Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
Chapter 435: Eldest Madam Returns (2)
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Senior Servant Liu and Senior Servant Zhou were afraid that the matriarch's fragile health would decline even more if she went through more emotional upheaval, so they hurriedly spoke words of reassurance. "Matriarch, now that Eldest Madam is back and the New Year is coming, you should be happier! Miss Pan is watching from the side!"
As expected, with the reminder that her granddaughter was watching, Matriarch He slowly got her emotions under control. She let go of her daughter and dabbed at her tears before finally getting a good look at her daughter. When she was satisfied, she turned her gaze to her granddaughter, Pan Nianzhen.
He Ying pulled her daughter closer. "Nianzhen, this is your maternal grandmother. Quick, greet her."
Pan Nianzhen was a little timid. She darted a glance at the kindly yet intimidating old lady before her and greeted in almost a whisper, "Grandmother."
"What a good child!" The matriarch reached out and took Pan Nianzhen's hand in her own. She carefully looked over the young lady before asking, "How old is Nianzhen this year?"
He Ying looked at her daughter with pride. "Her coming of age ceremony was done just this summer, so she'll be sixteen this coming year."
Sixteen years of age? That was considered an adult woman in the Great Wu Dynasty. It was also the right time to start preparing for marriage and it wouldn't be good to tarry on that matter.
An idea sparked to life within Matriarch He.
She let the two ladies sit down next to her. At the same time, she had also noticed that they were dressed in rather plain and shabby outfits.
He Ying seemed to have sensed her mother's measuring gaze. She lowered her head in shame.
The matriarch frowned. "Why are you dressed in this manner?"
He Ying glanced at her mother. Her lips parted, as if she wanted to speak, but it seemed like her shame was holding her back.
"Even if you don't want to dress up, you should have given Nianzhen a few good dresses at least. She should be dressing prettily at her age."
Once Matriarch He had spoken, He Ying could no longer hold back and said, "Mother, it's not that I'm not willing to, but I just don't have the money right now."
Matriarch He stared in disbelief. "Did you spend all of the taels I gave you back then?"
He Ying acted aggrieved when reminded of the money she had been given. "Mother, it's been so many years. How could there be anything left from just a few ten-thousand taels?"
Matriarch He deeply regretted that she hadn't raised Miss Ying properly.
She was actually dismissing several ten-thousand taels. How could several ten-thousand taels be a small amount?
That was enough to buy at least ten or more storefronts! Even if they did nothing with the storefronts and just rented them out, they would still be able to live much more comfortably than they seemed to be now. She would at least have the money to make some new clothes and accessories for her daughter.
The frustration within the matriarch almost shot through the roof after that casual comment from her daughter.
However, as angry as she was, she couldn't just let her daughter and granddaughter continue dressing so shabbily.
She looked her daughter up and down once more before saying, "The two of you can stay in my Qingxi Hall for now. You're about the same size as I was back then, so you can take some of my clothes for now. Muxiang, lead Eldest Madam over to the storehouse in a while."
Muxiang respectfully acknowledged the orders.
Matriarch He looked at the timid Pan Nianzhen and faced a dilemma.
Pan Nianzhen was fifteen this year and in the prime of her life. Matriarch He didn't have any clothes suitable for her to wear. Even if they ordered the seamstresses to rush out something, it would still take a few days. It was already close to the year's end, so the clothes stores outside were all closed. They wouldn't be able to buy any ready made dresses. It was really a tough problem for the matriarch.
Senior Servant Liu was observant. She smiled and whispered a suggestion to the matriarch.
"Matriarch, why don't you send someone over to Third Young Madam's courtyard to ask?"
Now that Senior Servant Liu had reminded her, realisation dawned upon the matriarch. That's right. Sanlang's wife was also fifteen. Although the two young ladies were a little different in size, it wasn't so drastic.
"Xiangyun, take Miss Pan over to Sanlang's courtyard and borrow two outfits for the time being. Get our seamstresses to measure the two of them tomorrow afternoon to make some outfits they can wear," Matriarch He instructed Senior Servant Liu.
Once those details were settled, Matriarch He held on to her daughter's hand and started chatting about their past memories.
He Ying wanted to get closer to her mother, so she put all her efforts into caring for the matriarch. They started talking about He Ying's childhood and kept chatting until it was time for the midday meal.
In the afternoon, they had lunch served in the parlour of Qingxi Hall. Matriarch He shared the meal together with her daughter and granddaughter.
On the table was Eight Treasure Duck, boiled fish with pickled cabbage and chilli, Pingqiao tofu, pork strips in chilli sauce, and meatballs in clear soup. There weren't that many dishes, but He Ying and her daughter were stunned.
They had never eaten or even seen such exquisite dishes before.
The parlour was filled with the fragrance of food.
"Mother, what... what is all this?" He Ying pointed at the dishes and gulped.
Matriarch He puffed up with pride at the mention of the food. "These dishes were all taught to our estate's cooks by Lian'er. They're much better than what we had before. Come, have a taste! Nianzhen, start eating!"
He Ying found it strange. "Mother, who's Lian'er? One of your maidservants?"
Matriarch He glared at her daughter upon hearing her ask such a question. "What nonsense are you speaking? Lian'er is your niece-in-law! She married Sanlang this year in early autumn."
He Ying's eyes almost bulged out in shock. "Sanlang is married?"
"You silly child. Have you forgotten everything as the years passed? Sanlang is already twenty this year; important matters like marriage can't be delayed!"
Upon hearing her mother's reply, a trace of disappointment flashed across He Ying's eyes.
"Alright, that's enough of that. Let's eat first. Once we're done, Xiangyun will explain everything that has happened in our estate."
None of what her mother and grandmother were talking about had gone into Pan Nianzhen's ears. She had just taken a bite of the Eight Treasure Duck and almost swallowed her tongue along with it because of how tasty it was. She couldn't help but think: how could there be such delicious food in the world?
TL Note: What a feast!
Also, just a reminder that we actually have a food glossary complete with pictures AND recipes, thanks to inmykitchen:
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