Liu Ya wanted the two of them to sit and have a rest. Who knew that Li Shi couldn’t stop talking? She held onto Liu Ya and sighed before she started complaining. She spoke long-windedly about the good and bad of the family. Liu Ya was gloomy when she was forced to listen but she could not walk away and could only respond half-heartedly. However, that made Li Shi more enthusiastic. The more she spoke, the more excited she got. Liu Ya was put through an indescribable amount of misery the more she had to listen.
“Young Mistress is back!”
At last, a servant’s clear voice could be heard coming from outside, followed by the quick footsteps and rustling of cloth.
“Sang Wan, you’re back! Sang Wan!” Li Shi’s eyes lit up. She got up and wanted to rush out of the house.
“Second Old Mistress!” Liu Ya quickly pulled her back before saying resourcefully, “You’re the elder, so Young Mistress has to be the one who comes and greets you! If you go out now, others will mock you for not knowing the rules!”
Li Shi gave it some thought and coughed softly to herself before putting on her usual act as she returned to her seat.. She raised her head and urged Liu Ya, “Hurry up and call Sang Wan in!”
“Ai, I’ll go right this instant! Second Old Mistress, please wait here and don’t go anywhere else. Young Mistress still has to change into another set of clothes and wash her face before meeting you! Please wait for her patiently!” Liu Ya then lifted up the curtains and left.
Not too long ago when Sang Wan returned, the servants quietly informed her that Second Old Mistress Sang and her daughter had come. It startled her and her expression nearly changed. After accompanying Wang Shi back to the courtyard to have a rest, she hurriedly rushed to Ning Garden1Ning GardenSang Wan & Shi Fengju's place of residence.
Right now, when Sang Wan saw Liu Ya welcoming her without any strangeness, she became slightly less worried.
“Where’s Second Aunt and Third Cousin?” Sang Wan went ahead to ask before Liu Ya could greet her.
Liu Ya went to hold her arm while replying with a smile, “Young Mistress, you should change into a new set of clothes first. Second Old Mistress and Third Missy are doing fine in the warm room. Please do not worry, Young Mistress!”
Sang Wan smiled and nodded. She went into her chamber to change and said to Liu Ya with a laugh, “Luckily, you didn’t come with me today. Otherwise, who knows what would have happened!”
“Exactly, it was such a coincidence!” Liu Ya replied with a smile. After she had sent away the servants and helped Sang Wan change into a new set of clothes, she lowered her voice and spoke, “Not just me, my godmother too. On the way here, with Second Old Mistress and Sang Yan, we unexpectedly met Miss Gu…”
Liu Ya simply recounted what had happened earlier and continued, “I’m letting you know so that you will be prepared deep down. That way, you can avoid being kept in the dark if Miss Gu use them against you in the future!”
Sang Wan was startled and furious. Her hands turned slightly cold and she responded with clenched teeth, “That woman is just like a mad devil! What can she not do? Thank goodness Nanny Li and you were around today. If she brought Second Aunt back with her, that would be terrible!”
Sang Wan did not dare to imagine what would happen if Li Shi was brought away by Gu Fangzi. Li Shi was brainless and with that mouth of hers, what could Gu Fangzi not ask by prying deliberately? And if she were to bring Li Shi to see Wang Shi…
Sang Wan trembled and said, “I can’t have them stay. Send them back early in the morning tomorrow!”
Liu Ya replied with a smile, “Young Mistress, you’ll have to think of a way! What don’t you know about Second Old Mistress? There’s no way she will leave so easily after coming here. She told me today that she wished to broaden her horizons by staying in the household for a few more days!”
Sang Wan’s eyes flickered slightly as she said, “I will think of something!”
After much difficulty, she was finally able to stabilize her position in the household and her status. She definitely would not let someone like Li Shi tarnish her reputation. Her two elders were unkind and without conscience, and relied on a little bit of bloodline to hold onto the relationship! Since she did not owe them anything, it was not worthwhile to be implicated with them.
Sang Wan hurriedly changed into a set of green clothes with vine patterns and took off the expensive and complicated jewelries. She tied her hair into an ordinary bun and inserted two jade hairpins embedded with gems before leaving with Liu Ya supporting her arm.
She suddenly stopped in her tracks and asked Liu Ya, “Nanny Li…”
Liu Ya faintly forced a smile, “When Second Old Mistress and Third Missy arrived, Nanny Li left to do something else and I was the only one serving them. I wouldn’t dare to let her spout nonsense in front of Nanny Li. It would be too embarrassing!”
Sang Wan scoffed and gently poked on Liu Ya’s forehead. “You’re becoming more and more quick-witted!”
Both master and servant lifted the curtain and went into the warm room. Before Sang Wan could greet her, Li Shi rushed over like the wind and hurriedly grabbed onto her hands. “Sang Wan, you’re finally back! I’ve been waiting for you!”
“Second Aunt, please have a seat before we talk! I didn’t know that Second Aunt would be coming and I accompanied my mother-in-law out to be a guest today. Second Aunt must have waited long!” Sang Wan withdrew her hand and sat on the head seat.
“We have not seen each other for a very long time. There’s so many things I wish to tell you!” Li Shi beamed and sat beside Sang Wan without thinking.
