Ruined meant it could not be used.
But Lei Zhonglian’s right hand was gripping the reigns. Obviously that was not the case.
He could still hold a bowl and chopsticks, he could still grab things, he could still play mahjong, he could still hold a girl in a dark alleyway.
Why would it be ruined, unusable?
The guards on both sides looked at Lei Zhonglian’s right hand.
And what time is that time?
"You were an escort before," said Miss Jun.
So there was more.
He couldn’t help but look at this girl. A sliver of shock passed through his eyes, but it was immediately replaced with realization.
Since she was the Young Lady of the Fang Family, knowing some things would not be strange.
"Yes," he said. A light flashed in his eyes, and his voice grew disappointed. "I was an escort before."
Yes, he was an escort.
But it wasn’t at the exchange firm. He was with an escort service, and he was, specifically, a bodyguard.
The De Sheng Chang operated a large money business, so naturally it had its own guards.
But sometimes, they would ask special escort professionals, called bodyguards, to go with them.
A mercenary troop, two banners raised, traversing three mountains and five cliffs, friends of four seas and five lakes.
Lei Zhonglian was a member of the Shanxi Yiyouxing Troop. He was even a senior bodyguard, and on missions he would be responsible for escorting the cart and the like.
Before he became a carriage escort bodyguard, he was learning for four years to become an expert at driving carts.
But not many people knew about what he did during his apprenticeship. Moreover, a lot of the people he knew had died.
Sorrow suffused his face.
Fourteen years ago, they had done business with the Fang Family. As a result, tens of his brothers had to be buried unceremoniously in the mountains. He had hurt his right hand, and had drifted aimlessly in the exchange firm ever since.
He had another name, but no one had said it for over a decade.
Dual Spear Lotus.
He turned over his right hand, exposing the sinister scar on his palm.
That’s right. His right hand was ruined because he could no longer wield his blossoming lotus like spear skills. He had no dual spears, so he had become trash.
Those past happenings and emotions of ten years ago had resurfaced because of that girl.
Lei Zhonglian suddenly wanted to say something.
"We should be getting there soon."
But Miss Jun was looking forward.
"Yes, Young Lady," echoed the guards. They pointed for her. "Through that road, right before that stretch of farmland."
Miss Jun looked on with a smile.
"It’s pretty good; not big and not small. It will be quiet there but not empty." She nodded.
The guards agreed.
Lei Zhonglian lowered his head and lightly swung the horsewhip. The horses shifted several paces to the left, going around a depression.
Miss Jun let the curtain down and sat back inside.
Fang Chengyu’s eyes were open. Who knows what he was thinking as he observed the carriage ceiling.
"Are you too hot?" Miss Jun asked.
"En. A bit," he said.
Miss Jun did not make a move to lift up his blankets.
"Just endure it, then we can get off," she said.
"En," was all he said.
After half a day of journeying, Miss Jun and the others stopped at the Fang Family’s other property.
The servants there had been notified earlier and had been waiting for some time. When they saw the horse cart arrive, they went out to greet it.
"Don’t mess with anything," Liu’er immediately shouted at them.
The servants in charge of watching the manner felt somewhat embarrassed at their inferiority and retreated.
They watched Miss Jun lead Liu’er inside. As the rumors said, Miss Jun was cold and proud.
Then they saw the guards carefully lower down Young Master.
Today the weather was very warm, but everybody saw Young Master Fang wrapped in thick bedding, only exposing his sickly face.
It truly was a sin.
He looked so but was sent from his home, and Old Lady Fang and Lady Fang didn’t even come.
It really was just as everyone had said—Young master had been abandoned by Old Lady and Lady.
Now they were just devoted to protecting the child in that servant girls’ stomach. They had tossed Young Master like a toy to give to Young Lady.
As the crowd’s thoughts were running wild, Liu’er came out from the courtyard.
"Young Lady says that there need not be this many people here serving," she said, her eyes sweeping over the people gathered. She pointed at five or six older women. "You stay, everyone else can leave."
The servants were unsettled, but they didn’t dare say anything.
The guards used one of the carriages to send the people away as instructed.
When these people had returned, the Fang residence was filled with gossip.
