Chapter 35: Ceremony
Afterwards, they took turns to take a refreshing pomelo leaf bath. Just as they put on their wedding clothes, from the outside, they heard busy chatter and footsteps. They knew it was now time and the people outside were the invited guests.
Lin Si Yao went out to greet everyone while Su Shuilian finished buttoning up her outer wedding wear. After she tied the belt, Su Shuilian sat in front of the vanity table and cleaned up her glossy, black hair and her face that was already white and delicate without the use of powder.
“Hey, girl, what are you dawdling for? The event is not gonna happen by itself!” Aunt Tian spread open the curtains to the bedroom door, as she smiled and reminded her.
“Aunt Tian…” Su Shuilian was rendered speechless at the straightforward Aunt Tian.
“I’m joking, joking. Come, let Aunt Tian help you with your hair. Although usually it is the maternal side of the bride that helps with this, today, Aunt Tian will take this honor.” As she was saying this, Aunt Tian took the incense wood comb from Su Shuilian’s hands and started to comb her hair.
“Aunt Tian, how old is your daughter this year?” Seeing her gesture, Su Shuilian allowed Aunt Tian to do so. One, because she did not have any family member to help her with her hair, and she herself did not believe she could remain calm and comb her waist-long hair in this situation.
“My daughter will be fourteen this year. You see, her father goes to work in Qingtian town and she was matched with a kid next door after being introduced by the main family. However, because of their four years difference in age, I reckon it will happen after a year.” Aunt Tian carefully helped Su Shuilian with her hair. Followed by placing in a hairpin and slipping on a beaded turquoise bracelet, she talked about her house’s daughter, Tian Niu.
“Qingtian Town eh? How far is it from here?” Su Shuilian curiously asked. Since making it out of Dashi Mountain, they were either at Fan Luo City or Fan Hua Town, so not being curious was not possible. Maybe next time, she can ask A Yao to accompany her to Qingtian Town.
“Not far, it’s northeast of the town’s entrance, about six fields away. It’s much closer compared to the city… Ok, it’s done. How do you like it, girl?” Aunt Tian clapped her hands signifying that she was done, and urged Su Shuilian to look into the bronze mirror.
Su Shuilian could not make out much from the mirror, just the blurred outlines. But, just this mirror had already received many praises from Aunt Lao and the other poniangs, it seems that just having a large bronze mirror was already an admirable thing.
“Thank you Aunt Tian, this is very good.”
“Oh you, no wonder your A Yao pampers you so, it’s because you really are well behaved.” Aunt Tian could not help but tease her again and mentioned Lin Si Yao.
Nowadays, which wife and daughter would not praise Lin Si Yao? Even if not spoken out loud, in their hearts, they were envious of Su Shuilian. To have a man to attend her every need, it must have been a great blessing from the previous generation.
Thinking back to their own just-sensible daughter, Aunt Tian hoped that her son-in-law would treat her well. He didn’t have to be as loving as Lin Si Yao, but the big and small things, as long as he respects her views, that would be enough.
Su Shuilian became red again at Aunt Tian’s words. Very good, we can save on some rouge.
However, this is a big marriage. So this makeup must be put on, but just plastering rouge would not only hinder girl’s enchanting looks, it would also add a heavy tackiness.
So Su Shuilian recalled the time when her maidservants had helped her apply the rouge cream and scoop a bit of the thick red rouge cream onto her fingertip. She gently and evenly spread lit onto her lips and puckered them. The bright red rouge cream seemed to have combined with her lip color into one color. After thinking for a bit, Su Shuilian then picked some more of the rouge cream and gently rubbed it into the water box, turning it into a dim/light crimson color. She combined some of it with the powder and lightly applied it onto her face. Little by little, she used her index finger to apply it on both of her cheeks and blended them until her original white, delicate cheeks and red makeup combined in color.
“Wow! So this is how to really apply the makeup! Haha, it seems today I have gained some valuable information!” Aunt Tian was at awe from Su Shuilian’s nimble actions in turning the originally tacky red makeup into such a light, refreshing, and stunning color. She could not help but clap and praise, concurring the interest of the poniangs who had just arrived and were anxiously waiting and busily chatting in the main room.
“Wow, really looks like a fairy had descended from heaven.” Shui House’s poniang had stopped her motion of biting into a melon seed and sincerely praised.
“Yeah, now Fan Hau Town finally has an intelligent and outstanding woman. Next time I go to Luoshui Town, I can go and smack that Fang poniang’s face.” The wife of Shi House said. Her maternal family lived in Luoshui Town. One of their neighbor’s haughty daughter-in-law, Luo-shi*, loved to dress up and flaunt and boast about how she the was the most beautiful in the surrounding towns. Fine. Although He-shi* (wife of Shi House) was unwilling to admit that woman’s looks were indeed one out of hundreds. But now, her claims were no longer true. Now Su Shuilian, with her looks, let’s see if she’ll still hold that ‘most beautiful within the dozen radius’ title. In the future, she has to bring Su Shuilain to walk a round in Luoshui Town, hmph, and ruthlessly smack down that poniang’s arrogance!
