Chapter 17 Cousins of the General Manor Meet
“Fa-father!” Mo Xueqiong was so frightened that her face had gone white.
“Father!” Mo Xuetong bit her lips and looked as if she was trying to smile despite being wronged. However, her red eyes and forced happiness made others pity her even more. Mo Huawen glared at Mo Xueqiong angrily when he thought of how she had scolded Mo Xuetong. Then, he walked over and stroked Mo Xuetong’s hair tenderly. “Tong’er how did you sleep last night?”
“Thank you Father. I slept well! I even woke up late!” Mo Xuetong sniffed and tried to tone down her sobs. She looked up and pulled on Mo Huawen’s teal robe. Then, she smiled softly and in a pleasing manner, said, “Father, don’t scold Fourth sister. She and Eldest sister are just teaching Tong’er how to do things. They’re not really bullying Tong’er!”
She had dealt with Mo Xueqiong and Mo Xuemin in one swoop.
Her words shocked Mo Xuemin. She was just about to reply when Mo Huawen’s face darkened and he started to lecture. “Min’er, even though you are the eldest daughter in the manor, you should understand that Tong’er is my only legal child. Even if there’s anything that she’s done wrong, you can only point it out tastefully. How can you and your sister scold Tong’er? You don’t even know your status.”
Mo Xuemin’s heart grew cold and a trace of hatred flashed in her eyes. Then, immediately, a gentle smile appeared on her face and she said apologetically, “Yes, Father is right to scold us. Min’er is wrong and I didn’t manage to stop Third sister and Fourth sister from bickering. Please punish me!”
“Father, it is Tong’er’s fault. It is all Tong’er’s fault. Father shouldn’t scold Eldest sister and Fourth sister because of this. We were just teasing each other. Father, look, Tong’er doesn’t mind. I don’t mind at all.” Mo Xuetong tugged on Mo Huawen’s robes looking like a mischievous little girl. Even though her eyes were teary, she smiled like a beautiful flower, making it seem as if she was trying hard to look as if she did not mind.
Mo Huawen was filled with love for his daughter when he saw how sensible and adorable she was. He reached out to pat her hand and her voice grew gentle. “Alright, I will listen to Tong’er. But they must not forget your status. Tong’er, you must remember, you are not like them. You are the only legal child in this manor. So don’t be afraid. Tell me if anything comes up. I will help you.”
This was not just simple words to comfort her, but he was obviously siding with her. This made Mo Xueqiong wring her handkerchief, almost tearing it into shreds. She hated the girl so much she wanted to claw at Mo Xuetong’s beautiful and innocent face.
The hate and venom in Mo Xuemin’s eyes were not any lesser than Mo Xueqiong. However, she had to maintain a gentle smile and she said elegantly and gracefully, “Father is right to scold us. Min’er will definitely protect Third sister in the future so that others will not look down on her.”
“Thank you, Eldest sister. Tong’er will definitely get along well with you and Fourth sister in the future.” Mo Xuetong released Mo Huawen’s robe and made a light bow to Mo Xuemin gratefully.
Mo Huawen could not help but smile when he saw the girls smiling at each other. He had always quite like his eldest daughter. She was kind, gentle and generous, and behaved like how noble young ladies should. It was a pity she was just a daughter of a concubine. It was a waste of her talent. He had wanted to marry Auntie Fang after his mourning period for Luo Xia to raise Min’er’s status.
However, Mo Huawen was slightly hesitant now.
Could Auntie Fang truly love Tong’er? Those missing letters and how Tong’er was being bullied just after she arrived home were thorns in Mo Huawen’s heart! He frowned.
Mo Xuetong could see that Mo Huawen was unhappy and she did not continue. There were some views that could not be completely changed by a single incident.
“Father, shouldn’t you be in the study right now? Why do you have time to come? Let Tong’er guess. Father must be looking for Tong’er, right?” Mo Xuetong asked innocently. Her clear eyes looked young and innocent under the sunlight. She pouted cutely and asked.
Mo Huawen recalled why he had come when Mo Xuetong asked that. He said, “Xuetong, your grandparents sent a carriage for you. I know you must not have slept well last night and told them to wait outside! Go quickly since you’re up.”
He walked out as he spoke and Mo Xuetong followed him. The two walked out amicably, leaving Mo Xuemin and Mo Xueqiong behind.
“Eldest sister, third sister is being doted on the most by Father now. Look, Father doesn’t even care about you anymore. That’s too much! How are we daughters of concubines going to live from now on!” Mo Xueqiong said darkly as she saw Mo Xuetong walking away with Mo Huawen.
Mo Xuemin looked at their retreating backs, her expression venomous. However, she kept a gentle smile on her face and said softly, “Fourth sister, Father will be unhappy if he hears you. We are sisters and have to help each other. How can we fight!”
“Eldest sister, you’re so generous. Qiong’er cannot be like you. You’re still speaking up for her now. If I have half of your abilities, I wouldn’t have to be so shamed by her. Eldest sister, you can be a legal daughter too!” Mo Xueqiong said hatefully and then turned away.
