Chapter 05: Red Rash
Zhou Qing was in her room playing lasso. Even if she didn’t go out, Zhou Qing could guess what Luo Xinyue was about to do.
This juvenile aunt of hers had no bottom line at all. Whatever she saw, she would try to get her hands on it, and the Bi Luo herbs that Zhou Qing just put in the hut were about to have a new owner at this moment.
Red lips were slightly hooked. Zhou Qing’s eyes revealed a trace of coldness.
She didn’t lie. The smell of the Bi Luo herbs itself was exceptionally fragrant and had the effect of moisturizing the skin. However, if a woman was exposed to more than what was necessary, the body would be covered with small red bumps – dense and revolting.
Luo Xinyue was not a loving beauty? If she saw her own hideous appearance like those evil spirits, her expression would be quite entertaining.
As Zhou Qing expected, Luo Xinyue went back to her room, found a porcelain dish, and lit the herbs.
A pale green smoke filled the room; a rich aroma wafted everywhere – like a flower blooming on a branch.
Luo Xinyue’s face was a bit intoxicated. Since she was going to meet Wu Yongye later, she walked to the table and circled back and forth, hoping to enshroud herself further with its fragrance.
She was satisfied with the item she got from Zhou Qing. Luo Xinyue felt particularly beautiful today. Looking at the mirror, she took a silk flower and placed it on her head. She imagined herself getting married to the Marquis of Changxia House. Luo Xinyue was shaking with anticipation.
After half an hour of grooming, she left her room.
Luo Xinyue and Wu Yongye agreed to meet at the dilapidated temple on the outskirts of the city.
Although the temple was empty and abandoned, it was the best place for lovers to have a clandestine rendezvous. After all, this was a remote location, deserted during the daytime. Luo Xinyue was a young maiden; in order to save face, they must find a hidden place to meet – lest they may be discovered.
She walked out of the city gate and reached the entrance to the temple, she stretched her head to look inside and called out in a low voice, “Yongye, are you there?”
No one answered for a long time. She stomped her feet in anger, biting her mouth aggressively. But unexpectedly, she was suddenly hugged from behind.
Wu Yongye kissed the woman’s white earlobe and said in an endearing voice, “Yue’er, I missed you to death. No wonder people would say ‘A day without seeing is like three autumns’. We haven’t seen each other for only a day, yet my heart hurts.”
He put Luo Xinyue’s hand on his chest; his handsome face showed a hint of lust.
Most men were lustful, and Wu Yongye was one of the best.
Even though he had long been married, there was no trace of affection for that temperamental tigress. On the other hand, Luo Xinyue – a delicate and soft woman – could arouse pity in his heart.
With flushed cheeks, she nestled in her lover’s arms. Strangely for some reason, Luo Xinyue suddenly felt a little itchy.
From an angle, Wu Yongye couldn’t see her face, but could only see a section of her neck. He found two red bumps growing on her fine, white flesh. Wu Yongye couldn’t help but reach out and rub them.
With a low hum, Luo Xinyue softly asked, “Yongye, do I smell good?”
“Sweet. How could my Yue’er not be fragrant?” Wu Yongye responded frivolously. He pressed her shoulders with both hands and turned the woman’s body around.
He wanted to kiss that sweet-smelling mouth. Shockingly, however, once Luo Xinyue revealed her face, Wu Yongye nearly fainted from fright.
He saw soybean-sized, red bumps on her cheeks. Some were wrapped in pus, while others were red and swollen. It caused Wu Yongye’s face to ashen as his lips quivered. He couldn’t say anything for a while.
Luo Xinyue closed her eyes and waited to be kissed, but her lover didn’t move for a long time. She had a hunch that something was wrong and opened her eyes to meet the man’s horrified gaze.
She asked as she placed her hand on her cheek and felt bumps on her skin. Luo Xinyue was distraught by what she discovered.
Her legs went limp as she fell to the ground with a thud. Screaming at the top of her lungs, “What’s wrong with my face? Yongye, save me! I don’t want to be disfigured!”
Wu Yongye stepped back, he couldn’t help but gulp his saliva. The reason he was with Luo Xinyue was not that he was smitten by her, but because of his desire for unsullied flesh.
Now that she has become defiled and disfigured, he would like to chop off the hand that touched Luo Xinyue.
It was too late to be afraid now, how could he still have any charming thoughts left?
“Yue–Yue’er, hurry back to the city to see the doctor. If you delay, you’ll be permanently deformed.” Wu Yongye pulled down the purse on his waist, which contained a lot of scattered silver.
To his eyes full of disgust, Luo Xingyue could not bite a mouthful of silver teeth.
What she wanted wasn’t a bag of silver, but to marry into the Marquis of Changxia!
Wu Yongye didn’t care what the woman really thought. Without turning back, he ran like hell. When his figure was out of sight, Luo Xinyue came back to her senses and rushed back.
After entering the city, she found a medical center far from home and walked in with her face covered.
There were many people visiting the doctor in broad daylight; the medicine boy greeted Luo Xinyue and asked, “Is the lady feeling unwell?”
“I have a rash on my face.”
“Put your sleeve down first, so I can have a look.”
Hearing this, Luo Xinyue was reluctant to do so. However, she knew that her situation couldn’t be delayed, so she slowly lowered her arms and stood stiffly in place.
