Chapter 5 – Even casual thoughts are hit back
Long Er’s forehead throbbed, and unconsciously he went to look at Ju Mu Er again and this time the smile on her lips was clearer and deeper. Long Er became rigid; a great lord such as himself was was actually entangled with a bunch of women and unable to do much. Although he knew she couldn’t see, he still turned away from her.
He is very unhappy!
Once the newcomer lady was seated, it became one Long Er against three. The three ladies then began to trying to capture Long Er’s attention, fighting to talk to him while also mocking each other and working together to pick on whoever appeared to be gaining ground.
Long Er endured their questions for a short while then called Li Ke inside and while ordering him to call the waiter back to pour more hot tea, shoot him loaded glances and signals. This was his secret signal, to tell Li Ke to produce a good reason to allow him to leave. Li Ke naturally knew what he wanted and turned around to call on the waiter.
As soon as Li Ke’s strong steps were made, two new female customers had appeared. They were both were dressed neatly and brightly, not a speck of dirt to be seen, and it was such a coincidence for them to also come to Xian Wei Pavilion to eat their meal. While also having a chance encounter with Long Er.
(TL:How many did this Ju girl invite?! LMAO)
Long Er’s face was as black as charcoal, on this rainy day, they had all come well dressed to have a meal? They are so strict on themselves.
The five females had filled the table completely, and not one of them took notice of Ju Mu Er.
A common woman dressed in coarse clothes, was not worthy of their attention from the start. Their true rivals were those couple of ladies, the big families ladies all knew. They were all secretly sizing up each other and if just by chance today, they were able to show off their good points in front of Lord Long Er or at least stir up some trouble for the others in front of Lord Long Er, that would also be good.
Long Er listened to their whispering and chirping conversations bored to the extreme. Just as this was occurring, Ju Mu Er quietly got up and left. As she left, Long Er’s eye were glued to the smile on her lips, and angered inside. Seeing her departure, her actions were nimble and light, his heart did not move.
Seeing Ju Mu Er waltzing away leaving behind five flowery girls, and a ivory toothed serving girl. Altogether there were six women, six pairs of eyes fixed on Long Er and he felt that this type of scene is something that no man could tolerate.
Long Er really admired himself for his patience and tolerance, which over these past two years had increased greatly. He thought that because he was still able to smile, and as he smiled he called out to everyone to eat the dishes then bringing a fist to his mouth he sighed.
This sigh caused the five golden spoon daughters to crease their brows and show faces of great concern. One after the other, they inquired and asked if he was feeling unwell, each with their own suggestions, doctor recommendations, coughing medicine, suggesting him to wear more clothes and so on.
Before Long Er’s patience wore out, Li Ke had finally reappeared.
His face full of anxiety, Li Ke ran over and Long Er changed his expression while praising him in his heart: His expression this time is very good. Calm and collected he asked: “What is the reason for your panic?”
Li Ke hurriedly greeted his master, and gasping for breath he said: “Tie Zong Guan has sent some people over saying something has happened in the mansion and is asking for the Second Lord to return quickly.”
Putting on some theatrics, Long Er knitted his eyebrows together: “This……” As he looked over the gathered ladies, they each hurriedly took the opportunity to show their understanding and how sensible they were. Together they said: “Second Lord, since you have things to do, please return to the mansion.”
Standing up, Long Er bid them farewell: “Ladies, this Long lord will then leave first. This Long lord is the host for today’s meal, so please refrain from being polite and if there is an opportunity, let us meet again.” Once he finished speaking, he turned around and left.
Walking down the stairs, Long Er walked out of Xian Wei Pavilion and discovered that the rain had already ceased with only the moisture still heavy in the air, making ones clothes feel sticky and unctuous.
As the coachman spurred his carriage over, Long Er signalled with his hand to say that he didn’t need it. Then he turned to the direction from where Ju Mu Er had come and started to walk. After a moment’s pause, Li Ke swiftly followed him.
“Lord, after you left, the ladies said that every time they meet with you, they couldn’t converse with you for long; either something had occurred in the mansion or something had happened to one of your shops. It looks like we can no longer use this excuse.”
Long Er was really unhappy, smiling he started to blame him: “You acted too excessively. Your previous attempts were much better, if something happened in the mansion, why were you gasping for breath? It wasn’t like you had ran over from the mansion to deliver this piece of news.”
Li Ke shook his head, afraid to refute it, but he was a bodyguard not an actor.
