Chapter 34 The birthday
Marriage was a very complicated andtroublesome thing.
Engagement, preparing the dowry, ritual kneeling, wedding night…
This was a road every girl must walk on when they reach adulthood.
The pity was that Shu Huan had experienced none of it. When she woke up, it was already the next day of the wedding.
She still maintained a girl’s mentality and a virgin body. She had never experienced the joy of being married, so how could she have the consciousness of being someone’s wife? Hence, although she slept in the same bed with Gu Xiran, she didn’t feel that they were husband and wife. Seeing that he was playing with her hair, she pulled that strand of hair back and also drew a line with her finger from the top of the bed to the bottom.
“You’re not allowed to cross the line! If you come to my side of the bed again in the middle of the night, I will kick you out of bed!”
When she was kissed by force, she didn’t have a choice. Even if she cried and caused a fuss, it wouldn’t change the fact. So, Shu Huan decided to forget about it and put her attention on things that needed more protection. However, although her tone was bold and confident, her heart was timid.
She didn’t repel Gu Xiran. She repelled Gu household. There was constant trouble and everywhere was full of schemes and tricks.
For this reason, she was afraid that if she was attacked a few more times sneakily, raw rice will turn cooked by accident. Then, she would be like a bird whose wings was pulled, be trapped in a cage and could no longer fly away.
- Raw rice turns into cooked rice: usually used to describe when the deed (intercourse) is done and it’s too late to change anything. In modern times, it’s used when one gets pregnant. In ancient times, it’s when one loses her virginity.
Helplessly, the one she met was someone who was unmoved by force or persuasion. At this time, he was looking at her with a very gentle gaze. He smiled slightly and said, “I won’t mind if you cross the line. I won’t kick you out of bed.”
She couldn’t win him with words alone. Every time they had a verbal confrontation, she’d lose!
Shu Huan turned her face away and changed the subject, “Did you foresee the incident? How come you appeared just in time?”
“I let Xihe inquire for me. He came back and told me that it was the matter of the sachet and that old madam was very angry. I knew then that things didn’t look good,” Speaking till here, Gu Xiran’s expression changed slightly. He said helplessly, “If you persisted a bit more, I would’ve arrived!”
Shu Huan muttered, “What use does it have? Even if you help me on this matter, it couldn’t be explained clearly…”
Gu Xiran’s gaze swept once over her, “Do you think I’m stupid like you?”
Alright, she is stupid!
Changing the topic again, she said dejectedly, “Don’t you have anything to ask me about the sachet?”
“I have!” Gu Xiran laughed. “Find another day to make one for me.”
She didn’t know how to!
They talked a bit more when Shu Huan began to yawn. In the end, the room turned quiet. When Gu Xiran looked at her, he discovered that she’d actually fallen asleep while hugging the blanket. He couldn’t help but think that it was funny. He reached out and stroked her hair as tenderness swelled in his heart.
Speaking of it, what happened today was really enough to torment her. Plus the fact that she tossed and turned last night, she didn’t seem to have slept much. Presumably, that was why she would be tired like this…
While thinking, his hand couldn’t help but circle around her waist. He fell asleep peacefully like this with her in his arms.
The next morning, when Shu Huan woke up, she found out that her trick of injuring herself to get the enemy’s sympathy worked.
Zisu came with old madam’s two other maids. They moved a pile of nourishing food over like bird nest, ginseng, white fungus, and bearded tooth mushroom. They piled up everything on the table and smiled at the couple before paying their respects. Then, they kowtowed to Gu Xiran and wished him happy birthday. They gave him two sets of clothes, a pair of jade and a talisman of peace and safety that old madam had sent over. After that, they reported, “Old madam said that second young mistress doesn’t have to go over to pay your respect these two months. It’s enough if you peacefully and safely take care of your body. If you need something, you can just send someone over to get it.”
While talking, Zisu turned to concubine Yun, “Old madam asked this slave to be the messenger. Concubine Yun, don’t blame me.”
Obviously, it wasn’t a good message. Concubine Yun smiled and nodded.
Zisu said, “Old madam said that concubine should be more well-behaved. It’s good if you manage your own affairs well. You should worry less about other things! If concubine couldn’t do it, then old madam will ask you to go over to accompany her to pray to Buddha and cultivate spiritually.”
