Chapter 449 - Exchange Blows

Everything went as Lady Li expected. In the room that Linglong prepared for them, the mother and daughter changed into a new set of clothes. Of course, Linglong also reported their actions to her mistress.   

Lady Fang had an even worse impression of the mother and daughter! They had indeed come from a low-class family. Even after being in the capital’s aristocratic circle for ten years, they still couldn’t get rid of their petty nature. A daughter from such a family actually dared to look down on her daughter? 

In front of the mother and daughter of the Li Family, Lady Fang acted in a polite and aloof manner. Others couldn’t find fault in her, but they also couldn’t get close to her.

The servants were ordered to serve tea. Lady Fang held a cup of tea and gently blew the tea leaves on the surface of the tea. She took a sip of the tea, and then asked with a spurious smile, “Lady Li, aren’t you going to try the tea?” 

Would Lady Li be in the mood to drink tea? She took a sip casually, forced out a smile, and repeatedly nodded as she said, “It’s fragrant and tastes very good. May I ask where Lady Fang got such a good quality tea?” 

Lady Fang just smiled and didn’t say anything. She slowly took another sip with her eyes narrowed, as if she was savoring the sweet aftertaste of the tea. She finally spoke up after a long time, “Lady Li, have you ever heard of peach blossom tea?” 

Peach blossom tea? Was it that beautifying flower tea that was very popular with the noblewomen in the capital and imperial consorts of the Imperial Palace in the past two years? When Lady Li looked down and saw the clear and fragrant tea in the cup, her expression turned solemn. One should know that it was very hard to find peach blossom tea in the capital!

Aiyo! She remembered now!! Didn’t this peach blossom tea come from Lady Fang? She looked up at the Lady Fang, who was over forty years old but had a complexion that was even better than someone in her thirties. Lady Li’s attitude became more sincere as she hastily said, “Even if one has money, it’s still very difficult to buy this peach blossom tea. It’s an honor to be able to drink this precious product here!” 

Lady Fang put down the cup in her hands and wiped the corner of her lips with a handkerchief. With a slight smile, she looked up and said, “This peach blossom tea is valuable not only because it tastes good, but also because it can detoxify and beautify, making one’s body feel lighter. It’s easy for people like me, who are older and had just recently given birth to a child, to have a plumper figure. After drinking peach blossom tea for over a year, my body feels much lighter and my complexion has also gotten better…”

“That’s right!” Lady Li lowered her head to look at her love handles and protruding belly. She looked even more eager as she said, “My Lady, from the back, you look just like a young maiden. Also, there’s a healthy flush in your fair skin. There’s no sign of dullness at all. Unlike me, I’m only around thirty-five but I have enough wrinkles to kill mosquitoes!” 

Li Meirou quietly pulled on her mother’s sleeves. What exactly was she talking about? No wonder her father didn’t think it was a good idea for her mother to come for a visit. He was probably afraid that she would say the wrong thing and embarrass their family. 

Lady Fang looked at the young miss of the Li Family. She pretended that she didn’t see her small action and continued, “I’m not afraid of you laughing at me. I gave birth at the advanced age of forty and got a mischievous little fellow. After giving birth to Lin’er, I was out of shape and would pant after walking a couple steps. There were spots on my face, which couldn’t be covered by a thick layer of powder. I had even more wrinkles than you!! Had it not been for this peach blossom tea, I wouldn’t even dare to come out to entertain guests!” 

“Does the peach blossom tea really have such an amazing effect?” There weren’t any women who didn’t like beauty. Lady Li seemed to have forgotten the purpose of her visit, and her train of thoughts had been led astray by Lady Fang. 

Lady Fang deliberately touched her smooth and delicate face and smiled mysteriously, saying, “Lady Li, don’t believe what people tell you until you see it for yourself. What do you think?” 

Lady Li leaned forward and asked eagerly, “Lady Fang, can you tell me where you bought this peach blossom tea?” 

“Buy?” Lady Fang revealed a proud smile on her face and lightly shook her head, saying, “If it can be bought, who in the capital doesn’t have the money to buy it? The peach blossom tea would have already popularized amongst the upper-class circle! Lady Li, have you seen anyone else drinking it except me?”

Lady Li shook her head without thinking. Who wouldn’t want to put powder on their face if they had it? If the noblewomen in the capital had something good, they would want everyone to know about it. She had tasted premium quality Da Hong Pao tea at other people’s houses, but she had only heard about peach blossom tea. What did this mean? Peach blossom tea was so valuable that it couldn’t be bought! 

Suddenly, a thought flashed through her mind. Lady Li mumbled, “Could it be…that this peach blossom tea was made by Lady Fang?” If it was like this, then everything made sense. 

It was no wonder that, except for the imperial consorts in the Imperial Palace, there were only a few people in the capital who could show off the effect of the peach blossom tea. On second thought, those people all had a good relationship with Lady Fang!

Lady Fang shook her head with a smile and said, “Would I have such capability?” 

“Then…” Lady Li didn’t believe that the peach blossom tea had nothing to do with Lady Fang. She looked at Lady Fang with an extremely eager gaze. 

