Chapter 2: Rebirth
Zhou Qing didn’t know how long she had stayed on the Platform. Since the death of her son, she had been in a daze and completely lost her will. Even if the clouds kept surging and the Luo family suffered retribution, her eyes were still lifeless with no ripples to be seen.
Probably feeling exhausted, she closed her eyes and fell asleep, thinking that she was going to lose her soul.
Unexpectedly after opening her eyes again, Zhou Qing found herself lying on the table and crying bitterly, her cuffs wet with tears. The apricot eyes that were originally beautiful in shape were now red and swollen just like walnuts.
Luo Yu stood at the door, with a trace of regret on his face. He walked to his wife, gently touched her cheek, and said dumbly, “This matter ends here. There is no way out, Qing’er. It was because I had lost my mind. I’m sorry.”
She covered her face with her hands. Although she did not cry, two lines of clear tears slipped down her fingers. Even if Zhou Qing’s memory was flawed, the scene that happened at this moment was deeply imprinted in her mind; it was also the root cause of her death.
Last night, she was disoriented when someone assaulted her forcefully. When she woke up, she realized that her husband had contributed to this mess. At that time, Zhou Qing’s heart was feeling miserable that she quarreled in front of Mother Luo and disclosed the matter completely. Even though she was pregnant, Mother Luo thought of the child as a sinful seed and starved her barely-alive Zheng’er.
The scene she saw on the Platform was vividly clear to her. Zhou Qing’s eyes were filled with hatred. She didn’t know why she went back four years ago. Could it be that the Buddha saw her miserable life and finally took pity on her?
No matter what the reason was, it was a good thing to be alive. At this moment, the Zhou family had not yet been destroyed, and even Zheng’er had not been born. There was still time for all that.
Viciously biting the tip of her tongue, she put down her hand and revealed red and swollen eye sockets. Her small face was without a trace of blood, which seemed particularly pitiful.
Zhou Qing didn’t intend to quarrel like in her previous life. If she wanted Luo Yu and even the entire Luo family to pay the price, she had to win their trust, and then she could take advantage of it and avenge her son completely.
Her tearful eyes stared at the man in front of her. She tugged at the feet under the pale blue robe. Her voice was soft and dumb, “I am no longer clean…Will A’yu despise me? Won’t you?”
Gazing at the woman’s supple appearance, Luo Yu breathed a sigh of relief and stretched out his hand to hug Zhou Qing into his arms, “Qing’er, don’t say that. You have suffered so much for me. It is too late for me to despise you. How can I detest it?”
The tear-stained cheek pressed against his chest, and a steady heartbeat could be heard.
Zhou Qing’s eyes were indifferent. She wanted to dig out Luo Yu’s heart to pay tribute to the tragic death of Zheng’er. If such a ruthless and unrighteous beast could still live in this world, where was the law of heaven?
Tears wet a part of his clothes. Feeling the damp material, Luo Yu’s heart couldn’t help but regret it. Was I too impulsive? Even if it happened last night, Qing’er will not necessarily be pregnant with a child. If there is no news about her womb, was it necessary to borrow a seed?
His thoughts were upsetting and confusing. Luo Yu didn’t have the patience to continue to comfort her and left the bedroom with a few perfunctory words.
After the person left, Zhou Qing sat in front of the makeup box and looked at the delicate woman in the bronze mirror. Her lips curled slightly as she laughed softly.
There were bursts of tingling pain from the hard-to-talk place. The sticky and cold sensation made her very uncomfortable. However, her heart was extremely pleased. After all, Zheng’er would be born soon.
Her son had only lived for less than four years in his previous life. The woman gritted her teeth and thought to herself: In this life, she crawled out of hell, and even if she tried her life, she must take good care of the child and let him pass his whole life safely.
Going to the backyard towards the well, she washed her face and vaguely heard the conversations at the opposite side of the door.
“Mother, look at my sister-in-law. She is crying every day. She is always unhappy. If we let the Zhou family see her like this, it’s possible that they will think we bullied her.”
Even though there was a door panel in between, Zhou Qing knew who the speaker was. It was Luo Yu’s sister and her sister-in-law, Luo Xinyue.
I remember that when I was still on the Platform, the Jin Yi Guards arrived at the Luo household and took away the child birthed by Luo Xinyue, and went to the commander to enjoy her son’s blessings. Although I ended up becoming a corpse, I can’t blame others. I can only blame myself for it
They were blinded by their greed for glory and wealth, even dared to deceive the Jin Yi Guards. They did not even think that the commander in charge of Beizhen Fusi had blood on his hands from an unknown number of people, and dared to provoke him. Life was really twisted.
Speaking of Luo Xinyue, she gave birth to a son at an earlier time because of her clandestine affair with Wu Yongye, the concubine son of the Marquis of Changxia. She thought she could marry into a high-class family, and the life of a Sparrow would change into a Phoenix’s life, but she didn’t think that Wu Yongye was full of lies. He concealed the fact that he was already a married man. If Luo Xinyue contacted him again, she would have to ruin her reputation and become his concubine.
In her last life, Zhou Qing was unwilling to let her sister-in-law suffer. When she learned that she was privately engaged, she hurriedly told Luo Yu of this matter. The latter separated the lovebirds and married Luo Xinyue directly, which allowed Zhou Qing’s younger sister to live a good life.
But in Luo Xinyue’s eyes, Zhou Qing was a despicable and shameless villain who didn’t want others to possess a good life, which ruined her future.
