Wife Doting Addiction：My Abducted Tsundere Husband - Chapter 98
When Madame Lee returned to her room, she found Qu Mio nervously waiting for her.
“Mother, what did father say? Was it one of our family’s enemies?” Madame Lee’s face turned ugly as if she were in a trance.
She lifted her head and stared blankly at Qu Miao for a while before grinning sinisterly.
Her hand brushed over Qu Miao’s hair, “Miao’er.
Your father… Your father wants us to hide at your maternal grandmother’s place.
Once the situation passes, he’ll let us come back.
” “Oh?” Qu Miao was momentarily stunned before asking anxiously, “Did he tell you who wanted to do away with us?” Madame Lee shook her head, “Your father doesn’t know either.
Go pack your belongings secretly.
Don’t let the others find out in case they discover that we are leaving!” “Then, when will we return?” Qu Miao was still thinking about Ji Yuxian and wasn’t so keen on leaving Jingzhou.
“I’m not sure, just go!” Madame Lee pushed Qu Miao’s shoulders gently.
Qu Miao had no choice but to return to her room to pack her bags.
Meanwhile, Madame Lee sat on her bed for a while as tears flowed uncontrollably.
She had been at Qu Wenchang’s side for 20 years, and yet, in the end, she was inferior to a girl born of a servant.
For the girl’s sake, he had even tried to kill her, his wife! Such cruelty.
Twenty years! Even though there had not been much romantic affection between them for quite some time, they were still respectful toward and considerate of each other.
Alas, it was possible to know a person for a long time and fail to understand their heart.
The man she had shared her bed with had been harboring murderous intentions for a long time.
All these years, she had pressured him and refused to let him take a concubine.
She did so in fear that the concubine would one day bear him a son, causing her to lose her place in this family.
He must have hated her for just this reason.
Because she had her suspicions about the relationship between him and Yuan Zhu early on, she had scrambled to marry her off as soon as possible.
The last thing she imagined is that those two would have a child together.
The past few days, she had been discouraged but not to the point of despair.
But today, any hope she had was thoroughly wiped clean.
He not only had resolved to kill her but also their daughter.
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COM Indeed, if both had died, he would have been free to spend the rest of his days with that slut.
What was the affection between a husband and a wife? It was nothing but a joke! Madame Lee felt more aggrieved the more she thought about things.
The more she pondered her fate, the more obsessed she became.
She threw herself on the bed and sobbed until the day turned into night.
When her maidservant came in with a lantern and saw Madame Lee crying on the bed, she quickly chided, “Mistress, please leave your sorrows behind.
The slut must have seduced the Old Master.
Once he sobers up, he will surely chase her out!” Madame Lee had spent the past few days agonizing over the situation with Yuan Zhu.
All the servants assumed that this is what had been troubling her.
Madame Lee wiped her tears dry, got up, and inquired, “Where is the Old Master?” The maidservant hesitated before answering softly, “Just now, someone from the outer courtyard sent word that the slut was having abdominal cramps and called the Old Master to her side.
Under the dim shadows, Madame Lee’s eyes swelled with hatred that had been etched into her bones as she gazed out her window into the distance.
If she left just like that, it would only benefit Yuan Zhu, that slut! But now, she couldn’t be bothered with this.
After hearing Qu Wenchang’s intentions, even if he had failed to eliminate her, there would be a second attempt.
Preserving her life was of the utmost importance.
She had to leave Jingzhou at once.
“Mistress, don’t be angry.
That slut’s underhanded methods have blinded the Old Master.
Let’s see how long she can remain arrogant!” The servant girl kneaded Madame Lee’s shoulders.
Madame Lee lifted her hands to comb her hair and said lightly, “Ask the servants to set the table.
” After the meal, Madame Lee packed her possessions: clothes and ornaments as well as all the gold, silver, and money she had been putting aside all these years.
She even packed a few antique vases.
Everything was stored in two large mahogany chests.
A servant came to report that the Old Master was not feeling well and would sleep in his study tonight.
Madame Lee knew that Qu Wenchang was most certainly spending time with Yuan Zhu.
Even so, she did not protest and instead acknowledged the report.
Early the next morning, Qu Miao told Madame Lee that she had finished packing her belongings.
Madame Lee’s eyes were red and swollen from crying.
She pulled Qu Miao’s hands toward her, “Miao’er, accompany mother for a meal first.
Once the sun has risen and the temperatures have warmed, we shall leave.
” Qu Miao, preoccupied with other things, she calmly nodded her head.
It was past noon.
The sun was high in the sky.
