"Stop right there! Return back to where you came from!" The guard at the entrance of the Gu residence waved his hand, trying to shoo Gu Qingye away.
'Hmm....They don't look familiar. They should be newly recruited,' Gu Qingye though as she looked at the two guards standing in front of her with their long sharp spears,'What's with that gaudy outfit? They're here to protect the residence not to display themselves as decoration.'
The guards were dressed in flashy armor that could be broken any time soon and were here just for show. They were clearly slacking off from their posts as Gu Qingye could tell from their flushed faces, swaying bodies, and a table that was filled with wine bottles. Some of them were even knocked over. It seemed like they were in a hurry to get to the entrance when they saw Gu Qingye walking over.
"I wonder who appointed the guards here that are so lousy! They don't even know who their masters are. Listen carefully, when a master comes home, you should get on the ground and bark like the dogs you are," Gu Qingye chided like she was teaching them earnestly about what is proper.
The guards gritted their teeth, and clenched their hands. "Be careful of what you say Gu Qingye! Do you think that because you are under the protection of your grandfather we won't attack you? Wait until you are left with nothing. I wonder who will come to your rescue then!" One of the guards shouted.
"Heh! So you do know who your master is. Why are you still standing? Hurry and get on the ground and bark!" Gu Qingye taunted.
Gu Qingye took a step in, not bothering to look at the guards anymore.
The guards stood to the ground, with no intention on getting down.
Why should they when their cultivation level is so much more higher than that waste?
When Gu Qingye left the place, they sat back down at their table and poured wine for themselves. They started to talk in hushed voices.
"Hey, how much do you think the first and second miss will give us?"
"Stop being delusional. This was just an order by them. Did you think we will get rich?"
"Hey brother, I think we should complain about that waste. Maybe even add a few insults to the misses that Gu Qingye said."
"Ha! Great minds indeed think alike. Let this brother teach you how we should do it."
"Are you a fool or did you knock your head on the wall? If we hadn't done this, prepare to suffer their wrath and we'll end up as dead meat!"
They began plotting on how they were going to get back at Gu Qingye.
Meanwhile, Gu Qingye was on her way to her house. A sigh escaped her lips. Such antics were common to her and she was starting to get tired of them. "Seriously, don't they have anything better to do than to come and poke fun at me? Why don't they use new words or phrases instead of the same old ones?" Gu Qingye muttered under her breath, while walking along the long hallway. It seems her sisters that were considered as geniuses on the outside could become so petty on the inside.
"Gu Qingye! Stop right there!" A high pitched voice pierced through Gu Qingye's ears. A sense of irritation welled up inside her, as she turned around, knowing full well who that person was.
"You! How could you dirty my shoes by walking on the same path as I am? Di San! Remember to clean the floor in front of me and clean it many times later again!" Gu Feiyang ordered, putting a hand over her mouth,"How could our family let trash roam about freely? I fear that wherever we go nowadays, we might get infected by it. I should tell Father not to let this trash out. It dirties the hallways and pollutes the air!"
Gu Qingye rolled her eyes at Gu Feiyang. She could not stand talking to her. It was annoying enough to have her presence here, but her voice and attitude made it worse. Outside, she was titled 'The Blazing Goddess' by the people. Gu Feiyang was known for her talent in the Fire element, viewed as a fiery empress in their minds. Her hot temper and voice was considered cute among the many men. Women look at her as an independent woman who has great ambitions. But right now, she was acting so pampered and demanding in the face of Gu Qingye.
"Eldest sister, if you are to continue acting like this, how are people going to look at you? Furthermore, you are the eldest and yet you act so childish. I fear people will talk about how the eldest daughter is such a rich spoilt brat with no brain, and second sister, who is as tranquil as water and pretty as lotus would become the favourite. Even better, claim your rights in the future!" Gu Qingye jeered. Upon hearing this, a bomb was set off in Gu Feiyang, and her fury towards Gu Qingye was evident. The thing that angered her the most was being compared to her sister that always had a face of peacefulness that seemed like nothing in the world would disturb it, and the calm aura like waves that flow out from her.
"Gu Qingye, how dare you! I'm going to rip you to shreds! Servants! Go beat her up, especially her face, and remember to shred her clothing to pieces and give her this instead!" Gu Feiyang screeched. Her servants immediately went up to Gu Qingye, regardless of their rank, and slapped her face many times. Some tore at her clothes, and into her skin and some pulled at her hair. Some even kicked her in the stomach. With the backing of the eldest miss, how could they be afraid? Then, they threw a ragged dress at her.
