Why won’t I? Shi Fengju creased his eyebrows instinctively. He avoided answering her question and smiled as he asked his mother, “Why would Mother talk about this all of a sudden?” She had never intervened in the family’s business in the past.
“Isn’t it because I worry for you!” Wang Shi glared at him, “You don’t know how to take care of yourself, how can I not worry! Enough, you should hurry back and rest!”
“Mother,” Shi Fengju said with a straight face, “Just let Cousin Fangzi mourn in peace, she doesn’t have to help.”
Gu Fangzi’s expression changed slightly and her smile froze. How could he! This was Aunt Wang’s suggestion, yet he still rejected it!
Other than feeling sad, a sour and indescribable feeling exploded in her heart. Did he really dislike her so much to not want to be with her? Even Aunt Wang’s words were futile!
Men are men, they are untrustworthy and unreliable. In the past, he had treated her so nicely and listened to her every word, as well as doted on and coaxed her. It hadn’t been long and he had changed completely!
How could she accept it? She was indignant and unhappy.
“Fengju, Fangzi was just being kind, how could you say that!” Shi Yumei smiled and said, “I know, you must be afraid that Fangzi’s reputation may be affected for not mourning whole-heartedly? Don’t worry about that, she doesn’t need to kneel in front of the altar for an entire day during mourning period, so helping you out won’t clash with her mourning! Not only that, Uncle Gu also wished for Fangzi to repay our family properly; helping you will be obeying her father’s wishes! You can put yourself at ease!”
“Big Sister,” Shi Fengju said indifferently, “There is really no need; I can handle it myself.” Shi Fengju could not help but think of Sang Wan. If the quarrel between him and Sang Wan did not happen, surely she would have continued to help him with the finances? Pity… she got mad at him and returned the books to him.
“What’s the matter? Don’t tell me you’re afraid that a certain someone will get jealous?” Shi Yumei’s expression turned cold with a slight indigance in her tone.
“Big Sister, don’t make everything about Sang Wan!” Shi Fengju felt a twinge of anger rising within him. “I am a man, I know how to make my own decisions and it is not up to others to sway them!”
While he said, he gave a subtle glance at Gu Fangzi.
Gu Fangzi lowered her head and ignored his gaze, but her heart was pounding loudly for she knew that his words were directed at her.
Shi Yumei remained oblivious and nodded at his words, “That’s better! That should be the way! You cannot let her rule over you and obey her every word!” Suddenly, she exclaimed, “Eh, wait! If that isn’t the case, how did you know I was referring to her? Don’t tell me she really gets jealous easily?”
Shi Fengju almost wanted to roll his eyes from her train of thought. Who else in this household would you speak about in such a tone? Even a dimwit would know!
“There you go again!” Shi Fengju did not even have the patience to explain and said indifferently, “Whatever it is, you just have to know that I know what I am doing! Mother, if you have nothing else, I will be going now!”
“Big Cousin, is Big Cousin so unwilling to receive help from Fangzi? Fangzi only wants to share some of Big Cousin’s burden and not let Aunt Wang worry!” Gu Fangzi’s eyes glimmered as she looked at him, “Furthermore, why could I help you in the past, but not anymore? Is it because Big Cousin dislikes Fangzi now…”
“Why would he! Fangzi, don’t overthink this!” Wang Shi added, “Don’t worry, Aunt Wang here has told you before, I will never let you suffer in the Shi household!”
As Wang Shi said, she gave a warning look to Shi Fengju. She could somewhat sense that her son no longer saw his childhood sweetheart, the cousin he once insisted on marrying, the same as before. Now that Gu Fangzi had already thrown this question out, of course she would want her son to give an answer. Fangzi was too pitiful, and had already married into the Shi family. She would not allow her son to treat Fangzi poorly.
“Cousin Fangzi, you are mistaken,” Shi Fengju could only affirm calmly, “Why would I dislike you without any reason? I know that you are just concerned about me, and I really appreciate it! But you haven’t been involved with our family business this year, so there are many details you wouldn’t know. Instead of rendering help to me, I’ll have to take the time off to explain all the details to you. Using that same amount of time, I could already finish whatever that needed to be done! Why should I still have to trouble you? Tell me, don’t you think so?”
Gu Fangzi could not help but feel disappointed. After Sang Wan entered the household, her focus was placed entirely on the household and everything outside of the household was left out. However, she also understood that because the Shi Young Mistress had just married into the family, for the face of the Shi family, they would never allow her to travel out of the household together with her big cousin. And thus, it was inevitable!
Still, why couldn’t he not take the time to explain to her? She had plotted to use that opportunity to deepen their relationship further; who knew he would give such a reason to reject her offer.
Gu Fangzi was unwilling to give up and tried, “Aren’t they mostly repetitive every year? I should be able to understand with a quick explanation, I——”
“Your words make it sound so simple,” Shi Fengju said plainly, “A business isn’t like farming where the crops are reaped every year at around the same time so long as there is no drought or flood. Business transactions are different everyday, how do I explain it all to you in a short time? One small mistake can result in serious consequences, these things have to be made crystal clear and there is no place for ‘probably’ or ‘maybe’. I believe Cousin Fangzi is very clear about this too?”