Long Er continued to “humph”: “No need to pay any heed to them. They still have the face to complain, and since they already know that everytime that they come to hoard someone, something happens in my mansion. With these signs alone, they should know the situation already and discreetly come to annoy me less.”
“But, the families which they come from are useful to you, Second Lord. If you act this way every time, you can’t possibly justify it every time……”
“Then I’ll hand it over to you. You can come up with some justifiable reasons and I’ll wait for them.” Long Er looked at him off to the side, for he still dared to say something like this. These type of things had been repeated numerous times and yet he only improved by a little bit.
Li Ke really wanted to say that last time Ju Mu Er’s pouring of tea on him was both natural and effective, but it was only effective if she did it, if it was him who did that then it would be inappropriate. Before he could say anything, Long Er waved his hand and jumped onto a nearby rooftop.
Li Ke was scared out of his skin, he looked to his left and right but since it was raining, no one was out and he swiftly followed suite. When he landed, he saw that Long Er didn’t move an inch and wondered what happened. Giving his master a furtive glance, he stealthily crept up.
Peering out, he saw that it was Ju Mu Er and that young girl Su Qing talking in an alley’s corner. From within her clothes, Su Qing took out some buns and said: “Sister, you should be hungry, because at these types of meal gatherings you definitely wouldn’t be able to eat much. Look, I helped you buy some steamed buns and they are still hot so eat them first before leaving or they’ll turn cold.”
Thinking about it, Ju Mu Er was really hungry so she said okay and took a steamed bun and started to eat in small and refined bites. Cautiously, Su Qing took out an umbrella to block the wind before asking: “That Lord Long Er, why did he ask you to out?”
Ju Mu Er satisfied, finished her steamed bun and replied: “It’s nothing much, he probably wanted to inquire about learning the guqin for everybody.”
“This is only guessing.” Su Qing said as she passed on another bun into Ju Mu Er’s hands. She then said doubtfully: “Then why did you use my flower girl identity to inform all the big family lady’s maids that Long Er was going to a banquet today?”
“With a few more golden spoon ladies coming over then I would be able to rope in more ladies to teach the guqin. Isn’t that good?”
Cocking her head to the side, Su Qing thought for a moment: “That’s right.” She passed over another bun over to Ju Mu Er, saying: “Next time if there are more enquires for the guqin, tell them to ask at the wine shop. Your eyes no longer work properly, and you aren’t even able to eat; it’s been too hard on you to travel such a distance.”
Ju Mu Er smiled in agreement, and Long Er didn’t continue to listen. He turned around and jumped down from the rooftop and walked away. Li Ke confused, followed after him.
All throughout the journey, Long Er was silent. When he stepped onto the carriage, Li Ke heard him gnashing his teeth together: “Cunning, so very cunning.”
This meeting at Xian Wei Pavilion had caused Long Er’s face to darken like the half moon.
This was because those five golden spoon ladies were using all their strengths to snatch Long Er away from each other.
They worshipped him, gave him gifts, and found every type of reason to invite Long Er over to converse with them. It was at the point that when Long Er went out for a stroll, he would have a “chance encounter” with one of these ladies.
It looked like they were provoked by that meal gathering at Xian Wei Pavilion, and felt that if they didn’t increase their efforts then this wealthy husband would be snatched away by another.
Since their actions became more vigorous, then it naturally spurred on others too. Many wealthy and powerful families came to Long Er, asking him about marriage in hopes of marrying into his family. Others had invited him over to discuss business, but as they were talking it slowly veered off to the topic of marrying their daughter. While some asked for a matchmaker to talk with the Long Mansion’s elder grandmother to pass on their suggestions for Lord Long Er.
All in all, Lord Long Er’s popularity these past few days had been fully reflected. Rumors had even started to spread around the market square, cycads were beginning to flower and now the Second Lord seeks a wife?
Long Er was angered to point that his nose nearly fell off, this bothersome situation was completely caused by that annoying Ju Mu Er. He just wanted to embarrass her a bit, a small prank was nothing much, but never would he have never imagined that her hand would be even harsher.
The many actions by the various golden spoon daughters and matchmakers had finally startled the Long Mansion’s Elder Grandmother and she had started to believe in Lord Long Er’s potential marriage. After many plans, she decided to use Long San’s wife’s name, Feng Wu, to invite the various young ladies to be guests at the Long Mansion. Allowing the Second Lord to look around and quickly settle his marriage.
“But the peach blossoms didn’t blossom very well.” Feng Wu said.
