Chapter 47 (V2): An Inside Information
Whether there was or not, Shi Fengju was somewhat well aware. But he did not think that Sang Hong would put such a matter to rest. He could not help but develop respect towards him. Raising a wide bowl he praised, “It’s good that there isn’t! It’s good that there isn’t! There’re always good and bad mixed among the servants so there may inevitably be some who’ll act unruly! But Big Brother is open-minded which is very admirable! I offer this toast to Big Brother, please!”
“I don’t deserve your praise!” Sang Hong raised his bowl and touched it with Shi Fengju’s bowl before gulping the wine down. “Actually, so long as Sang Wan’s living fine, then everything else does not matter! I know that Brother Fengju is a reliable person so I’ll not say much! But Sang Wan is very complaisant and will keep many things in her heart. I hope not to trouble Brother Fengju, but please take good care of her!” Sang Hong exclaimed.
“Hehe, I will, I will!” Shi Fengju subconsciously dodged the gaze that was aimed at him and quickly covered it with a laugh.
At the area that was partitioned temporarily, Sang Quan and Sang Nuan were truly hungry. Combined with the unfamiliar environment they were in, they ate quietly and well-behaved. Fang Shi went over to take a look at them and her mind was at ease.
Sang Wan helped her sister-in-law as they sat down to have tea and converse.
“Sister Fang, did something happen? Why were you and Big Brother so late?” Just like Shi Fengju, Sang Wan also asked.
Fang Shi’s face immediately revealed a little of the anger that was contained inside her. But recalling Sang Hong’s words, she shook her head and laughed, “Nothing! What could have happened? There was just some delay on the way, that’s all!”
“Nothing really?” Her expression did not escape Sang Wan’s eyes and Sang Wan sighed, “Sister Fang, are you treating me like an outsider that should not know?”
Fang Shi was taken aback for a moment. After much thought, she bluntly spoke, “It’s not that I don’t want to say, but I’ll just tell you the truth. Your brother was afraid that you might get angry so he forbade me to say! But I think that telling you will serve as a reminder and take more notice in the future!” Fang Shi then spoke of what had happened from the beginning when they entered the household and added, “If not for running into Zhan Huan, your brother and I would have already left Qingzhou!”
Fang Shi’s face turned slightly pale and she thought silently to herself. If they had left, Sang Wan’s face would definitely be thrown!
“Sang Wan, you won’t be angry at your sister-in-law, right? I didn’t want to do that on purpose. It was all just too ——just too humiliating!” Fang Shi was feeling extremely aggrieved. Either they were the ones to feel it, or their younger sister would. In short, there would definitely be one party to be humiliated! This itself made her choke with anger.
Liu Ya, whose ears had stretched all the way to their conversation, cried out, “Young Mistress, no need for second guesses. It’s definitely Miss Gu who’s behind all this! She’s the one managing the household, who else other than her will have the power to instruct those below to do such unjust acts!”
Sang Wan did not stop sipping her tea as she watched Fang Shi’s face turn icy cold. Filled with uncertainty, Fang Shi asked, “Miss Gu? Who’s this Miss Gu? Why is she not getting along well with you? And why is the household managed by her?”
Sang Wan only laughed, “This Miss Gu is my mother-in-law’s niece. She has always been by my mother-in-law’s side since young and the household has always been managed by her for quite some time. Maybe, maybe she felt that me entering this household is a treat to her so she isn’t quite friendly towards me. But this truly was too undisciplined of her!” Turning to Liu Ya, she scolded, “You, why did you spout such nonsense unnecessarily? Without basis, how can you say that!”
“Is that really the case?” Skeptical, Fang Shi asked, but even after gaining Sang Wan’s affirmation, she still remained angry and scolded, “Even so, this is still pushing it too far! Even if she were your mother-in-law’s niece, she’s still a relative! Now that you’ve entered the family, this household should be managed by you now, but why is it still by her! Sang Wan, does your mother-in-law dislike you?”
