Chapter 27: Hatred Too Deep
San furen lived at Ya Zhu Yuan.
Li Wei Yang had just appeared at the entrance to the courtyard when a shadow hurriedly approached her.
A pair of slightly cold hands, as if afraid, held on to Wei Yang’s hands and expressed urgency, “San jiejie!”
Li Wei Yang lowered her head, looking into a pair of strangely beautiful eyes. It was as if she could see her own reflection in those eyes.
She was a little shocked but promptly laughed. “Min De.”
Li Min De was actually a bit worried Wei Yang would shove his hands off but instead, she allowed him to go on holding her. Sweetness filled his insides as a grin appeared on his face. He looked at her in seriousness. “San jiejie, are you here to visit me?” There was a tinge of happiness in his voice.
Seeing how adorable he was, Li Wei Yang couldn’t help but to reach out and pinch his cheeks as she chuckled and said, “That’s right. I’m here to visit Min De.”
Li Min De was instantly happy. As Min De held her hands, they continued walking forward. “San jiejie, I said I want to go look for you but mother said it would be a nuisance to you.”
The fact that she had saved Li Min De was truly a secret they had to keep.
Li Wei Yang smiled, not minding Min De’s hands on hers as they made their way into San furen’s living chamber.
San furen happily greeted Li Wei Yang with a smile before taking a seat. A servant standing by served the tea.
Li Wei Yang held up the tea cup, which had a lid with many colorful flower designs, opened it and allowed the fragrant smell of tea to slowly rise out in steam.
Lowering her head, she took a small sip of the tea. “I came here to say my thanks to San furen.”
To San furen, the Li Wei Yang who had saved Li Min De, was someone she obviously had to repay the life-saving debt. Mirth slowly appeared in her eyes as her tone of voice remained leveled, “It was merely a convenient. Let’s just see it as a chance for San xiaojie to release her frustration.” She wasn’t trying take credit for anything, speaking normally instead.
Li Wei Yang knew that trying to scheme within Lao furen’s territory was a very difficult task. If it weren’t for San furen’s silent help, she would not be able to succeed in this plan alone.
San furen looked at Li Wei Yang and softly spoke, “Now that Hua Mei is gone, it will be easier to act.” She took a sip of tea then set the cup aside. “However, today’s big loss is something Da furen cannot overlook.”
Li Wei Yang didn’t respond but simply smiled. Clearly she wasn’t the least bit nervous of this fact.
San furen was suspicious. A young girl who was only 13 years old, where did she find such courage to go head-to-head with Da furen? She gently reminded, “Wei Yang, she and I are constantly at each other’s throat so it doesn’t matter if our fights are one time more or one time less. But you need to remember that she is still the matron of the family. In the future, your marriage. . .”
In the previous lifetime, she had always obeyed Da furen’s words but in the end, she was still just a pawn. Her life ended in tragedy and since it had been like that, what is there to be nervous about fighting it this time? Nonetheless Li Wei Yang wasn’t going to tell San furen these things. They could be allies but that’s all they were ever going to be.
As she made her way outside, Li Wei Yang saw Li Min De again. He was standing in the middle of the courtyard waiting for her.
Grinning, she advanced towards him and said, “Min De, I have to go now.”
Leaving so soon? Instinctively Li Min De’s breathing stopped.
Just when he found it difficult to breathe, he heard her say, “You have to be good and listen to your mother. Don’t be running around recklessly.”After the reminder, Li Wei Yang brushed past him.
Li Min De quickly stepped forward. His eyes were burning brightly—a fire so bright it could possibly burn up the other person. “San jiejie. . .” he called and promptly grabbed her hand.
“This is. . .” The hand that had been hiding behind his back was suddenly raised up in front. Li Wei Yang was slightly bewildered.
“A jadeite charm!” Li Min De replied then quickly closed his lips, nervously looking at Li Wei Yang.
Her insides slightly shook as her eyes fell on the item in his hand.
