Arielle watched Cindy bring Shandie upstairs with unsympathetic eyes. In fact, there was a solemn look in them.
It seems like the slap from Cindy is worth it.
However, this will be the last time Cindy will be allowed to hit me.
Once Shandie was gone, Henrick walked toward Arielle and said, “Sannie. I remember you used to be called Sannie, right?”
Arielle nodded. Her nickname had sounded like Shandie's name, so she did not like it much anymore.
“What about this, Sannie?”
Henrick sighed before pursing his lips. Then, he said, “I've spoiled Shandie. It's partially my fault that she has done such a horrible thing. We should've called the cops, but she's still your younger sister, and we're a family. Moreover, you're fine, and she has reaped what she sowed. Let's forget about this, all right? However, I'll still punish her and compensate you. Is that okay?”
Arielle balled her hands into fists under the sleeves of her pajamas.
What do you mean by “you're fine?”
If I was really bitten by the snake, Shandie would have made sure no one knows about it.
By the time the sun rises, my body would have gone cold. Yet, you're asking me to pretend as if nothing has happened? You're only grounding her for a month?
At that very moment, Arielle knew what kind of person Henrick was.
As long as it was nothing threatening to him, he would not easily abandon Shandie.
After all, the more daughters he had, the more chances for him to cling to a wealthier family.
Henrick was a man who would do anything to get what he wanted.
Arielle could not wrap her head around why her mother had fallen in love with someone like him.
Arielle was thoroughly disappointed. It did not matter to her that Henrick was her biological father anymore.
However, she showed none of that on her face. Instead, she plastered a sweet smile on her face and nodded. “I can't decide, so, Dad, I'll just heed your words. Shandie's still young, so I won't blame her for anything. I'll pretend nothing happened, and I'll still be a good sister to her. I just hope Shandie won't mind too.”
“Don't worry. I'll ask her to forget about this as well. No one will mention this anymore. I'm sure the two of you will be able to get along fine.”
“Of course.” Arielle smiled, her dimples emerging on both sides of her face.
Anyone who looked at her would assume that she was innocent and sensible.
Henrick sighed in relief, feeling glad about the situation.
Not only was this daughter of his pretty and forgiving, but she was also obedient.
She's much more obedient than I thought she would be. That's good. She'll be easy to control.
“It's getting late. I'm sure you must have been shocked today too. Rest earlier. Tell me what you need, and I'll do my best to fulfill your requests.” Henrick was in a good mood. For once, the miser was not stingy, for he handed Arielle another card.
“There's one million in this. In total, you'll have two million, including the other million I've given to you earlier. You can spend it on anything you like. Once you've spent it all, you can come and ask for more. You shouldn't live as you used to in the village. You've got to act like the daughter of the Southalls. I'll ask Alfred to bring you to shop for clothes tomorrow.”
“Thank you, Dad! You're the best!”
Ego stroked, the upset from Shandie's incident dissipated from Henrick's mind. He then hummed a tune as he went upstairs.
The moment Arielle returned to her room, the sweet smile on her face disappeared.
Even if Shandie's stupid, she has Cindy watching out for her. On the other hand, I have no one.
I only have myself.
Balling her fists, Arielle slumped onto the bed, staring at the ceiling with lifeless eyes.
Maybe there's nothing bad with being alone.
Moreover, it's not that I'm alone. Dad and Mom overseas are very nice to me. And my brother, too. He's dependent on me.
He must miss me a lot while I'm gone.
To make sure they were not involved in the mess, Arielle had to temporarily cut ties with them.
Yet, when she thought about her brother, the corners of her lips curled upward.
Right then, her phone rang.
When she picked up the call, she realized it was from a friend from Moranta.
“Sannie, how are you?” the other person on the line had an accent.
“I'm quite fine, Vance. To be honest, I'm back at my old family home in the country. Although I've encountered some minor matters, it's been resolved now. Why are you calling, by the way?”
Arielle was speaking in fluent Ustranasion, as if she was born and raised overseas.
Sounding a little embarrassed, the other person continued, “You know I've been working on an island project, but the ending part of the project costs a lot, and I'm having issues with the funds. I was wondering if you could lend me some money, or perhaps invest into my project.”
Arielle answered, “I'm quite interested in your island project. What about this? How much do you need? I'd be happy to join you.”
“That's great. We'd be even better with you joining us. I'll be needing a billion. Are you all right with that?”
“No problem,” came Arielle's swift response.
Upon ending the call, Arielle contacted her overseas personal financial advisor.
She then used her computer to transfer a billion into Vance's account before asking her lawyer to sign the contract for the investment.
When she was done, she then glanced at the two cards Henrick had given to her and barked out a laugh. The next thing she did was delete the history of the transactions on the computer.
On the other end.
After Cindy brought Shandie back to her room, she finally cursed at her out loud.
“You idiot! How many times have I told you not to do anything rash before figuring out Arielle completely? Why won't you ever listen to me?”
As tears streamed down Shandie's face, she sobbed out, “I-I didn't think things would turn out this way. But, Mom, you have to believe in me. Arielle must have been the one to let the snake bite me! I've clearly asked Janet to let the snake into her room.”
“I know!” Cindy gritted out.
At the harsh tone, Shandie froze. Then, she muttered, confused, “Why aren't you helping me explain the situation if you know the truth? Arielle's a wicked person.”
Cindy sighed. “I've taught you so many things, but until now, you haven't been able to read the room. Your father clearly trusts her now. Moreover, you were the one to put the snake into her room first. How are you going to explain that? Nothing you say will help you; you'll only make your father even angrier.”
“Then what do I do? I can't be slandered in this way! Have you seen how the housekeepers look at me? Everyone in the manor thinks I deserved this.”
At that, Cindy was silent for a moment. “It seems like Arielle is much more complex and difficult to figure out than I thought. I'll try my best to find out her history. Before that, you'll have to get along with her. Even if it's tough, you have to do it well. Pretend to admit to your mistakes and live in harmony with her for now. That way, your father will be happy. You know he hates family conflicts and disobedient people.”
“But... I've been grounded. I can't go out.”
“Silly girl, have you forgotten about how you're going to get your certificate in a week's time? Be patient for a week. Once you become a star at the ceremony, everyone will forget about this matter.”
“All right. I'll work hard with practicing this week. I'll definitely stun everyone at the ceremony.”