“That does not matter, for they are only a pretext. The important thing is to allow the Second Lord to look around and to move his heart, so the marriage will proceed swiftly.” Elder Grandmother paid very special attention to this matter.
Feng Wu stroked her chin: “Actually I feel that we should make the young ladies bring the list for their dowries over, so his heart would be moved more. Or we could have a competition on who can read through the accounts books the fastest and calculate the most efficiently on the abacus. That way, it would be easier to win over Er’s miser heart.”
Just as Feng Wu was talking happily, Elder Grandmother let out some big sighs and Feng Wu stared blankly, then shivers went down her spine. She sluggishly turned around, and saw Long Er currently standing behind her.
Just now, Feng Wu was discussing with the Elder Grandmother about tomorrow’s golden spoon young ladies and how they would receive them in the garden. She never foresaw Long Er who was supposed to be in the library reading files, would walk over here.
Feng Wu he he laughed out, pretending that she didn’t say anything. This marriage topic was the household’s Second Lord’s lethal point. Poking at it will immediately cause it to bleed, let alone the events these past days. Everytime she saw him, he looked like he had just swallowed a croton seed, his face dark. She definitely didn’t want to offend him, otherwise her relatives might be sent to that godforsaken place to ask for the debt repayments.
Long Er’s face was truly black, he was very unhappy and “humphed” out: “Younger sister-in-law, you really care for me.”
“Of course.” Feng Wu replied softly, and quietly nudged Elder Grandmother for some help. While also saying: “Er is this family’s backbone, everybody within this household worries for you. Isn’t it right, Elder Grandmother?”
Long Er didn’t allow Elder Grandmother to say she had assisted, quickly he asked: “Apart from good business and account book management skills, what other good points can younger sister-in-law point out?”
He was clearly trying to embarrass Feng Wu, and this Feng Wu couldn’t accept. Her original temper was not easily toyed around with, and since Long wasn’t giving her any place to stand, she was not happy. Replying: “There are ways, but it is not my opinion, but elder sister-in-law’s. She also said that ”
Cokcing her head to the side, she asked haughtily: “Elder sister-in-law has already said, choosing a wife is not easy. If she isn’t good, then she’ll force elder brother-in-law to forcibly bring you one. Look, elder sister-in-law also cares for you, and look, in the end my method is the most dignified. It can also spare Er some worry, isn’t it right Er?”
Peace of mind? These sister-in-laws, one said he was mad about money, choosing money over women, while the other one said that he was a stiff and not easily liked man, unable to keep a wife. Since their evaluation of him was so high, he can still have a peace of mind?
Taking a deep breath, saying to himself that he shouldn’t lower himself to their level. That’s not right, he shouldn’t argue with his family’s women. For others, if you needed to, you must argue with them.
Just as Long Er wanted to speak some more, to teach Feng Wu a lesson. She was already the mother of two, so must have a dignified and kind bearing while also not allowing her children to stray off the right path. But just as he was about to speak again, Elder Grandmother spoke out.
“Second Lord, look here, the First Lord’s young master can already ride a horse, and Third Lord’s youngest daughter can call out father now.”
Long Er’s heart shook, and saw from the corner of his eyes that Feng Wu was laughing out, this time he had lost his face. Hurriedly he followed up: “That’s right, that’s right. These days passed by quickly, Elder Grandmother, third brother has to take care of babies so it has been hard on him.” As he spoke, he also went to glare at Feng Wu.
“It’s not hard on him, it’s not hard on him.” Elder Grandmother’s tone of voice was very honest. “Second Lord, these few days, the old master and mistress had sought me out in my dreams. They ask how are the internal affairs going within the mansion? Are their three sons in good health? I informed them about the mansions goings, and the old master and mistress were satisfied with the running. But all this time Second Lord refuses to have a family, it caused them to be extremely alarmed.”
Long Er laughed loudly, this Elder Grandmother, the older she got, the more ideas she had. His father and mother had already passed away for many a year already and they can still feel alarmed. Where is she going with this?
Although father and mother were no longer here and Elder Grandmother was a servant, but she was more of a mother-like elder to them. No matter what Long Er did, he couldn’t pick at this senior’s thorns. He said: “Grandmother, then why don’t you go comfort my father and mother. Elder brother and third brother all have babies, so the Long family has it’s future heirs. I am in no hurry, in no hurry at all.”
Elder Grandmother wrinkled her nose, and took out a handkerchief, tears coming out as she wished. Feng Wu stood to the side watching, she even held a bit of admiration and secretly gave her the thumbs up.
