Chapter 15: Protest
The princess did not stay for long, but that was within Zi Yinye’s expectations. If Ren Fengyao took too long to get rid of her, then it would be strange! But Dongfang Rongfei did not leave. Instead, the princess came to the eastern courtyard to find her, which left her baffled. It wasn’t that she hadn’t expected the princess to come find her, but that she hadn’t expected the princess to come so early on.
With the veil on, Zi Yinye arrived at the entrance hall alertly, preparing on how to deal with Dongfang Rongfei.
Dongfang Rongfei was drinking tea gracefully. When Zi Yinye entered, her eyes merely flickered with disdain before disregarding her. Zi Yinye bowed upon entering. “Yinye greets her highness.”
Zi Yinye’s lip curled. This princess was acting like she was the hostess, like she owned the place, even though she had not been married in yet. Her status as princess sure made the princess self-confident in her authority.
Dongfang Rongfei continued on drinking the tea gracefully. Zi Yinye lowered her head and also remained silent. She did not know why Dongfang Rongfei had come to find her for, but she was definitely up to no good. But they were still on Ren Fengyao’s territory, so she couldn’t be too overbearing and hit her. Also, Mo Bai was still nearby, guarding outside the door. Mo Bai should be able to notify Ren Fengyao quickly to stop the violence if it occurred. She had also seen the sympathy in his eyes.
If the enemy does not attack, I will not attack. Zi Yinye sat peacefully. Of course she had more patience than the pampered princess. As expected, in a few minutes, Dongfang Rongfei set down the tea cup and said haughtily, “I want to you to leave brother Ren!”
So direct? Zi Yinye smiled. She raised her eyes slowly and acted as if she didn’t understand. “Your highness means to say…”
“Brother Ren only pities you with your face, so he doesn’t plan on divorcing you. So I want you to leave him yourself!”
She wasn’t able to convince Ren Fengyao, so she came to find her… Zi Yinye lowered her head, hiding the contempt and loathing in her eyes. “Yi-Yinye does not dare.”
“Does not dare? Why do you not dare? What is it to be afraid of?”
“This is the emperor’s conferred marriage. Yinye does not dare to even think of opposing his highness. If his lordship wants Yinye to leave, then Yinye shall leave, but Yinye opposing… Yinye has no grounds to do so.”
“You…” Dongfang Rongfei understood Zi Yinye’s meaning. If Ren Fengyao wanted to divorce her, then she would leave, but her taking the initiative to leave was impossible!
“You don’t suit brother Ren!” Zi Yinye lowered her head, as if shamed by those words. Dongfang Rongfei then sneered coldly. “Just look at you, ugly, untalented. You have the audacity to cling to brother Ren?”
Zi Yinye lowered her head, not uttering a sound. Dongfang Rongfei assumed her words had affected Zi Yinye. “It is true your Zi clan has money, but you are simply an unloved girl. The Zi clan does not give you any money, so you have no way of helping brother Ren. You can only humiliate brother Ren, dragging him down.”
“But I am different. After marrying me, brother Ren’s status will soar!” Dongfang Rongfei’s tone switched, arrogant again.
Zi Yinye almost wanted to laugh. Ren Fengyao was the prime minister, already only one step away from the top; was there really a need for his status to “soar”? He would only be able to take that position and with his ridiculous loyalty, that would never occur. And it could even be considered rebellion, a criminal offense that would cost even the princess her head! This so called “rise in status” could even destroy an entire clan!
Seeing Zi Yinye quiet with her head low, Dongfang Rongfei became a little annoyed. She raised her voice. “Did you hear me?”
“I-I heard you. Yinye understands that her highness is correct.” Zi Yinye’s tone was low.
Dongfang Rongfei humphed. “Of course I’m correct. Just look at your pitiful self, only able to lose face for brother Ren. Why haven’t you left here? Aren’t you ashamed of staying with brother Ren, humph!”
Zi Yinye raised her head to look at Dongfang Rongfei. Her voice carried a tremble, but although it sounded cowardly, it was resolute. “Yinye still cannot do it. Yinye has not caused any terrible offense and if Yinye divorced, Yinye’s situation would become unbearable, so Yinye cannot… But if his lordship himself divorced, Yinye could not do anything about it.” Her meaning was clear. She would definitely not carry out the divorce herself, so the princess had to go request Ren Fengyao instead!
Dongfang Rongfei seethed with anger. After they discussed for such a long time, the girl was still so obstinate. If she was able to convince Ren Fengyao to divorce so easily, then why would she waste time here?
“Are you unwilling to leave him because you… have feelings brother Ren?”
What a joke! Whether she protested it or not, the princess would think she did. Thus, Zi Yinye lowered her head, keeping quiet. She had to think of an appropriate answer, but before she could, Dongfang Rongfei spoke. “Even if you don’t say anything, I am sure you do. Otherwise… Brother Ren is so virtuous, such a talent, if you didn’t like him, it would be strange!”
It was true he was talented, but he was certainly not virtuous! Zi Yinye rolled her eyes secretly, thinking to herself, if she really fell for Ren Fengyao, then the princess wouldn’t be so unbridled currently. Really now… What a joke! And Ren Fengyao was unworthy of her love!
“You are truly unwilling to leave on your own?”
Zi Yinye kept her head lowered, only giving a faint nod. Dongfang Rongfei bit her lip. “You don’t deserve to be with brother Ren. If you truly like brother Ren, then obediently go beg brother Ren so you don’t drag him down.”
