"Father, how are you feeling? Tong'er hasn't been by your side. Tong'er is unfilial! It's my fault for making you worry! Father was sad at mother's passing, but Tong'er was insensible and I made you sad. I won't do it again!" She bit her lips and her gentle voice was coupled with sobs. She could not control her tears and they flowed down without stopping. They rolled down her pale face and her body tremored.
Her eyes were overflowing with emotions and her sadness and sorrows flowed out together with her tears!
"Tong'er!" Mo Huawen could not hold back his emotions any longer. He rose and took two steps forward, picking up his daughter from the ground. He tremored as he hugged her closely. How could he bear it anymore when he saw tears flowing from her daughter's eyes, which were like his wife's? Even though his wife had passed away a year ago, the pain and regret he felt had yet to fade!
"Father!" Mo Xuetong leaned into her father's warm embrace and sobbed loudly. She reached out to hug her father tightly.
"Tong'er, be good. Don't cry. Did you have a hard time at the Qin's? It is father's fault for not sending for you earlier. I thought that you liked staying there and didn't want to see me!" Mo Huawen's eyes grew red when he saw his daughter crying so sadly. He felt love rush into his heart. Tong'er was no longer 13!
"Tong'er misses father! Why didn't you write me? I wrote many letters to you but you ignored me. Do you not want me anymore!" Mo Huawen's heart hurt even more when he heard the faint gulps of air as she sobbed. Then, he suddenly realized what Mo Xuetong said. His face darkened and he suddenly grew angry!
Tong'er had written him many letters? Tong'er had not received the letters he sent? He had sent her a letter every month!
"Third miss, you've only just come back, why are you crying? You've even made Old Sir sad. Third Miss, don't dry! Those who don't know would think that you've been bullied right after returning to the manor and that you're complaining to your father!" Auntie Fang's delicate voice sounded just then, completely ruining the peaceful atmosphere between the father and daughter.
Mo Xuetong had to try very hard to suppress the hatred she felt for Auntie Fang when she saw the coy smile on her face.
Fighting back the cold smile on her lips, Mo Xuetong stumbled back out of Mo Huawen's embrace. Her voice was hoarse and her eyes were sad and flustered as she said, "Father, Tong'er was wrong. I could not control myself when I saw you and made you sad. I even made you the topic of other's gossip. I've been unfilial."
Then, she knelt down forcefully again, obviously wanting to wipe away her tears secretly. However, this made her tears flow even more. She stole a glance at Auntie Fang who was standing at the side and lowered her head hurriedly. She was so frightened she did not dare to say anything else. Only the faint sounds of her trying to suppress her sobbing could be heard. Her slender body shook with the effort and it made her look pitiful.
Mo Wenhua frowned and glared at Auntie Fang unhappily when he saw how Mo Xuetong was so frightened by her. This shocked and frightened Auntie Fang. She stopped whatever she was about to say. Mo Huawen ignored her and reached out to help Mo Xuetong up and comforted her in gentle tones.
"Tong'er, don't be afraid. Father is here. Tell me if you need anything in the future. We won't go to Cloud City anymore in the future. Everything here is the same as before. Your courtyard still has the same name. If there's anything that you're uneasy about, tell me!"
"Yes, Father. I'll definitely let you know if anything happens. I fell into a lake a while back and almost drowned. I missed you badly after I woke up. That's why I sent a letter to father and mother's family. I didn't expect that you'd send for me right after receiving my letter. I was so happy, that's why..." Mo Xuetong said charmingly and looked up with her beautiful face, wiping away her tears.
"You almost drowned? What happened? You're a young lady from a noble family. How could you fall into the lake and almost drown? Tong'er did something that I do not know about happen? Why did the Qins not inform me?" Mo Huawen's expression cooled. He yelled at Auntie Fang, "Didn't you say you've made arrangements for Tong'er and that she's well there?"
"She almost drowned? The Qin's didn't mention it. Perhaps they did not want us to worry. They'd never mentioned it to me. I will definitely ask them next time. Old sir, don't worry. Isn't third miss doing well now? Everyone should be happy that she's back." Auntie Fang grew anxious when she saw that she was getting blamed for the incident. She hurried to change the topic.
Mo Huawen's expression was gloomy. He glared at her coldly and did not speak.
Auntie Fang was anxious when she saw that Mo Wenhua was angry. She hurried up to Mo Xuetong and smiled, "Third miss, don't cry, it's bad for your health. I've prepared your courtyard for you and it's waiting for you. If there's anything you don't like, I'll definitely get the servants to change it." Then, she seemed to have unintentionally knocked her left elbow. She made a pained sound and looked as if she was in pain, attracting the attention of everyone.
Mo Huawen's unhappiness slowly abated upon seeing her pained elbow. When he saw the doting look she gave Tong'er, the last bit of unhappiness he felt faded completely. His eyes lightened and he said, "Sit down first. You've injured your arm and yet you don't rest!"
