Chapter 1198 A Strange Burly Old Maid
In fact, in terms of appearance, the old maid was no different from other old maids. She looked in her forties and looked very strong.
She was just like an ordinary old maid in the yard, but when looking at her carefully, Shao Wanru found that the material of the other old maids’ clothes was not as good as that of this one.
If she hadn’t been too strong, Shao Wanru would have guessed that she was a supervisor nanny. But judging from her tall and sturdy figure, she was just an old maid who did hard labor.
She was very fat, very big, and very sturdy.
The other servants in Shao Jing’s courtyard were very thin. Even the rough old maids with brooms were not as big as that one, which make her look unique here. It could be seen that she was different from the people Shao Jing usually hired.
What was more, Shao Wanru had returned to the mansion for some days. For the times she returned to the mansion before, she was sure that she had never seen or heard of such an old maid.
If she had seen such an old maid before, she would definitely remember her. Even if Shao Wanru hadn’t seen her, her servants would have definitely reported the old maid to her if they heard of that servant. Shao Wanru had asked Qing’er to keep an eye on Shao Jing’s courtyard before, but she didn’t find anything unusual.
The old maid should have entered the mansion recently, or it should be said that she entered the mansion after she got married, so Shao Wanru knew nothing about her.
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But the old maid obviously didn’t look like she had just entered the mansion. When she went over, some people bowed sideways to her along the way. It could be seen that her identity was not ordinary. Shao Jing was a skeptic. He wouldn’t treat an old maid who had just entered the mansion as a trusted subordinate.
Shao Wanru thought that this old maid was very suspicious.
“Your Highness, I’m going out for a walk!” Shao Wanru stood up out of boredom.
“Don’t go too far. Just walk in the nearby places, lest I can’t find you when I leave!” Chu Liuchen waved his hand lazily with a smile.
“Got it!” Shao Wanru nodded.
“Princess Chen, you can go to the courtyard in front. There are some new flowers, some of which have bloomed, and some haven’t. That place is close.” Shao Jing suggested with a smile.
“Okay, I’ll walk around here first and then go over there,” Shao Wanru said.
As she walked out with two servant girls, Shao Jing frowned uneasily. Suddenly, he strode to the gate and ordered the servant standing by the door, “Take Princess Chen to enjoy the scenery and ask the servants in the yard to leave in case they offend her.”
“Yes, Your Grace!” The servant answered cleverly and left the place.
Shao Wanru walked out. There were not many servants outside the gate. When several servant girls and old maids saw Shao Wanru coming out, they immediately stood still and saluted. It had only been a while, and the fat old maid Shao Wanru had seen before had disappeared.
Looking in the direction where the fat old maid had gone just now, Shao Wanru walked casually. There was an attic, which was higher than the whole yard. Shao Wanru had seen the attic from a distance in her own yard.
The servant stepped forward cleverly and said with a smile, “My Lady, please come with me. I’ll take you to see the newly arranged flowers. They were newly set after you got married. The Marquis said that there were fewer and fewer people in the mansion. Seeing that the Young Madams got married one by one, he found the mansion not lively enough and especially hired some people to plant a lot of flowers.”
His words were very pleasing, and he also explained Shao Jing’s sudden action of planting flowers. This kind of thing had always been the concern of the inner court. A man couldn’t always pay attention to planting flowers and plants.
“What’s there?” Yujie narrowed her eyes and pointed in the direction of the attic under Shao Wanru’s hint.
“There is just some junk there. There’s nothing decent there, and it’s even not a proper place to live,” the servant said with a smile. Then, he made way for Shao Wanru. “My Lady, please come with me. That courtyard is very close to here.”
Shao Wanru looked up at the attic. The curtain of the attic was closed tightly, so she couldn’t see what was inside. It was just an attic, and there was no one inside.
A scene suddenly flashed across her mind. She seemed to have seen the lights in this place in the dark. Did they come from this attic or somewhere else?
After all, she was quite far away from this place back then, and she might have been mistaken. Maybe those lights didn’t come from here.
Shao Wanru took a deep breath and knew that she couldn’t inquire about it even if she wanted to. Without a legitimate reason, how could she, as a niece, check her uncle’s room, even if it was a storage room?
With a slight smile, she said lightly, “Let’s go to see those flowers!”
Today, she helped Madam Jiang stall Shao Jing somehow. The later Shao Jing went to see Madam Jiang, the more trouble she would make.
Shao Wanru and the others went to Shao Jing’s courtyard on the right, which was empty. Shao Wanru had never been to these places before.
Shao Jing was Shao Wanru’s Second Uncle. On the one hand, Shao Wanru was wary of him. On the other hand, there was nothing much to see in this place. She didn’t expect that he had his men build a new courtyard now.
Thinking about it carefully, she found that several courtyards around Shao Jing’s courtyard were empty.
