“Spare you?” Concubine Xiao scoffed. “After you committed such a major mistake, you still want this seat to spare you?”
“This servant…” She rested her head weakly on the ground and didn’t say anything else.
Concubine Xiao lifted her foot away from her hand. “You dared to release a Kongming lantern in this seat’s Zhangzhi Hall and even caused a fire to break out in the palace. How do you expect his seat to spare you?” Ah! A scapegoat!
Concubine Xiao ordered the eunuch nearby, “Bring this girl to the Office of Service.”
The eunuch stepped up, “Yes”, and dragged her bloody, limp body away.
Sui’er had been beaten so badly she was barely conscious. She still had a slim chance of surviving now, but if she were brought to the Office of Service, she would surely die.
Jing Xuan could only stare haplessly as they dragged Sui’er away. “Don’t!” She shouted loudly, eyes brimming with tears.
Concubine Xiao told her, “This seat wants you to remember forever that you are the one that caused her death. From today onwards, if you do not behave as you should, this seat will kill one of them every day in front of you.” She issued a command, “Bring the princess away and watch her. Don’t leave her unattended for even a single moment.”
Several of the maids got up from where they were kneeling and stepped forward to help Jing Xuan stand. However, she flung her sleeves in denial, staring savagely at the person in front of her. How foreign this person is! “You will get your just desserts one day.”
Concubine Xiao chided, “Bring her away.”
Jing Xuan was dragged off, her expression still filled with hate.
Soon after, the news that Sui’er had died arrived. The maids that shared a room with her sat silently in their room. After a long while, someone finally spoke. “How could she have just died like that?”
“It’s such a pity.”
“Although Sui’er was a little talkative, she wasn’t too bad a person. She would do whatever we told her to do.”
“Sigh. Now that she has become a scapegoat, do you think she’ll come back and haunt us?” Immediately, everyone felt their hairs stand on end.
Someone immediately refuted, “Don’t say nonsense. Ghosts don’t exist.”
Someone else retorted, “Who said there isn’t? In my hometown, everyone says that people will return from their graves after they died. Do you think Sui’er would come back?” They looked at each other and huddled closer together.
“Bam bam!” Suddenly, someone knocked on the door.
“Ah!” All the girls in the room were startled into screaming.
“What are you screaming for? It’s me, open the door.” It was Liu momo of Zhangzhi Hall.
One of them opened the door. “Liu momo, why are you here?”
“Mn. Give us a moment.” Everyone hurried to gather Sui’er’s things.
What could a palace maid possess? Just merely a mattress, bedding, several changes of clothes, and a few pairs of shoes. They were able to swiftly gather everything. When they opened Sui’er’s cupboard, they even found a bag of uneaten fruits!
The maid who was originally in charge of collecting the things intended to bring all of them along to Liu momo, but another maid stopped her with a meaningful glance. “Leave those.”
“Mn.” So, she only passed the mattress, bedding, and clothes to Liu momo.
“Is there anything else?” Liu momo glanced inside.
“Replying Liu momo, there isn’t anything else. Sui’er only arrived not long ago and doesn’t have many possessions.”
“Mn. I tell you girls, it’s best not to keep the things of dead people. It’s inauspicious.”
“Got it.” The maids answered obediently.
After Liu momo left, the girls gathered together and took out that bag of fruits. “If it weren’t for that fool, Sui’er wouldn’t have died. This is what Sui’er left behind when she died. Let’s bring it to that fool and scare him.”
However, one of them was exceptionally timid. “Maybe we shouldn’t do it. If Her Ladyship found out, she would surely take our lives.”
“Look at you, scared of everything.”
“Is this really wise?”
“What’s bad about that?” She shoved the bag of fruits at the timid maid. “You go.”
“Go on.” Thus, in exactly the same way as Sui’er had been pushed out the door, this timid maid was also pushed out. This maid is named Deng’er, and is pretty with her eyes as bright as lamps.
She grabbed that bag of things and went to the room that Wei Yi was locked in. She dithered for a long while before she finally opened the door.
However, there wasn’t a single glimmer of light in the room.
She shivered for a moment, and used the reflected light from outside to fumble for the candlestick and lit it. The candlelight slowly spread and illuminated the room. Wei Yi was still seated in the same position, head buried in between his knees.
“Hey, fool!” Deng’er called out.
There was no answer.
This time, her heart clenched even more in anxiety and her bag of fruits almost dropped onto the floor. Could he really be dead? She hurried forward to check and prodded him with a finger. Wei Yi’s body was icy cold. He slowly lifted his head to look at her, asking, “Where’s Sui’er?”
She’s dead! And you’re still looking for her. Deng’er licked her lips. “Sui’er is dead.”
Wei Yi wasn’t shocked at all. His eyes merely revealed a wisp of sadness.
Deng’er should be scaring him, but looking at the expression in his eyes, she immediately dismissed that notion. She passed that bag of fruits to him. “This belonged to Sui’er. We didn’t want to give it to Liu momo. Sui’er had mentioned that you were the one that gave her this. Since you gave it to her, we’ll return it to you. She’s no longer around anyway.”
She wasn’t acting according to plan. They had agreed to come and scare him. She’ll surely be scolded when she goes back. Wei Yi felt a flash of grief as he accepted that bag of fruit, but he didn’t reveal it on his face.
Deng’er started to vent her displeasure, “This was all because you wanted to release a Kongming lantern, that you caused Sui’er’s death. You can never repay her what you owe her in this life.”
Wei Yi’s gaze wavered. That’s right, he owed her. He owed her a life! He clenched his hand tightly around the fruits in his hand, tears swimming in his eyes. His mind was filled with flashes of different images of Sui’er: when she was surprised, happy, and worried. Although Sui’er didn’t have a deep relationship with him, the maid had treated him very well.
“Would you miss me if you left the palace?” Sui’er had asked him then, eyes full of anticipation. However, she would never receive an answer to that question.
A long while later, Wei Yi looked at the fruits in his hand and said very softly, “Yes, I’ll miss you. Please go in peace. I will help you take revenge.”
Deng’er couldn’t quite hear what he just said, so she inched forward and asked, “What did you say?”
Wei Yi looked up and past Deng’er, out of the door. What was he thinking about? Nobody knew.
Ever since she had married into Prince Yi’s household, Ji Muqing’s days had not been easy at all!
After their wedding night, she had never seen a single glimpse of Jing Yi. Where was the promised ‘plenty of time in the future’? What about the promised ‘wedding night redo’? Where was he?!
Ji Muqing couldn’t be at ease however she thought about it. She went into the courtyard early in the morning and started to cut the flowers with a pair of scissors. Her demeanor resembled Concubine Xiao greatly!
Cailan stepped forward. “Your Highness, you’d better stop cutting. Be careful not to hurt your own hands.”
She just refused to listen and continued cutting. With her tender care, the originally colorful and vibrant courtyard filled with brilliant flowers was reduced to a jumble of disordered leafy shambles. Cailan couldn’t stop her no matter what she tried.
Finally, with another snip of the scissors, her finger was marred by a cut.