“Young Mistress, youve been burning up for a day and a night. Your throat must be hurting, so dont speak for now. Let the doctor take a look and prescribe some medicine for you. Youll be fine after a few days.” Chun Xiao caressed Yu Youyaos head and soothed her gently.
“Okay,” Yu Youyao replied in a hoarse voice, softly and agreeably.
Chun Xiao could not help but feel her heart ache. Eldest Miss used to be like a mischievous little monkey, a nine-year-old girl who would chatter all day long, either catching crickets or climbing trees to reach bird nests.
It seemed like she had become an adult after experiencing this brush with death.
“Good girl, Young Mistress. I will go get some food for you.”
After a while, Chun Xiao returned, and the small tray was full with all of Yu Youyaos favorite food.
Red bean soup, warm pork broth, almond yogurt, osmanthus candy, crystal skin dumplings, and more. There were more than a dozen different food items, and everything looked delectable.
Yu Youyao felt so ravenous that she was almost drooling. She sighed as she glanced down at the little fat rolls on her arms, feeling slightly sad as she resolved to cut down on one bowl of rice during her next meal.
No, maybe just half a bowl!
Grandmother would be heartbroken if she was starved herself.
Just then, the curtain was lifted and the maidservant standing guard outside greeted respectfully, “Old Madam.”
Old Madam Yu was helped into the room by Nanny Liu. When she saw her granddaughter eating, there was immediately a small fire in her gaze. She hurriedly walked over and sat down beside her granddaughter. She picked up a bowl of red bean soup drenched with osmanthus honey and coaxed, “Yao Yao, you are still sick. You need to eat less of this and more porridge so that youll have a faster recovery.”
But Yu Youyao was too famished. She ate a small bowl of red bean soup and another bowl of almond yogurt. She also secretly stuffed a crystal dumpling into her mouth when her grandmother wasnt looking. Her little cheeks were so stuffed that she could barely chew, and she looked like a greedy little hamster.
Old Madam Yu said unhappily, “Dont choke on the food.”
“Mm, its yummy. Grandmother, you eat too.” With a mouth full of food, Yu Youyao could not speak clearly. Her chubby hands reached for a crystal dumpling and brought it to her grandmothers mouth, then gazed up at her grandmother with sparkling eyes.
Old Madam Yus heart melted as she ate the crystal dumpling. The crystal dumpling was bite-sized—it was just the right mouthful for an adult.
After she finally finished chewing on her crystal dumpling, Yu Youyao licked her lips and glanced discreetly at her grandmother. Seeing that her grandmother wasnt paying attention, she repeated the same trick again, stretching out her meaty little hand to reach for the soup dumplings at the side.
But before her hands could reach the dumplings, Old Madam Yu noticed and moved the soup dumplings further away, then instructed the servants to remove the remaining food.
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Yu Youyao hugged her round little tummy and blinked her big eyes. “Grandmother, Im still hungry.”
She was dewy-eyed, and her big, bright eyes caused Old Madam Yus heart to waver. She opened her mouth, almost calling out for the servant girls to come back.
When Nanny Liu saw this, she quickly said, “You hadnt eaten for two days, your stomach is weak, so its not suitable for you to eat too much. After an hour, Ill get the kitchen to cook some birds nest with rock sugar for you, alright”
Yu Youyao pouted and nodded reluctantly. “Well okay!”
Old Madam Yu felt both amused and sorry for her granddaughter, and couldnt resist pinching her rosy little cheeks gently as she jokingly scolded, “Youre like a little piglet, you greedy girl.”
Yu Youyao shook her head about. With her round little face, she looked just like the cartoon doll in Chinese New Year paintings—so lively and adorable.
Finally, the despondent look that had been on Old Madam Yus face for the past few days had dissipated. She pulled her granddaughter into her arms and hugged her tightly. “Yao Yao, its all my fault. I wont punish you to kneel in the Temple Hall anymore.”
Yu Youyao shook her head. “Its not Grandmothers fault. Grandmother did it for my own good.”
Yu Jianjias fever lasted for two whole days and almost cost her life. This was a serious matter, so her grandmother had needed to react accordingly, no matter how much she doted on Yu Youyao.
Seeing that her granddaughter was behaving as if nothing had happened, neither crying nor feeling wronged, Old Madam Yu felt that something was amiss.
Nanny Liu was also stunned for a long while.
In an instant, the room fell silent.
After a while, Old Madam Yu let out a soft sigh. “Tell me, how was it for your own good”
Yu Youyao cocked her head to the side. “Since Grandmother has punished me, Mother has vented her anger, so she wont hold it against me anymore and Father wont punish me either.”
Old Madam Yu and Nanny Liu exchanged looks, both seeing the surprise in each others eyes. They were astonished that their little girl had become so sensible after her near-death experience.
Yu Youyao frowned, feeling a little vexed. “However, I didnt push Third Sister on purpose. She wanted to use her bracelet made of cats eye gemstones to trade for my child Buddha jade pendant. I refused, then she grabbed my hand. Grandmother always told me to keep a distance from the people of the main courtyard, so I shook her hand off. I didnt expect that she would slip and fall. I thought the maidservant beside her was holding her. I didnt expect that she would let Third Sister slip and fall.”
Yu Youyao wasnt lying, but she just felt that she was speaking strangely today. After thinking about it, she still couldnt figure it out.
What little Youyao did not know was that there was a type of language art called “connotation” .
While explaining everything that had happened that day, she had actually expressed three layers of meaning.
Firstly, she did not provoke Yu Jianjia. It was Yu Jianjia who had started it.
Secondly, she did not push Yu Jianjia.
Thirdly, she had shrugged off Yu Jianjias hand only because she was obeying her grandmothers words and distancing herself from Yu Jianjia, so the fall had nothing to do with her. It was Yu Jianjias maidservant who was at fault for failing to support her well.
Old Madam Yu understood everything upon hearing this. She felt a rush of blood to the head and gritted her teeth as she said word by word, “That darling daughter of the Yang family!”
When the news first spread in the Residence that Yao Yao had pushed Jia Jia, she had thought that it was probably nothing serious since the sisters both had maidservants with them, so she had just lectured Yao Yao a little.
Yao Yao knew that her grandmother was not really angry, so she did not bother explaining, and instead happily munched on her osmanthus candy.
It wasnt until Yu Jianjia had a persistent fever which almost burned her life away that Old Madam Yu became anxious and angry, punishing Yao Yao to kneel in the Temple Hall without even asking her in detail about what had happened.
She did not know that this matter had nothing to do with Yao Yao at all.
The more Old Madam Yu thought about it, the angrier she became. She suddenly raised her voice and said, “That jade pendant was a keepsake that Yao Yaos mother had left for her before she passed away. How dare Yu Jianjia try to take it!”
Seeing how angry her grandmother was, Yu Youyao was startled. Her voice was soft and cautious as she uttered, “Grandmother”
Immediately, Old Madam Yu calmed down and patted the little girls hand gently. “Yao Yao, be good. Have a nap first. Grandmother will come and visit you later.”
Yu Youyao obediently crawled under her covers and closed her eyes. Sleepiness crept in the moment her head touched the pillow. Her mind drifted off, becoming fuzzy, but she kept feeling like she seemed to have forgotten something
What exactly had she forgotten
With this question in her mind, Yu Youyao began to snore.
After tucking her in meticulously, Old Madam Yu rose to her feet with Nanny Lius help.