In the Western courtyard, Shen Xin and wife had returned back to their room but Shen Qiu was still seated down unmoving.
He had a wooden face on like he was a door god sitting in front of Shen Miao’s table. That young General looked like a spring breeze normally but when his face turned black, there was an air of a hot blooded murderous male in a battlefield which made Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang afraid to approach.
“Eldest Brother.” After Shen Miao send Shen Xin and wife back to their room and sat down across him.
“Younger Sister, I have thought again and again.” Shen Qiu said, “This matter cannot be forgotten like this. My heart is block with frantic.” The ‘matter’ he was speaking about referred to Shen Qing’s and Prince Yu’s matter. Even though Shen Miao had previously concealed a part of it, but after the returning banquet’s performance, Shen Qui could roughly guess about most of the entire event. It was because he knew of such vicious and evil matter that Shen Qiu was furious. The youngest member of their family, his little Younger Sister was schemed to such a level like this for this year and almost had her life ruined. If it really befell on her, Shen Qiu did not think that they would be regretful.
Shen Miao looked at him as Shen Qiu was still speaking, “The more I think the angrier I become. Younger Sister, you must not stop me. Even if I would have to use this life to pay, I would not let them live well.”
“Eldest Brother.” Shen Miao sighed, “I had said before that there is no evidence to the matter. Since they had taken action, naturally there would not be a drop of water leaked. Moreover this also involves Prince Yu. With Prince Yu, even the Imperial family will protect so if you would to jump out, it would meant going against the Imperial family. Do you want to kill Father and Mother?”
Shen Qiu was surprised for a moment, Shen Miao’s words were so sensible that it made him ignore Shen Miao’s disrespectful and disdaining tone towards the Imperial family. He knew that what Shen Miao said was not wrong and in the beginning it was not that there were not noble families’ young ladies that were soiled by Prince Yu and those families were not as high ranking as the Shen family but at the end they held it up highly but let it go lowly. Behind Prince Yu residence was the greatest power in Ming Qi thus if there was any collision, it would be as if hitting a rock. But his heart still felt blocked as he continued, “One cannot just forget about it like this.”
“Eldest Brother, play with me a game of chess.” Shen Miao said.
“What time is it already?” Shen Qiu scratched his head, “And do not you not like to play chess?”
Shen Miao did not continue his words but set the game up. She picked the black pieces and gave the white ones to Shen Qiu and said, “The two armies confront with one another. These are your soldiers, these are my soldiers. Using the pieces as your pawns, the commanders are clear, how about vying for the entire world?”
Shen Qiu had always been keen towards the battlefield and the words said also made him interested. He said, “Alright.” Although he was a military person, he was proficient in chess. It was because playing chess and warfare had many commonalities and one could sometimes see endless number of tactics in the game.
The white and black pieces fell onto the chess board, in ravines and weaves. The blacks and whites were as if it really was a military battlefield. Shen Miao played slowly but this did not indicate that her movements were slow but gentle which was different from Shen Qiu’s sonorous steps style, with a seeming soft manner. This kind of feeling made Shen Qiu felt like a powerless blunt knife mangling the meat. Shen Qiu’s white pieces were that coercing but she got motionless, keeping her own rhythm as she placed the black pieces unhurriedly. Even though it looked like she conceded but there was not a single black piece that was missing. Occasionally Shen Qiu looked like he was about to devour her black pieces but she managed to slyly escape.
After a stick of incense there was not a single missing white or black piece off the table. No one was able to gain any advantage and no one was able to devour any piece from the other. However one was able to see clearly that Shen Qiu’s white pieces occupied the key positions and the black pieces were forced into the corner by the white pieces. If this went on, Shen Qiu needed to increase a few steps and would be able to nibble on Shen Miao’s white pieces off one by one.
Shen Qiu said, “Younger Sister, your method of escaping is very good but do you want to play like that with me the entire night? I am going to attack.”
“Just nice.” Shen Miao gently smiled, “I also have that intention.” The voice hardly finished when the black chess piece in her hands landed on a crafty position. Shen Qiu’s brows tightly wrinkled up as that position changed the entire game.
He was surprised in his heart. Just now the white pieces were coercing in every step but now it had spun a cocoon around itself, and with that one black chess piece of Shen Miao he was stuck and the overall game was reversed, and he could not even do anything.
Afterwards, Shen Miao changed her style to continuous attack and not defending, and her actions was severe like a tornado swallowing Shen Qiu’s white pieces in big gulps. In less than a moment, Shen Qiu’s white pieces that used to fill up the board, were only left with the last one.
