Chapter 65 (V2): I’ve Never Forgotten Our Promise But You’ve Never Once Believed In Me
She still didn’t believe him! Having been in love for so many years, how could she not believe in him and not understand his character! Shi Fengju’s heart felt empty and there was a huge sense of disappointment which he could not speak about. He was not ready to give up, and he asked again, “Fang’er, I’m speaking the truth! We can think of a solution together, I believe it’ll be possible! After three years, I’ll marry you as my wife!”
There was no way Gu Fangzi would believe in his words, and she saw those words as a way of him trying to delay tying the knot with her! Three years? She sneered to herself, who knows what would happen in three years! Even the flowers of a long yellow daylily would have already withered!
If she were to follow with the mourning, she would have to stay in this courtyard. Even the Shi household was a place she could not go! There was this saying that the tea cools when the person walks away. Who knows, he might have already forgotten who she was after three years.
But she had to hold on to him tightly, to have him by her side.
“Big Cousin, I really never desired the position to be your wife, really! I’m already satisfied to be able to be with you, even if I were to become a concubine! I’ll surely get along well with Sister Sang Wan, and not make it difficult for you!” Gu Fangzi spoke pitifully, “Big Cousin, don’t tell me you are worried that an orphan like me can spark any kind of trouble? That won’t happen! If someone could take me in and shelter me from the wind and the rain, I, I’m already contented!”
As she spoke, tears began to fall again.
Shi Fengju stared at her blankly, with a heart entirely at a loss.
She was satisfied, she said she was satisfied with just being a concubine!
However, he was not. He loved her, and did not wish for her to suffer. He wished for her to stand on an equal footing with him as they join hands together until death! And when that time comes, they would enter the ancestral temple together and enjoy the worship of their future generations! And not have her name be engraved as just a concubine! He, Shi Fengju, lacked no servants, nor did the Shi household!
“Fang’er,” Shi Fengju sighed and said softly, “There’s something I’m not sure if you’ll believe me or not, but I’ve never done anything to Sang Wan. She and I have made an agreement to separate after a year and void the marriage. If, if you’re willing to wait after the three-year mourning, I can really marry you as my wife.”
Gu Fangzi was stunned and she looked at Shi Fengju, whose face was pale as if he had seen a ghost.
The moment Shi Fengju said it, he secretly regretted! How could he have said it! If word were to spread and turned into some nonsensical gossip, how would Sang Wan continue to live? And what would his Shi family’s reputation become!
“What? What did you say?” Gu Fangzi’s eyes stared straight at him with a stunned expression that did not change.
But she could not be blamed for that because that news was shocking for her as well! How could that be!
Shi Fengju coughed a little strangely and shunned his eyes from her gaze before speaking unnaturally, “That, nothing, it’s up to you to believe it or not!”
If Gu Fangzi truly understood Shi Fengju, then she would have known that his expression now was definitely him telling the truth. However, with her mind all set for her own future, she was not in the right mind to discern between a lie and a truth.
Seeing Shi Fengju trying to close the topic and evading her eyes, Gu Fangzi immediately deemed that his heart was guilty——guilty for trying to deceive her!
Gu Fangzi felt anger slowly sipping into her head. Just to delay this marriage, he could even say something as incomprehensible as that! A man’s heart really changes easily! Gu Fangzi felt regretful, regretful of holding herself back at that time. She should have done something irreversible with him before Sang Wan was married in.
“Big Cousin, I’m really serious, everything I’m saying is from the heart!” Gu Fangzi sobbed with tears, “I swear, I only want to stay by your side, even as a concubine, I’m willing to! I will not snatch what belongs to Sister Sang Wan or whatsoever, really!”
“Fang’er, is that really from your heart?” Shi Fengju’s voice was like his expression now, empty and fluttery, and the feeling in his heart felt even more complex!
This was the woman whom he loved, whom he appreciated for many years, and the one he looked forward to grow old together with! Turns out, she only wanted to be a concubine.
The sense of greatness he had for her was gone, and all he sensed was disappointment.
“Yes, they’re all from my heart! I can swear!” Gu Fangzi quickly nodded.
“Okay then!” Shi Fengju gave a glimpse at her before nodding with a sigh, “I understand!”
“Then, you’ll promise me?” Gu Fangzi’s eyes glistened.
“En!” Shi Fengju nodded gently. From this moment on, she was his concubine and nothing more!
Gu Fangzi grinned from ear to ear and wrapped her arms around Shi Fengju’s, “Big Cousin, I knew you care about me, that you won’t throw me away! Big Cousin…”
Shi Fengju leaned his head to a side and looked at her. The storm in his eyes had finally quietened. The kind of feeling when his heart would skip a beat had vanished entirely.
On the next day, Shi Fengju returned to the Shi household. Gu Fangzi personally saw him off. Reluctant to part from him, she spoke, “Big Cousin, don’t forget your promise!”
Shi Fengju thought to himself: I have never once forgotten our promise, but you, you’ve never once believed in me!
“I won’t.” He gave a faint smile and left.
The Shi family’s main gate was right in front. Shi Fengju rubbed the back of his head that was throbbing badly and walked through it as he shook his head.
Wang Shi was dissatisfied with her son’s behavior for rushing over to Gu Fangzi’s place without coming home first. But seeing his seething expression, she held back her retort and remained silent. Without a choice Shi Fengju had to coax her for a long while before she turned happy again.
“How’s Fangzi?” Finally, Wang Shi sighed and asked. Although annoyed, she was still concerned about Gu Fangzi.
