Chapter 29: Invitation Letter in the Rain
The wound on Li Chang Xi’s face had become a scar. A large amount of powder was needed just to slightly cover it up. She had to recuperate in her compound for one month. Eventually she had to unwillingly leave her living quarters at Shuang Yue Ge and go to He Xiang Yuan when Lao furen asked for the fifth time.
She had just entered Lao furen’s compound when she heard the laughter. “Wei Yang, you are always making me laugh!”
Li Wei Yang was wearing a yellow and green silk cotton dress. There were orchid embroidered on the collar, making it extremely eye-catching. On her head was a simple jade hairpin. She gave off a youthful and amiable aura, making her appear to be a very friendly person. The smile on her face was even more jovial.
“It is Wei Yang’s fortune to be next to Lao furen.”
Lao furen laughed again and gently poked her head as she said to Luo mumu, “She is lying again! Such a sweet tongue!”
Li Chang Xi was shocked. Lao furen was generally serious and respectable. She was never too close with her grand-daughters, but since when has she become so affectionate towards Li Wei Yang? What she didn’t know was that, for the past month, Li Wei Yang had been visiting Lao furen regularly. She was Lao furen’s companion as they prayed together, brewed tea and talked. Since then, everyone knew Lao furen’s most favored was Li Wei Yang.
Right then, a servant quickly went to relay Wu xiaojie’s appearance.
Li Chang Xi promptly followed and performed her greetings. “Chang Xi had been ill but immediately came here to give Lao furen my greetings the moment I got better. Please forgive me.”
Lao furen looked at her nonchalantly. “You may stand.”
Li Chang Xi knew her behavior at Nan Yuan must have spread to Lao furen’s ears. She was a bit anxious, her body was stiff, unable to move.
Li Wei Yang briefly glanced at Lao furen’s expression then chuckled and walked forward. She helped Li Chang Xi up. “Wu meimei, you shouldn’t always be asking for forgiveness at the littlest of things. Lao furen is a benevolent person and won’t blame you.”
Li Chang Xi’s expression changed. She suddenly realized that Li Wei Yang already had a great understanding of Lao furen’s moods. They were both the concubine’s daughters. If Li Wei Yang could gain Lao furen’s favor, why couldn’t she?
“Lao furen. . . It’s just that Chang Xi feels restless inside. . .” Li Chang Xi blinked several times as tears began to drip from her eyes.
Li Wei Yang was grinning. It seemed Li Chang Xi had thought it through carefully because she wasn’t shouting venomous words or acting out in anger.
Lao furen sighed and said, “You’re also a docile child, I know. It must be hard on you.”
Li Chang Xi finally stopped crying once she heard those words from Lao furen.
Li Wei Yang lightly smiled. “With Wu meimei’s speedy recovery, us sisters will be able to visit each other more frequently.”
Li Chang Xi stared at Wei Yang intently with a complicated feeling inside.
Lao furen nodded. “Indeed. Not only are the two of you sisters, you guys are also the xiaojies of the Prime Minister’s estate, I will not accept the two of you fighting over a trivial matter. When that happens, it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, both shall be punished, understand?”
Li Wei Yang blinked and said, “Understand.”
Soon after, the two of them left Lao furen’s compound.
Lao furen turned to Luo mumu and questioned,
“I heard Qi yiniang is ill? She has a dry cough. Go summon the doctor to check up on her.”
This is for San xiaojie, Luo mumu immediately understood. “Yes. Lao furen truly is the most magnanimous. After returning from Nan Yuan the last time, Laoye has commented that the living condition over there is terrible. A doctor was then requested for Qi yiniang. Furthermore, 4 additional servants were sent over there to take care of Qi yiniang. As of now, things are a lot better. It could be attributed to good Karma.”
Lao furen nodded. “Luckily for Qi yiniang, she has a clever daughter.”
