Chapter 104 – Fighting for Peaches (3)
He Changqi noted that it was about time, so he stood up to take his leave. After moving just two steps away, Countess Jing’an instructed from behind him, “Come back a little earlier for tonight’s dinner.”
Although the various branches of the Jing’an Estate didn’t usually take their meals together, they would eat dinner together in the middle and end of every month. Everyone would gather in Qingxi Hall and strengthen their family bonds.
“Aye, I understand. I won’t be late for my meeting.”
Countess Jing’an noticed that Miaozhen was still staring distractedly after her eldest son, long after he was gone.
She inwardly sighed.
Five years ago, Miaozhen had fallen into one of the ponds in the estate by accident and the passing He Changqi had saved her. It was likely then that this girl had fallen in love with him.
Unfortunately, the He Family had that rule against taking concubines.
However, Dalang had been married to Madam Zou for quite a number of years and they still didn’t have any sons. Furthermore, Madam Zou had suffered some complications after giving birth to Little Lin. Little Lin was already four this year, but there was no news of another pregnancy from Dalang’s wife.
Dalang was about to hit the age when he would be allowed to take a concubine, since he had no sons.
Countess Jing’an abruptly made a decision.
She pulled Miaozhen’s hands into her own and smiled as she asked, “Miaozhen, what do you think about the heir?”
“Ah?” Miaozhen hadn’t expected Countess Jing’an’s sudden question; her face flushed red and her soul seemed to have flown to the far reaches of the earth in her panic.
She quickly cast a sideways glance at the countess, but she couldn’t read the expression on Countess Jing’an’s face at all. The redness on her face gave way to pallor and she knelt to the ground with a thump. Trembling, she said, “This servant has such a lowly identity, this servant doesn’t dare to have any thoughts of the heir.”
After she finished speaking, she placed her head on the footrest before the bed, shaking like a leaf in the wind. She didn’t dare to say another word.
As one of Countess Jing’an’s handmaids, she knew the rules of the estate clearly. The men of the family were only allowed to take a concubine if they didn’t have any male heirs when they reached the age of thirty. Thus, she had quickly cut off her own desires for Heir Jing’an. She would daydream of that unattainable man only when she was alone, but because she had gotten a little lost in her thoughts just now, the countess had actually discovered that the object of her affections was Eldest Young Master.
Countess Jing’an was a little startled; it was only now that she realised her silly handmaid had misunderstood her intentions and thought that she was angry that Miaozhen had stepped out of bounds for daring to long for her eldest son.
Countess Jing’an sighed helplessly. She reached out to pull the trembling Miaozhen up and glared at her. “You silly girl. How could I possibly think like that? Alright, I’m not blaming you. Just tell me honestly, what do you think about Dalang?”
Miaozhen stared at Countess Jing’an in a daze. It took a long moment before she looked down with a flush that spread all the way to her neck. “Heir… Heir Jing’an is… tall and… handsome.”
Countess Jing’an burst out into laughter. Tall and handsome? As his mother, she knew better than anyone what her eldest son was like.
If Dalang’s burnt skin and ruffian-like appearance could still be considered tall and handsome, then love really was blind. If Miaozhen had used that description on Sanlang, she might have believed it.
“Alright, I understand. Miaozhen, don’t worry about it and continue serving at my side for now.”
Upon hearing Countess Jing’an’s words, Miaozhen’s heart almost leapt out of her throat.
In the Yang Estate, Lord Yang had just returned from Wenhua Hall. He had taken care of quite a few tricky tasks today, so he was more tired than usual, and was even hungrier than he usually was.
When Lord Yang reached the outer court’s parlour, he just happened to see a steward carefully bringing in an exquisitely decorated box, and paused in his steps.
The steward saw that the master of the house had returned, so he quickly came over to greet his master.
“What’s this?” Lord Yang tilted his chin towards the box in the steward’s hands.
“Replying to Master, this was sent by someone from the Jing’an Estate. They said that it’s a return gift for the madam, and that it’s food, so we can’t leave it for long.”
The Jing’an Estate? Food? Could it be those longevity peach buns from Marquis Dingyuan’s feast?
While on the way back to their estate yesterday, Lord and Lady Yang had been talking about the interesting events behind Chu Lian making longevity peach buns. Lord Yang hadn’t been able to set his pride aside to request for a bun, so they had been on his mind for a while.