The porcelain vase with the scene of a misty water town painted on it sounds a “ping” as it lands on the ground, glistening fragments loudly scattering.
I feel a sense of lamentation as I look at the floor full of shards, when the vase was complete I never found it nice looking, now that it is shattered, it instead carries a great sense of aesthetic. Indeed, a fragmented beauty.
The several maids at the side were shocked senseless, not even daring to breathe. Whilst Ying Lu before me, sees countless complicated emotions flashing past her eyes within a short space of time.
I very clearly see: surprise, shock, panic, and later, a trace of practically undetectable sense of vented resentment. And I know, I have once again guessed it right.
Raging fury suddenly washes over Ying Lu’s face, and two fine brows tightly knits together, as she loudly shouts: “Get the hell out, all of you!”
I am slightly surprised, eh?
The several maids hiding in the corner all respectfully bows towards Ying Lu, turning around and then runs as though they were being chased.
I inwardly shrug it off, since this is how it is, I shall also leave then. Unexpectedly, Ying Lu bluntly points right at me, saying: “You thoughtless lass, you still dare to leave after breaking my treasure?”
Hearing her words, those several people flees the scene even quicker, the last one out was even considerate enough to close the doors.
……truly a thoughtful little follower.
The room quietens down within an instant, Ying Lu stands there looking at me with glaring eyes, glistening tears gently circulating within, the tip of her nose turning red.
I continue to stand there calmly, waiting for her to speak.
Obviously, when it comes to keeping still, this lass has nothing on me.
Ying Lu angrily points at the porcelain shards, saying: “You thoughtless lass, why did you knock down my vase?”
The nonstop shaking of her hand shows her anger, and I, have further confirmed my guesses, Ying Lu cannot be considered a bad person, at least she’s not lashing her whip out at me in extreme rage, right?
I answer: “Because Young Lady is angry.”
Ying Lu’s face expresses mixed feelings: “I’m asking why you knocked down this vase?”
I slowly say: “Young Lady is very angry, the vase is very big.”
Huge fury naturally require huge things to bear the weight.
Ying Lu is truly dumbfounded now. In the end, she beckons me over, a face of helplessness.
I place down the tray in hand and then walk over to her side.
Ying Lu does not speak, just staring at me for a while, then hugs me and starts crying, the following words disjointedly coming out of her mouth: “How very daring of you……to actually dare to knock down my vase……-wu-wu-wu-wu-……you thoughtless lass……knocked it down well, should have been knocked down earlier……-wu-wu-wu-wu-……never meant to place hope on it to begin with……it’s all the same, all the same!”
I leave her to hug me, not questioning her, nor comforting her. Deep down, I feel somewhat envious.
Being able to cry is a blessing in itself. And I, have been smiling for too long, already forgotten how to cry.
Humans are such strange living beings, a day ago, they could still be loathing and despising another person, but upon seeing the said person’s fragile state, their feelings generate a fundamental change.
After that day, the maids within the Ying Courtyard had their eyes widened several centimetres, the reason being none other than me. The story of what happened that day had already been vividly spread by those several maids.
“That Ah-Lan of Master Xiao Hei’s house, do you know her? Yes yes yes, precisely that fool! So what if she’s a fool? Let me tell you, that fool must have a really tiny brain, if not overly huge guts! She actually knocked down the treasured porcelain vase Fifth Master had gifted Young Lady! Say, this person’s foolishness really is out of this world! What? How did it end? In the end……uh, beaten? No no no, she wasn’t beaten. Scolded? No no no, not at all. Exactly what happened in the end? Well, en, seems like she’s favoured by Young Lady now.”
Just like that, the fact is as spoken above, I was not punished, instead, Ying Lu and I have even become more amicable now.
I heard that there was a time when Ying Lu’s wrath had been triggered, and this one maid tried to follow my example in breaking something. In the end, she was punished by being locked in the firewood room for three days, at that time, she had even asked with red swelled up eyes filled with wronged grievances: was there not a maid who had done this in the past, who not only wasn’t punished, but was rewarded?
