Published at 14th of November 2019 07:46:08 AM

Chapter 172

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Minglan almost choked. Eight hundred and eighty thousand ounces of silvers?! Those big spenders! They really had spent money like water!

Having taken a deep breath, Gu Tingye looked up at the roof of the carved beams and painted rafters, saying with a cloudy face, “Gu family has cleared an account of the family property that very night. However, they only found it impossible to pay off their debts. As it was closer and closer to the due date, at that time, the property of Duke Rong was already confiscated and his families who were descent to plebs lived a tough life. All the people of the Gu family were extremely fretful. Then, someone mentioned about... Bai family.”

Minglan, being completely shocked, could only listen to Gu Tingye’s following words, “My grandfather is quite an impressive man. He used to be a boatman on the sea. After he had saved up enough money to go ashore, he has managed to make connections with the officials with the help of someone I didn’t know. Then he began to do the salt business! After twenty years of struggling and accumulating, he made his family in possession of great fortune. When he was at a young age, he wasn’t so close to his brothers. And the old child he had was my mother.”

Minglan only sighed deeply while having no intention to say a word. Old Madam Bai, a woman who didn’t have brothers to rely on was from a low-class family but possessed a huge amount of money. It was almost like the word ‘Fortune’ was written on her forehead.

“So, that was why Old Master Gu has married Old Madam Bai?” When Minglan spoke those words, she didn’t even realize how ironic she sounded.

Gu Tingye gave out a wry smile, however, the coldness in his voice couldn’t be hidden, “The story next has different versions. I have heard of so many of them and couldn’t even tell which one is true. However... one version which has been told the most frequently was that my father has proposed that my mother should marry to him as a concubine. Huh, perhaps he thought that a daughter from a merchant family should already be grateful to be able to marry into a marquis’s family. However, Bai family disagreed with my father and insisted that my mother had to be the madam. Then, under the threats of the Bai family, the first Old Madam Qin was forced to die.”

Minglan gasped in astonishment while standing up instantly. She stood straightly and said in a decisive voice, “That’s nonsense! A pack of lies! Which nut dared to reverse right and wrong!”

Gu Tingye raised his head to look at Minglan with a cold expression in his eyes. Then he put on a sarcastic smile on the corner of his mouth, saying, “How did you know? Maybe it is the truth.”

Minglan took a deep breath and said in a loud voice, “That’s right. There has been lots of ladies from rich families marrying into the noble families as concubines. But for what? Because they want to offer their property in exchange for the power through the marriage! After the lady got married, it will be more convenient for the rich family to do business. Also, the noble family could also share in the money profits. That’s a win-win situation. However, Bai family’s condition is totally different. Grand Old Master Bai only had one daughter and there was no one who could continue his salt business. So there was no need for him to seek help from the noble families. What’s more, since Old Madam Bai didn’t have any brothers, her father would want to find her a reliable husband. Why would Grand Old Master Bai force Old Master Gu to marry Old Madam Bai through threatening? And forcing Old Madam Qin to die? That’s called starting a feud! What a bunch of lies! Why would anyone believe that!”

Minglan still felt angry and thought secretly, ‘With that huge amount of the dowry, Old Madam Bai could marry to anyone! It’s not like all the other men in this world have died and Old Master Gu was the only one left. To be honest, Bai family has no reason to stick to Gu family. On the contrary, Gu family which was in a desperate situation should have begged Bai family about this marriage.’

Old Madam Bai had saved Gu family with those silvers. And Old Master Gu had asked her to be his concubine?! That was just impossible! Could that lie be more ridiculous?

Gu Tingye leaned on his chair while snorting for a while. After that, he looked at Minglan peacefully with the expression in his eyes turning clear, “Because of that rumour, my brother hated me the most ever since I was a little child. I didn’t blame him since I was the naughtiest boy in the family who always brought troubles to our family. It took many years before Momo Chang, my mother’s wet nurse, told me about the truth when she came to visit me in the capital. It turned out the first Old Madam Qin was weak and sick the whole time. When rumors spread in the mansion that Gu family could be rescued as long as my father married the lady from Bai family, she got so grieved that she actually died of difficult labour. My grandfather only betrothed my mother to Gu family because he knew nothing about that. Ever since I knew about the whole story, I retorted my father even more often. And even my temper has got worse...”

Minglan stared at Gu Tingye in a daze, feeling for the first time that he was actually very pitiful. It was a huge shame for Gu family to let a lady from a businessman’s family become their madam. The existence of Old Madam Bai was a symbol of Gu family’s hopeless situation before. Therefore, Old Master Gu had allowed the false accusation against Old Madam Bai being spread around but never put a single word for her. He had also watched Gu Tingye degenerating under the depression and anger without telling the truth.

Of course, the first Old Madam Qin was pathetic too. However, at least she had enjoyed her life and lived at ease for a period of time. Besides, as the madam of Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion, she should take on the responsibilities when the family had been in a crisis. Also, her death had made Old Master Gu transfer his anger to Old Madam Bai and Gu Tingye. Minglan could call it a even.