“I have lost.” Shen Qiu smiled bitterly and looked at Shen Miao in surprise, “Younger Sister, since when had your chess skills improved to this level?”
Using the chess as the battlefield he, a military General was killed by his own Younger Sister till there was not a fragment left. This would be the biggest joke if this would be spoken. But he was also very surprised in his heart as what Shen Miao displayed was not how the chess pieces were controlled but the understanding of the overall situation. From the previous weak style to the last sharp approach, she had a calm look and it could be that how this game went was all along within her grasp.
“I do not only want to play chess with Eldest Brother.” Shen Miao shook her head and said, “Previously Eldest Brother asked if I would just forget about the matter. After this chess game, what does Eldest Brother think?”
Shen Qiu was first surprised before being startled, “You…”
In the beginning the black pieces looked soft and only defended instead of attacking but afterwards when there was the sudden turn, the overall situation was reversed and they swallowed the opponent clean. This meant that Shen Miao previously dealt with Shen Qing softly and did not resist, not because she planned to drop the matter like that but… But to wait for an opportunity to enmesh themselves in a trap of their own devising when dealing with Shen Miao and she later retaliated and returned with rewards?
“There are many ways to achieve one’s purpose.” Under the light, the young female had a black chess piece between her fingers. The fair fingers and the black piece’s had a sharp contrast which portrayed a kind of beauty. Her voice was soft as she described, “This road is impassable, then use another road. If clear ones are not possible, use the dark ones. They had already blocked their own way, so now it is our turn to play.”
Seeing a beauty under the lamp, the beauty was like a jade and Shen Miao was considered to be a delicate beauty. But at this moment even Shen Qiu could not help but look. The young female had a calm attitude but it was as if there was a hidden huge ability, an exquisite and bright heart that had long concealed the overall game in it and everyone had become a pawn.
Shen Qiu felt unsmooth in his heart. He had always felt that even though Shen Miao was not close to him, her temperament was extremely simple. With such a temperament, one fear that she would be used by others, but now he could clearly see that this Younger Sister of his had unknowingly grown up, and her abilities and schemes were incomparable to his.
“Younger Sister, I do not understand.” He said.
“If Eldest Brother believe in me then let me handle this matter.” Shen Miao said, “This kind of people like Prince Yu, would definitely find trouble for the Shen residence because of this matter. Weed must be exterminated by the roots, we do not need this kind of enemies.”
“Did not Younger Sister just said that Prince Yu residence had the Imperial family support behind so I cannot directly go against?”
“I had said earlier on that if the white roads are impenetrable, then take the dark paths. There are thousands and thousands of roads in the world, there would be one that would go through.” Shen Miao lightly said, “Prince Yu relied on the Imperial family like the fox that exploits the tiger’s might. He is after all a turtle with a shell. See how arrogant he can be when his shell is plucked out!”
Under Shen Qiu’s stunned look, Shen Miao smiled at him gently, “But Eldest Brother, I need some money, so… Those things that His Majesty bestowed, give that money to me. I have a use for it.”
Shen Qiu wanted to ask Shen Miao what she wanted to do but he did not know why once he met with Shen Miao’s bright crystal eyes, he could not say anything else. He was the dignified Deputy General Shen and would face Shen Xin and occasional even fight with him till their necks turn red. But when Shen Miao looked at him quietly, Shen Qiu would listen unconditionally. Shen Qiu spit at himself in his heart, not afraid of even the enemy’s General but scared of a little girl? It was true that the longer one live, the more one encountered.
Shen Qiu recovered to his senses and said, “Alright. I will go back and get someone to bring them over.”
“Many thanks Eldest Brother.” Shen Miao nodded, “The skies are already dark, Eldest Brother should also rest.”
“Do not worry about the matter of Prince Yu residence. Do not tell Father or Mother, I will look into it.”
Shen Qiu scratched his head as he left. When he was outside of Shen Miao’s room, he suddenly frowned. Damn, he really had the feeling of being protected by his Younger Sister!
In the room, Gu Yu carefully asked, “Young Lady, is it really needed to use so much money tomorrow?”
Shen Miao’s eyes focused intensely. Gu Yu had not seen her Young Lady having such a serious look for a long time.
She exclaimed, “I only fear that I would not be able to seize it.”
On the second day, Shen Qiu really picked a number of chests with money and brought them over to Shen Miao’s courtyard. Most likely he was afraid that Shen Miao was short of money and took out a thousand liang of banknotes from his chest and gave it to Shen Miao and said with a smile, “Younger Sister is at the age now where money is required at lots of areas and that little monthly allowance would not be enough. Take this money and if there are things you want to buy, then buy. If it is not enough then just come and look for Eldest Brother.”
