Upon arriving at the Wei Mansion, Ji Yunshu was brought to and placed in the master’s quarters.
A doctor soon came to visit her, and, after bandaging her wounds, also prescribed some medicine which had an immediate effect. Heaters were brought close to the bed on which she rested, and the pain Ji Yunshu felt quickly subsided, replaced by a feeling of warmth which reached the deepest corners of her heart.
Ji Yunshu reclined against the soft pillows and looked at Madame Wei, Lord Wei and Wei Yi, who stood by the bedside. She lowered her head and said, “Uncle Wei, Aunt Wei, how can I ever repay you for your kindness?”
“What nonsense are you saying? Your sole duty now is to recover from your wounds. Worry not, for no one in this mansion will harm you,” said Madame Wei.
Lord Wei, who was on the side, said, “Let’s give Yunshu some time to rest, we shouldn’t disturb her any further.”
“Yes, yes. You are right,” Madame Wei agreed with a smile. She tapped the back of Ji Yunshu’s hand gently, “Have some rest, and don’t hesitate to ask the maids should you desire anything, Be at home here.”
“Yes,” answered Ji Yunshu.
Lord Wei and Madame Wei left, hoping to allow Ji Yunshu to rest, but Wei Yi refused to budge. He insisted on staying by Ji Yunshu’s side.
“Shu’er, does your back hurt?” asked Wei Yi, who had as much anguish as her, if not more, inside his heart.
Ji Yunshu shook her head and said, “Actually, it’s just a small bruise, so it doesn’t hurt anymore.”
“But Shu’er, there was a lot of blood.”
Ji Yunshu covered her mouth with her hand and laughed, “Little dumb one, haven’t I already told you? The colour on my clothes was just painted.”
“No no no,“ said Wei Yi with a hand gesture, “I saw the wounds on your shoulders and back. They were bleeding a lot.”
Hey, who asked you to look? You’ll go blind if you stare too hard! Ji Yunshu glanced at the door, and, after making sure that no one was there, explained, “What stained my clothing was actually painted. As for the injuries on my back, the scabs were broken when I jumped into the water and stretched my back too much, but it doesn’t hurt that much. When I collapsed earlier, it wasn’t because of pain. It was because I wanted to be here in one piece.”
Wei Yi scratched his head and gave her a perplexed look, “I don’t understand.”
“It’s okay if you don’t, but promise me you won’t tell anyone about it.”
“Yes, yes, I won’t tell anyone,” said Wei Yi with utmost sincerity.
Ji Yunshu examined Wei Yi’s eyes. The long, flickering eyelashes conferred to the sable blackness of his irises a beauty deep enough to make one sink into it if enough time was spent looking at it.
“Wei Yi,” she called.
Wei Yi moved his head and asked, “Why are you thanking me?”
“Because…” Ji Yunshu’s voice lowered, “Because you are a very nice guy.”
Yes, you are a very nice guy, Wei Yi.
Wei Yi smiled rather mindlessly and looked at Ji Yunshu. His handsome traits were indeed magnetising for young girls’ attention.
Wei Yi, if only you weren’t… how different, how bright the future would have been for you, thought Ji Yunshu.
That night, Ji Yunshu enjoyed the hospitality of the Wei family, and remained at the Wei Mansion. Wei Yi, who stayed around to chat with her for a long time, told her vivid stories, sometimes using all of his limbs to act out his narrations. It had been a long time since Ji Yunshu laughed that hard.
On the second day, a sudden downpour brought chilling winds that seemed to freeze one’s heart.
Upon waking up, Ji Yunshu saw Wei Yi asleep, his head resting on a desk near her. She did not want to wake him up, so she placed a cape over him and went out of the room. In the garden, some servants, who wore raincoats and conical straw hats, were busy moving the flowers and herbs to a shelter which protected them from the storm. From this small detail, one could conclude that the occupants of the mansion had kindness in their hearts.
