Chapter 31 (V2): Cousin’s Instigation
“I will, I will! For Young Master’s son, this bag of old bones shall take good care of myself. Later in the future when Young Master’s son is born, I’ll also do my best!” Nanny Li’s eyes glistened and she suddenly became spirited.
“That would be great! But what I’m afraid is that the task may wear you out!” Wang Shi laughed and gazed at her.
“That won’t happen, that won’t happen!” Nanny Li shook her hand.
Sang Wan quickly lowered her head as her face had turned red while listening to them. It became even more embarrassing especially when Wang Shi turned to take a brief look at her belly.
Lord’s son? I’m afraid Mother-in-law Wang and Nanny Li will both end up being disappointed.
“Sang Wan, this is Shi Fengju’s nanny. Come and greet her.” Wang Shi pouted slightly and smiled towards Sang Wan.
Nanny Li laughed, “This old lady has already seen Young Mistress yesterday when I returned to Ning Garden!”
But Wang Shi laughed it off and said, “Yesterday’s yesterday, today’s today. Sang Wan, you have to always keep in mind that Nanny Li is the great benefactor of our Shi family, and even more so the person who brought Shi Fengju up and is well respected by him! Understood?”
“Yes, Mother! Your daughter-in-law shall keep your words to heart and will respect Nanny deeply!” Sang Wan smiled and answered before walking up to Nanny Li. Bowing deeping, she greeted loudly, “Nanny!”
“Aiyo, there’s no need for Young Mistress to do so! Truly there’s no need for it!” Nanny Li hurriedly stood to a side and smiled to Wang Shi, “The regulations must still be followed! Missy, your words always know how to make me bashful.”
“You just remain seated, how can there be no need for it? Regulations must of course be followed, but there are always exceptions!” Wang Shi laughed and indicated to the young maidservants to help Nanny Li back to her seat. Again, the two returned to their conversation and would once in a while give a pleasant laughter.
Nanny Li and Wang Shi spoke casually to each other. One could immediately see that they were intimate like sisters with no sign of reservation and carefulness.
Sang Wan was secretly amazed. One should know that Wang Shi can be very moody, her temperament unstable, her behaviors easily affected by others, and is simple minded. Such a person is extremely difficult to deal with because they can be happy all of a sudden and then angry with no actual reason. Before, she may be laughing happily, but on the next second, her expression may make a complete flip. It must have been hard on Nanny Li. But for her to be able to face Wang Shi so casually, it may be more complex than just the loss of two lives.
Sang Wan was right on point. There was indeed something else that even Shi Fengju did not know.
During the time when Nanny Li and Shi Fengju were hiding among a patch of grass, Shi Fengju was unfortunately bitten by a venomous snake which caused him to pass out. It was only because of Nanny Li, who sucked most of the venom out mouth after mouth, that Shi Fengju was alive. However, the venom harmed her body and her lungs became severely injured, making her cough very badly occasionally. And after several years of treatment, the venom was finally removed.
As for that incident, Shi Fengju was unaware of it. It was Nanny Li’s idea to keep him in the dark as she was afraid that it might scare the young master. However, Wang Shi, the old master, and a few others knew that was not the case. Instead, it was because Nanny Li did not wish for Shi Fengju to owe her too much of his thanks. As such, that incident was kept confined to a handful. All Shi Fengju knew was that his Nanny’s health in those few years were not great and would often cough very badly, but other than that, he knew of nothing else.
And from just that, it showed how canny Nanny Li was. Even though she was a maidservant brought from Wang Shi’s parental household, a servant was nevertheless a servant. If Shi Fengju were to be too grateful towards her, it would bring no benefit and would only cause Wang Shi to develop a sense of dislike.
After all, no mother would wish for their own child to remember, and be close with, others more than herself!
So long as Nanny Li was able to keep that incident from being known to Shi Fengju, that itself would display her loyalty towards Wang Shi. Wang Shi would then never put her guard up when around her and would treat her as one of her own. Time after time, she would even remind Shi Fengju to treat and respect his nanny well.
Among those in this household who could speak on an equal standing with Wang Shi, Nanny Li was definitely number one, whereas Gu Fangzi and Nanny Jiang were both ranked second.
Wang Shi’s spirits were up and could not bear to have Nanny Li leave. Thus, she invited her to stay for lunch.
She was so into her conversation with Nanny Li that she forgot all about Sang Wan. And because of that, Sang Wan had stayed by the side and did not leave. Seeing that the food was about to be served, she, even more so, could not leave and went to serve the food onto the table personally.
As Wang Shi warm-heartedly helped Nanny Li to her seat, Nanny Li glanced at Sang Wan and smiled, “This isn’t good, this old servant isn’t worthy of the favor!”
Wang Shi followed her gaze and her eyes landed on Sang Wan. In that moment, she immediately recalled having forgotten to let her take her leave and laughed, “I must be getting old, to have forgotten about Sang Wan. Come, take a seat too! It’s enough to have the servants do it!”
“Yes, Mother!” Sang Wan accepted respectfully.
Seeing so, Nanny Li smiled, “Young Mistress truly is filial and courteous, Young Master sure is blessed; and Missy, you’re truly very fortunate too! If I may, Old Master’s eye for people sure is excellent!”
“Exactly!” Wang Shi could not help but grin and nod. “Sang Wan has a great temperament, but because she’s too courteous, she may even be too good for this household!”
Nanny Li took a glance at Sang Wan in the eye and smiled at Wang Shi, “Just now, this old servant praised that Missy is fortunate, but it seems this old servant was wrong. It is Young Mistress who’s truly the fortunate one! Which household would have a mother-in-law like Missy who’s so tolerant and generous, and cares a lot for her daughter-in-law?”
