Chapter 24.1 : Life’s Just a Great Big Show Everywhere
It was a straight flush of women.
But, the expressions on their faces were exceptionally interesting to see.
There was doubt, surprise, and a series of complex emotions, but with the exception of joy.
Everyone in the manor knew that the Duchess was no simple character. Although the outside world praised her to be a perfect and virtuous wife, gentle and generous, but only those who have really spent some time together with her knew that the woman was not as harmless as she seemed to be on the surface.
Here they were seated for almost a good two hours already and she still had not arrived.
She had clearly been the one who sent people to come inform them of the time and out of respect for her, they had all come a quarter of an hour earlier. But two hours have passed now and there hadn’t been a sign of her at all.
But no one dared to harbour any complaint. The other party was not only the Eternal Peace Duke’s Manor’s Lady proper, she was also the only daughter of the highly ranked High General Mo, who served two generations of the reigning regime. With her illustrious identity placed prominently before her, it was enough to make everyone swallow back down any indignance most readily.
After about another stick of incense’s time has passed, the people then saw two figures come walking slowly in from outside.
One of them was dressed in maroon, with pretty looks, the Duchess’ most trusted personal aide, Yan Fei.
She was holding the other person, who was formally dressed in beautiful and noble sapphire blue, her figure still slender and her skin fair and smooth, looking rather young and pretty, though she was a woman close to forty. She had maintained herself to look like a young lady who had just gotten married, still fully able to capture people’s hearts.
Looks like in the past years that she shut herself in in seclusion, she had not only been keeping to a vegetarian fast!
All the ladies’ hearts were filled with all kinds of jealous envy and hatred, but none of them dared to display a lack of etiquette, with everyone standing up to greet: “Our respects to the Duchess.”
Mo Han Yan stepped in slowly to walk over to the main seat. After she sat down, she then opened her mouth to say without emotion: “Have a seat!”
“Thank you Duchess!”
“The Duchess I, am not feeling too well, and as I been keeping to a vegetarian fast and needed to cleanse myself, I was delayed for awhile. I must have kept everyone waiting for a long time.” Mo Han Yan with courteous etiquette, but there wasn’t the slightest sliver of apology behind her words.
“Haha. The Duchess is too courteous. It does not matter at all for us to wait for awhile. Health is more important.” Who didn’t know how to spout these words of polite courtesy? The Left Royal Concubine Bai Qing was incredibly smooth and slick, a highly socially adept person, skilled at smoothing things over, and she had resolved that tense atmosphere so very easily.
“In that case, then let’s dine!” Mo Han Yan curled up her lips, in a manner that felt rather disdainful, when her eyes suddenly raised up slightly. “Where are those two children from the Tranquil Abode?”
The moment those words came out, everyone began to look left and right to search, but after searching a full round, it was still to no avail.
Most of the people in there did not have much of an impression about the residents of the Tranquil Abode.
But, for Yan Xi Ruo and Yan Xi Wu, the two of them had recently just seen Qing Yu and it was clear to them that she had not come at all. Ever since they had been stirred to become rather out of sorts at the Tranquil Abode the last time, the two of them had been acting as if they had been possessed, subconsciously wanting to protect her, so they clamped their mouths shut and did not say a word.
“Yan Fei, are you certain that everyone has been informed?” Han Mo Yan’s eyes were dark, her face showing a thin veil of rage.
Yan Fei at her side immediately replied: “Duchess, the Tranquil Abode was the first one I informed and I do not know why they have not come.”
Mo Han Yan suddenly slammed her silver chopsticks onto the table and said in a cold voice. “They are really putting on quite an arrogant air!”
That loud sound immediately made everyone jump in shock, their hearts feeling jittery.
Mo Han Yan’s face looked like it was filled with ominous dark clouds, highly terrifying.
She had intentionally come here late by two whole hours to make all these women properly remember who the real lady of the house was.
