Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 155: Returning Back (Part 1)
The residence of the General in the Ding capital was originally decorated with bright colours and from the outsiders’ view, it was admirable. Whenever the residence of the General was brought up, everyone would first recall about the sweat and blood contributions, and the bravery of the Formidable Great General.
However ever since the separation of the Eldest household and the Shen family, and being removed from the Shen’s clan records, the General residence quickly declined. Even though Shen Gui and Shen Wan tried to support the formal glory of the General residence with their careers, unfortunately the route of civil and military officials were different. Civil officials depended on their brains and mouth, and if one wanted to achieve meritorious services, it would take a much longer time. It was however different with military officials, after fighting a battle and cutting off a few enemy heads, one would be admired by ten thousands of people.
After the decline of the General residence, even though there was still a name, people do not pay as close attention as before. However, these days it easily caught others’ attention, but good things did not get out of the door but instead bad things spread out to thousands of Li (1 Li = 500m). The matter that made others discuss the most was this matter. One did not know when, but there was a rumour that was spreading in the marketplace, it was that the Master of the Third household of the Shen family was planning to divorce his wife.
Among the three sons of the Shen family, besides Shen Xin, even though Shen Gui was smooth and evasive, he was too lustful, thus he did things unclearly. Shen Wan was however different from his Second Older Brother, he had a clean record and was not considered lustful towards females. Even though he would play along with his colleagues, he would not make a mess of things. He was one who very much cherished his feathers thus in the eyes of the people, he was one who had reached a high level of emotional maturity and was capable. If one were to wait a couple of years, most likely his position would be even higher.
The women of the official families had a good impression of Shen Wan. It was not because of anything else, but because Shen Wan was one that favoured and dotted his wife and daughter, and that there was not a single female in the inner courtyard. Those Furens of official families would all have some frustrating matters in their courtyard, and would always be envious of Chen Rou Qiu since it was not easy to encounter a husband who would only treat one person well.
Who knew that at this period, when Shen Yue was married, there would be a matter of divorcing between Shen Wan and Chen Rou Qiu.
Those who spread out in the marketplace all had eyes and ears, “Is not it so? One heard that it was because the Third Shen Furen do not have a son. You see, now there is no grandson in the Shen residence, and one cannot just let the family line be cut off. Not mentioning that the Second Shen Master had been bringing in concubines after concubines, after all he once had two sons. However the Third household had never had a son before, thus it is no wonder they got anxious.
“Speaking of that, the Third Shen Master is doing well in his career and with such a big family, it would be indeed a pity if there is no heir to inherit it.”
“That Madam Chen’s tummy failed to live up to expectations, and had not given birth to sons for so many years. She still do not let her husband bring in concubines. This is really ill-mannered. There would not be such thing in a commoner’s family. If I am Third Shen Master, I will not be able to accept it too.”
“To not even let one bring in concubine. Ze. Such a jealous woman with no virtue and still do not have a son, this can be one and only. Third Shen Master is pitiful.”
The rumours in the entire Ding capital were all standing at Shen Wan’s side. Chen Rou Qiu was originally a talented lady from the Ding capital, and was extremely popular among the noble female’s circle. But this time, no matter if it were the commoners or those women who once flattered or were close to her, they all inadvertently now accused her of wrongs. Perhaps because Chen Rou Qiu had been living too fortunately in the past that made people jealous, when the happiness was shattered, it would make other rejoice in her misfortune and throw stones.
In the Shen residence, Chen Rou Qiu smashed the porcelain vase in front of her, and the vase became small debris and dregs that filled the entire floor. Chen Rou Qiu was unable to disperse the hate and smashed all the cups on the table onto the floor. Shi Qing and Hua Yi dared not even breath loudly and let Chen Rou Qiu continue to make a fuss.
“Shameless! Shameless!” Chen Rou Qiu screamed, “That pair of adulterous couple had forced me to such a situation and it is my fault? Ridiculous! Stupid!”
The rumours outside were all disadvantages for Chen Rou Qiu, and since she was one who cared about her face so how would she be willing to let herself, a daughter of a scholarly family be called a shrew by others?
“It must have been that slut who said these nonsenses outside.” Chen Rou Qiu clenched her teeth and said. It was a moment of pique when she said to Shen Wan about the divorce letter and it was only to scare him. Who knew that this information was now known and spread out in the marketplace, and had pushed her and Shen Wan to the point where things could not be mitigated. The thing that made one’s heart chill the most, was that Shen Wan had never taken a look at her till now.
“It must be that slut that urged Master!” Chen Rou Qiu’s nails deeply dug into her palm. Old Shen Furen was currently deliberately promoting Chang Zai Qing to go against her, currently one did not know where Shen Yue went, and Shen Wan was confused by Chang Zai Qing. The Shen residence was so big, but there was no one that stood by her. One fear that in the entire Ding capital, the person that was in the wrong was her. Chen Rou Qiu felt as though she was a lone general fighting a battle.
“Furen, currently Old Furen had passed on the order so what can we do next?” Hua Yi finally asked.
Either let Chang Zai Qing come in like this or let Shen Wan write a divorce letter. No matter which one it was, Chen Rou Qiu would not be able to accept it. But she was indeed powerless in the Shen residence.
The love that she had for Shen Wan had turned into hate at this moment. She suddenly stood up and laughed coldly, “How would there be such an easy thing in the world? The Shen family is insulting me then I would still need to take it? Pack up, I want to return to the Chen family!”
Chen Rou Qiu had returned to her maiden family.
The Old Master of the Chen family was a document official of the administrative division, who was in charge of repairing all the big and small books in the Ming Qi’s Palace. Because it was a civil role and one had to read widely, Chen Rou Qiu thus was able to grow up with books. Moreover when Old Master Chen was young, he was then a JieYuan (first place candidate in the provincial Imperial examinations) and had some capabilities.