After I had heard Ying Lu speak of this, I unkindly laugh, silly girl, what you need to learn isn’t my action, but mindset! Mindset! Ah-Dong (Dǒng/懂 = to understand)?
En, clearly is Ah-Bu-Dong (Bù Dǒng/不懂 = to not understand).
Truthfully speaking, to say Ying Lu favours me, this word of ‘favour’ is rather an overstatement. She didn’t make a sudden change of attitude – becoming strangely close to me, or having heartfelt talks with me, or speak to me kindly with a soft tone – just that she would spend a little more time with me, and drop the arrogance and contempt in her voice when speaking to me.
Just like now, Ying Lu and I are currently on the bed playing with Xiao Hei.
She and I on one end each, holding snacks in our hands to tempt Xiao Hei.
Xiao Hei’s short legs are unbelievably busy, his mouth sounding “hu-chi hu-chi” as it pants, a plain look of blankness filling its eyes.
Ying Lu lets out a crisp sound of laughter, big eyes curving into a smile: “Xiao Hei, is it tasty?”
I look at Xiao Hei’s seemingly aggrieved yet satisfied expression, thinking: this truly is a type of sweet torture.
Ying Lu speaks up again: “Ah-Lan, let’s go take a stroll around the garden today, I’ll go get changed, you take Xiao Hei out first.”
I nod: “Alright.”
And so Xiao Hei’s neck is adorned with a golden soft leather pig leash, leisurely pulling me towards the garden.
Seeing the rare sight of its brightly lit eyes, looks like it’s really happy right now.
I watch the whispering maids along the way, and once again think of Ying Lu.
Regarding the matter of her letting everything go to cry that day, I did not question her, nor offer any comfort, because I knew that what she needed was only a shoulder, and not an insincere meddler. Of course, that does not mean I did not make guesses, to be honest, the reason isn’t hard to guess, the main culprit that made her cry that day should be the little uncle she speaks of, the Fifth Master the servants speak of.
This lass — Ying Lu, holds a type of abnormal infatuation towards her little uncle. That kind of shy and girly look of hers is not for anyone else, but for her little uncle. Being so elated that morning was also because of her little uncle.
Eh~, uncle complex?
I haven’t seen what this little uncle and Ying Lu’s interaction is like, so right now, I am still unable to deduce the details.
As I was thinking this, we have already reached the garden. As it is only just early summer now, the flowers in the garden have bloomed in particularly luxuriantly, even the grass that are not weeds have grown insanely long. Just as I was going to walk straight, Xiao Hei strongly pulls me towards the flowering shrubs. I don’t understand why, so I follow the pig’s steps, only to hear faint voices.
I stroke its head, suppose this pig sniffed out a scandalous scent, and so with Xiao Hei, I hide within the shrubs, squatting as we watch the scandalous affair.
Clawing the flowers out the way, I see two people currently conversing not far from here, and fail to hold back my smile. That handsome male in brocade robes and pretty lady in blue, is it not precisely Young Master and San-er?
I cannot help but sigh, a young master and a maid, a beautiful garden, dripping with such a strong scent of……s-……can-…dal……ah……
I start to observe even more attentively, only to see San-er raise her head and shyly smile: “Greetings Young Master.”
Young Master uses the jade handle of his fan to lightly knock on her forehead, saying: “Look at this lass, what made you think of coming to the garden today?”
San-er sounds an “ah” in surprise, then covers her forehead as she whines: “This servant has only come to pick some flower petals for Young Lady, who knew I’d run into Young Master here?”
I beat at my heart and lungs, this scene is such a classic! A pretty, not to mention, neither humble nor arrogant maid, a handsome and rather spoilt man……
For the mother of God, this is the standard script ah!
On the other hand, the scene continues to unfold. Young Master lightly laughs as he says: “What does Ru Xu need flower petals for?”
San-er hooks up the corners of her lips, brightly smiling: Young Lady said she wishes to brew some flower tea to drink.”
“Oh?” Young Master once again speaks: “Flower tea? Looks like I’m in luck for something good. Pass these words on to your young lady, don’t forget my share.”
“This servant understands!” San-er’s eyes shines extremely brightly with delight as she replies.