Madame Lee summoned a servant and asked, “Where is the Old Master?” “Replying to my lady, the Old Master has accompanied the Eldest Young Master to check the accounts of the textile store.
He instructed this servant to tell my lady that he would not be joining her for lunch today.
” “Mm, you may take your leave.
” Madame Lee dismissed the servants and told Qu Miao to wait in her room before going to the study alone.
How could she up and leave like this? She had been with Qu Wenchang for 20 years and should at least give herself a foothold.
Moreover, she had to own something so that Qu Wenchang would not dare to make a move against her again.
Madame Lee entered the study and sent all the servants far away.
Then she shut the windows tightly.
She walked toward the bookshelves and looked around before placing her hand into a space in the grid.
Because she was a woman, there were certain things that Qu Wenchang kept private; however, that did not mean she was ignorant of everything going on around her.
At the very least, she had secretly observed this a few times.
Sure enough, one of the wooden blocks on the third row was moveable.
She gently pulled it forward.
The sound of the wooden board moving could be heard, and the shelf shifted in both directions, revealing a hidden hollow in the middle.
Inside was a mahogany box with a copper handle.
Madame Lee looked behind her before stretching her hands to remove the box.
She placed it on the table and used an iron hammer she had prepared beforehand to crack the lock open.
Upon opening the box, her eyes twinkled in delight.
The wooden box had three layers.
The first layer held a pile of money.
At a glance, she estimated that there were worth least 2 million pieces of silver.
She knew that this was the money Qu Wenchang had cheated out of Ji Manor.
The second layer held a ledger that recorded all the money he embezzled.
The transaction record of other merchants and shopkeepers he had conspired with was also clearly written out.
Inside were the signatures of him and his partners in crime.
The third layer held an assortment of antique jades that he had collected over the years.
Although they were all small and exquisite, they were valuable.
When Madame Lee saw all these things, she sniggered silently.
Her heart filled with happiness and resentment.
She was happy because, with this money, she and Qu Miao no longer needed to worry for the rest of their lives.
But she was full of resentment because Qu Wenchang had hidden this box from her for so many years.
He had kept such a stash of silver and treasures.
Had she not seen it, would it have gone to that slut and her child? She could almost taste the bitterness in her heart and decided to take the entire contents and not leave anything for Qu Wenchang.
Madame Lee found a cloth bag and stuffed everything inside.
It was only when everything was removed and packed that she put the wooden box back and restored the bookshelf to its original appearance.
Qu Wenchang, you treated me unjustly.
Don’t blame me for being unfair! With these items, she could live a prosperous and luxurious life in the future.
What was there to fear? Madame Lee hugged the bundle, left the study, and swiftly headed back to her courtyard.
Once there, her trusted subordinates had already prepared a horse carriage at the back door, and she loaded the carriage hastily.
Seeing Madame Lee’s anxious expression, Qu Miao became filled with doubts.
“Mother, aren’t we going to say goodbye to father?” Madame Lee laughed awkwardly.
It was your father’s idea for us to leave secretly.
He suspected there might be spies in our manor and hence did not report this to anyone!” Qu Miao understood.
“I see…” Both of them took their bags, as well as that big bundle, boarded the carriage, and sped off in the direction of the city gates.
The journey was uneventful, and before long, they reached the city gates.
On both sides, city guards were stationed to check the nameplates of the citizens entering and leaving the city.
Madame Lee, who was sitting inside the carriage, could not help but feel jittery.
She could only instruct the carriage driver to move quickly.
At the city gate, the guard ordered, “Stop the carriage.
Inspection!” The carriage driver and Madame Lee’s servant girl both asked, “What happened?” Madame Lee pushed the carriage door open and asked, “Is everything all right?” The guard, with a spear in his hand, raised his voice impatiently, “Get out of the carriage now.
We’re conducting an inspection.
” Where would Madame Lee have the guts to reveal such a large amount of silver to others? She took out two pieces of silver and shoved them to that guard.
She smiled, “We are all women leaving the city to offer incense.
” The guard kept the silver but said, “Yesterday someone was murdered in the city.
The authorities have ordered everyone attempting to leave to be thoroughly searched.
Enough nonsense, hurry, and get out of the carriage!” Madame Lee was startled, “Who died?” Since the guard had already accepted the silver, he wasn’t as overbearing as he was before.
He answered, “It was a partner of one of Shengyu’s shopkeepers from the Ji Family.
” A thought flashed through Madame Lee’s mind, but it was such fleeting speculation that she had no time to consider it when suddenly the guard pushed her aside and pulled Qu Miao from the carriage.
