Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
Chapter 201: Offering Round Cakes (1)
This chapter has been stolen from volarenovels. Please read from the original source!
"Dear cousin, you've become rather capable, haven't you? You're actually keeping someone like that as company!"
Chu Lian was pulled back to reality by that young, angry voice. When she focused her gaze on the source, she saw Imperial Princess Leyao standing not too far from them. The two ladies standing behind her were the same ones she had seen last time at the Dingyuan Estate, House Dingyuan's Fifth Miss, Zou Yuanqin, and Feudal Princess Anmin.
One of Chu Lian's eyebrows shot up. She was about to speak, but Royal Princess Duanjia beat her to the punch and started to retort with, "Leyao, when has it been up to you to manage my business? If you're that free, why don't you mind your own!"
On the way to Ninghe Palace, Chu Lian had already told Royal Princess Duanjia about everything that had happened at Tingyu Pavilion, so Duanjia also knew about Princess Leyao's grounding.
Imperial Princess Leyao was actually a rank higher than Royal Princess Duanjia. However, Prince Wei and the Chengping Emperor were blood brothers, and the Emperor favoured Prince Wei. Since Royal Princess Duanjia was Prince Wei's only daughter, she held favour with both the Empress Dowager and the Emperor. She wasn't any less favoured than Imperial Princess Leyao.
Imperial Princess Leyao had always maintained a cordial relationship with her cousin, the equally pampered Royal Princess Duanjia. However, who could have expected Royal Princess Duanjia to side with Chu Lian?
Leyao's face had instantly turned white from rage. She couldn't win over Royal Princess Duanjia, but was she really going to lose to a measly Honoured Lady like Chu Lian?
What was strange was that Imperial Princess Leyao didn't say anything in retaliation to Royal Princess Duanjia's retort. Instead, she actually managed to hold back her anger, and only led her entourage away. At the same time, she shot a fierce glare at Chu Lian and smirked.
Chu Lian's brows drew together. That smirk gave her an uncomfortable feeling.
When Royal Princess Duanjia saw that Chu Lian didn't seem too happy, she tried to reassure her in her own clumsy way. "Chu Liu, you don't have to care about that sort of person. She's just throwing a tantrum because she's used to being spoiled. Who knows when she'll be able to grow some brains!"
Chu Lian managed to pull out a smile for the princess, but her right eyelid kept twitching for some mysterious reason.
After about ten minutes, Matriarch He's handmaid, Muxiang, came rushing over from somewhere. Her face was extremely troubled. When she saw Chu Lian, it was as if she had seen salvation.
Chu Lian looked over, but before she could ask what had happened, Muxiang had already spoken first. "Third Young Madam, something bad happened! The matriarch requires your presence!"
Chu Lian's brows were raised high. She had a hunch that this had something to do with Imperial Princess Leyao.
Seeing that Chu Lian was going to leave in a hurry, Royal Princess Duanjia frowned and asked, "Chu Liu, what's wrong?"
Chu Lian suppressed her anxiety and said, "Royal Princess, my grandmother is looking for me. I have to go first."
"Do you want me to come along with you?"
Chu Lian shook her head.
Royal Princess Duanjia didn't press the matter. After watching Chu Lian leave with that handmaid, she moved to another wing of the side hall.
Princess Wei seemed to have noticed the commotion. She sent someone to look for Royal Princess Duanjia, who then personally went to meet Princess Wei.
"It seems like something has happened to House Jing'an. Chu Liu was called over by Matriarch He."
Princess Wei gripped one of her handkerchiefs and thought for a moment. Then, to one of her senior servants, she instructed, "Send someone to take a look. If there's really something that can't be resolved, report back to me."
Chu Lian was taken to another wing of the side hall by Muxiang. She went further in as Muxiang turned back around to shut the doors tight. As expected, there was Matriarch He, sitting by the table with Madam Zou standing next to her respectfully.
Muxiang led Chu Lian over to Matriarch He, only to see Matriarch He slam her cane on the ground and shout, "Dalang's wife! What is going on here? How could you have lost our round cakes?"
Madam Zou lowered her head, face pale as she replied to the matriarch with a trembling voice. "Grandmother, when Granddaughter-in-Law left the estate, Granddaughter-in-Law checked through everything personally. When Granddaughter-in-Law entered the palace, our round cakes were still there. They only disappeared once Granddaughter-in-Law entered Ninghe Palace... Granddaughter-in-Law... really doesn't know where they went..."
Matriarch He banged her cane on the floor again, restraining the urge to hit Madam Zou with it instead.
"Dalang's wife, tell me! When you entered the palace, who was holding onto that box of round cakes?"
Although the palace was hosting a Mid-Autumn Banquet today, the noble madams of each estate were not allowed to bring just anyone with them. Someone of Madam Zou's rank was only allowed to bring in two servants at most.
She had brought her most trusted senior servant and handmaid, Senior Servant Qiao and Jinshui.
This whole matter was extremely suspicious, so Madam Zou didn't dare to hide anything. However, she also wanted to protect her own servants. After mumbling for a bit, she didn't say anything concrete. Chu Lian was starting to frown as she watched on from the side.
"Madam Zou! Look at what has happened! Are you not going to answer me? Are you trying to bring down our entire family?!" Matriarch He was usually amiable, and she rarely lost her temper like this. Years of accumulated stress poured out all at once, even scaring Chu Lian, let alone the guilty Madam Zou.
"Grandmother, please calm down! Granddaughter-in-Law will say it! It was... It was Granddaughter-in-Law's Jinshui..."
Once Madam Zou had given a name, Senior Servant Zhou, who served Matriarch He, immediately shouted, "What a daring servant! Even after committing a crime, you're still refusing to admit to it? Kneel down at once!"
Jinshui was already afraid since she had lost the estate's round cakes. Now that she was being shouted at by Senior Servant Zhou, her legs turned to jelly and she collapsed on the ground. She tried and failed to support herself with her trembling arms a few times before she finally managed to crawl over to Matriarch He.
"Matriarch, Matriarch, please have mercy on this servant! This servant... this servant didn't lose the box on purpose. This servant was carefeully holding onto the box while following Eldest Young Madam into Ninghe Palace. When this servant was turning a corner, a eunuch suddenly pushed this servant. This servant smelled something strange and immediately fainted. When this servant came to, the box was gone! That eunuch had also disappeared. Matriarch, this servant... has been caught in someone else's schemes!"
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