She looked at her mother with concern. “Mom, just sit here for a while. I’ll…”
“Don’t go there alone,” Echo said as she held Fia’s hand. “Let her come.”
“Mom, Conrad’s mother has a quick temper. She has quite the sharp tongue.”
“I am already on my deathbed. Words can do little to harm me.” Echo held Fia’s hands with hers and patted the back of her hand, consoling her. “Don’t be afraid, Fia. If I’m brave enough to move into my son-in-law’s house. I’m not afraid of your mother-in-law.”
Fia’s eyes turned red. She was moved, but she was also upset.
Her mother was a gentle woman. There were very few times in her life when she would protect her with her fangs bared.
She would feel upset anytime she was reminded of her terminal illness.
If only Asclepius was real. She would gladly trade half her remaining lifespan if that meant her mother could be healed.
“Fia, I had never been able to protect you. I’m sorry,” Echo said to her regretfully. She was unable to give her a complete family when she was alive. She had to clear some obstacles for her before she died.
Beryl walked into the gazebo furiously, her eyes filled with hostility.
“How dare you bring your mother into this house!”
Fia had always been the submissive one in front of Beryl. This time, however, she stood in front of her mother.
She could not take things lying down any more for her mother’s sake.
“Beryl, this is not the Maxwells’ family residence. This home belongs to me and Conrad. I have the right to take my mother in.”
“Do you think that the Maxwells have gone extinct? You’re not in the position to make any decision like this!”
“Conrad and I are legally married. My mother is his…”
Beryl cut her off angrily and said, “Know your place! Your mother is dying from cancer! You’re taking her in so that you can curse this household, aren’t you?!”
With that, Beryl walked over and pointed her finger at her.
“Not only did you not provide any benefits for my son, now you’re trying to harm him! You infertile little whore!”
Echo quickly stood up and pulled Fia away with a frown. Beryl’s finger didn’t manage to touch Fia.
“You’re a lady from a well-known family. How can you speak like that?”
“Speak like that? If you want to die, die somewhere else you old, dirty prostitute! Why are you even in my son’s home…”
“Shut up!” Fia said as she looked at her, her body shaking from anger. “If you’re going to show my mom such disrespect, I’ll tell Conrad about this!”
“Ha! Go and tell him then! Esme is back now. Conrad will divorce you eventually! He won’t antagonize his birth mother for someone like you!” Beryl yelled loudly with her hands on her waist. She had already lost all her gracefulness from being a lady from a grand family after living a life of resentment for so long.
“Mrs. Maxwell.” Echo coughed. “I would advise you to keep in mind Maxwells’ reputation. I’m still Conrad’s mother-in-law right now. It’s completely legal for me to stay here. Meanwhile, you’re openly saying that you’ll find another wife for your son. Are you trying to get him into legal trouble for polygamy?”
“What are you talking about?!” Beryl pushed Echo with her hand.
Fia caught Echo just in time before she fell. “That’s too much!”
“How dare you talk back to me! I’m going to teach you a lesson today!”
Beryl rolled up her sleeves and then extended her claws trying to grab Fia’s shoulder-length hair.
Fia let out a scream and grabbed her hair so that she wouldn’t keep on pulling.
“Stop it!” Echo reached out to Beryl’s hands and tried to free her daughter as she coughed. “This is beyond reasonable!”
“You darn woman!” Beryl swung her arm and hurled Echo away.
There was a bang and Echo’s head hit one of the gazebo’s pillars.
Mrs. Taylor quickly ran over after she had given her employer a call, her face pale like a ghost’s.
“What are you doing, madam!”
She first helped Echo up. When she saw she had trouble breathing, she gave her chest a massage hoping to help her breathe.
“Please, Ms. Lawson. Calm down. Don’t make it worse for yourself.”
Meanwhile, all Echo could do was point at Fia and said, “Go… Go and help Fia.”
“You shameless bitch!” Beryl slapped Fia across the face.
All Fia could do was defend herself. She couldn’t even fight back because of the difference in status between them.
She was stunned by the slap and she could only hear a loud squeal in her ears.
Beryl used this chance to pounce on Echo and kept pulling at her.
“If you’re going to die, find somewhere else to die, you darn woman! Don’t die in my son’s home!”
Mrs. Taylor could only scream in panic. “Madam, stop it! Ms. Lawson’s already quite frail!”
“Hmph! She deserves it! Both of them deserve it! They should just die already!”
When Fia heard her mother’s coughing, all the negative emotions inside of her surged forth.
All the humiliations that she had suffered from Beryl began to play in her mind like a movie. Her eyes turned red as she grabbed Beryl’s hair.
“Let her go!”
Fia’s face was darkened with anger and all her hate began to surface.
She was no robot. Although she had been enduring it all, it didn’t mean that she wasn’t resentful of a mother-in-law like her.
“Fia…” Cough… Echo wanted to stop the fight instinctively.
Beryl could feel pain from the tug of her hair. She turned around and then pounced on Fia.
“How dare you fight back, you infertile piece of crap!” Beryl cursed as she gave Fia’s pretty little face another slap.
Fia suddenly saw Beryl take a cup from somewhere and hurled it toward her a few seconds later.
At that moment, she used all her strength to grab Beryl by the collar of her shirt and pushed her toward the gazebo.
There was a creak and the rail of the gazebo that Beryl was pushed against broke. When she saw that the rail had broken and Beryl was falling right into the pond behind her, she quickly extended her hand trying to pull her back.
But it was too late. All she managed to catch was the bottom hem of her dress.
There was the sound of fabric being torn apart and all she could do was watch Beryl fall into the pond.
There was a plop and the water splashed. All she had in her hand was a piece of shredded fabric.
Everything happened too quickly. Despite Mrs. Taylor reaching the gazebo, she couldn’t help Beryl too.
She was so nervous about what happened, saying, “Madam, please give Mr. Maxwell a call! Now!”
Fia’s mind was completely blank and didn’t remember where she put her mobile. She had just wanted to turn and get back to the mansion when she saw a tall man running over with Esme behind him.
“What did you do, Fia?!” Esme yelled out angrily.
Conrad gave her a glance. She could read the coldness and disappointment in his eyes.
Fia was stunned as she could hear a water splash. She didn’t even need to know that Conrad had jumped into the pond to save her mother.
She was very afraid at that moment.
No matter how despicable Beryl was… No matter if it was just an accident… She was at least partially responsible for it.
“Fia!” Echo called out in anguish as she coughed.
Fia sat down next to her mother like a walking corpse and said, “It’s alright, mom. Everything’s going to be alright.”
Echo never thought that things would become like this. She held Fia’s hands which were curled into fists on her legs. It was ice-cold, and she couldn’t help but cover them with her hands.