Chapter 96: Who’s Bullying Whom?
Chapter 96: Who’s Bullying Whom?
Chen Wei sat on the steps while letting the wind burn her face. She was looking straight at Chen Rong with a queue of maids and servants behind her.
After several days of not seeing Chen Wei, Chen Rong noted that her chin was now more pointed and her face was sallow and haggard.
As they looked at each other, she found that Chen Wei’s eyes were in an empty daze. If she looked like this, then perhaps she had not come to condemn her?
Chen Rong dismounted her carriage while contemplating the situation.
She kept her head lowered and walked ahead.
Her hair was disheveled, there was also dried blood on the corner of her mouth. When she got to Chen Wei, she curtsied and softly said, “Please wait, jiejie. I’ll see you after I take a bath.”
When she finished, she walked past Chen Wei and went straight toward her room.
Chen Wei’s shout was both hoarse and strengthless.
Chen Rong stopped but did not look back. She merely said, “I accidentally fell so I’m looking unpresentable right now. Please allow me to take a bath and change my clothes first.”
Her explanation was delivered after careful deliberation.
But Chen Wei wasn’t in the mood to listen to her. She stared at her cousin and obstinately insisted: “That’s not necessary, I don’t want to wait.”
She rose and walked over to Chen Rong.
Seeing that she was standing behind her without doing or saying anything, and just staring at her, Chen Rong couldn’t help but feel the chills. She turned around with a smile and called, “Cousin?”
“Let’s speak inside,” Chen Wei said. “Why are you just standing there?” she aded when she didn’t see Chen Rong move.
Chen Rong glanced at the servants who were looking at her with concern, gave some thought, then turned and walked toward the room.
Chen Wei was right behind her. Once she entered the room, she flung her sleeves and shut the door.
Hearing the slamming door and sensing Chen Wei’s anxious breathing, Chen Rong worriedly thought: What happened can’t possibly have reached her ears, can it?
While Chen Rong pondered to herself, a loud thud all of a sudden sounded behind her.
She turned around. Do not steal from h amster 428.
She instantaneously froze and stared in shock at Chen Wei who had dropped to her knees and was now pleadingly looking at her even though the lips on her pallid face was still stubbornly pressed into a line. Chen Rong didn’t know what to do.
Chen Wei kept her back straight as she stared up at Chen Rong. She bit her lip when she faced her cousin’s beautiful face.
She was biting herself quite hard. In a flash, her mouth was already bleeding.
After staring at Chen Rong for a while, she suddenly knocked her head on the floor and said, “Ah Rong, have mercy on me.”
Upon hearing these words, all of Chen Rong’s surprise and shock went away. She coldly smiled and replied, “Ah Wei, I’ve never provoked you!”
She might have sought her own happiness previously, but she hadn’t initiated anything this time! Nothing at all!
Chen Wei wasn’t convinced. She gave Chen Rong another kowtow. “Ah Rong, I love General Ran. From the first time I saw him, nay, from the first time I heard his name and saw his portrait, I have loved him. Every night when I dream, I would dream of him. Every day when I eat, I would think of him. Ah Rong, all I want is to spend my life with him. Why do you have to appear? Why do you have his attention? Why?!”
She was practically screaming by the end of her speech.
Quiet murmuring rose outside.
Chen Rong looked toward the door and then turned to Chen Wei. She drew her lips into a line and quietly said, “Ah Wei, it’s useless to tell me these things. If you love General Ran, go and tell him!”
Still, nothing Chen Rong said went into Chen Wei’s ears. “Ah Rong, you have Wang Qilang,” she insisted in her hoarse voice. “I beg you to let General Ran go. Tell him that you don’t like him, that you’ve had intimite relations with Wang Qilang and have lost your virginity to him. If you tell him that, he wouldn’t like you anymore.”
Her tone of voice increased toward the end. Only now did Chen Rong realize she had said so much just for that last line!
Chen Wei had kowtowed as she spoke, her forehead soon bruising.
After going on and on, Chen Wei at last looked up at Chen Rong.
She saw Chen Rong pouring herself some wine and drinking it from her seat.
Here she was, prostrating and kowtowing to her, but she was going to act this way?!
All of a sudden, a nameless ire rose inside of her.
While Chen Wei was shaking with anger, Chen Rong glanced at her and coldly said, “Ah Wei, what makes you think that I would sacrifice my own reputation for your happiness? Do you think all you have to do is kneel down and give me two kowtows, and I would destroy my future, my happiness and my life just to fulfill your wish?”
Chen Rong’s face was livid. She was also looking at Chen Wei in outrage and contempt. She placed her cup down, sprang to her feet, and pointed outside while howling: “Get out! Do you hear me? Leave!”
