Chapter 823 Who Is in Charge, the Mother or the Son?
Old Madam rushed to the study angrily. Many people were standing at the door of it. Though they were in quant.i.ty, they were quiet and polite.
Upon seeing Old Madam come, all the servant girls and old maids bowed to her respectfully. Nothing about the situation reported by the old maid could be perceptible from such a scene.
Old Madam cast a suspicious look at the servants of Great Elder Princess’s Mansion, and then led Shao Wanru into the study.
Hearing the sound from the door, the two people in the study turned towards it at the same time. Shao Jing was sitting in the host seat, while the Great Elder Princess in the guest seat. They both looked solemn, especially Shao Jing, whose forehead was creasing in a frown. The whole atmosphere in the study was very depressing.
On catching sight of his mother’s arrival, Shao Jing gave up the host seat to her and took up a chair beside. After Old Madam sat down, she looked at her son and then at Great Elder Princess.
“What does Great Elder Princess want to discuss with my son today?” Old Madam asked, suppressing the anger in her heart. How astute Old Madam was!
“Zhuozhuo, come and sit close with me!” Great Elder Princess waved to Shao Wanru, who was at the end of the crowd.
Shao Wanru obediently walked over and sat down beside Great Elder Princess. Old Madam was so furious about Great Elder Princess’s ignorance that she was on the edge of explosion. However, she calmed herself down after some considerations.
Old Madam didn’t know for what Great Elder Princess was having a conversation with her son at this time, for such a thing had never happened before. In former days, her son was even never involved in her loggerheads with Great Elder Princess. Old Madam dare not get angry immediately under an uncertain situation.
After suppressing her anger, she picked up the teacup just offered by the servant, wiped aside the floating tea-leaves on the surface with the lid and took a sip, and then put down the cup, waiting for Great Elder Princess to speak.
As soon as Old Madam put down the teacup, Great Elder Princess asked gently, “What do you think of it, Duke?”
“Great Elder Princess, it is the matter of the Harem House, isn’t it? It is my mother who is in charge of it. And she has declared her att.i.tude to you before. Isn’t it too much of you to mention it again now?” Shao Jing said coldly. His usual smile had long disappeared.
“I am too much? I’ve heard that Zhuozhuo almost got hurt there today. The Second Miss of your mansion was hurt so seriously that she is still unable to stand up now. If my granddaughter hadn’t reacted fast, she would probably have been in the same situation as her right now. Duke Xing, was Zhuozhuo ordered to ask for the lost dowry, or just to be there for someone to vent his anger on? If your family don’t like Zhuozhuo, she can just move to my mansion and stay there until she gets married!”
The Great Elder Princess said with a cold face, the teacup in her hand falling heavily on the table and making a crisp sound.
Old Madam’s face instantly turned pale. “How did Great Elder Princess know what had just happened?” Thinking of it, she turned her suspicious eyes on Shao Wanru, who only sat there with her head down. For the moment, Old Madam suddenly felt that Shao Wanru seemed not to be the snitcher. “Maybe the Great Elder Princess had known that they were going to the Yuhui Nunnery today, so she sent someone there too. Could it be?”
“Therefore, after Shao Jie’er was smashed by the cup on her face, she came out and then her wound was seen by Great Elder Princess’s servants?”
“It seemed to make sense.” Believing in her own guess, Old Madam couldn’t help cursing Shao Jie’er in her mind. “Shao Jie’er is such a good-for-nothing. Make everyone around know about her little tiny wound after getting hit! It is still the talk of the whole mansion now!”
“Don’t worry, Great Elder Princess! The dowry will definitely be taken back!” Shao Jing said in a calm voice. He directly ignored her suggestion that Shao Wanru move to Great Elder Princess’s Mansion. In any case, he would not let it happen.
“Don’t worry? It’s impossible! That Madam of your mansion must hate Zhuozhuo so much that she launched an attack when being asked for the dowry by Zhuozhuo. Well, since that the dowry originally belonged to my daughter, and that my granddaughter ended up not getting them back under the threat of an attack, I will go and ask on my own, and see how arrogant that Madam is. How dare she throw a teacup at people!”
