Chapter 152: Honoured Lady (3)
“Oh my. Perhaps gonggong needs a reminder? I’ve only met Imperial Princess Leyao once at the Dingyuan Estate. If Imperial Princess Leyao lost something, then it should be in the Dingyuan Estate. Gonggong, this is the Jing’an Estate. When you came in through the entrance, did you not see the signboard above the doors?”
The eunuch was close to bursting due to anger. This was the first time that using the names of Imperial Concubine Wei and Imperial Princess Leyao hadn’t worked.
Chu Lian was warning him that Imperial Princess Leyao had lost the golden qilin to her. She had to accept her loss if she was willing to use it as a bet in the first place. If she wanted her treasure back, she had to give up something in exchange.
This eunuch had just tried to falsely charge her with the crime of taking Imperial Princess Leyao’s treasure. However, that bet had been carried out under the eyes of everyone at the Dingyuan Estate. If it were to get out that Imperial Princess Leyao had forcibly demanded her wager back, then it would reflect badly on the princess herself.
The eunuch held back his rage and instead, tried a different approach. He humbled himself and took out a plain purse from within his sleeve, holding it up with two hands as he tried to pass it over to Chu Lian. “Honoured Lady, this is a gift that Imperial Concubine Wei entrusted to me, for the sake of exchanging for the princess’s golden qilin.”
Chu Lian sent a look to Xiyan, who quickly returned to Songtao Court to retrieve the golden qilin.
Chu Lian had a spark of realisation; she didn’t really need to be too courteous with this eunuch after all. She took the purse directly and opened it to peek inside before she smiled and said, “Gonggong, rest assured. Although it’s something that the princess lost to me, I’ve kept it in good condition all this time. I’ll pass it to you in front of everyone here today, so please look after it properly, gonggong.”
Xiyan returned quickly with the qilin. The young eunuch took the brocade box from Xiyan’s hands. He then opened it and looked over the contents carefully. After making sure that it was indeed Imperial Princess Leyao’s golden qilin, he bowed and said, “This servant has troubled Honoured Lady Jinyi today. This servants hopes Honoured Lady Jinyi hasn’t taken offence.”
After the people from the palace had departed, Chu Lian was called to Qingxi Hall by Matriarch He.
She only came out of Qingxi Hall about an hour later.
On the way back to Songtao Court, Chu Lian thought about what Matriarch He had said to her as she felt a headache about to come on.
So she still had to enter the palace to give her thanks for the title bestowed upon her…
When she realised that she might even bump into Imperial Princess Leyao and Imperial Concubine Wei while at the palace, Chu Lian fell into a slight depression. Were the heavens against her somehow?!
Xiyan followed after Chu Lian and was frowning as she thought of the events this morning. She couldn’t resist asking, “Third Young Madam, why did you have to say those words after passing that golden qilin over to the eunuch just now?”
Those words? Oh, right, her reminder to the eunuch to check the golden qilin.
Chu Lian turned around and poked Xiyan on the forehead. “Why, you haven’t figured it out yet?”
Xiyan replied with a dazed, “Ah?”
Chu Lian sighed. “Couldn’t you tell that the intimidation at the start was all a ploy by that eunuch? Otherwise, how could he have taken out that purse full of banknotes later on?”
Imperial Princess Leyao and Imperial Concubine Wei might not really like her, but as members of the imperial family, if they wanted to take something back, they wouldn’t be so shameless as to come empty-handed.
Imperial Concubine Wei was of such high status that it would be beneath her to deal with a mere honoured lady in such a shameless manner.
The eunuch had been given those banknotes to buy back the golden qilin, but he had probably gotten greedy and thought to keep the money. This was likely why he had tried to use the name of Yonghe Hall to threaten Chu Lian into giving the qilin back. How could he have known that Chu Lian wasn’t going to be taken in by his empty threat at all?
As for why she specially asked the eunuch to check over the golden qilin before leaving, she was afraid that he would do something to it and cause a misunderstanding between her and Imperial Concubine Wei for revenge.
Though he might not be able to do that anymore, she had definitely offended him today. That eunuch would probably add his own embellishments when he reported back to the imperial concubine and princess.
There was a phrase that fit this situation perfectly well: it was better to offend a gentleman than a petty person.