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Chapter 53: Give me back all of the dowry!

    Su Qing couldn't help but frown when she saw Yun Ruo Xue's uselessness; losing her head at the slightest movement of the wind and grass.

    She only pulled Yun Ruo Xue who was just about to hide behind the screens and asked sternly, "What are you panicking for? That old madam is not some wild beast, she won't eat you! How is what you are doing now of any benefit?"

    But Yun Ruo Xue had already lost her wits at the moment. She didn't even listen to Su Qing and continued to force way and hide behind the screens; even Su Qing almost couldn't hold her down. Luckily, Wang mama had just returned with the copper basin and saw the two of them tussling about. She hurriedly passed the basin of water to the yatou that had just come and immediately ran over to help Su Qing stop Yun Ruo Xue, strenuously advising, "er xiaojie, if you hide yourself, won't the old madam say that you were trying to hide your guilt? What's more, you are now in furen's room. Afterwards, furen might get blamed by laoye again! We should instead quickly think of a plan and try to cross this river together!"

    Obstructed by the both of them, Yun Ruo Xue was unable to move even half a step. With cold sweat pouring from her forehead, she anxiously shouted, "How can we have time to plan? They are already at the gates to the courtyard!"

    As she shouted, she struggled to tear herself out of her clothing, planning to escape by leaving behind a shell!

    Su Qing was actually also feeling restless, but she was more capable at enduring the pressure than Yun Ruo Xue. Looking at ther daughter's disheveled clothing and appearance, an idea suddenly flashed in her mind. She grabbed both of Yun Ruo Xue's arms and looked at her with serious eyes, saying, "Xue'er, mom has a plan! But you will have to suffer a bit of injustice!"

    Yun Ruo Xue did not have time to worry about whether or not she would suffer any injustice. Hearing that Su Qing had a plan, her fretful eyes suddenly lit up, as she grasped both of Su Qing's hands and asked excitedly, "Is it true? Mom, quickly tell me; what's the plan?"

    Su Qing saw how quickly Yun Ruo Xue had become filled with hope before even hearing about the plan and couldn't help but feel somewhat reluctant. Still, she quickly swept her hands over Yun Ruo Xue's body, finally choosing a spot at the parting of her hair. Then, grabbing a teacup from the table, she suddenly smashed Yun Ruo Xue's forehead!

    "Aaaaah......" With a miserable shriek, Yun Ruo Xue rolled about the floor while clutching her forehead. Su Qing, however, was quickly washing the teacup with the basin of water. After that, she lifted the copper basin and poured the water out of the window.

    Then, she helped Yun Ruo Xue up once again. Ignoring her daughter's livid expression, she supported and moved her to the couch......

    Right then, the old madam burst into the room with the whole crowd.

    "Su yiniang, where did you hide Ruo Xue? Quickly turn that ingrate over! I won't rest until I rip off her skin today!" Before they even had time to stand, the old madam had shouted at them with a loud and stern voice.

    Su Qing handed Yun Ruo Xue over to Wang mama before she turned to face the old madam with a hurtful expression. She kneeled before the old madam, aggrieved, and choked out emotionally, "laotaitai, you have to be fair to our er xiaojie! Look at her injury, why didn'r the heartless person who did this just come directly at me?"

    As she said this, Su Qing's tears began to fall. She did not give the old madam any opportunity to flip out and dragged the old madam's skirt, continuing, "laotaitai, er xiaojie is a precious young miss of the xiangfu! Look at her, she's been so heavily injured by someone! As her zumu, you can't just let her suffer this grievance!"

    The old madam momentarily forgot how to react and could only stare blankly at the tearful Su Qing. Then, looking at Yun Ruo Xue who was still groaning on the couch, her severe gaze momentarily flashed behind her, towards Rui mama who was being supported by two yatou.

    Rui mama was also caught unprepared by the sudden circumstances. Looking at the fresh blood flowing from between Yun Ruo Xue's fingers, and hearing Su Qing's sound accusation, she too lost her wits and didn't dare to put on any airs. Wringing free from the two yatou's support, she rushed before the old madam, kneeled and immediately pleaded her innocence, "laotaitai, please perceive the truth! laonu is the victim! er xiaojie injured laonu's head, but laonu is a servant. Don't mention hitting others, even laonu's words are careful and respectful; there's no way laonu can do something so utterly heartless! laotaitai, please seek justice for laonu!"

