Chapter 11 The punishment of protracted kneeling
Shu Huan was already prepared and pretended that nothing was the matter. She paid her respect like how Huiyun had taught her.
Old madam humphed coldly and didn’t bother with her.
Fortunately, Liangchen and Meijing brought the tea to let her present it to old madam and Lin shi.
- Shi: clan
The atmosphere eased slightly.
Old madam took over the bowl of tea, took a sip and let someone take a piece of white jade annulus that symbolizes good fortune as the gift of the first meeting. It could be considered that she had recognized this granddaughter-in-law.
Lin shi took over the tea and gifted a hairpin with a lotus design. She smilingly pointed at Fang shi and said, “This is your sister-in-law.”
Shu Huan took another tea and paid her respect, “Greetings to elder sister-in-law.”
Fang shi’s appearance was ordinary, but she wins for being young. Her bearing was graceful and proper. Seeing that she (SH) came with the tea, she (F) quickly took off a pair of pure gold twisted bracelet from her arm and said laughingly, “I didn’t know that little sister got well and didn’t prepare a gift. This pair of bracelet is a bit of my kind feelings. Little sister, don’t dislike them. Keep them to reward people.”
The concubines were master Gu’s. Although their status was below her, but they were elders and also gave her some jewelries.
Shu Huan received a lot of valuable things. In her heart, she felt lucky. Fortunately, it wasn’t the official next day of the wedding night. Otherwise, this room wouldn’t only have these people. Presumably, she would also had needed to gift a lot of money of the first meeting.
She said her gratitude well-behavedly and sweetly. She did as concubine Yun when she (SH) saw her (Y) the first time. She respectfully stood at a side. The eyes looked at the nose, the nose pointed at the mouth, the mouth pointed at the chest. Anyway, she made up her mind. The more she said, the more mistakes, she could make. If she didn’t say anything, she wouldn’t make mistakes. So, if people didn’t ask her to talk, she didn’t speak.
- Eyes looking at the nose, nose pointing at the mouth and the mouth pointing at the chest: look down and lower head
Old madam saw that her behavior was still decent. She didn’t have the uneasiness and restlessness of a daughter from a humble family. When she saw the jewelries, she didn’t show a bit of greed. The anger in her heart disappeared a bit.
Lin shi looked at Shu Huan for a while and then praised, “I was in a hurry yesterday and didn’t take a good look at you. Looking at you today, you are a pretty child.”
Concubine Wen was originally a dowry maid of Lin shi. So, naturally she had to comply with her and said laughingly, “This is old madam’s and madam’s blessing. Second young master is handsome. Now his wife is also so pretty. Their child would certainly be very cute and loved.”
When a child was mentioned, Shu Huan couldn’t help but recall the lie about consummating the marriage that Gu Xiran told. Her heart skipped a beat. Feeling a bit uncomfortable and seeing the blaming look that Lin shi casted concubine Wen, she wanted to say something to liven up the mood. And while she was at it, also bootlick old madam a bit. She didn’t expect that she just opened her mouth when she was reprimanded first by old madam, “What’s the use of being pretty? There isn’t a bit of properness by dressing up gaudy like this while being the main wife! Look at your sister in-law. That is a real girl of a proper family. Still not hurrying to wipe off that blush from your face!”
Fang shi saw that old madam compared herself with Shu Huan, she quickly said, “Old madam, little sister is still newly married…”
Old madam raised her hand to stop her, “You don’t have to speak up for her. The lesser day you are married, the more self-respecting one should be. Xiran is still ill!”
The meaning of the words was too obvious. Fang shi’s expression was obviously awkward and didn’t dare to say more.
Concubine Wen knew that she made a mistake and revealed a face of remorse. The expressions of the other concubines were very remarkable. Some took joy in her calamity. Others sympathized with her.
Under their gazes, Shu Huan felt very ashamed!
Old madam, even if you have to humiliate others, you don’t have to be like this! And in front of so many people!
Although she was dissatisfied, she could only be dissatisfied. It was unwise to collide with such a powerful person as old madam. She could only lower her head, take out a handkerchief and wipe the blush from her face.
