Home Post 1713-chapter-14


Seeing that Qing Shu didn’t want to buy all the books, Old Madam Gu smiled and said, “Then take a look and tell Grandma if you find something you like.” 

Qing Shu indeed had books in mind that she wanted to buy. “Grandma, I’d like to buy the complete set of ‘Children’s Enlightenment Books.'” 

These “Children’s Enlightenment Books” had been around for a long time. Initially, they contained only some idiom stories and fables, but due to their vivid and interesting illustrations, they became very popular. Over the years, they had been continuously improved and expanded, now including stories about famous people, legal knowledge, medicine, and more. 

This set of books was suitable for people of all ages. Even adults found them interesting. 

The shop assistant at the bookstore recognized Old Madam Gu and smiled, saying, “Madam, this set of books consists of twenty-four volumes. Would you like to buy them individually or as a complete set?” Buying them individually or as a set came at different prices. 

Old Madam Gu looked at the shop assistant disdainfully and said, “Didn’t you hear my Dear say she wants the whole set? Also, bring out the best calligraphy copybooks you have.” It was her oversight not to have bought copybooks and books for her granddaughter earlier, focusing only on clothes, jewelry, and toys. 

The shop assistant went to the inner room and returned with more than ten copybooks. 

Placing the copybooks in front of Qing Shu, Old Madam Gu said, “Dear, choose the ones you like.” 

Old Madam Gu came from a humble background and couldn’t afford an education in her childhood. It was only after marrying Old Master Gu and getting involved in the family business that she realized the importance of literacy. She had learned to read account books and write letters but hadn’t pursued further studies. 

Qing Shu carefully looked through the copybooks and picked the one she found most attractive. 

Old Madam Gu asked, “Is choosing just one enough, dear? Would you like to look at more?” 

Qing Shu shook her head and said, “Grandma, I think this copybook is the best.” She believed in the saying that it’s better to master one thing than to dabble in many. 

The shopkeeper had just returned from the restroom and, upon seeing the chosen copybook, had a slight change in expression, but he quickly regained his composure. “Miss has excellent taste; this ‘Huangting Scripture’ was copied by Master Lan, a renowned calligrapher.” 

Qing Shu was curious and asked, “Master Lan? Who is he?” In her previous life, she had only learned a few characters and was not familiar with famous personalities. 

After the shopkeeper explained, Qing Shu learned that this Master Lan’s full name was Lan Yanghui, from the prominent Lan family of the Ming Dynasty. Lan Yanghui had shown exceptional literary talent from a young age, becoming a top scholar at a very young age. He later held high government positions, including that of Minister of Revenue. His calligraphy had always been highly praised, but his works were rarely found in the market. 

When Qing Shu heard the price of one hundred and sixty taels of silver, she thought it was too expensive and shook her head, indicating that she wouldn’t buy it. 

The shopkeeper breathed a sigh of relief. He had never intended to sell this copybook; it was an error on the part of the assistant to bring it out, and he couldn’t deceive customers, even if he was reluctant to part with it. 

Old Madam Gu noticed the shopkeeper’s reaction and immediately asked, “Is this an authentic piece?” 

“It’s definitely authentic,” the shopkeeper said confidently. “Madam, our Baiwen Bookstore has been established for over sixty years, and we’ve never deceived our customers. If you have any doubts, please feel free to come back to me.” 

“Then please wrap it up!” If it was a good item, Old Madam Gu couldn’t pass it up. 

The shopkeeper winced at the thought of parting with the copybook but had his assistant fetch a rectangular box to pack it. 

Seeing Old Madam Gu’s willingness to spend, the shopkeeper also recommended essential items such as brushes, ink, paper, and inkstones, as well as pen holders, brush cleaners, and paperweights. 

Old Madam Gu thought that all of these items would be useful and made a big purchase. 

Seeing her spend so generously, the shopkeeper asked, “Madam, we’ve recently received a batch of paintings and calligraphy. Would you like to buy a few paintings to hang in the study for the young lady?” 

Old Madam Gu looked at more than twenty paintings hanging on the wall and chose a peony painting. Qing Shu had her eye on a particular painting, a majestic eagle soaring in the blue sky. 

Old Madam Gu frowned at the eagle painting and said, “Sweetie, let’s look at the others.” 

The eagle looked fierce and not suitable for a young lady’s study. 

Qing Shu insisted, “Grandma, I like this painting.” She wanted to be a powerful and untamed eagle, not a caged bird. 

Old Madam Gu didn’t object but made a condition, “You can have this painting, dear, but you mustn’t hang it in the study.” 

Qing Shu intended to hang the eagle painting in her bedroom, not the study, so she readily agreed. 

The total cost of the purchases amounted to over four hundred taels of silver, which made Qing Shu cringe, but Old Madam Gu, without batting an eye, signed the bill. 

The shopkeeper would present this signed bill to the Gu family, and the accountants would settle the payment. 

The shopkeeper smiled as he escorted the grandmother and granddaughter to the door. “Madam, Miss, please take care.” 

Just as they were about to board their carriage, a young man in a green robe greeted Old Madam Gu with a bow. “Aunt, Hongdou.” 

Qing Shu didn’t recognize this young man, but based on his age and calling her “Aunt,” he was likely a cousin from the Second Uncle’s branch of the Gu family. 

Most likely, he was a chatty young man who enjoyed talking, and during Qing Shu’s illness, Chen Mama had shared some information about the Gu family.
Although the eldest son of the Gu family has made a fortune in business, he only has one daughter, Gu Xian; the second son of the Gu family has three sons named Gu Heyuan, Gu Herong, and Gu Hejie; the third brother of the Gu family has two sons named Gu Heguang and Gu Heping. As for why the second branch had many sons but ended up adopting from the third brach, Chen Mama didn’t say anything.
Qin Shu muttered deliberately and said, “Uncle, please don’t call me ‘Hongdou’ from now on. My real name is Qing Shu.” 

Old Madam Gu smiled and explained to the young man, “Hejie, you might not know, but our girl chose her own name, and she finds ‘Hongdou’ unsophisticated and unattractive, so she won’t allow us to call her that anymore.” 

Gu Hejie smiled and said, “Qing Shu is a beautiful name. Much better than ‘Hongdou,’ which sounds plain and unsophisticated.” 

Old Madam Gu chuckled and said, “I still need to take Qing Shu shopping, so you go about your business.” 

Gu Hejie, upon seeing the items Old Madam Gu was carrying, had a somewhat gloomy expression. Old Madam Gu was indeed wealthy! 

Once the carriage was out of sight, Gu Hejie entered the bookstore. The shopkeeper was currently scolding the assistant for the mistake of selling the copybook. Even though they hadn’t suffered any losses, the shopkeeper still felt the sting. 

Gu Hejie heard the shopkeeper’s words and couldn’t believe his luck. He never expected to encounter such a great opportunity to buy books at the bookstore today. However, thinking about Old Madam Gu’s relationship with his mother, he felt a headache coming on.