Chapter 320: Gorgeous, Quiet, Talented, Master at Four Arts (IV)
Translator: Ning LL
Gu Tingcan raised her head as usual and give a faint smile, “That’s great. I’ll say it straightly. I want to go back to the old days when all of our families could live happily together. I wonder if you can help me with that, Second Sister-in-law.” Gu Tingcan looked to Minglan. Shao shi got awkward at once.
Minglan never bothered to speak too much to an innocent girl like that, then she said with a flat tone, “Even we go back to the old days, will you stay in this family forever? For a woman like us, we have to live in our husband’s family for the rest of our life. Don’t tell me that you want to take all of our families to the Princess’s mansion.”
An arty young woman who live in seclusion could never win a verbal fight with a staff who worked in the courthouse and got used to seeing the quarrels. Gu Tingcan shut up right away and turned her head indignantly. Minglan then continued, “Sister-in-law, if you cannot think of anything that you like, you can tell us the things you don’t like. I’m just afraid that you won’t like the objects that we give to you.”
Gu Tingcan nearly said, ‘I hate everything you send to me.’ However, thinking of her mother’s instruction, she forbore that impulse. Then, she rolled her eyes and said, “I don’t like flowers or make-ups. I have all kinds of jewelries. I don’t dare to ask for the farmland or stores. I never lack clothes or furniture. As for books of poems or paintings, I’d like to pick those things by myself. Besides these things, you can choose anything for me.”
After saying that, she sat down with an arrogant expression and looked to Minglan leisurely, waiting to see what the latter could give to her.
“Sister-in-law, you truly are very specific. How about this? We’ll go back to think about it and won’t impose on you then.” Minglan held Shao shi’s hand smilingly and walked out slowly. She felt that staying one more second with this lady would be bad for the baby in her belly.
Gu Tingcan shook the book in her hand elegantly, “Goodbye, my sisters-in-law. Sorry that I won’t see you out.”
Minglan walked to the outside while pondering things. Rong and Xian were close friends and always stayed together. As time went by, the maids and servants from the Cheng Manor also got familiar with the servants who served Shao shi. Those servants who had also used to serve Gu Tingyu had actually been left to him by his blood mother, so they were well aware of the old things. They had said that, “Seventh Lady looks like First Madam Qin a lot.”
Unlike Bai shi, First Madam Qin was allowed to be mentioned in Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion. Old Madam Qin had already talked about her sister’s good character in front of Old Master Gu. Xiaotao, a master at fishing, with a few servants and maids as well as some wine and snacks, had elicited a lot of the old stories.
Minglan was always curious about what kind of person First Madam Qin, the beginning of everything, was.
The old servants described that, the first lady of the Qin family had been gorgeous, quiet, talented and mastered at Four Arts.
At the time when Marquis Dongchang’s family was still very prospering. First Madam Qin, the first legal daughter of Marquis Dongchang, was favored by everyone in the family. However, such a beautiful and talented girl still hadn’t got married until she reached eighteen. The reason was simple. She had been suffering a serious illness and had a weak body, which was known by everyone in the capital.
Her parents didn’t want their daughter to marry into a normal family. However, the families which were suitable to their standard didn’t want to take in such a sick girl. A wife should also be a capable woman. Being pretty was not enough since a wife was required to assist her husband, raise up their children and handle the family affairs. However, First Madam Qin was not able to do all those things.
Right at this time, the eldest son of Marquis Ningyuan proposed to First Madam Qin. Her parents were overjoyed by this sudden good news.
According to the cryptic description of those old servants, Old Master Gu had met First Madam Qin before they had got married. With a single glance at an unknown place, Old Master Gu had fallen in love with First Madam Qin. This was such a strange kind of affection. A general who always fought in the battlefields loved such an extremely delicate beauty. Minglan was totally puzzled.
When Old Master Gu asked his parents to make that offer to Marquis Dongchang’s family, they refused confirmedly. No one knew how long First Madam Qin would be able to live, and the chance that she would give birth to a child was nearly zero. Gu Yankai(Old Master Gu) had begged his parents over and over again but still couldn’t get their consent, he then went to the north border to serve in the army.
At those war-ridden years, the border was a very dangerous place. Gu Yankai might lose his life at any time. After his parents lived through two grueling years, they finally gave up and agreed with that marriage. At that time, they resigned with the thought that Old Master Gu could still have illegal child even if First Madam Qin couldn’t give birth to a son. However, their innocent wish was broken very soon.
