At Ning Garden1Ning GardenSang Wan & Shi Fengju's place of residence, Sang Wan began dressing herself up after breakfast.
Today was the day her oldest brother and sister-in-law would be coming over for the first time to greet their relatives. For a special day like this, she would have to put in double the effort to her looks.
Especially since her mother-in-law Wang Shi looked heavily upon physical looks and after that incident with Mistress Zhuang.
As such, Sang Wan went out of her way to dress herself up as luxurious and beautiful as she could.
Begonia red branch patterns embroidered on the collar of the outer coat; gold silk threads criss-crossed at the sides of the sleeves; a skirt with folds on the end, colored in scarlet red like the color of a lotus flower which symbolizes good fortune; and a pair of satin-made boat shoes with bright red soft sole. Her black hair was bundled together on the top of her head and secured with a gold hairpin which had gold threads on its end that had small rubies hanging from it before being decorated with other accessories.
Her figure was slim and perfect, with a delicate waist and slender neck; her skin, white and exquisite; her cheeks, patted with rouge; her lips, moist and tender; the hair around the temples folded above her brows, and her eyes like the stars. In addition to her graceful and elegant hand gestures, and her gentle temperament, her appearance would definitely attract the admiration from others.
“Young Mistress, you look stunning!” Zhide and the rest had never seen Sang Wan all dressed up and could not help but look at her with glistening eyes filled with amazement.
“Isn’t that so! The blissful life that Young Mistress leads and the good temperament that Young Mistress has are all outstanding regardless whether Young Mistress her dresses up or not!” Nanny Li grinned and praised.
Sang Wan bashfully smiled. Even she herself was taken by astonishment when she took a look at her own reflection in front of a mirror. She could almost not believe that the elegant and luxurious reflection in the mirror was actually herself!
After touching up her make-up a little, she brought Nanny Li and a few others with her to greet with Wang Shi. On the route there, the servants who saw her quickly stopped in their tasks to greet her with eyes thick with amazement.
After seeing Sang Wan, Wang Shi’s jaw dropped and was stunned for a moment. Blinking a few times, she clapped her hands excitedly and smiled, “Well done, well done! This is then our Shi family’s daughter-in-law! Come quickly, take a seat!” before turning to the rest of the members present and asked, “What do the rest of you say, which family’s daughter-in-law in Qingzhou is the most outstanding? Even those high officials’ wives will never be able to outdo this!”
The people naturally joined in to give their praise to Sang Wan with a smile. Their behavior was not forced against their will and thus, the praise was soothing to the ear.
Wang Shi was secretly satisfied and the thought of Mistress Zhuang subconsciously drifted by her mind. Next time, she was sure to bring her daughter-in-law along with her to meet that Mistress Zhuang and see if there was anything she could say! Let’s just see whether she could joke about the son of the Shi family marrying to the daughter of a family in shambles! Hmph, if they have the ability, then they should give it a try too and see if anyone would want to marry into their family!
Sang Wan became a little embarrassed by Wang Shi’s her eyes that could not conceal her emotions, and her huge praise. Gradually and gracefully, she sat down at a side and smiled, “Your daughter-in-law does not know much about dressing up and has specifically come to seek for Mother’s opinion. If Mother is unsatisfied, please teach your daughter-in-law how to do so!”
“Very good, very good! When you meet with guests in the future, remember to dress up like this!” The more Wang Shi looked at her, the more she liked, “If I were to teach you, it’d be just like that!”
Sang Wan heaved a sigh of relief and smiled, “Hearing Mother say so eases my heart!”
Seeing Sang Wan anxious for her opinion, Wang Shi became delighted and smiled proudly.
Exactly at that moment, Gu Fangzi came in. With just a look, an uncontrollable amount of jealousy gradually rose in her but she kept her eyes bright and held onto Sang Wan’s hands affectionately. “At first glance, I thought a Mistress from another rich family had come to visit us! The way Cousin Sang Wan dressed is completely different from how usual, truly beautiful! Aunt Wang, don’t you think so?”
