January nights were often threatened by rain, teased by icy winds. But in stark contrast to the chill in the air, several lanterns hung under the corner of the roof of the anteroom, radiating warmth and light.
Quickly afterwards, Luan’er stealthily arrived to deliver a blanket and a small furnace.
“Master clearly knew that Miss’ health is not good, but he still punished you to kneel all night. Isn’t this just wanting your life?!” Luan’er started to cry tearfully.
“Why are you such a crybaby?”
Ji Yunshu folded her body around the small furnace. Gradually, her body warmed up.
Luan’er wiped her tears. “Miss, it’s because you’re like this, neither fighting nor arguing, that people keep bullying you.”
“Who said that?”
“Luan’er is not blind. I can see it for myself. For example, like last time, Eldest Miss pulled out your beloved Pu tree and planted it in her courtyard. How about the other day, when Fourth Miss cut all your winter clothes to pieces? What’s more, Second Young Master broke Master’s colored glass lamp but framed you for it. But did you say anything? Miss, your heart is too benevolent. However, no one tried to look into the matter or appreciate your kindness. You are simply stubbing your toes while moving stones. The only one hurt in the end is you.”
Luan’er clenched her fist in anger.
“This girl… How many times did I say not to blabber too much; the walls here have ears.” Despite Ji Yunshu reprimanding Luan’er, she knew within her heart that Luan’er was only looking out for her well-being.
Luan’er lowered her head, feeling completely wronged!
Ever since she occupied this body, Ji Yunshu’s temper had become more or less similar to the original Ji Yunshu, simple and elegant. Both were flexible and soft-hearted, but steady in the face of hardship. Besides, she was also tired of fighting and scheming, mutual deception, and outwitting others. Thus, as long as the situation was bearable, she would absolutely not quarrel with people.
Perhaps because of the contradictory nature of humans, the more she was obedient, the more the other misses and young masters loved to find trouble with her. It happened once every three days for trivial matters and every once in awhile for major trouble. They were as punctual as her period!
Ji Yunshu had completed her punishment and Luan’er helped her get up. She intended to return to her courtyard to rest, but she had barely left the west side room when she ran into Ji Muqing.
Ji Muqing wore an outer garment made of snow-white brocade with purple patterns, paired with gold embroidered shoes. Her hair was decorated with gold and silver hairpins. Top-grade white water pearls hung around her neck, while a silver bracelet highlighted her shapely wrist. She was adorned from head to toe in bright jewelry and precious pearls, with every item being near priceless.
Right behind her trailed two overbearing maidservants named Shui’er and Luo’er. Being the Ji family’s Eldest Miss, Ji Muqing always had such treatment.
“What? Did you go fiddle with those unclean things again?” Her tone was dripping with sarcasm, and the corner of her mouth was pulled into a condescending smile.
Ji Yunshu narrowed her eyes. She had no plans to pay attention to her half-sister. She continued to walk forward, intending to leave. However, Ji Muqing grabbed her wrist and discreetly squeezed… hard, “How rude! Are you mute?”
Ji Yunshu kept her voice neutral, “Yesterday, little sister’s hands touched corpses, and I have yet to find the time to wash them. Big Sister doesn’t mind?”
“WHAT?” Ji Muqing rapidly released Ji Yunshu’s wrist in a burst of fear. Then she used a handkerchief and fiercely wiped her hand while her mouth cursed, “Unlucky, unlucky! So early in the morning and I was contaminated by such wretched luck.”
Upon seeing this, Luan’er interjected, “Eldest Miss, yesterday, Third Miss kneelt all night as punishment, please don’t make things difficult…”
Splat! Ji Muqing did not even look in Luan’er’s direction before slapping her. “A lowly maidservant has no right to speak to me.” As her words fell, Ji Muqing glared at Ji Yunshu. “Indeed, such a master would raise that kind of dog. Servants, take this cheap maidservant and throw her in the firewood shed. Teach her a good lesson for me.”
This was clearly Ji Muqing venting her anger on Luan’er!
After all, even nominally, Ji Yunshu was Ji Muqing’s little sister. She could verbally abuse her, but she could not hit her. But Luan’er was merely a maidservant who could be injured or even beaten to death without consequence.
For a few taels of silver, there was a dime a dozen to pick from!
Shui’er and Luo’er, who were behind Muqing, immediately started to comply. They approached Luan’er, intending to drag her away.
Usually when Ji Yunshu was mistreated, she would let it go. But venting anger on Luan’er? That was out of the question. Ji Yunshu immediately stepped in front of Luan’er. She raised her brows and stared at Ji Muqing.
That look caused Ji Muqing’s entire body to quiver.
“Big Sister, getting angry so early in the morning will be bad for your body. It would be better to just forget it. Later, I will teach Luan’er a lesson.”
“This little servant always likes to interrupt people. If it spreads outside, people will think that all our maidservants are vulgar. It won’t do if I don’t properly discipline her today.”
The unspoken implication was, of course, that Ji Yunshu was “vulgar”.
That woman, Ji Muqing, was really a top-notch primate!