Chapter 54 The Heavily Scented Building
On the plaque above the door of the resort was the two words “Moon’s View”.
The name wasn’t elegant, but it matched with the scene. Whether the moon was above the mountains or on the reflection of the water, here was a good place to admire the moon.
The scenery inside the resort wasn’t clear in the night. Shu Huan only knew that it was very big inside and the corridor was complicated. There was also many green vegetation. The housekeeper here took them inside and introduced everything to them, “Every time when old madam came, she stayed in the Japanese Rose Building. Where do second young master and fourth young master like?”
Gu Xiran thought for a moment and asked, “Is there a hot spring here?”
“There is,” The housekeeper laughed. “It’s the hot spring water that dawned from the mountain.
“Where is closer to the hot spring?”
The housekeeper replied, “Japanese Rose Building, Bamboo Pavilion, Heavily Scented Building, Double Ninth Yard…”
- The Double Ninth Festival is held on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. According to records from the mysterious book Yi Jing, the number 6 belonged to the Yin character while the number 9 was thought to be of the Yang character. So, this festival is also called Chongyang (double yang) Festival. In ancient times, people believed that the double ninth day was worth a celebration. Since folk people had the tradition of climbing a mountain on that day, the Chongyang Festival is also called the Height Ascending Festival. The Chongyang Festival also has other names, such as the Chrysanthemum Festival as “double ninth” is pronounced the same as the word meaning “forever,” ancestors are also worshipped on that day.
He hasn’t finished yet when Shu Huan said curiously, “Heavily Scented Building? What a strange name.”
“Because there are orchids in the secluded area, Heavily Scented Building has an unusual scent,” Gu Xihe sneered. “Big cousin sister likes to show off her talent. It’s better if we don’t encounter her this time. I will get a headache just from hearing her talking about the four arts.”
- The four arts were zither, Go, calligraphy and painting. They are considered the accomplishment of a well-educated person in the ancient times.
“Big cousin sister?” Shu Huan had no idea about the relatives of Gu family. She didn’t know who the big cousin sister was.
Gu Xihe said impatiently, “It’s the daughter of aunt. The granddaughter of old madam.”
It turned out that old madam’s daughter Gu Baozhuan married a distant family of the prefectural magistrate, Zhang family. She gave birth to a son and a daughter. The son is called Zhang Zirong and the big cousin sister that Gu Xihe mentioned was Zhang family’s daughter of the legitimate line Zhang Hanfang.
In the ancient times, if the daughter who was married off didn’t marry far away, they would usually have the custom to return to their maiden family to spend the summer. Of course, that wasn’t the case for daughters such as Shu Huan who came from a poor family. Gu Baozhuan often came to Moon’s View resort after she had married. After she got children, she didn’t feel at ease leaving her children, so, she also brought them with her. Until three years ago, when the old madam of Zhang family had passed away, she had taken over the affairs of the household and didn’t have free time to come again.
It happened that old madam was someone who liked it to be lively. Since her daughter couldn’t come to spend the summer, she often sent people to go pick up her grandson and granddaughter to accompany her. Over time, it had become a norm. Even if old madam occasionally didn’t come, they would come over to stay for a while.
The housekeeper explained, “There are orchids planted in the Heavily Scented Building. Miss Zhang likes it there. So, she picked there to live.”
Gu Xihe rolled his eyes in disgust, “She’s sick in the mind. She said that all flowers and grass under the heavens are inelegant. Only orchids are lofty, unsullied and elegant. She let people pull out all the other flowers inside Heavily Scented Building.”
When the housekeeper heard him say that, he didn’t know what to say next. He could only awkwardly rub his hands.
“Japanese Rose Building,” said Gu Xiran who hasn’t said anything for a long time. “I will stay in Japanese Rose Building. Leave Bamboo Pavilion for doctor Ji. Double Ninth Yard…is there only chrysanthemum planted in it?”
The housekeeper quickly replied, “Yes.”
“Leave it for Du Qiu.”
Gu Xihe quickly said, “Then, I want to live in Willow Tree Pavilion. It’s closer to second big brother and farther away from Heavily Scented Building.”
While talking, he also laughed proudly, “Big cousin sister hates willow trees the most. She would sneeze, haha…”
The laughter just fell, when Shu Huan suddenly remembered the incident of the dog hair and asked, “You will not sneeze?”
