Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 224 – Little by little, everything will be dealt with (1)
When Ji Man heard there was a fire in Xuesong Courtyard, her heart skipped a beat. She hurriedly stood up and went outside.
Dengxin was walking by her master's side. Feeling somewhat uneasy, she said, "This servant had only want to cause a small commotion and didn't expect that the fire would spread so fast, hope Gancao is doing okay."
"She's always acted smartly. Nothing bad will happen to her." Ji Man quietly comforted her and sped up her own pace.
Qian Lianxue was standing outside of Xuesong Courtyard and surrounded by a group of servants. Seeing Nie Sangyu coming over, she quietly called out, "Madam."
Ji Man nodded and looked around, but didn't see Gancao. She raised her head and saw that the fire had already grown into a raging inferno. In ancient times, the only way they knew how to put out fires was by pouring bucket after bucket of water onto the fire. It wasn't an effective method. Looking at the situation, Ji Man guessed that the fire wouldn't be extinguished until the entire courtyard was burnt down.
"Lianxue, have you seen Gancao?" Ji Man asked.
The tears in Qian Lianxue's eyes suddenly increased. She coughed twice before sobbing, "This servant hasn't see Gancao. Right after she said she was going back into my room to get something, she disappeared."
Disappeared? Ji Man froze in surprise. She took a step towards Xuesong Courtyard and watched the servants that were entering and exiting the courtyard to put out the fire. None of their faces looked familiar too her.
Gancao wasn't here.
Standing behind her master, Dengxin cover her mouth as her body slightly trembled.
Ji Man lowly laughed and said, "Heaven helps the worthy. Don't worry, nothing bad will happen to Gancao. Perhaps, she just went to somewhere else. Dengxin, go and look for her."
"Understood." Dengxin turned around and blankly walked around the perimeter of the courtyard.
The large fire had engulfed the entire main rooms in Xuesong Couryard. The beams had collapsed, and it seemed as if everything had turned into ashes. Fortunately, there had been many people working on putting out the fire, so only the main rooms had been burnt down. By the time the fire had been completely extinguished, Steward Qian came over with other servants and had them sort out the items that hadn't been burned. Some of the gold and other precious items might not have been damaged by the fire and could be taken out. As for the other more flammable items, there were probably beyond salvaging.
When Steward Qian opened the doors to the main rooms, he saw a charred corpse quietly lying on the ground,
The sky suddenly became overcast. As Dengxin was returning to report that she hadn't found Gancao, Steward Qian had already ordered the servants to take corpse outside.
Ji Man took two steps back and asked with a smile. "Steward Qian, why are you showing me something so frightening?"
Steward Qian cupped his hands and said, "Madam, this subordinate has already done a headcount of all the other servants in this courtyard, this... this seems to be Gancao."
Dengxin wasn't able to keep standing. Her legs weakened, and she sprawled down onto the ground. Her eyes were wide in horror.
Ji Man's hands tightened. She slowly crouched down and quietly said, "How can you say something like that without proof? How do you know it's her..."
On the charred corpse's waist, there was something that hadn't been burnt beyond recognition, a waist accessory with red coral beads. Ji Man remembered. This had been Gancao's most precious treasure. When Ning Mingjie had given her this present, he told her that in two months, he would come and take her into his household.
Ji Man fell silent.
Standing behind her, Qian Lianxue clutched her handkerchief and sobbed with emotion, "It's Lianxue's fault. Lianxue didn't take care of Gancao. There was something in the room that this servant wanted. This servant had originally intended to send Danzhu inside to get it, but Gancao had gone inside first, but then she didn't come out..."
Dengxin didn't care about gaze of the onlookers. Her tears were heart-wrenching as she forcefully repeatedly kowtowed toward the corpse. Blood had started to seep out of her forehead from the repeated knocks against the ground.
If she hadn't thought of such a stupidly rotten idea, Gancao wouldn't have died! Dengxin's crying was so intense that she had to gasp for breath as her face was smeared with tears.
The sound of her crying quickly made the surrounding atmosphere feel heavy and somber.
Ji Man just blankly looked at the corpse for a long time until she finally slowly got up and said to Steward Qian, "Don't hesitate with spending money for her burial rites. I'm the one that owes her. Tell me where her family is. I'll go talk to them."
Steward Qian made a sound of assent, then he ordered the servants over and had them take the body away.
There was a sudden clap of thunder. It had originally been late afternoon, but at some point, the sky had darken. After the shocking sound of thunder, the downpour started. The surrounding servants hurriedly started ushering Qian Lianxue to the side to avoid the rain. Ji Man and Dengxin stayed in their spots and didn't move.
Qian Lianxue stopped walking and called out, "Madam, quickly come over here to avoid the heavy rain. There's lightning too."
Ji Man tilted her head and smiled at her. "I haven't done anything wrong. Why would I be scared of getting struck by lightning?"
Qian Lianxue stiffened. From a distance, she looked at this woman and felt a shiver go up her spine.
Danzhu tugged on her arm, and she hurriedly turned around and allowed herself to be ushered forward.
Ji Man's entire body was soaked, but she continued to stand frozen in the courtyard. From a distance, there were claps of thunder and the flashes of lightning. Every round of boom and rumble felt like a piece of iron smashing against her heart.
She wasn't able to cry. Her heart felt too pained, but she couldn't uninhibitedly cry out her sorrow like Dengxin. She just felt a stifled pain in heart. She opened her mouth slightly. She felt as if she almost couldn't breath anymore.
This rainstorm had come too late. If it had come a little bit earlier, would Gancao still be alive right now?
No one could persuade her to move. Ji Man stood in the same spot until the sky had cleared. The glowing sunset after the rain was extremely beautiful, and their faces didn't look so terribly pale under the reflection of this light.
Ning Yuxuan slowly walked over, held her hand in his, and started leading her to Feiwan Courtyard.
Ji Man didn't resist. She seemed like a lost, wandering spirit that had no strength.
"Tomorrow, I'll find you another servant girl. She'll be even more attentive." Ning Yuxuan pursed his lips and said, "You already look ugly enough. Stop making that expression."
Ji Man stayed silent.
After Marquis Moyu brought her back to her room, he ordered the servants to prepare hot water for a bath. Looking at her vacant gaze, he pressed his lips together and stopped the words that he had intended to say. He left without saying another word.