Chapter 46 The Two Maids Who Came Before And After
“What is it in your hand, Qing Cui?” Qin Wanru inquired, putting down the book in her hands.
Qing Cui, who was taken aback and said in a hurried tone, “Second Miss Qin, it’s important to find out whose letter that is, did not take in Qin Wanru! I found this letter on the floor, is it yours? I saw you writing a letter earlier on.”
“I did not ask anyone to go to the kitchen to get me snacks, did I?” Qin Wanru said to Qing Yue, ignoring Qin Cui.
“Second Miss Qin usually does not eat any snacks after lunch. This is Second Miss Qin’s nap time,” Qing Yue lifter her head to look straight at Qing Cui and asked with a severe tone, “Qing Cui, you are the personal maid the Elder Miss Qin, aren’t you familiar with your mistress’s daily routine? Did you go to the kitchen to fetch a snack or did you make a special trip to get the letter?”
“What do you mean by this, Qing Yue? Are you saying I’ve made a special trip to the kitchen to get myself some snack?” Qing Cui asked Qing Yue furiously and started blushing.
”I’m not sure if you are eyeing on the snacks, but I’m sure Miss Qin did not ask for snacks!” responded Qing Yue in an unhurried manner.
“I’m just afraid that Miss Qin would be hungry, so I made a special trip to the kitchen. That’s when I realized that there were freshly baked cakes, so I specially brought some for Miss Qin. As a personal maid, shouldn’t I be concerned about this?” Qin Yue explained, stammering a little as she rolled her eyes.
“Being concerned about what I missed? Does it apply to this letter which you pick up too?” Qin Wanru answered impassively and continued, “Ever since you returned, I’ve never asked you to enter my room. How did you see me write a letter?”
“Miss Qin, there’re no other masters staying around here. Whose letter would this be if it’s not yours, Miss Qin?” Qing Cui persisted with gritted teeth, wanting to complete what Mrs. Qin had entrusted her, although she was starting to panic a little.
“No other masters? How can you be so sure I was the one who wrote the letter? If someone were to be found dead now, will you say I am the one who killed him?” Qin Wanru snorted and she cast a cold look at Qing Cui. She continued, “What a cunning maid, are you thinking of making me a scapegoat for anything that goes wrong?”
“Miss Qin, I…” Qing Cui was shocked as she had never met such a sharp Qin Wanru. The hateful look in Qin Wanru’s eyes was making Qing Cui very nervous. She tried to avert her gaze as Qin Wanru’s look was like a sharp knife, cutting through to what she was thinking. They were not the usual innocent eyes of Second Miss Qin.
“Kneel!’ cried Qing Yue as she threw a kick on Qing Cui’s leg. Qing Cui took two quick steps forward and fell forward into a kneeling position.
“How dare you kick me, Qing Yue!” cried Qing Cui, who was not fuming. She widened her eyes and reached out to Qing Yue, willing to pull herself up.
Although both Qing Cui and Qing Yue were personal maids of Second Miss Qin, Qing Cui had always been held with higher esteem. When Nanny Fang was the overall in-charge of the maids, Qing Cui had always been the more valued one by Nanny Fang.
“Why shouldn’t I kick you? You have anyhow taken a letter and use it to frame Miss Qin!” said Qing Yue as she leaped behind Qing Cui nimbly and gave her a hard kick so much so Qing Cui, who had just managed to pull herself up, was forced to kneel down again.
This time, her knees landed on the floor even harder than the first so much so that there was a loud thud when her knees touched the floor and the pain made Qing Cui cried out in agony.
“Please go fetch my mother here, Nanny Yu!” Qin Wanru said coldly and calmly.
Nanny Yu, who was standing by, had been waiting for instructions. She walked up, waved and indicated to a maid to go to fetch Mrs. Qin. After the maid had left for Mrs. Qin, she called for another maid to hurry to Qin Huaiyong’s study to fetch the general.
The two maids left the room one after another, so the first maid was aware that another maid had been sent to the general.
