Chapter 3: Offering Tea (1)

Early in the next morning, Sang Wan was awakened by Shi Fengju’s nudge.

She really can’t be blamed for being a late riser. In the past, she was forgotten by the Shi family; her mother-in-law disliked her, thus she could only watch the family at the sideline. And because of that, she lost her sense of time due to only sleeping, eating, daydreaming and stifling.

“Well?” Sang Wan rubbed her sleepy eyes before looking at Shi Fengju. The blanket was shifted and warmth from under the blanket escaped, touching her skin as it rose and bringing a light delicate fragrance with it.

“Get up quickly. The maidservants will be coming in anytime soon!” Shi Fengju, feeling impatient, stared at Sang Wan with discontent. As he stared at Sang Wan’s innocent-looking face, his heart couldn’t help but sway a little.

“Ah!” Sang Wan hastily crawled out of bed and pulled a white veil which she discarded away previously. She cried helplessly, “This… this… what should we do?”

Awkwardly, Shi Fengju rubbed his nose. Biting the bullet, he turned without saying a word and took a sharp ruby-decorated hairpin from the dressing table. He then cut his middle finger shallowly and let his fresh thick blood drip onto the veil. After a short moment, the white veil was dotted with distinct red colors on the white background which made it stunning.

“Enough! Enough!” Seeing him stupidly drip his fresh blood on the veil, she hurriedly grabbed it from him. “The veil may not be red, but killing a chicken should do the trick! What is he thinking, trying to dye the veil with his own blood?”

Shi Fengju suddenly felt embarrassed and looked away from her as he waited for her to ridicule him for what he had just done. “This is so awkward…really awkward…”

“You, get changed quickly. We’ve to offer tea to my mother, uncles, and aunties later to show our respect!” Shi Fengju coughed as he attempted to divert the awkwardness elsewhere. He succeeded, but not through his effort; just when the sentence sank into Sang Wan’s head, door knocks from outside the chamber could be heard.

“Sir, Ma’am!”

The two of them couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief.

“Come in!” Sang Wan glanced at Shi Fengju before replying.

The maidservants entered slowly and upon seeing the both of them, they bowed. Each of the maidservant took on a task; dressing, holding onto a towel, polishing jewelry, and many others. With all the maidservants busy, only Liu Ya was left standing, clueless of what she had to do.

Two graceful senior maidservants stepped forward and took the blood-stained veil from the young couple, only to notice the couple staring intensely and nervously at each other. The senior maidservants concluded that there was a secret between the couple, and giggled. The two senior maidservants then kneeled on the floor and congratulate the young couple. Taking the signal, the other maidservants within the room stopped doing their tasks and bowed in front of the couple to congratulate them. Awkwardly, Shi Fengju returned a smile back to the maidservants. Stealing a glance at Sang Wan who was also putting on an awkward smile, Shi Fengju helpless gave a “赏!” (TLN: 赏 means reward), and the maidservants cheered with joy.

After grooming, the couple prepared to meet the elders in the courtyard to offer them tea as a sign of filial piety.

“To meet again!” A face emerged within her mind; a kind and amiable round face, long and narrow eyes, thin and pursed-up lips.

There’s also second Uncle Shi Guangyao, second Aunt Mi Shi, many younger brothers and sisters, and also the cousin, Gu Fangzi!

Walking through the zigzagged corridor towards the courtyard, Sang Wan was in a trance. Slight images of her surroundings as she walked through the corridor flashed in her head as if she had walked through this corridor before. The scene in front of her… she was used to it as the wife of the eldest son in her past life. Due to living in the house for too long with less exposure to the surroundings outside, except for a small courtyard, she was practically unfamiliar with the other corners within the property. She really did not recognize them… maybe just a slight impression of the house…

In the courtyard, Mother Wang Shi, second uncle and aunt were already settled, with several young sirs and misses at the back. There were several maidservants around, and the dull building was filled with brightly colored decorations. Most of the important family members had all arrived; including Gu Fangzi.

Going inside, Sang Wang subconsciously looked towards Gu Fangzi who was behind Mother Wang Shi and serving her. The pretty red begonia skirt with eight pictures of clivias made her silk-like skin even more eye-catching. Her facial features are perfect, eyebrows long and thin. Graceful and beautiful, making it easy for her to give a good impression to others.

Coincidentally, Gu Fangzi was also looking at the direction where Sang Wan is, and their eyes met. Their line of sight connected. Gu Fangzi gave a smile, exposing her dimples. With her bright eyes and smile, Sang Wan without a choice nodded and return a smile.

Sang Wan shuddered immediately and quickly drooped her eyelids. In the past, Gu Fangzi used that friendly smile to instill anxiety into her. However, at the moment, what Sang Wan felt were not only anxiety but also chills.

“Mother! Second uncle and aunt!” Shi Fengju bowed and greeted them. Sang Wan, with both hands in front of her, stood gracefully beside Shi Fengju.

“You’re both here!”  Mother Wang Shi smiled kindly, and at the same time asked a few questions. Second Uncle Shi and Second Aunt Mi Shi also returned a smile back to the couple. After that, Aunt Mi Shi glanced at Sang Wan for a bit and smiled again, “that’s enough. Please begin!”

A few of the maidservants lay an embroidered mat in front of Aunt Mi Shi. Another maidservant carrying a tray came forward. On the tray stood a tea cup with the word ‘囍’painted on it. The steam could be seen as it rose and the light tea fragrance diffused.

Sang Wan’s clutched her hands together tightly. She walked stiffly towards the maidservant who was holding the tray. Glancing into the tea within the teacup, her heart turned cold suddenly.

This is exactly the same as what happened in her past life!

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