Her sole mission this time was to meet with Qin Yining and tell her about the alliance’s smuggling operations. That way, when they needed the Qin fourth miss sometime in the future, the girl wouldn’t be completely oblivious to what Azure Justice was doing.
But if the missus really did say that she had no other business, then she would come across as overly mercantilistic, even if that was the main point of her visit.
A married woman over thirty years of age couldn’t lift her head in front of a girl of sixteen years! Her lips twitched a few times before she finally voiced, “We mainly just missed the alliance head. We heard that your family ran into a little accident on the way to the capital.”
“Indeed, we did run into a little accident.” Qin Yining dimpled. “It looks like the alliance’s main forces have all moved to the Tartar border?”
Missus Liao didn’t immediately understand the point being made. She asked in confusion, “Why do you say that, Alliance Head?”
“If not, then the alliance’s intelligence network needs to be enhanced.”
Comprehension swiftly descended this time, and Missus Liao flushed as brightly as cooked shrimp when she processed the jeering notes in the girl’s tone.
Azure Justice had prevailed in Great Yan for a time, so how would they not know what had happened to the Qins on the family’s way over? It was just that no one had particularly paid any attention to it.
Only when they were worried that their smuggling operations might blow up in their faces that they finally came looking for their alliance head. There had been no reaction whatsoever when their leader was robbed and lost.
If Missus Liao declared that their intelligence network was just fine, then it was something wrong with the people. If there was nothing wrong with the people, then pray tell, how should the madame face her alliance head?
Embarrassment painted the woman’s face a deep crimson and a few hints of veneration sprang forth. No wonder the old alliance head had passed the position onto the Qin fourth miss! This was no ordinary girl. Missus Liao even had the misconception that she was facing the old alliance head when dealing with Qin Yining.
Taking stock of the older woman’s expression, Qin Yining understood that she’d taken Miss Liao down enough pegs today. Any further would likely see an opposite effect. Therefore, the Qin fourth miss appropriately changed topics to the affairs of the Great Zhou capital.
Missus Liao heaved a silent sigh of relief to herself, deeply grateful that the alliance head wasn’t pursuing things further. She responded with a circumspectly respectful attitude, none of her prior subtle irreverence to be found.
As Qin Yining purposefully set up a way to save face and Missus Liao accepted it with deep appreciation, the atmosphere quickly warmed up. It really did seem that the two were long-parted friends, like they’d first presented upon their meeting.
Thanks to what had just happened, the four Silver Masks standing guard around the corner refreshed a deeper understanding of their mistress.
They’d originally felt that Qin Huaiyuan sending them to his daughter was a misuse of good talent for a petty job. But she turned out to be the alliance head of Azure Justice! A mere few words were sufficient to knock some sense and respect into the alliance member who’d harbored other thoughts.
Days in which they’d be able to fully display their talents seemed almost tangibly within grasp to the four. Their mistress now occupied a different place in their hearts.
As Qin Yining and Missus Liao chatted and ate, a ruckus suddenly travelled in from downstairs.
The two paid it no heed at first, but when the disturbance grew shriller and even footsteps thudded heavily on the wooden stairs, the Qin fourth miss frowned in the direction of the stairs.
Xiaoman immediately went downstairs to assess the situation.
Ear-piercing arguments and curses drifted into their ears before the guard returned.
“You want my mistress to wait?? Do you know who she is?! Who the hell are you to delay my mistress’ business!? Can you afford the damages???
“What do you mean someone’s rented it out? These are my bank notes slapping you across the face right now! How dare you not rent out Smooth Providence to my mistress??
“That’s just the daughter of a minister—what is she good for? My mistress is the official daughter of the Lu clan!”
The maid’s stridently loud tones came in increasing waves of illogical obstinance. Qin Yining’s forehead drew together with almost an audible click. She didn’t need to go for a look to know who was raising the fuss.
Xiaoman charged up the stairs and reported in. “A man and a woman’s in the first floor hall. The one causing a disturbance is the woman’s maid.”
Qin Yining nodded to indicate her understanding.
“Get that minister’s daughter downstairs. My mistress will personally speak to her. Hop to it!”
“Miss,” a livid Jiyun stated. “These people are absolutely ridiculous! I’ll go downstairs and teach them a lesson!”
“No need.” The Qin fourth miss rose. “I’ll go myself. I’d like to see just how ruthless they’ll be to a mere minister’s daughter.”
“Understood. I’ll help you downstairs.” In fine fettle and ready to do battle, Bingtang helped her mistress downstairs.
Jiyun followed beside them, ready to barrel in and rip someone to pieces at the drop of a hat.
Missus Liao clucked a tongue at the sight. Who would’ve thought that a noble daughter’s maids would be so ferocious?
Or was it like mistress, like servant?
The group headed for the first floor, Xiaoman and Xiaoxue leading the way, Jingzhe and Daman bringing up the rear. The men ensconced two charming maids who were supporting a plainly dressed, stunning beauty.
This combination instantly drew the eyes of all those in the first floor hall.
Qin Yining was rather surprised that there were still customers on the first floor, given that the other party was raising such a fuss about renting the tavern out. When she saw that the crowd’s eyes were burning a hole in her face, she pulled out a pale-purple gauze scarf and covered half of her face before approaching Madame Lu.Previous Chapter Next Chapter