An hour later, Lily finished her shopping and observation of Scarlet City. Next on her itinerary was a visit to the columbarium to pay her respects at her late paternal grandmother's niche.
"President, I just received a call from Miss Li. She said that she will be arriving at your apartment in another thirty minutes," Yang Mi said in a low voice. President Qin had been awfully quiet since she arrived at the columbarium and Yang Mi was a little hesitant to disturb her.
Lily only nodded in response. Silence engulfed the columbarium as Lily stared at the photo in the niche. It was a photo of an old lady with a gentle smile, she had high brows and her white hair was tied up in a sleek updo.
A little smile escaped Lily's lips as she remembered how she used to help her paternal grandmother with her updo. It was her favourite hairstyle. The old woman doted on her and there was something she said that was etched in Lily's mind: "Hua'er, do not forget that you are a Qin. Just endure for now. When you get married, you can leave this place."
Sadness crept in Lily's heart. 'Endure', that was what her paternal grandmother always told her. Growing up, Lily had to endure as her mother, Bec Facci was treated like a slave in the house.
Lily closed her eyes as she thought about her early years in the Qin family. The moment Lily was born, she was separated from her mother and was taken in by the Qin family to be raised as the eldest miss. A few years later, her father married another woman by the name of Tang Lingyun. Tang Lingyun hated the existence of Lily and her lowly mother. Since she couldn't do anything to Lily, she hatched a plan to take it out on Lily's mother, Bec Facci.
Shortly after entering the Qin family, Tang Lingyun insisted on reuniting Bec Facci and Lily. She suggested that Bec Facci could come and work as a maid in the Qin Mansion. She told everyone that she could not bear to see Lily grow up without her mother. Moreover, she was going to be a mother soon so she could relate to the pain of being separated from one's own child. While the members of the Qin family had their reservations, they eventually agreed to let Bec Facci enter the Qin Mansion with the identity of a maid, at Tang Lingyun's insistence.
After this, everyone viewed Tang Lingyun in a new light. They saw her as someone magnanimous, kind and gentle. When Bec Facci received the work offer, she immediately agreed without much thought, excited to be given the opportunity to be reunited with her beloved daughter. So, she left her job as a waitress.
Tang Lingyun had arranged for the mother and daughter to share a maid's quarters, to Bec Facci's delight. Unbeknownst to Bec Facci, entering the Qin family was the start of her nightmares.
Tang Lingyun would seize every opportunity to embarrass Bec Facci. In front of her close and prominent friends, she would embarrass Bec Facci to flaunt her power in the family. However, in front of everyone else, she held back and maintained a kind image.
But, no matter how humiliated Bec Facci felt, she never retaliated, not even once. Bec Facci only lowered her head and walked away in silence each and every time she was humiliated by Tang Lingyun.
Now that Lily thought about it, her mother was truly stupid for enduring all the humiliation. Bec or Rebecca Facci was born into a prominent family in Europe. She was treated like a princess who was envied and loved by many. Then one day, her mother Lilian Facci insisted on giving her in marriage to a man hailing from another noble family. But Rebecca Facci was aware that her betrothed already had a lover, and so she declined her mother's proposal.
After the death of her husband, Lilian Facci became the head of the Facci family and she ruled her family with an iron fist. She did not take Rebecca's rejection well. The mother and daughter argued over this issue and got into a big fight. One thing led to another and eventually, Rebecca Facci ran away from home.
When Lilian Facci discovered that her daughter had run away from home, she got so angry that she froze all her daughter's bank accounts. She even used her connections and influence to warn companies in the industry not to hire her daughter. She wanted to teach her daughter a lesson. She thought that by doing all these, her daughter would relent and return home.
Who would have thought that Rebecca Facci was so strong-headed? With a meager amount of money that she had on her, Rebecca Facci packed her bags and went abroad. She used the last bit of money that she had to pay someone in the black market to forge a new identity. She obtained a fake passport with a fake name so she could leave Europe without her mother's knowledge.
Both mother and daughter were stubborn and prideful and no one wanted to be the first to give in. Just like that, the years passed and Lilian Facci realized how silly she was to ignore her daughter. When Lilian Facci decided to look for her daughter, she was nowhere to be found.
Little did she know that Rebecca had changed her name to Bec Facci and was working odd jobs during all those years that she was away from home. Moreover, Bec did not have any long-term jobs or a permanent residence to live in. To think that the princess of the Facci family would be reduced to this state. That was the price she paid for rebelling and hiding away from her controlling mother.
For years, Lilian was searching for her daughter. She even suffered a mild case of stroke which impeded her efforts to continue searching for her daughter. Eventually, her search led her to her daughter's grave.
She was agonized at her daughter's death but was comforted to discover that she has a granddaughter. But when Lilian found Qin Jinghua, she was not in a right state of mind. And that was how her maternal grandmother found her, Qin Jinghua.
Lily let out a sigh as she opened her eyes. Her mother, Rebecca Facci, was a prideful person. She would rather work as a maid than yield herself to her mother. She would rather be mistreated than accept that she had been wrong. What a stubborn woman she was.
'Grandmother… I am back. I cannot promise you that I will not avenge my mother or hurt the Qin family. However, I did what I promised and never forget that I am a Qin. I will keep this surname to honor you and your efforts of raising and loving me since I was a kid. However, I apologize in advance for the things that I might do if any of the Qin family members try to hurt me. I have endured for too long… I have lost a lot. I hope you would understand me, Grandmother.'
Then Lily looked at the image of her late paternal grandmother once again. A sudden gust of wind hit her and she wrapped her arms around her trench coat instinctively. 'I'll take that as your consent.'
Lily turned to face Yang Mi. "Let's go. We have a long week ahead of us."
 Columbarium - A room or building with niches for funeral urns to be stored.