Chapter 41: Wrapping up

She was full of expectations for a future life that’s free from all the burden, but looking at the face of the person half-wrapped up in front of her, she can only feel relieved after exhaustion.

Tao Xinhe didn’t know where the happiness he meant came from.

The main problem has been settled, the follow-up details only needed to be handed over to the housekeeper, maybe, if there are no special circumstances in the future, she will never see Gu Ningxi again.

Thinking of this, Tao Xinhe sighed slightly, it was rare that she was willing to speak to him in a nice voice, like a final farewell,

“Gu Sicheng, don’t judge others based on yourself, you have got your wish, and from now on, you can freely take concubines and accompany any beauty that you want. I can already calmly wish you happiness.”

Gu Ningxi choked up when he heard these words, and he was not happy at all. Taking a concubine was even more of a responsibility for him than anything else.

His heart felt like it was cut by a knife, but it is self-inflicted, what else is there to argue?

After seeing Tao Xinhe get up gracefully, as if she was about to leave without saying anything, Gu Ningxi had no time to think, and grabbed the beautiful woman’s wrist. The familiar temperature and touch from his fingertips almost made him tremble with intoxication.

“Gu Sicheng!”

As if being touched by some monster, Tao Xinhe screamed out the full address of Gu Ningxi. She then put all her strength into her arms, almost swung it around to throw him off, then took several steps back, and rubbed her wrist violently with the other hand. The skin on the wrist that was touched quickly turned red.

Tao Xinhe was angry and furious, she stared at Gu Ningxi with her eyes blazing with fire, as if she wanted to dig out two holes in him, her chest kept rising and falling, her cherry lips parted slightly to help her breathe properly. She then swallowed several times while her mind was buzzing.

Why can’t this person keep the peace between the two of them for the last time?

Does he need to force her to tear her face apart in the end?

Oh, right, because he suffers from face-blindness, he can’t see through other people’s emotions from their appearance, and he always feels and responds slowly. Because of this he had made a lot of mistakes, but he often makes things right by himself.

Ah! It is reasonable to speculate that obviously she was extremely angry here, and in Gu Ningxi’s world, he might think that she was just breaking free from his shackles, and it is not worth mentioning at all.

Gu Ningxi was really at a loss, why did He Niang’s cry so loud and full of anger?

Why did she stop talking after making that sound? Is…—Is she dissatisfied with him?

He didn’t dare to go any step further. He maintained the posture of his arms hanging in the air, palms outstretched, and five fingers clasped. He then said in a panic,

“Sorry, did I suddenly pull you and scare you, He Niang?”

“The crux of the matter is not because you suddenly grabbed me, but the fact that we’ve already broken up! Gu Ningxi, you should understand what Separated is. We are already separated, we are not much better than strangers, and even worse than the relationship between strangers! Will you grab the wrist of a stranger? If you got nothing to do, then why would you grab me?”

Tao Xinhe calmed down, like beans pouring beans from a bamboo tube, she rebuked her freshly baked ex-husband one by one,

“Also, maybe you’re too noble to forget, then I’ll remind you again, you’re no longer qualified to call me by my boudoir name. Gu Ningxi, do you need me to teach you these two words?”

“And again, what are you pulling me for, could it be that our separation still had an unfinished business to settle? Is it worthwhile for you to move your hands and feet and annoy people for no reason?”

Every word was heartbreaking.

Gu Ningxi couldn’t even squeeze out a wry smile. He resisted the pain in his chest, turned his face and coughed twice, then remembered that the other party might still be waiting for his answer. He withdrew his hand from the air, clenched it into a fist and placed it by his side. He leaned slightly forward towards Tao Xinhe’s direction, just like his heart, he said it in a shattered tone,

“Okay, I will pay attention to it later, He—.. are you willing to listen to me, what can I call you then? I just… just want to talk to you.”

Tao Xinhe felt that the irony was more than enough. What is there to say after they separate?

Her nose snorted softly, she didn’t want to talk to people who she didn’t want to be associated with anymore. She turned around without a word, with the hem of her skirt slightly raised and then falling.

She didn’t move her head. She just used her eyes to scan the room, and quickly found the people she was looking for. Her father and Mu Xian are right beside… Old Mrs. Gu?