Lady Fang felt that she had tantalized her long enough, so she said in a rather appreciative and proud tone, “It’s thanks to my filial daughter. I don’t know where she got the recipe but she personally made this peach blossom tea, which has the effects of detoxification and enhancing one’s beauty. At the beginning, I didn’t really believe that the peach blossom tea would be so effective. After drinking it for a little less than half a year, my skin and figure have improved significantly. Those madams, who are close to me, noticed my change and asked about it. Hence, the peach blossom tea was spread out. The process of making peach blossom tea is very complicated. I’m afraid that my daughter would be too tired, and I don’t want her to work several days and nights to make the tea. Thus, she only makes one or two catties per year. There isn’t even enough for our family to drink. The only reason I gave those madams the tea was because I usually had a good relationship with them. I couldn’t refuse them when they came to ask me for the tea, so I had to harden my heart and give some out!” 

Lady Fang’s words not only verified the amazing effects of the peach blossom tea, but she also clearly told Lady Li, ‘Our relationship isn’t so good that I would give you the little bit of tea that I saved for myself! So, if you’re smart, don’t ask about it!’

Hearing this, Lady Li silently swallowed down the request that was on the tip of her tongue. She complimented with a smile, “So it turns out that Official Yu is also skilled in this area! At such a young age, Official Yu is not only skilled in cooking and medicine, but also making flower tea. She is really full of talents!” 

“Lady Li is being too courteous. There’s no need to call her Official Yu. Our family’s Cao’er came from a peasant family and has a low status. She can’t compare with Young Miss Li, who came from a noble family, so she doesn’t deserve such praise from Lady Li!” Lady Fang blandly refuted Lady Li’s compliment. 

When Lady Li heard her response, she knew that the other party was angered by her daughter ridiculing Miss Yu’s family background at the flower competition. She quickly glared at her daughter and said with a helpless expression, “Lady Fang, the purpose of our visit today is…to apologize to Miss Yu!” 

“Apologize? My Cao’er is busy working for the imperial court and seldom has time to socialize. She probably doesn’t know Lady Li, right? So what is Lady Li talking about?” Lady Fang asked with a puzzled face, pretending not to know. 

With a slightly embarrassed expression, Lady Li sighed and said, “My daughter has been spoiled rotten by me since she was a child. She has a straightforward temper and believes everything she hears. Last time at the flower competition, she was egged on by others and said something rude to Miss Yu. When she got home, she realized her mistake and felt very guilty. She asked me to bring her to see Miss Yu so that she can apologize to her in person.”   

“Lady Li, you’re making a fuss over nothing. We have both been young girls too. The relationship between young girls can be different every day. It’s normal for them to argue and throw tantrums ah! Why would there be a need to apologize in such a serious manner?” 

Lady Fang’s smile didn’t change, but her lowered gaze was covered with coldness. She called her daughter a lowly person in front of so many noble young misses, but wanted her daughter to forgive her with just a few words? How could this be resolved so easily? 

Lady Li was slightly irritated to see that Lady Fang wasn’t someone easy to deal with. However, she still remembered the purpose of her visit. She suppressed the unpleasant feeling in her heart and said with a smile, “Lady Fang, the child is still young and inexperienced, so her thoughts are rather simple. She was led on by others to say those things at the flower competition, and thus said those words in a haste. I have already severely disciplined her at home. I have scolded her for not knowing people’s hearts and making bad friends…” 

She paused briefly and saw that Lady Fang had no intention of replying, so she continued, “You see, your daughter is two years younger than this brat in my family, but she’s already working for the imperial court. Moreover, she’s very talented in many areas. There isn’t a very big age difference between the two girls, so I think my family’s brat should learn more from Miss Yu…” 

“Please don’t!” Hearing this, Lady Fang interrupted the other party and said, “My daughter has a low status and her work requires her to work with country bumpkins. Assistant Minister Li’s daughter is raised in a pampered lifestyle, so it’s better not to let Cao’er, who came from a peasant family, lead her to become boorish and vulgar!” 

Boorish and vulgar were words that Li Meirou used to insult Xiaocao with at the flower competition. Lady Fang felt angry in her heart when she said this. Had it not been for the fact that her husband and Assistant Minister Li were both officials of the imperial court, she would have already kicked these two out of her house. What kind of people were they! When others were of no use to them, they would trample them under their feet. But, when there was someone useful about the other party, they would pretend to flatter them. No one was a fool here. If there was something they needed to say, they should just do so directly. What was the point in being so pretentious? 

“It’s all my daughter’s fault. She came to apologize to your daughter wholeheartedly. If Miss Yu is upset, she can vent her anger by scolding and hitting her a few times.” Lady Li worked hard to suppress the impatience in her heart and said in a good-natured manner. 

Lady Fang, on the other hand, picked up the tea cup, took a sip with her head lowered, and said, “If Lady Li and Miss Li had come for this matter, then it’s unnecessary! My daughter doesn’t care at all. Perhaps, you might not believe this, but she didn’t mention anything about the ‘misunderstanding’ with Miss Li at all. She only said that she had met a few friends with similar temperament at the flower competition.”

After she said that, she held the cup and looked up at Lady Li. The meaning of her words was very clear, ‘My daughter is magnanimous and won’t be on the same level as your daughter. So stop pretending to be apologetic. Even I feel tired for you.’

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Translator: Myst