“Yes, yes! That was what I said just now too!” Wang Shi laughed.
“If only Mistress Zhuang was here to see, I’m sure she’ll definitely be turned speechless!” Gu Fangzi truly was one who understands Wang Shi well. Her words immediately spoke what was in Wang Shi’s heart.
Wang Shi laughed even more joyously. That Zhuang family’s mistress who doesn’t even have a daughter-in-law, what does she even have that the Shi family doesn’t?
Gu Fangzi blinked and added on, “But it truly was unfortunate that Cousin Sang Wan wasn’t dressed up properly the last time! Although Mistress Zhuang isn’t a close part of our family unlike Cousin Sang Wan’s older brother and sister-in-law, but she is still considered a close friend to our Shi family!”
Wang Shi’s heart was slightly shakened a little which affected the smile on her face. She could not help but become slightly suspicious of Sang Wan: To dress herself up so perfectly when her older brother and sister-in-law are visiting, but why was her attire so casual when it came to a guest of the Shi family? Even if it were Xiao Que’er’s fault, meeting a guest is just as important, is it not? Doesn’t she know this? Or could it be intentional?
Sang Wan cursed to herself but quickly got up and apologized to Wang Shi, “Mother, your daughter-in-law has learned from her previous mistake and has kept that lesson deep in her heart to never do it again! As for the last time—— your daughter-in-law did not know the severity! Mother, your daughter-in-law comes from a small household and thus does not know regulations. If mother is unsatisfied with your daughter-in-law’s actions or wishes for something, please instruct your daughter-in-law!”
Hearing Sang Wan’s words of self-pity, Wang Shi’s heart once again turned soft and quickly gestured to someone with her hand to help Sang Wan back to her seat. Smiling, Wang Shi spoke, “You’re a good person, Mother’s heart is clear about that! Enough, enough, there’s no need for that! Rest assured, it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand or know something; so long if you’ve got the heart, Mother is willing to teach you anything!”
Sang Wan then gave her thanks joyfully, “Mother, thank you!”
“Ai, we’re a family! There’s no need to be so polite!” Wang Shi smiled before asking, “Oh yes, your older brother and sister-in-law; when will they be arriving?”
Sang Wan’s heart was looking forward to their arrival and she shook her head before laughing, “Your daughter-in-law thinks they won’t be arriving anytime soon! There’s still a long while more to wait!”
“I heard that the journey isn’t short, then we shall all await their arrival! You may go back and wait. When they’re here, just go to the Second Gate to welcome them. On a second thought, why don’t Fengju be the one to do so?” Wang Shi asked before turning to Gu Fangzi to have it arranged.
Gu Fangzi laughed and gave her confirmation. Wang Shi nodded before letting the two go on separately.
When Sang Wan returned to Ning Garden, she sat on a couch and waited. It was almost noon and she reckoned that her older brother and sister-in-law should be arriving soon in no more than half an hour’s time.
Just when she was thinking whether to have someone call for Shi Fengju, he was already here, “Big Brother and his family isn’t here ——yet?”
Looking straight, a well dressed Sang Wan filled his eyes. His eyes glistened and his heart almost skipped two beats. Words could not leave his mouth as the woman in front of him was incredibly beautiful to an extent that no words could accurately describe her.
He knew that his wife was gentle in temperament, elegant, and had the looks. But never had he thought that her being well dressed would make her even more beautiful…, and enchanting.
In his head, a line from a literary work floated in his head: Beautiful, even without makeup.
Those words may be simple, but there really is only a small number of women in this world who can truly look beautiful even without make-up; and stunning when make-up is put on.
“I’m afraid they may need a while more! I was thinking of having someone call for you, but here you are!” Sang Wan slowly got up before walking towards Shi Fengju with a smile.
