Chapter 51 Borrowing a sword to hurt people
At Glorious Building.
Lin shi looked at Gu Xiran and the others as they left. Suddenly she asked, “Master, why do I feel that Xiran had become a bit different? If this matter happened in the past, he would had long panicked from fear.”
Gu Da had many things on his head and heedlessly said, “Is it? Probably it was because he had married that he became steadier. This is nothing bad. However, his body…”
Having said that, he shook his head and sighed.
Lin shi still continued, “In the past, Xihe didn’t like to go look for him and said that second big brother is very boring. Now, he always run to Plum Flower Pavilion. I’m afraid…”
“What are you worried about?” Gu Da said disapprovingly, “Is it not a good thing that siblings get along? It’s better than that he goes cause trouble outside!”
Lin shi felt that the matter of the wanted poster was fishy. Perhaps, it was really Gu Xiran! However, there was no evidence. Even if there was evidence, he would only be scolded by master and get house arrest. That would show that she, the stepmother, is mean. Hence, she also didn’t say more.
After considering for a moment, Gu Da said, “I need you to help me with something.”
“Me?” Lin shi was bewildered. “I am only a woman. What can I help you with?”
“Didn’t that matter of the county magistrate’s pampered concubine make the main wife unhappy? Then, he presumably kept the matter of the pampered concubine’s little brother causing a rampage from the main wife.”
Lin shi immediately understood without the need to explain, “Master means…”
“I have thought about it. We, a family of merchants needs to make riches amiably. I don’t want to create a feud with the county magistrate because of such a small matter. Moreover, Xiran never goes out. Even if this wanted poster was distributed around the whole city, no one knows that the person on the wanted poster looks like him. The county magistrate also probably didn’t know that he had fell into a trap set by others! We don’t have to point that out. It’s better to press the things down quietly and take it as if it never had happened. Like that, it also wouldn’t damage our household’s reputation.”
While Gu Da talked, he paced in the room. “You think of a way to invite that wife of the county magistrate to go pray at the temple with you. Make her know about this matter as a gossip. She would definitely get angry at the concubine’s brother for acting ostentatiously using her husband’s name. We don’t have to worry anymore about what will happen afterwards.”
Lin shi thought for a moment and asked, “Should I prepare a gift?”
Gu Da took a sip of tea. “Prepare some regular gifts. Don’t go to extravagant. Otherwise, she would see through our intention.”
Lin shi nodded and complied. This matter was resolved like that.
Two days later, Shu Huan had learned many ways to make decorative Chinese knots. She stringed the carved rose beads. The flower beads were carved beautifully. The color of the Horn Agar was dark and glossy. Wearing it on her white wrist was particularly beautiful and eye-catching. This bracelet also had a natural and seemingly faint aroma. The two maids Liangchen and Meijing praised second young mistress for being skilled.
Hearing this praise, Shu Huan didn’t know whether she should laugh or cry. Making such handicraft at a wealthy household was not something to be proud of. As the second young mistress of a wealthy family, she needed to be skilled at fine embroidery. For example, like concubine Yun who gifted Gu Xiran a personally embroidered pouch on the day of his birthday. The exquisiteness even made her want to go learn how to do embroidery. Hence, she laughed bitterly, “No need to praise. The bracelets sold in the jewelry store are much more beautiful than the one I’ve carved.”
Meijing pouted and said, “Those are made from gold, silver and jade. They are very tacky.”
Liangchen also said, “If one wanted a bracelet made of such wood, one has to go to the temple. However, the best material would only be made from sandalwood and the carvings were mostly about objects that could drive away evil. How could they be as beautiful as this one?”
Shu Huan smiled slightly, “It’s praised so much by you. It seemed that I can use it as a gift.”
Meijing quickly asked, “Who does second young mistress want to give it to?”
Her eyes were still on the bracelet and she revealed some unwillingness to part with it.
Shu Huan carved a bracelet just to pass time. She didn’t have those feelings of cherishing it and unwilling to let it go. If she wanted one, she could just carve one in the future. Hence, she put that bracelet in Meijing’s hand and said, “Which one of you want to go run an errand? Send this bracelet to eldest young mistress. Usually she always sent some things to eat and I didn’t return anything.”
Meijing rushed to say, “I will go, I will go.”
Eldest young mistress was famous for being generous to the servants. As long as someone went to send something to her, that person would receive a big reward.
