[TYCDTN] – Chapter 52 Part 2
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
-晚秋 (Wǎnqiū) – Wan Qiu, Old Madam’s maidservant
-苦海和尚(Kǔ huì héshang)- Master Ku Hai
In the main courtyard, Old Madam was leafing through the scriptures when Wan Qiu came in with a solemn face. Leaning close to Ma Momo, she whispered something which vaguely sounded like, Madam, burned, dislike and other words.
Ma Momo’s expression changed drastically and the hand holding a handkerchief unconsciously shook.
“What are you talking about? Let me hear it too” Old Madam turned over a page of the scriptures and spoke slowly.
Ma Momo dismissed Wan Qiu, looking rather hesitant.
Old Madam sneered, “Did Lin Shi being a demon again? Speak!”
Ma Momo kneeled at her feet and spoke with grief, “Reporting to Old Madam, Young Miss said you dislike her and the first meeting gift is actually a protective charm that can be bought with one copper coin in the temple. Hearing that, Madam is bristling with anger that she threw the charm into the brazier and burned it directly.”
Since knowing the fate of her biological granddaughter, Old Madam had asked Yu Xiang to entreat for this charm, which was enshrined and blessed in Zhen Guo temple where eminent monks were invited to chant every day for four years. The monthly offering of incense oil to Zhen Guo Temple had cost two hundred taels, all paid from Old Madam’s own pocket. Not to mention the sincerity but the silvers alone adds up to ten thousands taels, so how could she just commit it to the flames?
It’s fine if you have burned it but you used words to vilify Old Madam. What kind of rapacious wolf or savage cur are you? Totally didn’t know how to be grateful! Anyone with a shred of respect for Old Madam would not have done such a thing!
Ma Momo was dying to charge over to the principal courtyard to give Lin Shi and Yu Miao Qi a slap each.
Old Madam however didn’t get angry, instead she laughed lowly. When she spoke again, her tone was light, “Yan’er is right. That Yu Miao Qi is a cold-hearted person who bears grudges and should be distanced from. No matter how I treat her, could it compare to the couple of the Shen family who raised her? So, how could she remember my goodwill, when she even said abandoned and just forsaken the Shen family at a drop of a hat? Just let it pass. In the future, I will not do this ‘showing warm feelings yet met with a cold rebuke’ affair anymore. Just raise her for a year or so then married her off like Yu Si Yu which is just an effortless matter anyway.”
Ma Momo nodded repeatedly and said after a long moment of deliberation, “That yatou also said Madam wants to snatched the authority for the head of the family from Miss Xianger’s hand. Old Madam, you think this…”
When Old Madam heard this, she was so angry that she snorted coldly, “The authority for the head of the family? Based on her ability? Marquis manor nowadays is not the same when Jun Jie was around. I’m afraid it’s beyond her ability to manage, but if she dares to open her mouth, I may be able to fulfill her.”
Ma Momo was horrified at what she heard and reminded, “Old Madam, what’s to be done if something goes wrong?
Just as Old Madam had said, the current Marquis Yongle manor was very different from the past. Although Yu Pin Yan still hung the name as a renowned cavalry general, but in actuality the tiger-shaped tally had long returned to the Emperor. He was determined to be the sword in the Emperor’s hand; hacking nettles and thorns while bathed in blood to move forward. In order to pave way for the Crown Prince’s ascension, several kings of different surnames had been eliminated and in the coming year, the Emperor will entrench those intricate huge prominent families. Under such circumstances, Marquis Yongle manor could only be an isolated and pious subject and must not get involved with any political parties.
This measure not only needed to be ascertained by Yu Pin Yan, but also the interactions between women of the inner manors could not cross the Emperor’s bottom line. Yu Xiang had done very well before, and in Old Madam’s opinion, she couldn’t have done it better. She did not expect Xiang’er to be so smart that she could even fathom the Emperor’s intention so thoroughly without even needing to be reminded of it.
Lin Shi was also very shrewd and capable before she was muddle-headed, but that shrewdness was limited to the petty scheming and cautiousness of the inner manor, which was no match to Xianger’s broad vision.
If this family was handed over to Lin Shi, there will certainly be chaos.
Old Madam thought about it and waved her hand, “If she dares to ask, let her take charge. Xiang’er and I will keep an eye by the side, so there will not be any major slip-ups. Xiang’er has managed the Marquis manor with iron-fist, totally assimilated her elder brother’s true legacy. With Lin Shi’s petty tricks, it’s only a matter of months before it collapses. All these years, she has firmly rooted in the principal courtyard and obsessed with the past that I can’t find her demerit. But I’ll let her go on a rampage this time and when I get hold of her mistakes, it will be the right time to let her go home with the bill of divorcement. Her maiden family will not be able to say anything then.”
Listening to this, Ma Momo finally understood Old Madam’s plan. It’s true, missing one’s late husband is not a fault. Old Madam didn’t want to tolerate Lin Shi anymore! Fourteen years, it had reached the end of one’s patience.
“Marquis there… “ Ma Momo had to call up a little reminder.
“I will ask Yan’er if he still acknowledges Lin Shi as his mother.” Old Madam smiled grimly. She had misgivings about her grandson’s prestige before, so she didn’t make a big fuss, but when Yu Miao Qi was brought back this time, she could finally discern her grandson’s heart. Her grandson probably didn’t want to acknowledge Lin Shi anymore, and even refused to accept Yu Miao Qi, otherwise how could he have that unheeding attitude.
“If she doesn’t acknowledge the Marquis, the Marquis will naturally not acknowledge her either. There is no place for Marquis in her heart which is full of longings for the second young miss and also never think about who earned the good life that she relies on all these years.” Ma Momo shook her head and sighed.
Heaving a deep sigh too, Old Madam picked up the scriptures and chanted in a low voice.
In the principal courtyard, Lin Shi was not aware that the maidservants in her courtyard, with exception of Jin Momo and her daughter; the rest were all Old Madam and Yu Xiang’s informers. She still thought herself the former dictatorial matriarch and didn’t even evade anyone of her actions.
Yu Miao Qi, who was unaware of the situation, also relaxed when she saw how reckless she was. Mother and daughter discussed how to speak to Old Madam and only went to bed after haishi (9pm-11pm).
Dressing up carefully, Yu Miao Qi followed Lin Shi to pay respects to Old Madam at the main courtyard early next morning.
 作妖 (zuò yāo) – The word “being a demon” originated from the Northeastern dialect. Everyone knows that the Northeastern dialect is a very humorous dialect. Although “being a demon” contains the word “demon”, demon is not the key, but the consequence and in the Northeastern dialect, it means “making trouble without reason / unreasonably”.
 狼心狗肺 (Lángxīngǒufèi) – heartless and ungrateful / cruel and unscrupulous
 热脸贴冷屁股 (Rè liǎn tiē lěng pìgu) – to be snubbed despite showing good intentions / one’s enthusiasm is met with another person’s cold attitude / be given the cold shoulder.
 虎符 (Hǔfú) – tiger-shaped tally issued to generals as imperial authorization for troop movement in ancient China.
 披荆斩棘 (Pījīngzhǎnjí) – go through many difficulties / overcoming obstacles.