Chapter 74: Complaint
“Missy, is this alright?” Lan Xiang inserted a flower hairpin in Gu Fangzi’s hair before asking carefully.
Gu Fangzi took a look. Other than a silver accessory hanging from the hairpin, there was only a decorative silver flower on it. The craftsmanship of the hairpin was good, but no matter how she looked at it, it was extremely cold.
“That’s good enough!” Gu Fangzi grunted coldly. She pondered upon how she should just ask Big Cousin to get her some white and green jade accessories. In the past, she had only liked brightly colored beautiful filigree, gold lace cloth, handicraft ornament jadeite, sapphires, and other jewelry except for jade because they looked so dull and cold. However, she could not wear those accessories that she once adored right now! Not just that, they were all confiscated by Sang Wan that b*tch!
Gu Fangzi could not help but feel distressed. Secretly, she mulled over how she could make her spit them all out.
After washing and dressing up, a little servant brought in her breakfast. It consisted of a bowl of eight treasures lotus porridge, a bowl of brown rice porridge, a plate of pancakes, a small tray of steamed dumplings, and two or three more small dishes to complement the porridge.
“Just these?” Gu Fangzi’s face suddenly sank.
Lan Xiang understood her meaning and quickly whispered back, “Missy, you’re still in your mourning period, so these dishes are all vegetarian…”
Mourning period this, mourning period that! Gu Fangzi was left miserable by those two words. Suppressing the anger within her, she swallowed down her misery and said no more as she sat and ate the entire breakfast prepared for her.
After finishing her breakfast and rinsing her mouth, she got up and said, “Let’s go, we’ll go and greet Aunt!”
Lan Xiang had wanted to remind her to first place Old Master Gu’s tablet on the altar and light a stick of incense, but she quickly closed her mouth.
Walking on the path which she was extremely familiar with, the entire scenery was still the same as before, but Gu Fangzi’s heart felt uncomfortable.
Shouldn’t her marrying in be considered a joyous event? Forget about not hanging any red, there was not even a single item to represent the celebration. Even the hanging lanterns and the potted flowers had no traces of being rearranged!
Was her arrival really not worth announcing at all?
Sang Wan! Gu Fangzi secretly gritted her teeth. This time, she hated Sang Wan even more to the core; however, she seemed to have neglected Nanny Li.
At this time, Wang Shi was awake at the same time as before. Without having a change of clothes, she put on a gown and a large piece of peony flower on her combed hair.
“Miss Gu has come to greet Mistress!” Hearing so, Wang Shi was startled and she smiled. “Why so early? Really, child, why are you suddenly so polite all of a sudden! Quickly, invite her in!”
The lass agreed, but before she could leave, Gu Fangzi saw herself in. Sliding the door apart, she stepped in and smiled. “Aunt! Fang’er has come to greet you!”
“Keke, good, good!” Wang Shi turned and looked at her in the eye. She wore clean and simple clothes, and the hairpin on her hair was also simple. Her heart was pained over the fact that Gu Fangzi actually looked more elegant than usual.
Now that Gu Fangzi was an orphan after both her parents had passed away, Wang Shi’s heart melted slightly, and she said with a smile that was filled with pity, “Did you have a good rest yesterday? Why’ve you come so early! Sit outside for a moment, Aunt will be ready in a while!”
“En, everything was fine yesterday. Thank you, Aunt, for your concern! Only Aunt treats me the best!” Gu Fangzi nodded. With a smile, she received an ivory comb from Nanny Jiang. “It’s been quite some time since I last helped Aunt comb her hair. Let me do it!”
Wang Shi’s body stiffened over the thought that she was still fresh into her mourning period, but she couldn’t bear to refute her good intentions, so she smiled and allowed her to do so.
Gu Fangzi used the wide ivory comb carefully and slowly through Wang Shi’s hair before using a small sandalwood comb to run through her hair again. After putting the small comb down, her ten dexterous fingers smoothened the satin-like black hair. Within moments, the beautiful peony flower was removed before a scarlet gold hairpin, inlaid with a reddish blue jewel the size of a pecan, and the decorative flowers were carefully inserted through the hair.
“Aunt, your hair is still so good! Black, bright, smooth, and soft just like a satin!” Gu Fangzi praised with a smile.
Wang Shi looked into the mirror and observed herself. Satisfied with Gu Fangzi’s skill, she grabbed her hand and smiled. “Keke, Aunt is starting to have some white hair already, so it’s not as good as you say anymore! But your skills are much better than before! You combed my hair quickly and neatly, and my heart agrees wholeheartedly!”
While helping Wang Shi up, Gu Fangzi smiled. “If Aunt would like, in the future, I can help comb Aunt’s hair every day.”
“That—” Wang Shi gently patted her hand and laughed. “You still have to mourn. That’ll tire you out if you have to keep rushing here every day!” With that, she let out a sigh, “My good child, oh how you’ve suffered!”
All the grievances that she suffered yesterday rushed to her heart, and her eyes turned red. She intimately pulled Wang Shi’s arm and gently cuddled it before whispering softly, “Having Aunt care for me, I don’t feel miserable at all! Really! As long as Aunt’s around, Fang’er will be even happier and more at ease!”
Wang Shi loved her yet pitied her at the same time. Thinking of the time when she followed her around when she was still so young, she was no different from her own children. The sense of pity hardened in her heart, and Wang Shi raised her hand to gently touch Gu Fangzi’s hand. “Foolish lass, what are you saying! Don’t worry. From today on, we’re a family! Aunt will not let you suffer from any unfair treatment!”
