Chapter 3 Is It Enough?
Qin Yunuan caught the voice and found that there was actually an idle cat lying on the tiny stone table across the rockery. It had snowy fur and looked like a lovely sticky rice ball.
However, Qin Yunuan knew that it was just not that simple. Qin Yunuan unconsciously touched her crescent-white flower sachet hanging on her waist, and then her eyes caught Qin Yunzhuang. She found the expectation and proudness in Qin Yunzhuang’s eyes. Qin Yunzhuang quickly covered her face and Qin Yunuan still stayed calm and felt a little bit funny.
White cat, scratching, being disfigured, she remembered all of those scenes in her last life. In this life, those could happen again, but the lead actress was not her.
“Oh! Such a cute and lovely cat,” Shangguan Yee now felt not so upset, “sister Qin, shall me bring it here and play with it?”
“It is the empress’s favorite cat Shishi. I am afraid that I am too ham-handed to hurt it and annoy the empress, but Yunuan likes cats very much. You can find her to play with the cat together.” Qin Yunzhuang refused the invitation and stared at Qin Yunuan.
Shangguan Yee felt unhappy when she saw Qin Yunzhuang was watching Qin Yunuan. She said with anger, “don’t worry. It is just a cat, and the empress likes you, sister Qin Yunzhuang. How come she blames you!? You can just fondle it for a while, and the cat will not get hurt.”
Qin Yunzhuang felt helpless. She thought that Shangguan Yee was so stupid and arrogant. Her mother said it was beneficial to get a relationship with family Shangguan, or she would not let her move around and get involved with her elder brother.
Shangguan Yee brought the cat to them. The white Persian cat was apparently not adaptable for being held by a stranger, and it kept struggling. Shangguan Yee now forgot the cat’s struggle while she was so happy and proud to gain other’s jealousy for holding the cat from those noble maidens.
“Sister Qin Yunzhuang, see? It is so cute!”
Qin Yunuan saw Shangguan Yee holding the cat and showing off to Qin Yunzhuang, and she just backed up toward the rockery. Just after two steps back, she saw the cat’s fur getting straight and scratching crazily Qin Yunzhuang’s beautiful face.
All the people got panic. Women here were screaming, and those eunuchs responsible for holding the palace lights were at a loss.
Qin Yunuan knew well the situation. She was not the stupid girl in the last life. Just now the fat nanny let Qin Yunzhuang select the ref flower sachet first at the palace gate, but Qin Yunzhuang deliberately selected the crescent white sachet together with Qin Yunuan. Qin Yunuan knew the trick. She replaced the sachet, but her act was so obvious and immature, full of loopholes.
Qin Yunzhuang could replace the sachet and did some tricks on it, so could Qin Yunuan. Just at the moment when Qin Yunzhuang pulled Shangguan Yee, Qin Yunuan took her crescent-white flower sachet back and put Qin Yunzhuang’s back to her.
“Security! Don’t freeze there! Help her.” Shangguan Yee was so anxious. The cat scratched Qin Yunzhuang. If Qin got some serious trouble, she would have no chance to marry the boy from the mansion of Grand Commandant.
Unfortunately, the garden today was used to hold the Flower Fairy Festival. All members here were female so as to avoid the sex harassment issue. All male safeguards were dispatched to other places and the left were eunuchs without much strength. They dare not hurt Empress’ baby cat. Some people got closer to help Qin Yunzhuang, but in vain.
Qin Yunuan felt happy to see that scene behind the rockery. In her last life, she was scratched by that white cat in rut, but no one came closer to help her.
Qin Yunuan was deepening into the memory of the last life. The absent-minded Qin Yunuan baked up for one step and almost fell down. She leaned the rockery aside and caught something hard. Finally, she stayed balanced.
She refreshed up and touched her chest, but only to hear a cold voice, “Is it enough? You have leaned on me for so long.”
Qin Yunuan felt so surprised. That was a male’s voice. Turning back, she saw cold and profound eyes. The rockery she just leaned on was turned out to be the wide and strong chest of that man.
The man was standing straight in a purple robe. He had his black hair tied up and wore a mask of black color with silver stripes. The mask was like a bat covering his face tightly. She could only see his cold eyesight, like a freezing snowflake.
Qin Yunuan got surprised by the man’s eyesight and just in a flash. She recovered her calmness. She backed up and saluted to the man, “I just nearly fell down. Thanks for your holding.”
Leng Changxi stayed still with his clothes waving by the wind, like a forceful pine tree lofting at the air opening. His eyes had browsed Qin Yunuan up and down.
The girl was so smart. It was she that leaned the man, but she said the man held her on his own initiative. She gained dignity and also found a reason to avoid blame from the man.
Leng Changxi just saw the whole thing at the roof just now. The little girl tried her best to dispute for herself, and he thought she was just butter-tonsiled. However, he was attracted by the girl’s movement of replacing the flower sachets. He believed that her act was not so nimble but at an exact moment.
He thought she just stole something, but he then understood after he saw the crazy white cat. There must be a trick in the flow sachet. She was not an ordinary maiden due to her actions in public.
