Chapter 114 Ill-timed person
Shu Huan was pouring ginger and vinegar into the crab shell. When she heard that, she only looked at Zhang Hanfang and faintly said, “Little cousin sister is very talented. Play yourself. I don’t know how to.”
Zhang Hanfang proudly raised an eyebrow and looked at Gu Xiran, “Big cousin brother?”
Gu Xiran answered with a smile, “I’m sorry little cousin sister. I have no talent in poetry. I also don’t know how to.”
Zhang Hanfang’s heart felt obstructed. Not only did she feel a sense of loss, but she also had a feeling that she was in a dilemma. She could only look at the other people to find someone who would agree with her proposal for her to have a way out of this embarrassment.
Du Qiu was silent and only drank wine with lowered head.
Ji Danqing smiled gently, “This humble one is not very talented and also doesn’t understand poetry.”
Concubine Yun picked up the wine cup and drank the wine. She took a handkerchief to wipe the corners of her mouth and then softly said, “Yan punished myself with one cup of wine.”
Mother Du was a kind-hearted one. Seeing that the atmosphere was very awkward, she also didn’t know what to say. She finally picked up her chopsticks and said, “Eat, eat. Everyone, eat more!”
Zhang Hanfang was very mad. She could only twist her handkerchief under the table and silently cursed these guys for being very tacky. She didn’t know why, but now she felt that Shu Huan was even more unpleasing to the eyes than before. She only wanted to step on her (SH) fiercely and let others know that she (SH) was actually a good for nothing and was someone not presentable from a poor family.
Therefore, after three rounds of wine and the five flavors of dishes had been served and seeing that everyone was just playing with the dice and drinking wine, the harangue Zhang Hanfang couldn’t take it anymore and shouted, “Mingluan, bring the zither.”
One sentence interrupted the laughter on the table. Everyone very tacitly closed their mouths. Some drank soup, some washed their hands.
Meijing and Huiyun very tactfully took away the remnants of dishes on the table. They put salted boiled edamame and other snacks on the table. There were also already cut watermelon and pomegranate. Naturally, mooncakes were also indispensable. They were put into mahogany boxes painted with gold flowers and looked very exquisite.
The cook who tried to make mooncake for Shu Huan that day also brought a plate of pastry. He smiled and said, “Second young mistress, do you think these are good?”
Shu Huan looked and saw that it should be the mooncakes she thought him how to make. It was just, the appearance was not quite the same. They were very small and weren’t much bigger than a chess piece. They could be eaten in one bite. Moreover, aside from the round shape, there were also other shapes. Even the color was not the same. She couldn’t help but laugh, “This is interesting. They are small and pleasing to the eyes. If it wasn’t because I drank a whole belly of wine, I wouldn’t be able to eat them.”
As she talked, she picked a round shape and took a bite. It was ham stuffing. The flaky outer layer melted in the mouth. It was full of fragrance. The taste was indeed much better than a few days before. It was just, she hasn’t talked yet, when Gu Xiran had taken away the remaining half of the mooncake in her hand and threw it in his mouth.
“Not bad,” He nodded after tasting.
Shu Huan sullenly casted him a glance. She stood up and brought the mooncakes in front of everyone to let them also have a taste. No one touched the steamed mooncakes in the exquisite box on the table again.
Seeing that everyone was appreciative that cook was also happy. He happily reported, “The egg-shaped ones have egg yolk fillings. The malus spectabilis shaped ones are filled with bean paste. There is also meat, abalone, crab meat, chestnut paste, lotus seed paste, five kernels, hawthorn tree, Osmanthus paste, rose paste…”
The moment he opened his mouth, he didn’t stop talking. There were some that Shu Huan remembered having mentioned. There were also some that she hasn’t mentioned. It surprised her. She couldn’t help but glance twice more at the cook. She didn’t expect that he could raise one and infer three.
When the cook saw that Shu Huan looked back, he lowered his head and said, “I thought that having more taste was a good thing. I added fillings that were used in ordinary pastries. It was just, I couldn’t buy the coconut milk that second young mistress mentioned. I also made some with matcha fillings, but didn’t feel that they were good. I have to go back and try again.
