"Miss Liu’er? Young Lady? Young Master?" the male voice asked again. "Are you all right? I heard the servants say there was noise here."
But there weren’t any servants; they had all been chased out. Where could they have heard the noise?
This was the person Young Miss said might come to investigate.
So Young Miss had left her there to guard the room, in order to deceive them.
But this was, after all, the first night. No one should have come. This would be the worst situation, Young Miss had said before she left.
But Young Miss had not only never imagined that the worst situation would come true, but there would be another outside element, Fang Jinxiu.
Now what should she do?
Liu’er clenched her hands.
Young Miss believed in her; she was the only one Young Miss could rely on; she could not be scared.
"There’s nothing. Who said there was noise? Get out of here," she said ill-temperedly. "Young Master and Young Lady just fell asleep."
As she spoke, she wildly grabbed for Fang Jinxiu’s mouth.
The person outside did not move. He lightly tapped on the door.
"Is Young Master fine?" he asked, uneasy. "Old Lady made it clear Young Master had to be looked after, if anything is wrong… it would be better to call a doctor."
The door groaned from his tapping.
Liu’er started to tremble uncontrollably.
She spoke too much earlier. Usually, Young Master wouldn’t speak, but Young Lady would.
If a second person didn’t speak, this person would definitely barge in.
What should she do?
Could she imitate Young Miss’s voice? She never tried, so she didn’t know whether it would work.
Liu’er, for an instant, felt her scalp go numb and she began to sweat all over.
Right at this time, someone grabbed her hand and moved it away.
"Get out,"said a familiar girl’s voice.
Liu’er raised her head incredulously to look at the one she was being held by, Fang Jinxiu.
The person outside seemed to be scared, and the hand against the door was moved away.
"Young Miss… Young…" he began.
"Liu’er, open the door,"interrupted the female voice. "Let this guard come in."
It was the middle of the night. Letting a man into here personal chambers was a very shocking move.
"Fine. If he wants to look, let him look his fill," she said and moved exaggeratedly towards the door.
The man instantly retreated in fear. He saw the lantern in the room rise.
There were two shadows on the paper covering the door.
The shadows then disappeared, and the door was opened. Liu’er was standing in the entrance, looking like she was about to go to bed.
"Come here," she said angrily, looking at the man who had disappeared into the shadows of the courtyard. "You come here."
The man turned around and ran.
"Someone come here,"said a voice from behind Liu’er, cutting across the tranquility of the night. "Catch that thief!"
In the dark night, the lonesome manor was filled with the shrieks of servant girls as lanterns begun to light, one by one.
A clatter of footsteps. In the end, fiercely burning torches gathered at the rear courtyard.
Below the roof of Young Lady and Young Master’s room, Liu’er was wrapped in a cloak, her face full of wrath.
"Miss Liu’er, we’ve searched high and low. There was no one here," said the head guard.
"Are you saying I’m blind? Are you saying I’m hysterical?" She huffed. "That person crashed open the door to Young Lady’s room."
The guards looked embarrassed.
"They must have run away too far," said a gentle voice from within the room.
Liu’er glared at the guards hatefully.
"You pieces of trash. You can’t even protect one small manor. Tonight, you are not permitted to sleep," she yelled.
The head of the guards blushed and lowered his head in acknowledgement.
"Get out of here," said Liu’er forcefully. She turned around and pushed in the door to get into the room.
He waved a hand, his face red, at the rest of the guards, and they noisily dispersed. However, the manor did not return to complete darkness. There were still lanterns burning; obviously people were making their rounds.
Standing on top of a tree outside of the manor, a man retracted his gaze. He jumped off the tree and dashed off into the night.
After the drum beat signaling the fourth watch period, someone knocked lightly on the door of Head Shopkeeper Song’s room.
In a fraction of a moment, a charming servant girl poked out her head.
"Tell Old Master that nothing wrong on that end," said the person in front of the door quietly.
The servant girl did not say anything and moved back to the covered door.
