Chapter 2 — Bodily Death (2)
Yuxi dropped to the ground as numbness rapidly spread throughout her entire body.
She had placed her unwavering trust in the belief that as long as she could toil her way back to the capital, everything would be alright. That pipe dream had been her sole driving force… and yet reality revealed that the House and the Jiang family had already decided to treat her as dead.
Then… what would be the point of her continuing to hold on?
Suppose she did manage to survive this day, or perhaps even survive this disaster. What of her future, then? Han Yuxi… was dead. The vast world had no place for her.
A far distance off, the green-robed envoy finally opened his mouth and asked, “Senior, why did you tell her all that? Don’t tell me you actually believe she’s Lady Jiang?” Actually, even he himself was slightly convinced of it; though the woman smelled unpleasant, her bearing was certainly sophisticated to a degree that simply could not be faked.
The square-faced man glanced over his shoulder at the dazed woman and shook his head, “It doesn’t matter whether we believe it or not.” At this stage, the truth was not important.
Those words gave confirmation: Yes, she was Lady Jiang. The green-robed envoy’s love for gossip was piqued. “Hmm, I wonder why Lady Jiang was sent to the countryside village?” In the capital, she would not have fallen to such a miserable state.
“Half a year ago, Lady Jiang was thrown into the village because she plotted murder against a Jiang son,” said the square-faced man. At the time, the scandal had given rise to much discussion and was widely spread through the capital.
The sympathetic expression on the green-robed envoy’s face promptly fell away, leaving behind a look of disgust—that woman had been capable of striking against an innocent child? “A vicious woman like that deserves to be damned.”
With a shake of his head, the square-faced man noted, “The affairs of a rich, distinguished family cannot be explained in a mere two or three words, as the waters are exceedingly deep and unfathomable.”
Seeing that the green-robed envoy was about to ask another question, the square-faced man immediately prompted, “Let’s get going. Knowing too much wouldn’t benefit you.” A few remarks and comments were fine, but it would be pointless to continue.
The green-robed envoy stopped asking.
The sky began to drizzle, and the cold raindrops splattered onto Yuxi’s cheeks, sliding into her heart and freezing it. She climbed to her feet and staggered to the thatched hut. Unfortunately, the hut could only fend off wind and not rain, so the raindrops spilled through the crevices.
Yuxi curled up in a corner and didn’t move. Her eyes were blank as she watched the droplets drip from the ceiling and tumble down her body. She couldn’t understand how she fell to this state.
Although she was without a mother, unloved by her father and paternal grandma, and her stepmother was ill-natured towards her, she had the protection of her Great Aunt. Her life with the Han family had been a comfortable one.
When Yuxi came of age, her Great Aunt had selected one of her own nephews to be Yuxi’s groom, and that nephew wasn’t a stranger to her either. His looks weren’t exceptional, but because he was a kind and generous man, she had been very satisfied. Furthermore, her future mother-in-law had treated her well.
In terms of social ranking, the Qiu family and the House were also well-suited. The marriage was a favorable one, and neither her grandmother nor father had objected.
Then, just before the betrothal was made official, Jiang Hongjin came asking for her hand in marriage.
In the capital, Jiang Hongjin was an illustrious scholar. He was handsome and elegant, reputedly mild-tempered, and the ideal candidate for every unmarried maiden in the city. Unfortunately, Yuxi was not one of those maidens.
She wasn’t intelligent, but she knew the vast difference between her and Jiang Hongjin. In no way were they suited for each other, so Jiang Hongjin definitely had an ulterior motive for proposing to marry her. Knowing that the other party harbored evil intentions, she had been unwilling to accept his proposal.
Her father knew she was unwilling, so he had thrown her a strip of white cloth1 and said, “Marry or die. Pick a path.”
She had chosen marriage over death, and her premonition was almost immediately proved to be right. On their wedding night, Jiang Hongjin did not enter the bridal chamber, which was a disgrace to the bride, and thus she became the laughingstock of the Jiang family.
Her mother-in-law’s cold detachment, her sisters-in-law’s harassment and ridicule, and the servants’ belittlement made her every step in the Jiang family a difficult one.
Six years. She had been tossed around by the Jiang family for six years, and no matter how much she suffered, Jiang Hongjin never spoke a word to her—she was invisible in his eyes.
Once, she finally couldn’t stand it anymore, so she had barged into the study and asked him, “Why did you take me as your bride?” Why did he have to ruin her life? If it weren’t for Jiang Hongjin, she would’ve married into the Qiu family and lived her days peacefully.
Jiang Hongjin had looked at her —looked down at her— and kept his silence. He had let the study’s servant boy chase her out.
The moment of reflection made her realize how laughable she was. Six years of marriage and her body was still pure and unsullied. Jiang Hongjin’s personal maidservant, on the other hand, had been pregnant. Even more laughable was that the maidservant’s miscarriage had been blamed on Yuxi.
She neither pleaded herself innocent nor defended herself. All she wanted was a divorce. Becoming a nun and devoting her life to Buddha would have been better than staying in the Jiang family.
Instead of getting a divorce, she was sent to the village. The year she spent in the village had been the most tranquil she had ever lived since marrying into the Jiang family. And then the bandits arrived. After painstakingly escaping and fleeing to the capital, she never would’ve expected her ending to be like this.
The temperature of her body dropped lower and lower as her eyelids became heavier and heavier. Her breathing became more and more shallow, and Yuxi knew… she would not live past this night.
She murmured, “Jiang Hongjin… why?”
Why marry her?
Why marry her, and then treat her as invisible?
Why send her to the village instead of filing a divorce?
Now, she was on the verge of death, and she would die without ever getting the answers to her questions. It was at this moment when she heard someone shouting loudly, “Here’s another dead one. Move her out, and burn her with the other corpses!”
Those who died in refugee camps were promptly burned, as letting the corpse corrode may result in a plague.
Yuxi muttered, “I don’t want to be burned.” She was not afraid of death, but she didn’t want to be burned until not even her corpse remained.
The man in charge of hauling corpses felt Yuxi move. He paused, and then called out, “Boss, this woman hasn’t died yet,” meaning she still had one breath left.
“Burn her,” was the response. All corpses were done away with once a day. They couldn’t afford any slip-ups.
Painful, so painful. Piercing pain finally prompted Yuxi to force open her eyes. Before her, she saw a fiery sea of red that caused incomparable hate to fill her eyes. “Jiang Hongjin. If there is a next life, I will definitely make sure you die without a corpse.”
VIN: The next chapter will begin her rebirth.