Fang Jinxiu made a face and then let her go.
"If you wanna go, then go," she said.
Fang Yuxiu smiled with pursed lips. She grabbed her wrist and pulled her forward.
Fang Yunxiu didn’t understand, but she always listened to her sisters, so she followed after them without hesitation.
Fang Jinxiu followed Fang Yuxiu to a small pavilion and sat down. The servant girls were dispatched to fetch tea and refreshments, leaving the three sisters to talk.
"You believe she didn’t hurt Chengyu?" Fang Yunxiu asked.
Fang Yuxiu eyed Fang Jinxiu. Fang Jinxiu’s resentment showed on her face.
Fang Yuxiu didn’t wait for Fang Jinxiu and said, "I do believe."
Without waiting for Fang Yunxiu’s question, she answered.
"Because I don’t think she’s that stupid," she said.
Fang Yunxiu seriously listened to her. Fang Jinxiu also turned around.
"She is famous for being dumb," she muttered.
Fang Yuxiu ignored her.
"Since becoming Young Lady, if she really wanted to plot against Little Brother, then even if Grandmother protected her, how could Mother forgive her?" she said gently. "She is a bright person. She won’t jump into a hole."
Just like when she dealt with Zuo Yanzhi, she would not do things that hurt herself.
Fang Yunxiu nodded and looked at Fang Jinxiu.
Fang Jinxiu pulled a face again.
"Yes, I don’t think she would do such a thing."
Just as Fang Yunxiu and Fang Yuxiu thought she wouldn’t say anything, Fang Jinxiu spoke in a muffled voice.
Fang Yunxiu and Fang Yuxiu were carefully listening to her. They did not dare mock her for fear she would get angry.
"But that’s not because of whether she is stupid or not. Rather, it’s if she really wanted to harm someone," she paused, "she would already have had many opportunities."
For example at the Jinyun Hall, she had slapped away the drugged tea she was about to drink. When they faced off against Registrar Lin, she had pulled her behind her.
Perhaps it was different with Fang Chengyu. Just because she didn’t hurt her didn’t mean she wouldn’t hurt Chengyu also.
But her goal was to dominate the Fang Family. If she didn’t even care about Fang Chengyu and plotted against him, then she would be even more ruthless to the sisters. She would be better off eliminating them entirely.
The three were silent.
"When you were at the Jinyun Hall, what exactly happened? Was she the one who arranged for what happened to Miss Lin?" asked Fang Yunxiu thoughtfully.
Lin Jin’er was sent to the temple by the Lin Family. Although it was publically declared that it was because of an an illness, people knew that it had something to do with the Jinyun Hall.
Though the rumor wasn’t so despicable. The man was not a mute beggar but some distant relative, a scholarly man.
But it still wasn’t something that the Lin Family could tolerate. They held firm to their family’s principles, and could not abide by any illegitimate children, so they sent Miss Lin to the temple.
This was the theory that circulated among the people in Yangcheng, but, of course, the daughters of the Fang Family did not believe it.
Fang Jinxiu had never spoken of what had happened in the Jinyun Hall on that day.
At her elder sister’s query, she fell silent for a moment.
Finally, she said, "Actually I don’t quite know what happened. When I entered, she left with Miss Lin." You should know, I chased them out so I wasn’t with her. The next time I saw her she was playing pitch-pot, and then that thing with Miss LIn happened."
Fang Yuxiu smiled.
"You know how Miss Lin planned to lure her into that room?" she said.
Fang Yunxiu and Fang Jinxiu looked at her.
Registrar Lin had also asked that question, and Jun Zhenzhen said that she had to speak with him privately.
"Miss Lin said that Tenth Noble Son Ning wanted to see you," Fang Yuxiu said.
Fang Yunxiu and Fang Jinxiu were surprised.
"Really?" Fang Yunxiu asked.
Fang Yunxiu’s lips curled into a smile. Then she looked at the servant girls bringing back all sorts of teas and refreshments.
"What else can those girls think of other than boys?" she said.
The servant girls entered, quickly but orderly setting up cushions on the table, then pouring tea and arranging plates.
Fang Yunxiu took the tea and sipped it slowly, then used her handkerchief to wipe her mouth.
"You can’t deny it; these things are all sorts of unsavory," she said.
"It’s just a pity that she doesn’t believe in those things anymore," Fang Yuxiu said with a smile. "And of something you don’t believe in, you are wary."
Fang Jinxiu didn’t say anything, but her expression was strange.
It wasn’t because the servant girls were there, but rather because she was thinking of a certain matter.
No, two matters.
She had said that sentence to Jun Zhenzhen twice.
Noble Son Ning wants to see you.
Once in the middle of the night, and once outside the city.
Compared to the thing at the Jinyun Hall which occurred in the daylight, a person should be more suspicious and wary at those times.
