Suddenly, there was a splash of water as a silhouette broke through the surface. It was the middle-aged woman who had leapt to the rescue.
She held a small child in her arms. His face was pale and his eyes were tightly shut. She also dragged another person in her other hand. It was the already unconscious Ying’er. Yan Yan hurried over with Yan’er and scrambled to lift the child out before pulling Ying’er ashore.
“Ah Mo, Ah Mo…..”
Only now did Yan Yan, who had been constantly panicked and afraid, shed her tears, shaking the already deeply unconscious Yan Mo nonstop.
“Don’t panic, third miss. Let Lady Hui take a look.”
That middle-aged woman pulled herself from the water and came to Yan Yan’s side. Despite being thoroughly soaked, she was neither panicked nor flustered, and still had a steady and elegant demeanor.
“Aunt1 Hui, you have to help me save Ah Mo…..”
Lady Hui lifted Yan Mo’s frail little body and lay him on the ground. She placed both hands on his chest and pressed twice. Yan Mo suddenly spat out some lake water from his little mouth. Lady Hui pressed again but no more water was expelled. She furrowed her willow brows, lifted him up and seated herself on the ground. She curled one knee slightly, and placed Yan Mo face down, his stomach resting on her knee. She exerted force with both her hand and knee at the same time. After a few rounds of this, Yan Mo suddenly expelled a large amount of water.
After Yan Mo spat out the water from his lungs, Lady Hui patted his back. The sound of coughing rang out. When he was flipped over, Yan Mo’s eyes were half opened.
“Ah Mo, you scared your big sis to death…..”
“Mo’er, Mo’er, my Mo’er. What happened here?”
A fragrant wind blew over, announcing the arrival of the Weiyuan Marquis’s madam Shen Yi Yao who had heard about the situation and hurried over.
Shen Yi Yao wore a pale green lotus-patterned buttoned jacket paired with a light purple gauze embroidered skirt. Her hair was done in a bun and pinned in place with a pair of hairpins that had ornamental swallows with pearls in their beaks. She was clearly a beauty, with her oval face, almond-shaped eyes and cherry lips. At this moment, her eyes were filled with terror and her face was moist with tears.
Seeing her drenched son’s frail appearance, she forced herself over and pulled him into her arms.
“Mo’er, you scared your mother to death…..”
On the other side, the maids and grannies who had come along with Shen Yi Yao were taking control of the scene, ordering people to fish up all those still in the water. Some were only in the water for a brief period of time, and were merely soaked, their faces ashen with fright. Others were in the water for a while, and were unconscious.
Lady Hui had released Yan Mo and went to save Ying’er. Before long, she woke up as well.
“Aiya. What’s going on here?”
A sweet, feminine voice sounded out. The one who came was the Weiyuan Marquis’s senior concubine, Concubine Pei.
Concubine Pei appeared to be in her late twenties. She had a heart-shaped face, willow brows and a pair of limpid eyes. Her appearance was moving and lovely. She wore a two-colored gown embroidered with golden flowers paired with a lilac skirt. A blue silk waistband with a ruyi symbol pinched her narrow waist tightly, making her figure seem even more slender. Her hair was also done in a bun, pinned with a single white jade hairpin. She appeared exquisite and refined, like a lotus flower breaking the water surface.
Seeing Concubine Pei arrive, the maids and grannies by third young master Yan Hong’s side looked as though their own mother had arrived. They had been trembling just a moment ago, their expressions nervous, but now they all rushed up and started tattling.
According to them, the fourth young master had accidentally fallen into the water. They had been very worried but unfortunately didn’t know how to swim, and thus could only send for help. Who would have expected the third miss to be unable to distinguish right from wrong and beat them all into the water, forcing these people who weren’t able to swim to save him.
Their cries sounded out in addition to Yan Hong’s own frightened cries as he hugged the wet nurse. They looked extremely pitiful.
Shen Yi Yao looked at her daughter in astonishment: “Yan Yan…..”
