a favorable impression of the emperor for a long time? And she was very cunning?
A thought occurred to her that Ning Yuxuan was planning on a coup d'etat, but not by using military force this time. She wasn't sure if she was overthinking things though.
"Are you planning on staying here without any status or title forever?" Errong looked at her and somewhat worriedly asked, "Why don't you go plead with the emperor to bestow the marriage sooner?"
"There's no use in pleading," Ji Man sighed. "He enjoys leaving us hanging like this. Besides, there's already a main wife in this household. I can't ask the emperor to bestow me to Yuxuan as a concubine, right? Yuxuan doesn't have that big of a face."
Errong looked depressed. "Why is life so full of trouble and misfortune? With each passing year, we're getting old. Why won't the Heavens give you a peaceful life?"
Ji Man raised her head to look at the sky. She sighed again. "When Heavens are about to place a great responsibility on a great man, it always first frustrates his spirit and will, exhausts his muscles and bones..."
(T/N: Ji Man is reciting the beginning of a very long idiom.)
"Enough," Errong interrupted her and seriously said, "Right now, there's only a main wife and one concubine in my cousin's household. As long as they don't cause trouble for you, your days will be good. But, you should still keep a tight hold on my cousin. After all, there will be endless amount of new people by his side too."
In the end, Ning Yuxuan was a man from ancient times and wouldn't whole-heartedly love one person. Ji Man felt a bit depressed when she thought about this point. She had already given out her heart. If he didn't treasure it and continued to be a collector of young women's hearts, what would she do?
Just as she was contemplating this problem, someone came over to tattletale that Sir Qian had delivered beautiful female servants to serve the marquis.
Qian Yingchen? Ji Man jumped up. She didn't go over to Marquis Moyu's courtyard. Instead, she returned to her room, put on a fake skin face mask, changed into Ning Yuxuan's clothes, tidied up a bit, and went to look for Zhu Yurun.
Zhu Yurun was becoming more and more like her namesake, glossy and plump. She was quite happy to see Ji Man. "Why are you crossdressing again? I though you can go out in your real appearance now?"
Smiling, Ji Man leaned against Zhu Yurun's side and held her hand in hers as she taught her how to write poetry. "Your man caused me trouble, so I decided that I'll keep visiting you until he take the initiative to resolve that trouble for me."