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At noon, Elder Jiang led two maidservants towards a certain manor. When they had arrived at the room’s closed door, he respectfully shouted: “Young master.”
“Come in.” A voice in the room replied.
With a creaking sound, the door was pushed open from the outside, Elder Jiang came into the room followed by the two maidservants. In the room, a tall stature could be seen standing close to an open window.
With his hands behind his back, facing the wind, the cold wind blew into his hair, his sleeves fluttering, with a somewhat unruly, yet handsome face rigid with indifference, but at the same time is incomprehensible.
Elder Jiang, who is roughly 50 years of age, with a slightly fat figure, but by looking at his almost flying like pace, it seems that the body of his did not affect him.
He looked at the tall figure, his eyes could not help, but become somewhat misty. He had worked for thirty years in Dong Fang House, thus he felt at home here. What’s more, the young masters did not ever treat him as an outsider, he has always felt gratitude for the Dong Fang House. He, who had watched all four young masters grow up and witnessed the death of Fang Lao Ye’s furen (old master’s mistress) was determined to assist in every way and guarded the Dong Fang House. But now, his most respected young master, by a madman, has become blinded. If he could find out who had done such a deed, even if he was to lose his own life, he swore to avenge his young master.
“Jiang Bo, stop with your grief, stop holding onto your tears.”
Though Dong Fang Ling could not see, he can correctly guess the emotionful Jiang Bo, now – because of his tears, he himself felt a slight discontentment. His eyebrows slightly twisted, and couldn’t help but scoff.
Elder Jiang quickly wipe his tears from his eyes, his eyes glanced to the side and looked at the two maidservants.
“Young master, in addition to your original serving maid Xiao Qing, I have arranged for another maidservant today. This new maid has very intelligent looking eyes, moreover with a sweet mouth (talks in a pleasing way). Bing’er come, quickly greet young master.” At the glance of his eyes, the person who stood outside, the pretty maid, opened her mouth in a loud voice:
“Bing’er greets young master.”
Bing’er took one step forward, her voice was soft and low, slightly lowering her alert eyes.
“Ok, you may go.” His stature did not move, but replied with a calm voice of intolerance.
Elder Jiang made a slight coughing sound and left at the same time, in order to warn the two, to be careful when serving him.
“Young master, lunch is ready.”
The two maidservants together took the food trays and placed them in an eye pleasing location on the table, Xiao Qing bowed respectfully. The tall stature moved, every step taken is cautious. Seeing so, Xiao Qing quickly stepped forward and escorted him until he was in a stable sitting posture, she then retreated back. Eyes lifted, the once still Bing’er stepped forward.
Bing’er’s small face showed determination, her beautiful face looked at Dong Fan Ling, taking every step with caution. For the fear he may recognize her voice, she spoke in a deliberately low and soft voice, even the habit of silently walking, had to be consistently reminded to walk with noise.
Although he could not see through his eyes, she, just as a precaution, wore a face mask.
She deliberately walked at a slow pace, watching Xiao Qing help the blind Dong Fang Ling dine, the feeling of guilt surrounded her once again. She had overheard him talking to Dong Fang Ao, he said that he did not blame her. Why?
She had hurt him like this, is it true that he doesn’t really hate her? Staying in Luoyang city, for every extra day, all kinds of good deeds of Dong Fang House became more and more clear, and her remorse and regret grew deeper and deeper. Everyone says that the four young masters of Dong Fang House each had their strengths, the most talked about being the first young master, Dong Fang Ling. He was a natural-born businessman and because of his accurate, yet unique intuition, the Dong Fang House’s financial situation could be like this today. And what’s more, Dong Fang Ling was not only a fine businessman, he was also a philanthropist. In the recent years, Dong Fang House had helped countless amounts of people, which resulted in them receiving plenty of praises and blessings.
Dong Fang Ling, relying on the sense of touch leisurely had his meal. As the footsteps gradually came closer, he gradually furrowed eyebrows, but his handsome face showed indifference, his hand slightly twitched, his dark eyes turn towards the person near his left hand.
“What is your name?”
“Replying to young master, this servant is called Bing’er.”
Her hand had unconsciously placed on her chest, she looked at his face alertly while considering whether or not to run away.
“This servant’s surname is Luo.”
