Chapter 11 Goodbye, Mo Huawen
“Sir, why did we not rush in according to plan earlier. Instead… the General Manor does not usually have dealings with you.” There was a beautiful woman wearing pink in the carriage. She sat to the side, making tea. Her actions were well-practiced and graceful. She stopped and asked curiously.
“The General Manor? We, of course, have to deal with them. I heard that the Eldest Young Master Luo is quite the character… Furthermore, we can work with this music sheet.” It was an extremely handsome man who said this lazily. He was about 17 or 18 and was as beautiful as a piece of jade. Most importantly, he had a secretive aura. His aura was like ice that had not melted in millennia. It shone beautifully and yet, it was like extremely calm waters in an ancient pool.
“But, some of your plans would have to be changed for this… Isn’t the price a little too heavy…” The beautiful woman looked up. She was as beautiful as a flower. Her jade-like fingers moved nimbly over the boiling water. They were like dancing ice orchids jumping on the cliffs. They were like fire, and also like ice.
“Plans always have to change to succeed. So there is no need to talk about whether the price to pay is high or not. Isn’t the price of this music sheet worth it? It is said that my royal grandmother likes these the most. If I give it to her, wouldn’t I seem more filial…” The handsome man laughed gayly. He leaned back against the couch, looking casual and leisurely.
The beauty wanted to say something else but was interrupted by his crisp voice. “There’s no need to say anything else. Prepare an invitation in two days and invite Eldest Young Master Luo for a meeting to discuss poetry.”
“Yes.” The woman did not dare to say anything else when she saw the man looking as if he were far away.
Mo Huawen had already returned to the manor when Mo Xuetong returned. He frowned and did not say anything when he heard that the third miss had returned. He only waved his hand and got the servants to pack up her things and nothing else. Then, he went to his office to work.
Mo Xuetong did not have much luggage. She asked Mother Xu to send someone to help her pack up. The people from the General Manor left. After all, this was the Mo’s home and Mo Xuetong was a family member. Since she had been sent for, then the matters afterward should be discussed by the two families. Nanny Shen was perceptive. She took those with her and left after bidding Mo Xuetong goodbye.
Mo Xuetong saw a well-dressed woman the moment she got off the carriage. The woman had brought a large number of maids and servants to welcome her. She had a high bun and wore a red satin shirt that was embroidered with golden threads. The red was almost true red and if one did not look closely, they would not be able to tell that it was not exactly red. She also had on a pair of gold pants that were embroidered with hundreds of birds. Her eyes were coy and there was a hint of a smile on her lips. Her appearance made one feel relaxed, and if one looked closely, they would see a resemblance between her and Mdm Yu. However, she appeared to be coy.
Even though she was more than 30 years old, she looked to only be in her 20s! This was the woman who had killed her mother in her previous life. She was the Auntie Fang who had brought misery to her previous life. Mo Xuetong’s eyes grew cold, as did her heart. She fisted her hands tightly under her sleeves. A sharp blood-thirsty look flashed in her eyes.
Auntie Fang noticed Mo Xuetong getting off the carriage and hurriedly released her maid’s hands. She went up to Mo Xuetong and held her hand warmly, saying, “Third miss, you’re back. How was your journey? You’ve traveled for so many days, how do you feel? I told Old Sir to tell you not to hurry back, but he insisted on asking you to hurry back to the capital. How can I feel at ease about that? I have been worried about you for the past few days. But it’s great that you’re finally back. It’s just that you’re a little weak. I’ve already asked the servants to make soup. Drink a bit of soup and then go rest.”
This woman had always been able to act well. In her past life, Mo Xuetong had been shamed at the entrance of the city because she had cried and acknowledged the woman’s identity as the first wife. Now that she thought about it, the woman must have been pleased while laughing at her secretly. She was such a good actress, how could she not be in awe of such a woman!
She reached out and withdrew her hand from Auntie Fang’s grasp silently and hid the emotion in her eyes. She looked up and smiled gently. “Auntie, it’s been hard on you. Father rushed me home for the family ancestral rites. It is coming soon, and as the legal daughter of this family, how can I be ill and not be able to get up like last time? That’s too unfilial. I had to let big sister take my place in the rites. That’s too hard on her!”
She lowered her head shamefully on purpose and said that regretfully. Indeed, a trace of hate appeared on Auntie Fang’s face when she said that.
The Mo family ancestral rites would take place in a few days. Usually, only children of the first wife could enter and pay their respects. Children of concubines could only stay outside. Last year, Mo Xuetong had been made to stay in Cloud City. As such, Mo Xuemin had entered to do the rite on behalf of Mo Xuetong. This was also why Mo Xuemin could become friends with the other noble ladies. Otherwise, how could a daughter of a concubine hang out together with the young ladies and men of the duke’s manor? This was because she had been treated with regard during the ancestral rites.
The ancestral rites showed off how one was regarded in the family. In her last life, she had only returned home two years later. Mo Xuemin had been the one to take her place in the rites. After that, Auntie Fang had become the first wife because of this. No one had remembered that there was a true daughter of the first wife. Mo Xuemin had long become the legal daughter of the Mo family long ago.
This time, she would not let Mo Xuemin take her place!
Her eyes grew slightly red and cold when she recalled the hateful memories. However, she looked gentle and weak again in the next moment.
