Chapter 39 The Reverse Plot. Checkmate.
Indeed, Mo Huawen visited personally before nightfall. He even brought with him an invitation to the flower appreciation banquet.
“Tong’er, how are you so careless? You left the invite in the garden. If the servants had not picked it up and given it to me, you won’t be able to go to the annual flower appreciation banquet. Let the servants do the embroidery, don’t spoil your eyes.” Mo Huawen smiled benevolently when he saw Mo Xuetong doing embroidery quietly. Mo Huawen handed her the invitation.
“Father, where did you find that? Grandmother told me long ago that the flower appreciation banquet was about to begin and even sent me a letter especially to tell me to get clothing tailored. I thought it was odd that I haven’t received the invitation until now. Didn’t they say the banquet is tomorrow?” Mo Xuetong stood up, her eyes shining.
“You haven’t received it?” Mo Huawen frowned and said, “But to make clothing now is…”
“No, but it’s alright, Father. Tong’er had already asked Auntie Mo to make clothing for me. So Father doesn’t have to worry that I don’t have clothes to wear to the banquet.” She blinked with a look of satisfaction. Her adorable appearance made one dote on her.
“When did you ask Auntie Mo to make you clothing? Auntie Mo said she didn’t hear about you asking her to make clothing? Was there a mistake?” Mo Huawen asked. He had intended to come to ask about this matter. However, he did not expect to pick up an invitation in the garden. He started to have suspicions when he heard what Mo Xuetong said.
“Oh no, After receiving the letter from Grandmother, I told Mo Lan to tell Auntie Mo. Mo Jin from Eldest Sister’s place was there too. Mo Jin told her that she would tell Auntie Mo for her. Could Mo Jin have forgotten? Oh no, Father, the flower appreciation banquet is tomorrow. What should I wear?”? Mo Xuetong started to panic when she heard what Mo Huawen said. Her face scrunched up and she pouted while complaining.
The children of the Great Qin did not really have to stay at home for three years in order to grieve their deceased relatives. They could still attend some simple functions. This banquet would be the first time Mo Xuetong appears in public since her return to the capital. Old Madam Xu was worried that the people in the Mo Manor would not do their best by her and had sent a letter especially to tell Mo Xuetong that she had already prepared simple clothing fo her and asked her to send someone to pick it up. However, Mo Xuetong would not tell Mo Huawen this right now.
Mo Huawen hurried to comfort his daughter when he saw the sadness in her eyes and how she was pouting in annoyance. He said, “Don’t worry. I’ll think of something for you.” Then, he poked her forehead, “Look at how pouty you look right now. You’re going to look like a frog if you do this any longer. You won’t be pretty then.”
“Father…”Mo Xuetong covered her forehead.
Mo Huawen comforted Mo Xuetong. His expression darkened when Mo Xuetong dragged him along to have tea. Auntie Mo had told him, in an aggrieved tone that the tailoring department had been busy making an extravagant dress for Mo Xuemin. She proved that she had not forgotten Eldest Miss’s dress, so how would she intentionally forget Third Miss’s.
Min’er’s servant had been the one to inform the tailors about Tong’er’s matters. However, the person had mentioned about Min’er’s clothing but not about Tong’er’s. He would definitely check things out. Judging by when Min’er needed her new clothes and the invite he had picked up in the garden, Mo Huawen’s sharp mind sensed that something was up.
As for the matter regarding the dresses, he could only get a tailor outside. Even though time was tight since they only had one night, it was not yet night time. He would get a famous tailor from the capital to measure Tong’er. They should be able to make the dress if they worked through the night.
Just as he was thinking about that, Mo Yu entered with a serving tray. A set of clothing was placed on it neatly. She bowed to Mo Huawen and then stood to one side with a faint smile and did not speak.
“Mo Yu, where did the clothing come from? Is it for Third Miss?” Mo Huawen’s eyes shone and he asked with a smile as he looked at the tray. It was a set of female dress that had lace on it.
