Chapter 23.1 : A Deterring Show of Power
They were now no longer in the mood to tease the beauty anymore as their hands tightened around their weapons. “Little Beauty, do not blame Big Brother for being callous but you can only blame it on your unfortunate fate.”
Qing Yu looked at the two men with their malevolent faces and she shook her head sympathetically. “Haiz, of all times to come here. You really know how to pick the time.”
All that she grew in her herb beds were not just herbs, but also several stalks of beautiful but savage Lunar Enamoured Flowers.
They belonged to a similar species as the Man Eating Flower but these flowers bloomed only at night, especially after they were bathed in the moon’s essence, their demonic nature greatly intensifies. She seldom had people coming to visit her courtyard and she had planted them when she had nothing to do and for them to guard the yard as well.
And these two unfortunate miscreants had come seeking their own deaths, their hands holding such shiny weapons.
The Lunar Enamoured Flowers loved moonlight but they detested other kinds of light. Those two fools had been waving their weapons around for awhile and she guessed that the flowers were about to throw a fit.
As expected, under the silence of night, something seemed to growing robustly under the ground. In moments, the soil in front of them loosened and surged, and several enormous dark shadows rose up, surrounding the two men.
The enormous flowers were snowy white throughout, their mouths that were fully filled with sharp teeth all wide open, with a long and rounded red tongue sticking out which was densely covered in sharp hooks. As those horrifying mouths swayed, they blew out warm and wet breaths.
“What….. What kind of a thing is this! ?” The two men were staring with their eyes wide and their mouths agape in shock. Their bodies stiffened and they don’t even dare to move.
“Those are great things to have you know? I will have to thank both of you for providing them with fertilizer.” Qing Yu said with a disarming smile.
“Do you know who we are? How dare…..”
That person had not even finished his words when half of his body was chomped off by a Lunar Enamoured Flower with one single bite, the blood spraying all over the other man beside him, frightening him into howling out in sheer terror.
In the next second he was swallowed up by another Lunar Enamoured Flower. That flower seemed to have been very hungry for a long time where it did not only swallowed that man cleanly up, it even licked up the blood on the ground till there wasn’t a single drop left.
After it had its fill, it let out a satisfied burp, and then buried itself back deep underground, leaving only its rhizome showing on the surface.
The man lying on the ground gone on ahead to fall into a dead faint having been unable to hold out against the poison in his body, and he did not see the scene that unfolded, or he might very well have half his life scared out of him.
Qing Yu creased up her brows and was met with a dilemma.
This fella was so tall and towering in size. Was she really going to drag him all the way into the house? If she dumped him there, it wouldn’t be good that he would still be crushing her herbs and plants underneath him.
“Hey, wake up. Continue feigning death and I will leave you here to your own perishment.” She stuffed a antidote elixir into his mouth boorishly and stretched her hand out to jab her finger onto the swollen areas on his face two times.
The man had been giddy and barely conscious throughout but was feeling a little more awake after being fed the antidote elixir. When his face was jabbed by her, the pain caused him to grit his teeth and exclaim: “You!”
“Me? What about me?” Qing Yu asked as she stared down at him from her higher vantage point. “Quickly get someone to bring you away from here and not continue to take up space here at my place. Also do not forget that you owe me one million taels of gold.”
‘Rest assured. I never go back on my word. Wait till I go back and I’ll have someone send the gold.” The man said through tightly clenched teeth, in indignant anger.
“That will be best. You can carry on. I’m going back in to sleep.” She let out a lazy yawn, and then immediately went walking towards her own room without once turning her head back, before she stepped inside.
The man was a little stunned. [The lady….. was leaving him in the lurch just like that? Can’t she see that he was poisoned? ?]
[Wait….. It seems….. his body is not hurting anymore, and he wasn’t feeling all that uncomfortable anymore.]
Chapter 23.2: A Deterring Show of Power
That was when he remembered that he had seemingly just been fed with an elixir…..
“What a strange woman…..” The man muttered to himself under his breath, and then stood up shakily from the ground.
Subconsciously seeing that he had squashed quite a large patch of the foliage with his body, the expression on his face showed a rare moment of embarrassment before he then leaped nimbly over the wall to leave.
After achieving her breakthrough, Qing Yu was feeling a lot more relaxed and she slept throughout till the next morning before she awoke.
She stretched lazily and then went to open up the window. The window looked out over the herb beds directly and she was able to see it clearly.
“Huh?” Qing Yu blinked her eyes in surprise, to see that the large patch of her herbs that had been ruined was now looking perfectly intact, restored to the way it was, showing no sign of having been flattened at all.
[What is going on here? Are her eyes seeing things bright and early in the morning? ?]
“Oww….. What is this thing?” A muffled cry sounded outside.
The youth who was covered in morning dew had just come back, and before he had even stepped in through the door, he had stubbed his toe into something hard, his eyes staring wide with shock.
[What is this? Why is it placed here right in front of the door? ?]
“What’s wrong Little Bei?” Qing Yu asked from inside, coming over and was about to open the room’s door as she spoke.
Qing Bei quickly called out to stop her. “Sis, don’t open the door just yet!”
Thereafter, he then approached carefully, staring measuringly at the thing that was wrapped up in black cloth. He gave it a probing nudge with his foot, and then shifted it position a little away from the door.
Qing Yu heard the noises and then opened the door. “What’s wrong?”
Qing Bei pointed at the black wrapped package. “I saw this thing at the door the moment I came back, and I do not know what it is, but I do not think it is anything dangerous inside.”
Qing Yu arched up an eyebrow and looked at it, before she reached out and wanted to pick it up. [Huh? I can move it? ?]
She exerted a bit more of her strength and was just able to lift it up.
