Chapter 26 The Wonderful Redwood of Yingge
In the afternoon, the sky was a bit cloudy and it was also windy. The leaves of the trees made whooshing sounds because of the wind.
Shu Huan sat on threshold at the entrance. From far away, she saw Gu Xihe walk towards Plum Flower Pavilion with his study companion Ranmo.
When he arrived, Gu Xihe extended his hand in front of her. In his hand was a piece of a yellow and green item. It was an agarwood, the size of half a palm.
“You got it?” Shu Huan happily reached out her hand to take it, but Gu Xihe had unexpectedly retracted his hand and put his other hand in front of her. There was also an agarwood in his other hand, but this one looked dark and firm like a horn.
Gu Xihe smiled proudly, “When this young master look for it, isn’t it very easy? I will test your eyes. Which one do you want?”
Shu Huan was very honest, “I lack knowledge in this field. You can pick one for me.”
Originally, Gu Xihe wanted to make things difficult for her, but seeing her like this, he suddenly felt smug. He showed off with the two pieces of agarwood. “Did you see? This yellow with green one is soft redwood named Wonderful Redwood of Yingge. It’s the top of the top-grade! This black one is a corner of agarwood. It’s also a good thing, but it isn’t as rare as the Wonderful Redwood of Yingge.”
Shu Huan wondered, “Redwood? Isn’t it agarwood?”
Gu Xihe looked at her with a weird expression, “You are really stupid. You don’t even understand this!”
Shu Huan was dissatisfied, but it wasn’t good to offend him. She only muttered, “My maiden family doesn’t sell fragrance. It would be weird if I knew. Why don’t you tell me?”
Gu Xihe hadn’t spoken yet when Ranmo spoke first, “Redwood and agarwood come from the same tree! Redwood contains a lot of oil. It can be cut softly with a knife. When you bite it, it’s soft and sticky like rice cake. It also has a spicy taste. Agarwood is very hard. It’s the residue of the wood and doesn’t have much taste…”
He hadn’t finished yet, when he was stomped by Gu Xihe, “So talkative! Do you think this young master doesn’t know?”
Ranmo was a clever one. He also had been with Gu Xihe for a long time, so, he had long known his temper. He then put on a pitiful face, “Am I not giving face to fourth young master? You see, even I, a study companion, know about this. Then, won’t you be even more knowledgeable?”
Gu Xihe was bootlicked very happily. He immediately revealed a prideful expression, “So true.”
He turned and asked Shu Huan, “Which one do you want?”
“I…” Naturally, I want the best! Shu Huan pointed at that Wonderful Redwood of Yingge. “I want this one.”
Gu Xihe’s face sank and he was apparently unwilling.
When Shu Huan saw him being like this, she quickly said, “If you like this one, then give me that black agarwood. Anyway, I only want to use it to carve a seal. The material doesn’t have to be top-grade.”
“Carve a seal?!” Gu Xihe’s eyes turned very big and he almost vomited blood.
Even Ranmo said with a bitter face, “Second young mistress, you want to use this to carve a seal?”
Their reactions were very strange. Shu Huan said a bit unsettled, “Can’t I? I know it’s rare to use wood to carve a seal, but…”
Gu Xihe interrupted her and waved that Wonderful Redwood of Yingge in front of her. “Do you know how much this is worth?”
Seeing how serious his expression was, Shu Huan tried to guess, “More than hundred silver liang?”
Gu Xihe wanted to vomit blood very much, “That small piece of black agarwood was already worth five hundred silver liang! Even if this Wonderful Redwood of Yingge was sold for more than thousands silver liang, there would be people who will fight over it! Old madam’s satin cushion was hidden inside the agarwood box. If it wasn’t because I took it out, she wouldn’t even give it to me!”
“So expensive…,” Shu Huan was a bit disheartened.
Gu Xihe humphed once and said, “It’s so expensive! Did you think that agarwood was lowly cabbage that was sold in a basket at a market?!”
She wasn’t someone who cared about face. It didn’t have any meaning to be looked down upon by a little brat. The problem was that she didn’t like getting things for free from people. Originally, she wanted to use the jade annulus that old madam gave her to exchange for the agarwood. Now, hearing Gu Xihe say this, she couldn’t take out that jade. She could only lower her head and sighed, “Forget it, I don’t want this anymore. Let Ranmo go check if there are some good stones for carving at the stores outside. Let him bring two for me. While he is at it, also help me buy the tools for carving.”
She didn’t expect that as soon as her words fell, something would hit her lap. She lowered her head and saw that it was that Wonderful Redwood of Yingge.
She raised her head flabbergasted. She saw that Gu Xihe had his lips curled and said, “This master isn’t someone stingy. If I say that I will get a piece of agarwood for you, I will get it for you!”
“But it’s too expensive…”
“Expensive?” Gu Xihe laughed pejoratively, “What if it’s expensive?! To Gu household, this money is nothing. Old madam likes this Wonderful Redwood of Yingge just because it’s rare.”
While speaking, he came closer and whispered, “I will tell you a secret. There are a few more pieces that are larger than this one at old madam’s! Wait for this young master. I will get them piece by piece!”
Shu Huan got scared because of his words. “Don’t do anything rash.”
Gu Xihe held his head high, humphed once and ignored her.
Shu Huan thought for a moment. Then, she helplessly took the jade annulus from her waist and handed it over, “I know that this isn’t worth much money, but it’s not good of me to take things for free from you. Take this first, alright? In the future, when I find something more interesting, I will give it to you.”
Gu Xihe swept once over it, but he didn’t have the intention to go accept it and said with disdain, “This young master already has a half room full of these and don’t even have more place for them. Only you would see this as a treasure!”
After getting to know him these days, Shu Huan knew that this little brat was just a bit mischievous and stubborn. He wasn’t a bad kid. However, even if he didn’t accept her things, could he not be so direct? Did he need to make her feel so uncomfortable!?!
Since he didn’t accept the jade, Shu Huan could only take it back. She put that Wonderful Redwood of Yingge under her nose and sniffed. Sure enough, a gentle and elegant fragrance filled her nose. Using such a good thing to carve a seal was really a pity. She thought for a moment and said, “Why don’t I use this to carve a string of fragrance? One can wear it and it would also elevate the senses and drive away dirt.”
Gu Xihe lifted his mouth and said, “Whatever you want!”
He turned and left. While walking, he said, “I’m leaving. It’s so boring here! Remember to put in some good words about me when second big brother is happy. Let him bring in some new and fresh things for me to play with.”
Shu Huan agreed to do it and then hurriedly said, “Let someone buy tools to carve things for me!”
Gu Xihe didn’t even turn his head and complained, “Women are so troublesome!”
Looking at his back leaving with the study companion, Shu Huan contemplated.
If the Wonderful Redwood of Yingge was really so valuable, then the silver she could get from reselling it would be enough for her to life half of her life…
She shook her head and pressed down the desire in her heart.
This thing wasn’t hers. Although, she got it through Gu Xihe, it was actually taking Gu household’s things to turn it into a gift for Gu Xiran. At most, it was that she presented her kind feelings to Buddha with borrowed flowers. If she really sold this thing and use the money to leave Gu household, then she’d be deemed as too despicable. She would feel uneasy and carry a guilty conscience for the rest of her life.
- Presenting the Buddha with borrowed flowers: to win favor using someone else’s property.
Shu Huan stood up and sighed deeply.