Only two parts for this chapter 🙂
Edited by TnyhyChapter 66: Gui Momo’s Death (Part 1)
In the gloomy and eerie wood shed, there were sounds of the occasional mouse climbing around, as if it was eating the firewood and coming with the movements of the night, it made one's heart cold.
Gui Momo was all alone in the corner. After so many years, even though she was just a Momo , Second and Third household were willing to give her face because she was favoured by Shen Miao, and her life in the Shen residence was considered quite good. Sometimes, Gui Momo's life was even better than some of the wealthy families. It was easy for the frugal to become extravagant but very difficult for the reverse process to happen. She was not used to days of suffering, much less sent to the woodshed like those lower ranked maids.
The thin clothes that were worn could not resist the cold at night but her heart was colder than her body. Gui Momo's heart was filled with fear as she thought about the four maids that were initially locked up with her. Shen Yue's maids were fed with mute medication and it was not known if they had survived it, and Shen Qing's maids were directly sold to ninth ranked brothels. She could not help but worry about her fate as Ren Wan Yun's methods were indeed ruthless.
Gui Momo did not think that Ren Wan Yun would easily let her live on. Because not only did she witnessed Shen Qing's scandal, she also played an important role in this matter. The one who should have been harmed was supposed to be Shen Miao but at the end it was Shen Qing who was defiled. How would Ren Wan Yun spare her easily?
Just as she was thinking, the sounds of footsteps were heard and were particularly clear in the silence of the night.
Gui Momo's body stiffened and fearfully looked towards the direction of the door in the darkness.
There seems to be hope yet also despair. What was behind the door, was it the people that Ren Wan Yun sent over to silence her? Or perhaps there was still an opportunity to live.
The footsteps were unhurried but were like a holy charm that hastened one's death as it hits Gui Momo's heart. Her plump body was already muddy and sweat kept forming on her forehead as her body was swaying like a pendulum.
'Zhi ya—' The door was pushed open.
The person who came in had a blueish-green lantern and that colour was already somewhat strange, and seemed to be an evil spirit that would suck out the life of others. Gui Momo looked up trembling and saw a person clad in a white cloak at the door. She walked in slowly and closed the door.
There was only that greenish-blue light from the lantern that emitted a ghastly glow. The person who came in finally unclasped her cloak and revealed a delicate fair face. It was Shen Miao.
The young female was slender and that greenish light seemed to have made her gentle facial features look strangely white. The brows were light but were more like a death messenger from the netherworlds that made people dare to not look directly.
Gui Momo was momentarily stunned before she suddenly called out in surprise, "Young Lady!"
Shen Miao placed the lantern on the floor and walked unhurriedly to Gui Momo before squatting down in front of her. She smiled gently and said, "Is Gui Momo still alright?"
"Young Lady, you finally came! This old servant knew that Young Lady would definitely come over to save this old servant! Young Lady's heart has always been kind and definitely would not just sit by idly and remain indifferent!" As if she had caught a life-saving straw, Gui Momo grabbed onto the ends of Shen Miao's dress desperately with tears coursing down her old cheeks, as if she had suffered grievances beyond her heart and soul and Shen Miao was her most trusted family.
Shen Miao swept a glance at Gui Momo's hands that were grasping tightly onto her dress and said with a gentle smile, "It seems that Gui Momo has suffered a lot here."
Gui Momo was stumped for words and only looked carefully at Shen Miao's expression. Shen Miao's smile was gentle and warm, and her expression was considered calm without any waves in emotions when saying these words. Gui Momo was appalled to discover that she was unable to see what Shen Miao was thinking at all, even after accompanying this Young Lady for so many years. She said, "This old servant has been serving Young Lady her entire life and is nothing but loyal to Young Lady. That day in Wo Long Temple, this old servant accidentally and inadvertently saw it. Young Lady, this old servant is innocent."
"It seems like Gui Momo really see me as a hope." Shen Miao fretted, "But how could I save you? In this residence, who would listen to my words? Moreover, what ability do I have to reverse Eastern courtyard's orders?"