    As she said this, Rui mama did not care about the injury on her forehad and kowtowed to the old madam as if her life was on the line. In just a moment, the dark yellow carpets were dyed red by Rui mama's blood!

    Seeing her like this, and knowing her usual demeanor, the old madam already had the scales in her heart tipped in favor of Rui mama. The hatred in the glare she shot at Su Qing only increased.

    By now, Yun Ruo Xue had finally understood why Su Qing had done this. Jumping off the couch with a soft whoosh with her face still covered in blood, she plopped towards the old madam, forcefully pushing aside Rui mama who had the old madam's attention, and clutched at the old madam's legs, softly crying, "zumu, sunnü knows that you had good intentions when you sent Rui mama to look after sunnü! But, don't know why, today, Rui mama wouldn't stop insulting sunnü with her words! sunnü is young and inexperienced, so when I heard these unpleasant things, I can't help but feel unresolved and shot back a few words! But Rui mama suddenly became very angry and grabbed the bowl on the table to smash sunnü's head! zumu, sunnü can't possibly not retaliate after being hit and endangered by other people, right? That's why I snatched the bowl away and accidentally hit mama! When mama fainted, sunnü was very scared, so I ran back here, to Feng He Yuan! If zumu doesn't believe me, look at sunnü's forehead. This large bowl-sized wound almost took sunnü's life away......"

    Yun Ruo Xue, as if worried that the old madam and the others did not believe her, immediately stood up and lifted the hair near her forehead, revealing the bloody wound. Everyone, including the old madam, frowned at the sight of the wound.

    Seeing that most of them were currently unable to figure out which side was telling the truth, Su Qing immediately hugged Yun Ruo Xue , grabbed a silk handkerchief, and dabbed at the wound with a shuddering hand. She said broken-heartedly, "My child, it's all mom's fault for having a low status as a yiniang! It's my fault that a proper xiaojie like you can be bullied by a servant! It doesn't matter if they treat me badly, but you are a precious daughter of the xiangfu. If news spread that a mean slave bullied her master, not only would our xiangfu's reputation be ruined, it might even cause laotaitai and xiangye's relationship to become strained! What's more, now that your beauty is damaged, when the time comes to choose a husband, which family's gongzi will be willing to marry you?"

    Su Qing seemed to get angrier as she spoke, her eyes were glaring at Rui mama like a poisonous viper, as if she wanted to pounce over and give her a deadly bite!

    However, Rui mama was clearly the true victim. Seeing how the mother and daughter were colluding to throw the crime onto her shoulders, she was already unable to stop herself from trembling with rage. But, not knowing how the wound on Yun Ruo Xue's head had come about, she could only fume with rage and kowtow towards the old madam, "laotaitai, nubi has served you for many decades; nubi's character and personality, laotaitai knows best! nubi started to follow you from the time laotaitai was still a xiaojie, followed you as a dowry maid when you entered Yun fu, and followed you to the xiangfu when dalaoye was promoted! Even though erlaoye's Yun Fu was not in the capital, and nubi had stayed there with laotaitai for the longest time, nubi is not some short-sighted person. nubi has never done any of these underhanded or dishonorable actions; there's no way nubi will do something like bullying a master! What's more, nubi knows deeply about the importance of a young lady's appearance; there's no way nubi will treat er xiaojie's appearance as a joke! laotaitai, please perceive the truth! Otherwise, nubi will rather kill myself here in Feng He Yuan!"

    As she finished, Rui mama steadily stood up and gave Su Qing and Yun Ruo Xue a cold smile. Then, she motioned to run headfirst into the heavy wooden doorframe.

    "Stop her!" At the old madam's yell, the servants in the room all quickly grabbed Rui mama's waist and tried to talk down Rui mama who had resolved to commit suicide.

    "mama, even we know how you usually act, of course laotaitai will know even better! She will definitely seek justice for you!"

    "mama, if you do this, won't you be dying of persecution? laotaitai has always relied heavily upon you, she won't just let you suffer this injustice for no reason!"

    "That's right, mama, laotaitai is still here! You are the closest person to her, so don't make this mistake. All of us know how good you are. If you really go away, all of us will be very sad!"

