Miss Jun looked at Liu'er.
"At that time, Young Miss, you and Miss Lin had just met, and her servant girl was talking with me," said Liu'er. She looked at the servant girls with some disgust. "The Fang Family's people still try to hide this, but who in Yangcheng does not know of it?"
The servants of the Fang Family had already lowered their heads so far they couldn't sink any lower.
"There were many other Young Misses there. We servant girls were all outside, waiting. When they heard that I was staying at the Fang Family, that Miss Lin's servant girl pulled me aside to secretly tell me that we should leave the Fang Family as soon as possible, because there is a curse on it. The family is going to die out without any descendants." Liu'er mimicked that young servant girl's exaggerated tone.
Cursed to die without descendants?
Miss Jun's brow wrinkled.
"Who cursed them?" she asked.
"I did not ask the particulars. I told the servant girl that we would not be living long with the Fang Family, and she did not say much more. I also forgot to mention it to you, Young Miss," said Liu'er, her lip curling. "And they didn't want to tell you either, since this Fang Family is full of hate for us."
Miss Jun looked at the servant girls.
"Was it a business enemy of the Fang Family?" she asked.
The servant girls lowered their heads and didn't speak.
"She's asking you!" Liu'er's eyebrows were raised as she scolded. "Hurry up and tell my family's Young Miss the enemy that acted against the Fang Family. Do not wear out Young Miss with your bad luck!"
One of the servant girl's raised her head, face wan.
"It's not an enemy," she couldn't help but say. "It- it was when the family's fortune was being divided up, the brothers could not take it and said it. But it couldn't be true..."
Miss Jun made an 'oh' sound.
"So, it was the brothers who went back to Shandong after Great-grandfather divided the family fortune," she said.
She did not ask, but said it decisively.
Moreover, there wasn't any derision or ridicule in her voice. The servant girl looked at Miss Jun with more courage. Her expression was still gentle, not like the servant girl Liu'er standing over to the side whose sneer was stretching past her ears.
"Yes," said the servant girl, her head lowered. "Because those masters were upset, they said some words that were not nice to hear."
When you think about it, for such a big family business, it was reasonable to say that the eldest son of the legal wife would be responsible for it, while the other brothers should divide up the operations. However, Great-Grandfather gave the firm to Miss Jun's grandfather, and the other brothers were sent back to the old home in Shandong.
They had laid their roots in Yangcheng; what was left in Shandong? When they went back, they wouldn't have any status. It would be strange if those brothers didn't complain.
So when she had heard the servant say that her great-grandfather had died, she had also thought that this Fang Family had only one residence. Yet, she hadn't seen any other clansmen come and go and finding it strange, had asked about it.
Miss Jun nodded.
"So, it was like that," she said.
"Yes, they were just words said in anger, not some kind of curse," said the girl with more courage. "Nobody remembered them, and the brothers said after that everything was fine. It's just we didn't think…"
They didn't think that Master would meet with an accident. It wouldn't have been such a big deal , except that right after, the curse-like words from the fight a dozen years ago were dug up by someone, and then, as it was passed around, it became the Fang Family's curse. And now that the only son had also become a paraplegic, having not long to live, it had resoundingly fulfilled itself.
Miss Jun's mother's death, as well as her father's death, was also a confirmation of the curse. It made everyone feel that Fang Family's curse was not just limited to sons, but also daughters, as well as their husbands. So, that blocked the chance of the three daughters being able to continue their incense sticks by marrying. The Fang Family's entire generation of children were of no one's interest.
This was truly terrible; no wonder Old Lady felt that the heavens were unfair.
Miss Jun held the corner of the table in silence.
"What words of anger; if it's not a curse then what is it?" asked Liu'er, her lips curling. "Angry curses are said all the time, so why would your family's men die in such succession?"
The servant girls' faces were white and red, as they neither dared nor knew how to retort.
This kind of talk was something that people of the Fang Family definitely could not say, so they did their utmost to repress it. The Fang Family collapsing would not be good for anyone, so the topic was avoided.
