Chapter 47 A Handpicked Maid
Mrs. Qin immediately froze after hearing these words and looked embarrassed. She had forgotten that Qin Wanru had already found out that she was not Qin Wanru’s birth mother earlier on!
“Mother, you have been taken in by the words of this maid the moment you entered the room and thereby pushing all the blame to me. Did you not notice that this maid had attracted the attention of many so that she could shame me in front of them? Don’t you find it strange, Mother, that my place in this house is lower than that of the maid?”
Qin Wanru lifted her gaze to the stunned Mrs. Qin and continued.
“I did not realize that the maids in this house are so lacking in discipline.” Mrs. Qin responded, feeling anger arising in her out of shame. She was beginning to get nervous having been questioned.
“Don’t you have any idea of what’s happening in my yard all along, given that you are in charge of the backyard?” A composed looking Qin Wanru continued pressing Mrs. Qin while keeping her eyes on Mrs. Qin’s face.
It sounded as if this was the case all along.
Surprisingly, this little girl standing among the crowd, one head shorter than Mrs. Qin, was able to maintain her composure. The servants standing around started whispering to each other, criticizing Qin Wanru.
Although this was the yard where Second Miss Qin’s room was, it looked like a chaotic marketplace at this moment, yet Mrs. Qin had the audacity to say that she was not aware of the situation of the servants in the yard.
Qin Huaiyong, who was watching the entire scene all along, could no longer bear it. He gave a command to his sidekick through a knowing look and the sidekick cried out with a loud voice, saying, “The general is here!”
Upon hearing this, all the surrounding servants and maids by the windows were taken aback and quickly retreated to the sides to make way for the general. There was silence instantly.
First, Qin Huaiyong’s eyes scanned the maids who were standing by, then he walked in strides into the room, with his hands at his back.
Mrs. Qin felt something was not right. She did not expect Qin Huaiyong to have come here when she was teaching Qin Wanru a lesson. She turned her eyes to look at Nanny Zhou, who tried to give her a reassuring look.
“General!” Mrs. Qin called out, all smiles, once she calmed her nerves.
However, Qin Huaiyong did not even look into her eyes by averted his gaze to rest his eyes on Qing Cui, who was still kneeling. He had, in fact, be standing outside for quite some time so he had an idea of what went on in the room.
This maid was the source of the commotion. Usually, Qin Huaiyong would not take notice of the maids, but at this moment, as he fixed his eyes on this maid, he realized that she was much more glamorously adorned than all other maids.
Not only was the fabric of the clothes she was wearing much more exquisite than that of other maids, but she also wore dangling earrings which made her look even more prepossessing. Why would the maid to a young mistress be adorned in this manner? What would people think about his daughter if even her maid was dressed in such an unseemly fashion?
“Is she the maid who had been beaten and tried to draw spectators here?” asked Qin Huaiyong coldly.
At this instant, Qin Wanru walked up to Qin Huaiyong to greet him and nodded her head in response to his question. She pointed to the letter which fell on the floor and said with a loud, clear voice, “Father, she was indeed the maid who was stirring up trouble. I have no idea where she found that letter, which she insisted was written by me. She argued her point by saying that there are no other masters living around here apart from me, so she insisted the letter must belong to me!”
“Bring that letter over to me!” Qin Huaiyong commanded while he kept his eyes on Mrs. Qin.
Mrs. Qin lost her nerve, but tried her best to camouflage the panic on her face by pulling a straight face. Although she had meant for this letter to finally end up in Qin Huaiyong’s hands, this was not the time.
However, there was no way she dared to prevent what was happening at this moment, she could only try to steady her trembling hands by holding tightly to her handkerchief.
The general’s sidekick went over to pick up the letter on the floor and handed it to the Qin Huaiyong. As Qin Huaiyong took the letter, he realized that it was a sealed envelope which was addressed to Master Di. Apart from that, there were no other inscriptions on the envelope.
There was nothing special about the handwritings, except that from the light strokes, it was apparent that these handwritings belonged to that of a girl.
It would seem that Qin Wanru was the only one in the household who would address the son of the Di family in this way because Mrs. Qin did not address him in this manner and it seemed impossible for Qin Yuru to be writing the letter at this time when her mother was sick and lying in bed.
It would seem to be the case from the surface!
“Is this the letter which the maid said was written by Wanru?” asked Qin Huaiyong as he lifted a questioning gaze and rested it on Mrs. Qin.
“General… this, this maid said…” Mrs. Qin stammered as she was no longer sounding so confident as she was accusing Qin Wanru a minute ago.
“Is this maid your daughter? Why are you trying to protect her?” asked Qin Huaiyong as he looked coldly at Mrs. Qin.
“I… how could the general accuse me of this? Am I not trying to solve the problem here? It’s just that it’s not been solved and Wanru was blaming me. At this moment, everything was still a little unsettled!” said Mrs. Qin, who brought her handkerchief to her face and tried to look as if she had been wronged.
“Who made the arrangement for this maid to serve Wanru?” asked Qin Huaiyong.
Panicked, Mrs. Qin quickly replied by saying, “She… was handpicked by Wanru and this maid had been serving her for more than a year.”
“Serving her for more than a year? More like the maid had made herself into the mistress! Look at how she dresses! It would look like she is the mistress if she stands next to Wanru and Wanru would be thought as the maid!” As Qin Huaiyong’s eyes came to rest on Qin Wanru, he realized that she was wearing a plain white robe. Although the robe did look beautiful on her, she appeared too modest.
Compared to this maid who was all dolled up, Qin Wanru indeed appeared to be her maid.
“But… but she had been the one to pick this maid for herself,” Mrs. Qin tried to shirk the responsibility. She was not going to confess that she was the one who asked Nanny Fang to persuade Qin Wanru to take Qing Cui in as her maid. At that time, Qin Wanru was only nine years old and it was easy to coax her into a decision.