The maids that were outside sweeping looked enviously at Shen Miao. Previously they felt that their Fifth Young Lady’s position in the residence was an embarrassment, and it was only good to her as she did not even know she was bullied and was indeed very pitiful. Now it seemed that it was them who were blind. Not to mention Shen Xin and wife, even Shen Qiu also doted this Younger Sister to the heavens.
Shen Miao felt unfathomable as Shen Qiu’s attitude was strange. She nodded her head and did not decline as she accepted those banknotes, “Many thanks.”
Shen Qiu was suddenly somewhat disappointed. After pondering, he waved his hands and the two guards behind immediately approached and Shen Qiu said, “These two guards of mine are both exceptional in the army and will protect you for the time being.” He was worried about Prince Yu’s next moves and if it was not for Shen Miao’s strong insistent on going out, Shen Qiu would have directly made Shen Miao stay in the house.
Shen Miao agreed and Mo Qing also followed. Shen Qiu smiled, “Your choice of guards is indeed good.”
Mo Qing had already left the identity of guarding outside the Shen residence and Shen Miao had told Shen Qiu of his identity. Shen Qiu returned the life agreement back to Mo Qing and placed him in the Shen family army. But these days he was to be Shen Miao’s bodyguard and oversaw her safety.
Bringing along three guards and two maids, Shen Miao finally left the Shen residence.
Even the coachman was someone who had martial arts that Shen Qiu searched.
Shen Qiu’s footboy said, “Young Master really protects Young Lady.”
Shen Qiu sighed. No matter how he protects, this Younger Sister was too matured thus there was no sense of accomplishment that an Older Brother should have.
“Go. Go. Go.” He waved his hand, “Return to practice the sword.”
Feng Xian Pawnshop was the largest pawnshop in the Ding capital.
Compared to other pawnshops, this one had some exceptional points. Feng Xian Pawnshop only dealt with precious items, if it was ordinary items, then the shop assistant would ‘politely’ show them the way out. Most likely the owner of the pawnshop was one who was magnanimous with money because when customers’ items were really precious enough, that pawnshop would not give a low price. But there was still another rule in Feng Xian Pawnshop, which was it would only deal with dead pawn, meaning once the item was pawned, there was no way it could be redeemed back.
But if it was one’s precious things, if things had not reached a dead end, no one would pawn it away, much less a dead pawn. Thus even though Feng Xian Pawnshop was rich and powerful and also the biggest in Ding capital, there were only few customers. In such a situation like this, this Feng Xian Pawnshop still managed to maintain itself for many years without collapsing which made one wonder how they made a living.
Today in front of this Feng Xian Pawnshop’s doors, there stopped a horse carriage.
Some of the people passing by could not help but look over, because the people who went to Feng Xian Pawnshop were those who were probably desperate to use money but this carriage looked quite sophisticated, the coachman sitting on the carriage was also not ordinary and it did not look like someone poor. It was somewhat strange why did the wealthy come over to pawn precious stuff.
The pawnshop’ shop assistant was a young grey clad boy and had a bright and capable appearance. When he saw that horse carriage stopped in front of the doors, he was also slightly surprised before a few females came out of it. Most likely the young female that was leading was a young lady of a big family as she wore a cloak with a pair of delicate brows. When she looked over, her eyes were as clear as water.
The few guards and maids came up to surround the young female and the little shop assistant went up to welcome with a smile, “Does this customer wish to pawn something?”
“There is something that needs to be pawned.” That purple clad young lady said.
“What is the thing that this customer wants to pawn? Can the goods be examined?” That little shop assistant smiled and sincerely spoke. He could see that this young lady was wealthy and respectable and his smile was even warmer. Who knew that the other person only shook her head, “I want to see the person in charge.”
“This… This is not according to the rules.” The little shop assistant shook his head and said. He had seen a number of people who came to look for trouble and there were some who were also from distinguished families, but Feng Xian Pawnshop was never afraid of these individuals.
“The thing I want to pawn is too big, you are unable to see.” That young female did not get angry but only spoke lightly.
Being looked by that pair of eyes, that little shop assistant had a feeling of falling into ice pits. He have yet to speak when he heard a charming voice, “Who wants to see me?”
From the back came a young female and this female was not considered beautiful but possessed a kind of seductive charm that made the few guards behind Shen Miao to somewhat blush.
“This guest wants to see me?” That female leisurely swayed her hips as she walked over and asked with a smile.
Shen Miao shook her head, “I want to see the one in charge, Bai Xiao Sheng.”
The female’s smile suddenly stiffened.