Home Post 1712-chapter-13


After having lunch, Gu Xian prepared to take Qing Shu back home. 

Old Madam Gu couldn’t bear to part with Qing Shu and said, “You go back, let Qing Shu stay with me for a few days.” 

Although Gu Xian brought Qing Shu to visit Old Madam Gu out of sympathy, she didn’t want Qing Shu to stay at the Gu family. She was afraid that Old Madam Gu would spoil her daughter, and she also worried that Yuan Shanniang would gossip about her relying on the Gu family to raise her daughter. But before she could voice her concerns, Qing Shu eagerly agreed. 

Hugging Old Madam Gu, Qing Shu said, “Grandma, I want to stay with you.” 

Her birth mother treated her well but often made her yield in conflicts. However, her grandmother, as Chen Mama had described, doted on her deeply and couldn’t bear to see her suffer any grievances. 

In her previous life, she had been a pitiable child with no one to care for her. That’s why Qing Shu particularly enjoyed the feeling of being pampered. 

Gu Xian said, “Hongdou, didn’t you want to learn how to read and write? Remember, you can’t be wishy-washy about anything you do.” 

Qing Shu replied confidently, “Grandma can teach me! I can’t afford to not learn how to read when I’m managing such a big business.” 

Afterward, Qing Shu added, “Mom, you promised to call me by my given name from now on. You need to keep your word.” 

Gu Xian had gotten used to calling her by her nickname and found it difficult to change. 

Old Madam Gu smiled and said, “If you’re worried, I’ll have Zhong Mama teach Qing Shu.” 

Zhong Mama was originally from Jinling, and although she came from a merchant family, her parents were enlightened and sent her to a girls’ school from a young age. Because of her exceptional intelligence, she gained admission to Jinling Women’s College and later married into a prominent family. However, when her husband’s family ran into trouble and became prisoners, they were sold by the authorities. Coincidentally, Old Madam Gu spotted them while visiting Jinling, and she bought both mother and son together, preventing their separation. 

Zhong Mama was immensely grateful to Old Madam Gu for this, and she worked diligently to assist with the household affairs. She was one of Old Madam Gu’s most reliable aides. 

With Zhong Mama as the tutor, even Gu Xian couldn’t object. 

Gu Xian said, “Alright, I’ll come to pick her up in a few days.” 

Old Madam Gu agreed with a nod, saying, “You can go now!” If it weren’t for the meddlesome woman, she would have asked Gu Xian to stay and help her through her pregnancy. Now she had to endure extra trips herself. 

Not long after Gu Xian left, the maids brought in two pots of flourishing azalea flowers. 

Old Madam Gu plucked a bloom and placed it on Qing Shu’s head, saying with a warm smile, “So beautiful. Little girls should always look lovely; it makes people happy.” 

Qing Shu kissed Old Madam Gu on the cheek and said, “Grandma is the best.” To her, it was the thought that counted, so even a single flower or a needle was enough to make her happy. 

Just as they were chatting, Hua Mama entered and said, “Madam, Shopkeeper Luo requests an audience.” 

Zhong Mama and Hua Mama were like the right and left arms of Old Madam Gu in the inner courtyard, while Shopkeeper Luo was one of her most trusted people in business. 

Old Madam Gu smiled and said, “Let him in!” 

Shopkeeper Luo, around fifty years old with a beard, looked rather stern. His sharp eyes seemed capable of seeing through people. 

As the room was filled with trusted people, Old Madam Gu didn’t mince words and asked, “Is there something urgent?” Shopkeeper Luo wouldn’t have rushed over without a good reason. 

Indeed, Shopkeeper Luo had a pressing matter. If not, he wouldn’t have hurried over after hearing that Old Madam Gu had returned. “Madam, Aqin is ill, and I want to take her to Jinling to see a renowned doctor.” 

Shopkeeper Luo’s wife, Gao Qin, had grown up with him since childhood, and they were truly childhood sweethearts. When Shopkeeper Luo’s parents met with an accident and his elder brother and sister-in-law took over the family property, they kicked him out.  

