2 The Youngest Miss
As the eldest of her generation, Xie Li Rong would never yield in regards to three things.
First, if grandfather returned with sticky rice cakes from old man Li, they were all to be hers. Every attempt to covet and steal one of her darlings would all be in vain. For years, second uncle has tried. For years, second uncle has failed.
Second, anyone who dare seduce Murong Heng in this lifetime or the next would become incapable of looking at another engaged man. Perhaps they would not even be able to look at anyone or anything again. If she could not beat that person into a bloody pulp, she would at least give them a wicked tongue lashing that would trample on their dignity and leave them vomiting blood.
And last, only after her death could her siblings befall any harm. As long as she was alive, she would protect them at the expense of her soul.
Mother Fate must have heard her vow as a young child, and wanted to send her to an early grave. So she gave her a younger sister named Xie Ying Yue.
Xie Li Rong was summoned by her grandfather to receive him by the entrance. She already knew what it was about.
Her crescent shaped brows creased in contemplation. Though Xie Ying Yue was not her sibling by blood, all four of the named Xie children were brought up in the same manner. They were educated by the best the general's manor could afford, and had no turmoil within the inner courtyard . Her brothers were praised as being dragons among men and she was regarded as an unprecedented talent in cultivation and the scholarly arts.
She watched as her grandfather dragged a figure by the cuff into the manor. The male clothes the person wore were tattered at the edges, old blood staining the previously white fabric a light brown. His face was covered in dirt and grass stains. If she didn't know better, she would have thought him to be a beggar who resided in the ends of the city.
Unfortunately, she did know better.
This filthy little beggar was the dumb little sister she worried too much about.
Again, she revisited the question in her mind. What happened to make the youngest Xie sibling so unruly, willful, and witless?
Xie Ying Yue sneezed twice in succession and immediately looked at her elder sister. The other could only delicately shrug her shoulders.
General Xie Feng saw the exchange and felt a throbbing in his forehead. He flicked his youngest granddaughter in between her brows, seething. "You! How do you still have the gall to glare at your Da Jie , huh? Shameless, unfilial child. Making me and your brothers and sister worry to such an extent."
He faced Xie Li Rong, his expression not softening by a bit. "Do you know where I found this disgrace? She was attempting to battle a low rank sixth stage horned lion with a flimsy excuse of a sword."
The ends of Xie Ying Yue's lips turned down. "Grandpa, I took on the horned lion because I've already taken them on before so I know I could defeat it. You shouldn't stress yourself about such an insignificant matter."
"You left a letter in our studies telling us not to worry. Since it was you saying that, we were terrified." Xie Li Rong's eyes glimmered, "Furthermore, the time you took on the horned lion and defeated it, you were with Brother Wei. You were alone. What if something happened?" The dignified Eldest Miss flicked her sleeves, not bearing to continue that thought.
Xie Ying Yue's eyes flashed as she swallowed. From her position on the floor, she hit her head on the ground. The kowtow shook the hearts of her loved ones, filling them with worry.
"Grandfather, this unfilial granddaughter is sorry for causing you such grief. Da Jie, mei mei  has wronged you and elder brothers. My greed for strength has been at the expense of the ones I treasure most. Please punish me as is befitting."
Never lifting her face from the floor, Xie Ying Yue spoke in a steady voice. Xie Li Rong wanted to help her up, but was held back by her grandfather.
"Since that is the case, reflect in your courtyard until I say otherwise. You are to visit the ancestral hall from morning 'til noon for the next three days copying scriptures. Ye mama  will check if you're doing as you're told. Dismissed." Xie Feng waved his hand, having one of the servants be help up and escort the youngest miss to her room. When the doors closed, Xie Li Rong looked to her grandfather.
"You stop me from helping her up, yet you give her such a light punishment." Her melodic voice held amusement.
General Xie harrumphed. "What light punishment? Do you want me to punish you too?" Xie Li Rong shook her head, smiling lips pursed. No matter how much trouble Xie Ying Yue got into, she was still the pearl of the entire household. Grandfather couldn't bear to be harsh in his discipline, and she wouldn't fare any better either.
Perhaps that's what groomed her youngest sister's problematic attitude.
Thinking of this, Xie Li Rong's face grew solemn. "Grandfather, I have something I want to talk to you about."
Walking to her rooms, the expression on Xie Ying Yue's grew odd. Her jaw clenched tight, and her eyes glinted a cold light. If anyone saw her then, they might have thought they were facing death himself.
 Inner courtyard: used to refer to the happenings involving concubines and the legal wife.
 Da Jie: used to refer to the eldest female child of the family. I will only be using Mandarin familial terms such as this for the Xie siblings.
 Mei mei: younger sister.
 Mama: this refers to an older female servant. So its used as (family name) mama.