After Old Master Gu and First Madam Qin got married, they were deep in love and very close to each other. A few years passed, Old Master Gu’s parents finally got impatient. However, Old Master Gu had no feelings for any other female, so it was impossible for him to marry a concubine. At last, his father could only force him to marry another woman using filial piety as an excuse and his mother kept begging him with tears. Old Master Gu had no choice but listen to them and could only try his best to comfort his wife. However, after he had just left, First Madam Qin shed tears sadly right away. Since she didn’t dare to retort her father-in-law and mother-in-law, she could only bury her sorrow deep down. As a result, she fell ill.
The family was thrown into an uproar. After First Madam Qin was brought back to life thanks to others’ great efforts, she cried her heart out right after she opened her eyes and nearly choked herself. Old Master Gu sent away all his concubines and Tong Fang right away. For half a year, he had been giving careful attention to his wife. Then, under his parents’ request, he had to make love with another woman. Though First Madam Qin had an infirm body, she was well-informed. Before Old Master Gu and that woman took off their clothes, First Madam Qin fainted out and fell unconscious again.
After the same thing happened several times, Old Master Gu felt that he couldn’t go on like this anymore. Then he requested to be transferred to the southwestern area without telling his parents. After that, he brought his wife and left his home. His parents cursed fiercely but couldn’t do anything about it. During the next few years, the old couple had wanted to let their son divorce First Madam Qin straightly. However, Marquis Dongchang and his wife visited their mansion and pleaded for mercy for their daughter, which made Old Master Gu’s parents got softhearted.
On the second year Empress Jian An had deceased, Gu Tingyu was born. Before the people of Marquis Ningyuan’s family could celebrate the birth of the first legal son of Old Master Gu, they had run into a huge crisis. As a matter of fact, the money they owed to the imperial family wasn’t all spent by the Gu family. There were a few payments that could be explained. For example, the Gu’s people had only got involved in the shipping business in Fujian, the border trade in southwestern area and purchasing affairs of the imperial household department because of some old friends’ recommendation. However, at that time, Emperor Wu suddenly got very grumpy and was not able to listen to any explanation. The high-ranking officials who could clarify for the Gu family’s debt were all more of less implicated in the fight of the imperial family and either sentenced to death and got their families exterminated or exiled to the borders. For the moment, everyone felt themselves in danger and no one dared to save others.
Old Master Gu’s father, the honest and kind man, got a stroke at once and the whole family was in a total mess. At that time, a great friend of the Gu family came to tell them that he had heard from his family in Jiang Nan from a letter that a merchant in Hai Ning with a great wealth had only one daughter who was looking for a man to get married now.
Marquis Ningyuan’s family was both excited and vexed about that news. The three masters in this family had all got married and it was unlikely for the lady from the Bai family to be willing to become a concubine.
Meanwhile, that great friend of the Gu family had already asked someone to go to the Bai family to act as a matchmaker. However, Old Master Bai was not an ordinary person. No matter how much he admired the noble family, he still wouldn’t trust all of the matchmakers’ words. As a resolute person, he went to the capital a few days later. Then, he met Fifth Old Master who was haranguing in the tea shop and then ran into Fifth Old Master in the red-light district. What infuriated him the most was that these two men that he disdained a lot had already got married.
Furious as he was, he went back home and reproached the matchmaker fiercely and claimed that the marriage could never happen. He also left with these words, “Your eyes are fucking blind. My own daughter will never be anyone’s concubine!”—When Bai shi had married into the Gu family, she had also brought some servants with her. Although most of those servants had been sent away, the things they had said were remembered by a few old servants of Shao shi.
That warm-hearted and meddlesome friend of the Gu family passed on that message. After that, Old Master Gu’s father asked someone to carry him onto the coach and headed to the southwestern area straightly. After he arrived there, he held Old Master Gu’s hand with an imploring look. Old Master Gu had a mother who almost cried her eyes blind, brothers and sisters who were completely helpless and a wife whom he loved deeply, which made him almost go crazy overnight.
The well-informed First Madam Qin also knew about that. Although her mother-in-law swore to her that the divorce was only temporary and Old Master Gu would marry her again, she still couldn’t accept that. Giving birth to a baby had already worn her out. After she had been through a miserable struggle for a few days, she asked his husband to marry one of her maids as his concubine and then passed away.
