“Missy!” Lan Xiang gasped in surprise and hurriedly tried to advise, “The young master is busy, and he doesn’t seem to be in a good mood. Nubi thinks that it would be best for Missy not to go.”
“When did you become my master who can tell me what to do?” Gu Fangzi snorted and went to take a dark green cloak by herself before ordering Lan Xiang to take a lantern. “We’re going now!”
Lan Xiang’s mouth felt bitter, but she followed.
Arriving at the study room, Gu Fangzi eyed Zhang Huan to stop him from announcing their presence. As the two servants stood outside, Gu Fangzi slowly pushed the door open before walking in.
Her movements were quiet, and Shi Fengju, who had his head lowered, did not notice her.
She watched the man who was sitting right by the large purple sandalwood table as he wrote and read. His figure was graceful, but he had a grim look on his face. His nose and his thin lips all gave off a disposition that he belonged to a well-off and powerful family. The edge of Gu Fangzi’s lips rose, and her heart was in bliss. This man was now her husband! He was now her man! This was the man whom she love and who will love her back! No one can steal him away from her.
Gu Fangzi held her breath and kept away from the light as she walked gently to the back of Shi Fengju. She raised her arms and gently placed her hands on his shoulders. She smiled then sweetly.
Shi Fengju’s body stiffened, and his heart almost burst out from joy. He naturally assumed that it was Sang Wan who had come to send his supper.
“Why are you here? Haven’t slept yet?” Shi Fengju shifted his lips and said gently.
“I miss you so much, so I came to see you!” Gu Fangzi was happier than ever and said as sweetly as she could. She just knew that her Big Cousin would not ignore her! She was his most beloved woman!
That familiar yet unfamiliar voice was like cold water to Shi Fengju’s ears. The joy in his heart felt was quickly dampened, and how he wished he could be angry at this moment.
He quickly jolted himself up as he retreated a few steps before looking in askance at Gu Fangzi, “Why’re you here?”
“If not me, who else will be here?” Gu Fangzi was also startled, and her heart was in turmoil. “Who did Big Cousin think it was, Sang Wan?”
“Her name is not for you to call! Do I have to remind you of your position?” Shi Fengju’s eyes darkened.
Gu Fangzi was taken aback, and her mouth felt extremely dry. She licked her lips moist before saying, “But, but there isn’t any outsiders in here. Haven’t I always called her that before? Why can’t I anymore?”
That was before. Shi Fengju thought of the sufferings Sang Wan had to go through, and they were also partially his fault! She was his first wife ah! Thinking about it pained him, and he said coldly, “She is my official wife, and you’re a concubine now. There’s a line that sets a wife and concubine apart. Fangzi, I hope you’ll remember that!”
“Why!” Gu Fangzi’s eyes reddened, “You weren’t like this in the past! You—”
“But you were the one who said that as long as you can stay in the Shi household, you’d even be willing to become a concubine, isn’t that right?” Shi Fengju found himself not being able to say the remaining words “and stay by my side.”
Gu Fangzi was rendered speechless all of a sudden, and she gazed blankly at Shi Fengju.
“I, I understand, I understand!” Gu Fangzi took a large step forward and wrapped her arm tightly around his arm. “I know you’re doing this for my own good, so that I won’t get caught by others if my tongue happens to slip, isn’t that right? Big Cousin, I understand, I’ll pay more attention to it!”
She actually understood it that way!
Shi Fengju was not in the mood to correct her, and he nodded, “Just remember your position. Know what you can and cannot do!”
“I understand!” Gu Fangzi gently snuggled into his arm. “Big Cousin, only you will think for my sake. Today in the small garden, it was really my fault! I shouldn’t have acted that way and caused Big Cousin to lose face! That won’t happen again in the future, it won’t happen again!”
Seeing that Shi Fengju remained quiet, Gu Fangzi tested the waters. “But I really didn’t mean to do it, if not— if not for Sister who went over the line, I wouldn’t have spoken so irresponsibly.”
“Oh? How did she go over the line?” Shi Fengju remained collected as he asked coldly.
Gu Fangzi then answered pitifully, “She knows that Nanny Li has a prejudice against me and deliberately had Nanny Li embarrass me.” As she was saying that, she added vinegar and oil to her speech, narrating how Nanny Li treated her with disrespect and cynicism.
However, Gu Fangzi did not know that when Shi Fengju arrived at the small garden, all he heard was the last words she said, and he was oblivious to the entire situation. And because her words attracted his attention, he went to ask Zhide as well as Liu Ya after the incident when he had the chance. After learning of the situation, he was so much irked that he wished he could send Gu Fangzi away immediately.
“But I’m fine with that since Nanny Li’s already at such an age, and she was your nanny. I’ve never argued with her in the past, even more so now!” Gu Fangzi went on, “But, but when I asked them where my clothes, jewelry, and furnishing in Peony Park2Peony ParkGu Fangzi's place of residence went, she evaded my question and said that I shouldn’t inquire about things that do not belong to me! But those things, regardless of whether they’re worthless or not, were all gifted to me by Big Cousin and Aunt! Why did she confiscate them without telling me! I was afraid that Aunt might get angry, so I didn’t dare to tell her. But Big Cousin, you can help me out ah! Otherwise, in the future, she might bully me even more!”