"It is not so. Young Lady definitely would have a way." Gui Momo became anxious after hearing this. Even though she knew that Shen Miao's words were reasonable as in the entire Shen residence, the Second and Third household only treated the First household well on the surface, and since Shen Xin and wife were often not in the Ding capital, it would not be possible for Shen Miao to be of use. But in order to survive, Gui Momo could only grab onto Shen Miao and was reluctant to give up. She said, "Young Lady can go and beg Old Furen and if that really does not work, Young Lady can write a letter to Master so that Master can write back to the residence. They would not dare to not listen to Master's words."
Gui Momo's eyes brightened up as she felt that she had found an excellent idea and looked at Shen Miao with eyes full of hope.
But she only saw Shen Miao lightly laughing before shaking her head and said slowly as she looked at her, "Father's words indeed can save you. But on what basis?"
Gui Momo was stunned.
"Why would I need to use so much effort and energy to run to and fro for a lowly servant?" Her voice seemed to contain a slight ridicule and under the glittering lights, it was as if she did not put the person in front of her into consideration.
Gui Momo suddenly panicked as she did not expected Shen Miao to say so. She watched Shen Miao grow up and even though she treated her coldly recently, it was only because of her childish tantrums. Gui Momo knew that Shen Miao had a soft heart and at that day in Wo Long Temple, she even opened her heart to her, which obviously meant that she wanted to put this Momo in an important position again. Why would there be such a change in expressions?
Could it be that someone had said something to Shen Miao? Gui Momo's brain moved. It must be those two maids that spoke, Gu Yu and Jing Zhe. They naturally liked to go against her and now that she was thrown into prison, those two girls would definitely hit a person who was down and said something to Shen Miao.
She said panicky, "Young Lady, this old servant had followed Young Lady for so long, this old servant has watched Young Lady grow up since birth. After so many years, Master and Furen were not always around, and there was only this old servant and Young Lady relying upon one another for survival…" Speaking till here, she choked a bit, as if to display extreme sorrow, "Young Lady still talked the last time about that year when Young Lady had a fever at night, and the physician had yet to come after a long time. This old servant ran out into the rain to look for a physician for Young Lady… And because of this matter, in this old servant a lingering illness was formed…"
Every word and sentence was talking about the love and camaraderie of those years. As Gui Momo spoke, she casted glances over at Shen Miao. The family in the First household of the Shen family, no matter if it was Shen Xin and his wife or Shen Qiu and his younger sister, were people who valued relationships. Perhaps it was inherited from their military lineage, where one would be grateful for a kind act and seek to repay it. Now Gui Momo was also bringing out this kind act to request for repayment and could only look at Shen Miao hopefully.
However, in the midst of the light the young female head was laughing lightly and there was no trace of the expression of being touched, and was like she had listened to a rather interesting story instead. She said softly, "Gui Momo treated me really well at the beginning and how did our First household and I treated Gui Momo?"
Gui Momo hesitated for a moment but still said, "Furen and Master treated this old servant extremely well. Young Lady also treated this old servant extremely well. Be it inside or outside the house, this servant had enough face and the monthly allowance is also generous. This old servant was also not scolded…"
"Not only that," Shen Miao continued her words, "Your son and your grandson, I have assisted financially in all the areas that could be helped. In the entire Western courtyard, you are the senior of all and I would not treat you as my Momo but treated you as my family. Trust you. Be close with you. Think of you. Do you say not?"
"Yes." Gui Momo replied. Indeed, it was because Shen Miao was young and she was easy to coax, so she was able to coax Shen Miao so well that she believed whatever Gui Momo said. In the Western courtyard, she was almost half a mistress.
"In that case, since I treated you so well, why did you betrayed me?"
Just a light fluttering sentence and Gui Momo, who was caught in her memories was so spooked out of her mind that her soul flew away and scattered. She looked up at Shen Miao and said shockingly, "What!?"
"Momo need not show such a shocked expression." Shen Miao laughed, "I originally knew that Momo had thoughts of betraying one's masters and was astonished thousands more times, tens of thousands more times than Momo."
"Young Lady, there must be someone who is inciting disharmony. This servant had never betrayed Young Lady before. How would this old servant betray Young Lady! Young Lady, Young Lady must believe this old servant!" Gui Momo's reacted very quickly and after a brief moment of panic, she put on an appearance of grievance and shouted out the injustice, trying to prove her loyalty.
