Chapter 34 Helping Father Plan His Legacy
“We all saw that something was wrong when Third Miss knelt there. But Third Miss would not allow us to tell Old Sir. She said that she could bear with it and she did not want to make you sad…We wanted to tell Auntie but we saw that First Miss who was standing there looked fine and thought that it was uncomfortable for Third Miss because her skin was bad. We did not think that someone was so vicious to want to harm Miss.” Mo Lan knelt on the ground and spoke. She kowtowed as she spoke and tears ran down her face. The tray she raised above her head shone coldly and some of them even had traces of blood on them. It was shocking.
“Old Sir, this has nothing to do with Auntie. Auntie is in charge of the concubines and does everything she can. Auntie does not know anything about the needles on Third Miss’s clothing. Auntie had gotten this clothing made for First Miss earlier, but Third Miss had come back so suddenly so she gave it to Third Miss. The needles were sewn into the clothes. Auntie would not try to harm First Miss.” Nanny Li who was standing behind Auntie Fang saw the situation going pear shaped and she quickly knelt down behind Auntie Fang to explain.
“Old Sir, there are needles in Third Miss’s clothing. Why don’t we see if there are needles in First Miss’s clothing? She has been standing there for some time and her clothes…”Mo Lan continued kneeling and pointed at the area under the tree while crying. She had noticed Mo Xuemin hiding in the shadows as she helped Mo Xuetong out after Mo Xuetong pointed her out.
Nothing had happened to her even though she had stood there for so long.
Furthermore, why was she dressed so neatly and standing by the side so early? Could it be that she knew something was going to happen to Tong’er so that she would not be able to welcome the guests as the main daughter?
Mo Huawen understood everything and was even more furious. Veins erupted on his forehead and they twitched wildly. He took a cup of tea by his side and splashed it on Auntie Fang’s face. His voice was cold and sinister as he gritted his teeth, “Servants, take this slut away. What is a concubine doing here!”
They were holding their family rites. They must not air their dirty laundry in public.
Auntie Fang had been frighted by the sudden situation. She trembled. It was as if she had been soaked in ice water. She found it difficult to even speak.
“Old Sir…” Nanny Li made to speak.
“Shut up. Don’t think I don’t know what you all are planning. Tong’er is my daughter. Don’t try to touch her with your filthy thoughts. Go back to your yard and stay there for a month. If anything happens to Tong’er, you’ll be the first I blame.” Mo Huawen was furious and his eyes were filled with blood. He could feel his anger rising and he could not control himself. His face was red with rage and he kicked Nanny Li.
Nanny Li hit the pillar on the side. She held her head as she bled but did not dare to moan in pain. She glared at Auntie Fang furiously.
Auntie Fang was not in the mood to care about the old woman. She could not even save herself. She looked at Mo Huawen’s green veins and his flushed face and did not dare to speak. Her body felt weak and she allowed to maids to take her away.
No one noticed Mo Xuemin glared at Mo Xuetong who was changing after she got changed and then leaving secretly.
The family rites were still ongoing and the Mo Manor must not embarrass themselves. They had to continue. They had invited so many distinguished guests not to embarrass themselves in front of them.
Mo Xuetong put on the clothes that Mo Xuemin just took off. Even though it was slightly bigger, it was good for her current condition. Otherwise, it would hurt if the cloth rubbed on the needle wounds. She knelt in front of the door again.
She was not allowed to get up while the guests were eating in the hall. What little porridge she had earlier in the morning had already been digested. The scent of the dishes was fragrant and attractive. Mo Yu could not hold still and moved behind Mo Xuetong. She turned to look at Mo Lan when she saw that Mo Xuetong was still kneeling.
She nudged Mo Lan’s hand and when Mo Lan looked up, she pointed at Mo Xuetong and then, at her stomach to gesture that their mistress was hungry.
Mo Lan glared at her viciously. She looked inside the hall and gestured that the guests inside were going to come out soon.
Mo Yu shook a little resentfully. She only hung her head listlessly when she hear Mo Xuetong cough lightly.