The words weren’t too harsh, but the hidden warning was stated in the presence of so many people. While concubine Yun promised to do it, her eyes couldn’t help but get red. She also regretted it very much. After the trouble, no one got something good out of it. Why did she have to go through so much trouble? However, she also knew that she was lucky to not have been punished. This was because old madam didn’t want the matter to escalate. Moreover, second young mistress already “became ill” and this Plum Flower Pavilion couldn’t be left unattended. Otherwise, old madam may have not spared her so easily…
After Zisu passed on the message, she left. She’d just left but Qiaoyun had caught up to her and secretly asked her, “Big sister Zisu, what had happened last night? I saw that second young mistress was carried back and even second young master seemed to be angry. This made my heart feel uneasy.”
Because Qiaoyun always sweet talked her and Zisu had a good relationship with her. She looked around, shook her head and whispered, “You shouldn’t ask about this. It’s best if you don’t mention it! Even we didn’t know what happened exactly. Old madam also commanded that no one was allowed to talk a word more about it. Otherwise, you will be hit twenty times with the wooden board and be sent out of the residence!”
Qiaoyun didn’t dare to ask more. She just watched Zisu go back with the others.
Later, she also didn’t have time to think about it. Today was Gu Xiran’s birthday. Every yard sent people to wish him a happy birthday and sent things over. The whole morning was chaotic. The maids were so busy that their feet didn’t even touch the ground. How could she still have time to gossip?
- Feet didn’t even touch the ground: run like the wind
Perhaps, it was because old madam issued a command to not speak about it, there were only a few people who knew what had happened last night. Even if some people heard a bit about it, they only knew that after Shu Huan went to Pine Crane Hall, she came back looking ill. They didn’t know what really happened. Therefore, everyone pretended they didn’t know anything and no one came to visit the sick. Perhaps, something good came from the disaster. Shu Huan became the idlest person on this busy day. She didn’t even get out of bed to wash up. The food was also brought to the room. It could be considered that she got some quietness.
However, she also had some troubles. She didn’t know when she had to give that carved Wonderful Redwood of Yingge to Gu Xiran. Moreover, she knew that her carving wasn’t brilliant. The thing she engraved was also strange. She was afraid that she would be made fun of by him.
She delayed like this. That waist pendant had already become warm due to her rubbing it between her hands. She saw Gu Xiran come in from the outer hall with his hand on his temples.
Seeing his unhappy face, Shu Huan laughed, “It’s so lively outside, why are you not happy?”
Gu Xiran pointed out, “Noisy! Headache!”
“Then, you should rest for a moment. Later, when old madam sends the birthday banquet over, perhaps your siblings will come over!”
While talking, Shu Huan delivered the waist pendant cheekily and nonchalantly. Who would have thought that concubine Yun would raise the curtain now, come in and report, “Eldest young mistress sent maid Shixiang over with gifts. She also said that she originally wanted to come over personally, but unfortunately master and eldest young master had returned. She didn’t have time and asked for second young master to not blame her!”
This was a little unexpected.
Gu Xitian went with his father Gu Da to buy ingredients to make fragrances. It had been a while that he learned about doing business. A few days ago he sent a letter to say that he would return in a month or so. Unexpectedly, he suddenly returned today.
Thinking for a moment with his eyes lowered, Gu Xiran said to Shu Huan, “Rest first. I will go take a look and will come back after I paid my respect.”
Gu Xiran had to go pay his respect!
This was nothing strange to Shu Huan, but to concubine Yun, this was the first time she saw this after having entered the household. But with what had happened last night in Pine Crane hall, she didn’t show anything on her face although she was surprised. She just looked once with complicated feelings at Shu Huan.
She already realized that second young master truly treats this newly taken second young mistress well.
Although his body had gradually improved these days, he still didn’t let people know. Even just now, he still pretended to be ill when he received the people. Now, he wanted to go pay his respect was, of course, to tell the elders that even if he wasn’t completely healed yet, his complexion and spirit was much better than before. This was all the credit of second young mistress after she’d married in hope that the great event of joy would drive away his bad luck and hasten his recovery and because she served him well. This was to tell everyone to not treat second young mistress lightly or badly. Perhaps, there was also the warning that she had to be more respectful to second young mistress in the future…
He actually protected her like this…
While thinking, concubine Yun felt more sour and sorrowful in her heart. However, after being taught a lesson, she didn’t dare to be disrespectful anymore. She quickly smiled to cover up her feelings and went to take out clothes that Gu Xiran needed to wear when going to see the elders.