Chapter 19: Mystery of the Register
嬷嬷 mama – an older female servant
奴婢 nubi – slave servant girl; often used by servants speaking to their masters
丫头 yatou/ 丫鬟 yahuan – servant girl
妹妹 meimei – younger sister;
姐姐 jiejie – elder sister; can be added to names to show respect or a close relationship;
夫人 furen – legitimate wife, missus;
小姐 xiaojie – young miss; usually from a good family, but can be used to refer to any young girl
姨娘 yiniang – concubine, not the legitimate wife; added to the end of the maternal name to show their (lower) status compared to the wife
Yun Qian Meng did not hurry to let that mama rise. She turned her gazetoward Yun Yan and lightly asked, “Don’t know what meimei means?”
When she saw that Yun Qian Meng didn’t immediately accept the person she had brought over, she couldn’t help but be shocked by her cautiousness. Without changing her smile, she explained, “jiejie, this Mi mama is one of the old servants from the xiangfu when furen was still alive! But after furen had passed away due to illness, Su yiniang dismissed a large part of the fu‘s servants! When yiniang passed the register to meimei, she urged that if jiejie has anything you don’t understand, you can ask Mi mama!”
Yun Qian Meng carefully listened to Yun Yan’s explanation knew that this was one of their plans to get into her good books, took another look at Mi mama. Her hairstyle and clothing were different from those alloted by the xiangfu. Surely, Liu Han Yu must have spent quite a lot of effort to look for her!
When she recalled how Liu Han Yu brought up Qu furen‘s death and dowry matters, Yun Qian Meng was suddenly enlightened!
Perhaps this Mi mama knew about the happenings that year, otherwise Su Qing wouldn’t dismiss so many workers just to pull the wool over people’s eyes!
It seems that this time, she could not refuse to accept Yun Yan and her mother’s feelings!
Thinking so, a faint smile floated on Yun Qian Meng lips as she gently said, “Mi mama, please rise! I only have three yatou by my side, and usually prefer to stay indoors rather than go outside; not familiar with the human affairs of the fu. Since mama was an elderly in the fu, help me pick a few trustworthy people!
Although Yun Qian Meng accepted their kind intentions, she expressed her own opinion clearly in the words she just said!
Yun Qian Meng did not completely trust Yun Yan and her mother!
Even if Mi mama was an elderly from xiangfu, Yun Qian Meng who was unfamiliar with the past events didn’t clearly know which faction she belonged to in the past!
Maybe this Mi mama had already been bribed by Yun Yan and her mother. If she rashly kept this person by her side, then they would have her daily activities at the tip of their fingers!
Thus, Yun Qian Meng only permitted Mi mama to help her select a few servants but did not promise anything else yet!
Mi mama was also very clever and figured out the hidden meaning in Yun Qian Meng‘ words. She kowtowed once in thanks then stood up and immediately, following protocol, returned to her original spot and didn’t speak!
Yun Yan showed a happy face and immediately allowed her personal yatou, Lü Rui, to bring the servants in. She retrieved two registers from her sleeves, one new, one old, and handed them over to Yun Qian Meng, smiling, “jiejie, these servants’ background and character are all listed in this register. Please take a look! If you’re not satisfied, you can look through the other one, and choose again!”
Yun Qian Meng nodded as she received the registers. First opening the newer one, she carefully went through the servants’ names and characters!
Yun Yan then signaled Lü Rui with her eyes, for her to immediately move to the front and announce each of the servants names in order.
When the servants heard their names, they each wore smiles and stepped forward, respectfully bowing to Yun Qian Meng!
All of them understood that the current young miss had some authority, so being assigned to work in Qi Luo Yuan was probably a good thing. All of them thought to give Yun Qian Meng a good impression!
Yet Yun Qian Meng‘s attention was focused on the register she held. She only faintly swept a glance towards the actual people before her. On the other hand, Mi mama had her head slightly raised as her seemingly expressionless eyes were shrewdly sizing up the servants. After Lü Rui finished presenting them, she lowered her head again!
“jiejie, what do you think? Have you taken a liking to any of these yatou?” When Lü Rui returned to her side, Yun Yan put down her teacup. Smiling at Yun Qian Meng, she carefully probed!
Yun Qian Meng closed the register. Somewhat tiredly, she lifted her own cup and took a sip, then said, “I actually don’t have much of an opinion. Let’s hear Mi mama‘s suggestions then!”
