Chapter 170: Third Old Mistress Shi’s Fury
Shi Yulin was extremely disappointed and pouted her petite lips. She was about to wail when Shi Yuzhen quickly pulled her aside and coaxed her.
“Old Mistress, this old servant is useless!” All of Nanny Gui’s grievances finally found an outlet. She embellished her story and said, “When this old servant arrived at the kitchen, almost everyone had left and only two kitchen aunties remained to tidy the place up. The two of them were in a hurry to go home, and said that they had already sent dinner to us, so they insisted on not cooking another one for this old servant. This old servant saw that it was not easy for them, after all, who doesn’t want to return home on such a cold day like this? So I said no more, and went to Ning Garden to find Young Master and Young Mistress since Ning Garden has a small kitchen attached. I was sure that Young Mistress will not refuse to help!”
“Then what happened? Did Young Master and Young Mistress say anything?” Third Old Mistress Shi’s face was already as cold as ice.
“Old Mistress, calm down a little! The kitchen wasn’t wrong. After all, we were the ones who had missed the hour for dinner. We can’t blame them for being unwilling. Nanny Gui is right, who wouldn’t want to hurry back in this weather!” Third Old Master Shi sighed softly as he consoled at a side.
Shi Third Old Mistress said coldly, “Lord, I know you mean to tell me that the household has to be harmonious in order for it to prosper! But you see, even when you don’t want to be meddlesome, just look at how others are treating us right now! Heng, this is fresh! The masters still have to think for the servants and follow their wishes? It’s only one bowl of noodles, how dare they refuse to make it! Tomorrow, I will speak with Young Mistress! Nanny Gui, carry on!”
“Old Mistress, actually the kitchen wasn’t wrong too, they were really rushing home because of something urgent. That was why they refused. Their attitude was pretty good, and they were the ones who suggested that this old servant go to Ning Garden to find Young Mistress! Please don’t be angry, please don’t blame them!” As if Nanny Gui would dare to allow a confrontation between Third Old Mistress Shi and the staff from the kitchen. If that happens, the paper would no longer be able to wrap the fire!
She sighed in chagrin, “Also, Young Mistress was really nice, after hearing this old servant’s words, she immediately had her kitchen staff make the bowl of noodles! Just that, just that this old servant is useless! As I was walking along a long corridor on the way back, someone accidentally knocked into me. Not only did the meal box fall out of my hands, I also slipped and fell myself! This old servant is really useless!”
Shi Third Old Mistress held her anger in and asked, “And who was the person who knocked into you? Who was it?”
“This old servant… isn’t sure!” Nanny Gui said in embarrassment, “The sky was too dark! What’s more, this old servant was in a hurry to return and wasn’t paying attention. That person knocked into me all of a sudden, so this old servant… this old servant doesn’t know who that person was…”
Third Old Mistress Shi became even more infuriated, and she said angrily, “So, this ends up with no one responsible? You didn’t call out to her?!”
When speaking about this, Nanny Gui was also feeling angry, resentful and wronged, and said immediately, “Why would I not? But the more I called out to her, the faster she ran with no sign of stopping at all? If not for having my waist twisted, I would definitely have given chase and caught her!” Nanny Gui’s eyes darkened before saying guiltily, “This old servant is fine, but it’s unfortunate that the noodles were ruined, and Old Master, Old Mistress, and the two missies are still hungry right now!”
“You can’t be blamed for this!” Third Old Mistress Shi went straight to Third Old Master Shi, “Lord, hear that? I won’t believe a word you say if you tell me that was all just a coincidence! There is obviously someone coming for us! Heng! I will go and find Young Mistress right now!”
“Don’t rush to conclusions when you don’t really know what happened!” Third Old Master Shi coaxed and said, “I think this is all just an accident! Enough, enough, Nanny Gui, you may head down to rest now. See if there is any ointment for your injury and apply them. We can talk again tomorrow!”
“You are still siding with them!” Third Old Mistress Shi stood up all of a sudden and said unhappily, “No! I have to go and question Young Mistress right now! I have to ask her what she meant by all this! It’s already this late, why couldn’t she have sent a maidservant to accompany Nanny Gui back? Just this alone, we can already tell that she has ill intentions!”
Third Old Master Shi was suddenly out of words. From how Third Old Mistress Shi put it, she wasn’t entirely wrong. Niece-in-law was indeed a little careless! But, deciding that it was done on purpose just because of that seemed somewhat unfair!
“Aiya, Niece-in-law is still young, it hasn’t been more than a year since she married into the household, it’s possible that she sometimes did not think things through thoroughly. You shouldn’t be so hard on the youngsters! Looking at it in another way, why didn’t Nanny Gui bring along someone else when she went out?” Third Old Master Shi consoled and said, “Alright, alright, not eating for a meal will not starve us to death, let’s go back and sleep. If there is anything else, we’ll discuss tomorrow!”
“Father! Mother! I’m hungry, I don’t want to sleep! I can’t sleep with a hungry stomach!” Shi Yulin panicked when she heard what her father said.
“All because this old servant is useless! It’s all old servant’s fault!” Nanny Gui felt extremely remorseful. If she had known that such a thing would happen, she would not have refused Liu Ya’s assistance! If there were any confrontations tomorrow, won’t it just be disadvantageous for her? Nanny Gui quickly put the blame on herself and said, “Actually Young Mistress’ servant did want to arrange someone to send me back, but I didn’t want to trouble them. Third Old Mistress, please don’t blame Young Mistress…”
“Hmph!” Third Old Mistress Shi said coldly, “If she really was thoughtful, and respected us as her elders, even if you refused her, she would still have insisted. She quickly conceded after you refused. Surely we can tell that she didn’t have the heart to do it anyway!”
