Chapter 9: Irrelevant Nonsense
Apparently, Li Mama has already handled the situation. Seeing so, Sang Wan was secretly relieved. As she observed Li Mama’s body language, she noticed that Li Mama was being a little uneasy but for the sake of this situation, she did not ask her directly; instead, she smiled at Li Mama and gave her thanks, “thank you for the courtesy!” With that, she took a glimpse at Liu Ya and continued, “That girl is prone to running into troubles when doing her tasks. Seeing that she had left for quite some time and had not returned, I decided to take a look to see if she had run into any troubles. And you, Mama——”
After finishing, Sang Wan looked at Li Mama with uncertainty.
“Uh, this old maidservant was just passing by when she saw the few arguing over a small matter and stepped up to tell them off. Everything is alright now! This old maidservant needs to return to serve her mistress, so do return to your chamber.” Li Mama hurriedly replied.
“I see, since the matter is small, let us all disperse and return to our tasks, shall we?” Sang Wan nodded gently before sighing at Liu Ya, “You really are a girl who doesn’t simply let things off. However, this is a family with different regulations where such matters are handled by the servant management group! Just look at you, because of this small matter, you had Li Mama here at the scene you’ve created. Fortunately, Mama is a warm-hearted and friendly person who doesn’t argue over small things.”
Whatever happened here, since Li Mama deemed it as a ‘small matter’; it shall remain as a small matter and not something else! Though Sang Wan is still doubtful of the fact that Li Mama was just passing by as she is a busy person who serves her mother-in-law, the old maidservant has Mother-in-law Wang Shi supporting behind her; Li Mama’s judgements are her mother-in-law’s judgements.
Since this was just a small matter, Sang Wan has no need to pursue it any further. Otherwise, it’ll just be deemed as being against her mother-in-law openly.
Liu Ya understood Sang Wan’s purpose and did not attempt to worsen the situation. Lowering her head, she admitted, “it is all Nubi’s fault, and troubling Li Mama to handle this matter. Nubi hope that Mama would not put this incident to heart!”
“Āi, of course I won’t! Such praise doesn’t befit me!” Li Mama immediately smiled, and was finally at ease. Seeing so, Sang Wan smiled, “Since everything is alright now, let us not delay Mama any longer. Mama, please!”
“Ma’am do retire too.” Li Mama bowed.
Sang Wan did not stay to chat any longer. Instead, she nodded a few times and instructed Liu Ya to carry on with her task before leaving together with Zhide and the group of maidservants whom she brought along. Upon seeing Sang Wan leave, Li Mama turned and left.
Once the dowry arrived at the small garden, they were all kept inside a small storehouse that is a stone’s throw away from the garden. Once the matter regarding the dowry was settled, Sang Wan had Liu Ya explain the ins and outs of whatever happened just then.
Turns out, while the group were carrying the dowry down a flight of stairs, due to the carelessness of the two manservants, a few of the boxes carried by the two met the ground. The fine cotton fabric, cambric paper, and white silk came rolling out of one of the boxes. Seeing the mess, Liu Ya instinctively gave them a scolding and instructed them to recover the dropped goods. After being told off, the two manservants showed a face of unwillingness but did as instructed. However, while they were recovering the goods, they purposely scrape the fabric goods on the floor and even ‘accidentally’ left footprints on them. Once again, Liu Ya became furious and scolded them to be more careful with the goods.
Upon hearing so, the two manservant flipped and coldly murmured behind her back; saying how the fabrics were more suitable for the horsekeeper, and as rags for wiping. Why so serious when such fabrics will just be left in the corner to collect dust? The two manservants even mocked in front of Liu Ya, “Well, unless Ma’am wears clothes made from such fabric!”
Liu Ya was at her limit. With the other servants mocking and adding even more nasty words to her, Liu Ya’s anger exploded and she shot back at them; those hurtful words made Liu Ya so angry that she almost cried.
Sang Wan slightly trembled as she listened to Liu Ya with her fists clenched tightly. The handkerchief in her palm was crumpled badly. The people in Shi family sure are snobby; even the servants dared to mock her only personal maidservant. Who knows, they might one day even mock their Ma’am!
“Ma’am, Nubi really wishes to go back to our Sang family!” Liu Ya said with teary eyes. Taking a glance at the exquisites within the room, she continued, “No matter how great this place is, it is not our home!”
Sang Wan felt troubled and depressed. However, they’ve already entered into the Shi Family; so without a choice, they would have to continue to live on in this house.
Either to follow the path of her past life and take one step at a time into desolation before dying coldly in a corner; or to create a new path for herself through hard work with the new life given to her, by becoming a butterfly, and break free from the cocoon that once shackled her.
“Enough! The matter will just become some irrelevant nonsense within the family. I do not take it to heart, so why do you feel wronged?” Though deep down Sang Wan was feeling low and bitter, she kept her spirit up and forced a smile on her face to persuade Liu Ya. Though she said it for Liu Ya, those words were also to
provide confidence for herself.
“Ma’am,” Liu Ya looked gently towards Sang Wan and said bitterly, “Nubi was only standing up against the injustice on behalf of Ma’am! Our Sang family may not be rich, but it provides all the basic necessities for all its family members. Ma’am, when had you ever received those senseless and cold words? What those people said were even sharper than knife! The people here really are no good!”
Amused, Sang Wan giggled and tightly held Liu Ya’s hand, “It doesn’t matter. We’ll live our own life, and not for them. Do not keep those irrelevant nonsense to heart. Liu Ya, however they want to judge us is not important; what’s important is we must never look down on ourselves because of it! And the day when we can be proud shall be the day we show them!”
