Just listening to them talk would only shorten her life! Fang Shi rolled her eyes before taking her leave.
Liu Ya was no longer the Liu Ya in the past. She smiled and said, “Really? When my ma’am got married, I clearly don’t remember you contributing to her dowry in any way. You must be the first aunt under this vast sky to treat her dear niece-in-law in such a way!”
“You!”Li Shi was furious, “How dare you! How dare a mere servant talk back to me, you renegade!”
“I’m a small servant who does not belong to your family, so who are you to scold me? All I did was speak the truth, how is that talking back? Fancy you scolding me, who are you to me?”
Liu Ya laughed coldly, “I’d advice the both of you to restrain yourselves a little! And please, don’t think everyone is foolish! The Shi Household is only able to reach today’s success not without wit! I’ll be honest with you, my sir especially hates greedy people like you, why would he let her come over to your filthy house? If you’re smart, you’d stop pestering my ma’am. Otherwise ——hehe. Let’s say that my sir is capable and has his means, how else would he be able to control hundreds of shops and tens of thousands of people operating on both sides of the river? Hmph!”
“You, you!” Sang Pingliang was so furious that he was out of words, ” Those words, who taught you those words? Huh?”
“I dare say, Mister, you’re a clever person, I don’t think I have to tell you else you might not be able to keep your face!” Liu Ya said coldly, “You can put the hat on whoever you think might fit it, but most importantly, you should listen to me well! Otherwise, otherwise, even I do not know what might happen to you either!”
Sang Pingliang was feeling both mad and shock. He was sure it was Shi Fengju who made Liu Ya said that. Really, he did not think that person would be —— would be so ——
“Don’t think that the whole world belongs to the Shi household! Hmph, is he not afraid that his reputation would be ruined if I tell the world what he said?”
Liu Ya laughed as if she had heard the funniest joke in the world, “Sure, go ahead! My sir hasn’t been alone with you, nor has he said anything to your face, right? What you do will be equivalent to slander and that will land you in jail! Furthermore, if you think you can ruin my sir’s reputation with mere words, then you must be crazy! Really, there’s no point in talking to people like you! Think about what I said slowly, will you? I’ll be taking my leave now.”
Liu Ya finished off with a slight grin and left.
Sang Pingliang sank into his chair. His clenched fist trembled as he screamed rudely, “Outrageous! Outrageous! That b*stard, b*stard!”
However, he was really afraid this time around and could only vent out his anger by cussing.
He dared to pick on the Sang brothers due to his relationship with them as their biological uncle. He was used to bullying them and he was confident that if the brothers went against his wish, he could vent his resentment on them by creating a big fuss. Moreover, he knew that Sang Yufei had a reputation to keep.
However, Shi Fengju was not the same; he was never a threat to him. If Shi Fengju did not acknowledge him, then that was so. If he were to piss that man off, just a gesture from that man’s finger and a quick instruction would be enough to put him in a predicament with no chance to complain.
Sang Pingliang finally became more docile after Liu Ya’s words.
The visiting at Sang Hong’s house was finally over after two days. It was time to welcome the villagers to a grand spread.
What was odd was that no one from Sang Pingliang’s family came to attend. Sang Hong then asked Fang Shi to invite them over. Fang Shi was too lazy to go there alone so she asked a neighbour to accompany her. However, it was as if Sang Pingliang and his wife had eaten the wrong medicine as they excused themselves from the occasion.
There was no way the Sang brothers would know that they were scared off by Liu Ya. Sang Hong instructed a servant to send some food to them and that they accepted.
The Sang Brothers’ actions received praise by the villagers for being generous and empathetic.
After the busy days, things finally settled down. Shi Fengju and Sang Wan were ready to return back to Qingzhou.
Sang Wan found it difficult to bid farewell before they left and she reminded Sang Yufei yet again, “Second Brother, when you travel through Qingzhou while on your way to the capital for your exams, you must come and see me!”
The capital was a thousand miles from Sihe Village. The way forward would not be smooth and the weather might get rough. Just that thought alone worried her.
“Don’t worry, I will! After all, I’ve promised your mother-in-law to meet with Fenghua. I’ll definitely go and find you,” Sang Yufei smiled.
“That’s good!” Sang Wan finally felt more relieved and she smiled, “Then we’ll be waiting for you in mid-October”
“Second Brother,” Shi Fengju smiled and said, “you need to stay in the capital for a few months; it would be inconvenient for you if you’ve no one to care for your well-being there. A servant who serves in the study room is different from an average servant. An unsuitable one will only bring you more trouble. If you don’t mind, Shi Ming will follow you from now on!”
“This——” Sang Yufei looked over at Shi Ming. When he saw a nod from Shi Ming, he understood that Shi Fengju had already talked with him already.
“Second Brother, just accept Brother-in-law’s goodwill. I also think that Shi Ming is quite smart and alert! It’s just that, we owe brother-in-law another favor yet again!” Sang Hong cupped his hands and bowed. He was also feeling a little uneasy about his younger brother travelling a long distance by himself. In any case, Shi Ming had been a great help for the past few days. He was indeed a clever and alert person.
“Thank you, kind sir, for your praise!” Shi Ming smiled and bowed.
That made everyone laugh.