Why would he ask such a question? As if to confirm something, was he able to recognize her? But that is impossible ah. Whether it was her voice, pace, and even looks, it was all changed, he was blind, how could he recognize her? The more she thought about it, the more comical it became. Must be thinking too much ah.
A different light passed through his eyes, but his lips was not seen to even twitch. His questioning ceased and he continued to eat, from time to time Xiao Qing would aid him.
Bing’er with her fast beating heart, watched his every move until he had finished eating. She took a clean cloth to wipe his lips, and hurried to take the finished dishes to leave together with Xiao Qing as soon as possible.
“Xiao Qing, after you are done cleaning up, you may leave. Bing’er, you will stay.”
At his command, she was unable to fulfill her desire to escape thus her face slightly wrinkled. As Xiao Qing was cleaning up, her eyes secretly glanced at Dong Fang Ling.
In all fairness, young master was a good master, he never unjustly blamed a servant, and he was rarely too brusque, but for some reason, everyone is afraid of him. Perhaps it is due to his seemingly eternal calmness and stoical face, prestigious front with his usual sharp black eyes. Few people could stand while not nervously shaking in his sharp gaze.
She had recalled from second young master that first young master’s calm demeanor was just an illusion, in fact, of the four brothers, the most violent was the him, just that he knew how to conceal it. If anyone were to act recklessly and provoke his inner temper, that person would die miserably! Hence, she could only pray for Bing’er.
Xiao Qing quickly cleaned up the desk top and she gave Bing’er a sympathetic look, before hastening to leave.
“Bring the bedside crutches to me, then accompany me for a walk.”
“Yes.” Bing’er picked up the stick and gave it to him. After she automatically came to him, she carefully led him, with loud steps.
Coming out of the room, a pleasant cool breeze can be felt blowing, accompanied by a touch of floral fragrance, one can not help but relax. Bing’er turned her head to view the layout the building. The main room must be the sleeping quarters of Fang Ling, there was another pair of rooms, she guessed one of them may have been his study. At the side of each room, there were many unrecognizable flowers. Eyeing the gravel road, there at the very end, was a sign that wrote Gu Yue Ting, a very unique name. Also, built in was a small lake, which set off around the scenery, it gave off a very elegant yet interesting feel.
“Accompany me to Gu Yue Ting.”
At his voice, she hurried back from her wandering mind, her small hands supported his strong arm, stepped onto the gravel road, up the stairs, and when neared the lake, she carefully to helped him sit on the stone bench.
Along with the sound of cicada, a seemingly perfect timed wind blew, Bing’er could not help but sigh with her eyes closed. With just less than a day of this scenery, she actually had grown attach to it, especially to this Gu Yue Ting. She curiously walked towards the fence, looked down at the sparkling, yet clear lake bottom.
“Why would you want to come Dong Fang House as a servant? Do you have anyone else in you family?” His dark eyes accurately looked towards where she was, waiting for her to answer.
Ah! Her frightened hands were placed on her chest, she really was not suited for posing as a servant, because of her playful temper she would always forget what she was supposed to do, she naturally to forgot that he was currently her master. At his pair of black eyes’ clouded gaze, she almost thought he could see! Her mischievous little hand waved in front of him, making sure he did not have any reaction, and after her action, she cleared her throat to say what she had already planned out reply.
“This servant has a father at home and his body is fairly tough. I have come to Dong Fang House as a servant to earn some money to help with the family income.”
In Luoyang city, the Dong Fang House payed the servants more than average salaries, yet never heard claims of abuse from the servants. So whenever Dong Fang House were looking for servants, there was always a large group of people who were eager to sign up. If she had not made some small tweaks, she would not have been able to enter Dong Fang House.
With this reasonable reply, it was impossible to find a fault, so her thin lips could not help but form a smile.
“You came into this province, to serve a disabled person, you must be secretly despise your master, correct?” He joked.
“I do not!” At his harsh words, her face revealed a look of shame, she looked at him and excitedly replied: “Young master is only temporary blind, your eyes will definitely become better!”
Yes, she could never leisurely sit and let him become blind. She was responsible for him and she will see it to the end.
“You have just arrived, why can you be so sure my eyes are only temporary blinded? None of the doctors in the city of Luoyang are even that confident.” His slightly raised lips had a hint of mischievousness, he was waiting for her reaction.
