Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 4: Under Someone’s Guidance (Part 2)
Qin Yi listened quietly. That mistake, all those years ago, had disrupted two families. Even if everything was restored to the correct places, the scars would not disappear in a short while. Moreover, to put it bluntly, the one who was hurt the most was Chu Jin Yao. She was forcefully separated from the Su family, left a familiar environment, and upon returning home, had to adapt to the difficulty of living with a new environment, enduring indifference and rejection. Throughout this process, what did Father Su, Mother Su, and even Chu Jin Miao, pay in return?
“No.” Qin Yi comforted in an unprecedented instance. He softened his voice with great unfamiliarity and said to Chu Jin Yao, “You have already done a good job. Your gratitude and grudges are clearly defined and benevolence exists in your heart. This is very good.”
Chu Jin Yao wiped away the tears that silently trickled down. She fell into her memories and the more she thought, the more the tears filled her eyes. Even so, there was a faint smile on her lips. “Although Father Su and Mother Su did not treat me well and Su Sheng always bullied me, there were always good people too. Even though Older Sister long knew that I was not a child of the Su family and did not speak good words to me, when the weather was cold and clothes needed to be washed, she would snatch the task of drawing water from me every time. She said that she despised me for doing it slowly, but I knew that she felt distressed when I had frostbites on my hands. Since young, every time Father Su drank, he would beat people up and it was her that would take on the scolding and push me out to cut the grass. She was neither kith nor kin, so I really appreciate that she had done so much.” As Chu Jin Yao spoke, her nose felt sour. Knowing that Qin Yi did not like people crying, she quickly blinked and forced her tears back. “Now that my life has turned out better, I cannot not do anything. I will do my best to give her some money so that she no longer needs to wash clothes in winter.”
Qin Yi did not speak for a long time. He rarely comforted females. Actually, he rarely listened to others complaining too. In his world, there were crimson and majestic Palace walls, respectful and shrewd people of the Palace, lifetimes of singing and dancing, and females who had better appearance than the one before but hearts that were as poisonous as scorpions. He had seen many females crying but the females in the Palace knew how to cry like pear blossoms bathed in the rain, perfect to a point. This was the first time he was calmly and quietly listening to a female talking about the sufferings of the world.
Qin Yi had always hated people crying the most, but this time when Chu Jin Yao’s tears fell, he did not despise it. After a while, he said, “Brocade is too expensive. Even if you are able to deliver it to your Older Sister, one fears that she would not be able to use it. Maybe it would even attract trouble.”
“I know that too. But I do not have other types of money. This bolt of brocade is my only personal wealth.”
“This is not a problem. Wipe your tears away and do not think about it.”
“How could one not think about it?” Chu Jin Yao was amused, “If I do not keep it in mind, then would money fall from the skies?”
Qin Yi suddenly asked, “If you meet a powerful person, with a noble status… Well, higher ranked than your Father, Chu Jing. And he is willing to help you?”
“If he is willing to help me, can I take it for granted?” Chu Jin Yao lightly touched the jade pendant with her fingertips as she spoke. “You just came to this world and it is inevitable to think of reaching Heavens in a single bound. But I have to tell you that such thoughts are not good. If one depends on a mountain, it will collapse. If one depends on a person, that person will run away. Even if that person is a powerful person, one cannot place all hopes on others. It seems that I have to monitor you well, else in a moment of unawareness, you will be deceived by others!”
“With just you?”
“Hey! Why is it not possible with just me? I dare not say anything else but I am more than enough to protect you.”
Qin Yi smiled gently as Chu Jin Yao continued, “In the future, you have to listen to me else I will not care about you.”
Qin Yi felt that it was ridiculous. After he laughed, he did not bother to correct Chu Jin Yao but focused on another point, “I did not just come to this world. Do you know how to speak properly?”
“I am saying it for your own good.” Chu Jin Yao feared that Qin Yi might have wrong thoughts on taking shortcuts and show his powers to powerful people and in so doing sacrifice himself instead.
Qin Yi sneered, “Only you would worry about me… Go and keep the brocade well. If you like it then keep it for yourself. You need not worry about money and the matter about your Older Sister.”
His tone of voice that was taking on everything… Chu Jin Yao thought that it was funny but felt touched by his kindness and thus said, “All right. I will then rely on you from now on.”
Chu Jin Yao only joked casually and soon forgot after laughing, but Qin Yi did not refute it. Chu Jin Yao did not know what this joke meant.
Chu Jin Yao was out of ideas with regards to Su Hui’s matter. She had just returned home and was unable to stand firmly yet, so how could she reach out to help her Older Sister? One feared that before her things got out of the Marquis Residence, it would already be divided by the servants and would even cause trouble for herself. She understood this logic. Su Hui’s matter could not be rushed and even matters of saving money. She could only slowly learn the etiquettes of a young lady under the guidance of Qin Yi.
