Edited by TnyhyChapter 145: Pastries (Part 1)
On this day the weather was warm and gentle. As the sun outside was up, in the East courtyard of the Shen residence, Chen Rou Qiu was sitting down with Shen Yue chatting.
These days because Chen Rou Qiu instructed Shen Yue to start choosing a husband, Shen Yue had quarrelled several rounds with Chen Rou Qiu. But the usually gentle Chen Rou Qiu became extremely unyielding for the first time. Shen Yue had no other choice, and could only give a cold face as she interacted with Chen Rou Qiu. Gradually in the course of time, animosity grew between the mother and daughter.
It was somewhat rare to see both of them sitting together peacefully like today.
"One heard that Shen Miao was kidnapped and till now there is still no news." Shen Yue picked a fruit from the porcelain plate, and was taking joy at the calamity and delight in the disaster as she ate it, "One do not know if she is still alive or not?"
Chen Rou Qiu frowned. She wanted to train Shen Yue to become undisturbed by favour or disgrace, at least on the surface she had a look of gentleness and elegance. But when comparing Shen Yue to when Chen Rou Qiu was young, there was much less calmness. It was still alright on the outward appearance but in the house, all emotions were exposed without omission. This made Chen Rou Qiu very worried.
"Just who was the one who kidnapped her?" Shen Yue muttered to oneself irresolutely, "Eldest Bo have a number of enemies in the Ding capital. This time one do not know who was the one who took action."
"Since they dared to take such a risk and venture, there must be some deep hatred with Shen Miao. Other people were not targeted and to solely kidnap Shen Miao meant that this was directed at her." Chen Rou Qiu said, "In addition, the Shen family's army had searched for so many days, but was unable to find any whereabouts, so the opponents are good at hiding. This time everything bodes ill, and there are no positive signs for Shen Miao."
Hearing that, Shen Yue was initially somewhat fearful before she suddenly thought about something and smiled, "Speaking of it, I would rather that she live." She then did not continue on.
After been kidnapped for this long, even if one was alive, most likely one would have suffered a lot of torture. The most hurtful things in the living world were formless rumours. If Shen Miao died then all troubles would have ended for her but if alive, who knew what ugly things would be said. There were a number of young females that were rescued after being kidnapped, and even though they had saved their lives, at the end they were unable to stand the criticising eyes of others, and ended their lives with a long white silk.
Not to mention that Shen Miao was the Di daughter of the Formidable Great General.
Chen Rou Qiu took a look at Shen Yue and sighed, "No matter what, this is after all her business. Yue-er, these days you did not even talk to your Father. Till when will you act in spite?"
If one were to say about the matter of selecting a husband, it could make Shen Yue grumble about Chen Rou Qiu, and towards Shen Wan, Shen Yue had some bitter resentment against. From the mouths of the servants, she then came to be aware that it was Shen Wan that made Chen Rou Qiu set Shen Yue up with others in a rush. Thus Shen Yue placed all the blame onto Shen Wan and thought that Shen Wan wanted her to marry early on, so as to help his career and also provide additional strength to the Third Household. Thus during these days Shen Yue did not even speak to Shen Wan at all. At this moment upon hearing what Chen Rou Qiu said, Shen Yue became impatient, "One often do not see Father's shadow all day, how would I speak to him?" Finishing, she then turned her head aside in spite and ignored Chen Rou Qiu.
Chen Rou Qiu was startled slightly and suddenly thought about it. Shen Yue's words were not wrong. These few days one did not know if it was due to the busy work from the court, but even Chen Rou Qiu's and Shen Wan's encounters were shorter. Previously, there would be gentle mischief and poetry every now and then, but these few days Shen Wan was somewhat preoccupied.
Chen Rou Qiu sighed in her heart. At Old Shen Furen's end, she pressed hard to let Shen Wan bring in concubines, and if a couple was not close as before, then this would be the greatest crisis she would be facing.
Chen Rou Qiu did not know that at this moment, the Shen Wan that was 'busy with court matters' in her eyes, was currently playing chess with Chang Zai Qing in the Western courtyard.
