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Published at 13th of November 2016 07:06:37 PM


Chapter 2.1

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The Legend of the Concubine’s Daughter Minglan Chapter 2 Part 1




 

At lotus pond in the east side of Sheng household, it is evening. Stifling hot in the house, however in the courtyard, the cold wind gently blows. A few young maids at the courtyard are cracking1 melon seeds and gossiping, not a single person remained in the house to serve. Yao Yiyi lied on the beech bed alone, in a half-dead daze.

 

Yao Yiyi felt somewhat thirsty, got off the bed barefooted. The southern folk is used to the wooden flooring therefore do not feel cold stepping on the floor barefooted. Arriving before the desired round table, saw that a small stool and a slightly bigger round stool placed under the table. Yao Yiyi felt that it was laughable, she stepped on the small stool, climbing up the round stool, stably reach the table. Dragging a heavy teapot towards a pot and gulped the water.

After drinking, following the order just now and climbed back to the bed, suddenly feeling that her cheeks has a lingering fragrance. Yao Yiyi’s mind dull-wittedly recalled, o it is not plain water today, it become tea, apparently it is still good tea.

A few days ago, she had also slept till she was thirsty, climbed to drink tea by herself. Suddenly a few people came in, the leading old mama saw the sight of her climbing the table to drink water, her shock was as if she was struck by lighting, seemingly like she received a deep attack. Right away dealing with the courtyard’s servants and properly consoled and pacified her. At that time, Yao Yiyi just came to this world two days ago, still has completely not entered in state of affairs. Arriving into a new world, the father, mother, wet nurse, personal maid that ought to appear. She unexpectedly did not have any. Only a group of constantly busy people entering in and out everyday, she has not even recognised the faces. Therefore, she could only dull-wittedly listen, not having any reaction. That old mama sighed and said a few ‘pitiful’ and left.

Yao Yiyi found herself to be sympathised, actually she wanted to say that she feels more comfortable without anyone in the room. Being an imitation, have her act calm, in a panicked and doubtful situation, this is…relatively difficult.

Alone in the room, when she wants to stretch her legs, just stretch. When she wants to lean like a frog, just leaning like a frog. Unexpectedly useful for initial restoration of the mind after time-travelling. After that day when that old mama left, those servants immediately improved their service, placing a few food and desserts on the table, tea stored in the teapots. Even placing a plate of freshly washed grapes yesterday, even more considerate. They placed various heights of stools based on the height of Yao Yiyi. Exactly forming it to be a flight of stairs, so it was convenient for her to climb up and down. Afterwards, they went out to play again.




Yao Yiyi was extremely touched.

Waves of voices from the courtyard entered, Yao Yiyi do not have to strain her ears and could hear them clearly. During this period of time, Sheng household is going through violent changes. This lonely courtyard’s maids gathered their spirits and gossiping like wildfire2 about the activities.

“Today I heard that Master’s close aid, Laifu said the imperial decree has been passed the day before yesterday. Our Master will be promoted to a senior provincial government official and will be going to Deng Prefecture to take up the post at the end of the month. These few days, Concubine Lin’s place is in a uproar, urgently selling the shops so that it is easier to bring it along.” Maid A said.

“My obedient darling, you say, all these years in the end how many family properties does she have. I see that she is still usually lavisher compared to Madame. Everyone says she is born a young miss from an established family but because she admire my family’s Master that is why she is willing to suffer herself and become a mistress. Seems like these words are not false.” Maid B excitedly said.

“Pah!3 You listen to those who flatter the popular and trample the lowly! My mother told me long ago that Concubine Lin is merely just a declined official family’s lone daughter. When she first came into our Sheng household, she only brought a young maid and a older maid. All together her luggage adds up to only five or six. Her clothes not better than our household’s second class maid, what family properties!” Maid C somewhat furious.

“Ah, that Concubine Lin is now very lavish. Master favours her this much, it is not surprising that Madame is always not nice. In addition, Master also somewhat prefers Young Master4 Feng and Young Lady Mo. This Concubine Lin sure has the capability.” Maid D enviously said.

