Published at 13th of November 2016 07:08:19 PM

Chapter 4.1

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The Legend of the Concubine’s Daughter Minglan Chapter 4 Part 1


Quite a few servants in the Sheng household are bought locally, those servants who cannot bear to part with hometown, friends and families have been released by the Sheng household and still gave out some dismissal money. Everyone has been praising His Excellency Sheng as one that is kindhearted and love for the people.


Sheng Hong picked an ecliptic propitious day suitable for travelling, early in the morning, brought the whole household, big and small to set off. Sheng household has several tens of people in addition to the luggages and wagons filled up no less than seven eight ships. Sheng Hong is overly worried, then dispatch trustworthy stewards to escort several of the luggage on the ship that advanced towards north, at the same time, prepare the residence.

Yao Yiyi followed Wang shi to stay at the right side of the ship, the maids by her side has changed a few new faces, she is also lazy to remember them. As before, everyday is just eating and sleeping then eat again, unable to eat much and oversleep. Except for being seasick in the first few days, the little Young Lady Sheng Rulan  that is together with her is very interested in watching the sceneries on water. On one hand watching, on the other bouncing around, speaking with this ‘dumb and foolish’ Sixth Younger Sister.

Little Young Lady Rulan is reckoned to not have left the house much, even if it is just big crow taking flight she can also be interested for a long time. Waving her fat fingers around and making a fuss over nothing the whole journey. When Wang shi could not bear it any longer then she chided her with a few words. Little Rulan is gloomy, dare not to always climb onto the ship’s windows, as long as she comes to talk with Yao Yiyi, every time she chatters continuously for a long time. Yao Yiyi would then weakly and without strength sound out an ‘en’1 or nod.

“Mother, I see that Sixth Younger Sister is really foolish, even not being able to speak.” The six years old little Rulan express dissatisfaction regarding the new companion.

“Fifth Younger Sister, do not talk nonsense. Minglan is sick, I heard her speak yesterday. She is younger than you by more than year and also just lost Concubine Wei, you certainly am not allowed to bully her.” The twelve years old Sheng Changbai seated by the window reading, tall and straight appearance with delicate features.

“Yesterday she only said four words — ‘I need the toilet’, Big Sister you also heard it.” Little Rulan pulled the braid of Yao Yiyi. On the soft couch, Yao Yiyi did not move a single jot, seems like she fell asleep again.

“Enough, Rulan.” The thirteen and half Miss Sheng Hualan is exactly slender and beautiful. Maturing like a flower just blossoming into a white orchid, the same loveliness and prettiness. She sat at the soft table browsing through embroidery patterns “What noise are you making for nothing, listening to you chatter continuously the whole journey, not of bit well-behaved like that of an established family. If you make noise again, take care that I go to father, ask father to punish you by copying books. See if you still have the leisure mood to care about others, play by yourself.”

Little Rulan pouted, apparently a little afraid of the eldest sister, unwillingly jumped down from Yao Yiyi’s soft couch to one side to play Cat’s Cradle2. When she walked behind Sheng Hualan, still pulled a wry face towards her.

Not too long later, the first class maid by Hualan’s side entered. Hualan put down the pattern in her hands and asked “How are things?”

That maid pursed her lips into a smile, replied “It is indeed not out of Miss’ expectations, it is bustling over there. Because we are on the ship, the trouble is not out of hand, this moment tears are being plastered. I originally wanted to ask around more, Aunty Liu kicked me out.”

Hualan smiled, happy internally. Changbai put down the scroll, frowning “You went to inquire again, father already instructed not to ask anymore. Why do you always not listen, scouting all the day long, how is this fitting of a young miss from an established family.”

Hualan rolled her eyes at her younger brother, “What are you being long-winded about, my affairs you need not bother, read your books.” and continued to softly talk to herself “…… if she really offended father, for what reason can it be? Must ask mother tonight……serve you right!”

