Chapter 44: Inquiry

Gu Ningran was restless. He was sitting and lying inside his room.

His wife, Lady Cao, looked awkward, grabbed him by the ear, and reprimanded him,

“You did come back but your heart seemed to be hanging out from whichever wild hoof1 you’ve met. Speak honestly, where have you been spending your days lately? Who did you offend?”

“My lady, my good lady, let go, it hurts.”

Gu Ningran begged for mercy from Lady Cao with a playful smile, broke free from her hands and then explained,

“Gu Ningxi just had his divorce, don’t you know? I sent someone to investigate this matter, and I’m waiting for them to return with the news.”

Lady Cao was inside the inner courtyard all day, how could she not know about it?

So she told her husband about the scene of Gu Ningxi begging his grandmother to come forward to witness the separation, she retold it in an exaggerated way making it seem worse than it already was, her words were quite disdainful as well,

“Those who don’t know that he was begging the old lady to help him divorce would think he’s doing something else. If you saw that scene you’d even think he was begging her to marry him to a princess or a county princess! He pretended to be sincere, and truly loves his wife, but if he does they wouldn’t have divorce would they? If I were Tao Xinhe I’d spit on him twice!”

Gu Ningran hesitated and asked,

“Why did they separate? Weren’t they inseparable before? You even complained about me for not being as devoted as Gu Ningxi but how did it turn out now?”

“Hmph, seriously speaking, Gu Ningxi is still better than you. He has always kept only one woman by his side. It used to be Tao Xinhe, and in the future it will be his concubine from the outside room2, and from what grandmother said, he has no intention of remarrying. That concubine really flew up the high branch to become a phoenix3! Wait! Gu Ningran, you… Gu Ningxi’s concubine…”

Lady Cao suddenly remembered something, and her face changed greatly.

Gu Ningran nodded, raised his index finger to his lips, made a “Shh” gesture, and lowered his voice,

“It seems that it is that girl, and I will know when the person I sent to inquire, return with the news.”

The same night, the servant boy who accompanied him to the Mo family courtyard, slipped the wall, and observed the situation. Then he went back to the old Gu Mansion, to report to his master.

Lady Cao insisted on listening, and Gu Ningran did not stop.

It was a servant who can be trusted by Gu Ningran, regardless of whether he’s done crooked things, he would still flatter and obey him.

Helping him deal with his wife, concubines, and prostitutes is just one of his basic abilities.

The servant is currently describing what he had seen and heard in the Mo family courtyard vividly.

“It seems that the Mo family is currently holding a funeral, and the sound of a Buddhist monk chanting the Sutra can be heard from a long distance away. According to their neighbors, it doesn’t stop until the eleventh hour every night, and it starts again the next day. Which is very in line with the customs of the capital, but Miss Mo Qiqi Complained, that it’s not really a tradition in their hometown to send the dead off all night long.”

“The one who died was Mo Qi, a poor young man who came to the capital to rush for the Imperial examination, but unluckily he contracted an illness, missed the exam, and died, Leaving behind his only relative, the orphaned Mo Qiqi behind.”

Gu Ningran interrupted his words unconsciously,

“Oh, so that girl’s name is Mo Qiqi, her name is quite easy to remember.”

She was immediately glared at by Lady Cao twice.

The young servant was about to talk about the main point next, so he raised his voice a bit,

“Eldest young master, and eldest young lady, Guess who I saw, when I was squatting in the neighboring courtyard?”

“It was Second Young Master Gu Ningxi, who just had a divorce yesterday! He can’t even wait to meet his little love tonight!”

“He didn’t wear the court’s official uniform, but was dressed in a Dark Azure robe, which almost blended into the night, and I was able to notice him with my sharp eyes.”

“I heard the neighbors gossip that before noon on the eighth day of the lunar month, they saw this senior official being carried over into the courtyard and quickly carried out, without knowing why. I tried to move my ears closer to hear more, but all I heard was just the chanting of the monk, but by coincidence, Gu Ningxi and Mo Qiqi was standing in a quiet corner of the courtyard talking near the base of the wall, and I listened to every sentence with bated breath, and then came back to report.”