Finishing, Yun Qian Meng‘s smiling eyes shot directly towards Mi mama……
Although Mi mama had her head lowered, she still felt her gaze. Heart tightening, she cautiously said, “Answering da xiaojie, nubi thinks, Qian mama, Fang mama, Liu mama, Bai mama, these four are useful! From the yatou, Zhi Tao, Wen Lan, Le Ling, Yi Xiang, Bai Mei, An’er, these six are useful!”
Finishing, Mi mama retreated to the side, and didn’t speak further. It could be seen that she was a person that stays within her bounds.
Yun Qian Meng listened to Mi mama and looked over the servants she had suggested, lightly nodding her head.
It seemed that Mi mama had the ability to make discerning judgments. With merely a glance, she picked a few good ones. There was hardly any difference from Yun Qian Meng‘s own choices!
Inwardly understanding that Yun Qian Meng still had some doubts about her, when Mi mama finished answering, she didn’t try to make further persuasions, showing that was an able and efficient person!
Yet Yun Yan, who had been observing her expression from the start was shocked when Yun Qian Meng was able to accurately discern the servants when their names were spoken!
Just now Yun Qian Meng had only swept a glance at these people, but had already remembered their name and appearance. It could be seen that she took this matter seriously, but her expression had been relatively indifferent. This was enough to make Yun Yan realize that she shouldn’t be fooled by another’s outer appearance!
“Does jiejie find these people alright?” After her analysis, Yun Yan’s smile had dimmed a bit, as she held even deeper respect towards Yun Qian Meng!
Yun Qian Meng noticed how careful she was and slightly eased up her heart. She nodded to say, “Mi mama‘s insight is not bad! Since that’s the case, these four will stay behind to assign Qi Luo Yuan‘s heavy labor! Zhi Tao, Le Ling, Yi Xiang, An’er, will be third-ranked yahuan, Wen Lan and Bai Mei will be second-ranked yahuan! As for Mi mama, she will temporarily assume the position of Qi Luo Yuan‘s steward mama and properly arrange their daily tasks!
“Yes!” Receiving the appointment, Mi mama immediately stepped forward to bow, then turned to lead the servants to leave the yard!
“Since jiejie has already settled everything, meimei will return to report to yiniang!” Seeing that her task was complete, Yun Yan quickly stood and smiled to announce her withdrawal!
Yun Qian Meng didn’t detain her and allowed Mu Chun to send off Yun Yan. She then picked up the older register and carefully looked through it again……
Only, the further she read, the more shocked she felt……
This register, seemingly written over a decade ago, recorded all of the servants that had served in the fu when Qu furen was still alive!
But now, there were no longer any traces of these people in the xiangfu. Only either “dismissal” or “death” was written next to their names; the only exception was one Xia mama who had the words “mentally disabled” next to hers!
“xiaojie, it’s getting late, let nubi light a candle before you continue looking through this register!” Mu Chun after sending off Yun Yan and returning to the room, saw that was Yun Qian Meng still looking at the register in he hands. Only after she saw that the sky outside had gradually darkened, did she give a soft reminder!
Yun Qian Meng slightly raised her head. She only saw that the setting sun had long since been hidden by the hills and the faint moon had unknowingly ascended to midair. Closing the register, she calmly asked, “Any peculiarities at the courtyard entrance?”
“Reporting to xiaojie, nubi just sent off san xiaojie, then saw a yatou suspiciously looking around at the entrance to our courtyard. When nubi approached, that yatou unexpectedly ran far away! nubi looked carefully, she looked like Su yiniang‘s Hong Xiang!” Carefully covering the faint yellow flame on the red candle, Mu Chun carried over a candlestick and placed it on the table, took a look at the vacant outside, then boldly asked, “xiaojie, you accepted so many people today, and all of them were sent over by Liu yiniang, won’t it be inappropriate? nubi sees that Mi mama is not just a normal exceptional person!”
Seeing Mu Chun so tense, Yun Qian Meng laughed brightly, but her eyes still calmly looked outside, “Don’t worry! They’re just looking for a pillar of support, so they won’t come over to me to dig their own graves! As for keeping Mi mama, I naturally have a use for her!
She had already felt out Yun Yan today. After examining her changing expressions, Yun Qian Meng knew that Liu Han Yu didn’t plan on pulling tricks with these yatou. Her act of picking so many servants with great fanfare was just her plan to pull wool over people’s eyes. If Su Qing knew her real aim, it was likely that she would destroy the evidence!
“After finishing the evening meal, let Mi mama come over!” Putting away the register in her sleeves, Yun Qian Meng commanded……