Chapter 10 – Older sister hasn't even grown up before being first to be married off
"Cai Cai, is it because you are overthinking it?" Mother Chu thought it was because daughter had just arrived from Mao Village and wasn't used to the new environment, so she would have these thoughts. She couldn't help but to pinch her nose and smilingly say.
Chu Qing-Yan shook her head, her face was all seriousness as she said, "Mom, daughter isn't overthinking things. Just now, daughter heard some clues from Shan Cha's mouth. As a result, daughter felt that something huge must have happened in Chu family."
Mother Chu, having heard what was said, couldn't help but ask, "What kind of huge thing happened in Chu family? What relationship does it have with us?"
Chu Qing-Yan immediately became disheartened, "This is also the area daughter can't understand after much thought."
Mother Chu couldn't help but to smile, and she stroked daughter's long hair, "If you can't understand it after much thought, then don't think about it. Since we have come, we should make ourselves comfortable."
Chu Qing-Yan took a deep breath and, for lack of a better option, could only nod her head.
And at this moment, Daddy Chu shifted over to get closer to them. His huge eyes were opened wide as he slapped his chest to say towards the mother and daughter pair, "Mother Dan, Cai Cai, don't be afraid. I will protect you guys."
Chu Qing-Yan and Mom exchanged a glance, and couldn't help but be amused.
Perhaps because of several days running, her mind was stretched taut, Chu Qing-Yan felt somewhat sleepy. Mother Chu, seeing this, urged her to hurry and return to rest.
When Chu Qing-Yan was about to leave, she took a glance at the place where her parents lived. She secretly decided in her heart, she must fight for the proper treatment her parents ought to have.
Shan Cha felt that since Ninth Miss came out of Eldest Madam's room, her expression seemed to have changed, but she couldn't say what changed. She mulled it over, should she report Ninth Miss's abnormality to Older Sister Chun (1).
Originally, she thought it was hard to fall asleep in an unfamiliar environment, yet unexpectedly, she slept through the entire night, dreamless.
Chu Qing-Yan woke up really early, and Shan Cha had already arranged breakfast on the table and was waiting for her.
She had changed into the brand new clothes Chu family had prepared for her. She sat down on the chair in her fresh and cool clothing.
Shan Cha turned around and was about to call out to Ninth Miss, but was stunned by how she looked right now, all dressed up. It was not because Ninth Miss now had what kind of a devastating beautiful appearance that would startle a celestial being. Rather, it was because yesterday, the clothing Ninth Miss wore returning to the manor was very ugly. It was as if all the radiance on her entire body was covered up. And now, dressed in a charming yellow-colored springy garment that enhanced the skin on her entire body, suddenly, she was changed beyond recognition.
Chu Qing-Yan didn't miss the stunned look in Shan Cha's eyes. She felt somewhat joyous and sad at the same time in her heart. Joyous because a horse depends on the saddle, a person depends on their clothing. She felt sad because if she was still in the modern world, she simply did not need to worry about food and clothing. However, she merely let these thoughts die away in the blink of an eye. After she calmly and quietly finished eating, she then told Shan Cha that she wanted to go out and walk around to familiarize herself with the surroundings.
She took note of Shan Cha's clearly hesitant expression, however afterwards, she still compromised under Chu Qing-Yan's incomparably sincere gaze.
Chu Qing-Yan's expression was one of cheerfulness, but in her heart, she started to rebel and feel apprehensive. When she walked out of the door, she discovered that overnight, a lot of people appeared outside the door to her room. Each and every one of their gazes never left her body, as if she was a prisoner they were guarding. This perception completely bewildered her, but on the surface, she still pretended as if nothing had happened.
However, Shan Cha really started to introduce her to the layout of the manor. While Chu Qing-Yan listened, she also memorized it all. Maybe later, there would be places where it would be useful.
They walked and walked, then arrived at the edge of the garden. Chu Qing-Yan could faintly see several people's figure inside. She couldn't help but to say to Shan Cha, "Let's go over there to walk around!"
From their short period of interaction, Shan Cha felt that even though Ninth Miss didn't say much, her temper seemed to be amiable. So, she still really liked this Miss in her heart. Consequently, she brought her closer to go into the garden. When she brought the Miss around a rock hill decoration to get to the pavilion at the center of the garden, suddenly, they heard this kind of conversation.
