Scheme of the Official Descendant Chapter 6
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Ying’er and Zhu’er were assigned to the two young masters and became common servants of the outer courtyard.
Ren Family’s inner courtyard and outer courtyard were clearly demarcated. It’s extremely difficult to cross over that ‘flower-hung gate’1 with lotus columns and eaves, even if one had worked in the Ren Estate for a lifetime.
“Momo,2 you should’ve said this sooner! Now that we’re back, she still dares stretch her hand so far?!” Ren Yaohua’s eyes were chilling and her voice cold, “I will arrange for her to come tomorrow, and ‘those courtyard servants who bend with the wind’,3 let them all be thrown out.”
Momo Zhou persuaded, “Third Miss, we just came back. Let’s put this matter aside from the time being? The number of people we brought back is small, and ‘Ziwei’4 Courtyard still needs someone to serve errands. Even if we want to pick people again or buy them separately, this matter should first be reported to Old Madam and Eldest Madam. Besides, the servants in the courtyard can’t be driven out for no reason. Not only will it chill the hearts of the people beneath, it also won’t look good to Old Madam with you dealing with them like this.”
Ren Yaohua already hated Concubine Fang in her heart, and after hearing Momo Zhou’s words, she raised her eyebrows and said, “I’ll talk to Grandmother about it. As for the reason? Isn’t that easy? Lazy, loose-mouthed, stealing, disrespectful to their master… Since the master convicted them, can they still refute it?”
“Third Sister wants to offend all the people in Ren Family before you’re willing to stop?” Ren Yaoqi suddenly said.
Ren Yaohua looked at her with cold face and chilling eyes, but Ren Yaoqi ignored her anger and quietly said, “Concubine Fang has arranged a lot of people to work in Ziwei Courtyard, but the majority of them were not her people except for my Momo Zhu and two side servants.”
“Not her people?” Momo Zhou thought about it and muttered, “It’s reasonable to say that she doesn’t have a great ability. It’s been more than a year already…”
Relationships needed to be built. Momo Zhou has been helping Li-shi5 for more than ten years, but she had only won a dozen of real confidants serving by her side, and now two of them have been sent away.
Ren Yaoqi nodded, “Majority of the servants sent to Ziwei Courtyard were newly selected from the various ‘Farmsteads’8 a year ago.”
Ren Yaohua sneered and gave Ren Yaoqi a sidelong glance, “Concubine Fang has been in charge of the courtyard, even if she didn’t pick them, how could these people not pass through her hands? Even if those people indeed have nothing to do with her, but didn’t they become hers after going through her path?”
Ren Yaohua was fierce in nature but she isn’t dull-witted. Although she’s young, she has her own opinions and has been helping the weak Li-shi make decisions since she was a child.
Ren Yaoqi did not deny Ren Yaohua’s words. Instead, she nodded in agreement, and said, “Third Sister is right. Having taken Concubine Fang’s path, these people got such an idle job so they are all grateful to her. Her reputation has become much better among the servants in the Ren Estate.”
When Li-shi and Ren Yaohua went to the Manor, Ziwei Courtyard lost its master but the rules remained. Moreover, Concubine Fang never short changed them, so the servants soon recognized Ziwei Courtyard as a greasy leisure job.
Ren Yaohua’s expression became even more ugly this time but she didn’t immediately speak out.
The first-class maid Xi’er couldn’t help but wonder, “But at the beginning, didn’t Fifth Miss say that these people were not Concubine Fang’s minions? Now she says they are her people… So are they her people or not?”
Ren Yaoqi thought for a while, and softly said, “Although these people were all ‘household servants’9 who had been chosen from the Farmsteads by Concubine Fang, they each have some kin connections with the favored older female servants and maids in the Old Madam, Eldest Madam, Second Madam, and Fifth Madam’s courtyard. For example, the Niu-saozi10 who manages the key to our courtyard door– her younger sister-in-law is the eldest daughter-in-law of Momo Gui in Old Madam’s courtyard. That Liu’er who is in charge of the tea to serve the guests in our yard is the biological sister of the first-class maid Qiufen by the Eldest Madam’s side. The old maid Liu in charge of the hot water used to be a doorkeeper steward of the outer courtyard. However, her niece is currently in charge of the accounts in Fifth Madam’s courtyard…”
Momo Zhou could be considered an old hand in the backyard. Just that, after hearing these few sentences, and knowing the powerful relationships among them, in her heart ‘a surge of storm was brewing.’11
The maid Que’er was shocked, and angrily spoke, “She actually used our Ziwei Courtyard to curry favor with the other masters of the Ren Family!”
Ren Yaoqi shook her head then glanced at Ren Yaohua.
Ren Yaohua’s lips pursed tightly, giving her cold face a slightly stubborn look, but her eyes were blazing with anger.
“She can certainly please the Old Madam and the people around the Eldest Madam by doing this, but the main purpose is not this.”
