Chapter 76: Retreat In Order to Advance is No Longer Working
Shi Fengju looked at Sang Wan. Her face was pale, and she was trembling slightly as she tried to hold herself back. His heart ached the moment he recalled those words Gu Fangzi said. He had the impulse of wanting to hold her in his arms to pamper and comfort her, but he could see the pain and coldness in her eyes which made him restrain himself.
He knew that she knew Gu Fangzi’s words were true. Even though he had really wanted to tell her that that was in the past, and he was now different because he had found the one who truly deserved his love and care, who truly deserved to be protected. And that person was her!
But deep down, he knew that she would not believe him because he himself found it unbelievable.
“Young Master…” Nanny Li was pained when she looked at Sang Wan’s face. After a moment of silence, she finally couldn’t bear it anymore and winced.
“Nanny, I know!” Shi Fengju gently interrupted Nanny Li. Nodding towards her, he motioned, “Nanny, can all of you leave us for a moment! I would like to speak with Sang Wan alone.”
“…Understood, then we shall take our leave.” Nanny Li nodded, but she cast another worried glance at Sang Wan.
The servants bowed and lowered their heads as they left silently. Recalling the fact that Shi Fengju and Sang Wan were a fake couple, Liu Ya nibbled her lips as she held back the fierce anger in her heart while Nanny Li dragged her out.
Shi Fengju did not know what to say, but he heard Sang Wan say softly, “Actually, everyone already knows about it, so it doesn’t really bothers me! It’s just that, if someone were to stir up trouble, Sir must not forget to be by my side. I don’t wish to suffer from the anger of others due to such trifles.”
Shi Fengju could not help but look straight at the woman in front of his eyes. She was calm and gentle, as if the pain and suffering which he saw earlier was just an illusion. That, however, pained Shi Fengju’s heart even more.
“That won’t happen,” Shi Fengju said gently to her, “Sang Wan, you’re the ma’am of this household, and you have the authority to teach others to behave. If someone is rude to you, you can punish them by the rules! And there’s also me to back you up!”
“Hearing you say that, I feel relieved!” Sang Wan softly agreed with “en” before nodding gently.
Shi Fengju could not help but feel happy. “Sang Wan, you——aren’t angry anymore?”
Sang Wan was astonished and she laughed. “What’s there for me to get angry at! You’re just thinking too much!” I don’t want to have your mother scolding me again, Sang Wan thought to herself.
“Then, then that’s good, that’s good!” Shi Fengju was overjoyed and he said, “There’s no need for you to worry, and don’t let the incident just now get to you! Just let me handle it.”
“Okay!” Sang Wan smiled.
Shi Fengju suddenly did not know what else to say. His originally perturbed feelings suddenly quietened down. She was not angry, so shouldn’t he be happy? But seeing that she did not seem to somewhat care, he felt a little dejected.
“I’ll leave first, you…” Shi Fengju glanced at her and stopped.
“Go on with your work!” Sang Wan smiled. “Come back early for dinner. I’ll wait for you to have it together.” If her hunch was right, Gu Fangzi would surely look for Shi Fengju and try to keep him in Peony Park. She had to prevent that, especially after what Gu Fangzi had said. That kind of thing must not happen!
“I will, I’ll be back in a while!” Shi Fengju’s heart became overjoyed once again, and a smile emerged on his face without his knowing.
“Nanny, Nanny should know how to deal with what happened just now, right?” Outside at the corridor, Shi Fengju stopped in his steps.
Even if Shi Fengju did not say that, for Sang Wan, Nanny Li would definitely have dealt with it herself. But since Shi Fengju had said so, he was giving Sang Wan his support, and Nanny Li was definitely obliged to do so. With a firm voice, she said, “Young Master, don’t worry, laonu understands! Those words that Miss Gu said, if word of it gets out, laonu will surely investigate and put those responsible up for sale without fail! Those who know the culprit but don’t speak up will also be punished severely!”
The servants were startled, and they immediately lowered their heads.
“Good, then I shall leave it all to Nanny Li!” Shi Fengju swept a glance across the servants before nodding at Nanny Li with a smile.
“Understood, Young Master!” Nanny Li stood straight and answered.
Shi Fengju strode off as he gripped his palms subconsciously. Fangzi ah, Fangzi, I’m really not sure whether you know me too well, or you don’t know me at all! To actually use my mother to pressure me! If I, Shi Fengju, can’t coax my own mother, then there’s no need for me to continue running my business anymore!
Recalling the questions he had to hear from his mother, he was able to give her an understated explanation to answer those questions when he said that he had actually gone to Peony Park last night, but because his cousin was too tired, he did not want to bother her so he left since the servants in Peony Park had already seen him anyway. His mother would naturally believe him, and so his statement became a fact.
However, his heart still did not feel comfortable!
And so, once he left, he went straight to Peony Park, for he did not know what else his cousin had prepared for him. But to think that she had actually gone to the small garden.
He arrived there precisely at the moment she started scolding Sang Wan and making a scene. At that moment, the image of that woman in his heart instantly collapsed entirely, breaking into pieces!
Shi Fengju could not believe that during the times when he and her mother were not around, Gu Fangzi would be so arrogant and uncontrollable. Recalling how Sang Wan was so jittery and frightened as if she was treading on ice, Shi Fengju finally understood why.
