Chapter 32 (V2): Nanny Li and the Cousin’s War With Words
Only to hear Wang Shi continue, “He is not a child already, yet he still cannot see the severity in this! Needless to say, he must have done something to make Nanny Li mad! For him to do that to someone who looked after him and cares a lot about him, that useless thing; when he’s back, I’ll surely teach him a lesson! Fortunately, Sang Wan was able to persuade Nanny Li, otherwise, how will the Shi family ever face her! I want to hear the details so go and inquire about it!” The latter was actually spoken to Nanny Jiang.
Gu Fangzi opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. Never had she imagined that Wang Shi’s thoughts would not follow the trail she laid out! Why did things end up not following the way she wanted it to be?
What Gu Fangzi did not know was that Wang Shi had already heard from someone that there was a quarrel between Shi Fengju and Nanny Li. Deep down, she was already somewhat unhappy for it was her son, and what’s more it was with someone whom he was very close with!
Never had he dared to do something like that towards her!
The flame within her that was recently lit blew out naturally by itself. Not only was she not furious at Sang Wan, she was secretly thankful that Sang Wan was present when the incident happened. If not for Sang Wan, Nanny Li would have left; how would the entire household go about facing the public in the future? For Sang Wan who had stood for Nanny Li, it was inevitable that their relationship would become close.
Gu Fangzi had spent a lot of time coming up with a plan that could kill two birds with one stone, yet it was all in vain. It was all for naught since her plan was unsuccessful, but seeing Wang Shi grumbling with her mind now full of wanting to teach Shi Fengju a lesson, she no longer wished to stay any further and excused herself unconvincingly.
Shi Fengju returned in the evening, and sure enough, Wang Shi scolded him harshly. Although he knew he deserved it, his heart felt that it was uncalled for and wondered: It was already a thing of the past, so why did Mother make such a big fuss and purposely call for me to give me a lecture?
Nanny Li felt rather apologetic once she knew that Shi Fengju got a scolding and went to Wang Shi to explain that it was all an accident, a misunderstanding, which had been resolved. Once Shi Fengju became aware that it was Gu Fangzi who leaked the information out unintentionally to his mother, he was at a loss whether to cry or to laugh.
Gu Fangzi felt that the commotion which she sparked was diverting more and more, and thus went up to Sang Wan and apologized, “My mouth was too quick at that moment, but who’d have thought Aunt Wang to be so earnest? Cousin Sang Wan, please don’t get mad at me! I apologize sincerely to you!”
Once the words left her mouth, she truly went on her knees and bowed.
“Cousin Fangzi, you’re too courteous!” Sang Wan smiled and hurriedly went to help her up, but her heart secretly responded: The one who got the scolding wasn’t me, so why would I get mad at you? The one you should be apologizing to isn’t me.
Nanny Li absolutely disliked seeing Gu Fangzi striking an attitude on purpose. She took a glance cynically and smiled fakingly, “Just as Young Mistress said, Miss Gu is being too courteous, but too much of it would make it unusual. Still, a Shi family matter has got nothing to do with Miss Gu, so that bow was all for naught.”
Gu Fangzi’s gaze swept across the maidservants who stood at the side and her face turned red all of a sudden. Barely forcing a smile, she spoke, “But in the end, it was because I was too quick to speak——”
“That should not have happened!” Nanny Li laughed, “This old lady here isn’t trying to be prideful for being an elder, but which lady, who’s yet to be married, does nothing but go around all day and night with her mouth wide open! Miss Gu, listen to this old servant’s advice and kick that habit away! Otherwise, there’ll be trouble when finding you a match in the future!”
Gu Fangzi could not help but be furious. What “all day and night”, what “go around”, is she really that idle? How could she have spoken like that! In a face off, she sneered, “So Nanny knows that she’s condescending; there I thought Nanny doesn’t know it! In theory, Nanny has no rights to interrupt me speaking with my cousin-in-law!”
