Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Although Qiao Jinniang was shocked, hearing the sincere words of the old maid, she felt that what the latter said didn’t seem to be fake…
Was she really the eldest daughter of Duke Anyuan?
How was this possible!
For the people in Lin’an City, a prefect was already a high-ranking official, let alone a duke!
When her mother was still alive, she had talked about the strict rules and the luxurious life in the Duke Mansion, which was completely a different world to Qiao Jinniang.
“Miss, the Duke and the Duchess are eager to see you, so please go back to Chang’an with me as soon as possible.”
Qiao Jinniang said, “Okay, but the Qingming Festival is coming soon. Although my foster parents are not my biological parents, they still treated me as their biological daughter.
“They regarded me as the apple of their eyes, so I want to visit their graves before I leave. ”
The old maid said, “As it should be. I remember eating the food Cook Qiao made 18 years ago. His cooking skills are as good as a royal cook’s.”
The next day, holding an umbrella, Qiao Jinniang went to her foster parents’ grave. “Mom, Dad, I’m sorry, I’ll be going to Chang’an soon.
“Tuan’er was taken to Chang’an by that b*stard.
“But with the help of Duke Anyuan, I may be able to find Tuan’er sooner.
“Thus, Myriad Taste needs to temporarily close for a while.
“I’m afraid that the servants and maids will be abused by the people of the Qiao Family while I’m not around, so I’ll take them to Chang’an with me.
“Mom, Dad, please rest assured. I’ll open a new Myriad Taste in Chang’an.
“I heard from Maid An that the girl who was swapped with me is now married to the eldest son of another duke and lives a happy life now.
“When I go back to Chang’an, I’ll take good care of her for you.
“Please bless Tuan’er to be safe, and bless me to find Tuan’er as soon as possible.”
Qiao Jinniang knelt on the futon, knocked her head three times, and left.
Myriad Taste was closed, and no one knew where Qiao Jinniang had gone.
The people of the Qiao Family didn’t believe that Qiao Jinniang was the daughter of Duke Anyuan, so they didn’t take that old maid’s words to heart.
They just told others that Qiao Jinniang had eloped with a man after being divorced.
Several guards in black brocade arrived in front of Myriad Taste only to see the door closed.
They asked around, but no one knew where the people of Myriad Taste had gone.
“Head, they’re gone. How should we report to Master?”
“Report truthfully. Come on, let’s return to Chang’an!”
With great difficulty, Master had secured this lady the position of a concubine, but it seemed that the young hostess of Myriad Taste didn’t have the luck to enjoy it.
Qiao Jinniang took the waterway, so it would take half a month before she could arrive in Chang’an.
Along the way, she had seen a lot of scenery, but she had no time or mood to enjoy it.
All she could think about was her Tuan’er. She hadn’t seen Tuan’er for three months. She didn’t know if he had lost or gained weight, or if he could speak more fluently now.
When he left her side, Tuan’er still couldn’t speak fluently.
The clearest words he could say were “Mommy” and “Eat”.
“Miss, we’ll be arriving at the dock tomorrow. The Duke Mansion has delivered four maids to you.
“Two of them grew up close to the Duchess, while the other two were newly bought. ”
Qiao Jinniang had heard from her foster mother that each of the Duke’s daughters would have four maids, eight second-class maids, and a maid-in-charge.
“Mammy, Nuomi has been serving as my maid since I was a child. I am used to her, and I plan to let her follow me into the Duke Mansion.”
Maid An said, “So as it should be. I’ll let Miss Nuomi serve you together with them, okay?”
Qiao Jinniang named the four maids Hongling, Luhe, Yingtao, and Yuyan.
Hongling and Luhe used to serve the Duchess, so they were quite steady.
Yingtao and Yuyan were young, only 13 years old, but they looked adorable.
For the past half a month, Qiao Jinniang roughly learned about the current situation of the Duke Mansion from Maid An…
Her father had two brothers.
Her father, Duke Anyuan, had a wife and two concubines.
One of the concubines died abruptly during the last Chinese New Year. She was the one who swapped her with the cook’s daughter.
The duke had three daughters and two sons.
