Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
Chapter 518: Lack of Table Manners (1)
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He Changdi had sent a messenger in the afternoon to inform her that he would be returning late tonight, so Chu Lian didn’t need to wait for him to have dinner.
When it was time, Chu Lian set off to make greetings to the elders as per usual.
Since it was still rather early, Chu Lian brought Wenqing and Xiyan to her mother-in-law’s residence first.
In the last few days, Countess Jing’an had been drinking the medicine made with the Snow Mountain Mists flower. The medicine, paired with acupuncture, had greatly improved her health, so she was now able to get out of bed and walk around more frequently.
Since Miaozhen’s child had been saved and she didn’t have anywhere else to stay, Miaozhen had remained at Countess Jing’an’s courtyard.
When Chu Lian entered the parlour, Countess Jing’an was sitting cross-legged on the hearth bed and playing with Little An and Little Lin.
Little An was already seven years old this year and was becoming more aware of her surroundings. She had become increasingly quiet, perhaps due to the separation of her parents. She sat silently by Countess Jing’an’s side, toying with a Chinese ring puzzle.
The five-year-old Little Lin was at the age when children were the most mischievous. She was livelier than her sister and was calling out for a handmaid to play cat’s cradle with her.
Countess Jing’an was watching her granddaughters with a doting expression. When she heard a servant announce that Chu Lian had come, she beckoned Chu Lian over. The quick-witted maidservant quickly moved a stool over to Countess Jing’an’s side.
“Lian’er, come sit with me.”
Chu Lian smiled and curtseyed towards Countess Jing’an before taking a seat on the stool.
When Countess Jing’an noticed that Chu Lian was looking at the children, she sighed and said, “Madam Zou might have made some mistakes, but the children are innocent. The ones who were hurt the most by Dalang’s divorce are Little Lin and Little An. I couldn’t trust the servants in Dalang’s courtyard, so I’m temporarily raising them here. I don’t have much to do anyway, so I might as well occupy myself with something.”
Countess Jing’an was actually explaining Little An and Little Lin’s presence in her courtyard to Chu Lian.
To be frank, Chu Lian didn’t know her mother-in-law all too well as she hadn’t spent much time with her. Countess Jing’an had been bedridden since the start of her marriage, so Chu Lian didn’t have a good grasp of her personality.
However, Chu Lian had gotten some insights during the ruckus over the miscarriage.
What was a good way to phrase it?
Countess Jing’an was a good person, but she was too weak and naive. She was also easily swayed by the words of others. With those qualities, it would be hard for her to take on the role of lady-in-charge, a role which required both wits and willpower. Perhaps it was due to her years spent bedridden, or perhaps Count Jing’an had shielded her too much from reality. Even at her age, her thoughts were still so innocent!
Although she was similar to the matriarch in the sense that she couldn’t wait to see her eldest son, He Changqi, have an heir, she would never mistreat her granddaughters in the process.
This could be seen from the fact that she had the two young ladies move over the moment He Changqi and Madam Zou divorced.
From Little Lin and Little An’s expressions and actions, Chu Lian could tell that the two children loved their kind and gentle grandmother very much.
Countess Jing’an’s request for candied hawthorns that day had probably come from someone else’s whispers into her ear, leading her to unintentionally create the drama that had happened.
As for Miaozhen…
Chu Lian believed that Miaozhen couldn’t have possibly put the child in her womb at risk, as long as she truly liked He Changqi and wished to birth a son for him. Besides, a child would stabilise her position in House Jing’an. There was no motive that could have convinced her to put the child at risk.
The mournful wails from Miaozhen they had heard that day was proof of that.
“It’s wonderful that Little Lin and Little An have you to take care of them, Mother.”
Chu Lian’s words came straight from her heart. The two girls had just lost their mother, and as for their father, he was the heir of the house; he wouldn’t be able to focus on them and give them the care and attention that they dearly needed. Thus, their grandmother’s care was sorely needed to help fill the lack of maternal love in their lives.
While Little An continued to quietly fiddle with her Chinese ring puzzle, Countess Jing’an petted her head.
Chu Lian noticed her mother-in-law’s eyes turning a little red, so she quickly changed the subject. “Mother, how has your health been recently?”
The swell of emotion in Countess Jing’an’s heart was disrupted by Chu Lian’s timely interruption. She then replied, “Great Doctor Miao comes by every afternoon to treat me with acupuncture. I can feel my health improving drastically everyday, thanks to his treatment and medicine. Just look at me now, I can already get off the bed and move around! This morning, I even brought Little An and Little Lin out for a stroll in the garden!”
Chu Lian nodded as she listened. If Countess Jing’an could be cured of her long-time illness, that alone would make her trip to the northern border worthwhile. It would also mean that He Changdi’s perilous journey to Mount Ah-Ming to obtain the Snow Mountain Mists flower hadn’t been made in vain.
“Mother, it’s great that you’re feeling better, but please do be careful not to tire yourself out.”
“Lian’er, don’t worry about that. I’ve already experienced the pain of being bedridden for years. Now that I’ve gotten better, I’ll definitely cherish my body more than ever.”
Chu Lian smiled and nodded. Her mother-in-law might be weak, but she wasn’t a fool, and that was good enough for her.
Since Countess Jing’an was still undergoing treatment, she didn’t have to go to Qingxi Hall to pay her respects, but Chu Lian still did. Seeing that it was about time to go, she mentioned that she had to leave and got up after bidding her goodbyes to the countess.
However, Countess Jing’an grabbed her hand out of the blue. After hesitating for two seconds, she forged ahead and said, “Lian’er, I believe Sanlang has already spoken to you about your aunt. I’ve been observing the events of the past few days, and it seems like the matriarch is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with your branch of the family. She’s already getting on in age and she has an… unreasonable person like your aunt by her side, so it can’t be helped that her actions have been a little irrational. Please be more forgiving towards her as your elder.”
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