Ren Zhixian spoke with a stern face, “Yumei is right. I’m doing this for the good of your Shi family! Since you do not see a need for it, then forget it! Just do as you deem fit!”
Ren Zhixian was feeling displeased, and he thought to himself, Like a dog biting its master’s hand. I am willing to take the time to give my ideas on how the study room should be arranged today because I’m in a good mood, and all of you are lucky enough to be able to listen to it! What does your family even know about arranging and decorating a study room? Hmph! No wonder; for a family who could not produce a scholar for so many generations, what do you know? All your eyes only see money!
Shi Fengju was annoyed at him for having no sense of urgency. He wasn’t going to let this person off so easily, and he acted as if he could not understand his expression. With a gentle smile, he spoke with full sincerity, “How can I do that! Brother-in-law, you shouldn’t say that ah, this study room will be used by you. If you don’t partake in the decorations and arrangements, it’ll really put me in a difficult position! After all, we are not people who understand this as much as you. If you don’t give your views, then I can only instruct someone to decorate and arrange the study room according to how your old one looked before!”
Ren Zhixian was so furious that he became speechless.
Shi Fengju smiled again. “How about this? When the layout is being produced, Brother-in-law can be at the side to give your opinion. If you think it’s fine, then so be it. But if you think otherwise, then we can still discuss again together.What do you think?”
“I think that’ll be great!” Shi Yumei smiled and nodded.
The anger in Ren Zhixian still did not dissipate. Great? How is that great? Can I even say otherwise? If I were to say otherwise, then he will surely bring up my house—
Deep down, Ren Zhixian was frustrated at Shi Fengju for relying on power to bully him. How he wished he could straighten his back and act all haughty, but thinking about his current situation where he even had to rely on others to provide his ink and brush, there was no way he could do so, and he could only nod carelessly, “Fine!”
“Then that’s settled!” SHi Fengju smiled and continued, “If Brother-in-law has any opinions, just voice them out. I’ll be sure to satisfy you, so that your mood to study won’t be affected!”
Ren Zhixian let out a soft grunt. After leaving the study room, his eyes were fixed on the banana tree and bamboos at the center of the courtyard as he pointed at them. “That banana tree is thick, and that bamboo is blocking the light from entering the study room. Have someone cut them down tomorrow!”
“Understood!” Shi Fengju seemed to not mind. “Cut it is. I’ll have someone cut them down tomorrow! Does Brother-in-law want me to have two plum trees planted there instead?”
Ren Zhixian wanted to refuse, but he hesitated for a moment before nodding, “Then I’ll have to trouble you!”
“Brother-in-law, there’s no need to be so polite!” Shi Fengju smiled. “Brother-in-law wants grown plum trees, right? I’m not too sure if we have any in our household! But that doesn’t matter, there’s sure to be some in Qingzhou. We’ll just buy them!”
His tone was like that of a filthy rich person flaunting all the money he had.
The world in front of Ren Zhixian seemed to spin, and he almost staggered from those words. His heart was feeling jealous and unhappy, and he secretly scolded the heavens. How could an ordinary person be living in riches while a scholar like him had to suffer from poverty! He even had to rely on others and be under their mercy!
Sang Wan watched this spectacular sight, and she sighed as she thanked the heavens! Fortunately, she was able to bring Shi Fengju along. Otherwise, how would she be able to deal with this!
She could not help but cast a glance at Shi Fengju before thinking to herself. Having such a brother-in-law, no wonder he felt disgusted at me for being from a literary family. This really is—
“Second brother ah, you aren’t going anywhere else today, right?” After leaving Banana Courtyard, Shi Yumei suddenly stopped Shi Fengju.
Shi Fengju raised a brow and asked, “Does Big Sis still have something else?”
Shi Yumei smiled as she invited, “If you are free today, why don’t we head to Peony Park2Peony ParkGu Fangzi's place of residence together? Come to think of it, it has been long since you, me, and Cousin Fangzi ever had a good chat together!”
Sang Wan cried bitterly in her heart, and her eyes dimmed a little. She acted as if she had not heard what Shi Yumei said.
“I think not,” Shi Fengju smiled. “I am going back to prepare before leaving! Big Sis, I think you should go by yourself instead! Fangzi is still in her period of mourning, so Big Sis, you should go and see her, but don’t stay there for too long.”
“What does it matter!” Shi Yumei smiled. “What’s important is mourning from the heart! Spending the day alone in Peony Park, Fangzi is very pitiful, so why can’t we visit her often! Else how will she be able to mourn for half a year with no one to care about her!”
Shi Fengju suddenly frowned. Just what is she playing at? No one to care for her? Has she lacked anything to eat or anything to wear? As if there’s a need for people to be around her all day before her days can pass! Moreover…
“Half a year?” Feeling doubtful, Shi Fengju asked. Doesn’t she have to mourn for three whole years to be filial?
“You don’t know?” Shi Yumei found it surprising and explained how Gu Fangzi went to the temple and how she dreamt about Gu Jin. She also explained about the paper given by the priest before scolding Shi Fengju, “How can you not care about her and even not know about this! What—you didn’t go and see her last night?”
As she spoke, she glanced skeptically at Sang Wan.
