Chapter 16: Be Obedient: Elder Sister Will Ensure Your and Your Mother’s Safety
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Are Elixir Alchemists that impressive?” Although the Fifth Concubine knew that Elixir Alchemists were valued, her daughter was still sickly and feeble in bed. She had not even produced even one elixir yet, so she did not feel reassured at all.
“Of course. Otherwise, why would Seventh Concubine be willing to be father’s concubine?” Ye Jiuge spoke nonchalantly.
The Seventh Concubine, Mu Xianglan, was a Wood Elemental Beginner Spiritual Practitioner. She was young and beautiful; if she had wanted to, she could have married into any of the less influential families and been a legitimate wife.
However, she claimed to deeply respect and admire Ye Yuxuan’s status as an Elixir Alchemist. She was so adamant about marrying him that she was willing to be his concubine. The frank truth was that she wished to obtain better resources for her own cultivation. A spiritual practitioner’s cultivation was extremely arduous. If she did not have elixirs to supplement her cultivation, it would be extremely difficult to progress further.
However, elixirs were very costly. It was impossible for an average person to afford them. Countless spiritual practitioners worked for affluent families to earn more money to cultivate. Many ladies as pretty as Mu Xianglan often sought patrons.
Two years after marrying into the Ye Clan, although Mu Xianglan had still not borne a child, because she had managed to progress successfully, Ye Yuxuan still favored her greatly. At present, she received an allocation similar to Ye Shanshan’s—one bottle of Vitality Strengthening Elixir every month.
Mu Xianglan was a clever woman. Although Ye Ruyi was not an Elixir Alchemist yet, on the basis of her favorable attribute, Mu Xianglan would definitely establish a good rapport with her. Therefore, she would take the initiative to find the Fifth Concubine.
After Ye Jiuge analyzed these situations clearly for the Fifth Concubine, she was at last reassured. “If that is the case,” she said, “then I will wait for her here.”
“You do not need to wait for her here. Pack up your things and move to the Qiu Shui Residence later.” Ye Jiuge instructed her.
“The Qiu Shui Residence?” The Fifth Concubine’s eyes widened in complete shock. She kept shaking her head as she said, “This will not do, this will not do. That is the residence that your mother prepared for you. How can you let us stay there?”
The Qiu Shui Residence was Yun Qiaoqiao’s most treasured residence. It was also the most magnificent place in the Ye Residence. Famed for its tranquility, when she first built it, she’d planned for her daughter, Ye Jiuge, to live there.
After Yun Qiaoqiao passed away, Ye Yuxuan claimed that his yearning for his dead wife was the reason no one else was allowed to move in. Ye Jiuge was not an exception.
Soon after, Ye Jiuge was declared to be incompetent. Subsequently, the Crown Prince divulged that he wanted to break off his betrothal with Ye Jiuge and marry Ye Shanshan instead. Then, Ye Yuxuan had tacitly agreed to allow Su Yufeng to spruce up the Qiu Shui Residence for Ye Shanshan.
“Staying at the Zhilin Residence is perfectly fine for me now. I do not need to move. Not only that, the Qiu Shui Residence is the only decent accomodation currently unoccupied in the entire Ye residence. It is perfectly appropriate for you to stay there right now.”
Seeing that the Fifth Concubine wanted to decline, Ye Jiuge said, “Since you say that the Qiu Shui Residence is mine, then you should listen to me. Let Fourth Sister live there so that those Ye Residence servants who bend their knees to power and look down on the weak may realize the prominence of you and your daughter.”
Whether someone was regarded as having high social standing depended on their clothing, food, and residence.
Because of Yun Qiaoqiao, the Qiu Shui Residence had come to distinctively represent the position of the lady of the Ye Residence. This was why Su Yufeng wanted Ye Shanshan to live there: to demonstrate to everyone that her daughter was held in higher esteem than Ye Jiuge. If Ye Ruyi lived there, beyond status in general, it would specifically mean that she was superior to Ye Shanshan.
The Fifth Concubine understood the implications of living in the Qiu Shui Residence, which was why she was afraid of the pressure that went along with it.
