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Chapter 111 Part 1: Second Uncles Entire Family Gathered at Xiangfu

    "That's strange, I hadn't heard of inviting a Daoist priestess to put spells for the autumn exam." Ying Xia whispered to Yuan Dong and Mu Chun from her position behind Yun Qian Meng after hearing Liu Han Yu's words.

    "As if putting the spells were enough. Look at how they are doing it, those who have no idea might think that our xiangfu is on fire." Mu Chun's gaze appeared to be mocking, thinking about how the old madam had tried hard to repeatedly send the fourth xiaojie to Chu xiangfu, her heart was utterly unhappy.

    "That's enough, a loose tongue can cause a lot of trouble. Be careful or you might involve our xiaojie." This time, it was Yuan Dong who had spoken in a low voice, warning the two who were outraged by the injustice towards Yun Qian Meng.

    Although deep within her heart, she was also extremely unhappy with the way the old madam was doing things. But the old madam was still the eldest xiaojie's grandmother after all. If Ying Xia and Mu Chun's words were to reach the old madam's ears, who knows what they would do to their eldest xiaojie.

    Hearing Yuan Dong's words, Yun Qian Meng glanced at the three of them behind her, afterwhich she told Liu Han Yu, "Assign people to carefully monitor the Bai Shun Tang. Observe caution as father is currently preoccupied with the matters concerning the autumn exam, so everything in the house is no being handled by yiniang. If something were to go wrong, yiniang might find it difficult to explain to father."

    Liu Han Yu responded by lower her head, but between her brows, she only felt embarrassed. Yet there were a lot of servants standing nearby so it would inappropriate for her to speak, and she could only assist Yun Qian Meng onto the soft palanquin. She herself walked beside it, following the palanquin as it proceeded towards Qi Luo Yuan.

    The closer their party got to the back courtyards, the heavier smoke of the burning incenses became and it was now present everywhere, irritating the eyes, and causing everyone within the smoke to shed tears. Mu Chun and the others carefully supported the palanquin, while covering their noses and mouths with their hands. They tried to breathe in as little smoke as possible, but despite their efforts, some of them still choked on the smoke, coughing a few times, and had great difficulty keeping their eyes open.

    Although Yun Qian Meng was sitting inside of the palanquin, the smoke was indeed extremely strong, and it penetrated through the thick palanquin curtain, directly hitting her face that anyone would feel greatly annoyed.

    Fortunately, they walked quite fast, and in the blink of an eye, they had taken the turn that would bring them into Qi Luo Yuan. Yun Qian Meng quickly stepped down from the palanquin, seeing Liu Han Yu keeping close, she knew instantly that there must have been something else that needed to be reported, so she led the way to her inner room.

    "Yiniang still has some other concerns?" taking off the muslin veil, Yun Qian Meng breathed in the air inside the room. Compared to the smoke outside, it was markedly better. Mi Mama must have already been aware of the situation so she had closed all the windows here to prevent the smoke from entering the inner room.

    Liu Han Yu did not try to conceal anything further and said straightforwardly, "The old madam permitted the Daoist priestess to enter Feng He Yuan first to cast spells. She said that Su yiniang's murderous sin was too heavy, and feared that it might affect the future of the two gongzi. So she forcefully entered Feng He Yuan and turned everything over. Then I heard the conversation between the old madam and the fourth xiaojie, it seems that they are planning to welcome the second master and furen to the xiangfu."

    It would seems that the old madam had hated Su Qing so much that now Su Qing had fallen, she would still throw stones at her, otherwise the resent in the old madam's heart could not entirely be eliminated.

    The old madam was may have used spells for good luck as an excuse to try to clean out all the valuables inside of Feng He Yuan. Her thieving behavior was seriously making everyone despise her.

    But what interested Yun Qian Meng the most was whether or not Yun Xuan Mo and his wife would really come to xiangfu.

    Yun Xuan Zhi and his brother Yun Xuan Mo practically had a huge argument during back then, so they had not visit one another for more than ten years. There was no way to know how Yun Xuan Mo would react this time, and the old madam still invited Yun Xuan Mo back to xiangfu. Perhaps she was confident that Yun Yi Heng and his brother would be able to amaze the world with the brilliant feats they would achievements in the imperial examination.

    But the old madam was not stupid, in her heart she knew why Yun Xuan Zhi had thrown Su Qing's son to her. She thought of every possible method to summon her younger son over so that when if they ever had an argument, at least the old madam would not be at a disadvantage.

