Chapter 037: The Informer
The kitchen utility room.
Dong Lai lightly knocked on the door of the utility room. After a while, the door was opened from the inside. Dong Lai looked around behind him. After confirming that no one was there, he immediately ducked into the small room.
QiuYi came out of the corner. She glanced at Dong Lai, and thought that Jiang LinZhi was really unlucky enough. He was considered half a waste in the Jiang family. And now, even the servant who had served him half of his life was going to turn his coat. So in the future, even without saying there would be full of obstacles for him in the Jiang family, there would be no difference.
Dong Lai made a dry cough. He cleared his throat, and said, “QiuYi, I, You are not allowed to spread the word about the matter I came to look for you today. If Second Master finds out about it, I will not be able to save my life.”
Dong Lai was aware of the ridicule that flashed on QiuYi’s face, and sneered in his heart, but on the surface he was like a flattering wicked person.
“With the Old Lady and the Eldest Young Madam protecting you, are you still afraid of a sickly person?” QiuYi said disdainfully, “Come on, if you have anything to say, just tell me quickly. I have to go back to serve the Eldest Young Madam, and it’s getting late. Madam might be scolding me now.”
Dong Lai agreed, and with a shy face, he said flatteringly: “Yes, yes.”
Qiu Yi rolled her eyes. She looked at Dong Lai badly, and said, “You say, weren’t you very loyal to Jiang LinZhi before? Why is it now............ You shouldn’t have bad intentions, right?”
Dong Lai waved his hands in a panic, and said sincerely: “Sister QiuYi, you must not mention such treacherous words in front of the Eldest Young Madam by any means. Aren’t I still........... thinking about not staying in the Eastern Courtyard all the time, so I think.......”
Qiu Yi said coldly: “I believe you know what kind of temperament Eldest Young Madam has. I believe you also know that. Don’t use any lies to deceive people, otherwise you would come to a bad end.”
Dong Lai buried his head, flushed, and after a long time, he stammered and said: “A few days ago, didn’t Wang Fu in the Eldest Young Madam’s courtyard get married? I heard that the Eldest Young Madam personally arranged the marriage. So, I also........”
“Okay, I will mention it to the Eldest Young Madam.” Qiu Yi nodded with satisfaction. She raised her chin, and said, “Say, what did you call me here to say?”
Dong Lai put his right hand beside his face, took a step forward, and said in a low voice, “I accompanied Second Master to the front yard just now, and just happened to meet Second Young Madam and Third Master in the front yard. The two are quite close, but I can’t hear clearly what they are talking about.”
Qiu Yi swallowed her saliva and became interested, but she felt that the matter could not be so simple, so she deliberately said: “What’s so strange about this?”
Dong Lai smiled and said deliberately, “If the matter is really that simple, why did Second Master not even greet Third Master, and just directly turned around and went back to his courtyard?”
QiuYi asked curiously, “After Second Master returned to the room, did he fly into a rage?”
“Then if Second Master is really indifferent, do you think I can find time to meet Sister QiuYi now?” Dong Lai had a flattering smile from beginning to end.
QiuYi nodded, not knowing whether she believed Dong Lai’s words or not. After a while, she made a dry cough and said, “It’s getting late, I have to go back and report Eldest Young Madam first.”
Dong Lai responded with a sound “yes”, and trotted to the door. He opened a door, and after sending QiuYi off in person, it didn’t take long before he crept away.
The Western Courtyard.
As soon as QiuYi returned to the Western Courtyard, she found Hu XiaYun, and reported about what she just knew in vivid detail. After she finished speaking, she added worriedly, “Madam, I think that Dong Lai is weird, and the servant is worried that he doesn’t really want to betray the Eastern Courtyard.”
Hu XiaYun pursed her lips and considered it carefully before saying, “What are you afraid of? No matter if he is sincere or pretending, as long as the news is true, who cares about that.”
