The next evening, Xue Ling and Bi Liu arrived at a magnificent mansion.
Xue Ling knocked on the shiny bronze door knocker. A small opening above the door unlocked and a middle-aged man popped his head out. "Two misses, who are you looking for?"
"Is this Zhao Residence?" Xue Ling asked coldly and plainly. "Is Miss Hong Xiu here?"
"Young Madame?" the middle-aged man said, "May I know why two misses are looking for Young Madame?"
"We are her sisters. Please report it to her." Xue Ling took out a
The concierge took the card from her. "Please wait for a moment," he said before closing the door.
Xue Ling studied the door and said, "This Field Officer Zhao's family seems very rich."
Field Officer was a small official who was responsible for capturing thieves in the town. It was similar to the future's Lieutenant of Vice Squad. Its position was not high nor was it too low. Theoretically, he should not have as much money to buy such a big house.
"He must be from a wealthy family," Bi Liu answered.
They chatted for a while and the door opened with a "squeak". A graceful young woman in silk clothing stood at the door and glanced at them while smiling. She welcomed them elegantly. "Sister Bi Liu. Sister Xue Ling."
Behind her, four colorfully dressed maids followed and surrounded her.
Bi Liu and Xue Ling curtsied. The young women in silk clothing quickly pulled them up and smiled. "Please come in and talk!"
She was beautiful, elegant and pleasant. She was indeed the previous Miss Hong Xiu of the New Moon Brothel.
At present, she was beaming and smiling like a flower.
Hong Xiu had entered the New Moon Brothel because both her parents died and she had no relatives so she sold herself for her parents' burial. The brothel-keeper of the New Moon Brothel had pity so she accepted her.
Hong Xiu usually felt lonely. She felt envious when she looked at the other people who had parents and siblings. For the first time, a companion from the New Moon Brothel had come to visit her and she felt particularly happy.
The three of them entered through the main door, passed folding screens, walked through the Portal from the side of the main hall before arriving back at the garden.
In the autumn chill, the chrysanthemums were blooming beautifully.
The three women sat in the pagoda while a maid brew tea by the side. They ate fruits and chatted happily.
"We should greet the Old Madame first." Bi Liu smiled.
Hong Xiu waved her hand and smiled. "Mother-in-law went to eldest uncle's house."
"Oh?" Bi Liu said in surprise. "Why did she leave?"
"Maybe she thinks I'm an eyesore." Hong Xiu showed a wry smile and said sarcastically, "I am sinful and caused the Zhao family to lose its successor."
"The Zhao family does not only consist of your husband," Bi Liu said. "There is your uncle too."
"That's why she went to eldest uncle's house and lives there now." Hong Xiu shook her head. "Come to speak of it, I'm not filial piety too. It was as if I drove mother-in-law away."
"How about your husband?" Bi Liu asked. "He is not angry at you too, right?"
"Him ?" Hong Xiu smiled. "He is fine."
"That's good," Bi Liu said. "I heard that brother-in-law did not treat you as nicely as before."
"He is very filial piety towards his mother. There's no choice," Hong Xiu said. "I don't blame him."
"That's good." Bi Liu nodded slightly. "He still has feelings for you so it is worthy for you to be with him."
Hong Xiu pulled on Bi Liu's hand. "Bi Liu, you need to take me as an example. Redeem yourself early. Do not wait until you are too old to marry."
"I'm still young." Bi Liu laughed.
Xue Ling asked, "Sister Hong Xiu, brother-in-law didn't bully you, right?"
"When a couple is together, there are not many who treat each other courteously. There will inevitably be a fight or two," Hong Xiu said. "I sometimes angered him. Although he practices martial arts, he never hit me."
"It seems like brother-in-law is a good man." Xue Ling laughed. "What official is he now?"
"Field Officer. It is not a high position but he is busy all day long." Hong Xiu shook her head and smiled. "He is always exhausted when he gets home."
"Then let brother-in-law change an official," Xue Ling said.
Hong Xiu laughed and said, "He is already very lucky to be able to become an official. He is righteous and does not know how to flatter people so he didn't get on his boss's good side."
"I see" Xue Ling nodded lightly.
Bi Liu asked, "Xue Ling, do you have an idea?"
"I don't. The Public House and the town defense prefecture are not allowed to be hooked up. This is what my Master has told me." Xue Ling shrugged.
Hong Xiu's bright eyes gleamed and she smiled. "Which Master?"
"Chief of the Public House, Chu Li, Master Chu Li," Bi Liu said.
