Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
Chapter 203: Winner (1)
This chapter has been stolen from volarenovels. Please read from the original source!
When Matriarch He came out of the side hall with Chu Lian supporting her at one side, a handmaid who had been watching from the shadows quietly left.
Lady Pan caught sight of Matriarch He first, walking with her two granddaughters-in-law behind her. She came over with a friendly smile and walked up to Matriarch He's side, bobbing in greeting. Matriarch He was about to return the greeting, but was held up by Lady Pan.
"Matriarch He, you're already at a grand age, please don't stand on ceremony with me. I don't see Countess Jing'an with you today; how is her health now?"
Matriarch He's expression didn't change, as if they hadn't panicked over losing their round cakes just moments earlier. With a calm expression, she amiably replied, "I thank you for your kind thoughts in place of my daughter-in-law, Lady Pan. Her body is still a little weak, so she sent a reply to the palace a few days ago, explaining that she couldn’t make it to the banquet."
Lady Pan's gaze casually passed over the two ladies standing behind Matriarch He before focusing on Chu Lian's young and tender face. Her smile grew even warmer. "This lady behind you must be your newest granddaughter-in-law?"
"She is. Sanlang's wife may be young, but she's very sensible."
Following Matriarch He's words, Chu Lian bobbed in greeting to Lady Pan.
The smile on Lady Pan's face hadn't budged an inch. "What great fortune you have, Matriarch He. Your granddaughter-in-law is a sensible one, and she's also a lady from House Ying. It won't be too long before you'll get to play with a great-grandson, then."
Lady Pan's sudden shift in topic caused the expressions of the three madams from House Jing’an to change.
Noting the fertility of the ladies of House Ying was a slight to Chu Lian. Mentioning a great-grandson was to provoke Madam Zou, who hadn't produced a heir for the family line yet. Saying that it wouldn't be too long now was slapping both Chu Lian and Matriarch He in the face.
In the entire capital, who didn't know of the news that House Jing'an's He Sanlang had entered the army just three days after his marriage? Without her husband at home, what did it mean if the wife was suddenly pregnant?
This Lady Pan, who seemingly hadn't done any wrong on the surface, was actually a master of provocation.
Matriarch He was more experienced on this end. After a spark of rage had passed through her eyes, she quickly regained her calm. "Lady Pan, you're usually closed up in your estate. You probably don't know that that unfilial grandson of mine has already left to join the army at the northern border."
Shock appeared on Lady Pan's face, and she quickly tried to apologise. "Matriarch He, it was my bad for that slip of the tongue. I hope you don't blame me. Who could have expected He Sanlang to be so resolute in leaving? Unless..." Her gaze shot towards Chu Lian, leaving the nonverbal accusation to hang in the air. It was clear by her actions that Lady Pan harboured some bad intentions towards them.
Since their parties had been conversing for quite awhile, some of the madams were starting to shoot casual glances in their direction. Although nothing showed on their faces, their ears were keenly tuned to the slightest inflection as they tried to catch every word of Matriarch He and Lady Pan's conversation. Their eyes shone like vultures', seeking to scavenge some gossip.
Lady Pan was trying to put the blame for He Changdi's leaving on this newlywed wife of his. Although she hadn't finished her sentence, anyone with a brain could tell what she was trying to get at.
Madam Zou lowered her head. Although Lady Pan was provoking House Jing'an right now, she didn't feel anger at all. Actually, it was the complete opposite- she felt delighted!
Lady Pan happened to cross gazes with Chu Lian and was abruptly stunned by what she saw. Chu Lian's wide, clear eyes were looking right back at her without any hint of anger, as if she wasn't the subject of her provocation at all. What Lady Pan had done was akin to tossing a bucket of icy water into a bamboo basket. The icy water didn’t affected the basket one bit, and had actually slipped through the seams like the basket was no more than a sieve, making Lady Pan feel like she had failed to do any damage at all.
The two-faced Lady Pan hadn't made Chu Lian angry, but had conversely suffered some frustration herself. She stared at Chu Lian as she continued to say, "Now that He Sanlang has joined the army at the northern border, if he doesn't accrue some sort of achievement, he'll only be able to return in five years. What a waste of Honoured Lady Jinyi's best years."
Chu Lian found all this rather funny. What was going on? Why was everyone targeting her? This was the first time she had ever met Lady Pan. The Pan Estate was also ranks above her, so she couldn't have possibly encountered them before marriage either. Why was Lady Pan suddenly at odds with her?
Could it be because of Chu Qizheng's visit to the Pan Estate?
When she thought of this, Chu Lian's expression turned dark.
She didn't ask for her father's love, but he shouldn't be dragging her down, either!
"Many thanks for Lady Pan's kind thoughts. My husband is extremely fortunate, so he'll surely have a lucky turn of events." Chu Lian threw her neutral reply back at Lady Pan. She was too lazy to beat around the bush with this Lady Pan and couldn't be bothered to form a more politically correct response. That Lady Pan was already trying to bully her, wasn't she allowed to throw something back?
Chu Lian wasn't someone who liked to hold grudges. She would rather give as good as she got on the spot.
Lady Pan choked on that response. That everlasting smile on her face also slowly disappeared. She tossed one last cold sentence at Chu Lian. "I didn't expect Honoured Lady Jinyi to be so open-minded!"
Chu Lian tilted her head to one side and gave a dazzlingly bright smile to Lady Pan.
Lady Pan's tempo had been completely messed up by Chu Lian's unexpected reply. She suddenly gave a furtive smile. "Matriarch He, I haven't seen your estate's round cakes. What's going on? Are you trying to deceive the Empress Dowager?"
Matriarch He sent a look at Chu Lian, who held up an exquisite container and showed it off to Lady Pan. "Thank you for reminding me of the round cakes, Lady Pan. I have to present them now, please excuse me."
After she said so, Chu Lian took the round cakes and her maidservants with her to greet the Empress Dowager.
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