“I don’t mind, it doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t matter!” Sang Rou anxiously spoke, “Then how about, you just say that I’m a lass whom you bought, and we keep our relationship a secret? Good sister, let’s just go with that, help me out! Please? My good sister!”
Sang Wan could not help but secretly feel angry. Deep down, she sneered: Keep our relationship hidden? Is that possible with Sang Rou’s personality? She may be saying that now, but deep down she would definitely want to tell someone about it! And when things become exposed, she would definitely push it aside and act as if she did not know!
“That won’t be possible!” Sang Wan scorned lightly. With a firmer expression, she spoke coldly, “If word got out, what next? Surely others would say I, Sang Wan, is ruthless to even turn my sister into an insult! That reputation is not something I can afford to carry! Cousin Sang Rou, let’s stop with this!”
Sang Rou became disappointed, but without giving up, she laughed, “Yes, yes, I was the one who didn’t think properly, I hadn’t thought properly! Sister Sang Wan, please don’t be angry! Then how about the Shi family’s business? Their business is very large, right? Maybe you could introduce me to one of their shops that needs a female worker. I promise to work with integrity and never mention our relationship!” As she spoke, she pleaded painstakingly, “My good sister, I just wish to use my own capabilities to earn myself a bowl of rice! Really! I’ll never bring shame to you!”
She still wanted to carry on! Sang Wan was slowly becoming impatient and she pushed it aside, “I don’t understand anything about business, and I also don’t know what job will be suitable for Cousin Sang Rou! What’s more, will Second Uncle and Second Aunt agree to it? After all, they are your parents!”
In an instant, that thoroughly broke Sang Rou’s hopeful heart! She was right, so long as her father and that “Mother” was around, she would never succeed no matter what she did!
Her father only had money in his eyes, leading him with money might fool him into agreeing, but that “Mother” of hers, Sang Rou knew there was no way of fooling her!
“Damned girl, where did you die to! Roll back home and start cooking! There’s still a lot more chores waiting to be done, and there you go slacking off! Are you waiting for your mother to serve you from behind! Running off when I’m not paying you any attention, are you in the heat or what!”
Li Shi’s words were coarse as she scolded from the courtyard. Her anger could be felt as her heavy stomps sounded from outside.
Is that something an elder should say? Sang Wan secretly felt angry for Sang Rou and looked at her. However, all she saw was Sang Rou standing up in fear and trepidation with a face full of anxiety.
The anger than Sang Wan felt for her instantly vanished. It could not be helped. Even though Sang Wan was sympathetic with her sufferings, she was largely more infuriated at her indifference!
Before Fang Shi could react, Li Shi had already rushed in. She grabbed Sang Rou’s ear and scolded for a moment, only to realize Sang Wan was also present which startled her. After making certain that it really was Sang Wan, she pushed Sang Rou aside before smiling towards Sang Wan, “Oh, Sang Wan, you’re back! I’m not dreaming, right?” She rolled her eyes at Fang Shi who appeared at her and smiled coldly, “Why didn’t you come and visit your Second Uncle and Second Aunt since you’re back? Have you soared too high up a branch that you now look down on your elders!”
Sang Rou hurriedly tried to force herself to gain some favors, “I came in just to invite Sister Sang Wan over to our house!”
Sang Wan could only smile, “That’s not it! Second Aunt, I was just about to head over!”
Li Shi grunted and glared at Sang Rou with eyes that showed that the favor was all for naught before grinning at Sang Wan, “Keke, I knew our Sang Wan is the most filial and respectful towards the elders! If not for someone stopping you, you would already be there by now!”
Li Shi spoke as she gave a glimpse at Fang Shi.
“Oh, is Second Aunt saying it was me!” Fang Shi smiled, “Second Aunt should first back those words up with evidence. Am I not busy making lunch with Nanny Xu, and there I was planning to invite Second Uncle and Second Aunt over for lunch. Now that Second Aunt said so, I’m not feeling too happy!”
Li Shi sniffed as hard as she could, and there, a the thick aroma of the chicken soup travelled up her nose which made her happy and she quickly smiled, “Hai, I’m not pointing at you! You and Sang Hong would never disrespect your elders! The one I’m talking about is that damned girl!”
Li Shi turned and pushed Sang Rou in the forehead with a finger before scolding harshly, “What’re you still here for! Waiting for New Year? Go invite your father and your sister to come and have lunch! As for you, just eat something and get to work. The vegetable field at East Longtou still needs ploughing! Always idling around, do you expect rice to drop from the sky?”
Sang Rou was extremely maddened deep inside but she dared not go against Li Shi. All she could was lift her eyes slightly to give a quick pleading look at Sang Wan.
Sang Wan acted as if she had not seen it and lowered her head to have a sip from her cup of tea. This was her brother and sister-in-law’s house; she was in no position to have anyone stay.
Moreover, she did not wish to intervene with matters belonging to the Second Sang family.
Seeing that Sang Wan did not see her expression, she was secretly disappointed, but before Li Shi’s second round of scolding, she quickly fled from the place.
“Sang Wan, if I may ask, why are you back all of a sudden? Is there something you wish to give us?” Li Shi smiled and sat. She was about to ask Fang Shi to pour her a cup of tea, but when she looked up, she found that Fang Shi had already returned back into the kitchen.
She did not dare let Sang Wan pour the tea for her, neither did she dare to order Liu Ya to do so. She made a few coughing noise, but Liu Ya did not seem to understand her body language and so she had to pour a cup by herself. In her heart, she secretly scolded: Useless servant. Not even smart at all!
