Chapter 37 – Plainness

It’s really a good omen for the Old Madame Sheng that she had a wonderful success being the matchmaker for the first time, and Madame Kang went to visit Changwu in person. Had been fed up with the arrogance and incompetence of worthless scholars in her whole life, Mrs. Wang took a fancy to Changwu as soon as she saw Changwu. In her eyes, Changwu was leggy and had an imposing appearance, also was very generous and enthusiastic to others. Although he was not very handsome, he was honest and tolerant. Now it’s just the end of the spring, the Kang agreed to the marriage between Changwu and their daughter. In view of the fact that both boy and girl grown up, they agreed to hold the wedding as soon as possible.

All was well in the Kang Household, however, the Yu was wretched. Although the Imperial Secretary Yu had retired for many years, there were still connections with the capital after all. So no matter how good the Pingning Princess put a word in for he, after the investigation, the second childe of Marquis of Ningyuan was indeed perverse in temperament,which was confirmed by the doomsayer Molan.

Let alone that he had acted like an overlord since child period, he even made troubles in public at every turn. He often loafed with prodigals of the Duke and marquis households, and later when he grew older, he even played around together with the disgusting gangsters who went whoring and kept actress. As a result, he incurred heavy debts. With great difficulty, the Master Gu made a good match for him, but to everyone’s surprise, the childe Gu was not satisfied with the match that would like to break off the marital engagement. Rejected by his parents, he showed up in the family feast when they (the opposite side) gave dinner parties and scoffed at them in public, made their whole family ashamed and resentful, then his marriage was naturally ruined. After that, the decent families in the capital did not dare to marry their daughters to the second childe Gu. Only then, the Gu found the match out of the capital.

Minglan frowned and looked out the window. Air her grievance with no one, so every three or five days, Yanran asked Minglan to her mansion to talk about the news heard from her grandfather, which liked bad news series. The latest news came that the guy had a fondness for homosexuality, and he was in close association with the blueblooded young men who liked men in the capital, accompanied with them to visit the male brothel.

OMG, as a professional legal worker, Minglan was very clear that the real world is actually not YY (psycholagny) and the loser was the loser, there were not so many hidden facts and prodigals who forsook heresy. Most important was that the gay was the gay and they were difficult to be straight. You can imagine the sad life of the famous Japanese writer Mishima Yuki’s wife, who had pursued a beautiful dream to straight Mishima Yuki and married with him, but the result was that he was a gay from first to last even she gave birth two sons for him.

Within the few BL novels that have read in Minglan’s previous existence, the love between boys was so romantic that all the girls were just victims. Few girls who like reading BL novels are willing to marry a gay.

Ming Lan was not willing, and most likely, Yanran didn’t want to do that as well.

On this day, Minglan was invited again to Yu Prefecture, and she cried for a long time with Yanran who cried with red eyes. Recently, the Imperial Secretary Yu and Master argued fiercely in their letters. The Old Yu was going to break off the engagement, however, Master Yu disagreed with it and said that the child’s marriage should be subject to the arrangement of their parents, which meant that it’s none of the Old Yu’s business. Then, the Old Yu stroke back, since parents decide their children’s marriage, Master Yu should divorce his wife who was disobedient and unfilial, attached with a letter announcing divorce without the signature.

On the other side, the stepmother Yu was crying and intended to bring her children back to her parents’ family, while the Old Madam Yu was also crying to mediate the argument between the father and the son. Yanran was happened to be the sticking point, so it’s was hard to avoid the sadness. She said: “…sister Minglan, I am so unfilial that lead to the restlessness in my whole family, I think it would be better to be married!”

Minglan cheered her up desperately: “Victory belongs to the persevering! There was nothing wrong with you, it was your stepmother’s trick, she betroths you to that guy just like give a rose in the hands of those who had no intention of keeping it, now that they wanted to be social climbers, why not match that guy with your half-sister? She is only  two years younger than you, however, it’s also time to get married, but they only pushed you forward, it’s inexcusable”

These days, Yanran cried almost shed of the body, she was very weak. “My grandfather is too old to stand up the toss. He has been lying on the sickbed for many days, what if…”

Minglan sighed: “Hey, it doesn’t matter. Your father doesn’t betray the emperor and nation, he just wants to make a match and is confused by others. It is inevitable that there will be a mistake in life. I was also punished with the hand plank because I had stolen the dim sum for the Buddha offered by my grandmother. Get through the tough situation, you can also be forgiven by your father. Listen to me, even though you reach deadlock now, but only if you get married well in the future and have a happy life, your father definitely approve you when you pay a homecoming carrying with treasure and gifts, accompanied with your husband and children”

Suddenly, Yanran cannot help laughing with tearful eyes, said with a hopeful thought: “Is it can be true?”

