Edited by TnyhyChapter 77: Reciprocate (Part 1)
The originally noisily hall momentarily quieten down and everyone’s eyes fell onto the purple figure behind Luo Xue Yan.
The young female’s cloak was already removed, and she was wearing a purple silk flower patterned dress with complicated windings, bringing out her slim figure. She slightly lifted her chin and her eyes were looking forward, as if all the noble Furens present were not worthy to be in her eyes. Her complexion was so fair that it looked somewhat translucent but made her eyes and brows look delicate and pretty. However that pair of bright eyes was the most attractive part. Her eyes were round and clear as if they were as pure as a newly born animal but were so calm like they had seen a decade of moons. This kind of transformation and tenderness intertwined, was making her a contradictory beauty.
She followed Luo Xue Yan’s steps and walked to the middle of the hall. Unlike Luo Xue Yan’s clean and neat gestures, that young female’s hands were folded in front of her but they were not stiff looking, as if that action was done thousands of times and was fully ingrained into her. Her long dress followed her steps as it lightly fluttered, as if blooming flower petals and those flowers were not showing off even though it was full of bloom, just like her entire person. Her actions were extremely natural and every step that she took was extremely pleasing, and at the same time had a touch of majesty on them. The women present were all from noble families and naturally had experienced the harsh training of a Momo on etiquettes. They had felt that they can already do it very well, but were astonished when they saw this young female. This was because if it was them, they would not be able to walk that prettily.
Sometimes form could be imitated but the spirit cannot be imitated. There was no waves of expression in that purple clad young female and she had a calm attitude, as if this road was like her own backyard. There was no panic, timidity or impulsiveness. Just plainly walking made one feel that she was looking over all living beings in the world.
It was as if she was the owner of this palace.
Those women could not help but be shocked at such a flash of that idea because this young female was not other but that idiotic Shen Miao!
Previously at the academy examinations, Shen Miao’s transformation was for all to see but since then, Shen Miao and Shen Qing both became sick and stayed in the residence that they even did not go to Guang Wen Tang anymore. Even though she had defeated Cai Lin in the academy examinations, that only showed her aggressiveness and boldness. Etiquette and spirit could not be learnt overnight. Shen Miao had suffered from so many years of foolishness during the yearly returning banquet and it was not an easy thing to turn things around. Who knew that with one look today, one felt that Shen Miao was a totally different person than before. Not only there was not even a single mistake in her gestures, everyone present had a faint feeling that Shen Miao was incomparable to all the officials’ daughters in this hall!
Shen Miao followed behind Luo Xue Yan and faced everyone’s eyes but no one saw the corner of her lips stiffen.
It had been more than a decade. She had finally returned here again. In her previous life, it was struggling and fighting in close quarters in this prison where one’s fate had to be fought for. She wanted to see if in this lifetime, could this place still trap her!
Every single brick and tile in this place were deeply engraved in her heart that even if she were to close her eyes, she would still know her way. All those tedious Palace ceremonies were done day after day that they were almost engraved to her bones. In this hall when she closed her eyes, she could almost see Wan Yun asking her to eat snacks and Fu Ming shaking his head as he memorises the country’s policies. Love and hate were both heavy, bitter and sweetness were mixed. To once again enter here, she had mixed feelings. Her heart was burning up but it was from the flames of revenge!
Xiao Li-zi looked blankly at the purple clad young female behind that valiant woman and his heart was in shock. Just now in the gardens, the palace maid said that Shen Xin’s Di daughter was vulgar and an idiot. Who knew that when he saw her, it was not as they said. There was an air of extravagance and nobility air around that young female, as if looking at her one more time, one would not be able to bear that kind of majesty. How could that be an idiot?
Just as he was thinking, he saw that young female’s slightly concentrated eyes landing on him. In a short moment Xiao Li-zi tensed up as he had never seen the Young Lady from Shen family before. Was this the fate that the seniors of the Palace talked about? Was it that the Shen Young Lady valued him? Just as his heart was filled with fear and excitement, he saw Shen Miao’s turning away, as it was just an accident. Xiao Li-zi felt a somewhat loss in his heart. He did not know why but he felt that if he clinged to this Shen Young Lady, his great fortune would be waiting for him. And now it seems that he has lost the chance of linking up to this great fortune.
Before one could wait for Xiao Li-zi to clear this inexplicable thought of his, a tall Furen in the front hall was already laughing, “Shen Furen, you really made one wait!”
Luo Xue Yan slightly frowned before showing a blooming smile, “There were some delays on the road.”
“Fifth Young Lady is truly becoming full of life as each day passes.” That tall Furen’s eyes landed on Shen Miao and spoke in a half real and falsely way, “It is true that she is going to be engaged. Thinking of the beginning, she was still a little thing.”
Hearing this, Luo Xue Yan blooming smile immediately sank. Luo Xue Yan already found that Shen Miao’s engagement was an unfathomable mystery. It was the Shen residence that agreed to it behind her and Shen Xin’s backs. She would not admit to it one little bit and was even not afraid to offend the Wei family. With regards to family background, the Wei family was not bad but they were not comparable to Shen Xin. At worst, just offend the Wei family, since nothing was more important than Shen Miao’s happiness, moreover Wei Furen was not present at the moment. Determined to clarify these issues for Shen Miao, Luo Xue Yan said, “What kind of words are those? Our Jiao Jiao only just grew up and need not need to marry so early. I want to keep Jiao Jiao by my side for a longer period.”
