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Published at 22nd of June 2019 09:55:35 AM


Chapter 106

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Old Madam Sheng’s Ability, Concubine Lin’s Tragic Future, Molan’s Determination (1)

From the moment Old Madam Sheng walked into the gate of the Sheng Mansion, she put on a frosty look. She asked Changdong to see Concubine Xiang. Then she went to the main house to visit Wang shi. When she reached the gate of Wang shi’s courtyard, she heard a sharp voice, “… You are daydreaming! I would rather keep my daughter in Sheng Mansion than do as that bitch wishes.” Then there came Sheng Hong’s roar, “Otherwise, how can you deal with this matter?”

Old Madam Sheng turned to look at Hai shi who immediately blushed with shame and gave the maid beside her a push. The maid promptly raised her voice, “Here comes Old Madam!”

The room quietened down at once. The maid lifted the curtain and Old Madam Sheng went into the house and walked through Treasure Racks with Minglan and Hai shi. When they reached the wing room, they saw Wang shi in pale pinkish grey underwear lying on the bed, a quilt with gold thread over her. Her face was sallow with a flush in her cheeks. Obviously, she had lost her temper and quarreled with her husband. At the sight of Old Madam Sheng, Sheng Hong instantly came up to her and made a bow.

Old Madam Sheng gave him a cold look without saying a word. Wang shi struggled to get up to greet Old Madam Sheng. Minglan hurried to stop her. Old Madam Sheng went over to Wang shi and said friendly, “Don’t get up. You should take a good rest.”

Minglan stole a glance at Sheng Hong and Wang shi, surprised to see her legal parents look drawn and tired. Sheng Hong had got some grey hairs, looking six or eight years older than his age. Wang shi looked harassed and drawn as if she had a bad illness. Minglan knew that it was not appropriate for her to stay here, so she showed her respects to Sheng Hong and Wang shi by curtsying to them, and then walked out of the main house and went straight to the House of Clear Dusk.

Wang shi looked at Hai shi who stood beside Old Madam Sheng. Hai shislightly nodded to her mother-in-law. Realizing that Old Madam Sheng had known the whole story, Wang shi said with tears welling up in eyes. “Old Madam… I’m useless. I should have kept a watchful eye on Molan so that she would not have done such a disgraceful thing. It’s my fault. I…I…”

Old Madam Sheng waved her hand to stop her self-blame, “It’s not your fault. After all, we can’t forestall a person with evil intentions by monitoring her movements all the time. Moreover, they are Master’s beloveds and no one dares to offend them. In this condition, who would dare restrain their freedom of action?”




Her voice was dripping with sarcasm. Sheng Hong blushed, bowed to Old Madam Sheng with his head bent and dared not answer her. Realizing that Old Madam Sheng was defending her, Wang shi covered her face with a handkerchief and cried aloud, “Mother, you are right. If it were not for Master’s sake, I wouldn’t treat them with leniency and they wouldn’t have had a chance to do such an ignoble thing. My poor Molan, she…”

Old Madam Sheng interrupted her again, “I won’t blame you for Molan’s mistakes, but you should take responsibility for Rulan’s unsuccessful marriage. Since you betrothed Rulan to your nephew, how could you make a promise to Junzhu Pingning? Your mother loves you so much, but now she is annoyed by you. You’d better reflect on your behaviors.”

Recalling her mother’s anger and her sister’s betrayal, Wang shi felt her heart sting with pain. She buried her face in the pillows and sobbed sorrowfully.

Sheng Hong lowered his head with shame and asked, “Mother, can you tell me what should I do now?”

Old Madam Sheng ignored him and said to Wang shi, “Just take care of yourself and don’t bother about these lousy things. Rulan has just reached the age of fifteen. Be patient. We can arrange a new good marriage for her.” After that, she asked Hai shi to look after Wang shiproperly before she turned around and left with a cold expression on her face. Sheng Hong watched Old Madam Sheng walk away and dared not say a word.

As soon as Minglan reached the House of Clear Dusk, she saw Ruomei leading a group of young maids lined up in two rows to welcome her at the gate. Minglan smiled and walked into the house, satisfied to find that everything in the room was in good order. The room was kept clean and tidy. A maid was boiling the kettle and making the tea by the door. On the table was a set of white porcelain teacups decorated with colored drawings and a plate of fresh fruits. Minglan praised Ruomei with satisfaction.

Dangju, upon entering the room, opened a small box with a smile and took out a light purple chiffon parcel. Then she thrust it into Ruomei’s hands and said, “You are a capable girl. No wonder Lady gives you more gifts.”

Ruomei raised her eyebrows with an air of arrogance and took the parcel while saying, “I’m inarticulate and not good at pleasing Lady as sisters are. Since I was left to look after the house, I have to do my best to tend it.”


Luzhi, who was burying herself in taking things out of a big box, was annoyed at Ruomei’s remarks. She straightened up and wanted to quarrel with Ruomei. But Yancao stopped her in time. Dangju just smiled gently and said nothing. Xiaotao couldn’t help saying, “Sister Ruomei, I heard Lady Minglan say that she left you in the House of Clear Dusk because you are a meticulous and reliable girl and she trusted you. No one can do better than you.”

