Edited by TnyhyChapter 99: Adulterer (Part 1)
It was a lively new year in the Shen residence.
Originally it was because of Ren Wan Yun’s and Shen Qing’s matters that the atmosphere of the General's residence became depressing, but after the arrival of Jing Chu Chu and Jing Guan Sheng, Old Shen Furen was filled with enthusiasm. She often allowed both siblings to walk around the General's residence and Shen Yue was one who was accustomed to deal with people, thus in a short time she and Jing Chu Chu refer to one another as sisters but no one knew if it was sincere or not.
Although Shen Yue treated Jing Chu Chu and brother well, the place where this pair of siblings liked to run the most was the Western courtyard. Especially Jing Chu Chu, who often sent over snacks to those who were practicing swordplay. With the previous experience, when coming over she brought a share of soup for everyone, but as compared to the soup that Shen Miao made, the taste was not as wonderful. Those soldiers were frank and outspoken people and keep constantly thinking about the soup that Shen Miao made, and did not show much gratitude to Jing Chu Chu’s efforts.
Today was also the case, after the food that Jing Chu Chu brought over was finished, Shen Qiu did not talk with her and wanted to continue practicing his sword but was stopped by Jing Chu Chu, “Biao Older Brother…”
“It is better for Biao Younger Sister to return earlier.” Shen Qiu smiled candidly, “The people here practicing swordplay are all coarse and there are no eyes on swords, thus it would not be good is one accidentally hurts you. Besides, you keep on running here all day and you are a female so it is not a good thing to watch us males practice swords.”
It was actually an order to expel the guest.
Jing Chu Chu’s face flushed red in a moment and looked at Shen Qiu incredulous. Her eyes were wavering with ripples, as if in the next moment she would be crying. Normal males would have long have tender and protective feelings for the fairer gender when they saw her actions. But Shen Qiu was not one who appreciated beautiful people and just stood there blankly without even going forward to comfort.
Seeing Shen Qiu being like this, Jing Chu Chu’s originally flushed face became white suddenly. She hurriedly lowered her head and picked up the basket, “Chu Chu understand.” Shen then picked her skirt up and ran away. Those who did not know would think that Shen Qiu did something to her.
After Jing Chu Chu left a person appeared behind the column, it was Shen Miao who then said, “Eldest Brother, you really do not know how to cherish flowers.”
“Hei hei.” Shen Qiu scratched his head, “I am afraid that Younger Sister will get angry?”
“Why would I be angry?” Shen Miao said flutteringly.
Shen Qiu suddenly felt a burst of cold wind whizzed by and he said, “Younger Sister do not like Biao Younger Sister.”
“I have no grudges against Biao Older Sister so how would I not like?” Shen Miao retorted.
“Jiao Jiao, is it that that girl bullied you in secret?” Shen Xin who just finished practicing the sword walked over and coincidently heard the conversation between Shen Qiu and Shen Miao and said, “If she bully you, do not speak anymore and beat her up!”
“What nonsense are you talking?” Luo Xue Yan saw them talking lively and also walked over. When she heard him she glared at Shen Xin, “Jiao Jiao, do not listen to your father’s nonsense. How can a young lady casually make a move? If she really bully you, come back and tell Mother. Mother will beat her up for you.”
“That is still a beating.” Shen Qiu muttered, “It is better for me to go give a beating since I am young and strong.”
Shen Miao said, “She did not bully me.”
“Then why does Jiao Jiao not like her?” Luo Xue Yan asked. Even slow witted people were able to see that Shen Miao did not like Jing Chu Chu. As long as Jing Chu Chu comes over, Shen Miao would ask Shen Qiu to practice shooting darts. It was actually quite merciless to shoot darts and usually Shen Xin and the rest would not do it in the residence, fearing that it would scare the maids. After all it does not look good as they used little active animals as live targets. Every time Jing Chu Chu came over, Shen Miao would say, “Father, Eldest Brother, I want to watch darts shooting.”
Jing Chu Chu would pale every single time but would still stand at the side and often vomited after watching. Shen Miao enjoyed this and never seemed tired of it as her heart felt comfortable every time Jing Chu Chu vomited. Over time, everyone in the courtyard could see that Shen Miao deliberately messed with Jing Chu Chu.
