[TYCDTN] – Chapter 104 Part 1
Translated by: Oinkoink
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Names mentioned in this chapter (which can also be found in the glossary):
-永乐侯府 (Yǒng lè hóu fǔ)- Marquis Yongle manor
-老太太 (Lǎo tàitài) – Old Madam
-馬嬤嬤 (mǎ mó mo)- Old Madam’s personal maidservant
-虞妙琪 (Yu miao qi) – the original fl of the novel and Yu Pin Yan’s Di younger sister
The next day, Old Madam continued bringing Yu Miao Qi and Lin Shi to pay a visit to the Crown Prince’s residence while Yu Xiang and Yu Si Yu came along too. As the Crown Princess also had her throat burnt, she only met them before sending both Lin Shi’s mother and daughter to the side hall for an admonishment talk. She then communicated with Old Madam and others by exchanging notes without any grudges in between the words.
In the next half month, the group successively called upon the poisoned female guests. As the Empress and the Crown Princess have already magnanimously pardoned them, they dare not be overbearing either and let it pass after merely pointing out a few words. The reputations of Yu Miao Qi and Lin Shi, however, still remained bad. In the past, there were still a few well-acquainted families with whom Yu manor had dealings, but now Yu manor is completely deserted.
All the influential officials distanced themselves from the Yu family either intentionally or unintentionally with the attempt to push the Yu family out of the Capital’s top elite families circle and isolate them completely. This movement is totally in line with Yu Pin Yan’s purpose. With the absence of social relationship, only then can he set about his task without distractions when the Emperor wants to eradicate the various prominent families in the future.
And Emperor Cheng Kang is more than glad to see it happen. Yu Pin Yan is now a good, loyal, and lone minister who is also an invincible valiant general. Not only does the Emperor want to make full use of this precious sword, he wants to leave it to the Crown Prince too. What does it matter if the reputation has fallen even shorter, as long as the ability is not lacking.
Hence, although this matter has more or less affected the Yu manor, it does not diminish the standing of Yu Pin Yan in Emperor Cheng Kang’s eyes.
After visiting the last family today, Old Madam summoned everyone to the main courtyard for a discourse.
The weather was getting much colder that fire cage was burning in the hall with a table set on top and covered with a quilt. As Old Madam’s health has been poor after being poisoned, she was hurdling under the quilt to keep herself warm at this moment. When she caught sight of her grandchildren, she hastily called out to them to sit around the fire cage.
Yu Pin Yan placed his younger sister down and sat next to her while Yu Si Yu sat on the other side of Old Madam where four of them happened to fill up all the seats.
Seeing Ma Momo came in with a box, Yu Xiang asked, “Do you want to play mahjong? As it happened, I brought some golden melon seeds with me.”
Hearing what was said, Yu Si Yu also took out her purse with a zestful expression.
Yu Pin Yan smiled and took off his own purse from his waistband to hand it over to his younger sister which instead of the golden melon seeds, it contained five-spiced roasted melon seeds. Yu Xiang was even happier than having the golden melon seeds when she poured them all out to spread on a handkerchief then raising her chin at her elder brother, “Peel out the melon seeds and put them together. I like to munch them in big bites which are more relishing!”
Pinching the tip of her nose, Yu Pin Yan nipped the melon seeds as instructed. Yu Xiang dared not keep it for herself and naturally fed the first peeled melon seed into Old Ancestor’s mouth.
“What about me?” Yu Si Yu felt unsatisfied.
“You can peel them yourself, don’t you have hands and feet?” Yu Xiang waved her hand then took the box and opened it before sighing, “It’s actually not mahjong tiles ah.”
Old Madam was in a much better mood after the fuss she made and spoke with a smile, “It’s exactly not for fun calling all of you over today. These are Yu Miao Qi’s bookkeeping since she took charge of the household management. We will check the books in front of everyone today, then ask Lin Shi to pack up and leave.”
They heard someone reported at the door as soon as the words faltered, “Old Madam, Madam and Second Young Miss are here.”
Lin Shi walked in the front and followed by Yu Miao Qi. They were both dressed in plain colored clothing with a little rouge and powder to cover their haggardness. Two imposingly dignified Momo stood beside Yu Miao Qi, followed in wake by four maidservants. If this was seen by others who didn’t know the inside story, they would have deemed her as the most highly respected one in the Marquis manor.
Both of them curtsied to make their salutation then seeing that there was no extra seat by the fire cage, they had no choice but to pick two cold stools and sat down.
Old Madam’s throat had already fully recovered when she opened her mouth and spoke in a deep voice, “Sit closer and hand over the bookkeeping clearly in front of everyone. After that, Lin Shi will return home with her dowry.”
The four Momo will have to go back to the Imperial Palace after all. So, what’s the difference between having to check the account books in front of them and ripping off the skin of Yu Miao Qi’s face on the spot? She really fell short in managing such a huge Marquis manor but in order not to lose to Yu Xiang, she could only think of every possible measure to keep up. And she was also very selfish that once both her dowry and the profits of the Marquis manor were not up to par, she naturally would choose to deficit the household income to fill the loss of her dowry.
She had grown up in the Shen family and was very proficient in bookkeeping as she could fill and balance no matter how many holes there were in the account books. It would be fine if it was merely Old Madam who is validating the accounts, yet Old Madam was inclined to call both Yu Pin Yan and Yu Xiang to come along.
Not mentioning Yu Xiang’s eyesight for the moment, Yu Pin Yan has arrested countless corrupted officials and also reviewed innumerable ingenious fraudulent accounts. Both of them can unveil her true colors by just scanning through the account books briefly.
Thinking of those amounts she had lost, Yu Miao Qi felt cold in her heart while a thick layer of sweat broke out on her back on such a cold day that even her soul felt a burst of bone-chilling coldness once the cold draught blew in from outside the door.
“Look at you trembling like that, come quickly over to warm yourself by the fire.” Yu Si Yu waved at her with a smile, but there was incessant malice hidden in her eyes.
“Grandmother, I feel unwell all of a sudden. Can I go rest first and validate the account books tomorrow?” Yu Miao Qi tried to stall for time, then persuaded Lin Shi to help her take the blame. As Lin Shi is still in the dark about this matter, she will naturally be in shock once she heard of this whereby the bystanders will be able to discern the inklings.
 火笼 (Huǒ lóng) – It is a kind of heating tool used during winter in Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guangxi, and Sichuan. The outside is a basket-like cage made of bamboo strips while inside is a pot-like container made of clay. Charcoal fire is added when in use, which can also be used for roasting, drying clothes and so on. Wikiwand.