Shi Fengju followed her gaze before saying with a stern expression, “It was already late last night, so I didn’t go. Sang Wan has already told me that she had seen the doctor and was told to rest! As if I have so much free time to always be around her!” Excusing himself saying that he was busy, he then pulled Sang Wan along with him.
Half a year of mourning? Shi Fengju sneered coldly. Only she can make things seem pompous yet earnest!
She has always been a clever person! Shi Fengju could not help but sigh to himself. It was a pity that her intelligence was used in the wrong area.
Shi Yumei and Ren Zhixian wanted to move into Banana Courtyard as soon as possible, and everyday, they would eagerly head there to see its progress. After seven days, Banana Courtyard was finally arranged and decorated, and the two were prepared to move in in two days’ time.
Sure enough, Shi Yumei went to the small garden to find Sang Wan before picking a few vases, paintings, and stuff. Sang Wan never had an eye for those things, and she let her have them without any second thoughts.
When Shi Fengju saw what was missing, he felt apologetic and comforted Sang Wan, telling her that he would make another purchase for those things that were taken away. Sang Wan smiled and said nothing more.
On the day when Shi Yumei moved in, Gu Fangzi could not be present, but she sent Lan Xiang on her behalf to give her congratulations as well as other auspicious words.
But that wasn’t the sole purpose of Lan Xiang presence. Her most important reason was that Lan Xiang was finally able to hold back Shi Fengju.
These few days, Shi Fengju had never taken a step into Peony Park, and Gu Fangzi was getting anxious. All she heard from Shi Yumei was that Shi Fengju was very busy. But Gu Fangzi knew, even though those words could trick Shi Yumei, they could not trick her. If he really had the heart to, there was no way he couldn’t find time to see her!
Hearing Shi Yumei giving the same response numerous times, she was of no help to her. And so, she could only use her only card: To use Lan Xiang to invite him over!
Although Lan Xiang had gone to invite him, she was nothing but a servant. Shi Fengju wouldn’t even bother to follow her, but there was no way she could just abduct him to Peony Park!
But today was different. In front of Shi Yumei, Lan Xiang stopped Shi Fengju before saying pitifully, “Young Master, if you have the time, please go and see my missy! She has been thinking a lot about you!”
Shi Fengju extremely disliked those words. How could a woman in her mourning period not mourn properly but have another man in her heart. Even though that man was him, he did not feel happy at all. Rather, he was feeling the opposite.
Hearing so, Shi Yumei quickly added, “Seriously, you should go and see Fangzi! Every time I tell you to do so, you are always busy running off somewhere! But today, no matter what you say, you must still go over and see her! Fangzi really is pitiful!” As she said that, she cast a glance at Sang Wan. “You weren’t like this in the past. Did someone say something at your back?”
Sang Wan acted as if she had not heard so, and she instructed the servants to be careful when carrying the items into the house.
“Big Sis!” Shi Fengju frowned. “Is your younger brother someone who cannot make decisions on his own? Who can tell me what to do? And who can make the decision for me?”
He secretly said to himself, The ones who are actually trying to decide for me are none other than you and that damn good cousin!
“Ah, that’s right! My younger brother isn’t foolish!” Shi Yumei smiled to herself before urging, “Your Big Sister’s place is still a mess, so I won’t keep you here. So go, quickly!”
Shi Fengju felt utterly helpless. If he didn’t go, then she would surely nag at him for who knew how long. Forget it, might as well then!
He turned and left with a long face.
Lan Xiang was extremely elated. She bowed and gave her thanks to Shi Yumei before hurrying off to catch up with Shi Fengju.
“Missy! Missy! Young Master has come to see you!” Shortly after arriving, Lan Xiang announced loudly.
Inside the house, Gu Fangzi was excited, and she quickly got herself dressed before going out to welcome him.
“Big Cousin!” Gu Fangzi gazed at Shi Fengju passionately. “You, you’ve finally come to see me.”
“How are you feeling? Is everything fine!” Shi Fengju did his best to make sure his tone did not sound impatient and hostile as he walked into the house.
After thinking carefully, it hadn’t been long since he last saw her. But at this point, as she stood in front of him, he could not help but feel that she was an entire stranger to him, and his heart did not flutter. It was just like meeting someone who had no relations with him at all.
To think that he had actually married her as his concubine, Shi Fengju suddenly felt chilly and frustrated.
“Fang’er is doing fine. Thank you, Big Cousin, for your concern!” Gu Fangzi quickly ushered him to a seat before smiling gently. “These few days, I have to thank Cousin Yumei for accompanying Fang’er! Just thinking about the past when the three of us would sit together to talk, those times really make me happy! It’s so great that Cousin Yumei will now be staying with us! In the future, the three of us can be like in the past, we can—”
“Even though Big Sis will be staying with us, she is still the Ren family’s daughter-in-law. She has to serve her husband, so there’s no way things will be the same as before!” Shi Fengju was even more displeased when she brought up the past.
“Big Cousin is right!” Gu Fangzi’s mood today was extremely positive. She did not refute him after hearing his words, and instead admitted her wrong, “It was foolish of me! Not just Cousin Yumei, you and I are no longer the same, too. We’re finally… together! All these years have finally come to fruit. Big Cousin’s feelings towards me truly have not changed! Fang’er really is glad!”
At this moment, Lan Xiang was present to serve them tea, but she quickly retreated.