Chapter 215: Revenge (I)
A very long and heavy nightmare plagued Qin Yining that night. Shouts and cries of violence shrilled constantly, accompanied by a scent of blood that invaded and lingered in nostrils.
There were always people chasing after her, calling for her head. She was at first confident that she could get away, but realized with horror after she started running that she was just a child with short legs.
The pursuers quickly caught up to her and she shrieked fearfully when the blade stabbed into her shoulder. Violent tremors wracked her body and her eyes popped open.
It hurt, her shoulder really hurt!
Looking at the familiar, elegant magnolia embroidery on baby-blue sheets, she couldn’t immediately discern if she was awake or in another dream. Her last memory had been her family caught in a dead-end, fire in front and assassins to their rear. She was leaning on her father’s arm, having just watched Concubine Lin commit suicide out of despair over her twins’ deaths.
Why was she back in her own room? Was everyone alright?
“Miss, you’re awake!” Bingtang exclaimed joyfully from her position next to the bed. “How do you feel?”
Qin Yining opened her mouth. Her throat was so dry and hurt so much that she couldn’t actually say anything.
Bingtang quickly fetched a white porcelain bowl and spooned half of it to the fourth miss.
A sweet and salty liquid entered Qin Yining’s mouth, but it did quench some of the fire in her throat. “How long was I asleep for?” she rasped out. “What day is it? What time is it?”
“In response to the miss, you’ve been asleep for a day and a night. The hour of the pig just passed. I came back this morning because I heard of what’d happened. You were burning with fever then. But thankfully your body is strong, so you’re much better now.”
Qin Yining nodded. “Who else is alive?”
Bingtang hesitated before responding cautiously, “Don’t ask so much, miss. The old dowager, marquis, and madame are fine. Jiyun says that rescuers arrived after you fainted last night, so everyone was fine after that. Even the injured eleventh master woke up a little while ago. He said he was hungry! Jiyun has a few shallow wounds but it’s nothing major. I gave her some medicine and had her go to bed.”
“I remember that Jiyun wasn’t injured last night.” Qin Yining turned weakly to Bingtang. Jiyun must’ve done a lot in the fighting that followed after.
Bingtang’s heart still pounded with fright when she thought of what Jiyun had told her. The maid helped Qin Yining sit up and placed a large, soft cushion behind the fourth miss’ back before offering more water from a bowl.
“Apparently three more experts showed up after that large group left. The marquis had put you up in the outer study, leaving only Jiyun on guard. Those three were too highly skilled and Jiyun had a very difficult time. Thankfully, the little prince’s helper arrived just in time to take the assassins out. Otherwise… I don’t even dare think about it!”
“Pang Zhixi arranged some of his own men?”
“Yes. A young hero showed up with amazing martial arts skills. His medical skills should be higher than mine. The medicine he put together for you is really effective, and he captured all three assassins alive.”
“Where are they now?”
“Handed over to the lord. I don’t know how he’s going to deal with them.” Bingtang put down the bowl and felt Qin Yining’s forehead. “Your blood vessels were nicked in your injury and you lost a lot of blood. It’s harmed the foundations of your health, so you need to rest well to get back on your feet, miss. Don’t think about anything else. The lord, second elder master, and third elder master are discussing what to do. I’m sure that with the marquis’ intelligence, he’ll handle things well.”
Qin Yining closed her eyes tiredly and shook her head lightly. “We can’t let the matter blow over like this.”
“Even if we can’t, you can’t put your body through more stress. Will you have energy for anything if you don’t fully recover?”
Qin Yining tamped down her desire to immediately get to work on the matter and whispered, “Where’s my medicine? Let me take some.”
Bingtang almost cried. Qin Yining was the strongest girl she’d ever seen. Any other girl who’d experienced the same things would’ve probably gone mad. The fourth miss had personally witnessed the deaths of her family, assassins had said that they would spare her family if she was handed over, Concubine Lin carried hatred to her death because of the death of the twins…
Fury from her family being slaughtered, terror of being hunted, resentment from her family, and watching people die right in front of her… And I heard that Songlan died because she took a blow for the miss.
Even if one wasn’t driven by all this, they would sink into self-pity and depression, wanting to rely on others for everything.
But Qin Yining remained rational and strong. There was no hint of self-victimization. She knew what she wanted to do. This degree of maturity would be a given in an experienced mistress of the household. But the fourth miss was only fifteen!
Bingtang was the same age as Qin Yining. She’d been sent away half a year ago when the Tangs had met their downfall. She’d only heard of what had happened and hadn’t seen anything with her own eyes.
But even so, sleep was a long time coming whenever she thought about it. Passionate hate and paralyzing terror afflicted Bingtang in equal parts; her emotions rampaged wildly out of control. If she were to go through what Qin Yining had just suffered, the grass on her tombstone would likely be three feet tall.
Sniffling, Bingtang rose to bring back a bowl of finely stewed brown sugar millet stew. “Miss, eat something first. This is nutritious and easy to digest. It’ll be good for you. We can take some medicine after eating it.”
The fourth miss nodded and raised listless hands to hold the bowl. Her arms shook as she ate the warm stew. She downed the medicine in one gulp after, then rinsed her mouth.
There were painkillers and relaxants in the medicine, so sleep came looking for Qin Yining when she laid back down. She imparted some more instructions before she fell asleep, “Tell my father and mother that I’m fine. Take a good look at their bodies as well.”
“Understood, don’t worry, miss. Steward Zhong has sent many people to help us after hearing what’s happened. He hasn’t gone back either and has been helping the lord. Just rest and recover. You can do things only after you’ve healed.”
Qin Yining’s eyelids grew heavier and heavier. She allowed herself to drift peacefully off to sleep after listening to Bingtang’s response.
It was still night when she woke up again. She felt a bit more energetic this time and refused to go back to sleep after having more brown sugar millet stew, overcooked vegetables, and more medicine. She had Bingtang and Qiulu help her down from the bed and headed to the great hall.
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