Published at 1st of December 2019 10:54:27 AM

Chapter 179

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Although Minglan had shown a smile on her face as a friendly gesture, she still felt that it was necessary to strike this old madam one more time. Otherwise her afternoon nap might be interrupted again. With that in mind, she took out the stack of papers while saying with a smile, “Fifth Aunt, since you are already here, I would appreciate your help to clear up my confusion.”

Seeing Minglan changing the subject, Fifth Old Madam let out a sigh of relief and said, “Go ahead.”

Minglan pointed at the person on the side while saying in a soft voice as before with a smile on her face, “Ever since this Mama Diao has entered Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion with you, she has worked in five different positions. She worked as the kitchen purchaser for three months, the make-up buyer for two months, the keeper of the woods in the back garden for half a year, the night-watch Mama for four months, and the Mama who disciplined the new maids for five months. I found that quite strange. Why Mama Diao failed to work in one single position for a full year?”

The profits which Mama Diao had been able to earn from each position had dropped from a large penny to zero.

Hearing Minglan’s words, Mama Diao almost knelt down on the ground. Fifth Old Madam, with her face turning purple black, also wore an awkward expression on her face. She gave a few coughs, not knowing what to say. Then she turned around to look at her two daughters-in-law.

Second Madam Di, having sensed the awkward situation, said in a hurry, “Sister-in-law, there are things you don’t know. Mama Diao has suffered hardships when she served my mother-in-law. So her physical condition... is not that good. My mother-in-law showed solicitude to her...” Now Second Madam Di couldn’t even continue her own words. Because if things were just like what she had said, why had Fifth Old Madam sent a servant who had been ill to Gu Tingye and Minglan? Had Fifth Old Madam intended to send help or trouble?

However, Minglan nodded, seeming to be convinced, “So that’s what it is! Luckily I have asked just now. If I haven’t, I would make Mama Diao’s condition be worsened by asking her to do the difficult work!”

Mama Diao who got worried right away chipped in at once, “Second Madam, please let me say a word! I did have suffered from illness in earlier years. But I have already made a full recovery over these years!”

Minglan waved her hands generously and then pointed to the words on the paper while saying with a smile, “Mama, take it easy. I know you are a loyal one. However, I see in those papers that you have been ill over dozens of years and only got recovered two years ago. I think it’ll be better for you to rest a bit longer. I don’t want outsiders to say that Gu family doesn’t show sympathy for their servants!”

Mama Diao only felt herself having a Coptis in her mouth with sweats all over her forehead. The other three servants all glanced at Minglan secretly. They finally realized that this young madam really was a tough person. After that, they couldn’t help but fear their new madam.

With that tender and modest look on Minglan’s face, she said in a super kind tone, “See? Fifth Aunt, the questions are really necessary, right?”

Though Fifth Old Madam was filled up with pent up anger, she still couldn’t say a word. Then she nodded with difficulty.

With a beaming smile on Minglan’s face, she turned around and fixed her eyes on Mama Lai. The latter who got quite nervous under Minglan’s gaze could only say in a trembling voice, “Second Madam, what is your order?”

Minglan held the teacup while fiddling with the tea cup lid leisurely. “I really had no intention to let Fifth Aunt be angry at me today. I just felt so wronged. It’s not like I have beat or scolded anyone of you. But Fifth Old Madam still came to criticize me because I have asked you a few questions. She has even accused me of mistrusting Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion. Alas... It seems that you are all too exalted to work for me. If anything happens to you in the future and someone comes to speak out for you, I will never be able to handle the family affairs.” Minglan said as she gazed at Mama Lai with her two sharp eyes.

Mama Lai only felt her heart beating unusually fast. However, Minglan continued, “Anyway, I understand. After all, you have served in Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion for so many years. You all deserved to be cherished. Mama Lai...” Hearing that, Mama Lai was tingled and then stood reverently immediately. Then Minglan said, “Today I have criticized you twice. Do you want to argue with that?”

Mama Lai answered hastily, “Second Madam, you have been so right. How dare I argue anything.”

“You are an experienced servant. How was it possible for you to make any mistake?” Minglan made herself very clear with the bright looks in her eyes.

With Mama Lai’s teeth gritted, she said, “I am such a stupid woman. I should never retort you and think I could take advantage of my seniority, Madam. I admit that I have crossed the line!”