Luo mumu replied, “Normally whenever Lao furen prays, Da xiaojie would drop by as well. However, Da xiaojie is still young so she would get impatient and leave shortly. San xiaojie, on the contrary, is quite strange. She could actually sit and pray with Lao furen for 2-3 hours. She indeed has Buddha in her heart.”
Lao furen chuckled. “I’m not a blind person. Who is genuine and who is not, I can easily tell. Even though what this child (Wei Yang) is seeking for is a place for support but because of her genuine heart, I don’t mind helping her out. Most importantly, she has value in supporting.”
Luo mumu helped Lao furen to lay down. “Hopefully San xiaojie will not disappoint Lao furen’s good intentions.”
Lao furen closed her eyes and said, “Although she is smart, she is still very young, sigh. . .”
Luo mumu jerked in surprise but she did not dare speak another word.
At dusk, Li Wei Yang found a rudimentary calligraphy book as she placed it on the table and began to practice her writing.
The Capital was not short of skilled and talented maidens, for example Li Zhang Le. At one year old, she was able to read. At three years, she was able to recite poetry; at five, she had memorized the Bai’s school of thought. She had always been superior amongst her peers and received plenty of praises.
In the previous lifetime, Li Wei Yang only started to learn calligraphy and read books when she returned to the estate. Compared to all the other noble ladies, she had been lagging behind. Even if she had put in all her effort, she was only able to recognize the characters. Her calligraphy skills had been sneered at by many people. Eventually, she would cease to stop reading and writing altogether. However, practicing calligraphy now can help one enhance their concentration and thoughts. It was an advantage to Wei Yang.
With a loud noise, the window was pushed open. A cold breeze swept inside, causing the pages of the books to flip. Bai Zhi, who was sowing at the side, stood up to close the window. Noticing the change in weather, her eyebrows furrowed. Earlier, it had been sunny and warm but now the weather had become gloomy and dark.
She turned around and spoke to Li Wei Yang. “Xiaojie, it’s become really dark. You shouldn’t practice writing in the dark. Let me light up another candle for you.”
Li Wei Yang nodded but didn’t look up. Bai Zhi knew that when Wei Yang was practicing her writing, she didn’t like to be interrupted. Quietly, Bai Zhi closed the window and left.
Another thirty minutes passed by, the skies had turned even darker and grey. There was a flash, followed by the sound of thunder and then rain began plummeting to the ground.
The sound of heavy rain was everywhere in all four corners.
Li Wei Yang lifted her head, stood up and opened the window. She looked outside as her body slightly shook.
She didn’t like the midnight rain. On the night Yu Li died, it was raining just like this. Consequently every time the world rained heavily like today, those painful memories would revisit her.
Right then, Zi Yan hurriedly approached the door and set down the bamboo umbrella. After wiping her face of the rainwater, she then stepped inside.
“Xiaojie, I just saw Rong’er who is serving Qi yiniang. She says Qi yiniang has sent a letter.”
Rong’er is the new servant sent to Qi yiniang’s place. She was a quick-witted girl.
Li Wei Yang took the letter Zi Yan handed over and read the content: There’s something important to discuss, a secret, come quick.
Li Wei Yang gripped the letter in her hand and lifted her head to Zi Yan. “Where did you see Rong’er?”
Zi Yan replied honestly, “In the garden area. I was there to fetch plum flower seeds and coincidentally ran into Rong’er who was hurrying over here.”
Li Wei Yang paused. “At that time, the rain would have started. From Nan Yuan to here should only take thirty minutes.” Yet it has been raining for an hour. . .
Zi Yan did not understand what Wei Yang was mumbling about. She felt it was strange. “Xiaojie, what did you say?”
According to the letter, Qi yiniang had an important secret to discuss with her, so obviously she would have to go by herself.
Li Wei Yang’s fingers gently stroked the letter as she calmly said, “Go out and summon all the servants and mumus in the compound. Tell them to put on their raincoats. I have instructions to be followed.”
For some reason, Zi Yan felt something ominous was about to happen. . .