“What Second Young Master Xi said was, ‘Qiniang you look exhausted, I have something to do at home these few days, and I wasn’t able to help much these days, I wonder if brother Mo’s spirit in heaven will blame me.’ The girl replied and her voice was elongated, and it sounded affectionate. She said, ‘Brother Xi, I know you miss my brother. Thanks to your family, my brother’s funeral is still decent. Are you feeling better? Is today the day when the officials return to court?’ Second Young Master Xi seemed to cough and then quickly covered his mouth to muffle the sound.”

“I was not sure if I heard it clearly, but I heard him say in a hoarse voice and said slowly, ‘I’m fine. Take care of yourself. I see that the swelling on your face has subsided a bit, and you have almost recovered your original facial features, which is a good thing. I don’t know if your mood has stabilized, but I want to discuss with you about your future arrangements.’ ”

The young servant stopped here, scratched his head and said,

“I’m sure I heard it right, but can Second Young Master Xi see other people’s facial features clearly? How does he know that her face has somewhat recovered?”

“Maybe he said it to make the little girl happy?”

Lady Cao sneered,

“Hearing these words, Gu Ningxi seemed urgent enough. Does he really care about an outside room’s swollen face like a treasure?”

“Eh? Speaking of which, why is that girl’s face swollen?”

As if she had an intuition, she looked at Gu Ningran, and indeed saw him thinking, then suddenly realized something and touched his elbow.

“It should be because I wasn’t able to control my strength and slapped her. Mo Qiqi was going to fight me hard at that time.”

Gu Ningran explained coyly, and motioned the servant to continue talking quickly, to avoid the topic about the swelling.

The little servant lowered his head and imitated a female’s voice, and recalled what she said, ‘Ah, brother Xi, I know what you mean. Um… Did Madam agree? I didn’t see her the day before yesterday, so should I ask Madam first before entering the Mansion? To make it Safer? Also, I have to wait after my brother’s funeral for a hundred days to practice my filial piety before entering the mansion, right? That’s… That’s the middle of May, or at least we have to wait until my brother has passed for seven to forty-nine days before I can enter the mansion… Brother Xi, why are you silent?’

The young man imitated her voice in a nondescript way, which made the masters laugh. Lady Cao couldn’t help but wipe away the tears from the corners of her eyes, and asked urgently,

“What did Gu Ningxi say later?”

After Gu Ningran laughed, he felt a little uncomfortable.

That girl from the Mo family, in essence, is his. However, She’s about to be taken into the mansion by Gu Ningxi?

Since the sixth day of the lunar new year, it is estimated that with his powerful kick, that girl of the Mo family won’t be able to sleep with anyone soon, but one day, she will have sex with Gu Ningxi, but she had already lost her virginity.

Does Gu Ningxi know about this?

Thinking about it carefully, the girl’s body was thin, her face was not visible in the dark, anyway she probably wasn’t outstanding, at most she was pretty, but the taste was…

Gu Ningran can’t help but gulp. After remembering what he was worried about, he asked,

“What did they talk about? Was there no mention of someone assaulting Mo Qiqi?”

Anyway, he knew that it was an assault…

The boy shook his head, saying that he had been leaning against the wall and waited for a long while before he heard Second Young Master Xi say,

‘For now, let’s focus on Brother Mo’s funeral first, and we’ll discuss the rest later.’

Then, I heard the man’s footsteps leaving, and the girl’s voice hurriedly calling out “Brother Xi“, and leaving the corner.

Lady Cao concluded,

“Look, Gu Ningran, it has nothing to do with you at all. Gu Ningxi and this little girl who came out of nowhere are sincerely in love. It’s strange that the little girl doesn’t know that he just had his divorce. However, Never mind them, let’s live our lives well, you are not allowed to bring anyone back, six concubines are enough.”

Gu Ningran put his arms around Lady Cao, saying that she will always be the one who he loves the most, coaxing the woman while grinning. But he thought in his heart, Gu Ningxi clearly separated from his wife for the sake of Mo Qiqi.

He actually chose her over a woman from a third-rank official family. That woman had a beautiful body. She’s also smart and capable, if he didn’t want her, then why didn’t he rush to show off to Mo Qiqi for credit?

Hmph, it can’t be judged by common sense at all, Gu Ningxi is really a weird person.

Ji Changbo Cheng Shicheng, learned the great news that the beautiful woman he had been thinking about had Separated yesterday.