"Seventh Older Sister, I heard Second Aunt picked up that country bumpkin and had her return to the manor. Yesterday, if it was not because of class, I had wanted to go and she what she looked like." An eager voice came from behind the rock hill.
Shan Cha become distracted, she never thought that Eighth Miss would be over there. When she was looking distracted, her arm was already pulled to a stop by Chu Qing-Yan who was behind her. Afterwards, with her strong pull, she also crouched down behind the rock hill. She wanted to speak, but Chu Qing-Yan had her forefinger over her lips, hinting that she mustn't speak.
The conversation on the other side of the rock hill continued.
"Eighth Younger Sister, what's so good about looking at a country bumpkin? Isn't it just someone who is ugly, stupid and also lacks the education? This is also something worth you making a fuss about?" Another voice with mocking intent responded pretentiously.
Shan Cha subconsciously took a glance at the Ninth Miss, but discovered she was incomparably calm as if Seventh Miss and Eighth Miss was talking about someone else.
"Seventh Older Sister, what you said is correct. That kind of person really isn't worthy of our attention. Only, if she really weren't brought up well, then married into Prince Ying's Manor, wouldn't she lose our Chu family's face?" That eager tone had already become doubtful.
"Chuckle, chuckle, Eighth Younger Sister, if that country bumpkin refuses to marry, don't tell me you want to marry him? Don't you forget, at that time, it was because Grandmother didn't want our Chu family's Miss to enter the wolf's cave, and that's why this country bumpkin was summoned home. Otherwise, even if they were to starve to death or freeze to death outside, it would have nothing to do with us." Now, it was a ruthless sneering tone.
Chu Qing-Yan waited for so long and finally found out the answer she was looking for. Sure enough, her entire family being summoned back to Chu family, was not because of that false excuse of missing a blood relative, rather, it was to use her as a sacrificial lamb.
To get married? Was it to marry someone lacking an arm or leg? Or marry in as a second wife with status of a concubine?
A groom that the entire Chu family was unwilling to marry their daughter to, how good could he be?
Chu Qing-Yan was so angry that she smiled instead, whereas Shan Cha stared fixedly at her expression ever since Seventh Miss said those words. Afraid she was unable to take it and go after Seventh Miss to interrogate her. Fortunately, Ninth Miss kept her composure, only, she revealed a smile that would horrify a person and make them tremble in fear.
Shan Cha didn't know how she should continue to face Ninth Miss, but the Miss covered her mouth when she was caught off guard. In the next moment, she was pressured towards a secluded area. Shan Cha was so scared that she wanted to struggle, but was threatened to a stop by Ninth Miss, "If you dare to randomly move about again, I can't guarantee that I won't do something."
Shan Cha was merely a little servant girl, immediately, her leg went soft from being scared. So, she could only follow Chu Qing-Yan to walk forward.
Chu Qing-Yan released Shan Cha after forcing her into a corner, then, from her waist, she took out a palm-sized wooden stick that Daddy had pared until it was very sharp in Mao Village. Very quickly, she placed it at Shan Cha's waist, finally revealing a sinister and deep smile, she menacingly said, "Shan Cha, I know you clearly understood what those two were just talking about. You should rest assured that I won't make it difficult for you. Only, you must tell me the things you have heard, then I will let you go. Otherwise, I, being a country bumpkin that came down from the mountains, by the slightest chance, if my hand slips and doesn't have the strength to grip hold of it, then you…" The rest of the words didn't need to be said.
Shan Cha was so scared by her threat and coercion from just now that her blooming face lost all color, how could she dare to disobey?
"Ninth Miss, Ninth Miss, I'll say it, I'll say it——"
"This servant only knows that the emperor gave an imperial edict for a Miss from Chu family to marry the current Prince Ying. However, the Elder Master doesn't want the Misses to marry over, therefore, Second Madam thought of getting Ninth Miss's entire family to return. Then, when the time comes, let the Ninth Miss marry Prince Ying."
Chu Qing-Yan's lips twitched a little, she was only ten years old, okay? She still hadn't grown up to be an adult and would first be married off! The people in Chu family really could do something like this! Simply the scum of society!
1) Older Sister Chun is the servant to the Second Madam who we met in the main reception hall. The female servants call each other sisters.