007 - Unconcerned
A short while later, someone finally came.
This man looked to be a steward. Without properly greeting them when he entered, he raised his hand, and immediately a few people came up to carry the stretcher.
Hui Niang asked hastily, “What are you doing? Where are you taking Madam to?”
The Steward glanced coldly over at her. “Do you not want your Madam to have a funeral?”
Without waiting for Hui Niang’s answer, the group of men carried away Lu Qingyi’s corpse.
Hui Niang hastily called for Ah Sheng and pulled Lu Mingshu before they followed after the group of men.
As Nine Jade Palace was located on the peak, it was very cold outside with snow still covering some places, making it tough to maneuver around. The group of men seemed accustomed to it, as they walked with lightning speed. The three of them, a child, a female, and a wounded person had a tough time chasing after them.
After twisting and turning through the connected palaces, they finally stopped at a remote small courtyard.
In the small courtyard hall, a coffin had already been prepared. The group of men lowered Lu Qingyi’s corpse into the coffin and left. After a while, another group of people carried over white banners, burial clothes, sackcloth, a fire basin, as well as yellow papers etc.*
The Steward stood before them and said in a cold tone, “Madam has a kind heart and has allowed you to keep watch beside the coffin. Three days later, whether you want to bring the coffin back to your hometown or cremate it will be up to you.”
(TL Note: the Madam he’s referring to here is the Sect Leader’s current wife.)
Lu Mingshu stood before Lu Qingyi with clenched fists and an emotionless face when he mentioned the Sect Leader’s wife.
When the Steward finished speaking, he pushed opened the doors and left.
The servants all left too.
Without anyone to help, they were left to their own devices.
Ah Sheng limped around, decorating the funeral hall, while Lu Mingshu helped Hui Niang clean the corpse and change her into the burial clothes.
When the decorations were finished, the three changed into hemp garments, surrounding the fire basin with gold ingots piled up inside.
Although no one would send their condolences, they were still meticulous in preparing the funeral.
At this moment, light footsteps were heard from outside, and then someone entered the hall.
Hui Niang quickly stood up and asked angrily, “Why are you here?!”
This someone was Fu Shangqing.
Still wearing that emotionless facade, he whispered, “On the account that we were once a couple, I am here to send her off on her final journey.”
“There’s no need!”
Fu Shangqing ignored her and looked toward Lu Mingshu, “Come over here.”
“Miss.” Hui Niang anxiously held onto Lu Mingshu’s shoulder.
“Hui Niang, it’s fine,” Lu Mingshu whispered. “This is my father.”
A sharp pain pierced Hui Niang’s heart, “Miss…”
Lu Mingshu took a deep breath and walked over with steady footsteps.
Following Fu Shangqing, Lu Mingshu entered a separate hall that was originally used to entertain guests.
Fu Shangqing sat down on the main seat, reaching out to pour tea out of habit only to grab air.
He touched his nose, looking at his eldest daughter that he had never met before.
Her luminous and elegant face resembled Lu Qingyi, with the typical graceful and subdued features that women from Dongyue had. However, her high nose bridge had an uncanny resemblance to his, looking a little cold and lonely.
With a mind numbed with indifference, he spoke in a calm tone, “Once your mother’s funeral is over, move to Green Jade Valley. I’ve found a Master for you.”
Lu Mingshu quickly lifted her head.
In this corner, in the small and deserted courtyard, father and daughter met for the first time. On the other side, in a magnificent palace, a pair of sisters were chatting.
“Where is our brother-in-law?” Zhou Yinru casually asked, as she had not seen Fu Shangqing when she entered the Jasper Jade Palace.
On a warm heated brick bed by the window sat a young married woman with an appearance as beautiful as hers. While skillfully doing needlework, she answered, “He went over to see if they need any help.”
She did not specify who, but Zhou Yinru understood right away. “Big Sister, you really have a big heart. Brother-in-law went to see his old love, yet you are still able to sit still.”
The beautiful young married woman; which was Fu Shangqing’s wife Zhou Miaoru, looked up and glanced over at her. “Nonsense, this is only the proper thing to do.”
