A haughty voice interrupted Shu Lian, and the maid vigilantly turned towards the source of the annoying voice. Her eyes widened in hatred, and she instinctively shielded Jin Ning by placing herself between Prince Hu An's concubine and Jin Ning.
"My Lady, do not be afraid! Shu Lian is here,"She comforts Jin Ning, who was touched. The arrogant woman saw this and laughed mockingly. "How useless! Needing a maid to protect you! I really feel shameful for your parents for having a daughter like you! Hey, fatty. Seeing you are so loyal, how about serving me? You can earn riches and power by working for the Crown Prince!"
Shu Lian was angered, and she roared, "I, Shu Lian, will never work for a bunch of dogs!"
The haughty woman, Zhou Min'er, frowned and raised her manicured hand. "How dare you!"She seethed, ready to land a slap on Shu Lian's face. However, her hand was quickly gripped by Jin Ning.
Jin Ning swiftly broke her wrist, and pushed her towards the dirt-filled ground. Zhou Min'er howled in pain, her beautiful face twisted into pure agony and malice. "You b*tch!"She yells.
Shu Lian was shocked and proud. Her Lady finally defended herself against them! She was truly... truly the Lotus Princess!
Shu Lian was so happy!
"How dare you do this to me,you ugly freak!"Zhou Min'er screamed, as the attention of on-lookers began to focus on them. Zhou Min'er quickly forced a few tears out, and this, coupled with her gorgeous face, depicted a saddening sight that would entice any man to protect her.
"I only wanted to give you some well-intentioned advice, yet you...broke my wrist and pushed me!"
Zhou Min'er sobbed softly, expertly hiding her tear-stained face behind her wide sleeves, as if she was truly being maligned.
"Did the ugly Young Lady Jin really bully her? How pitiful!"
"A beauty and a beast... How can Young Lady Jin bully the beautiful young lady to such an extent?"
The crowd was quickly swayed to Zhou Min'er's side. The fan she held hid her smirk as she stared at Jin Ning evilly.
"Why are we still speaking? Quick, throw our rotten goods at her!"A man yelled. Jin Ning shot a look at him, and realised that he was one of the attendants following Zhou Min'er. Obviously, he had been instructed to aggravate the matter.
"Wife! Grab our rotten eggs!"
Soon, the crowd started to throw items at the two.
"You all..."Shu Lian cursed, as she glared at the crowd. She spread her arms to block out the rotting items from hitting Jin Ning. "Miss! Quick, run! I will distract the crowd."
Jin Ning was touched.
She smiled faintly, and patted Shu Lian's head. "Don't worry. I have a plan!"She says as she quickly told Shu Lian what to do.
Shu Lian's eyes brightened as she heard her plans.
Miss is indeed wise!
"Miss! Shu Lian feels so aggrieved for you! Master Jin and Lady Jin were so kind, always willing to help the poor. Whenever a vendor couldn't sell their goods, Master and Lady would purchase them, so that they could get money to feed their family. Whenever a family lacked money to see a doctor, Master and Lady would fork out their money to get a experienced doctor to look at them. Yet, the same people are bullying our Miss! Aiya, Shu Lian is so upset!"
Shu Lian wailed over, and over again. The crowd's faces turned pale, and guilt penetrated their hearts.
Seeing their reaction, Jin Ning nodded at Shu Lian and encouraged her to continue.
"Miss! Everyone has eyes to see, and ears to hear. You are currently weak, and is unable to defend yourself. Who asks the strong to hurt you like this, and when they fall by themselves, blame it upon you! Aiya, my poor Miss!"
Shu Lian chanted it over and over again, making sure the whole street could hear her anguished words.
At this point,the crowd suddenly remembered that Young Lady Jin was talentless and ugly, and rather pitiful. On the other hand, Zhou Min'er, the second concubine of Crown Prince Hu'An, had reached the fifth stage of the Cultivator realm.
It became clear to them!
"Wait, how can Young Lady Jin bully Miss Zhou, when Miss Zhou is obviously much stronger than her?"
"Oh right! Did you hear what Young Lady Jin's maid
said? It must be that Miss Zhou tried to bully Young Lady Jin, but fell herself and became embarrassed, and tried to accuse Young Lady Jin!"
"Yeah that must be it! Oh, Young Lady Jin is truly pitiful!"
Jin Ning smirked at Zhou Min'er before anyone could notice, and added on weakly, "Miss Zhou... It's enough that you accuse me. But how could you mock that I'm weak, and that my parents deserve to be shamed by having a daughter like me?"
The crowd became enraged.
Xu Jin and Xu Ning [[*reminder! : They are Jin Ning's parents! Notice how their names form Jin Ning's name? This can help you to remember more easily too :). ]] was well-known for being kind-hearted and powerful. They never looked down on people despite being immensely rich, and often helped the poor. This made many people have a good impression of the Lotus Manor in general, especially of the couple.
Hence, some of the crowd quickly started to form a human wall around Jin Ning to protect her, as a way to repay the Xu couple's kind deeds. "Don't worry, Young Lady Jin. We will protect you!"
The situation quickly turned against Zhou Min'er's favor, and people started gathering and throwing rotten cabbages and spoiled eggs at her.
"Take that, you bully!"
"Taste the rottenness!"
Zhou Min'er was furious. She wanted to puke at the horrid, rotten smell, and wanted to scream at them for making her look like a pathetic mess.
"You..."She growled, as she tried her best to wipe away the rotten food and scrambled to her feet. "You all will regret this!"
After saying her words, Zhou Min'er quickly ran back to the Crown Prince's manor. Her attendants who were stunned by the sudden turn of events stood on the spot, and only followed after their mistress after she had screamed at them.
Several women then helped Jin Ning up, and she gracefully stood up, and smiled at the crowd. "Thank you all for helping. I really appreciate your kindness. I, Jin Ning, will remember this for life!"
The crowd instantly gained a good impression of Jin Ning, as she was appreciative and graceful. Upon thinking of this, guilt then gawned at their hearts again, as they had hastily misjudged her character because of other's words, and also due to the ongoing rumors that she was weak, ugly and terrible.
Hence, several people from the crowd quickly stuffed their goods into Jin Ning's and Shu Lian's hands. Soon, they were holding onto a variety of snacks and fruits.
The duo then quickly thanked the crowd, before heading home while lugging along their purchases, and also hugging the items that the people had gifted.
"M-Miss...Can we take a break? Shu Lian can't go on anymore,"Shu Lian groaned, as she dragged her limp and weary body. Jin Ning chuckled softly and nodded, pointing at a small, inconspicuous alley.
"Let's rest there,"She says, as they shuffled towards the alley. Shu Lian, eager to rest, quickly made her way towards the alley, when she suddenly yelled, "Miss! Look at this! What should we do?"
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