In fact, relations in the world were all interconnected. Previously, Chu Jin Yao did not have any connections, thus was unable to get the gist of things. But now, with Qin Yi guiding at the side, she quickly learned. Concerning etiquettes, a layman would need to fumble for a day and would be incomparable to a sentence of advice from an insider. With Qin Yi’s extremely sharp eyes and Chu Jin Yao’s hard work, she was up to mark after ten over days.
Even the maids in Madam Zhao’s room said that Fifth Young Lady seemed to be reborn and enlightened. Even though her etiquette was not as good as the other young ladies, by just looking at her posture, she had it already.
As for dressing and jewelry… Females are all natural talents in this aspect. It did not take long for Chu Jin Yao to be very familiar with makeup. Qin Yi was very impressed.
After a very difficult period of adaptation, Chu Qin Yao walked on the winding corridor of the Marquis Residence again and finally did not have that bottomless feeling in her heart. During this painful experience, her Mother did not care about her, she could not even glimpse her Father’s shadow and none of her relatives wanted to have anything to do with her. The only one who really helped her was the recently acquainted Qin Yi.
Previously, Chu Jin Yao had always thought of being close to Mother but she refused to even look at her directly. After she got through the difficult period of transformation, she did not have such a strong feeling of longing for Madam Zhao.
This was because the period where she needed Mother the most was over.
Chu Jin Yao wore a short dark green jacket with an upright collar, on top of the lapel was a Ruyi buckle. Under it, she wore a light green skirt with interlocking flower patterns and rabbit fur boots on her feet. As she slowly walked towards Yi An Yuan, she looked in front, shoulders aligned and waist straight up. The interval between each step was basically the same, neither too fast nor too slow, light yet steady. Upon entering the courtyard doors, the servant sweeping the grounds stopped to greet Chu Jin Yao. Chu Jin Yao’s steps paused as she nodded with a smile towards the maids and servants.
According to Qin Yi’s teachings, when smiling, it should be slightly reserved and her actions should not be too big. However, her eyes were very round black and she put on some makeup on her face these days. Her previously sharp face had taken on an egg-shape. When she smiled, there seemed to be stars in her eyes, and the dimples on the side of her face faintly discernible. It was so sweet that it went straight to another’s heart.
When the servant saw Chu Jin Yao, she also beamed with joy and the folds on her face almost disappeared. Even though Fifth Young Lady had a pitiful life experience, she was one who liked smiling and was easy to get close to rather than Fourth Young Lady. Older people’s preferences differed from males. They always liked Chu Jin Yao’s egg-shaped face, tall height, and one who liked to smile.
After greeting the people in the courtyard, the curtains parted and half of Qiu Ye’s body appeared as she smiled, “Upon hearing the laughter from afar, I knew that it is Fifth Young Lady. Quickly come in Young Lady!”
Chu Jin Yao maintained her smile and walked into the room through the veranda without rushing. Upon entering, she turned sideways slightly to avoid the curtain but quickly stood straight. Throughout the process, Chu Jin Yao’s slender neck was kept straight and she did not make any hunchback gestures.
When Qiu Ye saw it, she sighed secretly. When Fifth Young Lady first came, she was somewhat trembling and cowering. Although it was pardonable, it looked like one was from a small family. However, upon looking at the present, how would one be able to see the appearance of the past? Even the Shu-daughter of the Eldest Household would not be able to portray the harmonious smile and calm posture that Fifth Young Lady had shown.
This looked so spirited. This was a noble lady!
Since the time Chu Jin Yao found Qin Yi, she was guided and no longer came early in the morning for greetings. Even though one exhausted, others would not remember one’s good points, so why bother? She then behaved like Chu Jin Miao and Chu Jin Xian, only coming over after calculating the time. Neither too late nor before Madam Zhao woke up and would not need to wait for too long upon arrival.
But today, Chu Jin Yao was taken aback when she entered the room. Father is also here?
Seeing Marquis Chang Xing, Qin Yi realised that he had forgotten that on every first and fifteenth of the month, men would stay for the night with their official wife. Chu Jin Yao had returned in the second half of January and one did not know what he was busy with that he did not stay in Madam Zhao’s place on the first of February. Thus, Chu Jin Yao only knew of the rule of ‘main wife’s dignity’ after a month.
Qin Yi secretly calculated. Chu Jin Yao returned home for almost a month. He was also unconscious for almost a month…
A month… Even though Qin Yi never mentioned it, he was inevitably somewhat anxious. Being unconscious for a month, even if he was surrounded by his trusted followers, one feared that it was not easy to cover it up.
He had to find a way.