TBI Chapter 2: The first year in Mu residence
Prefect Mu’s residence.
The warm sunlight of the early spring made its way through layer upon layer of branches and leaves and sprinkled on light yellow muslin pleated skirt.
Mu Xi Yao comfortably squinted her eyes.
A dark red embroidered blanket was softly wrapped around her lap and a faint grass fragrance lingered around the courtyard.
She lied on the side, with her arm lifted and propped on the couch bed.
Beside her was the chief maidservant Huilan, who was peeling a fragrant fruit.
Its meat was slightly sweet upon consumption.
It was tender and juicy, very delicious.
It’s already been two days since her ‘recovery from illness’.
During this time, Xiyao easily familiarized herself with the former owner’s nature and habits.
She actually felt contempt for not being dainty enough, beautiful enough and ~seductive enough.
The recovered Xiyao intentionally made herself seem more sticky to people and more charming.
Lady Yu was distressed about the illness-weakened body of her darling daughter.
She meticulously instructed to second miss’s two chief-maidservants to properly attend to their miss’s needs.
If there was something she liked or wanted, they should just fetch it for her.
Her needlework and homework, as well as her morning greetings, were to be put aside for half a month, so she could have a proper rest.
The breakfast may be consumed in her own quarters, but for lunch and dinner, she had to go to the main house.
Mu Xi Yao’s elder sister Mu Xi Cheng was at a young age betrothed to Liang You Zhao, who was di son of Liang Bowen, the member of Imperial Academy.
Usually, she was seen doing needlework at home.
In the afternoon, she went to Lady Yu’s place to learn managing household and to watch how she was making arrangements with the housekeeper.
Therefore, she didn’t visit Mu Xi Yao’s Yingshuei Pavilion often.
Since eldest brother Mu Jing Zhi started his education at the age of three, he had been fond of martial arts and loathed literature.
No matter how his father, Mu Jing Zhen reprimanded or whipped him, he still had no interest in participating in the imperial examination.
Instead, he wished to enter the army.
He looked forward to achieving accomplishments in the battlefield in order to protect his clansmen and to repay his parents the gratitude of raising him.
As twelve years old, he left home and joined the army.
Five years have passed.
He became seventh ranking lieutenant captain.
He was away all year round.
He can only make it home at New Year, to reunite with family.
When Mu Jin Zhi left home, Xi Yao was still a tiny, smart and obedient child.
She was a little chubby ball, fair and delicate.
Her big eyes were constantly blinking at you.
Once she threw herself onto her elder brother and climbed onto him, there was no chance of getting her down.
She was frequently following her elder brother, calling him, ‘Big brother, big brother.’ The soft child’s voice had his heart flutter.
Those vivid and trustful eyes made him spoil her rotten.
Every time he came back home, there was for sure a large chest stuffed with interesting and funny objects.
They were specifically prepared for Mu Xi Yao.
So far, they consisted of beautiful clothes, powders, ceramics, kites, and dolls.
On every Lunar New Year and her birthday, these things were bound to be delivered ahead of time.
He never failed to forget about it.
Mu Xi Yao lightly caressed the blanket on her lap.
She looked to be laid-back and nonchalant, but her brain had not stopped thinking for a moment.
There will be an early selection two years from now.
When the time comes, there will be no way for her to avoid it.
She wasn’t confident enough to deceive a monarch with her tricks.
Even though the ancients couldn’t measure up to later generations with their extensive common knowledge and broadened horizons, but it didn’t have to mean that they were stupid.
It would only serve her right to fall on hard times if she underrated these old geezers. Moreover, she had parents and siblings; the life of the whole household couldn’t come to harm because of her, Mu Xi Yao.
Besides, the remnant soul’s deep-rooted persistence must be settled as soon as possible in order to avoid it affecting her identity.
As she lifted her foot to leave the couch bed, chief maidservant Mo Lan promptly came to her to arrange the dress and hairpins.
Afterward, she called out little servant girls in the courtyard to set up the parasol and to hand her the rigid fan.
The group of people then marched toward the main house.
A few feet away, an old mama bowed and said, “Greetings to second miss.” She raised the door curtain while with a loud voice reported to inside, “Mistress, second miss came to pay you a respect.”
“My baby came.
Quickly come in to let mother take a look at you.
Are you feeling better today Does my child feel hungry” The woman sitting upright on the head seat was just a little over thirty, had a dignified appearance and wore elegant clothes.
She was Xi Yao’s birth mother, lady Yu.
At the moment, she was ordering people to add a tasty fish soup onto the table, as well as urging them to include there Mu Xiyao’s favorite snacks and sweets.
Mu Xi Yao, who was in reality almost thirty, had never understood what it meant to act youthful nor to restrain oneself.
