Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 22: Forming An Alliance Secretly (Part 2)
Chu Jin Yao calmly asked, “Why?”
“It is that person that created the nonsense. Even though there are Momos in the courtyards of the young ladies, they are discipline Momos in name, in fact they are not like that at all. If one is a Di born young lady, then the mother would arrange early on for the young lady. The matters in the courtyard would be managed by the young lady and the discipline Momo would take on the bad role and scare the maids. However, your Momo is just not right. If there is such a person present, then all your matters have to go through her. Don’t mention that nothing can be done, your every move would be known to her. If this goes on, who would be the one benefitting?”
“Do you mean Fourth Young Lady?”
“Yes. Fifth Older Sister, it is currently the critical period for the selection of the study companion. GuMu, ShiZi and the Momos of the Prince residence are all in our residence. When they return, the Prince Consort will definitely question GuMu and Momos about us. Not considering GuMu, what matters is the evaluations from Momos. If they say a good thing, it would be better than us speaking a hundred times good things, but if they say something bad, then even if we explain a thousand or ten thousand times, it would be useless. Fifth Older Sister, isn’t it rational? Fourth Young Lady placed a discipline Momo at your side and if she uses this Momo to change anything of yours or make up something about you, when all this reaches Hua Momo and Deng Momo’s ears, everything is over.”
Chu Jin Yao was thinking that she had originally not planned to be chosen to be a study companion and just learn from the Prince residence’s Momos. She did not care about how the Momos would evaluate her, as such Sun Momo was not as powerful as Sixth Young Lady described.
When seeing that Chu Jin Yao was keeping quiet, Sixth Young Lady thought that she was frightened and continued, “Older Sister, the Prince residence wants to select two study companions for the County Princess. Since we are fellow sufferers and should empathise with each other, shouldn’t we unite? Even if we don’t do anything, when Chu Jin Miao becomes increasingly savage, one would not be able to imagine how she would scheme against us. When we unite, we have more people and power, so no matter what we encounter, we can discuss with one another.”
Chu Jin Yao understood now. So it turned out that Sixth Young Lady had this intention, she was forming an alliance with her. Chu Jin Yao had no intention of being the Prince residence’s study companion. She did not want to be involved in their fighting, but just as she was about to refuse, she suddenly felt the jade pendant that was hanging on her chest start to vibrate.
Chu Jin Yao’s expression did not change but her words made a big turn, “I am very touched by your consideration of me. I have only just returned and have no knowledge of anything. If Sixth Younger Sister doesn’t dislike me and is willing to help me, I would be very grateful.”
Sixth Young Lady finally revealed a sincere smile, “Us sisters are both pitiful people. As long as we unite, there will always be a way.”
Chu Jin Yao accompanied Sixth Young Lady for a chat and when she left, Chu Jin Yao asked Qin Yi secretly, “Why did you stop me just now? One is not sure if Sixth Young Lady’s words are true or fake, what should we do?”
“She is here to seek an alliance. Since one does not know about her intentions, then hold her off first and watch what happens.”
“But I do not want to meddle in this muddy water with them, so why should I agree to her alliance?”
Qin Yi said, “If you do not agree, she will look for the other two. At that time, three of them will deal with you, do you think that would be fun?”
“…” Chu Jin Yao was so surprised that she could not close her mouth, “Will it be like this?”
“How could it not be?” Qi Yi pointed it out to Chu Jin Yao, “When dealing with matters, it is most taboo to please both sides. If one wants to please both sides, then the end result would be that neither side would be pleased. Especially since there are only the four of you all, it is necessary to form alliances in pairs, else one would be squeezed out of the game by the other three. When you and her are in alliance and scheme against the other two, pay more attention to things and have some leverage so that you can threaten Sixth Young Lady. This is then the Inner Palace… No, the way to life in the inner courtyard. Understand? Don’t keep thinking of being independent. Without enough power, the result of being independent is that one will be surrounded by others. If you have enough power then naturally others would come to rely on you and you are not considered alone too.”
Chu Jin Yao listened for a long time and started to respect Qin Yi, “In what environment did you cultivate to become a spirit? You have a collection of logics to scheme against others.” First it was to draw support and form cliques, then after killing the other party, immediately attack one’s ally. Chu Jin Yao suddenly felt that Qin Yi was a scary person. It was too dangerous to be his ally.
