Chapter 21 (V2): A Demonstration Test
“Cousin Sang Wan won’t put the fault on me, right? In fact, there isn’t any other reason behind Big Cousin and Aunt Wang’s actions. It’s just that I’ve always helped Aunt Wang manage the household, so I may be more accustomed to the way of handling the management in the direction that Aunt Wang desires. Of course, aside from reporting back to Aunt Wang in the future, I’ll also let Cousin Sang Wan know, so as to gather a decision that may be of a different perspective! Still, whatever I do, I would never dare cross the line where Cousin Sang Wan stands and would never dare to disrespect!” Gu Fangzi smiled with a touch of pride in it. It made the pupils of her eyes glisten, making them look exceptionally charming.
“Why would I blame Cousin Fangzi? Cousin Fangzi looks too much upon me as an outsider.” Sang Wan politely returned with a smile. “Mother-in-law and Lord are both comprehensive with their thoughts, and thus their actions are for the good of the household! So long as the household remains in harmony, that will be the greatest blessing for all of us! As such, how could I not be understanding of their actions? Still, Lord has already discussed this with me before. I’m nothing but a figurehead anyway, so for that, it is all up to you! And regarding the management, just do what you deem fit; there’s no need for my approval!”
While Sang Wan spoke, Gu Fangzi stared at her face without blinking. Her luminous gaze seemed to see through Sang Wan’s five senses to dig out her intentions. But Sang Wan was calm. Her brows did not waver, her tone was gentle, and her lips were curled to show a sweet smile. There was absolutely no trace of annoyance, let alone unwillingness and anger.
For a moment, Gu Fangzi felt as if her approach had been successful, but soon felt dullness in her heart.
Unwilling to let be, she smiled before adding carefully, “Does Cousin Sang Wan truly not mind? After all, you’re Big Cousin’s wife and the young mistress of this household! I, I am in the end nothing but an outsider, so the management should naturally be managed by Cousin Sang Wan!”
Liu Ya, who had been tasked to serve by Sang Wan’s side, immediately rolled her eyes. Clearly, Miss Gu understood the situation she was in! If so, why even attempt to remain unreasonable? Since it has been done, then so be it, why come over to voice her grievances? If Young Mistress Fang were here, she would definitely have given her a scolding with something like “What a pretentious person you are, pretending to be mistreated after gaining a favor!”
But this time around, Sang Wan could not help but feel a slight trace of annoyance deep within her heart. How could this person not know when to stop? Surely, she had made things clear, that all she wanted was harmony within the household! So what else does this person want her to do?
“Of course!” Sang Wan quickly reflected before answering. Was her performance not sincere enough to make others feel at ease? As such, not only was she unprovoked by Gu Fangzi’s words, she even made the effort to show a little more sincerity. “Those words truly were from the bottom of my heart. Whatever it may be, Cousin Fangzi, just do what you need to do with a peace of mind! There is no need for any misgivings! In any case, if you’re over-sensitive about this, I may end up feeling apologetic towards you!”
Gu Fangzi sneered discreetly. That act, you may as well continue with that act! And if that was an act, then those who blindly accept truly are the fools!
“That I shall!” Gu Fangzi laughed. “Sure enough, no wonder Aunt Wang praises Cousin Sang Wan for having such a good temperament and being virtuous! In the future, Cousin Sang Wan can relax and live a comfortable life here. For any complicated household trivia, I dare not let my cousin-in-law worry about them! Cousin Sang Wan truly is blessed!” Gu Fangzi giggled and smiled tenderly, but a sense of envy could be felt amidst the laughter.
Sang Wan was dumbfounded. This person sure was clever with her words, all just to force out a relationship? To have turned her into a blessed person, all due to the efforts of this person not letting her worry about any complicated trivia!
Sang Wan was not willing to orally accept this inexplicable relationship. Though she was not willing to do so verbally, she smiled and lowered her head to take a sip from her cup of tea.
With that, Gu Fangzi stopped and gave a small laugh, “I’ll take my leave first then! Oh yes, since Ning Garden will now be taken care by Cousin Sang Wan, I’ll have someone send the roster here later! If Cousin Sang Wan lacks anything, needs something to be adjusted, or wants a change in any servants who are not useful, do let me know! If Cousin Sang Wan suffers from any humiliation, Aunt Wang and Big Cousin will definitely not let me off, hee hee!”
“Alright!” Sang Wan pursed her lips and smiled before nodding.
Once Gu Fangzi left, Liu Ya and Sang Wan looked at each other. Liu Ya’s brows rose and her mouth twitched a little before she spoke softly to Sang Wan. “That person sure is shameless! If I may, she is more despicable than the elderly couple of our Sang family!”
“Don’t go about spouting nonsense!” Sang Wan immediately stared at the door. This place wasn’t just them, master and servant!
Liu Ya stuck out her tongue and grimaced.
Sang Wan could not help but smile. Compared to her second aunt, Gu Fangzi was definitely capable of something despicable, so the words Liu Ya had said were not actually wrong.
Soon after, Gu Fangzi dispatched maidservant Ya Chun to deliver the roster to Ning Garden, which contained information about all of the servants working there.
“Miss Gu said to let this servant help Young Mistress with reading the roster. If Young Mistress has any questions or requests, this servant will return and report back to Miss Gu.” Maidservant Ya Chun said, without blinking. Clearly, she was Gu Fangzi’s spokesperson.
As she spoke, Zhide, Hong Ye, and all the other maidservants of Ning Garden gathered, listening expressionlessly while awaiting Sang Wan’s response.
“That is in no hurry. You may return. I’ll take a look at it slowly.” Sang Wan smiled.