Never had she thought that someone would dare to challenge her!
Chapter 24.2 : Life’s Just a Great Big Show Everywhere
“Duchess, please appease your anger. Why not I go there once more…..” Yan Fei asked in a soft voice.
“No need!” Mo Han Yan snorted coldly. “The Duchess I, will go there myself.”
With that, it was feared that those two people from the Tranquil Abode were about to meet with disaster.
Just as everyone’s mind were filled with their own thoughts, the rumble of wheels rolling on the ground slowly reached their ears, and a slender figured white clothed young lady slowly approached as she pushed the youth in on his wheelchair.
The young girl was bewitchingly beautiful, and gazing upon her made their heart’s spirits soar.
Although the youth in the wheelchair looked slightly frail and weak, his complexion pale, but his looks were still highly outstanding, a certain kind of handsomeness with more fragile types of talent.
The young girl pushed the wheelchair, walking in unhurriedly.
Qing Yu surveyed her eyes one round over the room, smiling and nodding to the ladies before she looked at the beautiful Lady on the main seat whose face was showing an unfriendly expression.
“Really sorry Duchess. Because my younger brother is crippled in both his legs, he is unable to walk. And as my body is weak, we came here late.” Qing Yu said softly, her face remorseful.
She was already originally good looking, and with her brows now creased up in apologetic remorse, she looked just absolutely pitiful and helpless.
But Han Mo Yan was not moved in the slightest, her gaze staring at the face that was a little too good looking. “I have waited a full two hours for you. Just how weak are you that you have to walk two whole hours to reach here?”
The moment those words came out, the other women below were all silently cursing in their hearts. [Isn’t she being too shameless here? She had clearly been putting on airs when she made all of them wait for two hours earlier and she isn’t feeling the least bit embarrassed to say those words?]
From the time she came and sat down till now, it was thought that the chair under her behind had not even been warmed!
Because of the indignant hatred all of them had towards Mo Han Yan, they all began to feel a twinge of sympathy for Qing Yu.
[This pair of siblings have such a tough life. It’s feared that they are in for a bad time today.]
With Mo Han Yan finding fault with her, the little young girl’s face became more aggrieved. “Duchess….. You must have known that the Tranquil Abode is the most remote place in the entire Duke’s Manor….. To walk all the way here, two hours….. is already very quick.”
What she said was really not untrue as the Eternal Peace Duke’s Manor is the largest manor around with the exception of the Imperial Palace. If one wanted to tour the entire place they would have to take a horse carriage or a palanquin as if they were to go one full round on foot, their feet would have swollen right up.
Which among all those ladies and young misses there were not used to fine clothes and gourmet food on a daily basis and used to being waited upon hand and foot? Asking them to walk for two whole hours it was feared that they would have long collapsed from exhaustion on the ground and not be able to get up at all.
And the Tranquil Abode was indeed the most remote place throughout the entire manor.
Among the places the others lived in, some were rather faraway as well but they were still able to reach here within a few quarters with the furthest one among them taking an hour at most.
If they were to really go to the Tranquil Abode, it would already take them an hour by horse carriage, not to mention these two unfavoured children born from a commoner mother, who were not even given the right to take the horse carriage.
In their hearts, they began to pity the two young children.
Mo Han Yan had not thought that the young lass would even dare to talk back and her eyes widened. “Are you saying that the Duchess I, am purposely making things difficult for you?”
“Qing Yu doesn’t dare. But….. we really did not mean to come late and we plead for the Duchess to not place blame onto us.” The young lady lowered her eyes submissively, looking so innocent and pitiful, which made it impossible for Mo Han Yan to do anything even when she wanted to find trouble with Qing Yu.
“Forget it. Sit down and eat!” Mo Han Yan’s brows creased up, taking the lead to pick up her chopsticks first. With the day’s events having dragged on for so long, she was really feeling rather hungry.