But faced with this thoughtless master and servant pair, who did not deign to look at their Fang Family, they were helpless.
"This is just a coincidence," said Miss Jun. "As you said, there are many insults said in anger. If every one of them was a curse, then there would be many more dead people."
Liu'er made an 'oh' sound, and thought that what Young Miss said was right. The servant girls standing there wore faces of surprise; even in their dreams they wouldn't have expected that the one to retort would actually be Miss Jun.
"Okay, you may leave," said Miss Jun softly.
The servants made sounds of agreement and were somewhat in a disarray as they retreated.
Miss Jun swept an eye over the state of the room, even at the small, extravagant curtain hook decor.
"At first I thought that this was all brocade, fat meat, and fine grain, but it was a leaky boat all along," she said slowly.
Although, Miss Jun could do anything she wanted in the Fang Family without anyone stopping her, but the moment ago she was done questioning those servant girls, they were already reporting to Lady Fang.
She led them to see Old Lady Fang.
"At any other time it would be fine, but just now she has backed out of the marriage with the Ning Family. I cannot grasp what Zhenzhen is thinking, so I came to you," she said.
Old Lady Fang did not say anything, but a light pattering sound came from inside.
Lady Fang looked over there, and through the beaded curtains she could see there were three girls sitting next to the fire in the brightly lit side room. They sat around a table, holding brushes and account books. Right now, a girl had thrown her counting rods onto the table, making the pattering sound.
Resembling Old Lady Fang outside, it was the girl who had gleefully awaited Miss Jun's corpse, Third Miss Jinxiu.
But before Fang Jinxiu could say anything, the girl sitting across from her spoke. This was the Fang Family's eldest miss, Fang Yunxiu.
"These accounts from last year have to be settled. Do not waste time," she said quietly. "Grandmother is not young anymore. We must take care of this and not create more trouble for her and mother."
The last phrase contained a warning.
Fang Jinxiu bit her lip, lowered her head and picked up her counting rods.
"You should learn from Yuxiu," said Fang Yunxiu, looking at the other girl.
Second Miss Fang Yuxiu had not moved her head from where it was bent over the account books. Her brush flew as she wrote, seeming to not know what was going on around her.
When Fang Yunxiu's voice paused, she started talking.
"Eldest Sister, learn what from me. Everyone has their own will. I am someone who is meek. I wish I could be like Third Sister and give that Miss Jun a tongue lashing," she said slowly and quietly. She still did not stop looking at the ledger and writing.
Fang Jinxiu sneered, and Fang Yunxiu felt a bit helpless.
"Okay, no need for more boasting," she said. "You two should hurry up; if you're not done by the time it's dark, then I will punish you by withholding dinner."
The girls laughed but did not say anything more. They bent their heads and continued their work.
In the outer room, Old Lady Fang had heard the girls' chatter.
"If she asks, then she asks. This is not some sort of secret," she said. "The whole Yangcheng knows about this, so we have no need to hide it from her. In her eyes, the Fang Family already has a bad name."
Lady Fang smiled.
"However, this time is not the same. The servant girls said that that when that girl Liu'er was speaking rudely, Zhenzhen reprimanded her. She said that it was all a coincidence, and did not believe it," she said. With some pleasure, she continued, "Mother, I think that Zhenzhen is truly being sensible this time."
Old Lady Fang smiled, but the smile was somewhat cold.
"Whether she is sensible or not cannot be seen from what she says, but from what she does," she said.
Lady Fang made a noise of agreement and looked at the servant.
"Go, be a good servant. If Miss Jun asks you something, then you must speak. Do not contradict her or hide anything from her," she said.
The servant girl made a sound of agreement, then left.
Another maidservant hurried in.
"Old Lady, Lady, Miss Jun is looking for someone to inquire about something," she said.
Lady Fang frowned slightly.
"Didn't I say that if she asks something, you should answer it?" she asked.
The maidservant hesitated.
"But, Lady, this time Miss Jun is asking about the management of the exchange firm," she said.