There was no time for Old Master Gu to mourn her, because his father sent someone to propose to Bai shi at once. Old Master Bai was unwilling to agree with this marriage at first. However, as he thought of his beloved daughter could become Marquise Bai and get rid of the identity of the daughter of a humble merchant, he finally failed to refuse that temptation.
Then he decided to take another shot and went to the southwestern area to visit Old Master Gu. This time, he finally felt satisfied.
Old Master Bai had the most discerning eyes. He had met all kinds of people but never wrong about anyone. At that time, he was pretty sure that Old Master Gu was a decent, kind, brave and resolute man who would be a good husband. Although Old Master Gu’s first wife had deceased, it didn’t matter. After all, having a dead wife was not a strange thing. Old Master Bai’s wife had also died, to be more specific, two wives. Still, his life wasn’t influenced at all since he had married lots of women. When he heard that Old Master Gu had been deep in love with his first wife, he didn’t think that it was a big deal either because in his view, a man would never be devoted to one woman forever. The fact that Old Master Gu had treated his first wife very nice proved that he would be a great husband. Old Master Bai believed that after Old Master Gu had married his daughter, the past would be gradually forgotten as time went by.
Minglan had heard the rest of the story from Gu Tingye.
The wedding was held in the southwestern area, thus all the Gu’s relatives and friends in the capital hadn’t been invited. Bai shi didn’t have her everlasting love and passed away before twenty years old, leaving a child unattended. When Old Master Bai came to the capital from Hai Ning and saw the coffin of his daughter, he flew into a great rage at once. However, at that time he was already old and infirm and unable to seek injustice for his daughter. Before long, he passed away too.
A few years later, Old Master Gu married another lady from the Qin family. As Gu Tingwei reached the age of eight, the emperor summoned Old Master Gu to the capital. Then Old Master Gu brought Old Madam Qin and his three sons and two daughters to Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion. Soon after, Old Master Gu’s parents deceased one after another and he inherited the title of Marquis Ningyuan. Under the intentional cover-up, seldom people knew that there was a Madam Bai between the two Madam Qin. Unwittingly, Old Master Gu also led others to believe that Gu Tingye’s blood mother was Old Madam Qin. No one knew why he had done that.
Gu Tingcan was Old Master Gu’s last child and also his favorite. Actually, Gu Tingcan, except for her appearance, didn’t like First Madam Qin in many ways including her habits and characters. However, her parents’ intentional or unintentional expectation had driven her to imitate a deceased woman.
Children had keen perception. They were born with the eager to win more attention. Gu Tingcan knew that the more she acted like First Madam Qin, the more her father would like her and agree with everything she asked. Also, her mother would also benefit because of her. Sometimes when Old Madam Qin wanted something to be done, she only needed to ask her little daughter to make that request to Old Master Gu. That almost worked every time.
Minglan snorted deep down. The real otherworldly talented girls were proud and aloof, also nonchalant about the trifles in the temporal world. For them, the fight between the mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law meant nothing. Clearly Gu Tingcan only wanted to find trouble for her sister-in-law in order to revenge her aggrieved mother… However, unfortunately, this girl could never achieve what she set out to do.
Shao shi followed Minglan in a hurry, “What should we give her?!” Gu Tingcan had nearly spoken everything they could present.
Minglan turned around and said with a smile, “That’s so easy. We can send her silver straightly, which would save us lots of efforts and time. Tingcan truly is considerate to me, her slow-witted sister-in-law, and wanted to save me from the struggles of thinking of the gifts.” That was exactly what Minglan wanted. If she gave Gu Tingcan lots of precious objects, she still had to go through a great pain to mention what those gifts were. If she gave the silvers straightly, she only needed to say a number directly which would sound more breathtaking with the same value.
Shao shi was startled, “Silver? I thought Tingcan hates anything relevant to money.” Suddenly, Shao shi remembered that she didn’t have so many silvers now. “How many silvers should we give anyway?” She asked worriedly.
Minglan held her arm and comforted, “I’ll give her silvers. Sister-in-law, please take pity on me and don’t give the same presents as I do.”
“Then what should I give?” Shao shi got a headache.
“You can send Tingcan a few honest and decent servants as her wedding gift.”
Happy Mother’s Day! 20% OFF to unlock!
0 undefined Unlock single chapter
Open APP to read Chs. in advance!