The person in front of the door listened hard to hear the servant girl’s sweet voice from within, followed by Head Shopkeeper Song’s low laugh. And then he heard a coquettish tone from the girl. Obviously, Head Shopkeeper Song had been aroused from a beautiful dream and wanted to do something graceful and gentle.
Old Master Song’s stringent lifestyle was not without effect. It looked like that even in his old age, his golden spear had not fallen. It truly was enviable.
The man who had come giggled but did not dare to continue listening. He turned around and left.
After the drum beat signaling the fifth watch hour, and after hearing the commotion outside gradually died down, and when there were no longer any people nearby, Liu’er sighed. She relaxed her hands and moved her stiff body into the inner room.
The night lanterns had gone out, and the night had started to fade away. The room was obscured by a layer of curtains hanging down.
Liu’er stopped to look at the bed curtain for a moment, then stepped forward and pulled it open.
Fang Jinxiu was lying on the bed, using her hands as a pillow and staring straight at her.
The two people did not speak. Liu’er bit her lower lip and stepped backwards, then knelt down and raised her head.
Fang Jinxiu rolled her eyes and impatiently rolled over to the inside.
Liu’er did not care that Fang Jinxiu could not differentiate between good and bad. As she knelt on the ground, she clutched her heart.
No matter how you say it, the most dangerous part of what Young Miss had entrusted to her had passed.
She couldn’t imagine that Fang Jinxiu would help imitate her, and she could even less imagine how things would have turned out if Fang Jinxiu wasn’t there.
The young servant girl sat down on the ground, only feeling that what happened today had surpassed the limits of her imagination.
Unthinkingly she remained dull as Fang Jinxiu got angrier and angrier. She didn’t know where the anger was coming from, but she violently flipped over and sat up.
"Where did she go?" she growled.
Liu’er gave her a look.
"I don’t know either," she said.
According to her usual custom, Liu’er would not bother giving additional explanation, but she recalled the help Fang Jinxiu had provided and her lips curled.
"I really do not know. Young Miss only told me that I had to stay here in order to keep secret that she and Young Master were going to a different location, to prevent this room from being discovered tonight," she added. She could not help but also say unhappily, "What Young Miss tells me to do I will do. There is no need for me to ask any questions."
Unlike you who secretly runs off and follows us.
Fang Jinxiu endured the servant girl’s ire, analyzing the meaning in her words.
So it was first to keep a secret, but what secret was being kept?
Then there was this, preventing people from discovering them tonight.
"She said the word tonight?" Fang Jinxiu asked again.
"Yes," she said.
"And after tonight?" asked Fang Jinxiu.
Liu’er shrugged and spread her hands.
"I don’t know that," she said.
You stupid servant girl that doesn’t know anything. With you like that, you won’t even know how you died.
Fang Jinxiu ground her teeth together, pulled back the bed curtains, and laid back down.
The night once again faded as light filtered in through the curtains.
Jun Zhenzhen, where did you go?
Miss Jun lifted up the curtains, looking to the east that was threatening to lighten.
"Have we left the Yangcheng region?" she asked.
Coach driver Lei Zhonglian turned around.
"We have," he said, a complicated expression on his face. He struggled with it until finally he asked, "Young Lady, where are we going?"
Yesterday, after he had delivered Miss Jun and Young Master, he had directly turned back, believing his task had ended. He hadn’t imagined that just as he got back, he would be dispatched to deliver goods.
The sky was black in the direction that was indicated, and just as he was about to rest, he was shouted awake. Then he saw the resting Miss Jun and Young Master being carried, who he had thought had gone into the manor.
Without any explanation, he had been requested to drive the coach. He had not been given any detailed instructions; only what direction to go and that they must go past the borders of Yangcheng.
In this way, he sped through the night. The protective detail did not follow them after they had left Yangcheng.
Now the east was lightening up. In the spring wilderness, there was only them: one cart, three people.
That person in the carriage though, didn’t they say that Young Master was ill to the point of death? They had driven all night without slowing. It was very jolty, could Young Master endure it?
But the most important thing was, where was this cart going?
This time, Miss Jun did not just tell him to go east; instead, she smiled.
"Runan," she said.