“These two people came out of nowhere and wanted to pick these purple wisteria flowers. I happened to see it, so I tried to stop them. This woman refused to acknowledge her mistake. She’s arrogant and even started scolding me.”
When they saw Madame Qin, Shi Fengming and Su Qing’er foresaw that the woman they had met yesterday was Shi Fengju’s wife. As such, they were not surprised to see her. As for Sang Wan, she had also foreseen it, so she naturally wasn’t surprised.
“You must be my sister-in-law? I’m sorry! I’ve offended you! Please forgive me!” Shi Fengming quickly cupped his fist to greet her.
Su Qing’er also quickly went forward and said with a smile, “I’m sorry, Young Mistress. Just now, I… I only said those words because I was angry. I don’t mind her scolding me, but she said that the Second Young Master was an ‘outsider’ and someone who didn’t know the rules. I couldn’t tolerate that, so I had a dispute with her! I found these purple wisteria flowers pretty and couldn’t help picking a string of them. Since I was at fault. I’ll apologize too!” Su Qing’er then gracefully bowed to Sang Wan.
“Young Mistress, it wasn’t like that. This woman, she…”
“Madame Qin.” Sang Wan stopped her with a slight smile and said, “It’s just a string of flowers. What’s done is done! Go see what the kitchen has prepared for lunch. Second Young Master will be staying here to eat today.”
Madame Qin was relieved and nodded her head in agreement before she went to do what she was told.
Sang Wan then apologized to Shi Fengming, “I’m really sorry. Madame Qin didn’t know it was you, so she has offended you with her words! This was my fault. I told her to look after these purple wisteria flowers since they were blooming well. Who knew that she was too cautious! I also didn’t expect things to be such a coincidence! I’ll offer an apology to the Second Young Master, so please don’t take it to heart. Miss, please don’t mind that too!”
Shi Fengming still felt uncomfortable as Sang Wan didn’t make Madame Qin apologize to him and Su Qing’er. However, when he saw Sang Wan apologize personally, he didn’t dare to receive it, so he quickly avoided it with a smile, “Sister-in-law, please don’t do that! I wouldn’t dare to accept it! It’s just a small matter. Don’t mind it! We were at fault. The people here don’t recognize me, so I should have asked a servant along to lead the way when I strolled around the garden!”
Sang Wan quickly responded, “It’s a relief that you didn’t take offense to that, Second Young Master! I’ve already instructed someone to let everyone know that you are here. This will not happen a second time! I think you must have waited for a long time, so let’s talk in the hall!”
“You first, Sister-in-law!” Shi Fengming lifted his hand with a smile.
When Su Qing’er heard Sang Wan mention her, it meant that Sang Wan didn’t dislike her. Thus, she went forward and said with a smile, “Young Mistress, you’re really polite and eloquent! I feel at ease after hearing your words! We’re actually brought together by fate. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have met yesterday! I felt that you were amiable, so I wanted to become closer with you so I brazenly went to borrow a cup of tea from you. If it was someone else, I wouldn’t have done so! I didn’t expect to meet you today! It was really rude of me yesterday, but please don’t take it to heart!”
“It was an accident. Miss, you’re too polite!” Sang Wan smiled.
Su Qing’er felt even more delighted upon hearing that. She quickly stepped forward and held Sang Wan’s arm before praising her with a smile, “I knew that you’re an extremely magnanimous person! If you don’t mind, why don’t I accompany you for a chat or relieve your boredom when you’re free in the future?
Sang Wan leaned away to the side and replied with a smile, “You’re a guest here. I wouldn’t dare. I don’t like to go out due to the hot weather, so I spend most of my days in the garden.”
“By the way, Second Young Master, I’ve asked someone to look for my husband, but I don’t know when he will return. Do you have something urgent to see him for?” Sang Wan turned around and asked Shi Fengming with a smile.
She didn’t want to exchange any more conventional greetings with Su Qing’er.
Shi Fengming quickly replied with a smile, “It’s nothing much of an urgent matter. I just came here to see my eldest brother and you! It’s important that he finishes his work first. It’s no different meeting him when he has the time!”
“That’s a relief!” Sang Wan smiled and nodded.
Su Qing’er could also figure out that Sang Wan didn’t want to get close to her. She thought that it was fine as long as Sang Wan didn’t hate her. Haste didn’t bring success, so she mustn’t be shortsighted. She smiled and walked together with Shi Fengming.
They arrived at the parlour and sat down. Their conversation revolved around their daily life and they asked about each other’s current situation. Shi Fengming smiled and said that he had forgotten to congratulate his eldest brother and sister-in-law for getting married, which Sang Wan then thanked him with a smile. Su Qing’er interrupted them from time to time, but Shi Fengming was happy to see that, so Sang Wan couldn’t refute and thus slightly responded.
However, everything changed when Shi Fengju returned.
When Shi Fengju heard from the head servant that his second brother had come with a lady wearing clothes that had been carefully chosen, he understood what was going on. Then, he hurried back with an ugly expression. On the way, he gave the head servant a terrible scolding for letting that woman enter the house. The more he thought about it, the angrier he became. He instructed the head servant to go back and tell the servants to fetch water and wash the floor; whatever that woman had touched today had to be thrown away!