“Miss Gu appointed this servant to drop all errands today and stay to obey Young Mistress’s instructions. Even so, this servant will remain at the side while Young Mistress looks over it slowly.” Maidservant Ya Chun smiled. Though she spoke flawlessly, her feet did not move a single step, as if she had no regard of Sang Wan. Every line she spoke included Gu Fangzi. As such, the meaning behind them could easily be understood.
If this had happened outside of Ning Garden, Sang Wan would have just let the maidservant’s actions pass and would not bother about it. But in Ning Garden, and in front of so many other maidservants who served her, if she were to let the maidservant be, Ning Garden would definitely not be peaceful ever again! Ning Garden could even be renamed the Garden of Impoliteness!
“I have no need for you to serve me here, so you might as well call it a day and go home to rest! The matters in Ning Garden will still have to wait for Nanny Li first! Then I will not trouble maidservant Ya Chun any further!” Sang Wan’s gaze was stern as she glared at maidservant Ya Chun and spoke coldly.
Maidservant Ya Chun did not expect that the gentle and soft-spoken young mistress, who had only recently entered the Shi family, to not give her any face. Her face reddened on the spot and she felt a little embarrassed.
With Gu Fangzi supporting her, she was sure that Sang Wan did not have the authority to do anything towards her. As such, she refused to leave and simply smiled. “Young Mistress—”
“Zhide, Liu Ya! Please send Maidservant Ya Chun off!” Seeing that the maidservant did not take any regard of her words, Sang Wan’s face darkened a little and her tone became a little stern.
Since she had given her instructions clearly, Zhide had to abide by them, and Liu Ya even more so! The two spoke in unison as they walked up to Maidservant Ya Chun. “Sister Ya, please leave!” Without any explanation, Maidservant Ya Chun was half-chased and half-dragged out of Ning Garden.
The maidservants quietly exchanged glances at one another. The new young mistress’s good temperament had its limit!
Unexpectedly, less than half a day after Maidservant Ya Chun was chased out of Ning Garden, Nanny Li, who was recuperating at home, returned back to Ning Garden slowly, with the help of a young maidservant supporting her.
Hearing the news from the maidservants, Sang Wan, who was looking through the roster, was surprised and immediately went out to personally welcome her.
Nanny Li had been Shi Fengju’s nanny and had forged a deep relation with Shi Fengju. Shi Fengju was very filial to her, and as such, Sang Wan dared not neglect this very important person.
“Nanny, what made you decide to return? Your body isn’t completely healed yet; you should take more time off to recuperate at home!” Sang Wan smiled and personally went up to support Nanny Li.
Nanny Li hurriedly dodged the help and let Zhide continue to support her. Slowly, she spoke, “Aiyo, thank you, Young Mistress, but this old servant is not an important person worthy of Young Mistress doing so!”
“You are Lord’s nanny, and as such Sang Wan’s elder. So of course, Nanny Li is worthy of it!” Sang Wan smiled but did not make another attempt to support her. Seeing that she had sat down, Sang Wan instead went to receive the cup of tea from the maidservant serving it, before handing it politely to Nanny Li.
Seeing so, Nanny Li hurriedly leaned forward to receive the cup. “Young Mistress truly is polite. This may make this old servant feel a little terrible on the inside!” Sighing, she went on. “It truly is a pity that I’m old and useless! To have missed the grand day between Young Master and Young Mistress! Oh, it is a pity, truly a pity!”
For not being able to attend Shi Fengju’s wedding ceremony, and not being able to witness him as he married Sang Wan into the family, Nanny Li truly regretted missing the grand day.
“Lord and I are grateful that Nanny Li thought about us! So long as you take care of your frail body, Lord will definitely be happy!” Sang Wan smiled as she spoke.
Nanny Li could not help but laugh. “Young Mistress surely has a way with words! Whoever hears this will definitely feel comfortable!”
“What I spoke was just the truth! But that could also be taken that way!”
Nanny Li smiled. “I heard that Young Mistress has taken over the management of Ning Garden? So many administrative things have to be put in order properly then? Well, that ought to be the case! From today on, Young Master will be fully in Young Mistress’s care then!”
Nanny Li’s expression darkened a little, and a trace of loneliness could be seen in her eyes. The words she spoke were also filled with vicissitudes.
Sang Wan was secretly shocked. It seemed that before she had been married into the family, Ning Garden was basically under Nanny Li’s care!
No wonder Nanny Li had hurried over in spite of her frail body. Needless to say, it must have been either Maidservant Ya Chun or Gu Fangzi who said some irrelevant things to Nanny Li.
“I hope Nanny is just joking! Sang Wan has only just entered the family and does not recognize each and every one of the servants yet, so how would I be able to manage the matters here? All I wanted was to become familiar with their names and appearances! Everything in this garden, from top to bottom, seems to be running smoothly and does not need any instructions from me to be placed in order. Why don’t Nanny take me under your wing?” Sang Wan spoke and hurriedly added, “Also, there isn’t any need to hurry over this! After Nanny’s body recovers, coming back after shouldn’t be too late! Sang Wan is still young and has yet to accumulate experience. In the future, I’ll definitely have to trouble Nanny to advise me! But I hope nanny won’t dislike me because I’m inexperienced!”
A fine line of happiness showed in Nanny Li’s eyes and she asked in surprise, “Then, what Young Mistress means is that this old servant can return?”
“Of course!” Sang Wan found it a little odd but went on. “You’re Lord’s nanny. So long as you are willing to, you’re welcomed back anytime!”
Sang Wan then spoke embarrassedly as she smiled, “My skin is a little thick, and I’d like to have you guide me in the management! Also, as you’ve been taking care of Lord since he was little, as for Lord’s temperament and likings, I’m sure you know them like the back of your hand!”