It was a half-moon shaped jade. Taking a closer look, Li Wei Yang was even more surprised by the brilliant pure green color and graceful quality of the jade. With the jade in her hands, she gave it a gentle stroke. It felt like touching a beauty’s fair, delicate skin. The jade seemed to have its own life and essence. She came to a conclusion that this piece of jadeite was invaluable.
Her eyes shifted back to Li Min De’s small face and delicate features. Li Wei Yang couldn’t understand and wondered, “Weren’t you wearing this on you last time? Why did you take it off?”
Li Min De looked at her and anxiously replied, “This jadeite had been with me since I was little.” He swallowed as his ears turned beet red. “It was San jiejie who had saved my life so I thought—I thought I should give this to jie. . .”
“Give it to me? This is your most treasured item. Can you really let go of it?” She stared at him with a smile. She felt that this little guy was extremely adorable. Unable to resist the urge, she reached out and patted his head. The feel of his hair against her skin was softer than imagined.
The first time Li Min De saw Li Wei Yang, he had already noticed there was something different about her. The look in her eyes was different compared to other people, like still water under the graceful moonlight, cold but deep.
He did not know how to tell her that he was genuinely sincere about giving her this piece of jadeite. He stumbled nervously, “I . . . I . . .”
Witnessing the tenacious young gentleman trying hard to explain himself, Li Wei Yang smiled and returned the jadeite. “You shouldn’t carelessly give away this jadeite to someone else.”
She didn’t get the chance to finish her words when her hand was squeezed tightly by Li Min De. There was sincerity and determination in his eyes as he spoke in a gentle voice, “This jadeite can protect its owner! It’s true! Mother said it had saved my life several times!” The sincerity in his voice, along with the sound of his beating heart, seemed as if it could penetrate through the jadeite into the other person.
Li Wei Yang was shocked by his steely determination. She said, “I also have one myself. See?” She pulled out the jadeite that Qi yiniang had given her. “This is enough to protect me. As for this jade, you should carefully keep it with you.” The truth is, she felt there was more to Min De’s jade so how could she possibly accept it? “Come visit me often.” Li Wei Yang patted his head.
There was a tinge of sadness in the young man’s eyes, but it was quickly replaced with mirth as a smile appeared. . .
In another bedroom, the servant Tan Xiang brought in a cup of tea as she noticed Da xiaojie, Li Zhang Le, was sitting in front of a mirror engraved with peony flowers and phoenixes with a grave expression.
Tan Xiang’s heart beat rapidly as she spoke in a soft voice, “Xiaojie, Lao furen has sent people to pick up the four silk brocades.”
“Take it! Take it all! A crow is still just a crow even if you change your feathers!” There was no one else in the room so Li Zhang Le readily expressed her resentment.
“There’s – There’s also the mumu in charge of supervising xiaojie’s Buddhist scriptures. . .” Tan Xiang trailed off when she noticed the ugly look on Zhang Le’s face. She swallowed the rest of her sentence.
Suddenly, Li Zhang Le grabbed the tea cup and smashed it into pieces. Tan Xiang was horrified as she noticed the other’s slender fingers reaching for the sewing kit on the vanity dresser. Zhang Le pulled a needle out of the kit, grabbed Tan Xiang’s fingers and using force, poked the needle into Tan Xiang’s fingers a few times.
As she watched blood oozed out of Tan Xiang’s fingers, Zhang Le dipped her own fingers in the other’s pool of blood then stared intently into Tan Xiang’s face. “Do you know what to say?”
Pain from the injured fingertips shot right up to her heart. Tan Xiang was in so much hurt that her face had turned white but she still said, “Yes, Da xiaojie accidentally hurt her fingers, afraid the blood will dirty the scriptures, will request the mumu to return another day!”
Li Zhang Le instructed icily, “Go.”
Once Tan Xiang left, Li Zhang Le shifted her gaze to her own reflection in the mirror.
“Li Wei Yang, good for you! Very good for you!”
Tan Xiang was a few steps away from the door and upon hearing the cold laughter coming from Da xiaojie, she couldn’t help but shiver.