Chapter 30 The summoning
In this rainy weather, the most pleasant thing was nothing more than not having to go out and be lazy at home.
Shu Huan was very content at the moment. After taking a bath and with her hair wet, she sat under the eave and watched the rain. The ancient life was exquisite and graceful. In all respects, it was an artistic mood. If it wasn’t because of those troubles and concerns about her future and the longing for her parents and friends, she would’ve liked it here.
Huiyun came in with tea and reported, “Second young mistress, those pets raised by fourth young master had been moved to the penthouse. I let the maids clean up East Chamber and also opened the windows for fresh air. Then, they will burn fragrances to dispel the smell.
Shu Huan looked once at her, took over the tea and responded casually, “Good.”
Huiyun handled the affairs in a proper way. She didn’t have to worry.
She took advantage of Gu Xiran’s nap time to vacate the East Chamber. Even if she still had to sleep in the main chamber at night, she would keep that chamber in case she wanted some time alone.
Shu Huan took a sip of tea and said, “Did you tell anybody that an old teacher taught me how to read?”
Huiyun lowered her head and said, “That day when this slave went to get the books for you, concubine Yun asked about it. This slave knows the rules. This slave only said that second young mistress wanted books and didn’t dare to say anything else.”
Shu Huan nodded and didn’t say anything more.
Forget it, she also didn’t want to pursue it. Anyway, if concubine Yun didn’t get the news from Huiyun, then it would be from those parents of the original owner. The chance of the latter was more likely. After all, as long as she sees benefit, with that character of Xu shi, she would be willing to say anything. If the original owner really learned to read from that scholar, it wouldn’t be something difficult to find out.
She didn’t grow up in the struggle of a household since young, so she didn’t have many opportunities to fight with others. Besides, one couldn’t guard against everything. She could only be more cautious and try not to let others get information that could be used against her. The rest of the matter was counter soldiers with arms, water with an earth weir. Wait and see!
- Counter soldiers with arms, water with an earth weir: different situations call for different action.
The most important thing about living was to be happy and to make every moment worthwhile. If she had to ponder every day about those schemes and make herself become a black-hearted person, it was better for her to just go die.
The rain fell all day and only stopped a bit when it was time to put the lights on. The clouds were gone, and the air was clear and cooling.
At the time of dinner, Gu Xihe rushed in like an out of control horse and shouted, “Get a bowl of rice for me. I’m starving.”
Concubine Yun quickly called people to add a bowl and chopsticks.
Gu Xiran had just picked up the chopsticks when he was surprised by this sight, “Didn’t you always eat with old madam?”
“Don’t mention it!” Gu Xihe waved with his hand. “That face of old madam was like the weather outside. It was gloomy for the whole afternoon. Even when I teased her, she didn’t laugh and even drove me out to play elsewhere.”
When he finished talking, he sat down and looked at the dishes on the table. That face immediately became a bitter melon, “This can’t be! Madam is abstaining from eating meat today. The whole table was full of vegetables. I don’t like to eat that. That was why I rushed to here. How come you are also abstaining from eating meat?”
- Those who believe in Buddha will abstain from eating meat from time to time. It’s considered that good luck will come after the hardship (abstaining from eating meat).
“There are two non-vegetarian dishes!” While Shu Huan talked, she moved the dish to him. “You can eat this.”
Gu Xihe obviously had no interest in the two dishes. However, after playing for a whole day, he was hungry. So, he could only put up with it and eat. While eating, he complained that the dishes didn’t have much taste. It seemed that he liked those oily and thick-sauced intense flavors.
After he ate for a while and his speed slowed down, Gu Xiran picked up a dish for him and asked, “Is it that you made old madam angry?”
“Me?” Gu Xihe didn’t even raise his head and said, “Old madam had never been angry with me.”
What he said was the truth. Even if he caused a big trouble and angered master Gu, old madam would smile and say that he was still young, didn’t know anything and that being playful was a good thing because like that he would grow up smartly!
In order to avoid touching a sore subject tomorrow when she went to pay her respects, Shu Huan asked, “Then, why was she not in a good mood?”
Gu Xihe rolled his eyes at her, “How would I know? When I asked her, she didn’t tell me and only let me be quiet!”
