Chapter 24: Being punished and exchanging words
The old madame hadn’t expected her to offer all her assets. This lady was truly too honest. That was good. It meant that she probably wouldn’t have any ulterior motives.
Lin Qianzi’s head couldn’t be any lower that it was right then. She whispered, “No need. No need. It was purely an accident. Right, mother?!”
Madame Lin could tell this mistress was a wimp. Sadly, the price they paid to find out was quite heavy. Plus, the words of that little bitch from the prince’s household had pushed this beyond the limits of reasonableness. If she kept pushing for punishment, it would only ruin her own daughter’s name. Therefore, she spoke up, “Forget it. Our Lin residence can afford this kind of loss. And like my daughter said, it was an accident. My daughter is so kind hearted and tolerant… even to servants.” She waved her hand to show it was alright, but it was all an act. Little did she expect the old madame to take advantage of this situation.
The old madame smiled and said, “Madame Lin and Miss Lin are the ones who are generous and kind. If we continue talking about compensations, this will ruin the friendly atmosphere. How about it, née Bai?”
The old madame is so evil hearted. But that sentence is aptly spoken. I like it a lot! But she didn’t like the following line, because the old madame said, “Née Bai, since you committed the crime of being careless and losing etiquette on this grand occasion, go to the small Buddha hall in the courtyard and copy scriptures as a punishment. There will be no dinner for you. Come back out tomorrow!”
“Yes.” Copying the scripture wasn’t exactly a severe punishment. Therefore, the terrified Xiao Shi lifted Bai Xiangxiu up, and the two of them headed to the Buddha hall together. The sky had already began to turn dark by now. Bai Xiangxiu inhaled an icy breath of air and whispered to Xiao Shi, “Go and steal a couple snacks for us. We’ll eat it secretly at night so we don’t have to starve.”
Xiao Shi deeply stared into her mistress’ eyes, thinking, you’re going in for punishment. How can you be so sneaky?! Seeing how her mistress’ face did not reveal any signs of fear, Xiao Shi couldn’t help but shake her head and sigh. Her mistress’ heart had reached new heights in boldness! So Xiao Shi returned back to the house to sneak a few snacks and then sent her mistress into the Buddha hall. Since Bai Xiangxiu was the only one being punished, she could only wait outside.
After sitting for awhile, the sky had turned completely pitch black and the air had cooled to something resembling late fall. Bai Xiangxiu sympathetically called out, “Xiao Shi, go and wait inside the house. You’ll hear me from there even if I call you. Go on. This is the temple. Nothing will happen here.”
Xiao Shi refused originally. However, the air became more and more chilly, so eventually she listened to her mistress and left.
Bai Xiangxiu was the only person in the Buddha hall. She was extremely focused as she copied scriptures. The old madame secretly sent someone to take a look, but they soon left after seeing Bai Xiangxiu completing her task so attentively.
Bai Xiangxiu eventually grew tired from copying and decided to take a small nap on the table. She’d just finished tidying up when she heard the door open. A small shadow entered, bringing with them a whiff of lovely fragrance.
“Who are you?” This person had hair, so they weren’t a monk. But the person was wearing a monk outfit and had a male hairstyle.
“Is it Mistress Xiu? It’s me, Lin Qianzi.” The monk with hair said softly.
Holy shit. It’s the female lead.
Bai Xiangxiu immediately stood up from behind the table in welcome, “Miss Lin, what are you doing here?” The female lead had personally come to see her, so she had to give her a warm welcome. Therefore, she personally offered the female lead a seat, and completely disregarded her odd style of clothing.
The beauty was increasingly beautiful beneath the candlelight. Lin Qianzi was almost blinded by Bai Xiangxiu’s smile. Plus, her attitude was extremely friendly. There wasn’t the slightest bit of jealousy or hatred.
It was she who was her man’s fiancée, but even that little female cousin looked at her with hatred in her eyes. This concubine was so much more magnanimous. In comparison, it made her and her mother seem very dirty and despicable.