When those words were spoken, the Furens and Young Ladies present were stunned since Shen Miao’s engagement was spread all over for the past few days. Afterwards in the birthday banquet of Old Shen Furen, the rest of the Shen family almost admitted to it, why when it came to Luo Xue Yan, the engagement seems to fall short?
The tall Furen squinted her eyes, seeming feeling that something was not right as her smile became more profound. She said, “Oh? So Shen Furen wants to keep Fifth Shen Young Lady for more days? But some days ago, was not say that Fifth Shen Young Lady is engaged already?”
“Furen really know how to joke.” Luo Xue Yan was not afraid of any loss of prestige and was even not afraid of exposing the Shen family internal contradictions to everyone. With such relatives like the other Shen family, there was no need to keep pretenses. Her brows frowned and she loudly said, “What reasoning is it that when one’s daughter is engaged, the parents are not even aware of it? The Master and I were completely not aware of what Furen had said, so how could one speak of an engagement?”
Once Luo Xue Yan finished her words, whisperings suddenly burst fort from her surroundings. That tall Furen also did not think that Luo Xue Yan would say that and was stunned for a moment.
It was true that there was no such thing as one’s real parents not knowing of the matter of their daughter being engaged. There would only be one reasoning if Luo Xue Yan and Shen Xin did not know about Shen Miao’s engagement, which is that the Shen family was concealing it from them. As to why did the Shen family wanted to do that, there would be lots of hidden meanings to it.
Just as everyone was thinking by themselves, Ren Wan Yun, Chen Rou Qiu and the rest also arrived.
Naturally Shen Gui and Shen Wan headed to the main hall where the males were at. Ren Wan Yun brought Shen Qing, and Chen Rou Qiu and Shen Yue slowly walked over.
This was Shen Qing’s first time out since she was confined to bed due to illness. These few days she had become wan and sallow. She was at the best age of a young female but she actually had slight signs of aging. In order to cover up the haggardness, she put on thick rouge and powder and wore a red dress. Shen Qing was not suitable to wear such a bright colour so when one take a glance, as compared to the past, it was somewhat strange. In addition that she still had a child in her abdomen, thus her pace looked a little staggering even it was covered up.
As for Shen Yue, as always she wore a beige coloured light long dress that was slowly twirling and light makeup, making her look like a weak and delicate beauty with an scholarly flavour. If it was in the past, she would have definitely attracted everyone's attention but unfortunately it was not the case today. With Shen Miao’s outstanding performance, Shen Yue’s steps seemed to have a jerky feel to it, her gestures were somewhat stiff, her expression was somewhat nervous and the hands that were crossed seemed to be too forceful. All in all, she was not even the slightest in comparison to Shen Miao. Thinking about this, everyone’s expression became strange. Since when did the most outstanding Shen Yue from the Shen family was left far behind by Shen Miao?
Shen Yue was young and was not aware of it but Chen Rou Qiu was able to detect that the Furen’s eyes were different than before. If it was in the past, the eyes that landed on both mother and daughter would be full of jealousy, envy or praise but today they seemed to be much more critical than before? Chen Rou Qiu frowned. This aspect of etiquette had always been her proudest area and she was especially demanding of Shen Yue. She believed that there was no noble female in the Ding capital that was more outstanding than her daughter, but from the expressions of these people, there was someone else that did better?
She naturally did not know that the person who was better than Shen Yue was before one’s eyes.
Shen Miao sat next to Luo Xue Yan at the side. Even though Luo Xue Yan was considered the main lead in this returning banquet today, it seemed that she was isolated.
It was indeed like so. In the noble houses in Ding capital, there was always their own circle. It was still alright for males, as their contribution would speak for themselves and their careers will mutually intertwine so even if they disliked one another, they still had to maintain a neutral position on the surface. However, females are different. The noble females in Ding capital were mostly proud and arrogant, just like the Di females were not willing to play with the Su females and those that grew up in the Ding capital would look down on foreign households.
Luo Xue Yan was that foreign household.
If she came from those rich families from Jiang Nan then it would be alright, but Luo Xue Yan came from the bitter cold land of the Northwest region. When she was just married into the Ding capital, Luo Xue Yan could not speak the bureaucratic language and her accent was ridiculed by these Furens secretly for a long time. They mocked that the wind and sand in the Northwest region was so big that a female’s delicate skin would become rough, and the robberies were so rampant that one would be afraid of being robbed when walking on the road. As for the type of materials available, it must be all of poor quality and it would be rare to see silk in the entire year. This kind of words were extremely exaggerated but they were truly targeted at Luo Xue Yan.
Moreover, Luo Xue Yan was the only one in the capital that was a general and headed to the battlefield.
For things that one was unable to accomplish, if it was a matter that was extremely rare, everyone would tend to oppose. This was not only for females but males were also the same. Thus Luo Xue Yan was excluded by the noble female circles. In addition the previously Shen Miao was an out and out idiot, this mother and daughter were the targets of these Furen’s secret ridicules.