Third Old Mistress Shi creased her brows and glanced at her daughter who was crying from hunger and could not help but feel her heart ache. Her face sunk and she said, “Dont block me! I will go and find her now!” She called out to Ying Xia and a few other servants and was about to head out.
“Stand right there!” Third Old Master Shi became alarmed and pulled her back. In a deep voice, he scolded sternly, “Look at the time now, why are you still making such a ruckus!”
“You are the one that’s being unreasonable at this hour!” Third Old Mistress Shi said without backing down, “Let go of your hand!”
“I won’t let you!”
Shi Yuzhen and Shi Yulin were scared stiff as they watched their parents quarrel. For a short while, Shi Yulin completely forgot about her hunger, and tears hung on her eyelashes as she stared at them blankly before subconsciously sneaking into her sister’s embrace.
“Old Master and Old Mistress, Miss Gu is here!” Suddenly, a servant announced and the quarrel stopped temporarily.
“Miss Gu? Fangzi!” Third Old Mistress Shi was stunned, “Why is she here!”
“Stop making a scene!”Third Old Master Shi sighed in relief and said, “A visitor is a guest. She must’ve come with good intentions! Invite her in, quickly!”
Right on time! Third Old Master Shi secretly wiped off the sweat on his forehead. He knew that his wife had always placed a large importance on presentation, and would naturally stop making a fuss when there was a guest.
“Yes, Old Master!” The young maidservant quickly accepted, and went out to invite Gu Fangzi and Lan Xiang in.
“Third Uncle, Third Aunt!” Gu Fangzi took off her emerald-green cloak, and was wearing a white rice-colored fur coat. She went forward and greeted Third Old Master Shi and his wife. After the greeting, she smiled and nodded to Shi Yuzhen and Shi Yulin and said, “Second Sister, Fourth Sister!”
“Fangzi, have a seat!” Sure enough, Third Old Mistress Shi suppressed her rage, smiled politely at Gu Fangzi and said, “Is anything the matter at such an hour?”
Gu Fangzi gave her thanks and sat before smiling, “Nothing, really! I heard that Third Uncle and Third Aunt were moving house today, so I came specially to pay a visit!”
“Hehe, you are too kind! You still remember us!” Third Old Mistress Shi suddenly felt a tinge of sadness. Her Eldest Sister-in-law and Second Sister-in-law gave them no regard, or even sent anyone to check on them! In the end, it was Gu Fangzi who thought of them!
“Third Aunt, you’re too polite, this is what I ought to do!” Gu Fangzi smiled meekly and said, “I don’t have any expensive gifts for Third Uncle and Third Aunt. I brought with me a little of the green bean cake and some osmanthus flower sweets with nuts that I made. Please give them a try!” After she finished, she ordered Lan Xiang to take them out before smiling awkwardly, “They are all inexpensive things, but I hope I won’t be mocked for it!”
“I want to eat, I want to eat! Oh, oh! There is finally something to eat now!” Hearing that there was food, the eyes on Shi Yulin’s small face were full of excitement. She sprinted forward while clapping with joy, and not even Shi Yuzhen could pull her back in time.
“Xiao Lin!” Third Old Mistress Shi’s expression changed a little as she pulled her daughter, whose hands were reaching out to take the cake, and chided her, “Xiao Lin!”
Shi Yulin could sniff the faint aroma coming from the green bean cake and the osmanthus sweets. Even though it was within her reach, she could not reach out for it and she became unhappy. She sobbed, “Mother is bad, Mother is bad for not letting me eat the green bean cake! I’m really hungry! I’m really, really hungry!”
“You!” Third Old Mistress Shi was feeling both angry and sorry for her daughter. For a moment, she was out of words.
“Younger Sister, be a good girl!” Shi Yuzhen smiled awkwardly at Gu Fangzi and pulled Shi Yulin’s hands to bring her aside.
“No!” Shi Yulin did not want to leave at all, and started to wail loudly.
“What happened to Fourth Sister!” Gu Fangzi was concerned. She hugged Shi Yulin and used her handkerchief to wipe her tears gently before giving her a piece of the cake. She said in a soft voice, “Here, I’ll give you this. Be a good girl, stop crying!” Gu Fangzi smiled back at Third Old Mistress Shi and said, “I am not an outsider, I’m happy if Fourth Cousin likes it. Third Aunt, please don’t be angry at her!”
Shi Yulin became obedient in her embrace, and started eating the green bean cake. After finishing a small piece, she opened her chubby hands and mumbled, “I want more!”
“Eat slowly, careful not to choke!” Gu Fangzi laughed as she patted Shi Yulin’s back softly before giving her another piece. After taking a glimpse at Third Old Mistress Shi and Shi Yuzhen, she smiled, “I made these myself, they’re quite tasty. Third Aunt and Second Sister, please have some too!”
Shi Yuzhen was also feeling ravenous, but as she was a little older, she did not display the same candidness as Shi Yulin. Hearing Gu Fangzi, she could not help but look at her mother. The craving and hope in her eyes could not be more obvious.
“Since it’s your cousin’s good intentions, have some then!” Third Old Mistress Shi sighed softly.
“Yes. Father and Mother, have some too!” Shi Yuzhen put her parents first. Third Old Master Shi did not like sweet food, so he shook his head with a smile. Third Old Mistress Shi took a piece to eat first before Shi Yuzhen did so too.
“Oh, right,” Gu Fangzi blinked before inquiring with a smile, “Just now, Fourth Sister said she was hungry… Did you not have dinner tonight?”