“Sorry for what happened today. You shouldn’t have been punished for it.” Lin Qianzi said awkwardly.
“Don’t worry about it. I was careless, and it wasn’t your fault.” Bai Xiangxiu knew the female lead’s intentions. The female lead must have felt her mother’s behavior to be too outrageous and wanted to apologize on her behalf. Yet, she couldn’t really blame her mother, so she sounded and looked a bit uncomfortable.
As expected, the person in front of her was beautiful on the inside and out. Lin Qianzi felt even more disgraced and couldn’t lift her head.
She whispered quietly, “The prince must treat you very well. Although I’m his fiancée, I don’t like him. But my family refuses to cancel the wedding, so I have no choice but to leave. I wish you and him happiness.”
What? The female head is still running away today? If she’s running away, why did she come here to talk to me? Oh yeah, she came to apologize to me.
Bai Xiangxiu had nothing against the female lead, but still felt that she was too easily swayed and lacked her own set of opinions.
If the female lead stayed, then perhaps the male lead wouldn’t appear at her Winter garden randomly any more. That was good. Actually, it would be best if the female lead should make it obvious she isn’t pleased with the male lead. Then, he might start chasing the female lead. So, she should appear even more kind so the female lead knows that even if she marries into the family, she won’t be of any threat to her. So, Bai Xiangxiu grabbed her hand, “Is it because you listened to the servants? They’re all speaking nonsense. Don’t believe them.”
“Ah…y-you….you could tell that day, that day….” Lin Qianzi hadn’t expected Bai Xiangxiu to see through her disguise from last time. She started to panic. If this incident was to spread, her mother would likely personally beat her to death.
Bai Xiangxiu held onto her hand and continued with the attitude of a holy mother, “Don’t worry. I didn’t mention this to anyone, not even the prince. Honestly, I just guessed it was like this that day. You cared so much about the prince that you dressed up as a pageboy and seek him out. But it wasn’t until I saw you today that I realized it was truly you.”
“Thank you for keeping this a secret, but it’s not because I care about the prince!” Lin Qianzi’s complexion didn’t look good. While the two of them were speaking, they had no idea… that their words were actually being heard by two men outside. They were the male lead and the supporting male lead. The two were actually here to visit the old madame. It wasn’t on purpose. The old madame hadn’t told them anything because she felt that men shouldn’t meddle in affairs of the rear court.
But when they were leaving, Old Servant Ye lamented how pitiful her mistress was. Although the girl was slow and stupid, she had a good heart. Therefore, she wanted to cast the prince’s fiancée in a bad light before she’d married into the prince’s household. That’s why she told them all about the punishment and the entire story. Although Long Heng appeared not to care, deep down he was quite clear about what was going on.
At the time, Song Jiaoyue had nothing better to do, and smiled, “I heard that Miss Lin was a talented girl. I didn’t expect her to be such a domineering sort.”
“Mm.” Long Heng didn’t say anything else and continued walking straight ahead. Song Jiaoyue could only follow along. In any case, they’d just finished eating. But where were they going?
They arrived outside a small Buddhist hall after a short while. They were able to see two lithe figures sitting inside from the tree they were standing under. Oh, so he wanted to visit his concubine. Song Jiaoyue was about to take his leave when he heard the exchange.
The two of them cultivated martial arts, thus their hearing was far superior than most people. They were able to hear the entire conversation. They didn’t expect Miss Lin to secretly come and see Bai Xiangxiu. Was a battle between the wife and the concubine about to start?
Unexpectedly, they didn’t fight. Instead, they were speaking very sincerely, especially Bai Xiangxiu. She’d seen through Miss Lin’s identity that day. Song Jiaoyue had thought only three people had been able to identify the page that day.
One of them was Long Heng, the second was Miss Lin’s brother, and the third was himself. Surprisingly, Mistress Xiu was also very clever. In addition, she wasn’t evil. She’d even helped the future mistress of the household conceal her plans. Was this woman truly kind and accepting, or were her intentions just deeply hidden?