However, there were only a few masters in Marquis Xing’s Mansion. The second branch used to be in charge, and the third branch was remote, so they were not a threat. The first branch was not big, and almost all the courtyards were under the second branch’s control. Shao Jing wanted to live more comfortably, so as not to be disturbed. It was not a big deal for him to empty the surrounding courtyards.
Shao Wanru had already known about this situation when she was in the Marquis Xing’s Mansion back then, and she didn’t take it seriously.
But now, for some reason, she felt a little confused.
There were indeed a lot of flowers in the yard, which had just been planted. There were also a few bushes. They were arranged at a proper distance, which made the original yard full of vitality.
It was summer. There were no beautiful flowers that thrived in spring, but there were still some flowers blooming in the sun. The scenery was quite beautiful.
“When did Second Uncle have these flowers planted? They look really nice!” Shao Wanru praised and asked casually as she walked.
“The Marquis had this idea by chance. He thought that after these flowers were planted, he could take a walk here when he gets tired. They’re very pleasing to the eye,” the servant replied and kept leading the way for Shao Wanru.
“Go there and have a rest. My Lady is not from another mansion. It’s not like she doesn’t know the way.” Yujie impatiently pointed to a pavilion not far away and said, “It must be tiring for you to run back and forth, and My Lady will get tired while following you.”
“I’ll walk slowly. The Marquis asked me to accompany you, My Lady. If you don’t like me, Marquis will punish me.” The servant looked sad and aggrieved.
Yujie curled her lip and said indifferently, “Don’t worry. You may just leave. No one will know if we don’t tell them.”
The servant said pitifully, “How will nobody know? There are so many people in the mansion. Even if we don’t say it, someone will definitely see me and tell the Marquis. Sister Yujie, please pity me. Don’t send me away. The Marquis will punish me. I don’t dare to slack off.”
“Yujie, don’t make things difficult for him. Just take him with us!” Shao Wanru helped the servant out.
“Thank you, My Lady. Thank you, My Lady.” The servant was overjoyed and bowed repeatedly. Seeing his anxious look, Shao Wanru and her servant girls laughed.
It was really hot. After taking a few steps, Shao Wanru went to the pavilion and sat down.
“Go and get a pot of water and a cup. My Lady will be resting here and admiring the flowers.” Yujie instructed the servant.
Seeing them sit down and stop walking around casually, the servant breathed a sigh of relief and said, “I’ll get those things right away.”
As he spoke, he ran out quickly. This place was close to the courtyard of Marquis, so he naturally went to the courtyard to get those things.
Shao Wanru’s eyes fell on a bush in front of her, but she said to Qing’er, “Qing’er, did you see the burly old maid?”
“My Lady, I didn’t notice it just now.” Qing’er shook her head in shame. At that time, she had been following her master and only paid attention to the people in the room, so she didn’t notice the people outside the window. The old maid had disappeared when her master pulled her sleeve to hint at her.
“My Lady, I saw her,” Yujie said. She was standing in the same direction as Shao Wanru at that time. When she saw Shao Wanru looking out of the window in confusion, she took a look and was shocked to see such a burly old maid.
Shao Wanru blinked and asked, “Have you heard of such an old maid in Shao Jing’s yard?”
If her servant girls had seen such a person, they would have reported it to her a long time ago. They must have never seen that old maid before.
“I’ve never heard of her. She’s so fat and has such a thick waist. She looks so strong. Even the whole Marquis Xing’s Mansion has never heard of such a person.” Yujie said straightforwardly, “If I have seen such a strong old maid, I would have definitely told you. It seems that she’s stronger than me!”
The old maid was tall and sturdy. She seemed to have a lot of strength, which made Yujie feel strange.
“My Lady, I saw an old maid looking in our direction outside the courtyard just now. Although she did it very secretly, it seemed that she wasn’t paying much attention. The old maid glanced sideways from time to time. It was obvious that she was staring at Marquis Xing’s residence. I don’t know whether she was staring at us or at Marquis Xing!”
Qing’er remembered that she had seen another very ordinary old maid outside the courtyard just now and reminded Shao Wanru.
“I don’t think she was staring at us. She should be watching Shao Jing.” Shao Wanru shook her head and said. Old Madam was making trouble again and intended to plot against her with Shao Jing. At this time, neither Old Madam nor Shao Jing dared to have their men watch her, for fear that they would be discovered. If someone was watching outside the courtyard, it was probably Zhao Xiran.
Shao Wanru made a casual guess and almost figured out the whole thing.
After she and her servant girls appreciated the flowers for a while, the servant came back in a hurry with a teapot and teacup. After putting them on the table, he stood aside with his hands down and didn’t touch them directly. He was very well-behaved.
Yujie poured a cup of tea and put it on the stone table. Shao Wanru took it and was about to drink it.
Qing’er wanted to stop her, but seeing that Shao Wanru had swallowed a mouthful of tea, she waved to her anxiously.
Shao Wanru shook her head at her calmly. It was impossible for Shao Jing to hurt her at this time while Chu Liuchen was still sitting in Shao Jing’s yard.
“It’s about time…”
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