Edited by Angel
Chapter 157: Internal Strife (Part 2)
The lawsuit between the Shen and Chen families was really very long and drawn out. Many people had thought that the lawsuit was settled but upon asking, it was still not over. After two entire months, the case finally came to an end. Chen Rou Qiu indeed had no son and in addition, Old Shen Furen mentioned that Chen Rou Qiu did not respect her, thus at the end Shen Wan gave Chen Rou Qiu a divorce letter.
This pair was praised by everyone as a perfect pair, an immortal marriage but it turned out as such a farce. The most important thing for Shen Wan was that after divorcing Chen Rou Qiu, he swiftly brought Chang Zai Qing in as a GuiQie (aka Valued Concubine).
However in spite of that, it was a lawsuit with a lose-lose situation for both side. Shen Wan’s career was obstructed because of this, and a lot of money was spent. Yet the Chen family was worst off in comparison.
The Chen family had somewhat of a reputation but because they were a scholarly family, they were not well-off in terms of money. The Chen Master originally fought this lawsuit because he did not want others to look down on the Chen family, but he had not expected that the lawsuit would drag that long. After fighting the lawsuit for two months, it was not too far off if one were to mention that the Chen family was becoming bankrupt.
Because of this matter, the Chen Master was greatly affected and blamed everything on Chen Rou Qiu. Chen Rou Qiu’s mother also had some complaints. Chen Rou Qiu’s heart was hurt by Shen Wan, and she was very upset that Shen Wan disregarded the many years of relationship, and angry that Chang Zai Qing was two faced, but she was most upset that there was no news of Shen Yue till now. Now with her parents turning their backs on her, she felt as if all her hopes turned to dust, and that she had reached the end of the road.
And what she did not know was that her daughter, who had not been found, was currently in the residence of the Qin Prince, on Yan Qing Lane.
In the residence of the Qin Prince, Shen Yue was dressing up in front of the mirror.
The clothes that she wore were of the highest grade. Even though the Shen family was a wealthy official family, it was still incomparable with the fabric that the Imperial Palace of the Qin country used, which was extremely luxurious. She looked like an entirely different person when she wore it. Shen Yue followed Chen Rou Qiu’s instructions and would dress in a refined way without having gold or silver on her, but currently her appearance looked much more luxurious.
Naturally it was so since Shen Yue had become HuangFu Hao’s concubine.
The maid beside was carefully passing a cup of hot tea to Shen Yue, but there was impatience in Shen Yue’s expression.
She had a face that looked like flowers fluttering against the moon, and under Chen Rou Qiu’s daily training, it was considered as gentle and could speak comforting words, but she could still see that HuangFu Hao still had some interest in Shen Miao and would pick topics about her. One day HuangFu Hao asked her frivolously if she was willing to become his concubine, and Shen Yue thought about it the entire night before agreeing to it on the next day.
She had no route of retreat at all.
The news was spreading all around in a buzz, and the Shen and Chen families’ lawsuit had almost became a joke. Chang Zai Qin was currently pregnant and if she gave birth to a son then she feared that she, being a daughter, would be thrown at the back of the Shen family’s mind. Even if it was not a son, because Chen Rou Qiu had caused Shen Wan to be pointed at, Shen Wan and Old Shen Furen would also hate her. Shen Dong Ling had occupied her name and these days there were rumours that the Wang family’s Wang Bi doted on and favoured ‘Shen Yue’ a lot and the more it was said as such, the more regret that filled Shen Yue’s heart.
No matter if she really liked Wang Bi or not, as long as she thought of Shen Dong Ling’s comfortable life that should have belonged to her, the more Shen Yue became even more resentful.
She hated Shen Wan’s ruthlessness and also hated that Chen Rou Qiu was disappointing. At this moment she also understood that with her current self, it was not possible to approach Fu Xiu Yi and if she were to return to the Shen family, Shen Wan might arrange a crappy marriage for her due to the anger he had for Chen Rou Qiu.
Shen Yue also had the unique characteristics of the Shen family of being cold towards relationship. Shen Wan and her had been Father and daughter for so many years and it was happy and loving but now, Shen Yue looked at Shen Wan with more vigilance than when looking at a stranger.
Shen Yue thought that instead of being married to some unknown family, It would be better to be HuangFu Hao’s concubine. HuangFu Hao was handsome and young, the most of all was that he was the Qin country’s Crown Prince. If in the future she was able to have HuangFu Hao’s favour, perhaps she would be able to rise up the ranks. The most important part was that currently she was able to borrow HuangFu Hao’s help, and she could protect herself as well as Chen Rou Qiu.