    Completing each other's sentences, they finally managed to halt Rui mama for the time being. Still, she only sank to the floor dejectedly, kneeling before the old madam once again.

    The old madam was just about to get angry at Su Qing for forcing her most trusted aide to consider suicide, when Yun Ruo Xue's small face suddenly paled, her eyes glazing over as she swooned and fell to the floor. Shocked, Su Qing suddenly pounced over and hugged Yun Ruo Xue's body, weeping, "laotaitai, your own granddaughter is at the brink of life and death, but you still want to side with that wicked servant? nubi knows that you don't like me, but er xiaojie is xiangye's flesh and blood; the blood flowing in her body is the blood of the Yun family! Are you really so ruthless that you are willing to see your granddaughter die under false accusations?"

    The old madam had no idea if Yun Ruo Xue had really fainted or if she was only pretending; but with so many pairs of eyes on her, she still needed to put up appearances. Hence, she sent another one of her mama to go over to look.

    However, Su Qing was crying and hugging Yun Ruo Xue's head tightly, preventing anyone from getting closer; her eyes wet with unyielding tears filled with grief.

    Seeing that the old madam had brought many servants over, Wang mama, worried that Su Qing and Yun Ruo Xue would be at a disadvantage, had earlier sent the yatou from before outside to call all of the servants in the courtyard over. Now that their numbers were even, it felt like a confrontation would break out at any moment!

    Yet Su Qing quieted down at this moment, her pea-sized tears dripping down onto Yun Ruo Xue's delicate face. With firm determination in her aggrieved voice, she raised her head and looked directly at the old madam and said slowly and unhurriedly, "If laotaitai does not believe nubi, then you can call my second brother to come and judge the case! nubi's second brother has worked in the Ministry of Justice for many years, and is most experienced in handling and investigating cases. I trust that he will definitely give us justice!"

    Hearing this, the old madam felt a sickening, fishy smell in her heart and angrily slammed her walking stick into the carpet, angrily bellowing, "You dare to threaten me?!"

    But the current Su Qing was not afraid of anything. She only stared back at the old madam with unyielding eyes as her lips curled into a cold smile!

    Both parties seemed to be in a deadlock as the servants all glanced anxiously at their respective masters.

    "da xiaojie has arrived!" At this moment, someone had softly called out, drawing their attention to the sound of footsteps that were drawing closer to the silent room......

    Everyone turned to find Liu yiniang carefully supporting Yun Qian Meng as they quickly entered the room. When the servants saw the eldest miss arrive, they bowed one after another to greet, "Paying respects to da xiaojie!"

    Yun Qian Meng had a serene expression and a calm gaze. At their greeting, she only slightly nodded her head, and then replied with a gentle and graceful voice, "Everyone, please get up."

    She then moved before the old madam and bent her knee to bow, "sunnü greets zumu!"

    Seeing Yun Qian Meng arrive, the old madam's expression softened somewhat, but, her heart still swelling with anger, she only lightly nodded her head and asked somewhat absent-mindedly, "Why did you come? You're still not feeling well, it's best not to come to an unlucky place like this. Otherwise, it might interfere with your recovery!"

    Mi mama heard the old madam say something so unpleasantly and couldn't help but get annoyed. Was the old madam really venting her anger towards Su Qing and Yun Ruo Xue on the eldest miss?

    Can't the old madam think for a bit? If not for the eldest miss showing up at this moment, the old madam would not have been able to get out of her current predicament!

    But Yun Qian Meng did not seem to take the old madam's attitude to mind. She only smiled like the gentle spring breeze and answered the old madam with the usual courteous respect, "Meng'er knows that zumu cared about sunnü. But just now, Liu yiniang said that zumu was angrily rushing over to Feng He Yuan. Meng'er felt worried, and forced Liu yiniang to bring me here! However, just what is the matter that made zumu so angry? West Chu country is a civilized nation, and His Majesty has produced many filial generations! Who could be so bold, to dare to disregard His Majesty and disregard the teachings and traditions that have been passed down to us?"

    Her musings seemed to be unintentional, but all the people that were in the room knew how the situation had panned out. After hearing Yun Qian Meng's sermon, all of them couldn't help but shoot their glances at Su Qing!

