Medical Princess - Chapter 45
It was the next day that Mrs. Qin sent to the family temple to look for Shui Ruolan.
Mrs. Qin and Shui Ruolan had not met each other since that incident. She had initially thought that she did not need to come here, she could well humiliate Shui Ruolan when opportunities arose. However, it seemed that there was no other choice but to pay her a visit this day.
“How have you been these few days, my dear cousin?” said Mrs. Qin with a smile as soon as she entered through the door as she put a handkerchief to her mouth. She had applied ice to her cheek last night and the swell had somewhat subsided. Given that she also applied a layer of blush on her cheek, basically, no one could tell that she had been slapped on her face the day before.
“I’m doing alright!” Shui Ruolan replied, having braced herself for this. She looked at Mrs. Qin calmly with her black eyes.
Mrs. Qin threw a jealous look at Shui Ruolan, who, with a fair complexion and dressed in a white robe, appeared much younger than she really was. Although her eyes were not especially bright, they were exuberating an air of elegance. Mrs. Qin had always disliked Shui Ruolan’s quiet charm. She must be such an unfeeling person to be so at peace with being a widow.
Suddenly, the scene of Qin Huaiyong in the study flashed across Mrs. Qin’s mind and she could immediately feel her fury rising up in her and eating her up.
Mrs. Qin had been the one behind the setup, however, what turned out eventually gave Shui Ruolan the opportunity to show Mrs. Qin that she was not one bit interested in Qin Huaiyong.
“You have lost quite a lot of weight these few days, dear cousin! What happened the other day was all the general’s fault. The general had wanted to give you a status in the house as he wished to be accountable to you,” said Mrs. Qin, tightening her fists in secret, then relaxing them and sat down. She dabbed her nose with her handkerchief and pretended to look sincere.
To give her a status in the house would mean for Shui Ruolan to become the general’s concubine. Obviously, Mrs. Qin had to force herself to offer this suggestion.
Mrs. Qin was a heinous woman. So what if the general really have a soft spot for her? Being the wife, and the lady of the house, Mrs. Qin would have control over a concubine. What could Old Grandma do given that she was aging? It would be easy for her to get rid of Shui Ruolan by just making a statement.
“Madam, I don’t want to be a concubine!” said Shui Ruolan to Mrs. Qin impassively as she raised her eyes to her and put down the joss sticks in her hands.
Not only was Mrs. Qin shocked to hear her reply, but the servants who followed behind Mrs. Qin were also taken aback.
Stunned, Mrs. Qin’s face and she said, “Dear cousin, what do you mean by this? Are you saying you want me to give up my place to you?”
“Please give me a chance to explain myself. I had been content staying in my little area in the house when the incident fell upon me. Do you think I designed it?” Shui Ruolan said coldly, lifting her head to meet Mrs. Qin’s face as she continued, “I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request to find out the truth by interrogating all the servants about what happened! We could also engage the help of the wife of Magistrate Qi, so we can prevent unnecessary rumors.”
To let Mrs. Lee help in the investigation?
By now, Mrs. Qin was fuming! Little did she expect that this weak-looking Shui Ruolan would be so sharp-witted. She frowned at Mrs. Qin as if she was trying to look into her heart.
“Aren’t you scheming, Shui Ruolan!” Mrs. Qin gritted her teeth and continued, “Aren’t you afraid that you’ll create more trouble?”
“I’m not worried to blow this up. I’m just afraid that someone had set me up! Originally, I’ve followed my grand aunt here to live a quiet life. I never wanted to be involved in your family matters. However, since now I’ve been implicated, I’ve no intention of running away from it!” said Shui Ruolan, glancing at Mrs. Qin as she tried to dust away the dust on her sleeves.
Mrs. Qin gritted her teeth. She had come here to give Shui Ruolan a piece of her mind but little did she expect that Shui Ruolan would be unmoved by her offer. Supporting herself with arms on the table with anticipation, Mrs. Qin did not believe that she was unable to deal with Shui Ruolan, who was a nobody in her household.
As Mrs. Qin swept her eyes pass Shui Ruolan’s sleeves, she spotted the corner of a letter. Her heart leaped as she found it familiar. It was the letter belonging to Qin Yuru.
It was so familiar to Mrs. Qin because she was the one who put the letter into the envelop.
Mrs. Qin immediately suppressed her anger and put on a smile and said with a calm voice, “You’re a widow, Shui Ruolan. Are you going to rise beyond your position as a widow to rule over others?”
“Mrs. Qin, do you then mean that the person who set me up gets to keep her place? If I were to tell the general, my cousin, about this, I believe you can guess what he’ll do!” said Shui Ruolan, showing no sign of backing down, as she straightened her sleeves.
So much so she made a sound when the sleeve rubbed against the letter in it.
She used to address Mrs. Qin as “cousin-in-law”, but now she called her “Madam”!
“Shui Ruolan, do you think a letter alone would do wonders?” snorted Mrs. Qin and she shot Shui Ruolan a sharp glare, tightening and releasing her fists as she continued, “Shui Ruolan, let’s have a deal!”
She did not wish that Qin Huaiyong would see this letter as much as possible.
“I’m not interested to have a deal. I’d rather tell cousin honestly about everything, rather than keeping anything from him!” said Shui Ruolan.
“That’s too much, Shui Ruolan!” said Mrs. Qin with a severe tone as she stood up suddenly.
“I’m not the one who’s pushing to much. I just wanted to regain what rightfully belonged to me. Since I’ve been set up and trampled upon, I would use my life to clear my name,” said Shui Ruolan coldly. Her usual unassuming manner did not mean she would keep quiet when bullied.
