Qin Wanru walked to the table, picked up the brush, pondered for a moment then put the brush to the paper and began to paint. When she finished painting, she put down the brush and cautiously brought the painting to Chu Liuchen and said, "Please have a look, Prince Chen. This is the pattern I talked about."
"This is indeed the correct pattern!" said Chu Liuchen when he set his eyes on the painting and raised his eyebrows.
Qin Wanru felt a sudden bitterness in her heart as she remembered how in her previous life, she was so fearful of facing people when she entered the capital city, that she had to resort to painting to get by. For this reason, her painting skills improved leaps and bounds every day. However, her masterly painting skill did not get her anywhere. In fact, it was precisely her painting skill that led her to her tragic death, being cut in half at her waist. At that moment of death, she felt that even the sky appeared twisted.
When the guillotine fell on her, she did not die immediately so one could imagine the immense torment and hopelessness.
"I will bring you the seal tonight!" Chu Liuchen said with a smile, however, there was a chilling viciousness in his smile. He continued to say, "However, you will not let anyone know about this... otherwise..."
"Rest assured, Your Highness. I will take it as we have not helped each other or done each other any favors," said Qin Wanru solemnly, with a severe-looking and clever expression.
Even though her appearance was that of a young girl, her mature and serious expression, coupled with her delicate features with a little baby fat, made her look extremely adorable.
"Go!" Chu Liuchen was very happy with the outcome. He reached out his hand to pinch her slightly chubby cheeks and then waved his hand in front of a stunned Qin Wanru.
Qin Wanru tried to hold back the look of pain and awkwardness in her heart. She thought Prince Chen was behaving as if he were trying to chase away a puppy.
Taking a deep breath, Qin Wanru bowed respectively and turned to leave. She only dared let out a sigh when she had stepped out of the door. By then, her back was drenched with cold sweat and tears were almost welling up in her eyes. She shot a guarded look at the entrance of the yard.
Prince Chen was indeed a person with multi-personality. Sometimes he was gentle and elegant, other times he was chillingly diabolical, yet there are some other times he looked just like a lazy teenager.
However, there was one thing certain about him, which was that he was a dangerous person no matter which personality he was portraying.
Although he was a dangerous person, hanging on to him would reap great benefits, therefore Qin Wanru was torn as to whether she should hang on to him.
Qin Wanru thought that at this moment, she was just a child after all, and it would be wise to hang on to him since she was in need.
After she made up her mind, she felt a heavy burden fell from her shoulder. She could finally turn and walked out with Qin Yue with peace of mind.
She was heading straight back to her room when halfway, she instructed Qin Yue to check on Qin Yuru. She was, after all, wary of Qi Tianyu's unpleasant personality.
Qing Yue did not take long to carry out what she was instructed. Soon after Qin Wanru returned to her room and sat down for a while, Qing Yue was back.
"Miss, nothing much had happened to your elder sister!" Qing Yue said, wiping her perspiration.
"Nothing? Did you see any signs of her preparing to go on a trip?" Qin Wanru asked after she paused for a second and broke out into a smile. Had Qi Tianyu not taken any actions? Well, that was not unexpected.
"Yes indeed. I heard one of the maids serving her mentioned that the young mistress is planning to go out this evening so she wanted Madam to inform the maid at Chuihua Gate," Qing Yue said thoughtfully. She even went all the way to Chuihua Gate to discretely reconfirm the information.
The maid guarding Chuihua Gate was usually strict about letting people in and out of the gate.
This evening? Qin Wanru's lips curled into a clever smile and she pulled on the veil gently with her slender fingers before she released the veil. Qi Tianyu indeed had no patience to continue waiting. It looked like something was going to happen tonight that was worth looking out for.
She was rather looking forward to it.
She turned around and walked to the low table, picked up the brush and pondered for a moment before putting the brush to the paper to scribble something on it. After she was done and the ink had dried, she found an envelope and put the letter in, then handed the letter to Qing Yue.
"Go look for Nanny Yu in a moment and have Brother Fengzi to send this letter to Brother Baiyu. He would understand what's going on. Follow him to watch what happens this evening, then come back and report to me."
Qi Baiyu was the illegitimate son of Qi Tianyu's father, whom Qi Tianyu had been accusing of having a secret affair with Qin Wanru. He was merely twelve years old. Although he was exceptionally intelligent and talented, he had always been despised by Qi Tianyu.
Whenever the Qis and the General's family went for a trip out together, Qi Baiyu and Qi Wanru who were about the same age would be keeping each other company. It could be said that they were good playmates.
In her previous life, it was through Qi Baiyu's help that she had a chance of escape when her husband died and people treated her with disdain. Because of his help, she was temporary out of the claws of the royal family.
"Yes, Miss! I'll go straight away!" Qing Yue nodded, took the letter and turned to leave.
After dinner, Old Grandma sent men to come over to check on Qin Wanru to make sure her wound was healing well. The men left when they had confirmed that her condition had stabilized.
Qin Wanru waited until all the men had left, then she washed up a bit. Instead of going to bed, she carried a lamp and set it by the window and started reading a medical book she got hold of.
She was waiting for that seal.
At the same time, she was waiting for something dramatic to happen to Qin Yuru.
Qin Yuru had quietly sneaked out of the Ningyuan Army General's manor through the back gate around evening time to head to the restaurant where she used to meet Qi Tianyu often.
The two used to secretly meet up in the past. They were regular patrons of that restaurant, so much so, Qi Tianyu had a long term arrangement with them to reserve him a room as and when he visited.