“Miss Ji, it’s cold outside, you should shelter yourself,” said a young maid who brought over a bowl of medicine. “Miss Ji, I’ve just finished preparing this, you should drink it inside,” added the maid.
Ji Yunshu smiled and took the bowl from the maid’s hands, “There’s no need to go back in. Your young master is fast asleep and I wouldn’t want to disturb him.”
The bitterness of the medicine made Ji Yunshu furrow her brows. As she returned the empty bowl to the maid, someone came running into the courtyard.
“Young miss!” Luan’er ran up to Ji Yunshu without paying much attention to the rain. She had tears in her eyes as she said, “Young Miss, I’ve heard about what happened yesterday. They said that you jumped into the water to try to save Eldest Miss, and that your wounds reopened? I was worried sick.”
It was a heart-warming moment for Ji Yunshu, who was moved by Luan’er’s loyalty and the way she cared for her. She turned her head and said to the maid who brought the medicine, “Could you give us a moment?”
After the maid left, Ji Yunshu wiped Luan’er’s wet locks of hair with her own sleeves and said, “My injuries are not that severe, and I’ll recover soon enough. You, on the other hand, if you left without authorisation, father and grandmother will surely punish you when they know about it.”
“I was worried about you, and I’ve come to take care of you. I’m not scared of punishment!”
“You foolish little girl!”
“Ah, yes, Young Miss,” said Luan’er after scanning the surroundings, “Early in the morning today, someone from the yamen came looking for you. They said that they’ve found whoever you’ve wanted them to investigate. Since you weren’t home, I’ve asked them to go back.”
Yes, this should be about the task I’ve delegated to Wei Wu and Wang San.
Whenever news of an investigation arrived, Ji Yunshu’s mind would always be focused solely on the case itself and she had no time for any other concerns. However, today, given the rain and the possibility of an unexpected visit from Lord Wei and Madame Wei, it would be impossible for her to pay a visit to the yamen.
Ji Yunshu considered the matter for a short while, and replied, “Luan’er, could you go to the yamen and act as my messenger? Make sure to have everything thoroughly explained to you, then come back to me.”
“Also, ask Lord Liu if Madame Jiang went there to stir up trouble yesterday,” added Ji Yunshu.
“Understood,” said Luan’er, who accepted the request without knowing who Madame Jiang was. She then added in curiousity, “Young Miss, since you are well now, why not go back to the Ji Mansion?”
Ji Yunshu smiled, “It would be too forgiving if I return now. Father and grandmother were just shamed by my departure. If my return was so soon, wouldn’t they be able to salvage most of their pride and face? I will wait a few days.”
Upon hearing her reasoning, Luan’er said, “Young Miss, you are very clever.”
“Okay, enough about me, please hurry to the yamen.”
“Yes,” answered Luan’er, and she immediately departed for the yamen.
By now, Wei Yi was finally awake. He stretched, and flung his arms with enough force to expel the numbness from a whole night spent resting on top of them. He turned back to look at the bed, and, upon seeing it unoccupied, immediately exited the room to search for Ji Yunshu. When he opened the door, he saw her standing beneath the eaves, with her head slightly raised as she looked at the drops of water zigzag downward.
Her almond-shaped eyes, distinctive brows and the ruddiness of her cheeks, which reminded one of the delicacies of a peach blossom in March, made Ji Yunshu seem like a fairy. Such a dainty young woman was the embodiment of beauty itself.
Ji Yunshu turned her head, and saw Wei Yi staring at her from the door. She asked, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Shu’er, you are beautiful,” Wei Yi complimented her earnestly.
Ji Yunshu smiled. That little brat, his compliments are simple, but touching.
Wei Yi approached her slowly. He stood right beside her, and raised his head in the same fashion to look at the corner of a wall in the distance.
He said to himself, “If only Shu’er could stay here from now on. With father, mother and Shu’er by my side, I wouldn’t wish for anything more.”
This time, it was Ji Yunshu who was at a loss for words.