45 The Fourth Miss Seeks for a Reason

    Yujia was shading the nose of the portrait again when Hui'er returned, holding a bowl of steamed bread just like Yujia asked.

    Quickly, Yujia gave her a nod of thanks and took a piece of bread from the bowl, breaking it into smaller parts to erase with. Hui'er sat back down across from her as usual, but when Yujia looked up at the girl's face to see exactly how the nose worked, she couldn't help but notice that something seemed different about Hui'er than usual.

    The girl was still trying to keep a gentle expression on her face, but she seemed uncomfortable, as if something distressing occured while she was at the kitchens. A frown appeared on Yujia's face and she set the pencil in her hand down.

    "Did something bad happen?"

    Hui'er glance downwards, shying away from eye contact. "No, not really."

    "Stop it." Yujia bit her bottom lip, moving her chair a bit forward so that she was closer to Hui'er. "Something had to have happened. You're not usually like this."

    "Well... well..." Hui'er spoke with hesitation and kept her eyes cast down. "I went to the kitchens like you asked... and while I was there... I found out that the First Miss didn't eat any of the cakes you asked me to send. She gave them all to the servants."


    Yujia stood up, the chair that she was sitting on scraping against the floor loudly.

    She gave the cakes to the servants? Why would Yang Qingxia do that?

    The cakes were her own genuine gift. At the very most, she could've tried a bit of Yujia's hard work and accepted it. Throwing the cakes to the servants was like a slap in Yujia's face. She spent an entire night working on making the cakes, yet in the end, it all went to waste.

    With gritted teeth, Yujia stepped a bit closer to Hui'er, attempting to keep her voice calm while she asked, "Did you find any reason for her actions? Why would she do that?"

    "I- I don't know."

    Yujia's eyebrows knitted together even deeper after hearing Hui'er's response, turning herself and heading towards the door of her room, the portrait forgotten.

    "Miss- where are you going?" Hui'er stood up as well, calling after her.

    "I'm going to go ask Yang Qingxia myself." Yujia pushed the door open, striding out to the deserted courtyard.

    Hui'er quickly caught up to her, grabbing onto her sleeve. "No- you shouldn't- Miss, there's no need to- they're just some cakes- besides, the First Miss probably won't even see you..."

    Yujia spun around to face Hui'er, stopping in her steps. "Why are you making all these excuses? I put hard work into making the cakes. I wanted to apologize to the First Miss. But now, after knowing that she threw all of my work away, isn't it natural for me to want to know the reason why?"


    "Don't worry." She resumed walking again. "It's probably not a big deal. Maybe she just didn't like the taste of them."

    Hui'er didn't seem to have anything to say after that, following behind silently.


    Soon enough, Yujia reached the familiar courtyard that she last saw Yang Qingxia at, passing by the pond quickly before stopping to ask Hui'er which room of the three rooms in the courtyard belonged to the First Miss.

    Hui'er answered a room to the left, and Yujia headed there, knocking at the doors and answered by a maid she had never seen before. The maid looked at her for a few seconds, then looked behind her at Hui'er, sighing a bit.

    A voice that Yujia recognized as the First Miss's traveled out from inside the room. "Lingsu, who is it?"

    Lingsu turned around, answering, "It's the Fourth Miss and her maid."

    Yang Qingxia paused a bit, then replied, "Alright, let them in."

    Her maid, Lingsu, turned back to Yujia and Hui'er, looking at them with aversion and opening the doors to let them enter.

    When Yujia entered, she was almost a little surprised to find that the room was almost as simplistic as her own. The room was certainly larger, but in terms of content, the little amount of furnishing made the room look too empty to be comfortable.

    Sitting at a table at the right was Yang Qingxia, her left hand holding a pair of chopsticks that was picking up a single bean sprout from a plate across from her bowl of rice. She placed the sprout in her mouth, slowly chewing and swallowing it before looking up at Yujia, asking, "What do you need, Fourth Miss?"

    Yujia straightened herself, taking on the personality of the Fourth Miss. "This morning, I sent Hui'er to drop off a gift of mine. I was later told by Hui'er that you gave them to the servants, so I was wondering if the red bean cakes did not suit your taste, or if you were feeling sick so you didn't have an appetite to eat them. Clearly, that isn't the case," she gestured at the meal in front of Qingxia, "so I am glad that you are doing well."

    The First Miss looked up through her half-closed eyelids, giving Yujia an empty smile. "How wonderful to know that my younger sister is so caring."

    "Then," Yujia continued, "if that was not the case, then why did you give them out?"

    "I just didn't want to eat them. Simple as that." Yang Qingxia folded her hands together. "Upon seeing your wonderful maid here, I just lost all of my appetite. She- I suppose you could say- disgusts me a little."

    Yujia took a step back, taking a sideway glance at Hui'er.

    What did Hui'er ever do to her? What did Yang Qingxia even mean by her words?

    Yang Qingxia seemed to notice Yujia's puzzlement. "What?" She looked towards Hui'er, then back at Yujia, her eyes shifting between the two of them. Then, she let out a loud, unbelieving laugh, completely out of the expectations of Yujia.

    "You're not telling me- that- that-" Yang Qingxia laughed again, tilting her chin upwards. "Could it be that your precious little Hui'er didn't tell you what happened before?"

    "What... happened before?" Yujia echoed after her, her eyebrows tightening.

    Qingxia stood up from her seat, walking up to Hui'er. "Why don't you tell her, Hui'er? Or... should I say... Li Huiyu?"

    Hui'er- or Huiyu- took a few uncertain steps back, keeping her eyes fixed away from the gaze of the First Miss.

    "Alright then." Yang Qingxia took a deep breath. "It seems that she doesn't want to." She spun back to Yujia. "I suppose I'll have to tell you myself, don't I?"
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