"Wife, I want to eat meat” 《娘子,我要吃肉》Chapter 43

Xia Ling Mei entered the Wang residence through the side entrance.

These years, Wang Yun Feng claimed to others Xia Ling Mei has constantly been taking care of her health and weak body inside the residence, rarely seeing others. In reality, apart from Xia Ling Mei appearing at the Xia residence, at other times no one would see her.

Xia Ling Mei sat in the carriage, someone quietly escorting her to the side entrance, when they passed the main entrance of the Wang residence, she lifted the screen to look at the Wang family’s board. Compared to the year she had left, the board had become somewhat old-fashioned, the calligraphy of excellent penmanship as before, under the sun, the framework appeared even more sinister.

Entering the door, again after detouring around the large wall, she allowed someone to pull open the carriage curtain, the carriage driver pulled the lead horse to quietly and calmly tow the carriage into the second door. The people in the residence came to look, sitting upright inside delivered from oppression was the mistress appearing like the solemn and serene Buddha, a frosty expression persistent on her face, those dark red clothes from head to toe was beyond gorgeous, carrying a hint of smell of blood dampened with seawater, unable to become the Buddha instead becoming a female Asura[1] a red muslin draped over her shoulders, making people not dare to lightly spy on her.

The Wang family is a century old influential family, Wang Yun Feng’s branch of the family was the main branch, the accumulation of years in office meant the residence was added to again and again, long ago it had already gotten several times bigger than initially, becoming a five entrance big residence. Entering the third door, the Wang housekeeper had already directed all the servants in the residence to stand by in attendance, Xiu Yu first left the carriage, once more together with Ying Shi one by one mutually helping Xia Ling Mei down from the carriage.

The Wang housekeeper personally invited Xia Ling Mei to sit on the main seat, the internal housekeeper personally offered tea, Xia Ling Mei took a sip sitting comfortably. Then did the Wang housekeeper lead all of the two hundred and more servants to pay their respects to the mistress, from an elevated point of view, all the people, no one dared to stray from the rules. The first ten or so rows were all the old people of the Wang residence, in the earlier years they had already seen Xia Ling Mei’s method of doing things, those scheming waited and watched, those not scheming in such a large setting also would not dare to meddle. 
Those behind were odd job workers basically servants newly bought in the last seven years, some of the odd workers, seemed genuinely honest, there were also some novel to marvel at, also some eager to give this a try, all kinds of appearance, nothing missing.

Xia Ling Mei to deal with important matters first, and not urgently beat people, she only indifferently said: “Rise.”

From that first move, she solidly sat in the position of the Wang family’s mistress, the small abacus in the Wang housekeeper’s mind clacked, even if Xia Ling Mei knew she could only admit it. She was also not a shy person, since she was absolutely helping Wang Yun Feng she naturally had to use such means, unable to tolerate people in the way.

“Those in charge of everywhere remain behind, those who had come with my dowry go wait in the hall next door, everyone else is dismissed.”

Xia Ling Mei had left the residence for many years, those in charge of the residence had long ago been replaced by the family members of the Wang housekeeper, the maids, elderly ladies and manservants who had accompanied her as dowry had all been pulled down from important positions to positions with practically no obligations, this little matter simply did not have to be questioned, everyone knew.

Although Xia Ling Mei had spent most of the time on the battlefield and in the Jianghu, in the end she was still the first wife of an influential family, the housekeepers ability to read someone was something they had learned from young. She had left for so many years, the Wang residence was still the Wang residence, but Xia family servants may not have a place to stand with those inside. Fortunately, the secret guards never belonged to the Wang family, they followed their master secretly wherever they went, at least she still had a group of loyal people to hand.

For the first time Wu Shi and her son Wan Yun were respectfully taking into the Wang residence, feasting her eyes on the large courtyard, as if she was seeing everything in the future would have her son’s name on it, she was itching to use her pair of inadequately coarse hands to embrace this entire Wang residence, everyday holding it in her arms not letting it go as she slept.