Sometimes, when you dislike a person, no matter what, that person would not be pleasing to the eyes. They can even find bones in an egg.
It was this kind of feeling when old madam looked at Shu Huan.
If the consummation of the marriage was true, then Shu Huan was a temptress who disregarded the man’s body. If the consummation of the marriage was a lie, then she was even more of a temptress who led her always obedient grandson to lie to the elders!
The more old madam thought about it, the angrier she got. She had completely forgotten the originally intention for Gu Xiran to take a wife in the hope that the great event of joy would drive away bad luck and hasten his recovery. When she looked at the red dress on her (SH), she remembered that she became a widow from a young age. For more than half her life, she didn’t touch such a bright color. She felt it was even more displeasing to the eyes. And because of this, she felt that the way she (SH) wiped off the blush from her face was full of anger and dissatisfaction.
After having been strong for half her life, old madam was accustomed to being conceited. How could she let people be impudent in front of her? She reprimanded, “Go! Yesterday, there was Ran er who protected you. I couldn’t punish you. Since you came to pay your respect today, it seemed that you do know a bit about rules. Then, go kneel in the ancestral hall in the front yard for a day and reflect!”
- Er: term of endearment
Kneeling one day was still worth it if it could eliminate this old madam’s anger, write the past mistakes off at one stroke and not to come to her for trouble every few days.
Shu Huan accepted with lowered head. She turned and wanted to go outside.
Lin shi quickly stopped her and pleaded, “On such a hot summer, it’s not appropriate to kneel under the sun for a whole day. Old madam, it’s better to exempt this punishment.”
Old madam only wanted to vent her anger. How would she listen to her advice? She said, “Then, go kneel under the pine tree outside the yard. Zisu, go tell your second young master. Say that second young mistress is staying here. She will return at night.”
A pretty maid went out.
Shu Huan could only kneel outside the yard under the pine tree and looked at the two cranes spinning around her. She felt gloomy and thought that kneeling at the temple was better than kneeling here!
Although, she could be sunburned, but there were not so many people who came in and out and she wouldn’t feel too embarrassed.
At this time, the sky was already bright. The breakfast was prepared in old madam’s room. After a while, the younger generations from all yards came to pay their respects successively. They were curious after seeing Shu Huan kneel in the yard. After they looked at her clothes, they became aware of her identity. They immediately understood the reason old madam punished her. So, no one dared to come speak to her. They all turned a blind eye when they walked past her.
Only the last boy who came shouted when he saw her, “Who are you? Why are you kneeling here?”
Shu Huan got a sore knee from kneeling. She impatiently raised her eyes and looked at him. He was about ten years old. The clothes on his body weren’t ordinary. There was also a jade pendant hanging on his waist. She didn’t know from which generation of Gu family this young master was. She also didn’t know how to call him, so she didn’t speak to him.
This young master seemed to have a bad temper. Perhaps he took her as a maid. When he saw that she didn’t speak, he raised his leg and wanted to kick her, but was stopped by the nanny who followed him. She quickly said, “Fourth young master, you can’t kick her. This is second young mistress.”
“Second young mistress?” Gu Xihe rolled his eyes, “The poor sister-in-law that second big brother took as wife? Hey, what kind of gift of the first meeting do you have for me?”
Shu Huan knelt here. What could she have on her? She couldn’t pick up a branch and gift him, right? Besides, this child’s behavior was annoying. She was also not happy to coax him. She simply did as if she didn’t hear anything and didn’t open her mouth.
Gu Xihe got angry, “I’m talking to you. Why do you ignore people? Could it be that you are a mute…?”
He still wanted to say more when he was dragged away by the panic-stricken nanny. “Fourth young master, don’t delay here. Quickly go inside. Old madam and madam are waiting for you to go pay your respect!”
Gu Xihe struggled a bit but couldn’t break free. He could only turn back and waved his arms threateningly at her.
When Shu Huan saw that, she was amused.
This little bean must be truly hedonistic. He wasn’t fully grown yet and was already thinking about beating people up!