Formidable Ninth Miss
Xiao Yuan stood on the porch, casting a cold glare at the people below her, Xiao Cui, Xiao Wen and old woman Zhang. A fierceness flashed in her eyes.
“Come forward! Punish Hong Luan with a caning. Whenever she confesses is when the punishment will stop. Regardless of if she dies!”
“Miss!” Hong Luan’s petite face had gone deathly pale. She looked at Xiao Wan incredulously, the phrase “regardless of if she dies” stuck in the forefront of her mind.
Without missing a beat, Hong Xiu called for the bodyguards to place Hong Luan on top of a long bench. In front of her stood a thick and heavy board, just the sight of it was enough to make someone dizzy. Hong Luan’s heart was rapidly beating.
“Miss, please spare my life! It really wasn’t this servant girl. This servant girl has been wrongly accused.”
Hong Luan struggled and shouted. Judging by Xiao Yuan’s ruthless gaze, she truly meant it. Hong Luan was petrified.
Xiao Yuan narrowed her eyes and raised her red lips. “Today, you dare to go into the rooms and steal. Tomorrow, you’ll dare to poison this miss and plot against my life. Hong Luan, how audacious of you. Hit her!”
Since Xiao Yuan returned, this would be the second time that Hong Luan had to endure a beating. The bruises from the first beating still faintly hurt. When the board descended on her, Hong Luan shrieked like a slaughtered pig, the sound piercing the entire Ling Long pavilion.
Xiao Wen and Xiao Cui both trembled, their faces stark white. If Hong Luan didn’t confess, would it be their turn next?
The two people couldn’t help but hug each other and huddle into a ball. They wanted to cry but didn’t dare to.
After a few hits, the sound of Hong Luan’s voice became gradually smaller and grew hoarse. In a short while, the lower half of her body started bleeding.
Old woman Zhang took advantage of everyone’s distraction and took a few steps back. Xiao Yuan narrowed her eyes.
“Whoever dares to take even half a step away from the Ling Long pavilion, will endure the same punishment!”
Old woman Zhang had an embarrassed expression and her body immediately froze in place. She didn’t dare to budge. She felt like the Ninth Miss’s gaze was like a sharp knife, slicing apart everything. She wouldn’t be able to escape the Ninth Miss’s discerning gaze.
Hong Luan grew more and more fearful as gradually she grew closer to fainting. Xiao Yuan had not a hint of any intentions to stop. Quite a few lower ranked maid servants had shut their eyes out of fear, their entire bodies trembling. They didn’t dare to watch.
“Miss, this servant girl will confess.” Xiao Cui couldn’t take the psychological pressure anymore. She stood out and pointed to Hong Luan.”
“Hong Luan stole out of her own volition. Then she made a few maid servants take on the responsibility of sharing some of the stolen goods. She did it just to bribe everyone and to make Cai Ju look bad. This way she could return to the miss’s side sooner.”
“That’s right. Miss, Hong Luan threatened us, servant girls. Otherwise, in the future us, servant girls would have to face the consequences.”
Xiao Wen also stood out and denounced Hong Luan.
As Hong Luan listened, she grew more anxious, her face was deathly white. She laid on the bench, panting for breath as she glared at Xiao Wen and Xiao Cui.
“When have I ever bribed all of you? Don’t frame me. It was all of you who bribed me!”
After Hong Luan finished saying this sentence, the pain almost made her pass out. Xiao Yuan waved her hand and the bodyguards stopped with the beating.
Hong Luan also understood the situation. She could not carry this bad reputation alone. If this continued, Xiao Yuan would certainly have her beaten to death.
“Miss, it was us three who went to take those as well as Cai Ju’s clothes and blankets. The three of us all cut them apart. At the time, this servant girl was just acting out of spite. Miss, why don’t you just spare this servant girl this one time.”
With a thunk, Hong Luan fell onto the ground. She dragged her body and with the last of her strength, crawled over to Xiao Yuan and a pleading expression was on her face.
“Miss, Hong Luan is lying! We did not!”
And just like that, the three people started flinging accusations, with no one yielding to anyone else. By dragging out the skeleton in each other’s closets, quite a few maid servants were implicated.