Minglan slammed Yanran’s shoulders vigorously: “Of course! Your grandfather had held out against the wind and waves when he was the grand secretary, he couldn’t fail in the trifle. Hum… I didn’t mean that your father was trouble. What you need to do is to bestir yourself and try to take care of your grandfather, and don’t put on a long face, just make a smile. It’s just a petty business, to say nothing that you haven’t presented gifts to the bride’s family, so you didn’t break the promise of marriage.

Actually, in Minglan’s eyes, Yanran’s business is still very perspective. Since the Imperial Secretary Yu was offended, it was most likely that the Master Yu in the capital city dared not to be too rebellious. Besides, Mrs. Yu also didn’t dare to act rashly since the letter announcing divorce was waiting for her, otherwise, she would have engaged Yanran to that guy, and then I would be in trouble if Yanran breaks the promise! Listening to Minglan’s detailed analysis, Yanran finally relaxed for the time being.

Yanran’s marriage resulted in a stalemate, while Minglan was just like a beacon in the darkness whenever Yanran hesitated, she would be invited to relieve the anxiety by talking some jokes. As the bestie, Minglan acted from a strong sense of duty. In the course of contacts, the old couple Yu and even the couple uncle Yu were full of praise for Minglan, spoke highly of her good temper and demeanor.

No one knew if it was after a storm came a calm. After a few days, the situation has taken a turn for the better. It was said that childe Gu visited Master Yu personally and asked for an engagement face-to-face, and Duke Gu wrote a sincere letter to seek a marriage alliance. After reading the letter, the Imperial Secretary Yu and the old madam was shaken. After all, the childe Gu was a child of a noble family. It would be a good marriage if he was willing to repent.

Yanran was born to gentle and soft, she was also moved after listening to what her grandparents said; Minglan twitched her mouth, did not speak.

The leopard can’t change its spot, Minglan, who has been listening to the court for many years, is very convinced of the old drunkard of Gu Long: a woman may change for a man, but a man cannot change for a woman.

Sheng Hong named Changbai’s marriage day at the beginning of next year, and he would hold the wedding in the capital. At the same time, his term of office would expire at the end of the year. So Sheng Manson will start to count the servants and property from the end of the summer. Some of the farmlands that need to be bought will be released, and some servants who were bought from local will be dismissed. Minglan also began to talk to the servant girls in the House of Clear Dusk and asked who would not follow.

Let alone the servants born in the household, the others bought from the outside were Xiaotao and another three little servant girls. The Sheng Household always stayed generous to servants, and Minglan was also a good temper, so the servant girls were not willing to leave. As a result, after a dozen girls were asked, only two wanted to live with their parents.

Then Minglan began to count her property. In fact, she didn’t have any private money. Although the old madame gave her a lot of pocket money, she used most of them to arrange the servants, so the rest was the least. Nonetheless, Minglan reckoned her property carefully according to the commodity price at that time, the result was that what she had was enough for a farmland family of six or seven people to spend two or three years. Although it seemed a lot for the normal family, in fact, it cannot do a few things in the bureaucratic family; anyway, in recent years, she saved up a lot of gold and silver jade jewelry and furnishings. The calligraphy, paintings, and books sent by Changbai were worth a lot of money. So Minglan simply drew up a book of her own things and recorded them in different categories.

Before she moved into the House of Clear Dusk last year, Old Madame Sheng had sent a set of casket found in the old mansion in Jinling. The casket was exquisite, and it had nine floors totally, the largest one was one foot high and the nine floors were forty-nine visible boxes and eighteen invisible boxes, the smallest box was only the size of the palm, open which there are also nine small rooms.

Although the whole set of things seemed to have been used for many years, the wood was still good and bright. The white copper and brass were polished as the new one, which shined beautiful colors under the light. It is so simple and unadorned that made Minglan almost laugh out. In the heyday of royal atelier, the best masters worked day and night for the top grades for a whole month – one of the dowry of Old Madame Sheng!

When the set of furniture was moved into House of Clear Dusk, what Rulan behaved was better than Molan because she saw the dowry of the top grade of her mother’s, Lady Wang. However, Rulan still said some jealous words and looked Minglan in a cold way. As for Molan, she immediately got a feeling of envy and hate. She cried out in front of Concubine Lin, who then had a cry in front of Sheng Hong.   