Mrs. Qin was taken aback by Shui Ruolan’s sharp tone, but she maintained a severe front and continued on. “Shui Ruolan, I’m not sure if you’ve been set up. What I’m sure of is that the general had been set up. The General had always treated you with as a relative who had come to seek refuge in his household. He had meant well, but look at the revenge that resulted from this kindness!”
“Let’s go discuss this with my cousin,” Shui Ruolan responded to Mrs. Qin with composure, as she turned to go to the general.
“Don’t force me to a corner, Shui Ruolan!” said Mrs. Qin severely. She waved for her maids to block the door of the family temple.
Shui Ruolan turned her attention to Mrs. Qin’s face only to realize that her lips were quivering a little. With a mocking smile on her face, Shui Ruolan said with a calm tone, “Are you using force, Mrs. Qin? Do you really think that I’ll be so stupid to hide the letter with me here?”
“You… you mean this letter is fake?” Mrs. Qin almost said these words through her gritted teeth.
“Do you really think that I’m so stupid? That I will be framed a second time?” Shui Ruolan said impassively with a smile.
Mrs. Qin could hardly grasp what was in Shui Ruolan’s heart, looking at her completely composed expression. Her gaze moved from Shui Ruolan’s face to the opening of her sleeve.
“You can have this letter. I will go look for cousin once you leave. I’d like him to be the judge between us, about how you had come to me, wanting to take the letter from me by force. It only goes to show that you’re feeling guilty and hiding something. When he sees the original letter, I’m sure my dear cousin would believe my words!”
Shui Ruolan said casually.
These words of Shui Ruolan almost made Mrs. Qin faint with rage. Was she trying to make her confess?
“You… what are you trying to find out?” Mrs. Qin said through gritted teeth, sounding irritated. Given that so many servants were involved, it would be easy for the general to find out something from them.
“I refuse to a concubine!” Shui Ruolan repeated herself while she glared at Mrs. Qin, then continued, “Please go back, since our conversation is not going anywhere. I’m going to leave the family temple in two day’s time to start taking care of Grand Aunt. I guess I shouldn’t stay in the family temple all my life!”
“You…” Shui Ruolan’s words said calmly provoked Mrs. Qin once again. She twisted the handkerchief in her hand, wishing she could slap that beautiful face of Shui Ruolan. How dare she spoke to her like this? Not only did she make use of Qin Huaiyong to threaten her, but she was also obviously planning to use that old woman to back her up.
Mrs. Qin had been in power of almost everything in the household after marrying Qin Huaiyong. Never had she been wronged or disadvantaged.
“Please go back, Mrs. Qin!” said Shui Ruolan, taking two steps forward, planting the joss sticks in her hand into the alter slowly, waiting for Mrs. Qin to leave.
“Let’s go!” Mrs. Qin said in rage, knowing that she could not do anything to Shui Ruolan now, she turned to leave.
“What do we do now, Madam?” asked Nanny Zhou as she followed behind Mrs. Qin.
“I’m definitely not going to agree to this!” said Mrs. Qin through gritted teeth.
“But… but how about that letter…” Nanny Zhou reminded Mrs. Qin. What explanation did they have for that letter in Shui Ruolan’s hands, although Mrs. Qi saw that handwriting on the letter did not look like hers. Nanny Zhou continued, “If the general were to become suspicious, the things Madam said in the past would be questioned.”
If one thing she said was not true, it could imply that everything she said was a lie. Mrs. Qin had done many things behind Qin Huaiyong’s back.
“We must not let the general believe in this letter and believe what Shui Ruolan says,” Mrs. Qin said, gritting her teeth.
“Madam, how about we find a scapegoat for this, so that even if someone were to report Elder Miss Qin’s trouble to the general, the general would not think that we’re involved if there’s a scapegoat,” suggested Nanny Zhou.
Suddenly, Mrs. Qin’s eyes came alive at the idea, as she thought that this was a good idea. “Who can we find to be the scapegoat?”
“Second Miss Qin!” said Nanny Zhou as she pointed towards Qin Wanru’s room and continued, “If only we could direct the attention of this matter onto Second Miss Qin, we would be able to completely shirk all the responsibility. We can say that it was Second Miss Qin who framed the Elder Miss Qin, that she purposely wrote such a cheesy letter and dropped it somewhere where people can pick it up.”
They had been so used to making Qin Wanru the scapegoat for all past troubles that Nanny Zhou had long conceived the idea of pushing the blame onto Qin Wanru.
“Would… would the general be suspicious?” as was her habit, Mrs. Qin was tempted to do so.
Nanny Zhou, seeing that Mrs. Qin was tempted, added quickly by saying, “Of course the general would believe you, given that your relationship with Second Miss Qin was broken, now that she knows that you’re not her birth mother. We would well imply that she hated the fact that this fact was kept from her, therefore she had thought of this plan to frame Elder Miss Qin.”
Mrs. Qin had always liked hearing suggestions like this from Nanny Zhou, and Nanny Zhou, being Mrs. Qin’s personal maid, knew what Mrs. Qin loved to hear best under such circumstances.
As expected, after listening to Nanny Zhou’s words, Mrs. Qin nodded in agreement and instantly, with a sinister look in her eyes, she said, “Alright, however, we should not be the one to divert the attention to Qin Wanru. Someone else needs to do it.”
“What do you mean, Madam?” Nanny Zhou waved the other servants and maids away and moved closer to Mrs. Qin asked her in a whisper.
“Write another letter!” said Mrs. Qin with a sinister laugh.
“Miss, miss, I’ve picked up a letter at the door to our yard. This is strange, who would leave a letter here? Did you lose a letter?” Qing Cui, who went to the kitchen to fetch some snack, came back with a letter in her hands and was making a big deal out of it. This attracted the attention of the maids and servants in the yards and they started to gather around her.