Chapter 4 Cruel and Unscrupulous Relatives (2)
Xiuyan was Princess Yang’s confidential chief maid, who was bought by Princess herself several years ago. She strode in, saw the mess in the room and frowned gently, asking, “What happened? Commandery Princess is out of condition now. Who was so clumsy to break things up?”
Then she curtsied to Qiu Yelan, “Princess Yang sent me to visit you. But she was afraid that if I came here early, someone ill-intentioned might see this and bother you with it. That’s why I come so late...How are you feeling now?”
“Thank you, Xiuyan!” Qiu Yelan sneered to herself, “They knew that I was almost beaten to death but still come here again and again. Who would visit a patient like this? They obviously want to make things worse!”
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But she had to keep expressing her gratitude, “Thanks to First Aunt today, or I would probably be dead like my mother now!”
“Please don’t say so!” Xiuyan hurried to say, “You are Commandery Princess. Lady Yuqing was driven by a temporary impulse to beat you. No one dares to kill you. You see, just now Prince Qiu also said that he wanted you to take a good rest and get well again soon!”
Qiu Yelan concentrated her mind, “First Uncle? Is the Jiang Family next door so powerful as to frighten the Qiu Family? No, the two families are not related. What’s more, the Ruan Family does not get well with Jiang Qianchuan. It’s lucky that they didn’t come to give me more harm. It’s impossible that they want to meddle in the Qiu Family’s affair.”
Xiuyan recognized her amazement and lowered her voice, “Actually when Prince Qiu heard what Madame and Lady Yuqing said, he also thought it was you who killed Young Master Kang! Fortunately, Princess Yang defended you, and Prince Qiu believed her...Princess had argued firmly with Prince Qiu for you! Tonight, Prince Qiu didn’t sleep in Princess Yang’s room but went to Mistress Liu!”
Qiu Yelan was a little upset in her heart, “It must be true that Qiu Mengmin, Duke of Xihe, went to sleep in his concubine’s room tonight. But that’s probably because as a dutiful son he wanted to show respect to his mother Lu! As for whether it’s the result of a quarrel with Princess Yang, that’s impossible. Today Princess Yang mentioned Empress Jiang, who interferes in politics directly and openly! Even Empress Dowager, who meddled in politics for 30 years, can’t deal with her. The Jiang Family’s residence is only next door, and the Empress’ mother is staying there. Also, just now people from the Jiang Family came to ask why there was noise in Prince’s Mansion...So it’s not possible that Qiu Mengmin dares to let me die at this point. He should feel grateful for Princess Yang’s reminding!”
But on the outside, she showed her gratitude immediately, “Fir...First Aunt is so kind to me! I...I really don’t know how to repay her!”
“Please don’t say so,” Xiuyan hurried to hand over a handkerchief for her to wipe the tears and said gently, “in fact, Princess has always treated you as her dear niece. But you know. Madame prefers Lady Yuqing in everything. That’s why on most occasions, Princess can’t speak for you and have to leave you to feel aggrieved for so many years!”
“I know. In this family, apart from my mother, only First Aunt cares for me!” Qiu Yelan took a deep sigh and sobbed with the handkerchief in her hands.
Xiuyan’s eyes circled as her real intention was emerging. She said, “What a pity that Princess has deeply offended Madame, Lady Yuqing and Prince! Next, Princess may be confined in her room. At that time, I’m afraid she can do nothing to protect you anymore, even though she wants to!”
Qiu Yelan had known her real intention, but still showed a big panic on her face and almost sat up from her bed, “What? Then...I...First Aunt...What should she do now?”
“Madame and Lady Yuqing now must hate you very much!” Xiuyan pursed her lips and said in a low and deep voice, “so the only way is to let Prince Qiu speak for you!”
“But First Uncle...” Qiu Yelan was at a loss. Her finger joints became pale as she grasped the quilt too hard.
Xiuyan’s eyes blinked, “I know Prince Qiu has an urgent thing now. If you can help with it...”
“An urgent thing?” Qiu Yelan said in a hurry, “I can help First Uncle?”
