“That’s very thoughtful of Sister!” Gu Fangzi said gratefully, but she was secretly mocking Sang Wan deep down.
“That is a given, of course. Younger Sister, please take good care of yourself! If there’s anything you need, do tell me!” Sang Wan smiled.
Shi Yumei grunted coldly, “What’s the use of telling you? She might as well tell my second brother! Oh right, don’t forget to tell him that Fangzi is ill when he gets home. He should at least come and see her once in a while!”
Sang Wan felt slightly unhappy. “Big Sister, don’t worry. Sir will surely know of it!”
“I’m telling you to inform him!” Shi Yumei said. True enough, her true face was exposed and could no longer hide her jealousy ah!
“That is your duty as his wife!”
“Alright!” Sang Wan nodded.
“Sister, I think you should go back. I’m fine here! I can’t always bother Sister and delay Sister from your work!” Seeing that Shi Yumei finally said something that was spot on, Gu Fangzi was extremely pleased deep down, and her eyes glistened beautifully.
“Yes ah! Younger Sister-in-law, you should hurry along with your work! I’ll accompany Fangzi!” And Shi Yumei inadvertently asked, “Oh yes, would Younger Sister-in-law mind telling me the preparation status for Banana Courtyard? I still have to trouble Younger Sister-in-law about it!”
Sang Wan almost wanted to burst out laughing. It hasn’t been a day since the Mid-Autumn Festival, and Big Sister is already in such a hurry!
“I’ve already passed the instructions to the servants. They’ll begin tidying the place tomorrow! After that, I’ll have to invite Big Sister along to have a look!”
“Is that so? Younger Sister-in-law sure is capable! Big Sister shall give her thanks to Younger Sister-in-law!” Shi Yumei was somewhat startled. She had not expected Sang Wan to be this effective in her work.
“Big Sister, you’re welcome!” Sang Wan smiled before taking her leave.
“Cousin Yumei, you’ll be moving in? Congratulations ah, congratulations!” Gu Fangzi quickly smiled, but then sighed all of a sudden, “A pity. If only I could gift Cousin Yumei things to put on display like the past, but…”
“Shi Yumei smiled coldly. “You don’t have to feel remorseful. You may not have much, but that certain someone is sure to have a lot! Let’s see if she even looks up to me and is willing to part with some of her things!”
Gu Fangzi earnestly wished Shi Yumei would empty the small garden, and she smiled and said, “That goes without saying! Big Cousin has always cared for Cousin Yumei the most. You can just go over and take whatever you want! Big Cousin will surely give it to you!”
“Oh, but that won’t be good, right? The one managing the household isn’t Fengju!” Shi Yumei smiled.
“So what! Big Cousin is still the true head of the family!” said Gu Fangzi. The two laughed as their eyes met.
At night, Sang Wan briefly told Shi Fengju about Gu Fangzi during dinner, “Younger Sister has a cold because of yesterday. Today, I had a doctor diagnose her. Your sister was also around, and she asked why you didn’t go there to see her.”
Shi Fengju frowned, and he asked without even raising his head, “What did the doctor say?”
“He said it isn’t serious. He prescribed some medicine, and I assigned Lan Xiang to be the one responsible in serving the medicine.”
“Oh.” Shi Fengju then went silent.
After a short while, Sang Wan smiled again and said, “Oh right, I’ve already instructed the servants to tidy up Banana Courtyard. I think that since Big Sister and Brother-in-law will be staying there for long, it has to be up to their standards. I’ve already invited Big Sister to come along with me the following day to say her opinions on how she would like the place to be decorated before I have the servants do as follows. But after some thought, asking Big Sister for her opinions might cause her husband to have second thoughts. So why don’t you come along with me tomorrow, and we’ll have Brother-in-law come, too! That way, the two of them can discuss among themselves!”
Shi Fengju raised his head to look at her before smiling and saying, “That’s very thoughtful of you. Okay, I’ll be home the following day!”
Sang Wan secretly let out a sigh of relief. It’s good to have you around. At least you’ll be there to make sure they don’t step over the line, and I can just stand at the side and remember all the preparations needed!
Recalling how Shi Yumei was inexplicably hostile towards her, Sang Wan’s head ached.
“Then that’s settled!” Sang Wan smiled. “Big Sister also requested for me to treat them to a meal once they’ve moved into Banana Courtyard! I don’t know what she likes to eat, but I said that I’ll be sure to do so. Still, she’s your sister, so I should still find out what she likes! I think that you might know what her preferences are.”
“My sister is asking you for too much!” Shi Fengju smiled and shook his head. After thinking for a brief moment, he smiled and answered, “This season is the best to have crabs. How about this. When that time comes, I’ll have someone deliver two large baskets of crabs. You can invite Mother and Second Aunt along, too! As for the wine, the aged chrysanthemum wine will be good. It has a sweet scent and taste, but it won’t be easy to get drunk over it. I’ll have a servant send that as well. As for the other dishes, just preparing a few complementary dishes will be fine!”
Sang Wan was glad, and she quickly exclaimed, “Then we’ll go with it. When your sister and I have settled for a date, I’ll tell you about it.”