Shi Fengju summarized the situation there.
It was not much different from how Wang Shi expected and she let out a few sighs before letting it pass.
“It’s good you’re back! Go and see Sang Wan quickly and rest well! Having to rush all the way back after a few busy days must have worn you out!” Wang Shi spoke.
“Mother, there’s something I wish to ask.” Shi Fengju said, “The letter you wrote to me saying something about early August——”
“Take it like it didn’t happen!” Wang Shi waved, “Now that something huge has happened, we cannot proceed with it! Once Gu Fangzi finished mourning, we’ll talk about it!” Right now, Wang Shi did not wish to be reminded of it. What’s more, it was even more awkward that her son was the one raising it up.
“No,” Shi Fengju said, “We’ll go with it! 6th of August, I’ll marry her!”
“What!” Wang Shi stared wide-eyed at her son. In shock, she spoke, “You, you say to marry her on the 6th of August? That, isn’t that——”
“Cousin isn’t young anymore. Three years,” Shi Fengju raised his heavy lips and spoke half-jokingly, “is too long, she can’t wait that long!”
At that instant, Wang Shi became speechless. And only after a while did she finally spoke, “Since you said that, then Fangzi must also be thinking the same! Alright! Then marry her before a hundred days it is! Marrying into the family early is also good, at least she can be looked after! But I’ll make this clear, only after three years can you do the deed! This custom cannot be ignored since the deceased is after all her father!”
“I know.” Shi Fengju nodded.
“Also, as for Sang Wan, you tell her yourself!” Wang Shi felt somewhat listless. Her heart wondered how things had ended up to where it was now. Truly, it makes her feel uncomfortable and anxious.
“En!” Shi Fengju’s heart tightened but he could only nod without a choice, “For the other matters, I’ll leave it to Mother to handle.”
As he said that, Nanny Li had already hurried over after hearing that Shi Fengju had returned. Upon seeing her, Wang Shi saw that it was a coincidence and laughed, “That is all handled by Nanny Li, you can just tell her!”
Shi Fengju smiled, and after greeting Nanny Li, he told her about the matter.
Nanny Li was first startled, but scolded deep in her heart soon after: That woman’s conscience must have really been eaten by a dog! Her father just passed away and there she goes, eager to get married! She’s not afraid of the difficult life ahead of her, but what would happen if that were to spew to the young master!
However, those words were only thought in her head and were never said bluntly to Wang Shi. Since Wang Shi had already agreed to it, and looking at the young master’s attitude, she could only swallow those words into her stomach. Fortunately, the deed can only be done after three years!
“Since she will be marrying before the mourning, and also as a concubine, I think it should not to be stressed upon. We’ll not hold any banquet! When the time comes, we’ll just send one small sedan chair there to carry her here! If it’s held too extravagantly, others might gossip about it.”
The way Nanny Li said it, the sedan chair might as well be sent at night to carry Gu Fangzi here and then lock her up in Peony Park, never to allow her to step a foot out.
“Also, Peony Park there, I’m afraid I’ll have to reorganize it. There are many things before that are now inappropriate. After all, she still has to mourn and there are many customs to abide by and to shun from! The deceased are of importance, they cannot be disrespected and cannot be paid any less attention to! If the ghosts turn angry, then things will become difficult!”
Wang Shi could not help but place her hands together and prayed before saying hurriedly, “Sister is no doubt thoughtful! I know you’re the most reliable, so lets go with it! Also, if you see fit, maybe clear out a room to put Gu Jin’s tablet to let Fangzi pay her respect to him from morning to night.”
“Yes, yes! That’s a must!” Nanny Li nodded, “This old servant will have someone clear out a room in Peony Park! Then when Miss Gu enters the family, she can conduct her mourning without delay!”
“Miss Gu,” this way of calling Gu Fangzi by Nanny Li reminded Wang Shi and she said, “Ah yes! Since the deed won’t be done, when Fangzi enters, there’ll be no change in the way to address her!”
“Absolutely! That should be so!” Nanny Li’s smile became even broader.
The two of them, master and servant, spoke with rationality that Shi Fengju found no way to interrupt. Moreover, he himself did not even know what to say if he were to do so! Hasn’t she already given up?
Once the arrangements were spoken clearly, they each left their separate ways. Nanny Li went to have a servant head to Peony Park, and as for Shi Fengju, he was hesitant to return to Ning Garden.
At this moment, Sang Wan was simply oblivious. Her mood was now calm and quiet.
“Young Master has returned!” The moment she was informed by a servant, she quickly brought a few others along to welcome him. With a smile, she guided Shi Fengju into the house before instructing the servants to bring a basin of water and a cup of tea.
Shi Fengju could not help but feel somewhat relaxed and went to look at her. The woman in front of him wore a casual wear with a simple hairpin in her hair. For her clothes, her chestnut-colored top was embroidered with golden brown bluegrass, matching with an ivory white bottom wear. Her posture was graceful and her behavior was considerate. Like a shining star, her shallow smile was unimaginably natural and unforgettable.
“En, it must have been hard for you at home!” Shi Fengju smiled and nodded.
Sang Wan glimpsed at him before she spoke in a way that she was either being serious or joking, “Just listen to what Lord said! There’s a saying that it feels good to stay at home thousands of days but leaving for a day is difficult. Why would it be hard for me! It should be Lord who had it hard, having to travel must have made you weary, but I see that Lord’s expression seems to be quite good!”