Wu Shi’s son compared to Wang Yun Feng would actually be two years older, but his face seemed more aged than Wang Yun Feng by five years, dressed in shabby dark blue clothes, taking a cautious pace, not daring to look around everywhere yet from time to time a stealthy appearance looking sneaky, shifty-eyed.

The servant who lead them in was considerably cold and detached, as if this whole family from the master to the crude elderly woman who sweep the floors wore an icy mask, anyone would find it hard to get a trace of warmth from their bodies.

Wu Shi loudly spouted her mouth: “Youngster where are you taking us? I’m telling you, don’t think of fooling this old lady, if you provoke me I’ll make sure Wang Yun Feng will not live happily. None of you in this family should think of living peacefully.”

That servant did not say a word, originally walking with his head down, hearing such words 
he suddenly stopped, nearly causing Wu Shi grinding her teeth to bump into him.

Wu Shi tore apart the servant’s sleeve with one pull: “You must be blind! Daring to harm this old lady, see if I don’t tear your skin apart.”

That servant still did not speak, only extremely arrogantly shooting a glance at the silent Wang Yun. That expression seemed to say: If you tear my skin apart, see if I won’t poke blind your son’s eyes.

Wang Yun being stared at coldly by the servant, was like being twisted by a viper, a coldness rose from the bottom of his feet, he couldn’t help but shiver, stepping forward to pull at Wu Shi, a shudder mixed in with his voice: “Mother…”

Wu Shi smiled showing a mouth of yellow teeth: “Son, in the future everything here belongs to you. Wait until you’re an official, then you can sell these useless people, let your mother with the money from the sale to buy you a handsome servant, immediately give me a healthy son.”

Wang Yun submitted to her, not daring to say anything, he could only take the long-winded Wu Shi through the third entrance following behind the servant. The main entranced faced a very large garden, a round promenade surrounded the main hall, the two sides on the left and right extended to the side halls, through the window frames carved with birds and flowers a pavilion not too far away could be seen, still a bit further away there was also a small pavilion room, half of the path with nine and eighteen bends were in the emerald green, verdant and thick forest.

Tall trees, the courtyard was deep within, secluded, primitive, faint scent of bamboo.

The servant took them round the corner into the side hall, still not having entered the door yet, a wave of supressed alarm appeared on his face.

Standing in the space outside the side hall was several tens of old and young servants, male and female, each one standing quietly out of fear. A wooden bench placed right in the middle at the front, on top laid a robust man, at that time he was being punished by arm thick rods being hit by two men dressed in black one after another. The robust man had been hit for some time, the clothes over his buttocks was already torn and in tatters, his purple skin underneath burst through. The robust man had his mouth stuffed, it wasn’t sure whether it was sweat or tears on his head, his eyes frequently rolled up to the sky, when his eyes suggested he was about to faint, an older female servant carrying a basin of salt water would pour it over him, suddenly causing the man to jump up, moments later again being beaten to lie down. This time, he was beating on the ground, every hit he would jump up in reflex, as if he was a fish tossed up onto the shore, struggling half dead, half alive.

Each and every servant standing around turned pale, sweating like a pig, those with little courage had already fainted, lying down on the ground yet no one helped them up.

Inside the splendorous and majestic hall sat a married woman, dressed in red satin, pearls sewed with gold threads, numerous pleated skirt, hair combed into a high bun, wearing a flourishing tree peony, jadeite gold hoops, several gold bracelets jingled on her usually white wrists, eyebrows as sharp as a blade, eyes like black jade, her dignified appearance concealed a nightmarish energy, matching the repeated muffled sounds of pain, fear arising from those watching. Beside her was a century old hardwood table covered with a emerald green brocade, on the table laid accountant books and every kind of papers. The married woman lightly turned the page in a notebook, a tiny bit of a frown could make all the servants standing around shudder, if they were glanced at by her knife like gaze, that person would itch to kneel and beg forgiveness.

