Chapter 71: Auntie Wu’s Tolerance
Not eye-catching while also entering through the side gate—those words indiscriminately pricked Gu Fangzi’s nerves to the point where she almost exploded with anger!
How could she tolerate such depressing words?
” You’re in no position to speak in front of me! Since today’s an auspicious day, I’m too lazy to bicker with you! Now, don’t just stand there. Go back and repeat what I said! Now!” With an ice-cold face, Gu Fangzi pointed at Auntie Wu as she barked her orders.
Auntie Wu was, in any case, married to a son born in the Shi household. Her man managed three villages, and he was a man tasked with responsibilities regardless of their magnitude. As for her, she had been in the Shi household for many years and was even addressed politely by Sang Wan as “Lady Wu.” Confronted by Gu Fangzi whose face had turned yellow from anger, Auntie Wu pursed her lips and remained speechless.
“What’re you still standing here for? Go!” Gu Fangzi added another sentence.
“Understood, laonu shall go now!” In the end, Auntie Wu did not dare to offend someone whose status was that of a master. She gritted her teeth and swallowed down the anger within her. In her heart, however, she cussed the vile lady like there was no tomorrow. What a thing, already so frivolous when you haven’t even married in yet! Not only are you unfit to tie Ma’am’s laces, you aren’t even worthy of being called a master! To marry in so soon while the freshness of the death of one’s family member still lingers, you are nothing more than unwanted goods!
“Lan Xiang is Miss Gu’s closest maidservant. It will be better for her to stay and serve Missy. Well then, laonu and her two old sisters shall take a return trip!” Auntie Wu said so as she smiled.
Gu Fangzi thought for a moment and nodded. If Lan Xiang followed them, she would be implying that she was supportive of the complaint. Asking Aunt themselves would be better.
Gu Fangzi then eased her face and looked suspiciously at Auntie Wu. “When you see the mistress, you should know what to say without the need for me to teach, right?”
Auntie Wu quickly laughed. “Laonu knows! Laonu thinks that this is not the right way to conduct such ceremony and return to ask for advice. It’s all for the face of Shi family and has nothing to do with Miss Gu.”
Satisfied, Gu Fangzi nodded as she instructed, “Then go quickly! If you do it right, I shall reward you handsomely! If you dare to play any tricks, hmph, just hope that I don’t find out!”
Auntie Wu was taken aback and quickly lowered her head. “Laonu doesn’t dare, laonu doesn’t dare!” Auntie Wu had actually intended to complain about her, but after Gu Fangzi’s threat, she quickly kept that complaint to herself. After all, there was a difference between a master and a servant. Since inquiring around posed no difficulty for Gu Fangzi, where would she hide if she were to be punished?
Not daring to incite against a master did not mean she did not dare to cripple the ceremony. Auntie Wu had a stomach full of anger, and she had to vent it out somewhere, and so she brought the other servants along and slowly entered the city. On the way, she even generously treated everyone to some tea and snacks. When people eat food from others, they’ll speak good of them. The group were glad that there had things to eat, and with so much time on their hands to enjoy, they would definitely not rat her out. And so, one by one, they entered the teahouse and chatted happily for almost an hour before slowly returning to the household.
After returning back to the household, Lady Wu went to meet with Wang Shi and spoke according to what Gu Fangzi had wished for her to say. Of course, she did not say that it was Gu Fangzi’s idea and instead claimed it was her own.
Wang Shi was filled with anger after listening to her. “Meddlesome woman! Who asked you to decide all by yourself! I sent you to receive her, but where did you fling her to without any cares? And you even returned with an empty chair! What is this!”
Feeling wronged, Auntie Wu gently pressed her lips together and smiled. “Laonu deserves to die! Laonu deserves to die! But laonu did so for the sake of Shi family’s reputation ah, Mistress!”
“A bunch of nonsense!” Wang Shi frowned and thought for a moment before asking, “What’s wrong with the chair?”
“Nothing, nothing!” Auntie Wu quickly shook her head. Even if Gu Fangzi supported asking for a change of sedan chairs, Auntie Wu was not bold enough to criticize Nanny Li for being incompetent. “It’s just that, laonu thinks it’s too plain, so—”
“Oh? So you decided for yourself and carried an empty chair back?” Nanny Li’s nostrils flared as she entered. After greeting Wang Shi, Nanny Li said to Auntie Wu, “It’s ominous to bring an empty sedan chair out and back in ah! Sister Wu, you aren’t young anymore, so why are you handling things so foolishly? Or have you turned foolish due to age!”
“Laonu—” Embarrassed, Auntie Wu quickly slapped her own mouth. “Laonu was too hot-headed at that moment! Laonu seeks Mistress’s forgiveness! Laonu shall turn around and head back out!”
“Wait a moment!” Nanny Li said unenthusiastically, “You might not be the one who’s being foolish. I’m no longer young anymore; maybe I’m the one who’s foolish. Why don’t we bring the chair in and let Mistress see for herself if I was the one being careless and if I could have caused Shi family to lose its face!”
“Oh, sister, how could you say that! My mind’s at ease when it comes to the way you handle things, so why would I wrong you! It’s not just me who thinks this way. Among all the servants in this household, you are the only one who will never do anything to make the household lose its face. There’s no need for me to see, no need for me to see!” Wang Shi quickly smiled and loudly ordered Auntie Wu to apologize.
Like a mouse trapped in a windbox with no way to please either side, Auntie Wu could only cuss at Gu Fangzi savagely in her heart. Other than admitting her wrongs obediently, what else could she do?
And how would Nanny Li not know? Auntie Wu was not one to be meddlesome. Besides, she was not so foolish to expose herself just so she could fault her! This must definitely be related to Gu Fangzi, that sly little fox.