Qiu Yi swallowed her saliva and said, “Madam, if there is really something between that Pei Cheng and Third Master, if the Old Lady finds out about this, wouldn’t it make things worse?”
Before her words were finished, Qiu Yi’s words were interrupted by Hu XiaYun. Hu XiaYun scolded: “Shut up. Don’t talk about such unproven words, lest they spread out, and it will become our Western Courtyard’s fault in the end.”
Qiu Yi agreed with a sound and was shamefaced.
Hu XiaYun narrowed her eyes and said with a faint smile: “Don’t make a statement about this beforehand. Remember, no matter what happens between Pei Cheng and Third Master, don’t leak in front of the Old Lady. Do you understand?”
Qiu Yi raised her head, and quietly glanced at Hu XiaYun. She suddenly understood what kind of careful thinking Hu XiaYun was playing. She shuddered, inexplicably feeling that Hu XiaYun’s methods were too clever.
Hu XiaYun’s face was cold, “Do you understand?!”
Qiu Yi’s face turned pale, and she said repeatedly: “Understand, understand, understand.”
“Get out of here if you understand.” After the night of the Lantern Festival, Hu XiaYun’s attitude towards QiuYi was not the same as before. Instead, it was another maid, ChunYi, who had been doing well by Hu XiaYun’s side recently.
At least she was doing better than the current QiuYi.
When QiuYi reluctantly exited, she happened to meet ChunYi who came in with a tray in hand. Two people’s eyes met in the midair and they did not miss the disgust that flashed in the eyes of the other party.
The Eastern Courtyard.
After Pei Cheng coaxed Jiang YanZhi to sleep, it was getting late. As soon as he walked out of the room, he saw Dong Lai’s figure quickly walking past the courtyard gate. He looked panic-stricken and before he could see clearly, Dong Lai’s figure had disappeared from the door.
Frowning, Pei Cheng took a few quick steps towards the courtyard gate, and went out to take a look, and there was no sign of Dong Lai on the path outside the door. The servant standing at the far door glanced at Pei Cheng, and said cautiously, “Madam, do you have any orders?”
Pei Cheng said, “Where did Dong Lai go?”
The servant said in confusion, “This servant doesn’t know. Dong Lai, he just returned to Second Master’s yard, so he should have gone out for something.”
Pei Cheng was even more puzzled. “What is he busy with? Does he need to be busy until now?”
The servant smiled and said, “This servant doesn’t even know. If Madam wants to know, should this servant go to find Dong Lai?”
Pei Cheng waved his hand, suppressing the doubts in his heart, “It’s alright.” Then he turned around and entered the yard.
Dong Lai gently pushed the door open and walked in. There was no one in the room. He walked towards the bed. The bed curtain had been lowered. In the dim light, he could only see Jiang LinZhi’s general position, and couldn’t see the expression on the other’s face.
Dong Lai took a breath and didn’t dare to speak.
After a long time, the sound of turning pages sounded in the room, Jiang LinZhi said casually: “Have you done it?”
Dong Lai lowered his head, “Yes. This servant just doesn’t know if QiuYi will pass what this servant said on to that master of Western Courtyard.”
“This is not something you should worry about.” Jiang LinZhi glanced at Dong Lai coldly.
Dong Lai reflexively licked the corners of his dry mouth. After Second Master came back from the front yard, his temper was not good. Dong Lai guessed that he was really angry. Dong Lai said: “Second Master, if QiuYi comes to look for this servant again in the future to ask about Eastern Courtyard’s affair. This servant........”
“What to say and what not to say, I don’t need to teach you.” Jiang LinZhi turned the page again, his eyes full of impatience.
Dong Lai didn’t dare to make a sound.
After the candles in the room were burned half, Jiang LinZhi said coldly, “Get out.”
*(T/N: i.e. after a while)
“Yes.” Dong Lai breathed a sigh of relief, turned around and left the room quietly.
The next day.