    The old madam couldn't help but sigh in admiration at Yun Qian Meng's speech. She finally grasped Yun Qian Meng's tiny hands and lamented, "Girl, do you think all of the people in the fu are virtuous and filial like you? All kinds of dirty, filthy things happen behind the scenes in large families like ours! zumu thought that because your father didn't have too many concubines, stuff like this would not happen! But I just had to encounter something like this today! Look at Rui mama and Ruo Xue, like this, if outsiders heard about this, won't they laugh at me for failing to manage the household properly?"

    Actually, Yun Qian Meng had already noticed their blood-covered appearances the moment she had stepped into the room. However, she had pretended not to see anything to first console the old madam, waiting for her to bring the matter up.

    Now, following old madam's instructions to take a look, Yun Qian Meng slightly pursed her lips with a soft gasp. She then asked tenderly, "What is this? Why are Rui mama and Ruo Xue like this? Liu yiniang, what are you standing around for? Quickly go and get the doctor! So much blood, if they aren't treated, their life will be at risk!"

    Even though Yun Qian Meng was urgently asking Liu yiniang to do something, she did not neglect the old madam's expression. Noticing the old madam glare coldly at Su Qing and Yun Ruo Xue, she turned around and helped the old madam to sit beside the table, then patiently said, "zumu, you should let them treat their wounds first! After all, one of them is your granddaughter, while the other is someone who that has been like a sister to you for so many years. No matter how great the conflict, you should wait until their condition is stable first! Otherwise, even if you manage to extort a confession, Rui mama might also end up fainting like meimei! What's more, if father gets the news, do you think he will side with meimei or mama?"

    Yun Qian Meng only whispered the last part of the sentence into the old madam's ears. The old madam's expression changed immediately; her unwillingness becoming a heavy frown as she finally nodded.

    Yun Qian Meng quickly sent a glance towards Liu yiniang, prompting her to send the servants beside her to hurriedly withdraw from the room and rush out of the courtyard......

    After placating the old madam, Yun Qian Meng quickly moved to Yun Ruo Xue's side, intending to help Su Qing carry her up.

    But Su Qing was not appreciative of her gesture, coldly saying, "Don't dare to trouble da xiaojie!"

    Saying that, she pulled Yun Ruo Xue up with Wang mama and carefully laid her down on the bed.

    Despite being coldly rebuffed by Su Qing, Yun Qian Meng only smiled and paid it no mind. She then turned to Rui mama and personally helped her up from her kneel, kindly comforting her, "mama's head injury needs to be treated carefully, otherwise it won't heal easily."

    Rui mama had already received fifty liang of silver. To her, a little bit of pain was still worth it!

    Rather touched by the concern Yun Qian Meng was showing her, her wrinkled eyes reddened as she choked with emotion, "nubi thanks da xiaojie for your care!"

    Yun Qian Meng only patted her hands and smiled faintly, "zumu has never treated you like an outsider. So, in Qian Meng's eyes, you are also family! mama should stop treating yourself like an outsider, otherwise, you'll make us feel bad!"

    At these warm words, not only were Rui mama's eyes brimming with touched tears, even the old madam was expressing a faint, kindly smile.

    Liu Han Yu noticed that the old madam was no longer wearing her previous ferocious expression and couldn't help but give Yun Qian Meng a thumbs up. In her heart, she only praised the eldest miss for being capable; managing to calm down the old madam with several words. If she had tried the same thing, perhaps she would only have wasted her own breath!

    Also noting the importance the old madam had placed on Rui mama, Liu Han Yu got someone to prepare a stool for Rui mama. She then came to the bed and looked at the still unconscious Yun Ruo Xue, sighing regretfully, "It will be such a pity if er xiaojie's flower-like face will be left with scar!"

    Su Qing had originally planned to lay low until Yun Xuan Zhi's arrival. But, hearing Liu Han Yu curse Yun Ruo Xue like that, the anger in her heart surged as she couldn't help but retort coldly, "Liu yiniang should just keep your good intentions to yourself! Our Ruo Xue has a blessed life and will not have any regrets! Instead, san xiaojie has such a low status, I'm afraid that she can only find a partner from some small family or village! If Liu yiniang has time to casually curse others, you should instead spend some more effort on san xiaojie! Don't let it be so that she can't find even a presentable husband!"

