Inside the courtyard, Ming Huashang was wearing a silver embroidered vermilion round-collared jacket paired with an apricot-colored rabbit fur-lined cloak and a red-and-white pleated dress.
She was leaning listlessly on the couch.

The guard who had gone outside to inquire about the situation came back, “Reporting to young master, this winter has been cold, and a lot of snow has accumulated on Mang Mountain.
Last night, a snow avalanche was triggered, blocking the only way down the mountain.
Taiping Gongzhu and Wei Wang sent people to clear out a path, but it just snowed, so the mountain road is very difficult to traverse.
Plus, there’s a risk of an avalanche recurrence at any time, so the mountain road may not be cleared any time soon.”

The charcoal fire burned all night, leaving only a few sparks hidden in the embers, and the room was very cold.
Ming Huashang shrank back and tried her best to keep her hands in her sleeves.

At the fourth watch, there was a sudden rumble on Mang Mountain, and an avalanche rushed down without warning.
The sound alarmed many people.
Even though it was dark and windy outside, the lights in the villa lit up one after another.

Ming Huashang wanted to go straight back to sleep after hearing about the avalanche.
The road was already blocked, and there was nothing she could do to help, so why not focus on the most important thing at this moment—sleep? However, Ren Yao sat up as soon as she heard about the avalanche.
Ming Huazhang and Xie Jichuan were already awake in the room next door.
Thus, Ming Huashang could only force herself not to doze off and get up.

People from various households who were sent to inquire about the news rushed out.
They were busy until morning1 before the situation finally settled down.

The way down the mountain was blocked off, so there were only two choices now: either risk freezing to death by finding another path through the ice and snow or stay put at Feihong Garden and wait, then no one could leave.

When Ren Yao heard that a path wouldn’t be cleared out any time soon, she said angrily, “A bunch of trash, can’t even shovel snow? Where is the place affected by the avalanche, I’ll go!”

“Sister Ren, calm down first.” Ming Huashang snuggled in her clothes.
Her face was mostly covered by fur, and only a pair of glistening dark eyes were exposed, “Humans shouldn’t fight against nature.
The period right after an avalanche is the most dangerous one; if you head out rashly, you might get buried under the snow.
If you have the time, why not think about something practical.”

“For example, with so many young masters and young misses, servants, and guards trapped on the mountain, who knows how much food and charcoal needs to be consumed in a day? Are Taiping Gongzhu’s reserves going to be enough?”

After Ming Huashang finished speaking, the room fell into silence.
They were pampered children of Dukes and Marquises, so they have never worried about food or clothing, not even once since they were born.
Even Ren Yao only worried about her title and never had to worry about her livelihood.

Ming Huazhang took the lead and said, “I just sent someone to ask the steward of Feihong Garden.
This place is built on the mountain, and it is inconvenient to travel here, so stocking up on food was already a routine.
In addition, since Taiping Gongzhu planned to have this grand banquet, the food stocks were ready last year.
We should not need to worry about food and drink in the short term.
As for the charcoal, that is a real problem.
After I heard about the avalanche, I immediately asked our steward to go get more charcoal, and I also asked people to bring the charcoal from Xie Jichuan’s and my courtyard.
Fortunately, we went early, otherwise, it might not be easy to resupply now.
If we use it sparingly, making it last for another seven or eight days shouldn’t be a problem.”

Ming Huashang was surprised, “Second elder brother, you guys already made arrangements?”

Xie Jichuan jokingly said, “Second younger sister, otherwise what do you think we were doing when we woke up so early last night?”

Ming Huashang rubbed her hands, and said embarrassedly, “I was short-sighted, I only wanted to sleep at the time.
Zhaocai, go and take out our food and pastries.”

Zhaocai responded crisply and swiftly brought out a row of food boxes.
Xie Jichuan’s gaze swept across the neatly stacked food boxes, and laughed, “These are all food?”

“That’s right.” Ming Huashang was quite proud, puffing out her chest, and said, “I was afraid that the dishes at the banquet wouldn’t be filling, so I deliberately prepared a lot of filling food.
Don’t worry, even if the reserves in the villa are exhausted, we can still last longer than the others by a few more days!”

Xie Jichuan couldn’t help laughing, and his eyes contained a rare genuine smile, “Fortunately, we have second younger sister who is prepared for a rainy day.
From now on, I will rely on second younger sister.”

Ming Huazhang glanced coolly at Xie Jichuan.
Xie Jichuan caught it and immediately scorched towards Ming Huashang, “Second younger sister, look, he is glaring at me again.
If he doesn’t give me something to eat later, younger sister, you have to stand up for me.”

Ren Yao’s cheeks wrinkled.
She couldn’t imagine that this was something that the Xie family’s pride, who was known for his aristocratic character, could say.
Ming Huazhang glanced at Xie Jichuan angrily, and then ordered, “Shuli, go and replenish the pot of charcoal.”

Ming Huashang hurriedly asked, “Second elder brother, are you cold?”

Ming Huazhang glanced at Ming Huashang’s pale face, and said, “I don’t use charcoal much in the winter, and I’m used to it.
But you can’t.”

Ming Huashang was startled, she had no idea that Ming Huazhang had this habit, “Why?”



7-9 am

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