Chapter 119 Bringing trouble to oneself
When the maid heard this, they looked at each other but didn’t utter a word.
Gu Xiran said, “What? Why don’t you open your mouth? Could there be something more to this?”
“There is nothing more to it!” Zhang Hanfang denied flatly and said, “All my maids were also asleep. There was no one keeping watch at night!”
Even if they asked her more, they wouldn’t get anything out of her. Shu Huan swept over the people behind Zhang Hanfang. Finally, she gestured at old maid Ding and asked, “Aunty Ding, you know what had happened, right? Tell me!”
Originally, old maid Ding followed them to the resort to serve Gu Xihe. However, when Gu Xihe returned, he didn’t take her with him and still let her continue serving at Heavily Scented Building. Hearing Shu Huan call her at this moment, she came out from the line and glanced with that pair of old eyes at Zhang Hanfang. Then, she slowly opened her mouth, “This matter isn’t easy to be explained.”
Gu Xiran stared at her and said, “Speak according to the truth!”
“Ay…,” Old maid Ding said helplessly. “Miss, don’t get angry after I say it. I had heard that miss suddenly got interested in making poems in the middle of the night and was sitting in front of the window while reciting poetry. You wanted to write down the better poems and burned some the poems on the candle. However, when you threw them out, you didn’t look and they fell on the curtain. When miss went out to call the people, the fire has already spread. However, now miss is saying that you were asleep and didn’t know, presumably, the person who went to pass the words was wrong. I also don’t know what had happened to that old maid.”
Gu Xiran nodded solemnly and then said angrily, “Then investigate! These servants are too odious. They set fire and caused rumors. It is simply trying to kill the family and ruin the family’s reputation! One couldn’t let such a person off easily. Investigate and punish him/her heavily!”
In fact, old maid Ding was right. Tonight, Zhang Hanfang tossed and turned around and couldn’t. She got up, put on some clothes and stared at the two oil-paper umbrellas while writing poems. The fire was also caused because of her. She didn’t admit it, but her face turned red. She reprimanded old maid Ding, “Nonsense!”
No one answered her.
Shu Huan asked old maid Ding, “Is there anyone hurt?”
“No, everyone avoided it in time.”
Only now did Shu Huan smile slightly, “It’s the best that no one was hurt, but it still had to be investigated whether the fire was caused unintentionally or intentionally. Otherwise, it couldn’t be guaranteed that there would be no next time, isn’t that right, little cousin sister?”
Zhang Hanfang gave her a glare and said, “If you want to investigate, then go investigate. Why ask me? Move out of the way. I want to go home!”
Gu Xiran moved out of the way and said, “Aunty Ding, send miss out.”
Zhang Hanfang was surprised for a moment and then brushed past him. The maids and nanny behind her quickly followed, but they didn’t expect to be stopped by Gu Xiran. He said, “You all can’t leave for now. When the water recedes and the rocks appear, I will let someone send you back.”
- As the water recedes, the rocks appear: the truth comes to light.
“Miss…,” Nanny Guan got a bit anxious.
When Zhang Hanfang heard that, she stopped in her tracks and said angrily, “Gu Xiran, what do you mean?”
“Didn’t little cousin sister understand?” Gu Xiran stood with his hands behind his back and said smilingly, “Although Heavily Scented Building is a part of the resort, but all the maids there had been brought by little cousin sister. Naturally, I have to investigate them first when investigating the fire.”
It wasn’t a small matter to set fire and burn down the house of a relative and there was also no reason to stop the investigation. Zhang Hanfang also panicked a bit in her heart. However, the more she panicked, the more she wanted to escape her responsibilities and said unreasonably, “You have no right to investigate my maids!”
Shu Huan counter-argued, “Then, we have to trouble little cousin sister to investigate yourself. Little cousin sister knows the best about the character of everyone here.”
Zhang Hanfang was stumped for words. After such a thing had happened, it was reasonable for her to give an explanation, but the one who caused the fire was herself. Who should she look for to put the blame on? Also, when she looked at Gu Xiran and Shu Huan; one’s attitude was relaxed, the other absentmindedly played with the agarwood bracelet on her wrist. They looked like they have very great patience. She was tired and sleepy. In the end, she gritted her teeth and pointed at the smallest maid in the group who also happened to be the slow maid and said, “It’s her!”
