Shaking her head to dispel strange thoughts, Nanny Li proposed, “Let me do some needlework to support the family. You made the Lord unhappy last time because of your problem with the First Madam. No matter how aggrieved you are, you must not go to him.”
With her eyes glistening, Su Erya gently said, “I know. Don’t worry.”
“Great! Second Miss, have a rest. I’m about to prepare lunch,” Nanny Li replied and went to the kitchen.
Bending down, Su Erya gently closed the Copybook of Dahan from Su Zipei’s room and walked lightly toward the Main Courtyard like a fair maiden.
“Lord, the Second Miss would like to see you,” Butler Li told the Lord at the door of the study.
Putting down the accounts and slightly frowning, Su Huanli said: “What is she doing? She just recovered.”
“She may want to pay respects to you.” Butler Li said with a smile.
Su Huanli snorted, “I don’t think so. Let her in.”
The intimacy with his second daughter resulting from the tasty Zongzi had faded away because of her problem with the First Madam. Without the support of The Zhu Family, the business of his silk shop would wither.
What’s more, the First Madam told him that Erya, now owning the Jinyuan Court, went to the counting house to make trouble. She wanted a regular stipend of 500 taels every month, larger than the sum of Qinghao’s and Zipei’s.
Zhu Yan did not want to give it, and Erya made a lot of trouble in the counting house. In the end, she took 300 taels.
Su Erya, in a plain dress, came in slowly through the door.
Seeing his second daughter, Su Huanli didn’t brighten up anymore. Instead, he felt a slight nausea because of her greed.
“I came to pay respects to Dad. Dad spent a lot of money on healing me.” Su Erya went to the desk and saluted with an apologetic face.
Su Huanli was unmoved, and his tone was cold and perfunctory. “So, you still have a conscience. What are you doing here?”
Su Erya seemed to be frightened by Su Huanli’s tone of voice. With a slightly pale face, she stepped back and said, “I just want to explain things occurring in the accounting room.”
Su Huanli thought Su Erya was quibbling and immediately burst out laughter out of anger, “Your mother has told me about it. What else do you want to say?”
“My mother has told you about it!” Su Erya was shocked and said “Dad, things were not as she said. 300 taels is really too much. I only need 30 taels.”
Su Huanli thought he had misheard. If Su Erya said she did not take 300 taels, he would not have believed her. But now he realized they had completely different views about regular money.
Lowering her head, Su Erya burst into tears like pearls and whispered intermittently, “I only needed 30 taels and didn’t need an increase. Dad is busy with business and definitely has to bear a huge cost. How could I be so wasteful? I only took 30 taels…”
Su Huanli was confused. The more he tried to think, the more confused he became. He couldn’t help but ask, “You mean your mother gave you extra regular money?”
Su Erya seemed to be startled and raised her head showing a fair face like white flowers with dew in the morning.
Su Huanli was touched. Any normal persons would be distressed seeing such a face, let alone if it were his daughter that was standing in front of him.
“Yes... It was said by Butler Li. I only let Nanny Li take thirty taels. It’s really my stubborness... Father shouldn’t blame my mother. Ah! It’s…”
Su Erya seemed to have lost her words but didn’t know how to remedy it. For a while, she didn’t know what to say.
Standing at the door like a sculpture, Butler Li tilted his mouth slightly and couldn’t help but sigh. Such a silly girl! Zhu Yan did not see her as a person, but she was still trying to protect her mother.
The clumsy approach did not prevent him from showing a deep pity for Su Erya He would protect such a kind and simple girl, even if the old man Qi Xianqing did not ask him to do so.
“Okay. Now I know what happened in the counting house. Erya, don’t cry. This was sticky rice cake I bought from the town. Take some back.”
Su Huanli’s cold snow-like face changed. The kind father returned.
Feeling flattered, Su Erya held the food container, showing crescent-shaped eyes like black gemstones. “Thank you, Dad! Nanny Li is preparing lunch. Doctor Qi said thrift was a virtue. I won’t eat until I am hungry in the afternoon.”
“Haha haha, good girl, go ahead.”
Su Huanli laughed heartily. After saying goodbye to Su Erya, he returned to the room with a look so gloomy that he looked ready to drip water. He asked in a low voice, “Butler, what’s the matter?”
The old butler said slowly and orderly, “Last night, the First Madam went to the counting house. She raised Erya’s regular money from two hundred taels to three hundred taels and then took it away. She said that it was sent to Erya. It seems that the Second Miss got only thirty taels.”
“What she said was a lie. There is no such a rule!” Su Huanli was furious and said, “Why didn’t you tell me something so important?”