    Taking off the cloak from her shoulders and handed it over to Mu Chun, Yun Qian Meng then slowly sat down, afterwhich she looked at Liu Han Yu and said with a smile, "Yiniang, what do you think is inappropriate about this?"

    Since Liu Han Yu had informed her regarding this matter, perhaps she had been having doubts and difficulties about it.

    Liu Han Yu lifted her eyes to looked at Yun Qian Meng, she was a faint smile and a flash of brightness in those eyes, as if all the difficulties would be settled once they passed through Yun Qian Meng. She seemed quite dependable, having greatly transformed from a timid and weak xiaojie, to today's distinctive eldest xiaojie and daughter of the legal wife. Liu Han Yu truly admired her, so unconsciously, when Liu Han Yu encountered a difficult situation, the first person she thought of was Yun Qian Meng.

    At the question, Liu Han Yu slightly hung her head down and contemplated for a moment. When  she lifted her head again, she slowly spoke of the worry in her heart. "Xiangye is recently preoccupied with matters concerning the autumn exam. I'm afraid he wouldn't be able to manage things within the fu, and that once the second master and his wife arrives, xiangye might become displeased."

    Liu Han Yu's worries were not unfounded. The brother had argued quite awfully in the past, so perhaps Yun Xuan Zhi would be unwilling to meet Yun Xuan Mo to the point of obstructing their filial piety and affections as blood relatives until he would no longer accept the old madam and Yun Xuan Mo's children.

    Yun Xuan Zhi's heart might still contain a huge knot in his heart for his own younger brother, one that might never untie itself.

    Yun Qian Meng watched Liu Han Yu's distress and suddenly understood what she had been worrying about. With a shallow smile, Yun Qian Meng said, "This matter isn't quite difficult to resolve. If yiniang is afraid that father might get mad, it would be better if you cleaned the other courtyards in the capital to let uncle and his family stay in. If father still cares for their relationship as siblings, then he would certainly invite uncle over to stay in xiangfu."

    Liu Han Yu was somewhat anxious at Yun Qian Meng's disinterest, so she hurriedly said, "Xiaojie, the other courtyard in the capital is full of the late furen's dowry. I'm fear that..."

    Yet Yun Qian Meng just smiled and did not answer. Why should she be afraid? Could it be that she was afraid that the old madam might use this opportunity to invade Qu Ruo Li's dowry?

    Currently, Yun Xuan Zhi handled all the courtyards, how could he just let someone snatch them away so easily? And by doing this, he would only be doing them a favor at little cost. In any event, those courtyards were unused, but people were alive. If he wanted to take back the courtyards, there were ways of doing them.

    As for the old madam and the rest, were they not suitable people made readily available?

    While they were speaking, one of Liu Han Yu's yatou came rushing in, seeing Yun Qian Meng and Liu Han Yu, she immediately knelt down before the two of them, then anxiously said, "Eldest xiaojie, yiniang, something bad has happened!"

    "What happened, why are making a big fuss in front of the eldest xiaojie? What a scandal!" Liu Han Yu's brows knitted as she angrily rebuked her own yatou for being unruly.

    The yatou immediately lowered her head and admitted her mistake as soon as she saw Liu Han Yu being respectful before Yun Qian Meng, "Nubi has behaved rudely, please forgive me eldest xiaojie, yiniang."

    "What has made you so panicky, do tell." This yatou seemed to have good judgment, so Yun Qian Meng knew that Liu Han Yu had trained her well, so surely whatever it is must be urgent, she would not behave so impetuously otherwise. Yun Qian Meng, in turn, did not excoriate her and was only curious as to what the urgent matter was.

    "Eldest xiaojie, just now, the second xiaojie learned that the old madam had people search Feng He Yuan, so she burst in and wrestled with the old madam the fourth xiaojie. Right now, the old madam had people set up a bench at Feng He Yuan to punish the second xiaojie. By now, she has had less than twenty beatings with the bamboo stick. I was afraid that this might cost someone's life, thus I have hurried over to report this incident to the eldest xiaojie and yiniang." The yatou wiped off the beads of sweat from her forehead as she hurriedly told them of the details that were concealed in her heart.

    Liu Han Yu stared blankly, then she turned to Yun Qian Meng, yet she only saw an expression completely devoid of panic. Liu Han Yu was embarrassed for a moment and she lowered her head. Though, if they ignored this matter today, perhaps Yun Ruo Xue's life would be handed over to the hands of the old madam.

