Chapter 2: Do you have any rights?
Lu Mingshu stood dazedly in the doorway until Hui Niang came up and hugged her. "Miss, don't be upset…"
However, Lu Mingshu wasn't upset. Her father—to her—had just been a shadow in her imagination; he was someone that she'd never seen before. Hence, she didn't really have any affection for him. The family reunion she'd hoped for had been smashed. Rather, when she saw that her mother had been bullied by father, the emotion that was rampaging around in her heart was something that she has never felt.
"Hui Niang." Lu Mingshu opened her mouth and said.
"What rights do they have to look down on grandfather and mother like that?"
Hui Niang stared at her blankly.
Lu Mingshu looked up at Hui Niang with a serious look on her face. "Is it just because she's good-looking and dressed nicely?"
"Of course not…"
"Then is it because she has more money?"
"..." Hui Niang sighed. "Not only are they rich, but they also have power. Miss, you don't know what does being the Sect Leader of a Sect represents; they're martial practitioners! That's a different world to us! Take our Dongyue as an example: The most powerful entity here isn't the King of Dongyue, but rather the Heavenly Sea Pavilion. Even the King of Dongyue's successor had to obtain their approval."
"So incredible ..." Lu Mingshu whispered.
"Indeed. Even though I don't know which is the Sect that master is the Sect Leader of, even if it's incomparable to Heavenly Sea Pavilion, it's still definitely not a place that small commoners like us can anger."
As the two were speaking, they heard Lu Qingyi's shouting from out the drawing-room, "Father! Father!"
Hui Niang's heart rate suddenly accelerated as she hastily ran into the drawing-room.
When Hui Niang entered the drawing-room, she was utterly shocked. Sir Lu has collapsed atop the table, unconscious, bloodstains dotting his robes.
Lu Qingyi had lost her mind and didn't know what to do.
Hui Niang hurried over to calm her down. "Madam, please calm down. Let's get the doctor first."
Lu Qingyi immediately reacted after she heard Hui Niang's reminder, "A doctor … right, get Ah Sheng to find a doctor!"
The doctor arrived in no time and went to feel Sir Lu's pulse. "Forgive my shallow medical knowledge. I'm powerless to aid him." The doctor stood up to leave after a few moments,
Lu Qingyi began to weep loudly after hearing the news.
Qingfeng is a small town that only consisted of a thousand households, and this is the doctor in Qingfeng. If he said that there is no cure, then there is no other person who would be able to help.
The doctor had just crossed the threshold of the door when all of a sudden he felt a tug on his clothes. He looked down and saw Lu household's little daughter tugging on his shirt.
When he saw the child, whose age was similar to his granddaughter's, the doctor's heart softened. "Child, it's not that I don't want to save your grandfather, but I am powerless!"
Lu Mingshu raised her head and gazed at him. "Doctor, can't you at least prescribe herbs for my grandfather, or use your needle on him? Grandfather always says that you can only listen to destiny once you've finished your human affairs."
1The doctor was startled when he heard this.
"We're aware that grandfather is very ill. We won't blame you if he doesn't recover."
The doctor hesitated for a moment.
When Lu Qingyi heard their conversation she nodded her head furiously. She even wanted to prostrate herself before the doctor. "That's right, doctor Hu, you're an elder who's watched us grow up. Please, share some of your benevolent heart with us."
The doctor sighed, then retracted his foot that had passed beyond the door's threshold. "Alright, let me try."
He both prescribed some medicine and used his golden needles. Lu Qingyi thanked him continuously before ordering her servant Ah Sheng to see the doctor home.
Both Lu Qingyi and Lu Mingshu kept watch deep into the night before Sir Lu finally awoke.
Lu Qingyi began to weep from joy while she sat down when she saw him wake up.
When Sir Lu saw the state she was in, he immediately felt resentful for not being able to meet her expectation. "You… you…" His lips trembled as he opened his mouth, but he didn't know what to say.
Lu Qingyi became startled. " Father, don't be angry. It was all my fault…"
Sir Lu closed his eyes when he heard this, and calmed down after a while.