"Fine." Shen Miao waved her hands and there was a touch of impatience on her face, "In Wo Long Temple, Second Shen's means of the vegetarian food and aphrodisiac incense were clever. To let Momo do such thing, she really view Momo as a trusted confidant."
When she spoke the last word, Gui Momo's portrait of trying to defend herself became one that could not even speak a single word.
She looked at Shen Miao in a daze with eyes full of an inexplicable feeling.
"Momo is most probably illiterate and does not know that there is a proverb 'the mantis stalk the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind'. Momo is one that served two people, so I would want to listen now in Momo's eyes, Second Shen's means are superior or are mine a level higher surpassing her's."
"Could it be that you…" Gui Momo spit out those few words difficulty.
"That is right. It is me." Shen Miao's voice was very softly suppressed. So soft that only Gui Momo could hear it. She said, "The person who was supposed to be defiled was me but why at the end it became Eldest Sister? Naturally it was not a coincidence. It was all me."
Guessing it was one matter, and hearing it was another. Gui momo looked at the young female in front of her fearfully. Shen Miao was half squatting on the ground, looking at her with all smiles. Under the flickering lights that pair of eyes were as if they were a pair of beast's eyes, that were so bright that it was extraordinary and also surprisingly terrifying. It was clearly a well-behaved look but why was it so fearsome?
As to why Shen Miao and Shen Qing were exchanged, Gui Momo kept thinking about this issue when she was thrown into the woodshed. She also guessed that it was Shen Miao who did something but very quickly dispelled her absurd idea. She watched Shen Miao grew up and Gui Momo was familiar with her capabilities. She had been stupid and soft-hearted so she would not be able to do such a thing at all. However Shen Miao admitted to it with her own mouth and did not even bother to cover it at all. If it was others, Gui Momo would find that the person was too arrogant and stupid but now, she would not see Shen Miao as she did ordinarily.
"Young Lady…" She opened her mouth but did not know what to say. Since Shen Miao already know of the matter then it was not possible for her to be saved.
"Second Shen's means had always been brutal. Even though Momo is valued, after this matter Momo would definitely not have any future. What a pity." Her words had some regrets, as if she was really sympathetic of Gui Momo's suffering experience.
Gui Momo was fearful of Ren Wan Yun's means and Shen Miao's words aroused hope in her heart. She fell onto the ground on her knees and kowtowed to Shen Miao continuously, "Young lady please save this old servant this time. This servant did not purposely wanted to harm Young Lady. Second Shen used this old servant's grandson to threaten this old servant. This old servant was only forced to do so. For Master's and Furen's sake and also for the sake of the over ten years of service that this old servant had, Young Lady should see to save this old servant!"
Her head knocked onto the floor with a 'peng peng' sound. If it was before, Shen Miao would have respected her and would absolutely not let Gui Momo bow her back that low. But now… She was Empress Shen of Ming Qi, and civil and military officials all bowed to her. Of course she could take the bow of a servant who betrayed her master!
"In fact, the reason I am here tonight is to repay the many years of kindness Gui Momo had shown to me." Shen Miao suddenly said.
When Gui Momo heard this, she was suddenly overjoyed and spoke loudly, "This old servant knows that Young Lady is a kind hearted person and one who values relationships and friendship. In the future, Bodhisattva would bless Young Lady's life to be smooth and all those who want to harm Young Lady would all die a horrible death!"
Shen Miao laughed in her heart. Gui Momo, this grass on top of the wall which sways with every wind, really made one amazed.
She also raised her voice, "In fact, not to mention those. That day in Wo Long Temple, did not Gui Momo had a heart to heart talk with me? From then onwards, I knew that Gui Momo really truly treated me the best in the whole world."
Gui Momo was at a loss as she did not know the meaning behind Shen Miao's words. Just now she obviously hated herself and now when she turned around she was so appeased. No matter what, Gui Momo felt full of hope and immediately replied to Shen Miao, "Yes, this old servant stands at Young Lady's side from the beginning to the end. Only Young Lady is this old servant's master. This old servant would definitely be loyal to Young Lady for her entire life!"
