Edited by TnyhyChapter 73: Shen Qiu (Part 2)
"Will Eldest Brother believe my words?" Shen Miao smiled gently, "There is no use to speak about it if one do not believe them."
"How could I not believe?" Shen Qiu heard this and quickly grabbed Shen Miao's arms, "You are my Younger Sister, if I do not believe your words, who else would I believe?"
"I can tell Eldest Brother of the matter but Eldest Brother must promise me one thing. Not to tell what I have told you to Father and Mother, else I will no longer pay attention to you."
"Why Father and Mother cannot be told?" Shen Qiu was somewhat confused before he suddenly realised, "Is this matter related to His Highness Prince Ding?" In the reports to the Northwestern regions, it was also mentioned about the soft spot that Shen Miao have for Fu Xiu Yi. But Shen Miao was after all an unmarried female and would not know about the fight among the princes to be the heir. It was best for officials not to get mixed up as those who enter the fray would die sooner. Shen Miao however, unswervingly felt for Fu Xiu Yi but Shen Xin and them were far away in the Northwestern region thus even though they were anxious, they were helpless and could only hope that Shen Miao would come around and no longer love this Fu Xiu Yi.
"It is not related to him." Shen Miao was between laughter and tears in her heart as she did not think that Shen Qiu would think that way. She said, "Before your return, Second Shen brought the three Di daughters of the Shen family to Wu Long Temple to pray, and that day I exchanged rooms with Eldest Sister. Eldest Sister's innocence was smeared by an evildoer and the entire Second Shen family felt that Eldest Sister suffered for me and that I initiated everything. I did not admit to it so I was punished by copying Buddhist scriptures."
As Shen Qiu listened, he broke out a cold sweat in his heart first as he felt that it was so dangerous, for it was almost Shen Miao and not Shen Qing who fell into misfortune. After he heard what happened after, he was extremely angry. What did this matter got to do with Shen Miao? Why must Shen Miao be punished?
"This is clearly twisting words for fallacious logic!" Shen Qiu said angrily. He had no good impressions of Shen Qing as she always relied on Shen Yuan, that older brother of hers, and would often not take Shen Qiu into consideration, and also sarcastically said that Shen Qiu was a cultureless military man.
"Not only that." Shen Miao continued, "This also coincides with the Vice Minister of the Legislative Bureau's Wei family coming to the residence for a marriage proposal and picked me. The Supervisor of the Minor Treasurer's Huang family also came over to propose marriage and they picked Eldest Sister."
Shen Qiu was stunned, "Marriage proposal?" They had received a letter that the Shen family sent but it never mentioned anything about Shen Miao's marriage proposal. This was just too ridiculous. How would the parents not be informed of their children's marriage? The Shen family way of doing things was just too much.
"Wei Qian, the Young Master of the Wei family, is a young talent while Huang De Xing, the Young Master of the Huang family, is one of the cut sleeves. When I got to know that Second Shen wanted to exchange mine and Eldest Sister's marriages, I could only say that I do not want to get married and if I were to get engaged, I would only run away to avoid marriage. Thus they locked me up in the ancestral hall. The guards that you saw yesterday were not there to extinguish the fire, they were there to guard and prevent me from running away."
Shen Qiu's expressions followed Shen Miao's words and fluctuated. At the end he punched the table heavily and the smile on his face had long disappeared. Seeing Shen Miao's somewhat red eyes, "Younger Sister, is what you say really true?"
"I naturally do not have to lie to you." Shen Miao said, "As for that blaze, it came bafflingly. I even suspect…" She gently smile, "After all when I die, it would be more than justified for Eldest Sister to change the marriage."
"This is just bully to the extreme!" Shen Qiu angrily cried out and turned around to leave. Shen Miao pulled him back and asked, "Where is Eldest Brother going?"
"I will go and argue with them. Whoever touch you will need to return a blood debt!" Shen Qiu said.
Shen Miao looked at him and calmly asked, "How do you intend to argue, where is the evidence? Is it just to scold all of them or to kill all of them?"
The sarcasm in her voice made Shen Qiu slightly sober. He turned back around and looked at Shen Miao before asking in a frown, "What is Young Sister's meaning?"
"Why Eldest Brother not think why I do not want to tell Father and Mother about this matter?" Shen Miao lightly said, "Father and Mother are both straightforward people and Father is rather impulsive. It is easy to stick out for me but how about the consequences? The Shen family is a big family in Ming Qi and there are many eyes that are observing. Today if Father execute justice for me, tomorrow the Censors will write a report about Father." Her lips hooked up, "In this world, it is always that force come from the side with numbers. Whoever had more people, whoever's logic is correct. In the three households of the Shen family, the First household going against the Second and Third household and even against an old woman. Do you think that that we can hold the grounds of reasoning?"
Shen Qiu was surprised by Shen Miao's words. He was even more surprised by Shen Miao's expression when speaking. That calm analysis was brutal and was able to draw blood on the first prick, which made him cast a sidelong glance. These words were not what Shen Miao would say at such an age, as how would an unmarried female be able to evaluate the world that coolly? He hesitated a little, "Younger Sister…"
With one glance, Shen Miao was able to know what Shen Qiu was thinking in his mind. Shen Qiu was one who was open and candid. In fact, it should be said that the entire First household of the Shen family were all open and candid and in this difficult world, there were no good endings for good people.
She said, "Eldest Brother want to ask why did I became as one see." Shen Miao looked down, "Because I have gone through all this."
"After experiencing so many things, there would not be one that would not change. Eldest Brother, I am no longer the past me and you are no longer the past you. Now, I only ask one question, after listening to my words, do you hate them?"
Shen Qiu was startled and looked towards Shen Miao before he slowly clenched his teeth, "Hate."
"Because… How could they treat you like that?"
Shen Miao shook her head, "This is not what you hate."
Shen Qiu was surprised, he abruptly found that currently the words that this Younger Sister of his spoke made him unable to comprehend. But somewhere somehow, he felt that Shen Miao's words were very reasonable.
"What you hate is that we have invested with our own sincerity and devoted treatment, in exchange for a hypocritical show of affection that is worse than for one's enemy. Because of themselves, they can have our lives. This is not what family or even strangers would do. This has already been a blood enmity since long ago, and between relatives it is even more sinful.
Shen Miao saw that Shen Qiu's eyes moved a little and she sighed in her heart. If possible, she wished that she could protect the youth in front of her well, and allow him to only know about galloping into the battlefield and become a hero that the public would respect. But she was really scared. She was scared that there would come a day where the scene of the pond would repeat itself. She could only build up a wall in Shen Qiu's heart now. Remembering hate was better than remembering love, as love was the most hurtful.
"What does Younger Sister want to say?" Shen Qiu finally said.
Shen Miao sighed in relief as Shen Qiu was not truly stupid. Once he understood, some things would be much easier.
"I hate them and Eldest Brother also want to vent it out for me. But even if Father and Mother take action, they cannot kill all of them." Shen Miao said, "I want to deal with them myself but this would require Eldest Brother's help." No matter what Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan did, they did not have any evidence on hand thus if they were to kill the Second household, they would have to be punished against the laws of Ming Qi for killing one's kins. Because Shen Xin could really do such a thing for her. She could gamble with her life but she was not willing to see the Shen Xin couple to commit such a dangerous crime.
Death was the easiest thing to do but if one could retreat fully, then by using a blunt knife to grind the meat, the persons in pain would be those who were being grinded. Moreover, the big fish was not yet hooked onto her bait.
"What Younger Sister want to do?" Shen Qiu asked.
Shen Miao smiled, "No rush. There is nothing but time. We will do it very slowly."