“Some amongst you grew up with me, some of you grew up in the Xia family, some are 
people close to me I personally selected to truly and intentionally nurtured. I am not concerned about before in my parents’ home, but after entering into my husband’s home I have not treated any of you unfairly, in front of others I have given you ample respect. 
Monthly wages, usual awards, generous red envelopes at New Year and small gifts as well when have you been lacking, depriving you all like that? Tell me, as your master, where have I been unfair to you?”

No one replied, and no one dared to reply. Wang Yun sneakily peeked out from behind his mother Wu Shi at the woman, eyes unblinking, his little cautiousness gradually laxed, a little bit of perverseness appeared, he unconsciously gathered his legs together, only thinking about his tongue on that woman’s fair neck, moving up and down.

“See what you have done over these years. Welding the Wang family’s influence outside to intimidate people, it wasn’t enough to gamble, drink and buy or sell on credit, you actually use the Wang family’s name to resell at a profit house deeds. All of you tell me, who are you to the Wang family? Using which of Wang relative’s credibility? Which of the Wang family member were you prepared to use to pay back your left over debt? The master, or me the mistress, or directly sell your parents, siblings and children? If not, then you can also sell yourself, whether being sold as labour force, or cutting apart your flesh and selling it by the pound wouldn’t be a bad method, en!

Reselling house deeds at a high profit, owing money to loan sharks, how do you repay it? Using Wang family’s furniture and fittings? Or use the master’s paintings and calligraphies as well as the mistress’s my gold and silver jewellery? Or further still, you sneakily go into the master’s study, use money to buy and news of the imperial court?”

The servants kneeled with a rustle, there was one who so much so lost control of his lower half, incessantly kowtowing the mistress asking to spare his life.

Xia Ling Mei pointed at that servant who had already long ago been beaten to his last breath saying: “He secretly stole goods from the residence outside to repay his gambling debts, only beating him for a while is not enough, he used his hands to steal, I shall cut off his hands; he used his legs to go and gamble, then I will chop off his legs. Someone come, carry it out.”

In a moment, there wasn’t simply enough time for the robust man to produce a sound to beg forgiveness before flesh and blood went flying, his four limbs already separated from his body, dripping with blood he laid in the courtyard, dying red the salt water and sweat covering the ground.

Not a single person kneeling made a noise, as if they were recalling the days when the mistress was still living at the Wang residence, this first wife who relied on her outstanding martial arts to obtain an importance in the Xia family, was an expert at punishing an individual as an example to others, and liked the most to use the most direct method to punish shameful servants.

Seven years, they had forgotten. The mistress of the Wang residence was simply not a good-natured and gentle master, she indeed was genuinely a female Asura, she couldn’t tolerate subordinates paying lip service and ruin the family’s reputation, even more she couldn’t tolerate anyone ignoring the Wang family’s rules and ways passed down for hundreds of years.

Imperial censor family, rule the family like ruling a country, rule the family and country, strictly impartial and incorruptible.

Xia Ling Mei couldn’t start singling out the people of the Wang family when she’s just come back, but these servants who had come with her as a dowry, she still held the deeds to their bodies in her hand. These years, these matters, Wang Yun Feng did not speak about it, the Xia family couldn’t control it, they only waited, waiting for Xia Ling Mei to go to war, a deliberate show of strength as a warning.

Their kind of influential family, if they had no self-discipline, how could they grow continuously for several hundred years without failing to flourish, relying on their reputation not alarm, strict with oneself and lenient with others, only then can they remain at the top for thousands of years.

Xia Ling Mei rather obviously tired leaned on the couch, Xiu Yu already took out a cushion for her to rest behind her, and a clever young maid massaged her legs and waved a fan, a cold breeze blew, she again took off her cold-blooded ruthless expression, changing into a upper-class lady, lazily between the brightly coloured decorations, her smile was dignified and relaxed.

“Welcome Wu Shi mother and child in.”

[1] Demigods in Buddhism. Myth is having been dispossessed they focused on war. Quite complicated to explain but a figure of war(?).

T/N: A late update but it's worth the two chapters right? Hehe I wonder what will happen to this mother and son duo.