Chen Wei didn’t expect Chen Rong to be the angrier one. She completely froze.
While she was still in a befuddled state, Chen Rong went to her and started to drag her up by the arm.
Forthwith, she pushed Chen Wei out.
Chen Rong took Chen Wei by surprise by completing these actions swiftly and determinedly. Additionally, she had learned some martial arts and her strength was great. In just a flash, Chen Wei had been pushed to the doorway.
Chen Rong threw the door open and shoved her cousin outside.
Chen Wei staggered out the door, which then slammed shut amid the maids’ exclamations. Chen Rong’s outraged scream went roaring: “Ah Wei of the Chen House, you’re making a fuss over nothing. Don’t think you can walk all over me like this! Get out –”
Hearing the scream inside and seeing Chen Wei’s bruising forehead, both girls’ servants could only look at one another. They were making them awfully confused. Who was bullying whom, exactly?
At the servants’ scrutiny, Chen Wei recovered from her trance. She wordlessly looked at Chen Rong’s closed door, pressed her lips, then turned and walked away.
As soon as they left, Nurse Ping took two steps forward, leaned into the door and whispered, “Miss, Ah Wei has left.”
After a good long while, Chen Rong’s tired voice replied behind the door: “Good riddance.”
Seeing that she was willing to answer, the nurse continued to ask: “Miss, what had happened? Why did we hear the sound of head knocking on the ground?”
Chen Rong did not answer.
Nurse Ping waited for a while, but when she didn’t hear anything, she shook her head and walked off.
The day flew by. Do not steal from ha mster 428.
The next day, the sky cleared up and snow began to melt.
It was the coldest then. Chen Rong stayed in her room and kept several coal trays in front of her bed. With two layers of quilt, she still felt cold.
She had felt cold since last night.
From her previous life, she had known Ran Min to be an ardent sort of person. But now that she was on the receiving end of his ardency, she couldn’t keep calm.
In her dream last night, Wang Hong’s beguiling eyes and gentle voice appeared in one moment and Ran Min’s laughing and letting her bite him appeared in the next.
She sat there for a long time and at length dropped her gaze. She lightly sneered, “Why are you thinking so much? You shouldn’t think about either of these men. Chen Rong, time waits for no one, you have to quickly find a suitable man.”
She hadn’t felt this urgency before, but this time for some reason, she suddenly worried for her innocence when she recalled Ran Min’s attitude… She truly feared there would be one day when one of these two men would be incited to tease her and then cause outsiders to see her disheveled appearance, giving her no way back.
At this thought, Chen Rong blushingly shook her head and then hopped down from bed, calling: “Nurse, help me with my morning wash.”
“Coming!” Hearing the clarity and lightness finally restored to Chen Rong’s voice, Nurse Ping’s answer was likewise crisp and clear.
While Nurse Ping combed her hair, Old Shang called in: “Miss, do you still want to go to the Wang estate today and ask to see Wang Qilang?”
Chen Rong knitted her brow.
She pursed her lips, thinking: If this keeps up, things will only get more tangled. If you know you’re not good enough for him, don’t indulge yourself. Don’t keep drowning, or you’ll sink into boundless misery like before.
At this thought, she decisively said, “That’s not necessary anymore.” Before her eyes appeared his handsome face and wounded expression.
Chen Rong vigorously shook her head and stood up.
Having washed and put on a fox fur coat with Nurse Ping’s help, she now stepped outside.
Even though the sun was shining, the deep snow remained in the yard and made sloshing sound when she walked.
Step by step, Chen Rong slowly left her courtyard.
She had unknowingly embarked on the same familiar road. But this time, the trees on either of its sides were leafless and buried under snow, its surface also covered in messy footprints.
Along the way, the servants and maids who encountered her would curiously peered at her.
Nonetheless, after a turn off of the tree-lined road and onto a smaller path in the garden, she was left to more peace and quiet.
The wind brought with it biting chill and Chen Rong who had walked for half an hour could no longer stand the cold. After some reluctance, she turned around to go back.
At this moment, a clear and tranquil voice came to her from the woods: “I think you’re overstating the situation, Zirun. Although I have not met your younger cousin, a helpless woman who dared to enter a city that had been laid under siege by the barbarians is a very admirable woman. And perhaps it’s as she says; it might be for gratitude and not love.”
After a pause, he sighed and added, “Whether for gratitude or love, it isn’t easy to find a young lady like that. If she would have me, I’d marry her in a heartbeat!”
Chen Rong stiffened when she heard this. Unconsciously, her steps softened as she went to hide behind a tall banyan tree.