Chapter 24: Saving People
“It seems the Madam has misunderstood something.” After a moment of contemplation, He Yan finally spoke.
Upon hearing this, Tang Ying became even more agitated. She pointed at her and cursed, “Misunderstanding? You and Fan Cheng had a relationship even before I entered the picture, and after I married him, it’s still unclear what you two have been up to. Are you happy being someone else’s mistress? I can see that you haven’t changed at all, and you still want to become the legal wife of my Fan family!”
He Yan felt a headache coming on.
This Madam was completely unreasonable. Despite her beautiful appearance, she spoke in such a harsh manner. He Yan spoke seriously, “Madam, you might want to inquire more carefully. The relationship between Young Master Fan and me ended long before you entered the picture.”
“Liar! If you haven’t seen him, how did he send gifts to you?”
“I’ve been troubled by that too. If Madam could persuade Young Master Fan not to act like that, I would be very grateful.”
After saying this, Tang Ying staggered a few steps and sat down on a chair, tears streaming down her face. “You… you’re despicable… truly despicable!”
He Yan felt some sympathy for her as she watched Tang Ying. Even a fool could see that Fan Cheng was not a suitable match for her. Even if He Yan didn’t pursue Fan Cheng, he would likely find another woman in the future. He Yan couldn’t see anything attractive in Young Master Fan, but there were plenty of others who were willing to sacrifice themselves for status and power. This daughter of the Cheng Wulang was more than qualified for Fan Cheng. With such beauty and background, yet she had bound her life to Fan Cheng’s, what a pity.
Tang Ying’s maids and servant women rushed over to comfort her. After a while, Tang Ying wiped away her tears.
“You wicked woman, you’re good at telling lies. How could I believe your nonsense?” she said.
“Madam, what do you want to do?” He Yan glanced at the sky. “It’s getting late, and I should return home.”
“Return home?” It was one of the servants comforting Tang Ying. “After you’ve done such shameless things, you still want to leave? Until Madam decides how to deal with you, you must stay here!”
He Yan: “….you dare to confine me?”
The old servant glanced disdainfully at He Yan and said, “You come from a humble background, and you don’t know your place. How can you call this confinement? Since our young master has taken a liking to you, you are considered half a member of the Fan family. As the main mistress, it’s only right for Madam to discipline a servant. Even if you complain to the authorities, we have a valid reason!”
He Yan couldn’t help but laugh at their serious nonsense.
Seeing He Yan’s laugh, Tang Ying’s hesitation turned into anger, and she ordered, “Tie her up and leave her in the room for the night. Let’s see if she’s still so arrogant tomorrow!”
As a young lady from a wealthy family, and having just married into her husband’s family, Tang Ying had not yet learned the ruthless methods of dealing with such situations. She only wanted to vent her anger by tying her up and scaring her a little. He Yan sighed with relief, as long as they didn’t use knives, she wasn’t afraid. She was just worried about causing trouble for the He family while carrying the identity of Miss He.
The maids rushed forward and bound He Yan tightly like a little chicken. She remained still and allowed them to tie her up, obediently complying with their actions. Tang Ying watched this and felt even more frustrated.
Once they had her bound, they tossed He Yan onto the bed in the inner room. A maid asked, “Madam, should we leave someone here to guard her?”
“Why bother?” Tang Ying snapped, “Let her stay here alone. When it gets dark, let’s see if she’s scared or not. If she gets robbed by thieves passing by,” she sneered maliciously, “I wonder if Fan Cheng will still want her!”
With that, the group left, leaving the courtyard silent and empty.
He Yan lay tied on the bed, hands and feet bound, calmly gazing at the canopy above.
Surprisingly, the bed was quite soft, and the canopy was made of delicate gauze. It seemed that Madam Fan was quite generous to her prisoner. He Yan couldn’t help but feel a sense of admiration. People from different backgrounds indeed had different lives. Even the resting place that Madam Fan casually used was more luxurious than the carefully crafted house of the He family.
Moreover, this residence was empty most of the time. What a waste!
She contemplated, confirmed there were no more movements outside, and after another cup of tea’s time, she tried to move her hands and feet.
Being bound was somewhat uncomfortable, but the tying was as messy as wrapping a zongzi. She tried to feel for the knot with her hands. Having spent ten days learning how to untie knots when she entered the military camp, she found it quite easy to undo the simple knot.
Feeling the shape of the knot, she confirmed that she could undo it and reached out to untie it. However, just as she was about to act, she heard footsteps outside. The steps were very light, but with her keen hearing, she recognized that it was a man. She stopped her movements and looked towards the door.
Did Tang Ying really hit the mark? Are there really thieves?
The footsteps approached step by step, and even He Yan began to feel a bit nervous. After feeling around in her sleeve for a while, she found a sharp bamboo stick.
Getting a hidden weapon forged in the weapon shop was too expensive. Now, she had to tighten her belt and even had to pick up bamboo sticks herself. He Yan couldn’t help but feel a bit bitter about her situation.
The footsteps were now right in front of her, and the door was pushed open. A guard walked in, looking as if he didn’t expect He Yan to be awake.
Her mouth was stuffed with a rag, but she was calmly looking at him, which startled him. He quickly walked over and whispered in He Yan’s ear, “Miss He, don’t be afraid. Young Master sent me to rescue you.”
So, it wasn’t about stealing, but to save a person.
The guard removed the rag from He Yan’s mouth and lifted her on his shoulder. He said, “This servant will take you out first.”
He Yan was not used to this posture, feeling like she was being taken away as if she were an enemy captive about to be beheaded by the enemy.
However, the other had good intentions, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to complain.
The guard carried He Yan onto a carriage, and it quickly left the Fan family’s mansion. He Yan remained silent, which made the guard a bit uneasy.
He thought she would cry and scream when he entered the room. After all, Miss He was known to be a timid and weak woman. However, when he came in, He Yan showed no fear despite her mouth being gagged. Her expression was curious and cautious, but there was no sign of fear.
The guard had never seen such a woman and felt a strange sense of awe. Fortunately, the carriage was moving fast, and they arrived in a short time.
The guard helped He Yan off the carriage.
It was already dark.
The night on the Chunlai River was different from the bustling daytime, becoming quiet and peaceful. Normally, many pleasure boats would be here, with music, dances, and wine. However, due to the continuous fine rain and the cold wind, only a few scattered boats floated on the river, their dim fishing lights adding to the desolation.
He Yan lifted her head, and the dense rain fell on her face, cool and ticklish. Looking into the distance, she asked, “Why did you bring me here?”
The guard didn’t dare to look at her face and respectfully said, “Young Master is waiting for you on the boat ahead. I will take you there.”