Published at 25th of August 2019 11:18:28 AM

Chapter 134

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The Speculation from a Conspiracist (1)

Proofread by DragonRider

That day was nothing different from the normal days.

There were both thin and thick layers of ice on the pool right now. After the lunch, Minglan squatted down by the pool in her thick winter coat, watching the fat fishes which were swimming leisurely through the semitransparent ice. Having envied those fishes’ lives, she carried an empty fish weel back to the Hall of Peaceful Ages, which made Old Madam Sheng tease her for a while. Minglan was not irritated at all. After climbing the brick bed with her hands and feet, she sat next to Old Madam Sheng to warm herself.

“Why did you have to go fishing in winter! You may catch cold!” Old Madam Sheng complained Minglan with her eyes narrowed.

Minglan who was also squinting her eyes said lazily, “Eldest sister-in-law has no appetite these days. She told me that she wanted to eat the Hot and Sour Stirred Onion Dried Fish that I had cooked the last time... But then I remembered that the winter fish belongs to the cold food, especially the ones in the pool. So I’m afraid that she would get sick after eating those fishes from the icy water.”

Hearing her words, Old Madam Sheng used her hands to warm Minglan’s little ones, slowly saying, “They said that if the pregnant woman likes to eat the sour food, she’s pregnant with a boy. If she likes to eat the hot food, then a girl. So what do you say Changbai’s wife is pregnant with, a boy or a girl?”

Minglan seemed to be a little sleepy. She rubbed her eyes with her little fists and mumbled, “Eldest brother said that he wanted a daughter, because then he would have a son and a daughter. Eldest sister-in-law didn’t say anything. But I know she wants to have another son.” Only one son was not enough for Hai shi, two would be better.

Old Madam Sheng said with a smile, “Your Eldest sister-in-law is a lucky woman. It doesn’t matter to her if it’s a boy or a girl.”

As they were chatting on the warm brick bed, they both got a drowsy feeling coming over themselves. Suddenly, a sharp scream awakened Minglan. Old Madam Sheng also opened her eyes to looked at the curtain at the door. Then she saw a girl in a maid dress doddering along into the room. The maid rushed to the brick bed, dropped to her kness and cried, “Old Madam, help us!”

“Little Xique, what happened?” Minglan asked in doubt. She recognized that this girl was the third-grade maid of Rulan.

Little Xique, with her hair disheveled and the make up on her face messed up, said in terror, “Old madam, sixth young lady, please save sister Xique. Madam is going to beat her to death! And our young lady, Master said he would find a rope to strangle her! Young Madam (Hai shi) didn’t dare to persuade them so she let me out secretly to ask for your help.” She explained tearfully while kept kowtowing.

“What have happened” Old Madam Sheng sat up straight immediately, questioning in a stern voice, “Didn’t the madams go to the temple?”

Being afraid that Old Madam Sheng would get dizzy after getting up too fast, Minglan instantly rubbed Old Madam Sheng’s back to let her breathe smoothly.

Early in the morning today, there had been a new figure of Buddha being consecrated. Since Wang shi had donated a lot to the temple, the old Buddhist abbot had sent an invitation to her. Then Wang shi had taken Rulan to pray in the temple and draw a marriage stick as well.

Old Madam Sheng kept asking what had happened. However, Little Xique hadn’t followed them to the temple, so she didn’t know about the whole story. After she had begged on the floor for a long while, she still couldn’t speak out the reason. So Old Madam decided to go there to have a look. Minglan called Cuiping at once to dress Old Madam Sheng.

She was planning to follow but was stopped by Old Madam Sheng. Fang Mama comforted Minglan kindly, “Your fifth sister made a mistake and Master and Madam want to punish her for that. Since Old Madam Sheng has already decided to go, conflicts will be unavoidable over there. As daughter of your father, it’s inappropriate for you to be there.”

Minglan got a nervous feeling after hearing that. She was afraid that it might be something serious. But it was true that she shouldn’t get involved with her sister’s love affair scandal. Having nodded to Fang Mama, she sat back to the brick bed steadily. However, she still felt sitting on pins and needles. Then she called Xiaotao over to pry. Meanwhile she waited there patiently while using a pair of thin chopsticks to stir the coal in the green flower pattern china warmer in her hands.

As the coal in the warmer was about to burn, Xiaotao finally ran back out of breath. Then Minglan, having jumped up from the bed like a coil spring, put down her warmer and grabbed Xiaotao’s arm, asking constantly, “What happened? Tell me.”

Xiaotao wiped the sweats on her forehead with a towel, still being badly shaken, “The door of the front yard of Madam was closed tightly and I couldn’t get in. So I have only inquired about what had happened at the outside, I only hear that...” She swallowed her saliva with difficulty and continued with her lips trembling, “Master really flew into a rage this time. When Old Madam arrived, he had already put the rope on fifth young lady’s neck!”

