“Everything will be fine once your body recovers!” Sang Wan smiled and said, “And isn’t there still Cousin Sang Yan? She will take good care of you!”
“Ah Yan,” Li Shi quickly called Sang Yan over after hearing Sang Wan, and forcefully squeezed Sang Yan and Sang Wan’s hands tightly together, “Sang Wan, I only have one daughter, if she doesn’t have somewhere to settle down, I won’t be able to die peacefully! Sang Wan, I can’t expect anything from her father, so please help me take good care of Ah Yan in the future. You have to promise me, okay? Second Aunt is begging you!”
“Mother!” Sang Yan’s eyes reddened and she teared up.
“Foolish girl, why are you crying! Sang Wan, I beg of you!” Li Shi looked pitifully at Sang Wan.
Liu Ya stood at the side and watched helplessly. Deep down, she thought to herself: Now you know how to beg our young mistress? Why don’t you look at all the things you did in the past! Our young mistress’ reputation was almost tarnished by your words! Anyway, how could you want our young mistress to take responsibility when you and Old Mister Sang are still around? That’s absolutely brazen!
“Second Aunt, you should take good care of your body. Let’s not speak about this anymore! You and Second Uncle are still here, no one will dare to bully Ah Yan!” Sang Wan finally could not hold herself back and mustered the strength to free her hands. She got up with a smile and said, “Second Aunt, you shouldn’t think too much and rest well! In the future when Ah Yan finds a good partner, I will definitely help add to her dowry and give my well wishes!”
“Sang Wan, are you still angry with Second Aunt! Second Aunt will compensate you, okay?” Li Shi panicked when she saw Sang Wan leaving.
“I’m not. Second Aunt, have a good rest. I have to head back first! If not, my big sister-in-law will be worried!” Sang Wan smiled and headed downstairs with Liu Ya.
“Sang Wan!” Sang Pingliang had a huge smile on his face as he spoke, “Why don’t you accompany your second aunt a little while more? Why are you coming down so soon?”
That the new concubine was not around, and Sang Pingliang smiling with an unusual friendliness; Sang Wan found it strange. All of a sudden, she had an ominous premonition and quickly gave a perfunctory smile before leaving without any regard to his persistence in making her stay. Together with Liu Ya, they left Sang Pingliang’s house as if making a quick escape.
“Ai, this Sang Wan’s wings are stiff, and her heart is cold! She looks down on us now!” Upstairs, Li Shi could be seen sighing heavily at her daughter while holding onto her hands, “Mother is really worried about you! If you don’t marry well, how can I be at ease!”
“Mother!” Sang Yan had a dominant mother since young and had never experienced any real hardships outside. Getting married would mean leaving her mother’s side; after hearing her mother worry about her marriage, she instantly panicked, “Mother, I don’t want to get married yet! I still want to accompany you! Mother, please don’t think too much. Didn’t the doctor say that you’ll recover after a few days? Why do you sound so serious —— you’re scaring me!”
Li Shi saw how delicate and fragile her daughter looked, and her heart softened. No words could come out of her mouth and she could only let out a soft sigh.
“Mother,” Sang Yan called out hesitantly before speaking again after another short pause, “At the corner of the stairs just now, I heard father and his concubine talk about ——”
Before she could finish, Li Shi spat and scolded, “What concubine! That vixen is no concubine of ours!” Then she asked again, “And what did they talk about?”
Sang Yan looked at her mother timidly and told her about how Sang Pingliang and the new concubine were planning to present Sang Rou to Shi Fengju to be his concubine.
“Outrageous!” Li Shi was fuming with anger when she heard about it. The pain in her waist was immediately forgotten and she jerked herself up, only to groan loudly in pain soon after. She punched the mattress and said resentfully, “So that small vixen and silly old man devised a scheme! As if such a brat could match up to the Shi family! She should just take a look at herself in the mirror first!”
Most importantly, how could she feel happy about seeing Sang Rou rise to a higher branch after marrying into the Shi family? How could she bear to see her enjoy all the delicacies and put on beautiful clothes?
“I will definitely not allow that! Call your father here and say that I wish to see him!” Li Shi said resentfully, “When Sang Rou is back, call her here too! Just tell her that her father is here as well, and has something to say to her!” Li Shi knew that she could not get out of bed, and Sang Yan would not be able to urge Sang Rou to come. With the help of the vixen, it was more likely that Sang Rou would not listen. As such, only by mentioning Sang Pingliang would she come.
“Oh.” Sang Yan nodded her head.
Presenting Sang Rou to Shi Fengju as a concubine was a big matter that could not be hidden from Li Shi, who was the old mistress of the Sang household. In any case, it did not occur to Sang Pingliang that Li Shi would refuse, so when he heard that Li Shi wished to see him, he was thinking about letting her know about his plan!
It was fortunate that before Li Shi could speak, Sang Pingliang had already snatched the chance to tell her about his plan. She was able to hold back her anger even though it was already boiling within her and remain calm on the surface. With a smile, she continued to feign civility with Sang Pingliang.
