Novel Name : After Rebirth, the True Eldest Daughter Starts Brewing Green Tea

Chapter 4 - ARTTEDSBGT Chapter 4

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Chapter 4 - ARTTEDSBGT Chapter 4

After having a late dinner, Li Cen called Li Zhizhi over with a gentle tone and asked, “What did you do today in the mansion?”
Li Zhizhi timidly replied, “I didn’t do much, just wandered around.”
Li Cen probed, “Didn’t you go out to play?”
Li Zhizhi shook her head and said, “No, I’m afraid of getting lost.”
Li Cen sighed inwardly, thinking that it made sense since Li Zhizhi had just been brought back and probably didn’t have the confidence to venture outside. This made him wonder what the Taoist priest said might be true. He was curious about the misfortune that was mentioned.
While contemplating, Li Cen maintained a friendly demeanor and said, “On another day, when the National Academy is on holiday, I’ll ask Xingzhi to take you out for a stroll.”
Li Zhizhi looked at Li Xingzhi and, as expected, he seemed reluctant. She said, “Father, Xingzhi’s illness hasn’t fully recovered. He wouldn’t have the energy to take me out. Besides, we are no longer siblings.”
Li Cen furrowed his brows and lightly reprimanded, “Are you a doctor now? Just because Xingzhi is around, it doesn’t mean your illness will magically disappear. Moreover, he is your brother, and you will always be sisters.”
Li Xingzhi opened his mouth to say something but eventually kept quiet, murmuring, “I’ll go check on Wuer first.”
Li Cen ordered sternly, “Go study first.”
Li Xingzhi paused for a moment and replied, “Yes, I understand.” He then got up and said, “I’ll go and read.”
“He is also concerned about Wuer,” Li Madam, who had remained silent until then, intervened to mediate, “They grew up together as siblings, having a close relationship is a good thing. Why do you scold him?”
Li Cen frowned and said, “Studying is the most important thing. He will take the exam next year, and yet he’s always unfocused. If I don’t teach him, do you expect a woman like you to do it?”
Li Madam closed her mouth, and Li Zhizhi had been silently listening to their conversation. At this moment, she suddenly spoke up, “Father, I want to visit my sister Wan’er and see how she’s doing.”
Upon hearing this, Li Cen happily agreed, “Sure, you can go.”
After Li Zhizhi left, Li Cen turned to his wife and said, “Arrange two more people to help in Zhizhi’s courtyard. Having only one servant taking care of her is not attentive enough.”
Li Cen rarely intervened in the affairs of the back courtyard, so Li Madam was a bit surprised and asked, “Why is the master suddenly concerned about this?”
Li Cen replied unhappily, “I don’t know how you manage things. There are some wicked servants in the mansion, and if I hadn’t discovered it, who knows what trouble might have occurred in the future?”
He went on to explain the incidents of those people bullying Li Zhizhi and said, “I have already sent someone to investigate. Once we find out the truth, they will all be sold out of the mansion. Disloyal and unruly servants are despicable, and if this continues, how can our family’s reputation remain intact?”
Madam Li, feeling unfairly criticized, said, “Is it my fault, husband? Lately, our daughter, Suwan, fell ill, and I have been taking care of her every day. How could I have the time and energy to manage other things?”
Thinking about Suwan’s illness, Li Cen sighed and remarked, “Whether she recovers or not is all in her fate. Don’t forget, you have more than one daughter.”
Madam Li was speechless for a moment before responding, “I only know that I raised Suwan single-handedly. I worked hard for fourteen years, nurturing her from a clueless child to the talented young lady she is now. She excels in music, chess, calligraphy, and painting—everyone knows she is one of the best in our household. Who in the capital wouldn’t want to marry the daughter of the Li family? Suwan and that Li Zhizhi are simply worlds apart. Now, my husband wants me to give up our precious treasure and go embrace that rural girl?”
She paused, choking with emotion, and said, “If you ask me, my husband should never have brought her back in the first place.”
“What are you saying?” Li Cen’s face turned cold. “Do you expect me to abandon our flesh and blood and let them wander outside? How could I face our ancestors if I did that?”