Even though the guests were eating inside the hall, they were very quiet. The nobility and scholars do not speak while eating or sleeping. Furthermore, the dishes prepared by the Mo Manor did not have any alcohol. It was just regular vegetarian dishes.
Later, the guests all filed out. The two maids helped Mo Xuetong up. She lowered her head and followed Mo Huawen into the ancestral hall. She kowtowed respectfully. The guests all lit incense in the hall. Some recited poetry and the rites lasted four hours before ending.
When all the guests had left, Mo Huawen ordered Mo Xuetong to return to her courtyard. Mo Xuetong was very weak when she returned to her courtyard, she almost fainted.
Mother Xu had already prepared dinner. She hurried to help when she saw Mo Yu and Mo Lan helping Mo Xuetong in. They helped Mo Xuetong, who was hurting all over, in.
Mo Xuetong leaned against the couch. Mo He brought her a cushion to elevate her legs and knelt before the couch to massage her legs with a hot towel.
“Miss, why did you not tell Old Sir that Auntie Fang had not only tried to hurt you with the clothing, she had not even given you a good meal? Furthermore, the mat’s lower surface was also made with bamboo. She wanted to make sure that you could not kneel on it for long.” Mother Xu almost wanted to cry when she saw Mo Xuetong’s bruised knees.
“Mother, don’t worry. Everyone’s knees hurt from the kneeling at family rites. I’ll be fine after resting for a few days.” Mo Xuetong comforted her with a smile. Mo Huawen had not wanted to let her kneel again in the morning. However, she insisted on kneeling. It would be a disgrace to the Mo family if there were not any children from the main branch of the family kneeling to greet the guests at the Mo family rites.
Perhaps Mo Xuemin could kneel, but why would she give her such an opportunity!
As such, she would do it for the Mo family no matter how difficult it was!
She rubbed her calves and she started thinking.
Mo Huawen was already investigating Auntie Fang. She would seem petty if she complained to Mo Huawen now. Her father would not do anything to Auntie Fang now. After all, she had given birth to his eldest daughter and had given him a son. Even if there was evidence that she had tried to harm Mo Xuetong, he would just lock her up for a month.
Mo Huawen only had one son. He would not be able to do anything to Auntie Fang. As such, she could not complain about Auntie Fang but she had to persuade her father to fall in love with someone else and marry another woman.
He could only have other children if he took another wife. Once he had a son for the main family branch, Mo Yufeng would lose his chance and Auntie Fang would no longer be doted on. Otherwise, because of her age, no matter what she did, there would always be someone who belonged to Auntie Fang. Auntie Fang’s position could not be shaken.
The hatred she bore for them in her past life would not allow her to let the vicious mother and daughter go so easily.
“Miss, if Madam was still around, she would not let you suffer so. It is a pity that Madam passed away at a young age and your health is poor but there is no one to take care of you carefully. Old Sir already knows everything, but he only just shut that woman up. How can you continue living in the Mo Manor!” Mother Xu helped to change Mo Xuetong’s hot water while wiping away her tears. Mo Lan had already prepared her bath water and was about to cleanse her wounds.
Even though they were small, they hurt badly.
“Nursemaid, don’t worry. I’ll go bathe first. I still have some things to ask you!” Mo Xuetong’s eyes shone as she looked at Mother Xu. She immediately thought of a person and smiled beautifully.
“Alright, alright. Miss, you go and bathe first. I will wait for you here. I will get someone to heat up the food so that you can eat comfortably!” Mother Xu only thought that Mo Xuetong was behaving coyly. She wiped away her tears and looked on with pity as Mo Yu and Mo Lan helped Mo Xuetong up carefully. She told them to be careful and then went to find a maid to take the food away to heat them up.
When Mo Xuetong emerged, the dishes had been reheated. However, she had been hungry for too long, she was not very hungry. She got rid of everyone else, only leaving Mo Lan and Mother xu behind. After this incident, Mo Xuetong really felt that Mo Lan was not only steady but was also intelligent. She knew when to do things. Mo Yu had timed her hesitance very well too.
