Chapter 265: Paying A Visit
“Big Brother.” Shi Fengming felt sad upon hearing that but said with a bitter smile, “I know that I’ve let them down. However, I really like Qing’er! She’s a nice lady, and she’s not at fault for being a courtesan. Big Brother, help us, will you? I’ll be grateful to you if you do so! My parents wouldn’t need to be so worried too!”
Shi Fengju replied with a sigh, “Why are you so stubborn about going down the wrong path? I know you don’t love to hear this, but Su Qing’er isn’t a nice lady. I don’t know why you’re so foolish!”
“I know that you have prejudice against her, Big Brother!” Although Shi Fengming wouldn’t listen to his brother, he did not get angry at him either. However, his stubbornness that penetrated deep into his bones made Shi Fengju so furious that he didn’t know where to vent his anger.
“Big Brother, if nobody in the household can accept Qing’er, I won’t go back with you!” Shi Fengming saw that his brother had a cold expression and was slightly disappointed. “I’m at fault for letting Father and Mother worry about me. I’ll write a letter to them. Big Brother, please pass it to them so that they can be at ease!”
“If you truly miss them, then go back quickly!” Shi Fengju said faintly, “If you want to send a letter to them, ask someone else to do it. I won’t help you do that. Otherwise, wouldn’t Second Uncle and Second Aunt blame me for not bringing you back?”
Shi Fengming felt happy upon hearing that. “Big Brother, you won’t make things difficult for me?”
Shi Fengju snorted and said, “I can’t say for sure! I can’t simply stand aside and watch you get into deep trouble. You should think about the fact that you’ve always been accommodating that woman, as well as everything that you’ve done for her. Although you said that she treats you well, I clearly don’t see that! I only hear her having a stomach full of schemes and putting you in a difficult situation!”
Shi Fengju didn’t care whether Shi Fengming had returned to his senses. He got up and said, “It’s getting late. I need to go now! I stay in a villa at the foot of a hill where a pagoda stands. If you’ve thought it through, find me there!”
Without uttering a word, Shi Fengming got up and sent him off. When he saw that his brother had gotten onto the horse carriage, he told him, “Big Brother, take care!”
Shi Fengju turned his head indifferently and his gaze fell on Su Qing’er, who had somehow stuck herself to Shi Fengming’s side with a smile. His expression then turned cold.
“Zhan Huan, take two people and keep a good eye on this place. Immediately report to me if there are any movements. If Second Young Master goes missing again, you’ll be waiting to receive punishment!” Shi Fengju naturally wouldn’t let Shi Fengming off easily.
In the house, Su Qing’er pulled Shi Fengming’s arm gently and in a refined manner. She went back to the room with him with a slight smile and sat down before she served him a small cup of tea. “Eldest Young Master and you are truly brothers, to have spoken so much! Although he looks cold on the outside, he has a good heart and has never given us a hard time. If you meet him again next time, you have to be more polite!”
Shi Fengming held onto her hands and smiled slightly. He said to himself: You’re still praising him? He can’t wait for you to disappear right away!
When Su Qing’er saw that Shi Fengming did not answer her, she understood and said with a smile, “What did Eldest Young Master say to you? Is it convenient for you to tell me?”
“Qing’er,” Shi Fengming did not answer her question and suddenly became very serious, “Let’s leave Hangzhou tomorrow, shall we? We’ll find a small town with simple and honest people, buy a house to settle down, open a small shop, and live a good life there. When we have children in the next three or four years, we’ll return home and I’m sure my parents will accept us then for the sake of the children!”
Su Qing’er was stupefied for a moment. Her goal had always been the Shi Household, and not any small town with simple and honest people! Although she had eloped with Shi Fengming back then, she had only been making a concession in order to make progress.
She didn’t believe that Second Old Master Shi and Second Old Mistress Shi were really willing to part with their son, who had left home and suffered hardship because of her. As his parents, how could they not be worried and feel sorry for him? In the past two years, Shi Fengming had wanted to write back to the Shi family. However, she stopped it by reasoning with him that if their whereabouts were exposed, she would no longer be able to be with him. She wanted them to be on edge and be ill at ease. After two years of suffering, she didn’t believe that they would still have a heart of stone! More importantly, the 80,000 silvers that Shi Fengming had taken out was almost all spent. He still wanted to settle down in a small down and open a shop? She, Su Qing’er, would never want to live a rough life, worry about earning a few coins every day, and have to calculate every time they had to go to a restaurant!
Time and tide waited for no man. Her youthful age and delicate face would slowly wear away every day. What could she still use to keep Shi Fengming’s heart as time went on? As long as she entered the Shi Household and became a concubine, wouldn’t she gain great wealth easily? Since Shi Fengming doted on her a lot, she would not feel grieved! That kind of life was what she pursued, and not the one that Shi Fengming had planned!
“Qing’er, you don’t want to?” Shi Fengming started getting tense. He wanted to prove to Shi Fengju that he had good foresight and that Qing’er truly loved him! Therefore, she mustn’t decline him.