Qu Miao hugged Madame Lee’s shoulders tightly and stammered, “Mother, what’s going on?” Madame Lee stood beneath the carriage deep in contemplation.
Something didn’t seem right.
Before she could figure out what was going on, the guard who was searching the carriage let out a “yi” and questioned, “What’s inside this cloth bundle?” Madame Li was jolted out of her daze.
She recalled that the contents of the bag included the ledger and rushed forward to stop him.
Unfortunately, the bundle had already unraveled.
The guard saw a massive amount of silver in the bag, his eyes widening in astonishment.
He reached out his hand and picked up the ledger, “What’s this?” Madame Lee got back in the carriage and hugged the ledger.
“Don’t touch this; it belongs to my family!” The guard stared coldly at her, “Didn’t you just say you were leaving the city to offer incense? Why did you bring so much money, and where did it come from?” Madame Lee lost her composure as the guard questioned her, “It’s my family’s! My family’s!” “The chief has instructed that anyone behaving suspiciously must be taken in for questioning.
Follow me!” The guard ordered and mobilized some people to take the horse carriage away.
Madame Lee rashly blocked him, “My good man.
This belongs to my family.
I am the wife of Ji Manor’s Housekeeper Qu.
These are all mine!” “Once you’ve met the chief, your things will be returned to you.
” The guard impatiently pushed Madame Lee aside and drove the horse carriage toward to magistrate’s office.
Madame Lee and Qu Miao followed behind.
At the magistrate’s office, the guard explained the situation to Chief Liu of the Jingzhou office.
He, too, found it strange for a woman to be carrying so much money out of the city.
“Take out the items for me to check.
” “Very well.
” In no time, the contents of the cloth bundle were displayed to the tribunal.
Chief Liu inspected the checks and looked through those ledgers.
The more he read, the more shocked he became.
“Is the Eldest Young Master of the Shengyu Ji Manor in Jingzhou? The tribunal adviser standing at the side replied, “Yes, I heard that the Eldest Young Master has been in Jingzhou for 78 days already.
He is busy with an audit.
” The merchants of the Ji family all had to pay high taxes.
Naturally, government officials paid more attention to their movements.
Chief Liu nodded his head and said, “Go and invite Young Master Ji here.
If Housekeeper Qu is around, please invite him as well.
” An imperial bodyguard responded and headed out quickly.
At this point, Madame Lee and Qu Miao had to wait in a separate room of a different wing.
Qu Miao saw that Madame Lee was restless and fidgety.
She asked, “Mother, what on earth is happening?” Madame Lee plonked herself on a chair and mumbled, “Miao’er, our family is ruined.
” It was already midday.
Ji Yuxian and Qu Wenchang had just finished their audit and were at a restaurant having a meal.
The dishes had only been served when they heard the ground rumble.
A group of government officials entered.
“Is Eldest Young Master Ji here?” The shopkeeper was unsure of what was going on and replied, “Yes, he’s here.
This servant will lead these few officials!” Inside the room, the official bowed his head and said respectfully, “Eldest Young Master Ji, our chief invites you to visit the magistrate’s office.
” Ji Yuxian was nonchalant.
There wasn’t a trace of worry on his face.
He only smiled slightly and asked, “Now?” “Yes, I must trouble the Young Master to follow us.
” Other than Ji Yuxian and Qu Wenchang, there were a few other merchants in the room.
Each had a look of shock plastered on their faces.
Everything was running smoothly.
Why had the chief summoned Ji Yuxian?” “Oh right, the chief has instructed us to invite Housekeeper Qu over as well.
” The person-in-charge spoke up again.
Qu Wenchang jerked his head up.
His eyes flashed as he inquired, “Does this official know why the chief is looking for us?” “Housekeeper Qu will naturally understand once he goes.
” Qu Wenchang’s expression became heavy as he nodded his head warily.
He followed behind Ji Yuxian and walked out of the restaurant.
In the time it takes to burn one stick of incense, the group arrived at the magistrate’s office.
An attendant led the two men into the main hall.
Inside, both Madame Lee and Qu Miao were waiting.
Qu Wenchang asked in alarm, “Why are you all here?” Qu Miao answered promptly, “Father, you asked mother and me to leave for grandmother’s place.
We had just arrived at the gate when we were stopped and brought over here.
Please take us back home now!” Qu Wenchang was even more baffled.
“Since when did I make you and your mother go to your grandmother’s place?” “Yesterday, when mother and I were targeted in an assassination, wasn’t it you who instructed us to go into hiding?” Qu Miao questioned.
Qu Wenchang widened his eyes in shock as he stared at Madame Lee.
