At this time, the Chengbei Station thirty miles away from Yangcheng, had fallen into the quiet of night.
Chengbei Station was located at the junction of Yangcheng and Gaoping. Its location and jurisdiction were a bit embarrassing. You could get to either of the two cities as quickly as you wanted. There was no need to settle in a simple station at the intersection. As a result, this station was becoming more and more dilapidated.
But because the Taiyuan government officials were passing, in a rare event, they stayed at the inn. Their horses could not even be placed in the stables, and had to be tied to the front yard or even outside the door indiscriminately.
There was only one inn with an old man innkeeper, and he was so busy that his feet were not even touching the ground, so he had to ask his family to help.
When the night was dark, most of the officials had already gone to rest, but there were still lights on in a few rooms.
After all, what happened during this period is so incredible, it was inevitable that some couldn’t help but talk about it in private.
There were only a few good rooms in this post station, and naturally they were given to high-ranking officials such as prefect Ma. At this moment, there was a low-ranking official in a small adobe house.
He and his servant were squeezed in a room. He would have to sleep on the bed, and the servant would take the floor.
The summer night was sultry and the window was open, and you could see a man in normal clothes making the bed inside, while another servant with a beard and ordinary appearance stood aside with his hands down, looking thoughtful.
“How did they find out?” he whispered.
The voice was soft, the tone was easy-going, and he was very harmonious with the identity of a servant.
The man who made the bed immediately turned around when he heard the words.
“It’s hard to say this kind of thing,” he said.
His voice was mellow, with a bit of official power, but under the dim oil lamp, his expression of respect in the face of this servant was very contrary to his identity.
“My lord…” the man who made the bed continued.
As soon as the voice was uttered, the servant suddenly raised his hand, and at the same time looked sharply at the window.
“Who is there?” he shouted.
Accompanied by his shout, he had reached and opened the door.
There was an exclamation in front of the door, and someone staggered back.
This was a girl in a simple dress. Her hair was messy, and in the night, only the black soot on her face was seen, and she was carrying a wooden bucket in her hand, with hot water in it.
She appeared to be passing by with a bucket. Frightened by the person who came out suddenly, she stood there in a panic and didn’t dare to move.
“What is it for?” the official stepped out and asked sternly.
The servant had retreated to his side, looking down at the girl.
“I, I bring water.” The girl stammered, her voice hoarse. Trembling, she pointed to a room next to him.
The light was on in the room over there, and it was obvious that someone hadn’t turned in yet.
This girl…should be the family member of that innkeeper.
The innkeeper had an old wife and a daughter, and he was busy walking around in the yard for a long time.
The officials didn’t care.
“Is there any hot water?” he asked casually.
The girl looked terrified.
“This is, this is the first order over there.” She said, and she was too busy for fear that the official would get angry, “I’ll go to the fire again, my lord wait a moment.”
The official also waved his hand and turned in to get hot water.
The girl gave a salute in a panic, and then walked to the next room with a wooden barrel.
The servant had been standing at the door looking at her, watching the girl knock on the door of the next room. A man who had changed his shirt opened the door.
“My lord, your hot water.” The girl said.
The man hummed and stretched out his hand to take it, and closed the door with one hand.
The girl sighed, raised her sleeve and wiped the sweat on her face. The dust on her face was even more wiped away from the fire. She patted her shoulder and did not dare to rest and walk quickly to the backyard.
The servant’s gaze followed her all the time.
The girl walked with the unruly sloppy attitude of a country girl, she shrugged and shook her neck from time to time to relieve fatigue.
The servant stared at her closely, as she took two steps and three steps until she turned the corner of the hallway.
The servant stood silently for a moment, then turned around and entered the room and closed the door.
“Is there any problem?” the official in the room asked.
The servant smiled.
“Unexpectedly for the time being,” he said, stopping the official’s questioning. “It’s getting late, let’s rest first.”
The official did not ask any more, and replied respectfully, blowing out the lights in the room.
The room fell into darkness.
“The bed is ready. You can rest.”
Said a low voice in the dark.
Accompanied by the sound of shuffling and movement. After a while, everything fell silent.
In the silent night, a figure turned out from the dilapidated half of the post station. Through the looming starlight, one could see that this was a girl, only wearing inner clothes. The outer clothing was held in her arms.
Her face was as dark as the night, with only one pair of eyes shining like stars.
Nothing was in vain today, and at least one thing was confirmed by the name. This is enough; you can’t stay here.
She turned over the wall, ignoring her clothes as she ran wildly, disappearing in the ups and downs of the gully.
Outside the Lin residence’s alley, Liu’er’s cry continued.
Old Lady Fang was choked by the crying.
“What nonsense are you talking about!” she shouted, “How can you speak of her dying? You curse your lady.”
“That’s not your lady, you said it so lightly.” Liu’er cried.
Old Lady Fang’s heart ached.
“She is my granddaughter.” She shouted.
“How is she your granddaughter? She’s not as important as your grandson.” Liu’er cried, pointing at Fang Chengyu, “He is cured now so my lady is useless, you can’t offend people for my lady.”
Old Lady Fang had a sullen face and her steps staggered.
Fang Chengyu hurriedly reached out to hold her.
“Liu’er, don’t say that.” He said, “Grandma didn’t mean that.”
“I don’t care what you mean.” Liu’er cried, rushing straight to the alley, “If you don’t look for her, I will look for her.”
The clansmen on the Lin family had already blocked her way. Although they were not going to beat her like the previous time, they used Liu’er’s momentum to push Liu’er to the ground.
Liu’er wiped her tears and got up again and charged.
Fang Jinxiu lowered her eyes.
“Look at you.” Chief Lin said, sighing, “Get out of the way and let her search.”
Everyone in the Lin family just stepped aside, and Liu’er rushed out crying.
Old Lady Fang’s complexion had not yet eased, and Fang Chengyu gently patted her.
“How about, Old Lady Fang, you rest and wait with us.” Chief Lin said, “We are not searching, of course other people are looking for them.”
Don’t make trouble like this, just let them look calmly and peacefully.
The officials also nodded again and again. This was the best way. It was good for both sides. Everyone’s kept their face and could also resolve the discussions that had arisen today.
Old Lady Fang hadn’t spoken yet when Fang Chengyu smiled at them.
“Excuse me, everyone, wait a minute, I haven’t finished talking to my grandmother,” he said.