When did they get together?

Tao Xinhe bit her lip and hesitated. She didn’t know whether to go over to say hello, call her family away, or walk away by herself.

“Brother Mo, passed away.” The man’s voice was trembling, and he approached slightly, but the meaning in it shocked Tao Xinhe.

What Qingfang said about the Mo family when she came back on the seventh night of the seventh day quickly came to mind. Tao Xinhe was a little surprised, Mo Qiqi was still ill when Qingfang left, so he must have passed away within a few days.

Life is so unpredictable, she had never met this “Brother Mo”, but within a month, I heard Gu Ningxi say a lot about his aspirations, life, and knowledge. She had a sense of acquaintance with him. So in a way she felt different towards him compared to what she felt to a stranger.

The dead should be respected— She swallowed the words she wanted to say to scold Gu Ningxi and throw him off.

She took a deep breath, as if inhaling Gu Ningxi’s heat, Tao Xinhe didn’t care about it for now. She adjusted her tone, and continued in a straightforward manner, “My condolences.” Gu Ningxi felt the relief, straightened his shoulders, and hurriedly said,

“Indeed, he is still young. It’s a pity, and Qiniang was left alone…”

“Shut up!” Tao Xinhe didn’t expect that even though time had already passed, and she had already separated from the person in front of her, when she heard the name “Qiniang“, her eyes would immediately turn black and her head would spin with fury.

No matter how much Gu Ningxi sympathized with the fragrance and cherishes the jade, save the orphaned girl and take her as a concubine, how they mourned the deceased with so much sorrow, and even resonated with each other to warm each other, it had nothing to do with her.

Tao Xinhe had to emphasize again,

“Gu Ningxi, you want to take a concubine, so we got separated. As for who you want to take in, whose face you can see clearly, and what story is going on between you, please don’t tell me, so as not to stain my ears. First and foremost we’ve already parted our ways and secondly, if you don’t want to be lenient and give me a hard time. I’ll see you try!”

Gu Ningxi was speechless, the weak girl was violated by his enemy, and he was responsible for it. However, it was wrong to talk about it on this occasion, the timing was also wrong, and there will be a suspicion of shifting the blame as soon as he talk about it.

When it comes to the reputation of a woman, without Mo Qiqi’s consent, he can’t say a word about it to anyone, even to his wife.

Then, there is nothing else that can be explained to the lady.

His debts are after all his own.

Gu Ningxi frowned tightly, he had thousands of words he wanted to say but it was all stuck in his throat. It all turned into a dull sentence, “He… Tao… Tao…”

“Tao Jushi.” Tao Xinhe reminded him angrily.

There are not many separated women in the world, and there is no exclusive title. Under the premise that the two identities of “Girl” and “Madame” commonly used by official women are not suitable for her, Tao Xinhe has an idea, and pulls the Buddhist address that is cultivated at home. It was what Male and female disciples refer to each other. She used it as a reference to herself in the future.

Gu Ningxi nodded repeatedly as if he had found a treasure.

The white gauze on his face was not securely wrapped, showing signs of being loose. The cloth tails around his ears had escaped the bandages, and a small arc was raised, adding a bit of humor to the handsome and serious man’s face.

Tao Xinhe held back her impatience, “I don’t want to listen about the Mo family affairs, is there anything else?”

She glanced at him casually, but she looked at the naughty cloth strip, lost her mind for a moment, and tried her best to suppress the urge to go forward to comfort him.

Gu Ningxi didn’t notice it, and his words went smoothly, “Tao Jushi, good Jushi, May the Buddhist scriptures nourish your heart and mind. You…you go in and out of your daily life, take care of yourself, and pay more attention to thugs, the world is not peaceful.” Tao Xinhe wanted to sneer even more, she wondered what kind of golden words he wanted to say, it turned out to be nothing more than old-fashioned polite greetings.

Does she need his earnest instructions?

Could it be that he thought that she was a dodder flower? The kind that needs a man’s care?

Did he use the same attitude towards that one whose face he can see clearly, and use it on her when he is confused for a while?

Tao Xinhe felt sick.

Forget it, instead of waiting for her father and younger brother, she couldn’t bear Gu Ningxi’s presence anymore, breathing and smelling with him was like being tortured.

