Chapter 40: Proceedings

Among the people present, the one with the highest seniority and the most respected status is naturally the former prime minister’s wife – Old Mrs. Gu. It is most appropriate for her to preside over her grandchildren’s separation.

However, without saying a word, she just stared at the bloodstains on Gu Ningxi’s face with resentment.

The second person who was qualified should be the woman’s biological father – Tao Yuanwailang from the Ministry of Industry, but he is very special and knows nothing about the procedure of separation, when asked by Gu’s side to do it, he just confidently said,

“My daughter deserves better!”

It is not realistic to expect him to preside. Both of Gu Ningxi’s parents died, and Tao Xinhe’s mother died young, so she can only choose a representative from among the younger generation next to her. Tao Cheng is an only son, and Tao Xinhe’s uncles live in the next room, so only Gu Ningxi’s grandparents and uncles are suitable.

Third Master Gu was very embarrassed because he just had a conflict with Gu Ningxi during the ancestral worship in the first month, and now, he just heard that his nephew was going to separate, and he was not prepared at all, so he hesitated.

But seeing Second Uncle Gu being elbowed on the waist by his wife and about to step forward, Third Uncle Gu continued his habit of overpowering his brother in everything, and stood in the middle of the two sides immediately.

After meeting the eyes of more than twenty people in the room, Third Master Gu swallowed hard, took the separation letter handed over by his gloomy nephew Gu Ningxi, held it in his hand before opening it, then looked around and said with erratic eyes,

“Everyone! It is a pity that the children can not agree to live together anymore. We are here today to bear witness for this young couple. We will be reading the separation letter one by one, and after that we will finish the remaining procedures. From then on, the connection of marriage between the two families will be cut off and we will have nothing to do with each other in that regard.”

With someone taking the lead, everyone gave a lot of responses like “Yes, yes,” “What a pity” “…and divorce in the end does not hurt the dignity” and so on.

Third Master Gu pressed his hands, indicating that he still has something to say,

“Everyone, I am Gu Ningxi’s Third Uncle, who is a close relative of Gu Ningxi. Everyone is familiar with him. I am not talented, so I will preside over the ceremony for us to witness the separation. If I did something inconsiderate, Please inform me.”

Seeing everyone cheering, his voice gradually became louder.

No one objected, Third Master Gu put on a show, and ordered the housekeeper of the Gu residence to add more lamps and lighten the candles, he then spread out the Separation letter on the table, raised his breath vigorously, and began to read out word by word.

But the more he read it, the more he felt that something was wrong. Uncle Gu gradually silenced his voice, and quickly put his face on the paper.

He then looked at every word, but he couldn’t understand the meaning. This is not a Separation letter, it’s like a rejection! No, no, that’s the wrong word, like…”Repudiation Letter“!

(T/N: To non-native speakers like me, who just came across the word for the first time, Repudiation is like rejection of an idea or denial of the truth.)

Although there is no mention of divorce, there is no problem at all if the male and female names on this certificate are reversed and it is used as a divorce certificate.

Who actually wrote it? Gu Ningxi or Lady Tao? It must be Lady Tao, with an aggrieved heart!

Why would she heap all the faults on his nephew? Gu Ningxi is an official. In the future, he will be promoted step by step, and he will support his own family, even Gu Ningran. If this and the content of the separation letter is spread, people will talk about his lack of personal morality, which will damage his official reputation and affect his future.

Third Master Gu was sweating in a hurry, but Gu Ningxi urged in a hoarse voice,

“Third Uncle, You haven’t finished reading yet, cough cough cough.”

Gu Ningxi slowly walked out from the other end, and when he reached Third Master Gu, his gaze was Floating towards the woman in the dark corner, he asked softly,

“Is it because my handwriting is not clear?”

That’s not it! Documentary evidence can’t be written in this way, Gu Ningxi is blind but has always been good at writing, how can he make such a simple and crude letter, but it is outrageous like this.

Then a crisp, clear female voice sounded,

“Is there anything wrong? Does the Gu family have other considerations?”