Yao Yiyi narrowed her eyes pretending to be asleep, being the sole person who knows the whole situation in the room, she feels that the sceneries in the ship is more marvelous than the outside these few days. Just sailed off for ten days, Sheng Hong fired two three stewards at the dock, please take note, all surnamed Lin.

They were originally the poverty-stricken clan mates who came to seek shelter from Concubine Lin. These few years they became Concubine Lin’s left and right arm, managing the farmhouse and shops outside, undertaking purchasing errands inside, the person before and after are all impressive from all eight angles. This time Sheng Hong wants to expel people, they are naturally unwilling, pleading before Concubine Lin and she receive a huge shock. Her thoughts careful and smart, knows that something is amiss. Immediately going pleading for leniency before Sheng Hong but this time no matter how she reason with him, Sheng Hong is still cold, ignoring her. Unfortunately, they are on the ship, masters and servants mutually hears things from head and tail. It is not good for her to play string instruments, play the flute or beautifully shed tears3, that entire set of skills. She could only helpless watch herself get pushed off the arm.

Wang shi is happy till flowers bloom but dare not to reveal that on her face. Having no choice but to control her cheeks, daring not to publicly express her happiness, supporting till she was extremely exhausted. Her mood is cheerful, actions became more magnanimous. Treating Yao Yiyi with increasing intimacy, food and clothing all purchased according like that of her own daughter. The moment the ship stops close to shore, she invited a physician to diagnose Yao Yiyi, see if it is really foolish. What a pity, Yao Yiyi is not cooperating, as before still looking sickly, not eating more than a few mouth of food and always in a deep daze from sleeping all day.

Sheng Hong comes to see Yao Yiyi often, every time he see, he gets more worried. Every time he carries her to estimate her weight, his brows wrinkle tighter. Then hasten the boatman to hurry, wishing to quickly reach Deng Prefecture and properly examine his daughter after they settled down.

Early summer south wind is just strong, from the south very smooth navigating the boat that is heading north. At last reached the Jingjin zone, Sheng Hong brought along few of his aides and advisors and got off the ship by themselves, walking on the route to the capital to handle promotion procedures. Still have to kowtow to thank the kindness of the emperor as well as salute the seniors and colleagues.The rest of the relatives following the lead of the eldest son head north, going to Shandong first.

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Once Sheng Hong left, Concubine Lin became all the more honest, simply not even showing her face and only educating the children within her hold of the ship. All the servants on the boat, boatmen and other family boats sailing by often could hear the clear reading voice of Concubine Lin from the inner cabin. One after another highly praised the Sheng household as generations of scholars, indeed homeschooling is the origin. Wang shi was furious, forcing Changbai to read out some books letting others hear. Older Brother Changbai’s character is aloof and earnest, listening to this request of his mother, immediately his pretty face rose to be a big eggplant that is ready to be reaped.

Yao Yiyi said, eggplants even more do not study.

Yao Yiyi slept till she is dizzy, completely do not know how long has past. In any case, by the time little Young Lady Rulan hated sitting in the ship, Older Brother Changbai finish reading three rolls of books, First Young Miss Hualan finished embroidering four pieces of handkerchief, finally the ship reached the shore. At the dock, there was already a steward bring all those involved servants waiting to receive them. The people ashore are covered in dirt and the dizzy and lightheaded people on boat all do not have any pleasantries to say. Immediately they changed into the carriage, then shaky and bumpy for a couple of days, fortunately Deng Prefecture is a place near the waters. They finally reached before Old Madame Sheng ran out of air.

Yao Yiyi is a southerner, not very seasick but fiercely dizzy in the carriage, and she vomited yellow liquid for a good couple of days practically vomiting out her bile. This time is not pretending to be sick, rather it is really dizzy to death in the bosom of a strong old maid and was carried into the house. Basically do not know how the new house in Deng Prefecture looks like, waited until her breath returns, she is already on the heatable brick bed. Each time she opens her eyes, she could see one physician by the side shaking his head4. The first was an uncle around forty years old, the second was a white-haired grandpa and the third was old man with all white hair and beard. According to traditional chinese medicine, it is the scientific law that the physician’s age and his medicinal expertise are directly proportionate. The physician must be wiser and wiser each time.

