“Firstly, I want to bring three servants with me. Politely asking that the Marquis arrange it and give their contracts to me.”
Fu Yanlin didn’t agree but also didn’t disagree, simply asked, “The second condition?”
“Secondly, when I leave the Marquis house, it is not wise to involve many people. Why don’t I leave my dowry here and give the Marquis a discount? Let’s make it an even thirty-two thousand!”
Even underestimated, the value of her dowry was still fifty-two thousand silver. There were quite a few valuable precious jades, so it was too cumbersome to carry it to the village. It was better to convert it to silver. Both practical and convenient.
Fu Yanlin had not expected that she would exchange her dowry for silver. He was originally annoyed at whatever game she was playing, but now that she was giving him a silver discount, it appeared that she really didn’t want her dowry. He couldn’t help but doubtfully look at her again.
“What? I trust that this thirty-two thousand silver is not difficult for the Marquis to produce.”
Fu Yanlin pondered for a while before dismissing it. “I will give you fifty-two thousand silver. I will send someone early tomorrow morning to complete these two conditions. Are you satisfied now?”
She smiled and nodded. “Many thanks, Marquis. Then I shall wait for the Marquis to complete these two conditions and leave this house early tomorrow morning.”
Fu Yanlin stopped talking and turned around.
Fu Yanlin stopped in his tracks and turned back to look coldly at her. His eyes conveyed his impatience.
She knew that this man thought that she was playing hard to get, but she chose not to explain herself. His misunderstanding had no impact on her, especially since this was not the only thing he misunderstood.
The method used by the insignificant concubine Lin was of little importance. There were ways to find justice and reclaim her innocence if she wanted to. From ancient times till the present day, women of the harem chose to fight to take a breath and strive for a place.
But she chose to give up. Not because she was noble and virtuous, but because she could not find what she wanted in this household. She did not cherish the title of Zhen Yuan Marchioness and was not lacking in wealth or rank. As for the Marquis’s affections, she had no expectations of that from the start. After knowing that he had consummated their marriage on imperial orders, she decided that she would never have anything to do with him again.
This man’s heart was not hers. It was not now, and it would not be in the future. If it was, he would have had people check carefully when Lin Ruoyou miscarried. He definitely would have found many doubtful points. But he didn’t. He listened to Concubine Lin’s one-sided statement and all his people were biased towards that woman. Since that was the case, she did not speak anymore.
She stepped forward and bent down to pick up the separation booklet he had thrown onto the floor.
“Also asking the Marquis to be sure to transcribe the contents. It is not that I do not trust the Marquis, but since we want to separate, it is better to write some things down. Of course, if the Marquis wants to add any conditions to the divorce papers, it can be negotiated.”
Fu Yanlin stared at her. Her eyes were calm, indifferent and untroubled. He reached out and took that paper. He turned around for the final time and strode away.
Mu Huanqing was very satisfied now that this issue was resolved.
In the separation booklet, she especially wrote that the family and servants that she was bringing with her belonged to her, and no one from the Marquis household could ask for them back.
She had to leave a safeguard for the child in her belly. If the people of the Marquis house discover that she had given birth to a child, they were not allowed to take it away. Although she believed that Fu Yanlin would not want her child, she still had to prepare for it. It was better to be prepared beforehand, so the word ‘family’ had a deeper meaning.
Fu Yanlin thought that her ‘family and servants’ were those three people because he knew that she regarded these people as her family. So he swiftly wrote in the separation booklet and stamped it.
The next morning, Mu Huanqing received the things that she wanted. A copy of the separation booklet, the contracts of the three people, and fifty-two thousand silver notes.
The two of them now had nothing to do with each other. She carefully put away the separation booklet, her heart finally at ease.
On the day she left, the sky was clear and the sun was warm. All the servants watched them silently. Some of their gazes were sympathetic, others held contempt, and some were even gloating at their misfortune.
They all thought that since this young madam had been chased out, she would never be able to return. She only took three people with her when she left: one was a mute, the other a fool, and the last a useless old nanny. The dignified young madam ended up like this.
Nanny Ji watched the audience’s gazes. She spent many years inside this household, the gaze of hitting others when they’re down is something that she saw very often.
“Don’t mind it, young madam. The three of us will take good care of the young madam in the new environment.” The young madam was young, so Nanny Ji wanted to give her some encouragement in case she was disappointed.
Mu Huanqing looked at Nanny Ji. Looks like not everyone in the Marquis house was a cold person.
She smiled at Nanny Ji, “Don’t worry. I have never expected those people to care about me.”
Nanny Ji was stunned. Never expected? Just as she was thinking about what the young madam had said, she once again smilingly spoke to her. “My thoughts will only be placed on the people who care about me. Since Nanny Ji cares for me, I will not treat Nanny Ji unfairly. When I am here, you will not need to learn to worry or be scared.”
