Chapter 57 Blackmail
This voice…this voice…
Gu Xihe didn’t have time to turn around yet, when he felt a pain on his butt. He had been fiercely kicked. He smacked his lips in the grass and fell on the ground.
He yelled with a crying voice while his hands covered his butt, “Second big brother, I was wrong…”
Gu Xiran looked condescendingly down on him. He had a smile that was not yet a smile on his face, “There’s no sincerity in just an apology.”
“Then…then, the last time you asked me for that box of agarwood, what about I find another one for you?”
“Plus a top-quality ink-stone?”
“I’m still ill and don’t have to study. I don’t have to take the imperial exam. I can’t even hold a brush, what am I going to do with an ink-stone?”
He couldn’t hold a brush, but it was very painful when he kicked people’s butt!
Gu Xihe cursed silently. But, it was indeed a bit inappropriate to discuss Gu Xiran’s passion under the moon with Shu Huan secretly. He had a guilty conscience. Since he had a guilty conscience, he had to please the other party. Hence, he still smiled, “Last night, I caught one cricket. It is very powerful. It won every battle. What about I give it to you?”
Gu Xiran bit his lips, “Do you think I am the same age as you?”
Gu Xihe said bitterly, “Then, what do you want?”
“Let me think,” Gu Xiran truly thick-skinnedly began to think.
Because Gu Da was at home, Gu Xihe didn’t find an opportunity to tell old madam about the matter of taking Du Qiu as a martial master. Therefore, he (GXR) had been paying the monthly salary from his own pocket…
Thinking till here, he smiled slightly, “Why don’t we do this? I promised to pay Du Qiu five silver liang every month. In the future, you pay that.”
“Five silver liang,” Gu Xihe didn’t feel heartache for the agarwood, because it was gifted that. He also didn’t feel heartache for the cricket, since it was caught. Originally, he shouldn’t have felt heartache for money, but paying every month without a deadline, he felt a bit heartache. With five silver liang, he could buy a lot of fun things.
Gu Xiran swept once over him, “Can’t bear it?”
“When we go back, you can ask old madam for the money. Just say you found a martial master near the resort.”
Gu Xihe’s eyes widened, “Second big brother, you even take advantage of old madam. You are truly…”
Gu Xiran looked at him smilingly, “Truly what?”
“Truly astute and circumspect.”
“Fool,” Gu Xiran knocked his head. “You don’t listen when they say you should study more. You don’t even know how to bootlick.”
Speaking of the martial master, the housekeeper came over to report that doctor Ji and master Du was already outside. They also came with an old lady. He came to ask whether he should arrange their accommodation according to last night’s instruction.
Gu Xiran nodded and also reminded the housekeeper to send two maids over to serve them. Then, he went with Gu Xihe to welcome them. While they were half-way, they saw Ranmo led the people in. Ji Danqing still wore an azure-colored bamboo robe. It looked bright and warm on him. Du Qiu had black clothes. It made his ordinary appearance appear clear and refreshing. Only when his eyes turned to the old lady who was holding his hand would his eyes reveal a gentleness that was not in line with his character.
Seeing that they came to greet them, Ji Danqing cupped his hands and revealed a gentle smile, “This little one originally was embarrassed to come here to nag, but this old lady’s illness has not been healed yet. Brother Du wasn’t at ease and wanted this little one to accompany them. This little one could only be thick-skinned and come for a few days of leisure. Second young master, no offence.”
Gu Xiran laughed, “Doctor Ji is too polite. My weak body will need your help. If you didn’t come, even if I had to let people kidnap you, I would’ve have brought you here.”
Over there, mother Du was inquiring in a low voice about Gu Xiran’s identity. After hearing that he was Du Qiu’s boss, she hurriedly went over to pay her courtesy and to thank him. Her gratitude was all over her face. She said, “If it wasn’t because young master asked this doctor Ji to look at this old one’s illness, this old one is afraid that I would’ve no chance to get better again.”
