After the doctor finished his treatment, Tian-Shi asked for his diagnosis.
The doctor declared that while Qiao-Shi suffered from pent up frustrations in her heart, there weren’t any major issues with her condition. He prescribed two sets of medications to be taken orally which he said would be sufficient treatment, and some medicine needed to be applied to the wounds on her neck. Hearing this, Tian-Shi indicated for a maid on the side to follow the doctor, get the medications, and escort him on his way out.
After giving her instructions, she walked to the bedside and Matron Chen made way for her.
Qiao-Shi saw her mother-in-law approach and cried even harder without saying anything.
Qiao-Shi’s face was pale and full of tears, her hair a mess and her neck sported a purple bruise.
Tian-Shi also found it hard to maintain her calm. No matter how one looked at it, her family was at fault. Her son was at fault, and she as his mother did not raise him properly…
Although such were her thoughts on the surface, Tian-Shi couldn’t help feeling wronged in her heart.
Wasn’t this overkill? As the principal wife, why are you so eager to die over a couple of maids? In the capital, which household’s young master doesn’t have a bunch of people in his room? Why was it that only in Yi’er’s case did it drive the principal wife to hang herself?
But these inner thoughts couldn’t be announced to the public, so she could only placate Qiao-Shi. If things got out of hand, the Jinyang Marquis Estate’s reputation could be at stake. Others wouldn’t speculate over Qiao-Shi, but would only say that the JinyangMarquis Estate abused its position and drove a principal wife to her death.
“Dear child don’t cry, don’t cry. Yi’er let you down!” Tian-Shi sat on the bedside and sighed while stroking Qiao-Shi’s hand, her eyes full of heartache.
Matron Chen raised Qiao-Shi up by her arm to rest against the large pillow. Qiao-Shi continued crying desolately, crying and muttering at the same time: “…..mom 1, I really don’t want to live anymore…I also don’t have the face to live…forget the fact that my husband doesn’t want to get intimate with me….”
Hearing Qiao-Shi’s words, the main heir’s wife indicated for Matron Rong to clear the room.
Matron Rong swept her eyes across and the maids on the side who weren’t involved all left one after the other.
Cui Lan and Liu Ye also wanted to leave, but before they could move their feet Xiu E gave a couple kicks to the back of their knees, making the two kneel on the floor with pale faces. Xiao Hua wanted to act invisible, but before she could move she was stared down by Xiu E and could only kneel along with the others.
“…..wu wu……arguing with me over a maid….and now sleeping with two maids in his room in a row…where did he leave my face…I really don’t have any face left to live….”
Tian-Shi held Qiao-Shi while comforting her. She only stopped crying after a long time, leaning against the bed sobbing while wiping her eyes with a handkerchief.
“Mom, I’m not afraid of being embarrassed to say that even now my husband has yet to consummate our marriage.” After raising the topic, Qiao-Shi started crying again.
Tian-Shi let out a sigh and stroked her head, “I know, dear child. Mom will help mediate for you.”
Qiao-Shi only stopped crying at this moment, though continued to sob lightly.
Tian-Shi let go of Qiao-Shi and moved her gaze to the few people kneeling on the floor. Cui Lan and Liu Ye were immediately scared to the point of trembling all over. Xiao Hua also lay prone on the floor with her head down, not making a sound.
Amongst them, Cui Lan could finally endure no longer and cried while prone: “Madam, you can’t blame this servant. The young master forcefully pulled me into bed….”
Beside her, Liu Ye agreed with a trembling voice, “Madam, please spare us.”
Cui Lan had yet to finish speaking before Xiu E gave her a slap, hitting the rest of her words back into her mouth. Xiu E normally looked gentle and refined, but when hitting people her hands were not the least bit restrained, causing Cui Lan’s face to swell up with a single slap
Xiu E scolded while hitting: “Troublemaking hussy, you clearly wanted to climb into the young master’s bed, you dare try to pin the blame on him? Is the young master someone you can implicate?”
Xiao Hua watched Xiu E’s behavior and felt her heart sink even further.
Cui Lan let out cries of pain while being hit. After a few more blows, Tian-Shi waved her hand and only then did Xiu E relent, leaving Cui Lan sprawled on the floor.
Liu Ye who was beside her was even more terrified, lying prone on the floor unable to stop her body from trembling fiercely. Even she could probably tell something wasn’t right. The madam intended to use them to placate Qiao-Shi’s grievances.
Xiao Hua also didn’t know what to do at the moment. She seemed to have been implicated by association, and in Qiao-Shi and the madam’s eyes the three of them were all in the same boat. Bi Yuan managed to avoid calamity by having her face scratched open and not daring to show her face these past few days.
Had Xiao Hua known this would happen, she would have been willing to scratch open her own face. She clearly knew things were getting chaotic these couple of days, why didn’t she think to hide further away? But she was also clear that having been raised to her position, it would be no use even if she hid at the edge of the world. Especially considering that the “four” senior maids had been stirring up a lot of trouble recently, driving the young madam to try and hang herself. As long as she was part of the four, she couldn’t escape her fate.
At this moment she couldn’t help but think of Bi Yuan, who had the benefit of having a powerful mother backing her. Otherwise, how could she have been able to stay inside as she pleased despite the chaos going on outside? Xiao Hua wouldn’t believe that Matron Qu didn’t lend her a hand.
