Nanny Li quivered and kept silent. No one knew if she remembered the past or Su Erya’s cold voice from a few days ago.
“Nanny Li, now I just want to stay quiet in Jinyuan Court. It’s best if I am not bullied by anyone. But if I am bullied again, I want to have the strength to fight back. Before, life and death were out of my control. Now, I don’t want to experience that feeling again.”
Su Erya flashed a bitter smile, “My mother...she is really cruel! I thought that if I did not resist, even if I had a hard life, I would not die. So I kept silent and did not resist. However, I was too naive.”
Nanny Li was so moved that she realized it was her, not the Second Miss that was stupid. She was so foolish that she was even scared by Erya’s cold voice.
But after thinking carefully, she knew Second Miss was so young, so she had to think about how to live every day. If she were not smart, how else could she have survived?
Before, Second Miss also repeatedly rescued her from the First Madam’s control. Where else could she find another Miss who was so kind!
For a moment, the guilt almost drowned her out like turbulent sea.
“Second Miss...” Nanny Li firmly grasped Su Erya’s hand and said, “No matter what you say or do in the future, I will support you unconditionally!”
Su Erya turned her eyes, smiled brightly, like a spring breeze, and put her other hand on Nanny Li’s hand.
It was not easy to finally have that first loyal follower.
Nanny Li’s tears flickered, at this time, she couldn’t help but think of the previous Miss who had died. If that girl had used her brain to escape, maybe she would not have died in such a miserable way that year...
The sun was shining the next day.
Su House was quiet, and Qi Xianqing taught Su Erya to read as usual, while the Xuangong’s practice was temporarily put on hold. In fact, Qi Xianqing was very angry. If not for Zhu Yan, Erya would have broken through to the second level. Instead, Zhu Yan made trouble and delayed Su Erya’s practice.
“Second sister, you look much better today!” At the end of the course, Su Qinghao jumped from his position and came to Su Erya’s side, touching her forehead like an adult.
Su Erya smiled and was about to touch Su Qinghao’s head with her hand, but Su Qinghao was pulled away by one hand.
Su Erya looked up, restrained her smile slightly, giving a courtesy with respect and said, “Good morning, second mother.”
Li Yuelian looked at Su Erya with a rather complicated look, because she always had a sense of fear for Su Erya, “Qinghao has martial arts classes, so he won’t stay here for long.”
Su Erya nodded cleverly and waved her hand, “Then goodbye, second mother.”
Li Yuelian looked gentle and then she pulled Su Qinghao away. She thought to herself, Su Erya was so clever and sensible. How come she didn’t see this before?
Seven days after such a quiet time, Zhu Yan and Su Zipei finally returned to the Su House that night and stared at the brightly lit Jinyuan Court. Zhu Yan gritted her teeth with hate.
“That Nanny Zheng, she ran away and forgot us. Damn Erya, I will let you live for a period. But Jinyuan Court is my son’s. Nobody can take it away!”
Su Huanli was shocked to hear that Zhu Yan had returned. He thought his wife would stay at her mother’s family for more than half a month.
Zhu Yan was actually forced to come back. She was already a married woman—like water poured out by Zhu Family. Moreover, she not only asked her parents for a lot of money recently, but also returned to the Zhu Family for free food and drink. She had already provoked a lot of gossip. Su Zipei cried all the time. Finally, she had to go back to the Su Family.
“Dear, I’m afraid Mr. Qi is still angry. You don’t have to go to the class to be uncomfortable. Don’t go to Jinyuan Court either. After the last incident, Mr. Qi often goes to Jinyuan Court to review the injuries of Erya.”
Su Huanli came and spoke to Zhu Yan hurriedly. Zhu Yan stared at him angrily and said, “Lord, you are going to restrict my action for an outsider? What’s the reason for this? We are a couple, and our love for so many years cannot overcome that poor scholar?”
Su Huanli took a deep sigh and then comforted her,
“Dear, I am also thinking about the big picture. Even though Doctor Qi has no money and no power, none of his students is easy to deal with. They are all officials of the central government. And he has high prestige in his college. If you don’t comfort him, the future of our Su Family will be over, so, dear, you must bear it!”
Although Zhu Yan knew that the Lord would push her with the overall situation, she was still too angry to eat and sleep. In a short period of half a month, Zhu Yan lost much weight. When did she suffer such depression? This was ridiculous!
“When I give my Zipei to a distinguished family to be their daughter, I must ask for justice by myself!” Having not completed her big plan, Zhu Yan looked at Su Zipei’s beautiful, pink and energetic face, and cheered up.
In the morning class after a few days—
“What are you scrawling, even your brother Su Qinghao writes better than you. Shame on me! Su Zipei, you are not qualified to be my student, so you don’t need to come tomorrow.”
Qi Xianqing grabbed the paper and threw it at Su Zipei’s face. Su Zipei was so wronged that tears welled up in her eyes. She looked at the paper on the ground angrily and wanted to refute him. But as Qi Xianqing said, her handwriting was distorted and the ugliest.
