Chapter 9 Fine time, beautiful scenery
When Shu Huan came out of the main chamber, there was no one in the yard. It was very quiet.
Originally, she wanted to call Huiyun to accompany her for a walk at the yard. After she opened her mouth, she decided to forget about it.
The less trouble the better.
It would be fine if she stood at the main door and look at outside from there.
At this time, the sky was very blue and clear.
The wind brought a refreshing smell of grass.
In the distance, it was densely covered with all kinds of flowers and trees. It was luxuriant. She was faintly able to see the flowing water and the stone bridge. And, also those ancient pavilions which one would use as a place to relax. They were like those from the paintings.
A place that would let people be carefree and relaxed.
Shu Huan couldn’t help herself from sitting on the threshold and looked at the scenery in front of her while pondering about her future.
The status of women in the ancient times were very low. It was very difficult to show her face in public and do some business to survive. Moreover, she studied the -not so usual profession- in the fine arts. Could she put a bench on the street and sketch people’s face? The more safe and reliable way was to find a husband and marry him. But even if she could get out of Gu family, she would be holding the name of being divorced. Not to mention that others wouldn’t take a fancy on her, she also wouldn’t fancy these ancient men with many wives and concubines.
Thinking this way, it seemed as if Gu Xiran was treating her quite well.
When they first met, he didn’t treat her as a stranger and protected her from everything…
Shu Huan’s face became slightly hot, but she still slowly shook her head.
He already had concubine Yun.
Moreover, she also had an obsessive disorder with love and didn’t like love triangles.
While she was in deep thought, she suddenly heard behind her, “Second young mistress, why are you sitting on the threshold? I will go inside and bring a chair for you.”
When she turned, she saw that the one speaking was Huiyun. She couldn’t help but smile, “No need, I will only sit for a moment. If you aren’t busy, don’t be in a hurry to leave. Sit down and talk to me.”
There were differences between the master and servant. How would Huiyun dare to sit with her? She stood at her side and laughed, “The morning rush is already over. I don’t have much to do now.”
Shu Huan knew that she obeyed the rules. Plus, sitting on the threshold wasn’t elegant. So, she didn’t force her. She leisurely asked about things related to Gu Xiran and while she was at it, inquired about the Gu family.
Huiyun thought for a moment before she said, “There is nothing to tell about second young master. He had been ill since an early age. He stayed in bed and rarely went out of the yard.”
“Which one of the masters or misses in the family have a good relationship with him?”
Huiyun shook her head, “Only eldest young master has the same mother as him. He used to come here before. But in the past two years, eldest young master followed master to learn about business. He also married eldest young mistress and didn’t have time. So, he came less.”
Shu Huan thought about Lin shi who she saw in the morning. She seemed to be just in her early thirties. Shu Huan couldn’t help but ask, “How old is eldest young master?”
- Shi: clan
Huiyun grinned, “Eldest young master is nineteen. He is two years older than second young master.”
The ancient people really matured at a young age. Everyone married so young!
After she asked more, she got to know that Lin shi was only master Gu’s second wife. She’s Gu Xiran’s stepmother. His biological mother had passed away a long time ago. No wonder Qiaoyun said that he wasn’t favored at home. He was sick all day and didn’t see any people. How could he be favored? In the morning, old madam’s attitude towards him was also strict and lacked love. It looked like Lin shi was caring and considerate towards him, but it might not be truly good…
Thinking about the complicated relationship between them, Shu Huan felt a headache and felt that here was not a friendly place. It was better to get out of here sooner.
While they were talking, old nanny Song, who followed Lin shi from her maiden home brought some young maids over. She said Lin shi was afraid that Shu Huan didn’t have enough people at her side and let her pick two.
Shu Huan stood up from the threshold and looked. She saw that the ones in the front were very young. None of them seemed to be over fifteen. Originally, she wanted to decline but then she remembered that all the maids of Plum Flower Pavilion were also so young. Even Huiyun who looked older wasn’t older than sixteen. Perhaps this was Gu family’s rule and maybe even the custom of here!
She looked again at those girls and pointed at two, “Them.”
The girls were young. After her words were said, those who hadn’t been chosen couldn’t hide their disappointment.
Nanny Song also glanced at her in surprise, but she didn’t say much and only said, “Madam said that around second young master, there is concubine Yun to serve and to let second young mistress go pay your respect every day at old madam’s and stay to talk with her.”
She knew that daughter-in-laws of ancient times had to go to the elders to learn the rules. It was just that she had never thought that one day, it would be her turn. Shu Huan laughed while mocking herself, “Okay.”
After nanny Song went away with the maids who hadn’t been chosen, she turned and looked at the two who were left.
One of them was particularly beautiful. Her lips were red and teeth white. Her eyes were very bright. It was like looking into the clear spring. The other one’s appearance was a bit below this one. But she was also fine-looking. A touch of gentleness came from her face. She looked very well-behaved and clever.
She was an ordinary person. She chooses them because they looked pleasing to the eyes. As for whether they were good or bad, she would know after getting to know one’s heart after some time.
Huiyun saw that she only looked at the two silently, she said laughingly, “Second young mistress should name them.”
Fine time, beautiful scenery to no avail of the sky; the pleasure of the heart is in which one’s yard?
Shu Huan smiled slightly, pointed at the well-behaved looking girl and said, “Liangchen (fine time).”
The other was beautiful, so naturally she was Meijing (beautiful scenery).
“Thanking second young mistress for the name,” the two maids knelt happily.
The etiquettes were made by public. Kneeling was very common to ancient people. People wouldn’t feel wronged because of it. She wouldn’t stop them either. She only asked for their age. As expected, Liangchen was fourteen and Meijing thirteen. One year was added in the age of ancient people (meaning they are in fact 13 and 12). Both were small dolls.
While she thought about nanny Song’s look of surprise, Shu Huan still felt a bit uncomfortable. She quietly asked Huiyun, “Did I pick wrongly?”
Huiyun looked at Liangchen and Meijing. Then, she shook her head.
Shu Huan continued to ask, “Then why was nanny Song’s expression so strange?”
“This…,” Huiyun hesitated for a moment and said secretively, “The maids around madam had a good character, but their appearance was just ordinary.”
One sentence made Shu Huan suddenly realize something.
Were women of the ancient times too idle and thought about this matter the whole day?
They were afraid that their maids’ appearance was too good, that the maids would be taken in by their husband and took away their favor.
She found it funny and discouraging. To find a man who would only have you in his heart and grow old together was very difficult in such obscene environment!
Huiyun was discerning what she (SH) was thinking from her body language. She thought that she (SH) regretted it and said with a smile, “Would you like me to call nanny Song back and let second young mistress choose two others?”
Shu Huan shook her head laughingly, “No need. These two are very good.”
With Gu Xiran’s body, could he still take in maids to share the bed with? Even if he takes one, the one who would have headaches wouldn’t be her but concubine Yun!