“That’s not true!” Sang Wan’s head felt heavy but forced a gentle smile, “My mother-in-law is a good person and treats me well; really! Aiya Sister Fang. I’m already married so there’s no need for you and brother to keep worrying about me; even I know how to take care of myself! Really! Sister Fang and Big Brother have suffered much grievance today!”
Fang Shi grumbled a little, “Not just grievance! There’s also hatred; all the way to the core! But us suffering from grievance isn’t much, at most we’ll just come here as little as possible, but that’s not the case for you! If you were to suffer from any, as the days go by, how long will you be able to endure? Let’s not talk about others, but your mother-in-law, she’s your mother-in-law. If she orders you to wear shoes smaller than your size, there’s nothing you can do until…until she’s satisfied?”
“My mother-in-law’s really good. Later when Sister Fang meets her, you’ll understand!” Sang Wan vowed jokingly, “Sister Fang has always had a fierce temperament and will never tolerate sand in your eyes! So I’ve actually found it a little strange why Sister Fang did not make a scene even after how unruly the servants were?”
Fang Shi giggled before glaring at Sang Wan, “What? Because I didn’t make a scene, you feel disappointed? You really aren’t afraid of being laughed at! But it’s not because I didn’t want to. If not for your older brother persuading me not to and the good impression I had of your husband regardless of how bad the Shi family were, I would have already made a scene! Hmph, those snobs, I would really want to give them a scene!”
Sang Wan was a lot more afraid than angry after hearing those words. If a scene really did stir up, her mother-in-law would certainly be angry and she would definitely be a laughing stock in the household. Big Brother and Sister Fang, it must really be hard for both of you.
“Sister Fang, I’m sorry! Because of my uselessness, it has caused you and Big Brother to be aggrieved!” Sang Wan rose from her seat and bowed solemnly at Fang Shi.
“Ai, don’t be like that!” Fang Shi quickly got up and held her firmly. Seeing that her eyes were moist, Fang Shi’s heart ached a little and she patted her hand gently before speaking gently, “It’s not you to be blamed! Ai, in such a huge household, it must have been quite difficult for you too! Enough, enough, don’t be like that, ah!”
“En! Sister Fang!” Sang Wan exposed a smile, and deep down, she vowed to herself that she would avenge her sister-in-law and Big Brother one day!
“Keke!” Fang Shi carefully observed Sang Wan’s appearance and praised, “No wonder people say that fine feathers make fine birds. Just look at our Sang Wan, properly dressed. Very, very—— beautiful! Very beautiful! One look and I can tell you’re a fine woman from a rich family! Liu Ya, what do you think?”
“Of course! Who wouldn’t boast about our Young Mistress’s good looks!” Liu Ya smiled arrogantly.
Fang Shi suddenly sighed and shook her head before speaking with a grim face, “I still think, that Miss Gu or whatever, you’d better deal with her quickly! Ai like you said, she’s just a relative, so how could she not be clear about her position! Is this a household even for her to manage?”
Sang Wan secretly rubbed her forehead. Her sister-in-law, as always, was as persistent as ever! To make her divert her attention was as difficult as ascending the heavens!
“I will. Sister Fang, don’t worry about it!” Sang Wan’s face suddenly turned red and she quickly lowered her head, “My mother-in-law said to let my cousin-in-law manage the household a little longer for the time being to let me, uh, expand the Shi family tree…”
Fang Shi was stunned for a moment but clapped and smiled, “Not bad, not bad! I was also thinking the same! The Shi family’s Old Mistress truly is thoughtful. That being said, Sang Wan, you’ve got to work harder. Everything else does not matter; once you’ve a son of your own, everything will start to fall in place!”
“En!” Sang Wan’s face blushed like a fully cooked shrimp.
On the other side, Shi Fengju and Sang Hong were already done with the formalities between guest and host. As such, Sang Wan and Fang Shi went in to join them for tea.
Fang Shi glanced outside at the sky before signalling Sang Hong with a wink.
