OrChapter 131 Old madam is furious
Inside of Plum Flower Pavilion, the door of the courtyard was closed.
There was a pile of candies on the table. All had been brought back by Shang Xin. Shu Huan scrutinize them while frowning. She swept aside all those that didn’t have a mark. She felt like she was about to faint and had a blurred vision. In the end, she was still helpless, “Nothing is wrong! There is nothing wrong with these candies.”
Gu Xiran thought for a while with lowered head and peeled off one candy. He used a knife to cut it. There was indeed no black pill inside of it. He nodded and said, “All of them had been replaced.”
Shu Huan slouched in the chair and drank a cup of tea. After she rested for a while, she said, “Only Gu Xuan could’ve replaced the candies. I’ve let Qiaoyun make indirect inquiries. These few days, little third (Xiren) didn’t go to Red Cloud Yard. Yesterday, before the accident had happened, only Gu Xuan had gone to Red Cloud Yard, saying that she came to lend embroidering patterns from Fang shi and chat for a while. She went away not long after. Today, we didn’t have to ask. We saw her gone two times to Red Cloud Yard.”
“Mm,” Gu Xiran sighed. “She went to replace the candies. It was easy to mix the poisonous candies, but it was troublesome to retrieve them one by one. The key was not to let anyone notice. She could only go retrieve the candies back through a few rounds. If we had went a bit later, we wouldn’t have been able to find anything.”
Shu Huan pouted. In fact, it was still confusing after they had found something.
When he came back, he told her the result of the poisonous candy test. After the horse ate the candy, it would go mad after an hour. After the effect was gone, it would only lose energy and wouldn’t die. Also, there wasn’t any signs of poisoning.
A deliberate murder was arranged into a horse accident where no problems could be seen.
Let’s not mention that the murderer needed to know Gu Xitian’s usual habit like the back of his hand and had to know that he used candy to feed the horse. Only talking about the poison in the candy was very complex in itself and was not something one could easily get. This definitely needed a long time to plan and arrange. It was not something one could do directly after having the intent to murder.
So, what kind of motivation supported this long-term premeditation…?
“We don’t know Gu Xuan’s motive,” Shu Huan shook her head. “We can’t determine whether she was the murderer or the accomplice. Also, we could only speculate little third’s motive. We don’t have any actual evidence. Perhaps, he didn’t know anything about this. What do you plan to do next?”
Gu Xiran replied very smoothly, “Sleep!”
Shu Huan’s said with a very black face, “Gu Xiran, don’t joke around!”
The corners of Gu Xiran’s mouth raised and he smiled, “If you don’t sleep enough, how would you have the energy to deal with the situation afterwards? Like you said, the evidence is not enough. We can only deduct. The murderer may not admit to it. Moreover, if this matter was truly revealed, Gu household would completely be in chaos. After getting to know that an accident was actually siblings killing off each other, master may die from anger. I think that it’s better if we don’t meddle in this muddy water and be more quick-witted to pass through these days. Then, think of a way to move out and stay far away from these sinister scheming.”
This was original his intention to not mind another people’s business as much as possible. Moreover, no matter who the murderer was, the motive would always be found in the distorted interpersonal relationship of Gu household. There was a cause and effect. Old madam and Gu Da didn’t have to yell for grievances because even if he and Shu Huan wanted to help, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
- The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak: less capable than desirable
Hearing him say that, Shu Huan also felt tired.
That was right. It was enough that one had died. At least, these people of Gu household still looked like they got along harmoniously with each other. If this matter was revealed, even the peace on the surface wouldn’t last. It wouldn’t even be strange if more people would die. The others would also double their mutual suspicion. Presumably, this home would really be ruined.
It was better to focus on not getting harmed and leave as soon as possible!
The two were silent for a while. They didn’t have the interest to talk. They guarded the collected poisonous candies properly. Then, they washed their faces to lessen the fatigue a bit. After that, they let the maids bring in the food.
This extremely tiring day finally went away without any repercussions.
The next morning, according to the etiquettes, Shu Huan had to go pay her respect to the elders. Especially, in this critical period, she shouldn’t leave any mistake to let people pick on and let them have the opportunity to vent the grief of losing a son/grandson on her. Before she left, she asked Gu Xiran, “Do you want to go together?”
Today, Gu Xiran also woke up early. At this moment, he was flipping through the books on the bookshelves that he hasn’t read before. When he heard that, he thought with lowered head for a moment, shook his head and said, “No. if they ask, tell them that I got tired from rushing all the way, got a cold and is sick.”
