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All Hail Cousin Brother

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Chapter 2

Waking Up

Little did she expect that just after a hundred days, she got locked in by Song Mingzhao, in the most remote courtyard of the Marquis Residence. Meanwhile, he announced to the public that she had fallen ill because of heartache over her grandmother’s pa.s.sing.

Song Mingzhao used the most precious and most expensive, the most unorthodox and most poisonous medicinal herbs, to reduce her into a medicine-human. Every three days, he would take a drop of blood from her heart. This was because her younger stepsister, Yu Jianjia, had a heart disease and needed this blood to treat her illness.

Her own biological father was unconcerned about her, and she had no one to turn to for help. Even death seemed like an extravagant hope.

In just three years, she had been tortured until she was reduced to a bag of bones, and seemed to be neither dead nor alive.

Song Mingzhao looked at her wordlessly. He did not stop her. “You are right. Without you, Jia Jia would have died long ago.”

Just like that, she had managed to strike him where it hurt.

Yu Youyao clutched her chest, coughing so hard that she was out of breath. Her pale face was flushed with a sickly shade of red, and she looked like she had just revived from the ashes.

“You are also about to die. So,” Song Mingzhao stated in a matter-of-fact tone. He took out a handkerchief embroidered with green bamboo, and gently helped to wipe away the blood stain on her lips. Then, he said in a low voice, “Can you help Jia Jia with your heart?”

Yu Youyao thought that she had heard wrongly. For a moment, she showed no reaction.

“Prodigious Physician Xie has developed a new prescription. If your heart is incorporated into the medicine, Jia Jia will be able to recover fully from her heart disease. In the future, you won’t have to suffer the pain of blood extraction from your heart anymore.” At this point, even the impa.s.sive Song Mingzhao couldn’t help getting worked up, and his eyes filled with pa.s.sion as he looked at Yu Youyao.

Those who didn’t know better would think that he was looking at the woman he loved deeply.

Yu Youyao did not even have the strength to yell at him. She looked at him calmly, with bitter hatred deep in her eyes.

Song Mingzhao ignored her look of resentment. “Yao Yao, just go in peace. After you die, the Marquis Residence will announce to the public that you have pa.s.sed away due to illness.”

Yu Youyao smiled sarcastically. That was true in a way. She had been ‘sick’ for three years; it was really time for her to die.

Song Mingzhao paused for a while and then said, “I know that you have a close relations.h.i.+p with Jia Jia. Even on your deathbed, you are still worrying about your weak and sickly third younger sister…”

She? A close relations.h.i.+p with Yu Jianjia?

Instantly, Yu Youyao’s eyes widened. Without waiting for her to speak, Song Mingzhao continued in a calm and sophisticated voice, “I will give Jia Jia a grand wedding and marry her as my second wife. I will take good care of your younger sister so that you may rest in peace.”

If Yu Youyao had heard such words before, she would definitely have lost all rationality. She would have screamed and shrieked like a mad woman, screaming and cursing at this shameless adulterous couple.

But now, she only wanted to weep!

This marriage had been painstakingly planned for her when her grandmother was still alive.

Her grandmother had thought of the Marquis Residence’s generations of meritorious deeds. Their heir, Song Mingzhao, also appeared to be a man of talent and character. If she was no longer around in the future, at least her granddaughter would still have a way to a good life.

Yu Youyao had also once harbored some sort of vague longing for Song Mingzhao. She had thought that Song Mingzhao would be a good man for her and had fantasized about her life after marriage.

But she and Grandmother were both wrong.

Song Mingzhao was indeed a good man.

But not to her.

He was a good man to Yu Jianjia.

To her, Song Mingzhao was a wolf in human skin.

After a period of time, Yu Youyao woke up in a daze. She heard her grandmother’s surprised voice. “Thank goodness, after a whole day and night, my Yao Yao’s fever has finally subsided.”

But soon after, her head plopped down and she fell unconscious again.

This time, the coma lasted yet another entire day.

