Why was Madam Shen’s accompany mama here?
Shen Ziqiao quickly understood. It must be that Madam Shen had control over the entire household back then and she wasn’t on friendly terms with the Old Madam. After Madam Shen passed away, Shen Xiao refused to get remarried, so the power of the household naturally landed in Old Madam Shen’s hands. The latter dismissed her daughter-in-law’s trusted aides away as she disliked her.
“Umm… I don’t remember that clearly. But I have been thinking about you all. I just can’t remember your looks.” Shen Ziqiao laughed and acted like a leader, asking, “How have you been living here?”
The Lady whose last name was Shen glanced directly at Shen Ziqiao and her gaze was indifferent, saying. “Third Miss has a noble status, so it’s natural that you don’t remember us servants. You must feel wronged to live in a place like this.”
The atmosphere didn't feel right! Shen Ziqiao gazed at Hong Yu. Could I have some sort of enmity with them?
Hong Yu smiled and said to Lady Meng, “Lady Meng, Third Miss is grown up now and she’s different from the past. Indeed, she has been thinking about you guys. Don’t overthink this.”
Lady Meng sneered and replied, “What can this maid overthink? If This Miss doesn’t have any other orders, this maid will be heading off to do her work.”
Shen Ziqiao didn’t understand the situation, so she couldn’t say much. She smiled and allowed Lady Meng off.
Seeing that Lady Meng had left, the rest of them successively left, leaving only Lady Lin behind. She glanced at Shen Ziqiao very emotionally and tears filled her eyes.
“Third Miss, you look very similar to the late Madam.” Lady Lin wiped the tears from her eyes and glanced at Shen Ziqiao kindly and amiably. “This servant girl used to serve upon Madam.”
Shen Ziqiao touched her face and said, “I don’t remember mother’s appearance anymore.”
When Lady Lin heard this, she couldn’t help but sob again. “When Madam passed away, you were only three years old. It’s normal that you don’t remember her.”
“It’s hot outside. Let’s go inside and talk.” Shen Ziqiao held Lady Lin’s hands and smiled as she spoke.
“How can that work? Third Miss.” Lady Lin glanced at the hand Shen Ziqiao was holding, feeling touched but not knowing what to say.
Shen Ziqiao didn’t understand why Lady Lin was so emotional. She indicated for Hong Yu and Hong Ying to follow them.
The interior of the room was much cooler than outside. Although they didn’t have ice packs to cool down the heat, thankfully the mountain area wasn't that hot from the start. Shen Ziqiao was rather used to the temperature.
“Mama Lin, tell me about my mother.” Shen Ziqiao had Lady Lin sit on the wooden stool and asked in interest.
“This servant doesn’t dare to be called mama. Just call this servant Lady Lin.” Lady Lin was overwhelmed by Shen Ziqiao’s favor. She had never seen Third Miss treat servants so kindly and happily.
Lady Lin glanced at Hong Yu. If it weren’t that she had watched Hong Yu, the little girl, grow up in the residence, she would’ve thought that Third Miss wasn’t really the true Third Miss.
It was as though she had changed as a person completely.
Shen Ziqiao was very interested in the Pan Family’s past. The Pan Family might become her backer in the future, so she rushed Lady Lin to talk more about them.
Lady Lin wasn’t surprised that Shen Ziqiao knew nothing about the Pan Family. When Madam passed away, the Third Miss was still naive and young. No one knowledgeable about the past was by her side. Even more, the Old Madan looked down upon the Pan Family, so she naturally didn’t mention anything to the Third Miss. All these years, the Pan Family’s Granduncle didn’t come to visit the Third Miss either...
Back then, the Lord made such a huge fuss, the Granduncle and the rest probably still hold a grudge against them.
Recalling about the past events, Lady Li felt sorrowful. Just when she had finally stopped crying, she began sobbing again now. “So pitiful. Third Miss must not have lived a good life all these years.”
Shen Ziqiao didn’t quite understand why Lady Li had asked this, so she acted as if she was wronged and replied, “That’s what children without mothers have to experience.”
Lady Lin said, “Third Miss should send the Lord a message. Since the Lord loved the Madam that dearly, he will definitely feel much more tenderness towards you. The Pan Family is influential and rich within the Minyue. Although they are businessmen, the Pan Family’s ancestors had owned lands. However, the family became down and out, so they were forced to become businessmen.”
“You have three Grand-uncles, and they all pampered the Madam very dearly since she was a child. After the Madam passed away, your Grand-uncles were angry and heartbroken, coming from Minyue to the capital to question the Lord. The Lord didn’t get along with them and they ended up fighting. The Old Madam insulted the Pan Family, saying that they were ill-mannered. Third Miss, you also… Your Grand-uncles were infuriated by this and left the capital, cutting off any connection with the Shen Family.” When Lady Lin recalled the past scenes, she resented the Old Madam from the Shen Family more and more.
Although Lady Lin didn’t say it directly, Shen Ziqiao could hear the meaning.
Back then, when Madam Pan passed away due to a sickness, Shen Xiao was already heartbroken and miserable. The Pan Family’s people came to the capital and they naturally wanted to settle accounts with him. If she didn’t guess wrong, the Old Madam must’ve talked badly about Madam Pan in front of Shen Xiao, leading to the fight between Pan Family’s Granduncles and him; ultimately, they cut off any relations with the Pan Family.
The most miserable person from this was Shen Ziqiao, this little girl, who just lost her mother and then the support of the Pan Family.
Lady Lin talked in detail with Shen Ziqiao about the Pan Family in Minyue. As outstanding rich merchants, the Pan Family’s influence wasn’t lacking to the He Family. If Third Miss could obtain the Pan Family’s protection, who would dare to bully her anymore?
Shen Ziqiao was engrossed in listening to this. She didn’t expect that her mother and her family were that wealthy.
“Then why didn’t you return to the Pan Family? Who kicked you all here?” Shen Ziqiao finally asked the question she had been curious about.
Lady Lin was stunned and glanced at her, and then she glanced at the equally stunned Hong Yu.
“Did Third Miss forget?” Lady Li asked in a low voice.
Shen Ziqiao’s expression became proper and she asked, “... I sent you all here?”
Lady Lin lowered her head and tried to keep a steady tone, “That day, this servant and Shaoyao… Or Lady Lin, tried to convince you to give the Lord a message about the Madam’s last words. You thought that us servants were instigating something, so you told the Old Madam… The Old Madam beat us until we couldn’t say anything and then had someone kick us out. Thankfully, the Elder Master returned in time and helped us settle down here.”
“Regarding the others… This servant doesn’t know.” Lady Lin’s voice became softer.
How could I have done something so brainless?!
Shen Ziqiao was speechless. A moment later, she murmured, “I was young and unknowledgeable back then, so I’ve done a lot of stupid things. Mama, don’t blame me.”
Lady Lin, who had been enduring a decade's worth of grievances, finally found a way to vent her emotions because of Shen Ziqiao’s words. She covered her mouth with her two hands and tears streamed down her face. If it weren’t that she had been enduring this, she probably would’ve sobbed out loud.
Shen Ziqiao’s heart felt bitter and she turned around to wipe her tears.
Hong Yu was already silently crying. In the past, she was worried that Third Miss might throw a tantrum and kick Lady Meng and the rest out after seeing them. Now, it seemed like Third Miss had truly grown up.
“Mama Li, don’t be upset. I owe you guys, so I’ll repay my debt in the future.” Shen Ziqiao took out her handkerchief and personally wiped Lady Li’s tears. She decided that after returning to the capital, she would definitely bring the Pan Family’s accompanying maids and mamas back as well.