Chang Zai Qing was wearing a green jade top, and a satin yellow dress with a refreshing bun hanging loose on her head, which made her particularly gentle and scholarly. The tea she brewed was especially good to drink so Shen Wan, who loved tea, would often come over to discuss about tea. During the tea discussion, Chang Zai Qing would like to ask Shen Wan questions about chess and little by little, Shen Wan would come here often to look for Chang Zai Qing to play chess and drink tea.
Chang Zai Qing asked with a smile, "Some days ago, one heard that Fifth Shen Young Lady was kidnapped by others. One does not know if she was found or not."
"Currently whereabouts are not known yet." Shen Wan shook his head.
Chang Zai Qing sighed, "A perfectly fine Young Lady but now have encounter such a thing… From Third Master's perspective, is Fifth Shen Young Lady harmed by General Shen's enemies?"
Shen Wan said, "It is not easy to say that, after all, only Fifth girl was kidnapped. However after so much time has passed, even if she was saved, she is also…"
Chang Zai Qing had an expression of grief on her face, but her heart was secretly delighted. She did not know why but when facing Shen Miao, there would be an instinctive fear arising. Perhaps it was the last time when Shen Miao spoke to her, she was absolutely horrified or perhaps Shen Miao could see thoroughly into her mind. No matter what, with such a person existing, Chang Zai Qing would feel insecure in her heart. Now hearing Shen Wan saying that, it made her very happy.
Regarding the matter of Shen Miao, in the Shen residence, there were people in Cai Yun Yuan who were discussing about it.
Wan YiNiang said, "Dong Ling, I initially thought that it is not good for you to keep staying in the residence all day but at this moment, my heart is at ease. There are so many kidnappers on the streets and you are so pretty. If you are kidnapped then YiNiang can only cry for the rest of one's life." As she spoke, her needlework stopped and she continued, "Do not know if Fifth Young Lady is still alive or not?”
Just as Wan YiNiang was arranging the embroidery, Shen Dong Ling heard her and smiled, "YiNiang, this is not something a kidnapper can do."
Wan YiNiang's eyes widen, "Why?"
"Which kidnapper would be so brazen to kidnap someone on the streets? Even if there was one, they would not kidnap a Young Lady from and official family, especially one who looked high ranked, as it would only invite more trouble for oneself in the future. Those people obviously targeted Fifth Younger Sister. I think it is most probably an enemy of the First Household, and just happened that it was encountered by Fifth Younger Sister." Even though Shen Dong Ling said as such, on the surface there was no expression of grief, as if what she was talking about was some other family's matters.
Wan YiNiang sighed, "Fifth Young Lady entire life can be considered as finished. She is born in such a good family but cannot enjoy her life. Really failed to live through one's fortune."
"That might not necessarily be." Shen Dong Ling smiled charmingly, one can turn misfortune into blessing. Who knows if there is any noble persons that would rescue her from the untold miseries this time?"
"Even if there is a noble person's help, it has already been like this. What else can be done?" Wan YiNiang did not agree with Shen Dong Ling's words.
Just as they were talking, they saw Shen Dong Ling's personal maid, Xing Hua, who hurriedly walked in from outside, seemingly wanting to say something.
"YiNiang, Third Young Lady. This servant just now heard from outside, that Fifth Young Lady was sent back to the Shen mansion by Princess Rong Xin's horse carriage. She is safe and sound and doing very well!"
"YiNiang look." Shen Dong Ling smiled, "I said that Fifth Younger Sister has great abilities and naturally will have noble people to help."
After Shen Miao was kidnapped by others for a few days, there was finally news about her. She was even sent back personally by Princess Rong Xin's personal female official, and that set of a great uproar in the Ding capital.
Originally when Shen Miao was kidnapped, the evildoer wanted to transport Shen Miao out of the city, but due to the very strict interrogation by the Shen family's army, Shen Miao managed to escape herself during the transport process and fainted after injuring her leg, but managed to accidentally encounter the guards from the Princess' residence. The guards brought Shen Miao back to the Princess' residence and only when Shen Miao woke up, she then saw Princess Rong Xin. There was no news these few days because Shen Miao had not wake up yet, and the people in the Princess' residence were not aware of her identity, and dared not identify her indiscriminately.
Anyhow, Shen Miao was still a pure young lady as before. It was alarming but not dangerous this time.
Perhaps there might be some skeptical voices, but the majority of the people were not suspicious of this reasoning at all. This was because the person who spoke about it, was the one who did not care about personal favours and it was the most impartial Princess Rong Xin. Princess Rong Xin had already spoken, so it was assumed that there was no problem with it.
