“That b*stard, living in plenty without appreciating!” Zhuang Weixian laughed and shook his head, again and again in envy, jealousy, and sympathy.
“Who are you? Why are you here?” Still having the smile on his face, his eyes suddenly met with a woman who stood in front of him while staring at him with eyes full on alert.
Zhuang Weixian could not help but be startled and blurted out, “And who might you be?” The girl did not belong to the Zhuang household.
She was Liu Ya. The mistresses and missies had the Zhuang family’s own servants to serve them while they enjoyed themselves in the garden of flowers. Those servants who followed their masters over were led by the Zhuang family’s head servant to play nearby. Liu Ya accidentally spotted a person by the flower patch, and with a moment of curiosity, she went and approach him. Seeing that this person’s eyes were peered towards the mistresses and missies in the garden, and had a foolish smile on his face, Liu Ya became furious.
“That doesn’t matter!” Liu Ya raised her chin and spoke contemptuously, “You lecher, how dare you peek here! If the mistresses and missies knew about it, they’ll be sure to expose you! Although your looks may seem ordinary, but I’m sure your heart is filthy! Leave quickly, otherwise, I’ll call for people!”
Lecher? Ordinary? Filthy heart? Zhuang Weixian could not help but laugh. If his mother were to hear this, how furious would she become?
However, he was feeling angry too!
“Do I really look that ordinary?” Zhuang Weixian grunted and rubbed his chin. His appearance shouldn’t be far from Shi Fengju, right? No, definitely better than him by a little!
Liu Ya glared sternly at him and spoke impatiently, “Who cares about how you look, leave quickly! Otherwise, I’ll really call for someone! And when that happens, don’t blame me if you get battered like a pig head! You have a vibe that reeks of books, so know when to retreat!”
Zhuang Weixian laughed, but suddenly wanted to play a jest and he smiled. Taking two steps back from Liu Ya, he gave a greeting and spoke, “I shall not hide it from you, but I’m currently lost in this area. Just now, if I were any rude towards you, I hope that you will forgive me! I wonder, do you know the way around here?”
His sudden transformation startled Liu Ya and she quickly took two steps back before stuttering, “This, I, I’m not someone from this household. Even I do not know my way around. Where do you wish to go? Maybe I can help you ask someone who knows the way?”
Zhuang Weixian secretly laughed and he looked up to see three words “Lin Feng Pavillion” inscribed on a board which hung above the west pavilion and he spoke casually, “Young Master Zhuang has arranged to meet me at Lin Feng Pavillion.”
Liu Ya was surprised for a moment and squinted at him, “Are you really looking for Lin Feng Pavillion?”
“Yes!” Zhuang Weixian nodded lightly. Enduring the laugher within him, he sighed, “It’s a pity that the garden in this household is so huge that I’ve been trying to find it for quite some time already!”
Liu Ya grumbled and spoke bitterly at him, “Stop peeking at those missies in your free time! Isn’t that Lin Feng Pavillion? Those three large words, don’t tell me you didn’t see it!”
This time, it was Zhuang Weixian who was surprised. Having his joke exposed made him somewhat embarrassed. Giving a dry laugh, he stammered a little, “You, you can read!”
Liu Ya grunted, “Yes! Is reading so amazing? Don’t think that because you’ve read a book or two, you can be so unrestrained! You think others are foolish? I think you’re certainly not a good person!” With that, she quickly glanced behind him. That attracted Zhuang Weixian to turn his head to the back, and taking this chance, she quickly turned and ran away.
Fortunately, no one had spotted her! Otherwise, if someone were to see her together with a man in the Zhuang family’s garden, it wasn’t just her face, but her Old Mistress and Young Mistress who would be put to shame!
Seriously! Why did she have to be so curious about someone else’s business!
Zhuang Weixian understood he had been fooled and he turned back again, only to see the back of the girl as she ran. He could not help but smile while shaking his head. He was wise himself, but to be fooled by a girl, seriously! Just which family’s girl did she belong to; that courage of hers was not small.
Seeing that the mistresses and missies were all getting up, he supposed they were heading to Yuhua Pavilion to watch a play. With that, Zhuang Weixian understood that the task assigned to him was somewhat complete and he brushed his sleeves before turning to leave.
Now at where the mistresses and missies were, Sang Wan’s agile hands to calculate using the abacus stunned many and while the crowd were praising her, the four poetry were returned just in time after the judging by the few gentlemen. Old Mistress Zhuang’s eyes glistened again with huge hope that Tang Yuzhen could emerge victorious. But who would have known that all three men would choose Sang Wan’s work unanimously? Old Mistress Zhuang forced a smile as she rewarded the bottle of perfume personally to Sang Wan. “Really, you’ve made us fully convinced of your ability! This perfume is truly meant for you! Come, try it a little to see if it’s of your taste!”
Sang Wan, in both lifetimes had never seen a western perfume. However, she had read a novel that had some relation to it. It was a comedy novel. It depicted a man, who lacked knowledge in goods, was given a bottle of western perfume. He wanted to have a whiff of it by pouring some out, but he did not know how to because of how cleverly the bottle was constructed. Seeing that there was a hole, the content could not be poured out, but only by pressing the lid would the nozzle squirt a fog of perfume. That man tried for a long time but nothing came out, and as a result was teased by others.
It was obvious that Old Mistress Zhuang wanted to make fun of her.
Sang Wan, being cautious, knew that for things she was unfamiliar with, it was best not to display her unfamiliarity in front of Old Mistress Zhuang. With that, she laughed, “How can such an exquisite thing be bad? Old Mistress Zhuang, you jest! Sang Wan likes it very much, thank you, Old Mistress Zhuang, for your generosity!” Without waiting for Old Mistress Zhuang’s response, Sang Wan kept the bottle and returned well-disciplined beside Wang Shi.