Thus Shen Yue became HuangFu Hao’s concubine.
In all fairness, HuangFu Hao treated Shen Yue rather well, and there was also a reason to deliberately win Shen Yue’s favour. However currently in Ming Qi, among the concubines that HuangFu Hao brought along, Shen Yue was the most favoured one. Perhaps HuangFu Hao enjoyed the taste of having a Di daughter of an official being his concubine, and was currently coveting this freshness.
Shen Yue asked the maid beside her, “The letter for the Chen family has been sent already?”
The servant said, “It is on route and most probably has already reached.”
Shen Yue drank a sip of tea in response.
Chen Rou Qiu received a letter.
One did not know who was it that sent the letter into her room. Currently the Master and Furen did not want to see Chen Rou Qiu as it was her who greatly undermined the Chen family. The public fund had been reduced by a lot, thus her Older Brothers and SaoSao see her like a spirit that stirs up trouble in the family. Chen Rou Qiu was not living well and would simply stay in her room and not go out.
She looked around and did not see anyone, thus she opened it up curiously and a letter fell out. When she open it up, she was shocked after a look.
Chen Rou Qiu could not be clearer of the words on the front of the letter, as it was Shen Yue’s handwriting. Shen Yue’s soft handwriting was learnt from the only book written from the calligraphy master Wang Furen, and this was searched by Chen Rou Qiu specifically for her. As Shen Yue’s strength was weak, she could only learn seventh to eighth tens of Wang Furen’s calligraphy, thus Chen Rou Qiu was able to recognise Shen Yue’s handwriting with one look.
She very quickly looked around and saw that there was no one else in the room, before she felt assured enough to open it up. It had indicated for her to go to a rather isolated inn to meet up, but there was no signature at the bottom. However Chen Rou Qiu understood in her heart that it was definitely Shen Yue who wanted to secretly meet up with her.
The stone in Chen Rou Qiu’s heart was finally put down. For Shen Yue to write to her and seeing that steady handwriting, she should be safe now. The worries that she previously had were all swept away, and Chen Rou Qiu gradually calmed down.
These days each event came continuously that it made her feel shocked and unable to normalise; the worst of it was that she felt that life was hopeless. However Shen Yue’s letter seemed to have lit up her hope as she still had a daughter. Chen Rou QIu’s heart was suddenly full of fighting spirit. At least she was not alone. How could Chang Zai Qing, that kind of woman, be able to enter and steal her belongings? Chang Zai Qing still wanted to give birth to Shen Wan’s son? She wanted to see if she had that ability.
Having a pillar in her heart, Chen Rou Qiu gradually calmed down. Later in the day, the servants by Chen Rou Qiu’s side also discovered that Chen Rou Qiu’s mood was had changed a lot and seemed to be that gentle and graceful Third Shen Furen. Even when a servant bumped into her, Chen Rou Qiu would only just smile.
If a more observant and smart person saw it, one would discover that the fighting spirit in her eyes had rekindled and burned brightly.
On the morning the next day, Chen Rou Qiu went out.
No one in the Chen family stopped her. Chen Furen was somewhat worried but after being glared by the Chen Master, she then did not speak. Chen Rou Qiu’s Older Brothers and SaoSaos were even more dismissive. If it was in the past, Chen Rou Qiu would have quarreled with the few SaoSaos no matter what, but she did not have the mood to do so today. She wore an inconspicuous brown dress which had a style that was a few years old; one that Chen Furen had worn before. She had not brought any money when she left the Shen residence as she was acting rashly. She only took some jewelry and only brought a few pieces of clothes. Afterwards she was so busy with the lawsuit that she did not have time to purchase, and now the Chen family was unable to afford it.
Chen Rou Qiu could only press down the humiliation in her heart of wearing unsuitable and outdated clothes. She brought along a bamboo hat to wear so that others would not be able to see her; but even if they were to see her, one feared that they would not be able to link this shabby dressed woman with the talented female that was previously applauded by the entire Ding capital.
In order to save money, Chen Rou Qiu only hired an old horse carriage. When the horse carriage reached the Eastern city, Chen Rou Qiu paid for it before heading to the inn as indicated in the letter.
Upon entering the inn, Chen Rou Qiu sized the surrounding up and did not see Shen Yue’s presence at all. Just when her heart was doubtful, a waiter walked towards her and took a glance before asking, “Is Furen looking for a Young Lady?”