Anyway, she had long wanted to get rid of this stupid thing. It was the best to throw her out as a scapegoat!
That small maid had always been slow. After being pointed out, she still stood there blankly for a while. When she finally thought about to refute, someone had already spoken up for her.
Old maid Ding said through her teeth with big gaps, “Miss, investigate again! Little Lan had always slept together with us in a room. When the fire occurred, she was still deep asleep. This old one pushed her for a long time before she had woken up. It would absolutely not be her.”
Only now did that small maid said slowly, “That’s right, miss. I don’t have the courage to do such a thing.”
How would Zhang Hanfang know with who this little girl shared a room? However, she hated that old maid Ding for being meddling and noisy and threw away the good feelings she (ZHF) had for her. Now, she glared fiercely at her and huffed, “Then, you go investigate!”
Shu Huan laughed, “It’s inconvenient now at night. Aunty Ding, look for an empty room and take these people to rest in it. Remember to lock the door. We will investigate early in the morning tomorrow.”
Gu Xiran turned his body a bit and said, “Little cousin sister, I will let Du Qiu and two people send you back.”
Zhang Hanfang was startled, “You want me to go back?!”
Gu Xiran was extremely gentle and considerate, “Wasn’t it little cousin sister who said that you don’t want to stay a moment more? I’m afraid to put you in a difficult position, so, I won’t retain you.”
Zhang Hanfang was stumped for words.
If she had been forced like this a moment ago, she would have left for her face. It wasn’t a big deal that her maids were detained, but even her nanny had been detained now!
“Miss…,” Nanny Guan used very pitiful eyes to look at her because she knew that this fire had been caused by Zhang Hanfang. If investigated, it would definitely not fall onto another’s head. She didn’t know for how long they would be detained here. Perhaps, if Gu Xiran got impatient, he may even send them to the feudal office. If there was no one to bribe and send money for them, it was inevitable that they would suffer beatings and tortures.
Zhan Hanfang was still very dependent on this nanny who watched her grew up. She naturally was unwilling to leave her behind. After being called by her, she didn’t have the heart to abandon her. She went soft and said angrily, “I don’t want to pursue this matter anymore. Anyway, I will take everyone with me. If something happens like this again in the future, it is also my house that will be burned. It won’t have anything to do with you anymore.”
Shu Huan stroked the agarwood bracelet on her wrist and said, “Little cousin sister, don’t put us in a difficult position. The branches of the family haven’t been separated. Everything of the resort is counted in the public account. A building was suddenly burned in the resort. Even if old madam doesn’t ask about it, the rest of the family would show dissatisfaction. It’s a must to investigate the cause for us to have an explanation.”
Zhang Hanfang felt that it was beneath her to listen to Shu Huan’s tacky words and said, “Wasn’t only a Heavily Scented Building burned. How much could it be worth? Your Gu household has such a big business; do you have to reveal such a poor expression?”
These words truly would make one angry. Originally, Shu Huan just wanted to investigate for an explanation and also to pull herself out of this matter. Now, seeing that Zhang Hanfang didn’t care about money so much, then, she wouldn’t save money for her (ZHF)!
She smiled slightly and said, “That is right. I haven’t seen much money ever since young and am short-sighted. The money to repair Heavily Scented Building is enough for my maiden family to have things to eat for a lifetime. My heart will hurt just by the thought of spending so much money. I’m afraid that old madam will ask me to take responsibility for this and pay the money for the reparation. Even if I sacrifice all that I have, I wouldn’t be able to pay for it. Since little cousin sister doesn’t put much importance on this money, then, please trouble you to pay for it. Anyway, it’s your Zhang household’s maid that had burned down Heavily Scented building. It wouldn’t be considered money you spend unjustly.”
Zhang household was indeed rich, but Zhang Hanfang was an unmarried girl and was only paid particular attention on her food and clothes. She didn’t have much spare cash on hand. Otherwise, she didn’t need to go ask her mother for money to buy an agarwood bracelet that she had taken a fancy on. Therefore, after Shu Huan said that, she went blank and didn’t know how to counter-argue.