“Big Brother, there’s no need to be so courteous about it. Then this is settled!” Shi Fengju then scolded Shi Ming, “So much for the praise! Listen carefully, from today onwards, you no longer belong to the Shi household. You’re now Young Master Sang’s servant. Now quickly, bow to your new owner! Do your tasks well, don’t give me shame!”
“Yes, Sir!” Shi Ming quickly gave a kowtow to Sang Yufei to acknowledge him as his new owner. Feeling a little sad about leaving his former owner, Shi Ming looked at Shi Fengju eagerly after getting up and asked, “Will this servant still be able to see you in the future, Sir?”
“What are you saying!” Shi Fengju was amused and he scolded, “Our families are in-laws, it’ll be difficult for you not to see me around. I’m really curious what goes inside your head!” He then turned to Sang Yufei and said, “Shi Ming will serve you while you study. If he dares to disobey you or is unruly towards you, you can just punish him or sell him away; you don’t have to seek my opinion about it.”
“I’m confident that Brother-in-law’s servant will not act brazenly! You’re overthinking this, but I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.” Sang Yufei smiled and said.
“I will definitely serve Young Master Sang with loyalty, don’t worry sir!” Shi Ming straightened his back and said with pride. Shi Fengju had a few personal servants; Zhan Huan was responsible for the external affairs while Shi Ming was in charge of helping out in the study room most of the time. Before, Shi Fengju ordered him to serve Ren Zhixian but he was condemned by Ren Zhixian. Behind his back, Shi Ming harbored a huge amount of resentment towards him. As a professional, his many years of serving Shi Fengju was without criticism, yet why was he deemed not good enough when serving Ren Zhixian? Now that he was assigned to serve Sang Yufei, he swore to do his best and not let Sang Yufei have anything to pick on with him. He deemed me as not good enough to serve him in his studies? Now that I’m going to serve a top escorted examinee, who might even become next year’s top ranked scholar, I’m sure he’ll come to realize whether I’m truly good enough to serve in the study room or not!
When Shi Fengju and Sang Wan finally left, the Sang brothers began looking through the gifts that they had received from the past few days.
Not doing so would have done them well as they received a huge shock after spending the day doing a count. They had received nearly a thousand acres of fertile land, four thousand silvers, and the rest were priceless antiques amounting to two or three hundred pieces.
The brothers begun to worry about their preparations for the return gifts. The monetary gifts were fine as it could be used to purchase the return gifts. However, the physical gifts received could not be passed on to others. Not only that, whether the monetary amount received to purchase the return gifts was enough as well as the courtesy of buying them was a whole frontier of knowledge by itself. The town itself might not even be able to attain any precious items to be the case of a return gift.
Sang Hong and Sang Yufei were all troubled. Never did they imagine that acquiring the return gifts would be so difficult!
Moreover, this matter could not be dragged on for too long. In a month, Sang Yufei would be heading to the capital and would be staying for eight to ten days in Shi household. Accounting for that, Sang Yufei would have to leave from Sang Hong’s house latest by mid-october.
“Sirs, don’t be too anxious,” Shi Ming smiled and said, “My former master has informed me that, in awhile, he will send a few servants over to hand you your gifts. After all, My former master has yet to give any gifts to Young Master Sang to congratulate you!”
Sang Hong and Sang Yufei immediately eased a little and sighed, “This would have been difficult to handle if not for brother-in-law!”
Sang Hong then reminded Sang Yufei, “When you are in Shi household, please interact more with his younger brother. It’ll be a form of repaying your debt to him!”
“Don’t worry, Big Brother! Third Young Master Shi and I got off at a good start and we’re quite fond of each other!” Sang Yufei smiled.
“That’s good! I’ll be more relieved this way!” Sang Hong smiled and said. Initially, he was a little worried that the Shi family’s third child, being the youngest, would be spoilt. It would be inevitable if he had a little prince syndrome. Sang Hong was just about to advise his second brother to treat Third Young Master Shi nicely for the sake of their brother-in-law, but who knew that they would hit it off!
“Oh right!” Fang Shi suddenly smiled and said, “Yesterday, Auntie Wang from Yangliu Gulf came and had a talk with me. Second brother, you are not young anymore. Before, you were afraid that a relationship would affect your studies. We’re relieved that you’ve become the top escorted examinee, but shouldn’t you also give more thought to your marriage? I heard from Miss Wang that there are a few good missies out there!”
“Your sister-in-law is right!” Sang Hong nodded and said. “You have to start putting some thoughts into it already! Sang Wan already has a partner to rely on which leaves me with one less thing to worry about. If you get married and form a family, I can finally feel relieved entirely! That Auntie Wang won’t recommend ladies carelessly. If she said they are good, we should ask her and find you a suitable partner! ”
“No need, no need!” Who knew that Sang Yufei, who was always obedient, would suddenly get all flighty as he almost jumped like a cat whose tail had been stepped on. He quickly rejected and said, “Please don’t! Big brother, and big sister-in-law, I still don’t want to think about that now! Please hold it off until after my exams!”
“I didn’t say that you have to get married immediately, it’s just to have a look! If they are really good, then we should arrange one and wait for you to return next year to get married! Good missies don’t wait! If you miss it, you miss it!” Fang Shi smiled and said, “Don’t worry! I am not a greedy person who desires wealth, I won’t simply fix one for you! I’ll make sure to find out everything about those missies—— personality, appearance, everything!”