And it continues, for those that thought the process was too short.
This chapter has been brought to you by me, orormunroe90, vivie and leecherleechleech.
Chapter Eighty One Inviting Humiliation
The side hall was very quiet. Qu Qing Ju sat on the chair as she looked at the shattered cup on the floor, her expression dark.
He Heng indicated for the servants to sweep away the broken shards of porcelain. He rarely saw such a dazed expression on Qu Qing Ju’s face. But he didn’t want to see it anymore so he couldn’t resist going up to her and deliberately rubbed her face, smiling as he teased: “What, you don’t have any more energy after that outburst?”
Qu Qing Ju raised her head to look at the mirth on his face. She looked seriously into his eyes and from his purposely relaxed expression, she found the concern that was hidden behind his smile. She forced a smile: “I have just discovered that he’s not worthy of my mother and I.” She wasn’t clear as to why the Tian Family had married their daughter off to the Qu Family, but she’d heard that it was due to a promise made by the previous generation.
These parents, because of their own feelings, didn’t care for their children’s desires and carelessly gave them away in a marriage. They glorified the marriage of their children as a means of proving their friendship with each other. Or did they believe that because the elders were friends, their children would be happily married and the husband wouldn’t neglect the wife?
The reality was always harsher than the ideal. Qu Tian shi didn’t receive gentle treatment from the Duke of Chang De just because their elders had been friends. Did the old Marquess of Xiang Qing, who hadn’t passed away at that time, ever regret it?
She wasn’t a person from ancient times, so she couldn’t understand their mentality. But if she had children in the future, she would be reluctant to treat them that way.
“I know,” He Heng gathered the person into his arms, quietly promising, “The people who had bullied you in the past, I will remember them for you. We will live for a long time so don’t harm your body for these people. We will find an opportunity for you to bully them back.”
Qu Qing Ju sat on the chair as she put her head into He Heng’s lap. She listened to the man holding her tell how she could bully the people who once bullied her. That bit of grief in her heart had already disappeared without a trace. She turned to wrap an arm around him, laughing as she rubbed her head on his waist.
The servants all cautiously lowered their heads, not daring to look at the two zhuzi. But a smile was on the mouths of Mu Jin and the others. It seemed that no matter how Chang De Gong Fu was, wang ye wouldn’t lessen his affections for wang fei.
These days, all the servants of Rui Wang Fu were trembling with fear. It was an open secret in the fu, which they didn’t dare to spread outside, that wang ye and wang fei weren’t on good terms. The fact that wang fei extremely disliked Qu ce fei of Xi Ce Yuan was something that everyone knew. But because Qu ce fei was favoured by wang ye, no servant dared to offend Qu ce fei.
In the days after the details of Chang De Gong Fu’s circumstances leaked, there was more idle talk among the servants. Even though they didn’t dare to openly mention it in front of Qu Yue Su, Qu Yue Su could still detect that the eyes of the servants as they looked at her weren’t right. As she faced the curious or disdainful stares of the servants, she could only bitterly endure and not show even a hint of discontent.
“Qu ce fei, wang fei asks to meet you,” A taijian came in and bowed to Qu Yue Su nonchalantly. He said in a neutral tone, “Wang fei said that if Qu ce fei doesn’t have the time, it’s fine not to go, but then wang fei will reject the card of the Duchess of Chang De.”
“It must have been an inconvenience for gonggong to pass on the news. I will go immediately,” Qu Yue Su didn’t seem to notice the slight the taijian gave her, smiling as she stood from the chair. She also let Yao Xi shove a pouch to the taijian.
It wasn’t that she wished to endure it, but this taijian in front of her was most favoured by wang fei. She was just a shiqie so she didn’t dare offend him. After the taijian left, the smile on Qu Yue Su’s face completely disappeared as she ordered, “Yao Xi, help me dress.”
By now, Chang De Gong Fu must be a mess. She didn’t even need to guess to know that their so-called friends and relatives were hiding far away.
Qin Bai Lu disdainfully looked at the card in her hand and carelessly threw it to one side: “This Chang De Gong Fu is such a joke that they actually came begging to our fu.”
Ru Hua, who was standing behind her, inquired in a small voice: “Wang fei, if that’s the case, why would you allow Qu shi to see her paternal family?” Wasn’t that giving Qu shi an opportunity?
“Why not let her see?” Qin Bai Lu smiled coldly, “I want her to see if wang ye would really aid the Qu and Liang Families for her.”
Ru Huan looked at wang fei’s icy stare and didn’t speak any longer. By now, wang fei and wang ye were at the stage where they had nothing to say to each other. Wang fei’s hatred towards Qu shi became more and more evident. Now that the situation had turned out like this, unless Qu shi was spurned by wang ye, there was no other way for it to end.
A short while later, Qin Bai Lu saw Qu Yue Su dressed in a slightly old, plain dress as she came in. She looked at this woman who respectfully bowed to her in greeting, a hint of mirth appearing on her lips: “The Duchess of Chang De asks to see you. I’m not a cruel person, so I will allow your mother and you to see each other at Xi Ce Yuan. What does Qu ce fei think?”
“Nubi thanks wang fei,” Qu Yue Su almost bent in half. She looked at the disdain in Qin Bai Lu’s gaze and gritted her teeth as she turned and walked out of the gate of zhengyuan.
Qin Bai Lu didn’t really sympathize with her. She wanted to see her begging. The more Qu Yue Su’s family situation worsened, the more happier Qin Bai Lu became.