It was as if someone had grabbed Gu Xihe’s neck. The laughter immediately stopped and he said arrogantly, “I don’t care. I want to live there.”
Shu Huan glanced once at him. Truly a child’s temper.
The housekeeper didn’t know who doctor Ji and Du Qiu was. He also didn’t ask much. He saw that they had picked up their residence, he called people to move the things and clean up.
Gu Xihe knew the way and led them to Japanese Rose Building. He couldn’t help but ask, “Second big brother, why did you pick to stay here?”
Shu Huan knew what Gu Xihe meant. The ancient people put much important to the concept of ranking. Generally, the juniors would let where the elders live stay vacant to show their respect. They weren’t like Gu Xiran who occupied it openly like this. Hence, Shu Huan raised her ears to listen to his answer.
Of course, the answer was standard of Gu Xiran.
He said, “It was because old madam lived there that I picked it. The things inside must be more complete than other places. Anyway, letting it stay empty was also a waste. What does it matter if I live inside it?”
Gu Xihe scratched his head and was speechless.
Gu Xiran laughed, “You are afraid that if old madam got to know, she would be unhappy?”
Gu Xihe was still respectful towards old madam and didn’t dare to talk good or bad about her behind her back. Hearing Gu Xiran asking it so directly, he nodded and said, “Yes.”
Gu Xiran didn’t answer and only revealed a smile that deserved to let people ponder over it.
Shu Huan felt that she probably understood the meaning behind this smile. Anyway, at Gu household, at the top, there was Gu Xitian to take over the business; at the bottom, there was Gu Xihe who received all the doting. As for him, he was already not favored. Even if he was respectful, he wouldn’t be favored. Since he was in the middle, it was better to follow his heart’s desire being, be an idle young master and let himself live comfortably.
Of course, she didn’t dare to assert whether Gu Xiran really thought like this. She didn’t have great ambitions. As long as she could live a leisure life, draw her favorite paintings, do her favorite handworks, see different scenery and feel the happiness of the simplicity, to her that kind of life was perfect enough.
Japanese Rose building was like its name.
There was a small wooden fence placed around the yard. The fence was covered with pink Japanese roses. The whole building had a pleasant scent. Behind the building, there was a small road leading to the hot spring. With a short walk, you can enjoy the fun of the hot spring. What stunned Shu Huan was that the hot spring here was in open-air.
It turned out that the ancient people weren’t always conservative.
Of course, there was a high wooden wall that blocked the hot spring from the outside. It was also covered with a dense layer of Japanese roses. It covered the small gaps between the wooden boards very well. When one enjoyed the hot spring, he/she could let the maids stand watch outside. There was no need to worry that someone could peep inside.
At your side were the fragrance of the Japanese roses. Above you was the sky of the deep night. If there was a bowl of sour plum soup when you are in the hot spring…
While Shu Huan day-dreamed, she took a deep breath of the fresh and aromatic air. She felt that the ancient people really know how to enjoy. The one who knew how to enjoy more was Gu Xiran. Taking advantage that her mind was elsewhere, he reached out and grabbed her waist. He put his chin on her shoulder and whispered softly, “Wife, we can take a mandarin duck bath together…”
- Take a mandarin duck bath: take a bath together as a couple
She turned and saw the eyes of Gu Xiran shone like water under the light of stars and moon.
After being teased too often, thin-skinned people could also become brazen. Moreover, Shu Huan wasn’t a lady who lived in the ancient times. She was only shy for a moment before she glared at him as if nothing had happened and smiled, “Good, I will go find two mandarin ducks to accompany you in the bath.”
For the first time, Gu Xiran was speechless. When he looked, he saw that Meijing who followed them not far away, was laughing secretly. He immediately cleared his throat and said, “Didn’t you hear? Second young mistress wants mandarin ducks. Quickly go find two.”
“Ah…,” Meijing was still clever. After being stunned for a moment, she understood that second young master found her an obstruction. She readily followed his advice, turned, ran and also said, “This slave will go find now.”
Shu Huan almost burst into tears.
Gu Xiran, this bad boy turned the always obedient and well-behaved Meijing into a black-belly!