Chapter 154 The letter of announcing divorce
It was extremely quiet in Pine Crane Hall. Only old madam and her two personal maids were there. As soon as Shu Huan entered, Zisu stood outside the door. From her look, it was as if it was to stop outsiders from going in. This made Shu Huan feel more uneasy. She wondered what old madam had to say to her.
Old madam was sittig on the couch. After she (SH) paid her respect, old madam then softly said, “Sit down. Serve tea.”
She had never had such treatment before. She was treated like a guest.
As Shu Huan was still hesitating, maid Fuling had already brought the tea over and even put down four colored pastries. This made her feel like if she didn’t sit down, she was intentionally acting high and mighty. So, she just slightly leaned on one side, half sitting in the chair.
Looking at the four colored pastries on the table; there were jujube cake, wishful eggroll, pineapple jelly and almond puff pastry. These were all her usual favorites. It could be seen that old madam had prepared this very early. There must be a reason for this anomaly. She quietly calmed her heart, smiled and asked, “Don’t know why old madam has called me over?”
Old madam looked at her. After a moment of silence, she (OM) said, “You’ve been married for months. Is there still no movement in your belly?”
Shu Huan didn’t expect her (OM) to ask this the moment she opened her mouth, so, she (SH) just said the truth, “No.”
Old madam asked again, “Is this month’s period late?”
Shu Huan lowered her eyes and said, “It had just ended.”
“That’s true too.” Old madam’s face showed a little smile and nodded. “Xiran originally had a weak body and you are also often sick. This qi and blood are already lacking, it’s naturally not easy to get pregnant.”
Shu Huan didn’t know what to say. She just listened in silence, but she was very puzzled in her heart. Was old madam urging her to have children?
As this thought emerged in her head, old madam went on to say, “You also know that there have been a lot of things going on at home these days. This old one couldn’t help but fall ill too. Seeing that there’s no hope of getting better, I look forward to holding my great-grandson sooner. So that if I closed my eyes one day and die, I’ll be at ease. However, this body of yours need to be nursed and we still don’t know when you can have a baby. So, I think….”
At this point, old madam deliberately paused.
Shu Huan heart jumped. This wasn’t urging her to have a child, but to completely conclude that she couldn’t have a child in the near future. Could it be that she wanted to use this excuse to take a concubine for Gu Xiran?
This was something neither she nor Gu Xiran would like!
She was about to say something to kindly express her objection, but she heard old madam continue to say, “Fuling, bring over the document and the banknote.”
Fuling responded. She put a document and the banknote on a tray and then placed it in front of Shu Huan.
As soon as Shu Huan lowered her head, a few piercing words on the document caught her eyes first…
Letter of announcing divorce!
In extreme shock, she was already speechless and could only stare at those words.
Old madam was still talking. Her voice seemed to be distant but yet close to her (SH) ears. “These days, thank you for taking care of Xiran. His body has gradually become better. However, as I think about it, marriages should be between families of equal status for them to be in perfect harmony. Take for example, the current situation at home, Xiran has more responsibility now. He needs the support of a virtuous wife of equivalent status to get twice the result with half the effort, and your family background to him can only be a burden.”
- Get twice the result with half the effort: the right approach saves effort and leads to better results.
It was quiet in the hall. Everyone was listening.
Shu Huan only felt that there was hot blood pouring up her head and face. Her face felt hot.
This was really a humiliation!
Those words of old madam were covered with arrogance based on her (OM) social status and looked down upon her (SH). Did she (OM) take her (SH) as goods that could be bought and sold at will? When she (OM) wanted her, she (SH) needed to be there. When she (OM) didn’t need her, she could be discarded?
“Old madam.” Shu Huan immediately stood up. “There needs to be a reason to divorce one’s wife. May I ask which one of the seven grounds for divorce have I committed?”
