Home Post 1822-chapter-31


“Full five, add ten; break five, add ten. One up, one down, five to four, one to nine, add one…” 

After reciting the mnemonic, Qing Shu said, “Grandma, I’ve memorized the mnemonic. Can you teach me how to use the abacus now?” 

Since Qing Shu had been attacked twice when she wasn’t around, even though Yuan Shanniang had been sent back to her family, Old Madam Gu was now concerned and decided to stay at home to take care of Qing Shu. 

However, they still had to balance the accounts at the end of each month, as per the rules. Old Madam Gu didn’t want Qing Shu to go to the store, so she had the three shopkeepers bring the account books over. 

Qing Shu had expressed her envy when she saw Old Madam Gu proficiently using the abacus, so Old Madam Gu decided to teach her. Although Qing Shu had never used an abacus in her previous life, she felt strangely familiar with it. Old Madam Gu taught her addition and subtraction rules, and Qing Shu’s answers came quickly to her mind. She mastered the abacus quickly. 

Old Madam Gu was delighted and said, “Good, good, good! It seems my clever girl has a talent for mathematics.” She felt relieved, knowing that Qing Shu wouldn’t have any trouble with the math exams in school. 

Qing Shu was also pleasantly surprised. 

Old Madam Gu’s smile faded, and she spoke with seriousness, “Qing Shu, don’t let this make you arrogant. Talent is important, but hard work is even more crucial. Otherwise, even with great talent, it won’t be enough.” 

Qing Shu nodded and said, “Grandma, I understand.” 

While they were having this conversation, they received word that Gu Heping was requesting an audience. 

Old Madam Gu’s smile disappeared instantly. 

Gu Heping had come to request something, saying, “Mother, the Dragon Boat Festival is coming up in a few days. Mother, I would like to bring Shanniang back.” 

Old Madam Gu asked, “Do you know about Little Yuan calling Qing Shu a thief?” 

Gu Heping was momentarily stunned, then vehemently denied, “Mother, that’s not true. It must be someone maliciously spreading rumors.” 

Old Madam Gu’s eyes showed a complex expression, but she quickly composed herself and said, “So you mean you’ve never heard her call Qing Shu a thief?” 

Gu Heping firmly stated, “No, I’ve never heard that.” 

Old Madam Gu smiled, though her smile didn’t reach her eyes. She said, “Since you can’t bear to part with her, then take the two children and go to the Yuan family for the Dragon Boat Festival.” 

Such lies were easy to tell. Old Madam Gu didn’t expect much more. She realized that no matter how good she was to him, it was useless since he didn’t consider her his birth mother. At this moment, Old Madam Gu had completely given up on Gu Heping. 

Gu Heping hesitated for a moment and then earnestly said, “Mother, Shanniang has already realized her mistake. Mother, please forgive her this time.” 

Old Madam Gu replied indifferently, “I won’t repeat myself. Also, you don’t need to come over for trivial matters in the future.” 

Gu Heping felt anxious and said, “Mother…” 

Old Madam Gu didn’t want to see him any longer and had the maidservant escort him out. 

Qing Shu knelt in Old Madam Gu’s arms and deliberately said with a worried look, “Grandma, what if Uncle and Aunt hold a grudge against you?” 

Old Madam Gu smiled and said, “You don’t need to worry; Grandma has her own arrangements.” 

Qing Shu nodded. With Grandma’s abilities, there was no way these two could harm her. She then said, “Grandma, I want to continue having Zhong Mama teach me how to read tomorrow.” 

“Rest for a few more days.” 

Qing Shu shook her head and said, “No need, I’m already fine.” With nothing to do, she was getting bored. 

Old Madam Gu smiled and said, “Alright, I’ll tell Zhong Mama later.” This child was so diligent that she had no doubt she could handle attending the prestigious Jinling Girls’ School, let alone the local school. 

Thinking about this, Old Madam Gu had an idea. 

She called for Zhong Mama to avoid Qing Shu’s presence and asked, “What do you think about having Qing Shu take the entrance exam for Jinling Girls’ School?” There were many girls’ schools in Jinling, but Jinling Girls’ School was among the very best. If Qing Shu could study there, it would be excellent. 

Zhong Mama didn’t answer that question but instead said, “Old Madam, I heard that Madam is going to the capital next year.” If she had indeed decided to go to the capital, there was no need to consider where Qing Shu would study because it would be a waste of effort. 

Old Madam Gu didn’t want Gu Xian to go to the capital, but she also didn’t want the couple to be separated for too long. 

Two days later, Gu Xian came to pick up Qing Shu. 

Seeing that Old Madam Gu didn’t object, Gu Xian said, “Mother, the Dragon Boat Festival is in two days, and I want to take Qing Shu back to Taohua Village to celebrate.” 

While it was fine to stay in the county during regular days, not returning home for the festival would likely cause dissatisfaction with her in-laws. And once her husband found out, he would be troubled as well. 

Old Madam Gu nodded in agreement. 

Qing Shu, holding Old Madam Gu, said, “Grandma, I’ll come back to be with you once I return to the county.” 

Old Madam Gu, who had been feeling a little down, immediately brightened up, “Good.” 

Gu Xian felt a bit resentful. Her daughter used to be very attached to her, but now she seemed reluctant to get close. 

Qing Shu went inside with her maidservant to pack her things. 

Gu Xian hesitated for a moment and then said to Old Madam Gu, “Mother, He Ping came to see me.” 

Old Madam Gu’s face immediately darkened. “What, are you going to plead for that wicked woman?” 

“Mother, I was also very angry when Qing Shu was beaten. But she is still Fu Gui and Baozhu’s birth mother. If we divorce her because of this, it will invite criticism.” 

Old Madam Gu glanced at Gu Xian and said somewhat weakly, “Qing Shu was beaten so badly, and you’re more concerned about pleading for that wicked woman. If Qing Shu hears this, think about how sad she’ll be.” 

Gu Xian didn’t want to get involved, but Gu Heping had asked her twice, “But if we keep things like this, it won’t end well. Let He Ping take the two children to the Yuan family for the festival; it would look better.” 

Old Madam Gu was about to respond when she noticed Qing Shu standing at the doorway. “Sweetie…” 

Gu Xian’s heart trembled slightly. “Qing Shu, why are you back?” 

Qing Shu replied calmly, “Mother, I want to take some writing materials back.” Even when returning to the countryside, she couldn’t afford to neglect her studies. 

Gu Xian heaved a sigh of relief. It seemed that Qing Shu hadn’t heard their conversation just now. “Take whatever you need.” 

Qing Shu nodded and turned to pack her belongings. 

However, Old Madam Gu was still worried. It was clear that Qing Shu had heard everything. If she didn’t react or become upset about it, it meant that she was keeping these things in her heart. “Don’t get involved in this matter; I will handle it.” 

If Gu Xian continued like this, the mother and daughter would eventually drift apart. 

“Understood.” Although she resented Yuan Shanniang’s cruelty, this matter was ultimately caused by Qing Shu. Otherwise, Old Madam Gu wouldn’t bother with it. 

On the way back, Gu Xian held Qing Shu’s hand gently and said, “Qing Shu, when you come back from Taohua Village, don’t go to the Gu family anymore.” She was afraid that if Qing Shu kept staying at the Gu family, the mother and daughter would become more distant. 

Qing Shu lowered her head and muttered, “Uncle hardly ever shows up, and my cousin and cousin-in-law never come to the main house. If I don’t accompany Grandma, she’ll be very lonely.” 

Gu Xian opened her mouth but ultimately sighed and said, “After the festival, you can still go to the Gu family to accompany your grandmother.”