Chapter Two: Proposal
With the passing year, spring has arrived in the Wu County.
The spring rain fell like threads onto a bluestone block within a deep alley. Little pools of water covered the slippery moss underneath.
A rush of footsteps suddenly sounded, followed by a crash. A young girl in traditional garments fell onto the floor. Without caring for her pain, she hurriedly crawled up and ran to knock on a small door on the side of the alley.
"Coming! Coming!" An old servant opened the door and saw a little girl covered in mud. "Lu Xiu, what happened to you? Hey, hey. Slow down, slow down."
Lu Xiu ran past the old servant and hurried to the inner yard.
Ling Qingyu heard Lu Xiu's voice and put down her medicine bowl. She pressed on a quilt and looked at her inhumanly thin mother before rising from her bed. She opened the door to hiss lightly toward the running girl before taking her into the left room.
The mother here and her mother in her previous life looked the same. Before she had time to get used to this new identity, changes occured one after another. Within one day, she had woken in this new body, to be immediately told that her father and brother had died. Her fiance canceled their marriage because of her misfortunes, so she was expelled from the family. Her mother spewed blood and fainted. If it were not for an uncle who came to receive them, the two of them could have died in that house. Leaving the Lin estate, the only servants who came with them were the family of Zheng-mama and this little girl, Lu Xiu. After following her uncle to this small estate within the city, her mother had recovered somewhat. Right after, she begged her uncle to submit a lawsuit. Today was the day of the trial.
"Lu Xiu has come back." Zheng-mama pushed open the door, brushed her hands and said hopefully, "How was it? Did the county judge punish those heartless dogs?"
"It was probably those men who won," Ling Qingyu quietly said. "What is left for my mother and me?"
"Girl!" Lu Xiu couldn't help but start crying. "They said that your father used the family's money to do business, so all the money he made would belong to the family and be managed by the Lin family head. All the mansions, shops and estates must all be returned to Master Lin."
Ling Qingyu lightly closed her eyes and asked, "Then what about my mother's dowry?"
"The family head said that since the third master is heir to the second master, your dowry would of course belong to the third master."
"A bunch of animals without principles!" cried Zheng-mama. "This is forcing the lady and young lady to die!"
"They have always wanted for us to die." Ling Qingyu pushed open the door. She looked at the plants soaked under the spring rain. Even though no one had maintained them, the plants were still full of life now that spring had returned.
Father and brother had earned an enormous fortune from maritime trade. That fortune also brought upon them fatal disaster. Her own uncle was actually so cruel. To even commit murder in order to obtain her father's fortune. Lin Jiacheng! Ling Qingyu gripped her hand into a fist so hard that her nails went deep into the flesh.
"Hui-niang…" a weak call came from the main house.
"Zheng-mama, please call uncle over," said Ling Qingyu as she walked toward the main house.
"Girl, today during the trial, your uncle didn't say a word," said Lu Xiu as she subconsciously wiped her tears. "He just let the judge decide everything."
Ling Qingyu paused, then laughed bitterly. In this short time, she had started to receive the original girl's memories. In her memories, the uncle's wife was not a good character. Her aunt had always hated her sister-in-law. After her grandparents died, her aunt would only visit when she needed money. It was hard for her uncle to resist the pressure from his wife and bring them here.
"Zheng-mama, please help convey a message to my uncle and Lin Jiacheng. According to the law, if my mother does not agree to continue being a part of their household, then my mother's dowry must be returned to my uncle after she dies. He better not even think about my mother's estate. If he wants the estate, then I have a proposal."