“Aiyaya!” Mother Du couldn’t help but laugh. “I didn’t know that so many kinds could be made from a mooncake.”
At this time, Gu Xiran was eating an egg yolk mooncake. When he heard that, he laughed, “Mooncakes have the meaning of reunion. It was better for it to be round, but no one eats them during normal days. These are considered pastries. Make them often in the future.”
That cook promised. He was about to leave. Who would expect that Gu Xiran happened to have the same view as Shu Huan without prior consultation? After he let someone give him the reward money, he also asked for his name.
“This little one’s name is Zhen Shun.”
Gu Xiran laughed, “Truly smoothly indeed!”
- Smooth (真顺) is pronounced the same as his name 甄顺
One sentence made everyone laugh. Only Zhang Hanfang was cast to a side and couldn’t mingle in this lively atmosphere. She immediately felt aggrieved. Fortunately, at this time, Mingluan returned with the zither. After she put Jasper Heart incense in the burner, she started to tune the zither. She took the opportunity to sit in front of the zither. In a short moment, the sound of zither could be heard.
Although, Shu Huan didn’t understand much about music, but in all fairness, Zhang Hanfang didn’t play the zither badly. At least, the tune was melodious and there was some artistic conception with it. If it wasn’t because she was too annoying, listening to the zither under the moon was also a joy in life. Especially at this moment that there were tea, pastries and fruits at hand after having enjoyed the wine. Seeing the moon hanging in the sky and feeling the breeze, the heart felt very satisfied.
As she thought silently, she couldn’t help but fall into deep thoughts.
It was indeed that one would feel homesick for one’s relatives during a festive day. She didn’t feel it just now when it was lively. At this moment that it became quiet, she couldn’t help but feel a lingering longing and frustration…
She just sighed when she felt someone holding her hand.
Shu Huan looked up and saw that it was Gu Xiran. His eyes reflected the moon. They were deep and illuminating to people. It was obvious that he also thought of something.
The two held their hands under the table for a moment. Shu Huan suddenly heard that the melody of the zither had become angry and high. The sound was ear-piercing like a dagger. She couldn’t help but frown. She didn’t look at what had happened to Zhang Hanfang yet when she heard the sound of the string of the zither being broken.
It was difficult to continue with a broken string. To ancient people, this was not a very auspicious thing. Not to mention that it was the Mid-Autumn festival. It felt even more ominous. Zhang Hanfang’s immediately paled.
“Miss…,” Mingluan quickly went forward to change the string for her. She (M) didn’t expect that she (ZHF) suddenly stood up and asked, “You did it on purpose. You harbored evil intentions to give me such a zither to play. Is it because you want to see me make a fool out of myself?”
Mingluan was startled by her yelling. Her eyes widened in shock and she tried to justify herself, “This slave doesn’t dare…”
She hasn’t finished yet when she heard Zhang Hanfang say to nanny Guan behind her, “Slap her mouth!”
This was not teaching a maid a lesson. It was clear that she was rushing to vent the anger in her heart. She found any excuse and punished people without an explanation.
Nanny Guan felt bitter in her heart, but she couldn’t not obey her (ZHF) command. She went forward and slapped both cheeks of Mingluan.
Naturally, others couldn’t meddle with Zhang Hanfang teaching a maid a lesson. However, the good mood was suddenly gone. Mother Du and the others used the excuse that it was late to avoid this scene.
This time, Shu Huan didn’t let them stay. It was normal for people to leave in the end. Moreover, what use did it have to let the people stay? Watching Mingluan be slapped? She called the maids to carry the lights and to lead them out. She also didn’t have to stay here and watch Zhang Hanfang vent her anger ill-timely. She was even to lazily to say goodbye to her. She left hand in hand with Gu Xiran.
They still had to worship the moon!
It was said to follow the local customs when you enter a village. In fact, it was to pray in silent in hope that those relatives living in a different time and space could be safe, sound and happy.
However, they didn’t know that behind them, Zhang Hanfang looked at them leave while biting her lips. Her eyes showed unwillingness and hatred.