She lifted up the hem of her skirt slightly, then walked briskly away, like a spring swallow treading the water, and walked a long distance silently.

It wasn’t until she passed the high threshold as usual that she felt calm.

She stroked her stomach lightly, stabilized her rhythm, and walked straight without looking back.

Naturally, she didn’t know or care about Gu Ningxi.

In the ancestral hall, Gu Ningxi said that “The world is not peaceful” it’s to pave the way for him to warn her about his “Enemy“, he wanted to speak more but hesitated. He closed his eyes, while brewing words in his mind.

‘I seem to have an enemy. I don’t know who he is or what his abilities are. Anyway, be careful.’

Does he seem too simple and foolish?

‘I don’t know how I offended Him, but he is vicious and has already attacked another woman. You should be on guard and don’t get caught.’

Would it be a little unkind and cruel?

Gu Ningxi plucked up his courage, opened his eyes, and wanted to confess his predicament to the lady,

“Tao Jushi, I… Enemy…”,

Only to find that there was nothing in front of him, and the figure of his beloved woman had already disappeared.

What to do?

Where is the lady?

Gu Ningxi looked around, and there were still other people left behind.

The group of people five feet away on the left are all men, so she’s probably not there.

Farther away is the white-haired grandmother sitting on the chair. Of all the people present tonight, only her white hair is covered with osmanthus oil, shining in the faint light of the sun and the moon.

There is someone beside her!

Could it be that the lady went to find his grandmother? Gu Ningxi just wanted to step up and approach, and after careful identification, the people around her grandmother seemed to be four men and two women dressed as maids, but there was no lady.

Looking around, at the corner of the candlelight, between light and darkness, there are two or three female relatives standing vaguely talking and discussing.

Gu Ningxi walked quickly, and when he reached the place where the voice could be heard, she recognized Second Aunt Gu’s voice.

Will the lady be with the Second Aunt?

“Second Aunt? Have you seen He— Tao Jushi?” Gu Ningxi didn’t care if he asked her in front of another person, he just wanted to confirm first.

Who this “Tao Jushi” he was referring to, Second Aunt Gu could guess immediately, her nephew’s nickname for He Niang is interesting, but why did he suddenly want to look for her?

“He Niang, I think I vaguely saw her leave the ancestral hall just now? Did you see her?”

Second Aunt Gu recalled with uncertainty, and asked the other wives and ladies around her.

Someone said in a soft voice, “Well, she walked quickly that way, crossed the threshold in a few steps, and soon disappeared. I saw it with my own eyes.”

Second Aunt Gu hurriedly pointed to Gu Ningxi, “This is the little aunt of your third Uncle’s family, brother Xi, please.”

“Thank you, third aunt, farewell.” Gu Ningxi spoke quickly, cupped his hands casually, and chased straight outside the door.

“Brother Xi’s eyes are really high, and he even missed me, his third aunt out again.” Third Aunt Gu complained eccentrically but she was unable to catch up with the wind blown by Gu Ningxi’s passing.

Gu Ningxi walked out of the ancestral hall and looked around.

The sky was gloomy, and the dead trees projected on the avenue were like heavy obstacles. There were flickering candles everywhere in the dimly lit path, which seemed to be throwing him off the trail, making his eyesight limited.

In such a situation, he didn’t catch the silhouette of the woman he was looking for.

He was uncertain, walking along the road of stones. He kept pausing from time to time, met a servant who gave him a salute, and anxiously asked them about He Niang’s whereabouts, only to find out that she had asked the housekeeper to leave a message to her family, to tell them that she already took a step ahead, and had already sat on the seat of the carriage back to the Tao Manor.

And that carriage is gone.

Does He Niang regard him as a stalker?

Forget it, if he chases after her and specifically talks about his enemy, how will he be able to describe him?

At least, after the separation, the Enemy will not be able to attack He Niang.

Right now it’s his priority to find out who the enemy is first and deal with him properly.

Then he will tell the lady about it afterwards, or just bury it in his heart, that’s all he got for now.

At that moment He immediately stopped. He seemed to have realized something. Like someone who was enlightened by the Buddhist scriptures, he seemed to have finally realized what the lady meant when she said ‘That the sea and the sky are broad, and the clouds are finally clear from the rain..