Of the two women, one was wearing a crimson red cape topped with a white fur collar. She was tall, slender, and tenderly inviting. The other was wearing a leather vest made from silver fox fur, paired with a pale-green cotton skirt. She was holding an exquisite hand warmer the size of an apple, which further highlighted her adorable cuteness.
Both were about eighteen years old and flanked by various servant girls and granny servants. It was quite an entourage.
Qin Yining paused and looked at the group. She didn’t even need to think to know that these must be the beautiful concubines that the emperor had bestowed onto the prince.
She didn’t want to have anything to do with them. Even if they might live under the same roof in the future, that was something to consider later. There was no rush to get to know each other now, so she only nodded slightly at the two and steered Xiaozhou around them.
The tall, slender girl had been glaring at Qin Yining all the while. Her eyes narrowed, unbridled hostility shining out of them.
The Qin fourth miss could tell that they were purposefully here to cause trouble. As she brushed past them, the tall girl spat on Qin Yining.
“Pah! What a bitch! Shameless hussy trying to seduce the prince!”
Qin Yining looked at the wad of spittle on her skirt and looked askance at the gentle-looking girl.
The development seemed a surprise to the cute one in pale-green clothing. She quickly spoke up, “Lady Rou, don’t start trouble!”
“What do you know?” Lady Rou sneered. “If you’re scared, scurry back with your tail between your legs. No one asked you to come with me.”
A maid off to the side reached out to support the girl clad in green. “Miss Xinche, let’s go back.”
Lady Rou cast a sideways glance at the other, contempt plain in her gaze.
Qin Yining pulled on Lian Xiaozhou’s hand so the little girl wouldn’t take impulsive action. She sniffed disdainfully in response. “Lady Rou, is it?”
“That’s me, and what about it?”
“Lick that clean.” Qin Yining pointed down at the spit on her skirt.
Taken-aback, Lady Rou studied the Qin fourth miss for a moment. She smiled scornfully. “If I’d spit on your face, would you have me lick your face clean?”
“If that was the case, do you think you’d still be alive?”
“Bullshit!” Lady Rou raged furiously. “What the hell are you? You’re just a stray bitch that the prince took in off the streets! He’ll slaughter your entire family in the future, including you! You’ll only be able to use your looks to beg the prince not to kill you. How dare you be so arrogant in front of us!”
Xinche hastily pulled on Lady Rou’s arm when she saw the latter was being so loud. “Let’s go. We’re the prince’s concubines, after all. We shouldn’t lose our temper to such a degree with a girl of unknown identity. You’ll make things awkward for His Highness and insult His Majesty’s favor.”
Xinche’s words sounded sweet-tempered, but every bit of them was emphasizing that they were imperially bestowed concubines to the prince. They were good matches with a noble status. They were naturally different from a low-born girl kidnapped into the manor, and Qin Yining would do well to remember her place.
It looks like Miss Xinche’s more than a degree sharper than Lady Rou.
The situation was rather laughable to Qin Yining. She hadn’t even officially crossed the Pang doorstep, but here the concubines were, completely exploded in irrational fury. They’d lain in wait to take her down a peg! It was all thanks to Pang Xiao’s masterful acting outside that this was happening.
Inspiration flashed across Qin Yining’s mind when she thought of this. She immediately hauled up Lady Rou by the collar and thrust the concubine to the ground, shoving the hem with the gob of spit next to Lady Rou’s face.
“Lick that clean!”
Lady Rou and the others were beauties that Li Qitian had sourced from the general population and trained for many years. He had high hopes for them to be of great use, so apart from learning how to wait on men, they had spent their days in ease in comfort. Almost no one had ever dared treat them this way; how would they possibly remain calm with such brutish handling from Qin Yining?
“Let go of me, you poisonous harlot!” Lady Rou shrieked with anger and shock. “Cheap slut! The prince will have your head for this when he comes back! You bitch!”
“Have my head? Let’s see how he does that then! My life is like this already, so what am I afraid of? I come from a high and illustrious noble house, but even someone like you dares bully me now! Do you think I’m actually afraid of you??”
