Chapter 14: Chance
The next day early morning, Zi Yinye made an excuse to accompany Chun Ri out. Seated inside the carriage, Chun Ri discovered that today, her lady’s mood was exceptionally good and couldn’t help but ask, “My lady, why are you so happy today?”
“Of course I’m happy to be able to see my mother today,” Zi Yinye said slowly, her voice also unprecedentedly soft.
Chun Ri froze at this response. The excuse they had made for Zi Yinye was visiting the Zi Clan, but her lady would definitely not have such a good mood for visiting her mother. Furthermore, she did not sound like her usual self and sounded like she was putting on an act. Just when she was going to ask, Zi Yinye pointed outside. Chun Ri understood immediately and stopped.
Today, Mo Bai was the one driving the carriage. It was Ren Fengyao who specially instructed Mo Bai to send them into the city, but despite his good intentions, it caused trouble for Zi Yinye instead. Being “monitored” when going out was really… but she had to hold back!
Zi yinye directed Mo Bai to bring them to a small alleyway near the back entrance of the Zi courtyard. After getting off the carriage, Mo Bai felt it was strange. “Why is Madam not entering the main entrance to visit?”
Zi Yinye lowered her head, her tone embarrassed and disheartened as she said, “I only wanted to return home to see my mother. Entering through the main entrance is not necessary. In any case, besides my mother, nobody wishes to see me.”
Mo Bai instantly felt sympathy, his eyes flashing with pity, but he understood that with his status, he could not say anything. Thus, he lowered his head. “Then Madam, when and where should Mo Bai return to receive Madam?”
“Noon. You should return to this place. I will return right after eating lunch with my mother.”
Mo Bai nodded. “Then Mo Bai shall first go to the marketplace. When noon comes, I shall return to pick Madam up.”
As she watched Mo Bai hurriedly direct the carriage away as if running away from a natural disaster, a smile arose on her lips. “Pitying me!” she said disdainfully, her lip curled. “This fellow, if I sold him off one day, he’d be counting the money for me!”
“My lady, you were acting like a completely other person just a moment ago. I’m honestly impressed.”
“Nonsense. Of course I have to maintain my pathetic appearance. But I do have to be careful not to exaggerate too much.” Zi Yinye stretched lazily. “Let’s go!”
Seeing Zi Yinye not enter the Zi courtyard but the alleyway instead, Chun Ri said hurriedly, “My lady, you’re not going to visit your family?”
“Idiot, who said I was going to visit them? It was just an excuse, understand?”
“But my lady, since you are already here, why don’t you see Madam?”
Zi Yinye shook her head, smiling faintly. She faced the Zi courtyard, her eyes misting over as she looked into the distance. “It is better to not meet. Sooner or later, I will leave. Mother needs to get used to my absence, the earlier, the better. Chun Ri, do you know why after marriage, I have never returned to the Zi clan?”
Chun Ri shook her head.
“It is so Mother can get used to the fact that I am gone, so all of the Zi clan can forget my existence.”
“My lady, what do you mean by that?”
“Chun Ri, how do you think Mother would react if she heard one day I was gone?” Not waiting for Chun Ri’s response, she continued, “It’s possible she would feel dejected, but not for long. For one, she has Father by her side. With her current charm, Father will definitely not throw her away. She will be loved forever and with Father’s love, she will gradually forget about me. Secondly, she will realize that in reality, I had already gradually disappeared from her world. The most important person in her life is not me, but Father, so even if I am gone, she will still be fine. As for the other family members, I have rarely appeared before them, so they too will gradually forget my existence. Even if news arrives that something unfortunate has happened to me, there won’t be many ripples.”
Chun Ri’s heart started pumping with shock. “My lady,” she said hurriedly. “You… are you….”
Her finger on her lips, Zi Yinye shushed her, winking. “This ‘Zi Yinye’ will disappear from this world once and for all.”
With a deep intake of breath, Chun Ri lowered her voice. “My lady, you… you’re planning on faking your death?”
Smiling, Zi Yinye’s eyes gleamed. “Chun Ri, use this time to contact Xia Xing and the girls. Once everything is prepared, we will make our move.”
Chun Ri nodded. “I will make the arrangements right now. My lady, are you going to ‘Fusheng’?”
Zi Yinye nodded. “We will operate separately and rendezvous here. Be careful, make sure no one notices you.”
“I know.” Chun Ri turned around, about to leave, but stopped in her tracks. “My lady, you’re really not going to visit Madam?”
“A daughter married off is water that is spilled, unable to be retrieved. Chun Ri, you understand my personality. I will never appear before her and make her waver. And if it were not for blood bonds, I would not have been mired here. Thus, I must cut off all relations.” She smiled gently. “Foolish girl, in reality, how could I actually abandon Mother! She is my birth mother! But… There are times crossroads are inevitable and decisions are necessary. In the future, if I truly miss her, I can still simply secretly come back and see her.”
Walking away from Chun Ri, Zi Yinye gave another look at the Zi clan. In the long alleyway, there was no one else. Eyes closed, she said softly, “Mother, if in a few days you receive news of your daughter’s death, please do not be too grieved. Your daughter has no other choice. When there is an opportunity in the future, your daughter will secretly visit you!” She had a fleeting smile, the smile somewhat sad. “I believe you will not be grieved for too long. Afterall, my existence is not important to your life.”
