Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
Chapter 415: Aunt (2)
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The corners of Madam Zou's eyes reddened and she mumbled, "Grandmother, it's Granddaughter-in-Law who wasn't capable enough to manage the household properly and made Grandmother worry."
Matriarch He frowned deeply. Although she was starting to dislike this granddaughter-in-law of hers more and more, Dalang had indeed taken a concubine before he had turned thirty, so she still felt like she owed Madam Zou a little for that.
After thinking for a bit, the matriarch swallowed her frustrations.
"Bring over the public account books for me to see how much we're lacking."
Madam Zou inwardly celebrated even as she kept her head lowered in a sign of obedience. She quickly shot her handmaid Jinshui a look.
In a short moment, the account books had been brought over.
Matriarch He set the account books on a table next to her and waved her hand at Madam Zou. "Go and mind your tasks. I'll keep this account book with me for now. Come back again tomorrow morning. Also, Little An and Little Lin are still young. Even if we can't make ends meet any longer, we can't let the children suffer."
Madam Zou stood up and led her two daughters to bow towards the matriarch with reverence. "Thank you for your teachings, Grandmother. Granddaughter-in-Law won't let this happen again."
"Alright, alright. You're dismissed."
Madam Zou left and brought her daughters back to the main branch's courtyard.
Little An and Little Lin were taken back to their own rooms by their nursemaids. Only Madam Zou's most trusted servants, Senior Servant Qiao and the handmaid Jinshui, were left in the room.
Senior Servant Qiao passed a teacup to Madam Zou. "Eldest Young Madam, will this really work? Even though Third Young Madam is no longer in the estate, the matriarch's servants are still managing Guilin Restaurant. The matriarch didn't agree to this before, so why would the matriarch agree to it now?"
Madam Zou harrumphed. "This time, it's not up to the matriarch any longer! Just wait and see!"
Although Senior Servant Qiao didn't agree with what Madam Zou was doing, she couldn't stop her anymore. She could only sigh to herself.
Ever since the heir had taken a concubine, Madam Zou's thoughts had gone to new extremes.
Actually, House Jing'an's family tradition was one of the best around. Even though He Changqi hadn't waited until he was thirty to take a concubine, according to the family laws, he was already twenty nine this year. That was already close enough to thirty. The couple had been married for almost ten years, but they still only had Little An and Little Lin.
There was no male heir for House Jing'an at the moment. In any other noble house, it was perfectly normal for the senior family members to be getting antsy by now.
Even so, Eldest Young Madam wasn't putting her efforts into winning back her husband, but on trying to control the family fortunes instead. Senior Servant Qiao lamented again in her heart.
Madam Zou's eyes were still alight with determination.
The matriarch's only daughter was about to return home. She really had to thank the person who had revealed that information to her.
Within Qingxi Hall, Matriarch He was still lying back on the wooden couch with an account book in hand. The more she looked at the accounts, the more she wanted to tear the book apart with her bare hands.
Senior Servant Liu was doing some embroidery next to the old matriarch, together with Muxiang. When she saw the matriach’s tightly furrowed brows and depressed expression, she quickly set down the needle and thread in her hands. Senior Servant Liu walked over to the matriarch’s side and, in an attempt to comfort her, said, "Matriarch, what's the matter? Please don't get angry over small matters like these."
The matriarch tossed the account book in her hands aside and let out a long sigh. She angrily pointed at it and said, "Take a look at it yourself. How is that a small matter? You know how much our family assets were worth when I handed them over to her. Look at what she's done to them! The value of our assets have shrunk by at least half. For this whole year, not a single store brought in any profit for us. No wonder she doesn't even have the money to send out New Year presents!"
Senior Servant Liu took up the account books and flipped through the pages. Soon, her brows were furrowed just like the matriarch's. "How can this be? How could we have such heavy losses? Still, you should calm down, Matriarch. You know that Eldest Young Madam isn't good at managing businesses."
"Forget it, forget it. Who told Dalang to have done such a sorry thing to her! Go and get my personal account books from the drawers."
The matriarch flipped through the personal account book in her hands and pointed at a few parts. "Tell the steward to give all these to Madam Zou."
Senior Servant Liu was watching carefully the whole time. When she heard so, she pressed her lips together like she had something to say.
Matriarch He glanced at her. "What's wrong? What is it that you can't say in front of me now?"
"This old servant doesn't dare. But this old servant was just thinking, if you give all these to Eldest Young Madam, then what about Miss Ying..."
The matriarch froze for a moment. Miss Ying was Matriarch He's only daughter; she had married far away to Siyang. Back when she had gotten married, something had happened that had caused Matriarch He to stop all contact with her daughter for many years.
After so many years, Senior Servant Liu had still kept the habit of calling the past Eldest Miss of House Jing'an by her maiden title, Miss Ying.
Half a month ago, Miss Ying had sent a letter home, saying that her husband had passed away from illness and that her husband's family had fallen into ruin. She wanted to bring her daughter back to her maiden home to live out the rest of her days.
The events of the past had happened long ago, and her son-in-law was already gone. Miss Ying was still Matriarch He's very own daughter- how could the matriarch bear to ignore her for the rest of her life?
Thus, the soft-hearted matriarch had sent a letter and some servants to bring Miss Ying and her daughter back to the capital to celebrate New Year’s together.
The matriarch stayed in a daze for a long time, as if she had slipped back into her memories. Finally, she said, "For all the assets under my name, which store is the most profitable right now?"
Senior Servant Liu replied truthfully, "You have two silk stores and two grain stores under your name, as well as a dried medicinal herb store. As for the most profitable one, that would have to be that old Guilin Restaurant that you gave to Third Young Madam."
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