Old Mistress Zhuang smiled and spoke a few sentences politely before giving up.
Wang Shi’s nervous heart was finally at ease. Speaking of the bottle, Shi Fengju had once bought one as a show of respect to her before. She, Nanny Jiang, Xiu Li, Xiu Chun, had a joyous time trying to figure out how to use it. The liquid could be seen inside the bottle, but could not be poured out from the hole. At the end, when Xiu Li that servant pressed somewhere in the right place, the bottle sprayed and Xiu Chun was covered in the scent. That made her scream and the master, and servants, could not help but laugh together!
Sang Wan’s whole family might not even be able to buy such a bottle of precious liquid, so there was no way she could have seen such a thing before. If things were to play by Old Mistress Zhuang’s words, then the Shi family would definitely be laughed at by the crowd.
A servant from Yuhua Pavilion came to report; the play was ready. Old Mistress Zhuang bottled up her mood and invited everyone to Yuhua Pavilion with a smile.
Either intentionally or not, more people began to gather around Wang Shi and Sang Wan as they took the initiative to put themselves in a good light. It was clear that they had accepted her as the woman to claim the position of being the mistress of the Shi family.
She had the intelligence and talent, no matter how capable Gu Fangzi was, there was no way she could exceed the Shi family’s young mistress. Wang Shi, although having no intentions to intervene in any matters and also dotes her own niece, was no fool. Otherwise, she would not have insisted on the arranged marriage! It was visible that she would not allow a thing such as spoiling one’s concubine and neglect one’s wife to happen.
In other words, Sang Wan’s position in the family had been nailed to the wall! Taking advantage of a fledgling, who would soon be incharge of the household, would in the long run, make currying flavor much easier!
After entering Yuhua Pavilion, the crowd got seated modestly and a few mistresses went up to pick a play in unison. The curtains swung swiftly to a side and the play began with acting and vigorous singing. The atmosphere quickly turned for the better.
All the way until evening when the sun was about to set in the West, the guests all left for home one after another. Old Mistress Zhuang smiled as she personally went to send them off, but the smile could be said to be somewhat a little forced.
Back in the carriage, Wang Shi finally let out the laughter she had been holding in. Just thinking about Old Mistress Zhuang’s defeated face made her unable to hide the happiness in her heart.
“Today must have tired our Sang Wan out!” Wang Shi grinned. The more she looked at Sang Wan, the more satisfied she was, and she spoke generously, “These few**** have a good rest. No need to come and greet me! Whatever you wish to eat, just ask the kitchen to make, and whatever items you fancy, just have the housekeeper go and buy for you! Not saying anything, but money is not a problem in our house!”
Sang Wan knew her mother-in-law would say such a thing, and she quickly accepted and gave her thanks.
Who knew that the night before going to bed, Nanny Jiang had come again. Sang Wan did not expect someone to come at such an hour. Picking up a jade hairpin, she tidied her hair and don an autumn-colored outerwear before rushing out to invite Nanny Jiang in.
Wang Shi, after returning home from Old Mistress Zhuang’s place, could not stop praising Sang Wan in front of Nanny Jiang. Being well-knowledgeable, Nanny Jiang had already expected that Young Mistress would emerge victorious. Upon seeing Sang Wan coming out to welcome her, she quickly smiled, “Young Mistress, please head back quickly. You might catch a cold in this breezy night! This old servant isn’t worthy of Young Mistress’s ceremony!”
Those polite words were only just for the heart to listen and not to be taken seriously. Sang Wan smiled and ordered a servant to bring a stool for Nanny Jiang to sit on. Tea was already served cleverly by Hong Ye, but Nanny Jiang was neither in a hurry to sit nor receive the tea. She gave her thanks and took out a box which was a foot long before smiling, “This old servant was specially instructed by Old Mistress to send this box of supplements to Young Mistress. They’re edible bird’s nest which are extremely good for the body. Old Mistress said to have Young Mistress instruct her servants to prepare it every night before sleep! “
Sang Wan personally went to Nanny Jiang’s side to receive it and she spoke gratefully, “To have Mother-in-law worry about such little things, I feel a little uneasy for not giving her my thanks personally! It’s already very late tonight, I’ll go over tomorrow first thing in the morning to give my thanks to Mother-in-law!”
Nanny Jiang laughed, “No wonder Old Mistress said you’re a very sensible one. Among thousands of individuals, none can be compared to you! Old Mistress said it’s enough for you to accept it, no need to go over and thank her. Old Mistress sees you as a maiden, so there’s no need to be so polite everytime! Old Mistress said that knowing you’ve that heart was enough for her!”
Sang Wan could only smile and settle back down before inviting Nanny Jiang to have some tea.
Thinking that Nanny Jiang would just speak of a few words before leaving, it was unexpected that she would actually sit to have tea while conversing with Sang Wan. Lots of words that came out were all to praise Sang Wan, about how much Wang Shi values her daughter-in-law, how much she cares for her, and much more. Sang Wan could only smile and respond appropriately.
After finally sending Nanny Jiang off with a smile, Sang Wan returned to her chamber to have a rest. Liu Ya spread a mattress in front of the bed to accompany Sang Wan.
“Young Mistress, tonight, Nanny Jiang sure spoke a lot!” As usual, the master and servant had to gossip a little before going to sleep. Liu Ya continued rambling on, “Before, she doesn’t even have that many words to say!”