Chapter 5 — Jiang Jingchuan had a little smile on his face after hearing Su Yan.
Jiang Jingjing still wanted to tell Jiang Jingchuan about the rumours. It wasn’t for the sake of others, but as she had already brought the topic up, she thought it best to be clear. At the same time, she was thinking to herself: Elder Brother’s reaction was enough to show that there was never a possibility between him and Huang Yu Wei.
After hanging up the phone, Jiang Jingchuan thought of Su Yan’s face and recalled yesterday’s affair. In the end, he still cared. The rumours about Jiang Jingchuan and his wife were highly divided. One side said that the feelings between Jiang Jiangchuan and his wife were quite deep, so even after being faced by temptation, he remained unmoved. The other side said that there were no feelings between Jiang Jingchuan and his wife; if that wasn’t so, then why wouldn’t she accompany him?
Only a few people who were really familiar with Jiang Jingchuan knew that he wasn’t actually interested in women and, naturally, he was even less likely to be interested in men. Before marrying Su Yan, he was once encouraged by his close friend to talk about girlfriends, but only he himself knew that he wasn’t interested in such things.
As a matter of fact, Jiang Jingchuan considered that no matter what you did it would be more interesting than falling in love– especially work.
Although Jiang Jingchuan could not be regarded as a soft person nor someone who had ever experienced falling in love, he always felt responsible for Su Yan. Even if he didn’t love her, he had no plans to embarrass her. Furthermore, there were hardly any women more attractive than Su Yan. If he really wanted to care for a woman, wouldn’t it be better to care for Su Yan? How could it be worthwhile to find someone inferior to her?
After last night, when Jiang Jingchuan found himself unable to reject Su Yan’s initiative to show good will, he figured– as the matter had already occurred and she had that frail appearance– he ought to treat her a bit better.
Jiang Jingchuan’s slender fingers skillfully moved to type out a message. Then he paused and thought: let it be, he would explain it to her after he returned home.
In actuality, he didn’t really plan to explain lest Su Yan assumes that he cares about her.
Would Su Yan care about this matter? Not at all.
After she returned home Su Yan completely forgot the words that had been said to her. Thanks to all kinds of practise during her time in Imperial Harem, she could at least keep her calm in such similar, yet unexpected situations.
Su Yan looked at the necklace, well aware that this was spending Jiang Jingchuan’s money. Naturally, she wasn’t the least bit embarrassed, but it was still better to show some of it on her face. Lost in thought, she went downstairs to the kitchen. It was just like her time in the Imperial Palace: sometimes His Majesty would get angry, she would go to the kitchen and cook a few common dishes such as porridge or gruel or something along those lines. But now she couldn’t use the utensils inside the kitchen, to say the least, so Su Yan was presently standing in the kitchen in disappointment.
Auntie Wang came in from outside; upon seeing Su Yan standing at the door she asked: “Madam, are you hungry?”
Su Yan shook her head in distress: “I was thinking about making some meals for him, but discovered that I am unable to.”
Auntie Wang understood at once, inwardly feeling endlessly gratified. Even if Madam was unable to understand, it wasn’t hopeless, this was truly a clever idea. It seemed that Su Yan was on the offensive! Auntie Wang chuckled and replied: “Rice congee sprinkled with white sugar is Master’s favourite. Madam, you go and rinse rice; I will teach you.”
With someone assisting her, Su Yan eagerly looked forward to cooking. She knew how to rinse rice; after washing the rice she drained the water into the basin. Auntie Wang took a quick glimpse at Su Yan’s fingers and happily said: “Madam’s fingers are really beautiful. It isn’t bad to prepare a meal in the kitchen occasionally. If you had to prepare a meal every day, Master would feel distressed.”
Su Yan merely laughed and didn’t say anything.
Of course, it goes without saying that she loved her two hands dearly. If she had to go to the kitchen and prepare a meal every day, then she would just wash her hands of this and leave.
Su Yan suddenly remembered that there was an important matter to inquire about. She pretended to ask carelessly: “Is he quite busy with work?”
For the moment let’s probe Auntie Wang for information.
Auntie Wang replied: “That’s just the way it is: the Jiang clan is quite big. Even before Master took over, I haven’t seen him idle.”
Su Yan’s heartbeat sped up a bit. Two pieces of useful information had been drawn from Auntie Wang’s mouth.
First, the Jiang clan possessed a very large conglomerate. Second, the whole group was now directly under Jiang Jingchuan’s control.
“In that case, the banquets which he usually goes to must be very significant?”
Auntie Wang mistakenly thought that Su Yan still minded the matter from earlier; but figured it was good that Su Yan minded, so at once started: “Without a doubt, they are significant. All the high ranking officials of A city attend. Madam, on some occasions Master need not go, and no person is brave enough to speak about it. There are some occasions though where it would be wrong of him not to go, and everyone knows that Sir has married. Madam, if you don’t go, naturally others would start to wag their tongue endlessly1.”
In the past, Auntie Wang wouldn’t dare to say this; but that was when Su Yan was very quite cold and detached, answering everyone in an aloof manner. Auntie Wang didn’t want to go and cause herself suffering. Seeing the current soft bearing of Su Yan, she naturally took this opportunity to say a few more sentences.
Su Yan wished Auntie Wang would say more. If Auntie Wang said more about this matter, it will be extremely helpful in understanding her environment since she was unfamiliar with this place and these people.
Plain Rice Congee was quite easy to make, so Su Yan noted all the steps in her mind. She also felt that the kitchen utensils here were much more convenient and memorized them as well.
