Chapter 13: Messing with you
A smile crept over Zi You’s face as she imparted, “Grandfather, there’s no need for that. She’d become suspicious if we did things that way. Why don’t we test the waters first? If I begin treating her well, would she have the heart to continue to harm me? If she turns out to be heartless, then regardless of how we treat her we have no need to feel guilty afterwards. From now on, I will be cautious and not give her any opportunities.”
Although Zi You said that, in her heart she thought ‘a dog will never stop eating shit’. The only reason why I’m holding Grandfather back is because it would negatively affect his reputation. Besides, it would be granting that couple too much of an easy death if I allowed Grandfather to eliminate them.”
(TL: the chinese way of saying a leopard will never change its spots)
Zi You still remembers all the pain and suffering she experienced from her past life. The wrecking torment that came with each shallow breath she took because of her broken ribs; the splitting agony of losing her child; the horror of being hanged; the hatred and despair she felt when her life was being cut off by the rope tightened around her neck. Those memories were still fresh in her mind. How would she be worthy of a second chance if she neglected to repay them a taste of what they served her?
Initially, Zi You thought that her father was merely smithen and blinded by that evil stepmother. Never did she expect that her father was so devoid of kinship and humanity that he would poison his own daughter for his own desires and benefits. How could such a person be her father, her kin? He is obviously an animal!
Zi You returns to her You Ran Ju courtyard.
Nanny Lou felt her heart ache for Zi You as she watched Eldest Miss stare out the window in deep thought. Ever since Eldest Miss recovered from her illness, it was as if she became another person. Many times she would gaze afar, deep in thought. She had also become unusually quiet.
It was a contrast to how she had been before. Zi You used to be carefree. She’d say whatever came to mind and did whatever she liked. Now, she would remain silent and studiously learn the zitter, chess, books, dance, etiquette, medicine and martial arts as if her life depended on mastering these skills.
She would only reveal her heartfelt smile in the presence of Old General Mu, her second uncle, aunt and their son. When facing her father and stepmother, although it may look like she’s gently smiling, only Nanny Lou knew from her years of caring for Zi You since infancy that behind the smile was a chilly intent.
In the end, Yi Ping did not manage to accompany Ying Rui to Quanzhou. Yi Ping glared at Zi You, her nails digging into her palm as she saw the pleased and smiling face of fourth mistress.
It’s all because of this impudent girl! Ever since she recovered, she’s always pestering me, asking me to cook for her, personally boil soup for her and even requesting me to sleep with her. I missed out on the time I could’ve spent with her father before he left.
Zi You felt the coldness emitted by Yi Ping on her back. She abruptly turned her head around and was met with Yi Ping’s fawning face. In return, Zi You gave her a bright and mischievous smile.
Zi You walked over to Yi Ping with feather light steps and coiled her hands around Yi Ping’s arms while saying, “Thank you mother! You’er is so happy to have mother’s company. Mother would not blame daughter for being unreasonable for keeping you around, right? I can’t bear to part with you nor Grandfather. Besides, father has so many women, but I only have you as my mother.”
When Yi Ping heard ‘many women’, she felt so furious she almost fainted. It was like someone was using a needle to stab into her heart. Of course Yi Ping knew how many women Zi You’s father had. He had six Yi Niang and four Tong Fang Ya Tou. In the entire general’s estate, he had the most women!
(TL:姨娘，Yi Niang– refers to a woman who has a lower standing than the legal wife, usually a Yi Niang would be from a humble background.
通房丫鬟, Tong Fang Ya Tou– refers to maid servants who got promoted to being their master’s woman.
So in terms of ranking: Legal wife>Yi Niang>Tong Fang Ya Tou.
Previously, the fourth mistress mentioned is a Yi Niang)
In Old General Mu’s life, he only had one woman, his wife. Even after his wife passed on, he never took on other women. Similarly, Ying Yi only had Madam Liu as his wife.
Initially, Yi Ping thought that with the skills she learnt from her birth mother, she could make Ying Rui crazy for her. She hoped he would dote on her to the extent where Ying Rui would not blink an eye even when she dealt with his other women…