    Although Yun Xuan Zhi was extremely disappointed with Yun Ruo Xue after the incident involving his son, she was a child that he had personally brought up with his hands, so he might still go back to doting on this daughter someday.

    If he were to learn that Yun Ruo Xue had suffered this way without no one to help her, perhaps the first person that would be blamed would be herself.

    But if she were to interfere, she would not only offend the old madam, but Yun Ruo Xue would never appreciate her efforts. For a moment, Liu Han Yu was unable to decide, so she put her hopes on Yun Qian Meng and she asked, "Eldest xiaojie, would you like to go take a look?"

    Yun Qian Meng just shook her head, and lightly reminded Liu Han Yu, "Yiniang, you must remember that inside xiangfu, father takes priority. The old madam being the mother of my father, would naturally consider her child's feelings. It is unlikely for her to worsen father's mood with the incident in the backyard. As for my second meimei, she will learn her lesson and recognize the current situation. In the future she will not behave so rudely anymore."

    After Yun Qian Meng's reminder, Liu Han Yu suddenly relaxed, so faced Yun Qian Meng and paid her courtesies before leading her own yatou towards Feng He Yuan.

    "Xiaojie, why don't you go and see? The second xiaojie was so arrogant that she lost her sense of measure. Today, she will have learned her lesson." Mu Chun wrinkled her nose and muttered as she folded up Yun Qian Meng's cloak and carefully placed it inside the wardrobe.

    "If you are bored, you are allowed to go see the excitement." The smoke outside was quite heavy so Yun Qian Meng naturally would not want to go outside and endure it for the sake of two useless people.

    "But for the time being, you must make a trip to Fu Guo Gongfu and inform my cousin that tomorrow afternoon I shall go to Fu Guo Gongfu to fetch her so can go to Rong Shan Tang together." Yun Qian Meng was still thinking Qu Fei Qing's situation. She must at least have an in depth conversation with Qu Fei Qing, so as to avoid Qu Fei Qing getting deeply hurt in the future.

    "Yes." Mu Chun immediately responded with a nod after she saw Yun Qian Meng's serious expression.

    And at this moment, Feng He Yuan was bustling with noise and excitement as the old madam led Yun Yi Yi to sit in the courtyard. Pleased, they watched Yun Ruo Xue being pressed down by a few old women onto a bench then get beaten by bamboo sticks, delighting the grandmother and grandchild.

    Both of them could not help their joyfully satisfied expressions, particularly when they saw Yun Ruo Xue being beaten to her last breath after making an unreasonable scene earlier.

    At first, Yun Ruo Xue was still able to screech and hurl abuse loudly, but the longer the beating drew on, her body became heavier and heavier, while her yelling grew lower and lower until she sank into unconsciousness, growing completely numb to the beating.

    "Old Madam, the second xiaojie has fainted. Should we stop it now? If we continue this, I'm afraid it will result in her death." One of the old women stepped forward and asked the old madam as soon as she saw Yun Quo Xue's already split lip.

    "Just beat her to death. She is a disgraced xiaojie now, what are you worrying about? If you don't want to beat her, then be one to replace her and accept the beating." Yun Yi Yi immediately jumped up from her stool and cursed at the old woman.

    After suffering verbal abuse for no reason, the old woman's face turned ugly, but after seeing Yun Ruo Xue breathing out so harshly, but inhaling so little, the old woman's heart felt fear. So she then shifted her gaze to the old madam, hoping for a more fair answer.

    Yun Yi Yi's caught a glimpse of the old madam's expression and immediately faced the old madam. Stretching out her right hand, she said in a sad voice, "Grandma, you see how my hand was scratched by this crazy woman? If you let her get away with this, she might disrespect you in the future."

    The old madam planned to just let her go at first, since she her condition was already near death, but seeing the pink nail marks on the back of Yun Yi Yi's jade-like hand suddenly angered the old madam. Pointing a finger at those women who had stopped beating, she cursed, "Are you both dead? Quickly continue beating her!"

    "Stop!" Liu Han Yu, leading a group of yatous and pozi, rushed in. Seeing the old madam, she immediately greeted with a smile on her face, "Greetings, old madam and fourth xiaojie."

    Liu Han Yu had arrived at just the right time smiling awkwardly, so Yun Yi Yi coldly snorted then sat down once again and turned her two nostrils angrily puffing towards Liu Han Yu.

