116 The Final Truth For the Fourth Miss

    All of a sudden, Hui'er dropped to her knees, throwing the embroidery she had worked on long on to the table. Her eyes were cast on the floor, while her face was completely drained of color.

    "Miss- I-"

    Seeing Hui'er's immediate change to everything, Yujia couldn't help but feel her chest tightening as well. Her thoughts raced in her head, and she couldn't think straight at all. What could it be that made Hui'er act so different from the norm? Yujia could only compare it to Hui'er's actions when the First Miss was brought up.

    Could it be that Hui'er...


    Yujia didn't even let that thought finish. She didn't know what Hui'er would do against her, but if she did, then she could only have to prepare for the worst.

    "Calm down." Yujia stated, forcing her voice to stay steady as she gave advice to herself as well. "Speak your words slowly."

    Listening to her advice, Hui'er took a deep breath. She looked up into Yujia's eyes. She steadied her breathing. And then, she began, "Miss... I know you're not who you say you are."

    This statement came as a heavy blow to Yujia.

    A memory flashed in her mind, one which happened on her first day of transmigration. It was a memory where Yujia walked through the streets to Hui'er, who she barely even knew back then and thought was just a silly little maid.

    At that time, Hui'er had looked her in the eyes as she was doing right now. Her words were as concrete as the ones she spoke now. And her gaze, at the time, held no wavering emotion as she let a set of words similar to the ones she just said spill out of her mouth.

    "You are not the Fourth Miss. Who are you?"

    Back then, Yujia had answered with another question,

    "Who am I?"

    It was a rhetorical question then, but now, she said the exact same words, just in another sense.

    "Who... am I?"

    Because, in the end, who was she really? Yang Yujia, a starving artist? Yang Yujia, a closed off Fourth Miss? Yang Yujia, a fake twin? Or someone else altogether?

    Hui'er's next words came out rushed. "I know you're not the old Fourth Miss. And I know that you're not the twin that you claimed to be. A few days, right after you claimed to be her twin, I still didn't believe you. I went to Madam Liu. I asked her if she gave birth to twins or not. Because, if anything else, she would know if she truly was your mother. But, you should know her answer as well as I do, right?"


    Yujia knew the answer.

    Madam Liu, a woman she had never met, a woman who was the mother of her body but not her soul, and a woman who never gave birth to twins, would never give an answer that agreed to the ridiculous lies Yujia made up at a moment of illogical decision.

    Hui'er continued, "So I know now. I know that you're not my Fourth Miss or her twin. So Madam Liu knows now too. She knows that you're not her daughter. That's why I was against it when you wanted to bring taels to her. Because, even if you wear the same face as her daughter, she will never look at you in such a way. She will call you a possessed monster. She will push you away. And because of that, I don't want to see you go through that without knowing the truth for why she acts that way. It would be better to find out from me, right?"

    At the end of her words, Yujia found the corners of her lips curling up for some unexplained reason. She couldn't hold back a short laugh. It wasn't a mocking laugh, but a laugh of defeat. A laugh that meant that she knew she couldn't talk her way out of everything again.

    She had expected Hui'er to tell her something completely different. She expected Hui'er to act out as the poisoner again, the poisoner who cut away the First Miss and her child, but this time, it was Yujia's heart that she was poisoning.

    Except, all along, Yujia was the poison.

    She was the poison who built her entire relationship with the girl in front of her with lies. From the very start, she had lied from the beginning to the end. From her true identity, to her true thoughts, to her true behavior... Yujia had hidden so many things from Hui'er. Their entire relationship was one built off of lies on both sides: lies about truths and lies about ignorance of the truth.

    But then, why was it that Hui'er treated her so well? If she had known from nearly day one that Yujia wasn't who she claimed to be, that she could even be a possessed monster or a Fourth Miss gone insane, then why had she not said anything about it? Why hadn't she pushed Yujia away just like how she predicted Madam Liu would? Why had she spent so much time caring for Yujia and revealing her deepest past to someone who only told her lies in return?

    Another memory sparked in Yujia's mind. This time, it was a memory of a warm spring day not too distant from the present. In this memory, Yujia was grinding inksticks into pigment as Hui'er embroidered the fabric she nearly finished now. The two of them chatted as they did so, the faint words of their conversation drifting along the spring breeze.

    When this memory faded to a stop, Yujia found her voice again.

    "Why were you good to me, then?"

    She noticed Hui'er's fingers curling at her sides. It was then that Yujia realized that Hui'er was still kneeling. Why wasn't


    the one who was kneeling instead?

    "Because-" Hui'er's voice caught along with her words, "- because you treated me well in the first place."

    "That doesn't make sense. How come you were never planning on confronting me with the truth? So- so you were just going to continue pretending like you didn't know that all my words, all my actions, are false? Did the old Fourth Miss not treat you well too-"

    For the first time in all of their conversations, out of all of the words they exchanged, Hui'er interrupted Yujia's words with a sharp cut.