Shen Xin and the rest did not quite understand but upon seeing Shen Miao throwing a temper, they thought that it was most likely some discord between young ladies, and because it was not good for men to directly intervene in young ladies’ matter, they let Shen Miao continue with her temper. Most likely they were just too curious that they could not help but ask.
“I do not dislike her.” Shen Miao said. Just as she finished speaking, Jing Zhe who was standing at the side opened her mouth, “Young Lady like quietness but that Biao Young Lady and Biao Young Master often come over to talk to Young Lady. Especially that Biao Young Master who just had to chat with Young Lady. Young Lady had always not like to talk to strangers and it is assumed that it is a bit annoying.”
Jing Zhe made those remarks with a serious expression and Shen Miao could not help but turn back and look at her. Shen Xin’s and Luo Xue Yan’s faces changed as Jing Zhe’s words on the surface sounded that Shen Miao was annoyed by the siblings from the Jing family, but actually there were additional meaning to the words. For a Biao Young Master to often come over to talk to a Biao Younger Sister, it was somewhat of an effort of entanglement. Luo Xue Yan angrily spoke, “What is the meaning of that nephew of yours?”
“Furen quell your anger.” Shen Xin quickly soothed before turning to Shen Qiu, “You brat, you have arranged so many guards in the courtyard and still did not discover that your Younger Sister is disturbed by those cats and dogs?”
Shen Qiu felt wronged, “I really did not discover…”
Naturally Shen Qiu would not discover anything because the places that Jing Guan Shen chose to encounter with Shen Miao were not in the courtyard. It was either at the residence’s doors or in the gardens or even at the corridor. In short, it was always a ‘chance encounter’.
“Go and guard the courtyard’s door properly. If those two siblings are seen, just say that the courtyard need to be closed to practice swordplay. No one can let them in!” Shen Xin roared.
Shen Qiu immediately went to select the people.
Luo Xue Yan caressed Shen Miao’s head, “Jiao Jiao, in the future if that person come and disturb you. Do not need to be courteous with them. Beat him up.”
Shen Xin, “…”
After Luo Xue Yan and Shen Xin returned back to the training grounds, Shen Miao’s gaze fluttered towards Jing Zhe, “You have too much words.”
“This servant knows one’s mistake. But Young Lady,” Jing Zhe hanged her head down, “That Biao Young Master is obviously up to no good with you. Since you have long saw it, why not tell Master and Furen about it?”
“Jing Guan Sheng is an astute person.” Shen Miao lightly smiled, “It is a waste to discard an astute person. By borrowing strength to leverage against strength, there is use if I were to keep him. But,” She turned the topic of discussion, “Since you mentioned it today, there would be some things that would speed up so let us just wait and see.”
After Shen Qiu arranged guards at the Western courtyard’s doors and strictly guarded against the two siblings, Jing Chu Chu and Jing Guan Sheng, the Western courtyard quieted by a lot. Without the interferences from both siblings, Shen Miao was freer. But since it was peaceful here, there would be people who got anxious.
In Rong Jing Tang, Old Shen Furen was staring at Jing Chu Chu, as if the previous affection was just illusions, “Chu Chu, what did you do? Why is it you cannot even get into the Eldest one’s courtyard?”
Jing Chu Chu lowered her head with some aggravation and softly said, “One did not know why but Fifth Younger Sister seemed to be very on guard with me. Biao Older Brother treats me rather well but Fifth Younger Sister always make him alienate me. The guards at the courtyard doors were also much stricter.”
“Again with Fifth girl!” Old Shen Furen’s face turned green and Zhang Mama who was standing beside quickly patted her back and comforted, “Old Furen be appeased.”
“That girl is so smart. Never mind with your brother, now even you are also guarded against to this level. This angers me to death!” Old Shen Furen’s original intention for Jing Guan Sheng and Jing Chu Chu was that one would deal with Shen Miao, and the other would deal with Shen Qiu. But Shen Miao was after all a female and in matters of female and male, once anything happen, the one who suffers would always be the female. With Shen Xin’s and Luo Xue Yan’s temperament, most likely they would take action. As for Shen Qiu, the person who suffers was Jing Chu Chu so logically this would be skewed to their side. Previously the Western courtyard people were all very casual and since they were people who fight on the battlefield, they were not preoccupied of these little things but who knew that the Western courtyard started to change their behaviour, and now they even locked up their courtyard’s doors.