    Compared to Yun Yi Yi's disrespectful behavior, the old madam's was better. After all, Liu Han Yu was currently in charge of the household, so the old madam knew the advantages and disadvantages that came with it so she asked indifferently, "What brings you here, Liu yiniang?"

    At first, Liu Han Yu looked at Yun Ruo Xue whose clothes were drenched in her blood, and her heart jumped violently. She had not expected the old madam to go so far towards her own granddaughter. Apparently, she truly hated Su Qing and her daughter.

    Although Liu Han Yu had been suppressed and bullied by Su Qing and her daughter in the past, she did have a child of her own and seeing Yun Ruo Xue like this was unbearable for her. She only smiled and said to the old madam. "Old madam, I may not know what the second xiaojie has done to anger you, but the second xiaojie is still a child, with your generosity, please forgive her this time."

    "Liu yiniang, did you come here just to be a good person? Don't forget you are just a yiniang, when does it become your turn to get involved in grandmother's affairs?" before the old madam could speak, Yun Yi Yi had impatiently spoken out. Going by her attitude, it seemed she actually considers herself the eldest xiaojie of Yun xiangfu.

    Liu Han Yu was not the slightest bit affected by her words, and only felt a bit awkward as she said, "Of course I am very clear with my status. But xiangye has given me a responsibility, I currently have the power to manage the household, so of course I would never allow anything to happen in these courtyards. Right now, xiangye already has one child in poor health, if something were to happen the second xiaojie, how will xiangye look upon the old madam in the future? Besides, today, the old madam has invited the Daoist priestess to pray for blessings. This was supposed to be an act of charity, if she isn't even able to forgive her own granddaughter, it might hinder the official careers of the two gongzi. Why should the old madam save a little only to lose a lot?"

    Liu Han Yu's remarks were reasonable and fair, while none of her words had gone beyond her status, yet she had been able to point out what was at stake. For a moment, the old madam sank into deep thought, then, after a long while, she pulled Yun Yi Yi's small hands over and gently caressed them. Afterwhich, she slowly said, "Alright, today's incident should forever stay in Yun Ruo Xue's memory, so there's no need for us to give her a hard time."

    She could not watch Yun Ruo Xue get away, but Yun Yi Yi's could only stared at Liu Han Yu with an ashen face as she crossed her arms and sulked in a corner.

    Liu Han Yu just laughed and paid her no mind, then she said, "The smell of the smoke has become somewhat heavy, please consider your own health, old madam, and return to Bai Shun Tang as soon as possible so as to avoid being choked by the smoke."

    The old madam did feel a bit stuffy, and looking at the area above Feng He Yuan, it was indeed entirely ash gray. So she pulled the still angry Yun Yi Yi along with her as they quickly left Feng He Yuan.

    Once they left, Liu Han Yu turned around and instructed the yatou who waited upon Yun Ruo Xue, "Assist the second xiaojie back to her room."

    The few yatou break through the obstruction that blocked off the old women and carefully supported the unconscious Yun Ruo Xue into Feng He Yuan.

    "Is Liu huwei still keeping watch of the Feng He Yuan? How was the old madam able to rush inside here today?" Liu Han Yu asked coldly once it was only her reliable people left inside Feng He Yuan.

    "Yiniang, you might have overlooked that today, xiangye was busy so he had instructed Liu huwei to withdraw people from here, so the old madam was able to barge in." A mama stepped forward and politely explained.

    Liu Han Yu nodded, then lead her people inside Su Qing's bedroom, it was then that a stench assailed their nostrils. They they looked around to see the bedroom in a mess. The old madam really had commanded her people to thoroughly search the inside, but it must have been a tough job for them as they had actually endure the stink.

    All the while, Su Qing looked dead lying on the bed and in just a few days time, the brocade quilt was already drenched in yellow liquid with waves of the stink wafted throughout the entire room. It seemed that the yatou Yun Xuan Zhi assigned to take care of Su Qing was quite neglectful after seeing that Su Qing's situation would never improve in this lifetime, the yatou was simply receiving money without doing her job.

    Seeing Su Qing like this, though Liu Han Yu's heart rejoiced, she also felt pity. If it had not been for Su Qing's misdeed, she would never have ended up like this, and in the end, she had also involved her son and daughter.

    Clenching her handkerchief, she covered her nose and mouth as Liu Han Yu was unable to endure the odor inside the room. Retreating a bit, she turned to look around the currently desolate and crumbled Feng He Yuan, then she led the yatou and pozi away from this place.
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