“Qing Cui, do you think you’ve been wronged?” said Qin Wanru slowly to Qing Cui, who was fuming.
“Miss Qin, what does this lowly Qin Yue think she’s doing? I’m going to teach her a lesson!” Qing Cui directed her accusation at Qing Yue, but did not dare to look Qin Wanru in the eye. She gritted her teeth and glared at Qing Yue with a hateful look as she tried to pull herself up once again.
“Kneel!” Qin Wanru commanded with an icy cold tone.
By this time, Qing Cui was so furious that she had totally lost her composure. With fiery eyes, she cried out, “Based on what authority do you make me kneel before you, Second Miss Qin?”
“Based on the fact that I’m your mistress!” Qin Wanru said impassively as her icy glare fell on the letter, which accidentally slipped out of Qing Cui’s hand. That particular envelope containing the letter was none other than the one, which contained the letter from the son of Duke Yong.
It appeared to be identical!
The corner of Qin Wanru’s lips curled up into a mocking smile as she realized that Mrs. Qin was obviously in panic. She was certain that Mrs. Qin was using exactly the same trick as before to push all the blame to her.
“Miss Qin, while you are my master, you’re an unfair master, who showed partiality. Apparently, Qing Yue was the one who kicked me. Why then did you command me to kneel down instead of her?” said Qing Cui with a raised voice and red eyes.
When a number of maids and servants outside Qin Wanru’s room heard noises coming from the room, they put down whatever work they were doing and looked into the window of the room quietly. Some even stood in groups of three or fours and started talking quietly with animated gestures. Qin Wanru’s yard had turned into a market place where people had gathered to entertain themselves.
“So I’m a master who’s showing partiality?” said Qin Wanru, who turned her gaze from the window to look at Qing Cui coldly, then continued saying, “Since she said I’m partial, let it be. Qing Yue, give her what she deserves, so she would learn who exactly the master here is!”
“Yes, Miss!” Qing Yue answered with a loud, clear voice, and then stretched out her arm to rest her hand on Qing Cui’s head and pressed it down with force, saying, “Apologize to Miss Qin!”
Qing Cui would never have expected Qing Yue to really lay hands on her. She started to struggle angrily and tried to reach out to catch hold of Qing Yue’s arm. Unfortunately, the angle at which Qing Yue was holding on to Qing Cui did not allow her to touch her. By the time, Qing Yue had pushed her head down a few times as a gesture of apology; Qing Cui was feeling dizzy and was seeing stars.
Qing Cui grasped the air instead of Qing Yue’s hand. Overcome by rage, she scolded, “How dare you, Qing Yue! You debased girl!”
“Why should I be afraid? There’s no need for me to be afraid to deal rightly with the maid who tries to frame my mistress!” said Qin Yue as she let out a cold laugh, standing behind Qing Cui.
“I’m going to tear you to pieces, you debased girl!” Qing Yue’s head was being pressed down so hard that she was beginning to see stars. She could vaguely see some a shadow moving in front of her but was unable to see clearly who that was. She could only at the shadow and shout.
In fact, she was actually pointing diagonally at Qin Wanru instead of pointing towards Qing Yue.
“You, as a servant girl, had offended your master. Give her a slap for that!” said Qin Wanru severely, as this was the opportunity Qin Wanru had been waiting for.
Nanny Yu, who was standing by went up to Qing Cui and gave her four tight slaps.
“You…, debased girl!” cried Qing Cui, whose vision was still blurred and could not tell exactly who gave her the slaps, but she could taste blood in her mouth.
The maids and servants outside the room started to talk noisily as they wondered and remarked about why Qing Cui had the audacity to curse her mistress.
“What’s happening?” some said with a displeased tone. As the maids and servants turned around and realized that it was Mrs. Qin who had come, they quickly stood back and made clear a path for her. It seemed that Mrs. Qin had managed to come within a short time, and one could see that she was wearing a calm smile.
“Save me, Madam, save me! Second Miss Qin is going to beat me to death! Please save your servant!” screamed a familiar voice, which made Mrs. Qin realize that it was Qing Cui’s voice.
