Lady Lin was so shocked that she couldn’t even muster the energy to cry.
The fact that the Third Miss was willing to listen to her talk calmly, she found it to be very shocking and incredulous already. From her impression, the Third Miss would never talk more than necessary to servants like them. Saying it in an unpleasant way, she treated them like dogs.
Yet, she actually said just now that she owed them...
“Third Miss, Third Miss…” Lady Lin was so emotional that she couldn’t form words.
Shen Zhenqiao was dumbstruck by Lady Lin’s sobbing. I didn’t say anything wrong, did I? Does she need to cry to this point?
“Hong Ying, go draw some water and help Mama Li wash her face.” Shen Ziqiao ordered Hong Ying and then turned around to say to Lady Lin, “When I was young, everyone pampered me and I became undisciplined and out of control. I don’t know how to be considerate to others. Plus, without my mother guiding and accompanying me, I found out how difficult my life was. Lady Lin, it’s all because of me that you all suffered.”
Lady Lin couldn’t help but kneel and say, “Third Miss, with these words, this maid finds all the suffering to be worth it.”
Hong Ying wiped Lady Lin’s face with the thin silk. Shen Ziqiao smiled and said, “Ok, let’s not say anything else in case Lady Lin cries again.”
After wiping Lady Lin’s face, Hong Ying sat back down again.
Lady Lin asked why Shen Ziqiao had come to the Liuyun Village and the latter explained how the Old Madam had kicked her here. Lady Lin was so angry, saying that Old Madam was bullying them.
Although she wanted to ask a lot more questions, it was impossible to recount what happened in the past decade within a day. After Lady Lin calmed down, she said that she was going to tell Lady Meng and the others about how the Third Miss was bullied in the Shen Family, and then she bowed and left.
Once Lady Lin left, Shen Ziqiao laid on the lounge chair, in a daze and somewhat dispirited.
Hong Yu came back from outside and was worried after seeing Shen Ziqiao like this. She walked over lightly and asked, “Third Miss, what’s the matter?”
“Hong Yu, Lady Meng must have been resenting me when she said those words.” After hearing Lady Lin’s words, Shen Ziqiao then understood why Lady Meng was talking to her in such a resentful and mad tone.
The people in the Liuyun Village more or less resented her. They were originally her mother’s trusted aides, but instead of treating them preciously, she helped the Old Madam kick them out. If it weren’t that she was kicked here, she probably wouldn't have seen them again in her life.
“Third Miss, you were small back then, so it’s unavoidable that you were led astray.” Hong Yu comforted her in a low voice.
Shen Ziqiao turned around to glance at Hong Yu, who was only two to three years older than her. “You seem to know quite a bit. Could it be that you served my mother in the past as well?”
Hong Yu softly chuckled and said, “How could I? When Madam was still alive, this maid was only five or six years old. This maid’s mother used to be the Madam’s maid in the past. Because I was unremarkable, I was able to stay in the residence.”
“It’s not that simple, is it?” Shen Ziqiao sat up and glanced at Hong Yu with clear and bright eyes. If it weren’t that Hong Ying had answered back to Lady Li, she would’ve never noticed the two sisters. Hong Yu was just an unremarkable maid in Qiao Xin Courtyard, so how could she possibly know everything, and even recognize Lady Lin and Lady Meng?
Even if Hong Yu’s mother had told her about this, it didn’t make sense. Wasn’t her mother just a maid?
Hong Yu felt a little guilty when she met Shen Ziqiao’s gaze. She lowered her head and crossed her hands, saying, “Third Miss, all these years, the Elder Master has been telling this maid’s mother to give Lady Meng and the rest some items and essentials. This maid… That’s how this maid found out about some things.”
Shen Ziqiao said ‘oh’ and continued, “Since Elder Brother knows that mother’s accompanying mamas are here, why doesn’t he bring them back to the capital?”
“The Old Madam has the final say at home.” Hong Yu replied.
Indeed, how could the Old Madam allow them in the house? Letting them stay here would be safer than being in the capital.
“Then tell me everything that you know.” Shen Ziqiao said.
Hong Yu sighed and sat by the wooden stool near the bed, talking about everything she learned about the Pan Family from her mother.
Lady Lin went to find Lady Meng in the kitchen excitedly.
“Shaoyan, listen to me. Third Miss is really different. She even actively asked me about the Madam and said that she’ll take us back to the capital. Madam will definitely be happy to find out that Third Miss has become such an elegant and amiable person.” Lady Lin pulled on Lady Meng’s hands and said excitedly.
Lady Meng held an indifferent expression and said, “She can’t change her nature. Only you would believe her.”
Lady Lin shook her head and said, “If you hear what Third Miss said, you won't think so anymore. Third Miss said that she owes us.”
“She really said that?” Lady Meng was stunned. The Third Miss would say something like that?
“You won’t believe it either, but the Third Miss really said that…” Lady Lin told Lady Meng everything that Shen Ziqiao had said in the room.
“... She was instigated by the Old Madam when she was young, so she didn't know that we truthfully meant well for her. Now that she is grown up, she naturally knows who’s genuine towards her. All these years, the Third Miss must not have been living a good life in the capital.” As Lady Lin said this, she began to choke with emotions again.
Lady Meng’s indifferent expression seemed to be moved. But thinking of how Shen Ziqiao had insulted her and treated her in disdain, she couldn’t find it in herself to expect anything anymore. She said calmly, “You believe in people too easily. Wait for some more days. You’ll find out by then who the Third Miss truly is.”
Lady Lin knew that Lady Meng had a deeper knot in her heart than hers, so she didn’t say anything else. She went back to work.
In the blink of an eye, a few days passed and Shen Ziqiao gradually got used to the simple and fulfilling life in the village. However, she found her life to be quite boring since she went to sleep after she finished eating, and then woke up to eat again.
She had a general understanding of the servants in the village. Old Madam’s trusted aide wasn’t here, so she wasn’t afraid that the Old Madam would find out what she was doing. However, the servants treated her quite indifferently. It wasn’t that they didn’t respect her, but they weren’t close.
Maybe it was because they still held a grudge over how she had kicked them out back then.
She had read quite a few novels and although she didn’t have combat experience, she knew how important it was to have a few trusted and loyal aides. In the capital, besides Hong Yu and Hong Ying, there was basically no one else she could believe. If she had Lady Lin and the other’s help, wouldn’t it be much easier to scheme and frame Sheng Peiyin?
At least, she could guarantee that she wouldn’t be schemed at by Old Madam Shen.
But how can I bring Lady Lin and the rest back to the capital? This was a huge issue. She had barely any status in the Shen Family, so even if she brought them back, she couldn’t promise their safety.
She should wait for Shen Xiao and his son to come back before doing anything.
Because she was extremely bored, Shen Ziqiao came out of her room. She was wondering about Sheng Peiyin’s revenge plan and how it was going. She wasn’t worried in the least that she would be schemed and forced to marry Qi Zheng.
After all, Qi Zheng wasn’t stupid, so how could he allow himself to be schemed against?