by Qing Lu
Translated by Grenn
Chapter 21 – Fighting
While Zhuo Qing was puzzled, the doors suddenly opened from inside the house and Mo Bai’s tall figure emerged. His originally cold and detached expression was replaced by a ghastly one at this moment as he crudely lead a woman in her thirties outside. The woman didn’t seem resigned from her expression and kept turning back her head, but Mo Bai’s broad shoulders block her line of sight. The woman ferociously glared at him, and walked away in a fit of rage. After she left, a black-clothed elderly man with his face full of worries walked out of the house. Once again, the door was tightly shut.
When she saw the elderly man, Lu Xiwu immediately went up to him and urgently asked, “Imperial physician Yang, how is my elder brother?”
Yang Mu shook his head and sighed. “This time Lord Chancellor’s old illness recurred earlier than the previous years. In addition, it’s more worrying and serious. This humble official’s abilities are unable to help. Right now, the only thing I can do is to give Lord Chancellor the same medicines as previous years. He had to wait until the others imperial physicians and I consult with each other. After we are done discussing all the fine details, we will use a new medicine.”
Hearing Yan Mu’s words, the woman who had her eyes filled with anger a moment ago was once again occupied with managing everything. “It’s a very good thing that the Princess had delivered some medicines today. Someone, quickly come, and go get the medicine!”
“Yes!” A servant who was nearby responded hastily and rushed out of the courtyard.
Yang Mu felt the burden on his body. He urgently said in a low voice to the two youngsters behind him, “You two, go and request for the imperial physicians Liu and Li to come to the Chancellor’s residence. Be fast with it!” If the Chancellor had any mishaps, several people might get buried before Emperor Yan’s anger would cool down!
“Yes!” The youngsters nodded their head and broke into a run, rushing out at once. In a timely manner, an ice-cold voice is heard. “Since both medicines are under my kept, I’ll lend a hand. I’m sending people to quickly request for some.”
Yan Mu raised his eyes and look. These words are from the Chancellor’s housekeeper, Jing Sa. Among the people, there was a common saying that even the lowest servant girl in the Chancellor’s residence was at least a rank seventh, not to mention, this was the Chancellor’s housekeeper. Yang Mu cupped his fists according to etiquette and replied, “Then, I will trouble Housekeeper Jing Sa.”
Jing Sa lightly nodded his head as a reply. Then, he muttered a few words to a grey-clothed male behind him. The man speedily went out of the courtyard.
Severe gasps for breath could be heard frequently coming from inside the room. Lou Xiwu’s pair of almond eyes anxiously stared at the house as her mind was fill with worries. She unconsciously broke her finger from tormenting it. What was slender and jade-like, was now red and swollen. It was as if she didn’t feel anything from it. There were tears pooling in her eyes as she pleaded in a soft voice, “Imperial Physician Yan, I want to go see my elder brother.”
“This…” Yan Mu hesitated for a moment. A woman standing beside him couldn’t endureit and shouted in a low voice, “Right now, Xiyan is suffering. Even if you go, what can you do? You can’t even help him. You will only be a hindrance.”
Lou Xiwu glared at her, unconvinced, and angrily shouted, “You can also go in!”
The woman lightly raised her head with an expression of insufferable arrogance. She haughtily replied, “We can go in together? I am Xiyan’s mother. By only being at his side, I can make him feel at ease a little bit.”
‘Mother?!’ Zhuo Qing, who was having a great time from watching the bustling scene, was startled almost to the point her eyes almost dropped on the ground. ‘How did she preserve herself this way? Perhaps people with sharp and unkind mind are different from likeable and cheerful people, therefore, they appeared younger?!’
Zhuo Qing was casually thinking that she should mind her own business. On the other hand, Lou Xiwu was already at the end of her patience and was roaring, “Second Mother, I am his related younger sister! As for staying by his side and putting his mind at ease, it also should be left to me as his younger sister and not for an outsider like you to do!”
A flush of red momentary appeared on Xue Xianxin’s face. A group of servant girls were intently watching. If today she couldn’t control Xiwu, would she still have any face left? She coldly snorted and said in a loud reprimanding voice, “You are more and more outrageous. I am this family’s mistress. When I say who can’t enter, then that person is not allowed to enter!”
In normal times, Xue Xianxin’s tyrannical abuse would be dismissed, but, today, she unexpectedly didn’t let Xiwu see her big brother. Lou Xiwu’s young miss’ character also flared up. In front of that courtyard filled with servants, she scolded Xianxin. “You…are just the second wife, a little concubine. What is this nonsense about being the mistress of this family. On what right, do you forbid me to enter?!”
‘Oh! It turns out to be a young concubine.’ She completely forgot about the matter of the three wives and four concubines which exist during these times. Strange, just strange. How can this little concubine be so rampant, causing her to misunderstand about her status. Zhuo Qing softly yawned. Once again, she was somehow surrounded. Although, in front of her eyes, there was a pretty good and mouth-watering show, however, the hunger in her belly was quite hard to endure. She decided to go find something to eat first.
