Chapter 43: New Life

Under the guidance of the housekeeper, Gu Ningxi braced himself on seeing off the last of his relatives, friends and guests.

Looking back at the huge mansion where he was the only master. He deeply realized that the home that he and his wife had, was already broken up.

Gu Ningxi’s aura also seemed to have dissipated. He felt like a hollowed-out skin sac that had been stripped off.

His heart and liver were lost, his five senses were out of order, and everything felt wrong.

The housekeeper carefully wiped the sweat from his brow, and he didn’t dare to compliment the master’s ability to cultivate himself and manage the family.

However, He still had to report the matter according to his duty,

“Master, Miss Mo asked our servants to come back and ask you, if you are feeling better now? She said she was hoping you could go and accompany her.”

Gu Ningxi knew that he should send Brother Mo off for the last time and give him a proper send off, but after hearing this, he only felt endlessly exhausted.

He asked about the progress of the funeral, and when he heard that everything was going well, he ordered in a hoarse voice,

“I just listened to my grandmother’s teachings, and I know that it has been very difficult for you, housekeeper, please pass down my order, everyone in the funeral will get a double monthly pay. Thank them for me. Tell Miss Mo not to cut people around. I’m afraid she’s not in a very good mood recently. Tell her that something unexpected happened, I also have to be on duty tomorrow. I’ll just go over at night to check on her.”

After trying his best to arrange the various chores, Gu Ningxi dragged his exhausted body to the main courtyard.

He fell head straight on the side of the inner shelf bed, his face was buried in the pillow, and the wound was cracked open again.

The whole person seemed to be in a deep sleep or in a state of unconsciousness. Shishu was so frightened that he called out “Master” hurriedly, and even dared to feel his forehead temperature.

“Master is breathing fine and his body temperature is okay. He probably fell asleep due to exhaustion. Let’s check on him tomorrow morning. So he doesn’t miss the opening of the seal and the court.”

So the two left Gu Ningxi behind, trapped in a dark, and dreary dream.

On the tenth day of the first lunar month, the sun is shining. It was warm and pleasant.

Spring is also full of joy. It is the day when the imperial court and merchants open their doors.

Officials of the sixth rank and above all went to the court in the early morning, and there was a line of people, wearing red and crimson robes.

No matter how different the political opinions are, people only knew that the court argument will only be fiercer in the future.

However, when the officials finally meet again today, everyone still congratulates each other for the new year, and spreads auspicious words without any money spilled out. It looks like a scene of prosperity and harmony.

However, there are still subtle differences.

After all, there are no secrets in the capital.

For example, there is Tao Cheng, a member of the Ministry of Industry in a third official-ranked uniform.

Everyone is paying special attention to their words when greeting him, for fear of bringing up the sadness of his eldest daughter’s separation. However, they gradually discovered that he was actually very proud of it.

His colleagues were puzzled, but they wisely didn’t pry further, they just guessed the story behind it.

Another example is on Gu Ningxi’s side, he was the Sicheng of the Ministry of Rites and was wearing the official uniform of a fifth-rank official.

As the grandson of the former prime minister and the youngest mid-level civil servant, even if everyone knows that he doesn’t like to talk much, many people are still willing to say hello to him, regardless of whether he is arrogant or suffering from a strange disease.

However, today is different.

After seeing the eye-catching bloodstain on his face and the news of his separation last night, everyone didn’t know what to say, and tacitly stayed away.

His current colleagues just stood far away and greeted him saying,

“Gu Sicheng, New year and new life to you.”

This kind of greeting was said casually without pain or itch.

Gu Ningxi stood up straight and upright. His hands folded and his head bowed to listen quietly, he was indescribably handsome and unrestrained, and he was doing his best to avoid the sight of the ceremonial officer.

However, he knew that his mind was really dizzy right now.

He can see the throne not far away with the emperor saying some loud words of encouragement to the ministers.

Those words only floated past his ears, like a buzzing noise, and he seemed to only hear his own violent and chaotic heartbeat.

He could only look at his colleagues from the corner of his eye, followed them when they bowed down three times and said,

“Long live! Long Live!”.

He then filed away with the crowd, like a puppet or a doll without a soul.

After the morning ceremony, he went back to the ministry of rites to report. When he was about to enter the office, Zhang Shangshu of the Ministry of Rites specially called for him to enter his study room, he then asked with concern,

“Gu Sicheng, I heard that there have been some changes in your family recently. How are you doing now?”