“Old Sir, this is Miss’s clothing. The General Manor sent it over just now. They were afraid that Miss would not have clothing tomorrow, so they sent it over especially. Old Madame not only sent clothing, she even sent an entire set of accessories.” Mo Yu said with a happy smile.
Mo Huawen’s expression darkened. He felt as if he had been dealt a blow. He wanted to return the blow, but it ended up like hitting cotton. He felt helpless and defeated. What was this? His own daughter wanted to attend a banquet in the palace. But she had to get her grandparents to make her clothes and send them over. This had embarrassed the Mo family greatly.
However, he could not refuse the clothing. Tong’er indeed did not have any clothes to attend the banquet. On the other hand, Min’er, who did not have the right to attend the banquet, had a set of beautiful clothing and accessories. Mo Huawen could not help but feel upset. He saw how his daughter looked at the clothes with bright eyes, showing how much she liked them, and felt even more upset.
He asked gently, “Tong’er, do you like them!”
Mo Xuetong nodded vigorously with a smile. She pulled Mo Huawen along to look at the clothes. However, when she saw that Mo Huawen appeared upset, she stopped obediently and cocked her head. She asked with a smile, “Father, you did not know that Tong’er did not have clothes this time. That’s why I will wear this set of clothing that grandmother sent tomorrow. Next time, Tong’er will wear the clothes Father gives Tong’er.”
She said it like a little girl who did not mind at all. Mo Huawen felt even more sad for her.
It had been more than a year since he last saw her. His daughter had grown to be more obedient. She knew that he was unhappy and even tried to comfort her. She was a little girl but he had abandoned her in Cloud City and did not even ask after her. She must have suffered. Otherwise, she, who had been doted on would not know how to judge the situation looking at others’ reactions and become so obedient.
However, even so, the kindness and adorableness in her clear eyes were obvious. She had been the one to suffer in this incident. However, she had been magnanimous and did not choose to pursue the matter. She even tried to comfort him. How could Mo Huawen not feel bad toward her? He felt that he could not allow his obedient and thoughtful daughter to suffer anymore.
He reached out to pat her hair and smiled. “Alright, I will get those from the tailoring section to make you a few sets of clothing. Look at you, you’re still wearing these clothing. They’re so plain. Look at your older sister and look at you. You don’t look like a young miss. You look like a little maid!”
“Father, my hair has been messed up by you!” Mo Xuetong complained with a pout. Her eyes whirled and she smiled, “Tong’er, can’t compare to Eldest Sister. She’s pretty and smart, and also sensible. She is filial to father. Tong’er is a silly child who doesn’t know anything. I’m just like a little maid. Look, Father even messed up Tong’er’s hair. I look like a silly child even more!”
Mo Huawen smiled and poked her forehead before she could say anything else. “You’re a silly child, but you’re Father’s silly child. Furthermore, you’re Father’s most sensible and most thoughtful silly child!”
“No, I’m not. Eldest Sister is!” Mo Xuetong said cutely.
“Oh, is Tong’er jealous?” Mo Huawen looked at the adorable Mo Xuetong and how she was becoming close to him and the unhappiness he felt about Old Madam Xu sending Xuetong clothing disappeared without a trace. It was alright as long as Tong’er was happy. He would go and tell Auntie Mo later to be more attentive to Tong’er’s needs. She had to give Tong’er priority if there was anything good.
In Fuqing Garden.
Mo Xuemin leaned against the couch. Her health had always been good and she knew about the illness she had caused herself. She was mostly healed by the second day. However, she had not gone out and stayed in bed pretending to be ill. She had to handle some things personally after Auntie Fang had been locked up. That included Mo Xuetong’s invitation.
A mocking smile appeared on Mo Xuemin’s beautiful face when she heard that Mo Huawen had picked up the invitation and sent it to Qingwei Garden. She looked to the side at Auntie Fang who was supposedly shut up and said with a cold smile. “Didn’t Auntie say that the little slut would definitely not be able to go! How could she still go tomorrow! Father even sent the invitation to her? Auntie, you used to say how great you were but you were defeated by a 13-year-old girl.”
