Chapter 7 Planning to Gift the Orchid
Mo Xuetong’s expression was frigid when she saw Nanny Li’s pathetic appearance and she ignored her.
“Grand-Aunt, Tong’er is going to the capital. How can I leave you behind? How about you go with me to the capital? I will definitely be filial to you. “After dealing with Nanny Li, Mo Xuetong turned around to Mdm Qin and said that cutely. She pulled on Mdm Qin’s sleeves and looked as if she could not bear to let go. This soothed Mdm Qin’s upset feelings! She did not feel as unhappy as before about Mo Xuetong’s impoliteness earlier.
“Good girl. I will go to the capital too after some time. Come and visit me then.” Mdm Qin laughed happily.
“Grand-aunt, you have to come quicker. Tong’er will miss you. If not for you taking care of me while I’m here…I might have long been dead…” A thoughtful look appeared on Mo Xuetong’s face and tears appeared in her beautiful eyes. She looked at the woman longingly, pulling on the corner of Mdm Qin’s shirt with her pale and tiny hands, not letting go no matter what.
“Alright, I will go to the capital faster… Tong’er is so obedient, how can my heart be set at ease.” Mdm Qin was moved by Mo Xuetong. Furthermore, the nannies by her side kept telling her about the benefits of going to the capital and all she saw was Mo Xuetong’s obedience. She had forgotten all the unpleasantness of the past and all she felt was affection for Mo Xuetong.
She decided then, that she would bring her family with her to the city once her affairs in Cloud City were settled. Her grandsons were old enough. She had to settle their marriage! Especially that eldest grandson of hers who was very handsome and talented. Some of the women her age already had great-grandchildren.
The orchid in front of them was indeed of high quality. The leaves were shiny jade green and there were eight flowers on the plant all from the same branch. However, the shape and color of the orchid flowers were all different and yet were connected by something small. The eight surfaces, while all different, all appeared on an orchid branch, making it look as if it was one whole object, making it look very interesting.
“Miss, are we really taking this orchid to pay our respects to Madam?” Mo He hugged the orchid carefully and asked in confusion. Young master Xuan had paid a lot of money to find this orchid for Miss. She heard that young master Xuan had even given away a few of his treasured painting for the orchid. It was a pity to put it in front of Madam’s altar and it could not be taken away.
Mo Xuetong smiled lightly when she heard that. They would leave tomorrow and she had come today to pay respects to her mother especially. Luckily, Cousin Xuan had found the rare orchid, so it had increased the probability of their winning this trip. She heard that the noble lady loved flowers. She would definitely stop to admire this rare orchid.
She did not want much. She just wanted the noble lady to like her and to give her an early opportunity to meddle in the matters between the noble lady and the lord.
In this new life, she had to first find out about the matters between the noble lady and her mother’s family. This orchid would give her the opportunity.
“Mo He, later, put down the orchid and go to the temple to find out what we need to do a rite. I want to ask Cousin Xuan to do a rite for my mother.” Mo Xuetong did not answer Mo He. She gave the orders. She was about to leave and wanted to do a rite for her mother to appease her spirit. No matter what, she would get her revenge in this life. She would not let her mother die in vain!
This immediately detracted Mo He’s attention. She saw that while Mo Xuetong’s expression was calm, her eyes were red. She knew that Mo Xuetong was upset when she thought of her mother and did not dare to say anything else. She only nodded forcefully in acknowledgment of the order.
The carriage arrived at Qingliang Temple while they were speaking. Because she was from a noble family, a little nun came to welcome her.
After settling everything, Mo He went to get information from the monks in the temple. Mo Xuetong brought an elderly maid with her and walked to the Longevity Hall where her mother’s altar was.
There were three levels in the Longevity Hall of Qingliang Temple. The outside most level was the biggest and was for those who died in the wild. Their family would help to light their altar lamps. The second level was on the middle floor. Those from the noble families of Cloud City would have their altars here. Mo Xuetong’s mother was here. The inner-most level was the most mysterious. It was usually shut, and until today, the people of the Cloud City did not know whose altar was there.
Mo Xuetong found out by chance that the altar of the mother of the eldest princess Mingzhu, was there. It was said that she was an ordinary palace maid and she did not even have a title and was not doted on. She died not long after giving birth to the eldest princess. There were too many of such people in the palace and no one would think of her.
If not for the princess being brought up by the then Empress, the now Empress Dowager, there would not be anyone to light the altar lamp. After that, a noble person had tried to suck up to the eldest princess. When he heard that her mother was from Cloud City, he built an annex hall for her in the temple of the city.
The noble person Mo Xuetong thought of was the eldest princess, Mingzhu.
In her past life, the incident of Cloud City had been revealed then while the eldest princess was in the city. This had happened right about now. Her grandfather, the general, had squabbled with the eldest princess. After that, the fall of the general had been orchestrated by Sima Lingyun, but it had definitely been influenced by the eldest princess. This time, she had come to show her good will, and also to unravel the unpleasantness between the general and the eldest princess.