Kindness was treated as a donkey’s liver and lungs[mfn]TN: Kindness was treated as a donkey’s liver and lungs means taking someone’s goodwill as ill intent.[/mfn], and she tossed that kindness into this life. Zhou Qing wanted to see if Luo Xinyue could marry into the Marquis of Changxia’s House along with her child!
“Why do you care about her? It’s not a big deal to cry a few times. The Zhou family opened a Medicine shop, which can let you earn ten taels of silver a month. If you offend your sister-in-law, don’t ask for money from the house.”
Mother Luo reached out and nudged her daughter’s forehead. Her slightly fat face was full of smiles, not even half blaming her.
Luo Xinyue pulled her arm, acting coquettishly. The mother and daughter talked for a long time before she went out with a basket. On the surface, she was going to the bazaar, but in fact, she was meeting Wu Yongye.
Zhou Qing could not help but sneer. The so-called not a family, do not enter the door, the Luo family were all of the same virtue: selfish and mean-hearted. Because her parents love her, they gave a monthly subsidy of ten taels of silver, but Zhou Qing didn’t expect that all of it would be pilfered by Luo Yu’s mother. Even after taking all of her money, she couldn’t get anything, but Luo Xinyue was allowed to spend most of it.
Zhou Qing panicked when she remembered that the woman used her silver to apply makeup and to wear gold and silver.
She wiped her face with a wet cloth and felt more energetic. Then she walked to the kitchen to help Mother Luo.
“Qing’er, why are you awkward with A’Yu? You cried all morning?” Luo Yu’s mother asked.
As miserable as she had been in her previous life, Zhou Qing would no longer be the same stupid person and tells Mother Luo about being raped and getting pregnant. Thus she let Luo Yu’s mother call the shots.
After all, in the eyes of Mother Luo, her uncultivated son was an excellent man. He would never make the slightest mistake. It was because of her own profligacy and pestering for other men that she had lost her virginity.
A corner of Zhou Qing’s mouth slightly tilted but her eyes were sad, “Mother-in-law, we have been married for more than half a year. There is no news at all from my womb. I was feeling miserable; so I cried for a long time.”
While she was talking, Zhou Qing’s eyes became red again. Her appearance was already stunning, and when she cried, she was as tender as the branches of a plant. If it were not for this, Luo Yu would not have taken an interest in her during that time and would have forced himself on her.
“It’s only been a year, so don’t worry about it. Go to the temple and offer your prayers and respect. Maybe there will be some good news.”
Although Mother Luo was looking forward to her grandson, Zhou Qing had been crying for a long time because of this. If she continued to cry and mourn, her good fortune would be tossed away, and those who didn’t know would think that someone had died in the family. Bah! What the hell!
Seeing her mother-in-law being so “kind”, Zhou Qing was very grateful and nodded softly before continuing with her work.
Luo Yu was currently not home, he had already gone to Dali Temple, and would not come back until the sun was about to go down. If it hadn’t been for that atrocious tragedy he had done last night. The morning would not have been dragged for too long.
Although the Zhou family’s medicine shop was not large in scale, it could still be regarded as substantial. Father Zhou dealt with herbs for decades. After all kinds of herbs passed through his hands, it seemed to be revitalized and would exude a rich fragrance.
Zhou Qing didn’t fully learn about her father’s craftsmanship, but somehow she did some research. However, the Luo family was poor and could barely maintain a living. She couldn’t afford herbs at all, so she slowly put the perfume-making on hold.
Ordinary people only ate two meals a day. Mother Luo was trying to make up for her son, so she stewed a pot of chicken soup. Zhou Qing was tortured all night last night, and she didn’t have breakfast yet. So she was very hungry, her stomach grumbled in response.
Mother Zhou pretended not to hear anything. Holding the cattail fan, she sat in front of the stove and slowly fanned the flames.
“Mother-in-law, I’m a little hungry. Do we still have food left?”
“There is still half a cold steamed bun in the steamer. We should wait first for A’Yu’s return, then we will have dinner together.”
Zhou Qing knew how vile Mother Luo’s virtue was. In her eyes, only Luo Yu and Luo Xinyue were her son and daughter. Even if the daughter-in-law was married into the Luo family, she was still an outsider. So, she should stay hungry, while her money could be splurged.
Gently caressing her flat belly, Zhou Qing asked, “Mother-in-law, my mother gave me a tael of silver at the beginning of the month and said it was to be used as a supplement. Can you give me some and let me go to the street to buy some food.”
Hearing Zhou Qing, Mother Luo looked as if she had swallowed a fly, and her face immediately became very ugly, “The things on the street are not clean, so it’s better to eat at home. Besides, you won’t die even if you are a bit hungry. You are really pampered.”
Zhou Qing sighed, “Don’t be angry, I won’t go to the street to buy those. Anyway, the medicine store is not far from our home, I’ll just visit there and have a look.”
Then, Zhou Qing started moving out.
Mother Luo felt a thud in her heart. The cattail fan she was clutching fell to the ground. If this woman really returned to her natal family and told them about the money, how could the Zhou family send money to her?
Thinking of this, Mother Luo seemed to be cut off from her thoughts and she felt very uncomfortable.
“Wait, I still have some scattered silver here. Take it first.”
Hearing this, Zhou Qing suddenly turned around. With a bright smile on her small face, she quickly grabbed Mother Luo’s purse. She opened it and saw that there were only five taels of silver in it. It wasn’t enough. However, no matter how small a mosquito was, it was still meat.