“But what about Suwan?” Madam Li’s heart ached as she spoke, “Do you know why Suwan’s condition hasn’t improved? She’s upset about this matter. Afraid that we’ll reject her, this child has always been clever and quick-witted. Now her status is ambiguous, and others won’t spare her ridicule. I’m really worried she won’t be able to get past this hurdle.”
Tears flowed as she spoke, and Li Cen felt a headache coming on. “Please speak sensibly. Why are you crying again?”
Between sobs, Madam Li said, “And what does your husband say? Suwan has become a laughingstock, and doesn’t it bring shame to the Li family too? A well-bred young lady has turned into a rural girl. It’s truly a laughingstock. I feel like I’ve committed a sin…”
Li Cen hesitated and said, “It’s not as bad as you make it out to be. Based on what I observed today, she behaves properly and courteously. She’s a good girl.”
Madam Li wiped her tears and asked, “Does she know how to read?”
Li Cen suddenly stopped in his tracks. Li Zhizhi couldn’t even read a single word, and she didn’t fit in with their literary family. He said, “She can learn. I’ll have someone invite a teacher to teach her. With some guidance, she should be able to learn.”
Madam Li scoffed, “Look at how dull she appears. How could she compare to Suwan in any way?”
Li Cen was at a loss and asked, “So, what do you suggest then?”
Madam Li held her handkerchief and said, “She can stay in the mansion, but she must not interfere with Suwan. Suwan will be of marriageable age in a year or two, and we must protect her reputation. We can say that Li Zhizhi is a distant relative who came to seek refuge. You have a kind heart, and so you adopted her. The Li family gains another young lady, and whatever she does outside won’t be our concern.”
Li Cen was tempted by the idea, but for some reason, he remembered the words of the Daoist he encountered today, warning about troubles if real and fake phoenixes clash within a month. He hesitated, and Madam Li keenly noticed, “Do you have other concerns, husband?”
Li Cen was torn and recounted the encounter with the Daoist, saying, “I can’t shake the feeling that something is not right.”
Madam Li was shocked and doubted, “Could it be that you’ve encountered a fraud from the martial world?”
Li Cen replied uncertainly, “I observed his words and actions, and he didn’t seem like a fraud.”
Madam Li didn’t take it to heart, but she knew her husband was easily influenced and had a soft spot. She said, “Do you remember the day when our daughter turned one? There was a fortune-teller who passed by. Did he read her fortune?”
Li Cen thought for a moment and actually remembered: “Yes, there was such a thing. That person said…”
Madam Li lowered her voice and continued, “He said our daughter was born with the destiny of a phoenix, extraordinarily noble. He also said that when she turns fifteen, there will be a great calamity. If she can successfully overcome this calamity, she will have smooth sailing and rise to great heights.”
“In my opinion, this calamity might be this Li Zhizhi,” Madam Li spoke with increasing certainty and advised, “You must not be fooled by those swindlers from the martial world.”
Li Cen initially found the blind Taoist’s words quite reasonable, distinguishing between the true phoenix and the false phoenix, with the true phoenix being Li Zhizhi and the false phoenix being Li Suwan. However, after hearing Madam Li’s words, he began to waver and couldn’t make a decision. In the end, he only vaguely said, “Let’s cross the bridge when we come to it.”
In fact, Li Cen had another thought in his heart. Whether she was the true phoenix or the false phoenix, weren’t they both his daughters? He could just raise them together, and in the future, whatever good fortune they encountered, they would still be part of the Li family.
Madam Li felt somewhat disappointed but continued to advise, “Wan’er is still young. We must plan for her future.”

Meanwhile, it was said that Wang Pozi brought Li Zhizhi to the Purple Wisteria Courtyard. After explaining their intentions, all the servants looked at Li Zhizhi with skeptical eyes, as if she were a weasel trying to pay New Year’s respects to the chickens. One maidservant even rudely said, “Miss has taken her medicine and already gone to sleep. Come back tomorrow.”
Their attitude was arrogant, and Wang Pozi couldn’t help but feel angry. She said, “Are you the master, or is Miss the master? How dare you speak like that? If I didn’t know better, I would have thought you were a long-lost daughter of the Li family!”