Why she would think his words had a different meaning? Her brain cautiously yet quickly worked her reply: “I just think young master is such a good person, God would not be so cruel to let young master become blind at such a young age.”
“If you say it like that, then the next thing I will have you do, I assume you will not go against me.”
“What is it?”
At his smiling lips, an inexplicable feeling came to her, a bad feeling…
“I’ve decided to let you become my personal maidservant. Remember a little later to pack up your stuff and move into my room.”
As the tall stature slowly got up and the crutches touched the ground, Bing’er quickly stepped forward to help him, her pretty little face was white. “Why?”
“As a personal maidservant, naturally you are to not leave my side, not to mention, I am blind and I will constantly need someone by my side.”
With the words said, the crutches issued tapping sounds, step by step, every so carefully.
Bing’er held back her tears, she collapsed her head. His words had successfully lead her heart to feel ashamed, so she could not have the slightest opinion. She escorted him down the steps, and walked him back.
If she knew, then she would not have posed as a maid, then she would not have fallen into the dilemma now. Yet to make their way back to his room, Bing’er saw in front of her a shadow of a tall figure, which seemed to have been waiting for a long time.
“Young master, there’s a man standing in front of you, he is looking in our direction.”
“Oh, what does he looks like?” Though his pace did not change, he secretly guessed who it was.
Before Bing’er could answer, the man had first opened his mouth to reply. Just by looking at Fang Ling’s appearance, his face turned solemn.
At his voice, Dong Fang Ling smiled, still at an unhurried pace, by the support of Bing’er, carefully made his way into the room.
“In the end how did it become like this? I just came back and I heard you had an accident.”
Fang Yi had a heavy face, right after sitting, he hastily asked, his eyes looking straight into the pair of unfocused black eyes. In no hurry to answer his question, Fang Ling leisurely turned towards the person next to him.
“Bing’ er, quickly greet Master Fang.”
“Greetings to Master Fang.” Although she did not understand the intention of Dong Fang Ling, she still respectfully gave him a greeting.
Fang Yi took a quick look at the unfamiliar maidservant, his brow wrinkles deepen. One must know to talk to other, one must have patience, the first to run out is the loser. This is how Fang Ling talks with people in the market,the main reason for his success, because only him can remain calm enough.
But this was not business talk, he was too relaxed, just as Fang Ao says, even a saint can be driven crazy.
“Dong Fang Young Master, you have not answered me.” Fang Yi held back his impulse and took a deep breath in.
“What is there to say? It is just as you see and have heard.” As Bing’er took from his hands an empty porcelain cup, he replied in a light, indifferent tone.
Binger glanced amusedly at the man with the twitching vein on his face, her heart started to understand Fang Ling more, this person, with just words, can make any opponent want to attempt suicide, murder without raising a single finger- very admirable.
“Dong Fang Ling, I will ask again, I want you to explain clear from beginning to end.”
Fang Ling ignored his anger, laughed lightly, his mouth moved slowly to tell him what happened.
Fang Yi’s face was filled with disbelief, eyes wide open as he asked: “You are just going to let her go.”
“That is correct.” His answer remains unchanged.
Fang Yi angrily got up, as he paced back and forth, he was looking at the calm man drinking his tea. After a while he relaxed a bit but quickly sat down and anxiously asked: “When will Dong Fang Tang come back?”
“I do not know, but I have sent for people to find out.”
The tranquil voice had not hint of anxiousness. Fang Yi could not help but shake his head.
“I hope one day someone can make you drop your calm demeanor. I will look forward to it.”
Dong Fang Ling’s response was a vigorous, yet smooth laughter, his handsome face was even more remarkable because of his smile. Unintentionally, Bing’er could not help but indulge in his hearty laughter, she did not stop looking at him until he gradually stopped. Then she finally realised what she was doing and bowed her head to cover the red colors of her cheeks.
“Let us not continue to talk about me. Now how is Fang Lao Furen (Old Madam Fang)?”
Fang Yi’s face emerged with worry, his knitted brows furrowed, with no mood for casual chit chat, especially as other party had no hint of sympathy.
“She has gone to Ning Temple and intended to stay for a period of time, to pray for Buddha’s mercy.”
Dong Fang Ling’s face stiffened, since he did not know how to reply. This matter had plagued these two people for a full sixteen years.