Liangchen didn’t fight with her for this cushy job. She only said, “Sending it to her like this is not beautiful. Let me go find an exquisite box with a brocade cushion beneath it before you send it.”
While she said that, she went to overturn trunks and boxes.
Shu Huan laughed. It turned out that one also needed a package before sending out a gift. No wonder there was the saying, buy a wooden box and return the pearl inside.
- To buy a wooden box and return the pearl inside: to show poor judgment.
While they were busying themselves over here, Gu Xihe charged in smilingly.
He was already accustomed to come over to Plum Flower Pavilion. He would come over two to three times a day. He became more unruly day by day. He didn’t even report his arrival anymore. Fortunately, Shu Huan and Gu Xiran were not people who paid attention to the etiquettes. They didn’t mind him being like this.
Shu Huan played with the agarwood and swept a glance at him, “What made you so happy?”
“That fat…,” He was halfway through his words when he felt that it was not convenient talking with others in the room. He changed the subject and asked, “Where is second big brother? Isn’t he here?”
Shu Huan said heedlessly, “He went out for a walk.”
These days, not only did Gu Xiran basked in the sun, he also went out for a walk after every meal. Moreover, he didn’t let anyone follow him.
Liangchen and Meijing saw that they had something to talk about. They obediently said that they had chores to do and left.
After they left, Gu Xihe climbed on the chair with radiated delight and whispered in Shu Huan’s ear, “That fat man is out of luck.”
He didn’t wait for Shu Huan to urge him to continue, tapped Ranmo and continued, “Quickly, imitate for this master!”
Ranmo was very embarrassed, but he didn’t dare to not listen to Gu Xihe. So, he pinched his throat to imitate the voice of a woman. He even pointed at Diyan and said with a squeaky voice, “Brother-in-law! When did this madam get one more brother? Who the f*** brother-in-law is he? You indulged him to break the law and commit crimes. Those who don’t know will truly think that he is my brother. The face of my maiden family had completely been thrown away by you, this old lecher!”
- Family of concubines are not considered the official family. Hence, when someone talked about the county magistrate’s brother-in-law, they would refer to the brother of the main wife.
“Puhh…,” Shu Huan truly couldn’t hold in anymore. Ranmo’s voice haven’t transformed completely yet. It was still childlike. When he imitated the voice of a woman, it was very similar. That over-exaggerated “show of woman’s prestige” was truly very funny.
It happened that Diyan still knelt and begged for mercy, “Wife, spare me! Wife, spare me!”
Ranmo gave him a slap in the face. Of course, he didn’t truly slap him (D). However, Diyan still did as if he got the slap, fell backwards and even cried.
“Who in the whole city doesn’t know that that brother-in-law of yours was beaten because he wanted to take advantage of someone and you still distributed a wanted poster? Do you think the prefectural magistrate is blind or deaf? You will already suffer enough if he just reports you for abusing your position for personal gain. Are you still not hurrying to go withdraw that wanted poster?!”
Diyan nodded, “Wife is right! I will go. I will go now!”
“Stop! Call the bailiffs to go bring your brother-in-law in. Hit him a hundred times with the wooden board and then throw him in jail!”
Diyan said with a bitter face, “Wife, doing this isn’t right?”
“What? You dare to not listen to me?!” While Ranmo imitated, he rolled up his sleeve. “This lady will first bring that slutty concubine of yours here and beat her to death. I will see how you will still protect her…”
When he turned around, he happened to see concubine Yun standing outside the door with a paled face. He immediately sensed that something was not right. He paid his respect obediently and retreated to Gu Xihe’s side. Diyan also discreetly climbed up from the ground and didn’t say anything.
Concubine Yun made tea because she heard Gu Xihe voice. She didn’t expect that she was just at the door when she heard the two words “slutty concubine”. This stabbed her heart, but she couldn’t do anything about it. She smiled bitterly, “Fourth young master, have tea.”
Then, she put down the tea and retreated.
Gu Xihe was used to seeing the concubines of his father. He pulled Shu Huan’s sleeve and said dissatisfied, “We weren’t talk about her, why is she overthinking?”
Shu Huan also laughed bitterly, “Let her be.”
If concubine Yun wanted to overthink and wanted to suffer, what could she do about it? She only hoped that she (Y) didn’t overthink too much and think about setting a trap for her again!