While she looked weak and gentle, her aura was even more powerful than Auntie Fang. Her eyes were cold as she looked at Auntie Fang with disdain.
“That little slut is too sly. She intentionally made the matter known. I was too careless to end up being tricked by her.” Auntie Fang’s head hurt. She answered angrily when she heard her daughter’s jibe. She felt ashamed. She had been locked up for a few days. Even though she had not been mistreated, she did not look too good. It had only been a few days and she already had a few more wrinkles at her eyes. She looked several years older.
Mo Xuemin indeed felt disdain at her current appearance. She could not even be bothered to pretend to be gentle in front of her.
“Auntie, you were too anxious. You could not wait to act the moment she returned. You hurried me to shame her at the city’s entrance. I didn’t get to shame her but got into trouble instead. Then, you couldn’t be patient and cause the incident at the Repayment Temple. After that, you kept making mistakes. How can I have such a stupid Auntie like you? How unfortunate!” Mo Xuemin interrupted her defense cooly, a hint of disdain at her lips.
It was just a 13-year-old girl and only Auntie Fang had to act. She was the First Miss of the Mo family. She had to maintain her gentle and benevolent image. She just had to appear to be filial, elegant and talented. However, she had been dragged under too. She had not managed to benefit from it at all. How could she not be enraged?
Auntie Fang flushed bright red after being spoken to by her daughter so disdainfully. She argued, “That little slut is really difficult to handle.”
“Auntie, you’re the one who’s difficult to handle. If you cannot deal with her, then don’t do anything. Why do you insist on doing something? You didn’t manage to do anything and even got into trouble. You’d better think of what Father is thinking about right now!” Mo Xuetong glared at her and spoke sarcastically. “The thing you need to control the most is Father’s heart. If you do not have Father’s support, there’s no use no matter how powerful you are. What you have to do now is not to try to guess at how Father thinks of Older Brother.”
Mo Xuemin was in a terrible mood. She did not hide her disdain for Auntie Fang. She was indeed just a concubine. She was not able to succeed even when given the chance to. She was too stupid. She didn’t even think clearly of her own position before going against Father. She had even gotten Mo Xuemin into trouble so that her father became suspicious of her.
The flower appreciation banquet was no big deal. If Auntie Fang had not caused any trouble, her father would have allowed her to go since she was the eldest daughter. She had attended it last year as well. It would not be nice if she was not allowed to go this year. He would have thought of a way for her to attend this year. Now that the various incidents began to add up, she did not dare to say anything to Mo Huawen. She heard that her father was investigating the matter and did not even dare to keep the invite. She threw it where Mo Huawen was bound to pass.
Mo Xuemin, who had always been proud could not bear this. She hated Auntie Fang as well now. She did not even hide the mocking look on her face and addressed her as Auntie. Her eyes were filled with disdain, treating Auntie Fang as if she was unworthy.
Auntie Fang was furious after being mocked by her own daughter. She said angrily, “Don’t talk about me. You’d better take care of yourself. I will deal with the little slut and I will naturally make things better with your father.”
“Make things better? Do you think you can do that just because you want to? Auntie, look at your status. You managed to do all those things in the past because Father has never once doubted you. But now that you’ve created so much trouble, that little bit of suspicion he has towards you is growing. The efforts you spend on Mo Xuetong had better be placed on Father. You’re already so old, and you’re still thinking of trying to defeat Luo Xia. She’s already dead. There’s no point fighting with her. There’s nothing more important than status and power in this world. You just need to get these things.”
Mo Xuemin attacked Auntie Fang with a cold smile.
“You’ve never experienced that, so you’d naturally say that. Don’t bother yourself with my matters. You just have to mind yourself!” Mo Xuemin’s words had pierced Auntie Fang’s heart. She could not help but glare at Mo Xuemin hatefully.