Chapter 37 Pay the money
It wasn’t easy to go out once. Hence, even with Ranmo’s urging, Shu Huan was still bent on walking from the beginning of the street to the end.
Gu Xiran didn’t object and slowly followed behind her. Although in the eyes of the people, it was a bit strange to see a master follow a study companion, it wasn’t a particularly outrageous thing. At most, the glances from other people would just be more teasing. The glances were a bit amorous and showing a bit that they understood what was going on.
It happened that the people who were being looked at were obsessed with the different kind of things sold in the shops. They weren’t aware of those gazes. The most annoying thing was that when they wanted to enter the make-up shop, they would be stopped by Gu Xihe. This was the same for the flower shop. The reason was that fourth young master had no interest in these girly things!
Only when they visited shops that sold snacks and food and shops that sold toys would this difficult to serve fourth young master beam with joy.
Because of this, the two had many arguments.
Shu Huan said delighted, “There is a shop selling calligraphy. I want to go have a look.”
Gu Xihe pouted, “The whole residence is filled with those. If you want to have a look, then look when we go back.”
“Then, there’s a shop selling carvings. I can go have a look at that, right?”
“You are so annoying. Can you eat or play with those things? I will even find them a burden after buying them!”
“I don’t care! I want to go to this shop that sells books!”
“Books? I don’t even have enough time to burn them all and you still want to buy more?! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Let’s go to that side. They sell magic dolls there!”
“I won’t go, I won’t go. Why are you dragging me? Let go!”
Both of them competed for the leadership. They argued while they walked. Moreover, the more they argued, the more excited they became. That indifferent face of Gu Xiran looked a bit gloomy. He deeply realized that it was a big mistake to take them both out at the same time. He got a headache just from their arguments!
Only Ranmo was quick-witted. When he saw Gu Xiran like that, he quickly went forward to please him, “Second young master, all the shops on the left sell toys. I think that fourth young master and second mistress…they will be shopping for a while. Do you want to rest a bit at this shop that sells tea?”
Gu Xiran looked and saw that the shop that sold tea was doing quite well. The tea tables were put in front of the shop. He could sit there and enjoy tea while also monitoring the two noisy brats. Hence, he nodded.
He didn’t know that the tea sold on the outside was different from those used at Gu residence. When the tea owner brought a cup of tea steeped from walnuts and pine nuts, he was a bit stunned. It was still Ranmo who was afraid that he wasn’t used to this kind of tea. He quickly took a small bag of tea leaves from the bag he carried. He wanted to borrow the hot water from the store owner to steep it, but he was stopped by Gu Xiran, “Don’t need to go through so much trouble. This tea is very good.”
While talking, he took a sip. The taste was a bit strange, but it wasn’t unpleasant to drink. However, when he was drinking the tea, he realized that his body was really in a bad state. He had already nourished it for a while, but he still felt his legs becoming soft and he was out of breath after walking for a while. After taking two sips, he regained some energy. It seemed that he better walk more in the future.
Ranmo took his leave and went after Gu Xihe. He sat there alone and took a look at the scene on the street. While he was at it, he also looked at Shu Huan, who was not far away, competing with Gu Xihe. A faint smile couldn’t help but appear on his face.
After he sat for a while, Shu Huan came back with a sulking face while Gu Xihe followed behind her with a smiling face.
Gu Xihe held several clay dolls dressed in exquisite clothes. When he sat by the table, he urged the store owner to serve tea.
Shu Huan also sat down, looked at Gu Xiran and said hesitantly, “Can you lend me some money? We rushed to come out. I forgot to bring…”
In fact, she had given her monthly payment to Shu couple. Now, she was completely bereft.
Gu Xiran smiled, “What do you want to buy?”
Shu Huan pointed at the clay dolls Gu Xihe was playing with, “The double seven festival is getting closer. I want magic dolls.”
- Double seven festival is a festival on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. It’s the Chinese Valentine’s day when the Cowherd and the Weaving maid are allowed to meet once a year.
