Chapter 22: Reminding Liu yiniang
嬷嬷 mama – an older female servant
奴婢 nubi – slave servant girl; often used by servants speaking to their masters
夫人 furen – legitimate wife, missus;
嫡 di – related to the first wife, the children born of the first wife have higher standing
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
相符 xiangfu – the minister’s estate
Liu Han Yu didn’t think that Yun Qian Meng would ask her that. The smile on her face turned a bit stiff as she immediately lowered her eyes. Her lips formed a bitter smile as she gave a somewhat agonized reply, “In this life being able to serve xiangye and da xiaojie is already nubi’s great fortune!”
Yun Qian Meng dully smiled to listen to Liu Han Yu’s half-hearted explanation, but didn’t try to expose her lies!
Just think, which woman was willing to share her husband with another woman?
Even though this was the ancient times, where women all had to control their manners, words and actions in accordance to the seven codes of divorce; deep in their hearts, for their own husbands to take a concubine, they nevertheless felt most unwilling!”
However, for Liu yiniang who, first, didn’t have a son; second, didn’t have a strong maternal family as her backing, to rely on a few days of favor to suppress Su Qing, afraid it’s just indulging in fantasy!
Adding on the fact that she was no longer considered young, rather than watching Yun Xuan Zhi pick one himself in the future, why not appear a bit more generous and virtuous right now, and help Yun Xuan Zhi plan these affairs? This way, she would leave a good impression on him, and also cause the other woman to be grateful to her. Besides, she could still use this woman to pressure Su Qing. It was simply killing three birds with a single arrow, how could she be against it?
Thinking so, Yun Qian Meng’s smile became slightly brighter. It would seem that Liu yiniang was still a shrewd person. She understood how to prepare for a rainy day, and was more fully aware of the principle of give-and-take compared to Su Qing. Previously giving her assistance to take over the management was a correct decision!
“I might be the eldest daughter of the family, but in the end, I’m still a girl who has yet to marry out of the family. As for helping father to take in another person, this should still be left to Liu yiniang to do as you see fit!” Yun Qian Meng saw that Liu Han Yu handled her affairs in an appropriate fashion, so she was assured to hand over these matters to her. She believed that even if a few more people entered the xiangfu, it wouldn’t cause any large storms and waves!
When Liu Han Yu heard her say this, the heavy feeling in her heart finally settled down.
After all, this large and influential estate had many rules and customs. Having been promoted under the hands of Yun Qian Meng, if she didn’t agree to this, then she would definitely not follow through with the plan by herself!
Instead, with this da xiaojie’s intelligence, surely she had already guessed her true intentions. Now that she had nodded and agreed, that means she approved of her own methods, also, her execution of this plan would be met with much less resistance!
Having deliberated over and over for half a day, Liu yiniang once more wore a smiling expression, fished out a few pre-selected picture scrolls from her sleeves. She unfolded them one by one, then spoke in a joyful manner, “nubi fancies four of these girls. Please have a look over, nubi will then arrange where they should go!”
Yun Qian Meng put down her teacup, then took a look at the few portraits held out by Liu Han Yu and dully nodded her head……
Liu yiniang saw that she was really, as she had said, not interested to take mind of these matters, so she quickly retrieved the portraits and put them away, then she lowered her voice to say, “da xiaojie, Su yiniang’s punishment is going to end soon. You see, about the management of the xiangfu……”
Hearing this, Yun Qian Meng made a smile that was not a smile, and shot a cold glance at Liu Han Yu out of the corner of her eyes, dully saying, “Don’t tell me yiniang wants to roll over and give up your power to her?”
At these words, Liu Han Yu’s face paled, her smiling expression momentarily froze, but her mouth had unconsciously released a single word, “No!”
Only, the second she saw Yun Qian Meng’s lightly smiling appearance, she suddenly realized she had forgotten her own manners and immediately stood up in terror. Lowering her head, she explained in a small voice, “nubi isn’t a person who is greedy and unwilling to let go of power, but……”
Before she finished speaking, Yun Qian Meng had lifted a hand to interrupt her……
“yiniang doesn’t need to be so cautious and solemn, since I had helped yiniang attain this assignment, naturally won’t let yiniang simply throw it it away!” Pointing at the stool that Liu Han Yu had been sitting on and gesturing for her to sit back down, Yun Qian Meng calmly said.
Liu Han Yu made a small bow, and sat down as if overwhelmed by her favor. Hearing Yun Qian Meng’s unperturbed response, she couldn’t help but lift her head towards her. She only felt that Yun Qian Meng’s expression was calm, her crystal clear black eyes were similar to a piece of top-quality nephrite jade, emitting a fascinating radiance, momentarily causing others to be unable to perceive her inner thoughts!
Yun Qian Meng saw that she was looking at her with a glazed expression, secretly found it funny, but maintained the calmness on her face, “yiniang’s actions today, will definitely cause father to look at you in a new light! Furthermore, yiniang understands in your heart, we in the fu are all womenfolk, father might not say it, but surely still hopes to have a son as an heir! Even though Su yiniang has been pampered by father for so long, there haven’t been any happy events. She can’t be compared to yiniang’s ability to see the bigger picture, yiniang’s actions could be made into a literary work!”
Finishing, Yun Qian Meng didn’t speak further and casually picked up her book to continue reading……
Liu Han Yu heard her advice and immediately understood the meanings hidden inside. In an instant, her worried frown was swept away. Her face full of smiles, she stood up to excuse herself and quietly withdrew from the room.
“What’s the reason for xiaojie to help her so?!” Seeing that only Mu Chun and herself were left in the room, Mi mama frowned as she asked.
Although she was someone that Liu yiniang had exerted a lot of effort to find, because she felt guilty towards the late Yun furen, she was even more loyal towards Yun furen’s birth daughter!
Yet Yun Qian Meng heard the similarities between her words and those of Mu Chun and couldn’t help but find it funny. Her lips unconsciously curled upwards as her slender fingers turned a page. She spoke serenely, “mama is slightly mistaken, instead of saying that we are helping her, you should say that we are helping ourselves!”
Just think, Su Qing had just been grounded for half a month because of her. Within this time, Yun Xuan Zhi practically didn’t set foot into her room. It was almost certain that Su Qing was full of bitter hatred for her, only waiting for the perfect opportunity to settle the debt!
Although Yun Qian Meng couldn’t figure out which plans Su Qing would use against her, but now Liu Han Yu had delivered herself to the door, she could exploit this and force Su Qing to divert her attention!
After all, Yun Xuan Zhi not liking his own legitimate di daughter was a widely known fact. Even if she had the support of the Empress Dowager, if she continuously attacked Su Qing openly, Yun Xuan Zhi would surely be resentful; only afraid that it would provoke his backlash at that time!
It would be better to borrow Liu Han Yu’s hand, no need to waste a soldier or a pawn, and possibly win some favorable impressions from Yun Xuan Zhi!
Mi mama was also not a stupid person. Seeing that Yun Qian Meng appeared to have devised a plan, her worry was gradually released. She then went out to remind the servants in the courtyard, telling them to be cautious and prudent in their handling of matters, so as not to be taken advantage of by others!
Only, just as everything was settling down, right after midnight, some trouble had come from Feng He Yuan……