When Sang Rou returned and went upstairs, she indeed saw her father there. Thinking that what her parents wished to talk about was the same as what the concubine had explained to her, she was very elated and smiled gleefully, “Father, Mother, you wished to see me?”
Sang Pingliang examined her from top to bottom. Seeing her good figure, bright and beautiful eyes, and her slightly thin lips, although her appearance was not as outstanding as Sang Wan’s, she was definitely not too far off! With a change of clothes and some makeup on, she would definitely be accepted!
Sang Pingliang became more satisfied the more he looked, as if he was examining an expensive product, and the smile on his face broadened. Sang Rou noticed his expression and felt as if she could soar in the sky. She tightened her grasp around her finger helplessly while giving a shy smile and lowering her gaze as she stood at a side. That made her look even more lovely.
****! Just like that vixen ****! Li Shi was extremely furious, but she quickly inhaled a large breath before smiling, “That’s good! Come over here, I’ve a few words I’d like to say to you.”
“Yes, Mother.” Sang Rou’s heart was filled with joy, would she remain on the alert when in front of Li Shi? Furthermore, this matter was already decided by her father. No matter how Li Shi wished to prevent it, there was no way she’d succeed. Her mind was only thinking about the good days ahead of her and how her stepmother would have to fawn over her in the future, just like how she treated Sang Wan after marriage!
Unexpectedly, the moment Sang Rou approached the bed and was near it, Li Shi grabbed her hand and pulled her forcefully. While holding onto a silver hairpin on another hand, Li Shi slashed at her face while cursing hatefully, “Why don’t you look at yourself in the mirror and see what you are! How dare you think about marrying into the Shi family! Is that even a family that you can marry into!”
“What are you doing!”
“Ah!” Sang Rou shrieked as she pulled herself away. Touching her face, her hand was covered in blood. She screamed and sobbed loudly as she turned and ran off.
“You, you, you!” Sang Pingliang was so angry that his finger that was pointing at Li Shi was trembling and no words could leave his mouth as he glared at her.
Li Shi was startled by Sang Rou’s forceful push to escape from her clutches when she let out a shriek before running away. Cold sweat formed on her face and it darkened as she glared hatefully at Sang Pingliang while letting out a cold laugh, “Me? What me? This old woman is still around, so that brat better not think about trying to clinch onto a prestigious family! Haha, I want to see now, after her face is ruined, what else she can use to seduce others!”
“You!” Sang Pingliang sneered coldly, “Fine then, she won’t go. I’ll make Ah Yan go. After all, someone has to go!”
“Don’t you dare think about it!” Li Shi laughed coldly, “I’ve already spoken to Sang Wan just now. Sang Wan promised to find a good marriage partner for Ah Yan! Hmph, I dare you to try sending her there!”
Sang Pingliang was stunned and was at a loss for words. So now, Sang Wan would never accept Sang Yan. Besides, Sang Pingliang did not like Sang Yan’s character to begin with and was not confident in her.
“Hmph!” He pulled up his sleeves and left.
Li Shi laid in bed while laughing coldly to herself. After getting over the pain on her waist, she started to think of ways she could sell the ‘favor’ she had done for Sang Wan and make her remember her good deed.
After all, she had helped Sang Wan to chase away a “strong rival”. She was also a woman and knew how much a woman detested her husband getting a concubine, so why would Sang Wan be an exception? Knowing that she helped solve such a troubling problem for her, surely Sang Wan could not have no gratitude at all?
By the time Sang Wan and Liu Ya returned, the villagers that were accompanying the guests had already left and Shi Fengju was speaking to Sang Hong and Fang Shi. Seeing Sang Wan, Shi Fengju smiled at her, “What took you so long? I was about to ask Big Sister-in-law to call for you!”
Sang Wan smiled, sat beside him, and said, “Second Aunt is bedridden, and had quite a lot of things to say.”
“Hmph, that’s only to you!” Fang Shi’s mouth was never merciful, and she asked, “How is she? It isn’t too serious, right?”
Sang Wan smiled and said, “Her complexion was quite good. She should be fine after a few days!”
Fang Shi did not ask any further.
At noon, Shi Fengju had a little bit of alcohol. Not too long after, Sang Wan and Liu Ya helped him to Sang Wan’s room to rest. Sang Quan and Sang Nuan were very attached to their aunt who they had not seen for a very long time, so after settling Shi Fengju down, Sang Wan went out to play with them. Shi Fengju watched as she left, and let out a soft sigh before closing his eyes to rest.
The day passed in a blink of an eye, and everyone returned to their rooms to rest not long after dinner. Shi Fengju finally found an opportunity to be intimate with Sang Wan, and hugged her as he chuckled softly, “Sang Wan, do you remember? The first time when we slept on the same bed was in this room of yours!”
His words sounded questionable and Sang Wan glared at him jokingly, “What nonsense! If someone were to hear you, it sounds like, sounds like ——” It sounded as if they had an inappropriate relationship before marriage!