Sang Hong could only laugh, “Well, I’m not sure, but may I know when we can meet with our in-law?”
Shi Fengju cited with a laugh, “No need to hurry. Big Brother, Sister-in-law, have some rest here first! It must have been very tiring since the journey to here is long.”
“If possible, we would like to pay our visit to our in-law soon! The day isn’t young anymore and we have to hurry home later on!” Fang Shi quickly added.
Shi Fengju’s eyes met with Sang Wan and he smiled, “There’s no need for the hurry, right? Big Brother, Sister-in-law, why don’t you stay for the night and leave tomorrow? I’m afraid if you leave today, the sky would have turned dark before you reach home!”
“Yes, Sister-in-law, stay a little longer to chat with me more!” Sang Wan begged.
Fang Shi’s impression of the Shi family was not all that great. Even though she was not willing to stay, and Sang Hong was reluctant to add trouble to his younger sister, but after Shi Fengju and Sang Wan’s repeated persuasion, they could only agree reluctantly in the end.
After sitting idly for a while, Shi Fengju then invited Sang Hong to his study room to resume their conversation they had before. Sang Wan then stayed to converse more intimately with Fang Shi but ordered Liu Ya to play with Sang Quan and Sang Nuan first, and the other maidservants to ready the guest room.
Once Sang Wan learned that Wang Shi had woken up, Sang Wan then called for a servant to inform the men in the study room. Shi Fengju then guided Sang Hong, Fang Shi, his nephew, and his niece to pay Wang Shi a visit.
Nanny Li, through Nanny Jiang, had already explained the necessary details to Wang Shi. Revealing only the details that the Sang family were delayed on the road. Wang Shi was not all that understanding, but she did not blame them and asked with a few words of concern. Upon seeing Sang Hong, who was gentle and calm, Fang Shi, who was decisive, and the two children, who although timid were also cute at the same time, Wang Shi was secretly satisfied and nodded. A literary family, no doubt different from ordinary people!
Seeing how Wang Shi was so hospitable and kind towards them, other than the occasional display of splendor and the display of wealth just from her clothes, she was no different from an ordinary old woman. As such, they were at ease and felt that Sang Wan would not be mistreated.
The next day after breakfast, the couple went home along with their children. Shi Fengju had intended to send them off with the Shi family’s carriage, but Sang Hong refused insistently saying bluntly that it would cause too much trouble and that it would be easier for them to hire a carriage on their own. Shi Fengju had no choice but to give up and instructed Zhan Huan to hire a carriage in their stead before seeing them off personally.
“The Shi family isn’t all too bad actually, although wealthy, they aren’t overly conceited!” In the carriage, Fang Shi grinned and said.
Sang Hong then laughed, “In what way? Didn’t I say that yesterday was just a misunderstanding? Luckily, I held you back or you would have made a scene that could cause Sang Wan her future!”
Fang Shi was a little embarrassed after hearing so but was reluctant to admit, “You can’t really say it’s my fault, right? That dog-eyed servant who looks down on others! She’s even lower than us, so what’s there for her to be so frivolous about!”
Sang Hong sighed, “A hand has long and short fingers. For such a huge household, there’s sure to be hundreds of people so who can ensure that all will be good? If something like that sort of incident happens again, don’t act so rashly!”
“Oh yes!” Fang Shi suddenly remembered and said, “That servant, Liu Ya, told me that the incident yesterday was largely Gu Fangzi’s doing. She’s the one who manages the household from the inside! I think the situation there isn’t all too good!”
“Liu Ya?” Sang Hong frowned, “How did Liu Ya know? Did you tell Sang Wan? Didn’t I tell you not to speak of it to Sang Wan? Why didn’t you listen!”
Fang Shi was taken aback but quickly offered an explanation, “Why can’t I say? Just think about it, if Gu Fangzi truly did have the intention to make things difficult for Sang Wan, at least Sang Wan will be well-informed. Otherwise, she might fall into that woman’s schemes yet still be kept in the dark!”