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Published at 13th of June 2018 09:24:12 PM

Chapter 11

As everyone turned their heads they saw the little maid, who had just entered Qing Shan Courtyard . Standing in the crowd with her small figure, she gently spoke, "Even though it's winter, we are situated near the hot spring that provides much warmth but also mosquitoes and moths . Rattan itself attracts these bugs but burning it emits more warmth and further attracts the birds and mice . They feed on the bugs which then, attracts the snakes which feed on the mice . This is common knowledge and the maids should have thought long and hard about it . "

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Zhuge Yue raised his eyebrows with alarm, turned his head and asked with a stern tone, "Who brought these pots of rattan here?"

Jin Cai was frightened and murmured hesitantly, "Sir, these few pots were sent by the Zhu household caretaker yesterday, explaining that they are a speciality of South Xinjiang . He thought that you would like it and specifically requested the maids to place them here . "

"Zhu Shun?" Zhuge Yue pondered for a while, his eyes turned slightly cold and he slowly spoke, "This caretaker has become more brazen . If he buys a dagger and requests to put it on my bed, I bet you will do as instructed . "

Utterly shocked, Jin Cai hurriedly exclaimed, "I would not dare!"

Zhuge Yue did not utter a word and as his servants were about to leave, he suddenly said, "You will serve in the interior from now on . "

The crowd stood still and wondered who he was referring to .

Zhuge Yue frowned impatiently, pointed to Chu Qiao and said, "You . "

Everyone suddenly stared in unison .

Chu Qiao respectfully responded, "I will obey your command . "

After exiting the main Xuan Hall, the servants just threw Jin Zhu, who was covered with blood, into the cart . This weak girl was just handed thirty strokes of the cane and was about to be thrown in An Jun Hall, an insufferable place . How is she going to survive?

Jin Cai felt ominous and shuddered at the sight . Just then, a sweet voice was heard behind her . She turned her head and saw Chu Qiao smiling eye to eye while looking at her, she then sweetly said, "Sister Jin Cai, let's work together from here on . I am still young and immature, please take good care of me!"

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Jin Cai suddenly panicked without understanding why but still tried to maintain a calm expression and replied, "We are all servants and working together… together is a must . "

"Yes . " Chu Qiao smiled and replied, "Then Sister Jin Cai, don't you think you should forgive Nuan Yu and those children?"

Albeit feeling slightly angry, Jin Cai still nodded her head and said, "Their time here is almost up too, they can leave . "

"I shall thank you for them," Chu Qiao grinned and walked towards the shivering cold children . She spun around like she suddenly thought of something and said, "If Sister Jin Zhu was as kind as you, Shu Tong and Lin Xi wouldn't have been beaten alive by the Master . That's why it pays to be kind . Lin Xi has only been dead for 3 days and it looks like Jin Zhu is going to be dead too . This thought sends a shudder down my spine . "

Jin Cai couldn't put up a fake front anymore . She turned white with fear and glared intensely at Chu Qiao . Thinking that this small child gives off such an evil aura was frightening .

Chu Qiao edged her way forward and whispered into Jin Cai's ear, "After committing evil deeds, there is bound to be retribution . If one has yet to be served what they deserve, it's just that it has yet to come . Don't you think so?"

Jin Cai was shocked, took a step back and left hurriedly .

Chu Qiao reacted immediately and grabbed onto her shoulder . Jin Cai was appalled and jumped aside, exclaiming, "What do you want?"

Chu Qiao sighed coldly and said without a hint of a smile, "Why are you nervous? I merely wanted to direct you back to that dish of peaches . "


"We are both interior servants now and are equal in status . I've retrieved the peaches from Nanyuan with much hard work, don't you think I should be the one to present it?"

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Jin Cai was speechless upon hearing that .

Chu Qiao turned and walked towards the flower room . She thought out loud while speaking, "We should all know our place and should not do what we aren't supposed to do, then can we become great people of our time . Some things can only be said once and some warnings can only be warranted once . Slowly reflect on how you are going to treat people and handle matters correctly the next time . "

After noon, the bright sun's rays pierced down on the snowy ground .

This was not any ordinary day, because the court of elders decreed the military to be activated . Huang Army immediately set out to commence counter-insurgency . The warlords of the seven divisions were fighting aggressively with each other to take over the helm of the Huang Army . The head of Zhuge Prefecture, Zhuge Mu Qing, was not around, The decision making was assigned to Zhuge Huai .

Also on this day, the fourth prince of Zhuge Prefecture, Zhuge Yue, was hurt by the bite of a poisonous snake . Although he was given immediate medical attention, he still needed time to recuperate . Despite his young age, he was the Huang Army's Major General, birthed in the hall . He had led men to counter insurgents three times and was highly skilled . In the Zhuge Family, he was the leader apart from Zhuge Huai . The other divisions received information about him promptly from their informants . After Zhuge Huai placed his brother in the leadership position, the rest quickly voiced their opposition .

That afternoon, the imperial doctor entered the Zhuge Prefecture . Zhuge Clan wanted to take over the Huang Army, he had no choice but to abandon his plan of taking over .

This action brought about an overwhelming response . Upon hearing this, the elders of Zhuge Clan all came , taking over the Zhuge Main Residence .

