This chapter is especially dedicated to Mahina, our first ko-fi donator.
For the next ten days or so, it was calm and quiet.
The roof of the house was repaired and the quilt was changed. He Yan went to find a young manservant for He Yun Sheng who could help him to carry things and run errands. Qing Mei could also have a partner to talk with at home.
He Yun Sheng had already handed over his responsibilities to his servant and started going to academy every day, leaving He Yan alone in the house. In the absence of He Sui, He Yan was accompanied by Qing Mei and could always practice sword fighting in the yard…… ahem, with broken branches.
Her skills were engraved in her mind, but the body was really weak. Even if she fell down a little, the bruises that formed were rather obvious. Although He Yan diligently practiced everyday, her strength was not great. Compared to the past, it was still lacking.
It was a given that she couldn’t go to the battlefield with a weak body. She sighed in her heart and laid down the branch.
“Miss, Miss,” Qing Mei trotted in, “Someone was here to deliver something again.”
He Yan frowned, “Who was it?”
“This servant doesn’t know. They just delivered the things and left.” Qing Mei was very embarrassed. “Miss, what should we do now? When the Young Master comes back from the academy, he will surely be enraged.”
It was none other than the servants of the Fan family who came to deliver things. Since the day he saw He Yan in the tailor’s shop, Fan Cheng had sent his servants to deliver things every now and then. It was always rouge powder, satin, jewelry or tonic soup.
He Yan asked Fan Cheng’s servant to return back every time when they came to deliver something. He Yun Sheng always got furious whenever he came to know about the matter and would annoy He Yan by constantly yelling in her room. Because of this He Yan stopped going out these days for fear that she might run into Fan Cheng again thereby causing He Yun Sheng to raise the roof1 of the Fan family.
But today they were being excessive, what did they mean by leaving after putting things down? Were they confident that she would accept them whole-heartedly?
He Yan ordered, “Throw the things out.”
“But,” Qing Mei reluctantly said, “They are all expensive satin and jewelry…… throwing them out would be a big deal.”
He Yan felt a headache.
For heaven’s sake, she had lived her last life like a man and never met such a stubborn suitor. Although she later returned to the He family and was betrothed to Xu Zhi Hheng, Xu Zhi Heng never went out of line, and even alienated her, let alone reach such a degree of ingratiation. She did not know how other girls could deal with this type of situation.
What if such valuable things were thrown away, and the Fan family didn’t come to realize it?
He Yan sighed and conceded, “I will send them back myself.”
Qing Mei’s eyes were wide open in shock and replied, “Does the Miss want to go to the door of the Fan mansion?”
“Is there any other way?” He Yan said, “Why don’t you pack up and come with me?”
“Do you want this maid to accompany you?” Qing Mei shrank for a moment.
“Of course.” He Yan looked at her strangely, “I can’t remember the way to the Fan mansion.”
She was not the original He Yan, that was why she didn’t know the way to the Fan mansion. Naturally, she had to find someone to lead the way. However, looking at the appearance of Qing Mei lingering in fear, it became obvious that her last visit to the Fan mansion must have not been very pleasant.
Qing Mei was really truly perturbed. She recalled the last time she accompanied He Yan to the Fan family. He Yan’s eyes were red from crying and she had almost been killed in the Fan mansion. At that time, the madam of the Fan family had peered down at them and had condescendingly remarked, “People should know their own places instead of always thinking of climbing high branches and staring at the impossible things, so as not to fall and be ridiculed.”
The irony inside and out of the story was really harsh. Finally, He Yan had lost her breath and fainted. He Sui had asked the doctor to come and visit her. The doctor had said that she collapsed due to cardiac arrest. At that time, everyone thought that He Yan was doomed to die after this attack and would not make it. They didn’t expect that when she woke up, she seemed to turn into a totally different person, not even mentioning Fan Cheng at all.
Even though Fan Cheng came to pester her Miss, she never entangled herself with him and tried to make a clear-break.
Qing Mei was a little relieved, but she was still concerned. He Yan patted her on the shoulder and comforted her, “Don’t worry, no one will bully you.”
Qing Mei inexplicably felt at ease.
The two of them left together. The Fan family lived far away from the He family, and it took them a long time to get there. Qing Mei pointed to the scarlet gate of a house and said, “This is the Fan mansion.”
He Yan thought for a moment and said, “It’s not convenient for me to go over there. You take these things and give them to the gatekeeper. Tell him that they were sent by Fan gongzi to the He family, and that they must be handed over to Fan gongzi.”
Qing Mei nodded, “This servant understands.”
He Yan then hid behind the pillar facing the street and watched Qing Mei walking to the guard. She conveyed her Miss’ orders and gave the basket containing the gift to the guard. She returned to He Yan, smiling, “This servant has said everything!”
“Well done,” He Yan said, “Let’s go back.”
In the main house of the Fan family, because of the recent marriage, the layout of the house was still red and festive. Tang Ying, Cheng Wu Lang’s eldest daughter, was spoiled and domineering from childhood. Because of the relationship with Lord Tang, the Fan family had to spoil her. Now she has just been married into the Fan family for a few months and had become the head of the Fan family from both inside and out.
The pageboy knocked at the door.
“Come in.” Tang Ying was sitting on the soft couch, admiring the embroidery she had just made.
After the boy came in, he kowtowed to Tang Ying, and then said, “Madam, a servant girl just came outside the door and sent in a basket and said she wanted to give it to the young master.”
When Tang Ying heard this she made a movement and looked at the boy, “Servant girl? What basket? Bring it here and let me a look.”
The boy carried the basket forward.
Tang Ying picked it up and fiddled with it a few times, and when she saw that it was full of women’s satin cloth and rouge powder, she became furious, “What is this?”
The young man dared not speak.
The maid next to her said, “These are all things for women, Madam. The young master doesn’t use these, so it must be……”
“It must be that he wanted to fawn over some lady, and she returned them to him!” Tang Ying stood up abruptly and brushed the porcelain cups off the table, and the porcelain crackled all over the floor. She looked ferocious and said, “Fan Cheng, this bastard!”
The maid reminded her, “Madam, it’s not impossible to investigate the young master, but you must not give him a chance to be alert.”
Tang Ying calmed down a little and then said, “That’s right. There’s no reason to guard against thieves for a thousand days.2 If she was from a good family, how could she collude with Fan Cheng? I think that slut was just trying to get him. Damn it!”
She instructed the boy who kept his head down, “From today onward, you are to follow Fan Cheng. See where he goes and who he meets. You are to report everything directly to me. I would like to see what kind of fox has enchanted him. I want to meet that bitch…… I must make this couple pay a hefty price!”
The young man nodded his head and retreated.
The servant girl persuaded, “Madam, calm down. We must remain indifferent so as to prevent any suspicion. If the young master got suspicious, he might hide the woman.”
“I know.” Tang Ying clenched her fists tightly. “In the past, when I dismissed his beautiful concubines, he never uttered a word, but now I see that he has become so fearless that he is not taking even me, his rightful wife, in his eyes.”
1 to raise the roof: It means to be extremely noisy and boisterous, complain loudly and angrily.
2 No reason to guard against thieves for a thousand days: It means people have limited energy, let alone coping passively, which consumes more energy. It is difficult to achieve long-term prevention, and there are always times of negligence.