In the middle of the night, she woke up once. She had called out, ‘Grandmother,’ in a daze before falling back asleep. However, she did not sleep well; she seemed to be dreaming continuously.

In her dream, someone had stabbed a long silver needle into her chest and retrieved a drop of dark red blood. She was in so much pain.

Then there were also people with knives, who had cut open her chest without a care that she was still alive, and proceeded to take her heart out.

And then there was also her favorite almond yogurt, osmanthus candy, glutinous rice b.a.l.l.s, sugared steamed cheese, squirrel fish, and pork belly marinated with cherries…

All sorts of scenarios were mixed together, and everything was utterly confusing.

This lasted until Yu Youyao woke up. Still yet to be fully awake, she stared blankly at the pink mosquito tent above her head. After sorting through her thoughts, she finally remembered what had happened.

A few days ago, she had gone to play at the Lotus Lake. There, she had run into her third sister, Yu Jianjia, who was on her way to pay a visit to their grandmother.

After the two of them greeted each other, Yu Jianjia noticed the exquisite jade pendant on her neck. Immediately, she took off the bracelet made of cat’s eye gemstones on her wrist, and wanted to make a trade.

Yu Youyao’s jade pendant was a carving of a child Buddha sitting atop a lotus flower.

It was impeccable white jade; a smooth and l.u.s.trous child Buddha pendant. He sat atop the lotus flower with closed eyes and a blood red lotus flower between his eyebrows, exuding a dignified and holy aura.

It was carved from an entire piece of the finest jade, where a pigment of scarlet had appeared on its own and the lotus flower had taken its shape naturally—a rather mystical phenomenon.

Her grandmother had told her that this was something her mother had left for her. She always wore it close to her heart, so naturally, she refused to trade, turning around in a huff to leave instead.

Just then, Yu Jianjia suddenly reached out to pull her. Having a hot temper, Yu Youyao immediately shook off her hands.

Alas, Yu Jianjia slipped and fell to the ground.

That very day, word of her deliberately pus.h.i.+ng Yu Jianjia was spread around in the Residence. Her grandmother reprimanded her accordingly, but Yu Youyao did not care one bit.

Unexpectedly, Yu Jianjia started running a high fever and burned for two consecutive days and nights due to the shock. Only then did her grandmother become really upset and punished Yu Youyao to kneel in the Temple Hall.

Kneeling alone in the Temple Hall, Yu Youyao felt hungry and afraid. She looked at the gold Buddha statue in front of her, which seemed to be looking at her with a pitying expression. In a trance, she thought that the Buddha statue had come to life, and she felt the child Buddha pendant she was holding in her hand “cut” into her palm, until her hand felt pain and numbness.

Gradually, she started to lose consciousness and fainted, plummeting into the absurd dreamworld.

At this moment, the maidservants keeping watch in front of the bed saw that Yu Youyao had woken up. They rushed excitedly to the bed and called out in surprise, “Young Mistress, you’re finally awake.”

Yu Youyao blinked in confusion. She wanted to tell them that she was thirsty, but the moment she opened her mouth, she realized that her throat was swollen and painful. For a moment, she could not even make a sound.

Just then, the bead curtain decorated with strings of crystal pearls made a pleasant clinking sound.

A maidservant wearing a blue-purple jacket walked in. She had a silver hairpin on her head and silver jasmine earrings. On her wrist was a jade bracelet of a decent quality.

It was her personal maidservant, Chun Xiao.

Yu Youyao felt a little dazed. In her dream, she was locked up in the most remote courtyard of the Marquis Residence, with only Chun Xiao accompanying and attending to her as well as she could.

“Young Mistress is awake. Go and report to Old Madam, then fetch a doctor here to take a look.” Chun Xiao instructed. The few servant girls in the room hurriedly responded and left the room.

Chun Xiao helped Yu Youyao up and stuffed a big pillow behind her, before turning around to pour a cup of warm water and carefully fed it to her.

After drinking the water, her throat felt a little better, so she looked at Chun Xiao anxiously.

That wasn’t her story, she’d merely had a precautionary dream, but it was nothing final.

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