Published at 26th of October 2019 10:55:11 AM

Chapter 161

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Gu Tingye sat there calmly and replied him, being neither humble nor pushy, “I haven’t dealt with the military affairs yet and His Majesty has ordered me to do something for him. I need to go back to Commander’s Mansion after lunch. As for the dinner... let’s wait for another time.”

With Fourth Old Master’s beard fluttering due to his fury, he shouted while thumping on the table, “Don’t use your assignments as your excuse! You think I’m an old man who knows about nothing? You father has been ten times busier than you, but he never refused any requests from his own brothers! Now your uncle has asked you something, and you just turned me down?!” On these words, he assumed a posture to pounce on Gu Tingye. It seemed like he even wanted to kick his nephew. Gu Tingxuan who was sitting beside Fourth Old Master tried his best to hold his father back while whispering to Fourth Old Master. Then Fourth Old Master realized that Gu Tingye was not his own son after all and couldn’t be kicked or rebuked by him randomly. So Fourth Old Master could only sit back to his seat in a huff.

“Tingye is not as powerful as my father. So I cannot do two things at one time. Fourth Uncle, please forgive me.” Gu Tingye said that while glancing at Fourth Old Master coldly. The expression in Gu Tingye’s eyes turned fierce all of a sudden, then changed back to normal immediately. Seeing that Gu Tingye was covered with murderous intention with a sullen face, Fourth Old Master even got a bit scared. Then he, not daring to act rashly, turned away and refused to talk anymore.

Seeing what had happened, Fifth Old Master was quite unsatisfied. Then he stroked his beard and said with his eyebrows knitted, “It’s fine that you can’t leave your work for the dinner. But why do you have to live in another mansion? What’s so bad living in our own mansion? Don’t you want those rumors about our family to stop?”

Minglan’s heart missed a beat when hearing their conversation. She remembered Gu Tingye had told her last night that Old Madam Qin had already agreed to let them live in another mansion. Why would Fifth Old Master bring that up again? As Minglan thought about that, she stole a glance at Old Madam Qin. The latter was putting on a reluctant look on her face and standing up to say to the men at the outside in anxiety, “Fifth uncle, drop it, just drop it! Please stop saying that! Tingye must have his own reason by making that decision!”

Fourth Old Madam pulled Old Madam Qin to let her sit back while saying gently, “What possible reason could he have? His mother is still alive and he refuses to fulfil his duty as a son. Is that reasonable? No matter how highly Tingye is regarded at the outside, being unfilial is actually a felony.” As she said that, she also darted a look at Minglan.

Minglan was still lowering her head and thought, “Save it! You think you can frighten me?! I know that disobeying parents is a capital felony. Any officials who are accused of that will be fiercely punished. But that law only applied to one and his biological parents or his legal mother! Old Madam Qin is Gu Tingye’s stepmother! Thus her case is outside the protection of the law! The imperial court never care about the conflicts between the legal sons and their stepmothers.’

Sheng Hong had been Zhizhou in Deng Prefecture, he had settled two cases when the mothers had committed adultery and killed the son’s father. In the first case, the illegal son had killed his legal mother, so he had been sentenced to decapitation. Afterwards he had been sent into exile for penal servitude. However, in the second case, the legal son had killed his stepmother, thus he had been sent into exile at a place only hundreds of miles away from his home for a few years. After he had served his sentence, he would be able to come back home. Because of these two cases, Sheng Hong had been praised by the local gentlemen and received a board which had the script ‘An Honest Official’ on it.

——However, what Minglan had thought in her mind couldn’t speak out frankly. ‘Purr, Second Uncle, you are so pitiful.’ Minglan said to herself inwardly.

As expected, Gu Tingye was speechless for the moment. With his eyebrows knitted fiercely, his body was sending out scary aura right now. However, as an unyielding scholar, Fifth Old Master was not afraid of that. He looked right into Gu Tingye’s eyes and continued scolding, “Your Commander’s Mansion was awarded by His Majesty. It all depends on you if you want to live in that place or not. It’s not like anyone’s forcing you to do that. Filial piety is the most important of all virtues. One should always have more gratitude for the person who brought him up than the one who gave birth to him. You have also read those principles in the books in your childhood. Why are you being so silly now?”

Gu Tingye clenched his fists tightly with the look on his face turning cold and solemn. He stared at Fifth Old Master quietly for a long time while the latter glared at him furiously. Then after a while, Gu Tingye stood up slowly. As he was standing there, he possessed this imposing manner at once without needing to get angry. He only said lightly, “I can’t not obey His Majesty’s order. I’ll leave this afternoon.”

Those were the last words Gu Tingye had said there. After he had finished, he held his fist in other hand respectfully and then turned around to leave while giving a flick of his sleeves, leaving the rest of the people in the hall gazing at each other. Fifth Old Master almost fainted due to his anger——Just like Gu Tingye couldn’t say it out loud that the legal court could do nothing about the conflicts between his stepmother and him. Fifth Old Master also couldn’t go to Yamen to accuse Gu Tingye’s disobeying to his mother. Gu Tingye had played a wonderful trick!