“Damn, this woman has such a hideous face. More disgusting than the beggar’s Wang Er Lai Zi!”
“No, I won’t have the appetite to eat today if I keep looking at her.”
The outcries of the people around her made Luo Xinyue feel ashamed; she wanted to turn her head and run out.
“No, the bumps on your face don’t look like a disease. There’s also nothing wrong with your pulse. It shouldn’t be!”
Luo Xinyue couldn’t help but cry out. If this strange disease couldn’t be cured, she would have a disfigured face for the rest of her life –not to mention marrying into the Changxia Marquis Mansion – it would be hard to even live.
The more she thought about it, the more perturbed she felt. But the old doctor couldn’t see the underlying cause, and only told her to go home and recuperate.
There was a clanging sound outside the door.
Zhou Qing’s eyes flashed with cold light.
Just now, Luo Xinyue went to see Wu Yongye. Returning early could only mean that the efficacy of the Bi Luo herbs has taken effect. Not being able to see that good show with her own eyes, Zhou Qing couldn’t help but be a little disappointed.
Because she was in a good mood, Zhou Qing hummed a little song. Her voice was delicate and sweet, similar to a brewed honey water.
At that moment, Luo Xinyue rushed to Mother Luo’s room, hugging her and crying in pain, “Mother, your daughter has been disfigured. What should I do? How to do ah!?”
Seeing such a hideous face – even though Mother Luo had lived for so many years – she was still scared to death by what she saw.
However, after recognizing the creepy-looking, ugly monster as her own daughter, she felt especially distressed, “My daughter, how long have you been out? Why have you become like this? Mother will go get a doctor for you.”
Luo Xinyue shook her head in desperation, “There is nothing that a doctor can do. If he can’t cure me, then I no longer want to live!”
Zhou Qing walked out of the east room and saw a fascinating scene.
She admired Luo Xinyue’s face for a while. Thinking that the effect of the Bi Luo herbs could only last for a few months at most, Zhou Qing couldn’t help but be dismayed. It was a pity.
Mother Luo glanced at her daughter-in-law and waved her hand impatiently, “Go back to your parents’ house and ask your family for some silver to hire a doctor for Xinyue.”
A trace of derision crossed her eyes, Zhou Qing firmly stood at the threshold and unhurriedly replied.
“As your in-law, it is common sense for me to take care of my sister-in-law. Nevertheless, the amount of the consultation fee is not yet known. It is improper for me to go to my parents’ place, so it is better to hire a doctor first.”
Mother Luo couldn’t find anything wrong with her words.
Luo Xinyue’s cheeks were twisted as she stared at Zhou Qing with a deadly glare, cursing: “You’re the one who caused me harm, aren’t you? Obviously, everything was fine before. But today…today my face is ruined.”
Zhou Qing had predicted that Luo Xinyue wouldn’t dare confess that she stole the Bi Luo herbs. Zhou Qing inwardly laughed, but her face was frowning as she naively asked:
“I am the wife of Ah Yu; the daughter-in-law of the Luo family. How could I harm you? You have to be conscientious to be a human being!”
In her last life, Zhou Qing was good-tempered and soft-natured and was often spurned by the Luo family.
She always cautioned herself at that time that Luo Xinyue was the younger sister-in-law, so she should be humble; Mother Luo was the elder, so she shouldn’t be disrespectful. Zhou Qing could honestly say that she didn’t wrong the Luo family. Sadly, people who act well have been bullied; horses that were good at being ridden, would be exhausted till they die miserably.
The woman’s eyes were antagonizing. Feeling apprehensive, Luo Xinyue hid behind her mother and didn’t say anything.
Mother Luo laughed dryly. She wanted to turn the tables. However, she saw Zhou Qing – looking aggrieved – was slowly retreating to the courtyard.
“Mother-in-law, Xinyue has misunderstood me, if I continue to stay here, I’m afraid that I also won’t feel well. I better return to the herbal store for a few days.”
After she expressed her sentiment, Zhou Qing covered her face with her hands and trotted back to her room; her shoulders shaking slightly, with a look of extreme sadness.
In fact, Zhou Qing wasn’t crying from disheartenment but was laughing from unbridled happiness.
Today’s incident was just a speck of her revenge; what the Luo family has experienced was not the entirety of it. The future was long, their errors would be paid for little by little.
After packing up a few clothes, Zhou Qing carried the bag in her hand, Luo Yu came back before she could cross the threshold.
Luo Yu’s dark pupils shrank. He clutched her thin white wrist, leaving a bright red mark on Zhou Qing’s skin.
“Qing’er, I know I was wrong. Don’t go. Stay, okay?”
Zhou Qing, with tears in her eyes, cried and shook her head, “This matter has nothing to do with Ah Yu. Xinyue got sick, she feels that she was harmed by me. It’s better for everyone if I go back to my parents’ house for a few days.”
“Ah Yu, you must come and pick me up.”
Luo Yu stood in place like a stone. He watched his wife’s back gradually move farther. It felt like his heart was stabbed. Blood was dripping, pain was unceasingly excruciating.
Clearly, Qing’er only temporarily left. But why did he feel that he had lost his most cherished treasure?