Thus, she put on her face a charming smile and paid a respect.
Then, with a swaying movement, she went to hold lady Yu’s arm, acting spoiled.
She shamelessly asked: “Was mother thinking of me Xi Yao missed mother so much.
Already in the morning, I was thinking about the walnut biscuit from here～.” Her voice was so sweet that lady Yu was grinning from ear to ear.
She very gently stroked her tiny head while asking if she was still feeling unwell and if people serving her were attentive enough.
Shortly after, an announcement that the eldest miss has arrived came from outside.
As Mu Xi Cheng entered the room, sure enough, she saw her little sister glued to mother, acting all cunning and well-behaved.
She properly paid a respect to lady Yu, then walked toward them while laughing at Mu Xi Yao for not behaving like a young lady.
She even rolled the eyes at her, implying: You play.
Continue to play.
Mu Xi Cheng was well acquainted with the fact, that Mu Xi Yao played a smart and lovable child before parents and elders, whereas behind them she excitedly followed Mu Jing Zhi, making troubles.
A wild monkey since childhood.
There were countless occasions when she took the blame in her stead.
They were just joking around and having a good time when concubine Wu came with Mu Xi Ting to courtly pay respect.
Concubine Wu greeted each of them and then consciously sat next to the head seat, listening to lady Yu and two di misses’ conversation.
From time to time, she would give few replies, to make conversation livelier.
Concubine Wu was not favored, yet remarkably, she behaved appropriately and knew what was her duty.
Therefore, lady Yu treated this shu daughter well, never reprimanding her harshly.
The clothes, jewelry, discipline maidservants and needlework teacher di misses’ enjoyed, Mu Xi Ting also had.
Lady Yu’s generosity in showing concern and care for children and her equal treatment of people received an even greater respect from sir Mu.
After consuming the food, concubine Wu and Mu Xi Ting went back to have an afternoon rest.
Mu Xi Yao at this time started to talk.
She firstly greatly praised herself for finally growing up, making lady Yu and her elder di sister burst out laughing, then seized this opportunity to propose picking up lessons of zither, painting, calligraphy, needlework and culinary after another half a month.
Lady Yu was rather surprised by such declaration coming from this little restless monkey’s mouth.
Mu Xi Yao held her chin highly, immensely pleased with herself.
She waved her hand and said: “All the peerless beauties in the folktale I read yesterday were like that.
How can I lose to them”
Lady Yu fell down from laughing while Mu Xi Cheng covered her mouth and laughed until she forgot how to breathe.
Lady Yu always pampered her youngest daughter.
She immediately gave her consent and instructed her to not just play around this time and take it seriously.
In the evening, she mentioned this interesting incident to sir Mu.
Sir Mu stroked his beard, his eyes glinting with smiles.
Half a month later, Xi Yao practiced calligraphy and painting in the morning.
After taking a nap in the afternoon, she practiced needlework and culinary skills.
Moreover, in the evening she was tirelessly polishing her zither playing.
In the modern days, she was a descendant of the family with literary reputation.
She had grandparents, who put their heart and soul into her upbringing.
Thanks to this fine education, she was provided with the foundation, that enabled her to easily manage the four arts.
The troublesome thing was that Mu Xi Yao had no talent nor the basic skill for needlework.
Even the former owner fared better than her.
She could only get by.
After all, the previous owner had at least practiced, unlike this pampered only child, who has never even touched a needle before.
A month has passed with joy and laughter.
Today, Mu Xi Yao was taking an afternoon nap and having a nice dream when a sudden voice in her head roused her up.
She was still sluggish and only later did she realize that it was again that jade pendant’s doing.
Well, Mu Xi Yao really disliked that pendant.
When one called it, it played dead.
When one didn’t call it, it became a trouble.
It either caused her headaches or it disrupted her dreams.
“What’s there to yell!” When this woman woke up in a bad mood, she had to first throw a fit.
This jade pendant also felt wronged! What’s all of this! Instead of saving its original owner, it met a shrew! Not only did it lose its face by accepting the new master in such a dire state, but it was also being disliked.
Yet, when this jade pendant could finally let out a sigh of relief and disclose an important matter, it has just called a few times and got scolded.
The jade pendant felt truly sad.
But thinking that there was an important issue, it had no other option only to suffer in silence.
However, some people were even more urgent.
This woman fiercely commanded: “Let’s not mention about you causing me headaches and fever for now.
Quickly, send me back!”
“There’s no spiritual power.
It’s impossible to send you back.”
“When can you recover”
Do you think that tearing a time-space is such an easy feat”
Mu Xi Yao’s face darkened.
After a silent contemplation, her tone calmed down: “Are there spiritual cultivators here”
“You also know about cultivators However, it’s an ancient thing.