His meaning was that, before was before. Her knowledge was no longer applicable in the present! So, forget it!
Wang Shi was made confused by his words, but there was one point that she understood: Gu Fangzi could not lend any help and instead, might bring even more trouble to her son.
“This,” Wang Shi was still feeling distressed and was also unwilling to give up, “Are there no other ways? Mother is worried for you, seeing how tired you are!”
“Mother! I know what I’m doing, so you don’t have to worry! If you really want to do something for me,” Shi Fengju gave a meaningful glance at Shi Yumei and smiled, “Just make sure that I can have a good rest everyday when I come home!”
“Alright then,” Wang Shi glanced at Shi Yumei once and sighed, “Don’t worry, if anyone dares to start something within this household, I will never let the matter rest! I will tell Sang Wan to take better care of you! Enough now, go back and rest!”
“Mother, why does topic always return to me!” Shi Yumei was feeling very aggrieved.
Wang Shi sighed unhappily and said directly, “Then tell me, other than you, who else would there be?”
Shi Yumei was suddenly speechless and about to start another argument with Shi Fengju. However, Wang Shi waved and said quickly, “Stop disturbing your younger brother, let him quickly go back!”
Shi Fengju looked towards his big sister with a smile that did not seem like a smile before turning away calmly. Shi Yumei was triggered by it and started ranting to Wang Shi.
“Aunt Wang, I’ll go back too.” Gu Fangzi felt a little empty in her heart and she forced a smile while standing up.
“Go then!” Wang Shi smiled gently, “Your offer was out of goodwill, Aunt Wang understands! But since Fengju said he’s fine, then so be it.”
“En, Fangzi will pray for Big Cousin,” Gu Fangzi nodded submissively with a smile, and bowed as she left.
When she turned and left Wang Shi’s courtyard, her face turned cold as ice and she cursed under her breath: Everything is all a facade! So what if it’s Aunt Wang! She says she cares for me, but she still cares for her son more. Just a few meagre sentences from him is able to sway her from my heartfelt words!
Is there even sincerity in this world? True sincerity is only to oneself!
Gu Fangzi was unable to accept that very fact so she hurriedly caught up to Shi Fengju.
“Big Cousin!” She ran in front of Shi Fengju and smiled bitterly, “Big Cousin, why, why do you treat me like this? Big Cousin, tell me the truth, I know that the words in front of Aunt Wang were just an excuse!”
Shi Fengju remained quiet and only looked at her.
Gu Fangzi gazed straight at him too, her eyes brimming with foolish love, two streams of tears flowing slowly down her face.
Why was she so unlucky! Everything was going so smoothly before, but after she entered the Shi Household to be an “actual” Shi family member, everything went downhill instead.
And all these changes were due to the man in front of her and the woman that the man married! It was all because of her!
“Looks like Cousin Yumei was right, you are afraid that Sister Sang Wan will get angry, right?” Gu Fangzi closed her eyes in pain and said pitifully, “But I really just want to help you! Am I wrong even for doing that?”
“Cousin Fangzi,” Shi Fengju said plainly, “You should know very well that I don’t like to be used. Whatever you want to do in the future, you can let me know instead of plotting behind my back and being so indirect!”
A sense of disgust rose in Shi Fengju’s heart. Did she really think that everyone is a fool? To reach her goal, she even manipulated his mother! And yet she still expected him to cooperate? She must be dreaming!
“You, how dare you say that about me! Am I really such a person in your eyes!”
Gu Fangzi’s face paled instantly and her body trembled. She stumbled forward as her legs turned weak, “I didn’t plot behind your back, I was just afraid that you would refuse so that’s why I wanted Aunt Wang to speak some good words for me! I really just want to help you! Big Cousin, have you forgotten? You said before, no matter what happens, we will go through them together. I’ve always remembered it, but you didn’t!”
Hearing that, there was only a strong sense of irony in his heart: a woman who was full of tricks and only thought of herself still had the nerve to use the past to question him!
And until now, she still assumed she was not wrong, only he was.
Shi Fengju thought that his head must have been kicked by a donkey, which was why he had liked her for so long.
“Afraid that I would refuse?” Shi Fengju raised his eyebrows slightly, “So you planned to use my mother to apply pressure on me, right? Cousin Fangzi, I was too foolish in the past, but I know now that there are some things that cannot be shouldered by you! And, do not forget your own status! I don’t have to remind you about this anymore, do I?”
Gu Fangzi froze and her face became even more pale. She knew what he wanted to say was that last sentence. Her status, her status, that was the only feelings he had for her now!
“Don’t think about what you shouldn’t and don’t worry about what’s not within your scope!” Shi Fengju glanced at her with one last meaningful look then left without a word.
Gu Fangzi felt an unprecedented amount of anger and resentment in her heart as she stared at the view of Shi Fengju’s back. She remained stationary on the spot.