Chapter 39: Settlement

“This lady is in good health. However, the old man has not felt any happy pulse. If a woman is pregnant, it will take at least a month for it to show on the pulse.”

After carefully examining Tao Xinhe, the doctor came to such a conclusion. Second Aunt Gu heard about it from the side, she didn’t know whether to rejoice for He Niang that there were no extra problems for her to worry about, or feel sorry for Brother Xi, that the last chance to keep his wife was gone.

Just now, she had some prestige as an elder to force He Niang to have her pulse felt, at this moment, she asked the doctor a little more, “Is there something wrong with her stomach and internal organs?” The doctor shook his head, and said to Aunt Gu and Tao Xinhe together,

“Madam is a bit depressed, her anger is a little heavy, it’s not a big deal, she can take two doses of medicine if she wants to, or not. As for problems with her internal organs, according to the pulse diagnosis of this old man, her body is quite strong, and even the spleen and stomach disorders that women often suffer from are not present, which means that Madam takes good care of her body well.”

Tao Xinhe maintained a gentle smile and thanked the doctor. But in her heart, she knew that she did not know how to take care of herself at all. On the seventh day of the first month, she even went in and out almost a day, starving but fortunately she did not suffer from it again in the past few days. As for the depression, she believes that once she is completely done with the divorce, she no longer needs to be involved with Gu Ningxi. This depression will naturally dissipate, she doesn’t need to use any medicine to calm down.

After sending the doctor away, Second Aunt Gu handed over the separation letter written by Gu Ningxi with both hands.

Tao Xinhe even slandered him in her heart. Is this person trying to show off that he is more knowledgeable? Is that why he had to rewrite her separation letter?

A Separation letter is nothing more than a standard certificate, so why does he even want to write anything fancy?

Could it be that using the version drawn up by a woman would hurt his reputation as an “Educated Rich Man“?

After opening the seal, and pulling out the letter, Tao Xinhe saw his handwriting first, and knew at a glance that Gu Ningxi’s grip on the pen was not strong enough today, and the closing of the pen was quite flawed.

She sneered, and Second Aunt Gu asked, “But what’s wrong?”

Tao Xinhe waved the paper, and waved her hands, and said,

“Second Aunt, don’t worry, wait for me to read it through.”

After carefully reading the whole text, Tao Xinhe withdrew the light smile that had always hung at the corners of her lips. Her eyes were narrowed and her eyelashes lowered, her slender jade finger clicking on the last part of the sentence, “…Life won’t last forever.”

The important matter of life and death was randomly written on a separation letter that both parties should keep. Gu Ningxi was really not thinking straight.

Maybe, this separation letter could even be passed on to their children later on.

Tao Xinhe immediately touched her abdomen with the other hand, but she couldn’t detect the happy pulse at this time, so who knows if she had really conceived or not.

It is absurd that such fierce and unclear documentary evidence does not correspond to their situation of Gu Ningxi taking a concubine first and marrying another in the future.

“Forget it, Gu Ningxi wrote this himself, and he is not afraid of regretting writing these words in the future, so leave it to me, let’s just do it like this.”

Tao Xinhe thought wearily, then turned her head slightly, and stared at the letter while thinking.

It was the time for the handover in the afternoon. If the elders of both parties were quickly summoned at this time to be a witness, she and Gu Ningxi would be able to separate before dinner.

If they pay attention to etiquette, the two people who are causing all these trouble and separating, will need to go to the door of each family, explain the situation in detail, and ask for the understanding of their relatives, but if it’s today they will definitely not be able to catch up.

And tomorrow, is already the tenth day of the lunar month, the officials will start to go to court to issue seals, even her father is going, and Gu Ningxi will have to go too. The time might have to be postponed again, does that mean that they might have to wait until they take a break again on the 15th, during the Lantern Festival before separating?

Tao Xinhe didn’t want to leave it for that long, she wished she could cut all their ties straight at this time, so she said to Second Aunt Gu,

“Second Aunt must know that Gu Sicheng wrote another separation letter, and the words are so sincere that I feel that I was the one who did the mistake. It made me look like I was a vicious woman who dumped her own husband.” The words were soft but full of irony.

Seeing that Second Aunt Gu wanted to support Gu Ningxi, Tao Xinhe hurriedly continued,

“However, let him do what he wants, and the most important thing is to get it done as soon as possible. Second Aunt, I have a heartfelt request. I want the matter of our separation to be completely settled by today.”