I believe this is the difference ah, the difference, she – San-er – comes to the garden to pick flower petals, raising her appeal. And here I am coming to the garden to……
I suddenly find the leash in hand slipping away, and look down. Damn it, Master Hei has gone mad, it’s actually dashing over to them.
Once I was able to react to this, Master Hei is already firmly hanging onto Young Master’s clothes. Remember that now…..it is hanging……
Those tusks of Master Hei’s sure is overwhelming.
Young Master’s beautiful face is filled with surprise, but immediately returns to normal. What followed was a seemingly gentle, but strong in reality, tug on Xiao Hei, pulling the pig down and into his arms: “Xiao Hei, what are you doing here? Ran away from home?”
I see Xiao Hei intentionally point towards me as it looks over, following it, Young Master dangerously narrows his eyes as he sweeps a glance over.
I slowly stand, dusting off my clothes, and then walk up to him, greeting: “Young Master.”
Young Master is rather unpleased: “What are you doing here?”
Deep down, I felt helpless, this is the difference in treatment ah.
I blankly look at Xiao Hei in his arms, saying: “Pig on the loose.”
The corners of Young Master’s lips seem to tug down a little: “……pig on the loose?”
I think about it for a bit and once again speak: “Taking pig out on a walk.”
Young Master’s eyes turn even more ice-cold.
I’m unmovable under the strike of lightning, unaffected by the snowfall, you go ahead and be as ice cold as you like.
In the end, San-er who had long been neglected, speaks up: “I sure haven’t seen Xiao Hei for a good while now.” Having said that, she wanted to lovingly stroke Master Hei’s head.
But is Master Hei your average pig? Dumbly smiling whenever someone touches it? With one rise of its head, it had bitten onto San-er’s hanging sleeve, eyes filled with arrogance.
San-er freezes, and then wrinkling her nose, she says: “Xiao Hei, what’s wrong, do you miss me too?”
Unfortunately, pigs do not understand human language, persistently biting down hard.
Young Master’s slender fingers pulls its ears upwards, lowly saying: “Xiao Hei, let go.”
Master Hei actually just gave him a quick glance, still refusing to release its hold.
And so, the atmosphere turns cold. Unable withstand this, I open my mouth to say two words: “Let go.”
The atmosphere turns even colder, because Master Hei immediately loosens its mouth.
Young Master’s pretty face darkens, black pupils looking unpredictable: “You sure are very capable.”
My heart was hit with realisation, Young Master is jealous right now, but what can I do? I have good fates with pigs ah.
Seeing my blank expression, Young Master’s face darkens even more, lifting his feet to take his leave. But he had forgotten that below him there is still a Master Hei. And so, with one loss of stability, that tall body comes falling onto me.
Followed by a “peng” sound, my entire person is lying on the floor, with the soft soil under my back, on top of me is a body carrying a clean and fresh scent.
Young Master has made me his cushion.
Once my mind was clear again, I felt warm and moist air on my neck, my waist is also being held tight.
With a sudden surge of evil courage, I expressionlessly say: “Young Master, you’re molesting this servant.”
The person buried into my neck immediately gets up, elegantly dusting off the soil from his body as he says: “Fool, do you know what molesting means? Just look at you, even if you let me molest you, I would refuse to.”
He grabs onto San-er who was stood at the side, letting out a mocking laugh: “If I were to molest anyone, it’d someone like San-er.”
San-er’s face immediately turns charmingly tender.
I look into Young Master’s eyes, rubbing my shoulder as I stand up: “Young Master, this servant is letting the pig loose.”
Even if you like to molest pigs, what’s it all got to do with me?
I take hold of the leash, not even sparing the two another glance as I leave. I menacingly look at Xiao Hei, oh-ho, you really have gotten ahead of yourself after being spared for three days.
Xiao Hei pulls me around the garden, casually strolling around, I was just thinking why Ying Lu still isn’t here yet, and there she is looking in particularly dejected as she shows up within my line of sight.
“Ah-Lan, accompany me to the family banquet tonight.” She weakly says.
I pick up Xiao Hei who rubs itself against her face: “Alright.”
Family banquet, this will be interesting.