Chapter 10 Defeating the Hypocritical Elder Sister
Mo Xuemin felt threatened when she saw the suspicious gazes of the people around them. She wrung her handkerchief and her heart skipped a beat. However, she could only watch as the maid moved to pull the curtains open.
The two maids moved quickly. They went up to tug at the curtains forcefully. The blue cloth curtains were pulled down and floated onto the ground.
Everyone stared at the empty carriage with wide eyes. They could not help but gasp. There were no knickknacks inside. In fact, there was nothing in the empty carriage.
“I came from Cloud City which is a distance away. But I would rather let the maids all squeeze in a carriage and leave the last carriage empty. Do you think I’m stupid?” Mo Xuetong had been waiting for this scene. Then, she said angrily, “Or does elder sister think that I’ve come to the capital just to knock someone down intentionally and cause trouble? Is that why you claimed that I knocked someone down without even clarifying things?”
There was no confusion about the situation. It was obvious that the driver was framing the third miss of the Mo family.
And, the actions of the eldest miss of the Mo family was also unusual. The ladies in the other horse carriages all listened intently and started to think deeply.
The other people present no longer scolded Mo Xuetong. Instead, they all looked at Mo Xuemin. Many were looking at her suspiciously.
Mo Xuemin was also looking at the empty carriage incredulously while scolding Auntie Fang for being stupid in her heart. She could have put a few trunks or random trash in. How could she leave the carriage empty? Wouldn’t this make it obvious that they were plotting against Mo Xuetong!
“Third sister…” Mo Xuemin’s expression was awkward. She wanted to explain when she saw the reactions of those around them.
“Nanny Shen, how are the laws like in the capital? In Cloud City, if something like this cheating case that ruins the reputation of a daughter of an official happens, they would have their possessions taken away and be whipped 50 times,” Mo Lan winked and said to nanny Shen.
The old man who had been knocked down suddenly grew anxious. His eyes moved shiftily and he started to look around.
Nanny Shen immediately understood what Mo Lan was up to. She replied just as loudly, “The laws in the capital are of course stricter than Cloud City. We are right under the eyes of the emperor, and yet someone had dared to commit such a crime so blatantly. In cases of cheating, 50 whippings are not enough. They would also be marked and their family would become slaves and would never be able to raise their heads up high again.”
The marking punishment in the Great Qin was carving words on one’s face. Once this was done, they would be deemed criminals for life and even their descendants would become lower class citizens.
The driver’s face paled immediately. On the other side, the old man who had been knocked down looked pale as well. His injured leg was standing on the ground and if one looked closely, it was trembling slightly.
“Third sister must be joking. I was wrong. I thought it looked like our carriage. But I have wronged third sister.” Mo Xuemin’s face twitched slightly. She had calmed down and did not bother to explain again. She walked over warmly and with concern, holding Mo Xuetong’s hand looking as if she was placating someone. She said gently, “Third sister had just returned to the capital and it is rather unlucky for you to have encountered such a thing. It’s not good to make a fuss of the matter. If you go to court, others might speak badly of you and say that you want to create trouble. Father will not be happy about this.”
The driver and the old man relaxed slightly when they heard that they did not have to go to court. They looked at each other secretly and both looked happy.
Mo Xuemin was certain that Mo Xuetong dared not go to court. In the hundred years of Great Qin administration, there really was not a single noble lady who would go to court without considering their status. Mo Xuetong laughed to herself coldly. However, Mo Xuemin was wrong.
“You knocked into someone and still want to deny responsibility. Does the Great Qin have no laws? Or does the capital have no punishment? A burst of crisp laughter rang suddenly.
You Yuecheng’s attention was focused on the luxurious horse carriage when he first spotted it. Other than staring at Mo Xuetong for a while, he spent most of his time sizing up the horse carriage in confusion. When he heard the voice, his expression changed and his mind whirled. He finally recalled who the person was!
“Men, take them to court. I have seen the whole thing and will be a witness for Third Young Miss Mo. It is not difficult for us to go to court.” The person in the carriage said with a laugh without waiting for Mo Xuetong to reply.
Two armed guards immediately appeared from behind his carriage. They moved quickly toward the driver and the old man.
The old man and driver who had been hiding by the side and watching the scene saw that things were going pear-shaped. They rushed into the crowd of people and ran in separate directions.
The two guards gave chase. However, there were too many people and the two were lost in the crowd.
Everyone understood when they saw the old man and the driver diving into the crowd one after another.
Everyone was filled with anger when they thought of how Mo Xuemin had framed the noble lady together with the old man and the driver. They all criticized her and the words they used grew uglier and uglier.
Mo Xuemin could only grit her teeth and bear the criticism. She had always been cunning and knew that she had lost today. She could not get angry now. As such, she pretended as if she had not heard what the crowd was saying and said warmly to Mo Xuetong, “So it is indeed true that someone has framed third sister. I was wrong today and caused you to suffer. If you’re still angry, then be angry at me. I won’t complain about it or tell father because I deserve it. We must not let this incident cause a chasm between us and we have to get along well.”