Her words were somewhat sharp. The maids were all giving her meaningful glances. It was old madam who was still looking calm and said to her, “You have always been an intelligent child. You should know that I have no choice but to come up with this unwise decision. I’m grateful that you took care of Xiran, even the reason for divorce is written vaguely in the letter. This is to let you easily remarry in the future. So, do you still have to get the truth from me?”
She (SH) had seen shameless people, but had never seen such a shameless one! She (OM) was clearly bullying her (SH) but still had to make such a gracious face. There was even a bit of threatening in her (OM) words!
Even if Shu Huan was someone made from clay, she was forced into anger. She sneered, “The true reason old madam wants to get me a divorce, of course can only be vague, and can absolutely not be written clearly.”
Old madam lowered her head to drink tea and just said, “I know you have grievances in your heart, so I won’t bother about your rude words, but I still have the same opinion. You’re a smart child. You should know that there’s no room for a leeway and don’t bother to do it. Think about it yourself. Put your fingerprint on the letter of announcing divorce. If you have any more requests, just bring it up.”
She (OM) was so confident, was naturally because she had a complete grasp of the situation.
Now that Shu Huan thought about it, it was easy to connect what had happened these past few days. Perhaps those rumors about her were spread by old madam, or old madam had heard about them and used them against her (SH). Moreover, she (OM) had sent Gu Xiran on a trip and mentioned that her body was weak and therefore difficult to have children. All this was to pave a way for this letter of announcing divorce.
If she kept silent, she was unable to stomach such an insult. If she went to make a scene, then the charge of disobedience was unavoidable. This was exactly one of the seven grounds for divorce. Things went really as what old madam said, there was no room for a leeway.
Old madam saw that she (SH) was no longer making a sound, she only thought that she (SH) had changed her mind. She (OM) gave Fuling a look. Then, Fuling handed a banknote to Shu Huan and said softly, “Second young mistress, you’d better take this banknote.”
Shu Huan cast a glance and saw a banknote of a thousand silver liang. It seemed that old madam was rather generous with money. She couldn’t help but twitch the corners of her mouth, showing a mocking smile.
Old madam still gently said, “I still remember the good about you. Gu household won’t treat you badly. Take this money. Whether you’re going to do a small business or keep it as dowry to marry another man, you can have a smooth life for the rest of your life….”
“It’s not enough,” Shu Huan interrupted her (OM).
Old madam went blank for a moment. Her face finally showed a touch of anger, but she didn’t get angry, and only asked, “How much do you want?”
She (OM) should have spoken so straightforward from the beginning. Didn’t old madam just want to use the money to send her off? Then all those gentle words could be put away. Although it was still unpleasant to hear, there was less disgusting hypocrisy.
As soon as Shu Huan looked up, she smiled mockingly and said, “Five thousand liang. If you give me enough money, I’ll leave.”
She wouldn’t do those stupid things like tearing up the banknotes and threw it on the other party’s face like on the TV or in novels. Not to mention whether it would make herself happy or not; if she did do so, it wouldn’t affect old madam in the slightest and she (OM) might even laugh at her being childish. Therefore, she (SH) might as well ask for more money and let this old madam feel some heartache (for having to give away money).
As for the amount of five thousand liang, she had thought about it. At this moment, the business of the family was in dire straits. If she asked for more, she was afraid that old madam would shed all pretense of cordiality immediately and kick her out. If she asked for less, there was no retaliatory effect and she would also feel that she didn’t vent her frustrations enough.
As expected, five thousand liang, this amount made the two maids gasp for air. While it made old madam twitched the corners of her mouth slightly, she said slightly angered, “The daughter of a poor family is really avaricious and insatiable.”
- Avaricious and insatiable: greedy and never satisfied.
The seven grounds of divorce were legitimate reasons for the husband to divorce the wife:
- Not obedient to the in-laws
- Talking too much
Woman could defend themselves with the three conditions for which a man couldn’t divorce his wife:
- She had no family to return to because they had passed away
- She had mourned three years for her parent-in-law
- Her husband was poor before they married and got rich after the marriage