The Rise of Xueyue

Chapter 17 Hands That Roamed Too Close

The maidservant began to shake in fear. She was terrified of facing the Viscountess's fury.

She thought about everything and anything that could quarrel Viscountess Bai's anger. A sudden gossip came into mind. "Master Bai plans to sell Xueyue to State Master Huang! She will be sold the second day her flower bleeds!"

At the mention of her husband's plans, Viscountess Bai felt her body go stiff.

State Master Huang was a nasty, perverted, and over-weight man who was known to have many wives.

Rumors had it he wasn't pleasant in bed. He was rough and would repeatedly defile his woman until they were raw and crying for mercy.

The worst gossip surrounding him was his treatment towards children. There were multiple witnesses that had accused him of touching children.

If Viscountess Bai remembered correctly, there was a time the State Master visited the Bai Manor. She had already heard of the rumors about him and had purposely locked Tianai in her room. And when the State Master requested to see her daughter, she had deliberately brought out Xueyue.

Because Xueyue was young, naive, and barely over the age of eight, she didn't remember the man whose hand roamed too close to her womanhood.

"M-madam, this lowly servant claims the truth!" Another maidservant dropped to her knee to plea for her friend's innocence.

Viscountess Bai pondered the thought. A cruel and sinister smirk bloomed on her face.

If the State Master married Xueyue, the benefits would be endless. Her reputation and innocence would be tainted with blood, which meant Tianai could soar higher than a Phoenix...

"Hm..." Viscountess Bai placed a finger on her chin.

Terrified that Viscountess Bai wouldn't believe them, the servants quickly said, "We would never lie to you, Madam Bai!"

Viscountess Bai thought about the hardships she had to face when she married Viscount Bai. Because she was a widow and a touched woman with a daughter attached to her hips, no man wanted her.

Sure, she was beautiful, but that didn't mean noble men would risk their reputations for her. But the Viscount took a liking towards her because she resembled his deceased wife...

After thoughtful consideration, Viscount Bai said, "Fine, grab the wooden paddle."

Walking back to her seat, she walked with feign grace. Leaning into the high-quality chair, she beckoned Tianai to come forward.

"Have a cookie, my dear. And enjoy the show." She said to Tianai, passing her the plate of pastries.

Tianai slowly nodded her head and took tiny, ladylike nibbles from her cookie. She wanted something to eat when she enjoyed the delightful scene of destroying Xueyue.

She hated everything about Xueyue. The older she got, the harder it was to hide Xueyue's blooming beauty. Resembling her mother in every way, from the flutter of her eyes, the thickness of her lashes, and length of her silky, black hair, there was nothing about Xueyue that screamed "ugly."

Tianai glowered at Xueyue. Grinding her teeth, her fingers tightened into fists. Imagining Xueyue as the cookie, she crumbled it to bits.

Like mother, like daughter, Viscountess Bai was sharing the same thoughts. Even when Xueyue was starved to the brink of death and her bones stuck out more than her appearance, the maidservants would still admire Xueyue's beauty.

When Tianai wore the most expensive hanfu, bathed in the best-scented oils, and her hair was adorned with the latest trend of hairpins, her beauty couldn't compare to Xueyue.

Viscountess Bai leaned her cheeks against her hand. "Crack her face and pluck out her nails as well."

Tianai thought about a suggestion. "Mother, I think she would be more suitable for the jagged wooden paddle." She lightly suggested.

Viscountess Bai's eyes immediately lit up at the idea. "That's my girl." She grinned and placed a tender hand on Tianai's cheeks.

All the while, Xueyue watched the loving mother-daughter moment. There had never been a day she experienced the same love that was showered upon Tianai.

The head maidservant got up from her bow and grabbed the jagged wooden paddle. It was more painful than the normal one and would leave tiny cuts on the body.

Xueyue cowered in fear. She pleaded for mercy. "P-please, no more!" She cried out.

The jagged paddle would tear her dress apart and repeatedly scratch her skin slowly, but painfully, until her body was a bleeding mess.

The worse part came later.

Viscountess Bai would force Xueyue to take a bath in boiling hot water rimmed with lemon to cause excruciating pain on the poor girl.

The maidservant walked forward with the paddle in hand. She nervously glanced at her Master's wife.

Viscountess Bai fluttered her fingers. "Proceed."

It was this simple word that lead calamity to befall Xueyue.

The screams that filled the cold, empty room were blood chilling and spine-gnawing.

The servants who lined the walls with their head bend low shivered at the sound. It was horrendous, and most of them would have nightmares afterwards. Their Madam was truly cold-hearted!

Xueyue screamed, cried, and plead for mercy. She wailed her innocence, and it fell on deaf ears.

Tianai sat beside her mother with her head held high and her back straightened. There was a dark, sinister smile on her face.

And because the room was so dark, where the only candles lighting up the room was surrounding Xueyue, no one saw the malicious expression on her face.

In seeing Xueyue's suffering, in hearing her begging pleas, antagonizing screams, and heart wrenching sobs, Tianai felt great satisfaction.

'This is what she deserves!' She thought to herself.

'How dare she flaunt her face and skills!' Tianai hissed to herself.

She hated Xueyue with a burning passion. The noble blood running through Xueyue was pure and legitimate.

When Tianai struggled to please Viscount Bai, Xueyue always seemed to be one step ahead.

Tianai was no fool. She knew how much the Viscount treasured his late wife. Anything that resembled her, be it appearance or talent, would have a safe spot in his heart.

She dug her nails into her palms as the memories washed over her. It poured over her like heavy rain, soaking her with hatred and bitterness.

Xueyue's greatest advantage was her appearance. She was the splitting image of her deceased mother, and that was something no one could change. When Tianai envied Xueyue for her appearance, Xueyue lived with the torment of being her mother's mirror reflection.

Tianai thought it was an advantage, when in reality, it was Xueyue's biggest disadvantage. Viscount Bai loathed Xueyue because each time he looked at her, he was reminded of the one thing that tore his wife away from him.

That was all her fault!

When Viscount Bai wasn't beating Xueyue, he would mentally abuse her with words more painful than any beating she ever received.

Every day, Xueyue would be tormented. Punched for smiling too widely, kicked for walking slowly, smacked for talking too softly, and beaten when asked about food, everything she did always resulted in some form of consequence...

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