Chapter 261 Meeting Chen Qing Again
Outside the Lord Protector’s Manor.
A ragged young man craned his neck and peered at the door around the corner countless times. Just when he felt impatient with all this waiting, he saw a woman coming out from the manor at a distance, and felt relieved. He came out, waved to her and then returned to the corner.
At this time, Chen Qing was a vagrant. He was penniless, so he had to return to the capital city.
“How dare you come back? If First Madam finds out that you are back, you’ll be killed!” Mother Chen frowned and whispered, as she went round the corner and saw Chen Qing.
“Aunt, it’s been so long. Is First Madam still looking for me?” Chen Qing had suffered a lot during this period. After being told, he turned pale with fear.
How was he to know that it was the Second Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor? It happened so fast. He had asked the man to paint the Fifth Young Lady. Unexpectedly, the man painted Second Young Lady instead. When he heard the news, Chen Qing felt terrible at first. So, he immediately packed up and ran away.
“No matter how long it takes, Madam will never forget it. She will kill you the way she squishes a bug.” Seeing him obsessed with the wrong ideas, Mother Chen stomped and cursed in rage.
Madam Ling was a grudge holder and ruthless woman. If Madam Ling found out that Chen Qing, who had hurt Second Young Lady, was back to the capital city, he would be killed, and maybe she could not even save her own life by then. Therefore, as soon as she received the message from Chen Qing, she came to look for him, for fear that Madam Ling’s men would discover it.
“Let her get over it. I won’t die that easily. Aunt, she started a rumor that I had an affair with that Young Lady to destroy her reputation. At that time, I was the one who drew the picture, which was used as evidence of our affair. For fear that she would go back on her word, I kept the letter she sent. If she tries to frame me, I’ll use it as evidence…”
Chen Qing said this proudly, with malice and insidiousness in his eyes. He had suffered a lot after he ran away. He was not accomplished at either the pen or the sword. If the situation continued like this, he would be doomed to die. After figuring it out, Chen Qing returned to the capital city at once. Anyway, he had the proof in his hands. If Madam Ling wanted to kill him, it would not be easy.
Mother Chen covered his mouth, “Small ancestor, you… you dare to threaten the Madam. Are you courting death?”
Mother Chen trembled with fear and said this hurriedly. Back then, Chen Qing fooled her into thinking that he had burned the letter from Madam Ling. Unexpectedly, Chen Qing had kept the letter. She was frightened out of her wits. Madam Ling was a hard woman to deal with. Otherwise, she would not have been able to rise to the position of First Madam of the Lord Protector’s Manor, from that of a mistress.
“Aunt,” Chen Qing shook off her hands and said proudly, “Aunt, you know so many secrets about First Madam. Aren’t you afraid that she will kill you? She needs you right now, but soon, you’ll be useless. Then, you’ll be doomed to die because you know too much. I heard that an older female servant lost her life, after being abandoned by the madam.”
Hearing that, Mother Chen felt terrified.
She was Madam Ling’s best assistant now, but who was it before? Madam Ling had always valued Mammy Yun most, but what had happened to her? Mother Chen did not know the actual facts, but heard that Mammy Yun had fled, when the manor was in chaos. Of course, Mother Chen did not believe that. No one believed that they could escape from the mansion. If so, Mammy Yun was exceptionally adept in trickery.
But what if we put it in another way? Mammy Yun might have been killed by Madam Ling to keep her mouth shut.
“Aunt, have you ever thought that she died because she knew too much?” Seeing Mother Chen’s face turning deathly pale, Chen Qing knew that he had guessed right, so he tried harder to persuade her.
“What … am I supposed to do?” Mother Chen asked, after she trembled for a while. Now, she was in a state of utter distress. At the thought that Mammy Yun was murdered, probably because she knew too much, she felt fearful and panicky, and her heart pounded incessantly, because she also knew a lot of things. First Madam had no time to deal with her during this period. Perhaps First Madam would get even with her later.
“Aunt, we have insufficient evidence about how First Madam framed that young lady. Can you go to the yard where she lives and find a few more tokens? At that time, all the tokens that First Madam gave to me were sent out with the picture. I hardly had time and kept only a few tokens. If so, we can convince the others.”
Chen Qing thought for a moment and said this, as he came to his senses. At that time, he had stolen a few glances at the lady. After drawing her, he took some personal items from Madam Ling, such as handkerchiefs, and put them together. All the things were “seized on the spot” and became evidence of her infidelity. He wanted to keep a few items, but the men sent by Madam Ling were watching closely, so he had no chance.
Now, he thought if he had kept a few pieces of evidence, it would be more convincing. Madam Ling said in the letter that she would send him something to use as evidence.
