Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 22: Forming An Alliance Secretly (Part 1)
That day when Sun Momo returned to Chao Yun Yuan, she dared not be as insolent as she had been yesterday.
The servants of Chao Yun Yuan had seen Sun Momo leaving high and mighty and even throw words that she would seek Furen for justice, while Chu Jin Yao calmly went out. Upon returning, Sun Momo became obedient and dared not be rude to Chu Jin Yao again. The few maids were somewhat surprised and started to respect Chu Jin Yao and put away their contempt.
Although Fifth Young Lady had a shallow foundation, she was not one who would let others torment.
That day Chu Jin Yao handled Sun Momo and then went to learn poetry from Deng Momo. When she returned to Chao Yun Yuan afterwards, she was utterly exhausted.
But even so, she insisted on practicing calligraphy. Qin Yi watched and frowned, “You have been standing for so long learning etiquette, so let’s take a break for a while.”
Chu Jin Yao did not lift her head as she shook it, “This is a must-do daily homework, so how can one not do it? It would be alright for me to just bear with it a bit. I lack a lot compared to Chu Jin Miao. If I do not work hard, I will be thrown further behind.”
“She is only a shelf of flowers (attractive facade but lacking in substance in reality).” Qin Yi came out from the jade pendant and sat opposite Chu Jin Yao as he picked up a book casually, “She is only depending on the fact that she spends more time studying poetry than you and the rest of the females spend working on needlework and are too lazy to read, thus her literary talents look particularly outstanding. Your talent is similar to hers, but your temperament is much more tenacious than hers so it is only a matter of time before you catch up with her.”
Chu Jin Yao chuckled. As she wrote, she spoke to Qin Yi, “Although I feel that you are coaxing me, I still feel happy listening. However, no matter how much I dislike her, I have to admit that Chu Jin Miao is better than me at speaking and winning people over. You have seen that I have returned for so long but Zhu Mu, the sisters and Mother all like Chu Jin Miao more. Not to mention the brothers at home. I feel that the two Biao Older Brothers like her more.”
“I do not think it is necessarily true.” Qin Yi explained, “You cannot just look at things on the surface. Actually, Chu Jin Miao’s relationship with the females is not very good. Just like your Eldest Sister, she does not like her. Your Older Sister is the Di Eldest Daughter that the family clan carefully raised, thus her vision represents the preferences and likes of the female elders of the family. You all are still young, it will be more obvious in a few years.”
Chu Jin was skeptical. “Are you speaking the truth?”
“Of course.” Qin Yi coolly glanced at Chu Jin Yao, “Do I look like someone who makes an error of judgement?”
“Although I always feel that you are comforting me, I too hope that this is true.” Chu Jin Yao sighed, “I do not count on the other female elders to like me. As long as Mother treats me a little fairly, it would be enough.”
Upon hearing this, even Qin Yi felt that it was difficult to express succinctly, “Your mother… I too did not expect that the Furen of Marquis of Chang Xin, would be this selective in listening. If she continues to be like this in the future, then one can only look for someone to point it out to her.”
Chu Jin Yao was taken aback and immediately questioned, “What do you mean?” Qin Yi’s words were too strange and she could not help but doubt his identity.
“Nothing.” Qin Yi flipped a page unhurriedly and asked, “Why did you speak of your two Biao Older Brothers?”
“You are changing the subject again!” Chu Jin Yao reached out to swat him in anger. She was unable to question more when she suddenly heard Ding Xiang reporting outside, “Young Lady, Sixth Young Lady has arrived.”
Sixth Young Lady? Why did Sixth Young Lady look for her? Chu Jin Yao was puzzled and put Qin Yi’s strangeness aside. Sixth Young Lady was the Di daughter of the Third Household and not very liked by Old Furen. On normal days, she was very cautious with her words and actions, thus Chu Jin Yao felt Sixth Young Lady was one who planned in advance. However, even so, Chu Jin Yao would not take the initiative to approach the Third Household. Why should one do something that would cause Old Furen to dislike? Sixth Young Lady did not have anything to do with Chu Jin Yao and would only nod or smile when they encountered each other, so why did she come to Chao Yun Yuan?”
Chu Jing Yao felt that it was strange and lowered her voice as she asked Qin Yi, who was sitting opposite, “What do you think of Sixth Young Lady coming here?”
Qin Yi put the book down, “Bide one’s time and take a look first.”