"Wear this! Our lady's orders are absolute so you better not resist!" After spitting those words out, Gu Feiyang and her servants left. Gu Qingye slowly sat up from the wooden floorboards, coughing slightly. Everywhere ached and she even felt her scalp go numb from all the pulling of hair. A daily occurrence such as this, Gu Qingye paid no heed to it and stood up, putting on that ragged and old dress. She looked like a beggar, but it was the only thing that was better than what she was currently wearing underneath. Dragging her feet across the floorboards, Gu Qingye headed in the direction of her place.
An empty courtyard came into view. Only an average house could be seen in the middle of it. This was where Gu Qingye stayed, with no guards or servants, as they were not provided for her. She once had them. A lavish house, expensive plants and rare herbs growing in her courtyard, gold statues that stood between the entrance of the door, guards dressed imposingly, servants at the beck of her call ready to do anything. However, everything went south when her mother died, even more so when she was deemed unable to cultivate. All the riches were stripped from her, leaving her with rags, the opposite of Cinderella. If not for her grandfather, she would have been already living on the streets. Although, her grandfather could only provide her that much. With a place to stay, and proper servings of food. It seems being the Patriarch of the family is not that powerful as many elders objected to her grandfather's actions, restricting him of his use of power to help Gu Qingye. Her first beating came, and the next, and so forth. Jewelries, money, treasures, and other rare objects, were all taken away from her. She cried when her mother died. Cried when she got her first beating. Cried when she realised the reality that it was a wishful thinking that her mother would come back. Ah, how she dreamed of turning back time to get everything back and take action before them. However, how was she to get revenge now when she had nothing? So she waited, waited for the day she would take back what was hers forcefully. From then on, Gu Qingye never cried once, not even when she was burned by a flaming hot iron rod, a punishment from her father. An imprint of a line could be seen on her back. In her mind, she laughed. She laughed hard at all those people treating her badly. Almost maniacal you could say. She would return the favour many times more one day. Turning her eyes away from people in trouble, instead causing trouble herself.
"If reality is so cruel towards me, shouldn't I just escape from it temporarily?" Gu Qingye once asked herself. And so, she escaped. Running away from the residence using her invented technique, she felt free for the first time. She did it again and again, knowing that there would be punishments for it. She was going to get it anyway, so why not just delay it? As she grew up, emotions were easier to hide, and her acting and stirring up trouble skills became top notch. Making people angry at her was a thrill to know that they were riled up. A payback to what they did to her. But as time went on, it became a habit and it was in her nature to spout provocations at people just for the fun of it. Not to everyone though. Sometimes she would just make small conversations with the street vendors or the waiters and waitresses in the restaurant. It was better to make more friends than enemies right? Although she was still viewed as a waste. Gu Qingye would visit her grandfather sometimes and have a chat with him, and given jewelry only to be taken away when she got home. Gu Qingye will escape from this wretched place one day, taking her grandfather with her as she knew he was also suffering from being plotted against by his own son.
Walking into the house, Gu Qingye walked straight up to where her desk is and opened a drawer. Inside was filled with medicine and oilments, not pills, they were only provided to her sisters. Taking out a box filled with medication to treat herself, she placed it on the bed. She took off the ragged dress and shredded dress while thinking of burning them later, but shrugged it off as it was too troublesome and some might even think her house was on fire once they see the smoke. She sat on the bed and used a cloth to dab her cuts with alcohol. It was painful, but she remained the same, with swift and precise movements treating her wounds. There were bruises and cuts on her arms, stomach and legs. Thankfully, the redness on the face from the slapping was almost gone. She applied a self-made salve on the bruises which gave her a cooling feeling. After that, she bandaged herself and took out a new set of clothes from the wardrobe, donning it on as it covered all of the bandages, except the ones on her hand as she used them to defend herself earlier, but it was scratched by one of the servants with sharp nails.
"How many times have I done this, that it only took a few minutes?" Gu Qingye sighed.
A knock came from her door. "The Master requests for you to proceed to the main hall immediately," a servant came in without permission and announced. He left as quickly as he came.
With eyes full of menace, Gu Qingye looked at the door that was closed. The main event of today was finally beginning..
This chapter is finally done! It was really draining and projects from school are meeting deadlines. So I am going to focus on that for now and only write in my free time. I already wrote the gist of the story in other chapters, so they won't be delayed too long.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter!