“Patriarch, the Empress Dowager is waiting for you in the main hall.”
Pei Zheng waved his hand, signalling for the maidservant to lower her voice. “Guard the Young Miss. You must not let anything happen to her.” Pei Zheng then walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.
Pei Anru opened her eyes. She had only pretended to be sleeping, and had heard Pei Zheng’s sigh. He must be disappointed in me; after all, I’m now useless after being disfigured.
“Young Miss, please rest well. Let this servant know if you need anything.”
Pei Anru simply got up and began to dress herself, preparing to go outside.
However, the maidservant stopped her before she could push the door open. “Young Miss, the Patriarch has instructed this servant to watch over you. You need to stay inside and properly rest.”
“I’m going out for some fresh air.” Pei Anru pushed the maidservant aside and stepped out, quickly making several turns around corners to lose the maidservant.
Pei Anru picked up the pace as she neared the main hall. Her plan was to hide near the entrance to eavesdrop on Pei Zheng and Pei Yaran’s conversation.
Just as Pei Anru arrived at her hiding spot, she heard the two of them begin to talk.
“What a lively young girl. And yet, not only did you fail to properly take care of her in the palace, you even allowed her appearance to be ruined.” Pei Zheng’s tone was full of reproach, his expression unpleasant.
“She left the palace of her own accord to obtain that medicinal powder from who knows where. It was due to her own carelessness that someone was able to plot against her. In the end Dad, you’re just upset because you’ve lost a pawn.”
Pei Zheng slapped his hand against the table. “Pei Anru is the only woman in the Pei Residence who is of a suitable age. Now that her appearance is ruined, what is there for us to do besides collaborating with Commandery Prince Xie?”
“Collaborate... how? Do you plan to bring up the issue of engagement from back then? Aren’t you the clearest about how Eldest Brother died? Don’t you feel like you’re dishonouring his memory by working with the Xie Residence now?” It had been many years since the incident had occurred, but nobody had dared to bring it up until today.
Pei Zheng’s heart was in pain, but he didn’t reveal any of it on his visage. “For the sake of the Pei Family, we have no choice but to work with Commandery Prince Xie. Although Pei Qianhao’s surname is ‘Pei’, the blood flowing in him is not of the Pei Family.”
“If that’s the case, why did you adopt Pei Qianhao and bestow him with the surname ‘Pei’ back then? Why did you raise him up, nurturing a snake in your arms?” Pei Yaran’s voice became shrill, resentment filling her eyes.
Pei Zheng’s gaze became distant. “There are some things you shouldn’t know about. Whatever the case, Su Xi-er must not become Princess Consort Hao.”
“Is that why you promised Xie Yun to help Xie Liuli become Princess Consort Hao? Dad, you are completely underestimating Xie Yun. As soon as…”
Pei Zheng waved his hand, interrupting her. “My mind is already made up. It’s getting late, and the Pei Residence can’t have you staying overnight. Empress Dowager, please return to the imperial palace.” He then looked outside the hall and shouted, “Servants, send the Empress Dowager back to the palace.”
A family servant immediately came in and bowed. “Empress Dowager, please.”
Pei Yaran flung her sleeves in fury and threatened, “This Empress Dowager doesn’t agree. I have my own plans; just don’t get in the way by trying to help.” She then walked out of the hall.
When she rounded a corner, her gaze caught a woman’s shadow on the ground outside of the main hall. After thinking for a brief moment, Pei Yaran chuckled and continued towards the main entrance of the residence, her steps never stopping.
Watching Pei Yaran’s departing figure, Pei Anru began to think. She had not missed the mockery in Pei Yaran’s chuckle. My appearance is ruined, and Commandery Prince Xie is collaborating with the Pei Family. Commandery Princess Xie is going to marry Prince Hao and become Princess Consort Hao.
I am just a pawn of the Pei Family; one that has lost its value. Pei Anru’s temper flared up, her hands curling into fists.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Despite Pei Anru's viciousness, she's probably also one of the victims :(