Sheng Hong spread out his hand resignedly: It was the dowry of Old Medam Sheng. She can present it to anyone whoever she want to give to. In other words, She doesn’t have her own child and if Marquis of Yongyi’s family come to ask for the dowry, What can he say in such an embarrassed situation?

Concubine Lin recalled the fault and reminded herself with it. She decided to climb up where she fell, then she came to Shou’an Hall to pay respects to Old Madam Sheng. While she was stopped by Mother Fang. However, instead of going back, she kneed at the door and screamed, which drew the attention of everyone in the house. Old Madam Sheng pretended to get sick and lay on the bed, and the doctor’s diagnosis was only two sentences: the mood was depressed, leading the veins blocked.

Frankly speaking, the old lady was not happy. Sheng Hong hastily dragged Concubine Lin away.

In the beginning, Minglan felt a little guilty for what she did that stirred up the trouble of Concubine Lin, Minglan thought. While Old Madam Sheng was used to the situation and said: “It is not the first time she does that. Everytime she wants something, she will come and do something disturbing.”

Minglan was curious about that and asked why Concubine Lin did so.

Old Madam Sheng said frankly without any concealment: “…that year, what she did was exposed. Lady Wang wanted to expel her out. However, the master protected her and said if Lady Wang didn’t allow her to marry in, he would keep her as a concubine in a place outside. Lady Wang didn’t accept the tea she served, then she came here and kneed for several hours. She cried and asked me to fulfill her infatuation day and night, and said that if I don’t agree, she can only resort to die. I was really bored with what she did, then asked her privately ‘Why must you marry Sheng Hong as a concubine?’. She answered firmly that she admired the talent and character of Sheng Hong. Humph! If she told me what she really thought – she was afraid of being poor as in her childhood and just pursued for wealth and rank – I would also bear my anger, but she wanted to cheat me with sincere affection. She knew my past reputation, so she did that to cheat me with affections. Humph! How could she know the real affection! The real affection is… The real affection is…”

“The real affection should be like this – neither riches nor honours can corrupt him; neither poverty nor lowly condition can make him swerve from principle; neither threats nor force can bend him!” Minglan said.

“Oh, you should use the dictum of Mencius in this way, watch out the teacher’s ruler!” Old Madam was quite appreciative, but still pretended to be angry and hit Minglan’s palms.

“What about later?” Minglan asked, with her bright eyes twinkling.

“I felt disgusting, so I asked Sheng Hong to come near and announced that I could agree on their relationship on condition that I would never see her again. If she accepted this, I would immediately give my consent on this marriage. At the beginning, she pretended to be howling and hesitating; after several days, she reluctantly agreed, and then I let her in while narrowly calm down the primary wife. ”

Minglan remained in silence, and Old Madam sighed and continued, “She is a complete liar, as for the following years, she kept coming to me to apologize, and she cried, begged, kneeled down and kowtowed from time to time, pleading for my mercy and forgiveness… I directly called your father in and pledged to move out if she would come to disturb me again. In this way, your father gave her an ultimatum!”

Ming Lan listened for a long time and sighed slowly. From a long time ago, she felt a faint but intense emotion from the calm and stagnant appearance of Old Madam Sheng. She was a proud woman who loved and hated fiercely, but this kind of extreme and desperate characteristic was often easy to hurt others and more likely to hurt herself.

Concerning that Molan’s ingratiation, Minglan gradually discovered that Old Madam Sheng had a weird temper. For what others didn’t want, she would rather give it. But if someone was deliberately seeking all means to get something, she would not give it at all. Minglan rejoiced at this thought.

At that time in Minglan’s good old days, her bright future was flooded by a mudslide, and the employment situation after her reincarnation was very bad, so she became a complete pessimist. From the day Minglan entered Shou’an Hall, she never asked for anything, furthermore, she estimated all the situations of Old Madam Sheng from the most pessimistic point of view. She saw that Shou’an Hall did not have snacks and pastry like Mrs. Wang’s, so she even saved some money to buy snacks to share with Old Madam, which both amused and embarrassed Old Madam.

Concubine Lin and Molan were both good at plotting and scheming, and they were also aggressive, but they just didn’t know that Old Madam embraced the idea of “plainness”.

Chapter 36 - Every Girl Should Get Married
Chapter 38 - まだまだだね(MA DA MA DA DA NE)Editor's note: you’re still far off


  1. Hi all, chapter 35 in this website refers to chapter 38 provided by flyinglines. If you have read chapter 1-38 provided by flyinglines, please continue reading chapter 36 in this website.

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