Zi Yinye remained still, silent. Dongfang Rongfei was again angered, this time to the point she was trembling. She truly wanted to slap her a few times, but she understood that she could not do it here. Otherwise, it would be harder for her to marry Ren Fengyao. She suppressed her anger with great effort. “How about this? On the third month, the month of the Spring Hunt, the royalty and all the officials of the court will go to Mount Mang to hunt. Every year at this time, some womenfolk of the officials also attend. This year, if you are brave enough to follow me on horseback around the hunting grounds of Mount Mang, then I will stop bothering you. How about it?”
Dongfang Rongfei sneered as she watched Zi Yinye. She just wouldn’t believe the ugly, cowardly girl would have the courage to ride on horseback around the hunting grounds.
Mount Mang. Zi Yinye’s eyes glinted. Sometimes luck would come even when she wasn’t looking for it. She had just been thinking of how to ask Ren Fengyao to bring her to the Spring Hunt. Who would have thought the excuse would come so easily. The curve of her lips became more and more defined. Her smile was radiant underneath the veil. She raised her eyes, containing the excitement in her eyes, pretending that she was forcing a resolute appearance. “Alright, I accept!”
Dongfang Rongfei was so certain that the cowardly Zi Yinye wouldn’t dare to agree, but unexpectedly, Zi Yinye accepted without a moment’s hesitation. Not only that, she even sounded a little resolute. Thinking of how Ren Fengyao had treated her halfheartedly and now Zi Yinye was tacitly disobeying her, her hatred started to flare. She snorted and turned, her sleeve flapping with the fast whip around, then left.
Watching the princess leave, Zi Yinye’s mood was so good she was about to start smiling again, but once she saw Mo Bai standing at the entrance with a complex expression, she could not help but tense up, suppressing her emotions instantly. Did he notice anything? Seeing his gaze anxious and sympathetic, he shouldn’t have noticed anything. Zi Yinye secretly let out a breath. It seems her self control was still not enough. Controlling appearances sure wasn’t easy!
West courtyard. Lying lazily with his eyes closed, Ren Fengyao heard footsteps. His eyes still closed, he said, “Has the princess been sent away?”
“Yes!” Mo Bai lowered his gaze, pushing away his preoccupied thoughts.
“Did you accompany the princess all the way back to the palace or something? Why did it take so long?” At the side of the desk, Leng Canxing was standing lazily, bored.
“The princess just left. She… she just went to the eastern courtyard.”
“She went to see the seventh lady?” Leng Canxing curled his lip. “There’s not need to go on. She must have went to find that girl to blow off steam. After being angered by senior disciple, but unable to get angry at him, she went to find that unfortunate seventh lady. What, did she bully her?”
Mo Bai looked up at Leng Canxing, then at his young master, discovering that his master now had his eyes open and was looking at him. Thus, he relayed what had happened in detail. Once Mo Bai finished, Leng Canxing said with surprise, “The seventh lady actually agreed to attend the Spring Hunt? And even ride on horseback around the hunting grounds? Does she know how to ride? How unexpected! Senior disciple, are you not going to stop her?”
“Stop her from what?” Ren Fengyao smiled faintly. “Actually, this is fine. Perhaps the princess will learn about the real world. Maybe the seventh lady is not as cowardly as she seems, only that the circumstances have forced her to become restrained. Letting her go out and get fresh air is good too.”
“I just hope nothing unexpected happens! Senior disciple, the princess is not morally upright. If she injures the seventh lady secretly, you will feel guilt.”
Ren Fengyao nodded, indicating he would take care of it. Suddenly, Leng Canxing said, “Senior disciple, do you think it’s possible the seventh lady actually fell for you?”
Ren Fengyao froze for a moment, then said, “How is that possible? Don’t forget about young master Du!” But did this young master Du actually exist?
Ren Fengyao closed his eyes, enclosing all of his emotions. Mo Bai spoke.
“Young master, the seventh lady is truly pitiful. She doesn’t even dare to enter though her clan’s main entrance.”
“Oh?” Ren Fengyao opened his eyes again, hinting Mo Bai to continue. Hence, Mo Bai then relayed in detail what had happened in the city. When they finished hearing Mo Bai’s account, Ren Fengyao and Leng Canxing remained silent. After a long time, Ren Fengyao spoke. “Do not speak of this. From now on when seeing the seventh lady, be more courteous, but not too overtly so that seventh lady is shamed.”
Although Ren Fengyao was speaking to Mo Bai, these words were for Leng Canxing and himself too. It seems that there was a reason why the girl was so timid. It was only strange that her position was so low, a little unbelievable.
“Senior disciple, didn’t you say fortunately she is the official’s wife’s daughter? Why is her position so low?” Leng Canxing frowned, saying what Ren Fengyao was also thinking. Ren Fengyao shook his head. “The aristocrats always have hidden relationships, who knows!”
“I made a few inquiries. The seventh lady was favored during her childhood, pampered by her paternal grandfather, but the grandfather… After the old lord passed away, her status dropped. She could only hide away at her little courtyard, too fearful to even enter the main residence.”
With Mo Bai’s explanation, Ren Fengyao and Leng Canxing both sighed. They were still unaware that some things they had seen were not as they seemed, let alone what they would hear! Many misleading facts were deliberately distorted by a certain cunning someone.
Some opportunities, when missed, are lost forever. Perhaps you could redeem yourself, but the situation and people would not be the same.