Chapter 67: Chapter 67
Miserable cries rang out as Feng Zhiwei blinked innocently and finally finished her sentence. “… a couple of months ago.”
Gu Nanyi stood for a moment among the scattered porcelain and blood but soon found the area too dirty for his taste, calmly stepping on the seven women lying on the ground and walking back to Feng Zhiwei.
Just as Auntie An was curling up, shaky finger raised, about to point at Feng Zhiwei and unleash a barrage of curses, her eyes flipped back as she was pushed down again…
In quick succession, another three servant women had their breasts trampled…
Feng Zhiwei smiled as she walked past the seven groaning servants, each lying in various contortions of misery, and as she passed by, helped Auntie An clean some spilled tea from her face with her boot, very carefully cleaning the front of her face and then the back, rubbing the top of her head and then her chin. As she wiped away the tea, she spoke: “You know, it’s bad to block the passage, but it’s even worse to lie here while you block the way. Good dogs don’t even act this way, and you still don’t get up? The Madam’s important guest is still waiting for you to bring the dessert.”
“You…” Old Woman An’s eyes turned blue with hatred as she viciously bit down on the tip of Feng Zhiwei’s shoe, but unfortunately for her, Feng Zhiwei’s boots were stuffed with cotton. Feng Zhiwei smiled down at the old servant woman and kicked forward, and with a dull smack, kicked her tongue into her teeth, unleashing another flow of blood.
Feng Zhiwei moved on without a backwards glance, calling out indifferently: “Auntie, I’ll leave you with a bit of wisdom. The evil we bring upon ourselves is the hardest to bear, so from today forward, live properly.”
She swept past the moaning servants and before the Qiu Mansion guards could respond, had already brought Gu Nanyi into the small northwestern courtyard that she had been heading for.
After some time passed, the Qiu Mansion guards finally arrived and helped Old Auntie An up. The old servant woman laboriously climbed onto her two feet, her face swollen and her body covered in blood as she shook, clinging to railing, spitting broken teeth into a handkerchief and catching her breath. She glared venomously in the direction that Feng Zhiwei had left in and cried out hoarsely. “That woman has come to make trouble! You still haven’t gone and captured her!”
The Qiu Mansion guards stood, hesitant to follow a servant’s orders. Old Lady An cursed, pounding the ground: “Idiots! Don’t you see how I’ve been beaten? Go quickly! I will immediately go report to the Madam! The Madam will definitely send her to the Yamen! Go! I’ll take full responsibility!”
This old lady was Madam Qiu’s personal maid and had always played an important role in Madam Qiu’s household, and since she truly had been beaten quite viciously, the guards stopped hesitating and quickly rushed towards the small courtyard.
Old Lady An fussed with her hair and evened her breath before commanding some people to clean up the scattered porcelain.
“Grab that and bring it to the madam. The six of you injured, come with me!”
Her face was twisted in ferocity, and a cold light flashed in her eyes.
“I will have the madam kill you! You dare to come here, but you will never leave!”
Across from the Clasped Hand Veranda, past the East and West Side Courtyards lay the Qiu Mansion northwestern corner and the small courtyard in which she had lived for ten years.
Feng Zhiwei stopped some steps away from the courtyard and paused.
On the western side of the small yard stood a laurel tree, and though it had not yet blossomed, its fresh, green leaves rustled in the wind. Feng Zhiwei looked up at the tree and felt as if she had been returned to her childhood when the sweet fragrance of blooming osmanthus had filled the entire yard. Her mother had brought along brother and sister, the shallow basket in her hand filled with light yellow osmanthus blossoms, and that night they had had delicious, tender osmanthus scrambled eggs.
Her younger brother gulped down food as she helped serve her mother, the osmanthus blossoms like small yellow pearls sprinkled over the coarse rice. She would serve her mother, and her mother would use her chopsticks to pick out the little pearls and place them in Feng Zhiwei’s bowl, and in the dim light of the oil lamp, the two shared a smile.
In a flash, so many years had passed.
Water glimmered in Feng Zhiwei’s misty eyes.
Gu Nanyi stood quietly alongside her. Feng Zhiwei lifted her eyes and straightened, smiling at him as she said. “Come, let me show you where I grew up.”
Young Master Gu nodded and very straightforwardly walked into the courtyard.
Feng Zhiwei paused in astonishment — even though she had headed straight for this little courtyard as soon as she had entered the mansion, anxiety had filled her heart from the many years of separation and she still was not sure how she would face her mother, but this Young Master Gu just walked directly took the lead.
Young Master Gu’s logic was very simple — this is your home, and who doesn’t just enter the door when they come to their house’s entrance?
Before they could fully push open the courtyard gate, a white light followed whistling wind and flew through the half open courtyard door.
Before Feng Zhiwei could make out the light, Gu Nanyi had already reached out a hand and caught it. In his hand lay a half bowl of rice with a piece of vegetable hanging sadly from its edge.
“Everyday eating vegetables! I’m already becoming a cow! Mom, ask the main kitchen to bring some meat!”
It was Feng Hao’s voice.
“Behave.” Madam Feng’s voice was still patient and gentle with love. “There are guests today so there will be leftovers later. Endure and I will bring some for you later.”
Feng Hao was quiet for a moment before a pounding noise sounded out, as if he were slamming the table in annoyance. “Mom, you said last time that you would borrow some money, have you got it yet…”
Silence filled the courtyard building for a moment before Madam Feng quietly replied: “Hao-er, that Qing Ming Academy, perhaps you should not go study there…”
“No way!” Feng Hao pushed away the bowls on the table. “They can go! I can go too!”
“They? They who?” Madam Feng seemed to be angry and replied in a hard tone. “I still have not asked you, but that time you came back from that group of friends so anxiously, hiding all those days without coming out when Duke Zhen Guo’s son was injured — what was that all about?”
Feng Hao seemed to freeze, but then quickly cried out all the louder, “How would I know!”
Madam Feng stayed silent for a moment and then sighed. Quietly, she asked: “You… have you seen your sister?”
“No!” Feng Hao answered quickly before changing the subject again. “Mom, the money…”
“I don’t have any either!” Madam Feng shot him down.
Feng Hao jumped up, and with a clatter, seemed to have overturned the table.
Feng Zhiwei smiled.
It was her usual warm and gentle smile, but it carried with it a ghastly coldness.
She reached over and took the rice bowl from Gu Nanyi and pushed through the courtyard door, beelining towards the astonished Feng Hao and saying, “Open your mouth.”
Before Feng Hao could react, Gu Nanyi had already floated over and lightly punched his belly.
Gu Nanyi used no internal force, but the inexperienced and untrained Feng Hao still cried out in loud pain. As his lips flew open, Feng Zhiwei turned her hand and poured the rice into his mouth.
Feng Hao’s belly burned with pain and he felt as if his internal organs had all been pressed together. Before he could catch his breath, his mouth was filled with a half bowl of rice, and he suddenly choked, his eyes rolling up as he almost passed out.
Madam Feng quickly pounced over, hurriedly patting his back and helping him smooth out his breathing. Feng Hao spent a long moment trying to gulp before he could swallow the mouthful of rice, and the ball of rice seemed to plop down his throat with an audible sound. Blue veins stood out on his neck and tears began to gather in his eyes.