Chapter 175: Fishing for a Gift (1)
It looked like Chu Lian wasn’t living the life of luxury like she had expected!
After jumping to conclusions, Miss Yuan’s anger from Miss Su and Miss Fu’s provocation subsided.
Chu Lian nodded at these ‘sisters’ of hers. She was a titled noble madam now, so she didn’t need to make any bigger gestures of respect towards them.
Miss Su invited Chu Lian into Jinshi Pavilion. In a abnormal display of behaviour, Miss Yuan walked close to Chu Lian’s side and bumped Wenlan away before grabbing onto Chu Lian’s arms and calling her ‘Sixth Sister’.
Chu Lian felt goosebumps rising all over her body thanks to Miss Yuan’s overly intimate tone. Her gaze landed on Miss Yuan’s hands wrapped around her left arm, and she didn’t bother hiding the disgust she felt in her eyes. Miss Yuan’s gaze met hers, but she acted as if she hadn’t noticed how annoyed she was. Conversely, she acted as if they were best friends, flattering her with, “Sixth Sister, we heard about your noble title! We just didn’t have the time to visit you in the Jing’an Estate to congratulate you. You won’t blame this sister, would you?”
Chu Lian snorted inwardly. If House Ying really cared about this matter, then they would have made it known to her, instead of waiting for Miss Yuan to mention it now after they had ran into each other.
Although it was rare to get the Honoured Lady title, it was just a low-ranking title without any imperial privilege. It wouldn’t affect the court a single bit. To House Ying, she was no longer part of their family once she got married. Her parents didn’t care about her either, so it was normal to receive such cold treatment from them. Luckily, she wasn’t the original ‘Chu Lian’, so this was completely fine to her.
What was there to complain about? She had more freedom now than they would’ve ever given her back there!
Since House Ying had drawn the lines between them, they would have to think again if they wanted to make use of their connection in the future!
Chu Lian really didn’t want to play nice with them at all, but they were out in public now so she had to care about keeping up House Jing’an’s reputation.
She said with good temper, “I won’t blame you, it’s just a small matter.”
Miss Yuan rolled her eyes, and a corner of her mouth hooked up. Her expression practically screamed, ‘At least you’re smart enough to realise that’. Wenqing almost choked on her anger upon seeing that expression. Her hands balled into fists as she felt outrage on behalf of her master.
Miss Su was about two steps in front of them as she listened to their conversation. Her brows drew together in a frown. Afraid that Miss Yuan would chase Chu Lian away with her provocation, she quickly tried to smooth out the tense atmosphere. “Sixth Sister, have you come to Jinshi Pavilion to pick out some accessories as well?”
By this time, the Ying sisters had reached Jinshi Pavilion’s main hall.
Chu Lian didn’t want to let them know that she was here to pick out a birthday present for Countess Jing’an, so she casually nodded.
Miss Su’s eyes darkened a little. Ever since the incident at the Dingyuan Estate, she could feel the distance that Chu Lian was putting between her, Madam Rong, and the whole of House Ying.
Back at the Dingyuan Estate, she hadn’t jumped out to support Chu Lian at the first hint of something wrong, and she had always felt guilty over it. Seeing Chu Lian’s attitude towards them, she dropped the conversation.
The main hall of Jinshi Pavilion was decorated elegantly and lavishly. There were small rest areas with tables, chairs, and incense burners behind the screens of the main hall for the noble madams and ladies to rest. There was even a tea room in the building in the back.
When the four ladies sat down, maidservants came up to serve them sencha. The same manager came up to serve them personally.
Miss Fu’s eyes glanced over Chu Lian’s outfit and a tinge of disdain filled her expression. The three branches of House Ying had never been at peace with each other. Even if Chu Lian had married out of House Ying, she was still a lady from the second branch. From Miss Fu’s perspective, she and Miss Yuan were on the same boat. Now that the chance had fallen into her lap, how could Miss Fu not make use of it?
Miss Fu faked envy as she looked at Chu Lian. “It was really a matter of pride for our House Ying when Sixth Sister received that personal title from the Emperor! Grandmother even praised Sixth Sister in front of me two days ago! It even made me a little jealous. Grandmother also said that the imperial family usually bestows material awards when the Emperor personally gives out an Honoured Lady title! I heard that it’s usually at least a few hundred taels of gold, and that’s not counting the number of dresses and accessories you must have received! I’m really quite envious of you!”
Miss Su hadn’t expected Miss Fu to have brought that topic up. She shot a warning look at Miss Fu.
Miss Yuan’s eyes abruptly lit up with greed before it was quickly replaced with jealousy and unhappiness.
Chu Lian remained unmoved. She simply continued watching the ladies before her with wide eyes, inwardly wanting to laugh. Miss Fu hadn’t even done her research before trying to make up this lie. The original ‘Chu Lian’ had probably met the old madam of House Ying maybe twice a year at most. Any servant in the Ying Estate knew that the old madam didn’t like this daughter from the second branch at all. How could she have possibly done something so out-of-character as praising her? Also, getting a reward of a few hundred gold taels from a measly Honoured Lady title? Did she think that the imperial treasury was a mountain of gold and silver?
Miss Fu’s words were just too fantastical. She was probably only able to hoodwink the narrow minded Miss Yuan. Even Jinshi Pavilion’s manager hadn’t moved at all; she clearly didn’t think much about what Miss Fu had said.
When Miss Fu finished speaking, she cast a measuring gaze over Chu Lian and Miss Yuan, smirking with bad intentions.
The single motive she had for saying something like that was to provoke that Eighth Miss, Chu Yuan.
Chu Yuan had clearly gotten hooked. Back then, when they had both been unmarried ladies of House Ying, she had been better at Chu Lian in everything. Food, living standards, even her monthly allowance had been ten taels higher than Chu Lian’s.
When Chu Lian had gotten married, Second Madam had used some underhanded measures to cut the original sum of a thousand taels by half. She had been especially happy back then, because her mother had given her half of the confiscated silver.
However, things were different now. It was bad enough that Chu Lian had gotten a noble title and a personal name from the Emperor. She had actually gotten that much in rewards? A few hundred taels of gold? How could she hold back her jealousy?
The plan that she had thought of just now came to mind again.