“En!” Watching her as her eyes glistened when she smiled, Shi Fengju could not help but feel a sense of happiness deep down, and he blurted out, “You’ve been working hard these few days. Once Big Sis has settled down, I’ll take you to my country farm to relax for a few days!”
Sang Wan’s eyes were on the dishes as she remained silent.
On the following day, Sang Wan and Shi Fengju invited the other two before heading to Banana Courtyard together. The moment when Shi Yumei saw Shi Fengju, she frowned slightly before casting a glance at Sang Wan. She then asked, “Second Brother, how can I trouble you for something this minor? You should return to whatever you’re busy with! We’re a family, so there’s no need for you to pay so much attention to me!”
Shi Fengju then explained the reason which Sang Wan had given him beforehand, and hearing him so, Shi Yumei went silent. But Ren Zhixian seemed to have taken much interest with those words, and he glared at his wife before speaking calmly, “Fengju is indeed thoughtful! The study room is not something women understand at all!”
Shi Fengju could not help but roll his eyes discreetly before gesturing for them to enter the courtyard and acting as if he had not heard him.
With Shi Fengju around, Shi Yumei could not be fussy at all. The decorations for the living room, the partitioned room, chamber, bathroom, and side rooms were discussed very quickly. Shi Yumei half-heartedly smiled at Sang Wan and said, “Then I’ll have to trouble Younger Sister-in-law for the arrangements! I also do want to go pick a few displays with Younger Sister-in-law…”
Sang Wan quickly agreed, and Shi Fengju smiled. “Big Sis, when that time comes, just have Sang Wan open the storage room for you to pick a few paintings, tea sets, and antiques! If there isn’t anything you like, then I can have someone buy those that you’d like!”
Shi Yumei smiled. “Then if I want a few things from your house, will you give them to me?”
“I will, why not!” Shi Fengju quickly gave a glance at Sang Wan and could only say so.
Shi Yumei only said that without much thought, but seeing how Shi Fengju had to look at Sang Wan first before agreeing, she felt somewhat uncomfortable. That made her think that she should just pick a few things that Sang lass likes a lot!
When they came to the study room, that’s where the trouble began.
The study room was the east-wing room located at the right side, with the courtyard right outside of it. Consisting of four partitioned rooms, it was spacious and allowed lots of light in.
Ren Zhixian looked at it with his arms behind his back. He claimed that the building was slightly narrow and should have all the partitions taken down. By the wall, a large bookshelf should be there, and the decorative window should be changed to a circular window with a bamboo curtain hung over it. In front of the window, a couch or bed should be placed there, and right outside the window, two plum trees should be moved and planted there, together with a few bamboos. And right by the bamboos, there should be a pile of rocks…
After that, he began to give even more requests, saying how high the desk should be, how large and beautiful the hung painting should be, where the incense burner should be placed, the four scholarly treasures that he needed, and many others. Finally, he concluded, “Furniture matching the building will make the entire view blend together seamlessly. Only then will the study room look beautiful and elegant to the eyes!”
Before Ren Zhixian even finished with his requests, Shi Fengju’s expression had already changed numerous times! Does this person even know how to write those words? Just who does he think he is ah!
“Brother-in-law, to make all these changes, I’m afraid it will take almost half a year to complete. Brother-in-law, during that period, what do you plan to do?” Shi Fengju asked with a faint smile.
“Nothing!” Ren Zhixian said without shame, “I can just put up with it for a while!” He then added, thinking that he was already being extremely generous already, “Just take your time. I’m also doing this for the Shi family’s sake! With such an elegant study room, if any of your family’s young masters wishes to use this room, they can! This is what a real study room should look like!”
In other words, he was implying that only someone like him who came from a literary family knew how to decorate a study room. You people who reek of money, do you even know?
Shi Fengju almost wanted to let out a laugh. Having come across someone like him, he must think that getting him angry should be something they should be grateful for!
“Yes ah, Brother-in-law is truly a knowledgeable person, a real scholar. This has really let me open my eyes! Where can our Shi family compare with your Ren family? En, but in the eyes of a businessman, I think that this isn’t worthwhile to do so! In any case, it won’t be used in the future, so it’ll only be a waste of money!”
Shi Fengju saw Ren Zhixian’s mouth move, almost wanting to say something like “How dare you, you imbecile!” or words with similar meaning, but he interrupted by adding on, “Why don’t we do it like the way I think we should! I mean, it won’t be used by us in the future, and I don’t wish to waste any money. As long as Brother-in-law is comfortable, I’m sure it should be fine! Then, should we just follow the way Brother-in-law’s study room used to be? That way, Brother-in-law will be more used to it. What does Brother-in-law think?”
Ren Zhixian was suddenly at a loss for words, and his face was slightly red and pale.
His house’s study room? When his parents were still alive four or five years ago, that room looked more like a study room, but two to three years ago, did it even look like a study room? It looked more like a miscellany room!
Seeing her husband unable to refute, Shi Yumei quickly tried to close the topic, “Second Brother ah, my husband is only thinking for our good mah! By decorating this study room, it can then be used in the future. Why don’t—”
“Big Sis! It’s still too early!” Shi Fengju smiled and said, “When my child does have a need for a study room, it’ll only be seven to eight years later. By then, I’m afraid the study room will be too old and will have to be rebuilt!”