When Nanny Ji heard this, she didn’t know why, but she felt her eyes brimming with tears.
For many years, she held a low rank in the Marquis household and spent her days trembling. She was deeply afraid of taking a misstep and letting someone grab hold of her weaknesses. But she never had a master who cared about her. The young madam was the first to say so.
“Thanking the young madam. This old slave will gladly follow the young madam.” Nanny Ji lowered her head. Her voice was hoarse and her eyes were slightly wet.
Mu Huanqing only smiled and patted her on the shoulder, comfortingly saying, “Don’t worry, Nanny. The days will only get better and better.”
Nanny Ji watched the young madam’s smiling expression. This young woman had a steadiness that ordinary women did not have. The attitude did not lose to the old madam of the Marquis household. No, it was more imposing than the old madam, not displayed ostentatiously, instead it reassured people.
Affected by this imposing manner, Nanny Ji also calmed down.
“Yes, young madam.”
“I am now no longer the Marquis household’s young madam, so this name is not suitable. From now on, just call me Master Qing!”
The three people immediately nodded their heads when they heard.
Mu Huanqing left and brought three people with her. Xin Yu, Li Yuan, Nanny Ji, their contracts, ah right, and the child in her belly got on the carriage and left the Zhen Yuan Marquis house, marching towards an unknown future.
The present, four years later ——
Mu Huanqing woke up and was surprised to find herself sleeping on the desk. And she even dreamt about the past...
She furrowed her brows. Why did she dream of that man? For her, it was an unpleasant section of her past. Since coming to this village, she had abandoned the past and it had been a long time since she had thought of the affairs of the Marquis household.
From the day she left the Marquis house, she had put down her identity as the young madam of the marquis household. She decided to walk a new path for herself.
She looked at the hairpin on the table and picked it up to examine it carefully. She wrapped it well in cloth and placed it in a wooden box.
She suddenly felt something flash past and looked up, startled. A butterfly was flying in the study?
Mu Huanqing’s eyes lit up, and the corners of her mouth curled upwards. She had spent four years here and it was the first time she had seen such a big and beautiful butterfly.
The butterfly probably accidentally flew into the room. She couldn’t help but follow the butterfly, wanting to take a closer look. She stretched out her hand. Unexpectedly, the butterfly was not afraid of her, landing on one of her stretched out fingers.
Ah, this butterfly wasn’t afraid of people!
She carefully retracted her hand, afraid that any big movement would startle it.
“You accidentally trapped yourself in this room, huh? Don’t be afraid, I will let you out.” She gently smiled and walked to the door. She opened it and stretched her hand out. The butterfly spread its wings and flew off.
Mu Huanqing watched the butterfly return to the skies and her mood improved. She stepped over the threshold. The sun today was very fine, illuminating the entire village with warmth and brightness.
She stood on the step and looked out. The manservants, maids, and old women were all busy working. All of them were full of smiles and full of life.
She also curled her mouth when she saw all this. She thought of the time when she first came to this village from the capital, at that time she had only brought three people: Xin Yu, Li Yuan, and Nanny Ji. Now there were more than thirty people in her village.
The sunlight shone on her smiling eyes as she strode towards the stables. That butterfly also flapped its wings to follow her.
Mu Huanqing had raised several good horses in her private stable. She had watched them as they were born and raised them. One of them was even personally delivered by her, her favourite horse Lan Lan.
Lan Lan was a beautiful brown mare and Mu Huanqing loved her a lot. Although Lan Lan was a horse, it was incredibly smart. She did not treat it as an animal but cherished it like a fellow human.
Before Mu Huanqing’s figure could be seen, Lan Lan stamped its hooves with feeling and happily neighed in Mu Huanqing’s direction.
Mu Huanqing smiled and quickened her pace when she heard Lan Lan’s neigh.
“Master Qing.” Li Yuan, who had been adjusting Lan Lan’s horseshoe, turned around when he saw his master and greeted her respectfully.
“Li Yuan, was Lan Lan well-behaved today?” Mu Huanqing asked casually. Li Yuan, however, seriously replied.
“Not too well-behaved. Just now, I was helping it wear new shoes and it spat water in my face.”
Mu Huanqing was stunned when she heard that. She wanted to laugh but held it back and coughed once. “That’s because Lan Lan is grateful to you.”
Naz's note: I debated between using Master Qing or Mistress Qing, but I just don't like the sound of mistress and master is pretty gender neutral. Hence, it is Master Qing.
Let me know if you spot any mistakes, I was pretty tired whilst editing this. And, as always, feel free to react or leave a comment if you enjoyed~