Madam Rong’s body swayed a little. Luckily, Miss Su caught her and held her upright.
Miss Su also looked tense. Even back at the Ying Estate, Sixth Sister had always tried to appear strong despite being out of favour. However, doing so in a situation like this was just silly; she should’ve just kept her head down instead of standing out.
“Eldest Sister-in-Law, are you alright?” Miss Su whispered in concern.
Madam Rong pressed a hand against her forehead before waving her off. “I’m fine.”
The progression of events even frightened Eighth Miss, Miss Yuan. Even if Chu Lian was disgraced, they would still be fine by virtue of her having already married out of the estate. Plus, she belonged to House Jing’an now, so she would surely be disciplined by Matriarch He. However, now that things were at this point and Madam Huang was clearly angry, if Chu Lian were to mess up, both House Ying and House Jing’an would be pulled down together with her.
Miss Yuan was a little afraid now.
She carefully pulled on Madam Rong’s sleeve and begged quietly, “Eldest Sister-in-Law, let’s leave now.”
Madam Rong looked around her. She did want to leave, but when she caught sight of the occasional glances thrown her way…
She stiffened up.
How could she leave in a situation like this? Although no one was speaking, plenty of eyes were watching her!
If she were to leave now, news might spread that she didn’t care about her sisters.
Madam Rong felt immensely regretful. To her, Chu Lian was to blame for everything!
“I believe House Jing’an’s Third Young Madam didn’t do it on purpose. For a young girl, a thousand taels is a huge sum. If Third Young Madam can truly make longevity peach buns that are better than Mr Wang’s, then I’ll give her this coral bracelet to calm her nerves.”
Right when Madam Huang had ordered someone to bring Chu Lian to the kitchen, a woman’s voice rang out.
The crowd slowly parted to let her through. A middle-aged madam dressed in a begonia-coloured sixteen-bolt dress stepped out, accompanied by a group of people behind her.
Immediately, whispers of discussion sprang up around them. “Lady Yang is here! Madam Huang won’t be able to continue doing as she likes now!”
Lady Yang? Chu Lian turned her bright, clear eyes in the direction the crowd was looking in.
The middle-aged madam was tall and luxuriously dressed without seeming too stately. She exuded elegance all over. The corners of her eyes were slightly tilted upwards, somewhat similar to Chu Lian’s own eyes.
She took off the coral bracelet on her wrist and passed it over to one of her handmaids. The maidservant then moved forward and placed the bracelet onto a silver tray sitting on a stone table outside the corridor. When the bracelet hit the tray, it produced a clear ringing sound.
Each coral bead on the bracelet was finely carved with exquisite patterns, and their colours were about the same. Amber jade beads were placed between each coral bead, showing off a beautiful contrast of red and amber. Everyone could see at first glance that it wasn’t just any ordinary bracelet.
Chu Lian was shocked. She tried to remember when this character had appeared in the book she was reading before.
Lady Yang? There was a character in the novel who matched this identity, age, and appearance. Yang Ge’s wife! She was one of the most influential people among the ranks of the capital’s noble madams. Even Matriarch He had to accord her some respect if they met.
This madam was one of the original ‘Chu Lian’s’ greatest enemies…
In the end, ‘Chu Lian’ had tortured her to death with some cruel methods…
Chu Lian cast a curious, measuring gaze towards Lady Yang.
She hadn’t expected that Lady Yang, who should have been working against her, would come out now only to stand on her side.
What was this called again? The tables have turned?
Although Chu Lian didn’t want to overthink things and make her life complicated, she wasn’t so naive as to think that Lady Yang had come simply just to help her out.
As expected, she could hear some people talking in the crowd.
“Lady Yang and Madam Huang have been at odds since they were young unmarried ladies. It would be hard to avoid clashing over this matter today. Unfortunately, that poor Third Young Madam from House Jing’an has become a target.”
Chu Lian laughed inwardly. She didn’t really mind being a target. No matter what Lady Yang’s motives were, that coral bracelet was pretty valuable. What did she need the most now? Money! That bracelet was going to be hers!
“Since Sister Yang has already placed something in the pot, I’ll have to add in my own share.” A young madam with rosy cheeks standing behind Lady Yang spoke up. She looked to be in her twenties, and was dressed in a silk green dress. From what Chu Lian could hear from the crowd’s whispering, this was the wife of the vice minister of the Ministry of Personnel.
The vice minister’s wife took off a butterfly-shaped golden hairpin decorated with pieces of jade from directly off her head and placed it in the silver tray.
The other madams behind Lady Yang followed suit, taking a single accessory off and placing it in the silver tray. There were hollowed out gold bracelets inlaid with jade, yellow jade amulets, headdresses with precious stones… All these high-quality, sparkling accessories were laid out on this ordinary silver tray.
The younger madams in the crowd were completely wide-eyed in shock.
What was going on? How did these influential senior madams suddenly start fighting with each other?