    Liu Han Yu had known from the start that her maternal family could never compare to Su Qing's and had long come to terms with this fact!

    However, having Su Qing lay the facts bare in front of everyone here, she only felt like she was not being given any face!

    Especially while she was still in charge of the xiangfu, she had already replaced quite a number of servants over the weeks. But if Su Qing's words were passed around, and everyone knew that she was a daughter from a rather small family, she worried that nobody would respect her when she handled the household matters!

    The power and influence of the maternal family had a direct effect on a daughter's fate!

    Yun Yan was already just a concubine's daughter. If she was known to have a yiniang that lacked power and influence as her birth mother, then she could only live the rest of her life as a nobody!

    Her thoughts reaching this point, Liu Han Yu only wished she could rip Su Qing's jeering face to shreds!

    However, seeing her own aggression reflected in Su Qing's eyes, Liu Han Yu remembered that the woman before her was the beloved of Yun Xuan Zhi. Not having obtained the old madam's favor yet, if she was to collide with Su Qing at this moment, coupled with Yun Ruo Xue's current state, there was no way xiangye would not side with Su Qing and her daughter!

    Hence, although the veins on Liu Han Yu's hands were close to bursting, she maintained an appropriate smile. Not bothering to reply to Su Qing's challenge, she turned and moved to the door, lifted the curtains and coldly shouted at the servants outside, "Why has the doctor not arrived yet? Just what are you all doing?"

    Watching Liu Han Yu retreat defeated, Su Qing laughed coldly in her heart and continued to pour her attention over Yun Ruo Xue.

    Yun Qian Meng only calmly watched the two of them cross swords. Seeing how Liu Han Yu was forcefully wringing the door curtains while Su Qing was as calm as usual, it was not hard to see which one of them had come out on top!

    The old madam, however, just pretended that Su Qing did not exist, and suddenly asked about Yun Qian Meng's forehead.

    Yun Qian Meng answered properly, but suddenly paused to think about something for quite a while. Then, she somewhat cautiously asked, "zumu, Meng'er has a request, but I don't know whether to say it or not!"

    Having interacted with Yun Qian Meng for a few days, the old madam knew that Yun Qian Meng was not one to ask for favors lightly. Seeing her difficult expression, she only felt extremely curious, and gently questioned, "zumu knows that you are an earnest person and won't make any ridiculous requests! Just say it, as long as zumu is able, zumu will allow it!"

    A cold chill streaked across the depths of Yun Qian Meng's eyes at the old madam's cautious response.

    The old madam was quite crafty, planning to present a magnanimous attitude before everyone while hinting at her not to make any excessive requests!

    It was almost baffling how such a petty and miserly person had managed to convince Gu laotaijun to wed her beloved daughter into their family!

    While she was held the old madam in contempt in her heart, on the surface, she continued to smile with composure. Looking tenderly at the bedridden Yun Ruo Xue with teary eyes, Yun Qian Meng gently said, "zumu, sunnü wishes to give the Ning Zhi cream, that will aid in the recovery of wounds, to meimei!"

    As soon as Yun Qian Meng said that, the old madam and Su Qing both turned to stare at her. Their expressions were one and the same; completely shocked!

    However, they were shocked for completely different reasons!

    The old madam was shocked that Yun Qian Meng would be so generous, even willing to give away such a treasure that could heal wounds to Yun Ruo Xue, and only wondered what Yun Qian Meng could be thinking!

    But Su Qing was only feeling deep hatred!

    When Qu Ruo Li had passed away, she had searched her rooms for the entire day, but was not able to find any trace of the miraculous Ning Zhi cream! She had thought that Xia mama must have stolen it and left the fu, and sent some people to find her for over half a year, but still ended up with no leads!

    She had never expected that that bottle on Ning Zhi cream had been in the old madam's possession all along!

    And now, this old madam actually took something that she had taken from Yun Qian Meng's mother and presented it as a gift to Yun Qian Meng. Without spending a penny, she made her granddaughter grateful, and even drew praise from the crowd! It was truly a brilliant and cunning plan, especially from such a stingy and petty old fart!

    But Yun Qian Meng's intentions were even more curious. Being nice for no good reason, it can't be a good omen!

    Yet Yun Qian Meng only calmly received their gazes, the smile on her lips not even stirring at their pressing stares.

