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Edited by Kiskaiya
Updated on 8 Aug 2019
Chapter 3: Provocation
“Young Lady, Second Young Lady is here to see you.”
Jing Zhe’s face showed her worries, “To come at such a time. Young Lady’s health is not well and one fears her catching the cold.”
Gu Yu tugged at Jing Zhe’s arm, but she also had a worried look.
Shen Miao saw the worry in their eyes and sighed in her heart.
The four maids beside her were all personally selected and trained by Shen Xin and Shen Furen and were thus very clever and loyal. What kind of situation the Shen family was in, what intentions the Second and Third Households were hiding, her maids were able to deduce, but she was young and could not see
Before anything could be said, a young female walked in from outside. This female looked just over fifteen or sixteen and was clad in a pale pink, daisy patterned dress with a pleated skirt and her hair was combed to a fringed bun. Her complexion was fair and her brows and eyes were beautifully elegant. She had a thick atmosphere of an educated appearance and was dignified and decently conducted. Upon seeing Shen Miao, she quickened her steps to the bed and spoke anxiously, “Fifth Younger Sister, is your health better? After knowing that you had fallen into the water, I was worried for a long time, but Yu Jiao Courtyard’s people said that you needed to rest and I dared not disturb you. Hearing that you were awake today, I then dared to come over.”
Shen Miao looked at the young female in front. It was Shen Yue from the Third Household of the Shen family.
There were three Di daughters of the Shen family. Shen Qing was easy-going and magnanimous, Shen Yue was famous for her talents, while it was only Shen Miao who had a disposition like a wooden block and lacked talent. Outsiders usually praised her as ‘virtuous and quiet’ but in fact they knew that there was no merit to it and that she was a daughter that could not be shown in public.
Previously, before Shen Miao was married off, she had the best relationship with Shen Yue. Shen Yue had a gentle temperament and could come up with ideas for Shen Miao many times. It was just that, at the beginning, Shen Miao was unable to see if the intention was good or bad and was blindly grateful to this TangJie for her help and dedication.
For Shen Yue to come at this time, it was most likely to plead for Shen Qing.
As expected, Shen Yue opened her mouth and said, “Fifth Younger Sister, Eldest Sister made a slip and erred. Since the matter had come to this point, one hoped that Fifth Younger Sister would be able to forgive her this time. Hearing that Fifth Sister had a fever, Eldest Sister was so remorseful. Since Fifth Sister’s injuries are better, why not spare Eldest Sister this time? She did not deliberately let you make a fool out of yourself in front of His Highness Prince Ding.”
It would still have been alright if that sentence was not spoken, but she had to mention Prince Ding in front of Shen Miao. Everyone knew that Prince Ding was Shen Miao’s beloved. Shen Miao had the temperament to take grievances made onto her except for when it came to Prince Ding, then she would definitely not retreat a step back. If Prince Ding was not mentioned, in all likelihood Shen Miao would let the matter rest, but this time Shen Yue deliberately mentioned him. If she was not provoking a dispute between her and Shen Qing, what else could it be?
In the last lifetime, it was also the same. She only just woke up when Shen Yue quickly rushed over to ‘plead’ for Shen Qing and this plea agitated Shen Miao. The person with a normally agreeable nature then accused Shen Qing of pushing her into the water before her sweetheart in front of Old Furen . But Shen Qing did not admit to it and the people nearby did not see Shen Qing pushing Shen Miao. Old Furen had always been biased towards the Second and Third household and naturally gave her a lesson of ‘not knowing how to cherish one’s good name due to one’s young age yet still accused one’s elder Di sister’ and confined her as punishment.
After this matter was spread to Guang Wen Tang (name of the school), Shen Miao became the laughing stock of the students and no longer attended classes. And much later… She gradually faded out of the circle of the capital’s noble ladies.
Thinking about it now, her vision had always been confined by these people in the General’s residence who created an illusion of the world. She had thought that she was virtuous and respectable and did not know that in the eyes of outsiders, she was seen as weak and ignorant. She thought that loving Prince Ding was brave and courageous but did not know that strangers viewed her as shameless.