Su Qinghao’s handwriting, though not good-looking, was straight and neat. And Su Erya’s handwriting...It was so beautiful! Every stroke of her handwriting was elegant and natural!
Compared with the handwriting of Su Erya, Su Zipei’s handwriting was really chicken scratch, as ugly as shit!
“That’s talent! Qinghao, your second sister has the best talent in calligraphy that I’ve ever seen. Maybe she will become a calligraphy master in the future with her own characteristics. You need to learn harder from her.”
Qi Xianqing exhorted with a laugh, and Su Qinghao stared at the handwriting of his second sister, and admired her in his heart. Too bad, girls were not allowed to learn martial arts, or he could compete with his second sister.
“Mr. Qi, you are kidding. I’m only a shallow learner, and I have to learn more.”
“Second sister, you are too modest. I think you are as good as our eldest brother...”
“Haha, Qinghao, you little boy...”
The three people chatted happily, but Su Zipei was left alone as if she was not there. Her eyes were red again.
“It’s not the same as what mother told me. Mother said that I am the best, but why is second sister better than me. Why doesn’t fourth brother admire me? It’s not the same as what mother has told me...”
“You are all bad people, and I don’t want to talk to you anymore. I will find my mother!”
Su Zipei left crying, leaving two stunned faces of Su Qinghao and Su Erya.
Qi Xianqing stroked his white beard and smiled. He knew that Su Zipei was like her mother. She was young, but she wanted to kill her sister by herself. It was clear that her nature was vicious. How could he teach that kind of vicious girl to read? That’s why he forced her to leave.
“Mother...mother!” Su Zipei cried and rushed in from outside. Seeing Zhu Yan, her grievance became more intense and she plunged into her mother’s arms.
“What’s wrong again? I’ve told you that you should calm yourself down when things happen, what’s the use of crying? Buck up!”
Zhu Yan rebuked her seriously and sighed in her heart. Everything had gone wrong recently. God must be against her. Everything she wanted to accomplish had not been done, and it brought her all kinds of trouble.
“Mother, my teacher said that my handwriting was too ugly, so he did not want to teach me, and I was not allowed to go to the class.”
Zhu Yan clapped her hand on the tea table and the cup was shook with a crisp sound.
“Qi Xianqing, you push me too far!”
She grew angry and thought to herself, “Obviously, I had already succumbed, but you were too greedy. Do you really think I would be easy to offend?
Zhu Yan was furious. She got up and went out. When she reached the door, she remembered Su Huanli’s advice. Remembering this period of time in Zhu family when she was not welcome, she slowed her steps down unconsciously.
Seeing her mother stop halfway, Su Zipei asked after her. “Mother, Won’t you help me get justice?”
Zhu Yan sighed deeply, because she had too much to care about. She squatted down and stroked Su Zipei’s face and said in a warm voice, “Zipei, I have my own reasons. Tomorrow I’ll find a teacher for you. Then, I’ll send you to the best school, okay?”
“No, it’s not good at all!”
Su Zipei suddenly became ferocious and she shrieked, “Compared with Mr. Qi, the other teachers are far behind, then how can I surpass my second sister? Mother, you are partial, and I don’t like you anymore!”
Shocked and angry about what her daughter said, Zhu Yan gave Zipei a slap.
Su Zipei’s face swelled up quickly. She covered her right cheek dully as tears welled up in her eyes. She shouted sadly, “Mother, you hit me!”
Zhu Yan’s heart was full of remorse and she didn’t know what to do, so she only reached forward to comfort her, but Su Zipei, who was full of hatred, slapped her with one hand.
“Don’t be so nice now! You want to change daughters, don’t you? Go and find Su Erya, I will piss off, ok!”
Su Zipei sneered and left resentfully. Zhu Yan sighed deeply and felt hurt.
“I planned so hard and got into this hard situation… and it was all for you.”
Time went so fast that no one realized that it was early summer already.
In the corridor of the Jinyuan Court, Su Erya lay on a wicker chair. The wind in the hall was very comfortable. Since Qi Xianqing drove Su Zipei away, she and Su Qinghao were the only two students left in the class, and it seemed that it was not as much fun.
The injury on her back had healed a half a month ago. There was no scar thanks to the medical treatment of Qi Xianqing. But the scars left before that were still there. To eliminate them, the wounds had to be cut open again. Su Erya didn’t do that, because she thought that there was not so much time for her to waste.
“Miss, I got less regular money from the counting house this month.”
Nanny Li came in from the courtyard with a sad face, “Last month, I received 200 taels. This month it’s only thirty. I talked to the old butler, but he said that he had given Jinyuan Court 300 taels, so I suspect...”
“Nanny, don’t guess unreasonably. If someone hears you, we will have trouble again.”
Su Erya stood up, took Nanny Li’s hand and comforted her, “I still have a lot of savings, which can support us for several days.”
Nanny Li sighed slightly, blaming herself for being useless. Second Miss was so kind that she even comforted her.
The truth was that the Second Miss had never done anything bad since she was a child. Why did the First Madam always mistreat her? What was this hatred that couldn’t be dispelled between a mother and a daughter?