"I-I-I.." Xing stammered.
'What did I get myself into! This woman is obviously trying to get me to be her spy! But what should I do? I will never betray Mingxia but who know what this women may do if I refuse.'
Xing was torn between the possibilities, on one hand she will never betray Mingxia she was too loyal, while on the other side what may happen if she refuses is beyond what she can imagine.
"Xing. I need an answer." Tang Xiao Min's tone became strict and her eyes narrowed. She saw the conflict inside Xing and thought that Xing was slowly taking in the information she just said. It made sense why Xing is hesitating, that brat must of kept a good impression in her maid but now that she has given her the bad side it will take a while to sink in.
"How about this." Tang Xiao Min began, reverting back to her kind voice.
"I give you two days to consider this. In two days I need an answer."
Xing looked up and nodded, Tang Xiao Min smiled and patted Xing on the head.
"Child, I understand that the information is difficult to comprehend but I need you to know what is the truth and what is fake. A person can have many sides of themselves that they may keep under locks and boards so no one may find out. Sometimes a person may not be what they act to be like or seem like, you need to understand and be able to differentiate between this. You are young but it is never too early for you to know this." Like a caring mother Tang Xiao Min stroked Xing check and smiled at her.
"Now go before your lady calls for you, remember what I said." Xing nodded again and walked away.
"Mistress, do you think that she will accept your offer?" Le Xi asked as she walked up to her mistress.
Tang Xiao Min held her head higher as if she had already won before answering confidently, "Oh she will."
At the exact same time, Mingxia had just awoken from her sleep and dressed by herself. Usually Xing would of been here already to assisst her but it seems like she is running late.
'Oh well I can't blame her, can I. Everyone is entitled to sleep in once in a while.'
She helped herself into a cyan colored robe and tied her hair up into a simple bun. Seeing that XIng is not coming anytime soon she stretched a bit before taking out a book to read. She sat down in a chair and adjusted her posture so she was comfortable before reading.
Xing ran with all her might and saw Mingxia sitting on her chair reading.
"Mingxia!" She called out as she ran in.
"Oh good morning Xing. Let me guess you overselpt, Sleeping Beauty." Mingxia teased.
"Mingxia!" Xing yelled again and Mingxia laughed.
Watching Mingxia laugh Xing also began laughing and she thought, 'there is no way I am agreeing to her offer. I am proud to serve my lady and will be there with her thick or thin.'
Xing brought in Mingxia's breakfast and poured her tea. Mingxia set down her book and began eating.
"Xing come eat as well." She suddenly said.
"Huh. Mingxia you know I can't" Xing responded. Servants and maids are to serve their mistress or master first then eat in the kitchen.
"But there's too much I can't finish all this." Mingxia said and motioned for XIng to come.
Xing smiled and let out a sigh. "Fine."
The breakfast was delicious and filling. Unlike the servant's meal with only hard bread and congee, Mingxia is given man tou with a vegetable congee, tofu with soysauce, fried dough and soymilk
The two ate the food with little conversation and happy exchanges. Xing's heart was filled with warmth as she watched her lady eat. There was no way that her lady would do that, but she needs to make sure.
"Mingxia." She began slowly.
"En." Mingxia responded.
"I want to ask do you...Hate...Lady Mingxue?" Xing found it hard to speak the last part of her question but she wants to know.
Mingxia suddenly became quiet and her brown eyes clouded up looking almost greyish.
"I don't, hate, her but I can't say that I like her." Mingxia also spoke slowly and she looked into the empty yard.
Xing looked at her lady and saw the strange expression on Mingxia's face. Mingxia was looking forward with a face of grief, maturity and experience. This was not the first time Xing has seen this expression on Mingxia's face. Xing has seen Mingxia's cheerful side, her stern side, her playful side but rarely did she show this face. Xing would only see it when Mingxia would be alone and deep in thought. It felt like seeing the hidden side of her lady, making her look vulnerable.
"Xing. Xing!" Mingxia said and Xing snapped out of her daze.
"Uh, what." She responded.
"Why are you dozed off?" Mingxia asked in concern.
"Nothing, nothing. What were you asking about?"
"I was asking you about why you asking this question?" Mingxia answered.
"Just curious." Xing said.
Mingxia was still concerned but she let out a sigh and continued. "I don't hate Mingxue and I can't. She is still my sister no matter what she does or will do. But at the same time, I can't bring myself to love her as much as I would like to because of what she has done."
Silence fell upon them and stayed until Mingxia broke it by telling Xing to eat. Xing nodded and bit into the soft man tou.
She fully understands why Mingxia gave that response, from what she had seen in the few months she has been here, she is able to make her own conclusions about who she supports. Of course she chooses to support Mingxia, and it is also because she chooses Mingxia that she feels like she can't hide it anymore.
Xing looked up and opened her mouth again and decided to confess about what
happened. "Mingxia, the truth is. This mor-"
"Shh-." Mingxia suddenly said, her face suddenly became stern.
She stood up and walked to the door.
"Whoever you are, you can leave now. Or if you don't go then I will have you punished and I promise that you will not be able to see tomorrow's sunrise." Mingxia threatened and Xing saw that behind a bush a young maid popped out and ran away.
"Mingxia who was that?" Xing asked.
"A spy, from my loving stepmom, the second Wei Mistress."
mantou* A Chinese steam bun. I grew up eating and I love its fluffy texture.
Looks like Tang Xiao Min has taken the first step in her plan.
From what I have read in the comments of the last chapter, it seems like you guys and girls all know Xing very well so I will make it clear.
Xing is not going to be Tang Xiao Min's spy, she is too royal to Mingxia for that.
Since today is a day off I was able to finish this chapter in time so happy reading!
Big shoutout to my new editor, obetaku. I would like to thank him/her so much for helping me.
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