The result of these deliberate teachings had led her to a muddled impression in the beginning. Although she succeeded in marrying Fu Xiu Yi, she was considered as one who was unable to be presented to the public and when everyone compared her with Mei Furen, they would only say that she was stupid and ignorant.
What a stupid past!
Shen Yue saw anxiety crossing Shen Miao’s forehead and her lips quietly revealed a trace of a smile.
She knew that based on Shen Miao’s temperament, as long as one mentioned Fu Xiu Yi, she would definitely feel rage. But after waiting for a long time for a reaction that was yet unseen, Shen Yue look over suspiciously over to see the young female looking at her with a smile.
The young female’s face was still very pale and her lips were very dry, but her dark eyes were fresh and full of life like grapes.
Shen Miao’s eyes were her best feature. Large almond shaped eyes, ignorant and confused like a newborn puppy. It was just that, normally, she would look stiff and dull.
Now that pair of almond eyes were still round but the expressions in her eyes were very different. It revealed some cold, unfeeling intentions. It was not stiff but more like… More like a condescending look.
Shen Yue quivered. She did not know why but there was a kind of unspeakable panic in her heart. It seemed that the one she was facing was not a stupid and dumb goose but a noble person.
How could there be such a feeling?
Of course she could not know that the Shen Miao before her was no longer the Shen Miao from before. This Shen Miao had experienced the fight for Imperial position, rivalry of favour, loss of favour, the mourning of her children and death of her entire clan.
She was in charge of the Inner Palace and had the supreme power over the six palaces, she was the Empress Shen of Ming Qi.
Shen Yue froze for a long time until the young female in front rubbed her forehead and whispered, “Second Elder Sister’s words are too serious. It was I who fell in by myself.”
“Fifth Younger Sister…” Shen Yue did not expect that Shen Miao would say that and was stunned for a moment before she could react. She shook her head and said, “Fifth Younger Sister must not feel any grievance.”
“Why would I feel grievance,” Shen Miao smiled as she interrupted her words, “It was only a trifling matter. One’s head is still feeling dizzy and one would like to rest for a while. If there are any other matters, then it will be discussed at ZuMu’s place.”
With such words having been said, Shen Yue was unable to say anymore. Even though she felt strange that Shen Miao did not treat her warmly, it could also be that Shen Miao was unhappy because she was made to look like a fool in front of Fu Xiu Yi. After saying a few more words, Shen Yue then simply left.
After Shen Yue was gone, Gu Yu then said, “Our Young Lady was pushed into the water and almost lost her life. If she is here to plead on behalf of Eldest Young Lady then just plead. Why does it seem that this was not the case?” Gu Yu was vaguely warning Shen Miao that Shen Yue did not have any good intentions.
“When the sandpiper and clam fight with one another, the fisherman benefits. She most likely wants to be that ‘fisherman’.” Shen Miao lightly said.
Gu Yu was surprised and happy that Shen Miao could finally see the true face of Shen Yue, but she could not really understand the meaning behind Shen Miao’s words. She looked up and saw a cold smile on her Young Lady’s face. It created an inexplicable sense of awe which made people stare involuntarily.
Shen Miao looked at her fingertips.
Why did Shen Qing push her into the water? It was because she said this sentence at that time, “During the New Year, when Father comes back in triumph, I will let Father call the shots and beg for him to marry me off to His Highness Prince Ding.”
She had really said it naively and felt that they were all one family so there was no need for any scruples. Shen Xin was a Great General in the Imperial Court, therefore, if he was determined to marry his daughter off, nothing was impossible.
Why would Shen Yue incite disharmony between her and Shen Qing?
Naturally it was because, Shen Yue also loved Prince Ding.
In her past life, Shen Yue and Shen Qing only told her at the end of her life that they had both loved Fu Xiu Yi for a long time. Thinking about it now, it had begun to take shape at this moment.
Since both sisters harboured a crush on Fu Xiu Yi, wouldn’t it be a pity if they were not able to attain their wish this lifetime?
She will definitely let their wishes come true. Second and Third Household’s blood debt to the entire Shen family would be repaid from this moment onwards.