“Manager Zhou, today’s account book.” The servant handed the account book to Qiu Niang.
Qiu Niang sat cross-legged on the warm kang, with a small table placed on it. Her knees were covered with a quilt and she had a cup of hot tea at hand. She was now also a small manager in charge of a district of people.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
Yun Niu came in from outside. It was currently snowing outside. She shook off the snowflakes on her clothes at the door. She ruffled her hair twice before walking in. In her hands she carried a small basket of coal, saying with a foolish smile: “This year’s coal is better than last year’s! There is not much smoke when it burns! It’s almost the same as silver coal!”
Qiu Niang hurriedly greeted her: “Come and sit down, the kang is burning, it’s warm.”
“So busy today?” Yun Niu stood not far from the door, rubbing her hands, and said, “I’m chilly all over, wait for the chill on me to disperse first.”
Qiu Niang walked down from the kang and poured a cup of hot tea for Yun Niu. Yun Niu held it with both hands.
Yun Niu smiled at Qiu Niang: “It’s really warm.”
Qiu Niang asked her: “Did you have a lot of work today?”
Although Yun Niu was originally Qiu Niang’s personal servant girl, she was the most clumsy of her four personal servant girls. Originally she would have been put to do rough manual chores, but Qiu Niang was young and had a kind heart at the time. When she saw Yun Niu being bullied by the servants, she promoted her to be her own personal maid.
Yun Niu was clumsy and made a lot of mistakes, and it was Qiu Niang who always protected her.
When being bullied by other maids and going hungry, it was Qiu Niang who dismissed the other servants and let her eat her own food.
Qiu Niang was very smart. She knew that if the maids knew she was good to Yun Niu, the maids would only bully her even harder. Yun Niu was stupid and didn’t know to complain. Qiu Niang could only think more for her.
After all, Qiu Niang was a young lady, not a young master. If she was a young master she could at least take Yun Niu as a concubine.
It was impossible for her to keep an eye on Yun Niu all the time.
Later, the maids probably discovered that Yun Niu was indeed a fool and stopped bullying her, so Yun Niu’s life became easier.
But Yun Niu herself didn’t think she had been having a hard time. The most common thing she said at that time was: “I am living a good life now!”
“Miss! Yun Niu ate meat today!”
When she was at home, Qiu Niang protected Yun Niu.
When disaster befell her home, Yun Niu protected Qiu Niang.
The master and servant pair supported each other all the way, and they managed to survived with all their hands and feet intact.
Because Yun Niu was clumsy, she was returned after working in the needle and thread bureau for a few days.
Then she went to the daycare to take care of the children——she was not good at dealing with the children and was not careful and so she was returned once again.
Yun Niu now worked as a helper in the back kitchen cutting vegetables. This time she was able to continue her work and had not been returned.
“I didn’t have much work today.” Yun Niu drank a sip of hot tea and smiled at Qiu Niang, “I was praised! The chef said that I have the quickest hands and feet! I did a better job than the newcomer.”
Yun Niu was so happy that she almost jumped up and down.
Qiu Niang was also very happy for Yun Niu. She waved her hand at Yun Niu and said, “Come here, I will teach you how to read.”
Yun Niu slumped in an instant, and she said half coquettishly and half meekly: “Miss, I can’t learn.”
She always felt that the characters were very strange. In her eyes, the characters appeared like distorted pictures. She couldn’t match them with meaning at all. It was too difficult. Only a smart person like her young lady could learn it.
Qiu Niang persuaded: “When you know how to read, you can go take the exam. Maybe you can even find a transcription job, which is easier than working in the kitchen.”
Yun Niu muttered lowly: “It’s better to relax in the kitchen.”
Qiu Niang looked at her.
Yun Niu lowered her head and said, “I’ll learn, I’ll learn alright?”
“This is Sun, your last name.” Qiu Niang taught Yun Niu to write her name.
Yun Niu looked at the word for Sun: “It looks so strange.”
Qiu Niang sighed, “I will write it to you again.”
Yun Niu still hadn’t managed to learn the word even when Qiu Niang had to start reading the account books.
Qiu Niang was helpless and could only continue to settle the accounts. Yun Niu sat next to her organizing their things. They were going to move tomorrow. Originally, this house was built for temporary living. The district under the management of Qiu Niang was a new district. It was composed of refugees and the expenses of the refugees was very huge——they didn’t have their own belongings, furniture or daily necessities. They came with only themselves and everything must be solved by Qiu Niang.
After reading the ledger and confirming that there was no problem with any of the expenses, Qiu Niang went to fetch water and wash her face and feet.
Yun Niu had heated up the water. Seeing Qiu Niang go down the kang, she hurried over to pour the water.
Qiu Niang couldn’t win with her, and said anxiously: “You are no longer my maid, I can fetch water by myself, don’t serve me!”
Yun Niu did not agree with what she said. She widened her already round eyes and said seriously: “Why am I not Miss’s maid?”
Just as Qiu Niang was about to speak, Yun Niu had already poured water into the copper basin and tested the temperature: “It’s just right! It’s not hot anymore.”
“Miss.” Yun Niu watched Qiu Niang wash her face, and said glumly from the side, “Don’t say anything like that anymore. It makes this slave uncomfortable.”
