Chapter 125 Grief
All the way, white lanterns hung everywhere in Gu residence. The servants who passed them also had a mourning belt around their waist. This kind of atmosphere made people depressed. Shu Huan’s mood subconsciously turned heavy. Fortunately, she had changed into mourning clothes before she left the resort. There was no need to return to Plum Flower Pavilion now. The deceased was the most important now. Going to pay respect at Pine Crane Hall could also be postponed. They went straight to Gu Xitian’s Red Cloud Yard.
Inside the courtyard, it was all white. At this moment, Gu Xitian was lying on the bed. He had been changed into burial clothes and was lying lifelessly on the bed. His wife, Fang shi wore a hemp garment. She sat with dull eyes at a side. There were no tears. She also looked like she was death.
- Shi: clan
Shu Huan went forward with Gu Xiran to cry and pay respect. Through the tears, she saw that the facial features of the man lying on the bed were handsome. This was her first time seeing Gu household’s eldest son, Gu Xitian. He indeed shared a mother with Gu Xiran. The two looked for seventy percent alike. She didn’t know why her heart suddenly felt empty. Her eyes originally became red because of the effect of the pepper water. Now that she bowed her head, she truly lost her voice and choked with emotion.
Seeing that she cried out loudly, the maids inside the room also became sad. Only Fang shi seemed ignorant to what was happening in front of her. She sat there like wood and didn’t even lift her eyelids.
After crying for a while, someone came to soothe things up. After a while, Gu Xiran asked, “How did big brother pass away?”
Fang shi’s dowry maid Yingluo shook her head and sobbed, “After the Mid-Autumn festival, eldest young master said he needed to go out urgently. Yesterday morning, he packed up things and went out with two servants and master, but at noon, a servant came back crying to report…saying that the horse that eldest young master rode on suddenly got a scare. Not long after they went out, the horse flew away. When the servants caught up, eldest young master had already…fell from the horse and had passed away…”
Shu Huan was wiping her tears. After she heard that, she was a bit startled. She had guessed the cause of Gu Xitian’s death, but she didn’t expect that he passed away because he fell from a horse. This was a bit of a surprise.
Gu Xiran frowned, “That’s all?”
Yingluo nodded, turned her face to wipe her tears.
Gu Xiran thought silently for a while. Then, he caught a glimpse of Fang shi and said, “Since it’s already like this, eldest sister-in-law should take care.”
Fang shi was absentminded as if she didn’t know that someone was talking to her. Yingluo went forward and pushed her a bit. She raised her head without any expression and looked at them. After a short moment, she opened her mouth slightly and asked, “Did you bring the rope?”
Shu Huan couldn’t bear to look at her expression that was like she also had died and at her empty eyes.
She still remembered the slight but warm smile on Fang shi two months ago. She was obviously a pretty young girl blooming like a bud. She still had her life ahead of her. In only a night, that smile was no longer there and she had become like a coffin.
When Yingluo saw that Fang shi was like that, her tears couldn’t be stopped from falling again and said, “Ever since eldest young master had passed away, my miss had been like this…She seemed to not see and hear everyone who came to persuade her….”
In private, she (Y) still maintained how she usually called Fang shi, but in fact, the identity of miss had long left Fang shi. So much that since yesterday, she had a new identity; widow.
“It is the best if she could cry,” Shu Huan sighed. “Did she eat?”
Yingluo shook her head, “From yesterday to now, she didn’t eat nor drink.”
If this continue, she wouldn’t starve to death, but she would get dehydrated. Shu Huan didn’t know how to persuade. She could only remind Yingluo, “First, pour some sugary and saltwater and advise her to drink some. It’s also fine if you can make her cry. I will let someone invite doctor Ji over to see whether her capacity for clear thinking had been bewildered because of grief.”
After such a thing had happened, at old madam’s and Lin shi’s, it was also a mess. For the time being, they had no time to care about Fang shi. Yingluo, a maid, had lost her pillar and because of that she didn’t know what to do. Listening to Shu Huan’s clear instructions now, she immediately nodded and hurriedly sent them out.