“Nursemaid, the last time you went to my grandfather’s house, did you hear that there was a cousin who had moved into the Luo’s?” Mo Xuetong did not have much appetite. She put down the bowl and chopsticks in her hand and asked seriously.
“Yes. I heard that she is Madam’s cousin. I think she is the Old Madam’s youngest niece. Her mother asked the Old Madam to help her find a good husband before she died. That is why she was fostered at the Luo’s. It’s been about a year but I heard they could not find her a good husband. She’s picky and I heard that she wants to marry a rich and talented person. However, why would they want to marry an orphan girl? As such, the matter rested. I saw the cousin that day. She’s quite good looking, but she’s a little old. It’d be hard to find her a husband!” Mother Xu really knew about the matter. Even though she did not know what Mo Xuetong wanted, she answered in detail.
Mother Xu stuffed the chopsticks back into her hands when she saw that Mo Xuetong had not eaten much. “Miss, take a few more bites. You have tired yourself out today. If you don’t eat, your body is going to fail you. There is no one who can take care of you here, and someone has so viciously jabbed you with needles all over. What are we to do?” Then, Mother Xu’s eyes turned red and she almost cried.
Mo Xuetong admitted defeat. She quickly picked up some vegetables with her chopsticks and took a bite. She said with an interested smile, “Nursemaid, don’t be said. I’m eating happily. Why are you sad again. Chat with me. What kind of person does the cousin want to marry?”
Mother Xu smiled when she saw that Mo Xuetong was eating even though she was eating slowly. She wiped her face with a handkerchief and said with a satisfied smile. “Look at me, I’ve made you sad again. Miss, don’t fault my mouth. You eat, I’ll tell you more about that cousin. I heard she said that the person she marries has to be from a good, wealthy family. Her husband has to be good looking too. Tell me, why would a man like this marry a poor person like her? As such, the matter was laid to rest. Old Madam was very worried about this! But she must not let her niece suffer.”
“How old is this cousin?” Mo Xuetong asked casually.
“Perhaps about 21 or 22. She is a little old. But she’s picky. The matter has been put on hold when her mother passed away. And then she insisted on marrying one she liked. Now she’s so old but she refuses to back down. There is nothing Old Madam could do as well!” Mother Xu saw her mistress eating and entertained her with some chat.
Mother Xu told her to be careful while sleeping before she left and told the maids to be more alert while they were sleeping. They were to help her if she were to wake up for the bathroom or for a drink. The three maids smiled and nodded, assuring her they would before they sent her off.
“Mo Lan, help me get someone to send the message out that my father is talented and handsome. He loves my mother very much and has never thought of marrying again. He is afraid that his wife’s child would suffer. Tell them that he is young and capable.” Mo Xuetong laid on the bed and could not sleep. She spoke softly as she watched Mo Lan adjust the lights.
“Miss, are you thinking…”Mo Lan put down the scissors in her hands and asked. She had been by Mo Xuetong’s side earlier and naturally understood what she was thinking. However, she did not dare to believe what her gentle and cowardly mistress was planning. She was going to find Old Sir a wife and was meddling in his matters.
“Mo Lan, in two years, elder brother will think of becoming a scholar if he starts studying. Father has no other sons and this family will end up in Auntie Fang’s hands. Look at how she’s treating me now. There will be no place for me in the future. So what if Father protects me?”
“We are in the inner courtyard, so how can he, as a man, protect me. Furthermore, elder brother is his only son. He would not let him suffer no matter what. If I don’t plan for myself…I fear that I won’t even know how I died.” There was a faint bitter smile on her lips and pain filled her clear eyes.
She had never planned for herself in her past life and had died in Auntie Fang and Mo Xuemin’s plots.
The light flickered just like the burning wedding hall in her past life. It was Mo Xuemin and Sima Lingyun’s wedding hall and also her funeral hall. No, it was not that. No one would care about the person who died inside. She was a person who was supposed to die. The beautiful melody of their lives was built on her blood.
Her lips pursed tightly and she tried to bear down on the immense pain in her heart.
In this life, she would not step into their traps stupidly! If only one of them between her and Mo Xuemin could live, she would not allow Mo Xuemin to live…