This is called “borrowing someone else’s knife”.
Chapter 12 Rage for a Beautiful Woman
“This box should have been given to wang fei a long time before, but it was just that when wang fei was getting married, it was forgotten in the rush,” Liang shi gave the box to Mu Jin. Seeing Qu Qing Ju take the sandalwood box from Mu Jin, she continued in a choked up voice: “I’ve been keeping it these past years, waiting to give it to you one day.”
The purple color of the sandalwood looked aged but there was still a faint scent when held in one’s hands. A gold lock was formed into the shape of a cloud. The lock had been opened already. Qu Qing Ju only had to lift the lid to see what was inside.
The hand that held the lid paused slightly. In a deep part of her soul, she felt the strong desire of this body towards the box. She could feel the hate and helplessness of a neglected and helpless little girl.
Slowly opening the box, inside there was high-quality cloth laid out and on top of the cloth was a single jade pendant. Fine mutton-fat jade had been carved into the shape of a gourd. The shape of peanuts were carved finely onto the gourd along with the words “Live for a hundred years.” Her heart jumped and a length of memory, like a movie scene, floated to the top of her mind. The original Qu Qing Ju had always wanted to get this jade gourd from Liang shi but Liang shi deliberately kept it away. Now she was, of her own initiative, handing it over, and pretending to be a good person in front of so many people. She was most likely scared that Qu Qing Ju was going to act against her in the future.
“Jiejie had somebody prepare this jade gourd very early that year, but jiejie passed away. In the rush, the jade store sent the pendant to me,” As Liang shi talked, her eyes reddened, “Jiejie died too young, her only concern was you, wang fei. In the past, I was worried that wang fei was too young and would lose what jiejie had left you, so I kept it for you. Now that wang fei has grown up, this jade gourd should be given into wang fei’s care.” She scanned Qu Qing Ju up and down and said ruefully, “Seeing what wang fei looks like now, jiejie in heaven will be happy.”
She lifted a hand to take out the jade gourd pendant. The feel of it was warm and smooth. Because it was carved to be small, there wasn’t much weight to it. It was possible to see that Tian shi had wanted to, at Qu Qing Ju’s hundred-day celebration, put the gourd on her body.
The nobility had the fashion of giving children a hundred-day celebration. When the child reached a hundred days, the elders would personally put on the child charms for a long life. Most of the charms would have magic clouds and peanuts and other objects of good fortune along with the words “To live until a hundred years.” This was to symbolize locking down a person’s life and that the gods would protect the child to live a hundred years.
Pity the love of mothers in this world, Tian shi died so young. The rumors outside said that she became ill due to anger, but a woman that, at the very end, still ordered for her child a jade gourd, would she be so weak as to die due to anger? Mothers grow strong in protection of their children. Tian shi wasn’t the type to fall into sadness, would she not care for her newborn daughter and get so angry as to die?
“Very early in life, I heard Gao mama say, not long after my birth, mother had ordered a jade gourd pendant for my hundred-day gift. But sadly, ten years ago mother made Gao mama retire and I never even once saw the jade gourd that mama mentioned. I didn’t think that mother had been keeping it for me all this time.” The hand that held the gourd tightened. Qu Qing Ju, in front of the females present put the jade gourd on her neck, her eyes reddening, “As a daughter, I troubled my mother to be pregnant for ten months. Even into death, my mother was concerned for me. The fact that I could not reciprocate, it is a failure of my filial piety.” In the previous life, her parents had died early in a car crash but until the last moment, they had been thinking about her. Seeing this jade gourd pendant, she felt her heart twist and felt that the people of this Chang De Gong Fu was extremely disgusting, to the point of throwing up if she had to look at them.
“Wang fei,” Seeing the situation, Mu Jin gazed worriedly at Qu Qing Ju. But she was a servant and couldn’t freely comfort her.
“When the child wants to show filial love, the parents are not there … …” Qu Qing Ju stood, looking at the smiling Liang shi. The emotions on her face gradually faded and her face became expressionless, “The care that mother has given Qing Ju, Qing Ju will never forget in this life. In the future, Qing Ju will definitely return the benevolence that mother has given in the past.”
Qu lao taitai had been feeling uneasy the entire time and seeing Qu Qing Ju was speaking so clearly, she couldn’t keep the genial expression up on her face. She wanted to speak to ease the tension but she didn’t manage in time.
“Today is father’s birthday and I should stay a bit longer. But there are many things to do in the wang fu so I have to leave,” Qu Qing Ju bent slightly towards Qu lao taitai, “This granddaughter makes her farewells. Furen, we will meet in the future.”
Everybody saw that Duan Wang Fei’s face was nothing to worry about but they didn’t make her stay. Liang shi, this stepmother, did things in such an unsightly manner that Duan Wang Fei couldn’t endure any longer. Not just Duan Wang Fei, but all children in this world, if they had to face such things, they couldn’t endure.
Qu lao taitai couldn’t sit any longer and could only stand to personally send away Qu Qing Ju. Duan Wang Fei, whose mother had died early, at the birthday banquet of her father, didn’t stay to watch the plays but left with red eyes. If this passed into the ears of others, this entire Chang De Gong Fu, what honor would they have left?
Everybody else stood to see her off, but when they reached the outside hall, Qu Qing Ju stopped them. Her white face held a smile: “All the furen don’t have to be so courteous, on another day, I will invite all of you to a gathering.”
Everybody accepted. Qu lao taitai still wanted to walk a bit further, but Qu Qing Ju stopped her. She smilingly said: “Grandmother is old now, we can’t let you send off your granddaughter, otherwise granddaughter would be unfilial.” Finishing, she ordered Mu Jin who was by her side, “Send somebody to give word to wang ye, I’m going to return first.”
