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A few men looking to be ruffians forced their way into the room where Qin Yuru and Qi Tianyi were.
Qin Yuru's personal maid and Qi Tianyi's sidekick who were not fast to react were cramped behind the door and cried out in pain. The commotion had attracted much attention from outside and people started crowding into the room to see what was happening.
When the people who entered the room locked eyes with those inside the room, they were both stunned.
Qin Yuru seemed to have awakened from a dream. She pushed Qi Tianyu away in a hurry and turned away from the eyes of all the people.
"Where are these people from? Throw them out immediately!" bellowed Qi Tianyu, dismayed. He meant these words for the ruffians who barged in.
"Isn't ... this the First Young Master of the Qi Family? How does he still find the mood to secretly meet with a girl?" someone exclaimed in surprise. Qi Tianyu was well-known among the people of Jiangzhou.
What a magnanimous person Qi Tianyu must be, who was able to overlook the humiliation he endured at the hands of the Qin Family. He even had the mood to secretly meet another girl after such a short time!
"That's ... that's the eldest daughter of the Ningyuan Army General!" Someone exclaimed when he recognized that the girl was none other than Qin Yuru, even though she tried to shy away quickly.
These two statements of exclamation had stirred up a great commotion among the spectators immediately.
Everyone in town was still talking over this broken marriage between the two families since it happened not long ago. What the people witnessed at this moment was astonishing. Who would expect this two unmarried couple to be embracing each other? What had happened?
The ruffians who fell onto the floor a moment ago were trying scrambling to get onto their feet. They were as curious as the rest of the people.
"We heard that the eldest daughter of the general had been unfaithful to the First Young Master of the Qi Family, and was even pregnant. Did she just realize that her baby belonged to him?" one of the ruffians said as he opened his eyes wide to stare at Qi Tianyu and Qi Yuru, who was turned away from the crowd.
"This... is possible!" someone from the crowd joked.
"Whose baby is this then?" yet another questioned while he looked at Qin Wanru's stomach.
As the comments went on, they turned more and more absurd
At this moment, Qin Yuru was so ashamed that she wished she were dead.
"This is outrageous!" Qi Tianyu's face turned pale as he bellowed. He turned to his sidekick and shouted an order for him to shut the door.
Qin Yuru's personal maid as well as Qi Tianyu's sidekick who almost fainted from being knocked down by the door, worked together to push the door shut. However, more and more people were pushing into the room to see what was happening, it was impossible for them to shut the door.
Qin Wanru panicked. She suddenly spied her curtained hat lying on the floor next to and frantically put it on her head. Turning to Mei Xue, her personal maid, she said, "Let's go!"
"Give way! Do you all want to be prosecuted tomorrow at the court for spreading rumors?" scolded Qin Tianyu as he stomped out, pushing the people outside the door to make way for himself.
Seeing that Qi Tianyu was provoked to anger, the few ruffians by the door did not dare to push their luck but made way for Qi Tianyu to pa.s.s. On the other hand, Qin Yuru held on to Mei Xue as they hurried off through the narrow path opened up for Qi Tianyu.
"Isn't this the personal maid of the eldest daughter of General Qin?"
"That's definitely her!" all the people recognized Qin Yuru's personal maid immediately. This was because Qin Yuru used to spend quite a lot of time enjoying herself outside her house and she had always been accompanied by her maid.
Qin Yuru did not dare to stay for a minute more when she heard all the comments. As she descended the stairs in a rush, the veil on her curtained hat got caught somewhere and the moment she reached the last steps, her hat came off from her head.
Instantly, Qin Yuru's tear-streaked faced was exposed.
A humiliated Qin Yuru covered her face with her hands and she dashed onto the horse carriage outside the restaurant, while Mei Xue followed closely behind her.
Nevertheless, all the people upstairs and downstairs had clearly witnessed the entire scene and they burst out laughing.
In a room on the third floor of the restaurant stood a young man by the window, looking out. This handsome young man was laughing hysterically, but he suppressed his laughter. He was looking down at the corridor on the second floor where Qi Tianyu walked down the stairs, looking glum.
"Miss, Elder Brother Fengzi commented that everyone was calling the First Young Master of the Qi Family a cuckold, who still embraced your elder sister. They're really shameless!" Qing Yue reported to Qin Wanru when she returned, laughing very hard.
She was laughing so hard that she had to wipe away tears from the corner of her eyes when she was speaking.
Qin Wanru smiled faintly, putting down the book in her hand and inquired, "So everyone saw?"
"Yes, all the people witnessed it. There were so many people, both upstairs and downstairs. It was pointless of Eldest Miss Qin to try to cover her face, there were after all so many pairs of eyes looking! I supposed she would not dare to step out of the house ever again!" Qing Yue said, feeling a sense of satisfaction.
She was aware that while Qin Yuru had always put on a gentle and kind front, she had in fact secretly orchestrated plans to harm Second Miss, and Second Miss, who was gullible had shouldered the blame on many occasions.
"Did you see Big Brother Baiyu?" Qin Wanru asked. She could not smother a laugh when she imagined how Qin Yuru must have looked.
"Elder Brother Fengzi said he saw young Master Baiyu on the third floor. They had discussed this beforehand and it was their idea for the ruffians to barge into their room. Eldest Master Qi wasn't aware that you and Master Baiyu knew about his secret meet up with Eldest Miss Qin in the room in that restaurant. He thought he had made a secret arrangement that no one would find out about!"
Qing Yue was about to say something when she suddenly remembered something else. Her facial expression turned from that of elation to a worried look as she said to Qin Wanru, "Miss, Elder Brother Fengzi said he saw the Eldest Master Qi embracing Eldest Miss. Do you think he had forgiven her? I wondered what she said again to frame you."