Just when Zhuo Qing took a step, she heard a clear and loud sound. She was slightly distracted from her thoughts and turned back to look. One of Lou Xiwu’s hand was covering her face. She was full of astonishment and humiliation. Tears rolled down one by one from her eyes. As for the person in front of her, the hand hitting her was also seriously trembling and her eyes were constantly moving around with trace of unease. Her voice also unconsciously trembled. “You really don’t know the immensity of heaven and earth. You’re just under the impression you can do anything because the old master is not at home all year round and Xiyan is pampering you. If only Elder Sister didn’t leave too early… I… I am this family’s mistress. If there is no one disciplining you, then, I’ll do it!”
In this courtyard filled with people, no one dared to utter a sound. The whole place became quiet.
‘Uh-oh! The conflict is escalating.’ Zhuo Qing decided to remain and watched what kind of lively scene it would turn out to be. From the cool eye of a bystander, there was a completely ruthless mood that came from Lou Xiwu ever since she was hit, raging flame of fury was burning in her eyes as if it could burn a hole in someone!
“You dare to hit me!” Only a low roared could be heard before Lou Xiwu threw herself at Xue Xianxin, grabbing her hair and pulling it into a mess. Following the force of the impact, she sat on Xue Xianxin’s stomach and was practically beating her up…
“Kyahhhhh!” After screaming in surprise, she yelled, “Ah! Servants, servants! Quickly grab this insane girl! What are you waiting for, are you also rebelling?!”
Unknowingly, because Xue Xianxin usally act so tyrannical, the servants were truly terrified. It took a moment for them to be able to “wake up” and stepped forward to hold Lou Xiwu and advised her, “Miss, calm down!”
Lou Xiwu was still not resigned to stop as everyone separate her from Xue Xianxin. She kicked a few more times and struggled to free herself. She lifted her waist to have better reach to kick and cursed, “Let go of me! Xue Xianxin, you dare to hit me! I’m tearing you apart!”
‘Such style!’ Zhuo Qing almost want to applaud. She is quite fond of this girl’s temperament!
Anyway, Lou Xiyan’s also had a very high ability to endure since the situation outside was quickly developing into something that could be life-threatening. If he was faking his illness, for good or bad, he could also groan, or… Was his illness really very serious?!
Zhuo Qing reckoned an occurrence inwardly. She decided to go take a look at Lou Xiyan and confirmed something.
Xue Xianxin got up with great difficulty, her hair was all messy, and so, were her clothes. Her neck was sporting several bright red scratches marks from the intense fight earlier. ‘Good, very good Lou Xiwu! You truly think this old lady is afraid of you and won’t do anything? Today, if I don’t give you a lesson, this old lady’s surname is not Xue!’
She took a deep breath before turning back. She no longer looked at Lou Xiwu as she clearly shouted, “Jing Sa!”
Jing Sa masked the cold light in his eyes as he took a step forward. He coldly asked, “Yes, Second Madam.”
Looking at Jing Sa, Xue Xianxin said in a rather majestic voice, “There shouldn’t be any practices in the Lou Family about a daughter that can hit the mother. With the Lord is absent all year and with Xiyan’s serious illness, right now, I’m asking you, Housekeeper Jing Sa, according to the Lou Family ancestors’ rules, with this level of offense, how should we punish this ill-mannered child?”
Jing Sa’s expression was unwavering, but his heart was heavy. No matter how hateful Xue Xianxin was, she still was the Lord’s wife. Today, the Young Lady did too much. According to the rule, she should be flog with a cane 50 times and faced the wall for 10 days.
Jing Sa kept silent and Xue Xianxin also didn’t urged him. She was also watching and wanted to see how long he could keep staying silent!
A person must bear the consequences of his own acts. Lou Xiwu had beaten her. But she couldn’t accept the punishment! She didn’t have the heart to look at the nearby Jing Sa and made things difficult for him. As she was grinding her teeth and was about to open her mouth, a relax and cheerful womanly voice could be heard, “Lou Xiyan still has not died yet, but, right now, he will quickly died from excess anger. Everyone still has the good mood to discuss about family’s rules? It will be better to go inside to quarrel. In any case, it could become relatively lively.
Everyone stopped breathing. To curse Lord Chancellor of dying in the Lou’s residence. She was the first person to do so.
“Who are you? To come out of nowhere.” Suddenly, there was a woman appearing in front her eyes. She was wearing plain white clothes, her hair wasn’t attached, without any care about one’s appearance and completely in contrast with the surroundings. It was especially more true with that sinister and ugly face. In the depth of the night, she looked like a terrifying and scary person.
Zhuo Qing pretended to ponder for a moment with both her arms crossing over her chest and, only then, did she leisurely said with a smile, “According to your logic from a moment ago, I should be this family’s mistress…”
 In China, up until 1949 and pushing through 1971 in Hong Kong, harem were legal and part of the culture. You can read the details of it here and if you want to glimpse at the dark side of this phenomenon in the 1930s, you can watch the movie Raise the Red Lantern (1991) which is outright depressing.