    Finding nothing but a generous expression in Yun Qian Meng's eyes, both of them retracted their stares with slight disapppointment.

    The old madam narrowed her eyes and tapped on the table, pausing for a bit before answering, "Girl, that was something bestowed by the Emperor. Are you seriously willing to just give it away?"

    The old madam was actually very unwilling, and did not want to see Yun Qian Meng pass the Ning Zhi cream to Yun Ruo Xue!

    Yun Qian Meng did not immediately respond, instead smiling to look at Su Qing's expression. Seeing her lower her eyes, she finally said, "Of course! After all, Meng'er's wound can be covered by my sleeves, but meimei's wound is on her head. If there was really a scar left, wouldn't it be a fate worse than death? What's more, for wai zumu's birthday feast, Meng'er also plans to bring ermei along! After all, when Meng'er had poor health in the past, ermei had always attended in my place! If Meng'er were to show up on my own this time, other people might start to make wild guesses. That won't be good for the xiangfu's reputation!"

    Su Qing momentarily froze at Yun Qian Meng's response, her eyes immediately darting to Yun Ruo Xue's forehead!

    Sure enough, as Yun Qian Meng had said, Yun Ruo Xue cared very much about her appearance. Usually, she would throw a tantrum at the slightest blemish. If a scar was really left behind this time, she only feared that Yun Ruo Xue would never forgive her!

    After all, the Ning Zhi cream should have come into her possession long ago! She was only claiming back something that she should have owned after all; what right did the old madam have to get involved?

    However, Su Qing still had heavy doubts in her heart. She only feared that Yun Qian Meng had done something to the Ning Zhi cream!

    The old madam heard Yun Qian Meng's reply and noticed that all the servants in the room seemed to be waiting for her response. Hence, she only, somewhat stiffly, grunted in agreement, granting Yun Qian Meng's request.

    After all, everyone was watching. As a grandmother, no matter how much she hated Yun Ruo Xue, she could not conceal all the good things in her pockets and let her granddaughter have her appearance ruined!

    Otherwise, if Yun Xuan Zhi came to know about it, Yun Yi Heng and Yun Yi Jie's careers might not go so smoothly!

    Since the matter was brought up by Yun Qian Meng herself, she was only a middle-man, and did not need to mind too much!

    However, thinking that Su Qing and Yun Ruo Xue had been gifted with such a good deal, the old madam did not feel good in her heart, and only had an extremely ugly expression on her face!

    She was especially opposed to letting Yun Ruo Xue attent the birthday feast, as she stubbornly said, "Seeing her condition, it's better to let her rest at home. If she went crazy at Fu Guo gongfu, it will be a loss of face for our xiangfu!"

    Su Qing heard the old madam try to sideline her daughter once again and was just about to make a sarcastic remark when an old doctor was brought in. Su Qing and Wang mama immediately lowered the drapery around the bed for the doctor to take Yun Ruo Xue's pulse.

    After taking Yun Ruo Xue and Rui mama's pulse in order, the doctor stood before the old madam and carefully said, "xiaojie and mama have only suffered flesh wounds. I will prescribe some medicine to help them recover their blood and restore vitality. Additionally, there will be some external medicine that will need to be applied daily! However, xiaojie's wound on her forehead is a bit more serious, and will need gentle care!"

    Hearing the doctor's diagnosis, the old madam's expression only darkened as she pursed her lips tightly and refused to speak.

    Liu Han Yu saw this and quickly smiled in response, "Thanks for the hard work, doctor! Lian'er, bring the doctor to the side room to write his prescription!"

    After the doctor left, Liu yiniang and Yun Qian Meng exchanged a glance and spoke considerately, "laotaitai, er xiaojie will probably not be waking up for quite some time! Why don't you go back and rest first? Tomorrow, when er xiaojie wakes up, we can come and properly question her again. Besides, Rui mama is also not young any more, it would be better for her to go back and rest earlier! Rest assured, nubi will personally bring the medicine to Bai Shun Tang!"

    The old madam also felt that the place was unlucky. She had come here to condemn Su Qing with a huge group, but was unexpectedly beaten back by her. Having not gained anything and instead, being treated like a fool in front the servants, she also did not want to stay there any longer. She resentfully stood up and clutched her walking stick to leave the room while being supported by the servants.

    Noticing that Yun Qian Meng was standing in place and seeing her off, she called out in reminder, "Meng'er, you should go back too! This is not a good place for a proper xiaojie like you!"

    Hearing this, a fire was lit in Su Qing's eyes. But Yun Qian Meng only smiled and obediently answered, "Meng'er understands."

    The old madam saw that she was obedient and nodded, bringing Rui mama and the rest of her servants with her as she quickly left......

    Now, only Su Qing, Yun Ruo Xue, Wang mama, Yun Qian Meng, Mi mama and Mu Chun were left in the room while the doors were already guarded by Yun Qian Meng's people. After sending off the old madam, Yun Qian Meng only straightened up and looked at the three people opposite her with a mocking expression.

    Su Qing had also dropped her silent pretense, and glared back at Yun Qian Meng with hatred. She then coldly smiled and said, "Your plans for Ruo Xue are appreciated! But we cannot accept. You should just take back your crocodile tears!"

    Yun Qian Meng did not get angry, and only looked towards the bed while casually saying, "I'm afraid that this isn't something that yiniang should make a decision about! Why don't you ask meimei if she wants to attend the birthday feast?"

    Momentarily stunned, Su Qing quickly turned around to find that Yun Ruo Xue had already opened her eyes. Glaring back at her with resentful eyes, Yun Ruo Xue firmly spelled out her thoughts, "Mom, I want to attend the feast! I must surpass Yun Yi Yi, I will surpass that slut!"

    Near the end, Yun Ruo Xue was almost howling. Her entire body trembled fiercely, showing just how deeply-rooted her hatred was. And this hatred was clearly born from jealousy!

    At Yun Ruo Xue's uselessness, Su Qing felt her temper surge and couldn't help but raise her outstretched palm......

    But Yun Ruo Xue seemed to have predicted her course of action, and fearlessly raised her face, hatefully glaring back at her, daring her to move her hands!

    Su Qing only powerlessly lowered her hand and turned to look at Yun Qian Meng. Seeing how quickly she had managed to turn her daughter against her, she immediately understood that everything that had happened was all part of Yun Qian Meng's plan. With hatred growing in her heart, she nearly ground out her teeth as she spat, "Yun Qian Meng! It was you! Everything was planned by you! You actually planned for everything and everyone! What do you want to do? Just what do you hope to obtain?"

    Yun Qian Meng only widened her smile at Su Qing's reaction. A cold chill flashing deep within her smiling eyes, she moved closer to Su Qing step by step. As the coldness intensified with each step, her smiling expression gave way to a cold, austere glare. Stopping just one step away, she quietly replied, "I want you to give me back all of the dowry!"

    Su Qing's eyes widened at her words, looking at Yun Qian Meng in disbelief!

    In Su Qing's mind, Yun Qian Meng was only a baby when Qu Ruo Li had passed away. And she had also purged the xiangfu of anyone close to Qu Ruo Li at the time. Why would Yun Qian Meng suddenly ask her this? Was this a probing questing?

    But from Yun Qian Meng's tone, she seemed extremely certain of the fact. For a moment, Su Qing was at a complete loss as to what do do!

    However, regardless if Yun Qian Meng was just suspicious or confident of the facts, Su Qing absolutely would not return any part of the enormous dowry!

    She only stuck out her waist and raised up her head, putting on a fierce expression as she pointed sharply at Yun Qian Meng and retorted, "Yun Qian Meng, don't spit slanderous accusations at us! Who would covet your dead mother's belongings?"

    Yun Qian Meng did not bother arguing with her. The more aggressively Su Qing reacted, the more obvious it was that she was guilty!

    Yun Qian Meng had looked through the list of gifts that were given that year. She naturally knew exactly how staggering Qu Ruo Li's dowry had been. Ignoring the Yun family's betrothal gift, with just the rare treasures bestowed by the previous Emperor, it was already enough to feed all the common folk in the capital for several years! As for Fu Guo gongfu, they naturally did not skimp on their daughter's dowry. With their relationship to the Empress Dowager, Qu Ruo Li had been like a princess when she married!

    And if Yun Qian Meng did not guess wrong, the reason the old madam and Su Qing were at odds with each other was definitely related to the missing dowry!

