After many continuous days of autumn rain, the skies finally cleared up.
Everything seemed to have restored back to the usual calmness in the General residence but time to time, there were medicine scent coming out from the Eastern courtyard which reminded others what had happen in Shen residence.
Shen Qing's sanity seemed to gradually recover and no longer went crazy when she saw others. But Ren Wan Yun was afraid that she would be incited again so she had her kept in Cai Yun Yuan and did not allow her to come out. She also fear that Shen Qing would attempt suicide so she constantly kept watch around her. As such, the residence's affairs were all handled over to Chen Rou Qiu to manage. Ren Wan Yun seldom left her courtyard and Shen Miao gained a few days of peace and tranquil.
However this did not mean that nothing had happened. After a few days, Gui Momo was finally put to death with the crime of colluding with others to harm Shen Qing. As of now in Shen residence, there was no one who would mention Shen Qing's matter to Shen Miao. It was not because the matter was settled but because of the words that Shen Miao spoke in Rong Jing Tang that made those people refrain from shooting at the rat for fear of breaking the vases and thus dare not take any action.
They dared not touch Shen Miao but still dare to touch Gui Momo.
Gui Momo was put to death according to the law in the residence. Generally when a servant was put to death when they have committed a crime, a bigger crime meant they would be beaten to death and common ones would just need to drink a bottle of medication. In short, as long as their life contracts were at the master's hands, no one would care about their life or death.
But Gui Momo's death was really miserable as four of her limbs were broken when she was alive. There was not an inch of a decent bone in her entire body and all seven holes on her body were bleeding, making it look atrocious. Even the servant who carried the body dare not look at the corpse's appearance but Ren Wan Yun still called Shen Miao to collect the corpse.
Ren Wan Yun's maid, Xiang Lan, came over to say, "Furen had said that even though Gui Momo was put to death upon committing an offence, after all she was Fifth Young Lady's servant. So Fifth Young Lady would still need to make funeral arrangements so Gui Momo's corpse was place in the West courtyard. Fifth Young Lady quickly go and take a look."
Most likely everyone wanted to see Shen Miao's panic-stricken expression since all the servant in Shen residence knew that Gui Momo was Shen Miao's close confidant. Now that she had come to a tragic end, one would fear that Shen Miao would be broken hearted.
Most likely Ren Wan Yun also thought so and felt that Shen Miao would blame herself for Gui Momo's death. No one knew that Shen Miao would walk to Gui Momo's corpse in front of all the servants in the Western courtyard and lift up the white cloth without even a change in colour on a face when she saw how miserable the body was and her brows did not even wrinkle at all.
Xiang Lan was surprise at Shen Miao's calmness but saw Shen Miao coldly cry out, "Gui Momo act like a tyrant in the Western courtyard, bully those below and hoodwink the master and was a rampant and domineering person. This kind of servant, even if she did not commit any mistake, Western courtyard would not take in. All of you take a good look today, if in the future anyone were to learn from Gui Momo, this would be the result!"
Most of the people in Western courtyard were Second and Third household's spies and in the past would see Gui Momo as the highest but now seeing Gui Momo died tragically and Shen Miao was so cool about it, a wave of fear started to rise in their heart.
When Xiang Lan saw the scene, she did not felt good as she wanted to scare Shen Miao but who knew Shen Miao took Gui Momo as an example of power. She immediately returned to Cai Yun Yuan and inform Ren Wan Yun of the matter.
"This is bad! Had fallen into a trap!" When Ren Wan Yun heard about it, her hand loosen and the teacup fell to the ground and smashed into pieces.
"Furen…" Cai Ju was somewhat uncertain.
Ren Wan Yun gritted her teeth, "Gui Momo was just a raft. It seems that little slut had long wanted to get rid of Gui Momo but borrowed our hands to do it. And now she even consolidated her power in the Western courtyard. This little slut is really shrewd!"
Ren Wan Yun was not stupid but because of Shen Qing's matter, she had inevitably lost the previously calmness she had as she was her mother. That night the people who went to look for Gui Momo saw Shen Miao going in to see Gui Momo and also heard some portion of the conversation of Gui Momo declaring her loyalty to Shen Miao. After it was mentioned to Ren Wan Yun, she was sure that what had happen to Shen Qing was because Gui Momo colluded with Shen Miao to change the person in the room.
With such a thought in her heart, she hated Shen Miao and Gui Momo like a torrential flood. Since Shen Miao cannot be touched for the time being, Gui Momo, as a servant can be touched. So she use the most brutal way to torture Gui Momo to death. Initially she thought when Shen Miao saw Gui Momo's death she would definitely be upset but after listening to Xiang Lan's words, Ren Wan Yun knew that she was being toyed by Shen Miao.
Everything was a ruse that Shen Miao set up. Shen Miao really put on a better show of murdering others with a borrowed knife than anyone else.
Ren Wan Yun had been in the inner courtyard drifting with the wind and current for so many years that those concubines of Shen Gui would be settled fittingly but now she was repeatedly defeated by the hands of a silly little girl. In Ren Wan Yun's mind, this was an anger that could even described as fury.
"Was the letter to Prince Yu of First Rank sent?" Ren Wan Yun asked.
"It is sent but Furen, if Master know about it, he would definitely get angry," Cai Ju carefully replied.
As with Shen Qing's matter, Shen Gui though of thousands of ways to hide it from Prince Yu, wishing that he would not discover it at all. But Ren Wan Yun could not wait for Prince Yu to discover it immediately because with Prince Yu's temperament, if anyone were to play any tricks under his eyelids, that person would not have a good death.
