Chapter 17 Eavesdropping inadvertently
One should stay loyal while being entrusted by someone.
After Shu Huan came out, she went to the study for brush, ink and paper. She had thought it through. Gu Xiran let her find a suitable maid to go buy the herbs, but she had just come. Her understanding of the maids was only what they showed on the surface. She didn’t know who was the suitable one. Besides, families of ancient times were strict. It wouldn’t be easy for a maid to go out. Usually they had to bother the manservant to run the errand. It would be unclear after this prescription passed through a few people’s hands. It was better if she did it more properly.
She also didn’t have a good idea. She only wanted to copy the names and dosage of the prescription on another piece of paper. She pulled out a medical book from the bookshelf and added six or seven common drug names on the paper. After the ink was dry, she cut the paper. One name on one piece of paper. This will make the prescription confusing. Even if other people had any other motives, they wouldn’t be able to see through it.
It was quite complicated to describe, but doing it was pretty quick. After all, she had practiced calligraphy before in the past. Her characters didn’t have her own style, but they were still neat and clear. It was just, it had been a long time since she had written with a brush. After copying all the names of the prescription, she felt a bit of pain on her wrist.
After doing all of these, she called Liangchen to let her go buy the medicine with this stack of paper. She also especially reminded her, “Let the buddy of the pharmacy pack everything apart and write the name of the herb on the outside of the package.”
Liangchen felt that it was strange, but she knew that she had to do what the master asks without asking. She promised and went out.
It was easy to buy the herbs, but it was troublesome to make the medicine. Shu Huan had no knowledge of that. When Liangchen returned, she called Huiyun for help. Anyway, Huiyun was illiterate. From the big stash of herbs, she picked out those she needed and mixed them together. She let Huiyun start to boil them. She stood at a side to command how big the fire needed to be.
She didn’t feel that time was difficult to spend when she had something to do. While she made the medicine, she chatted with Huiyun. It was a leisure thing. However, when the medicine was half made, concubine Yun rushed to the small tea room. When she saw her (SH), she said, “Second young mistress, for such a thing like making the medicine, you should just call me. Why bother do it yourself?”
Shu Huan shook her head and said, “No need. You can go busy yourself with other things.”
Concubine Yun saw that Shu Huan refused, so she didn’t insist on it. She kept them company for a while. Then, she retreated with her expression a bit dim.
After Shu Huan finished boiling the medicine, she filtered the herbs and sent it to Gu Xiran. She lifted the curtain and entered the main chamber. She heard faint and intermittent cries. It seemed to be concubine Yun’s. She looked around, but it was quiet. There was no one. Presumably, the servants had been sent out. She felt a bit awkward.
- I decided to change wing to chamber because it seems more appropriate that way.
When she wanted to leave, she heard concubine Yun say with choked voice, “Ever since I entered Gu family, I only wished to serve second young master for a long time. Aside from this, I didn’t have any other thoughts…But now, second young master doesn’t like me. I feel wronged in my heart and I don’t know what I did wrong…If I really did something wrong, I ask second young master to please tell me. I can change then. If I didn’t do anything wrong, I just hope that second young master can still treat me like how you used to…”
Her words were quickly interrupted by Gu Xiran’s cold voice, “There is nothing wrong. Don’t think too much.”
Concubine Yun continued weeping, “It’s not that I think too much. It’s that second young master’s heart doesn’t have me anymore…”
This, this, this!
Eavesdropping is a bad behavior! Not to mention when it was private affairs.
Listening till here, Shu Huan couldn’t take it anymore. She quickly retreated with the bowl of medicine. Seeing that Liangchen and Meijing were playing ‘grab the stone’ in the yard, she beckoned for Meijing to come over. She put the bowl in her hand and whispered, “After concubine Yun come out, send the medicine in. If it got cold, warm it up and then send it.”
Meijing promised and took the bowl of medicine.
Shu Huan wanted to find a place to stay for a bit, so she looked around. It was such a large yard. A group of strange pets that could harm people was raised in the East Chamber. She didn’t want to go there. The West Chamber was concubine Yun’s quarters. It doesn’t feel right to go there. Only now did she discover that she had nowhere to go! So, she could only go out of the entrance and take a walk around the other yards in the vicinity.
Liangchen followed her. “Where does second young mistress want to go? I will keep you company.”
Shu Huan declined, “No need. I will take a walk and then come back.”
At this time, it was nearly dusk.
After walking out of the entrance, the road was filled with gravels and flowers on all sides. She also didn’t know where to go. She just picked a road. After walking for a while, she saw a gazebo in the middle of the water. She followed the path to go and sat for a while in the gazebo.