She lowered her head and mulled over the situation before asking, “The people who attempted to assassinate Qu Miao and me, were they not sent by you?” “What is my wife talking about? When did I ever send someone to kill you and Miao’er?” Qu Wenchang became noticeably fearful.
“Yesterday, in your study, you mentioned that you didn’t manage to kill someone and wanted to dispatch another group of people…” Madame Lee suddenly halted and turned her head back.
Chief Liu looked at the family and said solemnly, “Madame Lee, please continue.
Whom did Qu Wenchang want to kill?” Madame Lee’s complexion was ashen.
She stepped backward in trepidation.
Qu Wenchang’s legs turned to jelly, and he fell on his knees.
“Chief, you are a just person.
My wife suffered a shock yesterday and didn’t hear clearly.
This servant never mentioned anything about the murder.
” Chief Liu laughed.
“Let’s not discuss that for now.
Eldest Young Master Ji, come over and take a look.
Does this ledger belong to the merchants of Ji Manor?” Ji Yuxian nodded his head slightly and walked forward.
The cloth bundle on the tribunal had already been taken down and opened in front of Ji Yuxian.
Qu Wenchang lifted his head and took a look, trembling.
Then he kneeled on the floor, paralyzed, and his complexion turned deathly pale.
At that moment, he seemed to have realized something and turned his head to glare at Madame Lee.
Madame Lee knew she had made a mistake and kept her head bowed, not daring to face Qu Wenchang.
Ji Yuxian picked up the ledger and slowed flipped through it.
He looked through a few books and flung them in front of Qu Wenchang, “Uncle Qu, do you have anything to say? The Ji family trusted you.
Yet you did something like this!” Qu Wenchang remained in a submission on the ground.
“This Old Servant admits his guilt!” Madame Lee took a moment to react as she watched the scene play out.
She plonked herself on the ground and kneeled together with him, unmoving.
… As nightfall approached, Ji Yuxian returned to his estate.
Su Jiu was sitting on the wooden fence reading a book, intently concentrating on the words written inside.
The servants kept their distance.
Under the setting sun, the girl’s jet black hair was like a cloud, and a white cloak rested on her body.
Her expression was exquisite and full of vigor, like a noblewoman who was just beginning to mature.
She emitted a radiant and enchanting aura.
Ji Yuxian instructed Jin Feng to wait outside the courtyard.
He walked in slowly and stood under the plum blossom tree alone.
His pair of phoenix eyes were brimming with the freshness of spring as he observed the girl, his lips curved into a subtle smile.
It was as though the spring breeze of the third month had arrived, and the entire courtyard was covered in blooming flowers.
Su Jiu lifted her head and glanced over the area.
Both her hands gripped the wooden fence, and her legs moved in a swift motion.
Her eyes reflected the sunset as she smiled.
That smile was like a floating cloud that rested on the waters of his heart and sent ripples through it.
Ji Yuxian walked over and stretched out his arms to pull the girl into his embrace.
His eyes were overflowing with warmth as he said, “The whole world says that your husband’s looks are unparalleled, but it’s only because they haven’t seen you yet!” Su Jiu ignored his sugary words and only asked with a smile, “Has everything been settled?” Ji Yuxian carried Su Jiu and turned his body to rest on the wooden fence.
He smiled slightly and nodded his head.
“It’s settled!” The evidence had surfaced, and he could not deny anything.
Qu Wenchang’s attempted murder had also been exposed, and he was convicted of numerous crimes.
He was sentenced to death.
The shopkeepers who had colluded with him had all pleaded guilty.
They had cheated the authorities and concealed their dealings, creating false accounts and embezzling money from the family they worked for.
The stolen money added up to a large amount.
The payment was confiscated, and they were punished according to the laws of the land.
“We shall stay in Jingzhou for another two days.
Out of the 13 merchants we work with, six were involved in this matter.
Your husband needs to select new shopkeepers to replace them.
” The matter was concluded, but there were still arrangements that needed to be made.
It was fortunate that he had already made preparations beforehand, and the business at the stores would not be adversely affected.
Su Jiu nodded her head, “All right.
” Ji Yuxian bent over and propped up Su Jiu’s head.
His long and narrow phoenix eyes were like snowflakes from the first snowfall that had rested on the petal of a plum blossom.
His eyes were alluring.
When he blinked, the eyes swept past Su Jiu’s eyes were listless.
The man lowered his head slightly and placed a peck on Su Jiu’s lips.
He smiled and whispered, “My wife contributed a lot to this success.
What kind of reward do you want?” Su Jiu’s entire body turned limp under such a seductive gaze.
