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187 An Artist’s Infiltration, Phase One

    When the carriage reached close to the villa, Zixu called for the driver to stop. Prior to this, Yujia already made sure both of them were very clear of the plan.

    This was the point where Yujia slipped off.

    Zixu coughed. She glanced for one last time in his direction, then exited the carriage. The moment she stepped off, the carriage began moving forward once again, as if the driver had stopped the carriage just to listen to a word from his young master. And since Yujia was dropped off facing a wall, no one noticed a thing- not that there was anything to be quite suspicious about in the first place. It was only an ordinary carriage travelling in broad daylight, when plenty of people walked through the streets.

    Everything was perfectly normal.

    Yuija didn't look back, striding down the alleyway which stood right in front of her. She kept her head dipped down and posture humble, mimicking the servants she had seen come and go in the past.

    This alley happened to be the alley with the Yang Villa's servant entrance. Yujia knew this area well. It was the area where she found an escape route through.

    For a brief second, the idea of the events that would occur if the household discovered her flashed in her mind. She put so much work in getting away. She ran away just to escape this place.

    But here she was, back again.

    Yujia knew that her act of returning would happen one day. Still, it was odd to imagine that every step she took was part of reality, however, and not just some strange dream or plan.

    Keeping her head down, Yujia shuffled into the villa without a single issue. A servant which usually sat at the gate, lazily chewing on some sunflower seeds, didn't even spare her an extra glance.

    Yujia was just another ordinary, drab servant. There was nothing special and nothing suspicious about her. Nothing at all.

    Once she made it in, Yujia finally looked up, surveying everything in front of her. Noise came from the kitchens. One servant carrying a cart of waste moved towards the exit. Another servant girl swept the paths. Someone yelled for this girl in the kitchen, for in the next moment, she leaned her broom against a wall and hurried inside the building.

    Yujia took this chance to slink forward, grabbing the discarded broom and making sweeping motions. Within a split second, she blended in with the environment. She was yet another little maid, given the job of cleaning the yards.

    As she swept, she made her way in the direction of the room of the Fourth Miss, which was on the opposite end of the courtyard.

    She wondered if she would run into Hui'er this time. Judging by the way the villa was run, it didn't seem likely. With the Fourth Miss gone, Hui'er likely got relocated to another job.

    Once she was right by the familiar doors leading into the room, Yujia tossed the broom into a shadowed corner. She glanced around to make sure that no one was outside, then pushed open the doors by a crack just wide enough for her to slip through. Immediately, once she was inside, she closed the doors.

    Letting out a deep breath of relief that things went alright so far, Yujia glanced around the room. Things didn't look too dusty, but it was clear that since she left, no one had really taken care of the room.

    Yujia wasn't here to give critiques on cleanliness, though. She dropped to the cabinets, opening them and checking everything for any questionable items she could've missed when packing her runaway belongings. After that, she checked the bed and drawers, finding nothing in any of the places which could've hidden secrets.

    Although Yujia had to work quickly in her search, the fact that she knew the room made her speed much faster. In a few minutes, she figured that the room was all clear.

    So next, the obvious place of suspicion would be the connected small room that Hui'er resided in. All that room contained were two cabinets and a bed, as it was only needed for sleeping purposes. Hui'er spent most of her day in Yuija's actual room.

    In the small side room, she searched through everything thoroughly as well, finding absolutely nothing. Hui'er seemed to still sleep in this room as of this moment, since her things were still intact. Still, amongst the few belongings that she did have, Yujia couldn't find anything either.

    This brought some comfort to Yujia upon knowing that Hui'er's chances of being the culprit decreased by a bit. Though it was impossible to determine Hui'er's innocence from just a brief search alone, her lack of suspicious items lowered the chances.

    With all of the possible searching in the courtyard completed, Yujia exited the room and picked the broom up again. Once more, she pretended to maintain the yard, waiting for her singal to execute Phase Two.

    ...

    Meanwhile, Yu Zixu's carriage pulled up to the front of the villa. A messenger earlier ran ahead to bring word to the Yang Villa that he was arriving. By the time that the carriage rolled over, the Yang Household's Madam stood at the front to welcome him. Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com  for visiting.

    "Young Master Yu," she politely greeted, "what brings you to the Yang Villa today? We didn't expect you."

    Zixu inspected this middle aged woman in front of him, taking in her dark magenta robes, which she wore neatly pressed, not a wrinkle to be seen. A placid smile rested on her unpainted lips.

    He smiled respectfully in return, bowing as he greeted, "Madam. To be honest, I didn't expect myself to drop a visit either. Therefore, I apologize for the lack of notice in advance."

    He took in a shaky breath, glancing his eyes down as if he was nervous, or if he was steadying himself. In reality, Zixu was calmly focused on the delivery of his lines of both literal words and body language. It was too, too easy to fake this look of wariness he displayed right now.

    "The truth is... ever since I had the discussion with the Fifth Miss about painting, I gave our conversation lots of careful thought. The things we discussed enlightened me in quite a few works of mine afterwards. If it is not too much, I would like to have another conversation with your Fifth Miss again? I know that it may be stepping over boundaries, but of course, it will be with you present to chaperone. I only want to exchange a brief word about painting with her."

    As he spoke, the Madam's expression shifted ever so slightly, her lips parting just a bit. But quickly enough, she regained her mild composure, nodding and replying, "Of course that is within boundaries." She stepped back, gesturing for Zixu to follow. "Come, let us talk inside."
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