The old madam sent everyone out. Yan Qian and Yan Hong were taken out by the maids and grannies as well. Only Concubine Pei was left.
Only now did Concubine Pei sit in Shen Yi Yao’s seat and say quietly: “Did the madam’s nature change? In the past she would never accept the third miss’s inappropriate behavior.”
The old madam frowned. She lifted her ceramic teacup and stirred the amber colored tea inside. “She was probably scolded by the Zhenguo Duke that time when things got out of hand. She seemed to be preoccupied ever since she returned.”
“Then no one can keep that little demon in check anymore?”
“Let’s wait and see. Today Xue-shi that fool truly made it too obvious. That little thing also put it so bluntly. No matter how foolish Shen Yi Yao is, she would still have some thoughts about it.”
Concubine Pei let out an “en” and no longer spoke.
On the other side, Xue-shi cursed as she walked. She cursed Yan Ling for being shallow and insensible, venting all her embarrassment and resentment on her.
The Rongan Hall was in the center of the Weiyuan Marquis Estate. The second branch was on the eastern side, the third branch in the north and the eldest branch in the west.
After they reached the Yusheng 1 Pavilion where they lived, Yan Ru who had been holding it in this entire time burst into her room and started crying heavily. Xue-shi glared harshly at Yan Ling and Concubine Wang before going to comfort her daughter.
Seeing this, Concubine Wang hurriedly pulled Yan Ling along and carefully entered their auxiliary residence.
After entering, Concubine Wang barred the doors and lifted Yan Ling’s sleeves for a look. She saw her fair and tender skin was full of bruises and started sobbing.
“It’s all your mother concubine’s fault for being unable to protect you and letting you suffer so much. Ling’er, listen to your mother concubine. Don’t do this anymore in the future. They always make you the scapegoat and you end up pleasing neither side.”
Compared to Concubine Wang, Yan Ling was much more stable. The normally cute and innocent face was cold, without any hint of a smile. “Is this something I have a say over? Don’t forget we depend on them for our meals.”
“But why do things turn out this way….” Concubine Wang had always been timid. In this situation, the only thing she could do was cry, and cry some more.
“Enough, don’t cry anymore. Get some medicine and help me apply it.”
Concubine Wang wiped her tears and went to grab the medicine. Only then did Yan Ling’s furrowed brows relax.
Actually she also wanted to cry, but would that fix anything?
As the concubine borne daughter under Xue-shi’s management, she could only flatter the principal mother and sister and hope for a few better days. Hopefully she could marry well in the future and leave this household behind completely.
As for now, her tears were useless.
Who was the scapegoat? Xue-shi abused her and her mom daily, but wasn’t she herself just the scapegoat for others?
Yan Ling smiled coldly.
Despite being humiliated by Yan Yan today, she felt very satisfied in her heart. Even her bruised arms no longer hurt.
Since she was just the scapegoat, she didn’t feel like she was losing face as an unfavored concubine’s daughter. She was young after all. Others would only say Xue-shi’s concubine daughter was an embarrassment. They definitely wouldn’t say anything about Yan Ling.
Only that fool Xue-shi, and that pretentious Yan Ru, would treat everyone else as fools. Using her as a cover up only made them look worse.
Seeing Yan Ru’s thoroughly humiliated appearance and Xue-shi’s embarrassed look was truly satisfying! If the situation had permitted it, Yan Ling truly wanted to cheer Yan Yan on.
Of course, she was also jealous of her. If she had what Yan Yan had, she would definitely be living happily and wouldn’t have to be sullen all the time. Unfortunately, that was just a pipe dream.
After applying the medicine, Yan Ling opened the doors and prepared to leave. Concubine Wang asked where she was going and she expressionlessly said she was going to comfort her upset big sis.
Concubine Wang looked timid yet worried. She didn’t want to let her go since she knew they would just vent their anger on her daughter. Yan Ling knew this of course, but them venting now was better than venting later.
She understood Xue-shi and Yan Ru too well. Once their anger faded and they remembered the “culprit”, her outcome would be even more tragic. She might as well take a couple of hits now before uniting against a common enemy with them.
Why wasn’t the culprit Yan Yan? This was because when people encountered someone powerful they couldn’t afford to provoke, they would subconsciously overlook things. They would then find an easy target, which was the so called punching bag.