Minglan nodded with satisfaction, asking, “So tell me, have I done anything wrong?”

Mama Lai declared firmly right away, “Of course not! I was the one who did wrong!”

“No.” Minglan shook her head while saying, “Even if I did wrong, you shouldn’t have retorted me in front of everyone.” Everyone there was startled hearing that.

Minglan continued, “Especially the second time, you knew that I have just married into Gu family and haven’t built my prestige yet. That was the perfect timing for me to make a show of force. Don’t tell me that the things I have said were merely minimum matters. Even if I did have made some mistakes, you shouldn’t have refuted me in front of so many people. The right thing to do was persuading me afterwards! Sister-in-law, what do you say?”

Second Madam Di looked at Minglan with meaningful expression in her eyes and said with a smile, “Sister-in-law, you are absolutely correct.”

Minglan clapped her hands and chuckled, “I feel quite relieved hearing this. Looks like Old Madam Qin wouldn’t come to criticize me.”

Hearing that, Fifth Old Madam showed a sullen look on her face, knowing that she was the one Minglan had meant to speak those words to. Minglan had tried to tell her two things: First, she shouldn’t have found faults with Minglan the first day she dealt with the family affairs. Second, she was not Minglan’s mother-in-law, so she had no ground to make any accusations!

In the meantime, some women’s voices came from the outside. Minglan then frowned at once. Caihuan, as sensitive as she was, had already realized that Minglan was not a woman to be trifled with. So she went out consciously to see what was happening. After she had come back, she reported, “Madam... it is the maid of Lady Fengxian. She wants to see you.”

That news changed the atmosphere in the room. Everyone there put on different looks. Eldest Madam Yang looked at Minglan with a worried look. Second Madam Di looked quite unperturbed. And Fifth Old Madam seemed to be expecting a revenge for herself.

Minglan stared at Fifth Old Madam, finding the latter very ridiculous. Then Minglan felt that if she didn’t ask that maid to come in, this old madam must have something to say again. So she called, “Tell her to come in.”

A maid who was around seventeen or eighteen came in. This girl was very pretty. The red waistcoat on her made her waist seem quite slender. As she raised her head, she knelt to Minglan right away, saying, “Madam, please receive my obeisance.”

“Get up. If you have anything to say, say it quickly. I have some guests here.”

That maid hesitated for a short while. However, seeing that Minglan had no intention to compromise, she could only report, “Our lady knew that Madam is very busy now. So she didn’t dare to bother you. We have thought that since you have already met all the people in the mansion, it should be our lady’s turn to pay her respects to you, Madam. Our lady has ordered me to pass her message. She said that she should at least serve a cup of tea to you, Madam.”

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Minglan only smiled without replying anything to her. Instead, she turned around to face the four servants, “Mama, what do you think I should do?”

Mama Lai felt the blood vein on her forehead jumping. She didn’t understand Minglan’s intention. Before she could figure it out, Mama Hua had already stepped forward and scolded loudly, “What a rude girl! You think anyone could serve tea to our madam? First, the elders should agree to that; second, Master has to give his consent. Also, our madam hasn’t shown her approval yet! Now you think your lady can come here by simply asking?”

While listening to that, Minglan was wearing a joyful look all the time and staring at Mama Hua with a smile. And Mama Hua who sensed Minglan’s gaze chested out right away, feeling a bit proud of herself.

Mama Tian who was beside Mama Hua also got things straight. Seeing the maid still wanting to say something, she went to grab the maid’s arm and said in a loud voice, “What is the identity of your lady? A concubine? A Tongfang? How do you think our madam is going to meet her? With what kind of etiquette? Quit your nonsense and dismiss yourself right away! Wait until Master gives the order!”

On these words, Mama Tian pushed the maid while asking Xiahe to drag that girl out of the room.

Minglan watched the fun the whole time, feeling quite satisfied. She said with a beaming smile, “This Lady Fengxian is sent by someone from the outside. It’s inappropriate for me to criticize anything about her. I feel so lucky to have experienced Mamas like you! I always knew that you understand the etiquette and have good sense!” Although Minglan didn’t indicate whom she was referring to, she only looked at Mama Hua and Mama Tian, which made the two servants show grateful expressions in their eyes and talk even more humbly.

