Chapter 77 Skillfully deflected
When Meijing returned, Shu Huan was slouching dispirited on the table. She was drawing the aromatic herbs on a bamboo paper with a charcoal strip. She really couldn’t let herself be idle. If she had nothing to do, her whole body would feel uncomfortable. Moreover, she just peeved for a moment and didn’t intend to fall out with Gu Xiran. Since drawing later or sooner was the same, she compromised without any backbone.
However, the charcoal strip she found wasn’t as easy to use as those used in professional paintings. It was better than nothing. Anyway, she was just using the charcoal strip to make a sketch. Perhaps, she would need to add color later. She didn’t need to be too particular. The bamboo paper was very light and delicate. It was much more suitable to draw this kind of archives than cooked paper.
- Cooked paper: Potassium alum worked into paper during production, which results in a stiffer texture, a reduced ability to absorb water, and less resistance to shear stress
Shu Huan didn’t raise her head when she heard Meijing enter. She continued to sketch. After waiting for a while, she still didn’t hear anything from Meijing, she became a bit puzzled. She looked up and asked, “Why didn’t you say anything?”
Meijing still didn’t know that she knew how to paint. At this moment, she was enthralled. Hearing the question, she stuck her tongue out and said, “Second young mistress is truly capable. You know how to read, how to carve things and now you even know how to paint. Is there anything in this world that you don’t know how to do?”
Shu Huan laughed, “There are many things that I don’t know. Zither, chess, calligraphy and painting. I don’t know the first three.”
She was worried about this. It seemed that when she learned how to paint from Ji Danqing, she should also practice her calligraphy. She didn’t hope that she would write too well. As long as it wouldn’t be too shameful when she signs her paintings, she would be happy.
After the two chatted for a moment, Meijing reported the incident that Peiyu had been beaten and also said, “I originally thought that after miss Zhang suffered so much at second young master’s hand, she would’ve left the resort. I didn’t expect that early in the morning, she sent people to go get things at Zhang residence. She said that she wanted to stay here for a few more days and isn’t in a hurry to go back.”
Shu Huan was a bit surprised, but then she realized. Zhang Hanfang was proud and arrogant. How could she leave the matter at that after having suffered such a hard blow? That she stayed was nothing more than for her to seek revenge.
“No need to bother with her. Pass on my word. Let the maids and manservants of the resort be more careful. If there is nothing, don’t go to Heavily Scented Building. If they encountered the people of Zhang family let them be more respectful. Don’t slack on etiquettes to let people grab onto our shortcomings. By then, it would be getting a fight from them because of nothing.”
Meijing agreed and said, “I also have been to doctor Ji’s. He said that the girl got a fever last night. She hasn’t awakened yet. It was better for her to stay at Bamboo Pavilion and it is more appropriate for him to look after her.”
Shu Huan frowned, “Is her life at risk?”
Meijing shook her head and said, “Doctor Ji said that there was no problem temporarily, but the weather is too hot. The wound may deteriorate. If pus formed again, it would be a bit dangerous.”
Shu Huan thought for a moment and said, “Let housekeeper Zhao open the icehouse and bring ice to Bamboo Pavilion three times a week. Also, let the kitchen prepare different kinds of sweet porridge and light soup and sent them to Bamboo Pavilion. Oh, right. If doctor Ji needs to use some herbs, let him bring me the prescription. I will let people go buy the herbs for him.”
“This slave will remember,” Meijing said laughingly. “However, Ranmo went out early in the morning. I don’t know when he will be back. I could only pass some words to Diyan to let him come over to here the moment he returns.”
Shu Huan smiled slightly at her, “Not bad. It seemed that you are quite capable.”
Meijing was a bit shy after being praised by her. She lowered her head and said a bit shy, “I’m not worthy of being praised by second young mistress. These are things that I should do.”
They were talking here when concubine Yun who was standing outside the curtain and heard it all. She didn’t eavesdrop intentionally. She came over to report things and heard the talk. Hearing Shu Huan assign the tasks without any disorder, her heart felt empty. She couldn’t tell what kind of feeling that was.
