Chapter 2: Confession in the Bridal Chamber
“Si ya”, the door was gently pushed open from the outside. The bridesmaid was the first to enter the chamber. She giggled as she rap which sounded very much like a stream of flowing water. Following behind the bridesmaid were the bridegroom and the servants.
“That’s enough. The rest of you may leave.” Shi Fengju interrupted the bridesmaid suddenly. This caused the heartwarming auspicious words to stop abruptly.
Sang Wan remained motionless, but her eyes behind the veil blinked a few times. His voice is still as smooth as ever, yet dull to the extreme. She could even imagine his facial expression when he spoke; his face and his expression must have been even duller.
“Uh. Yes…” The bridesmaid is Qingzhou city’s most famous Zhang matchmaker. She has seen all the different kinds of relationships between males and females from villages all around the city; no relationships around the city can escape her ears. Even the sexual gratification between Sang Wan’s husband and his cousin, Gu Fangzi, is not news to her.
If only her father did not arrange this wedding when he was still alive… If only canceling the marriage between her and the Shi family’s eldest son was simple… She wouldn’t have to be in the position she currently is in.
However, it seems that even though Miss Sang was able to become part of the Shi family and also take the position as Shi Fengju’s wife, the position may not seem as secured as one may think.
The bridesmaid gave a wink and pouted a few times to signal to the servants. Together with Liu Ya and the rest of the servants, the bridesmaid left the chamber.
The door was closed gently and the huge room fell into silence. The atmosphere within the room was a little depressing.
Living in an environment where the world revolves around him, Shi Fengju’s already depressed feeling became even more depressed. The color red was supposed to be bright and warm, yet it somehow brought to him a deeper sense of depression.
True enough, a person’s state of mind brings about the difference in one’s perception.
His gaze swept over the big red Double Happiness word ‘囍’ (TLN: 囍means joy) that was scattered with gold powder, and the dragon and phoenix wedding candle that was lit beforehand. His eyes suddenly darkened and he entered a trance.
Let’s get this over and done with! Shi Fengju sighed secretly to dissipate all the unpleasant emotions within him. “Since I agreed to marry Miss Sang into my family, as long as she is not someone who is untrustworthy, she will remain as my official wife! My dear cousin, Fang’er, she said she’ll understand me… She’ll definitely understand… I’ll not disappoint you my Fang’er.”
Shi Fengju subconsciously rubbed his fist together as he steadily approached the bride. He pinched the two edge of the veil with his two hands and slowly lifted it up, revealing the coronet. The jade pearls on the coronet shook a little as the woman wearing the coronet gently raised her head.
A pair of crystal clear eyes stared deeply into his eyes.
Such crystal clear eyes! Such magnificence! The gentle blinking of the eyelashes made her eyes looked even more magnificent!
Shi Fengju was taken aback.
In a brief moment, his eyes returned back to its usual calm state. Sang Wan observed him, as he remained silent and turned to the table beside him to pour two small cups of wine meant to perform the cross-cupped wine rite. He handed a cup to Sang Wan and held the other in his own hand.
“After drinking finish the cup of wine, the rite is complete. It is very late now; let’s call it a day.” Shi Fengju said calmly. After saying it, he tilted his neck slowly upwards and finished the wine in his cup.
Sang Wan stared at him and could not help but wonder if it was magic. Just like in her past life, he would drink from the cup without performing the cross-cupped wine rite, and then…
Had he never thought she would be hungry for not eating much today?
Of course, that thought surfaced in Sang Wan’s mind not because she wanted to do the cross-cupped wine rite, but because she felt the injustice and grievance as a bride.
“Are you… not drinking it?” Shi Fengju placed his empty cup on the table, before turning around and walking towards Sang Wan to engage in activities that married couples usually do, only to see her hand still holding a cup full of wine. Deep inside, he started to feel impatient, thus he couldn’t help but knit his eyebrows.
What is she doing?
Sang Wan glanced at Shi Fengju, then simply placed the cup of wine gently beside her.
“You!” Shi Fengju received a shock and questioned her coldly, “what is the meaning of this?”
Sang Wan stood up. She folded her sleeves and genuflect (TLN: genuflect means to lower one’s body briefly to show respect) before lifting up her head to gaze directly at Shi Fengju. She directly went to the point, “Sir, you have someone you like. The person whom you want to marry is not me but someone else, am I right?”
Shi Fengju did not expect her to say that. It was all too sudden! His first thing that came to his mind was whether he heard her wrongly. His business personality helped kept him calm. Recovering from the shock, he asked softly, “What exactly is it that you would like to tell me?”
Sang Wan lowered her head slightly, exposing her slender white neck before looking at him again and said, “Sir, you complied with the marriage and saved the Sang family’s reputation. Sang Wan is very grateful. However, Sir has already given his heart to someone else, thus Sang Wan does not want to steal you away from her. Why don’t we be a false couple? What do you think?”
Shi Fengju could not help but be visibly moved, and he heaved a sigh of relief as the burden on his shoulder was finally lifted. His eyes flashed, unlike the lifeless eyes he had just then. Become a false couple? She had the nerve to think of such a thing, what’s more say it out!
