Chapter 81 Obsessed
To earn money and to pass time, Shu Huan working tirelessly every day on her handiworks.
Naturally, the two boxes of agarwood that Gu Xiran gave her wasn’t enough. The archive of the aromatic herbs was also almost sorted out completely with Ji Danqing’s help.
A fine hole was made at the edge of the thick stack of bamboo paper and bound together with a cotton thread. Turning the pages, were the excellent colored sketches. No matter who looked at it, they would be full of praises. However, if you gaze continued to look down, the praise would be stuck in the throat because people truly couldn’t praise that new calligraphy that Shu Huan learned. If it was necessary to praise, one could only say that the writing was neat. At least, some letters weren’t big and the others small or slanted and crooked…
After finishing these things and because the embroidery couldn’t be done in a day or two, hence, Shu Huan immersed herself in painting the stones. The last ten painted stones were sold for only five silver liang. One wasn’t even worth five hundred coins. Therefore, she felt that she should improve her paintings. She couldn’t continue to scribble on the stones and also couldn’t paint things that were not popular in the ancient times and that the stream couldn’t understand. She decided to draw some flowers, birds and famous people on the stones with the skills that Ji Danqing had thought her. Perhaps, she could sell them for a higher price like that.
She got the idea. Now, she only had to paint. However, after painting eagerly for a few days, she suddenly felt that something was missing. Unable to think what it was, she stared blankly at the pile of stones for a very long time.
She sat in daze like this for two days. It made Gu Xiran felt that she was acting strangely. Before going to bed this night, he couldn’t help but say, “If you are not going to paint, then sleep earlier. If you continue to be in daze like this, I will even think that you had become a person made from stone.”
Shu Huan fiddled with a stone where a court lady was painted on and said dispirited, “Is it that the light that I kept on at night disturbing your sleep? I’m sorry. Why don’t I go to the study to continue be in daze?”
Gu Xiran said helplessly, “The light is a trivial matter. The scary thing is that when I opened my eyes from the land of dreams, I will see a woman dressed in white sitting in front of the window with her back faced to me and with her hair scattered!”
Right at this moment, Meijing came in with tea. Hearing this, she couldn’t help but wonder, “Second young master, what’s there to be afraid of? Your courage (gut) is too small!”
Gu Xiran casted her a sidelong glance and then smiled sinisterly at her, “Right, it’s not scary but think, if that woman dressed in white turned around very slowly and you discovered that the front of face was exactly the same as the back of her head and also had scattered hair…”
He hasn’t finished yet, when the hands that Meijing held the tea tray with began to tremble. She panicked and stopped him, “Second young master, stop! If you continue, I wouldn’t dare to go back to my room to sleep…”
Shu Huan laughed, “Alright, I will sleep earlier. Don’t scare her.”
Gu Xiran smiled faintly and took the tea that Meijing handed over. He took two gulps, walked to the table, picked up a stone she painted and said, “You painted well. What is troubling you lately?”
Shu Huan frowned and sighed, “I also don’t know. I just feel that something is missing.”
After she said this, Meijing also came over to probe. She saw a few painted stones on the table. On some were painted flowers and on the others birds. She couldn’t help but stuck her tongue out and say, “It’s more interesting if this is a set like the vaudeville carved jade boys at Plum Flower Pavilion…”
After her voice fell, Shu Huan suddenly stood up. She excitedly grabbed her (M) and said, “Right! This is it! This is what was missing!”
No wonder the more she painted the more unsatisfactory it felt. It turned out that she lacked a theme. Moreover, the ancient people paid attention that everything was in pair as a good omen. What should one do with a lonely painted stone after he bought it? It was better to paint a pair or a set. The selling price could also be set higher like this. She would also find it more interesting when drawing them.
Meijing was a bit embarrassed after being hugged by her, but it was also not good to break free. She could only look at Gu Xiran for help.
Gu Xiran put on a serious face and coughed twice, wanting to get Shu Huan’s attention. Who knew that she was still immersed in the joy of getting away from the puzzlement? She didn’t pay attention to the movements of the person next to her. She still held Meijing and muttered to herself, “Should I paint the twelve hairpins of Jinling (ancient name of Nanjing city) or the hundred mountains and eight generals of Liangshan city? The four beauties are also a possibility…Right, right, I can also add some simple stories to these paintings. However, that my handwriting isn’t well-trained is really nerve-racking…”
This person truly became insane!
Gu Xiran sighed helplessly. He secretly made a decision to never discuss painting with her again and he even thought about whether he should limit her time used for painting.
Only Meijing didn’t give up and nudged Shu Huan, “Second young mistress, let your senses return. I still have to ask you something!”
After several nudges did Shu Huan’s regain her senses. After discovering that she was holding Meijing, she also became embarrassed. She quickly let her go and barely put on a serious face, “What do you want to ask?”
Meijing laughed, “Big sister Huiyun said that the day after tomorrow is concubine Yun’s birthday. She asked me to ask you how to celebrate it.”
Shu Huan went blank for a moment, “How was it always celebrated?”
She didn’t ask Meijing but Gu Xiran. After all, it wasn’t a long time that Meijing had come to her (SH) side. How could she (M) knew the affairs of the previous year?
However, Gu Xiran didn’t hesitate for a moment, shook his head and said clearly, “I don’t know. Go ask Huiyun tomorrow.”
Nothing to talk about anymore on this night.
Early in the next morning, Shu Huan summoned Huiyun first to ask her questions. Only now did she got to know that the previous year, concubine Yun spent her birthday in Gu residence. Because there were many people there and Gu Xiran was ill, concubine Yun didn’t let the maids prepare a celebration. At most, she would collect some embroidery as gifts. Then, she would order the birthday noodle for everyone and listen to some birthday wishes. The day would have gone by like that.
Now, Gu Xiran was getting better and better. Every affair was dealt with by Shu Huan. In order to avoid being resented, she did everything according to the routine. However, this naturally couldn’t be done as negligent as before. But, Shu Huan felt that she was in a difficult position without an example to learn from. After all, she had never organized such a thing. Not too mention, the identity of a concubine of concubine Yun was too awkward.
After thinking for a while, she finally got the idea to let Huiyun go secretly to Heavily Scented Building to ask an old maid how the concubines of master and eldest young master celebrated their birthdays. With an example, she could deal with it by reducing or adding something more to it.
Huiyun took the errand and went to Heavily Scented Building. She just arrived at the yard and hasn’t entered yet when she heard the sound of things being smashed mixed with the persuading voices of the young and old maids. It was very messy and lively!
She often encountered this arrogant and spoiled miss when she run an errand or pass a message. Although, she also had received reward money from her (ZHF), but she (H) didn’t like her (ZHF). Hearing that she (ZHF) was angry now, the corners her (H) lips couldn’t help but curve up slightly. However, she had always been cautious. Hence, her face didn’t reveal any inappropriate expression. She slowed down and probed inside the yard. She wanted to find a gap to call an old maid out and leave after she asked her some questions.