You have to know that she was in charge of these trivial matters one month ago. Later, she saw that Gu Xiran intentionally or unintentionally pushed these things bit by bit to Shu Huan. Hence, she simply let go. Firstly, it was to get into Gu Xiran’s good graces and also to show that she didn’t have any intention to fight for power. Secondly, it was because she wanted to see whether this second young mistress would become a joke without her to lead here. Only now, after hearing that, did she got to know that this second young mistress who didn’t want to take on responsibilities and was too impatience to bother with the affairs, was meticulous.
Concubine Yun sighed in secret. And, when she thought about last night’s incidence, she couldn’t help but reveal a bitter smile. It wouldn’t be long before her existence would be dispensable.
While she was thinking, she saw Meijing raise the curtain and came out. After she (M) saw her (Y), she quickly shouted, “Concubine Yun.”
Concubine Yun nodded and walked in through the curtain that she (M) had set up. After she paid her respects to Shu Huan, she said, “Yesterday was too busy. I forgot to report to second young mistress that young master and miss Zhang came two days ago to the resort to spend the summer vacation. Miss Zhang is staying at Heavily Scented Building. Young master Zhang went to visit friends and hadn’t returned yet. Does second young mistress want to go meet her?”
Last night, she already met her. She truly had an imposing manner of influential family.
Shu Huan said faintly, “I’m tired and her mood is presumably also not good. Let’s talk about it after a few days.”
Concubine Yun went blank for a moment and then continued, “This time miss Zhang sent a maid over and said that Peiyu did wrong and had been punished. Nanny Guan isn’t feeling well. Miss lacked people to serve her. She wanted to borrow a maid from second young mistress. She also mentioned that she wanted the maid that bumped into her last night. That maid didn’t say clearly who it was, and I also don’t know who they wanted. I had to come ask second young mistress.”
No one mentioned the incident of last night to concubine Yun. So, she was also baffled when she had to pass this message. She intuitively knew that there must be something she didn’t know about. However, the dealings and interaction between families had always been difficult. It was not worthwhile to do such strenuous and unrewarding task. It was better to throw it at Shu Huan to let her (SH) deal with it.
After Shu Huan heard that, she revealed a self-mocking smile. She didn’t expect that the maid role she occasionally played would let Zhang Hanfang miss and think about it so much.
Thinking till here, she stabilized her mind and said, “Tell that maid. The person that her miss wants had been sent back to Gu residence by second young master early in morning…”
When concubine Yun heard this, she wanted to say something, but Shu Huan gestured to stop her. She (SH) continued, “Moreover, the two young masters came to spend the summer here. They wouldn’t stay here for a long time. Hence, they didn’t bring too many people. The rest are maids that do heavy manual work. They don’t know the etiquettes, are clumsy and wouldn’t be able to serve her well. Therefore, I will not send them over and if that made miss Zhang angry, there are some old maids that are idle. If miss Zhang doesn’t mind, I will send them to Heavily Scented Building and let miss pick the ones she likes.”
After she said that, she looked at concubine Yun, “Did you memorize it?”
Concubine Yun didn’t know the reason why she arranged it like this, but when she saw that Shu Huan couldn’t be refuted, she nodded, turned and went to tell the maid.
Shu Huan sat there and stared at the slightly moving curtain in daze.
So be it.
She refuted Zhang Hanfang’s unreasonable request and handed her a ladder to let her climb down.
Anyway, while knowing that she was so arrogant, there was no reason to send a maid over to let her scold and beat. As for those old maids, they had spent a lot time in the residence and had long become very smart people. Moreover, every day they had nothing better to do. When they were idle, they relied on their identities of elders to scold everyone everywhere. It was very annoying. So, she simply sent them over to let Zhang Hanfang pick.
When strong people meet, it was still unknown to whom the deer falls. However, she predicted the victory flag would be on those old maids who had rich experience and were skilled in schemes. Perhaps, they could even coax Zhang Hanfang into being docile, be good-tempered and take them as good people…
- To whom the deer falls: the one to emerge victor.
She couldn’t help but laugh while thinking about it.
Truly wicked people would have wicked people to deal with.