    After all, Qu Ruo Li never managed to gain Yun Xuan Zhi's affection after she married in. After worrying too much, her body had gradually become weak. Perhaps, at that moment, the old madam and Su Qing had already set their eyes on the dowry. But no one expected that Su Qing managed to curry Yun Xuan Zhi's favor and make the first move, driving the old madam back to Su city to secure her grip on the dowry!

    If not for this, with the old madam's status, why would she even bother finding fault with just a yiniang?

    At the moment, even if she beat Su Qing to death, she might not agree to return the dowry. Yun Qian Meng also did not cling on to such a faint hope.

    But what Yun Qian Meng had now was time. As long as she slowly traded blows with Su Qing, she would see who gets to make the last laugh!

    And right now, on the bed, Yun Ruo Xue was extremely anxious as she heard Su Qing deny the accusation. If her mother did not bring out the dowry, would it mean that she could not attend the birthday feast?

    Yun Ruo Xue did not want to be mocked by the other young misses in the capital. She was supposed to be noble daughter that everyone else envied; there was no way she was willing to let go of her spot!

    But her mother, for just a bit of money, was willing to let her own daughter's face fall to the floor. Was this person really her mother? Or was it that her mother's heart no longer had any room for her?

    Countless questions popped into Yun Ruo Xue's narrow mind as her expression became more and more ugly. She suddenly threw her sheets away and crouched before Su Qing, dragging her sleeves to plead, "Mom, just take pity on me! nü'er really wants to attend the feast! Please, let me go! I promise nothing bad will happen!"

    With her own daughter putting her on the spot, Su Qing only felt bitterly disappointed.

    Who did she do all of this for? Why did the girl before her not understand the least of her panstaking efforts?

    Ruo Xue should know just how large a dowry it was. Even if Ruo Xue was to marry with the status of a concubine's daughter, that kind of dowry would make it so that her husband's family could not treat her lightly!

    But this girl was so short-sighted, and was about to throw away her future happiness for just a birthday feast. Su Qing only felt her heart freeze as her expression sank deeper and deeper.

    Yun Qian Meng only lightly smiled at their expressions. Pulling out a porcelain bottle and placing it on the table, she generously said, "Since it's like this, yiniang should properly discuss the matter with meimei and come to me with your decision! However, yiniang should not think that this was a fluke and that I only have these methods! Now that everything in the xiangfu is within my grasp, yiniang is just a fish in a barrel. Taking the things you have hidden away is as easy as reaching into a bag, or perhaps I should say, like taking candy from a baby!"

    Ending her speech, Yun Qian Meng did not take another look at Su Qing's changing expression and left Feng He Yuan with Mu Chun's support.

    Su Qing only stared at her daughter that was still begging her profusely and finally really got a taste of Yun Qian Meng's ability!

    She was not going to press her to spit out the dowry, but planned to use Ruo Xue to force her hand!

    If she were to promise Yun Ruo Xue, the dowry that she had already taken as her own would need to be wholly returned. When she thought about this, Su Qing only wished she could smash herself into the wall and die!

    But if she refused, her relationship with Ruo Xue will be completely destroyed. If she considered how she had personally caused harm to her daughter's face today, it was extremely unlikely that Yun Ruo Xue would ever forgive her!

    It was only now that Su Qing finally understood how terrifying Yun Qian Meng actually was! Yet what had shocked her even more was that she had no idea when Yun Qian Meng had started to plan everything out!

    Su Qing only felt cold sweat dripping rom her forehead as she helped Yun Ruo Xue up and tiredly said, "Xue'er, let mom think through this carefully."

    Yun Ruo Xue saw that there was still room for discussion and rejoiced. But, worried that her mother would renege on her words, she added, "Mom, just promise Yun Qian Meng! When Xue'er finds the ideal husband, I will return everything back to you!"

    Seeing her daughter's naive smile, Su Qing felt her heart sour and a bitter taste in her mouth. But she only pretended to happily nod her head and let Wang mama take Yun Ruo Xue away.

    Su Qing was originally planning to wait a few days to find a surefire way to deal with Yun Qian Meng, but the Heavens did not move according to her plans. In just two days, Captain Liu had returned with Yun Yi Yi, and the eldest sister, Yun Qian Meng had taken it upon herself to bring her little sister out to go shopping for jewelry......
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