After hearing what the maidservant in ginger had said, all eyes landed on Chu Lian.
Amongst the various mocking, appraising, smug, and complicated looks of the crowd, Madam Huang had the fiercest gaze.
When she finally spoke up, slowly and surely, everyone could hear the frost that emanated from her.
“House Jing’an’s Third Young Madam. I expect you to take full responsibility for this matter.”
De’an Restaurant’s Mr Wang didn’t accept requests from just anyone. In the entire capital, he was the only one who could make such beautiful longevity peach buns. It was considered a great honour if he produced a plate for a noble’s longevity feast.
Madam Huang had gone to De’an Restaurant three times, and spent a whole thousand taels of silver to do so.
However, the freshly steamed longevity peach buns she had spent so much effort to obtain were now ruined, just like that.
Madam Huang’s current rage was to be expected.
Compared to House Jing’an, House Dingyuan was currently much more favoured with the Emperor, as they had an imperial concubine from their house sitting in the palace. If they were to go against each other, House Jing’an would have to bow to House Dingyuan.
Furthermore, the cause of the trouble was House Jing’an’s new Third Young Madam, who had come from the declining House Ying.
She was most likely going to be utterly humiliated here, and her crime of disrupting the Old Marquis’ longevity feast would probably spread through word of mouth, affecting her reputation.
The noble madams who had come from similarly poor houses were starting to sympathise with Chu Lian.
Xiyan was in a fit upon seeing the situation. She wanted to squeeze out of the crowd to look for Eldest Young Madam, Madam Zou. If Eldest Young Madam were here, Madam Huang might let her go for Eldest Young Madam’s sake. However, she was being held back by a few maidservants, and she couldn’t get away. She was so frenzied that her eyes were turning red.
Wei Fengzi noticed that Chu Lian still remained rather expressionless despite the trouble she was in. There wasn’t a single shred of cowardice or fear in her eyes as she stood her ground in the middle of the crowd. Wei Fengzi raised a single eyebrow and she stood up; this just turned more interesting.
Meanwhile, a spark of interest flared in the eyes of Royal Princess Duanjia, who was standing behind Imperial Princess Leyao.
Zou Yuanqin lowered her voice to a whisper that only she and Imperial Princess Leyao could hear. With a smirk on her face, she asked, “Imperial Princess, are you satisfied?”
Imperial Princess Leyao couldn’t resist laughing as she watched the sorry-looking Chu Lian surrounded by the crowd, with fingers pointing at her from every direction.
She was extremely satisfied! Such an average, useless woman had dared to marry above her rank and snatch her Brother He away. She was going to make this useless woman suffer today; see if she would dare to ever come out of her estate again after this!
House Dingyuan’s Fifth Miss, Zou Yuanqin, angrily added, “House Jing’an’s Third Young Madam, do you know how much this plate of longevity peach buns are worth?! Let me tell you, without counting the effort my mother put in to procure them, they cost at least a thousand taels!”
Gasps of shock rippled through the crowd.
A thousand taels! That wasn’t a small sum, even to a madam living in a noble estate.
For a declining house like House Ying, the maximum amount of dowry a legitimate daughter would get was a thousand taels. Someone like Chu Lian, who was neither loved by her father nor favoured by her stepmother, couldn’t even dream of getting that much!
The corner of Chu Lian’s eye twitched. Wasn’t House Dingyuan way too greedy? Or perhaps it was that Imperial Princess Leyao?
They wanted her to fork out a thousand taels for that lousy plate of buns! It was practically daylight robbery!
Chu Lian inwardly pouted. Her entire dowry wasn’t even worth a thousand taels.
Since these people were trying to push her into this trap, wouldn’t it be silly if she didn’t at least try to fight back?
That’s right, she had to get them back!
Chu Lian put on a shocked expression and looked at the longevity peach buns scattered all over the ground. She then said, “These longevity peach buns are worth a thousand taels? Fifth Miss, surely you’re joking?”