Yan Ling couldn’t avoid becoming the punching bag, but she wasn’t a fool and knew to turn them towards their “common enemy”.
People unavoidably did things that went against their thoughts for the sake of survival.
Yan Yan walked swiftly as Mei Xiang and Mei Xue jogged to keep up.
Only after they almost reached the Ningxiang Chambers did her anger fade.
She slowed down and the other two caught up.
“Miss, why did you leave? Won’t they start saying things to the madam?” Mei Xue said carefully.
Yan Yan’s face was rigid, “They can say whatever they want. I can’t control their words.”
Mei Xue still wanted to speak but Mei Xiang secretly pulled at her.
After returning to the Ningxiang Chambers, Yan Yan went at sat on the kiln in the western room. Yi Yun served tea while Mei Xiang arranged for breakfast to be brought over.
Yan Yan’s habit was to eat a little before training in the morning, and then some more after paying respects. Her martial arts training consumed a lot of stamina so she ate more than normal girls.
After eating breakfast, Mei Xiang’s group softly cleared the kiln table and the dishes. Yan Yan leaned against the pillow and prepared to sleep for a bit.
There was a violet jade bamboo mat on the kiln and in the corner was a flowing gold basin with legs in the shape of beasts. Within it were several large blocks of ice which were giving off white smoke. Although it was the end of summer, it was still hot and stuffy. The ice lowered the temperature and made it a bit more cool and refreshing.
Yan Yan didn’t sleep long, probably around half an hour.
After she got up, Mei Xiang asked quietly if she planned on attending class today.
The Weiyuan Marquis Estate had invited some female teachers for the few misses. Apart from the usual knowledge and etiquette, they even had teachers for zither, go, calligraphy and painting. But since things got out of hand today, the various misses definitely asked off. Yan Yan didn’t plan on attending by herself, especially since she had just returned. No one would say anything if she rested for a few days.
Right as she was speaking, Matron Zou came in. She reported that the Zhenguo Duke Estate had sent an imperial physician over and that he had arrived.
Yan Yan had Matron Zou go receive him with two maids and take him directly to the Jinse Pavilion. She herself would go over right away. After Matron Zou took her leave, Yan Yan had Mei Xiang tidy up her hair and clothing before heading over to the Jinse Pavilion.
When she arrived at the Jinse Pavilion, the imperial physician hadn’t arrived yet. She didn’t enter the pavilion and merely stood waiting outside the door.
Soon, Matron Zou led a white-haired old man nearing his sixties up the path. When they reached the pavilion gates, Yan Yan first saluted the old imperial physician before leading him with Matron Zou to Ah Mo’s little lateral courtyard.
There were two little sweeper lasses in the courtyard. When they saw the situation, one turned and entered the house while the other ran off to who knows where. Yan Yan pretended not to have seen and quietly told the imperial physician about Ah Mo’s condition.
They had to cross a spacious courtyard on the way to the small lateral courtyard. Fang Cao came over full of smiles.
“Third miss, may I ask who this is?” The imperial physician wore regular clothing and looked like an old codger.
Matron Zou said: “This is the imperial physician our miss invited over to examine the fourth young master.”
“Does the madam know about this? Shouldn’t the madam be the one making the arrangements? Why is the third miss worrying about it instead?”
Yan Yan raised her brows and sent a sharp gaze over.
“What, you have something against me worrying about Ah Mo? Does this miss need to report to you before inviting an imperial physician over?”
“How would this servant dare? I was just saying.” Fang Cao smiled awkwardly. “Then this servant will go report to the madam first.” After speaking, she saluted and took her leave.
Yan Yan’s group arrived at the small lateral courtyard and Shen Yi Yao arrived as well.
“Your daughter didn’t feel at ease about Ah Mo’s health and asked grandfather to send an imperial physician over for a look.” These words counted as an explanation why the Zhenguo Duke Estate would send an imperial physician over.
Shen Yi Yao nodded, her expression dull. She spoke a few polite words with the imperial physician before leading him inside.
After entering, the imperial physician stepped up and took his pulse. The room fell silent.
The imperial physician took a little long in taking the pulse. Shen Yi Yao revealed an anxious expression and wanted to speak, but restrained herself for fear of disturbing him.