Yan’er couldn’t listen any further and jumped up indignantly, scolding: “You utterly heartless bunch, deliberately distorting the truth. Sent for help? You were clearly all standing there watching the show. You wouldn’t even grab a long bamboo pole to help….”
“Yan’er, don’t you slander others…..”
One of the grannies next to Concubine Pei berated: “The concubine is asking the questions here. How dare a maid like you interrupt!?”
Yan Yan saw Yan’er being besieged on all sides and stood up. She stepped in front of her and said forcefully: “I was the one who did the hitting, what of it? The master fell into the water right in front of their eyes. If something happened to him, none of these people should think about getting off. Don’t tell me the master’s life isn’t as valuable as these servants…..”
The moment these words fell, the maids and grannies immediately started wailing again. One of the grannies relied on her age as she cried, “…..everyone here is human too, how can the third miss be like this…..”
The servants who had arrived later and didn’t witness the actual events all looked in sympathy at the crying bunch of people.
Yan Yan was still young after all, and already angry and worried to begin with. She felt resentful at these people who had been standing there enjoying the show while putting on an act, and therefore said those words. Hearing these people use her words against her, she choked up in anger.
Concubine Pei said hesitantly: “Third miss, this concubine doesn’t intend to offend, but since you are a lady it’s important to mind your reputation….”
Shen Yi Yao had been worried and flustered to begin with. Seeing this situation, she immediately started rambling, “Ah Yan, how can you be so rude!? Is this how I, your mother, raised you? Once a girl gets a bad reputation, how can she get married!?”
Yan Yan looked at Shen Yi Yao in disbelief before stubbornly turning her face away.
At this moment, Lady Hui opened her mouth. “Madam, the fourth young master fell into the water. We should be calling for a doctor immediately, and also helping him change out of these wet clothes.”
Only then did Shen Yi Yao remember her son who had fallen into the water. She urgently ordered: “Hurry and invite a doctor over. Call for several. Also have a doctor come examine these maids and grannies.”
Everyone dispersed at the same time. Some went to call the doctors. Those who had fallen into the water went to recuperate. As for Shen Yi Yao and Concubine Pei’s group, they headed back to the Jinse 2 Pavilion.
Yan Yan fell behind.
She had been practicing her whip techniques in her own pavilion when she hurried over, and still wore her training robes. The crimson robes should have made her seem full of vigor, but at this moment she seemed extremely downcast. She drooped her head and looked like a soaked duck.
“Third miss, madam was just momentarily panicked and reacted this way. You shouldn’t let it get to you.” Lady Hui comforted.
“Aunt Hui, you don’t have to worry about me. I know.” Yan Yan raised her head and forced a smile. She glanced at the soaked Lady Hui and said worriedly: “You should hurry and change. Although it’s summer, I’m afraid you could catch a cold. I’ll go see how Ah Mo is doing. It’s a good thing you were here today.”
After speaking, she hurried towards the Jinse Pavilion.
Lady Hui looked worriedly at her fading figure as she sighed and left as well.
By the time Yan Yan arrived, the people in the residence had surrounded Yan Mo as they gave him a hot water bath and made him drink ginger soup. The doctor had been invited over as well, and after taking his pulse he said it was fortunate that he had been rescued swiftly. The water in his lungs had been expelled in a timely manner, and there wouldn’t be any major issues. However, since the young master has been frail since birth, it was important to watch out for the onset of a fever. He prescribed some medicine and was escorted out by a maid.
Yan Mo was still young and had gotten a fright from falling into the water. He remained dazed and fell deeply asleep after drinking the ginger soup. Shen Yi Yao sat in front of the rosewood bed brocaded with flowing cloud patterns, her tears flowing endlessly as she looked at her son’s frail appearance.
Seeing that there weren’t any major issues with her brother and still wanting to get to the bottom of things, Yan Yan turned around and headed towards the servant quarters. Right as she reached the door, she was called back.
“Yan Yan, hold it right there. Why are you wearing these clothes again? What did mother tell you? Do the young ladies in other major households dress this way? Also, who said you could hit people? What if your reputation gets ruined?”