It was already the end of the year. The streets were exceptionally lively, and with the new year so close, everywhere, the atmosphere was filled with cheer. But inside the carriage, Zi Yinye was not happy at all. She had successfully met up with Hua Jianli and established a plan to escape, but thinking of how she was going to really leave in a short while and how ‘Zi Yinye’ was going to be history, she felt a stir of melancholy. If it weren’t for the sudden marriage, she wouldn’t have needed to become a “ghost”. Although she knew that she wasn’t the most important person in her mother’s heart, if she were truly gone, perhaps her mother would cry. For some reason, she just didn’t want her to cry!
The carriage slowly advanced. Zi Yinye was gloomy, but once she saw the figure waiting outside the courtyard’s forest, her eyes lit up. The good mood she had that morning had returned.
“Stop!” Zi Yinye agility sauntered over with quick steps. “Yinye greets her highness!”
“It’s you?! Humph!”
Dongfang Rongfei had not been able to enter for two days. She was already burning with fury and upon seeing Zi Yinye, she couldn’t help but humph. Right when she was thinking of how to teach the girl a lesson, the girl said, “Is your highness here to visit the patient?”
“None of your business, you ugly witch!”
She was just about to help her, yet the princess was so ungrateful! Zi Yinye laughed secretly. Completely ignoring Dongchang Rongfei’s attitude, her lips smiled and she turned towards Mo Bai. “Mo Bai, her highness is here to visit his lordship. Quickly bring her in.”
If her conjecture was correct, the reason Ren Fengyao had sent Mo Bai out was because he was afraid she would not be able to enter after returning, so of course, she would have to use this to send the princess in. Aiya! It’s been so long since she had seen the princess. If those two women from Beiqi were also here, then the cacophony would be so entertaining! Humph! She wouldn’t be the one with a headache anyhow. If only the courtyard was truly unable to be disturbed. That way, she wouldn’t need to find a way to kick him out!
Mo Bai understood that his lordship absolutely did not wish to see the princess. The barrier was indeed purposefully constructed for the purpose of keeping out the crafty and unruly princess. Mo Bai had no planned on allowing the princess in, but his status was too low for him to oppose this and the Madam, even if she were only the Madam in name, had spoken. “Your highness, please follow me.”
Seeing Zi Yinye starting to step into the forest, Mo Bai hurried over a few steps in order to take the lead. The young master had sent him out for this very reason. He couldn’t afford the Madam getting lost in the forest until she was naturally expelled. Otherwise, not only would the young master not forgive him, she would also need an explanation. But…. With a furtive glance at the “extra” princess, Mo Bai felt a burst of apprehension. Would the young master become angry?
Of course, Zi Yinye noticed everything, his furtive glance and worry. She didn’t care if Ren Fengyao would be angry or not. Her days were unhappy, so Ren Fengyao deserved a headache, a headache!
Once they entered the courtyard, Zi Yinye instructed Mo Bai to bring the princess to the western lateral courtyard to visit Ren Fengyao. Dongfang Rongfei strutted away arrogantly towards the western courtyard as if she was Ren Fengyao’s official wife. Zi Yinye smiled seeing her high and mighty appearance. Once the princess left her line of sight, Zi Yinye said to Chun Ri with a bright smile, “The princess is sometimes pretty entertaining.”
Arriving back at the eastern courtyard, Chun Ri said unhappily, “My lady, are you going to just hold back? Just look her her, she just clings to her status as a princess. What’s so good about her? She acts as if she’s Madam Ren and you’re not even worth looking down upon.”
“What are you getting so riled up for!” Zi Yinye calmly arranged her clothes before sitting down. “I, the actual Madam, am not angry, so what are you angry for? Foolish girl, remember this: cunning women will directly lure their target whereas stupid women only know to fight other women. I let her in for the purpose of watching entertainment. You, on the other hand, shouldn’t become part of the entertainment!”
“Entertainment?” Her brows furrowed as she pondered over her lady’s words. After a while, she suddenly realized. “My lady, the reason why you in such a good mood this morning was because you knew we were going to run into the princess? No wonder even though you were in such a gloomy mood, the moment we saw the princess, you became so happy. It was as if you were another person.”
“Not bad, not bad. You understand how to read my moods now.” Zi Yinye put away a hand warmer. “The princess has come by in the past two afternoons, but unfortunately, she was unable to enter, so I just thought to myself, hmm, maybe I should help her in.”
“Oh, I was wondering why you suddenly said you wanted to visit home. It turns out…”
“Originally, I had planned on taking a trip out in a few days to meet brother Jianli and set up a plan, but when I saw the princess unable to get in, I just speeded up my plan.”
See Zi Yinye’s joyful smile, Chun Ri asked, “My lady, aren’t you just asking for trouble? Don’t you know the princess wished his lordship would divorce you so she can marry him?”
“Of course I do! I also wish he would divorce me. Chun Ri, men rejoice upon seeing the woman they love, but seeing a woman they do not like, they still need to socialize, headache inducing. And Dongfang Rongfei is the perfect woman to give Ren Fengyao a headache. So, Chun Ri, you need to go out on trips often and let the princess in. Ren Fengyao is making my life miserable, so I must make him miserable.”
“My lady!” Chun Ri didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She stamped her foot. “My lady, you’re acting like a child!”
“Humph!” Zi Yinye turned away without responding; she would never admit she was childish. She was on the verge of going insane. For some mysterious reason, she was forced into marriage, and then she had to act stupid and pitiful. She even couldn’t retaliate when she was bullied! It was fun to play this game occasionally, but she would break down if she maintained it for such a long time. She didn’t want to suffer multiple personality disorder. She couldn’t do anything to the cause of the problem, the emperor, and although Ren Fengyao was also responsible, she could not retaliate head on, so these small scale problems would be enough! Even if it was a childish revenge… Why did it matter? As long as she was satisfied to her heart’s content, it was fine!