He heard about if from his adopted son Cheng Jia,

He was surprised, but he was more delighted.

His understanding of Lady Tao was also deepened.

This is a strong woman!

“Tao Xinhe cannot be treated lightly.”

Cheng Shicheng thought so after Cheng Jia told him about the reason behind the separation.

It was said that his intentions were to simply help out a woman in need, but if you think about it more, it was simply because he was being greedy for the girl’s body and not anything else.

Cheng Shicheng paces and thinks about it himself, a beautiful woman who has principles and persistence is worthy of his serious pursuit.

Would it scare her, if he comes to appear in front of her with the posture of begging her to become his wife?

Is Tao Xinhe in a stable mood now?

Or should he try to take things slow first?

According to his observations, Tao Xinhe might secretly treat him like how she would treat an older female relative.

So should he use this convenience to get closer to her and slowly become her confidant?

Or should he take the opportunity to break her misconceptions and chase after her as a strong and powerful man, with a good and dignified posture, and then ask her if he can become her second husband?

The more Cheng Shicheng thought about it, the hotter he felt in his heart.

He was hoping he could have the beautiful woman in his arms right now.

Tao Xinhe’s facial features, in his mind, besides being charming and alluring, has become even more attractive and lively because of the separation.

Tao Xinhe’s life was peaceful and smooth, just like in Gu’s mansion.

Now she is taking care of the family affairs in the Tao’s manor. She was taking care of her siblings and relatives, and everyone has a tacit understanding not to mention Gu Ningxi in front of her.

Qingfang has been hesitating about it for the past few days.

She was conflicted whether to offend her mistress, and tell her what she has seen and heard about the Mo family or not.

She doesn’t really have to think about it herself.

She knows that she just needs to serve her mistress wholeheartedly. She knows that her mistress has her own ideas in mind.

Even the third miss asked her about it, and Qingfang thought about it more.

Her former master wanted to accept a broken girl, and it was not the former master who broke her, no matter what the inside story was, it was always unpleasant to say, so she hesitated.

Tao Xinqiang saw that she didn’t seem to want to talk about it, so she gave up.

After thinking that her ex-brother-in-law was just looking for sex, and was eager to try something fresh, only to hit the bottom line of her older sister she couldn’t help but wonder whether she should pull Ning Niang and talk more about it with her.

She was still undecided though.

Also, the ex-brother-in-law really disappeared without a trace, and there was no news about him at all.

Does he not miss her sister at all?

Tao Xinqiang was furious about this, but looking at her sister, she didn’t seem to care about it at all.

So she ran to her father to complain about her ex-brother-in-law, but her father was still in a very bad mood, and So he asked Tao Xinqiang, if she was divorced, would she still treat that person like before, or treat them like they were a dead person?

Ji Changbo came over to the Tao Manor again on the thirteenth day of the first lunar month, saying that he was looking for Tao Xinhe to inquire about the details of the marriage of his youngest son and daughter-in-law.

Tao Xinhe frowned, and thought about the matter, she actually planned to settle it with the Second Aunt Gu later…

She received Cheng Shicheng politely, and thanked him in advance for his uninterrupted delivery of bits and pieces of cute things and toys for four or five days in a row.

Then she told him that her younger sister used and played with them well. She also told him in a polite manner that his third sister had already recovered, so there was really no need for Ji Changbo’s mansion to apologize like this, enough was enough.

In the end, Tao Xinhe bit her lips, and mentioned that she was already divorced, and it’s really inappropriate for her to precede over the marriage of a lady from the Gu Family.

She also asked him to wait for her to settle this with the Gu family and inquire about it with them instead later on.

Cheng Shicheng put down the teacup in his hand, smiled wider, the corners of his eyes was shining brightly, while the corners of his lips curled up charmingly, then asked,

“Although I have heard about it a little, I don’t know how the two immortal couple suddenly separated, and I vaguely remember seeing Gu Sicheng before. It’s a pity that we didn’t get to say hello when he arrived at your manor. He Niang, would you like to tell me more about it?”

(T/N: He’s really over reaching. You guys aren’t close. It’s really inappropriate for him to call her using her boudoir name when they’re not even that close. Dude he’s really creepy. Yikes!)