It seemed that she wouldn’t get anything out from Gu Xihe’s mouth. She knew that old madam was very angry. It didn’t seem to be a trivial matter.
After they ate, concubine Yun brought tea.
Gu Xihe was someone who liked to move. How could he sit idly? He pestered Shu Huan and quietly asked her how the carving of the Wonderful Redwood of Yingge was going.
Shu Huan felt like laughing when she recalled that rogue rabbit. Just when she wanted to pull him to the study to show him, she didn’t expect that old madam’s maid Zisu who was in charge of delivering things, came over. After she paid her respect, she said, “Old madam asked second young mistress and concubine Yun to go over to play leaf card!”
Leaf card? She didn’t know how to play at all! However, when she thought about, she couldn’t help but become suspicious. Wasn’t old madam angry? How come she thought about playing cards? What’s more,!she had always disliked her (SH). If there weren’t enough people to play cards with, she could just call those concubines or maids. Why did she had to call her and concubine Yun? It couldn’t be…
While she was in deep thoughts, she sneaked a glance at concubine Yun. She just happened to meet that confused and perturbed gaze of concubine Yun.
Gu Xiran was also surprised for a moment. Then, he gave Gu Xihe a meaningful glance.
The little brat was very clever. He got from the chair and pulled Shu Huan. “Let’s go together. No matter who wins, they have to give a percentage of the winnings to me!”
Zisu quickly stopped him and said, “Fourth young master, old madam had already said to only call second young mistress and concubine Yun. They don’t even have to bring the maids.”
When had Gu Xihe received such cold treatment? He immediately got angry, raised his foot to kick her, “Utter rubbish! When had I ever been stopped when going to old madam’s?! You don’t let me go when it was just playing cards?”
Gu Xiran quickly stopped him.
Zisu had been kicked very painfully. She felt really wronged and said with tears, “Fourth young master, this is what old madam ordered. Otherwise, even if you give this slave ten guts, this slave wouldn’t dare to stop you…”
Gu Xihe refused to give in. He still wanted to refute but was taken aside by Gu Xiran. Hence, he could only give up.
Shu Huan already understood that this card playing was a pretense. There was absolutely something going on for her to call them. Besides, the thing was not small and was related to the old madam’s anger. It was just, during this time, she knew her place and didn’t do anything. She really didn’t do anything bad like killing or setting the house on fire. The only matter that could make old madam angry was the matter that concubine Yun told her about in the morning…
She raised her eyes and looked at concubine Yun. The other party was also looking at her. That eager to explain expression didn’t seem fake. She couldn’t help but shook her head and sigh. She said to Zisu, “Let’s go!”
No matter what it was, she couldn’t not go after already having been called. It would be clear when she gets there whether it was a curse or a blessing. If it was a curse, she couldn’t escape!
Zisu quickly lit the lantern to light the road and led them out.
Gu Xiran was silent for a moment. Then, he looked at Gu Xihe who was still angry because he “lost favor”. He suddenly laughed, “How about we play a game?”
“Who has the mood to play?!”
Gu Xiran’s eyes shone like stars in the light, “It’s very interesting.”
Gu Xihe compromised because of interest, “Alright. Tell me how to play?”
“I’m the great-general.”
“You are the spy of the army.”
Gu Xihe’s eyes widened and waited for him to continue.
Who would have thought that Gu Xiran would say the next word, “Go!”
Gu Xihe was a little confused, “Where to?”
“Go to old madam to spy for information.”
“Ah!” Only now did Gu Xihe understood and said angrily, “If you want me to go inquire, just say it! What’s there to pretend with games?!”
Although, he said that, he was also curious. He didn’t know why old madam called Shu Huan and concubine Yun. Why was it so mysterious and also didn’t allow him to follow?
Thinking till here, he said resentfully, “Alright, I will go take a look for you.”
Gu Xiran raised an eyebrow and smiled, “Remember to do it cautiously and secretly. Don’t let people catch you.”
That being mentioned made Gu Xihe felt that playing this game at night was quite the right feel. He immediately got the impulse and said, “Great-general, this small soldier will go now!”
After having said that, he turned and ran to outside.