Continuously inviting three physicians, all of them said the worrying condition of the Sheng household’s young girl is not because of poor medication but the problem lies on Yao Yiyi. She completely does not have the will to live on. Wang shi looked at the skinny little girl, to the point of skin and bones, her heart started to feel anxious. Recently her relationship with Sheng Hong has become moderate, Sheng Minglan is also personally carried by Sheng Hong to her place to be raised, if Sheng Hong returns to see that his little daughter died of illness then Wang shi need not take merit but replenish the walls.

Sheng Hong returns to see his daughter to be this weak, his anger increased towards Concubine Lin. After handling his official matters in the day, returning to the household and fired the servants. Sheng household first came to Deng Prefecture, no matter buying or selling servants, the outsiders do not know the inside story. Only treating it as taking up a new post, the household servants also need more adjustments. Sheng Hong has anger in the heart, avoided Concubine Lin continuously for two days, sending out or selling a few of her capable maids and still resting at Wang shi’s place every night. Wang shi was happy to the point where flowers are blooming, taking out the ginseng meant to repair Yao Yiyi’s body is getting bigger, one ginseng stuffed up like a radish only made Yao Yiyi scared looking at it.

This side the lovely spring sunshine but over there is the mourning wind and bewailing rain. Several times Concubine Lin wants to see Sheng Hong but was stopped outside however she is after all not an ordinary person. This day after dinner, Sheng Hong and Wang shi are discussing Sheng Minglan’s condition, the children have all returned to their rooms, only the deeply dazed Yao Yiyi is still lying on the heatable brick bed by the window. The couple on each side of the bed talking about the topic detoured to talking about buying properties in Deng Prefecture. Suddenly a burst of racket outside, the sounds of maids berating and blocking flowed in, Wang shi sent Housekeeper Liu Kun to take a look. Suddenly with the movement of the wind, the lake blue soft silk curtain was lifted, entered a person. If it was not that Concubine Lin, who could it be?

Seeing that she was completely without adornments, oily hair bound up in a bun, unexpectedly without pearls and jades, face without cosmetics. She was originally born with an outstandingly suave voice, dressed in a dark blue raw silk furthermore reflects her unfair excellent snow-white skin. A pair of crescent curved eyebrows knitted in distress, the full waist, once held seems like a lot of weight has been lost. Really pitiful in all aspect.

The sounds of maids jostling and pinching came from outside, obvious that Concubine Lin brought an army of maids to crash the barricades. Sheng Hong turned his head away from her, Wang shi, unable to control her anger, slapped the bed “This ghostly appearance of yours, who are you showing to! Ask you to properly stay in your rom, you dash in here to do what? Making so much noise till the whole house knows, you think that others are equally as shameless as you! All of you quickly drag5 her outside!”

With that said, a few of the maids came to drive her out.

1. 嗯 (En): Sound of approval or agreement
2. It is a popular string game where two or more would try to form figures, the Chinese calls it 花绳 (Hua Sheng) which literally means fancy-patterned rope
3. 西施垂泪 (Xi Shi Chui Lei): Interestingly enough it means Xi Shi shedding tears, Xi Shi is one of the Four Great Beauties of Ancient China, apparently she was beautiful enough that fishes would stop swimming and sink
4. 摇头晃脑 (Yao Tou Huang Nao): Literally means shaking head shaking brains, it is an idiom meaning looking pleased with oneself but in this context I would think the literal translation makes more sense
5. 叉 (Cha): Pick; pitchfork; cross; intersect, it has the imagery that two servants would cross their arms over each arm of Concubine Lin to drag her outside

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