“Why would I be unwilling?” Knowing that she had not said something for a long time, she quickly smiled and said softly, “I’m willing to go anywhere as long as I’m with you! However, don’t you miss your parents? I feel guilty when I think that your parents are missing you at home over these two years! Another three or four years… Second Young Master, this won’t do! I can’t bear to suffer like this!”
When Su Qing’er recalled Shi Fengju’s cold, disdainful gaze and those two female servants’ rude attitude, she still felt grieved and her tears streamed down right away.
“Qing’er, Qing’er.” Shi Fengming embraced her in a flurry. “Qing’er, don’t cry! Qing’er, what should I do?”
“Your elder brother will definitely persuade you to go back. Second Young Master, let’s go back with him! As long as he can help us put in a few good words, they will definitely forgive us since you are their son!”
Shi Fengming’s lips moved. He had indeed missed his parents, and he was unable to bear Su Qing’er’s constant pestering. He finally said with a sigh, “If my elder brother can help put in some good words for us, we’ll naturally have more assurance! However, that temper of his… He has a deep prejudice against you. How would he put in good words for us easily!”
Su Qing’er quickly replied, “You’ve also said it’s prejudice. That’s because he doesn’t know me well. Otherwise, he definitely wouldn’t think that way! Second Young Master, let’s be more proactive. He won’t always be heartless, will he?”
Shi Fengming couldn’t help but feel moved, thinking that what she had said was right. His elder brother had said that because he didn’t know Qing’er well. If he understood her, he would definitely see her good points, just like him.
“Let’s give it a try then. We’ll go to his villa to visit him tomorrow.” Shi Fengming nodded his head.
Su Qing’er was very happy and quickly nodded her head in agreement. She was a little nervous and asked him how she should be dressed, how she should comb, what head ornaments she should wear, and how she should behave there. She also asked about Shi Fengju’s temper and preference.
Upon seeing her eyes looking at him brightly, Shi Fengming looked nervous, cautious, and full of anticipation. She was pitiful and lovely, thus he could not help but say gently with a smile after a sigh, “My elder brother is actually pretty amiable. You don’t have to be too nervous. Just behave as you usually do! You just have to stay by my side. Don’t worry, I’ll protect you!”
“Yes! Second Young Master, I know you treat me the best!” Su Qing’er was full of smiles and leaned against him gently.
When it was almost noon the next day, the two of them had finally finished packing up and they left together.
Shi Fengming had set his mind on wanting to meet Shi Fengju to ask him for help. As a result, he had woken up very early and urged Su Qing’er to hurry up.
However, Su Qing’er had a smile on her face and was unhurried. She constantly told him to remain calm. Su Qing’er was thinking that since Shi Fengju had to go to the Chamber of Commerce for business, she wanted to be at his villa when he had already left. If Shi Fengju happened not to go out and didn’t allow her to go in, then wouldn’t she be left with no way in? If he wasn’t there, Shi Fengming would be the master. Nobody there would dare to go against him! As for Shi Fengming, she was pretty confident about him.
After arriving at the Shi Family’s villa, Shi Fengming felt distracted as he looked at the pink walls, red door, and vaguely visible roof ridge hidden in the quiet shade. He had come to this place with Shi Fengju three years ago. Now that he had come again, he was both master and a guest!
When he went forward to knock on the door, an old servant opened the door in a daze and actually recognized Shi Fengming. The old servant stuttered, “This must be Second… Second Young Master?”
Shi Fengming immediately felt friendly and said with a smile as he raised an eyebrow, “It’s me! He he… you still recognize me!”
“Although I’m old, my memory is still good! Second Young Master, please come in. Eldest Young Master has gone out in the morning and will only be back at night! Oh, Young Mistress is present. I’ll ask someone to inform her!”
The old servant smiled and invited him in. When his gaze landed on Su Qing’er, he was slightly startled.
Su Qing’er had gone through hardships since she was young. Once she saw a man, no matter how old or young he was, she would subconsciously show her flirtatious demeanor. She smiled gently at the old servant. She thought that she was smiling in a reserved manner, but that old servant turned slightly rigid and turned away unnaturally.
The old servant had wanted to ask whether she was the Second Young Mistress. Upon seeing the situation, he kept quiet. Since the Second Young Master did not take the initiative to introduce her as that, then she clearly wasn’t. Thus, he pretended as if he didn’t see anything.
Shi Fengming’s eyes lit up and said happily, “My elder brother is already married? When was it!”
The old servant was stunned when he heard that. He simply forgot his social rank and stared at Shi Fengming. Second Young Master didn’t even know when Eldest Young Master had gotten married? He was a gatekeeper in this villa, so it was natural that he didn’t know much about what happened in the Shi Household.
Shi Fengming was quick to react and his face turned red before he said with an awkward smile, “I’ve left home for two years due to some matters. I didn’t know he had gotten married! Which family is my sister-in-law from? Is her surname Gu or Sang?”
The old servant came to a realization and quickly answered with a smile, “I see! Young Mistress is pretty nice, though I don’t know what her surname is!”
Shi Fengming was thinking that it was right too, so he smiled and didn’t ask further. Afterwhich, he followed a servant in and waited in the parlor.