But what was strange was that since she had spoken about it, the rumours that were spreading were that Shen Miao had not yet appeared in front of people at all. Some said that it could be that Shen Miao's was actually seriously injured thus was unable to make an appearance now, and some said that it was because the Shen family wanted to completely protect Shen Miao, they dared not let her out of the residence easily, so that she would not meet strangers.
In any case, Shen Miao had returned back to the Shen mansion, but it is just that no one personally saw it with their eyes.
At this moment Shen Miao was standing in front of Luo Ling's room.
Luo Tan's words echoed by her ears, "Youngest Biao Sister, go and persuade Older Brother Ling. Even though Older Brother Ling did not say it, we all know that he is very upset inside. Even though he looked like the usual happy on the outside, he would not speak about the bitterness. Our mouths are all slow-witted and do not know how to console him. Youngest Biao Sister, you read so many books and also know how others think the most. If you go and persuade Older Brother Ling, Older Brother Ling will definitely listen to you. Previously in the Xiao Chun City, Older Brother Ling would agree with whatever you say. Take it as Luo Tan begging you this time."
Shen Miao sighed in her heart, and hesitated for a moment before finally knocking the door.
"Who is it?" The person inside asked.
"Older Brother Ling, it is me."
After a moment of silence, someone said, "Come in."
Shen Miao walked in with a bamboo basket in her hands. When she entered the room, she placed the bamboo basket on the study table. There was a celadon bowl at the corner of the table. Some brown stains were at the bottom of the bowl. It seemed that Luo Ling just drank the medication from it.
Luo Ling sat in front of the table and there were some books on the table, so most likely he was reading them. He looked slightly pale and there were bandages around his arms as he smiled at her gently, "Younger Biao Sister has come."
As the oldest grandson of the Luo family, Luo Ling was the most gentle and composed one of the four younger generation since young. He was apparently a true gentleman, very different from those individuals like Pei Lang who were selfish and heartless. Luo Ling was a person who treated others warmly easily.
When Luo Ling learned that Shen Miao returned safely, naturally he was happy for her, and did not mention a single word about the injury that he sustained on his right arm. During the conversation during meals, he was still warm and generous, as if he had never experience the matter before. He did not mention it so everyone dared not take the initiate to talk about it. The calmer Luo Ling appeared to be, the more worried everyone was.
Thus Luo Tan came to beg Shen Miao, hopping that she could help to persuade Luo Ling.
"I have brought some pastries for you." Shen Miao smiled and brought out a plate of pastries from the bamboo basket, "Milk and honey is added inside. Most probably it would be good for your wounds."
She was the first person who directly said 'wounds' to Luo Ling.
Luo Ling was slightly startled but afterwards smiled gently, "But I just drank the medication and cannot eat it now. Younger Biao Sister place it over there first. I will try Younger Biao Sister's culinary skills later."
"Is it cannot eat?" Shen Miao looked at him and asked, "Or unable to eat?"
The book that Luo Ling was holding shook before he raised his head and smiled, "What do you mean? It cannot be that Younger Biao Sister is angry because I did not eat the pastries immediately?"
Shen Miao sat down opposite of Luo Ling.
Luo Ling reminded her of a person. Wan Yu.
Luo Ling's personality was lenient and good-natured, so he would not be calculative if he suffered a loss. This was almost the same mould as Wan Yu. Maybe because she knew that Shen Miao did not have Fu Xiu Yi's favour, or perhaps she understood the hardships that one faced when living in the Palace, even though Wan Yu was a Princess of the Imperial family, she had no trace of arrogance. Afterwards when Mei Furen took advantage of Fu Xiu Yi and got Wan Yu to marry to the Xiong Nu, Fu Xiu Yi used the reason of the righteousness of the world, making Shen Miao to be in so much pain that she did not want to live. In turn Wan Yu comforted her and said, "The grasslands is rather good. In my lifetime I had not been to the grasslands before. If one encounter anything interesting, one will definitely write to Imperial Mother and let Imperial Mother also see the beauty of the grasslands."
She would never mention of her suffering, and would smile and face the persons that cared about her. This was Wan Yu and this was also Luo Ling.