"How did Auntie injure her elbow?" Mo Xuetong wiped the tears off her face and approached Auntie Fang, helping her into a chair. Her fingers reached out at the woman's left arm casually and a hint of contempt flashed in her eyes. She was going to say that she had hurt her arm while personally cleaning up Mo Xuetong's courtyard!
Now that she knew Auntie Fang was acting, she could naturally follow along and ask, her eyes wide with surprise.
She laughed coldly to herself. If she did not allow Auntie Fang to make a huge fuss about it, how would she be able to ruin the show later on?
Auntie Fang's face was a little pale. However, she smiled dotingly, "It's nothing. I knocked it into something because I wasn't careful. Don't worry about it." Even though she said that, she yelped softly when Mo Xuetong reached out for her. She was acting really well.
Mo Huawen said gently, "Auntie Fang was really happy when she found out that Tong'er was returning. She was worried that the maids won't take care and she went to clean your courtyard personally. However, she knocked into your closet and dislocated her arm. She's still hurting and her arm can't even be touched!"
"Old sir, this is what your concubine should do. I'm really happy to see that third miss is doing well." Auntie Fang immediately said with a gentle smile.
"Auntie, your grace is such a blessing on the Mo manor!" Nanny Li, who was standing by the side quickly took the opportunity to speak. She held a handkerchief to her eyes and wiped at the non-existent tears. "I didn't expect Auntie Fang to care so much about third miss. She's even neglected her health. Auntie hasn't been feeling well the past few days."
"That's right, not even one's biological mother can do this!"
"Third miss, you're so lucky. Auntie dotes on you so much. She tries to do everything she can for you. She treats you even better than First Miss!"...
Auntie Fang's maid started waxing poetic about Auntie Fang. The room was filled with their praises. Mo Huawen's gaze toward Auntie Fang grew even more gentle!
"Father...Auntie treats me so well. I..." Mo Xuetong looked extremely touched and her eyes looked misty. She looked at Auntie Fang and said tearfully, her eyes blinking as tears flowed down her pale cheeks, "I was not sensible back then, that's why...I will listen to you from now on...!"
In her past life, she had not said something like that, but had fallen into Auntie Fang's plot unknowingly. She'd been obedient to Auntie Fang. In this life, she had said something like that to foil Auntie Fang's plot. She had returned to the Mo manor so that she could take better control of her life. Auntie Fang might have gained control over everything in the house, and even though her father might dote on her, he would not interfere with matters of the household. All she could do was to slowly destroy the graceful and demure image of Auntie Fang in her father's heart.
Mo Huawen heaved a sigh of relief when he saw the doting mother and filial daughter. He was very pleased and he said with a laugh, "Alright, alright. Don't cry anymore. You both are not feeling well, don't hurt your health over this. Let's not bring up the past again. Tong'er has grown up, and it'd be alright now that we can live well in the capital together as a family."
The three of them sat down again. The maids brought tea and Mo Xuetong accepted the tea from the maid and brought it to Auntie Fang. She handed it to Auntie Fang with a grateful smile on her face and said respectfully, "Auntie, I feel so bad that you've injured yourself because of me. I shall serve you a cup of tea and hope that your arm will heal quickly. Please don't make me worry and not have elder sister blame me."
Then, she pretended as if she was going to knee.
Auntie Fang was pretending to be the graceful and doting mother, so she would not make things difficult for Mo Xuetong. She would not dare to have Mo Xuetong serve her tea. She held Mo Xuetong's hand and wanted to stop her. She was a concubine while Mo Xuetong was the legal daughter of the family. It would be trouble if Mo Xuetong really knelt to the concubine. Auntie Fang still had to pretend, in front of Mo Huawen, that she was graceful and benevolent.
Mo Xuetong was insistent on serving while Auntie Fang was insistent on not receiving it. The two pushed and pulled politely.
As the two pushed and pulled, their actions grew wilder. Mo Xuetong had always been weak and could not compete against Auntie Fang. Auntie Fang pulled Mo Xuetong up and the cup of tea in her hands knocked heavily on Auntie Fang's left arm "accidentally". It burned Auntie Fang and she yelled in pain.
Mo Xuetong grew anxious and flustered. Her tiny face was drenched in tears and she said anxiously, "Auntie, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for this to happen. Let me see where you've been burned. Quick, pull up your sleeve. It'd be terrible if you were burned on where you were injured!" Then, she pulled at Auntie Fang's arms, wanting to look at her injury.
Compared to Mo Xuetong's anxiousness, Auntie Fang was even more so. She called out, flustered, "No need. It's fine!" She reached out to push Mo Xuetong away and flung her arm wildly. The tea was very hot as the water was freshly boiled. She flung out her hand subconsciously wanting to reduce the pain of the burn.