Chu Lian worked without any sense of urgency and was able to produce a few baskets of longevity peach buns within an hour.
The four servants tried to peek as Chu Lian brought the longevity peach buns out of the steamer, but Chu Lian purposely blocked their gazes so that none of them had a good view of the buns.
Chu Lian washed her hands and led her maidservants and the witnessing senior servants back to Mei Court. All the women in Mei Court immediately focused on Chu Lian before their eyes turned to the box that Xiyan was carrying. Curiosity itched inside their hearts; they wished for the power to see through things so that they could have a peek at what House Jing’an’s Third Young Madam made.
The four senior servants accompanying Chu Lian hurriedly returned to their own masters.
Madam Huang’s servant whispered a few lines into her ear, causing Madam Huang’s expression to change. She asked in return, “Are you certain?”
The senior servant nodded and said, “This old servant didn’t get to see what the end result was, and didn’t get the chance to taste it. House Jing’an’s Third Young Madam purposely hid the buns from us the moment she took them out of the steamer.”
Upon hearing the senior servant’s reply, the tension on Madam Huang’s face faded away.
Heh! If she tried to hide them, that meant she wasn’t confident!
Anyone could learn how to make longevity peach buns. She refused to believe that a young lady who had never stepped foot into the kitchen could make buns that tasted better than Mr Wang’s.
After her servant had reported what she had seen, Madam Huang was even more certain that Chu Lian was simply acting the part. Furthermore, even if the buns looked good, it didn’t mean that they would taste delicious. Before seeing them for herself, there was no need for her to get all flustered; that was just giving that hateful Lady Yang a chance to mock her.
The senior servant was about to say more, but Madam Huang waved her hand in dismissal.
She could only close her mouth and retreat a few steps to stand in the corner. Her curiosity burned in her heart as she watched Chu Lian’s every move.
Chu Lian walked into the middle of the crowd with her maidservants and curtsied to each of the madams. “I’ve made you wait.”
Imperial Princess Leyao glared at Chu Lian before sneering. “How fake.”
“Princess, please don’t get angry. All she can do is act the part. Let’s wait until she brings out the longevity peach buns. We’ll see if she can keep acting then!” Zou Yuanqin quickly said, trying to curry favour with the princess.
“Alright, don’t stand on ceremony. Bring out the longevity peach buns!” Lady Yang stated calmly.
Chu Lian didn’t tarry and instructed Xiyan to place the box on the stone table in front of everyone. Then, she opened the box herself.
Everyone’s eyes were instantly concentrated on the box. All the people present, even Imperial Princess Leyao and Royal Princess Duanjia, opened their eyes wide, afraid that they would miss a moment of this exciting event.
Miss Su nervously wrung the handkerchief in her hands while staring at the box. Madam Rong was both anxious and remorseful, with various emotions running through her heart. However, Miss Yuan couldn’t even bear to pry her gaze away from the prizes on the tray.
The crowd watched as Chu Lian took out three plates of perfectly-sized peaches and placed them on the stone table. The peaches were vibrant and lovely, full and plump; there were even a few fresh, verdant leaves on the top of the peaches with waterdrops glistening on their surfaces. These were clearly fresh, sweet peaches that had just been plucked off a branch!
The noble madams present stared at the peaches in a daze, and some of them even gaped in surprise.
Suddenly, a young voice cried out in shock, “Ah! Those aren’t fresh peaches! Those were made!”
The young girl’s voice rang out clearly, travelling into the ears of everyone present.
What? Those weren’t fresh peaches? They were longevity peach buns?!
The young girl realised that she had spoken out of turn and quickly covered her mouth. Her face flushed as she glanced at her mother beside her. The madam knew that her daughter had been lacking in manners, so she apologised to the madams around her. While apologising, she explained, “When House Jing’an’s Third Young Madam brought those buns out, I thought they were fresh peaches too. I didn’t realise they were buns until I spotted the steam rising off these ‘peaches’.”
The young girl and madam were standing near the stone table, so they had quickly spotted the difference.
After her explanation, all the madams in Mei Court were even more stunned. Those realistic longevity peach buns were really made of flour and weren’t actually fresh peaches!?
Even Lady Yang and Wei Fengzi had their interests piqued.
Madam Huang was staring straight at the buns with extreme disbelief in her eyes. The way she was tightly clutching onto her handkerchief revealed her unwillingness to concede.
“So what if they look realistic? It’s not enough to win against Mr Wang’s longevity peach buns if they don’t taste right!” Imperial Princess Leyao couldn’t hold back her anger and was the first to reply.