Qin Yunuan saw that Leng Changxi still had a poker face and thought the man was still angry at her. She thought it was reasonable that people always had a changeable expression. She got up her courage and said, “Please forgive me if I just now offended you…”
“You are so noisy.” Leng Changxi answered but quickly closed his mouth, which seemed that he never opened his mouth when talking. He put his hands back and his long fingers were rubbing the jade ring worn in his thumb. It seemed that he was thinking about something.
Qin Yunuan was a smart girl and definitely knew what he meant. She just gave him a salute as the man did not blame her and didn’t want to talk much to her. She saw the crowd got silent. Two middle-aged imperial physicians tried to get closer to Qin Yunzhuang who seemed to get heavy hurt, and even the imperial physicians came.
“Thanks for your generosity.” Qin Yunuan lowered her head, “I don’t bother your enjoyment of plum blossom.” She was a little bit nervous and afraid his eagle-like eyes saw her inner heart.
Just at the moment, Qin Yunuan left the rockery. A voice behind her came, “Enjoyment of plum blossom?”
“Uh?” Qin Yunuan turned back quickly, only to see Leng Changxi stand there, half of his body in the shadow of the rockery, and a half in the sunshine, which was hard to perceive his mystery.
“Nothing.” Leng Changxi said in the same voice, “You can leave here.”
The Persian cat stirring up trouble now was held by two eunuchs. Two maidservants supported Qin Yunzhuang and let her sit on a stone bench. The imperial physician now was checking her. From the words of the physician, it seemed that Qin Yunzhuang had no more big trouble, but three bloodstains from her eyelid to chin. There would be no scar if she applied the imperial medicine Huayulu three times a day for a month.
But today, her face was really bad looking.
Scarred face, untidy hair and dirty skirt, Qin Yunzhuang now had a really bad appearance. But that was what those noble maidens wanted. If Qin Yunzhuang could not attend the feast, they might have more chances to win. Further, the feast was held not only for the annual Flower Fairy Festival but also for the victory-welcomed feast of Senior General Leng Changxi. If Qin Yunzhuang did not show up, the general then could see them more.
Each maiden had her own thoughts. Qin Yunuan perceived their secrets, and she knew that all of the maidens would be disappointed. Qin Yunzhuang was not that weak. Though Qin Yunuan put the flower sachet back, Qin YunZhuang was different from Qin Yunuan. Qin Yunuan was nothing but a daughter of a mistress, while Qin Yunzhuang was the legal daughter of her father—Grand Commandant, and besides, the empress liked her very much.
As expected, the empress soon knew that Qin Yunzhuang was scratched by the Persian Cat. She dispatched her closest nannies to look after Qin Yunzhuang and awarded the rare Huayulu, which was hard to see outside the palace, as well as white gauze for face covering.
“Sister Qin, I can accompany you to go back home for a rest. The empress will not blame us.” Shangguan Yee, seemed to care much about Qin Yunzhuang, and supported her who had already tidied her hair and wore the gauze.
“Thanks, but I am fine. The feast will start soon.” Qin Yunzhuang forced herself to stay. She knew that she could get supports from the empress. The gauze and the scars were nothing big deal. She could gain everything from his family, even the stars in the sky. She did not care about the gauze, disdains and Huayulu. She knew that she could be recovered within one month.
Qin Yunzhuang knew well the situation. If she showed up, even without her face exposed, she could still win in the feast only by her tricks and talents.
“Sister, are you OK?” Qin Yunuan came closer to hold the hands of Qin Yunzhuang.
Qin Yunzhuang unconsciously withdrew her hands. She replaced the flower sachet with rhizoma curculiginis which had the effect of sexual sensation. She predicted the habit of the Persian cat of the empress: drinking pure water in the morning and then had a walk in the plum garden. It was exactly the rut season of cats. With the provoking of rhizoma curculiginis, the cat must hurt Qin Yunuan.
She thought the cat was the new pet of the empress while Qin Yunuan was just the menial daughter of the concubine. If she failed to fight back against the cat, she would have her face scratched, and then she would not fear that face was more beautiful than hers. But if she managed to hurt the cat, the empress must punish her.
She would gain benefits no matter what the situation was. But now she felt painful due to the scars on her face even she had already got cured by Huayulu. She got furious when she saw the calm face of Qin Yunuan. She got rid of the hands of Qin Yunuan, “No. My face was scratched but my feet are OK. I don’t need any support.”
Shangguan Yee now was holding the arm of Qin Yunzhuang. When she heard Qin’s words, she quickly withdrew her hands with more vicious eyes towards Qin Yunuan. “If that b*tch did not come together with me, Sister Qin would not treat me seriously.”
“Sister, there’s no need to do that,” Qin Yunuan smiled, just like the tender peach blossom in Spring, “I remember. Before we came into the palace, you had told me that the most important thing of the maidens was not the beautiful face, but the talent, morality and virtue. Though your face got broken, you have fine virtue and politeness. You can still win if you can face it successfully.”
“That’s true,” Qin Yunzhuang’s eyesight toward Qin Yunuan changed and turned softer, but alarming, “sister, you should also perform well in the feast.”