Yan Yan paused before turning and looking at her own mother, the Weiyuan Marquis’s madam Shen Yi Yao.
Shen Yi Yao was extremely beautiful, with an oval face, almond eyes, a fine nose, jet-black hair and fair skin. She exuded the elegant air of a noble lady.
Of course, this was all on the surface. In reality, Shen Yi Yao was not a very astute person. She had a weak personality, was easily swayed and didn’t have any wisdom. To put it nicely, she was simpleminded. To put it harshly, she was a fool.
Yan Yan didn’t feel her own mother was a fool at first, but as time passed and as she observed more and more, a complicated feeling arose in her mind.
No one would scold their own daughter in front of outsiders, especially in front of so many people. But Shen Yi Yao had done precisely that, and she still wasn’t done after getting back. She completely didn’t think to investigate how her own son had fallen into the water or try to verify Yan’er’s accusations. Instead, she continuously harped about her daughter’s improper behavior.
Yan Yan had long since figured out her mother’s nature, but her actions today truly stabbed at her heart, making her unable to keep her anger down.
“If I didn’t hit people, would anyone go save Ah Mo? Didn’t you see all those people standing there without moving?”
The senior maid Fang Cao said: “Third miss, how can you speak to the madam this way? Furthermore, it’s normal for those maids and grannies to not know how to swim. How weren’t they helping? So many people went over……”
“This miss is talking to my mom. Why are you interrupting?!”
Fang Cao’s eyes turned red in grievance, “Madam….”
“Yan Yan. Who raised you to be this way? What are you screaming at your mother’s maid for? Do you even have any semblance of a noble household’s daughter?”
“Enough about that. We can talk about it after I figure out how Ah Mo fell into the water!”
After speaking, Yan Yan rushed out and slammed the door shut with a loud bang.
“You, you brat….”
Shen Yi Yao lay on her side in anger, wiping her tears with her handkerchief in grief as her few maids consoled her.
“Don’t be angry madam. The third miss is still young. She’ll be fine after some proper teaching. It’s just that personality of hers truly needs changing….”
Fang Cui also spoke up on the side: “Third miss is becoming more stubborn the older she gets. Madam you have instruct her properly. Otherwise, how’s she going to get married in the future…..”
Yan Yan who was outside the door hadn’t gone far. Hearing the words inside the room, her lips curled in a cold and obscure smile.
Before long, Yan Yan brought over Ying’er, Yan’er and Yan Mo’s personal wet nurse Matron Qin.
Her brows were creased in anger but she forcefully suppressed it: “Tell the madam how Ah Mo fell into the lake.” After speaking, she sat down on the side.
It turned out that it hadn’t been an accident. It was the third young master Yan Hong who pushed him. Of course, it could still be said to be an accident. After all, Yan Hong was still young, merely older than Yan Mo by on year. He was merely seven years old as of today.
The third young master Yan Hong was the estate’s old madam’s precious treasure. He had been spoiled from birth, and his thoughts had grown twisted from a young age. If any of his maids or grannies made the slightest mistake, he would start yelling for them to be beaten or killed.
This wasn’t just for show. Yan Yan had seen a low-ranked maid somehow attract his anger once. He had rushed over kicking and stomping, and after he was done he made a fuss about having her sold off. That maid had begged him not to sell her off, but he merely kicked her a few more times, yelling how he would have the concubine sell her off.
Several days later, that maid had truly disappeared.
Of course, this sort of appearance was rarely seen by others. In the eyes of outsiders, Yan Hong was at most a naughty little child. Furthermore, he had a silver tongue and knew how to coax people. The old madam cherished him extremely and Concubine Pei managed the household. Therefore, none of the servants dared say anything.
Shen Yi Yao was precisely someone who didn’t understand the truth. Therefore, after listening to what Yan’er and Ying’er had to say, she said with a hesitant expression: “Hong’er definitely didn’t do it on purpose. He’s just a little naughty….”