Gu Ningxi sighed silently, he then thanked his boss for caring, and said a few words about the separation process.

Zhang Shangshu is an old man, obviously he had noticed the reserved words of the young man in front of him. So he swallowed the words of wanting to become a matchmaker, and only decided to wait and see for a while. He will wait until he completely gives up on his ex-wife, and then he will help his grand niece to catch this wealthy son-in-law.

He waved his hand to let Gu Ningxi go to work on his affairs, while Zhang Shangshu thought about it alone in the room.

He decided that in the future he would go to the Ministry of Industry to check on Tao Cheng’s point of view, and it was also important to confirm that Gu Ningxi’s ex-wife would no longer change her mind.

Gu Ningxi is only in his twenties.

He was born in a famous family, full of talent and knowledge. He was upright, reticent, hard-working, resilient, and meticulous in doing his work, whether it was big or small he would always put special care on it.

However, he is not popular enough, otherwise, he would have been promoted to Sizheng1 sooner.

When he was married to his wife, Lady Tao, she would often take good care of the wives of various officials, and accompany Gu Ningxi to socialize and help him recognize his colleagues.

Although she caused some criticism in terms of women’s conduct, she still had a good reputation as a virtuous person, which made up for Gu Ningxi’s shortcomings.

Now that they are divorced and separated, without her support, Gu Ningxi’s popularity is likely to stagnate even more.

If he really wants to promote him, he can’t convince the crowd.

Zhang Shangshu sighed deeply, it is not easy to cultivate young people.

In the Etiquette Division, colleagues would often come and fight with each other. Everyone wants to know why Gu Ningxi, the deputy second only to a Sizheng, who has always shown himself as a loving husband with his wife and would often mention “My Wife” in his speech, would separate without warning.

What is the inside story?

What is the reason?

Whether the man or the woman had a falling out, no one knows, and no one dared to ask.

At this moment, they only felt that Gu Ningxi’s face blindness was really useful.

Probably because he couldn’t understand their curiosity, Gu Sicheng was able to meditate as if nothing had happened. If it were any one of them, they might have fled because of the constant inquiring eyes from their colleagues.

Tao Xinqiang finally returned to the Tao Manor again. She was giggling and jumping up and down, that her eldest sister Tao Xinhe, who was following behind her couldn’t help but murmur,

“Slow down, your foot injury just got healed, and you haven’t even learned to be careful yet.”

“I’ve been bedridden for several days, and I feel so stifled. After thinking about my sister-in-law who will be in bed for a whole month, I actually feel worried about her.”

Tao Xinqiang turned around and saw her sister’s walking was slow for some reason, so she moved closer and hugged her arm. She was shaking it coquettishly in response.

Tao Xinqiang felt restrained after walking a few steps with Tao Xinhe, and she wanted to speed up so she dragged the other party,

“Sister, your pace, why does it seem like an old woman, walk faster, you are already divorced. You don’t need to worry about that little vixen anymore. After finally settling things, why aren’t you walking around happily?”

“Be more cautious, you’re old enough to find a husband, we still need to settle your affairs, so learn to hold back your words.”

Tao Xinhe softly reprimanded her sister, but with a smile on her face.

It’s a good day indeed. So she should have a wonderful time.

But Tao Xinqiang began to break things out seriously,

“She’s obviously a vixen. When I was at your mansion, she came over to give New Year’s gifts. I remember that Qingfang went out to send her away. It happened about ten days ago, and Brother-in-law… Ah , No, Gu Ningxi… Sister, don’t stare at me, okay… Gu Sicheng, how long has it been since he’s been involved with her? And now he wants to bring her over into the mansion, hmph!”

Just like Gu Ningxi or Qingfang, she did not allow them to mention the Mo family and Mo Qiqi in front of her.

However, Tao Xinhe can’t do anything to her sister. She could only prevaricate her.

“Hmph, you don’t have to tell me anything sister, I’ll ask Qingfang. My sister, hurry up and go to the courtyard of my sister-in-law. She should be waiting for me.”

“When I went to see you the other day, Ning Niang was around, and I didn’t see her today. Does she know that I am no longer with her cousin? What did she say to you?”

Tao Xinhe thought of her younger sister’s friend, and her former sister-in-law, Gu Runing, who was also a friend of hers.

It’s embarrassing to meet with her again in the future.

