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Lady Fang was obviously familiar with the senior deigning to accommodate the junior, so she didn't have any reaction to that. But when she heard that Old Lady wanted to talk to Miss Jun, concern appeared on her countenance.

"Mother, the time is not late. Zhenzhen must be tired from sitting in the carriage; it would be better to take a rest first," she said gently.

This was suggesting to Old Lady Fang that she shouldn't provoke Miss Jun right now.

Old Lady Fang understood what she meant, but did not stop.

"You go back first," she said.

Lady Fang could never go against her mother-in-law. She did not make any more suggestions. She just looked at Miss Jun and saw her looking back at her. Her snow-like flesh and gleaming black eyes made her look quiet and peaceful.

Quiet and peaceful were two unexpected words to describe Jun Zhenzhen. Lady Fang was at a loss.

The calm young lady lowered her gaze.

"Zhenzhen, I will have the kitchen prepare a meal. If you want to eat anything, just tell them," said Lady Fang softly, tamping down the strangeness in her heart.

Seeing Miss Jun's weird mood, Lady Fang did not dare to order food for her, so she simply left it up to Miss Jun to order the kitchen.

Miss Jun made a sound of acknowledgement and paid her respects before departing with Old Lady Fang.

According to propriety, she should tell her uncle's wife thanks, but since Miss Jun was not in the habit of doing so, it took her a while.

Despite this, Lady Fang was making a grotesque expression as she saw Old Lady Fang and Miss Jun, one in front of the other, depart along the path to the other courtyard.

"I don't know what sort of trick she's playing," she muttered to herself with a helpless expression. She looked at the maidservant standing on the side, and wanted to hear the latest news. "Did she really break it off with the Ning Family? It was her who did so voluntarily?"

The maidservant made a sound of agreement.

"She did say this. For the specific details of the matter, Old Lady Fang left people in Beiliu to ask around," she replied.

Lady Fang's brows creased slightly.

"Since it's like that, does Old Lady have to ask her personally?" she asked. "Is what she says something that a human would say? How could Old Lady listen to it?"

Talking about Miss Jun like this was readily endorsed in the Fang household. What she did was not something a human would do and what she said was not something a human would say. In the past, Old Lady had never spared Miss Jun anything more than a glance, let alone personally asking about her.

"It is probably to appease her," surmised the maidservant. "After all, it would not be easy for our family if she made a fuss."

"Appease her? She does not care a whit about our household, how could we appease her," retorted Lady Fang. She wanted to say more but stopped, and then turned around. "Let's go back."

The lanterns by the roadside were already ablaze. Miss Jun was helped along by Liu'er as they followed Old Lady Fang in an unhurried, but not slow pace.

The courtyard where Miss Jun was staying did not seem far from the second entrance of the Fang Residence. They had to go up a level to pass through a courtyard with a decorative, lattice wall. They traversed the winding way until her feet were sure, and she saw a room.

This place was allocated for the contemptuous Miss Jun so that she would be out of sight and out of mind.

Although, it was situated quite far, the courtyard was beautiful. The veranda was illuminated by lanterns. Four serving girls were there; they respectfully greeted them while opening the thick and beautiful curtains.

"Old Lady, Miss Jun," their voices rang out like birdsong.

In her maternal family, she was ranked as a matrilineal young miss [1], but Miss Jun did not like such a lowly position, so everybody called her Miss Jun like an outsider would.

Miss Jun pursed her lips, but followed Old Lady Fang into the room.

The inside of the room was illuminated by the light of lanterns. It was warm as spring time and filled with a fragrance.

Miss Jun swept a glance over the three large rooms: the main room, the study, and the bedroom. Compared to the subtle extravagance of the Ning Family, this room was decorated in a kind of elegant, but still shabby style.

It was like the old clothes that Miss Jun was wearing.

Without Miss Jun's permission, the servant girls waiting outside did not dare enter. Liu'er deftly brought out a cup of tea from the heater.

"Young Miss, have a cup of hot tea," she said.

This was the first time that Miss Jun had sat for so long in a carriage in the north. Her whole body and hands were stiff. She received the cup, and let the warmth spread from her palms to the rest of her body, before she, finally, felt confident that she was alive.

Liu'er did not serve a second cup, not caring at all about the real owner of the room sitting in the building.

Old Lady Fang did not take heed of this; a maidservant and two servant girls that had entered with her stood next to her, very familiar with such a thing.

Since they were already familiar with such actions, even if small things changed, they did not care. It was no good to be so persnickety; better to not bother with the trifles and just relax.

Everybody was at ease.

Miss Jun took a sip of her tea, keeping the cup in her grasp.

