Gu Fangzi wiped her tears and said hesitantly, “Aunt Wang, is it, is it because Sister Sang Wan cannot stand the sight of me anymore——, Aunt Wang, I would never dare go against Sister Sang Wan! I am just an orphan; her older brother is now a top-escorted examinee, and will soon become a successful candidate in the examinations. Will I dare to challenge her by knocking an egg on the stone? I will be obedient and not cross my line, Aunt Wang, please let me explain myself clearly to Sister Sang Wan?”
“There won’t be any need to!” Wang Shi stopped her, “It’s hard to tell whether Sang Wan knows about this! Fang’er, I’ll speak truthfully to you, Fengju has it in mind too. Do you want to reconsider?”
Gu Fangzi’s face immediately turned as pale as snow. Her aunt could not hide her thoughts; just a few clever words and Wang Shi would spill the beans! She would not believe that Sang Wan had no hand in this matter, however, she believed that Sang Wan did not have the courage and capability to convince Wang Shi to speak for her. Still, Wang Shi would not talk about this with her without a reason. This left her with only one possibility, this was her big cousin’s idea!
And she guessed it. However, without hearing it from Wang Shi with her own ears, she refused to believe her conjecture!
But right now, she could only accept her fate! Her big cousin, her big cousin really was the one! He did not want her anymore, and wanted her to remarry!
“Aunt Wang,” Gu Fangzi’s tears were like beads falling from a broken string, “Aunt Wang, Fang’er cannot bear to leave you and Big Cousin! Fang’er doesn’t know what happened to him for him to have such consideration. Aunt Wang, if you ask Fang’er, Fang’er really doesn’t want to leave! Fang’er would rather be a servant than leave. Aunt Wang, please fulfill my wish!”
“Silly child what are you saying!” Wang Shi quickly held her hands. Since she had already said things to such a stage, Wang Shi became reluctant to convince her further. Having mixed emotions, she sighed, “My good child, sigh, what can I say! Enough, stop crying. Good girl, you go back first and don’t give this too much thought!”
“Aunt Wang, so Fang’er can stay? Aunt Wang, please don’t chase Fang’er away!” Gu Fangzi’s eyes were teary.
“Why would I chase you away? Don’t be foolish!” Wang Shi patted Gu Fangzi’s hands softly before letting her take her leave.
Gu Fangzi’s heart was in a mess; how could she return in peace? However, she had no other choice. The problem did not lie with Wang Shi. She had to go back and tidy up her thoughts.
“Aunt Wang, Fang’er will be going back now! I will come to visit Aunt Wang again tomorrow!” Gu Fangzi got up with her eyes still watery and said goodbye before leaving.
Lan Xiang saw her missy with swollen eyes and tear stains, and was shocked. She did not dare to ask what happened inside and returned to Peony Park2Peony ParkGu Fangzi's place of residence together with her. When they returned home, Gu Fangzi ordered her to close the doors before she could even ask, and coldly repeated what Wang Shi said to her.
Lan Xiang was completely taken aback, and her face turned pale! For a long while, she could not believe this was real!
“What happened these few days? Didn’t I ask you to observe everything that happens in Ning Garden1Ning GardenSang Wan & Shi Fengju's place of residence? Have you found anything out?” Gu Fangzi demanded coldly.
“Nothing seemed to have happened, I think!” Lan Xiang pondered for a while before answering. If anything had happened, it would be that the relationship between the young master and young mistress seemed to be getting better! But even if she was beaten to death, she would never dare to say so in Gu Fangzi’s face.
“You think?” Gu Fangzi interrogated. Clearly she was very displeased.
“Ah!” All of a sudden, a thought came to Lan Xiang and she quickly corrected herself, “This servant recalled that a few days ago, something strange did happen! On one morning, Young Mistress went to greet Old Mistress much earlier than usual, and I heard that she was ignored for almost half a day before she could speak to Old Mistress. After that, Young Master went as well. But when he left, he did not leave with Young Mistress. Instead, he left in a fit. After that, Old Mistress brought Young Mistress to Jiao Garden, and when they left, Old Mistress’ face seemed to be contorted in anger. I heard that Young Mistress was pushed away when she wanted to hold her arm!”
“Was there really such a matter?” Gu Fangzi hurriedly asked, “No matter how I hear it, It doesn’t sound right. Why didn’t you conduct a proper investigation?”
Lan Xiang apologized while feeling wronged, “After that day, everything returned to normal, almost as if nothing had happened, so this servant, this servant thought ——that it did not matter, so ——”
“You fool!” Gu Fangzi creased her eyebrows and scolded, “How many times have I told you, whatever happens in Ning Garden, you must remember them in your heart and investigate them thoroughly! Go and find out more about it right now! No, forget it! You can leave now, I want to be alone for a while!”
“Yes, Missy!” Lan Xiang heaved a huge sigh of relief.
Since this was related to Shi Yumei, then things have become so much easier to handle. Rather than having Lan Xiang find out more in Ning Garden, she would rather fish for information from Shi Yumei and see if she could find out anything!
Recalling what Wang Shi said, Gu Fangzi could not help but grind her teeth. Sang Wan, Sang Wan, she had belittled her in the end! In just a short span of half a year, she had stolen her big cousin from her, and Wang Shi no longer sided with her anymore! Third Old Mistress Shi was another person with no conscience. She had already forgotten about the help provided to her during her difficult time. She went as far as distancing herself, and even rejected my request to visit! How could she distance herself from me, and even reject my request for a visit! How slick as oil she is, no wonder she is the wife of an ex-official.
