Chapter 187: Lucky Star (3)
Captain Guo shot a glance at his old comrade and said, “If you really envy him, why don’t you take another wife, Ah Mai? It’s already been more than ten years.”
Originally, Zhang Mai did have a wife. He had been born into a military family, and so when the imperial court had sent out a conscription order, he was forced to abandon his wife of six months and leave home, leaving behind both his old father and young wife.
Before he left, his wife had just gotten pregnant. He had thought that his wife would give him a son or daughter to pamper. Who could have predicted that his village would get attacked by mountain bandits when his wife was seven months pregnant?
His father had sacrificed his life to protect his wife, but in the end, both of them had perished together with the unborn child in his wife’s belly.
Before Zhang Mai had left, he had a whole family. Not even a year later, he had no one. It was due to this that he hadn’t retired from the army and stayed with the troops, even though he had been wounded.
Zhang Mai shook his head and changed the topic. “It looks like that brat hid other good things, too. When I get back to my tent, I have to search harder. There might be something even tastier to eat!”
Captain Guo could only shake his head helplessly.
When Chu Lian returned to the Jing’an Estate, she went to Qingxi Hall first. Senior Servant Liu came out to welcome her. She reported the news of the Wang family’s punishment to Chu Lian before leading her into Qingxi Hall to meet Matriarch He.
Matriarch He reassured her for a bit before reminding her that she needed to attend the Mid-Autumn Banquet, which was a feast held inside the palace. She had to show her gratitude for the bestowal of the noble title there, too. The matriarch reminded her to prepare for the banquet.
The Mid-Autumn Banquet was meant for titled noble madams. It shouldn’t have affected Chu Lian at all, and she could have had a nice celebration with the girls in her own courtyard otherwise. However, since she was now fifth-ranked Honoured Lady Jinyi, she was no longer able to skip the banquet.
Chu Lian took leave of Matriarch He and returned to her own courtyard. Senior Servants Gui and Zhong had the other servants show her the court dress she was to wear for the Mid-Autumn Banquet. Chu Lian didn’t know a single thing about the etiquette and rules for this type of clothing, so she could only tell the senior servants to do as they saw fit.
She practised two more pages of calligraphy in her small study before looking over her plan to revitalise Guilin Restaurant once again. She removed the parts that weren’t very suitable and added a few more based on what she had seen today. After this bit of business, it was already time for rest.
Over the course of the next two days, Chu Lian handed over the silver she had saved up and requested the matriarch to find some good workers for her. She needed help to renovate Guilin Restaurant according to her plan.
Time flew by too quickly, and in the blink of an eye, it was already the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The custom of the Great Wu Dynasty was to eat round cakes today. These were a type of dessert made out of glutinous rice, soft and sticky. When the glutinous rice was cooked, it could be formed into a round shape and rolled in a finishing layer of powder. To get different flavours, they merely rolled the cakes in different powders. The most common flavours were sesame, soybean, and chestnut.
They were kind of like mochi in the modern world.
It was extremely easy to make them, and the only difference was in the outer layer of powder…
When Chu Lian got up, the first thing she saw was Senior Servant Gui ordering the cooks to make round cakes. Chu Lian couldn’t muster up any appetite at all when she looked at these sticky desserts. Instead, she thought back to the mooncakes eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festivals of the modern world.
In the end, she couldn’t resist the urge and decided to make some. Even if she didn’t give them away to others, she could eat them and reminisce about life back in a more modern era.