Chapter 108 – A Peaceful Courtyard (1)
On the way back to the main branch’s courtyard with her husband, Madam Zou’s head remained lowered as she seemed to be in deep thought.
However, He Changqi just had to move up beside her with a regretful expression as he lamented, “If only Third Sister-in-Law knew how to cook venison. I wonder how delicious that would be.”
Hearing this come from her own husband, Madam Zou was frustrated beyond belief.
Her footsteps paused for a moment before she quickened her pace, leaving her slow, dimwitted husband behind.
“Hey, Yuanjing, Yuanjing! Slow down a little! It’s dark and the paths are uneven!”
Madam Zou bit her lip with a terrible expression on her face.
Ever since her husband had come back yesterday, he had kept talking about how popular Chu Lian’s longevity peach buns had been at Marquis Dingyuan’s longevity feast. He had narrated the tale once to his mother, and then once more at the family dinner in Qingxi Hall. Now he was even expressing his regret that Chu Lian didn’t know how to cook venison.
As He Changqi’s legitimate wife, how could she not be angry?
So what if her sister-in-law was good at cooking? Chu Lian was Sanlang’s wife! Not He Changqi’s!
Madam Zou felt extremely stifled by this treatment.
If Chu Lian found out the reason behind her eldest sister-in-law’s sudden irritation towards her, she definitely would have cried at her brother-in-law, He Changqi.
Brother! Why are you digging holes for me?!
Also, is Eldest Sister-in-Law aware of how dense you are?
As Senior Servant Gui was helping Chu Lian change for the night, she handed over the silver taels she had gotten from selling off the jewellery. She also passed over the items that Chu Lian had requested on her list.
While heading towards her little study, Chu Lian opened the small wooden box that Senior Servant Gui had given to her.
Inside were four small gold bricks, which sat together with the silver accessories she had ordered before.
Senior Servant Gui, who was following right behind her, hesitated for a moment before she spoke up. “Third Young Madam, why don’t you save these taels instead? Although we’re living in the estate now, you’re only a member of the third branch, after all. Third Young Master won’t be inheriting the family title. After the matriarch passes away, each branch of the family will undoubtedly be split up. With Eldest Young Madam controlling the estate’s finances, you won’t get much for your expenses!”
Chu Lian turned and looked strangely at Senior Servant Gui. Under the light of the lanterns around them, her almond-shaped eyes were like shining stars and as clear as water. “Momo, are you expecting me to get rich just by saving money?”
Senior Servant Gui turned speechless. After a pause, she tried to continue her persuasion. “But you’ve just started managing your branch of the family. Perhaps it wouldn’t be too good to spend so much right from the beginning.”
What she didn’t say was that, if Chu Lian started bestowing rewards on people without any particular reason, it would be setting a hard precedent to live up to. If the servants were given regular rewards from then on, then they would definitely expect even more on special occasions. If not, the servants would become disappointed, making them hard to manage in the future.
Furthermore, although those custom-made silver accessories weren’t too expensive, they were all high-class designs! They would even be suitable for the imperial family to wear, let alone a few noble servants.
By now, Chu Lian had already walked into her study and arrived at her desk. She set the wooden box down and took out the silver accessories within, moving them to a lacquered redwood tray, which Chu Lian had specially covered with a dark blue silk cloth.
The contrast between the dark blue and the glint of the silver made the accessories shine even brighter. Coupled with the novelty of their designs, they were comparable to any set of gold accessories.
“Momo, don’t worry. Didn’t Grandmother give me a restaurant?”
Chu Lian’s reply was rather distracted as she happily arranged the accessories on the lacquered tray, separating them into different types.
Senior Servant Gui couldn’t say a word. A restaurant? That lousy restaurant?
It wasn’t located in a busy area of the capital, the dishes were just average, and it couldn’t even earn its upkeep. How could it be counted as a source of income for them? It would be good enough if they could break even!
Senior Servant Gui was seriously wondering if the matriarch had it out for Chu Lian and if she had given Chu Lian that failing restaurant to make her pay for its upkeep.