[TYCDTN] – Chapter 59 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
-虞妙琪 / 沈妙琪 ( Yu miao qi / Shén miào qí) – the original fl of the novel and Yu Pin Yan’s biological sister
Seeing Lin Shi’s face pale with difficulty to speak, Old Madam continued, “Do you know why I embezzled your dowry? 10th year of Chengkang’s reign, Yan’er entered the palace for the selection of the Crown Prince’s study companion which urgently needed a lot of silvers to pay-off; 14th year of Chengkang’s reign, the second, third, fourth and fifth branch came knocking on the door noisily demanding to divide the family properties. We were at the most disadvantage since I am old while Yan’er was a minor, so I had to spend a lot of silvers to buy off the clan’s elderly; 16th year of Chengkang’s reign, another large sum was used to pay off when Yan’er was accused of plotting murder that was set up by the third branch; 17th to 19th year of Chengkang’s reign, Yan’er was poisoned three times that his life was in great peril and more than half of the family assets were used merely as medical fees. After the death of Jun Jie, the position of our main branch was already precarious when a bunch of jackals, tigers and leopards were waiting to take possession of the Marquis manor. Under this kind of circumstances, the 120 chests of dowries that I brought over had long been used up while merely the outer layer of yours was touched. I have personally asked if it was possible to borrow some of yours back then and you nodded your agreement. Why, going back on your words now? That’s right. When Yan’er almost die that few times, you were burning yellow sacrificial paper in the room; while Yan’er was on the battlefield, you were embroidering a portrait of the deceased; when Yan’er’s good fortune depleted due to torture and murder the convicts being the All Commander, you were yearning for your daughter’s return. What were you doing when Yan’er needed you? Do you still acknowledge him as your son? Now that our livelihood is better, you are here to condemn those misdeeds. Why don’t you see if you are worthy or even have the prestige to voice out! I feel sick looking at you now. If Jun Jie who is in the nether world knows this, he will definitely entrust a ghost to give you the bill of divorcement, do you believe it? Do you dare kneeling in front of Jun Jie’s memorial tablet and ask what he thinks?”
Lin Shi’s face became paler as she listened. Once the last few sentences faltered, she spoke incoherently, “Mother, I, I was wrong. I don’t remember all of it. No, no, no, if I have known… nor, I thought…”
She was so confused then realized that all her words were not appropriate and was all wrong. Even her son was looking at her with such indifference that she almost collapsed on the spot. It’s not that she doesn’t care about her son, she just wakes up too late and cannot look back.
Yu Miao Qi hated the fact that she couldn’t turn into a wisp of smoke and disappear. She thought she could live a good life with Lin Shi but she didn’t know that Lin Shi’s unreliability far exceeded her imagination, to the point where she was hated by people and detested by the ghosts. It was no wonder that she couldn’t get any benefit from Old Madam and Yu Pin Yan being tied together with Lin Shi.
Yu Si Yu was dazed, yet she didn’t feel much about these things.
Hearing all these, Yu Xiang was really furious hence, she withdrew slightly from her elder brother’s arms and looked askance at Lin Shi as she sneered, “What does Mother think? You thought these things were all embezzled by me and blame it on Grandmother? Why don’t you browse through all the ledgers before coming on to me? Grandmother’s dowry has yet to be redeemed but the slight surplus in the manor over the years has been used to redeem your dowry. You can take a good look at the ledgers in the 23rd year of Chengkang’s reign. Those five thriving shops and the 100 thousand taels have all been returned in full. It’s really disheartening for you to come here to cause trouble for Grandmother!”
She pulled out the ledger with the words 23rd year of Chengkang’s reign on the spine and smacked the top of Lin Shi’s head ruthlessly.
Lin Shi cried out in pain, then withstanding shock, she responded, “Leaving those aside, what about the 200 taels you drew every month from the west city shop? Drawing four full years is nearly ten thousand taels, isn’t it?”