Hearing that statement had no longer any effect on Sang Wan anymore. There was really no use to get mad at them.
She smiled a little and said gently, “I had some business to attend to. And since I was travelling past Yangliu Town, I decided to come pay a visit!”
“Oh, oh! What is it?” Li Shi smiled and asked curiously.
Sang Wan lifted her eyes and smiled again, “The courtyard gate at Second Aunt’s house was closed tightly, so I thought Second Uncle and Second Aunt weren’t home!”
Li Shi saw that she had asked something which she should not have and immediately stopped her tongue before smiling at Sang Wan to engage in a small talk.
Soon afterwards, Second Old Master Sang and Sang Yan arrived. Fang Shi came out of the kitchen to announce that lunch was ready and everyone sat to eat together.
Sang Wan ordered Nanny Xu to pick up two large chicken drumsticks for the two children, Sang Quan and Sang Nuan, but that immediately caught Li Shi’s eyes and she picked up one for herself and hurriedly picked the other for Sang Yan, “Eat, eat!”
The elderly couple was like a hurricane and in front of them quickly piled a mound of chicken bones that were cleaned off their meat and some that were not. Sang Yan secretly glanced at the graceful Sang Wan who was eating unhurriedly and then at her own father and mother. Her heart immediately felt embarrassed and the rice and meat that was in her mouth turned hard to chew.
Sang Wan had successfully completed what Wang Shi had tasked her to do and she returned to report. Hearing the news that her sister-in-law would be coming for the wedding, Wang Shi did not give it many thoughts and was instead very elated to hear so. With a huge smile, she praised Fang Shi for being too polite and told Sang Wan to welcome her properly when the time comes.
Sang Wan promised.
Who knew just two days later, the servant who followed Gu Fangzi home would return wearing a simple white clothing and hairpin. Lan Xiang came crying back, “Old Master Gu has passed away!”
Wang Shi and Sang Wan were both shocked by the news. But of course what the two felt other than shock were different.
Gu Jin is dead?
“How did it happen! He, wasn’t he still fine? So how did he pass away so suddenly?” Wang Shi stuttered.
Lan Xiang sobbed and said, “Yesterday, Old Master Gu became drunk and he fell. His head hit a stone slab and, and he died!”
“Aiyo!” Wang Shi rubbed her forehead, “How can that happen, how can that happen!”
Seeing Wang Shi’s spiritless expression and Lan Xiang’s everflowing tears, Sang Wan could only say what she had to, “Mother, the deceased is of importance, it will be better to think about how this funeral should be handled! How many others are there in the Gu family? Cousin Fangzi is still young and must not have experienced such a major event before. I’m sure she must be feeling anxious and unsure what to do!”
“Yes, yes, you’re right!” Wang Shi couldn’t help but say, “Let the household department bring a few servants over to help. Whatever the cost for the preparation, just use as much as it needs! There’s not a single one left in the Gu family that’s reliable! Nanny Jiang, arrange a few elderly maidservants to accompany Fangzi and comfort her!” Turning to Lan Xiang, she ordered, “It’s okay, don’t cry. You may go now. Later, follow the household department back and serve your missy well! Understood?”
“Yes, this servant understands! Our Missy says that once this matter is handled, she’ll come again to kowtow!” Lan Xian kowtowed and left. Nanny Jiang also left to handle the arrangements.
“What an unfortunate day!” Wang Shi sighed with emotions. The heart of an elderly is the most easily shaken by the death of others, even if it were the hated Gu Jin, Wang Shi could not help but let a few drops of tears down her cheeks.
Sang Wan quickly went up to comfort her, and together with Nanny Li, the two accompanied Wang Shi to lament for a while.
“Missy, this is all fate, you, don’t have to think too much about it!” Now that Wang Shi’s emotions had calmed a little, Nanny Li gave a few comforting words before switching the subject, “So what do you say, what should we do! Miss Gu’s wedding, should we still go with it or not?”
That, how could she forget about it!
Wang Shi’s brows knitted together. She was now put in a difficult situation.
There was no such thing as a woman marrying into another family right after her father passed away! The heavens would not allow it!
“What else!” Wang Shi sighed and forced herself to say it, “Halt it! Stop the preparations! Otherwise, we might become a joke to others! Now that something like this had happened, continuing with the preparation is beyond presentable!”
“Yes, then this old servant shall go and put everything to a stop!” Nanny Li sighed and added, “That Miss Gu, truly is very unfortunate!”
Wang Shi touched her heart and recalled when Gu Fangzi lost her mother when she was young. Now when she was about to get married, her father passed away. Really, all the unfortunate events were carried on her shoulders, and Wang Shi nodded, “You’re right, Fangzi’s life really is bitter!”
Nanny Li, intentionally or otherwise, spoke, “I truly hope that in the future when she marries in, the young master’s good fortune will be able to cleanse her entirely!”
Wang Shi was stunned and her expression suddenly changed. “A child of disaster”, those four words subconsciously floated in Wang Shi’s mind and it naturally made her link it with an “unfortunate couple”.
“Enough, I wish to be alone, you may all leave.” Wang Shi calmed herself and instructed without any hesitation, “Have all that I said handled properly, this matter will be put on hold and discussed in the future!”
Even though there were many scruples in her heart, Gu Fangzi was a niece who grew up in the household and was by her side for many years. She loved her dearly and was thus unable to throw her away.