“Yes! I’ll never put what they say to heart! What they said just then was nothing; for all I care, they can even look down on me for a lifetime! Hmph, if they were in our shoes, I’m sure they wouldn’t be able to even endure this much!” Liu Ya said with her chin held high and her chest puffed out.
“That should be the mindset!” Sang Wan exclaimed. “Go back and reflect about what you did wrong just then. And if a similar incident were to happen again, think about how you should handle it.” But upon seeing Liu Ya’s unwillingness, Sang Wan sighed and corrected herself. “Go and reflect whether what you did just then, arguing with others, was beneficial.”
Liu Ya suddenly became very sluggish. It may be true that one should stand up against injustice. However, one should consider the who, when and where; otherwise, one would be digging its own grave! The best example would be the incident just then. She was so weak and pathetic during the argument that chances are, she might have become the joke of the household!
“Nubi will keep Ma’am’s words to heart!” Liu Ya said softly.
Sang Wan nodded and had her return to rest. Alone, Sang Wan thought further into the incident and subconsciously, she suspected the cause of it to be Gu Fangzi. Who can blame her for being suspicious of Gu Fangzi? In fact, that woman is truly worth her suspicion!
In the courtyard sat Wang Shi listening to Li Mama’s report. After hearing the report, she sighed, “Good riddance!”
The Sang family may not be similar to the Shi family, however, she had already married into the Shi family and is the wife of the family’s head! If her face were to be lost, the Shi family will also lose its face.
“No doubt she is wise and questioned the incident no further. Otherwise, the situation would have worsened!” Wang Shi sighed as she said it. She felt uncomfortable that her own daughter-in-law was ridiculed by her servants. Worst, if outsiders were to get wind of this, the Shi family will be the family of ridicule to the entire Qingzhou! And especially that Zhuang merchant family’s Mistress; she would definitely make fun of her (Wang Shi) till she end up rolling on the floor!
That woman had always been jealous of the Shi family; in a normal day where nothing is out of the blue, that woman would usually come to find trouble. With that reason alone, if she were to hear a rumor about the incident, she’ll definitely exaggerate it to humiliate the Shi family!
“Are the underlings instructed? If anyone dares to utter a single word about this incident, I’ll definitely have them killed! And as for those two foolish manservants, have them sent to work as coolies! If they remain stubborn, send them into the Chuan Shu Forest to work as loggers! Hēng, have them tamed!” Wang Shi instructed before grinding her teeth angrily.
“Rest assured M’lady, I’ve already given out the necessary instructions to them. Ma’am is an understanding lady; she’ll definitely not mention this incident.” Li Mama answered hurriedly.
The way Li Mama handle things, Wang Shi was rest assured. Upon hearing those words, she nodded her head and her face gradually relaxed. Again, thinking about the incident, Wang Shi was not contented. Coldly, she groaned, “Still, my daughter-in-law is right! Those servants in the management group, what were they even doing? How did our household even have such unruly things? Today’s incident may be small, but if those troublemakers were to create bigger troubles, it would be too late! Tell those underlings to be more mindful of themselves! And I want to meet with those servants from the management group; I would need to talk to them personally to make things clear!”
“Yes M’lady!” Li Mama knew her mistress is someone who looks highly upon reputation. And naturally, because of the incident, would need some people to pass that anger to. Too bad to those who are out of luck.
After letting out the hate in her heart, she regained herself and continued, “Because of this incident, my daughter-in-law was ridiculed. What do you say; should I reward her with something to help her get over the shock?”
Li Mama suddenly became speechless. Deep down she pondered a little. Yesterday, Mistress received the tea from her daughter-in-law; rewarded her with a gift; and as for this small misunderstanding, since Mistress did not handle the matter personally, there was no need of any reward. If she were to do so, isn’t that just finding trouble?
“From what I observed, Ma’am has a great temperament and a vast amount of general knowledge. Perhaps ——, hēhē, oh right, Ma’am will be preparing the dinner tonight! It isn’t too late to reward her with a praise if you like her cooking!”
It is a Qingzhou custom for the newly wedded daughter-in-law to prepare dinner specially for her mother-in-law. This custom is to show the daughter-in-law’s ingenuity, virtuousness, competency, and capability.
“Yes, yes! I almost forgot! Then for tonight, that shall do it!” Wang Shi gently tapped her head and continued, “Later on, help me ready some high quality gold hairpins!”
Li Mama accepted and left.
In the end, Wang Shi was impatient and couldn’t wait till night. She had someone call in the two concubines’ daughters, Shi Lian and Shi Rui, and requested them to head to the small garden to accompany Sang Wan.
Upon seeing both Shi Lian and Shi Rui, Sang Wan took it as a big surprise.
Starting a conversation with Shi Lian wasn’t difficult whereas for Shi Rui, it would be the opposite. Shi Rui was just an eleven-year-old child who was yet to be sensible. However, as a daughter-in-law, how can she cast aside the little girl? Sang Wan, with a broad smile on her face, personally went to welcome the both and invited them into the chamber to have a sit.
Shi Lian, whose biological mother was a concubine, Aunt Rou, had already passed away. As such, she was raised under her father’s first wife who has the tendency to be affected by others’ words, and is both temperamental and paranoid. Thus, she grew up as a cautious child. Normally, she would spend majority of her time shut indoors doing needlework; making clothes and shoes for her stepmother and two brothers, and rarely visiting the garden, much less visiting others. Shi Rui was also born from a concubine named Fang who was favored by Second Uncle Shi. Shi Rui was also very attractive and though young, she has a very lively personality.