The eldest princess Mingzhu would definitely go to the Buddhist temple to pay her respects to her mother since she came to Cloud City. Mo Xuetong was certain that the eldest princess was at the hall right at the back.
When she entered, Mo Xuetong’s eyes swept the entrance between the second and third door. She indeed discovered two guards standing there. They looked solemn and stood stiffly. Their gazes were sharp and blood-thirsty. There was only one place that could train such people.
Mo Xuetong saw that and she knew. She lifted her skirts and looked down. She found her mother’s altar lamp and silently knelt, praying silently.
The elderly maid retreated to a side and waited for Mo Xuetong when she saw her praying silently. It was very quiet in the hall. They could only hear a little nun knocking on a wooden fish instrument at the corner and the soft recitations of the Buddhist scripture. There was a sad gentleness in the silence.
The orchid was placed in front of the altar lamp.
Mo Xuetong immersed herself in the chanting dazedly. Her eyes were lowered, as was her head. After some time, a group of people hurried in from outside. The person at the very front was a young man who was in his 20s. He had a gold crown on his head and wore a teal colored robe with dark patterns. He was very handsome and seemed gentle and elegant. His smile was like the spring wind and he seemed like a gentleman. He could not help but make a sound of surprise when he walked past Mo Xuetong. His gaze landed on the orchid plant in front of the altar lamp.
“Master…” A guard behind him went up and bowed when he saw the man stop.
The young man waved his hand. He did not look at Mo Xuetong who was kneeling with her head down and brought the people toward the annex hall inside. The hall grew quiet again.
Mo Xuetong knelt silently for some time. She suddenly heard a wizened old voice asking, “Miss, are you the owner of this orchid?”
Mo Xuetong looked up. It was a nanny who was about 40. She was slightly shocked when she saw Mo Xuetong look up. Then, she smiled and ask again, “Miss, may I ask if you are the owner of this orchid?”
“This plant is indeed mine! Does nanny need something?” Mo Xuetong smiled and asked.
“Would Miss be willing to let my master have this orchid?” the nanny asked. It was awkward for her too. Her master liked the orchid but did not want to be known for oppressing the weak. It was hard for her to manage the fine line.
“Your master is…” Mo Xuetong smiled and asked unhurriedly.
“Please forgive me, miss. It is inconvenient to reveal my master’s identity. He wants to exchange this box of pearls for miss’ orchid. Is it possible?” The nanny smiled politely. She took out a beautiful box and squatted down. She opened the box, revealing six large and beautiful eastern pearls.
Eastern pearls were not produce of the Great Qin but from the Yan Kingdom. It was a rare object in the Yan Kingdom as well. Furthermore, they were large and each and every one of them was full and round. It was difficult to find one, much less six. The maid by her side was shell-shocked. She came up and looked at Mo Xuetong meaningfully. While the orchid was precious, these eastern pearls were considered priceless. In terms of price, they far surpassed that of the orchid.
They were indeed profiting if they exchanged an orchid for them.
Mo Xuetong reached out a pale hand. She closed the box under the surprised gazes of the nanny and the maid. She traced the small characters on the box with her finger. There was a character for “pearl” written in dancing characters. She knew that the eldest princess’s title was Bright Pearl and liked to adorn her things with the character “pearl”.
She looked up and smiled at the nanny. “Nanny, please take the box of eastern pearls back with you.”
Was this a refusal? The nanny’s expression darkened. She had clearly seen that the girl had traced the character on the box lightly before she spoke. It was obvious that she knew who her master was. Since she knew that, how would she dare to refuse them casually?
She was going to speak when Mo Xuetong continued.
“A precious sword should be given to a swordsman while rouge should be given to beautiful women. Since your master really likes this orchid, I will give it to them. You don’t need to give me the eastern pearls. I will be leaving this place and do not have time to care for this plant.” A light fog of sadness appeared on Mo Xuetong’s beautiful face. She suddenly stood up and picked up the vase of orchid carefully. She wiped it carefully and gently before putting it in the nanny’s hands together with the handkerchief wrapped around it. There was a look of reluctance on her face.
She said meaningfully, “Thank you, nanny. This is for your master. I hope that she can investigate carefully.”
The object hidden in the handkerchief outside was what the eldest princess had to investigate carefully. Since she had given it to the princess it would end a relationship between her and the general manor in the future.
Except, Mo Xuetong had not thought that the relationship between her and the eldest princess could not be broken no matter what…
What would happen in the future, would bind her and the eldest princess closely together.
Mo Xuetong knew that her intentions had been conveyed. She bowed deeply at her mother’s altar lamp and turned to leave with the elderly maid. Even the nanny, who had seen and gone through many things was shocked. She looked at the orchid in her hands and at the decisive retreating figure. She was surprised that the weak girl was so decisive and generous.
“Give this to the lady.” A gentle tinkling voice that was somewhat authoritative could be heard.
“Yes!” The nanny did not dare to say much. She lowered her head and turned away. She bowed respectfully when she passed the young man. She saw that the black boots with golden threads had stopped at where the young lady knelt before the altar lamp earlier. He did not move even after a long while.