On the same day, because of Zhuge Yue's injury, the Zhuge Prefecture staged the usual drama and competition . Jin Zhu, the main servant of the Fourth Master who always bullied others, was caned while the two servants of the Qing Shan Courtyard fought each other, resulting in one dead and one injured . Due to the severity of his injuries, he passed away the next day . Zhu household's main caretaker was given twenty strokes because of a few pots which induced trouble for him . He was still lamenting while recuperating .

At the rear of the mountain, crocodiles were kept in a pavilion on a lake beside the hot spring . Once again, three corpses surfaced silently and were food for the crocodiles, but no one seemed to care .

As the dark, starry night loomed, Chu Qiao received the last bunch of notes and gradually placed it in the rattan pot .

These past few days, Jin Cai was unable to concentrate . Every time she saw the child from the Jing Family, she would feel a chill rising from the bottom of her feet, resulting in a loss of appetite and a feeling like there was a fishbone stuck in her throat .

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From early in the morning when the weather was good, the servants cleaned up the snow in the courtyard and carried on with the rest of the day's work in an orderly manner . While preparing a meal, news came from the Red Hill Court, Master Mu of the South of the Five Ridges, Master Wei, Seventh Royal Highness Zhao, Eighth Royal Highness Zhao Jue, Thirteenth Royal Highness Zhao Song and Emperor Yan were gathered in the glass hall of Red Hill Court . The Eldest Master was already there accompanying them while the Third and Fifth Masters are still making their way there . The Fourth Master was asked to make his way there to join in the crowd if his body had recovered .

Zhuge Yue was more introverted . He did not go on walks frequently with his siblings, but prefered to stay in Qing Shan Courtyard to read or eat on his own . He lacked exuberance and if not for his cruelty, he was known to keep to himself . He received the news while lying on his bed and informed the messenger that he wasn't feeling too well; hence he wouldn't be making his way there .

Chu Qiao gently fanned the incense and upon receiving the information, she raised her eyebrows but remained silent . After some time, while the food was going to be delivered, she followed quietly behind the servant delivering the food and retreated .

Jin Cai took a slight glance but kept her thoughts to herself, and after some effort, she made her way out .

Despite being termed a hall, it was actually just a pavilion . It was located on the octagonal mountain in Red Hill Court, below lied a green lake . Since it was the middle of the winter, the lake was frozen with layers of snow . It was surrounded by red and white plum trees on each side which disrupted the bright white landscape, painting vibrant colors .

Behind the plum trees lay Zhuge Family's horse racing hill . The huge plains were fully grown with pastures brought in by members of the Zhuge Family, specially used to rear the superior breed of horses . This huge plot of land had few visitors as servants were not allowed to enter, hence the serenity .

Chu Qiao was small in stature and she cleverly evaded the watchful eyes of the guards, entering and hastily climbing onto the plains of the horse racing hill and yet no one found out .

The small stature of Chu Qiao had both its pros and cons . Take for example, now that she has to shift the pots, she has to put in additional effort .

As Chu Qiao was about to leave, she saw a suspicious looking shadow creeping about . She bent down and waited until the person left before gradually approaching . She saw a dark horse being tied to a pine tree on her way down . The horse looked strong and well-groomed but did not respond despite noticing her presence . She was puzzled, as this seemingly well-trained horse should be resistant towards the approach of a stranger . Upon lowering her head, she noticed a bundle of buckwheat which had yet to be finished . She tiptoed forward and held the horse's head and took a closer look for a long time, but the horse did not react .

As she was just about to leave, she turned her head and saw a few dozen white feathered arrows in the bag attached to the horse . She took one out to observe the pure white arrowhead and noticed a carving of "Swallow" forcefully edged on the surface .

The leaders of the various divisions were feasting in the hall while admiring the plum trees . Chu Qiao ran along the deserted trail on the precipice of the octagon mountain . She placed the burning rattan on the trail and poured out a few snakes from the bag she carried .

"Ha! I knew you were the one causing trouble!"A shrill voice suddenly sounded .

Chu Qiao turned around and saw Jin Cai smugly standing there .

Jin Cai chided, "I will definitely tell the Fourth Master this time and that's it for you!"

"Is that so?" Chu Qiao tilted her head and slyly smiled . Upon hearing trailing footsteps in the distance, she shook her head and said, "I don't think so . " She instantly leaned back and fell along the precipice .

"It's there!" Voices in the distance sounded in unison .

Jin Cai wasn't able to yell out her surprise before getting ferociously pinned down by a group of burly men .

Zhu Shun glared at her and muttered, "Jin Cai, now that you've been caught with the loot, what have you got to say?"

Jin Cai was taken aback and hurriedly defended herself, "It's not me, it's Jing Xing Er! I just followed her here!"

"Nonsense, I saw you loitering around suspiciously and going to steal that pot of rattan from Zhu housekeeper, yet you still dare to accuse others!" A crisp voice sounded .

Jin Cai turned and saw a familiar little girl standing beside Zhu Shun . Suddenly it clicked and she realized the situation, shouting "She's in cahoots with Jing Xing Er, Zhu housekeeper, don't believe her!"

Zhu Shun was sitting in a padded chair lifted by four burly men . After suffering from beatings a few days ago, his bottom was still swelling . After being told, he frowned and spoke in his low voice, "You said you were here with Jing Xing Er, so where exactly is she?"