"I also don’t know what they were thinking. It shouldn’t be this way."
"Isn’t it strange?"
The teahouse naturally did not lack this kind of dialogue.
But this time, Head Shopkeeper Song was somewhat absentminded.
"Using medicine once isn’t such a grand thing, and having this many people spectating?" he said. "Having people spectate from one side is enough, even if she really does get away with it."
The person standing across from him made a sound of confirmation.
"Right now, the most urgent one is that servant girl," said Head Shopkeeper Song.
"Do we make our move now?" asked the person across from him.
Head Shopkeeper Song muttered to himself for a moment.
"Let’s wait first," he said. "There is something I have to confirm."
With two less people, the atmosphere in the house changed. The servant girls and maidservants did not need to tiptoe about. Everyone wore smiles.
These smiles were mostly because Young Master had an heir.
"Miss Lingzhi, you should eat," said the two servant girls holding boxes of food respectfully.
Lingzhi stood up from the brick-bed.
"Miss, slow down," said one of the servant girls obsequiously, stepping forward to support her.
Lingzhi’s face was not trembling with shyness like before, she rather calmly accepted the servant girl’s arm.
"This is something Lady specially prepared for you," the other servant girl said with some envy, holding up a small saucer.
Lingzhi was looking at it when Concubine Su walked in.
"Let me see it first," she said.
Lady Fang had made Concubine Su help out with looking after Lingzhi. After all, she had borne a child before, so she was more dependable that Concubine Yuan who hadn’t.
Lingzhi pulled back her hand, showing great deference to Concubine Su.
"Thank you for your trouble, Concubine," she said.
Concubine Su took the box and vegetables and examined and tasted them, then nodded.
"Concubine is very meticulous," praised the servant girls.
Concubine Su’s expression remained solemn.
"We cannot afford to be careless at this time," she said.
Just as she said this, she heard Fang Yunxiu’s voice shouting for Jinxiu.
Concubine Su went out and saw Fang Yunxiu and Fang Yuxiu walking together.
"Eldest Miss and Second Miss," she greeted.
"Concubine, has Jinxiu come here?" asked Fang Yunxiu.
Concubine Su shook her head and saw Fang Yunxiu and Fang Yuxiu exchange glances of worry.
"Is she causing disaster again?" Concubine Su asked uneasily.
Fang Yuxiu smiled at her.
"She causes trouble everyday, but not enough to be termed disaster," she said with a smile. "Concubine, that’s also not true. If she really was causing disaster, then Grandmother and Mother would have punished her already."
Concubine Su lowered her head and gave a sound of affirmation.
"Young Miss is right, I spoke wrongly," she said.
She was a concubine, but still just a servant. Even if it was her daughter, she had no right to criticize her.
"Concubine, you are too careful," Fang Yunxiu said gently. "Don’t worry, she is just angry with us and trying to avoid us."
Concubine Su made a sound of acknowledgement but did not say anything else. She watched the two young misses walk out.
After they left the courtyard, Fang Yunxiu and Fang Yunxiu’s faces were not as relaxed as before.
"This girl, she definitely ran out selfishly again," Fang Yunxiu said.
"It’s not a problem if she runs out," Fang Yuxiu said. "I’m only afraid that she will run somewhere she shouldn’t go."
Somewhere she shouldn’t go?
Fang Yunxiu stared blankly.
"Where’s that?" she asked anxiously.
For example, a place where those two people had moved to deliberately avoid trouble.
Fang Yuxiu clenched her hand but did not say anything. She looked to the outside.
Twilight had fallen, and the night was here.
Compared to the bustling Yangcheng at night, the sleepy village was already quiet. Some lanterns swung gently in the night breeze in front of the entrance, but it was much more desolate.
The tall courtyard walls were overgrown with weeds and branches.
In the quiet of the night, the branches started to sway. Then someone stood up between them, exhaling deeply.
"Good thing I knew about this dog tunnel," Fang Jinxiu muttered to herself, looking complacent. She lifted her head. In the night, only her shadowy silhouette was visible. "No matter what, even if other people don’t care about Little Brother, I will take care of him. No one can bully him."