The old butler acted servile and submissive and whispered, “I wanted to say it, but the Second Miss was coming. She didn’t want Lord to blame the First Madam.”
“No blame?” Su Huanli clapped the desk and said, “This is the Su Family, not Zhu Yan’s money shop! Butler... Are you hiding something from me?”
The old butler buried his head lower and said, “The First Madam didn’t take so much money before, and... even if I said it, the Lord would believe I swallowed all the money.”
A white porcelain teacup was broken into pieces.
“There is no such a rule! Such a greedy woman! She even smeared Erya and told lies. Did she even respect me? Or the Su Family?!”
Su Huanli’s eyes were red and angry.
Sadly, he couldn’t be angry with Zhu Yan, otherwise the silk shop established with support of the Zhu Family would be destroyed.
“Lord, calm your anger. Your health is the most important thing.” Butler quickly persuaded him, “You still have Erya. How filial she is!”
Thinking of Erya, Su Huanli felt inexplicably comforted and calmed down.
Yes, at least there was a daughter who truly cared for him in such a large family.
After being reminded by Butler Li, Su Huanli carefully said, “That girl is too simple. If she goes out alone and is sold, she won’t know it. If I go on a long journey in the future, how can I feel assured that she remains alone in the West Courtyard? Butler, you need to arrange more trusted subordinates to protect her.”
“OK, Lord. For the First Madam...”
Butler Li didn’t finish his words. With a slightly chilly expression, Su Huanli said, “Watch her. If she bullies Erya again, you must stop her. When she has saved enough money, she will surely find an excuse to go out again. This time, I must find out the reason!”
Su Huanli then realized it was not her second daughter but Zhu Yan who was full of lies and had been embarrassing him.
Previously, when he exiled Zhu Yan, he felt sad for her. So, he had tried to make it up to her. When Zhu Yan described the argument in the counting house, he immediately believed her. Damn slut!
Su Huanli slapped himself violently. His eyes were malicious and insidious, and seeds of suspicion took root and sprouted in his heart.
“Ah. Where were did you go, Second Miss?” Nanny Li stood anxiously at the entrance of Jinyuan Court and asked as soon as she saw Su Erya come back.
Su Erya shed a few tears, but her eyes were not red. Instead, she laughed and said, “I just hung out. Nanny Li, I was hungry. Let’s have lunch now.”
Seeing her usual expression, Nanny Li felt relieved and said, “Food is ready. Go back to the room to have lunch.”
Su Erya flashed a more brilliant smile.
When Nanny Li was cleaning up the dishes after lunch, the old butler suddenly walked in outside the kitchen and asked, “Nanny Li, is the Second Miss in the courtyard?”
Seeing the old butler, Nanny Li felt worried and lied, “Second Miss is taking a nap. What’s the matter?”
With his ears moving slightly, Li Yin clearly heard Su Erya’s short breath in the room. She was not in sleep. He squinted and laughed, “Since Second Miss is taking a nap, I will not disturb her. This was the compensation from the Lord. Nanny Li, give it to her when she wakes up.”
Nanny Li was slightly shocked when she heard his words. She took what was in Li Yin’s hands and looked down at it in horror.
Silver, five hundred taels!
“Don’t worry. I have explained what happened to the Lord today. He is angry with the First Madam and told me to take care of Second Miss in the future. The Five hundred taels were given by the Lord. Nanny, don’t worry and take it.”
Nanny Li’s surprise suddenly changed to joy. “Great! Second Miss doesn’t have to worry about being bullied.”
Li Yin smiled and thought Nanny Li was also a genuinely kind person. She really cared about Second Miss.
“Nanny Li, I often stay in the counting house. If the Second Miss has any troubles in the future, please tell me about them.” Li Yin said: “This is the order of Lord.”
“Sure!” Nanny Li said. “Butler, you are a good man!”
Li Yin felt startled and smiled wryly. What kind of a good man was he? He planned to make an explanation, but felt that it was a thankless task. How could the master-servant relationship be closer than the relationship of husband and wife? It was the Second Miss that clued the Lord into what was happening.
After the butler left, Nanny Li was so happy that she hurried to the study without washing the dishes. She said to Su Erya, who was practicing her handwriting, “Miss, what good news!”
After Nanny Li described it, Su Erya stopped writing with a sneer in her heart.
It was hard to see that Su Huanli, a profit-seeking old man, had such a soft heart. Now, she was really embarrassed to take action.
Su Erya pretended to be surprised and said, “Really? That’s awesome. I’m still hesitating whether to meet Dad or not.”
Nanny Li laughed and said the Second Miss was still a child. She felt ashamed for her previous fears about the Second Miss.