Tao Xinqiang pursed her lips, her voice became low, and she twirled her fingers around the fabric of her sister’s arm,

“When Ning Niang heard about it, she cried bitterly. She thinks that her second cousin is a big bad person, and he even made you angry. She even took it as a crime. She was also very sorry for you, she thinks that she doesn’t have any face to see you, so she hid on purpose.”

Alas, the separation is not only a matter between her and Gu Ningxi, the intertwining connection between them and the two families became complicated.

Her surroundings and Gu Ningxi’s interpersonal relationships will undergo profound and helpless changes.

For example, she and Gu Runing can only slowly digest and adapt.

Tao Xinhe forced a laugh, pulled back her sleeves, patted the back of her sister’s hand, and responded,

“As long as it doesn’t affect the friendship between you two, It’s fine.”

Tao Xinqiang soon became happy, and told her sister about the interesting things in the second household of the Gu’s mansion. She started chattering and Tao Xinhe laughed with her.

On the tenth night of the lunar new year, the moon is hovering above the treetops. It was half-covered by dark clouds, and the shadows were faint around the old Gu’s mansion.

Gu Ningran asked his mother, third aunt Gu, with a look of doubt,

“Mother, I heard Gu Ningxi held a divorce ceremony last night. Is it true?”

“Why would you think it’s not? Your grandmother, your father, me, your second uncle and second aunt, and even your seventh aunt and eighth aunt were present and became the witnesses to the whole separation process. Tsk tsk tsk, you didn’t see it, Gu Ningxi’s face had a huge injury on it. It was so conspicuous. It was your grandmother who smashed a porcelain teacup and injured him. His injury looked so hideous and terrifying, and he had to endure it during the entire process. I don’t know why he didn’t wipe it off, he probably wanted to pretend to be pitiful.”

Gu Ningran did not think about the handsome face of his cousin in his mind, Instead, he thought about Lady Tao’s exquisite figure.

Her body had just the right amount of meat and curves on it.

Unfortunately, he may not be able to see it in the future, so how can he bare it?

“Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

Third Aunt Gu patted her son’s hair lightly, her pat was more of an intimacy rather than admonishment,

“Little brat, you came back late at night on the seventh day of the lunar new year, and no one knew where you went to play around the next day. You just returned again tonight, how can we tell you? Besides, didn’t you hate to hear about his affairs? You’ll hear about it later anyways, so what’s the big deal?”

Even to his own mother, Gu Ningran didn’t dare to say what he did on the sixth night of the first day of the lunar new year.

It was a terrible thing.

Although he is lustful and greedy for women, and he likes the pleasure of flesh and body, he had always paid attention to their willingness, and this is the first time he had ever assaulted anyone.

He acted on the spur of the moment, but he was still meticulous, for fear that he would accidentally leave any clues and be discovered by Gu Ningxi who often went to that small courtyard.

If Gu Ningxi asks him to settle the accounts, he would really lose face.

After all he had already experienced his aggressiveness before, and the scene where he was at a loss for words, was quite tormenting.

Therefore, for the next few days, he was worried and afraid to stay at his concubine’s house, nor stay at his wife’s.

Until today when he finally resumed his duty in the Imperial Academy, and deliberately turned around to the entrance of the etiquette department and looked at the calm atmosphere inside, that he finally decided to come back to his house at night in suspense.

Unexpectedly, the person who greeted him told him about the news of his cousin’s divorce!

It was so unexpected and shocking that he pestered his mother to ask for the reason.

Third Aunt Gu was drinking the ginseng soup deducted from the old lady’s share, and said casually,

“That’s right, you are so confused, you don’t want to hear about the good news from Gu Ningxi, but this time he was separated, it was his wife who didn’t want him anymore. He even had to put on a look like a mourning concubine. Come here I’ll tell you about it to relieve your boredom.”

“Good mother, don’t make fun of me, Gu Ningxi had already mourned once for his parents, can he mourn again?”

Gu Ningran ordered his servants to bring him a ginseng soup as well, and listened to the interesting news about his cousin.

Third Aunt Gu also seemed to feel that her words were off, she waved her hand and said,

“Son, be careful, that’s your uncle and auntie, if others hear your frivolous words towards your elders. It won’t be good for you. Speaking of which, I heard Ah, Gu Ningxi insisted on taking a girl surnamed Mo or something outside as his concubine, but Tao Xinhe didn’t want it, and made a fuss about it. So they got divorced.”

‘Mo? Mo Qiqi? That girl he just plucked?’