“This knowledge doesn’t deserve the attention, but I hope that mother will not take it too lightly!” Sang Wan smiled and softly explained the cooking process.
As Wang Shi listened, she praised Sang Wan and held her hand with her two hands, “You’ve done well to come up with such a recipe! Nothing less of a daughter from a scholarly family; a mind different from many others!”
To have such a good daughter-in-law married into the family, Wang Shi was extremely pleased while thinking of when she should invite Lady Zhuang over to enjoy the flower garden and at the same time introduce Sang Wan to her; and wrong her for mocking the ties between the Shi family and the Sang family.
The thought made a better impression of Sang Wan. Feeling more satisfied, she praised her daughter-in-law a few more times.
On the other hand sat Gu Fangzi who was extremely angry. Just recently, she had got wind of a great way to prepare a bean curd with mahogany dish and was planning to cook it two days later after Sang Wan got into trouble with her aunt for the winter melon soup. However, things did not go her way; the winter melon soup was not served, and Sang Wan was instead praised by her aunt. From where did Sang Wan learn to cook the dish the exact same way as what she had gotten wind of? And what’s more, she had even beaten her to it!
Holding back her bitterness, Gu Fangzi remained silent. But upon seeing Wang Shi praise Sang Wan generously, Gu Fangzi blinked a few times before smiling, “Cousin-in-law sure is both virtuous and skilfull! Aunt Wang Shi is right; none, other than her filial daughter-in-law will be able to come out with such a method to cook the dish which can please her! Still, did the winter melon soup splatter on cousin-in-law?”
The crowd could not help but turn their attention to Sang Wan, and Shi Fengju was not an exception. Concerned, Shi Fengju raised, “were you get hurt anywhere?”
Before anyone else could speak, Gu Fangzi continued and said jokingly, “Ah yes; cousin-in-law, were you hurt anywhere? It would break my cousin’s heart if you were!”
The broad smile on Wang Shi’s face immediately turned slightly sluggish.
Sang Wan did not feel anything amiss at first, but upon taking a glimpse at Wang Shi’s annoyed expression, she was taken aback! No mother would like to see her son express his explicit concern towards his wife in front of her; even though that “explicit” was Gu Fangzi’s own intention.
Shi Fengju secretly chided himself for being talkative and immediately seized his mouth from opening any further. Helplessly, he looked towards Gu Fangzi and managed a smile.
To Wang Shi, that smile undoubtedly represents acceptance and she could not help but feel a little annoyed.
Although Sang Wan is her son’s wife and Gu Fangzi is her son’s would-be concubine, Gu Fangzi is still her niece, who had been by her side for many years, nevertheless; as such, her heart would somewhat be biased towards Sang Wan. For her son to cast aside his cousin, whom he had spent lots of time with together, and pay so much attention to his wife whom had just recently married into the family, how could she feel pleased?
Sang Wan intentionally hang a foolish smile on her face. Looking towards Shi Fengju, she spoke, “Sir, no need to worry; I wasn’t hurt anywhere! Anyway, I’ll promise to prepare another winter melon soup for mother-in-law! Sir sure is filial; to remember in mother-in-law’s stead that if I were injured, I would not have been able to prepare another winter melon soup! Mother-in-law, be at eased for your daughter-in-law shall prepare and serve another winter melon soup personally tomorrow; and guarantees it’ll taste better than the one before!”
Once Sang Wan said her piece, Wang Shi immediately laughed and the tiny seed of annoyance disappeared.
“The days ahead for you as a member of our family is long. Though I’ll remember this, the thought is enough for now. You have your homecoming tomorrow so I’ll not trouble you.” Though the words Sang Wan had spoken might be a little far-fetched, it would not stop this old mother-in-law from listening; or rather, it was something she had liked to hear! And as for what Gu Fangzi said just then, wasn’t it all just something she had said jokingly?
Wang Shi giggled to herself. As one aged, do they become more narrow-minded? To have treated a joke as if it were true!
Gu Fangzi followed and laughed, but beneath that laughter was a sense of anger. She had wanted to craft a few more sentences to harass Sang Wan, but the thought of Shi Fengju made her endure. That bitter smile that he produced just then… if she does not keep her act together, Shi Fengju might feel disgusted towards her! She must not do anything that would put herself in a disadvantage!
At the same time, Sang Wan heaved discreetly. Look at that, that is the way Gu Fangzi is! A composed person who harbours ill intent; never can she lower her guard against such a person! That person’s words may sound pleasant to the ears, but if not for the sufferings she had experienced in her past life, she would not have thought too deeply and would have been incredibly inclined to foolishly listen to those pleasant words.
Afraid that Gu Fangzi might say something foolish again, Shi Fengju smiled at his mother and coaxed, “Mother, the food will turn cold if we talk any further; why don’t we start eating? As an old lady, aren’t you hungry yet?”
“Ah yes! Yes! Let’s dig in, let’s dig in first!” Wang Shi smiled. Looking at Sang Wan slightly, she spoke, “My daughter-in-law, have a sit and let us eat together! You must be tired today after preparing these dishes! Quickly, have a sit!”
Sang Wan spoke humbly and smiled before sitting next to Wang Shi, but not without using a clean pair of chopsticks to serve her mother-in-law occasionally. This in turn scored a few more points in Wang Shi’s heart.