Chapter 23: Love Debt
Investigating someone in the capital is not a simple task.
But as for the current Fan Cheng, all his concubines and servants have been dismissed, and he dared not visit brothels. He spent most of his time in just a few places so it didn’t take long for his little affair with He Yan to be exposed and brought before Tang Ying.
“This is outrageous!” Tang Ying slammed the teacup heavily on the table. “He had a private affair with that woman when we were discussing marriage. He doesn’t take me seriously at all! I already warned my brother and father about him being untrustworthy, and now it’s all come true. I feel so embarrassed!”
“Madam, please calm down,” the maid said, “Young Master still hasn’t dared to bring that woman home, so he must have reservations. Perhaps that woman has charmed him, which led to his mistakes. Now, you and the Young Master have just gotten married, so don’t cause any ripples because of these things, or others will accuse you of being jealous.”
“What should I do then?” Tang Ying asked angrily.
“Why not start with that woman? She’s just the daughter of a city miliary official. She’s not beyond Madam’s control…”
“You’re right,” Tang Ying calmed down after a while. “She’s just a lowly woman who dares to dream of marrying into the Fan family and taking the position of the legal wife. I will personally meet her!”
He Yan was unaware of the troubles happening at the Fan residence. She was thinking about how to go to the conscription office and fill out the documents to join the army, hoping to follow the troops to Liangzhou.
Neither He Yunsheng, nor He Sui, would understand, so she pondered on how to find a good excuse to explain her actions. If she told them she wanted to achieve great things, they would surely think she was crazy. If she mentioned revenge… no, that wouldn’t work either.
She turned over her body. What if she wrote a letter and left home again, just like she did back then? Taking advantage of the darkness of the night and when there was no one around, she could leave directly? Remembering that the conscription would end in two days, if the documents were not submitted, there would be no chance.
While she was thinking, Qingmei brought in some pastries. Seeing He Yan tossing and turning on the bed, Qingmei was surprised, “Miss, have you eaten something bad? Shall I find someone to take a look?”
“I’m fine.” He Yan waved her hand. “I’m just feeling restless.”
Surprisingly, after He Yunsheng left, she found herself missing his constant chatter. Even if she practiced martial arts alone in the residence, she couldn’t find any interest. People were indeed strange. Although she lived as a lonely individual in the Xu family for a whole year, feeling lonely most of the time, she got used to having He Yunsheng’s endless murmuring around after just over a month in the He family.
Perhaps He Yunsheng was just too talkative.
He Yan turned over and said, “I’m going out for a while.”
“Where is the miss going? I’ll accompany you.” Qingmei quickly offered.
“No need, I’m going to fetch Yunsheng’s clothes.” He Yan replied. Twenty days have passed, and He Yunsheng’s spring and summer clothes should be ready by now. Since He Yunsheng was coming back late after school, she would go and help collect them.
Before leaving, she glanced at the conscription notice on the table. After some thought, she put it in her pocket. She didn’t even understand why she was doing this.
A long, long time later, when He Yan recalled this day, she felt that fate was mysterious. From the moment she took that notice, the hand of destiny turned the clouds and rain, sweeping her back into the plot once again. In the vastness of the universe, it was all destined.
By the afternoon, the weather was fine. Following her memory, He Yan found the tailor shop. The old tailor there smiled when he saw her, “The young lady finally came. The clothes are ready. The young master isn’t here, is he?”
“He’s at school,” He Yan smiled and handed over the remaining silver coins. “Master, you have great skills.”
The spring clothes and summer attire were both beautiful blue clothes, simple and elegant in style, made of breathable and lightweight fabric. He Yan thought He Yunsheng would surely like them. She neatly folded the clothes and put them in a bundle before stepping out of the tailor shop. A strange maid came up to her.
“Are you Miss Yan He?”
Could it be another acquaintance? He Yan sighed, as she didn’t have He Yunsheng by her side to explain who this person was.
“Yes, that’s me.” He Yan tried to look natural.
The maid smiled, “My Madam is just ahead. I happened to meet you and would like to invite you for a talk.”
“Your Madam?” He Yan pondered for a moment. Since she wasn’t the real Miss He, if she encountered someone she knew, she might expose herself. Thus, she declined, “Today, I am a bit busy. How about another day?”
The maid looked hesitant, “This maid can’t make decisions. Please meet my Madam. It won’t take much of your time, and my Madam said there is an important matter she wants to discuss with you.”
Throughout her life, He Yan feared most when young ladies were in a dilemma because of her. Seeing the maid’s troubled expression, He Yan felt like she had brought trouble to her, making her heart soften. When she heard that there was an important matter to discuss, she felt a little suspicious. What if it was really important and she caused delays?
After wrestling with her thoughts for a moment, she said, “Alright, I’ll meet with her. But I have urgent matters to attend to, so I can’t stay long.”
“You can rest assured.”
The maid led the way, and He Yan followed her gaze. Although the maid introduced herself as a servant, her clothes and jewelry were of exquisite quality. She was either a maid from a wealthy family or a personal maid to a noblewoman. He Yan felt like she might be both.
Lost in her thoughts, He Yan suddenly realized they had arrived at a sparsely populated alley.
“Is your Madam here?” she asked.
“Our Madam has a residence here, but she rarely stays.” The maid smiled. “Sometimes when she’s tired from banquets nearby, she rests here.”
Ah, indeed from a wealthy family. Even the resting place was her family’s property. He Yan marveled, knowing He Yunsheng would probably envy her again.
“Here it is.” As expected, the maid stopped in front of a small courtyard.
The courtyard wasn’t large, and it looked a bit old. There weren’t many people around, and there wasn’t even a gatekeeper at the entrance. He Yan followed the maid inside, passing through a garden before entering the main hall. Suddenly, the maid’s tone changed from gentle and polite to cold and indifferent, “Madam, this maid has brought her.”
He Yan raised her head and met the furious gaze of a beautiful woman.
“Are you He Yan?”
This didn’t seem like a friendly meeting for tea and conversation.
“I am. And Madam is…”
“I am the eldest daughter of the Tang family, the current Cheng Wulang, and the wife of Fan Cheng,” the lady sneered, her eyes full of hostility.
He Yan instantly realized what was going on and looked at the imposing maids and servants around her. She inwardly sighed.
This Madam seemed to have misunderstood something.
What kind of karma did she create to be reincarnated into this miss with a love debt?