Fang Yuan saw that his playmate looked pale. He shook his head and smiled, “Qingning, I would never betray you. It isn’t what you think.”
“But she…?” Seeing Su Li gracefully walking towards him, Qu Qingning was full of doubts.
“Su Li is my friend. I only pretend to be a waiter in the Baiwei Building. Su Li also takes care of my sister,” Fang Yuan explained.
During this period, the money that Fang Ling needed for food, accommodations, and medical treatment all came from Su Li. Fang Ling now regarded Su Li as her sister. Even when he argued with Su Li, his sister would support Su Li.
Qu Qingning was stunned. In his eyes, Su Li was a miss of a big business family who did not know much about life. Now it seemed that the matter was more complicated than he had imagined.
“Well, would you like to help me?” Su Li said with a light smile, “I can give you what Mrs. Zhu offered you and even more.”
Qu Qingning was serious and asked, “I have a group of brothers in a poor temple. Will you help them?”
“I don’t help idlers.”
Su Li’s reply made Qu Qingning a little nervous. But he was more surprised for what followed.
“But I will heal the sick or disabled. Then I will teach them skills and ask them to help me. What do you think?”
Hearing this, Qu Qingning was a little shocked. Mrs. Zhu only offered him silver. But when it came to being taught skills to be self-reliant… well this was an offer he couldn’t refuse. After all, if his identity as a deserter in the Nanjiang Country was exposed, he would not be able to protect himself. It wasn’t like he could ask the authorities in the Dahan Country for help.
It would be great if Su Li helped him!
“Miss Su is so straightforward. I’m in!” Qu Qingning nodded without hesitation. Immediately he carefully asked, “Miss, did you see through my ploy earlier?”
Su Li smiled meaningfully and said, “You were disguised as ‘Wu Jin’ who I had met before.”
Cold sweat trickled down Qu Qingning’s forehead. So, he was exposed from the beginning.
Heidan smiled while listening to the conversation between his big brother and Su Li. His big brother was acting quite awkward.
“They have chosen to help me. Fang Yuan, take them to the valley and then take some money to build more bamboo buildings. Buy the things that I listed as soon as possible.” Su Li took out a bank note worth one million taels and handed it to Fang Yuan. Qu Qingning’s eyes grew round with delight when he saw it.
Su Li was so rich that she could give one million taels at once?!
Fang Yuan said with a bitter smile, “You really like to dispatch people to do things for you. I don’t want to make a bamboo building. Qingning, build your own residence by yourself. I am still tired from the last time.”
Qu Qingning waved his hand, “That’s easy. I have a big group of people. We can build it in a few days.”
After arranging it, Su Li left the dark alley. Today, she hadn’t gone to the Baicao Tang to help.
Fang Yuan and Qu Qingning first went to the South Street to gather the latter’s brothers. Then they went to the valley.
Seeing the little thin beggars like sticks, Fang Yuan immediately smiled and said, “Qingning, are these the brothers you mentioned?”
Qu Qingning smiled and immediately moved closer and rubbed his hand. He whispered, “They have been hungry for a few days. You received 10,000 taels just now. You should buy some food for them.”
Fang Yuan replied, “There is a lot of food in the valley. Let’s talk about it there. You don’t change much. But why do you have a relationship with them?”
Qu Qingning turned serious as he thought about his time as a fugitive and said, “I was hurt at the time and almost died. It was they who went hungry to buy herbs in the Baicao Tang for me. The Doctor Qi of Baicao Tang was kind. He saved me little by little.”
Fang Yuan was silent. Compared with him, Qu Qingning was much worse off.
“Our family has been destroyed. I will... take revenge sooner or later!” Qu Qingning’s words were full of hatred.
Fang Yuan patted his shoulder and didn’t speak.
With the group of hungry beggars, Fang Yuan took four hours to get to the valley.
Seeing that the valley’s terrain was so secluded, Qu Qingning was amazed and said, “This place is so secluded. How do you find it? You still live here with Su Li, oh...”
Qu Qingning began to say something rambling. Fang Yuan glanced at him and made an emphasis, “And my sister! It was not discovered by me. It was Su Li who brought me here.”
Fang Yuan went to the newly built cellar to grab some rice and meat and then asked Fang Ling to go to the kitchen in bamboo building to cook. It didn’t take long.
The beggars sat around the wooden table on the first floor. All of them devoured the food. They were orphans or were abandoned since they were born. They had never eaten such delicious rice and meat.
“May I have another bowl?”
When Fang Ling saw that the group of beggars ate the food which she cooked, she was ecstatic, “Of course, I will fill it for you!”
Qu Qingning looked at them while standing at the door for a while. He sighed softly and walked to the stair and sat next to Fang Yuan.
“I am really useless as a big brother. I couldn’t offer enough food to them. If I hadn’t met you, I wouldn’t have known what to do in the future.”
Fang Yuan smiled bitterly. Thinking of the experiences in the South Street, he harbored complicated feelings.
“I was almost the same as you. At that time, in order not to be exposed, I set up a stall on the street. Su Li donated me five hundred taels. But the silver was stolen in the blink of an eye. We lived in the South Street. Ling was almost raped.”
