Chapter 86: The Fourth Young Lady of Prince Jing’s Mansion?
“Sir, we’re from the Imperial City. We’re here to find someone. Could we get inside to rest for a while and have some tea? Of course, we don’t take things for granted.” This time, when one of the servants saw that a young but cold and serene man opened the doors, he smiled to create a good impression to the other and took out a silver. He believed that the other would become polite and invite them to get to the house and rest. In fact, the chief manager and momo* were more than fifty years old. How could they endure the summer heat like this!
(momo/ 嬷嬷- can be used as a suffix for an elderly lady or a wet nurse)
Moreover, it was a whole silver! To the people in such a rural and poor village, it was enough for one person to live on for the whole year. Such a good deal, he didn’t think that this man, although not like a rural at all, would deny.
“Apologies, we’re not a tea house or an inn. Guests, please leave. At your four-horse carriages’ speed, I think you can return to the lively city where you can find everything in less than fifteen minutes.” Lin Si Yao stood at his door, stopping the others, his face emotionless. Compared to Situ Yun’s excuse to shoo them away, it was not much better.
“Sir!” When the servant called after him, he felt cold air gathered around Lin Si Yao. He was suppressed, trembling backward to the old man.
“Cough… Cough…” The old man pretended to cough. He turned to look at the elder woman, who couldn’t endure the blazing sunlight anymore and she already got a fever, shaking his head. “We should come to the city and rest first.” Though they didn’t have much time, they didn’t know if they could find the Fourth Young Lady before the Elder Wangye (Prince Jing)…
“But…” The old woman was surprised, looking at Liang An. He… Wasn’t he always more worried than I am? Why would he… The old woman tried to support her body which was about to faint, leaning against the wall.
“No more talking. Your body can’t endure such a long waiting.” Moreover, the old man calculated in his head, his intelligence report wasn’t so sure. Perhaps, the woman in this house wasn’t the Prince Jing’s Mansion’s Fourth Young Lady. They had come here without rest or sleep for several days. But now, their hope might vanish.
“A Yao… They…” Su Shuilian followed Lin Si Yao to the main gate. She was curious, pointing at the group of people standing by her doors. Lin Si Yao cursed under his breath.
“Damn it!” Because he was listening to the other two’s conversation, he missed one beat to close the doors. It was too late. Su Shuilian had seen them.
“Fourth Young Lady!” the group of maids cried in surprise.
“Fourth Young Lady!” the (male) servants inhaled.
“Fourt Young Lady!” … the two elders exchanged looks after they cried, both disbelief and astonishment.
Facing the Fourth Young Lady of Prince Jing’s Mansion, whom they hadn’t met for one year and a half, pregnant, there was no need to mention how shocked they were. The rapid train of thought from Lin Si Yao’s consideration was interrupted Su Shuilian’s next words.
“You guys… mistook me with someone else…” Su Shuilian was perplexed, turning around to see Lin Si Yao and then looked back at the others. She said immediately, but then, she got a big possibility arising in her head: This body was actually the Fourth Young Lady that the others had mentioned. Oh my God, she had tried hard to hide but she still had to face them so soon?
“Fourth Lady… You don’t recognize the this momo?” The old woman shivered. Her two maids were trying to support her to walk to Su Shuilian.
Su Shuilian shook her head. “Auntie, do you mistake me with someone else? I’m not the Fourth Young Lady you’ve mentioned. I’m Su Shuilian, and now I’m Madam Lin,” she answered with a smile. Although she felt guilty that she had possessed the girl’s body, she knew that, no matter what, she couldn’t be a give in and disclose the details.
“The others may mistake you, but I will never. You’re the Fourth Young Lady of Prince Jing’s Mansion. The Elder Princess (Wangfei) has been searching for you for one year round.” The old woman shook her head and rejected Su Shuilian’s excuse. “The exact appearance. And the tiny black mole on your right earlobe. It’s exactly the same with the late Yiniang* Jing.”
(姨娘 / Yiniang: a concubine)
“I… I don’t remember… the past stories..” Su Shuilian half closed her eyes.
If they confirmed her identity like that, the best excuse was to pretend a case of memory lost?
“Poor child,” the old woman had teary eyes. She took out a silk handkerchief and rubbed her eyes. “My Lady, you have suffered for one year and a half.”
“Ahem…” When the old man saw their Fourth Young Lady actually in this small house, he was able to calm his anxious heart. He cleared his throat and talked to Lin Si Yao, who was watching Su Shuilian talking with momo. “Ahem, Sir… Can we get into the house and talk? I think the Fourth Lady can’t endure this scorching heat.”
Lin Si Yao put his tangling thought aside, reaching out to hold Su Shuilian and support her belly. Turning around, they walked to the main house. He neither invited the others nor closed the door in front of them.
Is it… the way they treat the guests? The old man and the old woman exchanged looks, forcing a smile.
“Guests… Please come and have a cup of tea. Our yard is small so I’m afraid the carriages have to wait outside.” Su Shuilian was supported to the living room by Lin Si Yao. She turned and tenderly smiled at them. As they had believed that she was their Fourth Young Lady, she couldn’t let them outside at noon like this.