“... Father has always missed his ex-wife a lot and mother was a short-tempered woman. She never really had a good time in the mansion. As days went by, they just became more and more hostile to each other. When my mother was pregnant with her second child, she had a quarrel with my father, which caused her premature delivery. Then she died of flooding.” Gu Tingye stated that calmly as if he was telling about someone else’s story. With the look on his face being astonishingly indifferent, he continued, “Now come to think about it, my father never treated me bad. I really was an unpromising boy at that time. I guess he wouldn’t rest in peace knowing that I have treated her wife and brothers so cruelly.” On these words, Gu Tingye couldn’t stop snorting while showing coldness and sarcasm in his eyes.

“What do you think?” Gu Tingye saw Minglan being in a trance, then asked, “Do you think I shouldn’t have done this?”

“Why not?” It took Minglan a long while to come back to her sense. The past of Gu’s mansion was too legendary. The betrayal, the lies, the plots, the rumors and the revenge action of the Count of Monte style were too hard for her to digest.

After that she had asked that abnormal question, Minglan also gave examples actively, “Everyone has benefited from this except for you and your mother. Gu family has gained a decent reputation, Qin family still reserved their marriage alliance with Gu family. But what have Bai family gained? Old Madam Bai has been framed without any reason. Someone was still speaking ill of her even after she had deceased. And you, you have been kicked out of your own family and led a wandering life alone. Have you ever thought what if the Fourth Prince hasn’t plotted a rebellion? What if he accepted the truth that Third Prince was the Crown Prince?”

The fire which was suddenly lightened in Gu Tingye’s eyes burnt all his self deprecation. He gazed at Minglan and snorted from deep down, “If Fourth Prince hasn’t plotted the rebellion, Third Prince would ascend to the throne without any difficulties. Then Eighth Prince would be out of the picture. Then, nothing would change in Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion. Those property which were gained at the price of the blood of Bai famliy would still exist. Those people who have oppress my mother and me would still enjoy their well-off life. Since my father has already died and I wasn’t in the family, I bet even my mother’s memorial tablet would be removed from the ancestral temple. As for myself, I would still drift along with all those ruffians and rascals.”

Minglan nodded heavily and looked right into his eyes, saying, “So, it is not wrong for you to hate them.” Her voice sounded even more earnest than the one she had had when she applied to join the Party.

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Gu Tingye suddenly burst into laughter out of no reason. Momo Chang also cursed Marquis Ningyuan’s mansion all the time with furious look on her face. However, at that time, he had only felt annoyed instead of related. In his view, Bai family had also done things wrong. They had known perfectly well that they had been no match for Gu family but still betrothed a lady to Old Master Gu, expecting that the miracle could happen. Old Madam Bai had known perfectly well about those adversities in her future marriage but never made a plan for herself. So at last, she had ended up dying early.

Every time he had thought of that, he only snorted with indifference.

All those grievance and anger from his childhood was not that strong right now. After all the things he had been through during his wandering life and all the life-and-death moments he had witnessed, he wouldn’t be irritated so easily anymore. No matter how violently the fire in his heart had burnt, there were only ashes being left there. Right now, he was only not willing to accept the fact that the only reason he had come to this world was because of those silvers.

Until today, after Minglan had said those words, Gu Tingye suddenly reminded of all those dusty memories of him. That was right. He had never stopped secretly resenting his families. But he just couldn’t get those feelings off his chest, so he chose to sneered at his past indifferently.

Gu Tingye sighed. It turned out that it was not that hard to admit that he actually hated his families. His darkest secrets which he couldn’t tell anyone about for all these years just escaped his lips like that. At the moment, he only felt at ease.

It seemed that having a wife who could find excuse for him to resent his families really was a good thing.”

“By the way.” Minglan twisted her fingers while asked with hesitation, “Well... how much dowry has Old Madam Bai brought with her?”

“About one million ounces of silvers. She also brought some manors and stores.” Gu Tingye answered fluently.

Minglan was stupefied this time. She almost thumped on her chest while crying, “Oh, my, goodness! One million ounces of silvers! If I have that amount of money and a daddy who loves me so much, I will definitely hire a troop of bodyguards, find me a reliable servant, travel abroad, discover treasure in western country! The world is such a tremendous place! By no means will I marry to that widower who loves his ex-wife deeply and has so many family debts!”

Old Madam Bai, and Grand Old Master Bai. What could I say about you?

At last--

“As the saying goes, an innocent man might get into trouble because of his wealth.” Minglan uttered that softly with a sad look on her face while standing there with her hands drooping.

Gu Tingye dragged her toward him while holding her in his arms, feeling very touched deeply. After he had comforted her for a while, he said, “Don’t be so sorry for us. It has already been over a long time ago.”

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