“What are you doing!” Gu Fangzi cried and snatched her arm back before speaking hatefully, “Do you hate to see me live a good life, to a point where you wish to see me suffer?! Am I right?!”
“I’ll still have to depend on you to care for me when I’m old, so why would I do that?” Gu Jin sneered, “You’re my daughter, isn’t it right for me to bring you home? Those Shi people can’t possibly steal you away from me, right? Hmph, without a dowry, don’t they ever dare to dream of stealing away my flower; in their dreams!” With effort, he spits on the floor and cursed, “Those bunch of dishonest merchants!”
Gu Fangzi was furious, to an extent where she became speechless and her lips quivering.
“I’m not going with you!” Gu Fangzi spoke, with words full of hate, “Just go on your own!”
“I understand, is that Shi Old Mistress not letting you go? Then I’ll go find her and talk some sense into her!” Gu Jin roared, “Those Shi family holding onto my daughter and not letting her go, just what is the meaning of this! Today, if I do not get a statement from them, I’ll not leave!”
“Father! Father!” Gu Fangzi became anxious and pulled Gu Jin by his arm.
In the Shi family, Gu Jin was most afraid of Shi Fengju. Shi Fengju may look like an elegant and gentle person who had never raised a brow at him and never insulted him indiscriminately, however, for those like him, they could turn his life into a living hell without any notice! And because of that, so long as Shi Fengju was home, he dared not come to the Shi family to create a ruckus. And even if he did come, he would only come sneakily to demand a few wine silvers.
But now that Shi Fengju’s foot was out the door, Gu Jin’s foot stepped in through the back! And of course, this time, he was here to catch a big fish.
“What are you pulling me for! Stupid daughter whose neck is always outside, taking my goodwill for ill-intent! Do you really think that the Shi family values you? If so, then why did that Shi Fengju kid marry the lass from the Sang family and not you? They are taking advantage of you, they’re tricking you, you foolish daughter of mine! If not me, your father, to care for you, who else will? Today, if the Shi family does not give their statement, this father of yours will not leave!”
“Enough! Father, enough!” Gu Fangzi choked in tears. This was like a thorn in her heart where a slight stir would prick her heart. On days, she was not even willing to give it any thought, but who would have thought that Gu Jin would be the one to say it?
“What are you afraid for! Go! Go! We’ll go find that old lady! Even though our Gu family isn’t as great as the Shi family and their business, we shall not stand being bullied! Today, I want to hear her statement!”
The dispute between father and daughter, the servants who witnessed such a disaster quickly went to bring news to Wang Shi.
Having heard that Gu Jin had come, Wang Shi’s brows wrinkled deeply. Gu Jin was a man who eats bread of idleness and drinks without restraint. That was fine and all, but the problem comes when he gets drunk. He would hit others, harder and harder. Wang Shi’s younger sister was hit many times by him before, blue and purple patches all around her body. There were cases where she suffered serious fractures and had difficulty getting out of bed!
“Tell him to come in!” Wang Shi sighed heavily. When her son was out, she had already foreseen that Gu Jin would come to find trouble, only that she had not expected him to come so soon. Presumably, that nasty person came because he was short on silver! Wang Shi thought so that way.
“Aunt Wang!” Seeing Wang Shi, Gu Fangzi broke into tears and threw herself into Wang Shi’s arms, “Because of Fangzi’s incompetence, it has brought trouble to Aunt Wang! Fangzi is to blame!”
Gu Jin haughtily sat down and raised his arm to wipe his forehead a few times before hooking the edge of his lip up vulgarly. Rolling his eyes, he glared at a servant girl and scolded, “Where’s the tea? So this is how the Shi family shows their hospitality!”
Wang Shi, seeing Gu Fangzi’s hair hung loosely onto her shoulders and her clothes crumpled, felt somewhat distressed after seeing such a delicate girl cry like a child and soothed her with a few words before glaring at Gu Jin. “Bring him his tea.” Wang Shi ordered the servant girl.
Wang Shi helped Gu Fangzi tie up a hair bun and wiped her tears before pulling her to a side to have a seat. Positioning herself up straight, she asked Gu Jin coldly, “What have you come here for? Killing my sister wasn’t enough for you, and so you came all the way here so that my niece can’t have any peaceful days all to herself, isn’t it?”
Gu Jin lifted his head up and drank down all the tea at once. Placing the cup on the table, he pointed at it.
The servant girl then had to go and refill his tea.
Gu Jin picked the cup up and drank it dry again. After drinking three cups, he was finally satisfied and he gave a sighed. Wiping his mouth, he directed a grin at Wang Shi and spoke, “Sis——”
“Who’re you to call me your sister!” Wang Shi scolded.
Gu Jin gave a broad smile. Not minding her interruption, he continued, “Your sister took her own life on her own accord, it wasn’t me who killed her. As of now, all I have is that girl, so why would I not wish the best for her? Sis——Keke, Old Mistress Shi, I’ve come today to discuss something with you!”
“Enough, enough!” Wang Shi gestured impatiently as she held her anger back, “So you do know that Fangzi is your daughter, so you should stop making her feel sad! Nanny Jiang, bring him a one hundred silver banknote!”
“Hold it!” Gu Jin raised his voice.
“What? Is it too little for you? Nanny Jiang, add another hundred silver! Take it and leave!” Wang Shi sneered; there was some sort of dislike which she had for him.
“I came here today not to ask for money.” Gu Jin spoke with a strange smile, “I came here to bring my daughter home!”