“Wanru, why did you beat up a maid?” Mrs. Qin said, casting a glance at Qing Cui, who was looking pathetic, with messy hair and swollen face. Mrs. Qin could almost feel the pain of Qing Cui’s bruises on her face.
She must have used a lot of strength on her!
“Madam, Second Miss Qin wanted to beat me to death just because I chanced upon her letter. Please save me, Madam!” Qing Cui’s confidence leaped when she heard Mrs. Qin’s voice and she started to cry out with her complaints.
“Is there such a thing, Wanru? What letter is that?” said Mrs. Qin as she turned to look at Qin Wanru with a look of shock on her face.
“Mother, this maid cursed me just now. Would Mother believe the words of a maid who offends her master?” Qin Wanru said dispassionately.
“Madam, it is not as what Second Miss Qin said. I’m actually scolding Qing Yue that debased servant girl. I’m not directing those words at Second Miss Qin. Miss Qin was trying to shield Qin Yue by speaking up for her!” Qing Cui cried out.
“How would a maid dare to curse you, Wanru?” Mrs. Qin gave out a laugh and continued with a gentle voice, saying, “Have you been naughty again? You’re getting older and you shouldn’t be pulling these childish antics. Although this matter concerns the maids and may seem like it’s not a big deal, it involves a person’s life after all, how can you simply cook up a story? How can we do such evil things within our family?”
Although Mrs. Qin said all these with a smiley face and sounded as if she was giving Qin Wanru some heartfelt advice, this was actually part of her evil plan to push all blame onto Qin Wanru. She was, in fact, accusing Qin Wanru of brutally punishing an innocent maid, while shielding another maid whom she favored.
The servants outside the room could see clearly through the window what was happening. They were all wearing a mocking look at this moment, thinking that Mrs. Qin was rebuking Second Miss Qin again, as usual.
Second Miss Qin was being reprimanded rather frequently and they were wondering why she never learnt her lesson!
If you knock an egg against the stone, would the egg be able to withstand the impact?
“Do you think I’m in the wrong, Mother?” Qin Wanru lifted her gaze to Mrs. Qin after hearing what Mrs. Qin said. She cast an impassive look at Mrs. Qin and raised her eyebrows as if she was questioning Mrs. Qin.
“You have always been such a willful child…” Mrs. Qin chuckled and continued, “Stop pulling tricks, let Mother have a look at the letter you wrote!”
Mrs. Qin’s intention was the turn the situation around so that everyone’s attention would be directed towards the letter.
“What do you mean by this, Mother? Are you saying that you trust the word of a maid more than me?” Qin Wanru snorted and started to speak with a severe tone.
The smile on Mrs. Qin’s face froze and her expression turned to that of rage. While she had no way of dealing with Shui Ruolan at this moment, would she also fail to deal with this little girl? Qin Wanru did not seem to want to back off in front of so many pairs of eyes, and Mrs. Qin was starting to boil inside her.
“Wanru, I’m your mother. Do you think a mother would try to bring harm to her own daughter?” said Mrs. Qin, frowning and sounding displeased but also a little embarrassed.
In the past, Mrs. Qin had always hinged on the fact that she was Qin Wanru’s mother to explain that she would not do anything to bring harm to her. She always used this phrase to cover up her intentions and Qin Wanru had used to give her the benefit of doubt.
However, things had changed. Everyone knew that she was not Qin Wanru’s birth mother.
Under Qin Wanru’s long eyelashes was a pair of eyes filled with many deep thoughts. She had always been fooled by Mrs. Qin’s seemingly sincere claims in her previous life, and this was what eventually led her to her death.
“Of course a birth mother would never do anything to harm her own daughter. Mother, I know for a fact that you would never do anything to harm Elder Sister! However, I’m not so sure about me. Am I really your daughter?” said Qin Wanru, as a sad look flashed across her eyes. The voice she used was not too loud, but she made sure everyone witnessing this scene could hear her words!