Work First then Eat
“That’s right! That’s right!” Granny Li advanced half a step to support Yao shi and brought them inside. While walking, she said: “Head wife said, concubine Yao just returned to the manor. Everything will remain the same. If we brought in a new servant girl, we would worry they could not take good care of you. For now, I brought two slightly older servants to help out until you are settled in. Then we will give the concubine a chance to change servants.”
“We are thankful of head wife.” Yao shi shied away slightly, her hand retreating from granny Li’s. Granny Li was one who supported Chen shi. Even back when Chen shi was still just a concubine, when granny Li met her, she bowed deeply and called her the head wife. As fortunes rise and fall, when they had returned to the Feng manor, everything had changed.
Following granny Li’s lead, the other two maidservants came to greet the three. One was called Man Xi. One was called Bao Tang.
The two girls looked around 16 or 17 years old. Man Xi was a little taller and skinnier, while Bao Tang had just a little bit of fat. But to Feng Yu Heng, who still had a 21st century
outlook, a little bit of fat was the most appealing body type.
She stared at the three before her. Though it was said they were servants, their dignified air and attitude were not at all modest. The two maidservants had even applied some light make up. Looking more closely at the mother and children, their clothes were shoddy, and the trip back to the manor had caused to look even more ragged. If one didn’t know better, they would assume that they were servants and not the masters.
Granny Li was older, her ability to hide her expressions was top notch. No matter how she felt in her heart, her face would always be smiling. But it was different for Bao Tang and Man Xi. Feng Yu Heng could clearly see the disdain on their faces. Looking more closely, both were wearing fine gauze dresses that fell to the floor. One was yellow and the other pale green. How could they work in these clothes?
All of a sudden, her mood improved- “Since the people are here, let’s get to work!” Feng Yu Heng clapped her hands a few times, “The yard is full of dust, that will be cleaned by Man Xi and Bao Tang. Granny Li will help too. Granny Sun will help me clean the interior.”
While talking, she walked to a corner and
and picked up two brooms that were lying on the ground. She roughly tossed them to Man Xi and Bao Tang: “The dust on the windows, the dirt on the roof, the dirty and broken things in the yard, clean them all for me. The ground needs to be scrubbed with a brush and water. I want to see its original color. You are servants and should understand without needing additional explanation. Then let’s get started. When you’ve finished, we can eat lunch.”
She finished saying it in one breath, and took the lead in setting to work. She opened the door to the main room and entered, bringing along a great deal of dust. She quickly shouted: “Granny Li, go fetch a basin of water and bring an empty basin as well.”
Seeing Feng Yu Heng enter the room, granny Sun helped Yao shi and Zi Rui in as well. The three that were left behind watched them awkwardly, especially Man Xi and Bao Tang. Though they were servants, they were always by the head wife’s side
wife’s side as her top servants. Normally, the most they would do is carry tea or keep the madam company and chat. They had never done this sort of rough work before!
The two girls embarrassed, looked towards granny Li but saw that she could not help but shake her head. She knew that there was nothing she could do. Though they said they were helping, they were merely going through the motions. Just looking at the clothes they wore and their position at the head wife’s side, no matter what concubine or master dared to order them around.
Yet, the persistent young miss, who had just returned to the manor, did not act according to the norm. Rather, she ordered them around as if it were the norm; furthermore, she had said… no food until work is complete?
“Granny.” Man Xi spoke with her brows furrowed. “Do we really need to do those difficult tasks she told us to do?”
Granny Li stared at her briefly, then lowered her face and replied: “If you want to return like this to the head wife, then I won’t stop you. Just make sure you carefully think of the head wife’s orders. If you return having done nothing, then be careful for your skin!”
Scaring them so, the two girls did not dare speak up again. That’s right, they came to they came to this courtyard with a mission. If they returned immediately after arriving, the head wife would skin them!
Thinking like this, they could not help feel bad for the clothes they wore. Picking up the brooms and wrinkling their noses, they began to clean. Granny Li also went to the well at the entrance of the courtyard to fetch water.
The four inside the room had also rolled up their sleeves and set to work. Even Feng Zi Rui helped with the work.
Originally, granny Sun did not want to trouble her mistress with cleaning, but seeing the state of the room, if they did not clean it together, there would not even be a place to sit. Seeing how proficient Yao shi was with cleaning, it became clear that she had become accustomed to it from the years of living in the village. The old woman turned her head and wiped a tear from her eyes. She did not bring up having her mistress rest again.
Very quickly, granny Li brought the water and poured it in an empty basin. Feng Yu Heng wrung a cloth and went to wipe down a table.
Everyone continued to work at full steam. Suddenly a voice rang out from outside the courtyardL “It’s so dusty! What hellish place is this?”