When the two people talked about their past, they were bitter. They were young but had borne a lot.
“Don’t talk about those times any more. Su Li is kind and generous. Our life will be better and better. Qu Qingning turned his eyes and said, “You might as well marry her!”
Fang Yuan’s expression turned weird.
Qu Qingning glanced at the bamboo building and saw the place where Fang Yuan lived on the first floor. He couldn’t help but curl up his lips, “The decoration of the place where you live is pretty good. Su Li probably lives in the second floor. I want to have a look!”
When Qu Qingning was about to get up, Fang Yuan quickly pulled him.
Qu Qingning smiled and said, “Why are you pulling me? Is your possessiveness that strong now?”
Fang Yuan rolled his eyes and loosened Qu Qingning’s garment corner. He said, “If you want to die, you can go. Don’t blame me for not stopping you.”
Seeing Fang Yuan was serious, Qu Qingning grew curious. The former had explained before he asked, “That is... the place where Su Li refines her poison.”
Qu Qingning was surprised. It was strange to put those words together. Why did someone like Su Li refine the poison?
Qu Qingning suddenly remembered the inexplicable sense of crisis in the carriage during the day. He shook his body and quickly asked, “Fang Yuan, if you and I had not met, what would have happened to me?”
Fang Yuan glanced at him blankly and said coldly, “You will probably... be poisoned to death and even your bones would be gone.”
Qu Qingning’s body grew stiff. He laughed. Although Fang Yuan’s tone was extremely cold, he felt that the former was gloating over his suffering.
When Qu Qingning thought of this, he suddenly remembered something and said with a panic, “Oh! How will my disguise as Wu Jin be ended? That’s terrible. I already received the deposit.”
“Why are you asking me? I am only a waiter.” Fang Yuan ridiculed him, “Is there someone who knows more about the Su Family than Su Li?”
“Su Li is just a miss of the Su Family. How can she be a match for the First Madam?”
Qu Qingning was doubtful. The First Madam was the biological mother of Su Li. Why would she try to harm her daughter with the trick?
Looking hesitant, Qu Qingning went to find Su Li.
After four hours, it seemed that he had changed into another person when he came back. He said with exultation, “Su Li is awesome. She came up with the solution. She is so smart!”
Fang Yuan immediately rolled his eyes and said, “Someone just said that Su Li was no match for the First Madam.”
“Although Su Li is only a girl with weak strength, we can’t compete with her in wisdom and schemes. From now on, just help her, and don’t think about any evil ideas.”
Fang Yuan knew that his fellow warned him due to his energetic character. Qu Qingning laughed and glanced at the second floor of the bamboo building. He was scared.
On the morning of the next day, Su Huanli hurriedly got in the carriage. He didn’t even have time to call Li Yin. Someone sent him a letter which said the cloth business wasn’t going well. He had to have a look.
Halfway there, Su Huanli felt strange. He opened the curtain. Suddenly, a black shadow behind him covered his mouth and nose with a handkerchief before he could look at the scenery outside!
Su Huanli breathed twice and fainted.
After a while, Su Huanli woke up and found that he was tied up and lying on the ground. Even his mouth was blocked and he could not speak.
“Who kidnapped me? Yang Family? Zhu Family?”
Su Huanli was frightened and he regretted that he hadn’t traveled with Li Yin. If Li Yin had been there, he would not have been kidnapped.
While Su Huanli was struggling, he heard the sound of footsteps outside. Su Huanli turned around with difficulty and found himself in a poor temple. He was hidden behind the Buddha statue.
He was about to make some sound to draw attention, but the sound outside made him freeze and he became completely calm.
“Little asshole, my deposit has already been given to you. Why do you ask me to come here?!”
Su Huanli’s eyes shrank. He couldn’t be more familiar with the voice. It came from Zhu Yan, his wife.
Suddenly, there was a burst of laughter in the poor temple. Su Huanli recognized him again. He was Childe “Wu Jin”, the emperor’s relative.
Why were they meeting here?
Why did his wife call the childe little asshole?!
“First Madam, I told you to come here because I want to ask for help.” Qu Qingning looked as greedy as he could and said, “I have found out that Su Li is a very important figure in the Su Family and there is a Baiwei Building in her hand. Her eldest brother will soon become a high-ranking official. I am really scared to cheat such a girl.”
Although Qu Qingning said he was scared, he stretched out his right hand and rubbed it. Clearly, he wanted to get more money.
Zhu Yan was so angry that her arch eyebrows were raised, “Little asshole, don’t forget where you came from!! I have given you one thousand taels. Don’t be greedy!”
“Oh my God. I am so scared about what you said!” Qu Qingning said looked careless, casual, and anything but scared. He was not afraid of her at all. He said, “When I explain this matter to the Master and all the people in the Dasu Town, well… don’t blame me for failing to keep my promise. You were the one who didn’t tell me the truth and so I was forced to do this.”
When Zhu Yan heard what Qu Qingning said, she was so scared that her face was pale.