Qu lao taitai had no other way but to see Qu Qing Ju leave. She turned to look coldly at Liang shi, and for the first time ever, she held onto shu daughter Qu Hui Xue’s hand to return to the play. The common people said “ to marry a wife was to marry virtue.” The Duke of Chang De, now that he had this woman, Liang shi, sooner or later he would lose everything.
Once Qu Qing Ju left, many of the womenfolk that had come to attend the banquet who had done so due to Duan Wang Fu stood and made their farewells. In less than an hour, more than half of the female guests left.
On the side of the male guests, He Heng, as a wang ye, naturally sat on the seat of the honoured guests. The person sitting beside him was Qu Wang Zhi. He didn’t have any interest in honouring others so he didn’t pay any attention to any others. But even so, there were still many people that came up to fawn over him.
An act of “Magu giving her birthday greetings” hadn’t finished when Qian Chang Xin had came over to Duan Wang’s side and spoke a few words. Qu Wang Zhi, who had been sitting behind Duan Wang faintly heard the words “wang fei.”
“What?!” Duan Wang’s brows slightly creased. The face that had originally carried a friendly if polite smile froze. He placed the teacup in his hands on the table, the flower teacup making a crisp sound.
The Duke of Chang De, who had been paying attention to this side, felt his heart skip a beat. He didn’t know what had enraged wang ye. Others pretended to casually look towards Duan Wang.
“The way that Chang De Gong Fu treats their guests has really widened the horizons of ben wang,” Duan Wang smiled frigidly as he stood, “Qian Chang Xin, let’s leave.”
“Wang ye, this … …” The Duke of Change De knew that something had gone majorly wrong and hurriedly came up to make his apologies. But He Heng didn’t even give him a glance but said coldly, “Ben wang came today to accompany wang fei and knew that the Duke of Chang De was very much in mutual love with his wife. But ben wang’s wang fei, she is still the duke’s di daughter. This fu has treated her so, is it that my Duan Wang Fu is being looked down at?!” Finishing, he didn’t wait for the Duke of Chang De to respond, and swept away.
The daren[i] that had been present paused for a beat before managing to respond. Many of them had heard the past events of Chang De Gong Fu, but everyone were male so they hadn’t paid attention to this type of things. But they didn’t think that Chang De Gong Fu’s people would be this ludicrous. It didn’t matter just how the servants had treated the deceased Tian shi’s daughter originally in this fu, but she was Duan Wang Fei now. Treating her rudely was treating Duan Wang rudely. Wasn’t this akin to slapping Duan Wang in the face over and over?
Even if Duan Wang was friendlier than Rui Wang, he wouldn’t tolerate such disrespect. It seems that this Chang De Gong Fu was more and more foolish. Everybody stood and made their farewells, not caring how terrible the face of the Duke of Chang De looked. They had made wang ye angry enough to leave so why would they say? Or did they have to tell Duan Wang, wang ye, you go be angry by your lonesome, we’re good friends with the Duke of Chang De and still want to stay here with the duke to drink tea and watch plays?
The Duke of Chang De was foolish, but they weren’t. At this time, it was best to leave early. They had to pity the Duan Wang couple for coming to attend the celebration but were provoked by dumb people into leaving earlier.
The busy birthday banquet instantly became silent and cold. The Duke of Chang De threw the teacup in his hands to the floor. Hearing the e-e-ya-ya of the voices on the stay, he felt even more furious and shouted angrily: “Why are you still singing, get off!”
“Father,” Qu Wang Zhi worriedly supported him, “Don’t be angry, think about your body.”
“I don’t need a body!” The Duke didn’t bear to push aside his only son so he threw another teacup, “Go ask your mother, what happened to make Duan Wang this angry?”
Qu Wang Zhi looked at the servants standing in the surroundings and felt that it wasn’t good for father to mention his mother so he persuaded: “At this time, grandmother and mother must be in houyuan. We could go ask together.”
Liang Rong, who had seen the guests off, stood to one side and also urged: “We don’t know what happened, Uncle shouldn’t be angry. Responding after we know what happened wouldn’t be too late.”
The Duke of Change De managed to force down his anger and, with an ashen face, walked into houyuan.
When He Heng entered the carriage, he saw his wang fei’s eyes were slightly red, and had been visibly unhappy. The rage he had suppressed originally rose again: “Wang fei, who hurt you, tell ben wang, ben wang will help you take revenge.”
Qu Qing Ju raised her head to look at him. Seeing the rage in his eyes wasn’t fake, she said: “Nobody can hurt Duan Wang Fei, but it’s just sadness from remembering the past.”
“I accompanied you today just so I could support you. You don’t have to be ashamed,” Thinking, He Heng added, “Not just today, in the future, other than those few in the palace, you don’t have to yield to anyone.” Finished speaking, he found that on Qu Qing Ju’s neck, there was a new addition of a fine jade gourd and looked twice.
“Isn’t wang ye afraid that qie would be arrogant in her acts in the future and ruin Duan Wang Fu’s reputation,” Qu Qing Ju touched the jade gourd at her chest, the warm feeling making her smile.
“Wang fei isn’t such an ignorant woman,” He heng moved his gaze aside, smiling happily, “Moreover, if it was you, Qing Ju, arrogance is not a disadvantage.”
Two pairs of eyes met. Qu Qing Ju gradually moved aside her gaze, revealing a warm smile.
These words, who believed them?
[i] 大人: adult, general term used to refer to those of status