At this time, of course it was the safest to be lowkey and pretend to be sick. He didn’t have to worry that when the two elders saw that his body was better and that they would rack their brains to let him take over Gu household’s business. Or else, he didn’t even know whether he would have the same fate as Gu Xitian!
The ordinary man was innocent, treasuring a jade ring becomes a crime.
- Treasuring a jade ring becomes a crime: a person’s talent will arouse the envy of others.
Shu Huan understood this reason. She smiled faintly and went with Liangchen and Meijing.
They were not of noble character and unquestionable integrity who liked to push the money delivered to them to the door. However, they knew that more important than money was to be able to live freely and relaxed.
It was already full of people inside of Pine Crane Hall. Early in the morning, a keeper came to report that he had found a good board and asked master to go take a look outside of the yard.
Gu Da was already seriously ill. After hearing this, he still let people support his sick body to outside. He just happened to pass by Shu Huan, but he turned a deaf her to her and didn’t stop. He didn’t even spare her a glance.
Shu Huan laughed with self-ridicule. She didn’t care. After he was far, she went to the main hall and paid her respect. She told old madam as Gu Xiran had instructed. Seeing that old madam nodded silently, she stood at a side and pretended to be a statue.
She didn’t expect that Lin shi would look twice more at her. After she finished discussing the business that she hadn’t finished discussing before, she asked, “I heard that you and Xiran suspect that there was another reason behind Xitian’s death and also found some clues?”
Shu Huan’s heart skipped a beat. She hasn’t thought yet about how to counter-argue, when she heard a “bang”.
Old madam had smashed the teacup at Lin shi’s feet and yelled angrily at her, “Usually this old lady turned a blind eye to what you schemed behind my back. I always thought that if the family lives in harmony all affairs will prosper. If the schemes could drift along, then let them drift along. However, now master was already so ill and Xitian’s wife got pregnant and was still laying in bed half-dead, you this madam who is in charge of the household doesn’t do to your utmost ability to take care of Xitian’s funeral and let him leave peacefully; instead, you make an issue out of this matter. Do you still have this old lady in your eyes?!”
The sentences were said strictly and unsmiling. Old madam was truly furious, making the maids panic and quickly went forward to stroke her chest and let her breath become even again.
Lin shi wanted to cause a bit provocation to led old madam to ask Shu Huan the result of the investigation and she would watch the fire burning across the river. She didn’t expect that the always amiable old madam would get angry at her and her (OM) words were also very heavy. This shock was no small matter. She quickly stood up, lowered her head, knelt and said, “Old madam, don’t get angry. This daughter-in-law only heard that Xiran was investigating this matter and was worried that there were truly some hidden things inside of this which would let Xitian feel wronged in the nine springs. I was worried, had a slip of tongue and asked about it. This daughter-in-law swore that this daughter-in-law didn’t have other thoughts and also didn’t dare to have other thoughts.”
- Nine springs: the underworld of Chinese mythology
As she talked, she sobbed, “Old madam knows this daughter-in-law. After this daughter-in-law had entered the door for so many years, although this daughter-in-law is a bit stupid and couldn’t take the burdens off old madam and master, but this daughter-in-law had never dared to make trouble out of nothing. Moreover, this daughter-in-law already has a child and has a backing for the rest of my life. What more could this daughter-in-law not be satisfied at and had to do the things that disregarded my identity?”
Old madam’s anger lessened a bit. She stared at her (L) for a while and said, “It’s the best if you know! Xitian’s accident almost killed your master. At such a crucial moment, you shouldn’t let him to have anything else to worry about. If you have something to tell, tell me after the funeral is over!”
This was already very clear. Old madam also swept once warningly over Shu Huan, making her (SH) think in her heart: Sure enough, not bothering with another people’s business was the right thing to do. Otherwise, old madam wouldn’t smash the bowl at Lin shi, but at her.
It was just, she (OM) wanted to push things down here, but she (OM) didn’t know that paper couldn’t wrap fire.
- Paper couldn’t wrap fire: the truth will come out
Lin shi promised, “This daughter-in-law will remember old madam’s words and wouldn’t dare to say more.”
Suddenly, a gloomy voice sounded outside the door, “What don’t you dare to say more? You better say it now!”
The moment Shu Huan hear this voice, she knew that this matter couldn’t be concealed. She raised her eyes and saw that Gu Da was standing outside while holding the doorframe. His face was very gloomy and his eyes showed ruthlessness as if they could puff out fire at any moment.