Those whose names were called out, their expressions changed slightly and they badly wanted to use a needle to sew shut the three peoples’ mouths.
Hong Xiu chuckled and in her heart she raised a big thumbs up to Xiao Yuan. As she expected, the young miss was incredible.
Cai Ju was also taken aback. Her admiration for Xiao Yuan grew. Who said that Xiao Yuan was brainless? The miss’s intelligence was without match.
Xiao Yuan’s expression became more and more somber. Only at this time, a knocking sound came from the corner gate by their side.
As Xiao Yuan gave Hong Xiu a look, Hong Xiu rushed over to open the door. Just as she had opened the door, a heavy scent of alcohol assaulted her senses. Hong Xiu unconsciously knitted her brows into a frown. Drinking themselves into this state so early in the day, how shameless of them.
The two people saw something wasn’t quite right and turned around to leave.
“If you dare to take a step, this miss will break your legs!”
Coming from behind them was Xiao Yuan’s somber and frosty voice, surprising both of them like a gust of cold air, scaring them from the bottom of their feet all the way to the tops of their heads. In a moment, they became clear-headed.
Old woman Wang and Li turned their heads around and smiled embarrassedly. They walked back and braced themselves. Looking at Hong Luan’s wretched appearance, they immediately sobered up.
“Now, everyone has arrived.” Hong Xiu said.
Xiao Yuan nodded, glancing at Hong Luan and the other two maid servants, “Bring out the yapo. These girls as well as them, each person will be hit twenty times with the board then they’ll all be sold!”
Old woman Wang and Li were included in the names that were called. The two people immediately expressed their displeasure.
“Miss, this maid servant wasn’t supposed to be on duty today. What wrongdoing did this servant girl commit? How does the miss want to treat this servant girl?”
“That’s right, the miss is the master. It’s not difficult for the miss to send away servant girls. But you have to at least give this servant girl a trustworthy reason.”
The two people took turns in speaking and they made it sound like Xiao Wan was being terribly unreasonable.
“Shameless! Why should the miss discuss this with you two? If you weren’t supposed to be on duty today or on duty yesterday, the two of you were off drinking wine and ruining things. It was only out of the kindness of the miss’s heart that she didn’t mention it. You’ve taken unfair advantage of the miss and she can no longer bear it.”
Hong Xiu was beyond furious. Her small chest was heaving up and down.
Even though Xiao Yuan was outraged, she laughed. Step by step, she walked down the steps, her every posture was graceful and lithe and her face beautiful and stunning. The sight of her was enough to dazzle someone. However, the smile below her eyes was filled with a coldness that could make someone tremble.
Old woman Wang and Li exchanged glances with each other. They took a few steps back.
“Send people to tie up these two and have them brought to grandmother’s place. Since they’re mistreating me on account of my youth, I can no longer manage them so I might as well not manage them.”
Xiao Yuan smiled sweetly, like a flower blossoming.
When the two people heard this, they were frozen in place. Their legs gave out under them and they knelt. Who didn’t know of how strictly the old madam governed over people? She was also especially fond of the Ninth Miss. If the Ninth Miss had suffered an abuse, then the old madam certainly wouldn’t care about right or wrong.
Encountering this kind of matter, they’d have to endure at least fifty strikes. It’d be a light punishment if everyone just ended up being sold.
Xiao Yuan was actually better. They’d just be hit twenty times and then sold. They had to suffer the punishment for their crimes. The pros and cons could be seen in a glance. They could only blame themselves for having their misdeeds noticed by Xiao Yuan.
Old woman Wang and Li faced Xiao Yuan and kowtowed. “This servant girl knows I did wrong. We beg of the miss to give favor. This servant girl was blinded. I was confused at the time and that’s the only reason why I would turn my back to the miss. This servant girl knows she did wrong.”
As the two people spoke, they slapped themselves on their mouths. The slap slap sound revealed that they weren’t hitting themselves lightly. In just a moment, their cheeks had turned bright red.
“Ninth sister, what’s all the hubbub about? The great prince has brought people to see you.”
Outside of the door was Xiao Ying’s voice, permeating through the gap of the door.
Xiao Yuan’s expression turned cold. What was the great prince doing here? Was he here to settle matters?