After hearing this, everyone turned to look at Ren Yaoqi.
She looked at Ren Yaohua and said, “Her main purpose is Third Sister and Mother.”
Ignoring the stunned gazes of the rest, Ren Yaoqi continued in a calm and steady manner, “She has calculated based on the nature of Third Sister. She knew that you would never allow and will clean up the people she arranged in Ziwei Courtyard as soon as you return. In fact, these people have nothing to do with her, and they won’t be in her way once they’ve come in. She did a favor by doing this, but you will instead offend the Old Madam, Eldest Madam, Second Madam and Fifth Madam’s people.”
Ren Yaohua is the daughter of Ren Family, and Old Madam has always been fond of her, so she would sooner or later return to the Ren Estate. Concubine Fang understood this from the beginning, so she never thought she could drive Ren Yaohua and Li-shi out of the Ren Family completely.
She is a concubine, even if she has a son, she can’t be promoted. So what she wants is the control of the Third Branch’s courtyard.
Even if Li-shi and Ren Yaohua came back to the Ren Estate, she can no longer shake her position.
“That vile and shameless poisonous woman!” Xi’er cursed through clenched teeth.
Ren Yaohua gradually calmed down from her extreme anger. She said in a cold tone, “She just wait and see, I will make her ‘look good!’”12
Ren Yaoqi asked calmly, “How are you going to deal with her? Let Mother set rules in the courtyard and take this opportunity to fix her?”
Ren Yaohua raised her eyes and looked at Ren Yaoqi with a sullen face.
Momo Zhou was afraid the two sisters would quarrel again, so she hurriedly broke the deadlock, “Third Miss has also thought about this when we were sent away after a year. The people in the Ren Household now only know there is a Concubine Fang, they do not know that there is Madam, the legitimate master. She wanted to take this opportunity to set the rules for Concubine Fang to give the Madam prestige.”
Ren Yaoqi didn’t want to argue with Ren Yaohua so she nodded, “The idea is good but the timing is not right.”
“Oh? How is it not right?” Ren Yaohua raised her eyebrows and coldly asked.
Ren Yaoqi earnestly said, “Didn’t I ask Third Sister earlier how to make Concubine Fang ‘look good’? Before you left the house, you did humiliate her, but have you ever wondered why you were able to do so? To suffer defeat yet she had nowhere to redress her grievances?”
Ren Yaohua didn’t speak but Xi Er said, “Of course, our Third Miss is greatly favored by Old Madam than Concubine Fang! With Old Madam’s support, Concubine Fang naturally does not dare to be presumptuous when she sees the Third Miss.”
Old Madam Ren did not like Li-shi but she was partial to her granddaughter Ren Yaohua.
When Ren Yaohua pushed Ren Yihong into the water, the Old Madam simply thought she was young and vigorous, and that she did not deliberately set a ploy to take her brother’s life, so she helped her say good things to Old Master Ren.
“Concubine Fang knows this too. So if one day the Old Madam no longer sided with Third Sister, then what would happen?”
“How is that possible? Old Madam has always loved Third Miss, even when we were in the Manor, she still sent someone to bring food to Third Miss.” Que’er shook her head.
Ren Yaohua and Momo Zhou were silent.
There was no shortage of youngsters around Old Madam. Nowadays, Fourth Miss Ren Yaoyin, the daughter of Eldest Madam, as well as Ren Yaoyu, the only daughter of Fifth Madam, is the most favored in the Ren Family, as she was often kept by the Old Madam to stay overnight in the east wing of the ‘Ronghua’13 Courtyard.
When Ren Yaohua and Li-shi paid their respects to Old Madam earlier, although she was very happy to see Ren Yaohua, she was coldly reprimanded when she pleaded for Li-shi’s mercy.
Before, Old Madam would never say a heavy word to Ren Yaohua. Every time Old Madam found Li-shi an eyesore, so long as she was on the side, Old Madam would always give her granddaughter some face.
“So the most important thing for Third Sister right now is not to find trouble with Concubine Fang, and make her reputation for being mean and overbearing be purposely and loudly known by everyone. Instead, you have to consolidate your position in front of Old Madam. So long as you are still the most favored granddaughter by the Old Madam side, you will have plenty of opportunities to teach Concubine Fang a lesson in the future.” Ren Yaoqi calmly and objectively pointed out.
No one noticed her indifference towards Old Madam due to her being so calm. It seems that in her heart, Old Madam was merely a tool to be used to gain foothold in the inner residence, and not as her grandmother.
“Third Miss, what Fifth Miss said makes sense.” Momo Zhou pondered over Ren Yaoqi’s words, and the more she thought about it, the more she became alarmed.
