A maidservant suddenly rushed out of Mei Court and came to the parlour, heading straight for Madam Zou.
When she reached Madam Zou’s side, she tiptoed a little and whispered something into Madam Zou’s ear. “Eldest Young Madam, Second Madam has something to discuss and wants to meet with you immediately.”
Madam Zou’s expression immediately turned solemn. She nodded to the maidservant, who was dressed in green and was one of her mother’s handmaidens.
Madam Zou turned to look at Chu Lian and found that she looked a little lost. She couldn’t stop worrying, but fortunately, a busty young madam dressed in light yellow had just come walking by.
“Ah-zi, why are you so late?” Madam Zou stepped forward to welcome her in delight.
When Chu Lian looked up at the young madam Madam Zou had called ‘Ah-zi’, she felt a slight chill in her heart. Wasn’t this woman one of the supporting female leads in the original novel? Her name was Wei Fengzi, and she was the youngest sister of Imperial Concubine Wei. She was also the wife of the Ministry of Personnel’s vice minister.
She only made an appearance much later in the novel. Chu Lian hadn’t expected to see her here at Marquis Dingyuan’s longevity feast.
Wei Fengzi had a faint smile on her lips. Her light yellow dress made her look much younger than her age.
Yuanjing was Madam Zou’s name. From the way they addressed each other, it could be seen that they were good friends.
“Ah-zi, this is my new Third Sister-in-Law. Help me take care of her for a bit; I have something urgent to attend to at my mother’s place.”
“Okay, don’t worry about it, go ahead!” Wei Fengzi sent a reassuring look to Madam Zou. With that, Chu Lian watched as Madam Zou took her maidservants with her and quickly disappeared into Mei Court.
Chu Lian, who was left behind, was extremely troubled.
The original ‘Chu Lian’ had been rivals with this Wei Fengzi!
Wei Fengzi looked Chu Lian up and down with a measuring gaze. Upon seeing her head slightly lowered, Wei Fengzi frowned.
“Little Sister Chu, why don’t you sit here?”
Chu Lian looked up and glanced at Wei Fengzi. Another young madam started to call out to Wei Fengzi from not far away. The corners of Chu Lian’s mouth twitched a little as she quickly offered, “Madam, if you’re busy, you don’t have to look after me. I’ll be fine just sitting over there.”
For some reason, Wei Fengzi just didn’t feel all too happy with this new Third Young Madam from House Jing’an. If not for Madam Zou’s request, she wouldn’t have even bothered with this girl. Since Chu Lian was now rejecting her kind invitation, she naturally no longer had any patience to deal with her.
“Fine, I’ll go over there then. If there’s anything you need, send a maidservant to me.”
Chu Lian nodded obediently and even looked up to smile at Wei Fengzi.
It wasn’t until Wei Fengzi had left that Chu Lian let out a soft sigh. She looked around and found a nice corner outside the corridor, and made her way towards it.
Although she could hear the discussion from the crowd around her and their opinions of her, it was no use getting angry over something like that. They could choose to say whatever they wanted with their own mouths, and she couldn’t control that.
Chu Lian pursed her lips and pretended not to hear anything.
She leaned against the sofa. There were a few plates of snacks on the small tables next to the sofa, so Chu Lian casually picked out a piece to eat. After taking a bite, she frowned and almost spat it out. What in the world was this made of!? It was sweet, but not too sweet. It was also sour, but not quite… In short, it tasted terrible.
Now that she had tasted the snacks that the Dingyuan Estate served to their guests, Chu Lian finally understood why Cook Zhou’s pastries had seemed so delicious to everyone.
Just across the lotus pond, a handsome man dressed in a navy brocade robe stood in the corridor of Qingfeng Court with a fan in one hand. His long, narrow eyes were fixed upon a particular spot in Mei Court.
In a corner of one of corridors in Mei Court, a young madam was lying on a sofa. Reaching out with her slender fingers, she picked up a small cake and took a bite. Her face quickly contorted into a frown. She put the cake back down on the table, and even stuck out her tongue in disgust.
As he continued staring at Chu Lian, Xiao Bojian’s eyes darkened until they were as black as ink. He couldn’t help but think in his heart: ‘Lian’er is still the same as before; she only likes sweet things. The snacks here in Marquis Dingyuan’s estate are a little sour, so it’s no wonder she doesn’t like them!’
“Senior Xiao! What are you looking at out there?”
When Xiao Bojian turned around, he saw Heir Zheng walking towards him, dressed in a round-collared brocade robe.
Heir Zheng followed Xiao Bojian’s line of sight. After a moment, he spoke up. “That seems to be where all the noble madams are. My mother is there too. Why, Senior Xiao, is there someone you recognise over there?”
Xiao Bojian hid the emotions swirling in his eyes and calmly said, “I’m just taking a look. Let’s go in!”
Heir Zheng was about to head inside when a young lady who had been facing away suddenly turned, revealing her face. He was shocked by her beauty, and his eyes lit up.
“Senior Xiao, Senior Xiao, don’t go yet. Look over there!”
Xiao Bojian turned back and looked in the direction that Heir Zheng was pointing. He happened to spot Chu Lian, who was now gazing across the pond, and the expression on his slightly feminine face turned stormy.
In her infinite boredom, Chu Lian was currently tearing up the small cake she hadn’t been able to continue eating and throwing the pieces into the lotus pond to feed the koi.
“Hey, isn’t that House Jing’an’s Third Young Madam, Miss Chu?” A voice suddenly interrupted out of the blue.
Chu Lian turned, a little surprised. She could hear the swell of discussion from some people not far away.
“Heavens, why are Feudal Princess Anmin, Imperial Princess Leyao, and Royal Princess Duanjia all here?”