“We have been searching for sixteen years; with no lead, but be it as long as there is a glimmer of hope, we will never give up looking for the whereabouts of Chu Chu. And as Chu Chu’s fiance, I hope you can wait a few more years.” At his words, Bing-er’s shocked eyes lifted watching the two men.
He looked at the silent Dong Fang Ling, Fang Yi as a brother gave a selfish plea.
“I’m sorry, but the deadline is this year, I will wait no longer.”
Cold words were spat out ruthlessly, for this marriage arrangement, he had no say to it. And after waiting for so many years, in fact, was to only follow through with the will of his father. This year he will become 25, just after this year, he will be free to choose the woman he wants to marry.
Dong Fang Lao Ye had arranged marriages for all four of his sons, but had promised when the son had reached the age of twenty-five, if the woman from the arrangement did not appear for the marriage, then it will be dropped.
Fang Yi’s face slightly changed and stared at him for a long time, sigh: “Of course, if Chu Chu does not ever appear, then you will have waited in vain, which would be unjust. If you and Chu Chu are fated to be, then let the Heavens set your course. ”
The two Masters both held high government ranks, both later resigned due to old age and settled in the city of Luoyang. Fang Lao Ye quickly had her daughter betrothed to the eldest son of Dong Fang, to let the two house mutually benefit. Unexpectedly, during the Full Moon Banquet, Chu Chu was secretly taken away by a mentally unstable maid, her whereabouts are still unknown. Madam Fang waited anxiously. But for almost two decades, not only the government, but even the Fang House has sent people to find her, but it was all in vain.
“It is late, I must say goodbye.” Today’s persuasion did not succeed, but to avoid conflict that could damage this good brotherly relationship, it was best to retire.
“Bing’er, see the visitor out.”
Dong Fang Ling did not urge him to stay, though he did not say so, but his heart was filled with dissatisfaction.
Even before Bing’er was able to escort Fang Yi out of the room, she was faced with Elder Jiang and a glamorous looking girl.
“Master Fang” Elder Jiang politely nodded him a greeting, then he headed into the room, respectfully said: “Young master, Lady Lian has come to see you.”
Lady Lian? Could that be, from the Lian House, the lady regarded as the most beautiful and most talented of Luoyang city? Fang Yi’s eyes showed the look of displeasure, he squinted at the beautiful woman and looked for a long time. His face became ugly. Is this the reason why Fang Ling refused to wait for Chu Chu?
“Brother Dong Fang, if Chu Chu can be found this year, you must commitment to your promise.” with those words, Fang Yi shook his sleeves and left.
Looking at the door, Dong Fang Ling exposed a bitter smile, but didn’t want to clarify.
“Lady Lian, please enter.”
Elder Jiang didn’t hesitate at Dong Fang Ling’s response, he lead the shy girl into the the room, neglecting that it did not take in consideration of appropriateness.
This girl did not just look glamorous, but she also had a docile temperament, and seemed to look quite fondly of young master. Such a good girl, it would be a shame not to take into consideration. Miss Chu Chu had been missing for many years and there has been no news, one cannot wait forever for her. If Young Master Fang did not get married, then how would he be able to face the passed away Lao Ye?
“This …… would be troubling you.”
Lian Fang Yi’s cheeks blushed in embarrassment, originally excellent face looked even more stunning, she was embarrassed and reluctant to step into the room.
“You, girl, why have you not come out.”
Elder Jiang beckoned at the dazed Bing’er, afraid that this unsightly maidservant will ruin the opportunity he set up for Young Miss and Young Master.
Binger turned her head, she can easily see what Elder Jiang was doing, indifferently shrugged, she took the opportunity to go out to get a breather.
Dong Fang Ling was more than she expected, he was too sharp! Maybe she was too sensitive, but by his constant imploring, she was put under a lot of pressure.
She had just taken one step when she heard behind a voice say in indifferently: “Bing’er, do not forget what I said. You go back to pack and move your items here. Do you hear me, my personal maidservant?”
At his words, Bing-er’s little face quickly broke down.
Elder Jiang gasped, a look of amazement stared straight at her, even Lian Fang Yi who stood next to the door could not help but thoughtfully stare at her, her eyes filled with a sense of betrayal.
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