Chapter 112 – A Growing Distance (2)
In the blink of an eye, it was already the day of the visit to Prince Wei’s estate.
Chu Lian rose early that morning and personally cooked a bowl of shredded chicken longevity noodles for her own birthday. She also accepted some embroidery from her maidservants as gifts.
When she went to Qingxi Hall for her daily greetings, Matriarch He gave her a bolt of lake blue silk fabric. Even the bedridden Countess Jing’an sent her handmaid, Miaozhen, over with a kilogram of sencha. Her eldest sister-in-law, Madam Zou, was the only one who hadn’t given her anything.
Right after bidding goodbye to Matriarch He, Chu Lian immediately boarded a carriage, carrying the confections she had made this morning to Prince Wei’s estate.
Back at Qingxi Hall, Madam Zou had just brought over her two daughters to give their daily greetings.
Matriarch He frowned a little and tested her with a question. “Dalang’s wife, do you remember if there’s any special occasions today?”
Due to the heat of the day, Madam Zou had been a little absentminded since she had woken up. Hearing this, she asked curiously, “A special occasion?”
When the matriarch saw that she hadn’t reacted at all to her test, she set down her teacup. “It’s nothing. Perhaps my memory’s getting a little muddled in my old age.”
Madam Zou rushed to reassure her. “Grandmother, your body’s still healthy and strong, how could you possibly be muddled? Has Granddaughter-in-Law missed out on something? Granddaughter-in-Law still needs Grandmother to give her reminders!”
The matriarch looked at this granddaughter-in-law of hers. Madam Zou had married into the Jing’an Estate for close to ten years now. Although she wasn’t the best at managing the estate, she did a good enough job of it. At the very least, there weren’t any obvious mistakes in her work.
Why had Madam Zou started making mistakes the moment Sanlang’s wife entered the estate? She had been observing her for the past few days. Dalang’s wife seemed to look a little haggard, and she was no longer as orderly in her tasks. Her strength seemed to be lacking now.
She had even forgotten the birthday of Sanlang’s wife.
There was a small booklet recording the birthdays of every master in the estate. When it came to someone’s birthday, they would distribute some funds from the public accounts to each branch of the family for a birthday celebration.
Matriarch He took another sip of tea and kept quiet.
Instead, it was Madam Zou who asked, “Grandmother, I just heard one of the servants report. Third Sister-in-Law has gone out?”
The matriarch nodded. “Sanlang’s wife received an invite from Royal Princess Duanjia, so she’s gone to Prince Wei’s estate for a small gathering.”
Royal Princess Duanjia!
Madam Zou instantly went through a raging storm of emotions. She knew clearly how influential Prince Wei was!
Prince Wei was the emperor’s brother, and a leisurely prince. When the emperor had been fighting the other princes for the throne, Prince Wei had contributed much to his efforts.
However, when the emperor had ascended to the throne, Prince Wei had handed over all the authority in his hands and requested that he become a layabout prince.
Due to the guilt he felt towards Prince Wei, as well as the fact that they shared the same mother, the emperor thought very highly of this brother of his. Since Royal Princess Duanjia was Prince Wei’s only daughter, she was pampered to the same degree of any imperial princess.
Although Prince Wei didn’t hold any power now, he was officially the next in line to become the imperial clan leader.
Why hadn’t she heard anything about Third Sister-in-Law going to Prince Wei’s estate?
Shocked, Madam Zou could do nothing but look at the matriarch.
The matriarch didn’t even twitch as she said, “Royal Princess Duanjia sent someone over with an invite two days ago. I forgot to mention it; it’s not Sanlang’s wife’s fault.”
After hearing the matriarch’s explanation, Madam Zou’s eyes darkened.
She sat for another ten minutes before leaving and taking her daughters with her.