When Jiang Jingchuan returned, Su Yan was in the middle of reading a book while sitting on a swing in the lawn. Looking at the words, she found it quite simple while also very strange. She could understand most of it, but these words should be considered Simplified2. At the beginning, she was not accustomed to reading them, but now she had adjusted.
She wished to quickly understand but did not dare to casually do as she pleased and ask someone, hence she had no choice but to refer to the dramas and books.
As soon as Jiang Jingchuan entered the living room, the butler came over to welcome. Jiang Jingchuan gave a quick glance to the drawing room and pretended to carelessly ask: “Madam?”
The butler was dumbfounded at first but quickly recovered, answering: “Madam is in the back lawn.”
“I see.” Jiang Jingchuan lowered his head to undo the buttons on one of his sleeve and while undoing the other he ordered: “I have something to ask, look for her.”
Su Yan was still sitting alone on the swing with a book on her lap. As she sat, she tucked back a few strands of her hair behind her ears. Seemingly conscious of someone’s stare, she raised her head just in time to lock eyes with Jiang Jingchuan.
Though Jiang Jingchuan wasn’t very interested in love, when he met Su Yan for the first time before marriage, he still felt some of a man’s inner vanity. She was really beautiful. Add that to a bit of the pressure from his grandfather and he couldn’t reject.
Su Yan quickly responded, hastening to get up. She closed the book and kept it aside before going to greet Jiang Jingchuan with a smile, “You are back? It’s a bit early.”
As a matter of fact, when facing such a Su Yan, Jiang Jingchuan was still unable to adjust. Even now he was accustomed to being strangers. Remembering the substantial connection which had taken place yesterday, he felt a bit awkward and could barely let out a smile. Regardless, he had no choice but to cough lightly and say, “En.”
He wanted to casually explain that there was no relationship between him and Huang Yu Wei, but even though he was on the verge of saying what was in his mind, he found it hard to speak. Looking at Su Yan’s smile, Jiang Jingchuan felt that there was no meaning in making his point.
There was nothing between him and Huang Yu Wei anyway. Personally, he wasn’t afraid of a crooked shadow. If he explained it now, it would be the same as telling her that he still really cared about this matter.
Su Yan also felt a bit nervous: the way of latching on to a rich and powerful person was different for different people. Some liked this kind of behaviour, some liked that kind of behaviour. Previously in the Imperial Harem, because she could understand His Majesty and Empress Dowager, it was quite clear what they were fond of; as a result, that thigh could be held firmly. Currently, she had no understanding of Jiang Jingchuan. Su Yan had to make some connection with him.
Yesterday they only had physical contact; there was no communication.
Despite thinking such thoughts internally, Su Yan immediately took advantage and pulled Jiang Jingchuan’s arm, smiling “In that case, you are just in time. We may be able to have a meal together.”
She had decided that she wouldn’t care. No matter what the relationship between the original body and Jiang Jingchuan was– especially since she was still unfamiliar with everything here– it was better to first maintain a good relationship with Jiang Jingchuan.
This move of Su Yan’s made Jiang Jingchuan’s heart quiver and his expression become somewhat unnatural. He wasn’t actually comfortable with this level of intimacy. Though yesterday night’s matter was also quite intimate, he wasn’t sober at the time. Nevertheless, he didn’t want to show that he was at a loss; at the very least, he couldn’t let Su Yan see it.
Allowing Su Yan to pull him along, he arrived at the drawing room. The people present were quite astonished. Who didn’t know that Madam and Sir were on bad terms? Suddenly being displayed with this scene of a married couple deeply in love, there wasn’t enough time to leave, so they could only eat the dog food3.
The butler and Auntie Wang were delighted at the scene and felt that this pair of man and wife had finally made some progress.
The dishes were prepared and ready to be served just in time. Su Yan seamlessly glanced at Auntie Wang. Auntie Wang understood immediately and happily stepped forward: “Sir, would you have congee today?”
Jiang Jingchuan nodded.
Su Yan stood up and went to the kitchen to personally carry over the bowl of rice congee and set it before Jiang Jingchuan. She didn’t speak; she just smiled at Jiang Jingchuan.
Jiang Jingchuan felt puzzled, but he didn’t say anything. After all, Su Yan’s actions today were beyond his previous understanding of her.
Auntie Wang allowed Su Yan to ladle out the congee, and pretended to carelessly say: “This congee was personally made by Madam.”
Jiang Jingchuan had just eaten a bit of the congee. He didn’t dare to look up at Su Yan sitting opposite to him. He really didn’t know whether or not to continue eating the congee as if nothing happened. He felt a bit awkward. If there was no person here right now, he could have freely said something to Su Yan. Currently, he found it hard to speak: the butler and Auntie Wang were present.
Su Yan, however, realized the reason behind Jiang Jingchuan’s silence. It was just like she had guessed: the relationship between the original body and him wasn’t good. However, she didn’t know to what degree of ‘not good’. Due to not consummating the marriage even after 6 months of getting married, he wasn’t very accustomed to being on intimate terms with his wife.
Presently, allowing Auntie Wang to say those words were just to make him aware that today’s dish was cooked by her. However, if Jiang Jingchuan did not give any reaction, it would be embarrassing for Su Yan. Thinking of that, Su Yan looked at Jiang Jingchuan and slyly smiled: “Husband really works hard, cooking congee for him is just a simple domestic matter.”
Upon hearing Su Yan’s words, a smile appeared on Jiang Jingchuan’s face.