Chapter 4: Generous, Nevertheless
Immediately after hearing what Mi Shi said, Wang Shi looked at Sang Wan only to see a blank expression. Keeping a smile on her face, Wang Shi managed to remain modest. However, her face no doubt showed otherwise. Without thinking too excessively, Wang Shi remained calm and modest as she exhaled softly before glaring at Mi Shi. Having in mind to give Mi Shi a scolding or two afterward, Wang Shi rolled her eyes.
Being a person who dislikes bickering with others, Wang Shi held back her anger and it slowly seeped back into her heart. With that, Wang Shi snorted.
Gu Fangzi gave a hoarse laugh and said with a smile, “my new cousin-in-law may be good, however, Aunt Mi Shi shouldn’t have to be so envious of Aunt Wang Shi! Your good fortune isn’t small, otherwise, your son wouldn’t have married such a good wife either!”
The son Gu Fangzi was referring to was Second Uncle Shi and Mi Shi’s second son, Shi Fengming. Two years ago, Shi Fengming was obsessed with the most popular girl working in a tavern, Su Qing’er, and insisted on marrying her! Such disastrous event enraged both Second Uncle Shi and Mi Shi, resulting in an unpleasant family argument between parent and son.
Mi Shi concluded that her son must have been deceived by the female fox demon. To make him forget about the tavern girl, Mi Shi believed that having him marry someone else would do the trick. Thus, without her son’s consent, she hastily arranged an engagement for him, resulting in her second son to get married first instead of her first son.
Surprisingly, the second son did not falter but begun to aggressively display his love for Su Qing’er. In the end, Mi Shi had to threaten Su Qing’er’s life to force Shi Fengming into entering the bridal chamber. However, not long after Shi Fengming entered the chamber, he seized the chance to escape with money and eloped with the beautiful tavern girl; leaving his newlywed wife, Zhou Jingyi, and never returned.
That incident scarred Mi Shi’s heart deeply and Gu Fangzi said it with an ill intention.
Sure enough, Mi Shi’s face immediately turned pale white. She became vexed and her body puffed with anger.
With wide eyes, Mi Shi glared at Gu Fangzi, “What did you just say? I dare you to say it again!”
At that moment, Wang Shi, who was feeling joyous, felt a little sorry for Mi Shi.
However, for Gu Fangzi to craft such sarcastic sentences to mock Mi Shi, Wang Shi inevitably felt annoyed. Nevertheless, she was more inclined to protecting Gu Fangzi, and said coldly, “What do you mean? Gu Fangzi spoke the truth! Jingyi is a good child and is also a good daughter-in-law! You acting the way you are now is a disgrace to the family!”
“Elder sister… how could you! Dear, look —” Mi Shi became vexed and her eyes started to get teary. Words couldn’t leave her mouth as she thought of her son who is still wandering out there.
Shi Fengju frowned. Never did he think that something so trivial would lead to this! Before he could open his mouth to speak, Gu Fangzi interrupted with a smile on her face, “My bad. Because of my clumsy mouth, the praise turned out to sound so hostile and make Second Aunt so oversensitive. I should receive my punishment. I should really receive my punishment! Second Aunt, I’m really sorry. Do spare me! Not for my sake, but for the joyous ceremony of welcoming my newlywed cousin-in-law into the Shi family! My cousin-in-law, don’t you think so?” As she said it, Gu Fangzi stole a few glances at Mi Shi.
Sang Wan remained silent. Gu Fangzi even wanted to drag her into the commotion! The question thrown out by Gu Fangzi, how was she supposed to answer that? By agreeing, it would seem as though her position as the wife of the Shi family son is greater than the Shi elders, and that her mother-in-law is wrong about her opinion on Jingyi. If she disagreed, she would be bluntly stating that Mi Shi is in the wrong, and again would still result in her going against the elders.
Neither options would bring about any good to her! Sang Wan smiled bitterly. In the past, she was definitely oblivious, and treated as if Gu Fangzi was a good person! A good person would never have said those words!
