Chapter 17: Fighting injustice
The clerk smiled while feigning a good attitude. "Young Master Gao, we do not originally possess many medicinal herbs of top grade. By coincidence, a batch had previously been collected by the Jade Pear Residence, and the newly transferred over batch is of this grade."
"Then why is mine of a top grade?" Gao Xiang questioned.
, "This package had long been prepared since Elder An sent word over previously. Otherwise, Young Master Gao would be collecting a package of this grade too." The clerk did not even bat an eye as he replied.
"This…" Gao Xiang was momentarily at a loss for words. Even though he felt something was amiss instinctively, he was still young and did not think things through enough.
As for Lu Mingshu, she is fully aware of the situation that she is currently facing.
But the other party has spoken pretty words while maintaining a polite attitude, so much so that she was utterly helpless against her situation.
"No, get your Hall Head to come out!" Gao Xiang called out. "Why haven't I ever heard of the sect giving inferior herbs to its disciples?"
"Young Master Gao…"
Lu Mingshu wanted to speak, but she paused after some hesitation.
When Fu Shangqing received the news and had rushed to the scene, the situation had long since turned awful.
By right, a small matter like this would not have been reported to the sect leader. But coincidentally, he was in the Truth Courtyard to check the medicine list when the incident occurred.
The line* of Willow Woods possessed a high status in the current Nine Jade Palace, and the number one expert in Nine Jade Palace, Grand Elder Zhuo Jiangui, was from the line of Willow Woods. This line of theirs had always stayed out of disputes and maintained its neutral position. In that same vein, no one would try and offend them, as that would force them to another sect.
Given that Fu Shangqing's position as sect leader was quite unstable, why would he then offend the line of Willow Woods? One could not just write Gao Xiang off as just a child, for the line of Willow Woods had always only had a sole heir—there would only be one lineal disciple every generation. Zhuo Jiangui only accepted An Tongchen as an official disciple, and An Tongchen had now selected Gao Xiang in this generation. Without a doubt, he would be the future successor of the line of Willow Woods, and An Tongchen was bound to be vengeful if things got ugly here.
A few days had only passed since the farce, so Fu Shangqing would never do anything unnecessary at this moment.
"What is going on here?" Fu Shangqing walked out with a solemn expression.
That clerk had acted on his own initiative and on the notion of: so what if a child like Lu Mingshu was bullied? The more important thing was to gain favor with the Second Miss. Who would have thought that fellow Gao Xiang would appear at this moment hell-bent on standing up for Lu Mingshu, thus complicating this matter?
He did not dare to call the Hall Head. Distributing Spirit Pills was an important task only clerks have right to handle. He was very clear on what status Gao Xiang held; what if the Hall Head fires him in order to appease Gao Xiang? No matter how many gifts a clerk like him sends, he would never be as important as the successor of the line of Willow Woods.
Unexpectedly, Fu Shangqing came right when he was hesitating on what to do.
The clerk looked at him, unsure whether to feel assured or worried.
He felt reassured because he normally curried favor with Zhou Yinru. Plus, he knew Fu Shangqing was unhappy with this daughter that appeared midway. On the other hand, he felt worried because Lu Mingshu was after all his daughter, and Sect Leader Fu leaves no faults to be found in regards to his actions on the surface.
Lu Mingshu was surprised at Fu Shangqing's unexpected arrival. Right when she was hesitating on how to address him, Gao Xiang casually cupped his fist in the other hand. "Sect Leader, you came at the right time. Truth Courtyard is acting too unreasonably. Opening one's Meridians is such an important matter, yet this vile person replaced with inferior herbs and embezzled from a disciple! If this were to be spread out, would our Nine Jade Palace still have face?"
Fu Shangqing was speechless.
"What exactly is going on?"
The matter was very clear; once the two packages were opened up in front of Fu Shangqing, the contrast was distinct. Everything in Gao Xiang's package was of top grade and filled with luster while Lu Mingshu's package was dried up with an abnormal smell.