Minglan freaked out. Then Xiaotao, having calmed down a bit, went on saying, “I waited there secretly for a long while. Then I saw mamas there carrying Sister Xique out. Oh my gosh, she was covered with blood, even her clothes were soaked in blood. I don’t know if she’s still alive! I couldn’t hear what was happening inside the room and Liu Mama brought the woman servants to drive me away. After that, I went back!”

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Minglan’s heart beat fast as Xiaotao talked as if there was a string being plucked there. Suddenly she grabbed Xiaotao’s wrist and said in a sullen voice, “Go find Danju and bring some silver with you. Also, find if there is any unguent in our room for curing the traumatic injury. You and Danju go to find Xique. Give the silver to the person who guards her now and apply some unguent on her! Anyway, just try your best to save her!”

Xiaotao knew the seriousness of this thing. Then she agreed and went out right away. At the same time, Minglan sat back slowly, trying to suppress the anxious feelings. After that, she took a sip of the tea on the table. Xique was a good girl and Minglan really admired her characters. As Rulan’s loyal maid, Xique always advised and coaxed her mistress kindly. What’s more, she also treated the inferior maids nicely and helped the little girls cover up their faults. So Minglan didn’t want her to die or be disabled.

After a good while, the teacup in Minglan’s hands got cold. She felt like she was holding an ice cube, so she put it down. As she saw the sun going down slowly, there was still no words coming from the outside. That made her a bit frustrated. At last, when it was getting dark, she heard the sound of frantic footsteps.

Minglan ran out the moment she heard someone lifting the curtain in the hall. It’s Old Madam Sheng who was getting into the room with the support of Hai shi. Meanwhile, Fang Mama was also holding Old Madam Sheng’s body to help her lie down on the warm bed while preparing a velvet cushion for Old Madam Sheng to rest. Seeing Old Madam Sheng’s face, Minglan got panicky instantly. With her face turning purple, Old Madam Sheng breathed heavily as her chest moving up and down fiercely. It seemed that she was in a great anger. And Hai shi who was standing next to Old Madam Sheng was wearing an awkward and guilty look.

“Grandma, are you all right?!” Minglan pounced on Old Madam Sheng’s knees and said that worriedly. After she had held Old Madam Sheng’s hands tremblingly, she felt her grandma holding her back with warm hands. Then Minglan got a bit relieved.

Old Madam Sheng opened her eyes slightly with her eyes still filled with anger. And the expression on her face only went soft when she saw Minglan. Then Old Madam Sheng said, “I’m fine. Just get out of breath because I have walked so fast.” As she was talking, she turned around and saw Hai shi still standing there. With her baby bump, Hai shi was massaging the back of her waist gently, not daring to say a word as her head was lowered. Old Madam was tender-hearted seeing Hai shi being like this, so she said to Minglan, “Support your eldest sister-in-law to rest on the brick bed in the next room. She has been standing for so long.” Minglan nodded and supported Hai shi to walk to the next room.

The moment they got into the room, Minglan helped Hai shi to sit on the brick bed while taking Old Madam Sheng’s back cushion to let Hai shi lean on it. After that, Minglan took out the tea pot from the heat insulted box which was covered by thick cotton cloth. She poured a cup of tea and gave it to Hai shi. Having given thanks to Minglan, Hai shi drank the hot tea right away. Then she finally felt better after that warm current being brought to her whole body.

After seeing Hai shi getting better, Minglan asked hastily, “Eldest sister-in-law, what happened to fifth sister?! Hasn’t my dad gone to the Department of Supervision? Why did he come home all of a sudden! Please tell me!”

Hai shi hesitated for a while. However, thinking of the dispute between Sheng Hong and Old Madam Sheng, she felt there was no need to keep this thing from Minglan. Then with her teeth gritted, she spitted out everything.

Wang shi and Rulan had gone up the mountain this morning. Nothing had happened as they had prayed in the temple. Then Wang shi who had felt that Rulan had been totally obedient these days had agreed to let Rulan stroll in the yard while she had gone to have a chat with Buddhist abbot. It never occurred to Wang shi that those women servants who had accompanied Rulan had been sent back after a short while. They had said that Rulan had preferred to walk with Xique alone. Hearing their words, Wang shi had sensed something wrong immediately. So she had sent someone to find Rulan. However, unlike the Guangji Temple, the Great Grand Temple was a place where incense filled the room all day and visitors were like the clouds. Thus they couldn’t find Rulan right away.

As Wang shi had been on thorns, Rulan had come back, saying that she had only taken a walk in the garden.

“Then nothing has happened?” Minglan could pretty much guess what Rulan had gone for a stroll for. Then she finally felt at ease.

Hai shi only gave out a wry smile, shaking her head while saying, “How’s that possible! Madam saw fifth young lady had come back safely and thought maybe she had been oversensitive. So Madam and fifth young lady went back to our mansion after eating vegetarian food there. Who knows that when they came back, they found Master coming back from the Department of Supervision long ago and waiting for them in the room. As he saw Madam and fifth young lady, he slapped on fifth young lady’s face without allowing her to speak!”

“Why is that?!” Minglan got nervous again.

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