Suddenly there was a loud noise from the window as it someone knocked onto something. Gui Momo jumped in shock and looked outside. But how could she see anything from this dark room?
She turned to look at Shen Miao after she was unable to see anything and revealed a miserable expression, "Can Young Lady now get this old servant out of here? This is really too dark and humid. This old servant's arms and legs could no longer support…"
"No fear. No need to support for long since you are going to die."
"What?" Gui Momo suddenly looked up and stared at Shen Miao at a loss, "This old servant does not understand the meaning of Young Lady's…"
"Just now the person outside was sent by Second Shen. It is presumed that she had discovered that I have visited Gui Momo." Shen Miao smiled, "So how would Gui Momo have a road to live?"
"This old servant. This old servant does not understand…" Gui Momo unconsciously straightened up her body, there was a faint uneasiness in her heart but she did know what Shen Miao meant.
"Does not understand?" Shen Miao tilted her head and thought deeply for a moment, "Can Momo remember what words were said loudly just now?"
Gui Momo heard her words and thought about them. Suddenly her expression changed and in an instant her face paled.
She has just now said loudly that she stood at Shen Miao's side from the beginning to the end, and that only Shen Miao was her master.
Indeed those words were just used to coax and con Shen Miao as she hoped for Shen Miao to save her. But if Ren Wan Yun's people heard these words, then how would they think about the inexplicable situation of Shen Miao and Shen Qing exchanging rooms that day. They initially suspected that Shen Miao had taken action but dare not believe it, as they did not know how Shen Miao would be able to predict the future.
But if it was Gui Momo who told the matter to Shen Miao and schemed with her against Shen Qing? Then everything would be justified .
This was not the truth but in Ren Wan Yun's ears, it would be the truth!
Before she could become afraid, Shen Miao had already opened her mouth to speak softly, "I want to repay Momo with such a big gift like this. Does Momo think that it is alright?"
Gui Momo stared at Shen Miao. Only now she discovered that from the beginning of today till the end, she was led by the nose by Shen Miao. What Shen Miao said, she believed. The relationship between her and Shen Miao was reversed. But Shen Miao was more unpredictable than her as she could just fall out just in a moment, and she could not guess what Shen Miao's purpose was at all.
"There is only one purpose on my visit. Which is to send Momo up the road." Shen Miao said with a smile, seemingly guessing Gui Momo's doubts.
Gui Momo's body trembled. She wanted to cry and shout but she was unable to produce a single sound. She did not know when did that infant became a young female, and no one had found out yet of this other side of this young female, not even her. The more she wanted to resist and curse, the more she could not help but involuntary shiver when that pair of beastly eyes landed on her.
"Our Shen family would not keep people who are treacherous. Even if Momo reaches the road to the netherworld and become a ferocious ghost to seek revenge on me. I would have no fear and perhaps would even fight with Momo another round." Her words were colder than her smile, "It is not I that turned my back on Momo but is Momo who turned her back on me."
"It is a pity for Momo's grandson and son. Second Shen always does things in an uncompromising way so perhaps Momo would be able to reunite with them soon."
"No…" Gui Momo's body shook and her tears and mucus were already flowing all over as she cried pitifully, "I beg of you, please save them…"
"I have said early on that I would not waste my effort on a servant that betrayed the master." Shen Miao's words were cruel and cold. "Watching with folded arms is already my greatest kindness."
She slowly leaned forward, like how she used to tell her secrets to Gui Momo when she was younger, and said lightly, "I only came over for one last look, taking into consideration the over ten years of master and servant relationship."
"Gui Momo, walk properly the rest of the road."
A moving smile bloomed out from her smooth little face. It was originally a lovely and delicate face but the ruthlessness made one's heart palpitate.
Gui Momo still wanted to speak but she saw that Shen Miao stood up and wore her cloak again. The ends of the cloak drew a pale light in the darkness, as if it was the white paper money that was fluttering by the coffin. When the lantern was carried out the door and when the door was closed, everything was shrouded into darkness and desperation seemed to cover everything.
Outside, when Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang saw Shen Miao coming out, they were relieved and supported Shen Miao to leave.
After she left, there was a female figure that showed up and looked towards Shen Miao's back before staring at the closed woodshed door, revealing a look of resentment.