She answered in a daze, “The three thousand pieces of silver we got from selling the painting can be considered my reward.
” “My wife is so easily satisfied?” The man said seductively, his low voice bewitching.
In the shadows, he had locked his eyes on the girl as he said softly, “I’ll give you a kiss, okay?” Strands of light reflected off the man’s dark eyes like misty threads, his crimson lips voluptuous and enticing.
Su Jiu appeared to be struck by a spell.
Her mind was in chaos as she stared at his glistening lips.
Unknowingly, she had angled her head and planted her lips on his.
With every breath she took, a hint of lotus permeated her senses, the scent like a sprout that had firmly taken root in her being.
The man’s lips were cold to the touch.
Su Jiu closed her eyes, her mouth opened to receive his.
Her kiss was light and gentle, as though she was savoring a delicacy.
When she had finally stopped tasting his lips, the man suddenly took a deep breath before kissing her deeply, his hand resting on the back of her head.
The setting sun had slowly disappeared beyond the horizon, and the rays of lightly slowly dissolved into darkness.
Both of them seemed to have forgotten entirely about their surroundings and were immersed in their kiss.
Deep in the night, in the chief’s manor, it was already the second day.
Chief Liu was still sorting out the documents.
His assistant was at his side, using a brush to record the case onto the book.
He turned his eyes and laughed slightly, “This Eldest Young Master Ji is no ordinary person!” As they organized the case files, all their doubts were naturally dispelled.
Chief Liu nodded his head smoothly, “Eldest Young Master Ji knew that Qu Wenchang was a problem since day one.
If he had taken out the evidence directly, I’m afraid Qu Wenchang would not have admitted to it.
The public might also start rumors that Ji Manor ruthlessly gets rid of elders who are no longer of use to them.
Thus, the best course of action was to pass the ledger directly to me.
” “Indeed!” the assistant chortled.
“Because of Qu Wenchang’s reputation and contributions toward Ji Manor, even if a problem surfaced in the accounts, he couldn’t report it directly to the authorities.
By doing things this way, he not only convicted Qu Wenchang of his crimes but also cleared himself of any involvement in this matter.
” From an outsider’s perspective, Ji Yuxian didn’t harbor any doubts against Qu Wenchang.
On the contrary, he was very respectful of him.
However, Qu Wenchang not only deceived his master without a shred of gratitude but also instructed his wife to flee with the money.
He had tried to silence Shopkeeper Zhu by murdering him and had only been “coincidentally” caught by the magistrate’s office.
What a great way of borrowing someone else’s hand to accomplish his goals.
Even I was part of his plans!” Chief Liu shook his head and laughed dejectedly.
The assistant laughed along with him; his opinion of this Young Master increased by a few notches.
After two days, Su Jiu and Ji Yuxian left Jingzhou.
The matters in Jingzhou had already been settled, and out of the 13 merchants, six were replaced with new shopkeepers.
There didn’t seem to be a significant impact, and the stores continued to welcome customers.
Business flourished as if nothing had ever happened.
Qu Wenchang had toppled, and the Ji family confiscated Qu Manor.
No one knew what had become of Madame Lee and Qu Miao.
Ji Yuxian and Su Jiu both sat in a horse carriage and left Jingzhou City.
Compared to when they first arrived, nothing seemed to have changed.
The only difference was the new mahogany chest in the carriage was filled with checks worth over one million, collected from the Qu family and six other merchant shopkeepers.
Inside the carriage, Ji Yuxian had reclined on Su Jiu’s leg.
His eyes were half shut, and his expression relaxed as he spoke in a low voice, “My wife, your husband is now more valuable than when he first came.
I’m relying on my wife for protection on the way back.
” Su Jiu shot him a glance before turning to gaze out of the windows, her eyes filled with amusement, “Parasite!” It was almost the New Year, and many tasks awaited Ji Yuxian in Shengjing City.
Because of this, they sped in the direction Shengjing the moment the left Jingzhou.
Seven days later, at dusk, the carriage arrived outside Shengjing city.
It entered the city gate together with commoners.
Su Jiu was bored after being stuck in the carriage for days and was dying to rush out.
She longed to see Chang Huan, Qian An, and the others.
When he saw the excitement on the girl’s face, Ji Yuxian was in high spirits too.
The carriage went directly to Ji Manor.
At the same time, the people there had also received news and were all waiting at the gates.
The second mistress, Jin Mi, Ji Yuxian’s three concubines as well as the nanny and Chang Huan, were all waiting outside.
Even the second young master, who rarely stepped out of his estate, had come out to welcome them.