    "No. No, the old Fourth Miss did not treat me well." Her voice shook a little, but there was no doubt in her words or her tone.

    Yujia paused. "What... do you mean?"

    "You want to know what I mean?"

    First, it was the interruption. That was something Yujia never saw Hui'er do before. And now, it was the sneer rising up on Hui'er's face. Her face contorted into an expression Yujia never thought that she would see, a face of tense muscles, a clenched jaw, and a glare. Her tone morphed along with her expression as well, becoming sharp and accusatory.

    "This. This is what I mean."

    Her actions were rigid as she stood up, spun with her back facing Yujia, undid her robes, and let the back drop so that Yujia could see exactly what was underneath all the cloth.

    Hui'er had a skinny figure, nearly made up of all bones, but what stood out to Yujia wasn't the sharp features of her shoulder and back, but rather the color of the skin. What would've been completely pale skin was ruined by large splotches of yellowing bruises. The color nearly faded, but it was still there, ever so present against the unaffected smooth parts of her skin.

    Yujia only had to look at the patterns of color for a few moments. Hui'er gathered her robes back together. She then pulled up the sleeve of her left arm, revealing a much more obvious dark burn scar sunken into her skin. This scar resembled a splash of water, and Yujia could only imagine what happened behind the splotch of color.

    There were no words needed to explain what had happened. Yujia saw, and she knew.

    But Hui'er went on.

    "Do you see now? Now, when you ask me if the Fourth Miss treated me well or not, here is the answer. They are all fading now, but they were once there, deep reds and purples every day on all the hidden parts of my body."

    Yujia thought she found her voice before, but now, all that could come out was a hoarse whisper. "Why? Why did you... let her do that to you?"

    "You seem to not understand many things about this world. I live in a place where my freedom was sold, and I no longer own the right to live as an equal person. Being the maid in a household is already the best it can get. If the household decides to sell me again, then I could go to worse places, where they will brand my body and give it to others to use. After that, there are even worse places to go."

    Yujia noticed that Hui'er's hands were trembling now, shaking harder than ever.

    "When the Fourth Miss hit me for the first time, it was out of anger for what her family treated her as. I did not think much of it. But once it started, it only went on, more and more. On good days, she would treat me well. Definitely. Yet on those bad days- the rare occurrences where someone, something angered her- she would become the devil. After all the things she did, if it weren't for the fact that her body was not the strongest and she would get fatigued after a while, I don't know how I would've survived."

    "The worst thing, though, was that I thought that I deserved it. I thought that this was what I received as punishment for my sins of taking the life of an unborn, innocent child. The Fourth Miss knew of the things I did too, and she used it against me, drilling the words that this was what I deserved in my mind. She gave me so many, so many threats besides those, that if I dared to tell anyone, she would just sell me to the worst place she could. That if I dared to run away, my karma would keep returning to haunt me until I completely atoned for my sins by enduring the pain."

    "I began to treat her with a bright smile on my face every day to prevent invoking her anger. I would carry out all the tasks she wanted me to. It worked out, sometimes. But nothing was completely unpreventable."

    "I considered many things. I even... considered poisoning her or killing her myself. Though, if the life of a person already ended on my hands and brought me this hell, then what would happen if I took another life?"

    "So time passed. And then, you arrived. You were so different than how she seemed, and although you had your flaws, you had kindness and compassion that the old Fourth Miss never had for anyone but herself and her mother. You were like a new light, a new hope for me. I couldn't stand the thought of bringing the old Fourth Miss back, so even though I had my doubts, and even though I found my answers, I wanted to look at this like a new start."

    It seemed like everything made sense now.


    From Hui'er's overly cheerful attitude that Yujia was greeted with when she first arrived in the world, so different than the patient and gentle girl that she came to know, to Hui'er's absolute obedience and agreement to all the words that Yujia said, even if they were nonsensical.

    Once more, a memory surfaced in Yujia's mind. In this one, it was only a few minutes after she transmigrated, but Yujia had asked Hui'er then if she was one who got angry easily. Hui'er had responded immediately that she wasn't, but along with the question and seemingly normal answer was the fear that reflected in Hui'er's eyes. It was a fear that Yujia had not forgotten.

    Hui'er, the girl that she had known up until now, the maid that always supported her, the individual who she thought she knew and understood completely, actually held these secrets all along? Yujia thought that Hui'er's story was over when she ended her relationship with the First Miss, but that turned out to just be the start of Hui'er's experiences, weren't they?

    Yujia suddenly felt overwhelming pity. More pity than she ever had before.

    Hui'er's hands were still shaking. So much that her entire body seemed to shudder with it. Slowly and cautiously, Yujia's hand reached over in an attempt to comfort the other girl, but Hui'er only flinched herself away.

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