“Did she really say that to you?” Shi Fengju asked plainly, but the fist on his other arm tightened.
“Big Cousin, if you don’t believe me, you can ask Lan Xiang. She was also present! Or if Big Cousin would like, you can come and take a look at Peony Park!” Gu Fangzi said dismally.
“If that’s the case, then you can talk to my mother tomorrow!” Shi Fengju smiled coldly. “I don’t manage the internal affairs, so just let my mother make the decisions for you!”
From today onwards, Shi Fengju firmly believed that Gu Fangzi’s words could not be trusted! He was even more inclined to believe that Sang Wan was not that kind of person.
If she wants to make a fuss, then let her do so then!
“Then I’ll go and ask Aunt to make the decision for me!” Gu Fangzi was secretly happy. Those things were worth thousands of gold, and they were her precious which she painstakingly managed to get hold of. Having her precious be confiscated in a day felt as if her flesh was being sliced out.
“Enough, you may go back now!” Shi Fengju drew back his arm. He was no longer in the mood to continue looking through the book that he was reading not too long ago, and he said, “I’ll be returning to the small garden to sleep, too.”
Gu Fangzi’s joyous mood suddenly sank to the bottom of the ocean. She looked darkly at Shi Fengju, but his calm face showed not the slightest bit of wanting to give in.
Gu Fangzi could not help but give in. The small garden was where he stayed, so him returning to the small garden to rest was just natural. But how could he go without looking after her feelings?
Gu Fangzi’s heart felt uncomfortable, but very soon, she came to a conclusion by herself. Big Cousin must still be mad at what happened during the day, and he must be reminding her to remember herself—her position!
Although he was cruel, he was doing it for my own sake ah! Gu Fangzi forced herself to accept that statement.
“Big Cousin, then can you send me back? Please?” Gu Fangzi said softly and gently as she leaned closer towards Shi Fengju.
“Lan Xiang!” Shi Fengju directly called out. Turning to her, he said, “Fangzi, let me remind you once more. If you wish to live in this household peacefully, remember your position. Remember it well!”
“Big Cousin, don’t worry, I will! I, I won’t make you worry…” Gu Fangzi forcefully smiled. There seemed to be something amiss, but at this moment, she did not wish to think about it.
On the second day, Gu Fangzi indeed proceeded to complain to Wang Shi, and she said, “Big Cousin said that I should seek Aunt and have you make the decision for me! Aunt, you can’t not care about me ah!”
“To think something like that would happen!” Wang Shi frowned and instantly ordered, “Go and call Ma’am and Nanny Li over!”
Gu Fangzi sat in front of Wang Shi with her eyes lowered, but the edge of her lips could not help but hook up a little.
When Sang Wan and Nanny Li arrived, they immediately understood that they weren’t called for something good because Gu Fangzi was around. The two looked at each other before going up to greet Wang Shi.
After hearing what Wang Shi had to ask, Nanny Li patted her head and said apologetically, “Oh so it’s about this! Laonu must’ve been careless! But, laonu would like to ask Miss Gu something, from whom did Miss Gu hear that the things were taken away from Peony Park by Ma’am?”
“Are you saying it isn’t?” Gu Fangzi softly asked, “The affairs within the household are now handled by Sister, and Sister was the one in charge of arranging the Peony Park. If it isn’t Sister, then who else would have the courage to do so?”
“Ma’am was busy the entire day, so that matter was handled by laonu, so why not let laonu be the one to speak about it then!” Nanny Li went on, “Each and every item was accounted for by the servants in Peony Park before being packed and kept inside a warehouse with their presence! Not an item entered the small garden, and not one was touched by Ma’am! In the future, they’ll naturally be returned back to Miss Gu! Laonu thought Miss Gu had asked Peony Park’s servants, so how come they didn’t tell you? And from whom did Miss Gu hear those from? Or were they just baseless conclusions that Miss Gu jumped into?”
Gu Fangzi did not expect things to turn out like this, and she was stunned for a moment. She somewhat could not believe those words because this was such a good opportunity for Sang Wan to mess with those items! Even if there were a few that were broken as they were being packed, no one would say anything about it.
Moreover, her heart was in a mess during these two days when she returned, and the thought of asking the servants from Peony Park did not appear in her mind!
Seeing her expression, Nanny Li understood what she was thinking and smirked secretly to herself before speaking with full confidence, “Not a single the item in Peony Park is lost and not a single one is damaged. Everything is placed nicely in the warehouse for Miss Gu! If Miss Gu doesn’t believe me, then please go and take a look yourself!”
Those words openly branded Gu Fangzi as a petty person, and her face immediately turned warm and red. Keeping the anger within her, she laughed. “Is that so? Then this is truly my fault! Because I didn’t ask clearly, Nanny was almost misunderstood! But, if Nanny Li already checked and made sure all the goods were accounted for, then why hasn’t the list been sent to me yet?”