Fu Shangqing glared at the clerk, hating him secretly in his heart. He knew Zhou Yinru wanted to make things difficult for Lu Mingshu, but he was also too lazy to care about it. However, it should not be brought up to the surface, as it was now a critical junction for their cooperation with the Seven True Platform. Who would even have the time to handle such trivial matters?
2In front of him, the clerk did not dare to bring up those words he spoke previously. Stuttering, he could not finish a sentence even after a long while.
Fu Shangqing felt annoyed at his stuttering, but when he saw Gao Xiang staring at him, he could only be decisive in this complex situation. "I have stressed and stressed time and time again that the responsibility the Truth Courtyard holds is significant. There is no room to treat anything lightly. How could inferior herbs be replaced in an important matter such as opening one's Meridians?! Don't you know to report to the higher-ups if there's a lack of Spirit Pills? Since you can't do a good job, you need not do it anymore!"
The clerk's knees weakened, and he kneeled down on the floor with a loud thud before imploring, "Sect Leader, it's all because I was greedy at a moment of convenience. I beg Sect Leader to show mercy!"
Before Fu Shangqing even spoke, Gao Xiang glared at him. "You haven't even been punished and you already want mercy? Isn't it a little too early?!" As he spoke, he asked Fu Shangqing again, "Sect Leader, what do you think his punishment should be?"
Fu Shangqing waved his hand. "To punish by ten floggings, and then chase him out of the sect." A small clerk is no big deal.
The clerk was greatly alarmed. "Sect Leader…"
He had just spoken, and there were already people dragging him to Quintessence Courtyard in order to execute his punishment.
Once the matter was settled, Fu Shangqing looked towards Lu Mingshu with furrowed brows. "How have you just entered the sect and you are already causing trouble? In the future, don't leave Green Jade Valley if it's not important. I will send people to bring you anything you need."
She was obviously the one being bullied, yet Fu Shangqing spoke words to reprimand her. Lu Mingshu had long lost her faith in this father of hers, hence she did not feel upset. "I am afraid this won't be easy. Green Jade Valley lacks too many things."
Fu Shangqing's brows furrowed even deeper. "What more can you lack if you have clothing and food?"
"Green Jade Valley has not been involved with the outside world for a long time. Since my Master has a good temper, those people have long been used to jeopardizing our supply with inferior goods. This is not the first time. The rice, noodles, and fruits they send over are all inferior goods that even maidservants aren't willing to consume."
Fu Shangqing suppressed the unhappiness in his heart and answered, "Alright, I am aware of this issue now."
Once he finished speaking, he stood up and left with his attendant.
Gao Xiang asked puzzledly, "Are you familiar with the sect leader?"
Lu Mingshu smiled. "He is my father."
"Ah?" Gao Xiang was greatly alarmed.
Lu Mingshu thanked him seriously. "It's all thanks to you today, thank you. It's not early anymore, so I have to go back now. Feel free to come and play at Green Jade Valley whenever you are free!"
"Oh, it's nothing much…"
Lu Mingshu collected the new package of pills and left Truth Courtyard without double-checking. The incident had only just transpired, hence she was sure they would not dare try deceiving her again.
Gao Xiang looked at her disappearing figure in a daze. He thought in his heart,
1Lu Mingshu was truly grateful to him. When she realized the clerk's deliberate bullying, she had already decided to kneel down before the Main palace once she walked out of this door.
She would not let the clerk off so lightly for acting the good person in front of others and then making things difficult for her in private.
Mother's incident made her realize that submitting to humiliation would only encourage more arrogance
However, she had unexpectedly met Gao Xiang, who had warm-heartedly fought injustice for her.
She was not afraid of the Zhou Family's hatred, but Gao Xiang's help had saved her a lot of trouble and also given her the opportunity to solve the issue of the bad treatment for Green Jade Valley.