She had already reached this point, yet she was not willing to remain low. Rather, she still wished to splash dirty water on laonu and Ma’am. Not teaching her a lesson would really make her think that everyone else was a fool for letting themselves be played into her hands!
“Missy, it would be better to bring the sedan chair in! Laonu thinks that this matter should be handled clearly in front of Missy, or else others might think that laonu bears ill intentions! Although laonu still dislikes Miss Gu, laonu is still able to see the clear line between matters that are urgent and minor, and laonu will never make light of the family’s reputation as well as Missy’s!”
Nanny Li’s words were tossed out loudly. Wang Shi could not refuse and could only order for it to be so.
Auntie Wu let out a sigh of relief and quickly called for the rest to carry the plain small sedan chair in. Since she had already said the words she needed to say, and since the chair was also sent in to have Mistress take a look, whatever happened next would have nothing to do with her!
The plain small sedan chair was carried in and Nanny Li spoke, “Missy, please take a look. This entire sedan chair was especially crafted by a craftsman, and the materials used are all of excellent quality! The cushion inside is also soft, and the curtains were sewn with the finest silk. If what you see here isn’t good, then what is!” With that, she gave another sigh, “The death of Miss Gu’s family member is still fresh from the memory, so how can this chair not be plain? Should I have it decorated with vibrant colors instead? That Old Master Gu is watching from above! If we were to really use vibrant colors instead, then others would surely criticize us behind our back, saying that Shi family knows no custom!”
Hearing Auntie Wu first give her the primacy, Wang Shi also agreed that the chair was somewhat plain at first glance. But after hearing Nanny Li’s words, she felt that those words were very justified, and she nodded. “Sister, you’re right! Doing so would only be justifiable! Auntie Wu, you really were foolish this time around!”
“Yes, laonu was being meddlesome, laonu should not have been hot-headed! Laonu is in the wrong!” Auntie Wu pleaded guilty and apologized before hurrying out to receive Gu Fangzi again.
However, she was stopped by Nanny Li again, “Sister Wu, you really are hot-headed today! I’ve lived to such an age, but I’ve never seen an empty sedan chair leave and return and leave again! Since this chair has already returned, it cannot be sent out again, or it’ll be ominous! The chair should be changed to another one!”
Auntie Wu was secretly elated but she asked awkwardly, “Sister Li is right, but, but in such a hasty situation, where can we find another new chair? Miss Gu is still waiting outside the city!”
“You’re asking me? It’s not like I can magically conjure a chair out of thin air!” Nanny Li mocked.
Wang Shi thought for a moment before frowning, “Enough, just carry one that’s available! But remember to change the curtains to white and remove all the unnecessary decorations! We can’t keep Fangzi waiting!” Wang Shi said with a sigh. Deep down, she secretly whispered to herself that an evil being really must have been interfering with this ceremony, or why else wouldn’t it proceed smoothly!
Auntie Wu quickly accepted and asked with a smile, “Then, when the chair is ready, will Mistress like to take a look at it first?”
“No need! Quickly go and receive her!” Wang Shi became impatient and frowned as she scolded, “For you to be unable to handle such a small matter, I don’t think there’ll ever be any need for you do handle anything else!”
Auntie Wu got scared and did not dare to say anything more as she busily slipped out.
Gu Fangzi sat in the back of a small store to rest her feet as she waited. When the sun finally began to set, she finally saw the late Auntie Wu and her entourage from afar.
“Why are all of you so slow? The Missy was kept waiting! Quickly!” Lan Xiang had been at the doorway gazing out numerous times. After seeing the chair they had carried over, Lan Xiang’s eyes suddenly widened, and she pointed at it as she asked Auntie Wu, “You, you all went away for so long just to bring this kind of chair here? This is even more inferior compared to the one before!”
At least the one from before was still new. At a glance, this one just looked like it was improvised. The poles, the body, and even the curtains were not old, but they were also not new. No matter how they looked at it, it looked so miserable! Did this even resemble anything like a chair to welcome the bride? Even one rented by commoners looked so much better.
Auntie Wu thought to herself, Hmph, it seems your eyes are quite good. This is definitely not as good as the one before; otherwise, wouldn’t my trip back as well as the scoldings I’ve received be in vain for an old lady like me?
“I’ve things to tell Miss Gu myself when I see her!” Towards Gu Fangzi’s servant, Auntie Wu was not as polite, and she groaned, “If you think you can decide to speak for me, then I might as well return again and change the chair for another!”
How would Lan Xiang dare to hold such responsibility? Moreover, the sun was going to set! She could only snort and glare at Auntie Wu with eyes that showed she would hold no responsibility when they meet up with Missy! With that, she turned and said with a long face, “Follow me!”
Indeed, Gu Fangzi was furious when she saw the chair, and she roared at Auntie Wu as she pointed at her, “You already went off for such a long time, and then you came back with something so outrageous! What’s this meaning of this? Who’s idea is it? Is it Sister’s? That wicked lady, she’s deliberately trying to upset me, isn’t she!”
“Miss Gu, please don’t be so anxious! Please slowly listen to laonu first!” Auntie Wu smiled and continued, “We were stuck when we entered the city, so we didn’t have a choice but to go all the way around. We only arrived at the household after quite some time! Laonu didn’t even get to drink any tea and immediately went to meet with Mistress…”
And so, Auntie Wu spoke honestly of what came after to Gu Fangzi and then said, “If Miss Gu doesn’t believe me, then ask around when you enter the household! The servants serving the mistress were all present! If Miss Gu isn’t satisfied with this, would you like laonu to return and speak with Mistress again?”