Those words made Nanny Li annoyed. Folding up her sleeves, the old deity laughed to herself, “Condescend only comes from power! This old servant isn’t trying to brag, but in front of Old Mistress, even this old servant has the right to interrupt. But Miss Gu truly is ambitious! Keke, this old servant is of course incomparable with Miss Gu; everyone knows of Miss Gu’s countless contributions to the Shi family, and in the future when Miss Gu turns old, she’ll have a greater power than me to be condescending!”
Gu Fangzi’s boiling blood had reached it’s limit and a load of dizziness erupted in her head. The anger in her heart seemed to have formed into a dagger, wishing to kill Nanny Li several times with words.
But what can she say? Nanny Li had already confessed being condescending and has the authority to interrupt. What else can she do? Pull her out to Wang Shi and fight the case out, or have some servants beat her up? In this household, there was not one who would dare to do so, and even Wang Shi would not dare.
That was because Nanny Li’s husband and son had both traded their lives for the old master and young master of the Shi family. If the Shi family were to treat her ill, the house would be considered as ungrateful in the eyes of the public!
Gu Fangzi trembled slightly and her chapped lips remained tightly shut.
Seeing that things were getting out of hand, Sang Wan knew she could not let things as it was. Otherwise, Gu Fangzi would begin shedding tears which would seem as if she was being bullied by Nanny Li and her. And so, Sang Wan interfered, “Nanny Li must have misunderstood Cousin Fangzi. Cousin Fangzi is very straightforward and speaks with no ill-intentions! Nanny Li, you must have misheard Cousin Fangzi! You’re Mother-in-law’s servant, and also Sir’s nanny; everyone in this household knows and respects you! Cousin Fangzi’s words had no other meaning!”
Gu Fangzi held the anger in her heart and quickly followed after Sang Wan’s words with a smile,”Fangzi spoke without thinking and caused Nanny to become angry! Fangzi will apologize to Nanny!”
“Just you wait! When I get married into this family, just look at how I’ll deal with you.” The handkerchief in her hand was crumpled and she cursed under her breath.
Nanny Li rolled her eyes and offered a slight explanation, “Miss Gu, your choice of words is once again wrong! Angry? This old lady doesn’t have such bad temperament!” Turning to Sang Wan, she smiled and continued with a tone that was kind, “Since Young Mistress has already spoken, this old servant shall not bicker or it’ll be I who’s in the wrong! Young Mistress is right, Miss Gu is just outspoken and speaks with no ill intentions!”
However, no matter how one listened to those words, they sounded full of ridicule. The one who gets angry every so often; that finger was pointed directly at Gu Fangzi! Only she would often go to Shi Fengju and throw a tantrum which would always anger Nanny Li.
Gu Fangzi’s heart was already feeling very uncomfortable, but the more she listened, the angrier she got. However, that anger could only stay within her for she dared not open her mouth and could only act as if she had heard nothing. Nanny Li had always found her distasteful so no matter what she said, she would always be at the wrong.
It was rare to see her acknowledge defeat; the sight immediately made Nanny Li more spirited and she began praising Sang Wan in front of her. “For a girl, being too straightforward isn’t good; which mother-in-law would like to have a firecracker as their daughter-in-law? A girl should be gentle, only then will she be liked by others! Those who hear her words will also be at eased! I’m not trying to be condescending again, but Miss Gu should learn more from Young Mistress, a literary family no doubt!”
The anger that Gu Fangzi held back previously immediately channeled up to her head and she sneered coldly, “What nanny said is right, Cousin Sang Wan has a great temperament and has a sweet mouth, how could people not like her?”
“It doesn’t just stop there! She even serves her mother-in-law and husband very well!” Satisfied, Nanny Li praised with her head held high.
Since the beginning, what she disliked most was Gu Fangzi leisurely ordering Shi Fengju around. Not only had she heard from others about them, she had even witnessed them herself. She had seen Gu Fangzi urging Shi Fengju to climb a plum blossom tree just to pick the desired flowers for her to decorate her hair; she had seen her thirsty for tea after a stroll in the garden and requested for Shi Fengju to return to his chamber to bring her a cup of tea; she had seen Shi Fengju lower himself to her to wipe her embroidered shoes that were stained with mud. Really, she had seen so many, yet her heart throbbed each time she heard or witnessed it.
