11 Is the Fourth Miss Getting a Vacation?

    When Hui'er returned once more, she saw that her Fourth Miss looked finished with what she was doing, holding the same thin piece of wood. It was slightly shorter than the paintbrushes still resting on the table and not as wide. The stick was sharpened to a thin point, and the rest of the shape was cylindrical.

    After a few moments of observing, Hui'er still couldn't figure out what it was, although the idea of a 'weapon' still remained in her head.

    The Fourth Miss neared her with the sharpened stick, and Hui'er backed away a little. "Hui'er, you're back again. What did he say?"

    "Um- he's fine with eighty-five taels..." Hui'er reported, "but he wants his commission to be a scene of his fiancee's home town, near Guilin."

    "Guilin?" Yujia's lips curled downwards. She knew Guilin- Guilin was a famous tourist site back in the modern world. The scenery of the lands were unbelievably beautiful, and although she never visited the place herself, she witnessed the fascinating scenery on photos that were all over social media. His future wife must be lucky to have grown up from there.

    However, Yujia wasn't exactly sure how she would paint the scenery if she had only seen a few brief images that were already fading in her mind. That was a problem.

    Hui'er noticed her Fourth Miss's expression, responding, "I told the commissioner that you haven't been to Guilin before, so you wouldn't be able to accurately paint it-"

    "Precisely," agreed Yujia.

    "- but," Hui'er continued, "he said that he was willing to fund us to take a trip to Guilin, and stay there until the painting is completed."

    Yujia's expression changed at Hui'er's words, a wide smile appearing on her face.

    A trip to Guilin? Was this a vacation? Yujia would not mind that offer, especially if the fees were covered. Besides, if she managed to make it to Guilin, she might as well stay there for the rest of her life. It was an easy, one-way ticket for her to get out of this marriage! This way, she won't even have to worry about 'buying' her way out of the marriage.

    "Hui'er, I do not object to that man's offer!" Happily, Yujia clasped her hands together. "How do you feel about coming with me to Guilin? We'll just leave all of this nonsense about Yu family marriages and Fourth Miss struggles behind."

    Why, the heavens were siding with her this time. All her problems were solved with this one easy offer from a stranger she barely knew!

    Life in Guilin would be wonderful, all rivers and lakes and quietly illustrating the natural beauty of the terrain... and, oh, Guilin was known for osmanthus flowers as well! Those were always her favorite flowers. Yujia imagined her future, rowing boats along the rivers and sleeping within the shade of the mountain, smelling the sweet fragrance of osmanthus while slowly living her life.

    "Miss, I don't think we can do that."

    With those simple eight words from Hui'er, Yujia's dreams shattered.

    She snapped back to reality, the wooden stick she carried in her hands dropping to the floor with a light clatter. "Why not?" Yujia's eyebrows knit together, and she frowned at Hui'er.

    "Because... well, what about Madam Liu? We cannot leave her all alone in the city!" explained Hui'er.

    Who in the world was Madam Liu? What relationship did the previous Fourth Miss even have with this random woman? All Yujia cared about was to end her future marriage with some disturbing old man... she did not have time to be caring about her others when her own future happiness was on the line!

    She just wanted to live a peaceful life after being such a failure in her previous life, but all these struggles the previous Yang Yujia left her were tying her down.

    Shaking her head quickly, Yujia shushed Hui'er. "What Madam Liu? I don't care for any Madam Lius or whatnot. Let's just leave quickly! Wouldn't you like to live the rest of your life with me at Guilin? It's very beautiful there, and I no longer have to fear any marriage arrangements."

    Yujia expected Hui'er to agree with her convincing words, but her expectations were not fulfilled.

    Instead of nodding her head and smiling, Hui'er burst into tears at Yujia's words!

    Now, that was something Yujia definitely did not expect! Did she say something wrong? All she mentioned was leaving for Guilin... did she unintentionally insult Hui'er in some way?

    Between gasps of breath and lots of flowing tears, Hui'er cried, "M-miss, how could you be so cruel? Madam Liu cannot live without our support... if- if it weren't for the taels Madam Liu sent to you when you were young to pay for your medicine, how- how would you have survived? And now that her eyes are near blind from sewing and embroidering to earn money for you, and she is sick to the point of not being able to move, you're saying that you will leave her in Chang'an all alone?"

    Listening to Hui'er explain all of this, Yujia certainly felt a little guilty. This Madam Liu seemed like an important figure in the previous Yang Yujia's life.

    Hui'er, on the other hand, was not finished, still crying and blaming Yujia. "Miss, why have you become so cruel? She is your mother- your mother by blood! You cannot do this to her!"


    Did Yujia hear right?

    This Madam Liu... did Hui'er just call her Yujia's mother?

    Both shame and guilt overwhelmed Yujia's emotions. Although her parents in her previous life refused to support her, claiming that Yujia needed to learn how to be independent on her own and that they could not afford to send her money when they were "barely surviving on their own", she was touched by this Madam Liu's actions. And now, considering that Yujia inherited the body of the previous Fourth Miss, Madam Liu was her mother by blood. Thinking of all the things Madam Liu did for the previous owner, Yujia figured it landed on her own responsibility to fulfill the task of taking care of her new mother.

    After all, if it really was as Hui'er mentioned, then the Fourth Miss wouldn't have survived long enough for Yujia to inherit her body...

    Sighing deeply, Yujia pushed a strand of her hair behind her ear and frowned even more. She originally thought that the heavens were blessing her with an opportunity to leave all her struggles behind, but now thinking about it, Guilin seemed more like a constant reminder of what she could not have.

    Screw the heavens.

    Raising her arm, Yujia tugged at the sleeves of her robes and wiped at Hui'er's tears. "Stop crying now, silly." She attempted to make her voice somewhat soothing while she dried Hui'er's face. "I was... joking about before. You're right- why would I be so cruel to leave my mother behind?"

    Tentatively, she patted at Hui'er's shoulders after making sure the younger girl was no longer crying. "Now, since I cannot leave my mother behind, let's bring her with us to Guilin! I'm sure she would appreciate that too."

    Right! While the words exited Yujia's mouth, she couldn't help but congratulate herself with her brilliant ideas. If people were tying her down to this place, she'll just bring them with her! Problem solved.


    Hui'er's voice shattered Yujia's dreams again.

    "What now?" Almost exasperatedly, Yujia threw her hands up. No to this, no to that... she just wanted to go to Guilin! Was it really that hard?

    "Miss, we can't do that! Think of how far Guilin is from here. We are in the capital city, and Guilin is too far south! Even if we take the river routes or travel by horse, it would take months to go from Chang'an to Guilin... And with Madam Liu's health so terrible that she cannot even exit her house, how will she make it during this long journey?" At the thought, Hui'er's eyes began to water again. "It's likely that before- before we even make it to Guilin, Madam Liu would've already- already passed away!"
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