She opened it to take a look, and a brilliant blinding gold shone out, from the neatly stacked gold bricks each about the size of a palm. There was also a stack of bank notes where each note was no less than ten thousand taels.
Qing Bei’s eyes narrowed up as he stared. “There’s so much money! ! ?”
There was also a letter within the bundle. Qing Yu picked it up and tore off the seal, and saw several lines of flowing script.
[Here is a million in gold. As I am currently only able to bring out seven hundred thousand taels in physical gold, I have drawn out the balance three hundred thousand in the form of bank notes, without a penny less.]
[The debt of having saved my life, is engraved in my mind.]
[For having carelessly damaged your garden, I am deeply sorry. I have ordered for the best workmen to restore the herb bed as much as possible and I hope that can appease your anger.]
Qing Yu curled up her lips. [This fella is rather conscientious! To think that he had even repaired her herb bed. A single elixir in exchange for a million in gold. It was a windfall no matter how one calculated!]
[Truly a case of fools have abundant wealth.]
“Sis, what is going on here?” Qing Bei had never seen so much money in all his life, and he did not know how to react at that moment.
He had not come back for only one night and what had actually happened?
Qing Yu smiled slyly and rubbed her chin. “It’s nothing. Last night….. erm, an unexpected windfall fell right into our courtyard, that’s all.”
“Really?” Qing Bei’s face was filled with suspicion and doubt.
“Of course it’s real. Why would I lie to you?” With a click of her tongue, she wrapped the bundle back up, and the entire package then disappeared without a trace.
The fact that she possessed her own dimensional space was something Qing Bei knew, and hence he was not surprised.
“You’re back so early?” Qing Yu’s lips were curled up as she ruffled the dew drenched hair of the youth, smiling as she spoke.
Qing Bei meekly remained in his position, allowing her to abuse the top of his head like she would a pet, the expression on his face soft and warm.
Chapter 23.3 : A Deterring Show of Power
“Sis, when I just came back earlier, I heard about a certain matter.” Qing Bei seemed to suddenly remember something funny and the ends of his mouth lifted as he said: “It seems like the Duchess is going to come out of seclusion.”
“The Duchess?” Qing Yu blinked. “Hasn’t she lived in seclusion for so many years and does not ask about worldly affairs?”
For her to suddenly decide to jump back out, could it be a signal that more was at play?
“Because Father told the Chief Steward yesterday that he wants to employ people to flatten and rebuild the Tranquil Abode as the age of the courtyard has become too old and has gotten dilapidated, making it unsafe for us to live in here. He intends to move us into the main lodge up front and live there.” Qing Bei then slowly told her about the news he had heard just last night.
“Har?” Qing Yu was filled with delight when she heard that. “Isn’t that just appalling enough news to get the Royal Concubines and Lady Concubines jumping up in a fit?”
“Of course it would!” Seeing Qing Yu gloating at others’ misfortune, Qing Bei could not help but laugh.
“But, based on that reason, she would definitely come to seek trouble with us here, but it’s still so quiet…..”
“That’s why I say the Duchess is coming out from seclusion. With the main chief having not spoken a word about it yet, how could the others possibly dare to play any tricks?”
‘Knock knock knock.’
While the two of them were chatting merrily, a series of knocks sounded from the outside of the door.
Qing Yu arched up an eyebrow and silently signalled for Qing Bei to go inside the room, before she went to open the door. She saw a pretty little lass dressed in maroon coloured clothes standing outside, the smiling eyes on her highly lovable.
She first bowed respectfully and then said smilingly: “Sixth Young Miss, I am the Duchess’ personal maid in waiting and my name is Yan Fei. The Duchess has ordered me to come extend an invitation to the Sixth Young Miss and the Second Young Master. Today is the Duchess’ fulfilment of her vegetarian fast and she has specially arranged for a banquet to be held, and all the Young Masters and Young Misses in the manor are invited to come for a meal.”
Qing Yu smiled. “Thank you Miss, we know it now.”
Yan Fei was stood there frozen for a moment, seemingly not expecting to hear such a short and curt reply after she had said so much, and the usually glib tongued little maid suddenly found herself at a loss for words.
“Is there anything else?” Qing Yu asked as she looked at her frozen in her spot, finding it a little amusing.
Yan Fei snapped back to her senses. “There’s nothing else. Yan Fei will then take her leave.”
Finishing what she came to say, she turned and left with hurried steps.
“What was that for?” Qing Bei stuck his head out from inside and asked, looking at the figure who had gone a good distance away.
Qing Yu pulled him inside the house. “The Duchess is holding a highly duplicitous banquet, and has specially invited everyone to attend. I am guessing that she is seeking to make it a threatening show of the power she holds, to make us stay in line and not dare dream of doing anything impractical.”
“Looks like the manner that Father is treating us has gotten under her skin this time.” Qing Bei’s eyes dimmed. “Vegetarian fast? Humph! It’s just an excuse.”
[That vicious woman will really follow the way of Buddha? Having committed so many evil deeds, it would be too good for her if she is not condemned into Hell.]
“If we do not go, then she might very well pin onto our heads the crime of showing contempt to the Duchess, and we will not be able to live in peace.” Qing Bei shook his head as he said with a bitter laugh.
“What you are saying sounds reasonable enough.” Qing Yu commented as she tapped the tip of her finger upon the table. “In that case, I shall then take the first step to make a deterring show of power first.”
She had always like to make the first move, and was not used to allowing herself to suffer in a disadvantaged position.
Hence, when high noon came, the inside of the main house was already filled with people seated inside.
The two Royal Concubines were seated directly one seat down from the main seat on the left and right, followed by the four Lady Concubines according to rank, and three other concubines, with the other five Young Misses of the Duke’s Manor at the end.