The head servant had never seen him so furious before. How would he dare to have any opinions on that? He quickly agreed and felt aggrieved deep down.
Shi Fengju was a master, and so was Shi Fengming. Could he not allow a master to bring in a woman? Even if he had stopped them, would the Second Young Master listen to him?
The head servant secretly peeked at Shi Fengju and thought: Even though Young Mistress is present, it isn’t convenient for her to stop them as well, let alone a servant like me. But the Young Master doesn’t dare to flare up at her, so we servants are the unlucky ones!
Madame Qin was also very furious and was waiting at the gate for Shi Fengju to return. Upon seeing him come back, she went forward to greet him. She managed to bring up Su Qing’er and told him everything that had happened in the garden while adding detail to it.
“I’ve never seen such a vulgar woman who speaks such harsh words. I don’t know what sly means she used to seduce the Second Young Master! If Young Mistress did not arrive afterward, she would have wanted to pull out the entire purple wisteria tree! I was furious, but I tried to reason out with her. However, she mocked me and said that I was only a servant who wasn’t fit to talk to her!”
“A servant?” Shi Fengju sneered. “She’s just a cheap person. Madame Qin, you mustn’t stoop to her level!”
Madame Qin’s words were like adding fuel to the fire, causing Shi Fengju to rush into the hall angrily. The three of them immediately stood up.
Shi Fengju’s expression was very ugly. Su Qing’er’s heart tightened for no reason and she subconsciously hid behind Shi Fengming, who was also baffled. It seemed that his anger was directed towards him. However, weren’t things fine the previous night? How had he offended his eldest brother again? He wanted to step forward to greet, but he couldn’t say it out nor take a step forward.
“Fengju, you’re back!” Sang Wan went forward to support him by his arm with a smile and pinched him slightly while looking at him with a tender gaze.
Sang Wan silently sighed. She had expected Shi Fengju to get angry when he heard that Su Qing’er had entered the villa, but not to this extent. What a person Su Qing’er was. She managed to seduce someone else’s son, causing him to desert his parents and wife and leave home. The Shi Family couldn’t wait to skin her and break her bones. How dare she actually come to visit in such a grand manner!
“Fengju, Second Young Master is here. Let’s sit down and talk!” Sang Wan said gently.
Shi Fengju looked at her gently and patted her hands lightly before he replied, “I have something to say to my second brother. Sang Wan, you should go back to your room first.”
It was good that she wouldn’t be involved in the two brothers’ matter. Sang wan nodded her head and answered with a smile, “I’ll take my leave first! Fengju, speak with your brother nicely. Don’t get agitated. He’s your brother after all.”
“Okay!” Shi Fengju nodded.
Sang Wan released him with a smile and nodded her head at Shi Fengming before she took her leave with Liu Ya.
“Eldest Brother!” Shi Fengming said with a forced smile, “You’re so blessed! Sister-in-law is so virtuous!”
When Shi Fengming saw that his own eldest brother’s expression had eased, he was secretly relieved. He admired Sang Wan. His eldest brother seldom got angry, but when he did, his expression would sink to a point where even his aunt would be afraid. He hadn’t expected that not only did his eldest sister-in-law dare to go forward, but she also managed to calm him down with a few words.
Shi Fengju ignored his words and said while he stared at Su Qing’er coldly, “The Shi Family doesn’t welcome you. This is not where you can come. Leave!”
Su Qing’er face turned pale and she subconsciously gripped Shi Fengming’s hand.
“Eldest Brother!” Shi Fengming became anxious.
“Leave!” Shi Fengju was even more furious upon seeing that. He said with a sneer, “Know your place and get lost quickly! Otherwise, I’ll ask someone to throw you out! You can try me!”
“Eldest brother!” Shi Fengming, who was anxious, spread his arms out in front of Su Qing’er. “Qing’er doesn’t have any ill intentions. We’re here to ask for your help. Since she’s sincere, why aren’t you willing to hear us out first!”
“Are you going to leave or not? Now that you’re here, nobody can save you! Put away your sly appearance because that doesn’t work on me!” Shi Fengju glared at Su Qing’er with a mocking gaze.
Su Qing’er felt even more ashamed and her hatred grew. She wished she could hide in a hole. Other people might not know what Shi Fengju’s gaze meant, but she did.
In the past, Shi Fengju had been the target who she had wanted to seduce. Unfortunately, she did not succeed. Hence, she changed her target to Shi Fengming, who was naive, so was not an opponent for the most popular courtesan in the brothel. Very quickly, she was able to seize his heart.
However, although Su Qing’er had captivated Shi Fengming, she had underestimated the opposition of the Shi Family towards her. Despite Shi Fengming agreeing to take her as a concubine, Second Old Master Shi and Second Old Mistress Shi had flown into a rage. If Shi Fengju hadn’t been rational and stopped them, the two of them would have asked someone to tear down the brothel!
Afterward, the Shi Family went to get Shi Fengming a wife, which made Su Qing’er anxious. Even though Shi Fengming liked her, how long could a man’s sincerity last? After he had gotten a wife and beautiful concubines, he might not think of her as much. In about a year, when his wife had kids, she was afraid that she would be thrown to the back of his mind.