It was Tao Xinhe who asked the reason for the suspension of the proceedings.

Tao Muxian next to her echoed very quickly,

“Gu Sicheng! You won’t go back on your word, will you? Could it be that you are still thinking of dragging my sister down, seeing that you are ambiguous with other women? Hmph.”

Tao Cheng patted Tao Muxian on the head, and reprimanded softly,

“Stinky boy, how can you interrupt others?”

Turning around, he turned his voice up and said,

“Can’t even read a letter? Take it here, and I’ll read it. If it drags on, the dinner will be cold.”

Uncle Gu turned to look at his mother, and saw that Old Mrs. Gu couldn’t bear it anymore, so he ordered the maid beside him to bring white gauze wraps, then dragged Gu Ningxi to his knees, pressed his grandson’s shoulders to let him squat down, and lifted his head up slightly. The blood stained face that was originally pure as jade was being wiped away bitterly, then she wrapped it up, and muttered,

“Grandmother missed the target when throwing the teacup, why didn’t you dodge? How can you be an official if you look broken?”

Gu Ningxi was still struggling slightly, and declined,

“Grandmother, it doesn’t matter, I don’t hurt, don’t let He Niang—keep others waiting for too long.”

Uncle Gu was alone and helpless, he had no choice but to go ahead, so he gritted his teeth and continued to read.

At the end of the reading, seeing Gu Ningxi list so many properties for Lady Tao to take away, Third Master Gu was jealous, if his mother hadn’t presided over the branch office after his father died, Gu Ningxi’s property would all belong to the public property, the whole mansion, everyone will then have a share of it.

How can he be so unscrupulous to distribute these to people with foreign surnames.

After reading, there was a long silence in the field. The Separation letter was drafted by Gu Ningxi today, and Tao Xinhe, Second Aunt Gu, and Tao Muxian who was rushing to understand the situation had read it before. But for the others, It was only their first time to hear about it, they are just like Third Master Gu.

Probably, no one expected to hear such a version of a Separation letter, which was unheard of and it shocked them.

After feeling this dullness, Tao Xinhe thought impatiently that it was all Gu Ningxi’s fault for being ingenious. If they used the one she wrote, it would be quite satisfactory and would not cause a lot of heated discussions. The witnessing ceremony should be over by now.

Someone whispered into Old Mrs. Gu’s ear, and while speaking, she stared at Gu Ningxi vigorously.

Gu Ningxi couldn’t feel other people’s scrutiny. Seeing her grandmother let go, he quickly stood up and backed away, thinking seriously about what the next process after reading the separation letter was.

‘Is it possible that from now on, he and He Niang will really not be a couple anymore?’

Third Master Gu’s voice was trembling, “Everyone listen here, you have heard about the separation of the couple, do you have any objections to this separation?”

Under the tireless explanations of others, Old Mrs. Gu finally understood that the reconciliation of her grandson meant the loss of fame and fortune. Her pair of long eyebrows immediately twitched, she was just about to interrupt the testimony, but she inexplicably felt a mocking gaze.

Old Mrs. Gu narrowed her eyes and looked over, she then saw Tao Xinhe sitting in that direction.

Tao Xinhe, who was originally obedient, sweet-mouthed, and well-managed, as a wife, and a second-granddaughter-in-law who was looked down upon by her, actually looked at her with mockery.

In the cloudy and dusty atmosphere, Tao Xinhe met the eyes of the grandmother-in-law who used to be so oppressive towards her, and smiled with the corners of her mouth open, and said hello softly,

“Old Madam Gu.” As for whether the other party heard her, she didn’t care.

Old Mrs. Gu remembered that a moment ago, her grandson knelt down and kowtowed, begging them to come forward to witness the separation, and she let herself throw the white porcelain teacup in a rage, and He did not dodge away, so the broken porcelain splashed over, and blood was drawn on the face of the child. He was bleeding profusely making him look horrific, frightening everyone in the room.

‘Why didn’t he dodge at the time?’

