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Published at 8th of March 2017 08:12:11 PM


Chapter 19.2

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The Legend of the Concubine’s Daughter Minglan Chapter 19 Part 2




 

When Hualan got married, Wang shi did not only give a big dowry, she still picked quite a few diligent and hardworking maids from the household to be sent as the dowry. Old Madame Sheng already wanted to reorganise the inner household, taking advantage of this opportunity rearrange the manpower. At first, Wang shi felt very conflicted about this manpower reshuffle but once she heard that it is to shorten the manpower at Linqi Pavilion, she immediately raised both hands to support.

According to the theory of feudalistic ranking, the concubines’ maids should be lesser. In the past it is because Sheng Hong was biased but Sheng Hong has returned to the shores, thus the staff in Linqi Pavilion must be reduced. It is not that Concubine Lin did not make a fuss, saying that these staff are for Changfeng and Molan to order about, thus Wang shi immediately retorted “Then what about Little Boy Feng and Little Girl Ru?”

 

The explanation to the formula is as follows: Wang shi + Changbai + Rulan = Concubine Lin + Changfeng + Molan. But Wang shi should be > Concubine Lin so in other words Changbai + Rulan < Changfeng + Molan. Thus Old Madame Sheng said in a displeased tone: being the biggest joke in the world, how is this feasible!




Concubine Lin watched as the staff she had for many years is getting reduced by quite a bit. The hatred in her heart was like the fire burning, but she dares not rebel. In front of the Old Madame, she could not make up a reasonable argument. In front of Sheng Hong, she also no longer able to ‘move’ his ‘real feelings’. In front of Wang shi, her status cannot be compared. In the end, she could only shut herself in her courtyard, with a face of gloom as she smashed an entire collection of a tea set.

Together with Concubine Lin, there was still the Sixth Young Lady Minglan who was facing the same experience of reshuffling of personnel. Facing a good thing like increasing manpower, Sixth Young Lady was not very understanding. Her first reaction when she heard that people will be added was “Why must add more people? Mama Cui, Danju and there is still Xiaotao, everyone serving me alone. I have enough servants already, there are people for other matters ah.”

For Minglan to think like this is very normal, the place that she came from is currently fussing over the economic crisis, the whole world is retrenching employees. Belonging to the world that uses women as men, using men as beasts. Able to use the two, absolutely not using two and a half. Old Madame Sheng looked at Minglan with an expression that resented her for failing to meet the expectations and impatient to see improvements for the entire time it takes to make tea. She took a deep sigh and walked to the prayer hall to recite Pure Heart1 twice, controlling herself from pinching her beloved little granddaughter to death. And so Mama Fang very considerately went to wipe out Sixth Young Lady’s ignorance.

When Old Madame Sheng was the First Young Miss of the Marquis Yongyi household, needless to say, that she had her own courtyard. By her side, there are housekeeping mama, five first class maids, eight-second class maids, eight three class maids and there is five or six little maids who run errands. The maids who do needlework, wash and sweep probably amounted to ten.

Minglan moved her fingers to count, the more she counted, the bigger her mouth got. “Then, then, then is it not more than ten people serving Grandmother alone?”


Mama Fang stroked the maroon neck jacket, embroidered in six round designs, it was extremely exquisite. She spoke in a proud tone “That is natural. The deceased Old Marquis Master only have this daughter, having no limit to gold vessels and precious jade. Old Madame can be counted as one of the wise and virtuous ladies in the entire capital.”

Minglan pondered for a while and promptly asked “Then is the current Marquis Yongyi household still like this? I heard Grandmother say that that there is an older sister in this generation of the Marquis Yongyi household.”

Mama Fang was a little unable to support her old face and responded vaguely “……That is not…… the current Marquis Yongyi…… and the then Marquis is somewhat different.” She sighed inwardly, this Sixth Young Lady is always able to accurately catch the main point.

Minglan beamed with joy “Mama do not frown. At that time there is only Grandmother and now there is an older sister in the Marquis household, of course, it will not be like the others.”

“What Young Lady said is right, it is precisely this reasoning.” Mama Fang could finally find her old face, her soft and wrinkled face broke into a smile “Our Master now is a ranked six official, and a senior provincial official. Naturally cannot be on the same level as the Marquis household, do not have first and second class but the young ladies in the household ought to have something that is befitting of their status. In the past Young Lady is still young, it is fine if there is only Danju and Xiaotao at your side but now Young Lady is getting older. In any case, it is not good to be unpresentable like those small households and when it spreads out, others will laugh at our house. Moreover Fourth Young Lady and Fifth Young Lady are all like this; naturally, it cannot be insurmountable otherwise it is a disaster to be labelled as extravagant and wasteful from the Imperial Censor.”


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Mama Fang gave a big lecture and Minglan nodded her like pounding garlic. On the second day, the Housekeeper Mama led ten over little girls to Shou’an Hall, everyone varying in physique and stood in the middle of the hall. Wang shi sat at the side with a smile on her face, pulling Minglan “Take a look for yourself, pick out whoever you like.”

Minglan turned her head to take a look and slightly making eye contact with those girls. Those girls are like rabbits and immediate withdraw their eyes, there are some who are bold and smiled at Minglan. Minglan’s heart became a little uncomfortable. It was like picking something from a stall when she was young as if these little girls are not humans and merely just playthings such as little goldfishes and little tortoises.

Regardless whether the girls’ gaze was bold or cowering, all of them showed a look of longing. After going through Mama Fang’s class, Minglan knows that to this girls, once they are selected they can immediately enter the inner residence. They can break away from the servant lifestyle of doing manual work and plain clothes. The fortunate ones will have a chance to level up in the future. Minglan searched her heart, easy and comfortable life and dignity and freedom, which is more important?

Minglan was in the middle of reflecting on the deep life issue. Old Madame Sheng shot a look at her, Mama Fang saw and turned towards Wang shi “Sixth Young Lady is still young and have not seen many people. How to pick? It is better to let Old Madame do it.”

Old Madame Sheng nodded in agreement.


It was clear that the Old Madame was experienced in picking people. She meticulously asked the housekeeper: Which ones are bought outside? Which ones are born at home? Where have they worked at before? Where are their mothers? What is their speciality? The girls that were led here have been weeded out, apart from those who are offensive to the eyes and those who are unhealthy, Old Madame Sheng finally picked four girls.

Wang shi hurriedly said “So little, would it not inconvenience Sixth yatou, Old Madame pick a few more okay. If the ones here do not meet your wishes, it is doable to let us buy a few more.” Minglan lowered her head and thought, I presume that Rulan’s maids have exceeded.

Old Madame Sheng shot a glance at Wang shi “Wear the hat that fits the head. It is difficult for Master to work, it is good to also save some money, good to also save gossips. We women in the inner residence ought to be more considerate of the men.”

Wang shi looked embarrassed and answered yes. She decided in her heart that she would also be ‘considerate’ to Molan’s maids later.

1.清心咒 (Qing Xin Zhou): A buddhist text which teaches the good side of people and basically to keep the heart pure and calm

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