Edited by Kiskaiya
Updated on 8 Aug 2019
Chapter 6: Undercurrent
Shen Qing looked at her mother with an unknowing look. Though she was unwilling, she still obediently kept her mouth shut.
Despite not understanding what was wrong with Shen Miao’s words, upon seeing Chen Rou Qiu’s nervous expression, Shen Yue became aware of what was going on and so she stood in place respectfully and no longer spoke.
Old Shen Furen’s brows tightened. Even though she had followed Old General Shen for so many years, she did not know the intricate twists and turns of the official circles as her sights were confined to the skies between the four walls of the courtyard. How could she understand the meaning behind Shen Miao’s words. She only felt that Shen Miao ate the wrong medication today and repeatedly contradicted her to such a degree that she felt offended and wanted to blow up in anger.
“Little Five’s words are not wrong,” Ren Wan Yun smiled and interrupted when Old Shen Furen was about to lash out, “This was originally a misunderstanding. How could the matter of the Main Hall be spread to the Inner Courtyard? This was all a coincidence. His Highness Prince Dine is broad-minded and would not take such a small matter to heart. It was all a misunderstanding. It is unfortunate for our Little Five who fell into the water and got a shock. You have suffered a lot.”
Old Shen Furen had opened her mouth and was somewhat dissatisfied with her Second Daughter-in-law for interrupting her. But Ren Wan Yun’s family was Ming Qi’s famous merchant family and many times the daily cost was subsidised by this daughter-in-law. Even though she was not satisfied, she could not offend her. She immediately hrumphed coldly but did not continue on.
Chen Rou Qiu seemed to be aware of it and also went along with Ren Wan Yun’s words, “That is precisely so. In the future Yue-er and Qing-er must never mention the words from before. It was Little Five that fell into the water accidentally and was coincidentally seen by His Highness Prince Ding. There are such coincidences in the world.” She smiled towards Shen Miao, “Little Five, Old Furen feels anguished for you and is not truly angry.”
Shen Miao look at the female in front of her. Shen Yue took after Chen Rou Qiu so much that even her temperament was the same. Chen Rou Qiu was born in a family of scholars and thus she was a graceful beauty who was usually soft and gentle when walking or talking and was beautiful but not frivolous. Such a female with a literary sense was also a good partner, but who knew what would happen later…
Later the Xiong Nu came over to request a marriage alliance and there was only one age-appropriate princess, Wan Yu. Chen Rou Qiu said that Shen Yue was older and a marriage alliance was also a marriage, so she was willing to marry the Xiong Nu. But Shen Yue was not a Princess so Fu Xiu Yi conferred Shen Yue the title of Princess Yue Ru so that it was justifiable for her to be in a marriage alliance with the Xiong Nu.
But ultimately the one who was married off was her Wan Yu.
Wan Yu died on the way to the marriage and Wan Yu’s Princess’s Residence was given to Princess Yue Ru. As such, Princes Yue Ru was expected to receive everything of Wan Yu’s.
Her Wan Yu was not even sixteen years old.
Shen Miao closed her eyes. If one said that Chen Rou Qiu did not put any effort into this matter, Chen Rou Qiu herself would also not believe it. But one would fear that Chen Rou Qiu had already reached an agreement with Mei Furen and the main reason was to let her think that there was hope only to then shatter that hope herself.
Chen Ruo Qiu’s smile stiffened.
She saw Fifth Young Lady looking at her. That round face, round eyes, and round nose, coupled with the timid appearance, used to easily leave an impression of stupidity and foolishness.
But now it was otherwise. She did not know when the timid appearance had disappeared to be replaced with solemnness. Not quite a sudden pressure of seriousness, but it was a slight feeling of distance. There was a moment when Chen Rou Qiu suddenly felt that the person in front of her was not the stupid and foolish daughter of the First household but some mistress of higher status and power, the kind that would make smarter and sharper people shiver.
In the next second, one could see that the young female shifted her gaze, “I believe that Third Shenshen also feels that Little Five is not wrong.”
