Chapter 70: Carry This Sedan Chair Back
Sang Wan quickly nodded. “Yes, Mother! Sang Wan doesn’t dare to deceive Mother! Still, speaking of which, Sang Wan was in the wrong for not caring for her husband enough, or something like this surely would not have happened. When he goes out to enjoy himself in the future, Sang Wan will ask him clearly. If he doesn’t return before dusk, Sang Wan will call for someone to find out why. I have to be tight with him; Sang Wan shall keep this lesson in mind!”
Wang Shi pressed her brows a little and quickly exclaimed, “There’s no need for that! He is a man. If you keep a tight watch on him whenever he goes out while spying on him here and there, don’t you think he’ll lose face? Next time, if he returns home late, just waiting for him is enough! If he comes home drunk, you’ll have to persuade him out of it!”
“Mother is so thoughtful! Sang Wan understands! Sang Wan will keep that in mind and will ensure that something like this never happens again!” Sang Wan quickly sent the high hat up while expressing her resolution at the same time.
Wang Shi then sighed and waved her hand before saying, “Enough, get up! Don’t kneel anymore! It’s good that you understand. It’s not that Mother doesn’t feel bad for you, too, but just think about it, whom does our luxurious lifestyle depend on? Is it not the men who work tirelessly out there? Is there a problem with sleeping a little later occasionally? The man works so hard outside, but if he can’t relax at home and with no one to care for him from the bottom of her heart, then what will become of him? He is your man; do you not feel sorry for him?”
It’s not my place to feel sorry for him when he’s not even my man, Sang Wan thought to herself, but she quickly agreed with Wang Shi and gently got up before once again displaying her resolution. Finally, Wang Shi’s face completely eased up.
Nanny Jiang, who was watching from the side, could not help but be secretly amazed. This Ma’am is really not simple! With just a few sentences, she was able to extinguish the flame in Mistress’s heart!
Being Wang Shi’s personal maidservant, Nanny Jiang was more knowledgeable than Nanny Li about perceiving Wang Shi’s temperament. Wang Shi always liked to turn to a blind alley and let her imaginations run wild. Whenever she disciplined others, she was unreasonable. Other than Gu Fangzi, she had never seen anyone able to coax Wang Shi with just a few sentences. And even Gu Fangzi had her own difficulties when she coaxing her.
Just after this had ended, Shi Fengju hurriedly arrived after receiving news from Nanny Li. Unlike what he had imagined, there was no tension, so Shi Fengju secretly let out a sigh of relief. He could not help but look at Sang Wan in the eye before smiling at his mother to give his greetings.
The flame that had already been extinguished previously was lit up again. Furiously yet lovingly, she scolded Shi Fengju. But since she was his mother, Shi Fengju was well experienced and soon made his mother smile once again.
“What’s the matter with you? You aren’t someone who likes to drink! You weren’t like this before, so what happened? Tell me!” After Wang Shi had finished venting her temper, she started to ask about the situation.
“Nothing,” Shi Fengju said with an understated smile, “Just that I haven’t seen my friends for some time, so I got into the mood and drank a few more cups.”
“Rubbish!” Wang Shi snorted, “Didn’t you already have the gathering before? Then why the gathering again yesterday!”
Shi Fengju could only continue, “The previous one was with a group of friends, and yesterday’s was between me and Young Master Zhuang. He, nn, was in a bad mood, so he asked me to accompany him for a drink. Without our noticing, after a few cups later, we had already drunk a little too much…”
Shi Fengju forcefully and slickly pushed the responsibility onto Zhuang Weixian!
Hearing that he was together with a Zhuang member last night, Wang Shi become even unhappier, and she grunted, “That Zhuang family is really no good! How can you still like being in contact with their son! Hmph, just look at that, you just got home and he’s already making you drink so much!”
“Mother,” Shi Fengju could only give a vague smile, “Our families are still doing business with each other!” Afraid that his mother would not stop nagging, Shi Fengju rubbed his forehead and inadvertently showed a wretched expression.
Seeing him miserable, Wang Shi indeed felt heartache and quickly asked, “Does your head still hurt?” And she could not help but give Zhuang Weixian a few words of scolding before urging her son to go back and rest.
Shi Fengju nodded and got up. His eyes then cast a few glances at Sang Wan.
“Sang Wan, you should return too! Quickly go and help your husband!” Sure enough, Wang Shi spoke.
“Yes, Mother!” Sang Wan got up elegantly and gently held Shi Fengju’s arm. Shi Fengju felt a strange feeling flow into his heart, and he could not help but glance into Sang Wan’s eyes. But seeing her expressionless gaze just like that of a plain painting, a sense of disappointment seeped into his heart.
“Wait,” Wang Shi suddenly halted them and asked Shi Fengju, “Last night, since you came home, why did you return to the cold study room instead of the small garden?”
To think that her mother-in-law would turn a corner and bring the subject up… Sang Wan cried in pain deep inside, and her hands tightened.
Shi Fengju only chuckled and said embarrassedly, “I had actually wanted to rest a little in the study room first and then return to the small garden once I sobered up a little. But who knew that after resting for a moment, I couldn’t get up!”
“Really?” Wang Shi’s eyes looked skeptically at them. “There was no argument?”
“Why would there be any!” Shi Fengju laughed. To prove their affection to Wang Shi, he raised his hands and placed them gently on Sang Wan’s shoulder before pulling her close to him. He smiled and said, “Sang Wan’s temperament is good, so why would she quarrel with me? Besides, you know your son isn’t that kind of person! We’re good, aren’t we, Sang Wan?”