There were some meaning of getting together the Chen and Shen families when Chen Rou Qiu married Shen Wan. Of course in the beginning it was Shen Wan that selected Chen Rou Qiu. Even though Old Master Chen was not one who shielded his shortcomings, he paid great attention to family reputation, especially the putting of a lofty and arrogant appearance was the same with Chen Rou Qiu. Thus if Chen Rou Qiu was divorced, it would destroy their reputation, making Old Master Chen very unhappy. The Chen and Shen family were destined to have an unclear lawsuit.
When Shen Miao heard all these from Jing Zhe, she was reading under the lamp. Jing Zhe said, “Currently Third Furen had returned to her maiden family, and definitely will not let the matter rest. If they found out that the rumours were released by Young Lady… What will happen?”
The rumours that were flowing around the marketplace was not spread by Chang Zai Qing, nor Shen Wan and definitely not Old Shen Furen. It was Shen Miao.
Shen Miao had lived together with the Third household for an entire life, and knew that even though Chen Rou Qiu was pretentious, arrogant and loved Shen Wan deeply, she was not stupid. Upon discovering Shen Wan’s and Chang Zai Qing’s adulterous affair, she would definitely be furious and difficult to calm down, and would do impulsive things but afterwards, after much thought she would put up a grievance appearance in front of Shen Wan. Shen Wan would think about the long relationship with Chen Rou Qiu and would soften. At that time when Chang Zai Qin entered the household, it would not be known if Chen Rou Qiu or Chang Zai Qing would die in the fight, afterall Chen Rou Qiu would not be defeated that easily.
It would be better to let some rumours out and cause the anger in Chen Rou Qiu’s heart grow, and it would add more fuel to the fire with regards to Shen Wan’s relationship, and it would then reach to an irreconcilable stage. A female’s heart of vengeance was scary and it would be much more interesting when events were provoked. Chen Rou Qiu indeed became so anxious that she returned to her maiden family.
To take this step, it would be very difficult to go back. There would be a rift in the other person’s heart and only a novel would only be able to put back a shattered mirror. Shen Miao felt that during her past life she was unable to see things clearly when she was in the Inner Palace, but now after changing a perspective and watching as an outsider, it was very clear in a glance. To play with other on the palm of your hands, even if the person was one’s enemy, her mood was not that good. Perhaps it was because she would have thought that when Mei Furen looked at her, was it the same as the way she was looking at Chen Rou Qiu?
“Do not worry.” She then responded after pausing for a while, “It is not that easy to detect.” She handed the matter over to Feng Xian Pawnshop to do it and since money was accepted, Ji Yu Shu would definitely organise things properly. The Feng Xian Pawnshop had done so many years of business in the Ding capital, thus they would understand this small thing.
Thus Jing Zhe did not speak more. Seeing that the widows were not closed, she stood up to close them and said as she walked over, “Why does Gu Yu keep forgetting to close the windows all day? The weather is so cold and the cold wind will blow in. What if Young Lady catch a cold?”
“Wait.” Shen Miao stopped her and glance at the window, “Let the air ventilate first since the room is stuffy. I will close them myself a while later.”
The room was bright so how was it stuffy? Even though Jing Zhe was a little suspicious in her heart when she saw Shen Miao’s resolute appearance, she did not speak. She then helped Shen Miao cut the wick of the lamp before saying, “May Young Lady rest early.”
Jing Zhe retreated out.
Shen Miao was staring at the slightly wavering candlelight and was about to get up and walk towards the couch. Halfway there, the candlelight flickered violently.
A familiar voice sounded and it had the indolent banter that one had not heard for a long time, “Deliberately opened the door for me so why go to sleep?”
Shen Miao turned back and the youth propped himself against the window as one hand was supporting his chin, and the pair of peach blossoms eyes looked over inattentively. It was indolent yet charming that even the dark night was unable to let others ignore his brilliance. He saw Shen Miao being slightly startled and in a flash, entered the room and naturally took the lamp from Shen Miao hands and walked over to the stools to sit down.
Such smooth actions, as if one had entered one’s own room.
“You returned?” Shen Miao asked.
“Oh?” Xie Jing Xing stared at her and said with a smile but not a smile, “Why? Miss me?”
Shen Miao was already accustomed to his contemptuous words thus she simply ignored him. Xie Jing Xing went to sit down on the stool by himself and raised his eyebrows, “You did well on Chen Rou Qiu’s matter.”
Shen Miao rolled her eyes, “And you know it again.” Xie Jing Xing’s informants spreads throughout the Ding capital, moreover Ji Shu Yu of the Feng Xian Pawnshop have some relations with Xie Jing Xing. Shen Miao instruct Ji Yu Shu to spread rumours at this end, and one fear that at the other end Ji Yu Shu would have told Xie Jing Xing. Now Shen Miao did not even care about it.
“No wonder when Chang Zai Qing came to Ding capital initially, you put up such an attitude.” Xie Jing Xing spoke to himself before glancing at Shen Miao again. It was unclear if his voice was in admiration or sighing as he said in half-truths, “Truly vicious.”
Shen Miao declined to comment. Xie Jing Xing seemed to have thought of something and took out a box from somewhere one did not know of and threw it onto Shen Miao’s arms.
Shen Miao was almost crushed by the little box. She only felt that the little box was rather heavy and took a good look at it. She saw that there was a large tiger carving on the surface of the box. The tiger head looked alive and was somewhat charmingly naive, however the baring of fangs and brandishing of claws were rather fierce. She remembered the white tiger, ‘Jiao Jiao’, that Xie Jing Xing was raising and she endured the anger in her heart and opened the little box.