What if she accidentally hurt Gu Ningxi’s eyes and his face, once she’s gone, when she finally arrives in the underworld, how can she explain to her husband who loves Gu Ningxi so much, about the matter?

That’s why Old Mrs. Gu was forced to appear here, even though she was unwilling to witness the separation. He wanted him to be the one divorcing his wife. She still didn’t expect that Gu Ningxi would be so ruthless and harsh on himself.

After this witnessing, the notoriety of him betraying his wife and lusting after women will probably spread, not to mention giving real money and property to lady Tao without blinking an eye. The mansion will probably be evacuated or at least half of it.

In the end, is Gu Ningxi nostalgic for Lady Tao as always, or does he want to get rid of her and start a new love?

Old Mrs. Gu was really confused.

This doubt was actually what everyone was thinking about the most, but their relationship with the young couple was even more estranged, and it had nothing to do with them, so they didn’t plan to question it.

Old Mrs. Gu is the most qualified to speak out, but when she heard that Lady Tao no longer called her “Grandmother” but the polite and distant “Old Mrs. Gu“, she suddenly realized very clearly that even if her grandson remarries in the future, even if the new wife is more beautiful and is more noble, Tao Xinhe would never treat Gu Ningxi so caringly as before.

‘Does he only know how to cherish it when you lose it?’

Old Mrs. Gu thought of Tao Xinhe’s respect for three years, and her helping Gu Ningxi to be promoted to Sicheng. She seemed to understand her grandson’s mind in an instant. As he said, if he lost or offended Tao Xinhe, he wanted to let her do what she wanted and let her be satisfied.

‘I’m old, I don’t care anymore, I can’t care anymore.’

Old Madam Gu turned her gaze towards Gu Ningxi, whose face was half covered in a white cloth and whose expression was unclear, sighed in her heart, and then remained silent to the end.

There was silence for a while. Second Uncle Gu was ordered by his wife, and suddenly shouted,

“Everyone seems to agree, then congratulations… No, no, I mean— It is now confirmed that my nephew Gu Ningxi and Tao’s daughter, Tao Xinhe, are now separated!”

The scene suddenly seemed to be relieved. As if the seal was broken, voices sounded one after another, “Hey, they really separated” , “Yeah, older brother, we are no longer relatives at this turning point.”

Every sentence is actually a nail in the hat between Gu Ningxi and Tao Xinhe. From then on, in the eyes of the world, Gu Ningxi and Tao Xinhe have nothing to do with each other.

Even If they insist, they are no longer husband and wife, their relationship is now that of ex-husbands and ex-wives.

Even though she knew that nothing would go wrong, Tao Xinhe was still a little worried. Until this moment, seeing the elders of the two parties, who were familiar with each other, walked out shoulder to shoulder, which meant that the ceremony was over, and the separation was officially completed.

She realized that from now on, she was no longer part of the Gu family, and only then did she truly feel the joy of freedom, and a new beginning.

Somehow, taking advantage of the high table covering below her chest, she quietly pressed her cold, warming palm to her lower abdomen.

Through the layers of clothes, she couldn’t feel anything, Tao Xinhe still trembled, closed her eyes, and slowly adjusted her breathing.

Just as Tao Muxian wanted to ask his sister if she should get up and go back home, she saw Gu Ningxi pushing aside the crowd and walking over very slowly, then he stood not far or near her sister, without making a sound, just watching quietly.

“Gu Sicheng, what are you looking at? Can you even see clearly?”

Tao Muxian waited for a while, seeing that his sister didn’t move, and Gu Ningxi didn’t move either. He simply asked provocatively, breaking the delicate balance.

Gu Ningxi shook his head, indicating that he couldn’t see clearly.

Yes, what he saw was still only hazy silhouettes with unclear edges, it was just because of the ceremony that made him confirm that the person sitting here was He Niang.

‘I really have no eyes, or maybe this word was created for face-blind people.’

He spoke softly, as if he was afraid of breaking something, and asked,

“He Niang… are you happy?”

(T/N: This whole thing just broke my heart. I don’t know what else to say.)