“Your Father’s attention.” Hu Ye smirked.
Qing Guang gritted her teeth. Knowing how her father loved women who were smart at polishing their beauty, if she could learn how to do her hair effectively and efficiently like this, it would better help her fight for her right in the household.
Her brother, Qing Bo, was the only son in the Qing family. Naturally, his position as the only heir was unshakeable. Even if her father hated the twins, he had no other choice but to raise Qing Bo.
But it was different for her. She was not the only daughter of the left prime minister. There was another daughter, her half-sister Qing Li from her father's second wife. Just like her name, she was beautiful. She had a bewitching face and a smile that could leave your eyes popping. She was their father’s favorite. Clothes, jewelry, and powder, whatever Qing Li wanted, her father would give it to her.
In terms of intelligence, Qing Li was not bad. Although she was not as good as the twins, she was not in the same grade as them so no one could really compare her ability to theirs’.
When Qing Guang recalled all the suffering they had endured and all the sacrifices they had made because of her father’s infatuation with that mother-daughter pair’s looks, she finally came to a decision.
Qing Guang firmly answered, "Fine!"
Hu Ye gave himself a brief victory smile before returning to his usual indifference.
"Three times a week, before archery class, twenty minutes," Hu Ye said while carrying his equipment.
Today was the school’s holiday and the Hu siblings were going out. The market was a bit far so the four siblings decided to take the carriage. They were talking about what they should buy. They just arrived at the market when Hu Ye asked Hu Zi, "You are not training today, sis?"
"Master Shou said that there's urgent business he needs to attend to," said Hu Zi, holding housekeeper Zhi Yu's hand. She was wearing a simple green outing outfit with a yellow wave pattern on its hem.
"Urgent matter? Did he tell what it is?” Hu Ye asked curiously.
“No…” Hu Zi shook her head in denial. “He only said he needs to go somewhere.”
So that the small Hu Zi wouldn't bump into other people in the crowded marketplace, Zhi Yu picked her up and carried her in his arms. They bought many things in the market, their priority being sewing kits and cloth, and the rest being food, ingredients, and other small necessities. Hu Cheng Se felt very happy because she bought many steamed buns while the rest of the group was looking for clothes.
When they were heading back into the carriage, they ran into the Qing twins. “Oh, if it isn’t Hu Cheng Se...”
As soon as their eyes met, Qing Bo and Hu Cheng Se’s gazes began to shoot sparks at each other in the air. Hu Zi, who was eating in Zhi Yu's arm, began to tremble when she felt the sudden shift in the air.
Hu Bai frowned. This will get messy!
Qing Guang coldly stared at Hu Ye's calm, serious, and stoic expression. She narrowed her eyes at him when she saw the confident and arrogant smile flash through his eyes.
Unlike Qing Bo, Qing Guang seemed rather calm today, maybe because she was in a good mood. This morning, her father intimately called her nu er, daughter, when he saw her dress. It was the first in a long time her father called her that.
Her father was nice to her because Qing Guang dressed up a bit for the outing today. Her clothes were pure white with a flower pattern around her waistband and hems, a simple golden flower bracelet encircling her right arm. Her hair was adorned and tied in a simple hairstyle, a wing-like, ivory-white hairpin from her late mother's dowry finishing her flawless beauty.
This brat’s styling advice is better than I expected. She thought in her heart.
She was happy, but she felt as if there was something lost in the mix. That feeling when you can't help but yield to someone and have some of your pride crushed. Qing Guang closed her eyes and recalled her father's voice calling her intimately and how he smiled at her brother and her so lovingly this morning. Subconsciously, she smiled like a blooming flower. That smile quickly faded a second after it appeared. But Hu Ye had already seen a glimpse of it.
Just then, a melodic voice came from behind.
"Elder brother, elder sister! Wait for me!" Qing Li was walking steadily in her red shoes. Her red, pink, and green colored dress was heavy, making her movements become somewhat slow. The slow movement combined with her attractive attitude made the males in the area look her way. A small mole near her left eye drew their attention to her pretty face.
Hu Bai, who saw Qing Li from afar, couldn't help but ponder whether Qing Li was truly a nine-year-old.
In this era, given the fact that most boys and girls were married at the early age of fourteen to fifteen, nine-year-old girls were considered young adults. But they rarely saw any nine-year-old girl who could polish her beauty like Qing Li could; she even possessed the curvy body of a woman who was much older than her own age.
The Hu siblings rarely saw Qing Li at school because none of them were in the same grade as her. But every time they saw her, she was always surrounded by people, male or female. Just like this, a dozen maids and servants were tailing her closely.
"Tch..." Qing Guang clicked her tongue in an almost inaudible way. She quickly grabbed her brother’s hand and dragged him away with her. Qing Bo seemed unsatisfied and glared at Hu Cheng Se until she was no longer in sight.
Qing Li also passed by the Hu siblings and Zhi Yu, treating them like air and striding off in a showy and arrogant manner.