Miss Jun did not close the curtains for the entire trip. The little servant girl was still frightened by the memory of the hanging, so she obediently listened to Miss Jun and rested.
They hadn't been far from Beiliu Town when they started to travel on the official road. As they got closer to Yangcheng, there were more people passing by the carriage. They hadn't even entered Yangcheng when they felt that it was quite busy already.
Ze Prefecture, Yangcheng.
Sadly, Miss Jun had never been to the northern stronghold and was unfamiliar with the surrounding area. Everything north of the capital was a mystery to her. She had only seen drawings and letters of it.
The North was very open-minded in their social practices. It was not inappropriate for a girl like her to open the carriage curtains. Occasionally, people on the road would glance at her, and she would gracefully return the look for a moment.
Miss Jun focused on the passing landscape to prevent herself from dwelling on things that had happened in the past.
She was very clear on the events that took place back then; she did not need to waste much energy on considering them. Every time she remembered them, it would only cause her to go crazy from the suffering, the remorse, and the hatred.
She only needed to know who she was, what her present circumstances were, and what she should do next.
To answer these three questions, she needed to keep herself clear-minded.
To see the present, to look to the future.
When the carriage passed through the tall city gates of Yangcheng, the servant girl Liu'er woke up. She looked out of the carriage with a curl to her lips.
"So we're going back to that house," she said with equal amounts of contempt and helplessness.
Moreover, this time was different than before. Previously, the loathful house was only a temporary stop for the master and servant pair, like a hotel. The Ning Family's residence in Beiliu Town was their true home.
Because they had internally thought of everything as temporary, and that after their time had passed here, they would break through the clouds and into the open sky, they were able to endure living in such lowly surroundings.
But now, without the marriage contract, without the engagement, Young Miss had nowhere to go. Her prospects did not include breaking through the clouds, but merely remianing in the endless darkness.
What would they do afterwards?
The usually proud young servant girl was at a loss. She was in a daze till they passed through the Fang residence gates.
Miss Jun seriously examined the Fang Family's residence.
The Fang Family's residence was situated at the heart of Yangcheng. Although, they could not compare to the Ning Family's residence in Beiliu town, they were second to none in this city. The buildings were elaborately decorated, with multiple pavilions and kiosks. They were arranged asymmetrically but with a certain charm about them.
The carriage pulled through and into the inner courtyard. Their carriage hadn't stopped, when Miss Jun heard the clatter of footsteps outside.
When the family received the news, they must have been very worried.
"...they've come back."
With the footsteps came a sharp female voice. Rather than say that this voice was particularly concerned, it would be better to say it was full of excited anticipation.
It seemed that they weren't really worried, after all.
Miss Jun pursed her lips and looked out the window in the direction of the voices.
Ten or so girls of various ages, clad in flashy clothing, poured through the gateway decorated in wood ornaments.
Miss Jun's gaze fell onto a girl who was thirteen or fourteen years old.
She was beautiful, standing out from the group of girls. Her brows arched elegantly with the keenness of Old Lady Fang.
Miss Jun looked at her at the same time she looked at Miss Jun. The two exchanged glances.
This was the Third Young Miss of the Fang Family.
Miss Jun recognized her from the memories. She was the child of Old Lady Fang's deceased son, and her youngest granddaughter .
Seeing the girl behind the carriage window, Third Miss Fang went blank. Her expression soon shifted to disappointment and abhorrence, neither of which she could conceal.
"How immature, she doesn't even dare to die," she spat out as she turned to leave.
The noisy atmosphere suddenly quieted. The servant girls and women held their breaths and did not make a sound. They nervously looked at the girl seated in the carriage.
In the spring of Taikang year 3, Miss Jun had arrived from Funing. The female cousins of the Fang Family came out to meet her. Everybody felt very sympathetic toward their younger cousin who had lost her father and mother. They brought our their favorite things as meeting gifts.
Miss Jun had her little servant girl take the gifts, but did not give any gifts in return. Of course, this was not a normal trip to visit relatives. Her father had just died, so she must have had unintentionally forgotten about it, or so they thought. The female cousins of the Fang family did not think it was rude.