Maid E added “That is obvious, if not how to coax Master into favouring her this much even to the point of ignoring the face of Madame and the household’s rules. Although the Old Madame is unhappy but she cannot be bothered. Her belly also does not fall short, complete with sons and daughters, naturally has a strong backing. Ai!5 Looking at this, our this courtyard is on the verge of death. When Concubine Wei was still alive, it was still okay. Master frequently comes over. Now when Concubine Wei left, it immediately became desolate. Do not know where us sisters will be settled into, if we are able to go to Concubine Lin’s place, that would be good. Everyone says the sisters there have food and clothing and still monthly salary, better than everywhere else.”

“You wench, you wish, I tell you, Concubine Lin is not a master that is easy to get along,” Yao Yiyi recognised that is Maid C’s voice. She sneeringly said “When she first married over, it is still okay. After when she was about to give birth Young Master Feng, soon afterwards, she slowly demoted a few qualified servants without a trace. My mother, Aunty Lai, there is still Older Sister Cuixi and mother. Do you know for what reason? Is it because those people saw her poverty-stricken self at that time!”

“Oh! What Older Sister said is true? This Concubine Lin is this powerful.” Maid E who wanted to be transferred away was very shock.


“If I am talking nonsense, call me gossiper!” Maid C firmly said. “Now it is good, a mama with rank will not say, those who will say are demoted out of household. There will be no one who will talk about her past, only those vicious demons who benefited from her, speaking of her good everywhere. What impassable in the four arts6, what proficient in all verses and poetic songs, character kind and honest etc, innate disposition pure and honest etc. Pah! The one that is really kind, honest and pure has just passed on, that exactly is our extremely sincere Concubine Wei!”

“Older Sister Cui, your voice be softer, if anyone heard you, your settlement would not be good!” Maid F kindly reminded.

“Humph! What do I have to be afraid of? I have already been matched with someone, moreover my mother is Old Madame’s close aid, already out of the household, living in a farmstead. The day before, my old mother has already request a favour from Old Madame. This time when Master goes to Deng Prefecture to take up the post, I will not follow, helping out to do some work at the farmstead. When the time comes, do not have to meet with these rotten worries.”

As it turns out, Maid C has already found a good escape route, not wonder no such fear of the consequences, Yao Yiyi thought.

“Sigh, if not for this time Concubine Wei’s case, who knows that Concubine Lin’s heart is this cruel. Seeing that her speech is so refined and has courtesy, also friendly in treating people. Who would have thought. Our Concubine Wei has just died, right away she drove out Older Sister Die’er and others, even our Young Lady’s wet nurse, lumping all in one to send out. Only leaving behind us this few third class maids who do not know anything……” Maid A said in a increasingly low voice.

“Those few are Concubine Wei’s most competent maids. Usually very close with Concubine Wei, must be driven out. If not when Master asks, discovering some clue, what is to be done?” Maid C, Cui, said.

“What clue? What nonsense are you talking about again?” Maid B softly said.

Maid C, Cui, dropped her voice “Humph! Although we are third class maids but we are not blind. That day when Concubine Wei was in labour, it was obviously between 3-5am that she cried out in pain. Older Sister Die’er urgently went to Concubine Lin’s place to ask for a midwife but why did that midwife drag until 9-11am. There are a quite few old maids in the household who knows to deliver, why is it such a coincidence, all on leave for those few days. Waiting until Concubine Wei cannot endure anymore, Older Sister Die’er urgently needs clean cloth and boiled water, why did these few of us are either asked to called someone or send on an errand? At the critical moment, there was no one in the courtyard that is easy to order around. Must know, Master and Madame have already left a few days ago, Old Madame in the West Courtyard does not manage things, every big and small matters are all decided by Concubine Lin, what clue you say?! Heaven has eyes, Master suddenly has official matters, returned to the household a few days earlier, just to see Concubine Wei swallow the last breath. Asking Older Sister Die’er a few questions, immediately furious. If Master returns a few days later, afraid that Concubine Lin would have already been thoroughly cleaned up, nothing to investigate!”