Hate glinted in Mo Xuemin’s eyes.
Daughter of a concubine. She hated this term.
Of course, she would not let that slut Mo Xuetong have it easy.
Mo Xuetong brought Mo Yu and Mo He with her to the General Manor.
She had just entered when she saw a slender figure. The middle-aged woman had a rectangular face and wore a silver embroidered wrap robe. She was nanny Shen who had brought Mo Xuetong into the capital.
Mo Xuetong greeted her warmly when she saw her, “Nanny Shen!”
“Miss, you’re finally here. That’s great. Old Madam was still wondering about you earlier and she hadn’t rested this morning. She made me come out to see for a few times and was so anxious. She was worried that you’d be cold on the way here and that I didn’t take care of you. She even scolded me!” Nanny Shen smiled happily when she saw Mo Xuetong. She got the maids to lift the door curtains as she spoke to Mo Xuetong.
Because the Old Madam in the General Manor also had a title, everyone called her Old Madam.
“Thank you for your help on the journey back so that I could arrive home without worries. Grandmother isn’t blaming nanny. She must be asking whether I was obedient and if I’ve bothered you,” Mo Xuetong answered with a smile.
She had just spoken when a maid hurried up to them. Nanny Shen hurried her into the room without the maid having to speak. Old Madam Xu of the General manor was sitting on top of the stove-bed in the room. She was wearing a grey robe with the character “prosperity” embroidered on it. Her expression was eager when she saw Mo Xuetong entering. Tears filled her eyes before she could speak and she looked at Mo Xuetong lovingly.
“Grandmother!” Mo Xuetong hurried when she saw the benevolent and familiar face. She knelt down forcefully at Old Madam Xu’s knees and held her slightly trembling hand. She breathed in the woman’s scent and felt sorrow in her heart. Old Madam Xu had loved her the most in her previous life. “Grandmother!”
“Tong’er, it’s really my Tong’er! Why have you become so skinny! Didn’t the Qin’s feed you!” Old Madam Xu clutched Mo Xuetong’s hands tightly and felt the warmth of her hands. Then, she looked at Mo Xuetong’s face carefully. Even though the joyful face did not resemble Xia’er, but those beautiful lively eyes were like Xia’er’s. She thought of her deceased daughter and could not help but call out softly, “Xia’er!”
Mo Xuetong knew that she was calling for her mother, and sorrow surged up her heart. She bit her lips and called out softly, “Grandmother, it’s me, Tong’er!”
Old Madam Xu paused and caressed her pale face. She wanted to speak, but before she could, tears started to flow down her cheeks…
Mo Xuetong could not help but feel sad as well. Her hands were clutched tightly by Old Madam Xu and tears started to flow down her cheeks as well. The two were only persuaded by others to stop after a while. Mo Xuetong was helped up and she sat leaning against Old Madam Xu.
“Why are you wearing such pale colors, and these are old. Don’t you have nice clothes at all?” Old Madam Xu asked unhappily as she reached out and touched her white, slightly old dress and frowned.
“Grandmother, Auntie made me clothing in Cloud City too. But I did not have the mood to dress up when I think about how mother is no longer with me. So I just wore these old clothes.” Mo Xuetong explained gently.
“Silly child, this is too thin. Your health is poor and I heard that you were ill in Cloud City the year before. Your father is too much, he didn’t bring you to the capital. Instead, he brought a bunch of his concubines and their children here. If your father does something like this again in the future, grandmother will protect you. Maids, bring that white leopard skin coat here. Give it to Miss later.”
Old Madam Xu was rather angry at Mo Huawen. That was why she pretended not to know when her sons stopped Mo Huawen from entering the city in the future! She just wanted to make things difficult for Mo Huawen.
Nanny Shen obeyed her orders and went inside. Mo Xuetong was shocked that the old madam also wore such plain clothing. Then, she recalled that it was because her mother was no longer around. The tears in her eyes started to fall once more. She held up her handkerchief and turned her head away to wipe it, afraid that Old Madam Xu would see.
“Grandmother, you treat Tong’er the best!” She turned around and smiled even more beautifully!
Just as they were speaking, the maid outside reported that Young Master and Second Miss were here.
Old Madam Xu smiled and asked them to enter.
“Grandmother, is younger sister Tong here?” A clear voice that sounded faintly elegant could be heard. The maid lifted the curtains high up and a handsome young man and a beautiful young lady entered.
Mo Xuetong hurried to stand up and looked at the door.
The man in the light green robe was the Young Master of the Luo manor, Luo Wenyou.
Mo Xuetong had two uncles. Her Eldest Uncle Luo Cheng had two sons and a daughter. They were his oldest daughter Luo Yanyue, eldest son, Luo Wenyou and younger son, Luo Wenchi. Her Second Uncle, Luo Bin, had a daughter, Luo Mingzhu. Luo Yanyue was already married, and the Second miss who was still staying there was Luo Mingzhu.