But since Gu Fangzi did not seem to mind, Wang Shi felt apologetic towards her and smiled. “You should return to Peony Park2Peony ParkGu Fangzi's place of residence first! Your Big Cousin might be busy! Maybe you can visit him when he’s free!”
With those words, Gu Fangzi understood her meaning and was pleased with the outcome. With a smile, she agreed before taking her leave.
“Nanny Jiang, send someone to go and see what Fengju’s doing! If he’s not busy, call him here!” Once Gu Fangzi left, Wang Shi immediately ordered.
Gu Fangzi left the courtyard proudly and slowly returned to Peony Court. On the way, she saw eleven to twelve servants carrying a number of wooden cases in the direction of the small garden. She turned to gaze at the direction they were going from which seemed to be from Shi Fengju’s study room.
Gu Fangzi stopped in her steps. “Go and ask just what’s going on.”
Lan Xiang nodded and hurriedly went up to ask. After a while, she returned and reported, “They are gifts that the young master had brought back from his trip. He has called those servants to carry them to Ma’am who’s in the small garden…”
Gu Fangzi’s heart suddenly tightened, and a glint flashed past across her eyes as she spoke, “Come, we’ll go to the small garden too and greet Ma’am!”
Big Cousin, his heart has really changed for someone else! In the past, the best things would always be sent to her first whenever he returned from a trip. But this time around, he didn’t even mention anything to her and openly sent the things over to the small garden! That Sang Wan must have used some vicious trick to steal Big Cousin’s heart away!
“Missy, we, we should just return…” Lan Xiang was taken aback, and her hair was standing on its ends.
Not again! One can already see that the young master has placed some importance on Ma’am, so why must Missy go and stir up trouble?
“What? Scared?” Gu Fangzi grunted.
“Not at all, not at all!” Lan Xiang shrank her neck. “Nubi, nubi just thinks that… it won’t be good…”
“Shut up! You’re in no position to say that!” Gu Fangzi sneered, “Won’t be good? I don’t think so! Even if she does not recognize me as her sister, I’ll call her sister no matter what!”
Calling her ‘sister’ was already gaining an expense out of her!
When Gu Fangzi arrived, the servants had already delivered all the wooden cases and placed them down. Receiving their monetary reward one by one, they said their thanks and took their leave. The five to six large wooden cases in the side hall were particularly eye-catching.
“Sister!” Not waiting for her presence to be reported, she swung her handkerchief as she entered. “Younger Sister has come to greet Sister!”
“Oh? Sister is here? Quickly take a seat!” Sang Wan smiled slightly as she ordered for tea to be served.
Gu Fangzi laughed. “I haven’t served Sister any tea yet, and here I am, able to drink Sister’s good tea! This really makes Younger Sister feel more than entitled!”
Those words made others uncomfortable. Liu Ya, Hong Ye, and the rest could not help but frown. Nanny Li laughed and said, “Laonu must say ah, Miss Gu really does things with clarity! But sometimes, overstepping that line isn’t good! Just like now, it’s still quite early, so there’s no need for Miss Gu to come all the way here to greet Ma’am; three years later isn’t too late! Laonu thinks Miss Gu should stay in Peony Park to mourn. Or is Old Master Gu unhappy being in heaven, and so Miss Gu no longer has to do her part!”
Gu Fangzi’s expression stiffened all of a sudden, but she quickly directed a smile at Sang Wan. “Here I thought that the small garden is controlled by Sister, but I guess it’s not! Nanny Li worries too much! Aren’t you afraid of others saying that you don’t know how to let go and treat yourself like a member of the family! Keke, fortunately, Nanny doesn’t have a daughter, or else the daughter would’ve inherited her authority. Then there’ll never be a chance for Sister to have control over the small garden! Oh, if my memory’s correct, I’ve just made a mistake! Nanny Li does have a daughter, doesn’t she? A goddaughter ya!” As she said that, she began giggling to herself.
Nanny Li’s expression turned grim as she questioned, “You, what’s the meaning of that?”
Gu Fangzi sneered, “It seems I am not wrong; this small garden really is Nanny Li’s realm! Who would dare go against whatever Nanny wishes to do? I mean, which other household would have a servant daring enough to interrupt their masters when they are speaking? And which other household would have a servant so daring enough to say ‘you, you, me, me’ in front of a master? Oh, I’ve made a mistake again! Nanny Li has been a great contributor to this family’s affairs and has a say in front of the mistress, so how can I address you as a servant!” Gu Fangzi said without care for Nanny Li’s ghastly face and pale lips. Acting pitiful, she went on, “Nanny, Fangzi’s still young and knows not what she can and cannot say, let alone how to get on your good side! So please don’t blame Fangzi! If you were to go and complain to the mistress, then Fangzi really wouldn’t want to be held responsible! And so, Fangzi shall seek your forgiveness!”
Having said that, she rose and bowed slightly towards Nanny Li.
Nanny Li was already so furious that she was speechlessly trembling.
In her heart, a few words constantly crashed into her heart, This place is no longer a place to stay anymore, this place is no longer a place to stay anymore…
The crowd went silent, and they looked at one another. The atmosphere was extremely unusual.
