Chun Ying, being a nosy maid, learns what Lian Qiao has been up to. Is JR’s plan in danger or is it an intentional slip-up, as mentioned by @kat357? Also, JR reminisces about her mother, but that’s no happy tale either. Read on and have fun criticizing the villains!
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Chapter 13 : Luring A Snake From Its Nest (Part II)
“Is there something else?” Chun Ying asked impatiently.
“I heard that they managed to obtain a pot of Queen of the Night from somewhere. Tonight, our young mistress wants to admire the flower in the pear blossom garden. Thus, she wanted to dress more beautifully for the event, so as to not insult the rare and famous flower.” Lu Zhu spilled everything that she knew. “Additionally, this Queen of the Night is extremely precious and it is a rare sight that only blooms in the winter night.”
“Queen of the Night?” Chun Ying raised her suspicions, “The residence has acquired a pot of Queen of the Night? I did not hear anything about that.” She looked at Lu Zhu, “Okay, there is nothing here that concerns you anymore. You can go and perform your duties.”
Lu Zhu answered affirmatively and turned to leave. Chun Ying stood on her spot and muttered, “Under the current circumstances, how could she be in the mood to admire flowers? And, even if she was in the mood, why would she make an effort to seek out a beautiful piece of clothing? Usually, she does not care about these things at all. Surely, there must be another reason why she is so unusual today. I must investigate properly about what they are planning to do.”
In a room, by the side of the courtyard, Bai Zhi took out several books from a chest to air out under the sun. The chest that had been full of books was completely emptied out in the courtyard. As she carefully pried the pages open, she expressed, “Miss, contrary to what one would expect, this chest is well preserved and the books are in good condition. After the New Year, the house will get very damp so we will have to constantly take them out to dry under the sun.” After she had finished speaking, she recalled something, “In the past, when your mother was alive, she also loved these volumes of books a lot. She would insist on drying them everyday.”
“Mother was born into a military family, and yet she collected this valuable literature just to gain someone’s favor. However, I was the one who benefitted from them.” Looking at the books in the courtyard, Jiang Ruan spoke softly.
The Zhao family lineage consisted of military generals, who were used to bloodthirsty battlefields in the midst of sandstorms. Each and every man in their family was the pride of the army. Yet, the only legitimate daughter Zhao Mei fell in love with Jiang Quan. The entire Zhao family vehemently opposed the relationship but she was determined to marry him. Because of this, the Zhao family had disowned their only daughter.
After Zhao Mei married Jiang Quan, she found out that he adored scholarly ladies with many talents so she searched far and wide, all over the country, for various books to learn from. Alas, who could have known that not long after their marriage, Jiang Quan would marry the capital’s most talented lady, Xia Yan, as his noble concubine.
In the end, Zhao Mei did not live until the day she could finish reading this chest of books. However, Xia Yan was then quickly promoted from being a noble concubine to Mistress Jiang [ Jiang furen ] all of a sudden. Jiang Ruan laughed mockingly at herself. Until her death, her mother was unable to understand that if that man did not really love her, regardless of what she did, she would never be able to win over his affections. From then until now, what Jiang Quan loved was not the talented and educated ladies, but rather the talented and educated Xia Yan.
 Jiang furen – Mistress of the house; Main wife.
“Miss, were you reminiscing about your mother?” Bai Zhi observed Jiang Ruan’s expression, “If she were still alive and could witness how intelligent and sharp you are now, she would feel very assured.”
Jiang Ruan smiled noncommittally. Bai Zhi walked to her and was surprised to see the book in Jiang Ruan’s hands, “Miss, why are you reading those military books again? There is no need for you to use the knowledge in battlefields. Why not read some folk stories and poetic verses?”
“Even if we are not at war, our enemies may still approach us,” Jiang Ruan’s gaze fell on the few words in the book of military strategies: ‘luring a snake from its nest’.
Translated by : togekiss
Edited by : Anks ~ Ely ~ Minodayz