Liu Ya hurriedly said with a smile, “Second Old Mistress, that’s Young Master’s seat. Please have a seat here instead!”
She gestured with her hands to guide Li Shi to sit on the guest seat.
Li Shi spoke unhappily, “Isn’t he not here right now? Can’t I sit here where it’s nearer to Sang Wan? You are getting bolder and bolder! Sang Wan, just look at her. She is even nitpicking on what I do!”
Li Shi was greatly disappointed and glared angrily at Liu Ya before turning to Sang Wan with the intention of letting her decide.
Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, Liu Ya opened her mouth but quickly closed it. Against a person like Li Shi, there was no way of reasoning with her!
“Second Aunt, Liu Ya always speaks what she thinks, just like my sister-in-law. Why bicker with her? Have a seat here, you must have something to talk to me about, right?” Sang Wan smiled and pointed at the guest seat. Clearly, she wanted Li Shi to sit there just like what Liu Ya had meant.
“Oh.” Li Shi responded embarrassingly without saying another word. She went to the seat and sat down. She could disregard Liu Ya’s words, but she did not dare to do the same with Sang Wan’s.
Sang Yan stood behind Li Shi and hung her head low until it was nearly buried in her chest. She twisted her fingers in unease and her face blushed from embarrassment.
Sang Wan could not bear to see that so she said with a smile, “Third Sister, you should take a seat too. There is no outsider here so you don’t have to stand.”
“Exactly! Your own sister is not an outsider. Why are you standing there like a blockhead? Hurry here and greet your sister. You’re getting increasingly stupid. How do you not know how to greet your sister! Sang Wan, don’t mind her. This girl has not seen the world yet!” Li Shi turned her head to glare at Sang Yan as she reprimanded her.
Sang Yan was so embarrassed that she did not even know where to put her hands and legs. From behind her mother, she stepped forward and raised her head slightly to glance timidly before lowering her head again as she softly greeted.
Sang Wan could not help but to pity her. With a mother like Li Shi, was she truly lucky? To say she was lucky was because her mother had arranged everything for her since she was young. Li Shi protected and took good care of her, so there was nothing she had to worry about. Because of that, Sang Wan envied her a lot. However, the unlucky side was the personality due to her upbringing, which was clearly Li Shi’s fault. If Li Shi was no longer around in the future, it would be as if the chick had lost the protective wings of a hen. Would she ever live independently?
“Third Sister, please have a seat!” Sang Wan laughed.
Sang Yan was dragged by Li Shi to sit. “Why are you so timid!”
Upon seeing Li Shi being long-winded again as she scolded Sang Yan, Sang Wan hurriedly coughed to interrupt her. She said with a smile, “Oh, Second Aunt, why don’t you tell me what you came here for!”
Li Shi’s tongue immediately took a turn. Even though she wanted to lecture Sang Yan, she quickly swallowed them before sighing and complaining to Sang Wan, “Sang Wan, Second Aunt is really born under an ill star! Ever since I entered the Sang family, I have painstakingly taken care of the family. I should get credit for my hard work, right? Never did I expect your Second Uncle to be so ungrateful. After seeing me grow old and become an old woman, he wants to get a concubine now! What son to burn joss sticks? Those are all just excuses! I’m sure he has a change of heart now that I’m old! Men are no good after all! How unscrupulous! Just because he has some savings, he’s become lecherous and placed his wife and child at the back of his head…”
Words of complaint began gushing out of Li Shi’s mouth as she reprimanded Sang Pingliang for being ungrateful. She gave many examples of how she had looked after him back then, what she had done for the family, how lazy that vixen was, how she even dared to talk back to her, and more. Yet that man still shielded that vixen in the end.
Liu Ya dropped her hands and stood beside Sang Wan. She quietly listened and could not help to praise Li Shi for her good memory. Before Sang Wan returned, she had likewise complained to Liu Ya without any change in her lengthy complaints.
Sang Wan became awkward while listening and quietly asked herself: What does the grudges between them have to do with me? Are you looking for support to uphold justice for you? You must be thinking too highly of me!
Even though Sang Wan had wanted to interrupt Li Shi, she was eloquent and talked non-stop naturally and unforced. When she called out to Li Shi, she was only intercepted by Li Shi’s ‘Sang Wan, you don’t know’ before carrying on.
Soon after, Sang Wan did not bother to interrupt her and held her teacup while lost in thoughts. Li Shi could just say whatever she wanted. In any case, there were no outsiders around.
“Mother, Mother!” The person who found it the most difficult to bear was Sang Yan. Upon hearing her mother criticize her father’s scandal in full detail in front of her cousin, her face started burning up. She could no longer bear to hear her mother complain and she pulled her mother’s sleeve lightly. She pleaded with tears in her eyes, “Mother, please don’t say anymore…”
“Why can’t I talk about what he has done!” Since Li Shi had finally found a person to let out all her bitter complaints, there was no way she’d let the opportunity escape. With grief and indignation in her complaints, her emotions were brewing up within her. She did not want to be interrupted by her daughter. As a result, she was exceptionally angry and poked Sang Yan forcefully on the forehead
“You ungrateful girl! Have you forgotten who your mother is and who raised and protected you? You’re just as ungrateful as your father! I have raised you up for nothing, you ingrate!”