They talked for a while when the housekeeper came with two maids. Gu Xiran saw that mother Du revealed a tired look. Presumably, it was tiring on the way. He didn’t say more and let the maids bring them to their accommodations.
The time flew fast.
In a blink of the eyes, half month had passed. Because there was no one to restrain her, when Shu Huan was idle, she would walk around the resort. She got to know the resort very well. However, after seeing the resort for so many times, she still got tired of it. She saw Gu Xiran busily learn martial arts from Du Qiu every day and he seemed to be in high-spirits. He would also get out of bed every day before it had become light. She suddenly felt that learning martial arts for self-defense was not a bad idea. Even if she couldn’t beat people, but if she learned qinggong well, at least she could escape at a critical moment. Hence, she got the idea to learn together.
- Qinggong: The ability to move swiftly and lightly at superhuman speed
Fortunately, she didn’t immediately tell Gu Xiran that she wanted to learn, but left room for consideration. She observed secretly for two days. In the end, she discovered that Du Qiu was indeed skillful. With one leg, he could break a thick pile of woods. With one hand, he could break a small piece of rock. It was very different from the perfection she had read in wuxia novels. Even when leaping onto roofs and vault over walls, he had to use tools. He couldn’t go a foot high with just a jump. He also couldn’t reach out a finger and point someone’s acupuncture point, making that person unable to move.
The content in wuxia novels are mostly fabricated. The kungfu inside those novels were divine. Shu Huan knew that Du Qiu was already very powerful. He could split wooden stakes and rocks. If that was applied on humans, the result could be imagined. However, after seeing Gu Xiran practice those basic skill till he was on the verge of collapsing and Gu Xihe’s expression would turn dark when practicing martial arts was mentioned, she cowered without any perseverance. After all, when she went to the physical class in the past, only eight hundred meters was already enough to make her vomit. If you let her wake up early every morning, run three laps around the lake outside of the yard, chop wood, do martial-art squat, climb the mountain and carry buckets of water on her shoulders, she would feel that life was dark.
Since she couldn’t practice martial arts, there was no other ways to spend this long summer. She could only go back to her old hobby and began to sculp things from agarwood. Whether it was bracelets, waist pendants, hairpins or toys, she would carve them when she got the inspiration. One, she could pass time. Secondly, after living for such a long time in Gu household, she knew that in order to form friendship, gifts had to go back and forth. She didn’t have many valuable jewelries and she only had ten liang ever month that she needed to save. Moreover, her family wasn’t rich like eldest young mistress who also got countless of dowry. She could only rely on her own efforts and carve some exquisite things like the long hibiscus hairpin and waist pendants of words as preparation for gifts.
However, only this wasn’t enough. Agarwood was an expensive material. Carving something from it to gift elders was not shabby, but using it to reward servants; even if she rewarded a whole room of agarwood, it wouldn’t be enough. Of course, she could also not reward them. No one would dare to say something in her face, but there would be a lot of scorning behind her back. They would gossip from her background to her appearance and then from her appearance, they would gossip to her character. In short, it wouldn’t be some good gossips. She didn’t hear anything, but Meijing heard many. Because of this, Meijing also angered a lot. Two times, she even quarreled with people. In the end, she came back in tears.
Shu Huan had a casual temper and was used to the life of self-satisfaction. If it was in the past, she wouldn’t care about what others say. She would continue to live and do as she liked. To let her go please those who talked filth about her would be a dream. However, after she time-traveled and experienced the complexity of a household, she now knew very well about the principle of standing in front of the king of hell is easy, but smaller devils are difficult to deal with. Not to mention that public opinion was powerful enough to melt metal, destroying her to the bones and make her burn between fire and water.
- Standing in front the king of hell is easy, but smaller devils are difficult to deal with: the lackeys are more difficult to deal with.
Therefore, even if she didn’t go please those people deliberately, she also needed to learn the way of eldest young mistress and concubine Yun; to reward some money when it was appropriate. Use the limited economic losses to exchange for the unlimited peace and tranquility.
There was only one problem. Where should she get the money back for these essential expenses?