The young maidservant’s face turned red from embarrassment, but she retorted, “Miss is really asleep! Don’t disturb her. If you keep causing trouble, I’ll report it to Madam!”
Li Zhizhi, however, smiled and said, “Father has a message for me to convey to my sister. If she’s already asleep, then it’s fine. I’ll come back tomorrow.”
Hesitating for a moment, the maidservant said, “Well… wait here. Let me inform Madam.”
She went inside and returned after a while, saying disdainfully, “Miss is awake now. You can go in.”
Wang Pozi gave her a disdainful look and sarcastically remarked, “A pig with an onion in its nose, pretending to look dignified!”
The maidservant got angry and wanted to argue, but others persuaded her to let it go. Wang Pozi didn’t bother with her and lifted the curtain, telling Li Zhizhi to go inside.
Inside the room, Li Zhizhi looked around. Many candles were lit, illuminating the place brightly. The air faintly smelled of medicine’s bitterness. Li Zhizhi went around a screen and saw Li Suyuan leaning against the bed, wearing a plain white garment, looking weak and coughing lightly.
When Li Zhi Zhi saw her sister, her expression immediately turned a bit cold, and she stopped coughing. She spoke softly, “Sister, is there something you need?”
Hearing the word “sister,” Li Zhi Zhi felt a chill in her heart, and her whole body trembled uncontrollably. She couldn’t hide it at all, and Li Su Wan noticed, feeling somewhat awkward. She asked, “What’s wrong?”
Li Zhi Zhi didn’t answer her directly; instead, she leaned closer and carefully examined her under the candlelight. Li Su Wan’s appearance was just as she remembered – delicate and petite, with long slender eyebrows, big eyes, and slightly thin lips. Her pale skin gave her a delicate and pitiable look, which easily won the sympathy of others.
It was with this sympathy that she gradually pushed Li Zhi Zhi into a desperate situation.
Li Zhi Zhi got very close, gazing at her for a long time. When Li Su Wan started feeling uneasy, she suddenly asked, “What is it that you’re unsatisfied with?”
In her previous life, even though Li Su Wan had won so much, and Li Zhi Zhi had almost nothing, Li Su Wan still wouldn’t let her go and even took her life.
What kind of thing is the human heart?
Li Su Wan felt somewhat puzzled by the question but knew that Li Zhi Zhi had some deeper meaning behind it. She replied softly, “What are you talking about, sister? I don’t quite understand.”
Li Zhi Zhi smiled gently, saying, “It’s okay; you will understand someday.”
Saying that, she reached out tenderly and brushed aside the scattered hair on Li Su Wan’s face, whispering, “Just like me, it took me a long time to realize that you don’t necessarily have to do the right thing all the time. For example, being a bad person isn’t necessarily a bad thing; at least you can stay alive, right?”
Li Zhi Zhi’s fingertips were ice-cold as she lightly touched Li Su Wan’s cheek. A sense of horror surged within Li Su Wan, and she couldn’t help but lean back, trying to avoid her touch. Her voice trembling, she asked, “What do you want to do, sister?”
Li Zhi Zhi looked at her in surprise. “Do something? No, not at all,” she chuckled. “I just came to visit you. Technically speaking, I was born ten days after you, but your father arranged for us to be switched, so I should be the one calling you sister.”
With each word, Li Su Wan’s face turned paler. This was a clear reminder that she was the one who had taken Li Zhi Zhi’s place and identity all these years.
Li Zhi Zhi continued to smile, her eyes crescent-like as she said, “From now on, I’ll call you Wan’er sister, alright? Oh, I hope sister doesn’t mind.”
With things said to this point, Li Su Wan couldn’t refuse anymore, so she replied dryly, “Fine…”
Li Zhi Zhi’s eyebrows curved, like a crescent moon, and she said, “Sister is so considerate. By the way, just now, father said he wanted me to move to the Purple Wisteria Court. What does sister think about that?”
At these words, Li Su Wan’s expression instantly changed. She almost couldn’t hold back and blurted out, “Didn’t you say you wouldn’t move?”
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