As she saw the carriage approach, Xie Ying exclaimed emotionally, “He’s here, he’s here! Master has returned!” That day, the way Xie Ying was dressed up was especially eye-catching.
She wore a peach-colored silk blouse.
Her brocade skirt had a hint of pink, with a fur coat thrown over her.
Two classic gold tourmaline hairpieces fastened her black hair into a bun.
A pearl and coral tassel hung from both sides of her temples.
Coupled with her delicate and alluring beauty, which was comparable to that of a hibiscus, she had outdone both Ren Zi’er and Chen Yuchan.
Under the winter moon, the gale was strong and cut against the face like a blade.
Despite this, the crowd looks on eagerly, not feeling the least bit cold.
The carriage stopped at the gate.
Xie Ying stared longingly at the carriage door, her face beaming with excitement.
Jin Feng opened the carriage door, and Ji Yuxian stepped out on his own.
He wore a silver embroidered robe as well as a large black cloak, which emphasized his nobility and handsome features.
He did not disembark but instead, waited in front of the door for Su Jiu to come out.
He adjusted the hood of her cloak before holding her hand in support as she stepped onto the platform.
Xie Ying saw Ji Yuxian’s tender expression, and the smile on her face froze.
The second mistress’s gaze swept past Xie Ying at the corner of her eyes and laughed silently.
Chang Huan stood at the back of the crowd.
When he saw both of them holding hands, his eyes darkened.
Only the nanny was delighted to see Su Jiu so happy.
She was even more pleased when she saw Ji Yuxian’s affection for Su Jiu.
Once the two of them got out of the carriage, Xie Ying and Jin Mi surrounded them and said, “Master, at last, you’ve returned.
” The second mistress smiled tenderly, “Did you have a smooth journey?” “Yes, thank you, second mistress, for your concern.
” Ji Yuxian was warm and polite.
“Big brother! Sister-in-law!” Ji Ze laughed gently.
“Mm!” Ji Yuxian smiled lightly and nodded his head.
At the side, nanny and Chang Huan surrounded Su Jiu and examined her from head to toe.
Nanny’s eye’s brimmed with tears, “Miss has been on our minds from morning till night.
At least you’ve returned safe and sound!” “Mm, I’m back!” Su Jiu said happily.
Chang Huan looked forlornly at Su Jiu from the side, “Boss, I’ve missed you so much.
” Su Jiu raised her hands and pinched Chang Huan’s cheeks.
“Did you behave yourself?” Chang Huan extended his arms and gave Su Jiu a hug.
“Boss, in the future, wherever you go, I will go.
I will follow your every step.
” “You need to grow up.
Don’t think of yourself as a child,” Su Jiu reprimanded, still patting him on the back as if he was one.
Since she wasn’t as tall as Chang Huan, it seemed as though his embrace had buried her whole body.
On the other hand, Chang Huan, who was pouting his lips, really looked like a child seeking comfort.
Ji Yuxian swept his eyes over.
He couldn’t help but frown.
He walked over and pulled Su Jiu back to him.
When he realized that Chang Huan’s eyes had turned chilly, he immediately looked away and smiled at Su Jiu.
“The journey was tiring.
My wife should follow her husband in to rest.
” After speaking, he pulled her with him and headed toward their estate.
The rest of the people also followed behind.
The moment Ji Yuxian got back, there were bound to be matters for him to sort out.
Su Jiu took this opportunity to slip back to her courtyard.
She passed out the gifts she bought from Jingzhou to nanny and Chang Huan before asking hastily, “How is the Bodyguard Agency doing?” Chang Huan answered, “Rest assured, it has been progressing smoothly.
Everything has been prepared.
We were only waiting for your return before we opened officially.
” Su Jiu nodded her head, “How are Master An, Da Pao, and the rest doing?” “Well, everyone is well.
We’ve just been missing our boss.
” Even after hearing this, she still could not rest easy and wanted to leave immediately to visit them.
But it was getting dark, and the gates of Ji Manor were about to be shut.
“Chang Huan, let’s leave the manor and go to the restaurant,” Su Jiu announced.
“Miss, let’s go tomorrow.
It’s dark out.
” When nanny heard that Su Jiu wanted to go out at such a late hour, she rushed forward to stop her.
Me and Chang Huan will leave by the side gate.
We’ll go quickly and come back quickly.
” Su Jiu assured her, before leading Chang Huan out.
Nanny had initially intended to ask Su Jiu about the things that happened during this trip with Ji Yuxian.
Still, after seeing her anxious expression, she could only wait until she returned before bringing it up again.