“Aunt, I don’t want to deal with First Madam. As long as she does not bother me and she can provide food for me, I will not do such a thing. Now, I’m being driven to death. Aunt, I ever planned to look after you in your old age and accord you a decent burial. If I die, no one will set up a memorial tablet for you.”
Seeing that Mother Chen was still hesitant, Chen Qing added the trimmings, and looked at Mother Chen with sincerity.
Mother Chen was a widow without a child, so she treated her nephew like a son, in her heart. After she listened to his grievances and looked at him, she knew that he was driven against the wall.
If he had not been framed, he would not be willing to turn against the Lord Protector’s Manor. If the madam did not deal with her and Chen Qing, they would keep this matter private. She nodded, “Ok, I promise you, but you must promise me that you will not take those things out, unless you have no alternative. ”
“Aunt, please be assured. Even if I garnered my courage, I would not dare to turn against Lord Protector’s First Madam. If she gives me a chance to live, I will not disclose it.” Chen Qing rolled his eyes and patted his chest to guarantee that.
Hearing that, Mother Chen breathed a sigh of relief. She took out some silver, gave it to Chen Qing and asked him to find a place to hide. As long as he did not appear in front of First Madam, he would be fine. After all, it had been so long. Moreover, Second Young Lady had run into some trouble after the incident, which had nothing to do with Chen Qing. Perhaps First Madam had forgotten about Chen Qing’s involvement.
She comforted herself on the way to the Auspicious Clouds Courtyard. Before she reached the gate of the courtyard, she saw a maid running hurriedly toward her. When she saw Mother Chen, she caught her breath and said quickly, “Mother Chen, where did you go?”
Mother Chen had a guilty conscience. After being asked, she thought she’d been spotted, and cold sweat appeared on her forehead. She shouted, “What… what’s the matter?”
“First Madam woke up and was looking for you. She could not find you. She’s losing her temper. You’d better go back as soon as possible.” The maid wiped away the sweat.
“Oh, OK, OK, I’ll be right there.” Knowing that she had not been spotted when she met Chen Qing outside the manor, Mother Chen was relieved. She relaxed, immediately replied, and hurried away.
“Mother Chen, you’re so blessed. She trusts you so much and needs you for everything. You’re her closest associate.” The maid sighed with envy behind her. Hearing that, Mother Chen felt her legs grow weak and almost fell. She hurriedly reached out to hold on to the wall, so that she did not fall on the spot.
The more you know, the faster you will die! Chen Qing’s words echoed in her mind once again. She immediately turned pale. She did not want to die so soon. No. She could die from some unknown cause and then it would be said that she had escaped like Mammy Yun.
So, she had to save herself. Chen Qing was right. Having proof of First Madam’s guilt in her hand was better than to die from some unknown cause.
If she had vacillated earlier, she was very determined now. She gritted her teeth, said nothing more to the maid behind her, and hurriedly ran inside.
Seeing that Mother Chen had staggered and almost fallen down, the maid wanted to curry favor with her by rushing to help her. Unexpectedly, Mother Chen stood up at once and ran off like a rabbit. Although she was old, she could run rather fast. It was no wonder that First Madam thought highly of her.
When Mother Chen ran hurriedly into Madam Ling’s room, she found Madam Ling in a furious mood. Two maids knelt aside and trembled. Madam Ling looked solemn, and her hair was disheveled, which made her look terrifying. She always had a serious face, but now she seemed to become more impatient and irritable.
“First Madam, are you looking for me?” Mother Chen caught her breath and came forward to greet her.
“Where did you go?” Madam Ling cast a cold look on Mother Chen, her eyes looking like a viper’s eyes. Her stare made Mother Chen feel frightened.
“I… I wanted to ask the Eldest Young Master if the famous doctor whom he mentioned last time, had gone to see Second Young Lady.” Mother Chen dared not to say that she met Chen Qing at the gate, so she told a lie.
“Have you seen Yuan’er?” Hearing this, Madam Ling relaxed and looked less severe.
“I did not meet the Eldest Young Master. I wanted to wait for him and ask, but you sent someone to look for me.” Mother Chen answered cautiously.
“Oh, Yuan’er is not in the mansion at this time. Let’s leave this matter aside first.” As Madam Ling waved her hands, the two maids rose hesitantly from the ground. Knowing that Madam Ling had something private to tell Mother Chen, they stepped back gently and closed the door for them.
In regular times, Mother Chen felt proud, because it showed that she was First Madam’s henchman. But now, she felt frightened and doubted if she knew too much. She stared at the backs of the retreating maids, and did not hear what Madam Ling was saying.
“Mother Chen, what’s wrong with you?” When she heard this, Mother Chen trembled and came to her senses immediately. She lowered her head and made an excuse, “First Madam, I’m thinking if Second Young Lady’s face is getting better. Since the Eldest Young Master said the famous doctor has excellent medical skills, it should not be a problem!”