Chen Rou Qiu was startled before nodding her head. With her and Shen Wan’s lawsuit, everyone in Ding capital was aware of it and she felt a little conscious and feared to be recognised and pointed out, and even more afraid that Shen Yue would be pointed out. That waiter then said, “May Furen come with me.”
The waiter brought Chen Rou Qiu to a room up the stairs of the inn and stopped right in front of the doors before speaking with a smile, “The person Furen is waiting for is inside.” Then he left.
Chen Rou Qiu pushed the door open to enter and saw that there was a young female sitting in front of the table in the room. Chen Rou Qiu could recognise that back no matter what. If it was not Shen Yue, who else could it be?
Chen Rou Qiu closed the door before crying out, “Yue-er!”
Shen Yue turned her head and could not help but was startled when she saw Chen Rou Qiu’s appearance. It was only when Chen Rou Qiu came forward and held her hands that Shen Yue saw Chen Rou Qiu’s face and shouted, “Mother!” But then she frowned, “How did you become like this?”
If she did not see herself, Shen Yue would not believe that this simply dressed female was her noble and gentle mother.
When Chen Rou Qiu heard it, a flash of resentment appeared on her face as she said with gritted teeth, “If it were not that slut, Chang Zai Qing, and your heartless Father, how would I be like this!” After finishing, she that looked at Shen Yue eagerly, “Yue-er, where have you been these days? Do you know Mother’s heart is so worried about you? Are you alright? Did something happen?”
Chen Rou Qiu only had Shen Yue, as a daughter and would dote and love her on normal days so this concern for her was not fake. When Shen Yue heard it, her heart felt sour but there was still a smile on her face, “Mother, does not need to be scared. I am currently living well. I have found a backer that is even richer than the Wang family. With this backer, the Shen family will not dare to bully us in the future.”
Chen Rou Qiu asked in doubt, “Who are you talking about?”
Shen Yue hesitated a bit before saying, “His Highness the Crown Prince of Qin country.”
Chen Rou Qiu cried out in surprise but heard Shen Yue quickly explaining, “His Highness the Crown Prince treated me very well. Initially when I left the Shen residence, one had encountered some gangsters and it was His Highness the Crown Prince that saved me. Afterwards one wanted to send me back but due to the matters of the Shen residence, I stayed in the residence of the Crown Prince. His Highness the Crown Prince is a good person. Mother, do not think that it is not good. It is really better for me to follow His Highness the Crown Prince than those impudent people of the Wang family. One cannot just let me be on equal status as Shen Dong Ling right? If I return to the Shen residence, Grandmother and Father would be even more unhappy with me, who knows how they would arrange my marriage? Mother, just go along with me once alright?”
Chen Rou Qiu’s initial instinct was that it was not good but her expression became slightly better upon hearing that HuangFu Hao saved Shen Yue. However as the other person was not from Ming Qi and even though Chen Rou Qiu did not understand the matters of court, she was influenced but what she seen and heard from Shen Wan after so many years, thus she was still vigilant.
“He is after all from Qin country and moreover a Crown Prince…”
Seeing that Chen Rou Qiu was still disagreeable, Shen Yue’s heart hardened a little and she told a lie, “His Highness the Crown Prince said that in the future, upon returning to Qin country, he would bestow a new identity for me and let me be his CeFei (aka Secondary Consort).”
“These words are genuine?” Chen Rou Qiu was in a daze. If Shen Yue left Ming Qi and upon arriving Qin country, became the CeFei then in the future there would be endless glory and splendor. After experiencing the matter with Shen Wan, Chen Rou Qiu’s thoughts were different from before. What was the use of sentiments? Sentiments were just illusions, when flowers were lovely and the moon was round, naturally relationships were close but in a blink of an eye, one could be treated coldly. And those stink of money that the books said were the things that one could truly relied on. Without money, even the Chen family could mock and ridicule. If a Crown Prince’s CeFei came from their family… Chen Rou Qiu’s heart started to slowly warmed up.
“Absolutely true.” Shen Yue said.
Chen Rou Qiu hesitated for a moment before speaking, “The matter can be discussed later, there is still one matter at the moment.”
Shen Yue asked, “What matter?”
“That slut Chang Zai Qing had schemed behind my back, behaved one way in front of me and another behind my back and I fell for it. Now I have become a scurrying mouse but the person I hate the most is not Chang Zai Qing but your Father. If one had your Father’s protection, how would I become like this? He did not even take into consideration the husband and wife relationship of over ten years. I am not willing to let him live with a clear conscience! I hate it!”