Chapter 204 – Being slick at establishing social connections is a praiseworthy trait (1)
In ancient times, familial relationships had always been a very important connection. Otherwise, past emperors wouldn’t have bestowed various titles to their family members, and there wouldn’t be such a huge political importance placed on marriages between two families. Moreover, the crown prince wouldn’t feel so threatened by the idea of a child between Nie Sangyu and Ning Yuxuan.
And so, the third prince and Old Madame unanimously criticized Nie Sangyu’s obvious behavior in helping the crown prince today.
The third prince was sitting down and sipping on his tea. With a faint smile, he said, “Younger cousin, perhaps, you don’t have a clear understanding of what's going on outside this estate. Is that why you don’t realize how it affects Jue-er when you help improve the crown prince’s reputation?”
Old Madame looked at her with a stern expression. “Sangyu, I thought you’ve become a clever and sensible girl. Even thought you have to obey Xuan-er’s orders, it wasn't necessary for you to go that far.”
With her head lowered, Ji Man waited until they were satisfied with voicing their complaints. Then, she raised her head and showed them a teary expression. “Older cousin, Sangyu is wholeheartedly trying to help you. It’s Sangyu’s fault for not clearly explaining my actions beforehand and causing you to misunderstand my behavior.”
Zhao Jue raised his eyebrows. How did her helping out the crown prince becoming helping him?
He asked, “What do you mean?”
Ji Man clutched her handkerchief. In an aggrieved tone, she said, “Sangyu helped the marquis with buying a lot of food and medicine today. It was very costly. In the eyes of the emperor, all of these disaster relief actions were done by the crown prince.”
The third prince nodded and sneered. “Yes, the emperor has been praising my imperial brother so much that it seems as if he’s walking on clouds.”
Ji Man quietly asked, “But isn’t the crown prince suppose to be an uncorrupted person? Where would have he gotten this money?”
The third prince and Old Madame froze in surprise for a moment.
Zhao Jue quickly understood the implication of Nie Sangyu’s words. As it turned out, his younger cousin was actually quite the character. She had actually considered this aspect.
Although the crown prince received a considerable amount of bribes, he put on a good show of not being greedy. He always gave the emperor a bowl of simple congee for his birthday gift and constantly bemoaned about being poor. As a result, the emperor felt bad for him and would never forget to bestow him rewards compared to the other princes.
However, the empress backed the crown prince. Although the previous prime minister had retired and returned to his hometown, his son had succeeded him and would continue to serve as a pillar of support to the crown prince.
The third prince had wanted to lodge an accusation about the crown prince’s corruption and embezzlement for a long time. To his surprise, Nie Sangyu had handed over such a great opportunity!
Old Madame was still feeling a bit confused, but the third prince already couldn’t calmly remain seated. He stood up and said with a smile, “Dear cousin, Jue had wrongfully blamed you. Just wait, I’ll definitely have your cousin-in-law personally come over to deliver presents to you.”
After saying this, he turned around and saluted Old Madame. “Jue is the one that inconvenience you with my visit today. I’ll bid my farewell now.”
Before Old Madame had time to ask what was going on, the third prince had already rushed out. She turned around to look at Nie Sangyu.
Ji Man hurriedly whispered into Old Madame’s ear to explain.
Old Madame patted her hand and happily said, “I knew you were a clever one! You’re truly a virtuous wife! If the imperial noble consort finds out, she’ll definitely reward you too!”
Ji Man smiled and said, “We’re all one family. Sangyu naturally won’t help outsiders.”
“But, what if the crown prince blames Xuan-er?” Old Madame started to worry again.
Ji Man massaged Old Madame’s shoulders for her and said in a quiet voice, “He won’t. Even though everyone else knows that the cost of medicine and food has gone up, if the emperor really sent people to ask about the prices, those shopkeepers will only report that they’re using the standard prices. At most, they would only say they’re out of stock. They wouldn’t admit that they’re price gouging. Based on those normal prices, Sangyu’s purchases were within the limit of the marquis’s savings. Besides, the marquis was doing this work for the crown prince, so the crown prince won’t toss the blame at the marquis’s feet. He’ll just quietly eat this loss.”
As a result, the crown prince wouldn’t be able to maintain his poor, but upright persona. The emperor would also treat the two princes more equally and not favor one prince over the other when bestowing rewards.
Old Madame nodded, the she suddenly raised her eyes to look at her. “Where did you get the money?”
Ji Man paused. She inwardly cursed and hurriedly said, “Sangyu knew that the marquis would needed money during this period, so Sangyu sold off my dowry. It’s naturally a good thing to be able to help the marquis.”
As Nie Xiangyuan’s beloved daughter, Nie Sangyu’s original dowry had been a considerable amount. It had been kept in the estate’s storage room, and Ji Man had only regained access to it after resuming her position as the marquis’s main wife. For now, she would just use this as her answer and secretly sell the items in Nie Sangyu’s dowry later.
“Ah, I’ve always kept in mind how much you care about Xuan-er. Since you did this for his benefit, I won’t pursue this matter any further.”
Ji Man awkwardly made a sound of assent. Old Madame wasn’t a fool, but it would be unreasonable of her to continue asking Nie Sangyu for an explanation about this matter since it had been for her son’s benefit after all.
When Marquis Moyu returned home that night, he was actually in a pretty good mood. After checking Wen Wan’s wound, he went to Feiwan Courtyard.
With a beaming smile, Ji Man fawned over him by massaging him. “My lord, did something good happen today?”
With his heart at ease, Ning Yuxuan enjoyed his massage and quietly said, “I heard that you created quite the stir today and helped me out with a messy problem.”
Ji Man said in a super obedient voice, “Sangyu only did what she should. It’s a wife’s duty to help her husband with his worries and difficulties.”
T/N: Thank you Fourthaid for writing a review on NU. I just want to note that the last 7% of the novel is mostly from various character’s POVs, so we’ll get a clearer insight into the other characters then. In the author’s note, at the end of the novel, she did write that she purposely left some things ambiguous, so that the readers can interpret it on their own. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far