Liu'er called to the servant girl outside, and asked her to prepare hot water and food.

"I want to eat duck blood soup and meatballs," said Miss Jun. "You go instruct them to make them; I will talk with Old Lady."

For this kind of thing, it would only take a few words to instruct them, but Liu'er noticed that Young Miss had included the word 'go', and then said that she would speak with Old Lady. It was clear that she wanted to exclude her from the meeting.

Although, she didn't understand why Young Miss wanted to exclude her, she would always listen to what Young Miss said. Liu'er made a noise of agreement and left.

"You go too," said Old Lady Fang to her own maidservant and servant girls.

The servants made noises of response, then followed the servant girl away.

"What is going on, after all?" asked Old Lady Fang, opening the door to see a mountain [2]. "What is the meaning of backing out of the marriage with the Ning Family?"

"It's a long story," said Miss Jun. "But it is also very simple."

Old Lady Fang frowned.

"I planned to kill myself in order to scare the Ning Family and you, Old Lady," said Miss Jun bluntly.

Miss Jun hated Ning Family the most for going back on their word and not recognizing the engagement. Next in line came the Fang Family for its weak support in getting her out of the predicament. So, she planned to use the threat of her death to warn and scare the two families, while making everyone else aware of how cruel they were..

Old Lady Fang scoffed.

"As a result, I almost truly died," continued Miss Jun.

Her voice was soft and slow-paced, without any undulations in her tone, not betraying any emotion. However, her words could shake people's hearts because of an indescribable feeling.

Old Lady Fang subconsciously looked at her; the girl's expression was just as tranquil as her voice, her eyes like an abyss.

Everybody said that Third Miss resembled Old Lady Fang, but when she saw Miss Jun, Old Lady Fang knew that this granddaughter resembled her more, especially in her eyes.

Only, the happiness at seeing her for the first time had soon turned to disgust. She really did not think that this child had the slightest similarity to her; any resemblance with her would only cause her more annoyance.

She was speaking the truth.

At the moment, because she saw those two eyes, that idea unwittingly flashed through Old Lady Fang's mind. She frowned again. Miss Jun voice was unruffled.

"When I truly came close to death, I understood that nothing was more important than living," she said. "So, I felt that I was being too preposterous; how could I humiliate myself because of other people? Twisting off the stem of a melon won't make it sweet. Marriage is not starting a feud. They did not want the marriage, so fine. I brought Liu'er with me to tell it to them straight, then retracted the marriage contract."

When listening to the beginning of the story, Old Lady Fang was expressionless. But when she heard the final sentence, her expression changed.

"Marriage contract?" she blurted out. "Didn't you say you didn't have a marriage contract?"

"I was deliberately annoying Aunt," said Miss Jun.

The corner of Old Lady Fang's lips pulled.

She recalled the dispute between Miss Jun and Lady Fang at the time and knew what Miss Jun had meant. However, she did that just because she was annoyed?

The marriage contract was a very crucial piece of the situation. Miss Jun must have made a blunder, then probably, tossed it like it was of no use, and relied on being a pestering troublemaker to solve things. Truly, how could she be such an ignorant idiot she could not separate what's important from what's not? To tell apart goodness from hate, black from white?

If it weren't for the fact that Old Lady Fang had personally sent people to the Jun Family to pick her up, she would doubt whether or not this was the right child.

Although, her Jun Family son-in-law's brains were a bit tilted, he was a scholar who could pass his examinations. Her own daughter, although delicate, was not muddle-headed either.

"How would annoying Lady Fang would do you any good?" she asked, constraining her temper. "Why didn't you bring it out earlier?"

"If I brought it out earlier, would the Ning Family have agreed?" she replied with her own question, looking at Old Lady Fang. "Would you have done anything different?"

Old Lady Fang raised her eyebrows.

If she had brought it out earlier, the Ning Family would still not have agreed to the marriage. They would never agree to it, no matter whether you had proof or not.

The first sentence said by the girl was very sensible, but the latter held a disguised sneer.

{Would you have done anything differently?}

Without the marriage contract, the Ning Family did not agree to the marriage, so the Fang Family didn't visit, nor interrogate them again.

If they had a marriage contract, and the Ning Family still did not agree to the marriage, would the Fang Family have taken the contract and went for an interrogation?

Of course not.

Miss Jun did not, actually, wail or hop about, nor curse their inconsistent support, when they fled to avoid the more powerful. She, instead, forced them to reply to her question.

Old Lady Fang couldn't defend their actions, so was Miss Jun sneering at them for it?

[1] Matrilineal Young Miss: a young lady related to the family through the female side

[2] Opening the door to see a mountain: means to get straight to the point.

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