After seeing Gu Xitian for the last time, according to etiquettes, they had to go to the mourning hall to burn incense. Shu Huan and Gu Xiran didn’t know much about the etiquettes of here. Fortunately, there was concubine Yun and the servants who reminded them. Even if they want to do something wrong, it would be very difficult.
Because Gu Xitian had passed away so young, he didn’t have any children. Not to mention that it wasn’t the day of paying condolences yet, there was no one weeping and paying respect at the mourning hall. Only Gu Xiren and a few servants guarded here. Seeing them come in, the servants quickly gave them incense sticks and paper offerings. Gu Xiren also came to greet them and said as he bowed, “Second big brother, second sister-in-law.”
He usually liked to dress in white. Now, that he was dressed in mourning clothes, it didn’t look much different from his usual self. Only his voice was somewhat hoarse. When he raised his eyes, one could see that they were somewhat red.
Gu Xiran nodded at him and walked to the front to light the incense, burn paper offering and pour a libation.
In fact, he also needed to cry, but he and Shu Huan didn’t wish to act fake like that. Even if they were grief-stricken, they couldn’t cry exaggeratedly like that.
After, he silently burned the paper offerings, he said to Gu Xiren, “We will go see old madam.”
Gu Xiren didn’t say anything and only sent them outside of the mourning hall and then went back.
There was another situation at Pine Crane Hall. Old madam was grief-stricken. Lin shi was exhausted. Gu Da was completely slouching on the couch. His face was sickly yellow and on his forehead was a handkerchief. He looked like he was very ill. Gu Xihe was curled up next to old madam. He looked at this one and looked at that one and revealed a boring look very deserving of a good spanking.
When they had entered, it seemed that they were negotiating about how long to stop the departed soul and when to hold the funeral. They heard Lin shi say, “The weather couldn’t be considered cold yet. If you want to stop the departing soul from leaving for forty-nine days, I fear that’s not appropriate. Why don’t we stop it till seven days after death….?”
She hasn’t finished yet, Gu Da who was lying there, opened his eyes and humphed, “There is nothing not appropriate. Leave him there for forty-nine days! Also, invite those monks to recite and set the altar!”
After he said that, he saw Gu Xiran come in from the outside. His eyes immediately lit up and urgently wanted to get up. However, he then heard his youngest son call excitingly, “Second big brother!”
He immediately realized that this was his second son and not his eldest son. His heart immediately got sour. His tears almost fell out, making the several concubines at his side panicked, “Master, condolence. You have to take care of your body!”
Gu Xiran and Shu Huan were urgently summoned back. It wasn’t because there was anything waiting for them to arrange. It was because the household was preparing for a funeral and everyone had to be present. Moreover, because of the weak look that Gu Xiran revealed in the past, no one expected him to do anything. Hence, after they had paid their respects and mourned, Gu Da felt that Gu Xiran was more not the pleasing the eyes the more he (GD) looked at him (GXR).
When his mood was ruined to the extreme, he actually gave birth to a very absurd thought. He wondered why his second son that was weak and ill all year long was still alive. How great would it be if he died in the stead of his most beloved eldest son…?
Such a thought just flashed in his heart, he immediately realized that his thought was very evil. He couldn’t help but feel his face get red from shame, but he didn’t want to see Gu Xiran even more. He reprimanded, “You still know that you need to come back for the funeral? Leave, leave, leave, leave here sooner and go back to your yard to nourish your sick body!”
This was picking at someone without reason. These words swept someone’s face and dignity very much. Even old madam swept once dissatisfied at Gu Da. However, seeing that he became sick because of Gu Xitian’s death, she couldn’t bear to reprimand him anymore. She gave a long sigh and said, “Go back to rest. Later it would be toilsome when keeping watch beside the coffin and the funeral procession.”
Gu Xiran’s expression was faintly, answered with a “yes” and left with Shu Huan.