Sang Wan simply hesitated and cowardly looked at Shi Fengju. Being newly wedded into the Shi family and having little knowledge of Shi family’s internal affairs should be enough of a reason for her to ask her husband for help.
Seeing his wife in distress, Shi Fengju could not stand by and watch. Sighing softly, he said to Mi Shi, “Second Aunt, rest assured that second cousin is fine. I’ll definitely bring him back safely!” These words may seem disjoint, however, they were effective in appeasing Mi Shi’s heart.
“I hope you won’t go back on your words! Fengju ah, Second Aunt will count on you!” Not looking at Gu Fangzi, Mi Shi gazed directly at Shi Fengju as tears flowed down her cheeks. Sure enough, everyone that were present in the courtyard had their eyes on Shi Fengju.
In Second Uncle Shi’s perspective, all he saw was Mi Shi fussing over something very trivial and extending the duration of the ceremony. Already holding half-full of anger within him due to having to attend the ceremony, hearing his useless son being mentioned filled his already-half-full anger to full. Second Uncle Shi gave a soft humph and said, “What’s the point in finding him? Don’t you dare find him! I’d like to see how long he’ll be able to stay away from home. If he has the ability to stay outside for his entire life, I’ll take my hat off! A disloyal and unfilial son I’ve got! I’ve raised my son in vain!”
“How could you say that?” Mi Shi trembled with anger, and scolded, “He is also my son! What gives you the right to make me not look for him? Yes, of course you’re not worried; you have another son, of course you’re not worried! I knew how much you resent the both of us, mother and son, you sociopath!”
“Forget it, forget it. What nonsense are you spouting? What’s more, in front of so many people! You and I have nothing more to discuss and that’s final!” Second Uncle Shi quickly got up and mouthed a word “disgraceful”, before giving Wang Shi a greeting. With that, he left.
Angry, Mi Shi gave a few loud shrieks as she tried to distinguish who was right in the heated argument a moment ago. Ashamed when she looked around, Mi Shi angrily stomped off in the direction where Second Uncle Shi headed, leaving the people in the courtyard speechless.
“Well, that is it for today. The rest of you may leave. My son, please escort your wife back to her chamber. And Sang Wan, my daughter-in-law, yesterday must have been a tiring day for you. Do go back and have a good rest. When dinner is ready, I’ll have a maidservant call for the both of you.” Wang Shi massaged her tired shoulders as she said to the both of them.
“Yes, mother!” Sang Wan curtsied as she replied, before gazing at Shi Fengju eagerly. In her past life, there was no argument between the two elders. Because of the incident that happened during the ceremony, it resulted in both her mother-in-law and her husband’s displeasure. Worse still, right after the ceremony, Shi Fengju excused himself and left, leaving Sang Wan to walk back to her chamber by herself while the maidservants eyed her strangely. Upon reaching the small garden outside her chamber, she hid herself in a secluded area before letting her tears course down her cheeks. However, in this life, everything will be different. She will never allow herself to be in the spot she was in the past, more so to experience it over again.
That chaotic life; once is enough!
Shi Fengju subconsciously gazed at Gu Fangzi before quickly retracting his gaze. Nodding, he accompanied Sang Wan as she left.
Upon leaving the courtyard, Shi Fengju slowed down his pace, “I…”
“Sir,” without giving him a chance to finish, Sang Wan gently called for him; along with a gaze so weak and pitiful. The meaning behind her unfinished sentence that hung in midair was definitely something that can be easily understood.
What she wanted was to have him accompany her back to her chamber.
Startled, Shi Fengju without a choice left his unfinished words to disappear. Sighing silently, he said, “Let’s go, I…we, together.”
“En!” Sang Wan nodded in compliance. Secretly, she felt relieved. She knew what Shi Fengju wanted to do. When Shi Fengju and Gu Fangzi parted at the courtyard, both their eyes met. The people in the courtyard may not have seen it, but Sang Wan saw it clearly. He must have been very anxious to return to Gu Fangzi’s side to talk to her privately.