In ancient times, the employees should always make an oath to express their loyalties before they started working. Those four women had just changed their workplace, they should at least show their advantages such as their abilities, their determinations or their loyalties to let their new madam trust them. After all, their new employer cannot put them in important positions for no reason. As for Mama Diao who was obvious a disloyal one would never be assigned to a post.

After that, the four Mamas were all dismissed. Minglan still ordered the maids to serve the tea and snacks smilingly. However, the look on Fifth Old Madam face was rather ugly. She really had bit the ground today. Not only had she gained nothing, she had also been taunted while couldn’t get angry about it. Otherwise, she would be accused of questioning the emperor’s ability. That was the last thing she wanted. Thus she had to shut her mouth.

Minglan observed the gloomy face of Fifth Old Madam, understanding this woman’s feeling. Among the three old madams of Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion, only Fifth Old Madam was the first wife of Fifth Old Master. Not only did she have a son, a daughter and even a grandchild, her son-in-law was also a scholar. Meanwhile, Old Madam Qin was the third wife of Old Master Gu. As for Fourth Old Madam, she was the second wife of Fourth Old Master and only had one daughter. So Fifth Old Madam should be the most confident woman among three of them.

And also, the least calculating one.

The reason why Fifth Old Madam had come to look for trouble today was simple. She was just discontented with Gu Tingye’s imposing manner and wanted to put pressure on Minglan. As long as she could find fault with Minglan, she believed that Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion would have the right to make requests to Gu Tingye.

However, she didn’t realize that she had made a mistake by thinking of that. However, Mama Hua and Mama Tian did.

After Minglan and Second Madam Di had chatted and laughed with each other for a while, Fifth Old Madam and her two daughters-in-law decided to leave. Before they bid their farewell, Minglan said in a low voice, “Fifth Aunt, pardon my offense to you today. Just think about it, you are the only one in Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion who came here today, why?”

Even if Fifth Old Madam didn’t understand that, Minglan still hoped her two daughters-in-law would be able to understand.

On their way home, Fifth Old Madam stayed in the same coach with her favorite second daughter-in-law as usual. She said in a rage, “Huh! How dare she sow dissension among my sisters-in-law and me! Your useless Fourth Aunt doesn’t have a son and has to be careful of what she does every day. Of course she doesn’t have the guts to come! Your Eldest Aunt is the kindest woman ever! It’s so obvious that Tingye dislikes Minglan. How can she scold her daughter-in-law? I’m the only one who could do this!”

Second Madam Di didn’t chime in with Fifth Old Madam. It didn’t matter if Minglan was trying to sow dissension or anything. The important thing was that Gu Tingye was the more powerful one and more helpful to her daughter... So Second Madam Di found it better not to offend him.

Eldest Madam Yang sat in the mall coach alone. The maid beside her said gently, “This new madam really is a tough woman. That was the first time I saw Old Madam being unable to say a word. I felt... so happy to see that.”

“Don’t talk rubbish!” The cowardly expression on Eldest Madam Yang’s face already disappeared. She put on a stern face while saying that. Then she continued, “You don’t know how dangerous the situation was for this madam!” Seeing the maid was still confused, she said in a low voice, “Actually my mother-in-law didn’t have enough reasons to pick on her. But as the saying goes, parents are always right. Even if the elders make mistakes, the younger members of the family shouldn’t denounce that directly. As a young madam who has just entered into the family, if she ends up in a quarrel with her aunt, the public would definitely criticize her no matter whose fault it is!”

That maid said lightly, “Oh, I see... If Madam of Young Master Ye (Gu Second) tolerated with our old madam’s accusation, Old Madam Qin would have something on her. And it would be easier for Old Madam Qin to give her orders to Second Master Ye. If Madam Ye chose not to endure in silence and got in a fight with our old madam, she would be labeled as an irreverent woman! However, this new madam kept smiling the whole time and was never irritated at all.”

Eldest Madam Yang exhaled deeply. While staring at the top of the coach, she muttered, “She seriously is an intelligent woman. Full of scheming...” Then she chuckled tenderly and added, “However, that woman is not an easy one to deal with! At that time she heard that an illegal daughter was about to marry into our family, she was so happy... Huh...”

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