But on the second day, Third Miss Fang had seen that the handkerchief she had given was taken out by the servant girl to clean the mud off her shoes.
Third Miss Fang had went to question Miss Jun, and Miss Jun had said that such a cheap item was very suitable for her servant girl to use.
When Third Miss Fang had fought with Miss Jun, after they finished fighting, Miss Jun threatened to use a rope and hang herself. It forced Old Lady Fang to use her authority to punish Third Miss Fang for starting the fight.
As such, a feud started between the two girls. In just the short time of half a year, they had conflicted several more times. If it weren't for Old Lady Fang's rigid hold on Third Miss Fang, who knew what sort of trouble they would have caused.
When she found out that Miss Jun had hung herself, Third Miss Fang was not only unconcerned, she had even excitedly rushed out to see her dead body. To be humiliated as such, Miss Jun should immediately rush out and cause another commotion.
The servant girls and women prepared themselves to stop Miss Jun at any time.
But Miss Jun sat there, unmoving. Had she not heard what Third Miss Fang had said?
A piercing shriek came from the carriage, and soon after, a small servant girl jumped out.
"Fang Jinxiu, you're so cold hearted, you wholeheartedly cursed my family's Young Miss to die!"
Liu'er aggressively swung her head left and right, looking like she would immediately pounce on the next person who met her gaze.
The servant girl had heard from the carriage, so there was no way that Miss Jun sitting by the window would not have heard.
The two servant women who were helping Old Lady Fang off the carriage, suddenly, had a change of heart. They disregarded Old Lady Fang and rushed forward.
"Who is babbling such nonsense in front of Third Young Miss?" one yelled, eyebrows raised. "Did you come out for a fight?"
The other reached out to bar Liu'er's way.
"Your Young Miss has sat in the carriage for half a day, she must be tired. Help her down so she can rest."
She coaxed Liu'er with sweet words, blocking her view, as well as cutting off her path of pursuit.
They were obviously protecting their own family's young miss, while bullying hers.
Those wicked, bullying tramps.
Liu'er stamped her feet and was about to curse them out, but Miss Jun pulled open the curtains and called her, telling her to leave it and help her down.
Seeing Miss Jun descend from the carriage, the servants were even more nervous. However, Miss Jun only looked at Old Lady Fang who had come out from her carriage. She did not cry, did not insult, and didn't even rush over to the carriage of Old Lady Fang.
When they saw Old Lady Fang, the maidservants remembered their manners.
"I'm leaving." Old Lady Fang watched Miss Jun speak, silently standing off to the side. Miss Jun did not walk to the second gate, but to another alleyway that led in a different direction.
Over there was the place where she was staying, Miss Jun discerned after some thought. She was walking away when the sound of footsteps came from the second gate.
A warm and anxious voice came from within the gate.
Miss Jun heard the voice and saw a thirty-five or thirty-six-year-old woman step out. She looked beautiful with a sweet-tempered disposition.
It was Miss Jun's uncle's wife, Lady Fang.
"Mother, you have returned," the woman said, her gaze quickly turning to Miss Jun. Her happiness quickly tinged with some worry. "Zhenzhen, it's good that you have returned."
She was an example of the outside doesn't reflect the inside. Though outside she seemed warm and gentle, on the inside she was a malicious woman.
Miss Jun recalled something that she had heard someone say once.
In this world, not being close to your aunts was never a good thing.
Miss Jun lowered her gaze and greeted her properly.
This movement was too unexpected and startled Lady Fang. She even forgot what she was going to say.
"I will go with her, and ask her some things," said Old Lady Fang. "You return first, okay?"
These were words of a senior asking a junior not to come into the senior's room, but to go to the junior's place. Because Miss Jun and the people of the Fang family mutually loathed one another, Miss Jun would not deign to step into Lady Fang's room, and Old Lady Fang did not want her to come into their residence.
This child gave people headaches.
Miss Jun pursed her lips, there were no shortage of troubles left.
 Grandaughter descended of a son