“Ah, there is only more than an hour left to prepare. Although the Gu and Tao family is not a big family with a large population, it will still take a lot of work, right?”

Second Aunt Gu also thought about it for a while, and made a list of names on her mind,

“Brother Xi is free. My husband is free in the mansion, and is always on call, so there’s no problem. But the old lady and third Master… I don’t know about them. The Old Lady always hoped that the younger generation would be happy and content. So, it might be difficult for her to hear that you want to be separated from her grandson. Also, How could you come forward today without any witnesses? It’s not a one-time job to persuade the old lady.”

Tao Xinhe could only think more carefully. Old Mrs. Gu really didn’t like her, and her opinion would be that Gu Ningxi is the only one who could divorce his wife, and Tao Xinhe separating with him would only hurt the face of her grandson. Not to mention that in the separation letter, Gu Ningxi distributed a lot of property and servants of the new Gu mansion to herself. Old Mrs. Gu is definitely determined not to part with it.

Since Gu Ningxi has written in black and white that he was “Willing to be driven“, then let him deal with all of it. When his relatives, grandparents and Uncles discuss these things, they can’t just think of herself as a nasty person, right?

A memory of Old Mrs. Gu’s attitude of loving to preach to the juniors and insisting on doing her own way flashed through her mind immediately, and she almost laughed out loud when she thought that she would never have to face that kind of thing again.

The next moment, she felt even more confident, and said to Aunt Gu,

“Aunt Gu, I will not bother you to persuade Old Mrs. Gu, as long as you convey my thoughts to Gu Sicheng and let him deal with it. Tell him that our branch of the Tao Family and relatives will be waiting for the Gu’s noble family to come forward in the middle quarter of the tenth hour, and hope that he will be accompanied by the corresponding elders, arrive on time, and fulfill the final settlement.”

Second Aunt Gu showed an embarrassed look, but looked at this niece-in-law who loved her nephew so much in the past, she had a half-smile on her face, her words were still polite and sharp, but there was a faint hint of non-negotiability, so she had no choice but to swallow the words she wanted to say to buy more time for Gu Ningxi to intercede, and the relatives to respond.

Tao Xinhe said a few more words as she courteously sent Second Aunt Gu out of the house, “Qiang niang is at your house, it might be even more burdensome, and I saw her foot injury yesterday it doesn’t seem to be a big problem anymore, so please tell her that tomorrow, we will go and pick her up.”

“Also, Ning Niang has a good engagement, I can only be happy for her. My father and younger brother met Cheng Jia recently, and they praised the young master for his demeanor. But Second Aunt, I think it will be embarrassing for me to arrange the marriage for Ning Niang. Therefore, I will have to inform you about it today, and you can think about which relatives you will entrust it to. After the reconciliation and separation is over, I will go to the mansion to hand over everything that we’ve agreed for her marriage so far. In case there is anything wrong in the future and you need my help, as long as you ask, I will help if I can.”

Second Aunt Gu seemed to realize at this time that her daughter’s marriage has always been dependent on Tao Xinhe, and it is reasonable for her to withdraw now, but who is she going to look for to take over? There is no other female family member around who can be as meticulous and considerate as He Niang, right?

So, Second Aunt Gu left the Tao Manor with sorrow, she then went to the new Gu Mansion, and sent her message to Gu Ningxi.

“The middle quarter of the tenth hour? Cough, I understand, thanks to my second aunt. Time is short, I’ll have to entrust Second Aunt to tell Second Uncle about it.”

After Gu Ningxi handed over the separation letter, he felt distracted, as if heaven and earth were the same, everything was dark for him.

He locked himself inside his study room, and kept silently writing articles and scriptures, one after another, covering the desk and floating on the ground, until his right arm was so weak that he couldn’t lift it anymore, the brush in his hand fell, and he sat back on the chair slumped, covering his face with his palm, without moving any more, like a lifeless, decayed and dilapidated statue.

Second Aunt Gu came to the door and woke him up. After hearing He Niang’s order, Gu Ningxi seemed to have found a backbone, braced himself up, ordered the horses and carriages to go to the Old Gu’s mansion immediately, and begged her grandmother and third uncle to come forward.