Taking Yao Xi’s hand to support her as she returned to Xi Ce Yuan, she sat for a long time before a servant led Liang shi into the door. Qu Yue Su looked at her mother whose complexion had become more fragile, and stood to welcome Liang shi.
“Su’er,” Liang shi looked at her daughter, her tears pouring before she even spoke, “Our fu is not in a very good situation.”
Qu Yue Su supported her in sitting down and comforted her: “Mother, don’t cry. First, tell me what’s happening outside.” Now that she was in the houyuan of the wang fu, she didn’t hear much news. She only knew that there were many people at court who were censuring her paternal family but didn’t know much else.
Liang shi wiped away her tears as she gave a complete narration of the condition of her home. When she mentioned that Qu Qing Ju wasn’t willing to help, her voice held hatred: “If I had known that damned yatou would one day act like this, I wouldn’t have left her alive in the beginning!”
After hearing this, Qu Yue Su gave a bitter smile. She said helplessly: “Mother, now that it’s like this, it’s useless to complain. Right now, no one is willing to help us. Not even the heavens or the earth would respond.”
“Even your didi was persuaded to leave the Eastern Mountain Academy. I had originally planned for him to attend the Autumn Examinations. Now that it’s like this, how could your didi get a good score?” As she thought of her son, Liang shi’s expression became even uglier, “The most horrid is the Tian Family. They had to pull out the matter from ten years ago.”
Qu Yue Su felt that it wouldn’t end very well this time, but looking at her mother’s face, she couldn’t say it.
“Su’er, you are this wang fu’s ce fei. Why don’t you beg Rui Wang? Rui Wang is most favored by the Emperor. If Rui Wang could say a few words on behalf of our family, it would be more useful than anything else,” Liang shi tightened her grip on Qu Yue Su’s hand, “Just help our fu in thinking of some more solutions.”
Her hand hurt from being gripped so tightly. Qu Yue Su felt bitter inside. She was only a shiqie, she had no qualifications to ask wang ye to do something for her. But once faced her mother’s pleas, she could only nod and decide, “I’ll go beg wang ye. If wang ye doesn’t agree … …”
“Rui Wang will most certainly agree,” The fear on Liang shi’s face halved. She looked at the beautiful face of her daughter and stated confidently, “I’ve even heard it outside. Rui Wang likes you very much. If you begged, why wouldn’t he agree?”
Thinking of wang ye’s attitude towards her these days, Qu Yue Su could only squeeze out a small smile and didn’t say a word.
Mother and daughter didn’t manage to speak for much longer before the steward came in to rush them out. Liang shi assumed that it was wang fei who got jealous of her daughter and left unwillingly. As she came out of Rui Wang Fu’s front gate, Liang shi thought with some smugness, so what if Qu Qing Ju was a wang fei? She wasn’t willing to help her lao ye. In the end, didn’t the hopes of the fu lie with the daughter she gave birth to?
The moonlight was like frost. Qin Bai Lu looked at the bright moon outside and asked Ru Hua in a mirthless voice: “Wang ye went to Xi Ce Yuan?”
Ru Hua nodded, “Just now, someone saw wang ye heading that way.”
Qin Bai Lu unexpectedly laughed out loud. It was carefree yet full of sorrow. The laugh grew louder and dissipated into the night.
He Yuan released his hand which had been holding Qu Yue’s chin and allowed her to tilt the cup for him to drink wine. He mockingly put his hand at the softness of her chest: “Why is beauty so enthusiastic today?! Is there something she wants to ask for?”
Qu Yue Su’s heart jumped. She then gave an enchanting smile and said: “What is wang ye saying? Qie sincerely wants to serve you.”
“Really?” He Yuan examined her closely. Just when the smile on her face was going to break, he said, “Such a pity. Originally, ben wang was thinking that if you had something to ask, ben wang would try to help. Since you don’t have anything, a minute of the spring night is worth a thousand gold so we should live in the present.”
Sliding into the man’s arms, Qu Yue Su reached out to trace He Yuan’s chest: “Qie does have a small matter. Wang ye’s eyes are keen to have found me out.”
“Oh?” He Yuan held one arm around her, the other hand holding a wine cup as he asked, “What matter does beauty have?”
“Qie wanted to ask about Chang De Gong Fu … …”
He Yuan pushed the person in his arms away, not caring that she had fallen to the floor. He Yuan placed the wine cup on the table and sneered: “Ben wang didn’t think that you would be shameless enough to mention this matter.”
“Wang ye,” Qu Yue Su’s expression changed. She knelt in front of He Yuan, reaching out to hug his leg as she pleaded, “Wang ye, please save qie’s paternal family, qie… …”
“From beginning to end, ben wang had never even looked at Chang De Gong Fu,” He Yuan sneered and kicked her aside. He slowly stood, “If it wasn’t for finding your eyes somewhat attractive, ben wang wouldn’t have taken you into the fu. Just a qie, did you really think that you are ben wang’s heart?”
He didn’t even look at the woman he had kicked, now sprawled on the floor. He adjusted his clothes, “So disappointing. It seems that Qing Liu of Dong Yuan is still more tactful.”
Qu Yue Su covered the chest that had been kicked and struggled to sit up. She only looked at He Yuan’s back as he unhesitatingly left. The silver moonlight illuminated his shoulders, and for no discernible reason, made her feel colder.