“Fifth Concubine, since you have already had a hostile fall out with Su Yufeng, you must persist. Otherwise, as soon as you expose any weakness, you will be trampled all over, resulting in a terrible downfall. You will never again be able to escape the suffering of repression.”
Ye Jiuge’s words completely shattered any relief that remained in Fifth Concubine’s heart. Her expression changed again and again. In the end, she gritted her teeth and said, “All right. I will act in full accordance with your arrangements, Eldest Miss.”
Since she had chosen to side with Eldest Miss, she had to trust her completely.
“Fifth Concubine, do not be too worried. Right now, Fourth Sister is the apple of Father’s eye. No one will dare mistreat you or your daughter. Rest assured and live there without fear!” When Ye Jiuge saw how anxious Fifth Concubine was (to the point of her lips turning pale), she personally poured her a cup of hot tea and pushed it into her palms.
The Fifth Concubine shook uncontrollably as she sipped the hot tea. Afterwards, she felt rejuvenated. She stood up and said, “Then, let me pack our things. I request that you stay here to keep Ruyi company, Eldest Miss.”
“Okay. I will stay here with Fourth Sister. Go ahead and pack!” After Ye Jiuge watched Fifth Concubine leave, she sat at Ye Ruyi’s bedside. She looked at the scraggly girl lying quietly on the bed and said softly, “Stop pretending. I know you have been awake this whole time.”
The young girl’s fingers trembled slightly before she slowly opened her eyes. She looked at Ye Jiuge sheepishly before saying, “Eldest Sister.”
“Did you hear the entire conversation between your mother and me?” Ye Jiuge asked, looking into the young girl’s guileless eyes.
“I heard.” The young girl nodded.
“Are you aware of what those words mean?” Ye Jiuge asked again.
The reason she had expended so much effort to explain the stakes of the situation to Fifth Concubine was because she wanted to enlighten this young lady, who was merely pretending to be asleep, about what was going on. Whether Fifth Concubine could stand up to Su Yufeng as a formidable opponent would greatly depend on whether this Ye Ruyi could live up to her expectations.
“I understood.” The young girl nodded and said slowly, “It is because my Wood Fire Spiritual Root has awakened, so I may become a very powerful Elixir Alchemist in the future. Therefore, Father is now showering us with lavish affection. In the future, Madame will not dare to blatantly mistreat us.”
“You are correct. In the future, Madame will not dare mistreat you openly. However, she will still employ many underhanded tactics. The days ahead of you will be even tougher than before. Are you afraid?” Ye Jiuge brushed away the black hair stuck to the young girl’s forehead and tucked it behind her ears.
She seemed weak, but, in reality, her character was resilient. Her personality was similar to the Fifth Concubine’s. When backed into a corner, she would retaliate.
When those servants who bend their knees to power and look down on the weak had ill-treated her and her mother, the four-year-old had already known to pretend to faint to frighten them away.
She was actually a very bright child.
“Afraid!” A hint of fear glinted in the young lady’s big eyes. Her fingers grasped the tattered blanket covering her lower half. She spoke in a trembling voice, “I am afraid that I am not as powerful as they imagine. I am afraid that I will not be able to master the art of creating elixirs and that, eventually, I will let father down.”
Even at her young age, Ye Ruyi understood that the higher one climbed, the harder one fell. The better Father treated her now, after he was disappointed, he would subject her to even harsher treatment. Even if she was his biological daughter, she would not be an exception. Ye Ruyi had already realized this because of seeing how her Elder Sister had been treated in the past.
“If you know that you should be afraid, that is good.” Ye Jiuge patted her little head.
If she knew that she should be afraid, then she would not become complacent and forget the suffering that she had already endured. As long as Ye Ruyi moved forward with a good head on her shoulders, even if she could not achieve greatness by creating elixirs with her favorable attribute, she would not meet an untimely demise.
Furthermore, Ye Jiuge was still around.
“Do not worry. Your Elder Sister is here. I will help you.” Ye Jiuge caressed the young girl’s hair gently.
As long as they listened to her and allowed her to settle everything for them, she would definitely ensure that mother and daughter remained unharmed.