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Published at 26th of January 2017 03:24:37 AM


Chapter 16.1

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Minglan only saw Concubine Lin glide to the middle of the room gracefully. Firstly she bowed towards Sheng Hong, then softly and tactfully spoke to Governess Kong “Beg Governess to not blame me. Initially, it is not my place to speak out however there is uneasiness in my heart. I humbly ask to pour out what is on my mind and greatly hope that Governess will forgive this lowly one. On today’s matter, undisputedly it is caused by Molan’s immaturity and she is the root cause. In particular Sixth Young Lady is still young and has to being dragged to be beaten. My heart truly feel very apologetic. Why not let Mo’er take the place of Sixth Young Lady’s ten planks…”




Concubine Lin already was frail looking. However, at this moment tears were welling in her eyes, her tone apologetic as she gazed at Sheng Hong with eyes full of sincerity. Sheng Hong felt touched and turned his gaze to look at Molan. Unfortunately, Molan was still young and was yet to understand, she merely looked at Concubine Lin in shock.Surprisingly, it was Hualan who stiffen her neck and loudly proclaimed “I am the eldest sister, my younger sisters’ faults are also my faults. I insist, let me take the place of Sixth Younger Sister’s beatings.”

 

Minglan sighed internally but had to strongly refuse “No, no, Big sister still has to still embroider your dowry, I insist let me endure the beatings by myself……” Hualan was touched by her thoughtfulness and glanced appreciatively at her. At this moment, Molan finally clicked and hurriedly fought for the honor “I insist, let me take it, let me……”

For a brief moment, taking the beatings for Minglan became the most popular auction item.

Seeing his daughters display their sisterhood, Sheng Hong finally felt he could breathe properly.  He cupped his hands in admiration towards Governess Kong’s methods. Governess Kong acknowledged with a nod but remained unmoved “Concubine Lin words have erred, The reason I have punished the young ladies together is to mend their sisterly affection. Beating them equally today, they would be able to carry the lesson together. If I were to favour one and discriminate another would it not renew this hostility? Concubine Lin’s intentions are good but methods are lacking.”




Concubine Lin gripped the handkerchief firmly with both hands with tears glistening tears in her eyes. She sadly said “Governess Kong is right, this lowly concubine is truly ignorant and has caused the young ladies to be punished. This concubine is sorry, it is all because this concubine has not taught Mo’er well enough. Governess please punish me as well! Allow me to make up for my mistakes.”

Sheng Hong seeing that she was so delicate that it was touching and was finally moved. Unexpectedly before he could finish savouring being moved, he heard Governess coldly laugh.

Governess Kong sneered in her heart because she was patiently waiting for these words and coldly said “It would seem that Concubine Lin has yet to properly learn etiquette, the more you speak the more inappropriate it is. Concubine claims that she ought to be punished because she did not teach Young Lady Mo well enough but Young Lady Hua and Young Lady Ru are nurtured by Madame. Furthermore Young Lady Ming is being taught by the Old Madame’s, could it be that Concubine Lin means for even Madame and Old Madame to be punished as well? As for me being their governess am even harder to escape from blame! Are you implying this as well, Concubine Lin?”

Concubine Lin’s face turned pale white and in a trembling voice stuttered “No no, no… I did not have this intention… how would I dare…? That is I am ignorant…”

Sheng Hong hurriedly waved his hands “Governess what words are these……” He blamed Concubine Lin for offending the Governess.


Governess Kong did not anger and merely sternly continued “Concubine Lin, let me also impart a word to you. You must know, one’s honour is in one’s self-awareness. Today you suffer from two ignorance. The first ignorance is, while knowing your own status, while I was speaking with the Master and Madame, you rudely interrupted. Was that really appropriate? It is truly fortunate that the Old Madame and I are old friends and if it was any other, would it not allow outsiders to laugh at the Sheng household for lacking rules?”