Shaking her head, Yu Xiang voiced out word by word, “Mother should go ask little uncle the whereabouts of those 200 taels. His family is unsustainable thus, coming to the manor every month to ask for money. I give him twenty taels each month but I can’t afford it. I also can’t steal from what is entrusted to my care in managing the household, so I can only draw two hundred taels from your dowry to give him as financial aid. If Mother disagrees, you can go and ask them back from our little uncle yourself.”
Lin Shi was dumbfounded. Yu Miao Qi buried her head even lower and was even more surprised. Never would she have thought that Lin Shi was not only unreliable, but her uncle’s family was even more undependable. How shameless of him to come every month to the manor to sponge from his niece! Didn’t Lin Shi just say they were extremely wealthy?
Yu Xiang continued to mock, “Mother didn’t even finish browsing through the ledgers before putting all the blame on me and immediately approached Grandmother for discourse. This is a clear attempt to trample my face under the feet! If one or two unpleasant words are spread out, I wouldn’t need to establish myself in the Capital anymore. I’m rather surprised. It’s clear that both Elder Brother and I are your biological children, so why do you only care for Second Sister but treat us like nothing? Who has been by your side for fourteen years? If you’d only stress a little about our mother and daughter relationship and ask me in private or even patiently browse through the ledgers, you wouldn’t have this farce today? What Mother has done is really bitterly disappointing!”
She wiped her eyes in an act of sadness and slipped into her elder brother’s arms to seek solace. Didn’t Lin Shi refuse to acknowledge her? She’ll insist to use the mutual affection of mother and daughter to nauseate her
Yu Pin Yan hugged his younger sister tightly, his lips slid across the corner of her forehead quickly. The trace of warmth in his eyes all turned to fury when he looked at Lin Shi and voiced out word by word, “I originally thought we were family and in times of distress, we should watch over each other, but it turns out that mother thinks otherwise. As such, let’s spread out all the ledgers and settle all the accounts clearly today, so that there won’t be any ambiguity between yours and mine in the future.”
What does it mean by yours and mine? Is this an attempt to draw a clear line from herself? Lin Shi was beyond repent and could only grip her lapels, too sad to speak.
Unexpectedly, Yu Miao Qi knelt in front of the hall and spoke as she kowtow, “Requesting Grandmother to forgive Mother this time. It’s because Mother is anxious and muddle-headed that she did this. Mother will also have a share of Elder Brother’s dowry in the future, so it is warrant to spend any amount for him…”
“You’re right.” Yu Xiang looked down at her with calculative and mockery in her eyes, “There’s also a share of Mother’s dowry for my Elder Brother. But looking at Mother, she in fact hasn’t taken my Elder Brother into consideration and only regards you as her precious. You’ve just only come back but already kicked up this groundless tattles. Won’t you grasp hold of all Mother’s dowry in a few years time? That won’t do!”
Yu Miao Qi didn’t expect her to speak so bluntly that she was stupefied while kowtowing halfway and simply couldn’t find words to refute.
Old Madam’s glabella twitched and spoke at once, “Xiang’er is right. Will Lin Shi still see Yan’er in a few years! If you truly know your error then divide the dowry among the several children in front of me but you can’t be partial to only one.” Didn’t you say that I embezzled your dowry? Well, I’ll swallow it openly today, rather than feeding it all to the mouth of the white-eyed wolf – Yu Miao Qi.
Sitting woodenly on a stool, Yu Si Yu instantly became spirited.
Looking at the harsh-faced Old Madam and her callous-faced son, Lin Shi could only feel her heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys being twisted raggedly which was unbearably painful. She is unwilling to divide, but if she doesn’t, she is afraid she can’t be benevolent today. Who let her make such unreasonable mistakes?
Yu Miao Qi didn’t reveal it on her face, but in reality, her heart was like a scorching prairie with a sense of suffocation and about to puke blood.
 房 (Fáng) – branch of an extended family which could be siblings / concubines etc.
 白眼狼 (Báiyǎn láng) – thankless wretch / an ingrate.