Chapter 50 Snatch This Familiar Looking Maid
The maid approached Shui Ruolan to pay her her respect and thereafter stood quietly with her head still bowed. The people around started nodding their heads in approval as they could see her good manners and was suitable to be a maid taking a leading role.
“What’s your name?” asked Shui Ruolan gently after sizing her up.
“I’m Liu Xue.”
“How old are you?”
“Do you miss home?”
“Yes!” she answered with ease, although from her voice, one could sense the grievance of a little girl being sold by her own family. Which little child would not feel grieved being sold by her own family?
Qin Wanru looked down to see that Liu Xue was trying to cover her arms with her sleeves. The clothes she was wearing was distributed by Old Maid Ya to all the maids working in the courtyard, so they were all the same. However, the dress looked a little too short for Liu Xue, so much so that when she was moving her arms, a part of them were exposed and Qin Wanru could see some scars and well as fresh wounds on them.
However her arms were quickly covered up by her sleeves as she moved, so one would not be able to notice those wounds if he did not look carefully.
“Then…” Shui Ruolan really liked Liu Xue, thinking that she would make a good personal maid for Qin Wanru. When she was about to confirm her choice, suddenly there was a voice that came from outside. As she lifted her gaze, she saw Qin Yuru approaching with a few maids and old servants. Shui Ruolan’s face fell at the sight of them.
Qin Yuru’s face was covered with a piece of veil to hide her bruises to keep out the dust from contaminating the wounds, leaving only her eyes visible. She was also holding her right arm with her left arm.
Once Qin Yuru entered, she paid her respects to Shui Ruolan by bowing slightly to her and said, “Aunt Shui, I’m not feeling very well, so I can’t bow to you completely, please do forgive me.”
“Don’t worry about it, Yuru. How is your injury… is it getting better?” asked Shui Ruolan gently and she rested her eyes on the wounds of Qin Yuru’s right arm.
“It’s getting better,” said Qin Yuru bitterly, as she looked down.
“It’s alright, get the servants to help you take care of the wounds to make sure they don’t leave any scars,” said Shui Ruolan in an attempt to comfort her.
“Thank you, Aunt Shui,” responded Qin Yuru politely, who then turned to Qin Wanru and said, “Younger sister Wanru, can I also choose a few maids for myself? I didn’t use to feel that it was shorthanded at my courtyard in the past, but now that I’ve injured my arm and realized that we need more people in my courtyard.”
“Please take your pick, Big Sister!” replied Qin Wanru with a smile.
Surprisingly Qin Yuru was acting exceptionally polite towards Qin Wanru today as if all the awkwardness between them was gone. After the many unhappy events which happened between them, they could not turn back their relationship. For this reason, Qin Wanru could not help but suspected that Qin Yuru must have something up her sleeve, although she had no idea what it was.
“Have you taken your pick, little sister?” asked Qin Yuru with a smile and flitting eyes.
“Not really, but you can pick first, elder sister!” replied Wanru, shaking her head.
“How about this one?” Qin Yuru asked, as she turned to look at Liu Xue with interest.
A frown appeared on Shui Ruolan’s face as she was irritated by the way Qin Yuru conducted herself in an overbearing way, but she was in no position to criticize her.
“I’ve not really picked her yet, do you fancy her?” Qin Wanru stole a glance at Liu Xue and turned to look at Qin Yuru with her big round eyes, saying, “If you fancy this maid, we can negotiate about it.”
“Didn’t you just say you’ve not picked your maid, little sister? Why is there a need to negotiate?” said Qin Yuru, displeased. In the past, Qin Yuru would be the one to pick her maid first. Qin Wanru could only pick from the leftovers. This had become the custom in the general’s mansion, and Old Maid Ya was aware of this fact.
Hearing what Qin Yuru said, Old Maid Ya quickly replied her, saying, “If Elder Miss Qin fancies any of these maids, certainly you can take them. Anyways Second Miss Qin had not taken her pick!”
After all, Mrs. Qin was the person in charge of all matters in the household. By now, everyone knew that Elder Miss Qin was Mrs. Qin’s real daughter, so Old Maid Ya would try to please her as much as possible to please her.
“I do have the maid I liked, but I’ve not made a choice yet. If you like her, Big Sister, you can still take her away. Is that what you’re thinking?” Qin Wanru directed the question at Old Maid Ya, smiling.
Old Maid Ya was suddenly taken aback by Qin Wanru’s question. She immediately called to mind the events that happened in Jiangzhou recently. Waving her hand, she said, “This was not what I meant. I meant that since Second Miss Qin had not taken your pick, Elder Miss Qin can make a choice since she alway fancied one of them.”
Recently the Elder Miss Qin’s reputation had been adversely affected by the events that happened. Old Maid Ya had heard the rumor that Elder Miss Qin had not stepped out of the mansion since. On the other hand, Second Miss Qin had a good reputation and the general doted on her even more now. She would get into trouble if she offended Second Miss Qin.
“What do you think, Elder Sister?” asked Qin Wanru.
“My thinking is to suit your thinking, little sister. Since you already fancied one of the maids, I would pick two maids from the remaining candidates then. Are you alright with that?” said Qin Yuru amicably, who actually gave up on fighting for Liu Xue, but turned her eyes to search among the other candidates.
Shui Ruolan’s face brightened at the turn of events. She looked at Qin Yuru suspiciously and wondered if Qin Yuru really was not that bad, even though Mrs. Qin was such a malicious person. She was young after all, for all she knew, Qin Yuru might still be teachable before she got adversely influence by her mother.