Four people sat face-to-face at a square table.
After Prince Jing Mansion’s delegation entered the yard, Situ Yun had taken some corn steamed rolls and left to the new house through the backdoor. Although he didn’t know why the beautiful sister related to Prince Jing’s Mansion, but before the accumulated wrath of his Uncle Si Ling explodes, he should get as far away as possible. His little life was more important, wasn’t it?
“Young Lady, Chiefmanager An and Xia-momo* weren’t polite enough. We shouldn’t sit at the same table with you…” The old women signaled the two maids to leave. She looked at Su Shuilian lovingly.
(She’s referring to herself in third-person)
“No need to be polite. Although I have no impression of the Fourth Young Lady identity you’ve said, if you guys have crossed thousands of miles from Feng Cheng, you must have endured the hardship on the way…”
Su Shuilian poured them tea, talking tenderly.
The Imperial City Feng Cheng, she had read about it in Da Hui’s geography document, was more than one thousand and three hundred miles far from here. If the four-horse carriage ran fast, it would take more than two days and two nights. Moreover, the two in front of her, one was over fifty and the other was over seventy years old, had to endure a lot during the journey.
“I carve your mercy in my heart. But, Young Lady, after lunch, can you go with us to meet the Elder Wangye(Prince)?” The old man couldn’t suppress his worry, asking directly.
Su Shuilian was bewildered. She turned to see Lin Si Yao sitting next to her and saw his perplexed, but frowning face. “Chief Manager An, you see, my body…” She was six-month pregnant. And because it could possibly be twins, she looked even bigger and heavier.
“Don’t dream about that,” Lin Si Yao said darkly. Immediately, he turned to Liang An, who sat opposite to him. “I don’t know if she’s the one you want to find. What I know is, she’s my wife. She got twins. If you worry for her, you shouldn’t say this kind of thoughtless things.”
“A Yao…”Su Shuilian reached to Lin Si Yao’s tight fist he placed on his thigh, smiling mildly. She wanted to comfort him, erasing his worries. She turned to Liang An and the momo who was said to be the dowry maid* of the Elder Wangfei.
“Do you have any urgent matter?” She asked as she could see these two wouldn’t have a low position in the Prince’s mansion, even though they were old. They had been travelling for a long time, how could they endure that? Why the Prince’s mansion had sent them to search for her, ah, no, for the Fourth Young Lady?
“Miss, I don’t want to lie to you. After you went missing, the Elder Wangye was so sick he couldn’t even get up. We’ve hired many detectives to find you. We got nothing. As wangye’s situation is getting worse, he often calls your name in his sleep. Her Highness knows His Highness missed you a lot. If he couldn’t cure his ill heart, his body wouldn’t get better.
Early this year, De Wangye(Prince), who is Miss’s elder half brother from another mother, he had abdicated his imperial position because the elder Wangye had gotten sick. And early this year, the elder wangye and wangfei (princess consort) of the Xiang Prince’s Mansion, who have a good relationship with His Highness, had passed by the Fan Luo City to visit a pagoda to pray. They saw you by chance. Her Highness immediately sent some detectives to this city to find you for several months. When they got your address, we’re sent to take you home. Her Highness asked me to send you this message: “Xu-er, you’ve always behaved and be nice. You won’t hate us for a long time. The Prince’s mansion is your home. When you’ve played enough, you should go home.” Sending the message of the former Wangfei of Prince Jing’s Mansion, the old man looked at Su Shuilian with hope. “Fourth Young Lady, the Fifty Young Lady is grounded because of this. Her Highness ordered her not to talk and not to go out much before she gets married. Though it is not my place to say, but she has been punished enough for what she had done. About Yiniang Jing, your mother… After you went missing, her memorial tablet has been welcomed and placed in the Liang family’s ancestral temple. His Highness and Her Highness accepted her. Young Lady, will you…”
“I told you I don’t remember the stories of the previous time.” Su Shuilian smiled and shook her head. She didn’t pretend. She really didn’t remember and she would never be able to remember.
However, listening to this elder lady’s unclear explanation, she somehow understood why she had to hide in Mount Da Shi alone: Her mother passed away, and her memorial tablet hadn’t been placed in the ancestral house of the Prince’s mansion. If so, she was an illegitimate daughter that the Prince’s mansion didn’t accept? No wonder… She ran away from the mansion as the Fifth Lady mocked her. She didn’t want anybody to find her so she hid in the deep, rural area like Mount Da Shi. That’s why she was gone and Su Shuilian got the chance to take her body.
Su Shuilian sighed inwardly. Liang En Xu? Could it be possible that you have replaced me and lived in Suzhou, China? Are you living well? From now on, you’re the famous eldest legitimate daughter, Su Shuilian, of the Su family in Suzhou, China. And me, I am now the Fourth Young Lady, Liang En Xu, of the Jing Wangye’s Mansion in the Imperial city of Da Hui Empire. It’s really mysterious, isn’t it?
If it’s true, I hope that you, in the other dimension, can find a man who loves you and protects you like I do. I hope you would treat my mother, who has endured the hardship half of her life, well. And me, I will do the same for you…
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