Su Jiu and Chang Huan left the Perched Phoenix Pavilion.
They didn’t take the side gate but had instead jumped over a wall along with the courtyard when no one was watching.
They hurried straight toward the restaurant on Yong’an Street.
Inside the restaurant, both Qiao An and Da Pao were present.
When they saw Su Jiu return all of a sudden, they were all surprised and invited Su Jiu in.
You’ve finally returned.
” Qiao An, who was usually calm, could not help but feel moved.
Hu Dapao poured a cup of tea and placed it in front of Su Jiu, grinning coquettishly.
“Chief, please have a drink.
” Su Jiu nodded her head and asked, “Have you all been well?” “Yes.
All is well.
” Qiao An nodded his head with a smile.
He did not wait for Qu Jiu to ask and continued talking, “The Bodyguard Agency has undergone adequate preparation.
We have also invited an instructor to teach Cao Datou’s people the art of being a bodyguard.
Everyone is anticipating the official opening and can’t wait to try it out.
” Su Jiu nodded her head.
“Mm, Master An has worked hard.
” “It wasn’t me.
I spent more time at the restaurant.
It was Da Pao who managed matters regarding the Bodyguard Agency.
Oh right, after receiving chief’s message, Ah Shu and Cao Datou brought some men over to the Qingfeng Gang.
They should be back soon.
” “The Qingfeng Gang is large.
We still need to find other places to settle down,” Su Jiu conveyed.
“Rest assured, chief.
We’ve already sent people out to search and should have some prospective locations in the next two days.
Living quarters are easy to find, but how will we organize them?” After all, these people had all enrolled in the Bodyguard Agency.
It was hard to predict how a business would go, and not everyone was cut out to be a bodyguard.
I already have an idea.
” Su Jiu raised her brow with a grin.
She repeated what she had discussed with Ji Yuxian about the sea trade to the others.
After listening, Qiao An’s eyes sparkled, and he exclaimed emotionally, “Great, this is great.
If we manage to pull this off, we’ll achieve great things in the future.
” Su Jiu was overjoyed.
“At the end of the year, Ji Yuxian will send men to train these people the skills of handling a ship.
Once they know what they’re doing, we can go out to sea.
” “Boss, will we be able to go along too?” Chang An asked in anticipation.
They had crossed mountains and traveled roads but had never gone out to sea.
They had been full of admiration when they heard people bring up their experiences on a ship.
Furthermore, they all yearned to find out what out at sea.
“Of course, we can.
Once the ship sets sail, we can all follow along, Su Jiu said laughingly.
“Marvellous!” Hu Dapao and Chang Huan became so emotional that their eyes started to glow.
The sky was now dark.
Qiao An signaled the waiters to serve the dishes, and the few of them drank and talked.
When the Bodyguard Agency and sea trade was mentioned, Qiao An suddenly recalled something and said, “Chief, when you were away, Master Xiao came over a few times.
He left after hearing that you weren’t in.
I only told him that you had left for a while and didn’t mention anything else.
” Su Jiu questioned, “Why was he looking for me?” Qiao An shook his head.
“It didn’t seem like there was a problem.
It was as though he was there just to see you.
I got it!” Su Jiu said.
But she didn’t take it to heart and continued drinking wine with Da Pao.
They drank to their heart’s content and were so immersed in the frivolity that they lost track of time.
At Ji Manor, Ji Yuxian busied himself until dinnertime.
Jin Mi remained at his side to grind ink and refill his teacup.
She fixed her eyes on the man’s body and felt that he had become even more handsome over the days she had not seen him.
Old Yu entered and said respectfully, “Master, it’s late.
Please have dinner first before going back to work!” It was almost the end of the year, and merchants from all over had submitted their yearly accounts.
The pile of ledgers filled the table.
Even though the various housekeepers had already sorted the ledgers, it would still take Ji Yuxian a few days and a few nights to look through everything once.
Ji Yuxian raised his hands and massaged his temples.
With half-closed eyes, he asked calmly, “My wife?” Jin Mi was grinding ink with her head bowed when a flash of disdain crossed her almond eyes.
She remained composed as she shifted her body to massage Ji Yuxian’s shoulders.
She smiled and said softly, “Young Master’s wife went back to her courtyard a long time ago.
She would have already finished her dinner and gone to rest by this time!” “She wouldn’t.
She usually does not like going to bed early,” Ji Yuxian laughed in a low voice.
Unbeknown to him, his voice was gentle and warm.
He opened his eyes and ordered, “Go to the Perched Phoenix Pavilion to prepare dinner.