“These are the maids that climbed into their master’s bed?” Tian-Shi asked in a heavy voice.
Xiu E lowered her head and replied: “Yes madam. One is called Cui Lan, the other is called Liu Ye –” she paused a little and continued: “This one called Xiao Hua has yet to do so.”
Xiao Hua who was on the ground hated that she couldn’t immediately give Xiu E a few kowtows.
Her last phrase might have saved Xiao Hua’s worthless life.
Xiao Hua was crying endlessly in her heart. How had she provoked misfortune for it to always seek her out? In her previous life she wasn’t honest and ended up getting beaten to death. In this life she was already very honest and restrained, why did she still end up encountering this situation?
Just as Xiao Hua’s heart was beating in apprehension, a maid dressed in higher status attire standing to Xiu E’s side interrupted, “Madam, it’s been reported that Xiao Hua is also someone who doesn’t know her place. Initially she was just a sweeper girl in the pavilion, but was promoted to senior maid after catching the young master’s eye.”
Xiao Hua looked at that maid in disbelief. She didn’t even know this person, why is she trying to screw her over so?
Her face was ash grey as she lay frozen on the floor. The sounds of the plank prior to her death in her previous life rang out once more in her ears, and that bone chilling coldness…
Looks like it’s unavoidable. Is it possible that this life will have the same ending?
Tian-Shi furrowed her brows, considering how to deal with these maids. Qiao-Shi on the side started crying mournfully again.
She rubbed her brows and decided their fate in two sentences.
“Sell this lot outside the capital. If they have family within the estate, sell them off as well.”
Xiu E opened the door and went to fetch a couple of old worker crones. These old women were all big and beefy, seizing people as though grabbing birds and dragging them off.
When Xiao Hua heard she was getting sold and not beaten to death, she stopped resisting on the spot. She didn’t wait for the old crones to fetch her, standing up and walking behind them.
Cui Lan and Liu Ye on the other hand were glued to the floor, struggling with all their might, calling repeatedly for the madam to spare them. These crones were all old hands, taking out a bundle of rags from their robes and stuffing it into the two’s mouths, and worked together to drag them away.
Xiao Hua knew why the two were so riled up. Both of them were born into the estate, and their families worked there. Having their entire families sold off was severe punishment indeed.
Unlike her. When she ate her fill, her whole family ate their fill.2 It didn’t matter where she was sold off to.
Originally she thought that by putting in some effort she could muddle along in the estate until getting released from service and getting matched with someone. Who knew an episode like this would end up occurring.
The current Xiao Hua was completely at a loss as to what path she should take in the future. On second thoughts, at least she wasn’t beaten to death. Xiao Hua had expected the madam to have them all beaten to death to appease Qiao-Shi.
Tian-Shi added a few more words of comfort to Qiao-Shi before taking her people and leaving. After a short while, Xiu E sent over a large amount of medicine for wounds.
The maids in Jinxiu Pavilion were treated to a feast for their eyes. The felt fear in their hearts and tucked in their heads, each one deciding to start acting properly from now on, knowing the winds had shifted.
Qiao-Shi lay on the bed and revealed a satisfied smile. Matron Chen looked again at her neck and grumbled in sympathy: “Young madam, your neck is all bruised.”
Qiao-Shi smiled and patted her hand: “Using these small bruises in exchange for mom’s sympathy, and getting rid of those eyesores at the same time, it’s worth it!” After a pause, she harshly said: “It’s just that Bi Yuan got off cheaply!”
A principal wife had to resort to putting on a show of suicide to take care of a few maids. It had to be said Qiao-Shi had it hard. But she had been forced to resort to extreme measures.
Disliked by her husband, knocked down by her mother-in-law and having maids climbing into her husband’s bed in succession. The maids had all watched with peculiar expressions. She knew if this had gone on, her face would have fallen into the mud for everyone to step on. Qiao-Shi had shut the residence door and pondered for a few days before deciding to pull out all stops. Her face had already been lost anyway, might as well be shameless for once.
She at least had to let the people in the estate know that her identity as the 4th young madam wasn’t for show, and also let her mother-in-law and husband know not to force her too far, or it would end badly for everyone.
The situation now left her extremely satisfied. She felt that over the next few days her husband would definitely come to the main residence and consummate their marriage.
Matron Chen let out a sigh to the side, and didn’t speak any further.
Knowledge was accumulated with life’s continuous struggles and setbacks. Qiao-Shi was originally a pampered girl from a wealthy family. After marriage she had experienced repeated humiliation and setbacks, and had now learned to use various means to achieve her goals.
For the moment, no one could judge whether this was good or bad.
On Bi Yuan’s side, after hearing the maid’s report that the other three had been sold off by the madam, she waved her hand and sent the maid off. Only then did she cover her mouth and start laughing.
Great, really great. Everything was taken care of. Let those two conspire against her! No one expected the ending to be this way, hahaha, conveniently getting everyone all in one go!
It should be known that within this estate, merely having schemes wasn’t enough. One needed to have at least some patience and acumen. Being so desperate as to climb into bed one after the other, even if the estate madam’s side hadn’t meted out punishment, the 4th young madam’s side wouldn’t have let them off!
Some families rejoiced, others worried. The winners rejoiced, the losers worried. The worldly affairs of large households have always been this way.