Now after seeing Sang Wan’s gentle behavior and her especially good treatment towards Shi Fengju, she disliked Gu Fangzi even more now that there was someone else to compare her with.
Nanny Li’s words this time around had pushed Gu Fangzi to a corner and she became angrier than before. Not only was she furious, she was also annoyed; however, her feelings did not stop there for she also felt grieved.
Serving her mother-in-law and attending to her husband, those were supposed to be her duty! When had it ever been Sang Wan’s turn!
The argument itself was a headache. In front of Wang Shi, Nanny Li was no doubt an important figure. Her words were like a sharp knife that cares nothing for Gu Fangzi’s face and whether she can or cannot take it. Her words showed no fear as to whether they would make Shi Fengju or Wang Shi unhappy. She said just what she had to.
“Nanny, you shouldn’t have said that! In any case, this should stop.” Sang Wan smiled.
In truth, she could not care much about the friction between Nanny Li and Gu Fangzi. However, she could not act ignorant when they were having a face-off in front of her. Gu Fangzi was someone who could make something out of nothing; with this in mind, only heavens know what she’ll say in front of Shi Fengju.
“Yes, yes!” Nanny Li nodded repeatedly and smiled, “Young Mistress, you’re the wife to the young master of this household, you must not only serve your mother-in-law well, but you must also look after the well-being of your husband! Otherwise, this old servant’s words would have gone to waste!” As she spoke, her brows raised at Gu Fangzi.
What it meant was: you’re an outsider, and I’ve never seen you take good care of the young master since the beginning. Instead, with the young master looking after you, it must have all been my fault.
Gu Fangzi was able to read the meaning between Nanny Li’s words, and her anger seemed as if it was about to explode within her.
“Nanny, aren’t you tired after speaking for such a long time? Quickly, take a seat and have some tea!” Sang Wan smiled and interrupted without giving Gu Fangzi a chance to speak before instructing Hong Ye, “Go pour a cup of tea for Nanny!”
Other than the occasional grace a master may give, but when a master sat down, there is no way a servant should take a seat in the same room. Nanny Li was one who serves Ning Garden and should not be too presumptuous in front of Sang Wan. To put it simply, she would not sit in the chamber where Sang Wan rests, but in the small kitchen that was just recently opened up at the east side of Ning Garden specifically for maidservants to have their tea break.
Nanny Li laughed after hearing so, “Young Mistress is too kind, this old servant will go have a seat and drink some tea. This old servant shall take her leave first!” With that, she followed Hong Ye without batting an eye at Gu Fangzi.
Enough was enough; she had dealt with Gu Fangzi sufficiently and knew to stop. Otherwise, it would show her as one to be extremely aggressive.
Gu Fangzi cursed herself under her breath for being meddlesome. Things would have worked out fine without her coming to apologize. Just from that, she had to suffer a round of criticism, she truly deserved it!
Her heart was in a fury of hell. With no mood to continue staying, she barely said a few words and stood to say goodbye.
Sang Wan also did not insist for her to stay. But after some thought, she asked, “The weather these few days seem pretty good. I would like to invite Cousin Fangzi, Third Sister Shi Lian, and Fifth Sister Shi Rui to the flower garden with me to admire flowers and fly kite, but I’m not sure if Cousin Fangzi is free. Keke, it was brought up last time and Fifth Sister Shi Rui kept wanting to go. Yesterday, she even came to ask me!”
Sang Wan did this to prevent her from going up to Shi Fengju and complain about what had happened. Just think about it, from Gu Fangzi’s point of view, if Sang Wan really dislike her, then she would not have invited her. Instead, it would seem as if Sang Wan wanted to have a better relationship with her, so even if she did want to tell on them, she would have to do that later.