“You know Prince likes his eldest son the most,” Xiuyan said calmly, “right now Prince Qiu wants to get First Young Master a position out of town, but he needs 800 thousand tael of silver to make it happen! If you help him this time, won’t he like you and treat you well?”
Qiu Yelan really wanted to check how much her grandmother and her mother’s dowry was. 800 thousand tael of silver! The whole wealth of this Prince’s Mansion was about 2 million tael. Although Qiu Mengmin was hereditary Duke of Xihe, how could he dare to use almost half of the family’s wealth to find a position for his son borne by his concubine?
This was too much bullying for a child!
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She thought Xiuyan would be kind as her attitude was good, but it turned out that she was even more cruel than Mrs. Fan sent by her cousin Kang Lizhang! Kang Lizhang only asked her to give out her dowry. As for how much money she could get from the dowries, that was Kang Lizhang’s business. However, Princess Yang directly set a price of 800 thousand tael of silver. What if two dowries couldn’t match this price?
Qiu Yelan’s face turned pale, “So much money?”
“What are you talking about?” Seeing this, Xiuyan became angry right away, “Princess Yang did so many things for you and even offended the whole family, while you still don’t know how urgent it is? Fine, I’m going back to tell Princess Yang that you don’t care about her kindness at all!”
“Please wait, Xiuyan!” Of course, Qiu Yelan had to stop her and she said anxiously, “It’s not that I’m unwilling to give money, but...I don’t have any!”
Xiuyan turned around and said angrily, “How come that you don’t have money? The old Princess and Princess Ruan’s dowries are all yours!”
“Well?” Qiu Yelan said in a loss, “Where are they?”
Xiuyan was shocked. Then she looked at Mrs. Zhou and Su He, “Where are the lists of old Princess and Princess Ruan’s dowries?”
“I don’t know!” Mrs. Zhou’s heart missed a beat and answered immediately.
Su He said in anger, “When our Princess passed away, Princess Yang and Lady Yuqing sent servants to search for the dowries. They nearly broke down the house but found nothing. This time as soon as Commandery Princess came back, she was searched by Lady Yuqing’s servants, but still, they found nothing...How could we know where they are?”
Xiuyan frowned, “although old Princess and Princess Ruan’s dowries were taken over by Prince Qiu when Princess Ruan passed away, without a list, many things were lost, and no one knew where to find them. Small objects like a piece of antique or a piece of jewelry could be hidden in any corner of any shop, let alone the deeds and shops unknown to Prince Qiu’s family.
She asked in suspicion, “You really have no idea?”
“As First Aunt is so kind to me, I tell you the truth, Xiuyan” Qiu Yelan sighed faintly, “If I knew where the wealth was, why did I come back here?”
Xiuyan thought and agreed.
“I will ask Princess Yang when I’m back,” knowing that she couldn’t get money from this visit, Xiuyan’s attitude changed at once. Flinging her hand, she left in a gloomy face.
“Your Grace, we have trouble now!” Mrs. Zhou changed the quilt for Qiu Yelan and said anxiously, “the Kang Family asked for the dowries, while Princess Yang asked for money. But we can’t even find the lists of the dowries. What are we going to do now?”
Qiu Yelan said to Su He, “See if there are other people coming. If not, close the door and windows.”
When Su He came back and confirmed there was no one eavesdropping, Qiu Yelan sneered, “The lists were already sent to my aunt’s home a thousand kilometers away! If I die before I’m married, my aunt will have someone take the letter written by my mother and the dowry lists to the capital city for a lawsuit...Such a big sum of money will surely attract many people. As Duke of Xihe’s family has fallen into decline now, someone may seize this opportunity to rob a big part of Duke of Xihe’s industry!”
Mrs. Zhou and Su He were surprised, “What?”
“I’m here right for it,” Qiu Yelan said grinding her teeth, “If I died today, within three months, this Xihe Mansion would not live for long either!”
After she said this, she heard some faint noise outside. The corners of her mouth curved up: It was natural that Su He couldn’t check this big yard alone, and Xiuyan did come back for more information...In this way, her delaying tactics would be working. When the Qiu Family went for that aunt of her and realized it was all bullshit, she would have got the most precious time!
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