This was something she heard from Gu Xihe. She got to know that on the day of the double seven festival, every family would build a building in their yard to put these kinds of strange clay dolls.
She didn’t really want to celebrate any traditional festival. She just found those dolls interesting. Not to mention that they were shaped decently, they also wore small clothes made from cotton silk. Even the hairpins and headwear were on point. The male dolls that Gu Xihe bough held props such as guns and sticks. Some could even turn their eyes with the help of their clothes. The handwork was the best.
She didn’t have any other hobby. She just liked to collect such delicate handicrafts. Therefore, she asked to borrow money.
Gu Xihe was playing with the clay dolls and when he heard that, he laughed, “You want this? Why didn’t you say so just now?”
While speaking, he generously pushed two magic dolls to here, “These two are for you!”
Just now, she still clamored to not go to the magic dolls shop. How could she have the face to accept them now? Even more embarrassing was borrowing money from a little brat that was much younger than her. So, she politely pushed the two magic dolls back at him, “No need, no need. These were chosen by you. You play with them yourself.”
Gu Xiran laughed, “Isn’t it alright if we buy two more? Don’t keep pushing to each other.”
Having said that, he stood up while his knuckles gently slammed the table. “Remember to pay after you’re done having tea. We will go take a look first.”
Gu Xihe didn’t mind. While drinking, he said, “Alright.”
When he finished the tea, paid and rushed to the stall selling magic dolls, Shu Huan had already selected seven to eight delicate clay dolls. The owner was assembling them in a box.
When Gu Xiran saw him, he took the box, handed it over to Ranmo and also said, “Pay.”
Gu Xihe was very easy-going in terms of money. Hearing that he (GXR) let him pay, he paid. He didn’t have any complaints.
However, after visiting a few shops, Shu Huan selected a jade male doll used in sideshows, a carved green jade boat and a pair of long-horned grasshopper that were in a bamboo cage. Every time, the one who paid had been always him. No matter how slow he was, he sensed that something wasn’t right.
He couldn’t hold it in and asked, “Why do I have to pay every time?”
Who would’ve thought that Gu Xiran just swept once over him and smiled slightly, “When rich people go out, they don’t bring money on them.”
It turned out that he didn’t bring money!
The expression of Gu Xihe immediately sank, “Didn’t you promise me to take me out to play?”
Gu Xiran retorted, “Didn’t I bring you out to play?”
That seemed to be true, but what he (GXH) was talking about was that he had to take him out to play not to buy things in his (GXR) stead.
For the first time in Gu Xihe’s life, he was speechless and it happened that he couldn’t throw a fit.
Of course, he didn’t lack money from a young age. Hence, he didn’t take this matter that seriously. He wouldn’t have cared if he had to continue to pay the whole way. The problem was that when they went to a jewelry store, Gu Xiran actually took out money to buy a pair of rings. Gu Xihe’s eyes immediately turned big and accused, “Didn’t you say that when rich people go out they wouldn’t bring money?”
Gu Xiran swept once more over him, “Do I look like someone rich?”
That didn’t seem to be wrong. Although this second big brother grew up in a rich family like him, he was ill the whole year long. The medicine was already enough cost for him. He wasn’t like big brother who was in charge of the shops and often went out to socialize which enabled him to pay from the common account. He (GXR) also wasn’t like him who could pester old madam and madam for money. He (GXR) only had ten silver liang to spend every month. That was only a hundred twenty silver liang a year. He was indeed not a rich man!
Thinking till here, his anger lessened.
He didn’t expect that Gu Xiran continued without care, “Moreover, my body is so weak (ill). It was already very good that I was able to carry two silver liang. If I carry more, do you want to let me die from carrying too heavy things?”
- Liang: ancient Chinese currency. A liang is 37.8 grams. A tael is 50 grams. A penny is 5 grams.
Gu Xihe was utterly defeated. Only now did he discover that illness could also be used as an excuse to not pay…