After Kicking Over the Scumbag, the Whole City Wants to Marry Me - C.7: Bring the Brazier

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As the chaotic night drew to an end, the curtain was about to fall.

The night was as dark as ink, and Gu Ying walked out of Yongshou Hall in a daze.

Snowflakes drifted down, and in the distance, she saw Yanzhi anxiously wringing her little hands as she stood in the doorway outside the courtyard, her eyes shining brightly like two lanterns.

"Miss! Everything is taken care of!"

Gu Ying walked slowly towards her. Though it was less than a hundred steps, it felt like a journey of ten years or more.

Not until Yanzhi clasped her hand did the warmth of the living rouse her from that unreal dreamlike feeling.

"Yanzhi, am I still alive?"

"Why is Miss talking nonsense?"

"Yanzhi, are you still alive?"

"This servant is alive and well, Miss."

Gu Ying's eyes grew hot, her nose tingled, and her voice was like a wisp of ephemeral smoke. "That's wonderful..."

None of them had expected her to be reborn and return.

In her previous life after getting married, in order to please Jiang Yin, she had studied reading and writing until she was exhausted. What delighted her most was that she not only had an excellent memory, but was also gifted in learning by analogy. When it came to imitating others' handwriting, she was especially uncanny.

She was no longer a useless, hapless puppet at the mercy of others.

Therefore, on the carriage ride back to the manor, she had already prepared the so-called "scandalous love letter" in Gu Jia's handwriting.

Then, when no one was paying attention to where Yanzhi had gone, she instructed Yanzhi to first retrieve the things Gu Jia had hidden in her own courtyard based on where she had hidden love letters in their previous life. Afterwards, Yanzhi was to stuff those items together with these love letters into Cangwu Pavilion, Gu Jia's studio.

Humph, the phoenix roosts in Cangwu, if Gu Jia wants to fly up and perch, she'll have to see if she allows it!

Yanzhi's eyes shone brighter than ever before.

She felt the Miss had changed. The Miss dared to oppose Eldest Miss Gu Jia, which meant the Miss would no longer endure grievances in silence.

"Miss, let's go back. Your clothes have been wet all day. If you don't warm up soon, you'll get sick."

Gu Ying came back to her senses and gave a faint smile, clasping Yanzhi's little hand tightly. "Alright, let's go back to Twilight Snow Studio."

...

Inside Yongshou Hall.

Gu Old Madam's brows were tightly knitted, and the wounds on her face scratched by Gu Jia stung. Li Mama, who was attending her, carefully applied medicine.

Gu Jia had already been taken to the ancestral hall, her cries echoing all the way there.

Liu Shi sat weeping nearby, stealing glances at Old Madam Gu's expression from time to time, hesitating over whether to speak. "Mother, don't you think Ying'er was a bit strange today? She's usually so quiet, a crybaby without her own opinions, always listening to us. How could she be like a different person today? Could it be...she's possessed?"

At the mention of "possessed", Li Mama's hands paused, and she looked at Old Madam Gu worriedly.

Old Madam Gu was quite superstitious. Second Young Master was disfavored by Old Madam Gu because his birth date and time were incompatible with hers.

If Second Miss really was possessed, Old Madam Gu would surely dislike her even more.

Gu Old Madam's lips tightened, and her frown deepened. "Don't speak nonsense!"

Liu Shi cried anxiously, "It's not daughter-in-law speaking nonsense. Mother, even you noticed something strange. If she wasn't possessed by ghosts or monsters, how could those things inexplicably appear in Jia'er's yard—"

She stopped abruptly at this point.

Liu Shi looked at Old Madam Gu fearfully. Seeing that Old Madam Gu still had a stern expression, she felt uneasy in her heart. "Mother, are you alright?"

Gu Old Madam scoffed coldly. "You think I don't know what you've been doing? I may be old, but I'm not blind. To secure the marriage with the Duke of Yong'an's manor, what have you done to Gu Ying? No matter what, Gu Ying is my granddaughter."

Liu Shi trembled all over at the scolding. "Mother, it was you who said the marriage with Duke Yong'an's manor should go to Jia'er! We were just trying to—"

Gu Old Madam glared at her icily. "Enough!"

Gu Jia was well-read and excelled in the four arts. She originally had a greater chance of marrying into a prestigious household and adding glory to the Gu family.

But now that Gu Jia was implicated with Jiang Yin, this chess piece of hers was half ruined.

Gu Old Madam understood the bigger picture and naturally would not offend the Imperial Consort Xie. She would not oppose the favored consort.

Then the only option was to sacrifice Gu Jia, or else—

Liu Shi was afraid she wouldn't help Gu Jia. "Mother, after you personally nurtured Jia'er for so many years, are you just going to give up on her like this? Jia'er is your most favored granddaughter. If not for Gu Ying angering her tonight, she wouldn't have hurt you. She is the most filial to you, Mother. Please help Jia'er..."

The Jiang family was a declined household. Jiang Yin was merely a top scholar now, without power, influence or backing. He would likely only be assigned an official post outside the capital. Their Jia'er could not marry into the Jiang family...

"Why are you crying!" Gu Old Madam said impatiently. "Let her reflect on her actions in the ancestral hall for now. In a few days, find an excuse and say she is ill and send her to recuperate in the old ancestral home in Chengdu. Bring her back next year."

Liu Shi blinked, and her tears instantly vanished. "Mother really knows what to do!"

Gu Old Madam looked at her disdainfully. "If you want to protect Jia'er, then you can only sacrifice Ying'er. If things really get out of hand, just let them consummate the marriage first."

These were not words a grandmother should say.

But Liu Shi was brainless. If she didn't point things out, they might take the wrong path.

"But how do we get them to—"

"Fool! Can't you send someone to buy the necessary items?"

"Oh! Daughter-in-law understands!"

...

The night grew increasingly dark.

Twilight Snow Studio looked the same as she remembered.

A proud red plum blossomed in the yard, refined despite its seclusion.

The main wing mistreated her, so she lived here alone with Yanzhi, and the few lower-ranked cleaning servants. There weren't many people, but it was quiet and comfortable.

As soon as Yanzhi entered the yard, she busied herself with boiling ginger tea.

Outside the window, the cold wind howled fiercely, whipping up the downy snow.

Wrapped in warm water, Gu Ying took a thorough hot bath. She submerged her entire body in the water, recalling the ten humiliating years in the dilapidated temple. She hated that she couldn't scrub a layer of skin off, with her knotted filthy hair and the foul, itchy skin on her body.

"Miss—" Yanzhi was clutching a scalding paper ball in her hand. Seeing there was still no movement from the bathroom after such a long time, she grew increasingly anxious. "Miss, Master Jiang sent you a message..."

Hearing this, Gu Ying abruptly sat up in the water. "Who?"

Yanzhi's voice trembled. "Master Jiang... Master Jiang said he is waiting for Miss in Muffeng Studio... If Miss doesn't go, he'll keep waiting."

Muffeng Studio was her younger brother Gu Ning's courtyard!

How did Jiang Yin get into the Gu manor so late at night?!

Gu Ying quickly got dressed. Her hair was still dripping wet, but she didn't even have time to dry it before hurrying out of the bathroom.

The wind and snow outside hit her in the face. She couldn't help shivering a little, her face cold.

"Yanzhi, the letter?"

"Miss, here it is." Yanzhi hurriedly handed the paper ball to her young lady.

Gu Ying gathered her cloak and swiftly walked towards her own room. "Yanzhi, bring the brazier."

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