Even if she quarrelled with Shen Gui, she must also take revenge for Shen Qing. Shen Miao dare to threaten the entire Shen family, then would she dare to threaten Prince Yu of the First Rank?
"I want her to die without a burial site!" Ren Wan Yun clenched her teeth as she spoke.
"Young Lady is playing chess again." Bai Lu shook her head as she was somewhat puzzled, "What is the meaning of playing chess alone?"
"What can be done other than playing chess?" Shuang Jiang glance at the person in front to the table and said aggrieving, "Confined the entire day and even unable to go out to the courtyard. If this goes on, nothing can be done during the day."
"Sh—" Bai Lu whispered, "You better not speak. Young Lady is already not happy about the confinement , you better not mention it and provoke her anger."
Shuang Jiang mumbled, "Our Young Lady has a good temperament and would not get angry."
Speaking of which, they did not seen Shen Miao getting angry for a long time. Not to say anger, not even a shred of emotion. The Shen Miao of the past, even though she was an idiot, her mood were very obvious. Happy was happy. Sadness was sadness. But now, the personal maids could not read her. People always said that one's growth would be gradual but Shen Miao's change seemed to be completed overnight.
From simple and weak to calm and unwavering. No one knew what changed her.
"Bai Lu." Just as they were speaking, Bai Lu heard Shen Miao calling her name and quickly went up.
"Go and find a time to pawn those gold jewellery in the silver jewellery box that was place in the cabinet." She said without even turning her head.
"Yes." Bai Lu quickly replied before she became surprised, "But Young Lady, a box of jewellery was only pawned yesterday and this is the last box."
"It's of no bother." Shen Miao put down the chess piece, "After all it would not be used. After pawning it, pass the money to Jing Zhe and call Gu Yu over."
Bai Lu's agreed but there were some doubts in her heart. Shen Miao was anxious to pawn the jewellery away like she was in an urgent need of money. What was the money for?
Kuai Huo Lou (direct translation: Happy Building) was the largest restaurant in the Ding capital and was located in the heart of the bustling area and directly opposite of Kuai Huo Lou was the house of courtesans. After high officials and noble people finish their meals in Kuai Huo Lou, they would probably go to the Hua Lou opposite to look for beauty and happiness. There were many ranks of pleasure quarters, the superior it was, the higher the level was and those who were at the highest level were those famous courtesans that sold their talents and not their bodies. Below them were those some young ladies with famous reputation and the lowest was the ninth ranked brothels. This kind of brothels were not eligible to be called a 'Lou' or 'Yuan' and could only be called 'Ban' or 'Xia Chu'.
'San Fu Ban' was facing opposite of Kuai Huo Lou and it was the lowest of all brothels. Most often the ones that enter and leave the pace were those lowly labourers and often there would be people who would throw those sickly and near death young ladies to the streets. Those wandering beggars would carry these young ladies back, perhaps to vent or perhaps their clothes could be sold for a copper coin. Anyhow compare to the exquisite Kuai Huo Lou, San Fu Ban was simple hell on earth.
By the window of somewhere in Kuai Huo Lou, the spotless white sleeves of a young man's was seen as he frowned while looking at San Fu Ban below and saw that someone had thrown some new girls in. The girls were crying and shouting nonstop, seemingly servants of some family that were sent over. Some young maids were beautiful and jealous matriarchs would sell them to San Fu Ban to prevent them from climbing up to the bed.
"Truly ruthless." The white clad gentleman shook his head and said. Although the tone was filled with pity, there was no trace of thoughts of reach out to lend a hand.
And that young gentleman that was facing him was wearing purple and filled with an overbearing extravagance. He only poured himself wine and lightly said, "People had already entered the residence of Prince Yu and it was yet to unknown if it can be found or not."
"If it was not found then how?" The white clad gentleman turn his head and looked at him.
"Carry on searching." The purple clad youth smiled and that evil smile was exceptionally handsome that the courtesan playing the string instrument at the side, could not help but lose herself and played the wrong note.
When the white clad gentleman saw it, he teased with a laugh, "Xie San, your charm is getting greater now. Beautiful women favoured you, how can I live?"
He gave another long sigh. Actually this white clad gentleman was also very handsome but upon comparison with the purple clad youth, there was lesser of that languid extravagance. That youth's expression was lazy but that pair of eyes was extremely sharp, as if it was the scorching sun in the skies and was dazzling from birth. By standing at his side, naturally all the radiance were covered up.
"Gao Yan, if you like, how about upon return, I will… Bestow you an entire residence of them?" Xie Jing Xing shot him a glance.
"Never mind," That white clad gentleman called Gao Yang quickly waved his hands and laugh bitterly, "Beautiful women can be viewed remotely and not to play with. I do not have any excess energy. As for you," He drank a mouthful of wine, "Who are in the midst of youth when one is unrestrained, how would there not be any close female confidante. If you want in this Ming Qi, there would definitely be large number of people queuing."
"Close female confidante." Xie Jing Xing smiled, "How would one know if it was just a skull with red rouge?"
"Stop speaking as though it was that scary." Gao Yang pointed at thepleasure quarters opposite, "Look that those cute young ladies in the higher levels. What skull this and that. So uninteresting."
Xie Jing Xin looked towards where his eyes were at when he suddenly paused and surprise flashed across his eyes.
"How is it him?"