Disregarding her family’s objections, Gao Qin insisted on marrying Shopkeeper Luo, even when they were penniless. They struggled at first but eventually, Shopkeeper Luo gained the favor of Old Madam Gu, and Gao Qin’s life improved. 

Old Madam Gu was taken aback. “What happened? I didn’t hear about her being sick before we went to the capital!” 

Shopkeeper Luo shook his head and said, “She keeps complaining of chest pain. The doctors said it’s a heart condition. But despite taking medicine for over half a month, there’s been no improvement. Jinling has many famous doctors, so I want to take Aqin there.” 

Initially, Shopkeeper Luo had wanted to take his wife to the capital where there were even more renowned doctors. However, he knew many people in Jinling, and they could help him find the right doctors. In the capital, he had no acquaintances, and finding a doctor would be like searching for a needle in a haystack. 

Old Madam Gu reassured him, “Go ahead, her health is the priority.” 

Shopkeeper Luo’s visit was mainly to hand over the business to someone else. After all, both the tea shop and silk shop were his responsibilities. “Madam, I’ll entrust the tea shop to Shopkeeper Huang and the silk shop to Shopkeeper Liu. They’ve both been working in these shops for many years and won’t cause any trouble.”  

Both of them were people Shopkeeper Luo had personally trained and were trustworthy. 

Old Madam Gu agreed and said, “You don’t need to worry about the business matters; I’ll take care of them. You should take Aqin to Jinling as soon as possible.” 

Once everyone had left, Old Madam Gu wrote two letters and prepared to go out with a few bottles of pills. 

Qing Shu, holding onto Old Madam Gu, said, “Grandma, I want to go too.” She didn’t want to be confined at home like in her previous life. She wanted to explore the world outside and make friends. 

Old Madam Gu agreed. 

When they arrived at Shopkeeper Luo’s house, he had already packed and was ready to depart for Jinling. 

Seeing that Gao Qin looked very unwell, needing assistance to walk, Qing Shu understood why Shopkeeper Luo was in such a hurry. 

Old Madam Gu comforted them for a moment and then handed over the things she had prepared to Shopkeeper Luo. 

Shopkeeper Luo accepted them without hesitation and said, “Madam, when Aqin gets better, we’ll come back.” 

Old Madam Gu nodded and said, “Safe travels.” 

Watching the carriage disappear into the distance, Old Madam Gu sighed. When Gao Qin fell ill, she had her husband to seek medical treatment and medication. But what about her? Her son didn’t care for her as a mother, her daughter was married and away, and she didn’t know what the future held for her in her old age. 

Sensing Old Madam Gu’s despondent mood, Qing Shu hugged her and asked, “Grandma, what’s wrong? Are you worried about Grandpa and Grandma Gao?” 

Old Madam Gu nodded, then changed the subject, saying, “Qing Shu, would you like to go for a walk in the street?” 

“Yes, yes!” Qing Shu agreed enthusiastically. Then she added, “Grandma, I want to buy copybooks to practice writing.” 

Old Madam Gu readily agreed, and she took Qing Shu to the largest bookstore in Taifeng County, Baiwen Bookstore. 

Baiwen Bookstore not only sold various books but also offered calligraphy and painting supplies, including brushes, ink, paper, and inkstones. 

Although Qing Shu wanted to buy some books to read, she realized that she had only just started learning how to read characters in this life. So, she gave up on that idea. 

Seeing Qing Shu gazing at the books with shining eyes, Old Madam Gu smiled and said, “If you like them, we’ll buy all of these.” She had spent over a thousand taels of silver on Qing Shu’s clothes and jewelry, so these books wouldn’t cost much. 

Gu Xian’s concerns were not unfounded. With Old Madam Gu pampering Qing Shu so much, if she were a normal child, she could easily become spoiled over time. 

Having such a doting grandmother was a blessing, but Qing Shu remembered her previous life’s experience and wanted to take things step by step. Being too assertive might lead to people treating her as an abnormal child, just like what had happened during Old Madam Lin’s last visit.