Them being lovey-dovey when no one is around is none of her business, and is of no importance to her. However, it’ll definitely be embarrassing for her if he left her here to meet Gu Fangzi. Worse, her life in this house will be over and it’ll be no different from her past life!
One by one, the crowd started to leave in the direction of her chamber. Shi Fengju’s pace was rather fast and the sound of his footsteps were rather soft; as if he were flying. His current actions absent-mindedly displayed his anxiety. Sang Wan silently followed closely behind him. Seeing her ‘husband’ place so much attention on the woman whom he has given his heart to, Sang Wan couldn’t help but wonder how it feels like if she were the one to receive it instead of Gu Fangzi.
Still, compared to her past life, this was so much better!
Paranoid after having thought about her past life, the faces of the maidservants suddenly flashed a faint sense of ridicule. A shiver ran down her spine.
“Ouch!” She twisted her ankle.
“What’s wrong?” Shi Fengju, who was walking a few steps in front of Sang Wan, immediately stopped in his tracks. Seeing Sang Wan on the floor, he immediately extended his hand but the intended recipient did not extend hers. Hesitantly, he ended up having to help her up by her arm. “Have you twisted your ankle?”
“I’m fine. I didn’t notice a loose pebble on the floor and tripped over it. I’m alright!” Sang Wan smiled apologetically.
“What are you waiting for? Help support her!” Shi Fengju nodded and retracted his helping hand before yelling at Liu Ya, who was behind Sang Wan.
“Yes! Sir!” Liu Ya immediately stepped forward to support Sang Wan. Sang Wan didn’t blame Liu Ya for not taking the initiative. Back at the Sang family house, Sang Wan often had to help with the house chores. Being independent, there was no need to have someone support her as she walked.
Seeing how protective the young master is to his wife, another maidservant quickly stepped forward to help support Sang Wan. Sang Wan had seen her before. She is Hong Ye, a maidservant who is second-in-charge of the small garden outside her chamber.
Shi Fengju’s pace was no longer as fast as before. Slowly, he accompanied Sang Wan back to her chamber.
Seeing the newly wedded couple back, the maidservants quickly went to greet them. A cup of warm tea and a change of clothes were already prepared for them.
Before Shi Fengju could say anything, Sang Wan chuckled, “These two days had really worn me out. I’d like to have some rest. Sir, you’ve matters at hand so please take your leave. I shall familiarize myself with the staff in this household… oh well, meeting with them later shouldn’t be too late I think.”
Rather than having him open his mouth, doing him the favor would definitely save her own face. Anyway, his actions now looked like a cat finding a surface to scratch on; eager to leave the chamber.
Shi Fengju’s mind was only thinking of Gu Fangzi, and upon hearing those cleverly crafted words from Sang Wan, he nodded and smiled, “Have some rest then, I’ll take my leave first! Have your lunch without me. I’ll see you later before dinner! Li Mama isn’t present, so if you want to familiarize yourself with the staff managing this household, just send someone to call them in for you.” With that, Shi Fengju without drinking his tea left in a blink of an eye.
Seeing that he had left the chamber, Sang Wan’s gaze swept across the interior of the chamber before asking, “Who is the chambers’ housekeeper?”
All the maidservants in the chamber had their heads bowed and there was an awkward moment of silence.
“Ma’am, it is Li Mama.” Someone finally answered. Sang Wan glanced in the direction where the answer came from. It was Xing Zhide, the eldest among the maidservants in the chamber. She is even-tempered and is practical in the work she does. Most importantly, she has no intention of climbing to a higher position. Sang Wan remembered that in her past life, Zhide seemed to have married to a butler in the Shi family household. Of course, she did not have much interaction with Zhide in her past life. However, that life had given her some useful information about the maidservant. Not only is Zhide even-tempered and practical, she is also a loyal person who will never sell people out. That may be seen as her being indifferent or just to remain safe. However, in this household, knowing when to keep one’s mouth shut is easier said than done. Therefore, whatever her reasons for keeping her mouth shut may be, she can still be considered clever for doing so.