At the present, there’s only a scarce spiritual energy left.
Spiritual orthodoxy already ceased to exist.
I’m also just a spiritual item.
I was given to my owner as a guardian spiritual jade by great cultivator from ancient times.
A spiritual item of highest quality.”
Mu Xi Yao felt that she saw the pendant raising up its dog tail.
“Are you of any use”
It wasn’t an illusion.
It could actually understand emotions as it sighed in despair.
“Currently, there’s not a big use of me.
You can keep me close by to avoid all the poisons from the mortal realm and to protect yourself.
The jade pendant from the previous life is already shattered and does no longer exist.
In this lifetime, because of my forcible intrusion, I suffered a severe damage.
The majority of my functions will never again recover.
The space I carried, changed from the size of a courtyard into a size of a chest.
This is also the aftermath, that one must bear for reversing time-space.“
The spiritual jade pendant sounded sorrowful.
It couldn’t help itself from grieving.
Nevertheless, it heard from this woman, in a voice more injured than him, asking, “That space is only the size of a chest Can I not get inside What about the spiritual spring Fruit trees Spiritual beasts”
The spiritual jade pendant pulled a long face.
You are thinking too much.
Even if the jade pendant was intact, it was still only a spiritual and not an immortal item.
Disregarding the woman’s weird self-talk, it instructed her: “Not only the jade pendant is damaged, I am also about to dissipate.
All the sealed power inside the jade pendant has been used up.
Time has also changed.
Naturally, the spiritual item is unable to exist.
I only came to tell you an important matter.
Put an end to this karma.”
Mu Xi Yao knew that the highlight was coming, hence, she listened seriously and paid a special attention to the conversation.
“There are jade scrolls inside the space.
Since you don’t have the spiritual knowledge, you are unable to use them.
But there’s a health regimen scripture, which was bestowed to master by his teacher while practicing cultivation.
It’s especially useful for women’s appearance.
You can freely take the pills inside the bottle.
There’s almost nothing left.
There are only four kinds, one for each.
Losing spirituality and sustaining a serious damage, the jade will inevitably be reduced to the lowest level spirit tool.
It will warn its owner about danger, however, it will be powerless to protect the owner.
You have to be especially careful.
Now you are Mu Xi Yao.
Since you are capable to snatch this chance, then you should be a person of fortune.
But as you have merged into one with the remnant soul, her grudge, resentment, love, hate, and regrets, which brought her this karma, will all be passed on to you.
As time goes, it will affect the purity of your soul.
It must be all settled in this lifetime.
Otherwise, robbing someone else’s chance, yet making no acts and furthermore tainting your own soul, will result in you being trapped in this place, unable to reincarnate after you die.
Before Mu Xi Yao could react to his farewell, he completely dissipated.
The last spiritual tool from ancient times eventually reached the end of its road.
Although Mu Xi Xao hated the time-traveling deity for being too heartless, not sending her back, she also knew, that one shouldn’t put too many thoughts on things that couldn’t be undone.
She tried to take out the health regimen scripture.
She put it aside once she realized that she could understand what was written there and proceeded with differentiating the pills.
Skin nourishment pill……..Youth maintenance pill……..Holy Spirit pill (the holy medicine for curing poisons)……..Fragrance pill.
Mu Xi Yao was pleased.
As a result, in the following year, Mu Xi Yao did what was expected of her, spending her days in her maiden quarters.
She consumed all the pills except for the Holy Spirit pill.
After a year’s time, her face bloomed.
Practicing the health regimen in scripture made her body grow taller, promising a slender build.
With the nurture from the pills, her appearance, which could be originally considered only as delicate, changed.
Though she didn’t possess the appearance, that would overture states, she still could be regarded as an exquisite jasper, making people woo her.
Mu Xi Yao knew many secrets that would astound the world.
She never mentioned them to others.
In this life, only she will know about them.
There were no additional pills.
The whole health regimen scripture had a bigger effect on women.
Thus, she selected to use only its first half for sir Mu and Mu Jin Zhi to improve their physical fitness.
She explained to them, that she has accidentally found out about it while picking a novel at a bookstall.
She privately coaxed lady Yu and shoved into her hand the other half about maintaining a youthful appearance, advising her and Mu Xi Cheng to practice it as their pastime.
 Mama means an old female servant
 Discipline maidservants were maidservants that were assigned to their misses to teach them proper etiquette
#this content belongs to thehlifestyle.com, if you see this translation elsewhere, it’s been stolen!!!!! May ill omen (like stepping everyday on dog poo, never winning a single lottery, choking by mere water and forever staying as lonely dog) befall those content stealing jerks.
Amen and Peace!
 Four arts refer to zither, go, calligraphy and painting – these four arts represent the accomplishments of a well – educated person