Chu Jin Yao suddenly said “Oh!”, before softening her voice, “You are so unsympathetic to your allies, so am I counted as your ally?”
Qin Yi was seriously teaching Chu Jin Yao on how to survive but upon hearing her words, he could not help but laugh, “You really think a lot. Just your little standards, it does not entire my eyes at all. I would even find scheming against you a waste of effort.”
After Chu Jin Yao heard him, her face tugged as her tone became unkind, “Then I still need to thank you, an elder?”
“You are welcome.”
“Go away! I don’t want to be bothered by you.”
It was rare that Chu Zhu could return to her maiden family so after staying for a few days, she did not want to return. She was the daughter-in-law in the Prince residence so she had to be cautious when speaking, tread carefully and could not afford even a small mistake. However, it was very relaxing in the maiden family since the matriarch of the family was her birth mother, thus she could do no wrong. However, no matter how much Chu Zhe was nostalgic for her maiden family, she could not live there for a long time. How could a married daughter live with her maiden family often?
Chu Zhu reluctantly set a date to return to the Prince residence. When she returned, Lin Xin Ning, Lin Xi Yuan and the two Momos of the Prince residence would naturally leave together. Old Chu Furen could not bear for her only daughter leaving and thus retained the younger generation at her side and let them mingle. Once Chu Zhu left, one would not know when these Biao sisters would see one another again.
It was Deng Momo’s class this morning and she spoke about [New accounts of the tales of the world 世说新语]. Chu Jin Yao had never hearned of it before so she was utterly confused. However, after classes these days, she could not return to her courtyard like usual and had to go over to Old Furen’s with the rest of the sisters.
Chu Jin Yao listened till she was in the midst of clouds and mist. She walked towards Rong Ning Tang with a headful of questions and planned to ask Qin Yi when no one was around. Chu Jin Miao deliberately walked slowly at the back and waited when everyone left before turning around to walk back with a triumphant smile.
The rest did not know about the details of the selection of the study companion, but she did. Each one for themselves, else Heavens and Earth would destroy oneself. Since it was Heavens’ intention for her to be aware of the matters of the Crown Prince and Crown Prince Consort, then one could not blame her for being vicious and merciless. There was nothing that could be done even if one or two people were sacrificed.
Chu Jin Yao did not take any notice of Chu Jin Miao’s small actions and went back to Old Furen’s. After finishing lunch, she instructed the maids to move the books to the back of the building, to hide from others and read.
When there was no one around, Chu Jin Yao asked softly, “What comes after ‘the luminous light of the pearl’?”
“The luminous light of the pearl need not come from the river of MengJin (a county in LuoYang); the fistful of jade need not be gathered from the KunLun mountains.” Qin Yi replied softly. Chu Jin Yao wrote it on the paper. This was today’s homework and she did not understand it at all, thus could only copy and memorise it secretly.
Qin Yi watched as Chu Jin Yao wrote. After a while, he could not help but ask, “Why are the books that Prince Huai Ling residence selected so familiar to me?” It was [The literary selections of Zhao Ming 昭明文选] a few days ago and today it was [New accounts of the tales of the world 世说新语]. These were books that he often read during his spare time. These were not contents of the preliminary rounds of the Imperial examinations. Very few ordinary males would even read them so why did Deng Momo pick these books to teach Chu Jin Yao and the rest?
Chu Jin Yao shook her head, “I too do not know either.”
Chu Jin Yao was whispering at the rear end of the building but there was a sudden noise outside.
She frowned and called a maid over to ask, “What is happening outside?”
The maid replied with all smiles, “Young Lady, Huai Ling ShiZi said that he will be leaving tomorrow and came over especially to greet Old Furen today!”
So Lin Yi Yuan was here. No wonder it suddenly became lively outside. Currently Chu Zhu, the people of Prince Huai Ling residence, Old Chu Furen and the few young ladies of the Chu family were all present, so basically the whole residence was gathered together. With that many people around, just a little noise would already be very lively.
Chu Jin Yao did not take it to heart. She wrote two words and suddenly realised, why did she not see Chu Jin Miao?