After breakfast, Pei Cheng offered to accompany Jiang YanZhi to learn Chinese characters. Jiang YanZhi was stunned for a moment, and his face could not hide his excitement: “Okay.”
Pei Cheng, who was originally absent-minded, ticked slightly at the corner of his mouth.
It’s a pity that when Pei Cheng brought Jiang YanZhi into the courtyard, he saw Dong Lai leading the doctor out of the room. His pace paused, and soon after that he trotted to there.
Dong Lai’s eyes were sharp, and he saw Pei Cheng when he walked into the yard. After hurriedly sending the doctor away, Dong Lai hurriedly walked up to Pei Cheng and said, “Madam, Young Master YanZhi.”
Pei Cheng pursed his lips, sensitively aware that something was wrong with Dong Lai, he asked, “Why is the doctor here? Is Second Master feeling unwell?” Dong Lai nodded, and then looked confused: “Second Master is not feeling well today. It must be because the wind has been blowing at night. So, Second Master just instructed this servant to tell Madam to not send Young Master YanZhi for the next two days.”
Jiang YanZhi looked up at Pei Cheng. He understood the meaning of Dong Lai’s words, and even more understood that Jiang LinZhi, who had been teaching him reading and writing during this period of time, fell ill.
It’s just that there was still evidently a close and distant relatives relationship between them.
Jiang YanZhi didn’t care about Jiang LinZhi very much, so he naturally didn’t worry about Jiang LinZhi’s physical condition.
Pei Cheng frowned. When he took Jiang YanZhi to the front yard to relax last night, he ran into Jiang LinZhi too. He was still fine last night and how come he was sick today?
“Dong Lai, take YanZhi back to the room first.” Pei Cheng looked at the closed door, then looked down at Jiang YanZhi, and said in a strong tone, “Go back to your room to practice calligraphy by yourself, and wait for me to go back and check.”
Jiang YanZhi reluctantly followed Dong Lai and left.
Pei Cheng motioned to the two servants who were standing guard at the door of the room. The servants hurriedly pushed the door open and Pei Cheng walked in.
As soon as he entered the room, Pei Cheng could smell the faint smell of medicinal soup in the room. He walked towards the inner room, took a few steps, and said, “Second Master, are you sleeping?”
Jiang LinZhi’s voice came from inside the bed curtain. He said, “Why are you here?”
Pei Cheng choked on the obvious unwelcome sentence, then he pretended to be nothing happened and said, “Second Master is not feeling well, I come to take a look.”
Jiang LinZhi said lightly: “You’re recovering from illness, and knowing that I’m unwell, you should carefully stay in your yard.”
Pei Cheng avoided the topic and went to the half-open window by himself. Looking at the lawn which was already bare, in the backyard, he seemed to be talking to himself, and also seemed to be asking Jiang LinZhi, he said, “I heard from the servants of the Eastern Courtyard that the flowers and plants in this courtyard need to be replaced every year, and I don’t know whether it is the soil here is not suitable, or there are other reasons.”
Since Pei Cheng guessed that these flowers were poisoned to death, Pei Cheng had been testing Jiang LinZhi intentionally or unintentionally.
Jiang LinZhi narrowed his eyes. He clenched one hand into a fist, and put it on his lips. He coughed softly, and then said, “What do you think is the reason, madam?”
“It must be because they are not suitable here.” Pei Cheng retracted his gaze, walked to the round table and sat down.
Jiang LinZhi said nothing. “You go back.”
Those were very straightforward words to drive people away.
Pei Cheng pressed his lips together, and looked around, saying: “The servants are all clumsy, and couldn’t serve Second Master well. Since I have nothing to do........ I’ll stay and accompany Second Master.”
Jiang LinZhi twitched the corner of his mouth, but neither refused nor agreed, but instead said: “Go and pour me a cup of tea.”
Pei Cheng: “.......”
He thought Jiang LinZhi was going to chase him away. As a result, he did not expect that the other party would compromise just like that.
Pei Cheng was somewhat unexpected.