"Not me!" Qin Wanru looked at the burning candle in her room and pondered for a while. Qi Tianyu was not that stupid. He would not allow himself to be deceived time and again over the same issue. He ought to know that these despicable things did not come from her. "She probably tried to frame Aunt Shui!" Qin Wanru said.
Qin Yuru had to push the blame to others in order to win Qi Tiayu's forgiveness. Since there was no way Qi Tianyu would believe that it was Qin Wanru's doing, she must have targeted Shui Ruolan instead, since she was just involved in another mess.
"What should we do? Miss Shui is such a kind person. Would Eldest Master Qin do anything to harm her?" Qing Yue asked anxiously.
"I will go and look for Aunt Shui tomorrow!" said Qin Wanru as she took a small pair of scissors to cut the wick of the candle. She had a thoughtful look in her eyes as she already planned to look for Aunt Shui even if the incident which happened today did not take place. She wanted to be prepared first.
It was a good opportunity for her to tell Aunt Shui about what happened since Mrs. Qin was preoccupied with what happened to Qin Yuru today and Qi Tianyu would not try to come to the Ningyuan Army General's house so soon.
Something just could not be avoided, and these things, Qin Wanru just had to face it head on!
Qin Wanru saw that it was getting late, so she instructed Qing Yue to retire for the day. Since Qin Wanru was expecting someone later in the night, she did not ask Qing Yue to guard her room entrance, but to retire to her own room to sleep.
After Qing Yue left, Qin Wanru remained seated at the lamp and took up the same medical book she was reading and started reading from where she left off. This medical book was a gift from Mingqiu Mistress when she found that Qin Wanru was interested in medicine and that they get along really well.
The point was she was not very interested and therefore, after getting it as a gift, Qin Wanru did not really get down to reading it, but cast it aside. It was Qing Yue who found the book once again and by then, Qin Wanru had a kindled interest in medicine and so she began flipping through it to kill boredom.
The night was very quiet, there was only the sound of the flickering flame from the candle. A gentle wind blew into the house and it felt extremely comfortable. The season of autumn had arrived, so it was still rather warm during day time, while it was cooling at night time with a little wind blowing. The heat during the day seemed to have been forgotten by people by this time.
Qin Wanru initially thought she would not be interested to read medical books, however, she realized that she fell in love with the subject eventually. She was so engrossed in the book that she did not realize that Chu Liuchen had entered the room. It was only when she lifted her head, wanting to cut the candle wick again, that he saw Chu Liuchen standing by the window. She almost jumped up in shock as their eyes locked.
She was like a baby animal subjected to a scare.
"What's that book you're reading that got you so engrossed?" Chu Liuchen asked. He was dressed in a purple robe with collars lined by black fabric. Leaning on the chair facing Qin Wanru and supporting his head with one hand as he fiddled with the chair back with his other hand, he appeared relaxed and comfortable.
Qin Wanru quietly handed over the medical book to him.
Chu Liuchen flipped through the pages quickly and threw a side glance at Qin Wanru as he commented, "Thinking to study medicine?"
"Yes!" replied Qin Wanru as she nodded.
"Why do you need to study medicine?" he asked with a gentle voice.
"So I can help to treat people who are sick!" replied Qin Wanru sincerely.
"Who? Me?" asked Chu Liuchen as the corners of his lips curled up in a smile, behaving exactly like a provocative young man.
Qin Wanru kept quiet and did not answer his question. She then spotted the seal Chu Liuchen was fiddling with in his other hand, and Qin Wanru's eyes immediately sparkled with life.
"Is this for me?" asked Qin Wanru, as she reached out for it.
"This seal appears to be something very special! I would suffer a loss if I simply pa.s.s it to you!" Chu Liuchen said with a serious expression.
"What is your intention then, Prince Chen?" asked Qin Wanru, as she cursed in her heart. She was starting to worry that he would try to make things difficult for her. "Prince Chen, I'm only 11 years old!"
What she really meant was she, being so young, would not be of use to him.
"No wonder you're so pet.i.te," he said, looking at her with disdain as he touched his chin. He then continued, "Didn't you say you want to study medicine? If you study hard, you can treat my illness!"
"Is your illness... difficult to treat?" Qin Wanru asked as she studies his pale, thin lips. Although his lips were perfectly shaped but were obviously lacking color, which indicated that he had bad health.
In her previous life, many people had antic.i.p.ated that he would not live long. However, he outlived everyone else in the end.
"It is indeed difficult to treat. Do you know of a way to treat it?" asked Chu Liuchen casually but with interest as he stared at Qin Wanru's red lips.
Qin Wanru shook her head and replied with anxiety, saying, "Prince Chen must be kidding!"
"No idea at all? Your lips are a bright healthy color. There has to be a way to keep so healthy. How about you teach me about it?" said Chu Liuchen as he let out a laugh. He fixed his eyes on Qin Wanru's red lips as he thought, "The color of her lips made this little girl very attractive."
Although she had not even reached adolescence, he could tell that she would grow into a beautiful woman.
Qin Wanru's face drained of its color when she heard Prince Chen's question, although her lips remained bright red and alluring. She seemed totally unaffected by the loss of blood from her injury earlier on.
Her lips trembled and beads of perspiration started to appear on her forehead. She could almost feel a stab in her heart and pain was so excruciating that she could not breathe for a moment.
Bright, alluring lips? She had a vague impression regarding her lips being bright and alluring, but she could not put a finger to it. She must have lost a part of her memory which had to do with her lips, which was accused of a crime she committed, the charges people forced onto her.