(XX-shi, 氏; XX=maiden name)
“Ok ok, it’s time! Quickly, put her bridal veil on.” When Aunt Lao entered and saw the other poniang were surrounding Su Shuilian and still chatting, she anxiously urged them to prepare.
“This girl’s embroidery skills are really extraordinary!” He House’s poniang could not help but exclaim when she saw Su Shuilian’s wedding veil embroidered with a pair of mandarin ducks.
“With sister* He praising your embroidery skills to no end, it really leaves us oldies with no face ah!” Looking at the vivid duck embroidery, Aunt Tian could not help but joke with the poniang of He House who had just come in.
(嫂 (sister-in-law) – respectful appellation for a married woman)
“Tian sis, from now on, you can’t say that my embroidery skills are superb, or else, others will think I am shameless, with a thick skin, and without a face.” When Lin-shi had heard Aunt Tian’s joke, her face turned red and she had felt uncomfortable inside.
Since she married into Fan Hua Town about ten years ago, what had always been the praise of the other wives was her excellent embroidery skills. But now, even though Su Shuilian did not publicly boast about her skills, from her works on the two’s usual attire, wedding blanket/quilt, wedding gown, and even her exquisite wedding veil, it was obviously more superior than her skills. From now on, her only talent will be shadowed… Don’t know if the embroidery floor would also convert for Su Shuilian’s works… Wouldn’t her livelihood be cut off from now on?
With this, Lin-shi fell into a daze, but the other wives did not notice her inner conflict as they helped Su Shuilian put on the wedding veil, preparing her for when Lin Si Yao comes to pick her up to go to main room for the wedding ceremony.
The main room was full of people. The originally visually spacious room was so filled to the point that there was barely any room for anyone to step on.
Not only were the friends of the invited families urged to come, but the rest of the villagers had come to spectate.
Especially the Hua Household’s wife and daughter-in-law pair. She had previously heard the wife of Tian House compliment the remodel of this house more than just once. When she heard that Su Shuilian and Lin Si Yao were hosting a wedding, not minding the happy event, but taking advantage of the crowd, she had come to look around. In her heart, she had hoped that what Tian House’s poniang had said was all exaggerated.
However, after the pair circled around the house several times, they became endlessly envious. Looking at these furniture, how they were all made elegantly, but still provided the utmost comfort. Looking at the yards’ flowers and plants, clean bricks, and wooden benches, what an elegant and fresh layout….tsk tsk.
“Aunt Hua, big sis Hua, my mother has invited you into the main room, the ceremony is about to begin.” Lao House’s daughter, Lao Xicui rushed forward and was out of breathe as she followed her mother’s orders to invite the Hua House pair in. They were currently in the front, west side of the courtyard, studying the toilet.
According to Aunt Lao’s words: with the many eyes in the main room, the pair would less likely cause any trouble. If no one was looking, who knows what shameful actions this pair would do. It was true, the two of Hua House had accumulated a lot of crimes; whichever household they enter, they will exit with at least one of that household’s valuables. With a careless move, the calculating pair will definitely take advantage and take something!
“That uh, Xicui, isn’t the main room already full, we are fine right here…” Lui-shi, Hua House’s poniang smiled as she waved at her, gesturing her to leave and not to mind them.
Xicui pouted, her mother’s orders are not to be defied, but Aunt Hua’s smile was hard to refute. Thinking of a way to further persuade, she suddenly heard a woo woo sound and looked towards the noise. She saw two flashes of white, and with the wailing of the Hua House pair, Xicui noticed that it had been the backyard’s two guard dogs biting on the pair’s skirts, dragging them into the main room.
“Aiyo… doggie, be obedient, please let us go first, ok?” Liu-shi tried to sweet talk at the dogs, whether or not they understood, she did not care. She just wanted them to let go of their skirts.
“Uh, mother, do you think that they are trying to pull us into the main house?” Fang-shi, the daughter-in-law of Hua House noticed that the dog had no intention of biting her, curiously/puzzledly asked her mother-in-law who was in the same predicament.
“Huh?” When Hua House’s poniang heard this, she then noted the behaviour of the wolf cubs and tried to coax them, “Hey hey, doggies, let us go, we can go by ourselves. We can go to the main room ourselves.”
Seemingly, as though they had understood their words, the wolf cubs let go of their skirts and backed two steps. They watched them walk into the main room step by step.
Lao Xicui was delighted at this scene, patting the dogs on their head, she secretly praised the powerful them.
The pair from Hua House, in addition to being amazed, their inner abacus was immediately put to work. Such a smart dog, what breed was it? Seeing that it was a male and female pair, maybe when they have their pup litters, they can come and ask Su Shuilian for one.
If the wolves had heard their inner calculations, they would have bitten the pair to smithereens: We are brother and sister!! Brother and sister ok?! If you have the ability, how about you go make a pup with your own brother?!
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