Chapter 358: Chu Lian Loses Her Temper (3)
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Mo Chenggui hadn’t expected Chu Lian to have come over so quickly. However, he had already set his heart on punishing her subordinate to give her a warning today. He simply frowned without any intention of calling off the punishment.
Others might be afraid of Third Young Madam’s power and influence, but he wasn’t afraid! He had already experienced countless battles as a soldier. It was already a blessing from the heavens to have survived battle after battle with his life intact. Although his family was already gone, he had pledged his loyalty to Old Count Jing’an and his House. His life and death were no longer of any consequence. If he could make the young and naive Third Young Madam wake up with this show of military punishment today, it wouldn’t matter even if she demanded his life in return.
The old soldiers carrying out the punishment froze. However, Mo Chenggui waved his hand and ordered, “Continue the punishment! No one is allowed to stop unless I say so! Anyone who disobeys this order will serve the same punishment themselves!”
Although they were old comrades in arms, everyone understood Mo Chenggui’s temper. They knew that the old fellow was dead set on his path and wouldn’t change for anything.
Hearing this, Chu Lian was similarly straightforward in her actions. She shot a look at the Li siblings behind her.
Li Xing and Li Yue had been sent by Princess Wei, so they naturally only listened to Chu Lian’s commands.
The Li siblings quickly captured the two soldiers. Mo Chenggui watched with wide, angry eyes as his two subordinates were subdued by Li Xing and Li Yue. He ran forward and picked up one of the rods on the floor, intending to carry out the punishment himself.
Chu Lian’s expression tensed and she sneered, “Uncle Mo, if you let that rod land, there’ll be no more hope for the border troops!”
When Mo Chenggui heard Chu Lian’s words, his features contorted into a wretched expression. He was a retired soldier, so he could never bear to hear anyone talk bad about the army. Those words were like a curse upon the border troops, dooming them to defeat.
He abruptly stopped his actions and rushed towards Chu Lian instead. “Third Young Madam, you can’t be careless with your words!”
Chu Lian’s sneer was as frosty as her tone, “Oh? I’m not allowed to speak carelessly? Then how is it that Uncle Mo is allowed to beat others indiscriminately?”
Mo Chenggui’s face turned as black as a pot, “Third Young Madam, this treasonous servant used valuable food supplies to buy these useless pieces of wood. Why shouldn’t he be punished? Or are you saying that he’s an exception to the rule just because he’s your subordinate?”
Seeing that Manager Qin hadn’t been harmed too badly, Chu Lian had slowly calmed down. She turned her bright and clear gaze on Mo Chenggui.
There wasn’t any trace of a smile on her porcelain-like face. “Fine. You said that he deserves to be beaten. Then let me ask you, Uncle Mo. Since you’re so worried for the border troops, have you thought of an idea to save them and help those fifty thousand warriors out of the situation they’re in?”
Mo Chenggui hadn’t expected Chu Lian to throw such a question at him at this time.
What a joke. If he had thought of a good idea, would he still be staying in this tiny He Estate? He would have sprinted over to the border camp to share his plans with Third Young Master by now.
He wasn’t the only one trying to think of a solution either. Even those highly regarded officials in court back at the capital hadn’t been able to come up with a good idea. What kind of ideas could a rough military man like him have? Third Young Madam was clearly just trying to put him on the spot and make things difficult for him.
This Third Young Madam had nothing good about her except being a glutton and being protective over her own people.
TL Note: I think the first part of this chapter has already shown you Mo Chenggui’s perspective and the reasons behind his actions. I’ll add on some information that might help paint a better picture of the ancient China setting here.
There are two ways to become a servant: sell yourself/be sold into eternal servitude or be born to a servant. The masters hold a bond certificate which represents the servant’s freedom as a person, and this is why servants usually don’t run away. This is also why servants are treated as less than human or disposable, or tradable in the case of Mingyan. Matriarch He trusted the servants in Guilin Restaurant with managing the money because she likely has the rest of their families in her hands.
Manager Qin is a servant born within House Jing’an. Mo Chenggui was a soldier who served under Old Count Jing’an and proved himself enough to earn his trust. So Mo Chenggui is a free person working in an influential position in House Jing’an, while Manager Qin is just a slave of House Jing’an. Mo Chenggui honestly thought that Manager Qin was wasting precious resources and it is well within his power to punish a servant, even to death.
Mo Chenggui is also considered to be in the same generation as Old Count Jing’an, who is two generations above Chu Lian. Mo Chenggui is a very senior person and used to being obeyed in the military. Chu Lian is a sheltered young teenager to him and she has also been calling him ‘Uncle Mo’ in deference to his seniority and position. He is also fiercely loyal to the old count and his mindset is likely to help guide the next generation and make sure that House Jing’an won’t go into ruin. I think you also have to keep in mind his age and how stubborn old men can be.
Whew, that was a long note. I know that some of you are frustrated by the seemingly irrational actions of the characters, so I wanted to try to add more context to help you understand them if possible. This novel was written for a Chinese audience and comes with many unwritten rules of ancient Chinese society that shape how the characters act. I just wanted to make sure you guys get that information as well and that you might be able to see the characters in a different light. Of course, if you still think that the characters’ actions don’t make sense, feel free to voice it out in the comments! :3