Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 20: The Glint And Flash of Knives (Part 1)
The chapter title is a Chinese phrase that refers to the fights on the battlefield.
Jie Geng felt that this old woman was very rude but upon hearing that it was Madam Zhao that sent her over, she was taken aback and could only lower herself to greet, “May Momo not blame me for the neglect just now.”
This old woman snorted arrogantly and just as she was about to scold Jie Geng, she saw Chu Jin Yao waving her hand to speak to Jie Geng, “Already told you many times to restrain your temper but you always don’t listen. It is a fortunate thing that Momo is sent over by Furen and is broadminded, thus would not be calculative with you. Let’s see if you will dare to be like this the next time.”
Jie Geng knelt down and quickly said, “This servant dares not. May Young Lady forgive.”
“Alright, go and place the stuff in the study first. This is the homework that was assigned by the two Momos from Wang residence. If there are any mishaps, I will hold you accountable.”
Jie Geng lowered her head as she ran in like a wisp of smoke. The old woman called out twice but was unable to stop her. The old woman saw that Chu Jin Yao had the heart to protect the maid and felt uncomfortable in her heart. She had thought that Fourth Young Lady and Furen had spoken correctly. Fifth Young Lady’s courtyard did not have any established rules and since Furen sent her over to show Fifth Young Lady the right path, she must rectify the common practices at Fifth Young Lady’s.
Chu Jin Yao’s waist and legs were very sore but even so, she still forced out a smile and took two steps to ask, “How does one refer to Momo?”
The old woman straightened her back and said arrogantly, “This old servant is surnamed Sun.”
“Greetings to Sun Momo.” Chu Jin Yao smiled. “Since you are sent by Mother, you are an elder and cannot be neglected. Ding Xiang, clean up a room and take Sun Momo to rest.”
Ding Xing headed off along with the instructions but after a few steps, she could hear Sun Momo speaking, “Fifth Young Lady, TaiTai sent me to rectify the regulations here for you. This old servant would say something truthful. You might not like to listen but your courtyard’s rules are too lacking. It is in no way comparable to the orderliness of Fourth Young Lady. Young Lady, you are still young and do not know of the evil in one’s heart. The inner courtyard looks glamorous on the surface, but there are many hidden things. Young Lady has a lot of matters daily and would not remember what jewelry is in which box. When days like that pass, one would not be able to guarantee that some greedy servant would take your jewelry out secretly to sell. Thus TaiTai sent me over and the first urgent matter is to educate you on house management, so as to not be bullied by the servants below.”
Chu Jin Yao had secretly become angry as this old maid literally climbed all over. She had initially wanted to give her a high status and afterwards just give her offerings, as long as she did not disturb her. However, it seemed that this old maid’s hands were long.
Sure enough, Sun Momo paused before saying, “Young Lady, where are the keys to the clothes and jewelry? You are young and one fears you will be deceived by the servants below. It is better to leave it with this old servant for safekeeping.”
“There is no need to tire Momo.” Chu Jin Yao’s face became cold, “These things are managed by me. This is my habit at home so I would not be deceived by others. Since Momo is sent by Mother, then I should support well, how could one let Momo worry about such things? This would be me being unfilial.”
Chu Jin Yao had used the reasoning of filial piety but as the saying went, even a XiuCai (scholar that passed the county Imperial exams) would never win an argument with a soldier. This old maid had a thick face and did not care what Chu Jin Yao said. She only clung onto the words, “Furen sent me to take care of Fifth Young Lady so this old servant has to worry about clothes and jewelry. If Young Lady is unwilling, then this old servant has to reason out with Furen.”
This was being extremely rampant. Chu Jin Yao’s face was sullen, “Then go ahead. Ding Xiang, prepare the brush and ink, I want to review my homework.”
After Chu Jin Yao gave the instructions, she headed to the main room without looking back. Sun Momo was somewhat stunned. She had thought that Chu Jin Yao would dare to be this tyrannical. All young ladies in the inner courtyard were soft, delicate and acted in a roundabout way. How would Chu Jin Yao dare to speak of it directly?
Sun Momo yelled out, “I came from Madam Zhao. Furen said…”
Chu Jin Yao said calmly, “Ding Xiang, pass the word around. I am going to study and no one is allowed to speak loudly. If anyone disturbs me and delays me from learning from the Wang residence’s Momos, then I will go to ZhuMu to seek justice.”
Although Chu Jin Yao said it to Ding Xiang, the direction of the message was very clear. Sun Momo was speechless as Chu Jin Yao turned her head and looked at everyone coldly before walking in after parting the curtain.
When she got into the inner room, Jie Geng was in the study, not daring to go out. She had also heard the commotion outside and upon looking at Chu Jin Yao at this moment, she was practically worshipping, “Young Lady…”
Chu Jin Yao felt extremely upset and said to Jie Geng, “She is still yelling outside. So bear with it first and stay in the Western room for a while. When she gets tired of yelling, then you can go out.”
Jie Geng responded clearly, “Yes.”
The study quickly calmed down. The maids knew Chu Jin Yao’s habit of not having anyone waiting on her in the study. When there was no one else, Chu Jin Yao gave out a long sigh.
Qin Yi burst out into laughter, “What is the matter? Weren’t you being so awe-inspiring just now? Why sigh?”
“I did not have such a violent temper originally.” Chu Jin Yao continued, “One takes the colour from one’s surroundings. Sure enough, what did you turn me into!”
If someone dared to talk to Qin Yi like this on normal times, he would have instructed others to clean them up. However, when he heard Chu Jin Yao’s words now, he could not help but laugh, “You have to be reasonable and not blame me for everything.”
Chu Jin Yao could not hold her expression and laughed lightly. She laughed for a while and her tone changed to a sorrowful one, “It is easier to invite God than to send God away. How can I send this great Buddha away!”
Qin Yi did not speak as he materialised from the jade pendant. He sat down on the table leisurely and flipped through the book casually. Chu Jin Yao pretended to be pitiful but found that Qin Yi did not fall for it and hurried around the other side of the table, sitting opposite him, laying her hands on the table as she tugged his arm, “Qi Ze, what must be done?”
Qin Yi looked up and smiled at Chu Jin Yao, “I do not know either. Think about it yourself.”
“I just can’t figure it out, that’s why I looked for you!” Chu Jin Yao continued to act coquettishly and finally said, “If you do not tell me then I will cry.”
Qin Yi cast her a light glance, “Then cry.”
Chu Jin Yao finally knew where the familiar feeling came from. When Sun Momo said that she would be complaining to Madam Zhao, Chu Jin Yao said ‘then go ahead’. That manner and tone of voice were exactly the same as Qin Yi’s ‘then cry’!