But Jun Zhenzhen only looked surprised and followed her without hesitation.
Did she have no fear? Or was it confidence?
If Jun Zhenzhen wanted to hurt her, there would have been many opportunities. But if she were to hurt her, there were also many chances.
Then where was all this…
Fang Jinxiu bit her lip, and worried a snack between her teeth.
Fang Yuxiu saw she had gone still and smiled with understanding.
The sisters sat in silence and drank their tea when they suddenly heard laughter. They lifted their heads to see Jun Zhenzhen and Liu’er walking along the road.
When the pair felt their gazes, they looked over at them.
Liu’er wanted to continue laughing, but she remembered Young Miss reminding her that though she can’t make everyone happy, she can at least prevent them from getting angry at her.
That said, as someone who was supposed to have admitted to fooling the Fang Family, she should not make such an expression.
Liu’er lowered her head and obediently greeted the three young misses.
Fang Yunxiu nearly jumped in fright. She got to her feat and returned the greeting back warmly.
Fang Yuxiu and Fang JInxiu just stood there without moving.
Miss Jun bowed to them too, but she did not say anything and continued walking along with Liu’er.
"How could she be so happy," said Fang Jinxiu.
One of the girls heard this and stepped forward.
"Second Miss, when I went to the kitchens to get the refreshments I heard Lady forgive Young Lady," she reported.
All three of them looked at her without speaking.
"She probably was afraid she would cause trouble again. That would be even worse for Young Master," said another servant girl. "Young Lady mentioned that she wanted to go back to Young Master."
All of the servant girls couldn’t help but gasp in alarm.
"Don’t worry, don’t worry; Lady didn’t agree," said that servant girl hurriedly. "She just permitted her to go and wait on him everyday."
A collective sigh of relief.
"Okay, don’t talk about her anymore," Fang Jinxiu said impatiently.
The young lady was not a pleasant topic for these three young misses. The servants all went silent.
"The flowers are blooming in the garden; the young misses should go take a turn," one servant girl suggested.
March was over halfway through. The lovely spring sunshine shone on abundantly green vegetation. The garden was starting to become delightful.
The capital was already brightly colored in flowers.
The view was magnificent for those seated in a four-story building by the Xuanwu Lake in the capital. The people around surged and faded like waves, the cherry blossoms bloomed like clouds.
The young men had all changed into their spring clothing, simple and clean, but people who could sit in the Qingfeng Hall were not ordinary people.
Ning Yunzhao had been leaning against the railing for ages, so much so that his cup of tea had gone cold.
"What are you thinking about?" asked his friend behind him. "Is it possible you have lost yourself upon seeing a beauty?"
"Miss Wu Xiaoxiao loves cherry blossoms the most. Didn’t she pass by downstairs just now?" one of the other noble sons mentioned.
Wu Xiaoxiao was an entertainer in the capital’s high-class brothel. In the Royal Academy she was chosen as as the premier beauty. Those with looks and talents will be pursued, and any time young men gathered together, she was an indispensable topic.
But when this was said, someone spit out all of the tea in their mouth and started to choke.
"Yunling, were you always this easy to startle?" everyone asked.
Ning Yunling beat his chest, then turned to look at Ning Yunzhao.
"I’m fine, I’m fine," he said. "I just thought of a joke in my hometown."
The group of noble sons would naturally ask what the joke was, but Ning Yunling waved them away and didn’t speak of it.
"Yunzhao, what were you looking at? You stood there for a good half a day." Attention turned back to Yunzhao.
Ning Yunzhao smiled, looking at the cherry blossoms outside.
"I wonder if the flowers in Yangcheng are blooming," he commented.
Flowers were nice, but that’s not something that would linger on the mind. Their noble faces turned up in surprise. The one worthy of thinking about is someone related to flowers.
"So Yunzhao was missing home," some teased.
"One rarely thinks about home. It should be he has someone in his thoughts," someone else teased.
Ning Yunzhao kept smiling, turning his head to look at the floor below. Suddenly, his expression stilled.
"What is it? Is there really a beauty passing by?" asked the other noble sons.
Ning Yunzhao was not smiling anymore. His eyes were fixed below.
"That’s Thousand Man Commander Lu," he said.
Thousand-Man Commander Lu?
There were many people surnamed "Lu", and also many who could fill the position of Thousand-Man Commander, but in the capital, there was only one person that Thousand-Man Commander Lu referred to.
The Jinyiwei Suppression Forces’ Thousand-Man Commander Lu Yunqi.
Although he was a man, in some aspects, he was just like Wu Xiaoxiao. He was a person of interest in conversations in the capital.
All the noble sons present couldn’t stop themselves from rushing up to the railing.
 Royal Academy: official school of music, dance, and theater in the Tang and Ming Dynasties