Wenqing returned to her own room, a little flustered. She shut the door the moment she entered and took out the letter, placing it on the table. She didn’t dare to read it herself. Rather, she wanted to use a fire starter to burn it to ashes.
Just as she stood up, someone knocked on the door, scaring Wenqing into dropping the fire starter. In her panic, she hid the letter under a book.
“Sister Wenqing, Third Young Madam asked you to go to the kitchen and have some warm soup before you sleep.” It was the voice of the little girl who was in charge of sweeping the courtyard.
Wenqing didn’t dare to tarry and quickly went out.
Right after she had left, Fuyan came out from the room next door. As she watched Wenqing’s disappearing back, she snorted in disdain.
She wasn’t on duty today, and Chu Lian had gone off to attend the feast at the Dingyuan Estate. Since she had been feeling sore and tender all over from her monthlies, she had gone back to her room to rest after reporting to Senior Servant Gui.
However, right after coming out of her room, she had heard the lower tier servants discussing how Third Young Madam had returned, and how she seemed to have brought some treasures back from the Dingyuan Estate.
Following that, she had heard sounds from the room next door and realised that Wenqing had returned to her room.
Wenqing had only come to Songtao Court after Third Young Master had left, and had only been serving here for a few days! Fuyan, on the other hand, had been Third Young Madam’s personal maidservant since she was still an unmarried young girl. She should have been the one involved in whatever fortune Third Young Madam had run into at the Dingyuan Estate. Unfortunately, Wenqing’s arrival had snatched her position away.
Fuyan wasn’t satisfied. Third Young Madam had become much more friendly after getting married. She would even bestow rewards or delicacies on her personal maidservants from time to time.
Since Wenqing had followed Chu Lian to the Dingyuan Estate today and Third Young Madam had gotten something good, Wenqing couldn’t possibly have returned empty-handed. Fuyan couldn’t help but feel jealous.
That reward should have been hers!
However, it had gone to Wenqing instead!
The personal maidservants all lived in a small courtyard next to Songtao Court, two to a room. Since Chu Lian had just returned, the others had all gone to serve her. Only Fuyan was left in the courtyard.
Fuyan glanced at Wenqing’s room, where the doors had been left half open due to her hurried departure. She suddenly turned and entered Wenqing’s room.
Since Wenqing and Wenlan had just moved there, the simple room was rather empty. She could see everything at one glance. Fuyan nervously gulped and started rummaging around the desk.
There were the usual classics on the table: ‘Lessons for Women’, ‘Book of Songs’, etc. Next to them were the essential tools for writing. Fuyan suddenly spotted a yellow corner of paper sticking out of a book; she pulled it out and found a letter.
There was only a single ‘Xiao’ written on the envelope.
Fuyan’s eyes darted about in thought. She was about to put it back when she heard voices outside the room. She stuffed the letter into her arms in fright and quickly shut the door and left.
When she returned to her own room and heard the sounds of the door opening and closing from next door, she collapsed on the ground.
After getting her breath back, Fuyan remembered the letter she had taken. She quickly got up and locked the door before sitting by the bed and taking out the wrinkled envelope. She opened it slowly…
She was so nervous that her hands were trembling, but the thrill of peeking into someone else’s secret excited her.
When she opened the letter fully and read the contents, Fuyan froze.
This… This letter was meant for Third Young Madam!
It was Mister Xiao who had written it, intending it for Third Young Madam, and he wanted to meet her at Defeng Tea House on the twenty-sixth!
Fuyan was Chu Lian’s personal maidservant, so she naturally knew of the goings-on between the two back in the Ying Estate. However, she hadn’t thought that Chu Lian would dare to continue having an affair with Mister Xiao even after marrying into House Jing’an!
In her panic, Fuyan didn’t know what to do.
She didn’t dare to enter Wenqing’s room again, so she could only hide the letter in the bottom of her storage chest for now.