“There is only me and you, what’s there to be afraid of!” Shi Fengju nuzzled his face against hers before laughing gently, “Sang Wan, did you know, I wanted to hug and love you at that time, but you were so cold towards me!” Shi Fengju could not help but feel indignant and seemed to want to make it up. As such, his large pair of hands began to touch inappropriately.
“Stop it!” Sang Wan hurriedly stopped his hand with all strength and bit her lip as she said under breath, “Don’t mess around! This isn’t our house!”
Her big brother and sister-in-law were in the room right next to theirs. If they were to make too much noise and someone heard them, where would she have the face to see them!
“What are you afraid of!” Shi Fengju was in the heat of the moment and would not concede.
Sang Wan’s face blushed and her strength left her body. She breathed heavily as she struggled, but that only made her seem hard to get. Without a choice, she tried a softer approach and whispered, “Don’t be rash!”
Shi Fengju let out a deep laughter and whispered into her ears, “I don’t care about anything else now. I only have you in my eyes…”
After a round of being intimate, they were covered with sweat. Shi Fengju kicked a blanket towards the corner and laughed, “Your sister-in-law still remembered that we’d feel cold in the night, and did not forget to prepare another blanket for us.”
The previous time when they were here, they were still a fake couple so each of them used a blanket. Sang Wan lied to Fang Shi that she was afraid of the cold, but she did not expect Fang Shi to remember that and prepared another blanket for them.
Upon hearing him, Sang Wan smiled, “My sister-in-law has always been a very meticulous person. She will always remember after hearing it once, but you are mocking her now because of that!”
Shi Fengju pulled her into his embrace and smiled, “I wasn’t mocking her, I just found the whole situation funny! Sang Wan, isn’t it weird that we’ve always been sleeping in the same room every night yet we could still hold ourselves back in the past! Right now, I can’t get used to being without you!”
Sang Wan instantly thought of the words spoken by her big sister-in-law in the day, and the thought of Gu Fangzi suddenly surfaced in her head. Unable to hold herself back, she spoke sourly, “Really? When you have someone else, I’m sure you’ll naturally get used to not having me anymore! Our household’s Miss Gu will be ending her mourning period next month, am I right?”
“Are you jealous? En?” Shi Fengju’s eyes glimmered and he pulled her smooth and petite chin closer to him as he asked with avid interest.
Sang Wan saw how he acted and felt even more sour. She turned her head away in a fit of pique and said indifferently, “As long as you are happy, how could I dare to be jealous? Aren’t all women like this, it’s not a matter that can be changed just because I am jealous!” After saying that, she could not help but feel a surge of disappointment within her.
“My foolish Sang Wan!” Shi Fengju sighed softly. He pulled her face back and laughed softly, “I still remember the promise I made with you, so don’t you worry! After I go back, I will speak to Mother about it first. I can’t bear to let my Sang Wan be overly jealous and sour!”
Sang Wan smiled embarrassingly, “Who’s getting jealous! Don’t be ridiculous!” But she could not help but worry and said hesitantly, “Mother, she —— cares a lot for your cousin, will she —— think that I was the one who asked you to do this, what if she becomes frustrated at me? Fengju, if Mother is frustrated at me, I will feel uneasy in my heart as well! When you are speaking to your mother about it, please tread carefully!”
“Don’t worry!” Shi Fengju saw that she was still concerned about his mother’s feelings and was feeling very relieved. He kissed her face lightly and said softly, “Mother won’t be suspicious of you, I know how I should say to her.”
Sang Wan was finally relieved and smiled at him softly.
Shi Fengju pinched her soft waist and acted as if he was angry and said grudgingly, “So you actually didn’t believe me before, so how should I punish you, huh?”
Sang Wan met his stare and was feeling a little guilty. She lowered her eyes and mumbled, “I, I——”
“You what, “ Shi Fengju pinched again, much harder this time, and said grudgingly in her ears, “You’ll see how I will deal with you when we go back!”
Sang Wan’s heart wavered and she whimpered without speaking as she continued to cuddle in his embrace. Shi Fengju heart was tickled by her unexpected intimacy and he could not hold himself back from hugging her and making out again. Only after midnight did they finally fall asleep.
The next day, after noon, they said reluctantly goodbye and took the carriage home.
They did not sleep well last night, and Sang Wan felt a little tired after a while inside the horse carriage. Last night they did not sleep well, and not long after being in the horse carriage, Sang Wan felt a little tired. Her eyes closed slightly before Shi Fengju hugged her against him, “Just lean against me and sleep, I am here!”
Sang Wan opened her eyes a little, “En? You, aren’t you tired?”
Shi Fengju chuckled and kissed her forehead, “I am not tired, I’ll hold onto you.”
Sang Wan softly conceded and closed her eyes as she leaned against him. After a while, her breathing became even and gentle.
This was the first time Shi Fengju saw her sleep so soundly. Seeing her soft and fair skin, her beautiful face which gave off a gentle aura, her lips that were pressed lightly together, and her long lashes, it made him want to love her even more and the corner of his lips curled slightly as he looked at her with loving eyes.
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