Her words hit just the right spot. It had not only revealed her shortcomings and she had humbly admitted that she was wrong. It put her in good light.
Mo Xuemin’s eyes shone with warmth and regret. No matter how one looked, she felt like an older sister who had hurt her sister by mistake. Some of the people who were criticizing that Mo Xuemin had plotted against her own sister piped down.
Mo Xuemin was indeed a formidable opponent. However, Mo Xuetong had put in so much effort to create such a scene. How could she let her go so easily?
“Elder sister, your words have made me feel ashamed. It is I who is in the wrong. I don’t know who I’ve offended so much that they would plot against me the moment I enter the capital. I even ruined your kind intentions and have made you worry,” Mo Xuetong said, wronged and ashamed. She would not lose in presentation given how Mo Xuemin had reacted.
She placed herself in an even lower position than Mo Xuemin. Coupled with her weak and gentle look and the incident earlier, it made others feel compassionate towards her.
Even though the people in the crowd did not say anything, the noble sons and daughters all knew. She was just a weak girl. How could she offend someone? The person had used a similar carriage and waited for her to enter the capital to knock someone down before pushing the blame on her. Then, they thought about how her elder sister had said that she would help to settle the matter but did not speak up for her. It was obvious that it was intentional.
Every family had their own matters. Except, they did not expect that the Eldest Young Miss of the Mo family who was both beautiful and talented was so two-faced. She was a conniving person and was very different from her outward appearance of being gentle and generous. A few of the ladies who hung out with Mo Xuemin grew more wary of her.
“We are sisters, we don’t have to be so polite to each other. Third sister, return to the manor with me. There are many people here and it is not convenient to speak here. Since I met you here, I shan’t go out anymore. Let me bid the other young masters and miss goodbye and I’ll return with you. Father has been waiting for you to return.”
She had said this to excuse herself and had said it so sincerely. Every move she made felt sincere and some of the people around started to waver. They felt that the gentle eldest miss had not been aware of the plot either.
There were some in the crowd who were also gossiping about Mo Xuemin, and the number of people speaking up for her grew as well. Mo Xuemin heaved a sigh of relief. Even though she had lost today, it was not too bad. She would deal with the little slut when they returned to the manor.
Then, Mo Xuemin turned around to bid the others a gracious and gentle goodbye. As compared to their friendliness earlier, the ladies and sirs treated her lukewarmly. They barely spoke with her and were very cold towards her. Some of the other ladies even pulled down their curtains and shuttered their windows. They barely paid attention to her and then did not speak again.
Mo Xuemin knew that this was because Mo Xuetong aroused their suspicions. She gritted her teeth hatefully in secret but still smiled politely.
Everyone saw that there was nothing to watch anymore and the crowd dispersed. The path became clear again. The driver of the luxurious horse carriage raised his horse whip as if he wanted to move off. You Yuecheng suddenly walked up and put his hands together to greet the luxurious horse carriage. “Is the Crown Prince in the carriage?”
“It is me. Is it the Ming Kingdom’s duke’s son? Did you stop me for something?” The person in the carriage laughed softly. He was elegant and gentle.
“I don’t dare to stop you. But is your highness here for the Empress’ birthday? I have some ideas and I wonder if we can discuss it?” You Yuecheng said.
“It is getting late. I will definitely invite you to my manor in the later days after I have rested. I shall leave now.” The person in the horse carriage gave a tinkling laugh that was smooth and clear.
You Yuecheng did not insist. He took two steps back and put his hands together in a greeting. “Then I will definitely visit your highness another day.”
“Sir, please be at ease. You may just address me as sir here.” The horse carriage started. The clear and warm voice was accompanied by a relaxed tune. The tune reverberated, sounding like the flowing springs in the mountains, or like the moving clouds. It sounded out of the world, and those who heard it looked at the horse carriage driving away respectfully…
Mo Xuetong took Mo Lan’s hand and got onto the horse carriage while Mo Xuemin had walked away. She took out a book from the mini bookshelf at the back of the carriage and gave it to Mo Lan who placed it in her sleeves. She got off the carriage and while the horse carriages were passing, passed the book into another carriage. A slender hand belonging to a woman took the book and flipped through it casually before putting it on a beautifully crafted box beside her.
In the spacious carriage, was a handsome young man who looked to be 17 or 18. He leaned against a clean couch and his voice was smooth and elegant. His voice was like ice and jade colliding. He was extremely good looking, and his eyes were as dark as ink. He flipped through the book on the table with a smile, a look of ease on his face. His disposition was like the white clouds in the sky that remained the same over the years shielding the rising sun. Yet, he was like the water in an ancient pool, calm and warm. His luxurious white robes were elegant, and his skin was pale and clear like the moon.
The music suddenly stopped. A beautiful maid knelt on the ground raising a beautiful box above her head. A long and strong hand took it and flipped through it. There was a faint smile on the handsome and flawless face.