Elder Grandmother pushed Feng Wu’s hand to the side, pinching her she sent out “allow me to” signal. While she said to Long Er: “Second Lord, this old servant knows that you have supported the Long family for many years, it has been really hard on you. Now, the days are quite good, everything has settled and there are no major problems, but not a shadow has been seen of your future wife. This old servant won’t be able to serve you for any longer, and when I go to meet the old master and mistress and have to say that the Second Lord still has no wife, how do you expect this old servant to tell them?”
Long Er slightly sighed, and then sighed again: “Grandmother, you know that to support a family isn’t easy. Furthermore it’s the Long family, with so many other people who have had their eyes on us for a long time, waiting for a moment’s weakness. Even if our days are better than when father and mother were alive, we cannot lower our guard. In this business, you must always be cautious and big brother is often away. Regarding bureaucracy, I must also help him a bit, not to mention third brother’s…….”
Feng Wu smiled at how it went to her family’s lord, and asked: “Help my family Long San’s affairs?”
Elder Grandmother imposingly waved her hands, reigning back the talking authority to her. Quite gravely she said: “Second Lord, how do these conflict with you taking a wife?”
Long Er choked, he knew that Elder Grandmother was not so soft, and carefully considered his next words it before saying: “This, it’s not that I refuse to take a wife, but inside the family and outside…… Grandmother don’t be angry. What I mean is, I seek to find a good wife, one that doesn’t eye my Long family’s property, money or allies with outsiders to hurt my heart. How is that not allowed?”
Elder Grandmother replied a bit unhappily: “Second Lord, your way of thinking is more complicated than this old grandma. Let’s not talk about your affairs for now, you have seen the First Lord’s wife is knowledgeable, and Third Lord’s madam is benevolent. With these two madams entered in the household, once your wife meets these two these wives meet each other, would she still dare to act recklessly?”
Feng Wu nodded her head in agreement, and saw Er held a beaten look, and felt really good.
Long Er was rendered speechless, and only after a while did he say: “Grandmother, regarding elder sister-in-law and younger sister-in-law, you must have some confidence in them.”
“I also have confidence in you, and if you really take a wife and make a family, then you will definitely be a strong husband and your wife would be unquestionably filial.”
“Of course, of course.” Long Er embarrassingly agreed, he couldn’t possibly disagree.
“Since it’s like this, then Second Lord please quickly settle your marriage.”
Long Er smiled, and after smiling he said: “This is a major turning point in life, you can you say quickly settle it and settle it? No need to hurry, Grandmother rest assured, I will definitely caringly choose a good one.”
“Since you have decided to choose one, it’s all good.” Elder Grandmother was overflowing with abundant amounts of energy despite her years, and in high spirits as she jumped up from the chair and with lightning fast speed, left. A short while passed before she brought back a large tub filled with scrolls.
Long Er’s smile was rapidly too close from dropping falling away, and Elder Grandmother said to him: “Inside are carefully picked out young ladies that I have already carefully selected; their appearances, characters and ages are all not bad. Second Lord, please thoroughly go through them, and if you take a fancy to any one of them, I will speedily arrange from them to come over.” Once she finished, she fished out another piece of paper and handed it to Long Er: “There isn’t enough time to set up a marriage this year, so here is a list of auspicious dates next year suitable for marriage. Once you pick out a lady, please select a suitable date for the marriage. What needs to be arranged and prepared, I will naturally have them ready.”
This time, Long Er really couldn’t smile, he randomly said some good words and remembered how there were still a couple of important files that still needed to be sorted out in the library and quickly escaped.
While Elder Grandmother shouted from behind: “Second Lord, tomorrow’s flower viewing tea party, you must attend!”
Feng Wu saw Long Er’s body turn rigid, and his steps accelerate and couldn’t help but laugh out loud. While she thought that every time Er tried to escape, he always used the excuse “busy”, it was really getting old. She bet that tomorrow Er most definitely will be too busy to attend.
The next day, as expected Long Er was too busy. He said that last night, a subordinate had sent him a message, it said that the neighbouring city’s store had met some problems and he needed to personally go to resolve them. That’s why he couldn’t accompany the various golden spoon young ladies. He especially gave a heads up, to give Elder Grandmother an explanation, then entered the horse carriage, urgently leaving the city.
When this situation then landed in Feng Wu’s ears, it made her laugh heartily. She was really curious, her family’s Er, in the end what type of woman would he take.