The clothes that had already been taken off were tossed in too.
Fang Chengyu smiled.
Now the medicinal liquid's stinging was just a tickle to him. He smiled underneath the ripples of water, looking at the girl standing next to the bath.
So I made you angry.
"So that's how it is?" The girl was smiling. "If you don't intend to, you won't obediently lie down?"
Fang Chengyu's smile immediately intensified.
He opened his mouth to retort back, but saw Miss Jun pour the contents of a copper tray into the water.
What was this?
Just as this thought flashed through his mind, he felt like the entire bath feel like a deep fryer was thrown into a bucket of water, as crackling sounds popped.
Fang Chengyu did not even have time to shout before he fell unconscious.
These children were really troublesome.
Miss Jun watched the young man in the ripples of the bath.
He was not like her when she was young. When she was young, she was very obedient. She would never annoy others.
When Fang Chengyu woke up, the sun rays of first spring were filtering through the drapes.
The sunlight blinded his eyes, and he rolled away from it while straining to grasp the sounds from outside.
It was dead silent.
Fang Chengyu rolled over again. He confirmed that below his waist he was not very flexible, but it was not as stiff as before.
He pushed himself up to a sitting position and moved his legs slightly. They were numb. Sweat poured down his forehead. His heart beat nervously and a blink seemed to last an eternity. Finally, he hung his legs over the bedside.
This year, he was fourteen. He was neither young nor old. He could be considered a boy or a young man. Although because of his body he was evidently weaker than others of his age, he could feel his feet pressing down on the foot stool as he sat on the bedside.
He was not wearing shoes.
He could not put on his own shoes; the servants did that for him. So the shoes weren't somewhere he could reach easily, but rather where it was easy for the servant girls to reach.
Fang Chengyu sat on the bedside, unmoving. He seemed a bit dizzy.
He had not sat this way for a very long time.
Of course, he had sat before, but the servants were the ones who had pushed him into an upright sitting position. Sitting up on his own was the first time in many years.
He could sit. He could move his legs.
He couldn't help but tap his feet on the foot stool.
Spring had begun, but Yangcheng was still chilly, so there was still a charcoal brazier in the room.
His feet felt warm as he tapped them against the ground.
Fang Chengyu was like a naughty child, stepping down on the foot stool over and over again.
He could move now. Maybe he could walk after some time?
Could he walk? Walk on his own? To run as fast as flying?
Fang Chengyu's heart was beating erratically, but he sobered up the next moment.
He couldn't deny that his body's current changes were due to that woman's work.
Every night she forced him into that painful bath and did things to him once he passed out.
Fang Chengyu lifted up his hands. His sleeves slid down to reveal his frail wrists. Under the light of the sun, he could see miniscule needle punctures.
The acupuncture needles were very fine, but puncturing the same places everyday without end would leave marks.
She really could cure him?
That was impossible. If she could really do it, she would have used it as blackmail when she came into the Fang Family.
She wanted to marry into the Ning Family with all her heart, and he was Grandmother's and Mother's dearest treasure. If she could control them with this, Grandmother would have sent her to be an imperial concubine if she wanted, much less marry into the Ning Family.
Why would she bother using a petty trick like hanging herself to threaten them.
Grandmother and Mother had forgotten this point in their desperation. Although he was benefiting, he saw this as a non-spectator.
But it could be...
Fang Chengyu's hands wandered to his lower body. After sensing something, his face flushed involuntarily.
He saw the corner of a book peeking out under his pillow, and his expression was dzed once more.
A chill crept through his soul.
The charcoal brazier had cooled somewhat. His socked feet could not keep out the cold.
Fang Chengyu's heart also cooled.
What she wanted, what Grandmother and Mother wanted, he knew very well.
Since it was like that, he would give it to them. But he would do it on his own terms.
Fang Chengyu pressed his feet against the foot stool hard, but the increase in strength was not enough for him to walk.
Could he be able to walk in the future?
But he didn't believe this would last forever. Those kinds of medicines consumed the last of a person's flesh, very quickly burning it all away.
But he could walk.
Fang Chengyu lifted up the curtains and looked at the bright and beautiful sunlight. Through the glass, he could see the courtyard flooded with green.
Even just one day was fine.
If he could walk, what would he do?
He remembered when he was young he had went once to a mountain out of the city. The scenery there was beautiful.
Nearby there was an alley behind the house. He remembered there were people selling sweets there; they were especially good.
Fang Chengyu couldn't stop the smile spreading across his face. The servants milled about in the yard, seeming to be murmuring to one another while gesturing angrily in a particular direction.
That direction was where that woman stayed during the day.
The servants felt that it was too much respect to even be angry at her.
Fang Chengyu fell silent.
This body would die sooner or later. A rubbish person. A piece of trash that was to die didn't need to be so antagonistic.
Seeing her spend so much energy and thought for his sake, seeing her behind him giving it her last effort, he would no longer ridicule her.
But was she not at home?
Fang Chengyu suddenly thought that although the servants resented her like no other, no one would dare be respectful in front of her or her sharp-eyed servant.
Just now, there were two servant girls blatantly whispering in the courtyard, indicating she was not here.
Where did she go?
"Where are you going?"
Fang Yunxiu was grabbing Fang Jinxiu's hand.
Fang Jinxiu wrapped her cloak around herself and pulled up her hood with a disapproving expression.
"I'm going to the garden house," she said. "My flowers are branching; I need to take care of them."
Fang Yunxiu refused to let go of her hand.
"You can't fool me. You wouldn't look like that going to the garden house," she said. "Are you going out?"
As she said this, she lifted Fang Jinxiu's cloak.
Fang Jinxiu dodged her hand but exposed her other hand. Shockingly, she was holding a horsewhip.
"Eldest Sister, don't worry about it. I just want to go out for a walk. Today is the 3rd day of the 3rd month," she said. "Everyday I've been locked up in here. I'm going to die here; I just want to go out riding."
"Stop stalking nonsense. You want to go out? Yesterday you didn't, tomorrow you won't, you only want to go out when she is. Do you think I'm a fool?" Fang Yunxiu scolded.
Fang Jinxiu paled slightly.
"This is such a big a house, such a big a city. Could it be I still have to avoid her?" she replied.
"Jinxiu, I know that you are afraid she will cause trouble, fooled as she was by that Miss Lin. But you do not need to worry. Yuxiu just sent word; Grandmother assigned reliable people to go with her, as well as arranged for people to follow her secretly," Fang Yunxiu consoled.
A cold smile flashed across her face.
"Yes, Grandmother has arranged things so well. Such sweet concern," she said.
She ripped her hand out and ran outside.
"I will play as I want. Eldest Sister, you do not need to worry."