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162 Heart of the Artist Feels a Bit Heavy

    Yujia continued to make a mental list of suspects in her head, despite her headache. She tried to form three different lists, one with people who probably weren't the ones who poisoned her, one with people who had a possibility but weren't too likely, and one with people who have the greatest suspicion.

    On the list with the individuals that had the greatest suspicion, there were two people: Madam Zhang and Hui'er.

    First, Madam Zhang ended up on that list because of her obvious dislike of Yujia. The two of them were not enemies. In fact, in some of the dinners that the two ate together at, Yujia felt that the Madam truly wasn't too bad. She was the type, from what Yujia had seen so far, to care about the overall well-being of her family, and was very accepting of Xiaoyi as well despite the Fifth Miss not being of her blood. Towards Yujia, there seemed to be some antagonism, but that was all involved with Yujia's status in the household, not her personality.

    Through the years, the only bad things that Madam Zhang ever did to the Fourth Miss was depriving her of good living conditions and forcing her marriage with Old Master Yu. Both of those two had their reasons too.

    With the living conditions, the Yang Family did not have much wealth, and Yujia, in the end, was illegitimate in status. Her environment and provided resources were already fairly decent by the standards of that time. As for the marriage, though Yujia personally did not like it, she didn't feel like Madam Zhang was completely in the wrong either. The main madam only saw in the eyes of everyone else, that the marriage was good for the Fourth Miss in the long term. She also acted for the benefit of the family. If the sacrifice of a worthless illegitimate daughter could bring on a better future for the rest of the family, why would she not support this marriage?

    Because of this, though Yujia could understand why Madam Zhang acted the way she did, she still felt like Madam Zhang had the greatest reasoning and possibility for poisoning her. She couldn't think of a perfect logical reason for why- every idea of hers had both potential and logical flaws- but there was no other person that Yujia could think of who had a direct negative relationship with the Fourth Miss.

    As for Hui'er, the main reason for why Yujia suspected her was because of how much Hui'er condemned the original Fourth Miss, her abuser. It would make sense for her to poison the Fourth Miss as a result. Still, though, this meant that Hui'er only had the chance to poison the Fourth Miss for a couple of years, and not since childhood. Though the physician never specifically said since when Yujia was poisoned, this meant that Yujia still had less suspicion towards Hui'er's side.

    This made Madam Zhang her main suspect.

    Yujia thought about it a little more. The logic still didn't add up. What was the true reason for Madam Zhang poisoning her? Was the poison the reason for her consistent illness? And what was the reason for making Yujia's health so poor? Was Madam Zhang really that into the idea of seeing the Fourth Miss suffer?

    It didn't seem likely.

    To answer all of these questions, speculations wouldn't work. Yujia needed to find more clues to be able to piece together a cohesive answer.

    Yujia tilted her head to one side, beginning to massage at her temples to ease her headache. Her heart grew heavier at each of these thoughts.

    If she wanted to find clues, she needed to be able to enter the Yang Villa. That part was for sure. From the time where she escaped the villa, she wore a set of Hui'er's typical maid robes. She could put on the same maid robes to blend in and enter through the side doors without any problem. Except, from then on, the problem would be how she would get into Madam Zhang's courtyard and room to find evidence or clues of this poisoning.

    She couldn't just enter. Some maids were bound to recognize her face. If they didn't, they wouldn't let an unknown, unfamiliar servant enter the Madam's personal room either, or touch the Madam's personal belongings. If Madam Zhang was in her room at that moment, Yujia's plan could fail just the same too. These issues posed a major obstacle to Yujia.

    Yujia needed some sort of distraction to keep the personal maids and Madam Zhang away at the same time. The distraction didn't have to be long, maybe a little more than ten minutes, so that she had time to carefully look.

    What could be a distraction though?

    This question stumped her. Yujia shuffled through possibilities in her head, finding that each one had their own downsides.

    Her headache grew worse and worse and worse.

    This plan she came up with fell apart once she came to the last, most crucial part. Would she have to think of another one? But how else would she be able to find her answers in the Yang Villa, when if she was caught, they would be more than willing to stuff her back to the Yu Villa?

    At this moment, in the middle of her thoughts, the door to the library opened. Ye Yunhe walked in, holding a scroll in his hand. Yujia turned her head to look at him.

    Upon seeing her, his eyes lit up. "Junior Sister!" he called out, "What are you doing here?"

    "Nothing much. Just studying." She looked down at the book in her hands. Yujia considered telling him about the entire ordeal of being poisoned since years ago, but she looked back at Yunhe's carefree expression and decided against it. No need to worry him.

    In the midst of her arrival to this conclusion, Yunhe cut in, "Is there something on my face?"

    Yujia hastily glanced down, then glanced back up with her hand raising the book. She replied, "No. I was just about to ask Senior Brother though... I was reading about the Six Principles, and it discussed the Bone Method and calligraphy. Is calligraphy really that important?"

    This question was something she just came up with to distract herself and to distract Yunhe from her brief moment of somewhat blanking out in her thoughts.

    Yunhe answered in return, "Yes, of course! Calligraphy is a key element of the Bone Method, just as important as the lines you create in your painting. A good painting along with good calligraphy is what makes a truly great work. So, that is why all great painters have wonderful calligraphy to pair with their art."

    "Oh..." She nodded thoughtfully. Thinking back to her own handwriting, it really wasn't that great, much less what her calligraphy would look like. She may have been given talent in art, but handwriting was completely different. "Is Senior Brother good at calligraphy, then? I feel that I may need to improve in this," she followed up.

    He set the scroll in his hand down on a shelf, shrugging while his eyes flicked to the left as he thought. "I'm decent, I suppose. But you know who's better? Noble Yu and Noble Bo. Noble Yu is always saying that his calligraphy is inferior to his paintings, but he's being a little too humble. Noble Bo, on the other hand, is closest to a true calligraphy master."

    "Noble Bo? Which Noble Bo?"

    Yujia thought of Bo Zhiyuan and Bo Zhizhong. It was likely that Yunhe was discussing the Second Young Master, Bo Zhiyuan, since it seemed like he knew Zhiyuan personally.

    "The Second Young Master," Yunhe confirmed, "You should see whenever Yu Zixu and Bo Zhiyuan collaborate on a work. Now- that is what true art is like. No wonder they are both such good friends."

    Yu Zixu.

    Yujia thought about him. She wondered if Yunhe knew about Zixu becoming his Junior Brother, now that Zixu was about to become a disciple of Yunhe's father.

    Something clicked.

    Right at that moment, where Yujia thought about Zixu's name, something clicked.

    Yu Zixu. The Yang Villa. Yang Xiaoyi. Madam Zhang. Distractions.

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    It all began to fit together, piece by piece, coming together to paint a perfect plan in Yujia's mind. It was all clicking.
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