Zhou Yinru made a harrumphing sound before replying, “You are always spoiling him!” As the youngest daughter of the family, she originally had an arrogant nature. While she acted with restraint on the surface, she did not need to worry about showing her overbearing nature in front of her sister.
“If you had settled the matter cleanly, would he need to do this?” Zhou Miaoru said unhurriedly. “Back then when you volunteered to go to Dongyue, I thought you had matured, but who knew you would almost muck up this issue. Sending the divorce papers over was to fill the loopholes in case Yu Wen Shi were to grab hold of information to use against us. But, thanks to you, one was angered to death and the other fell ill. On top of that, you even left behind evidence. Allowing them to follow the lead here to Xichuan.”
“Sister!” Zhou Yinru was dissatisfied at being criticized. “Haven't I thought of a way to make up for it? Besides, it wasn’t my intention to infuriate them. Who knew they would die of anger when Rui Xiang only said a few extra words.”
“With whatever kind of Master, you would have whatever kind of a servant. If not for your dissatisfied heart, would Rui Xiang have the guts? Don’t take this lightly, even if such a thing was successfully glossed over, it’s still impossible for this to not have an impact on Shangqing’s reputation.” Zhou Miaoru sighed. This would definitely be a blemish on his spotless reputation through seven years.
“What impact would there be?” Zhou Yinru was unconcerned. “Brother-in-law is the sect leader of Nine Jade Palace and a grand expert of the Spirit Realm. When he becomes a Grandmaster one day, how many people would try to curry favor with him, writing tales of his achievements. Who would still care about this?!”
Not wanting to argue with her immature sister over this, Zhou Miaoru simply shook her head.
But when she stopped speaking, Zhou Yinru questioned, “Big Sister, how do you intend to settle that little b.a.s.t.a.r.d?”
Zhou Miaoru looked up at her. “What little b.a.s.t.a.r.d? A maiden shouldn’t speak such vulgar words.”
Zhou Yinru pouted. She couldn’t stand her sister when she acted like this; was there a need to be so cautious and timid?
“Of course it’s that feral girl that woman gave birth to. Yu Wen Shi made up his mind to bring that feral girl in to disgust us – it’s so irritating.”
Zhou Miaoru looked at her mirthless smile. “Haven’t you already found a good way out for her?”
Speaking of this, Zhou Yinru felt proud of herself, “Big Sister, isn't my idea awesome? If Yu Wen Shi wants to keep her, fine. If he wants to find a good Master for her, no problem. Liu Jizhen is famous enough, right? Sister, you didn’t see how Yu Wen Shi was made speechless by me. It was so funny!”
She laughed twice, only to find Zhou Miaoru still serious as if she was unconcerned. “Big Sister, don’t you care?”
“Do you think I should care?”
Zhou Yinru wrinkled her nose. “If it’s me, I would definitely be unhappy. Every day that feral girl is around, it would remind me that my man once belonged to another.”
“That’s why you aren’t me.” Putting down her needlework, she pinched her brows together. “Really, ah, you. Always only looking out for yourself since young.”
“Harrumph!” Criticized once again, Zhou Yinru felt unhappy. But thinking it through, she asked again, “ Big Sister, you really don’t want to play some tricks on her? It’s easy to take care of her now…”
Zhou Miaoru glanced over at her. “Don’t be nosy.”
Zhou Yinru pouted. “It can’t be that you are afraid of brother-in-law’s anger? brother-in-law doesn’t even care about her.”
“Of course he won’t care if I don’t do anything. However, if I did, it would sooner or later become my sin.” Zhou Miaoru picked up her tea, smiling. “Moreover, haven't you already plotted this out properly? What kind of future would she have once she goes to Green Jade Valley?”
*white banners, burial clothes, sackcloth, fire basin as well as yellow papers - These are usually used in Taoist funerals. The yellow papers(a.k.a paper money) are burnt in the fire basin as it’s believed that the deceased loved one would be able to use them in Heaven.