The closer she was to him, the faster his heart started beating. His body turned stiff and his mouth became dry. In some sort of panic, he avoided eye contact with Sang Wan before squeaking, “Then, then we’ll wait, we’ll wait a while more!”
Dressed up so lavishly and beautiful, a fine and delicate waist, and her movement which brought a touch of fragrance that lingered in his nose; Shi Fengju suddenly had an impulse of wanting to rush up to her and give her a tight hug.
Sang Wan simply approached him and ushered him by his arm to take a seat before personally serving him a cup of tea that was carried on a tray by a maidservant. Giving a soft smile, she nodded, “En, let’s wait.”
In front of Nanny Li, Sang Wan had always served him well, and so, Shi Fengju was accustomed to it. But today, he felt that something was wrong; her gentle breathing, her fragrance, her sweet smile, her jade porcelain-like skin, and that slender neck and tender hair. All those stimulated his sensed and struck into his heart.
Sang Wan felt a little embarrassed from his stare, but in front of the maidservants, there was nothing she could do. She acted as if his stare was not on her and bashfully retracted her hands back.
While feasting his eyes on a beauty, his lack of attention resulted in his grip on the cup to loosen. “Aiya,” he exclaimed; the tea had splashed all over his blue tunic, making a wet stain on the front.
“Are you alright?” Sang Wan panicked.
“Were you scalded?” Shi Fengju asked at the same time.
Sang Wan became startled, “I’m, I’m fine.” This person’s head must have turned silly! The cup wasn’t splashed in my direction, how would I get scald?
Zhide, Hong Ye, and the rest of the maidservants could not help but giggle at their young master’s absent-mindedness. Seeing so, Nanny Li ragged, “What are you servants doing? Quickly bring the young master to have a change of clothes!”
Zhide quickly kept her smile and invited Shi Fengju inside to change his clothes.
“If you aren’t scalded, then that’s good!” Shi Fengju gave a smile and went inside.
Once he left, Sang Wan realized that the edge of the maidservants’ lips were all hooked to a side with some mild intention as if wanting to laugh. Her face immediately turned red.
“What are each of you here standing around for? Don’t you have work to do? The two of you, go out and see if the Sang family are here!” Nanny Li scolded.
The maidservants coaxed a little before scattering like birds and animals.
Now, the only remaining people were Nanny Li and Sang Wan. Nanny Li gave a smile at Sang Wan and spoke softly, “Young Mistress, in the future, you should dress a little more like this. Just look at Young Master, his eyes were all on you just now! It seems Young Master truly likes it!”
“Nanny!” Sang Wan blushed even redder.
“Young Mistress, what’s there to be embarrassed about? It’s normal between husband and wife!” Looking at her delicate face, Nanny Li earnestly advised, “Just listen to this old servant. You shouldn’t just sit at a side; if Young Master likes it, dress up a little more often and gain his favor! Otherwise, that shameful rat outside may barge in!”
Sang Wan’s face was hot and she lowered her head.
Nanny Li smiled, “This old servant only said so for your sake! Although with your character, no one would dare touch the position to become the next Young Mistress, but what use is there to protecting a wealthy position when there is no love between the husband and wife?”
Sang Wan finally looked up and nibbled her bright red lips a little before giving her thanks gratefully, “Nanny, thank you!”
“There’s no need to be polite to this old servant!” Nanny Li waved her hand, “This old servant just wishes to see Young Master’s son being born into this world!”
Sang Wan was taken aback by the sudden subject and her heart could not help but feel somewhat uneasy.
Shi Fengju returned after a change of clothes. Nanny Li then gave a wink before retreating together with Zhide to provide a beautiful atmosphere for the young couple. But Sang Wan was feeling awkward at the moment for Nanny Li’s goodwill had made her speechless.
If they really were a couple, then the atmosphere would have been great, but they were not.
Shi Fengju had already taken the time to calm his emotions. But after seeing his beautiful wife once again, he was still unable to hold back the appreciation and admiration he had for her.