Seeing Shi Fengju remain silent, she continued, “After around a year or so, we can divorce and you can then marry the woman in your heart since the two of us are incompatible. How about it?”
Shi Fengju continued to remain silent, which made her feel a little uneasy. He not loving her is a matter on its own, but her initiating the divorce is another. Being a man as handsome as him with such a wealthy background, he is the perfect husband many women yearn for… yet this lady in front of him told him upfront that she wanted to divorce. Shi Fengju felt a little offended.
He could not help but scrutinize the woman in front of him. Gentle facial features with five healthy senses (TLN: the ears, eyes, lips, nose and tongue), fair skin, large and bright eyes. The eyes…crystal clear which made it particularly noticeable. The woman in front of him looked calm and indifferent, neither servile nor overbearing. Those two points alone made him impressed.
However, those were also the points that made him feel a little offended.
“Why? Can’t wait to leave the Shi family? Is there someone else waiting for you?” Shi Fengju blurted out on impulse.
This time, it was Sang Wan’s turn to feel offended. If his words got out and spread across the city, her own family name would have been ruined. She would be too embarrassed to meet people!
“If that were the case, would I still have married into the Shi family?” Sang Wan scorned while trying to contain the anger within her heart. If what he said were true and the Shi family still let her marry into their family, the family sure is airy!
Actually, Shi Fengju regretted deeply when those words left his mouth as he spoke. He knows that those words were actually meant for himself but he ended up venting his frustration on her. If Sang Wan is prone to indiscretion, his family would have known…no… he himself would have known!
“My apologies. I said that without thinking and offended you.” Shi Fengju bowed to show his sincerity as he apologized to Sang Wan. Shi Fengju has always been a gentleman, thus, apologizing when one is wrong isn’t a difficult task to him.
“It’s alright. Those words were unintentional.” Sang Wan said softly and returned a curtsy. Arguing to identify who is at fault in this conversation would have been a stupid idea anyway.
“Let’s do as you said. After a year or so, we’ll divorce.” Shi Fengju agreed.
“It is not like the Shi family forced me to get married into their family; just an agreement between both families. A recently married couple getting divorce is unheard of. After a year or so, come out with a reasonable reason and get divorce, and we’ll both be happy… after a year or so… ”
“Be at ease. The Shi family will not ill-treat you. I’ll ensure that you live comfortably with food and necessities available whenever you need them for the rest of your life.” Shi Fengju generously added. The Shi family is very wealthy. Giving her this generous reward for coming out with such a brilliant idea isn’t too much of a problem. If she ever wants to get married in the future, having such a large dowry can also help to increase her chances.
“Thank you very much for your generosity, Young Master Shi.” Sang Wan once again bowed, and thanked Shi Fengju sincerely. Since Shi Fengju said that he’ll give a dowry, it’ll definitely be a large sum. With that sum of money, the path ahead is safeguarded.
“Let me conclude what we just discussed. In the coming year, the secret of us being a false couple will only be known between us, alright?” Sang Wan gazed at Shi Fengju, expecting an answer.
“Of course!” Shi Fengju nodded. If word got out, not only will Sang Wan’s reputation be tarnished, even his will too! Of course no one else can know the secret.
“Do you have anything else to add on?” He asked Sang Wan when he saw that she had something to say but was very hesitant.
Walking back and forth, Sang Wan finally answered, “Well, I do have a presumptuous request. It is about Miss Gu… Even though we’ll be spending around a year together before we divorce, I do hope you’ll wait till I leave before marrying Miss Gu.”
Shi Fengju was taken aback and stared at San Wang blankly.
Sang Wan herself was also taken aback, and her face turned red with embarrassment. “Why did I say that?” Sang Wan thought to her inner self. Putting on a silly smile on her face apologized, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I’m such a muddle head for saying such a thing.”
The reason she blurted about Miss Gu was because of her experience in the past life. Firstly, if she were to marry into the Shi family, what would her “current wife” status become? Secondly, she didn’t want to have any further contact with Miss Gu. Therefore, it would be best if Miss Gu only marries into the Shi family after she left.
The Shi Fengju currently was thinking about something else even more intensely. “Since Sang Wan already stated that she’ll divorce with me after a year, of course I’ll have to wait till we get divorced before I can marry Gu Fangzi! How can I let my sweetheart become a concubine? Just a year…I can wait for that long.”
Seeing that Sang Wan was very embarrassed, he questioned her no further but stared at her suspiciously for a moment.
The problem with regards to his marriage has finally concluded. The burden on his shoulder was finally lifted and he couldn’t help but feel a lot more relaxed. Drowsy, he covered his mouth as he yawned. “The day is not young anymore. Let’s call it a day. You sleep here on the bed and I’ll sleep on the floor.”
After saying that, he took a blanket from the cabinet.
Finally a little conscience displayed by him for not letting her sleep on the floor. However…
Sang Wan rubbed her stomach. She was extremely hungry.
“Sir, please rest first. My stomach is really hungry so I’ll go out and grab a bite.”
His whole body lay on the floor stiffly, and his mouth moved awkwardly, “Sure. Do as you please.” Even though he is a conscience person, but did not bother thinking why she was hungry at such an hour.
At the same time, Sang Wan thought to herself, “Why was I so naïve to have suffered because of him in the past?”