Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
Chapter 202: Offering Round Cakes (2)
This chapter has been stolen from volarenovels. Please read from the original source!
Chu Lian's brows furrowed together. In these circumstances, this Jinshui probably wasn't lying. She was Madam Zou's trusted handmaid. Madam Zou wouldn't be so silly as to shoot herself in the foot.
If it wasn't Madam Zou, then it had to be someone else. When Chu Lian thought of that strange smirk that Imperial Princess Leyao had sent her earlier, she felt completely helpess inside.
When Madam Zou saw that the matriarch's gloomy expression had not changed one bit, she pleaded, "Grandmother, please don't blame Jinshui; it was someone else who stole the box from her!"
Matriarch He was so angry she almost took up her cane to start bashing Madam Zou. "Do you know what time it is? If you still have the mood to plead mercy for her, then use your brains to think of a way past this problem!"
Matriarch He held onto her cane with both hands, chest heaving with the force of her frustration. She turned her head away from Madam Zou.
Madam Zou's body also turned to jelly. How could she have expected such a thing to happen? If their house didn't offer up any round cakes, they would be taken to blame by the Empress and Empress Dowager!
Senior Servant Zhou started fretting to one side. "Matriarch, could we borrow some round cakes from other madams to substitute for our offering?"
"Borrow? How? Most of the houses have already offered up their round cakes by now, so who would we borrow from? Furthermore, every estate has their own unique round cakes; how could we possibly borrow some without being found out?"
Since someone was trying to teach their House Jing'an a lesson from the shadows, that meant that someone was definitely watching them. If they really were to borrow someone's round cakes, then they would definitely be exposed the moment they offered the round cakes up. By then, not only would it be a disgrace to their house, it would also be a crime of deceiving the Emperor.
When Senior Servant Zhou heard the matriarch's reply, she lapsed into silence.
Chu Lian was almost frowning by now. This was a tough problem to resolve. Each estate had already prepared their share of round cakes. Borrowing someone else's wasn't a good solution.
When Matriarch He saw that Sanlang's wife was standing to one side, she was about to ask if Chu Lian had any ideas, when Madam Zou hurriedly said, "Grandmother, Sister-in-Law knows how to make all sorts of confections. Why don't we let her make some round cakes from scratch? It shouldn't be too hard."
When she finished speaking, both Chu Lian and Matriarch He were frowning.
Make them from scratch?
Hah! Wasn't Madam Zou overestimating her? Ignoring the fact that there wasn't any place for her to make confections in Ninghe Palace, even if there was one, she had never made these special Mid-Autumn Festival round cakes before. If they didn't turn out well, wouldn't she be the one carrying all the blame and disgrace?
It didn't matter if Madam Zou was simply too confident towards her abilities or if Madam Zou was trying to drag her down into the hot water with her. Madam Zou clearly didn't care for her well-being in the slightest!
However, no matter what Madam Zou thought of her in private, Chu Lian was indeed Matriarch He and House Jing'an's last hope at this moment. Even Matriarch He held a shred of expectation in her eyes when she looked at Chu Lian.
"Sanlang's wife, do you have any ideas to deal with this emergency?"
Chu Lian shot a look at Madam Zou; her watery eyes made Madam Zou feel slightly ashamed.
She turned her gaze back to the matriarch and thought for a bit. She took in a deep breath and said, "Grandmother, Granddaughter-in-Law has thought of a solution. However, Granddaughter-in-Law doesn't know if it would be appropriate..."
As much as she didn't want to take on the responsibility for this disaster, she was already part of House Jing'an now. Their names were bound together for better or for worse. Even if she wanted to take care of Madam Zou, she couldn't risk it with this matter at hand.
When Matriarch He heard Chu Lian's words, she seemed to relax. She pulled Chu Lian's hands into her own and massaged them. "Good child, Grandmother has let you suffer a fright. Quick, tell Grandmother what your idea is."
Chu Lian quickly explained her idea, but left the final decision in Matriarch He's hands. "Grandmother, would this solution be appropriate?"
Light flickered in Matriarch He's astute eyes. For some strange reason, she trusted this young granddaughter-in-law of hers.
The matriarch patted Chu Lian's hands. "Alright, we'll do as you say."
Chu Lian didn't relax. She only turned to instruct Xiyan, who had followed her in, to make her preparations. When she had reached Ninghe Palace, she had also brought Xiyan and Senior Servant Gui with her.
After Matriarch He gave some instructions to Chu Lian, she directed her attention back to Madam Zou, whose head was still lowered. In a cold, unforgiving tone, she ordered, "Madam Zou, you won't be needed when it's time to offer up the round cakes later. Sanlang's wife will take your place. Keep your servants close with you and stand behind me when the time comes. No one is allowed to leave before the banquet is over!"
This time, Matriarch He was truly angry.
At a grand banquet like this, it was customary for the noble madam in charge of the household to be the one presenting their offerings to the Empress Dowager and Empress. However, the matriarch had taken away that privilege of hers. This was a huge slap in her face. Following this, Madam Zou would not be able to hold her head high in the capital for some time.
This punishment was even harsher than sending away her two trusted servants.
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