The moment Shi Fengju took a step into Peony Park, Gu Fangzi was in her room crying while Lan Xiang was coaxing her by her side.
“Young Master, you’re here!” Lan Xiang looked up and saw Shi Fengju. Surprised and elated, she cried out to Gu Fangzi, “Missy! Young Master has come! Young Master has come to see you!”
Gu Fangzi’s uneasy heart finally relaxed, and she immediately retreated by a foot. With her back facing Shi Fengju, she sobbed coldly, “What’re you here for? Aren’t you going to accompany your Sang Wan? Why still come to Peony Park!”
In the past when she cried and became erratic, Shi Fengju could do nothing else but to apologize and coax her until she smiled. But today, his eyes were cold. His heart felt no surge or movement. Seeing her having such an attitude made him detest her even more, and a whirl of disgust bellowed in his heart.
“I have some words to tell you. If you don’t want to hear me now, then forget it! It’s not too late if you want to hear from me again.” Shi Fengju stood three meters away from her. He did not approach her, and his tone now was extremely cold—something which never happened in the past.
Gu Fangzi whimpered, and her shoulders stiffened. The first thought which came to her mind was, Sang Wan, that wicked Sang Wan must’ve complained about me!
Gu Fangzi was somewhat regretful. She regretted running out of the small garden at that time and giving Sang Wan the chance to do so.
“Since you aren’t here to comfort me, and you don’t wish to see me, then what did you come here for? Leave, leave now!” Gu Fangzi continued to sob even more so than before.
“Missy! Missy!” Lan Xiang cried bitterly and gently pulled on Gu Fangzi’s sleeve. Gu Fangzi could not see Shi Fengju’s face clearly, but Lan Xiang could.
Shi Fengju could not help but rub his forehead. Even now, she still behaves like such! He suddenly felt as if they were two separate beings from different worlds who wanted to communicate, but the entire process would be too difficult.
“Then I shall leave! We’ll talk again when you’ve thought things through clearly!” Shi Fengju did not hesitate and turned to leave.
Gu Fangzi stood frozen. That was absolutely unimaginable! She turned her head around and watched Shi Fengju’s back. Her lips moved a little as her heart grew furious and exasperated before she cried, “Well, go then, go! Don’t think of stepping foot through Peony Park’s gate anymore!”
Shi Fengju turned a deaf ear to it. He scoffed and shook his head.
The entire yard was quiet. Gu Fangzi had finally stopped crying.
“Missy…” Lan Xiang called out gently, but she dared not do more than that.
A wave of uneasiness flashed past Gu Fangzi’s heart, but she did not wish for others to see it. Her face darkened, and she said coldly, “What are you standing there for? Go and fetch some water for me to wash my face!”
“Yes, Missy!” Lan Xiang lowered her head and left.
Gu Fangzi washed her face and hands clean as if nothing had happened just now before taking a sip off a cup of tea. Her pair of eyes glanced at the door occasionally.
After a long while, the courtyard gate did not make a single sound. The familiar figure of Shi Fengju also did not appear. Gu Fangzi’s heart gradually became uneasy. How can this happen? In the past, Big Cousin should have already returned by now with small gifts to coax me. But today, why isn’t he coming?
Gu Fangzi very quickly gave herself an answer, He must be too preoccupied with work!
Soon after, her heart felt indignant. She was already in such a state, yet he still had the heart to be busy with something else! He truly must have been bewitched by that fox Sang Wan!
“Lan Xiang, go and see if the young master is in the study room. If he’s not, then ask around for his actual location. If he’s there, invite him to come over for lunch!” Gu Fangzi instructed Lan Xiang. And she did not forget to add, “Also, don’t say it’s me who wants to invite him over. Say you did it of your own accord. You should know what to say, right?”
Lan Xiang had done such a thing numerous times. Every time the two had a quarrel, she always had to be the one to play the role of a matchmaker.
“Missy…” Lan Xiang became silent. Missy has only just married into the household and is still in her mourning period, so why is she creating such a ruckus! Chasing off the young master when he’s here, then when he doesn’t return to you, you want him back using nubi. Nubi really feels —— embarrassed ah!
“Go now!” Gu Fangzi raised a brow sharply.
“Yes, Missy!” Lan Xiang did not dare refuse, and she could only bite the bullet. Her mind thought of some gentle words to say to weaken his heart first and then give her Missy’s apology on her behalf before saying the pitiful state her Missy was in to shake the young master’s heart. She had a hunch that if she were unsuccessful, things would definitely not end up well for her.
Fortunately, Shi Fengju had gone to observe a store in the afternoon. Lan Xiang secretly let out a sigh before returning to Gu Fangzi briskly.
“Since that’s the case, then fix your eyes at the study room. When Big Cousin returns, invite him over! You know what to say!” Gu Fangzi said before taking in a deep breath.
“Understood…” As a servant, Lan Xiang could only agree.
Gu Fangzi finally got up to settle her father’s tablet. She burned three sticks of incense, and as the smoke lingered, she looked up at her father’s memorial tablet before letting out a soft sigh. Why must such a person like him be her father!