“Laonu, laonu…” Nanny Li’s face was ghastly as an indescribable expression of pain, embarrassment, and suffering hung from it. She had not expected that someone would think and say something like this to her! Was she really in the wrong? All she did was become the young master’s nanny as she watched him grow, wish him well, and see the family well; nothing more!
Her child, her husband, her entire family were all gone! All her efforts were placed on the young master! He was her sustenance and the pillar of her will.
She devoted herself to serve, but it never came to her mind that in the eyes of others, she was arrogant and despotic—one who disregarded the hierarchy!
“Sister, how can you say that?” Sang Wan stood up and tightly held onto Nanny Li’s hand before scowling. “Having Nanny here to advise me is my blessing. If not for Nanny, this small garden would have turned foul! Nanny is a master in this garden, not a servant! If Sister disagrees with me, then Sister may speak with Mistress and Sir to discuss about it! By saying such a thing in front of me, who do you think you’re trying to educate?”
“Ma’am!” Nanny Li’s eyes were red, and she sniffled noisily.
Gu Fangzi smirked and mocked Sang Wan without fear, “You see her as a deity to help you whenever you’re in need. Isn’t that just getting someone else to do all your dirty work! In the end, she’s nothing but just an old foolish woman who’s just trying to convince herself that she’s useful! Once a knife gets rusty and useless, I’m sure the one who would want her out the most would be you!”
Gu Fangzi words immediately shocked the entire crowd. Some thought to themselves, Is that really so? Thinking about it, the moment Nanny Li returned, she did really do quite a lot for Ma’am! Those that Ma’am found inconvenient to do or say were all handled by Nanny Li.
Nanny Li’s expression also turned slightly discolored as her heart was suddenly now in chaos!
“Even if you’ve come just to sow discord, you shouldn’t say something as harsh as that! You can just think however you like, for no one change that, but don’t go around trying to make others think the same way as you do because not everyone’s like you! Nanny has been in this household for many decades, and the number of hardships she has gone through is surely more than the grains of rice we have eaten. I’m sure there’s no need for others to give any advice as to the way she handles things. Whatever she does are all from the heart and are the things she should do, but why does Sister’s meaning seem to be different when Sister speaks of Nanny Li’s actions? Younger Sister, you think too highly of Sister, but you’re looking down on Nanny! I deeply respect Nanny only because of one reason—she is my husband’s nanny! In the small garden, there will always be a place for Nanny!”
“Ma’am!” Nanny Li was so touched that she almost collapsed on the floor foolishly. She was deeply regretful for having been influenced by Gu Fangzi just then. She quickly kneeled in front of Sang Wan and swore, “With Ma’am’s words, laonu will do her best to serve Ma’am! Even if laonu’s bones were to shatter, laonu will do so without any regrets!”
“Nanny, quickly get up!” Sang Wan hurriedly went to help Nanny Li up before saying gently, “Nanny, don’t take those gossips to heart! You should think more about Sir and Sang Wan!”
“Yes, yes, Ma’am is right!” The energy returned to Nanny Li’s eyes as she nodded repeatedly. Her complexion also recovered a lot more. Ma’am was right; so long as she worked hard to serve them and the young master had no objections, why did she have to care about what others have to say? Those people are ‘unrelated’! Why the need for her to care at all!
Gu Fangzi was annoyed by the phrase ‘my husband,’ and it made her furious. With a cold sneer, she spoke, “Sang Wan, that was a good trick up your sleeve. A good trick ah! I really did belittle you! You sure are talented when it comes to buying other people’s hearts! Hmph, it’s always good to listen to advice ah. For those who don’t buy it, you will know when the time comes whether I’m right or wrong! Each and every one of you,” Gu Fangzi pointed at Liu Ya and the crowd and coldly spoke, “Open your eyes and wipe them clear! Listen carefully and determine for yourself whether I’m right or not!” Then she turned to Sang Wan, “And you, what ‘my husband’? You aren’t worthy to say that! In this household, everyone knows that Big Cousin had to marry you without a choice, or he wouldn’t have kept on dragging and postponing the wedding date! Really, do you seriously think you’re this household’s Ma’am! As if!”
“Fangzi!” Shi Fengju barged in from outside. His face was grim and full of anger as he glared sharply at Gu Fangzi’s face.
Gu Fangzi was taken aback, and her face turned sallow as she stammered, “Big Cousin…”
“Big Cousin, since things have already reached this stage, there’s no need for Big Cousin to hide it from Sister anymore. Why not simply make things clear now? It’ll be better for all of us! And Big Cousin, you don’t have to endure so hard anymore!” After a moment of silence, the thought came to Gu Fangzi’s mind and she quickly changed her tone of speaking.
“Enough!” Shi Fengju was extremely furious. His business was not for others to dictate! “You, get out of my sight now!”
“Out, now!” Shi Fengju’s face was extremely bitter and cold.
Gu Fangzi’s tears trickled down her cheeks, and she fled out while covering her face with her sleeve. “Missy!” Lan Xiang called out before quickly chasing after her from behind.
Sang Wan found it difficult to accept!
She stood rigid on her spot as her mind began buzzing. Gu Fangzi was not wrong; everyone in this household knew, but none of them dared to speak of it in front of her. Suddenly smashed with this fact, no one could understand the mood she was having now.
Even after seeing Shi Fengju chase Gu Fangzi away, the embarrassment in her heart still did not subside, not even by a little.