“Third young miss, you’ve grown up and become more sensible. Old sir is in the study but no one has come to inform miss to go see him. Why don’t you go and rest first!” Auntie Fang did not see anything odd and pretended to be nice to her. However, the way she mentioned how Mo Huawen did not want to see Mo Xuetong seemed unintentional.
“Auntie, why would you say that. Third sister has just returned and she is not feeling well. Father will understand.” Mo Xuemin appeared to be a good elder sister. She looked at Auntie Fang reproachfully the moment she got off the horse carriage as if she was not satisfied with how she had said such upsetting things to Mo Xuetong.
“Yes, yes, it’s all my fault. I shouldn’t be talking about things like that at this time… I shouldn’t upset you. Old sir is too busy. Otherwise, he would have come to fetch you into the manor. He will ask for you when he’s done. Third miss, go in and rest. I’ve already got the servants to clean it up. See if there’s anything you’re dissatisfied with and I’ll have them changed,” Auntie Fang said with a smile. Her tongue was glib and her eyes were filled with satisfaction.
The daughter who had come back from afar. However, her father had not even asked about her. In fact, he did not seem to care! Those who were smart all knew that even though third miss was the legal daughter, she was not regarded highly by old sir. All the servants in the manor were all intelligent. As long as they understood this point, no one would help Mo Xuetong in the future. Mo Xuetong was still her pawn even though she had returned to the manor. Auntie Fang was even more pleased when she thought of that.
“Many thanks, Auntie Fang. Elder sister, I’ll go to the study to greet father first before I go to rest!” Mo Xuetong said lightly with a smile. However, when she looked at Auntie Fang with her deep dark eyes, it made Auntie Fang shudder for some reason. Those clear eyes were so deep that she could not see any emotion in them. It was deadly quiet and it made her afraid!
“Third miss, are you going now? You haven’t had lunch yet. Do you want to have lunch in your courtyard before going to see your father?” Auntie Fang asked with a smile.
“It’s alright, how can I not see my father first after coming back from afar?” Even though Mo Xuetong kept a faint smile on her lips, her expression was determined.
She had come back from afar. And if she went to rest first before greeting her father, she’d be guilty of being unfilial if the news of this spread. Auntie Fang was really trying to ruin her reputation at all times.
Mo Xuemin grew impatient. Without others watching her, she did not want to pretend to be a gentle noble lady. She said that she had some other matters, spoke with Mo Xuetong shortly before returning to her courtyard.
“Then Auntie will go with you so your father doesn’t blame you!” Auntie Fang saw that Mo Xuetong was determined to see Mo Huawen. She reached out for Mo Xuetong’s hand with a smile, wanting to hold hands with her and visit Mo Huawen together. She had to go with the girl so that the chit didn’t make Mo Huawen happy!
“Auntie, are you worried that I’ll get lost or are you worried about something else? Even if I offend father, he’s always doted on me and will not really make things difficult for me. Auntie Fang, you’d better go do your things. If you try to stop me again, others will think that you’re worried because the legal daughter has returned home. That’s why you’re trying to follow me around.” Mo Xuetong stopped. Even though she was smiling, her eyes and become distant and cold.
Then, she ignored Auntie Fang and turned to go to the study with Mo Lan. It made Auntie Fang so angry her smile froze on her face.
She looked at Mo Xuetong’s retreating back with cold sinister eyes. Then, she sniffed and hurried back to her room with nanny Li. She had to ask what happened to the little slut. How dare she confront her…
Mo Xuetong hesitated at the entrance of the study and did not enter. The door was open and it was very quiet inside.
“Miss! Old sir is asking for you to enter!” A boy servant ran out and bowed to Mo Xuetong respectfully!
Mo Xuetong nodded and followed him into the study.
The study was very tidy. There was a large desk beside a few rows of tall shelves. There was another room behind the innermost shelf for its owner to use if he grew tired after handling matters. The nanmu wood furniture made the spacious study look some solemn. Mo Huawen sat behind the desk silently and he looked at Mo Xuetong entering solemnly.
Sunlight shone in through the windows and on him. His wide and tall figure, however, made Mo Xuetong feel as if he was lonely. She looked at him as he sat at the entrance, his gaze focused on her, sizing her up. She felt sad and tears filled her eyes. She took a few steps forward and wanted to speak. However, she discovered that she was crying.
“Father!” Her body shuddered trying to lock away the sadness. She knelt down and tears rolled down her face before she could even speak.
Mo Huawen was very quiet. He was so quiet he looked stern. He only said coldly after a while, “Tong’er, rise! How have you been?” His voice was calm and was no different from how it was usually. However, Mo Xuetong could hear a slight tremor in his voice. Mo Xuetong tried to force down the sadness she felt. She wiped away her tears and looked up. However, she did not get up.
“Yes father, Tong’er has been very well!” Mo Xuetong looked at Mo Huawen with red eyes.
She had once been angry at and hated the man. When her mother died, he was at Auntie Fang’s courtyard. He had not even managed to see her mother before she died. How could she not be angry about that? After that, the relationship between father and daughter had grown estranged. He had never been a good father in her heart and he had always treated her coldly.
However, when she saw the excitement beneath his calm facade, Mo Xuetong suddenly felt sad and ashamed. Her eyes grew wet again. Even though his words were calm and his voice was relatively normal, the darkness in his eyes was full of excitement and sadness.
This father was different from the stoic and unfaithful man she had imagined.