” Old Yu bowed his head, “Of course.
” Jin Mi stood behind Ji Yuxian, her eyes downcast.
What happened during this trip? Ji Yuxian seems to treat Su Jiu differently from before.
In the past, even if he wanted Su Jiu to accompany him for dinner, he would call her over to the Cloud Pavilion.
Now, he had taken the initiative to go over to the Perched Phoenix Pavilion.
That is what had seduced the eldest young master on this trip.
Jin Mi clenched her teeth, hatred taking root in her heart.
At the Perched Phoenix Pavilion, with news that Ji Yuxian was coming over for dinner, nanny started to panic.
Su Jiu wasn’t even in the courtyard! She was unsure of what to do while panicking.
She suddenly recalled that in the past, Su Jiu had once left and did not return the whole night.
At that time, it seemed as though Ji Yuxian had not done anything to her.
As she thought about it, she calmly busied herself with the servants to prepare dinner.
When Ji Yuxian walked into the dining room, he only saw nanny alone inside.
He looked around and asked with a slight smile on his face, “Where is your master?” Nanny tried her best to keep her voice steady, “Replying to the Eldest Master, miss had things to sort out and left the manor.
” With a frown, Ji Yuxian lowered his eyes.
The two of them had only returned to the manor at dusk.
It was already dark outside.
What was so urgent that she had left without even letting him know? Ji Yuxian suddenly hated the fact that Su Jiu was no longer under his control after they returned from Shengjing.
He even felt as though he did not understand her enough.
However, Jin Mi, who was standing behind him, curled her lips into her smile.
She deliberately plastered on an expression of concern, “Master, the Young Master’s mistress is a delicate woman.
She left in the dead of night.
Surely, nothing would happen to her, right?” Which woman from a noble family would leave the house late at night? Jin Mi expressed her concern, but the hidden meaning in her words implied that Su Jiu was careless in her conduct.
The nanny lifted her head and glanced at Jin Mi frostily.
Ji Yuxian sat at his place and announced calmly, “You are all dismissed.
I shall wait here for my lady!” Jin Mi was stunned and answered hastily, “How can this be? Master, you have not eaten yet.
What if you starve? What if the young master’s mistress does not return for the whole night?” Ji Yuxian looked up coldly at Jin Mi.
Even though his expression was composed, it was still bone-chilling.
Jin Mi panicked, and her throat became dry.
She continued to keep her head bowed.
“This servant spoke too much.
This servant shall take her leave now!” The nanny snorted silently and respectfully added, “This servant will also take her to leave!” The two people left the dining room one after the other.
The nanny was the last to leave and gently closed the door behind her.
After going down the stone steps, under the gloomy shadow of the moon, Jin Mi turned back to face the nanny, her smug face glum.
“As servants, we need to know the whereabouts of our masters.
If they overstep the boundaries of what is proper, we should also point it out.
Don’t let her go and do something that will embarrass the Ji Manor.
I’m sure nanny is clear as to why has the Young Master’s Mistress left the manor in the middle of the night?” Nanny lowered her head half-heartedly.
Her attitude was neither arrogant nor servile as she said lightly, “As Miss Jin mentioned, we are all servants and subordinates.
Since when was it up to us to discuss our master’s matters? Ji Manor is strict when it comes to the behavior of us servants.
Miss Jin should be more cautious when she speaks.
Don’t let the Young Master hear this, or I will be punished with you.
” “You!” Jin Mi clenched her teeth and stared at the nanny before flinging her sleeves and walking out of the courtyard.
Nanny stood behind and stared at the girl’s departing figure.
She brushed her sleeves before turning back and returning to her room.
Jin Mi left the Perched Phoenix Pavilion and went back to the central courtyard.
The more considered, the angrier she felt.
She was jealous that Ji Yuxian held Su Yuejiu in such high regard and hated the fact that Su Yuejiu’s subordinate was disrespectful toward her.
After all, she was Ji Yuxian’s maidservant.
Typically, even the three concubines had to speak to her with a smile.
When had she ever been subjected to such an attitude? They must have been taking advantage of the fact that Ji Yuxian pampered Su Yuejiu.
Even the servants of the Perched Phoenix Pavilion were behaving like chickens trying to fly.
They were running rampant as they wished.
Waves of bitterness and hatred rippled in Jin Mi’s heart.
She stood under a plum blossom tree and ruthlessly plucked out a flower bud and crushed it in her hands.
Her eyes brimmed with jealousy, to the point of contempt.
Suddenly, she shifted her eyes and pondered the situation for a moment.
She walked toward the Lotus Pavilion in big strides.