Chapter 9, Part 1: The Past
Ever since Madam Ling’s return, Yong He hall had been a bit more lively than usual.
Old Madam Ling missed her daughter so she arranged for her to stay in Yong He hall with her. Lu Hong and Lu Qian stayed in the guestrooms, they needed to come here to greet their grandmother everyday. A group of daughter-in-laws and grandchildren would come early in the morning, even Fourth and Fifth Ling Masters would appear.
Although Yong He hall’s main hall was spacious, there were so many people inside which made it seemed more crowded.
The elders sat down and talked. The younger generations did not sit down, they stood together and whispered among themselves.
Ling Jing Shu had the habit of standing next to Ling Xiao and asked in a whisper, “Ah Xiao, where did you go yesterday? Why didn’t I see you for a whole day?”
Ling Xiao always visit Qiu Shui Pavilion several times a day. But he did not appear at all yesterday.
Ling Xiao smiled and replied, “Big Brother was bringing third brother to the home school. He saw me idling around so he brought me along to listen the class.” Suddenly, he sighed, “However, there were many things that I can’t understand.”
His handsome face showed a loss.
After he became blind, he could no longer read and write. This was Ling Xiao’s biggest regret.
Some little servants around Ling Xiao were literate and would often read some books for him to listen. However, no one explained to him the meaning of the book so he couldn’t understand most of it. When he got to the home school, he couldn’t understand most of it as well.
Ling Jing Shu’s heart ached, she held onto Ling Xiao’s hands and softly comforted him, “Ah Xiao, if you like to read, there is a way to do so.”
“Ah Shu, you don’t have to comfort me.” Ling Xiao muttered with a depressed look, “I can’t see with my eyes, how can I still read books?”
Ling Jing Shu replied with a smile, “Your side have little servants who are literate and they are reading to you everyday. If you do not understand something, you can ask father, you can also ask some of our cousins. Or you can even request father to let one of your little servants to attend the class in home school. Once he learned something, he can teach you in detail.”
Other than impossible to practice writing, there was not much difference.
Ling Xiao’s face brighten up and he subconsciously tightened Ling Jing Shu’s hand. His voice was full of surprises and happiness, “Ah Shu, how did you come up with such an idea!”
Ling Jing Shu saw that Ling Xiao was so happy, she felt happy as well, “I have been thinking about this for a few days. Ah Xiao, since you like to study, let’s just find ways to continue it, don’t waste it. This can let father see your hard work as well.”
There were other plans in her heart, but at this time there were many people around. It would be inconvenient to talk about it with him.
Ling Xiao was an innocent person, he couldn’t hide anything. The joy in his heart was shown all over his face.
“Second Brother, what are you talking so happily about with little sister?”
A clear and young voice rang in the ear.
Ling Xiao’s hearing was extremely sensitive. He accurately “looked” towards the direction and called out to his Big Brother.
Ling Jing Shu slightly kept her smile and looked up towards the same direction.
The fifteen-year-old boy wore an almond-colored robe. He looked handsome and heroic. He looked at Ling Jing Shu and Ling Xiao with kind and gentle eyes.
This young boy was the elder brother born from concubine, Ling Ting!
Ling Ting’s mother was Xia yi-niang, real name was Xia He.
Xia He was very pretty. Since young she was serving Fifth Ling Master and there were some feelings between them. After that, she became Fifth Ling Master’s maid concubine. Shortly after Madam Yao married into Ling residence, Xia He was pregnant.
Madam Yao’s heart was naturally unpleasant towards this, but she had just married over, she had not establish a foothold in her husband’s family, so it was not convenient for her to take action against the maid concubine. After a few months, Madam Yao was pregnant as well. She concentrated on raising the baby and she did not pay too much attention to the pregnant Xia He.
After gave birth to Ling Ting, Xia He became Xia yi-niang.
Fortunately, in less than half a year, Madam Yao gave birth to a pair of dragon and phoenix twins. The grievances in her heart were swept away. Even if Xia yi-niang was favored, Madam Yao’s status was already standing firm.
It’s a pity that Madam Yao’s life was thin. When the twins were five years old, she had a big illness and died. A year after her death, Fifth Ling Master married Madam Li as his second wife.
Madam Li’s father was only a six rank official and so her status could not be compared to Madam Yao’s. Be it her looks and talents, all were not comparable with Madam Yao’s. However, Madam Li’s mind was very active. She knew how to be attentive towards others and on the other hand, she was winning over the Xia yi-niang who was being favored. Very soon, she gained foothold in the residence.
Two years later, Madam Li was pregnant and handed over the trivial things in the yard to Xia yi-niang.
And it was that same year, Ling Xiao, who was talented, fell down beside the fake mountain, his head slammed hard on the fake mountain and there was a lot of blood. After that, he became blind and could no longer see again.
Old Madam Ling was so angry that she interrogated all the people who were at the vicinity on that day. In the end, she couldn’t find any clues and had no choice but to give up.
Fifth Ling Master was so upset that his beloved son became blind. He threw all his anger at Xia yi-niang who was in charge of the things in the yard. After scolding her, he ordered people to shut her in. Ever since then, he had never step foot into Xia yi-niang’s room.
Xia yi-niang couldn’t last for two years, she died of depression in the end.
Madam Li who was peacefully raising her baby, seemed to have nothing to do with this incident. After Xia yi-niang was under house arrest, she had tried to put in good words for her and acted like a good person.
After giving birth to her son, Ling Fou, Madam Li finally stood firm in Ling Residence.