Qin Yuru had been wearing a curtained hat all the way from home to the restaurant and took it down only when she entered the room in the restaurant. When she arrived, Qi Tianyu was already seated in the room, waiting for Qin Yuru within ashen face.
After Qin Yuru's personal maid helped her take off her hat, she, together with Qi Tianyu's sidekick retreated to stand behind the door with their heads bowed, as they waited on their masters.
"Elder Brother Tianyu!" Qin Yuru approached Qi Tianyu in a hurried manner, then fell to the ground and burst out crying bitterly.
Qi Tianyu's face remained leaden as he looked coldly and unsympathetically at Qin Yuru's pretty face.
"Why?" he said with a hoarse voice after a long pause.
"Elder Brother Tianyu, I really didn't know... what happened... Those letters... I just saw them not long before you did, I was so shocked that I tried to hide them... Elder Brother Tianyu, I had totally no idea where those letters came from. While I am not aware, my second sister seemed to know everything. Why?"
Qin Yuru wept as teardrops rolled down her pale cheeks, which by now looked so frail and worn.
Seeing the girl he loved kneeling right beside him, looking so miserable and weeping to the point of chocking, Qi Tianyu's heart softened and he said, "You said this had nothing to do with you, are you saying Qin Wanru was the one who planned all of it?"
"I don't know, Elder Brother Tianyu. I was shocked when I saw the box containing the letters, which was why I lost my composure... Elder Brother Tianyu, don't you... believe me? If I had intended to be engaged to my cousin, I would not have agreed to your family's proposal in marriage!" Qin Yuru continued crying and drops of tears began falling down her face.
"How would Qin Wanru know that these letters were in your dresser drawers?" Qi Tianyu questioned doubtfully and he frowned.
"I don't know... I don't know why my second sister would do such a thing... or it might not be her... she is so innocent, kind and so young, how could she do such a thing? However, I am clueless where the box containing the letter had come from!" Qin Yuru was almost crying her eyes out.
Qi Tianyu began to hesitate at the sight of Qin Yuru weeping so pitifully. He could hardly believe that Qin Yuru would lie to her. They had such a long time relationship and one could say that they had grown up as a pair, thinking they would get married someday. How would she do such a cruel thing to him? Especially when he saw that she was so kind as to defend her sister even at this moment.
He finally reached out his hand to wipe away the tears on Qin Yuru's face and asked once again, saying, "So you really didn't try to deceive me?"
"I would never do that. If I were to deceive ever, let me die a tragic death!" Qin Yuru swore to the heavens without any hesitation. She knew if she did not say these harsh words, Qi Tianyu would not believe her.
"Are you sure you wouldn't lie to me?" Qin Tianyu asked again with a severe tone, although he was already half taken in by what Qin Yuru said. As he reached out his hand to pull Qin Yuru up from the floor, Qin Yuru got up and threw herself at him and started crying even more bitterly in his arms.
"What should I do now, Elder Brother Tianyu? I... I think it's better if I die, so I won't bring shame to your reputation!" Qin Yuru cried out as she looked up from Qi Tianyu's arms into his eyes. Suddenly, she broke free from him and ran towards the window, pretending to want to jump off.
The restaurant was located next to a big river with strong currents. If one were to jump down from here, he would unlikely survive.
Qi Tianyu panicked when he saw Qin Yuru trying to leap out of the window. He quickly stretched out his hand to grab hold of Qin Yuru's clothes and quickly said，"I believe you, Younger Sister Yuru, I believe you. Don't you worry, let's take some time to think about a solution!"
"What solution... we've already broken off our engagement, what solution would we have?" Qin Yuru sniffed and choked on her tears. Qi Tianyu once again pulled her frail body into his arms and they embraced each other, looking as if they were feeling totally hopeless.
"It's alright, we will think of a solution. I'm just curious how your second sister managed to put the box into the drawer of your dresser?" said Qi Tianyu as he patted Qin Yuru on her back to comfort her. Although his heart was aching for her, there was still this little bit of doubt in him.
Actually, he had not been totally taken in. After he calmed down and tried to think rationally, he thought it was unlikely for Qin Wanru to do such vicious things. She was merely a mischievous child, who was still young. In fact, she usually appeared obedient and even cute.
"Maybe... maybe, she was being deceived by another person!" Qin Yuru continued to sound as if she was defending Qin Yuru when in fact, she hated her and wished death upon her immediately. She had used the reason she and her mother had come to a consensus with. "She had a close relationship with Aunt Shui!"
Although Shui Ruolan had lived a simple life tucked away from people, Qi Tianyu knew who she was because of the close relationship between their families. When Qin Yuru pointed this possibility, Qi Tianyu thought this to be possible. Qin Yuru had brainwashed him since a long time back, saying that although Aunt Shui appeared to be simple and free from all desire, she had always secretly wanted to get close to her father.
"It's because of the Ningyuan Army General," said Qi Tianyu through gritted teeth and rage.
All of a sudden, he thought he got it. Qin Wanru was still young so she was not mature enough to understand some things. Shui Ruolan was definitely a grown woman. Perhaps she had wanted to attack Mrs. Qin, and so thought of such an evil plan.
"You were not aware that just a few days ago, she had lured father into her room. Mother had been arguing with father over this, maybe..." Qin Yuru could tell from Qi Tianyu's expression that he had been taken in by her words, so she added little by little to the story she was weaving.
"How shameless," Qin Tianyi was totally taken by Qin Yuru's words by now. He put his arms tightly around her and his expression deepened with rage.
All of a sudden, the door to their room was forced open and a few rowdy men entered...