Concubine Fang first cut off the Li-shi’s confidantes who remained in Ziwei Courtyard. First, she could remove Li-shi’s connection to the main residence of the Ren Estate, then further allow the estrangement between Ren Yaohua, Li-shi and Ren Yaoqi. Second, is to give the empty positions to those people for them to enter Ziwei Courtyard.13
She did this fully knowing that Ren Yaohua would be furious when she returned to the Ren Estate, and so her last move came next.
To make Ren Yaohua completely fall out of favor with Old Madam, and offend all the Madams and servants of the Ren Household to the point of isolation. This is her ultimate goal.
Ren Yaohua also understood and she couldn’t help feeling aggrieved. She also wanted to mockingly ask Ren Yaoqi, “To fall out of favor with grandmother. Isn’t that exactly what you want?”
However, she swallowed back her words when she met Ren Yaoqi’s tranquil eyes.
Ren Yaohua might not have agreed but Momo Zhou knew very well that she must have listened to her. She smiled at Ren Yaoqi and said, “Fifth Miss has really grown up, even Madam and this old slave had never thought about this.”
Ren Yaoqi looked down and she did not speak. In her previous life, she was taught by ‘Imperial Preceptor’14 Pei Zhiyan, so the inner residence’ ‘twists and turns’15 for the present her, seems akin to opening a curtain of the shadow play and its control table, making the dense lines that control the puppets’ movements so blatantly clear for her to see.
Hello! This a new project I’ve picked up. I really enjoyed this novel. I guarantee that it’ll be mind gripping, the schemes and conspiracies of the characters will amaze you. This has different flavor than other common historical novels because, this time it’s not centered on the imperial court but rather on the northern vassal that guards the border- Yanbei. Find out how deep the conspiracy lies as Ren Yaoqi untangled the grudges on her past life.
- Ren Yaoqi: Main Protagonist.
- Ren Yaohua: Third Miss; Ren Yaoqi’s di-born sister.
- Concubine Fang: Ren Yaoqi’s father’s concubine. She became in charge of the Third Branch when Ren Yaohua and Li-shi were punished to stay at the Manor.
- Pei Zhiyan: The Imperial Perceptor that taught Ren Yaoqi during her previous life.
- Old Madam Ren: Ren Yaoqi’s grandmother; the master of the inner residence.
- Momo Zhou: Li-shi’s head steward; well respected and confidante of Li-shi.
- Momo Zhu: Ren Yaoqi’s nanny that was arranged by Concubine Fang.
- Momo Gui: Old Madam’s head steward.
- Xi’er and Que’er: Ren Yaohua’s first-class maids.
- Ying’er and Zhu’er: Ziwei courtyard’s servants, and confidants of Li-shi that were driven out by Concubine Fang to the outer courtyard.
- Niu-saozi: Manages Ziwei Courtyard’s door key.
- Liu’er: In charge of Ziwei Courtyard’s tea.
- Old Maid Liu: In charge of Ziwei Courtyard’s hot water.
- Qiufen: Eldest Madam’s first-class maid.
Join The Conspirators Club Discord to report typos and grammar mistakes. Leave any comments on anything that I can fix/improve on.
Eastern W. [Translator]
A witch with a broken broom who’s struggling to fill her empty cauldron and have too much love for reading and sour foods.
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- Flower-hung gate (二门/垂花门): The second gate in Chinese. This is an inner gate separating the first from the second courtyard. Across from the Ermen are the private quarters of a family. The decorations on the Chuihuamen usually indicate the status of the family head.
Flower-hung gate and Courtyard:[collapse]
- Momo (嬷嬷): Elderly lady or wet nurse.
- Those courtyard servants who bend with the wind. (院子里风吹墙头): Fence-sitter. Originated from the idiom 墙头草, lit. trans: grass on top of a wall (which sways with every gust of wind).
- Ziwei (紫薇): Crape Myrtle.
- -shi (氏): Honorific, can be Ms. or Mrs. but I’ll just retain it because it’s a suffix used in connection to the maiden name.
- Vegetarian (不是吃素的): Not to be trifled with.
- Sit astride and ride on top of their heads (骑到她们上头): (Idiom) ‘Riding above them like a horse’, which means, be overconfident of ruling over them/acting out of her bounds.
- Farmstead (庄子-Zhuāngzǐ): Can also mean, Manor depending on how grand it is.
- Household servants (家生子): Means that their ancestors or relatives or elders were servants who have served their masters for generations. Or they were bought and trained from a young age to serve their masters. So basically these are servants who have a long background with the Ren family.
- Saozi (嫂子): Honorific used for older married woman.
- A surge of storm was brewing (掀起了惊涛骇浪): Means, a perilous situation arising.
- Look good (好看- hǎokàn): Also means/pertaining to, embarrassed or humiliate.
- Ronghua (荣华): Glory and splendour.
- Imperial Preceptor (帝师;- dìshī): Also means, ‘Teacher of the Emperor’.
- Twist and turns (弯弯绕绕): Schemes and trickery.