The scenery outside the gazebo was very beautiful. It was a lush of green when looking out of the gazebo. The adjacent water seemed like a man-made artificial small lake. The water was very clear and flowed slowly. It should be running water. There were a few lotuses growing in it. The evening wind brought fragrances with it.
Seeing this scene, Shu Huan’s hands felt a bit itchy. She wanted to sketch two landscapes. However, it was too much trouble to go back for paper and charcoal strips. It was better to just look at it.
Neverthless, after just sitting for a while, she couldn’t take it anymore. There were many mosquitoes by the water. It was also summer. She had been bitten several times on her bare hands. She estimated that concubine Yun and Gu Xiran should’ve finished talking. She prepared to go back.
She just turned when she saw that at the end of road from where she came from, a young man dressed in white stood there looking at her.
Here was the inner residence of Gu family. It was impossible for a stranger to come in. Shu Huan thought that since Gu Xihe was ranked fourth, he must’ve a big brother above him. Perhaps, it was this person. So, she didn’t panic and went back to the road where she came from.
That young man didn’t move. He just looked at her approaching like this.
When the two were close enough, Shu Huan was able to see his appearance. He seemed to be about the same age as Gu Xiran. They didn’t look alike, however the outline of his face still had something similar to Gu Xiran’s. So, she tried to greet him, “Third young master?”
That young man dressed in white lowered his body slightly and said, “Second sister-in-law.”
The attitude wasn’t respectful nor sloppy.
It didn’t seem like she’d guessed wrongly. Shu Huan smiled slightly at him, but she didn’t know what to say. She also felt that the feeling this young man gave was very cold like the color of his clothes. So, after she stopped for a moment, she brushed past him.
When she returned to Plum Flower Pavilion, she didn’t see concubine Yun. Xiangqian and two maids were preparing the table.
Gu Xiran was already sitting at the table. When he saw her, he frowned slightly. “Where did you go?”
Shu Huan didn’t answer and asked, “Did you drink the medicine?”
Gu Xiran nodded. The eyes staring at the dishes on the table were obviously gloomy. “After drinking it, my whole mouth is filled with bitterness. I already have no appetite.”
It was Shu Huan who immediately got appetite. After not seeing fish or meat for many days, seeing the bowl of chestnut stewed chicken on the table now made her hungry. She didn’t want to talk anymore. She sat down, picked the chopsticks and began to eat.
Gu Xiran was a bit dissatisfied, “I said I have no appetite and you still eat so cheerfully?”
Shu Huan didn’t even raise her head and said vaguely, “I have appetite!”
While talking, she picked up another large piece of chicken and began to eat. She completely ignored the table manners.
Anyway, the original owner of this body came from a poor family and not someone from a wealthy and proper family. It was very normal for her to be a bit crude. She didn’t have to pretend.
She didn’t expect that when Gu Xiran saw that she was eating so deliciously, he immediately and jealously reached out his chopstick. After Shu Huan finished a piece of chicken with her head inside her bowl and wanted to go get another piece, she discovered that there were only chestnuts and a chicken butt left in the bowl. She turned and looked at Gu Xiran’s bowl. She saw that he didn’t have much rice but a whole pile of chicken. She immediately got gloomy and muttered in a low voice, “F****! Must even fight over this with me!”
Gu Xiran looked at her and asked, “What did you say?”
Knowing that she had sworn, Shu Huan quickly lied, “I said, didn’t you say you don’t have an appetite? Why are you still fighting over chicken with me?”
“I suddenly got appetite.”
Seeing Shu Huan’s speechless expression, Gu Xiran couldn’t help but laugh. He pushed the bowl to her. “Should I share a piece with you?”
Was there reason to not accept food that was being delivered in front of you? Shu Huan quickly reached out her chopstick to pick it up, but she retrieved the chopstick half-way through. “Forget it. You, eat.”
Gu Xiran raised an eyebrow, “I haven’t touched it yet.”
Shu Huan shook her head and picked up a chestnut. She lowered her head and ate rice.
It was not that she found it dirty!
It was that she felt that it was too intimate fighting over food like this!
The most important thing was that this happened so naturally. She didn’t have any retrains nor her guard up when living with him.
When she recalled the words she inadvertently heard from concubine Yun just now, she suddenly lost appetite. Her heart also became vigilant. She felt that if she continues being like this with Gu Xiran, she couldn’t promise that love wouldn’t breed from familiarity. That would be far from good. The best was to maintain an appropriate distance with him.