On the next day, Gu Fangzi ordered Lan Xiang to deliver a plate of desserts she made herself. Upon seeing the desserts, Shi Yumei remembered that she had not seen Gu Fangzi for three to four days already, and personally went to Peony Park to visit her.
Gu Fangzi was already waiting for her arrival, and of course she behaved extremely intimate as they went on to have an idle talk.
“My mourning period will be ending soon so I’ll have fewer restrictions by then and I will be able to spend more time to be with Cousin Yumei! Oh right, when the weather is good in around March or April, let’s go take a walk and enjoy the view, how about that?” Gu Fangzi suggested with a smile.
“Sure! Speaking of which, we have not gone out together in a long time! Let’s not forget to do some shopping too!” Shi Yumei added.
“En,” Gu Fangzi nodded meekly before smiling gently, “Let’s invite Big Cousin along too. We’ll go together, all three of us!”
Seeing the way she was, Shi Yumei could not help but laugh and make fun of her, “You’re still calling him ‘Big Cousin’. By then, you should be calling Fengju ‘Lord’!”
“Cousin Yumei!” Gu Fangzi feigned sweetly, but her eyes were full of joy as she spoke without doubt, “Right now, Big Cousin is already my husband!”
“That’s right. The two of you have been close since young! Looks like the both of you are finally going to get together, I’m so jealous of you!” Shi Yumei thought of herself and let out a sigh, “Fangzi, you must be happy with Fengju!”
Gu Fangzi nodded, “My feelings for Big Cousin have never changed. Just that, just that I don’t know whether Sister Sang Wan ——” Her eyes darkened as she lowered her gaze to sigh softly.
Shi Yumei stiffened slightly. For a while, she did not know what to say to console her and she sighed softly, “Fangzi, allow me to say something unpleasant. I think Fengju really fell in love with Sang Wan! Ai, who knew what magic Sang Wan this girl did to make Fengju treat her so——”
Gu Fangzi felt unbearably bitter after hearing her and wanted to rant about Sang Wan to her. However, she remembered her purpose of inviting Shi Yumei over today, and she smiled bitterly, “I can’t blame Big Cousin, with Sister Sang Wan’s personality and appearance, how can I blame Big Cousin for falling in love with her? I think there will not be many men in the world who will not fall in love with her? I heard that a few days ago, Aunt Wang got angry with Sister Sang Wan and Big Cousin because of this, I wonder if it’s true!”
Shi Yumei snorted and said, “It’s true! Mother has already mentioned it to me. That night, Fengju brought Sang Wan out to meet up with a few of his friends or something? It snowed a little when they came back, so Fengju that brat went to carry Sang Wan all the way back to Ning Garden from the horse carriage. I happened to be ill that night and Mother came to visit me. On her way back from my place, she ended up bumping into them!” Shi Yumei covered her mouth to suppress a smile, “You should have seen how black Mother’s face was when she talked to me about it the next morning! Hehe, I really wanted to laugh but did not dare to, and did not know what to say to coax her! Fengju that brat has always been like that. After all, didn’t he like to do things for you in the past? What’s the point of being so hung up on it when he did all of those willingly! I feel that Mother is being too overly-concerned!”
Gu Fangzi was both taken aback and infuriated, her hands subconsciously grasped one another tightly. What did Cousin Yumei say? Her big cousin actually carried Sang Wan that vixen publicly, and even carried her all the way back from the second gate!
He had never carried her before! Yet he actually carried Sang Wan!
When they were together, the most they did was exchange affectionate gazes at each other, there was almost no skinship at all, and he never held her hands or kissed her before. That was all because she valued her chastity. She did not want him to feel that she was an easy woman; she wanted to maintain the most perfect image in his eyes! As such, even when she was going through difficult times, she would only lean on his shoulder to cry and he would only pat her lightly on the back. Never did he dare to go further than that!
But he was so intimate with Sang Wan!
Shi Yumei continued with a sigh, “Seeing Mother with a thorn in her heart, I was sure that she would continue to feel terrible if I did nothing! So I told some of the old stories between you and Fengju which made her feel better and she stopped going on about it! Say, Fengju really, he’s already a grown up now but he’s still fooling around! Luckily it was only at night, if it was during the day, it would’ve been embarrassing if anyone saw them! Sang Wan really, she could go overboard sometimes too!”
Were it not for Sang Wan helping her during the New Year and ensuring no rumors were spread… Shi Yumei owed her a favor else her criticism would not just be an ‘overboard’. Shi Yumei knew that handling the entire household was never simple. With the incident happening within the household, if Sang Wan did not handle it carefully and instead took it as an opportunity to purposely let information leak out, then the entire household would know that their eldest missy was locked out of her house by her own husband! When that happens, even if she wanted an investigation to be conducted, it would never be traced back to Sang Wan. Sang Wan, as the Young Mistress of the Shi household, would she not have a minuscule channel to spread the news?
After that night, Shi Yumei really changed her perception of Sang Wan. So much so that she even asked herself secretly, if Sang Wan and her roles were reversed that night, would she be able to do the same? The answer would definitely be no! Not throwing a rock at her when she fell was already fortunate for her, let alone giving her help!
Gu Fangzi was stunned stiff. Although faint, she had somewhat caught a hint of what she was looking for.
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