Sure enough, Old Mrs. Gu was furious when she heard about it. Although he was not as filial and flattering as Gu Ningran who was by her side every day, Gu Ningxi was her proudest grandson, and he was going to be divorced?

‘No way!’

That Lady Tao is not virtuous, she won’t even allow her husband to take a concubine, and she will bear the infamy of being a “Jealous Wife” all the time, so he can only be the one to divorce his wife and let Tao leave the house!

The main room of the old Gu mansion, the old lady Gu, the third uncle Gu, and the third aunt Gu were all there, and there was a room full of servants. Everyone was surprised. Although only the old lady’s voice was echoing, everyone was holding back their words. They wouldn’t even dare to sigh.

Gu Ningxi glanced at the sky outside the window, the sun had already set in the west, and it was perfunctorily reflecting the world, the red light on the horizon was already gradually getting weaker.

‘It was getting late!’

He couldn’t let He Niang wait, wouldn’t she be even more angry if she thought that he was trying to delay their reconciliation?

He was even more flustered in his heart, and couldn’t think of a better way for a while. He lifted his robe and knelt down on his knees, and kowtowed heavily to Old Mrs. Gu, half begging and half threatening,

“Please help me, grandma! Your grandson has no father or mother. If I can’t reconcile today, I will be even more ashamed in front of the Tao family. Your grandson is too guilty, and I would rather be kicked out of the Gu Family and not care about filial piety or brotherhood than not go through with this reconciliation today.”

Old Mrs. Gu eyes widened immediately, and a teacup was thrown at him,

“That lady from the Tao family wants to separate with you today, and you will do everything you can, even threatening your own grandmother that you would leave the clan? Since you listen to her so much, why do you still want to separate? You are still acting like a dog around her skirt?”

“Because I was confused, I made the mistake of taking a concubine first, which hurt her deeply. She doesn’t even want to be called by her boudoir name anymore, and she keeps giving me the separation letter again and again. All I can do is to make it happen.”

Gu Ningxi murmured, The more he say it, the more ridiculous he felt.

In the middle of the tenth hour, Gu Ningxi and Tao Xinhe’s reconciliation and separation were finally witnessed in the ancestral hall of the Old Gu Mansion, which was rarely opened.

Now that the golden sky is falling to the west, the afterglow of the setting sun and the lights of the candles complement each other. In the purposely high, cold and empty ancestral hall, the figures are drawn into long lines, and the faces are even more blurred. Even if Tao Xinhe sweeps over, she can only roughly see the figures’ Facial features, without any details at all.

‘Maybe, it’s like this in the world of Gu Ningxi’s eyes..’

The Gu Ningxi in Tao Xinhe’s memory is not only the appearance of an Immortal, handsome, and elegant, but she also recalled the embarrassing appearance of him being muddy and lost at noon on the seventh day of the new year. The last time she saw him was yesterday morning, when he fainted and looked pitifully on the ground.

At this moment, the two were surrounded by relatives of their own clan, and they were far away from each other. Tao Xinhe glanced casually, and still noticed that there was a blood stain on Gu Ningxi’s head.

She can trace it carefully from the end of his right eyebrow down his cheekbone, into the Behind his right earlobe, the residual blood was still there, and the scars seemed to be very eye-catching, and everyone around him seemed to be concerned about him.

“Sister, did you see brother-in-law… No, did Gu Sicheng get hurt on his face? How did it happen?”

Tao Muxian was present as the only male in Tao Mansion’s generation, but he couldn’t speak like an elder. However, he couldn’t stay idle, so he leaned into Tao Xinhe’s ear and asked while the people on both sides were exchanging greetings.

Tao Xinhe saw who was in the Gu family clearly, so she coldly looked away from Gu Ningxi and his surroundings, and sat upright, as if she didn’t know which side was constantly casting prying eyes on them.

She squeezed out a voice through her teeth to respond to her younger brother,

“It doesn’t matter how he flaunts, as long as it doesn’t affect the separation, let him go. You sit back in your seat.”

Gu Ningxi was one of the members who cast his eyes on Tao Xinhe. The farther away from the window, the weaker the light. So he can only see a faint dark figure sitting, even the hairstyle tonight can’t be recognized clearly, but it should not be a bun.

Regardless of the stinging wound on his face, Gu Ningxi kept standing on the table, looking in the direction of the lady, until he was reminded by someone,

“Let’s start reading the separation letter shall we?”

Only then did he realize what the occasion was.