Chu Jin Yao placed the brush aside and walked to the hall to see Sixth Young Lady standing there. When Sixth Young Lady saw Chu Jin Yao coming out of the back room, her brows moved slightly, “To immediately study upon return, Fifth Older Sister is really diligent.”
Chu Jin Yao smiled, “How can it be? I am only looking casually.” Chu Jin Yao led Sixth Young Lady towards the West room. After both of them sat down, the maids brought out a fresh plate of fruits. When the maids withdrew to the sides, Chu Jin Yao asked, “Why did you think of coming over?”
“I made some snacks and wanted to take a look at Fifth Older Sister.” Sixth Young Lady said and instructed her maids to bring the snack box over. A maid took two steps and brought a red lacquer box. She opened the box slightly and took out a plate of plum blossom snacks. Sixth Young Lady smiled, “I made it casually, hope Fifth Older Sister will not despise.”
“How would one (despise)?” Chu Jin Yao smiled and instructed the maids to bring the plate of plum blossom snack over and put away the other snacks. Chu Jin Yao took a quick glance of Sixth Young Lady’s plum blossom snack before withdrawing her gaze.
Sixth Young Lady said that she made them personally, but in fact it was her maids that made it and Sixth Young Lady only did it in passing and it was considered as her personally making it. Chu Jin Yao only took a glance and felt that these snacks were more than exquisite but were not difficult to make. If she had the plum blossom mould, even she would be able to do it.
However, even though she thought so in her heart, she could not speak the truth. Chu Jin Yao’s maids all praised, “Sixth Young Lady has delicate skills.” Chu Jin Yao also smiled, “Sixth Younger Sister has one’s heart in mind.”
Sixth Young Lady pursed her lips to a smile. “It is alright if Fifth Older Sister does not despise.”
Chu Jin Yao saw that Sixth Young Lady was being polite to everyone but refused to touch on the main topic. She did not remind her either and even chatted with her calmly and leisurely.
Sixth Young Lady waited for a while but was unable to wait for Chu Jin Yao’s questions. She thought to herself that Chu Jin Yao was surely one that could be calm. She could only break this layer, “Fifth Older Sister, other than me gifting you snacks today, I have some things I would like to talk to you about.”
When Chu Jin Yao heard it, she looked at the surrounding maids and Jie Geng immediately withdrew with the rest tactfully, “This servant will prepare some fruits for Young Ladies.”
After most of the maids were gone, Sixth Young Lady dropped her voice, placed her elbows on the table and leaned forward towards Chu Jin Yao, “Fifth Older Sister, I am here to secretly tell you that Fourth Young Lady wants to put a spy by your side.”
Chu Jin Yao raised her brows in unexpected surprise, “Oh? Why do you say that?”
“I have a maid that is born in the family and has good relations. That day she was chatting with her sisters when she heard the maids sweeping in Fourth Young Lady courtyard speak of it. When Fourth Young Lady was speaking to others, she did not notice that there was someone standing behind the tree and was heard by that maid. When my maid came to know about it, she told me upon her return. After much pondering, I felt that there was something wrong with it and came to tell Fifth Older Sister.”
When Chu Jin Yao heard it, her smile remained unchanged but she had paid attention to it. Not to mention if the maid that overheard it was true or not, even if it were true, why would Sixth Young Lady tell her about it? Chu Jin Yao did not express her opinion and instead said, “It is tough that you think for me, it is just that we are sisters in the same residence. I really feel bad that Sixth Younger Sister took such a risk for me.”
Sixth Young Lady said, “Fifth Older Sister does not know but when I first saw you, I became very fond of you. In fact I am like you, not very favoured in the Marquis residence and cannot be compared with Fourth Young Lady and Seventh Young Lady, who have people that will pluck the stars and moons for them. I also had to carefully survive through the cracks and upon seeing that you also face difficulty at every turn, I felt that we have the same illness and thus wanted to help you to do something. It is just that I am also not favoured and fear that the will is there but not the strength.”
Chu Jin Yao smiled, “I am very touched that Sixth Younger Sister thinks like this. Sixth Young Sister need not do anything for me, it is enough that I understand your heart.”
Seeing that Chu Jin Yao was unwilling to speak up, Sixth Young Lady could only reveal her trump card, “Fifth Older Sister, do you know why the Marquis Furen suddenly remembered to send you a discipline Memo?”