Each word was keen as a knife, each sentence slicing gracefully. Sheng Hong couldn’t help but glare at Concubine Lin.

Governess Kong continued “The second ignorance is, you repeatedly made the mistakes you knew were wrong. You started by saying that you ought not have opened your mouth yet you still spoke out of turn. You repeatedly claimed that you were ignorant and since you are self-aware of your ignorance why then are you still interrupting matters of educating the young ladies at your will? You obviously knew these things yet still committed these mistakes. Would it not be akin to knowing the law yet insist on breaking it, it is a higher class offence than simply breaking the law! Or could be you are relying on the fact that you are raising young master and young lady at your side hence identify yourself as loftier than others.”

While she spoke, she looked at Sheng Hong with a deep meaning, silently criticising him with her eyes.

Sheng Hong received the gaze and felt ashamed, he knew that Governess Kong was rebuking his excessive doting of Concubine Lin. He acknowledged that Governess Kong’s words were very logical. Thinking back on Little Girl Mo’s behaviour, he realised that Concubine Lin’s nurturing was truly not suitable and shallow. At the end of the day, the singing of the wind and moon1 is essentially different from proper self-restraint. He then sternly scolded “Merely stand to one side and watch! Madame, I and also Governess Kong are present, how is this the appropriate place for you to speak out!”

Wang shi stopped crying and with sparkling eyes was admiring Governess Kong. Concubine Lin’s face turned shades of red, then white. Ever since she married Sheng Hong, not once has she lost face like this. She clenched her teeth but did not let her feelings show on the surface, and only lightly sobbed standing to one side. Seeing Concubine Lin was enraged to the point of trembling, Hualan calmed down greatly. She felt that even if she was beaten ten more times, it would be all worth it. Minglan on the other hand was starstruck and wanted to get Governess Kong’s autograph.


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Governess Kong faced the sisters in a dignified manner “It is good that you sisters are willing to help one another, I feel that you girls have already understood the lesson. However knowing the mistake is merely knowing, but punishment is still punishment. Alright, now extend your left hand!”

Sheng Hong stood up dignified and gave orders “All kneel properly, obediently extend your left hand and graciously receive the beatings. You may resume copying the book later.”

The girls knelt according to the rules and looked upon the cane miserably. On hearing Governess Kong’s soft orders, the four canes fluttered up and down echoing the sounds of pitter-patter through the room. Minglan immediately felt scorching pain race up her palms. Molan cried in sorrow. Rulan cried to the skies and screamed at the ground. That thin and flexible cane whipped their palms but the pain was like their skin and flesh were separating. Even the strong-willed Hualan could no longer endure it. At the sixth or seventh hit, Minglan was hurting to the point where she could no longer cry and could only breathe through pursed lips.

Wang shi heart broke and couldn’t help but shed tears while watching. The surrounding maids’ faces flinched with discomfort. Sheng Hong also turned his head and could not look. Shortly, once the punishment was over, regardless of Concubine Lin’s shrewdness, she couldn’t help but to throw herself onto Molan and softly cradled her. Wang shi also couldn’t care less about dignity and embraced her darling Hualan and Rulan, unwilling to let them go.

In comparison, Sheng Hong noticed Minglan’s small body kneeling on the prayer mat all by herself, feeling so much pain there was cold sweat dripping over her face. Her small face was pale and she looked pitiful with no one to rely on. There was noone around to love her around, only today did Sheng Hong finally understand the Old Madame’s words that day. He steeled his heart to not look at his other daughters today. He first respectfully sent Governess Kong off and then walked over and gently carried Minglan. He coldly instructed the respective maids to return and personally cradled Minglan in the direction of Shou’an Hall.  


1. 吟风弄月 (Yin Feng Nong Yue): Figuratively means unintelligent and sentimental

Translated: aplenglowpaled
Edited: Eers

Since you decided to open your mouth, this is what you deserve Concubine Lin. My poor little Minglan. Next up, Minglan returns to granny!

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