“When was she at that time?” asked Qin Huaiyong, frowning.
Mrs. Qin was immediately struck dumb by this question. She twisted her handkerchief and gnashed her teeth. She knew there was no way the general would have embarrassed her in front of the crowd in this way if he had not witnessed the scene earlier on.
“Do you mean she was able to make a wise choice at such a young age? I remember that old maid who had been beaten to death as a punishment. Wasn’t she a maid of yours? The maids who are working for Wanru here all reported to you, and this one kind of lord of Wanru. It seemed that all the servants here don’t treat Wanru as their mistress. While they watched the drama going on a moment ago, they were criticizing their mistress. Are you sure Wanru handpicked all of them?”
Qin Huaiyong said sarcastically.
A series of events happened one after another, and it was apparent to him that Mrs. Qin did not treat Qin Wanru as her daughter. In fact, she had no regard for Wanru’s interest at all.
Qin Huaiyong could now clearly see that her claim about treating Qin Wanru as her own daughter was nothing but a lie.
He did not have any other descendants apart from his two daughters. Although Qin Wanru was not his own daughter, he had treated her as one. His protective feelings towards her had grown over these years after he took her under his wings. Moreover, he had always felt indebted to his savior whenever he thought about how he had sacrificed his life for the general.
“General, this… I’m not aware of all these things!” Mrs. Qin tried to justify herself as she could see that things were going right for her when she heard Qin Huaiyong’s words.
“There’s no excuse for you to be unaware of this given that you’re in charge of the household matters. Otherwise what else are you responsible for?” Qin Huaiyong said impassively.
“I… I really wasn’t aware of these, general! Nanny Fang had told me that everyone treated Wanru with respect here.”
Tears started streaming down Mrs. Qin’s face as she tried to earn the spectator’s sympathy and shirk her responsibility. She could say what she wanted now that Nanny Fang was no longer around anyways.
“In that case, do you know by now, Mother?” Qin Wanru pressed, not giving Mrs. Qin any chance of escape. She continued by saying, “Is it possible for Mother to make time to solve this problem?”
Mrs. Qin’s face froze at the words of Qin Wanru. She gave the severe-looking Qin Huaiyong a helpless look said, “Rest assured, Wanru, I will change all the servants who are disobedient to you. This time, you will handpick the ones you are happy with.”
“Rest assured, Mother. Now that Nanny Fang is no longer around, I will make sure to choose those who are trustworthy and respectful to me,” said Qin Wanru, grinning.
What she meant by this statement was that Nanny Fang had persuaded her to choose servants who did not abide by the rules and Qin Huaiyong knew Nanny Fang used to be Mrs. Qin’s sidekick.
Mrs. Qin’s face fell at Qin Wanru’s words, but she did not dare to show her displeasure. She knew she had fallen into Qin Wanru’s snare, given the coincidental development of events. She could only gnash her teeth secretly, while still wearing an amiable look on her face. “That will put my worries to rest since Wanru is so understanding,” said Mrs. Qin.
“Mother, please sell this maid away!” Qin Wanru said, ignoring the “loving” look on Mrs. Qin’s face. Qin Wanru looked dispassionately at Qing Cui and continued, “I’m afraid to be served by this maid!”
“Save me, Madam, please save me!” Qing Cui pleaded as her eyes met Qin Huaiyong’s gaze. She was apparently nervous because she started crying and crawling towards Mrs Qin as she continued imploring. At this instant, she knew that the matter had turned bad and her livelihood was at stake!
A very smart Nanny Zhou quickly assessed the situation came to stand between Mrs. Qin and Qing Cui, rebuking her by saying, “You have offended Second Miss Qin so you should be asking Second Miss Qin for forgiveness instead. Madam has always doted on Second Miss Qin, so I’m sure she will respect Second Miss Qin’s decision.”
Qing Cui immediately understood the intention behind Nanny Zhou’s intention. She quickly turned to Qin Wanru and hang on to her leg, begging, “Second Miss, I really just found this letter and thought that you are the only person who would address the Master Di in this way. I didn’t do this with an evil intention. Please do not sell me away. I will do anything you say, Second Miss.”
By the time Qing Cui finished speaking, her face was covered with tears, looking very sincere. She took a step back and got down to knock her head hard on the floor three times, so much so that her forehead swelled up with a big bruise. “Please do not sell me to that kind of place, Miss. I am still a virgin. I will be doomed if you send me away to that kind of place, Miss!”
Stealing glances at the pathetic-looking and helpless Qing Cui, the maids looking in from outside felt that Qin Wanru was too heartless.
Nanny Zhou was indeed the most trusted and capable servant to Mrs. Qin. By making a statement, she had turned the table and made Qin Wanru look like a cruel person. She was intent on provoking Qin Huaiyong’s irritation towards Qin Wanru.
“Are you sure I’m the only one who would address Master Di in this way?” Qin Wanru questioned.
“Yes, but it was my fault, it’s all my fault! Please forgive me, Second Miss!” cried Qing Cui. “The first thing that came to my mind when I found the letter was to quickly bring it to you. I really thought the letter was yours. It’s all my fault, I am truly clueless!”
While Qing Cui continued wailing, she simultaneously stole a glance at Nanny Zhou and was quickly put at ease when she saw a hint of a smile on Nanny Zhou’s face. She was confident that Second Miss Qin would not do her any harm in the presence of the general even if Qin Wanru did not believe her. It would seem to him that she had good intentions after all. However, Qin Wanru’s next statement would turn her confidence into great fear.
“Qing Cui, I remember you are illiterate, so how did you know that this letter was addressed to Master Di?”