Evening arrived in the blink of an eye. After supervising the maids setting the table for dinner, Xiao Hua retreated.
Tonight was not her shift, and whatever would happen had nothing to do with her, and there also wasn’t anything she could do. Guessing that Bi Yuan would be in their room, she went to chat with Grandma Wang in the small kitchen, dawdling until it was very late before returning.
Bi Yuan lay on the bed facing away and didn’t say anything, so Xiao Hua also silently washed up and climbed into bed.
The next day, Bi Yuan strangely still showed no signs of movement. Xiao Hua didn’t want to remain with her too long in case something occurred, and left for work. She planned on taking the day shifts for the next few days, leaving the night shifts to Cui Lan and Liu Ye, thinking they would be more than happy to do so.
Walking into the guest residence, she saw Liu Ye attentively helping the young master change clothes. The two of them laughed quietly a few times, and Liu Ye’s face was also full of sweet bashfulness.
Cui Lan walked in at this moment.
Cui Lan smiled a bit and didn’t comment, and went with Xiao Hua to fetch hot water and a towel for the young master to wash up.
After sending off the 4th young master, Liu Ye turned around and cleaned up the bedding.
Only now did Xiao Hua understand why Cui Lan and Liu Ye put on such a performance yesterday. Turns out the two had not only collaborated, but had also planned the events that would follow already. Taking advantage of their fight, Cui Lan would mark Bi Yuan’s face so that she would be too embarrassed to show her face in front of the young master, allowing Liu Ye the opportunity to make a move.
Xiao Hua couldn’t help but be impressed by their scheme. No wonder she died so tragically in her past life. Her schemes, reactions and mind all fell short compared to the others.
In her previous life, only Cui Lan had followed her example and climbed into the young master’s bed as well. Liu Ye remained still, and after a few years was matched with another servant. Xiao Hua couldn’t help but ponder if her inaction this time around resulted in the roles changing, allowing Liu Ye and Cui Lan both to step up.
Xiao Hua couldn’t be sure, but she knew that what was best for her now was to hide far away.
The 4th young master and the two recently accepted maids where full of intimacy, the news of which only reached Bi Yuan the day after through a few common maids’ reports.
Bi Yuan’s heart was full of unimaginable resentment and indignation. She restrained herself until dark before going off to find her mother. Xiao Hua was also unaware of this, only seeing that Bi Yuan was not in her room when she returned after her shift.
Matron Qu lived in a small pavilion near the back gate of the Jinyang Marquis Estate. Entering the pavilion, one could see that the family of four lived quite spaciously.
Seeing Bi Yuan crying so hard with her face covered, Matron Qu’s brows were tightly furrowed. She wanted to tell her she’d been foolish, but didn’t want to pour salt onto her wounds.
Matron Qu muttered to herself for a brief moment before opening her mouth and saying: “That’s enough, don’t cry anymore. Go back and stay in your room, say you are sick. Leave the rest to your mother.”
Bi Yuan knew her mom was formidable so she wiped her tears and left under the cover of darkness.
Xiao Hua saw Bi Yuan return, but didn’t know what to say to her. She just pretended to be asleep, leaving the night quiet.
Before two days had gone by, Cui Lan and Liu Ye’s bed climbing had already spread throughout the pavilion.
Bi Yuan and Cui Lan’s fight on that day also couldn’t be kept hidden from the maids, especially since Bi Yuan had been hiding in her room recently, not having come out these past few days.
Therefore, the gossip regarding Cui Lan and Liu Ye managing to climb into the young master’s bed first, and angering the senior maid in charge to the point of illness, spread swiftly throughout Jinxiu Pavillion, and even through the entire estate…..
Inside the Jinyang Marquis Estate’s main pavilion.
The estate madam who was in the middle of verifying accounting records heard the servant’s report and immediately threw the records in her hand across the room.
The old maids on the side saw the enraged madam and immediately knelt to the floor.
Tian-Shi took a deep breath and exhaled it all in one go, waving her hands and ordering everyone to take their leave. Only senior maid Xiu É and her wet nurse Matron Rong remained.
Senior maid Xiu É attended to Tian-Shi who lay crooked on the recliner, grabbing a footrest and gently placing her feet on it. Matron Rong fetched some tea and placed it by her hand.
Tian-Shi lay for a while and took a few sips of tea before managing to calm the anger in her heart.
“Yi’er this child really makes one worry….”
She rubbed her brows, her face full of concern. Only in front of her own people would Tian-Shi show a hint of weakness. Xiu É walked over and gently massaged her temples.
Matron Rong stood to the side, and gently said: “Madam don’t be too angry. 4th young master, he’s still young….”
Tian-Shi laughed bitterly, “He’s still young when he’s almost 18? I originally thought he liked to watch beautiful things, so when he filled his pavilion with beautiful maids I didn’t say anything about it. But now…” Tian-Shi paused for a moment, “Look at the constant disturbances that pop up, it’s really –”
The estate madam was unable to finish the rest of that sentence.
He left his principal wife alone, didn’t get intimate with her, and didn’t worry about first giving birth to an heir. Before, he had at least known to maintain his courtesy and keep his hands off the maids in his room. To think that now he has started cavorting with the maids.
First Qiao-Shi slapped his maid and he went over for a big argument. Then, just a few days later, those few senior maids climbed into his bed one after the other….this, this was simply preposterous!
Tian-Shi realized now that she herself hadn’t sufficiently considered the previous situation. She only intended to knock Qiao-Shi down a few pegs and placate Matron Qu a little, especially since Bi Yuan getting slapped was quite an injustice. Who knew that the two senior maids serving Yi’er would lose their cool and climb into his bed one after the other?