Sang Wan unconvincingly looked up at him before giving him a smile and nodding, “Mother, we really are! Everything’s alright!”
“Then that’s good!” Wang Shi was finally assured, but she spoke frustratedly, “There are too many things happening during this period, so my heart’s already frustrated enough. You two, don’t add to the trouble for me!”
Shi Fengju and Sang Wan quickly agreed.
After leaving the courtyard, Sang Wan saw that Shi Fengju’s arm was still on her shoulder, and she stopped on the spot before leaning her head to look at him. That bleak expression made Shi Fengju’s heart race a little. However, not daring to court disaster again, he gave an awkward smile before quickly keeping his hand away.
“Sorry, I’ve caused you trouble! Mother is just like that. Her words come out without any thought, but she means no ill. Please don’t be mad!”
Sang Wan was startled, and she sighed to herself. When did he become so careful when speaking with her? He really seemed to be giving her allowances which might have made her boldness increase! After going through what had happened just now, Sang Wan knew that her ignorant behavior was dangerous. If she were careless, she would get reprimanded by her mother-in-law again, and so she smiled gently, “How can I be mad at my mother-in-law! Still, it was I in the wrong last night…”
Shi Fengju’s heart was in glee, and he quickly laughed, “I don’t blame you, it’s my fault! Enough, let’s not talk about this anymore. Come, let’s go back to the small garden!”
Sang Wan smiled and nodded before following him back.
In a blink of an eye, it was already the 6th of August. Gu Fangzi was marrying in as a concubine within a hundred days after the passing of a family member, so the wedding was done as low-key as possible without any banquet held. For this reason also, none of the Sang family came. Fang Shi voiced out a few words of dissatisfaction, but after thinking that Gu Fangzi would still have to observe three years of filial piety before being able to do the deed with Shi Fengju and that Sang Wan’s child would already be able to walk by then, her anger subsided.
Early this morning, Gu Fangzi first took a carriage from the Gu family’s small courtyard before arriving outside Qingzhou City to switch to a small sedan.
Seeing the white sedan chair that was here to pick her up—simple and white without no decorations—Gu Fangzi felt a little dissatisfied. She then took a glance at the two servants there who were here to see her to the Shi household. They, too, were in plain clothes without a single flower on their hair. The mood of a happy occasion was not even present, making her even more displeased.
“Auntie Wu, who arranged for this sedan chair?” Gu Fangzi asked with a frown.
Auntie Wu replied, “To answer Miss Gu, it was Nanny Li who arranged it with Ma’am’s assent.”
“Oh?” Gu Fangzi said coldly, “What about the sir and the mistress? Did they say anything?”
Auntie Wu could not help but feel a little contempt. To marry in during such a period as a concubine, what else would you expect? Mistress has always hated going against taboos. It’s not like you don’t know!
“This matter was entirely handed over to Ma’am and Nanny Li to handle. Mistress did not interfere!” Auntie Wu answered plainly.
I knew it! Aunt must be oblivious to this! It must’ve been that Sang Wan trying to take advantage of me! Trying to display your authority? As if!
Gu Fangzi immediately concluded and refused to ride the sedan chair. With a commanding tone, she instructed Auntie Wu, “Carry this sedan chair back and let Aunt have a look!”
“Ah?” Auntie Wu and the other servant who had come to pick Gu Fangzi almost choked from the shock. “Miss Gu, that—whatever for?”
Gu Fangzi snorted coldly, “What kind of family is Shi family? They’re Qingzhou’s richest people! What’s more, I’m my aunt’s niece. If I were to ride such a chilly and plain sedan chair to the family’s entrance, would that not cause Shi family to lose face! Not only will that be so, others might even say that my aunt is a very harsh person, even to her own niece! Sister may have no experience in handling affairs, but how can she be so careless as to ruin the reputation of the family and my aunt! Lan Xiang, you follow them back and ask my aunt properly!”
Because Wang Shi had already stated that Gu Fangzi would still be addressed as “Miss Gu” and would only be changed after a tea ceremony once the deed was done three years later. As such, Gu Fangzi still referred to Wang Shi as before.
“That——” Auntie Wu was placed in a difficult position.
She was aware of Nanny Li’s authority, and she knew that Nanny Li disliked Miss Gu very much. Supposedly, her sedan chair could have been better than this, but since Nanny Li had already arranged for it and it was not against any regulations, no one could fault her! Miss Gu must have dismissed the idea that this was done by Nanny Li and instead wanted to intentionally pull Ma’am in; this was clearly obvious. Auntie Wu could not help but bitterly grumble to herself, Why must I get dragged into this trouble!
Ma’am was greatly favored and could easily coax the mistress. The Young Master was also very respectful towards her. If possible, Auntie Wu wished she did not hear the way Miss Gu narrated the problem.
“Miss Gu, laonu thinks we should just forget it! Why make things so troublesome! In any case, we aren’t eye-catching so if we enter through the side gate, I’m sure no one will know! What’s more, don’t you have to observe three years——
“Quiet!” Before Auntie Wu could finish, Gu Fangzi’s face had turned pale, and she shouted angrily.
Auntie Wu’s remark no doubt ignited her anger as it directly penetrated through her sore spot and through her flesh and bone!
Marrying into the Shi family was both exciting and majestic. Who knew how many times Gu Fangzi had imagined herself doing so. Even without a huge red sedan chair, it would still be a happy occasion with loud music in the air. But never had she ever dreamed that she would be picked up by so few people on a small sedan chair and then carried in just like that.