Qiu Niang glared at her, and Yun Niu quickly changed her words: “It makes me uncomfortable.”
“The young lady is the young lady.”
“I have to serve my young lady forever!”
When she was in the Zhou family, the happiest day was when the female master told her to serve the young lady.
How happy she was then! That was the young lady she was going to serve!
Yun Niu felt that a pie had fallen from the sky. She went home and told her parents and she was praised by her parents. She used to do a lot of work at home. Even if she was a maid at the Zhou family, she still had to work when she returned home. She must farm the fields, take care of her little brothers and sisters, and give all her monthly salary to her family.
As a little maid, she must take part of her monthly salary to honor older higher ranking female servants, otherwise the maids below would bully her.
But Yun Niu couldn’t not honor them, so she did the hardest work in the Zhou manor, all the dirty and smelly work was left to her.
Later, when she went to serve the young lady, the maidservants stopped bullying her and would tell her nice things. Although she didn’t understand them, they must be nice things! The maidservants were all smiling at her!
The servant girls who had bullied her before gave her gifts and begged her to mention them in front of the young lady.
When she returned home, her parents did not urge her to take care of her younger siblings.
Although Yun Niu was stupid, but she was not a complete fool. She knew that all this was because of the young lady.
So she was grateful and felt that her young lady was the best and most wonderful person in the world.
The world began to change. Her young lady was bullied by evil men so Yun Niu carried her on her back, trodding through the mountains and trying to survive. She was stronger than other girls. She had been doing rough work since childhood, so the soles of her feet had a layer of calluses. Yun Niu had never been so grateful to the heavens. If she was thinner, she might not be able to protect her young lady.
They couldn’t find anything to eat, and there were men who always looked at her young lady with wicked eyes. Yun Niu was aware of such people. She was from the bottom of society, and she knew what men thought.
So she said to the man: “Do you have anything to eat?”
The man licked his lower lip, touched his crotch, and said to her: “I have as much as you want.”
Yun Niu told him: “You give me food and I will sleep with you.”
That night, Yun Niu lost her first time in the woods. She heard the cry of her young lady not far away and felt the pain in her body. She told herself not to cry. She had to find something to eat. She must satisfy the man so he will look for her next time.
Yun Niu got a hare and a handful of dandelions.
Once, a man kicked her away after he had got what he wanted from her.
He walked towards their shack, and he said: “I haven’t tasted a young lady before, wonder how different she is from girls like you.”
Yun Niu went crazy. She got up from the ground and hugged the man by the waist. She begged him: “You don’t touch her! You can f**k me, I’m not afraid of pain, you can hit me, but don’t touch her!”
The man kicked her again: “I’m tired of you, you b*tch, how can you compare with a delicate young lady.”
Yun Niu rushed over again. She hugged the man’s leg and stretched her neck to bite the man’s flesh. She bit a mouth full of blood. She didn’t know if it was her own or the man’s. The man felt the pain and gave another kick. This time the man was really angry. He punched her on the head, with both fist and feet. Yun Niu thought she was going to die.
It hurt so much that she couldn’t hear anything and her vision blurred.
Seeing the man walking into the shack, Yun Niu didn’t know where she got her strength. She stood up swaying, picked up a stone from the grass, and walked into the shack.
The man had already succeeded. He had pressed down on her young lady’s body, and Yun Niu could see his dirt stained bottom.
She lifted the stone and smashed it down fiercely, again and again, until it became bloody.
“Miss.” She said to Qiu Niang with her last strength, “Don’t be afraid, Yun Niu will protect you.”
Then she fell down and couldn’t remember anything.
“The days are so good now.” Yun Niu spread the quilt and lay on the kang with Qiu Niang. She whispered, “Miss, when we move to the new house, let’s go and adopt a child.”
Qiu Niang’s body was injured and could no longer give birth.
Yun Niu had miscarried a few children herself and couldn’t give birth anymore either.
They had talked before, both deciding not to get married and not to find a man. It would be nice to live a lifetime like this.
Qiu Niang nodded: “Bring a girl back.”
Yun Niu smiled and said, “I will make her clothes.”
Qiu Niang: “Your needlework is too terrible!”
Yun Niu was not convinced: “I’m going to learn, Zhao Daniang said she will teach me.”
Qiu Niang snickered: “Zhao Daniang laughed at you last time.”
“She didn’t laugh at me.” Yun Niu pouted, “Zhao Daniang said that I can sit still, and I will definitely learn well in the future.”
Qiu Niang yawned, turned over and said, “Then you go learn, and in the future make me an outfit as well.” She would not complain about Yun Niu’s craftsmanship.
Yun Niu was happy: “I will make you the best looking clothes!”
The two of them talked about what to buy after the child was picked up, when to send the child to school, and discussed what age of child to adopt. They talked and talked but they didn’t feel sleepy, so they talked until late into the night.
“Sleep, sleep. I won’t be able to get up tomorrow morning if I don’t go to sleep now.” Qiu Niang patted Yun Niu on the back.
Yun Niu nodded, pulled the quilt and covered it more tightly over them, and the two fell asleep together.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
It was snowing outside the house, and the wind was biting cold.
The kang was burning inside the house, feeling like spring all year round.
TN: bonus chapters coming up!
If you like the content (or want more ;p) then please consider supporting the translator! ლ(⌒εー)ლPrevious