"Chief Chu Li!" Hong Xiu said. "He is very famous. I often heard from my husband that Chief Chu Li is a talented genius. He is already Rank 2 at such a young age. He is the fastest in rank advancement in the Public House."
Bi Liu laughed. "Chief Chu Li is indeed a genius. Sister Hong Xiu does not seem to have a hard time. The other sisters will be reassured."
"I'm okay." Hong Xiu sighed. "We are a group of weak women who are defenseless and helpless. Enduring a little hardship is nothing."
Xue Ling said, "Why can't sister have children Perhaps I shouldn't have asked this?"
Hong Xiu shook her head bitterly. "The doctor said that it is because my body is too weak and he can't diagnose anything else. I can only nurse my health back slowly. Even taking medicine all day long does not work."
"Come to the Public House someday," Xue Ling said. "Master has a good relationship with High Official Guo Mulin from the Hundred Herbs Courtyard. I will find Sir Guo to take a look at your body!"
"Sure!" Hong Xiu quickly promised.
She was anxious to the point of going crazy now. Without having children, they would not have someone to depend on for the rest of their lives. When they were old, they would not even have someone to organize their funeral.
Hong Xiu used to like shopping and joining in on the fun, but now, she stayed indoors the whole day. When she saw other's children on the street, her heart would be in stitches, an endless pain.
Whenever there was a glimmer of hope, she must seize it.
They chatted non-stop together. When night fell, Xue Ling and Bi Liu did not stay for dinner and took their leave. They agreed to meet Hong Xiu at the Public House tomorrow.
Shortly after they had left, the husband of Hong Xiu, Field Officer Zhao, returned home.
Field Officer Zhao was handsome, tall and burly. He went into the living room and sat down. Hong Xiu served him tea personally. "Husband, you must be tired."
"Today is considered relatively peaceful." Field Officer Zhao sighed. "Your sisters came today?"
"Mm, Bi Liu as well as Xue Ling from the Public House."
"The Public House?"
"Master Chu Li's maid."
"That's a very influential background. Why did she come?"
"She is good friends with Bi Liu, who is teaching her to dance."
"It seems like your backer is really the Public House." Field Officer Zhao laughed.
"If you bully me in the future, I will tell Sister Xue Ling!" Hong Xiu chuckled and said, "I'll let her ask Chief Chu Li to do justice to me!"
"I don't have the guts to bully you!" Field Officer Zhao laughed.
"I want to go to the Public House tomorrow." Hong Xiu sat beside him. "Xue Ling said she will help me seek High Official Guo Mulin from the Hundred Herbs Courtyard. High Official Guo Mulin is a genius doctor!"
"In my opinion, you don't have to go through such troubles. Wait for a few years and we can just get a stepson from big brother to succeed me," Field Officer Zhao said.
"We are still young and High Official Guo Mulin's medical skills are excellent. Maybe I can be cured."
"... Hai, you very well, we'll do as you say!"
The next morning, Hong Xiu could not restrain her impatience and headed over to Bi Liu's house at first light. After that, they went to the Public House together.
Xue Ling saw that she had come and directly went to invite Sir Guo Mulin over to the East Garden.
For Chu Li's sake, Guo Mulin did not refuse and came to examine Hong Xiu's health.
The three women sat in the pagoda and stared at him with their bright eyes.
Guo Mulin stroked his beard and frowned. "It is indeed quite troublesome... Let your Master come back and perform the Nine Transformation Meridian Reforming Technique on her."
"No problem," Xue Ling said. "She will be cured after the Nine Transformation Meridian Reforming Technique?"
"She is weak inherently. Her meridians are weak and her health is poor. After the Nine Transformation Meridian Reforming Technique, find a health nurturing heart technique to cultivate and she will be fine."
"Thank you, Sir Guo Mulin!" Hong Xiu said quickly.
Guo Mulin waved his hand and said, "You don't need to thank me. Only Chu Li can perform the Nine Transformation Meridian Reforming Technique. If you want to thank somebody, thank him!"
Xue Ling asked, "How long would it take for Sister Hong Xiu to recover?"
"A month after performing the technique, coupled with pills, there should be no problem," Guo Mulin said. "Don't worry. Without Chu Li, your sickness cannot be cured no matter what, but if there is the Nine Transformation Meridian Reforming Technique, it will be a piece of cake!"
Hong Xiu nodded excitedly.
Xue Ling laughed. "Sister Hong Xiu, you don't have to be anxious. Master is not back yet. I'll inform you once he comes back."
"Thank you so much, Sister Xue Ling!"
"You don't have to thank me," Xue Ling said with a smile. "In the future, Sister Hong Xiu should come here often and we can play together."
"Sure." Hong Xiu laughed.