A moment later, he released Yan Mo’s slender wrist. Matron Qin stepped forward to remove the handkerchief from his wrist and helped Yan Mo sit up.
“The noble household’s young master has been frail since birth?” The imperial physician muttered to himself before asking.
Shen Yi Yao looked lovingly at Yan Mo and said: “My child was born prematurely and his health has never been good. We’ve asked an imperial physician to examine him before who said his time in the womb wasn’t long enough.”
The imperial physician nodded. “That’s truly the case.”
He turned and looked at Yan Mo, muttering to himself once again.
No one dared to speak inside the room as they tried to figure out his expression.
After a while, the imperial physician finally said: “The young master doesn’t have any major problems with his health. The only thing is—–”
“What?” This was Yan Yan’s voice.
“He has some symptoms of being over-nourished.”
Yan Yan seemed to have sensed something and asked urgently: “What does that mean?”
“Medicines are three parts poison. In the future, if the noble household’s young master doesn’t have any illness, it’s better to not take so much nourishing medicine. After all, frailness cannot be nourished, and overdoing it is harmful to the body, especially if it’s already frail.” The imperial physician’s words were very ambiguous.
Yan Yan’s expression fell, “Then has my little brother already been affected?”
“Miss can rest assured, he hasn’t been affected that much. As long as he takes less in the future and exercises frequently he’ll be fine. It’s best for him to move around more and get more sun.”
Yan Yan immediately let out a breath. “Sincere thanks to the imperial physician.”
“No need, no need. This elder was invited by the Zhenguo Duke, and will naturally do his best.”
“Then does any medicine need to be prescribed?”
“No need, no need. The noble household’s young master isn’t ill after all.”
After the imperial physician left, the room fell silent.
Yan Yan restrained her anger and didn’t look at Shen Yi Yao. She looked at the gilded porcelain medicine bowl and frowned: “Take this whatever nourishing medicine and throw it out for me.”
Fang Cao looked troubled and said quietly: “But this medicine was especially ordered by the madam for the young master, and is full of precious ingredients. It would be a shame to pour it out. I’ve never heard of nourishing medicine being bad. Could he be a quack?”
Yan Yan ignored her and continued speaking with a rigid expression: “Also, have the doctor responsible for treating Ah Mo pack his things and get out.”
Because Ah Mo was often sick, it wasn’t appropriate to always invite an imperial physician. Therefore, the estate kept a skilled doctor responsible for treating Yan Mo’s health. He had been doing so for over three years.
The room’s air was a little frozen. Fang Cao looked at Shen Yi Yao. Shen Yi Yao’s expression was frightened and she didn’t speak.
Everyone within the room belonged to Yan Yan, and there were naturally more who listened to her. Especially since Matron Dong had understood a few things listening on the side. She seized the bowl of medicine in Fang Cao’s hands and took it out.
A sound rang out from the bed, “Big sis—–”
Looking at the tiny Ah Mo whose expression was nervous, Yan Yan forced herself to smile. She sat on the bedside and stroked his hand.
“Ah Mo, how about getting up early in the future to train with big sis?”
Yan Yan knew what Ah Mo was worried about. She also knew this couldn’t be blamed on her mom. To put it plainly, none of them understood medicine. It was normal to assume taking more medicine would improve a frail constitution. It made sense for them to have overlooked this loophole.
She knew she was venting her anger at the moment, but she wasn’t able to stop herself. No one realized that although she looked fine on the surface, the fire inside her towered to the skies.
Although this matter looked ordinary, she always sensed certain people’s hands in the background, but she could never grab onto them. Yan Yan also didn’t feel like talking about it to Shen Yi Yao who had ordered for the medicine to be properly brewed to nourish the young master.
She comforted Yan Mo again before walking out while restraining her anger. She never looked once at Shen Yi Yao.
Right as she reached the courtyard, she heard a clamor. She saw a white-haired and bearded elder making a racket, with two maids standing next to him.
“What is going on here?”
Not every concubine borne daughter is bad. Also just because you see someone as bad doesn’t mean she is bad. Yan Ling could be counted as a bad one, but she also has her own difficulties and could also be counted as a pitiful person. The grass is always greener on the other side. But in reality? Everyone has their own difficulties.