“I know Yi’er this child also has some anger in his heart, and is trying to make things difficult for us, purposefully acting this way for us to see. But still—”
Tian-Shi sighed again, and couldn’t speak any further. Matron Rong who was next to her also didn’t dare interrupt, since this involved some of the estate’s private affairs.
Only after a long while did Tian-Shi open her mouth again: “Forget it, it’s just a couple of maids. Since he likes them then let it be. As long as he has what he wants, it could provide some distraction for him. As his mother, my heart would also be more at ease…..”
The setting sun shone through the window, particles of dust illuminated by the ray of light.
Matron Rong let out a sigh in her heart, but also didn’t say anything more. What a shame, the 4th young master used to be such a good kid….
Just as she had the thought, a common maid entered in a panic. Matron Rong initially wanted to reprimand her, but was immediately interrupted by her words.
“Madam, the 4th young madam has hung herself—”
The Jinyang Marquis Estate madam’s teacup fell to the floor with a crash.
The main residence wasn’t far from the guest residence. When the screaming started the maids in the guest residence knew something was wrong, following which a maid came running to inform them of the situation.
Hearing that the 4th young madam had hung herself, Cui Lan and Liu Ye exchanged a frightened glance and didn’t know what to say. Xiao Hua was also shocked when she heard the news. In her past life, no matter how hard it got, Qiao-Shi had never attempted suicide.
Could she already not endure this time around when things were just getting started? Then what about when things got worse in the future?
The old maids in the main residence were going in and out, screaming their heads off.
Xia Tong and the rest of the junior maids were terribly frightened, repeatedly asking Cui Lan’s group whether they should go over and take a look.
It stood to reason that they should go take a look. The 4th young master was not present currently, and someone had to be his representative from the guest residence to show some concern. Especially since the 4th young madam was the mistress of the Jinxiu Pavilion. Regardless of whether you treated her as one or not, if you still didn’t go over when something serious happened then that would be disrespectful.
Cui Lan and Liu Ye went over to the main residence. Xiao Hua followed behind them with an ominous feeling in her heart.
She wasn’t able to figure out where things had gone wrong since this situation didn’t occur in her past life. She could only press upon her beating heart and enter the main residence.
The room was a mess. Qiao-Shi had already been taken down and placed on the bed. Chun Tao was sprawled by her side, crying her heart out. Matron Chen was also standing by, her face filled with tears and sorrow. However, since there was no one to give the orders at the moment, she could only take it upon herself to suppress her grief and order the maids to report to the estate madam and young master, as well as immediately invite a doctor over.
Cui Lan’s group of three stood by the side unable to help much. Xiao Hua was just about to lend a hand when she was blocked by one of Qiao-Shi’s maids with a glare.
Xiao Hua felt a tinge of coldness in her heart. They were being targeted.
Without mentioning the fact that Qiao-Shi was somehow able to hang herself in front of such a large group of maids unnoticed, the fact that Chun Tao and Matron Chen were crying their hearts out as though their entire family had died, and yet were able to calmly give orders for the madam and young master to be informed meant that Qiao-Shi was definitely in no danger.
This was all a performance!
Xiao Hua’s heart grew colder the more she thought about it, as though having fallen into a bucket of ice.
Chun Tao cried intermittently, “…..wu wu wu, my dear young miss….how could you try to commit suicide? What would Chun Tao do without you….Chun Tao has served you since I was a child, if you’re gone Chun Tao also doesn’t want to live anymore….”
Chun Tao had apparently gotten a huge fright, calling out “young miss” with every other word. However, due to the chaotic situation, no one thought to reprimand her for not calling her “young madam”.
“….young miss, you were really too foolish….how could you be unable to look past a couple of maids climbing into his bed….what do maids count as….they’re just immature slaves that you can easily sell off if you don’t like them…why couldn’t you think it through….”
Xiao Hua thought wildly in her heart: here it comes.
Cui Lan heard Chun Tao’s indirect scolding and wanted to go up and dispute it, but was restrained by Liu Ye who indicated behind her.
Cui Lan turned her head and took a glance. It turned out that the estate madam Tian-Shi had been standing by the door for an unknown period of time. There was a large group of old maids behind her. Even the main heir’s wife Xiao-Shi had also come.
The two mistresses entered as all the maids in the room knelt to the floor. Only Chun Tao remained in place, seeming to have forgotten herself in her tears.
Only when Matron Chen went to pull her away did she seemingly react, kneeling limply on the floor appearing inconsolably heartbroken.
Tian-Shi’s face was very stern, first asking Matron Chen what the situation was. When she heard Qiao-Shi was still breathing, she instantly put her thoughts on hold, waving her hand to the doctor behind her to perform treatment.
This wasn’t the time for modesty between sexes. The old doctor first peeled back Qiao-Shi’s eyelids, took her pulse and then had Matron Chen come up and pinch her central acupuncture point 1.
After Matron Chen pinched the spot, Qiao-Shi let out a moan and awoke. Upon seeing Matron Chen’s tearful face in front of her eyes, she let out a wail and burst out crying. Matron Chen also ignored the surrounding crowd as she hugged Qiao-Shi and cried.
Clarification regarding the “Shi” in the names of all the madams. This indicates their maiden name, so “Qiao-Shi” means “maiden-named Qiao”, similar with Tian-Shi and now Xiao-Shi. I considered translating it as madam Qiao etc, but the word for madam is again different, so have left it as is.