When this recount was finished, the courtyard was silent, only a few long long sighs. Classmate Yao Yiyi lightly breathed, changed her posture, waiting to listen to the later half. After some time, one maid said “But this ten days, I have yet to see Master act up? Only moving to stay study room, Concubine Lin is also fine. In Master’s heart, Concubine Lin is more important than Concubine Wei.”


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Maid C, Cui, sneered a few times, no longer speaking.

“If I was to say, Concubine Lin also, why is there a need to strife with Concubine Wei. How can Concubine Wei be better than her? Just the same as Concubine Ping and Concubine Xiang, pay no heed to them.” Maid D said sighing.

“This you do not know then, how is Concubine Ping and Concubine Xiang be compared to our Concubine Wei. Although Concubine Wei do not understand poetry or songs yet also not some lowly maid. She married over honourably, what’s more is that our Concubine Wei was born excellent, also young and considerate. Since marriage, Master also dotes on her, originally gave birth to a young lady, if she was to give birth to a young master, not necessarily be inferior to Concubine Lin. But what a pity……” Maid F said with an experienced tone.

“That is right, heard that was a extremely handsome young master, his looks are exactly like the Masters. It is really a pity, actually suffocated to death in the womb, sigh, what an outrageous act.” Maid B used a very soft very soft voice to speak. “Even if things are investigated, how is it possible that Master would allow Concubine Lin to make up with her life, looking on the account of Young Master Feng and Young Lady Mo, nothing can be done. Only taking a few servants to vent.”

The courtyard is silent again, Yao Yiyi nodded her head. This maid has insight, spot on.

“Older Sister Cui, still your life is good, mother has other younger brothers all have capabilities. Once you left the household, able to enjoy good fortune. Just do not know us these foster7 sisters will be, soon this small courtyard must be dispersed, also do not know where our Young Lady will be going.” Maid E constantly reminded of this employment issue.

“Enjoy what fortune? Merely just changing another place to work, just a little nearer to parents and younger brothers, able to enjoy a little family love and joy that is all. All of you do not worry, all are third class maid, no matter how Concubine Lin takes her anger8 it would not be counted onto our heads. Merely changing another master to serve when the time comes.” Maid C said not without pride.

“Changing another master, also not knowing whether it would be as easy to talk to as Concubine Wei. She is a kind and honest person, never gotten angry with us. That year, my younger sister fell sick, she still bestow me a few taels of money.” Maid A said.


“Honest is honest, but also too weak. Our house here has not propriety. Others love to come as they wish, the courtyard’s maids also dared to secretly scheme against Concubine. She blindly forbear, also have not gotten good. Apart from Older Sister Die’er, who dared to stick out for her due to injustice, who would remember her good. I say those who are masters, ought to have some haughtiness of masters, wanting everything to be done well, merely not distinguishing right from wrong.” Maid B said.

This topic is too serious, very quickly the maids changed the attention towards the topic of Young Lady Cui’s marriage9, momentarily the courtyard became relaxed again. Classmate Yao Yiyi lied on the bed, staring blankly at the green radish canopy on the decorative frame. This kind of gossip that has no head or tail, she has already listened to it for ten days. Currently this body of hers is the Sheng household’s sixth young miss, named10Sheng Minglan.

1. 嗑 (Ke): Has the idea of cracking between the teeth
2. 如火如荼 (Ru Huo Ru Cha): Like a raging fire; unstoppable
3. 呸 (Pei): Spitting in contempt, it is similar to the saying, for the lack of better word,bullshit
4. 哥儿 (Ge Er): In this context, it is more of addressing the position in the family as he possibly not of age or married
5. 哎 (Ai): Shows the emotion of disapproval or disappointment in this case
6. 琴棋书画 (Qin Qi Shu Hua): The four arts mainly: zither, chess, calligraphy and painting
7. 干 (Gan): Foster; adoptive, the group of maids are probably so close that they view each other as sisters
8. 迁怒 (Qian Nu): Has the idea of the taking the anger onto someone who does not deserve it
9. 终身大事 (Zhong Sheng Da Shi): Literally means life’s big event
10. 芳名 (Fang Ming): Name of a young woman specifically

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