Ruomei licked her lips with an indifferent attitude, turned and walked away. Cuixiu lifted the bamboo curtain and went in. Then she gave a sweet smile and said, “My sisters, you must be tired after such a long journey. Sister Ruomei has asked us to clean the rooms and make the beds for you. You can have a good rest after finishing the work. Sister Ruomei is tough in speech but soft in heart. In fact, she really misses you all.”

On hearing this Luzhi let out a lungful of breath, lowered her head and continued to work. Dangju and some other maids couldn’t resist laughing.

After sorting out all the belongings for the whole afternoon, Minglan took a shower and felt herself recovering from the tiredness. Then she went straight to Hall of Peaceful Ages for a meal with her grandmother.

Old Madam Sheng had set a rule that talking was banned at mealtimes. So Minglan and her grandmother sat down to supper without speaking. While having dinner, Minglan took a stealthy glance at Old Madam Sheng who seemed calm but her knitted brows betrayed her annoyance.

After dinner, they chatted over tea. Minglan didn’t know what to say, so she came up to Old Madam Sheng and kneaded her shoulders.

“… Do you think I should lend a hand in this matter?” Old Madam Sheng asked. Through a haze of steaming tea, Minglan saw the tiredness on her grandmother’s face. Just now Fang Mama had come here and reported that Concubine Lin was locked in the side room and Molan was shut away in her own room. Sheng Hong had issued strict instructions that they were not to leave the rooms or see anybody.

“Yes,” Minglan blurted out but added at the sight of Old Madam Sheng showing unhappiness on her face, “But don’t promise to help them unless Father comes to beg you three times!” She stretched out three white and delicate fingers.


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Old Madam Sheng rolled her eyes at Minglan and snorted, “Your father has come to beg me twice in this afternoon.”

Minglan was embarrassed and thought Sheng Hong an immature man who couldn’t retain his composure when problems cropped up. She forced a laughter and said, “Well… Five times.” This time she stretched out five fingers.

Old Madam Sheng sighed and shook her head.“Blood is thicker than water. Anyway, Molan is his daughter. All right, I can’t stand by. But…” She gritted her teeth and continued, “I hate to do as that shameless woman wishes.”

Minglan slowly put down her hands and thought for a while before she advised, “We can't put personal emotions over family honor. In my view, Concubine Lin should be punished for her mistakes. Meanwhile, we should do something to redeem the reputation of our family.”

Old Madam Sheng closed her eyes, meditated for a moment and said, “You are right.”

The next day, Old Madam Sheng asked Minglan to distribute the things that they brought from Youyang to ladies and madams. Wang shi still lay on the bed to recuperate. Hai shi was relieved after Old Madam Sheng came back. Now she felt much better and got some color back in her cheeks. In the afternoon, Minglan went to the House of Carefree with a few bottles of osmanthus oil to visit victim Rulan.

Minglan guessed that Rulan must be angry and have a tantrum. But to her surprise, Rulan looked much calmer than she thought. Although Rulan was foaming at the mouth about the ignoble things Molan and Concubine Lin had done, she stayed rational and showed no trace of sadness. She even asked her maids to draw patterns on papers so that she could do embroidery.

“Since she dared do such a shameless thing, she must now face the consequences of her actions. But how could she drag us down?” Rulan said with anger, frowning. But soon she smoothed her knitted brows and continued, “Marriages are made in heaven. It’s all up to the will of God and I can’t change it.” It seemed that she liked neither Qi Heng or Cousin Wang, so she had no concern for her marriage.


“Sister Rulan, you are grown-up now,” Minglan praised sincerely. And the next moment Rulan gave her a knock on the head with annoyance.

Sheng Hong was in a terrible predicament these days. Molan’s behavior brought disgrace on the Sheng family, which made him embarrassed in front of his colleagues. Besides, His wife, who had a tough character, refused to deal with problems caused by Molan. So he had to beg Old Madam Sheng to handle this matter. He went to visit her four times in two days. But every time he was about to say something, Old Madam Sheng interrupted him with sarcastic remarks. Sheng Hong knew that she had been dissatisfied with his kindness to Concubine Lin for a long time. He treated them kindly and never ruled them with a rob of iron, which gave them the courage to act recklessly. So he deserved the sufferings.

On the third day, early in the morning Sheng Hong went to Hall of Peaceful Ages again and begged Old Madam Sheng to help him. Old Madam Sheng put her hand in the sleeve and counted the number of times that Sheng Hong came to beg her with her fingers. It was already the fifth time. So her attitude softened a little. Sheng Hong was overjoyed and begged at once, “Mother, I know I’m wrong. Please help me discipline them!”

Old Madam Sheng looked at him with cold eyes and said, “I hear that Concubine Lin sent her maid to serve you and now the maid is pregnant, right? Are you crazy? It was still in the period of the national mourning.”

Sheng Hong flushed crimson with shame. He dropped to his knees and said repeatedly, “Mother, I was wrong. I did the silly things.”

Old Madam Sheng sneered, “Concubine Lin is good at pleasing you. No wonder she dared to stir up trouble and create confusion.”

Wang shi always kept Sheng Hong under close supervision and forbade him to get close to other women. Concubine Lin, who was very understanding, gave him a beautiful girl, which was exactly what he wanted. But after sleeping with the girl, Sheng Hong was seized with deep remorse. He always cherished his reputation very much. This time he lost his self-control because the girl was good at flirting and he was charmed by her.

“It’s all my fault. Mother, you can punish me severely.” Sheng Hong lowered his head and knelt before Old Madam Sheng.

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