Apparently Great Elder Princess refused to give in. She continued, “I have never seen anything like this… It should definitely be reported to the Emperor that the Madam, Second Branch of Duke Xing’s Mansion, not only takes up the First Branch’s dowries but also refuses to give them back, plotting to leave them to her children and Duke Xing. What a family-oriented wife Duke Xing has got married to! But she is, unfortunately, a little bit too cruel.”
After Old Madam heard Great Elder Princess’s words, at once her expression drastically changed, showing her extreme nervousness. “She means to appeal the whole matter to the Emperor, though it can be tackled by the Harem House of our mansion.”
“Great Elder Princess, it is just a matter of the Harem House. You can come to me. There is no need to get my son in a dilemma!” Old Madam interrupted.
“No, Old Madam. This is no longer a matter within your charge. Many of my daughter’s dowries were royal products, but the Second Branch Madam of your mansion insists on taking them up. I have to doubt that she has ulterior motives. What’s more, the Emperor pays attention to issues like that. So how can we conceal it from him?”
Great Elder Princess looked at Old Madam and said with a sneering face. She did not intend to give in.
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Old Madam was infuriated. She understood the connotation of Great Elder Princess’s words. It hinted that Duke Xing’s family might have the intention of rebelling the imperial government. “We shall not make it through to get rid of such an unreasonable accusation!”
Shao Jing winked at his mother, warning her not to express any disagreement. Old Madam had no choice but to lower her head with a frown.
However, Shao Wanru silently kept an eye on what had just happened between the two. In her eyes there was an even colder expression. “Domineering as Old Madam was, she was obedient to her son. It was worthy of getting to the bottom of their relationship.”
“In the past, Uncle Shao Jing rarely cared the domestic matter, as if he didn’t know anything. It seemed that he had a good temper and listened to Old Madam. I once believed that it was acceptable if he was deceived. But now it seems that he is not so innocent and silly as I thought to be. He is also very domineering, and his so-called obedience to Old Madam was just performances.”
Great Elder Princess looked at Shao Jing with a cold eye. She did not intend to let go of him, “Duke Xing, don’t forget that the Second Madam is also involved. I must be given an explanation whether she has murdered my daughter or not!”
“Great Elder Princess. You can take measures to have a deep investigation. If it is true that Jiang was indeed relevant, our family will definitely not defend her!” Shao Jing promised with a serious face.
His words were more or less satisfying. If Great Elder Princess insisted on accusing the Second Madam as a murderer without any evidences now, it would seem to be too brutal of her. After all, Jiang was not in a good situation, expelled from the mansion long before. What’s more, Shao Jing had no reason to protect her!
Hearing what Shao Jing said, though her face was still solemn, Great Elder Princess stopped her inquiring, and changed the topic. “According to Empress Dowager, Zhuozhuo and Prince Chen’s wedding will be arranged a bit earlier than other princes’. The Imperial Astronomical Observatory has decided the date and it will be informed to your family in a few days. We don’t have much time, so the dowry from your mansion needs to be well-prepared soon. Zhuozhuo, you don’t go out these days. You should make more embroideries as your dowries. Empress Dowager said you’d better embroider something for Prince Chen.”
As soon as the Empress Dowager was mentioned, Shao Jing became respectful, and replied, “Of course. There are also embroidered maids in our mansion. We can choose and purchase a good cloth of brocade from other’s shop and our embroidered maids will decorate it, or Wanru does it herself. Anyway, Prince Chen should not be bothered by this.”
“That will be great. I also have prepared some dowries for Zhuozhuo, which then will be to send here!” Great Elder Princess said, standing up and leaving. She had achieved her goal of coming here. She didn’t want to see the gloomy face of Old Madam any more.
“Let me walk Great Elder Princess out!” Shao Jing said.
“No, thank you so much for your kindness, Duke Xing! Zhuozhuo will see me off!” said Great Elder Princess, holding the hand of Shao Wanru, who just stood up from the chair.
“Well! Wanru, go and see your grandma off!” Shao Jing looked at Shao Wanru gently and said. Shao Wanru nodded obediently, bowed to Shao Jing, and then was pulled out of the study by Great Elder Princess…
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