“You’re too polite, Big Sister. Please pick the maid whom you fancied!” Qin Wanru said magnanimously.
A look of elation flashed across Qin Yuru’s eyes. She walked into the crowd and in a while, she managed to pick four maids from among them.
All four maids looked to be intelligent. They were among the smartest of all the candidates brought here by Old Maid Ya. They were, in fact, the ones who were standing at the forefront a moment ago, and were certainly the most good-looking and smart-looking ones. On top of that, they appeared quick-witted and matured.
After these four had been taken, the remaining ones paled in comparison in their appearances.
“Little sister, can I pick these?” said Qin Yuru, who tried to sound as if she was giving Qin Wanru the final decision, as if she would give up on these maids if Qin Wanru was not agreeable.
“Of course, if you really like these ones!” Qin Wanru responded with ease, then turned to Nanny Yu and said, “Please pick a few maids for me, Nanny Yu.”
Nanny Yu nodded in response and walked into the crowd as she was determined to pick the right maids for Qin Wanru this time. It had always been Mrs. Qin who was behind the choice of maids for Qin Wanru in the past, even though Nanny Fang was the person picking. She would not allow the chosen maids to be traitors, like the ones in the past.
Nanny Yu had chosen all the ones who looked prim and proper. These may not look as intelligent as those picked by Qin Yuru, but at least they looked respectful towards their mistress. Nanny Yu managed to pick ten maids, thinking that there was no harm picking more so that they would not be shorthanded when in need.
“Little sister, can you give me this maid. I like her,” said Qin Yuru suddenly, as she pointed towards one of those chosen by Nanny Yu. “I can swap her with this maid I’ve chosen. Is that alright?”
Qin Yuru pointed at one of the four maids she had chosen a moment ago, who had the most outstanding look among them, and was standing quietly by Qin Yuru’s side, being totally unaware that she was going to swap masters.
“Yuru!” cried out Shui Ruolan, who could not take it anymore. Today was supposed to be the day Qin Wanru pick her maids. Not only did Qin Yuru interrupted them and jumped the queue by picking the more favorable ones first, she even wanted to swap a maid whom Qin Wanru just chose. It was really too much.
“Yes, Aunt Shui, my bad!” said Qin Yuru, hanging her head, as if she had been woken up from her stupor. With an apologetic look on her face, Qin Yuru said, “Sorry, little sister, it’s all my fault. I just thought that this maid bears some resemblance to someone. Please forgive me!”
Immediately, Qin Wanru followed Qin Yuru’s line of vision to rest on the maid, who looked to be an ordinary thirteen to fourteen-year-old girl. She was standing next to Nanny Yu, looking submissive and humble, with head slightly bowed. Looking at her facial features, she did resemble someone.
Something flashed across Qin Wanru’s mind as she held on tight to the bench. Qin Wanru almost leaped up if she did not try to suppress the surge of emotion in her. She indeed knew this maid.
In the previous life, she was Qin Yuru’s maid and she was one of the few of Qin Yuru’s maid who treated Qin Wanru kindly.
She used to pass secret messages to Qin Wanru, thereby saving her from the troubles Qin Yuru causing upon Qin Wanru.
She was a nice maid who used to serve Qin Yuru and it was a good thing now Qin Wanru got to pick her.
With a cold, determined look, Qin Wanru decided to take her in!
“Have you call to mind who she resembled?” asked Qin Wanru with a smile, and letting go her grip on the bench, she looked the maid up and down to size her up.
“She’s an old acquaintance whom little sister may not know,” replied Qin Yuru, smiling, although there were some dark shadows in her eyes. The purpose of her coming here today was to stir trouble, not to pick maids. However, this maid did indeed look familiar to her and Qin Yuru’s heart started to pound harder.
However, she was unable to put a finger to it. The face of this particular maid was making her nervous somehow, which was why Qin Yuru wanted to keep her. Saying that she resembled some old acquaintance was just an excuse, and definitely a lie!
“Since big sister had chosen, please go back and rest!” said Qin Wanru, forcing a smile, as she tried to imply that Qin Yuru should leave soon.
Although Qin Wanru’s words sounded polite, she really did not mean it to be kind to Qin Yuru. However, Qin Yuru had been the rude one to have interrupted Qin Wanru in choosing her maids, in fact, she had jumped the queue and chose for herself some maids. She knew better that she was the unreasonable one and she had done enough for now.
Anyways it did not matter whether she remembered who this maid resembled, she would go to her mother to discuss other things, after all, her purpose of coming was not to choose this maid after all!
“Aunt Shui, I’ll get going then. Come for a chat when you’re free,” Qin Yuru said, trying to sound casual.
Shui Ruolan nodded in response.
Qin Yuru smiled at Qin Wanru, then took the four maids she had newly picked and turned to leave. She went forward a few steps before she suddenly turned to look at Liu Xue and mumbled, “This girl looks like she would be a good maid!”
Qin Yuru was apparently liked Liu Xue quite a bit, however, there was no way she could take her by force from Qin Wanru, now that Qin Wanru had chosen her, so she went her way.
Turning to leave, a smug looked spread across Qin Yuru’s face.
Her mother had instructed her to send give this maid to Qin Wanru, then Qin Yuru was supposed to pick all the other better maids and pretend to like Liu Xue. However, since Qin Wanru had already expressed her preference for Liu Xue, Qin Yuru did not think it was a good idea to snatch her away from Qin Wanru.
With these preconditions, Qin Wanru would inevitably keep this maid in her courtyard!
Qin Wanru could read Qin Yuru’s mind from her plain words…