After a while, he opened his eyes and waved Lu Mingshu over. He gently stroked her head, his eyes full of sadness.
Tears tricked down Sir Lu's cheeks as he thought.
"Grandfather, don't cry," Lu Mingshu said with her head raised as she held his hand, "I heard from Hui Niang that the reason they were able to bully you was that they're martial practitioners. I want to practice martial arts too—so that I can bully them in the same manner that they bullied us next time."
1Sir Lu was taken aback by her words. He put his hand on her head and struggled to say, " Don't… tell anyone else… this..."
Afterwards, he called Lu Qingyi over by pointing to the small cabinet next to his bed, expecting her to retrieve a house deed from it. He then left a few words for her. "Once I go, you must… recruit Ah Sheng… to establish the household. Carefully raise…"
However, before he could finish, his eyes closed and his breathing stopped.
"Father! Father!" Lu Qingyi yelled. When she didn't receive a reply, she began weeping.
When Hui Niang heard Lu Qingyi weeping, she rushed over to see if he was still breathing. After doing so, she began to weep alongside Lu Qingyi. "Sir has left us…"
They kept watch over his coffin for three days whilst wearing mourning clothing. When Sir Lu's funeral arrangements had been concluded, Lu Qingyi fell ill due to her excessive grief.
They originally thought that it was a minor illness. However, it didn't seem to have gotten any better by May, even though she'd contracted it in February. Instead, it seemed to only get worse and worse.
Considering the fact that she had a naturally weak body, Lu Qingyi was lucky to have lived through giving birth. Falling ill for a few months had caused her entire body to thin so much that her clothes had become too large for her.
Sir Lu knew that his daughter had a weak constitution and that she wouldn't be able to hold up their household single-handedly. Hence, he'd wanted her to recruit Ah Sheng as her son-in-law, in order to have some support. As the household's top worker, Ah Sheng had been sold to the household because his family had too many children. As he hadn't had time to pick a good son-in-law, the old master had chosen Ah Sheng before he died. Ah, Sheng might be a servant, but at least he knew the household like the back of his hand.
How could he have known that, once he left, Lu Qingyi would become half-dead with illness? Combined with her heart that was still fixated on her divorce, she didn't even have the will to live on anymore, let alone recruit a son-in-law.
Doctor Hu ran out of new prescriptions when May came around. Knowing that things weren't looking good for her, Lu Qingyi called Hui Niang and told her what her plans were.
Hui Niang was stunned when she heard them. "Please think twice, Madam!" Lu Qingyi had actually proposed they look for Fu Ze. However, now that she was half-dead, how would they travel? Even if she could travel, there was also a chance that she wouldn't be able to hold on!
Lu Qingyi's tears fell rapidly. "My condition isn't looking good. What will Mingshu do if I leave this world? She's only seven! Not only does our Lu family have a history of not being able to bear many children, but we also don't even have any clan members. Ah Ze might be ruthless to me, but he's still her father. Now that things have progressed to this state, who else can I entrust my child to than him?"
"The reason you fell ill is just that you've been too upset. If we treat your illness carefully, you can still gradually recover. Besides, once there's a stepmother, there will also be a stepfather. With how ungrateful Fu Ze is, he'll definitely remarry. It's not necessarily a good thing for miss to be entrusted to him!"
"Don't console me, I know the situation my illness has put me in." Lu Qingyi shook her head and ignored Hui Niang's advice. "Call Ah Sheng here."
1Lu Qingyi had been weak her entire life, yet, now that she'd fallen into a half-dead state, she had become unexpectedly strong. She had Ah Sheng look for a middleman, then sold off their residence and fields for silver. Leaving a large portion for her travelling expenses, she gave what was left to Hui Niang and the others as a severance payment.
1Hui Niang had advised her against it, but she wasn't able to change her plans, thus she could only listen to her and hire a carriage. However, she wasn't willing to leave. Once she'd sent Xiao Huan home, she escorted Lu Qingyi and Lu Mingshu to Chuan with Ah Sheng.
Only then did Lu Mingshu realize that her birth father was at the Nine Jade Palace in Xichuan.