Cai Ju Wisens Up
Hong Luan dilly dallied and grabbed onto her roommate, Xiao Cui. She glanced down at the earring in her hand.
“Oh, Xiao Cui. We’ve worked together for such a long time. I see you just like a sister. If good things happen to me, I definitely wouldn’t forget about you.”
Xiao Cui trembled when she realized what she was hinting it and immediately tightened her grip on the earring. She wasn’t stupid. There was definitely a hidden reason for Xiao Yuan creating such a hubbub over finding these earrings.
She certainly wasn’t willing to become her scapegoat.
“Xiao Cui, you know the person the miss trusted the most before was me. If I were to become a senior maidservant again, I would definitely promote you as well.”
Xiao Cui almost loosened her grip. She grinded her teeth, thinking at most she’d just have to endure a beating.
“What are you waiting around for! The Ninth Miss is still waiting. If you don’t get a move on, there’ll be punishment to face!”
A maidservant said quickly as she walked past the door. Xiao Cui’s entire body quivered as she once again tightened her grip.
“Hong Luan, how about we go now? Let’s not make the miss wait any longer.”
Xiao Cui said but didn’t wait for Hong Luan’s response before she immediately ran off, her heart threatening to beat out of her chest.
Hong Luan was taken aback. In her eyes, she was close to success, but Xiao Cui ended up running away. She stamped her feet, “Xiao Cui!”
Xiao Cui ran like the wind, absolutely terrified that Hong Luan would catch up to her. The Ninth’s miss personality was that if she favored someone, even if they did wrong, it’d be acceptable; however, if she didn’t like someone, no matter how much good they did, it’d be pointless.
The Ninth Miss evidently loathed Hong Luan. Xiao Cui made up her mind to never involve herself with Hong Luan again.
Xiao Yuan stood waiting in the hallway for an hour. The courtyard’s maid servants had already all left and returned but a few were still missing.
But Xiao Yuan wasn’t worried. Hong Xiu moved a chair over for Xiao Yuan to sit on while she waited in the hallway. She narrowed her eyes, her red lips slightly raised as she cast a sidelong glance at the people below.
When she noticed Hong Luan’s snail-like pace in walking over and how anxious her expression was, a sneer spread out on her face.
Hong Xiu looked down at the young and old maid servants below them, “My lady. Everyone’s arrived.”
Xiao Yuan stood up, a sudden fierceness flashed in her beautiful eyes. She gave Hong Xiu a look. Hong Xiu nodded and examined all the people below. As she got closer and closer to Hong Luan, Hong Luan’s heart sank to her stomach.
Hong Xiu grabbed onto Hong Luan’s hand, “Take them out, let me see!”
Hong Luan tightly clenched her hand, with no intention of relaxing her grip. Hong Xiu smiled coldly, remembering how Hong Luan had been secretly helping other people filled her with rage. She pried apart Hong Luan’s fist.
“Hong Xiu, you and I have been through good and bad, just like sisters. You can’t just mistreat me because I’ve been cast away recently. Have you forgotten that I used to take care of you…” Hong Luan quietly said under her breath.
When Hong Xiu heard this, she chuckled to herself, “Those are our private matters. Each favor exchanged between the two of us will be returned. However, these are the miss’s orders so I do not dare to interfere.”
With a plop sound, a single pearl earring fell down onto the ground.
Hong Xiu bent over to pick up it, giving Hong Luan a look before running over to Xiao Yuan’s side. Hong Luan’s petite face went white.
“Miss, Hong Luan’s hand only had one earring.”
The gears in Hong Luan’s mind turned rapidly, she immediately stood up. “Miss, this servant girl went to go look for Cai Ju last night. I might have dropped it in Cai Ju’s room.”
“You’re talking nonsense. You never came to find me yesterday night.” Cai Ju said.
“You weren’t there when I went over.” Hong Luan said frankly, straightening out her neck. Cai Ju’s resulting speechlessness made Hong Luan proud of herself as she thought, Cai Ju was just an idiot. How could she ever compete with her?
Xiao Yuan stood up and gave Hong Luan a look. “Then speak. What time did you go over to see Cai Ju yesterday? Do you have any witnesses? Why were you looking for Cai Ju?”
