Chapter 1 (Part 2): Coming Back
Ren Yaoqi blinked her eyes rapidly and concealed the water which had surfaced in her eyes. She took down the lined jacket draped on her and wanted to wear it. Wet Nurse Zhu immediately came forward to help while even nagging beside Ren Yaoqi’s ears. “I also don’t know what means Third Miss employed to convince Prince Yan Bei’s Old Princess Consort. Fifth Miss, wait until Third Miss comes back, how would this Zi Wei(Zĭ Weī) Courtyard still have a place for you to stay?”
Ren Yaoqi heard what she said and indifferently glanced at Wet Nurse Zhu who was still lowering her head and hurriedly helping her to button her lapel buttons. However, she could not help but sneer inwardly. The Ren Family ten years ago indeed had many different types of evil monsters and bad characters.
These two days she had watched on with cool detachment, wanting to conscientiously see the vileness behind the layers and layers of painted skin which were thick and heavy in colors.
Wet Nurse Zhu did not detect the difference in Ren Yaoqi. She helped her button her lapel buttons and raised her head to continue to say, “The Old Madam has always liked Third Miss more than you. Third Madam also listens to her for everything. No matter how big or small the matter is, she is the one who has the final say in everything but of all people, she just has to see you as unpleasant to the eye and make things difficult for you in all aspects. She lets Third Madam also follow along and not put you as her daughter to heart and only wholeheartedly believes in her bewitchment……”
When she said until here, Wet Nurse Zhu surreptitiously glanced at Ren Yaoqi. What she found unexpected was that Ren Yaoqi only leaned against the backrest of the big chair which had a red bottom and Double Square Pattern* and was watching her silently. Her limpid eyes were like top-notch glazed tiles, tranquil and clear.
*T/n: Fangsheng Pattern
Ren Yaoqi remembered that her Third Elder Sister, Ren Yaohua(Rèn Yáohuá) had fallen into the lots pond due to pushing her Sixth Younger Brother, Ren Yihong(Rèn Yìhóng) during the autumn of the sixteenth year of the Cheng Qian Period and was punished by the Old Madam to go to the village to reflect.
Their mother, the Ren Family’s Third Madam went to find the Old Madam to plead for leniency and was refused outside the courtyard. Finally, she accompanied her Third Elder Sister to go to the village while she who was nine years old was made to remain in the Ren Family.
Her Mother, née Li was a timid and cowardly woman.
Née Li’s cowardice did not only originate from her experience of leading a vagrant life in distress when she was young.
She married into the Ren Family in the forty-seventh year of the Qing Long Period. She did not bear any children in the first two years. In the third year, she gave birth to a daughter but she died prematurely within a hundred days. In the fifth year, she gave birth to a daughter again.
At that time, the Ren Family’s Old Madam was already very dissatisfied with née Li. Luckily, after giving birth to her second daughter, she got pregnant again in the next year.
Unfortunately, née Li was destined to have a son in her life. Her third child was actually still a daughter. This was the Ren Family’s Fifth Miss, Ren Yaoqi.
The Ren Family’s Old Madam had completely given née Li a cold face. Three days after Ren Yaoqi was born, she made the decision for the Ren Family’s Third Master to receive her a concubine-born daughter from the younger sister of her maternal family, as a noble concubine.
Noble Concubine née Fang got pregnant in half a year after entering the family. After ten months of pregnancy, she gave birth to twins of different genders and established her own position in the Ren Family.
On the other hand, not only had Ren Yaoqi’s birth let her own mother’s position in the Ren Family become precarious, she was even more of an existence which let her paternal grandmother detest.
Ever since née Li started to be pregnant with Ren Yaoqi, Old Madam Ren had been full of hope for this pregnancy. She found an eminent monk to tell the fortune and also found an experienced midwife to feel the fetus. She even found a sorcerer for divination. All those people had unanimously said that this fetus was a male fetus. Therefore, Old Madam Ren was fully confident that the third fetus her daughter-in-law was pregnant with was a son.
Hence, after Ren Yaoqi was born, Old Madam Ren firmly believed that her newborn granddaughter was a demon and evildoer. She had jostled away the position originally for her grandson and she could not feel delighted about her.
On the contrary, as the Third Miss, Ren Yaohua who was also born from née Li, looked like Old Madam Ren when she was young and was also intelligent, she was thus regarded in a different light by the Old Madam.
“Fifth Miss?” Wet Nurse Zhu saw Ren Yaoqi staring at her without speaking and thought that she was getting sleepy. Therefore, she tried pushing Ren Yaoqi lightly and wondered whether she should pour another cup of cold water down.
Ren Yaoqi swept a glance at Wet Nurse Zhu’s hand placed on her arm.
Wet Nurse Zhu’s body stiffened. She raised that hand and stroked her hair as if she was trying to conceal something. She smiled as she said, “Miss, Concubine Fang said just now that Miss’ illness has already improved greatly. She’s worried that using the original prescription will be too intense and said that she will invite a physician into the residence later to take your pulse and write you a prescription once again.”
Ren Yaoqi made an ‘mhm’ sound and did not object.
However, Wet Nurse Zhu was secretly muttering in her heart, ‘How come Fifth Miss feels a bit different when I look at her these two days? She is only a child who has just turned ten but that look occasionally revealed from those pair of calm eyes made people ooze with panic?’
Towards these elderly female servants and servant girls by her side, Ren Yaoqi already did not have much impression for most of them. That was because the time they served at her side was not long. After a short while, they would all be sent away.
She could actually still remember this Wet Nurse Zhu. From the impression she had back in those days, Wet Nurse Zhu seemed to be a very genial and attentive elderly female servant. She would come up with ideas and plans for her and could be considered her confidante.
She remembered that she herself even quarrelled with her Third Elder Sister, Ren Yaohua, over this Wet Nurse Zhu and they even almost fought in the end.
However, judging based on her current experience, she did not feel that there were any desirable points about this Wet Nurse Zhu.
She was not meticulous enough when waiting upon her and was negligent in disciplining the servant girls in her courtyard. Within her words, it seemed like she was planning for this master of hers but in fact, she was driving a wedge between her relationship with Ren Yaohua in all respects.
Ren Yaohua’s temperament was overbearing and unyielding while she was stubborn and wilful when she was young. When disharmony was incited between these two people by people with certain intentions, how could Zi Wei Courtyard still be peaceful?
This time, she would no longer permit those people to take advantage of the disagreements between them sisters to make an issue out of it and plot against them.
Ren Yaoqi muttered in her heart. In this lifetime, you two definitely have to live a long life until a ripe old age.