Minglan even wanted to applaud for him, but——

Gu Tingye had left too abruptly. Now Minglan who was still staying in Gu’s mansion was in a rather awkward situation. All the other women looked at her with disgruntled expressions in their eyes. Minglan also wanted to retreat. However, she was sitting in the corner right now while Zhu shi and Fourth Old Madam blocked her way out. She felt her blood freezing under the gaze of everyone in the room. Then Minglan cursed Gu Tingyi of being so unreliable, “Damn you. Now that you have left and you want me to close the rear?!”

Finally Sister Xuan-In-Law couldn’t stand the awkward situation and stood out to break the ice. While everyone in the room was remaining silent, she suddenly chuckled and said, “Well, sister-in-law, did you just see that? Your husband is so stubborn a guy! You have to watch out in the future!”

Minglan nodded constantly.

Only until then was the tension in the room eased a bit. Fourth Old Master at the outside thumped the table heavily with his tea cup and said angrily, “This man knows nothing about ethics and rules. No matter how contributions he has made to our country, he just did those things in vain!”

After he had said that, lots of people in the outer or the inner room all started to criticize Gu Tingye. Though they chose the obscure words to express their feelings, it was easy to tell that they meant the same thing.

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Gu Tingcan, the Seventh Lady, was the one who got the most furious. As she was saying loudly, “Mother you have treated Second Brother good enough, and he is just too unfilial!” She suddenly saw Minglan who was lowering her head and saying nothing, then she said to Minglan aloud, “What do you say, Second Sister-In-Law?... I heard that you have been well-educated since your childhood. I guess you know well about what filial duty is. Why don’t you comment on what have happened today?! Do you think Second Brother has done a right thing?”

Sister Xuan-In-Law frowned right away while looking at Minglan with a worried look. Meanwhile, everyone also fell their eyes on Minglan. Even the men at the outside quieted down. Minglan snorted inwardly and raised her head slowly. She was wearing a breezy look on her face with two little dimples showing on the corner of her mouth. All the women there were startled by that.

Minglan didn’t answer Gu Tingcan’s question straightly, instead, she said in a loud voice, “Two years ago, Officer Lu, the former minister of the Ministry of Works, was praised by His Majesty with the words, ‘Diligent, cautious, vigilant, sedulous and with a loft virtue.’ Then His Majesty has promoted Officer Lu as the Vice Prime Minister. Short afterwards, Officer Lu has also been awarded a mansion inside of the Xifu door.”

“What are you talking about...” Gu Tingcan couldn’t help but interrupt but was stopped by Madam Shao.

Minglan continued while counting her fingers, “Actually, Officer Lu’s old mansion is a great place indeed. Although it is a bit far from the imperial city, but it is situated in picturesque scenery. What’s more, all of Officer Lu’s good friends and even some of his relatives live in that area. In ordinary days, he could get together with his relatives or have a few drinks with his friends. How nice is that! At that time, I heard a lot of his relatives and friends have persuaded him to stay at the old mansion and not to move out. After all, His Majesty has already rewarded him the mansion. It’s not like the mansion would run away by itself! Aye..., However, Officer Lu moved to his new mansion the moment he received the imperial edict. He said this at that time, ‘The reward from His Majesty is the most valuable thing in this world. If I don’t accept it, it’ll be like disrespecting His Majesty.”

After she had said that, the whole place fell into silence. There was only the clear sound of the porcelain from Fourth Old Master’s fiddling with the teapot lid. Fifth Old Master was in a sulk and also stopped talking. Since Minglan had referred to the respect to the Emperor, no one dared to scold Gu Tingye anymore. After the people in the room stayed silent for a long while, Old Madam Qin sighed and said, “I feel so sorry for my two brothers-in-law and Tingye. They shouldn’t have be displeased each other because of an old woman like me.”

Zhu shi was the one who reacted the most quickly by standing up and saying with smile, “Well, Second Brother-In-Law is just being loyal to His Majesty, Fourth and Fifth uncle was focusing on the filial duty. They were all being right. I’ll go check on them. Tingye should at least stay until he finishes the lunch. Later I’ll prepare some good wines. Let our uncles and Second Brother-In-Law have a drink with each other, and they will surely talk things through!”

Fourth Old Madam also tried to smooth things over and said loudly, “Wei’s wife is so considerate. Let’s set the table with some wines on our table too. We are all families; everything can be solved between families!”

After she had said that, the atmosphere there turned pleasant instantly. Everyone started to talk and joy was overflowing in the room again. Minglan let out a sigh of relief and then began to chat with Sister Xuan-In-Law. After they had only talked for a short while, a shy maid entered into the hall and slipped into the inner room gingerly. Minglan squinted her eyes and saw that the maid was Xiazhu. Right now, Xiazhu was saying tremblingly in a low voice with a pale face, “... Second Madam, Second Master told you to come over. He said that there were still lots of packages for you to deal with.”

With the looks on all the women’s faces turning weird, they all stared at Minglan with strange smiles. Minglan’s face was burning now while thought angrily, “I was cleaning the battlefield now and now you remembered to save me?! If I was hoping for you to rescue me, I would already been burned!”

Men are truly unreliable?!

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