Chen Rou Qiu was surprised for a moment, before she looked at the displeasure of the Old Furen sitting at a higher level and said reluctantly, “Be that as it may, it was really too careless of Little Five to fall into the pond. How do the few maids beside you take care of people? Eldest Brother and Eldest Sister-in-law are not by one’s side so the maids started to bully the masters? According to what ShenShen sees, it would be better to replace these maids.”
A laugh escaped from Ren Wan Yun with a ‘pu-chi’ sound. Chen Rou Qiu glared at her somewhat angrily and a sneer formed on Ren Wan Yun lips.
This DiMei of hers looked like a well-educated person but her heart was extremely shrewd. These kind of words could only be used to deceive that foolish Shen Miao. She most likely wanted to change the people by Shen Miao’s side. By now Shen Yue had also reached the age where others would start paying attention and in the capital, no matter how far Shen Miao’s foolish or stupid reputation has spread, in terms of status, Shen Yue’s was unable to be compared to Shen Miao’s. After all, Shen Xin still held the military power in his hands.
Consequently the Third household was also ready to create trouble.
Shen Miao lowered her head, “Gu Yu and the rest are Father and Mother’s people, why would Third Shen want to replace them? At present there are many personnel changes in the West courtyard. Just a few days ago, a batch of second rank maids were sent over and Fifth Lady did not recognise a single one. If Gu Yu and the rest are changed, then Fifth Lady would not know who to talk to in the West courtyard.”
Ren Wan Yu’s smile stopped short.
In the West courtyard, because Shen Xin and his wife were not in the capital most of the year many of the maids in the courtyard had been changed. There were Old Furen’s, Second Households, and Third Household’s people. But because the Second household was managing the family, naturally there were more people from the Second household. If these words were not said it would be better, but if it was spread to outsiders that the daughter of the First household did not know a single servant in her own courtyard, what intentions did the Second and Third household have? There was no logic that a younger sister-in-law could intervene in the courtyard of the Eldest Brother.
Her brain started to turn quickly as she smiled, giving Chen Rou Qiu a look before saying to Shen Miao, “Your Third Shen is joking with you. Gu Yu and the few maids are just careless and sloppy but we, the Shen family, are benevolent and cannot bear to do such inhuman things. Little Five must not be anxious.”
The words at the end choked Chen Rou Qiu.
Shen Yuan Bo looked at his mother and then looked over at Chen Rou Qiu before yawning. Old Shen Furen was getting impatient with her own Second and Third daughters-in-law when she saw the scene and said, “That’s enough. It’s only some trivial matter. Second son’s family, carry Seventh son over and then disperse. So many people making so much noise that it makes one’s head dizzy.”
Ren Wan Yu quickly carried Shen Yuan Bo to Old Shen Furen’s couch and said, “Mother, these daughters-in-law will go first. Seventh Son will play obediently with Old Furen.”
Chen Rou Qiu glanced over at Shen Yuan Bo and both her hands went up to her belly as she slowly exited from Rong Jing Tang. The Second household had sons so they were looked upon highly by Old Shen Furen. So what if she had the ability… Shen Yue was still a daughter. It would be good if she had a son. In the Shen residence, the things from the First residence would need to be fought over and if she had a son, at least there would be equal shares, not like now, letting the Second household have all the advantage. Moreover… There was still a Di son in the First household. Even though he followed Shen Xin to the border, who knew if he would come back to fight for a share.
After much thinking, Chen Rou Qiu raised her head and her eyes landed on the people heading towards the West courtyard.
The young female was wearing a dark red embroidered dress where before she always loved to wear brightly coloured ones. In addition, with no parents at her side, she did not know how to dress up and would always portray an unsophisticated look.
But now, the crimson colour of the clothes made her complexion fairer. She obviously still had the same appearance but one felt that she was much more solemn. And there was also an… imposing air?
Gu Yu softly said, “Young Lady’s health is not recovered yet, why the hurry to head to the academy? Since the health condition was already explained, the homework does not need to be completed in a rush. It would be better…”
“No.” She Miao interrupted her words, “Prepare the carriage immediately.”
They were clearly not harsh words, so Gu Yu did not know why she shivered and dared not ask more.