Hong Luan was shaken. The wheels in her brain turned quickly, “It was dinner time. This servant girl took advantage of the free time to go visit Cai Ju. I wanted to go hear how the miss has been recently. Xiao Cui, Xiao Wen can serve as my witnesses.”
The more Hong Luan spoke, the higher she raised her head. Her face filled with self pity.
Xiao Cui and Xiao Wen lifted their heads and met Xiao Wan’s frosty gaze. They quivered and a shiver ran down their back.
“Miss, this servant girl…”
Xiao Yuan humphed. “How convenient. Hong Luan, where were you off to this morning? Who was supervising you?”
An old woman stood out from the crowd. “In response to the miss, this servant girl was supervising. Hong Luan was responsible for sweeping the courtyard. She never left her post.”
As she spoke, the old woman glanced at Hong Luan, who immediately let out a huge sigh of relief. Hong Luan tossed the old woman a grateful look.
Xiao Yuan looked once more at Xiao Cui and Xiao Wen, “You two, you’ll be willing to be Hong Luan’s witnesses?”
Xiao Cui and Xiao Wen traded glances before nodding their heads, “Yes, Hong Luan really did go to Cai Ju’s room yesterday night.”
Xiao Yuan nodded her head, things had become clear to her. “No wonder the clothes and jewelry that I had left at Cai Ju’s place are nowhere to be seen. Hong Xiu, take some people and go search!”
Hong Xiu realized what was happening, nodded her head and brought along two clever maid servants with her.
Xiao Cui, Xiao Wen were struck dumb. Hong Luan’s heart sunk, a vague premonition filled her mind.
In a little while, Hong Xiu came over carrying a tray in her hands, on top of the tray were a few pearl hairpins, some of which were damaged.
At the sight of these, Cai Ju finally realized what was happening. She reacted quickly, “Are these not the jewelry pieces that the miss wanted this servant girl to fix?”
Hong Luan followed her line of sight over to the completely filled tray. She quickly realized what was happening.
Hong Xiu hastily said, “Miss, these were found in Hong Luan as well as Xiao Cui, Xiao Wen, old woman Li and old Woman Zhang’s rooms.”
Hong Luan knelt down with a thump. “Miss, this servant girl has been accused wrongly. Miss, you know me. Why would this servant girl do this kind of a thing?”
The corner of Xiao Yuan’s lip raised, “Yesterday night, excluding for you, there were no others who went to Cai Ju’s room. If it wasn’t you, then who else could it be?”
Hong Luan shook her head, the two servant girls were already scared numb. How could their rooms have these things?
“It was her! It definitely was her!” Hong Luan pointed her finger at Hong Xiu. “Miss, don’t be tricked by her. She’s always been saying bad things about you behind your back. She’s been harboring evil intentions. This servant girl has been wrongly accused. Hong Xiu definitely doesn’t want this servant girl to return to the miss’ side and compete for your favor. Miss, you must not trust Hong Xiu!”
Hong Xiu was taken aback. It was the first time that Hong Luan had directed her malice towards her. She looked over at Xiao Wan’s expression and shut her mouth. She trusted the miss had her own decision.
Starting from bullying Cai Ju and elevating to entering the rooms and stealing, this was not a crime that a regular maid servant could take upon herself.
“Miss, this servant girl did not do this. I’ve definitely been wrongly accused.”
The two maid servants shouted along with her. Old woman Zhang was also surprised, how could she have been dragged into this?
“Miss, it was this servant girl’s mistake. I was too careless. Before Hong Luan was a senior maid servant who served by your side, she definitely knows about your everyday preferences. Unfortunately, yesterday she lost it. It was this servant girl who was worthless.”
Cai Ju stood up. Hong Luan was angry and anxious, wishing she could rip off Cai Ju’s mouth.
Xiao Yuan glanced at Cai Ju and nodded her head, filled with pride. Of course, the person who could catch her eye could never turn out to be an idiot.
Her thoughts were meticulous and the words she had said were unable to be refuted. Hong Luan could find no excuse.
Hong Luan wanted to bite off her own tongue. If she had known earlier on about this, she would’ve never bothered Cai Ju. How unlucky! Hong Luan anxiously looked over to Xiao Yuan and a shiver ran down her back when she noticed the hatred in Xiao Yuan’s expression. She forgot to respond.