The eldest daughter, Qiao Ruoyun, was the girl who was swapped with Qiao Jinniang, and was now the daughter-in-law of another duke.
The second daughter, Qiao Ruoshui, was 15 years old this year, and she didn’t have a fiancé yet.
Qiao Ruoyi, who was born from a concubine, was 14 years old, and she was very famous in Chang’an for her talent.
The two sons were both born by the Duchess. The eldest son was 16 years old, and the second son was only six, not much older than Tuan’er.
The Duke’s second brother was from the same mother as him, and he had four daughters.
On the other hand, the Duke’s third brother was from another mother, and he had three sons.
These were the masters of the Duke Mansion.
Maid An said, “Don’t worry, Miss. The Duchess has been in charge of the Duke Mansion for 18 years. You are her biological daughter, so no one in the Duke Mansion will dare to disrespect you.”
Qiao Jinniang was not afraid of being disrespected. What she worried about was how to ask the Duke and the Duchess to find Tuan’er for her.
The next day, Qiao Jinniang rode the carriage to the central street of Chang’an City.
She had thought that Lin’an was a very prosperous land for fish and rice, but she didn’t expect Chang’an to be even more prosperous.
The Emperor had been working very hard to make the country prosperous, so now Chang’an was flourishing.
Qiao Jinniang lowered the curtain. It turned out that Chang’an was so lively.
The carriage continued on for another two-quarters of an hour before stopping at an imposing mansion.
This mansion occupied an astonishing amount of land, and the gate was so wide that Qiao Jinniang couldn’t even imagine such a wide gate existed.
The carriage entered the Duke Mansion through the side door. After Qiao Jinniang got off the carriage, she saw a winding corridor.
Following Maid An to a courtyard, she walked through a moon gate and saw a lady sitting in front of the hall.
The lady wore a luxurious silk dress, and her hair was done up in a high, elegant bun. Her aura reminded Qiao Jinniang of the peonies that were blooming on both sides of the road when she was coming here. As Qiao Jinniang approached, she saw the lady’s face clearly.
Only then did she know why Maid An was so sure of her identity.
It was because this lady looked very similar to her.
The Duchess stood up excitedly and quickly walked toward Qiao Jinniang. If it weren’t for maintaining her graceful demeanor, she might have already run up to her.
She walked up to Qiao Jinniang with tears in her eyes. “My child, my baby girl, I’m sorry. It’s due to my negligence that you suffered for 18 years.”
Perhaps it was because of her bloodline, or perhaps because Qiao Jinniang thought about her own child.
She couldn’t help but hug the noble lady in front of her tightly. There was a faint scent on her, which smelled very nice. “Mother.”
Hearing it, the Duchess cried more bitterly.
“My child, I’ll definitely make it up to you. I will never let you suffer again.”
Qiao Jinniang knelt on the ground and said, “Mother, in all fairness, my foster parents have treated me very well for the past 18 years. I also live a well-to-do life in Lin’an.”
“My foster parents taught me how to read and write, so I didn’t suffer at all.
“But they passed away three years ago. And bullied by the people of the Qiao Family, I had to marry a matrilocal husband.
“However, that man is faithless. He divorced me and took my child to Chang’an. Mother, please help me find my child. He is only two years old…”
When the Duchess heard Qiao Jinniang’s words, she almost fainted in shock. “My poor girl, how can you say you didn’t suffer at all?! I didn’t expect you to already have a child.”
Maid An comforted the Duchess. “Madam, Miss is already 18 years old. Even if she has a child…”
The Duchess clenched Qiao Jinniang’s hand and said, “My child, settle down in the Duke Mansion first, okay?
“Don’t tell anyone about your former marriage.
“I’ll ask your father to look for your Tuan’er in secret.”
Qiao Jinniang used to hear from her foster mother that the nobles valued their reputation very much.
Thus, she replied obediently, “Okay, Mother, there is one more thing.
“My foster parents ran a restaurant called Myriad Taste in Lin’an, and I brought some of the restaurant’s staff to Chang’an with me.
“Myriad Taste has made me some money all these years, so I want to open a restaurant in Chang’an to help settle down these people.”
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