The mother-in-law and daughter-in-law could not help but laugh, and the three sat affectionately to have lunch.
Sang Wan discreetly looked towards Nanny Li with admiration. At first, she was afraid that Nanny Li might praise her a little too much in front of Wang Shi, for she had done so in front of Shi Fengju, which might result in Wang Shi’s dislike. But Nanny Li truly was quick-witted; her words come and go, leaving no trail behind, yet those words would unknowingly be welcomed into the heart of her listener.
After lunch, the three sat for a little while longer before Nanny Li left together with Sang Wan. But before so, Wang Shi once again reminded Sang Wan to never neglect Nanny Li and to treat her nicely. Sang Wan promised respectfully.
The first few steps Sang Wan and Nanny Li took outside of the courtyard, Gu Fangzi had already taken a few more steps in. In her hands were a large basket of loquats as she cheerfully entered.
Those were the newly harvested fresh fruits that were just gifted from a well-known farm.
Wang Shi could not help but find the deep yellow colored fruit to be cute. Taking a quick sniff of its fragrance, her mouth watered and she placed two into her mouth. The flesh was delicious and juicy, and the moment it entered her mouth, she could already taste its sweetness. Wang Shi smiled and praised the fruit before turning to Gu Fangzi, “Send a few to Ning Garden, will you? This year, the loquats are rather sweet. I’m sure Nanny Li also loves to eat these. Just send a few more over there.”
Gu Fangzi smiled and promised. “These were just sent to us from a well-known farm. All I did was pick a basket and have you taste some first, but I’ll pass the word to the servants to have them distribute the fruits.” Slyly, she continued, “Not too long ago, I saw figures of what seemed to be Nanny Li and Cousin Sang Wan, were they returning from here?”
Wang Shi smiled comfortably, “They were. Nanny Li returned to Ning Garden yesterday and came here specifically today to greet me. I asked for her to chat a little longer with me and then we had lunch together!”
Gu Fangzi clasped her hands together and laughed, “If I knew they were here, I would have sent these over earlier! Oh, that sounded too twisted. If they had heard, they would have thought I was avoiding them deliberately.”
“Rubbish!” Wang Shi spoke sternly but with a smile. “You overthink things. Nanny Li isn’t such a person!”
“Of course Nanny Li isn’t,” Gu Fangzu smiled, “but Cousin Sang Wan, in any case, entered this household recently; what’s more, this household is also under my management, I…”
“My good child, you can relax!” Seeing her worried look, Wang Shi could not help but gently held her hand. Softly, she comforted, “Aunt Wang is here, and I understand you!”
“Aunt Wang truly does care a lot about me!” Gu Fangzi showed a comfortable smile, and went on, “actually, it may just be me thinking too much. With Cousin Sang Wan’s temperament, such thoughts would definitely not surface in her mind, right? You should know that Nanny Li can be a little eccentric, but from what I observed, her relationship with Sang Wan seems to be quite close. If Sang Wan’s conduct towards Nanny Li is good, then her conduct towards me will naturally be the same!”
Hearing those words, Wang Shi’s brows became slightly raised. However, even though the dark clouds filled her heart, she scolded Gu Fangzi and vented it on her, “Nonsense! Nanny Li is an elderly in this household, and is also your cousin’s nanny; do not be impudent!”
“Yes, yes!” Gu Fangzi responded but spoke again cheekily, “Seriously, in which life did Nanny Li burnt such high graded incense that deserves such support from Aunt Wang and Big Cousin! What’s more, there’s even Cousin Sang Wan supporting her from behind now. Now, no one would even dare to provoke that old lady!”
“Is the relationship between Sang Wan and Nanny Li really that close?” Wang Shi could not help but ask.
“Yes,” Gu Fangzi laughed, “It may have been fate that Cousin Sang Wan and Nanny Li have an affinity. Those two would often laugh and talk with each other, and Cousin Sang Wan even personally helped Nanny Li when she needed to move from one place to another!”
Wang Shi’s heart began to feel somewhat sour. Sang Wan is her daughter-in-law, so shouldn’t the person whom she should be getting close to is her? The thought of Sang Wan and Nanny Li being so close, although she could not put it to words, made her feel a little uncomfortable.
However, if she were to remain silent, it would show that she had placed her entire trust into those words. But how could she when she knew the friction between Gu Fangzi and Nanny Li? Her niece disliked Nanny Li, and Nanny Li had never not take her stand when in front of her.
There was the time when she was shook because of Nanny Li’s words. And because of that, she became reluctant to end off the marriage between the Shi family and the Sang family. Otherwise, she would have already done so due to the difference in both families’ financial position.
There was a small part in her that was not entirely convinced by Gu Fangzi’s words. Half fakingly, she asked, “Nanny Li returned to Ning Garden just yesterday only, how could their relationship be intimate in no more than just half a day? You must be exaggerating!”
“My words have a basis, it isn’t any exaggeration!” Gu Fangzi pretended to feel wronged and continued, “Aunt Wang, you may not know this but Nanny Li was extremely furious last night and made a ruckus in Ning Garden! No matter how Big Cousin persuaded her to stay, it was to no avail! But guess what? From what I’ve heard, Cousin Sang Wan was able to persuade Nanny Li to comply with her in just a few words! Everyone in Ning Garden already knows of that incident!”
“Such a thing happened?” Wang Shi was surprised and hurriedly asked, “What else do you know?”
Gu Fangzi shook her head, “I didn’t hear much about the details, so I’m not exactly sure what happened at the start.”
Wang Shi puffed, “It must be Fengju!”
Gu Fangzi immediately stiffened and her eyes widened with surprise.