Qin Yining had a firm grasp on Lady Rou’s hair and cursed loudly as she pressed the concubine into the ground. She didn’t care if the concubine’s wildly flailing arms might hurt herself.
Seeing that they’d come to blows, Xinche hastily urged the serving girls and granny servants forward to break up the fight.
Lian Xiaozhou threw all of the manners she’d been taught to the back of her head. She pounced forward like a kitten with puffed up fur, knocking servants over left and right. The incoming granny servants ended up as bundles of shocked pain on the ground.
Even Miss Xinche stumbled two step backwards from a push, the apple-sized brazier falling to the ground and scattering the coals everywhere.
Lady Rou’s face was still being ground into the dirt. With Qin Yining’s foot ruthlessly keeping her down, the concubine wailed loudly with shrieking sobs.
Any maids or granny servants that could still rise and approach the two were sent spinning back down with firm Qin slaps across the face.
Qin Yining and Lian Xiaozhou had completely terrorized the retinue of the two concubines.
The cacophony of the din sent née Ma and née Yao rushing out of nearby Pinecrane Hall, cotton jackets hastily flung on their backs. They screeched to a standstill when they saw Qin Yining stepping on a bedraggled beauty, flinging a maid to the side like a female general with unlimited strength.
Heavens! Was this the gentle and intelligent noble girl that they knew?
The chaos of the scene also alarmed those by the flower-hung gate.
Pang Xiao and Yao Chenggu quickly strode over. They were also rendered speechless when they saw Qin Yining and Lian Xiaozhou heroically presiding over a crowd of people knocked to the ground.
“What’s going on here?” Yao Chenggu couldn’t help but ask.
Lady Rou cried out loudly when she heard the voice, “Save us, Your Highness! This crazy wench wants to kill us!”
Qin Yining leaned into her foot even more. “I’ll have your life if you say another word!”
“Ah!” The concubine’s voice was hoarse from the pain and she breathed out more air than in, her eyes rolling up to the back of her head.
Née Ma’s eyes were glittering with excitement and glee. She’d long since been annoyed by those ten simpering fakes. Who would’ve thought that the Yi lass would be so domineering and be able to take them all out with a just a few moves! She was someone her darling grandson loved, alright!
Née Yao looked thoughtfully at ‘female bandit’ Qin Yining.
After recovering from their shock and exchanging glances, the same contemplative expression crossed Yao Chenggu and Pang Xiao’s faces. They all seemed to understand something.
Pang Xiao suppressed his amusement and coughed before he could force a livid expression onto his face. “What are you doing?!” he hectored. “This is the Pang Manor! How dare you act up here?? Let go immediately!”
Incredulous disbelief shuddered through Qin Yining and she looked at Pang Xiao, stubbornly responding with a trembling voice, “She provoked me first and spat on me, and insulted me, I…”
“Enough! They are good matches bestowed by the emperor himself! How would they do anything like that? How dare you make things up?”
The Qin fourth miss seemed stunned by Pang Xiao’s anger. Light danced off her glistening eyes; she appeared quite pitiful in the lantern light beneath the night sky.
Lady Rou instantly scrambled up when she sensed that the foot on her back loosen. She didn’t dare hit back in front of all the others, but she looked at the Qin fourth miss with unconcealed contempt.
“Are you alright, big sister Rou?” Xinche limped over to support Lady Rou, turning back to look gratefully at Pang Xiao, her eyes saying: thank goodness for his arrival! They would’ve been slaughtered by this demon if he hadn’t come!
Pang Xiao and Qin Yining were in perfect tandem. Though they knew what each other was thinking, heartache still wracked Pang Xiao to see his darling like this. He continued doggedly on with great effort, “What are you glaring at me for?! Do you dare have any other opinions?”
Like snowfall cascading down from tree branches, Qin Yining’s tears spilled over with this loud shout.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I cleaned up an educational piece I wrote about danmei two years ago. Come this way if you want to read all about it!