“What did you say!” Wang Shi was taken aback, while Gu Fangzi’s face was pale white.
“Fangzi’s surname is Gu. She is my daughter, and I’m sure you cannot deny that. I came to bring my daughter home, is there something wrong with that?” Gu Jin laughed.
Wang Shi’s face turned extremely gloomy and she ordered the maidservants to leave first before she spoke coldly to Gu Jin, “Don’t beat about the bush, what exactly do you want?”
“No, it’s ‘what exactly do your family want!'” Gu Jin stretched his neck and grunted, “Me sending my daughter to the Shi household with no clear reason, if word got out, our Gu family’s reputation will definitely be thrown!”
“You!” Wang Shi gasped as the anger within her began to rise. With no clear reason? And what Gu family’s reputation!
The Gu family still has a reputation to keep? This scoundrel!
Gu Fangzi’s face flushed with shame, for having such a father, she felt a sense of shame that had no end and she wished she could find a place to dig a hole for herself.
“Have I said anything wrong?” Gu Jin waved his arm, and spoke excitedly, “Before, I remained silent when Fangzi live in your household since it makes no difference whether she entered the household early or not when she would become a part of your family in the future! But now that the young master has already married the Sang family’s daugther, what use is there for my daughter to stay? To make a fool of herself? Your family spoke not a word, all the way to the end! Today, we shall talk things straight!”
“Father!” Gu Fangzi’s tears began rolling down her cheeks again but she quickly wiped them off before tugging gently on Wang Shi’s sleeve with a face filled with sadness.
Even though Gu Fangzi resented her father and was extremely dissatisfied with him, but regardless how ugly the way he phrased his speech may be, it was no doubt what she was concerned about too. He was right, the Shi family should give her a word of truth, something which she could rely on and not the words Shi Fengju spoke; to believe in him.
Believe? That was the most worthless word in the world, and the most ridiculous one too especially when it came out from a man’s mouth.
Even if those words had come from him, the credibility of it was still discounted.
Wang Shi was speechless at that moment, her face was furious to the point where she almost exploded. So furious that she had almost wanted Gu Jin to just bring Gu Fangzi home since taking pity on a girl had instead put them in the wrong! Money spent which did not exchange for any good words, she could make a pass for it, but to also be slandered, that she could not forgive!
But seeing the pitiful expression on Gu Fangzi, and thinking of how she had cleverly served her those few years, Wang Shi’s heart softened and she had to hold her anger back.
“We will give Fangzi a purpose!”
“All talk and no action, who can’t do that?” Gu Jin wanted more than that, and he went on the aggressive, “Unless you break ties with that Sang lass and her family, and welcome Fangzi as a member, I will not believe you all!”
“Outrageous!” Wang Shi raged, “My daughter-in-law is decent and gentle, she’s not someone we could just break ties with!”
“Then what do you want to do?” Gu Jin smiled coldly.
Wang Shi snorted when a thought came to her and she spoke plainly, “Shi and Sang family’s marriage, I’m sure you know of it. So why did just come here now to bring your daughter home? I wonder why?”
Gu Jin rolled his eyes, and spoke, “Then let’s open the bag! The Shi family has to make my Fangzi into a concubine!”
“Fine then, a concubine,” it was a fact which she had discussed with Gu Fangzi about before, but had never clearly spoke of it. Now that the word was out, Wang Shi felt somewhat embarrassed as she had let Gu Fangzi down. As such, she quickly added, “Once she gives birth to a son, she’ll marry in to be an offical wife! Our Shi family will definitely not treat Fangzi unfairly.”
“That’s good!” Gu jin clapped his hands. “Now, since we’re relatives, then I shall trust you! And since we’ve come to this, then let’s get this going! My daughter isn’t young anymore, so she can’t keep waiting like this!”
This b*stard! Wang Shi cursed him in her heart.
Her daughter-in-law had just entered the family not more than two months ago; to hold a grand ceremony to receive a concubine who grew up in the household, not only will her new daughter-in-law lose her face and her family not agreeing to it, the Shi family will be seen as being unkind by the public.
“Even if that doesn’t happen now, you can first give the betrothal gifts, right?” Gu Jin went on with his pace and added another sentence. After all, that was his main objective.
Betrothal gifts? Wang Shi pressed her lips tightly together.
Never had she heard of giving any betrothal gifts to receive a concubine. The Shi family is one that is respected, and does things according to the customs!
“That, you’ll have to wait until Shi Fengju returns! This married lady cannot finalize that decision!” Wang Shi thought for a moment and decided to drag for as long as possible. “This is a bank note of five hundred silvers. Take it and use first.”
Gu Jin was satisfied and grinned, “Good! That’s done! The Old Mistress truly is straightforward!”
Gu Jin was extremely pleased with himself. Everything had went accordingly, and so long as Wang Shi does not quickly accept Gu Fangzi as a member, then the more he could extort out of her. If his daughter becomes theirs, then taking silvers out of their hand would no longer be as easy anymore!
“Aunt Wang, I’m sorry…” Gu Fangzi had not expect Wang Shi to evade the matter, and her heart could not help but feel somewhat disappointed. However, her face showed otherwise; a face of uneasiness and shame.
Wang Shi patted her gently at her back and spoke softly, “Don’t worry, Aunt Wang will stand up for you.”
“En!” Gu Fangzi was half grateful and half ashamed as she hung her head low. Her hands, however, were clutched tightly as her mind spoke to herself. One said to believe in him, and the other said she would stand up for me; like mother, like son!