“En!” Gu Fangzi grinned and said, “I just knew Aunt cares for me the most and treats me the best!”
The two looked at each other and smiled.
“Oh, Sister, you’ve come!” From the corner of her eyes, she saw Sang Wan standing by the doorway with no intention to enter or leave. Gu Fangzi was surprised, and she let out a cry as she hurriedly let go of Wang Shi’s arm. After recovering from the shock, she took two gradual steps and stood well-behaved at the side.
Sang Wan smiled and entered. Seeing that Wang Shi was already seated down, she stepped forward and gave her greeting. Recalling the scene she just saw, she tried to convince herself not to think about it too much!
“En, take a seat and we’ll chat!” Wang Shi smiled and nodded.
“Fangzi, you have a seat too,” Wang Shi smiled and said to Gu Fangzi who was standing behind her.
Gu Fangzi did not move as she gazed at Sang Wan to seek her opinion. Anger flared in the corner of Sang Wan’s eyes. What is she trying to gain acting like this in front of Mother-in-law?
Sang Wan pretended not to see her and gently took a sip from a tea cup before admiring its pattern.
“Fangzi, what’s wrong?” Wang Shi felt displeased. Following Gu Fangzi’s line of sight, she looked at Sang Wan. Since Sang Wan did not notice Gu Fangzi’s expression at all, Wang Shi’s heart relaxed, and she laughed. “Don’t just stand there. Take a seat!”
“Yes, Aunt.” Gu Fangzi smiled and only then did she finally sit down.
Sang Wan secretly sneered. If she had met with Gu Fangzi’s gaze, or even worse, told her to take a seat, she would have announced the fact that she really was bullying her! Wouldn’t her mother-in-law be annoyed if that were to happen?
Moreover, her mother-in-law would surely be slightly displeased even if her face did not show it. Sang Wan also believed that even if her mother-in-law did not think so, Gu Fangzi would surely make plans for her to think otherwise.
After some conversation, Wang Shi smiled and gestured to Sang Wan to show that she could leave. Sang Wan also did not wish to remain any longer to watch those two display their deep affection towards each other. And so, she stood up and said her goodbye.
Gu Fangzi quickly stood up and took two steps forward as she helped support Sang Wan’s arm. “Sister, let me see you out!”
Sang Wan’s heart sneered, You aren’t even the owner of this house, so what gives you the qualifications to ‘see’ me out?
“No need,” Sang Wan quietly raised her hand and signaled to Liu Ya to help her. With a smile, she said to Gu Fangzi, “Mother hasn’t seen you for some time, so I’m sure there are many things she’d like to speak with you about! It’ll be best for you to accompany and chat with mother!”
“Yes, Fangzi. Let Sang Wan go. You can stay here and chat with me for a little while!” Wang Shi laughed.
“Okay, Aunt, as long as you like it, Fang’er can accompany you every day!” With her back facing Wang Shi, she raised her brow coldly at Sang Wan.
Wang Shi could not see Gu Fangzi’s expression, but she could see Sang Wan’s clearly. With no change in her expression, Sang Wan smiled gently. “Oh yes, the incense candle and joss papers have been prepared already. In a little while, I’ll send someone to send them to Peony Park. In the future, if Sister still needs anything else, she may speak directly with Nanny Li! She may be an elderly, but she’s very capable. She’ll definitely not make a single mistake that will cause Sister any problems!”
The meaning behind her statement was clear. You’re still in your mourning period, so don’t openly try to get close with your aunt and neglect your father!
Sang Wan took a quick glance, and without a doubt, Wang Shi was slightly affected by that.
“I will. Thank you, Sister! I’ll go over to the small garden later to thank Sister again!” Gu Fangzi stood stiffly as she glared hatefully at Sang Wan.
“Sister, you’re welcome!” Sang Wan smiled generously before curtsying towards Wang Shi, “Mother, Sang Wan shall take her leave then!”
“Ah, yes!” Wang Shi nodded.
“Fangzi ah,” As expected, Wang Shi smiled with no doubts and said, “Aunt doesn’t need you to serve here. You should return to Peony Park quickly! After all, he’s your biological father! The deceased rank higher than the living. Just let go of the things he did in the past, and let’s not mention them again!”
Gu Fangzi resented Sang Wan from the bottom of her heart, but she obediently nodded at Wang Shi. “En, Fang’er shall leave too! Aunt is kind and generous, and Fangzi has learnt a lot! Fangzi shall listen to Aunt!”
“I just knew Fangzi is the most sensible!” Pleased, Wang Shi smiled.
Gu Fangzi nodded. Before she was about to leave, she asked, “Oh yes, Aunt, Fang’er just thought that maybe she should go and pay Big Cousin a visit. Fang’er hasn’t seen him for some time now, and Fang’er isn’t sure how he’s doing now…”
“En?” Wang Shi raised a brow and questioned, “He didn’t visit you yesterday? He didn’t go to Peony Park to see you?”
“He didn’t,” Gu Fangzi shook her head. Without showing any dissatisfaction on her her face, she smiled. “I presume he must be busy! After all, the family depends on him to run the large business. Moreover, the whole day yesterday made Fangzi tired, and Big Cousin was understanding about it!”
Outrageous! Wang Shi scolded in her heart. Even if she married in within the hundred days of the mourning period and they did not do the deed, he should not have treated her this way. After all, as a husband, shouldn’t he at least see her? Just what’s with this indifference towards her all of a sudden?
Of course, Wang Shi was displeased. But her son was much closer to her than her niece, and so she would not say speak of Shi Fengju behind his back in front of Gu Fangzi.