“Old Furen,” Zhang Mama sighed, “This kind of attitude of Fifth Young Lady, one fear that she is already suspicious of Biao Young Lady, thus one fear that there will be some difficulties to move a step forward."
When Jing Chu Chu heard this, her heart was somewhat humiliated. She feel that she is pretty and smart and in the SuZhou region, even Gentleman Wang Sun would also fall for her soft and weak act, thus she felt so unhappy at the moment.
“What you mean is…” Old Shen Furen frowned.
“Serious illness requires ferocious medication.” Zhang Mama reminded, “If this matter were to drag on, it would be too late when Eldest Master arranged any marriage with whichever Young Lady of noble families.”
Old Shen Furen quickly reacted and played along, “What you say is not wrong. If one wait till that time, it would be too late.” She looked towards Jing Chu Chu and a loving smile appeared on her face but when others see that smile, it looked very fake. She said, “Chu Chu, do you actually want to marry Qiu-er or not?”
Jing Chu Chu hang her head down, “Want.”
“Are you willing to do anything to marry Qiu-er?”
Jing Chu Chu was surprised for a moment and vaguely guessed it out before her heart started jumping. When dealing with a male, she was able do it skillfully and easily. Chu Chu’s pitiful look enabled her to grab onto the hearts of the rich and wealthy young masters easily. But in the General's residence, Shen Qiu was the Di son of the Formidable Great General and that could not be compared with wealth, so naturally she would be moved. Even though she had never done such a thing before but hearing Old Shen Furen’s words, it was as if a lot of golden leaves and silver flowers appeared. She clenched her fists and said softly, “Chu Chu… Is willing.”
Old Shen Furen smiled in satisfaction.
For a few continuous days, the Shen residence had calmed down a lot, as Jing Chu Chu and Jing Guan Sheng stayed at Rong Jing Tang’s courtyard and not go out, no one knew what they were fiddling about.
This day when Shen Miao was walking along the corridor to head out, coincidently she met Jing Chu Chu. Jing Chu Chu was wearing a white jacket with a light jade green coloured skirt with a jasper hanging. In the Ding capital, young ladies from ShuZhou were considered a unique flavour and it was enough to make passersby to stop.
“Fifth Younger Sister.” Jing Chu Chu rushed over to greet her.
Shen Miao smiled gently, “Where is Biao Older Sister going?”
It was rare for Shen Miao to talk to Jing Chu Chu so she was startled for a moment before speaking, “Returning to the room to do some embroidery.” She lowered her head shyly, “Anyways, there is nothing else to do.”
“Since there is nothing to do, then why not go out with me.” Shen Miao said, “I am about to go to the jewellery shop to select some. If you do not mind, you can also go and pick some jewellery.”
Jing Chu Chu this time was stunned as Shen Miao usually treated her lukewarmly and no matter how she tried to get closer, it would be unsuccessful. But it was an unprecedented thing to be willing to bring her out. Jing Chu Chu had seen many infighting between the yiniangs and tongfangs in her own backyard, and thus her first reaction was alarm. But after hearing that Shen Miao was going to the jewellery shop, her eyes suddenly brightened.
She seemed to be sizing Shen Miao up. Shen Miao was wearing a snow green coloured dress with lightly inked crane patterns on her skirt and overall there was only colour. She always wore dark and deep colours but did not look at all old-fashioned, and instead made her complexion look like jade and very noble. Jing Chu Chu was secretly jealous as she thought that her appearance was not far from Shen Miao, but when she stood together with Shen Miao, she inevitably felt ashamed. Shen Miao’s air of nobility was inborn and with one look, one could tell that Jing Chu Chu was from a small family.
The more one was jealous, the more yearning one would have. Jing Chu Chu’s eyes fell onto the lotus pearl hairpin on Shen Miao’s hair. That pearl was big and round, almost blinding Jing Chu Chu’s eyes with its flashing lustre when it moved. She quickly lowered her head so that her greedy gaze were out of other's view. Jing Chu Chu said, “Since Fifth Younger Sister has no one to accompany, then I will go along together.”
Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang walked behind and there was a flash of slight contempt in their eyes. She was after all from a small family and was superficial. Just a little jewellery was enough to lead her by the nose, no wonder Shen Miao said that Jing Chu Chu was one not to be feared.