Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
Chapter 427: Cleansing (2)
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It was the first time that Chu Lian was celebrating New Year’s in the Great Wu Dynasty. Although it was only going to be the two of them together for the festivities, Chu Lian didn’t feel lonely at all. On the contrary, she was looking forward to it.
Once the Kitchen God Festival had ended, time seemed to pass in a flash.
In a blink of an eye, it was already the twenty-seventh, and there were only three more days to New Year’s Eve.
On this day, everyone had to bathe and cleanse themselves. The commoners living in the harsh environment of Liangzhou were no exception, even for the poverty-stricken. They would heat up pots of water and wash themselves with the scraps of soap they had collected in the summer, scrubbing away the filth they accumulated during the year. This was all to ensure that they greeted the new year with a clean body.
Early in the morning, Chu Lian was woken up by Wenqing. After washing up in a daze, she listened as Wenqing chattered on.
“Third Young Madam, today’s the twenty-seventh, the day of cleansing. This servant has prepared a flower bath for you. After lunch, you should take a bath and wash away your fatigue.”
Even out here in the freezing north, Chu Lian still kept clean. She would take a bath every three days, so she didn’t take much notice of Wenqing’s words.
However, after putting on her face cream, Chu Lian suddenly remembered the bedridden He Changdi. She asked, “Wenqing, is it an absolute must to go through the cleansing today?”
Wenqing thought that she was interested in the tradition, so she explained with a smile, “Yes, we do. Even the guards watching the doors have to prepare their own baths to wash off the dirt of this year in preparation for the new one!”
A corner of Chu Lian’s mouth twitched. Didn’t that mean that the patient He Sanlang had to bathe too?
How was he going to bathe with his body covered in scabs!
Chu Lian felt a headache coming on.
Chu Lian went to visit the recuperating He Changdi after breakfast. After convalescing for eight days, he was finally able to move his gravely wounded right leg. He no longer needed help from others to sit up or turn over.
The moment she entered the outer room, a servant welcomed her.
“Greetings to Third Young Madam.”
Chu Lian nodded to her. “Is my husband awake?”
The servant respectfully answered, “Third Young Master woke up two hours ago. Laiyue has already served Third Young Master his breakfast.”
Chu Lian glanced into the room. She found it strange as Laiyue was always the first to welcome her whenever she came looking for He Sanlang, yet he was nowhere to be found.
“What about Laiyue?”
“Replying to Third Young Madam, Laiyue was sent out on business on Third Young Master’s orders early in the morning. Before he left, he said that he would only be back tomorrow morning.” The servant took out a small wooden box from a cupboard and respectfully held it up with both hands for Chu Lian to inspect.
“Laiyue told this servant to pass on this message to Third Young Madam. Third Young Madam will have to help with changing Third Young Master’s bandages for today.”
Chu Lian: …
That clean freak He Sanlang didn’t like others serving him and wasn’t used to having maidservants around him. Other than Chu Lian, only Laiyue was allowed to change his bandages every day. Now that Laiyue wasn’t around, this task had fallen upon Chu Lian’s shoulders.
Chu Lian suspected that she had walked right into his trap.
She waved her hand to dismiss the servant and told Wenqing to pick up the medicine box instead. After a short pause, she entered the side room where He Sanlang was.
Now that it was coming close to New Year’s Day, the whole capital was abuzz with activity. It was only in the Jing’an Estate that the atmosphere seemed a little gloomy.
The roads to the north had been sealed by the snows, so there wasn’t any news at all. He Erlang was still investigating the corruption case in Zhangzhou with Prince Jin. He had sent a letter back yesterday saying that he might not be able to get back to the capital in time for New Year’s..
Matriarch He sat alone in the parlour of Qingxi Hall. Although she was dressed in riches, her silhouette looked pitiful amidst the understated luxury of her surroundings.
She leaned back in her seat as she stared blankly at the entrance of the parlour, as if there would be someone entering and calling out for her in the next second.
Senior Servant Liu came in from the side with some teacups. The sight of the matriarch in this way made her heart heavy with sadness.
Although the He Family was few in number, at least they had Second Young Master and Third Young Master in the estate as well as the two young daughters of the main branch to add a bit of liveliness to their festivities in past years.
This year, the main branch was still in pandemonium over the new concubine, and the countess was bedridden and unable to attend the celebrations. They had been holding expectations of a new family member to join them after He Sanlang had married his wife, but fate had dashed their hopes. Sanlang and his wife were now out there in the north, and they didn’t even know if they were faring well!
The matriarch heard Senior Servant Liu’s movements and briefly came to life. She touched the side of her head where her hair was turning more and more white as the days passed. “Do you think this old woman chose wrongly by letting Lian’er go to the north?”
How could Senior Servant Liu let the matriarch beat herself over this? The matriarch had spent so many days worrying that her body’s condition had deteriorated.
Senior Servant Liu quickly consoled her. “What are you saying, Matriarch? The roads from the northern border have been blocked; there’s no way for us to know anything! Perhaps Third Young Master and Third Young Madam are actually preparing to celebrate New Year’s over there instead!”
A wave of guilt rose in Matriarch He’s heart. “It’s all my fault, I didn’t think it through enough.”
As master and servant were speaking, Muxiang suddenly entered in a panic.
Senior Servant Liu put on a stern expression. “Is this how a personal handmaid should be acting?”
Muxiang paused and quickly collected herself.
“What is it? Speak!” the matriarch ordered.
Muxiang gulped before stammering out, “Matriarch, many of the noble houses we’ve sent New Year gifts have returned them to us untouched!”
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