Qing Yu relayed her thanks and pushed Qing Bei closer to the dining table before she took a seat herself. Because they had come late, they sat at the furthest end.
Chapter 24.3 : Life’s Just a Great Big Show Everywhere
During the meal, it was quiet at the table. Because they were all women in a noble family, they had been well instructed in manners and etiquette from young, where they were not allowed to speak while eating, and to be silent when they sleep. They were not even supposed to make any noise while chewing their food.
But today, it seemed that they would not be able to maintain the silence they had become accustomed to.
At that moment, everyone paused with their chopsticks in their hands, to stare speechlessly at the other end of the dining table.
“Little Bei, eat this. Mm….. This one tastes rather great.”
“Have more meat. Look at how skinny you are. The youths who are your age in other places are more buff than you.”
“Eat a little bit more. Fill up your stomach and you will not have to eat later at night. I have never eaten such good dishes before.”
“Living without knowing when your next meal is going to come has been really tough. The Duchess is really so nice, that she would specially ask us to come for a meal.”
Qing Yu was just heaping it all into her mouth, and also piling the food she picked up onto Qing Bei’s bowl, making a small mountain form up on it.
It was all a assortment of meats in his bowl, a greasy and oily mountain. The youth did not say a word, but just lowered his head as he took small bites of the food, seemingly rather shy.
But who would have known that the reason he had his head lowered was because he was fighting to hold his laughter in, not wanting a single sound to escape out of his mouth. The Heavens knew that this was the first time he was seeing this side of his sister and he saw that she really knew how to pour it on, her acting so realistic that even he himself was almost taken in by her.
Across from him, Qing Yu was still chattering on as she ate, the sound of her chewing exceptionally loud.
That was not all. She had even moved several dishes that she liked more right in front of her, and digging into it by herself, looking like she had not eaten anything in years.
Mouthful after mouthful was stuffed right into her mouth, making every wonder just how the stomach of a tiny petite little one like her was able to contain so much.
“That is just absolutely boorish and crude!” Mo Han Yan was so furious her face was all red. “To think that a Young Miss of the Eternal Peace Duke’s Manor would be so uncouth and unschooled in etiquette and manners. Just look at how you look now. You are no different from the riff raffs among the commoners. Has the Duchess, I mistreated you? Have I not given you food to eat! ?”
Qing Yu was eating happily away and with that sudden scare, she almost choked on her food, driving her to quickly take a gulp of water to catch her breath.
“Duchess, my brother and I have really not eaten anything so nice for such a long time already. We are given only two steamed buns everyday….. and we are just too hungry.” Qing Yu said as she lowered her head in aggrievement. “It’s alright if I do not eat, but as my younger brother is not well, seeing him not even able to fill his stomach everyday just pains me greatly. I understand that there are a great number of people in the Duke’s Manor and we are living in a destitute condition with Father always killing off enemies out on the battlefield. I do not dare ask for too much. Can we be given a few more steamed buns in future…..”
Seemingly overwhelmed by sorrow, the young girl kept her head lowered and could not say another word, her shoulders shaking as she choked on her sobs.
“Cough cough cough…..” While those words rang out, several suppressed and stifled coughs were heard from the frail and skinny youth, which made the sibling pair look even more pitiful.
Among all the females present, with the lone exception of Mo Han Yan, every other single woman there was moved, their eyes filled with sympathy and pity.
The Duchess had really been too petty. It was to two such young children and she could really treat them so harshly.
If the young girl had not spoken of it today, they would not have known that the Eternal Peace Duke’s Manor had become so thrifty.
Even the servants had meat for every meal. Although the Tranquil Abode was not favoured, but they were afterall still a legitimate Young Master and Young Miss of the Duke’s Manor, was it really that hard for them to just be able to fill their stomachs?”
Mo Han Yan saw all the woman below her looking at her with reproach in their eyes and her face almost turned green from anger. She slammed her hand hard on the table. “That is complete hogwash!”