Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
These flattering words were certainly spoken in the Duchess’ presence.
The Duchess was very happy to hear them, but she didn’t know as soon as she left, many people turned their heads and whispered to their friends, “Her beautiful appearance is an illusion created with money.”
“Even a beggar will look like a fairy in that cloud brocade dress. She is just a countryside girl. I wonder when the Duke Mansion will throw her out.”
Qiao Jinniang obediently followed the Duchess to greet the guests and try to remember their identities.
It might be difficult for others to remember so many people at once, but Qiao Jinniang had been in charge of a restaurant for three years, so she had a good memory.
After introducing the ladies, the Duchess asked Qiao Ruoyun to take her to play with the girls.
“Duchess Anyuan, where is Sister Ruoshui? Why is she absent on such a big day?”
The person who was speaking was Li Lingling, the daughter of Earl Cheng’en.
The Duchess really didn’t like this girl, but Ruoshui considered her as her best friend. “She is sick, so she can’t be present today.”
Qiao Ruoyun took Qiao Jinniang to meet the noble girls, but many of them dodged away as if the two of them were monsters.
Some people took the initiative to curry favor with them, but most of these people had fathers who worked in the Ministry of Defense that was led by Duke Anyuan.
Qiao Ruoyun took Qiao Jinniang to her sister-in-law, Miss Qin Third.
Qin Miaomiao was still angry, but she couldn’t vent on her delicate sister-in-law, so she shouted at Qiao Jinniang, “What are you doing here? Are you here to laugh at me?”
Qiao Jinniang: “…”
“Jinniang, Miaomiao has a quick tongue, but in fact she is very kind.”
Qin Miaomiao snorted. “Forget it, you are poor too. If you are willing to be my friend and help me teach Fulu a good lesson, I won’t do anything to you.”
“If you are her ‘friend’, you’ll have to put up with her bad temper every day!” Princess Fulu walked up to Qiao Jinniang. “Be my friend instead, and I will take you to eat, drink and have fun every day.”
Qin Miaomiao sneered coldly. “What a dandy.”
Princess Fulu said, “Are you not a dandy as well? If not, why don’t you get first place in the Imperial Examination? If you do, I’ll ask my imperial uncle to make you a female prime minister.”
“Stop bragging, okay? His Majesty doesn’t even allow you to marry the Crown Prince. Don’t speak as if His Majesty is close to you.” Qin Miaomiao hit the nail on the head.
Qiao Jinniang looked at Fulu and Qin Miaomiao. They were really different from the noble ladies in the capital that she had imagined.
Fulu couldn’t beat Qin Miaomiao in this topic, so she tried to save face as she asked Qiao Jinniang, “Hey, whose friend do you choose to be?”
Qiao Jinniang tentatively asked in a quiet tone, “Can I not choose?”
Qin Miaomiao and Fulu shouted at the same time.
Qiao Jinniang was already a mother, so she really didn’t want to get involved in the childish quarrels of these two little girls.
But neither of them was to be trifled with, so Qiao Ruoyun said, “Third Sister, stop it. The banquet is about to start.”
After Qiao Ruoyun took Qin Third away, the other girls dispersed.
With her gone, only Princess Fulu walked up to Qiao Jinniang and asked, “Have you decided whose friend you want to be?”
But at this moment, the voice of Li Lingling, the daughter of Earl Cheng’en, was heard.
“That fool Qiao Ruoshui is tricked by me again. She provoked her sister, causing her to be grounded and scolded by Duchess Anyuan. I have one less competitor now.”
“But what about Princess Fulu?”
“Fulu? How can she, the First Female Dandy in Chang’an, be worthy of the Crown Prince?!”
Fulu was immediately annoyed. “If I’m not worthy of the Crown Prince, is she worthy then? Earl Cheng and his family are nothing but a bunch of jerks!”
Qiao Jinniang wanted to say, “Your grandmother is also from Earl Cheng’en’s Mansion”, but she was afraid that she might be decapitated for saying that.
However, perhaps it was because of Li Lingling’s instigation that Qiao Ruoshui hated her so much.
A handsome man could be really dangerous!
Fulu brought Qiao Jinniang closer to hear what Li Lingling and her maidservant were saying more clearly.
Li Lingling said to the maid, “Find a way to continue to sow discord between Qiao Ruoshui and Miss Countryside.
The Duchess loves Miss Countryside so much, so she will definitely not let Qiao Ruoshui marry into the East Palace.”
“Miss, why do you care about Qiao Ruoshui so much ?”
Li Lingling said, “I tried every means to get close to that little b*stard in the East Palace, but he ignores me constantly, but yet he calls Qiao Ruoshui ‘Mom’.
“So I told Qiao Ruoshui that this would ruin her reputation, and as I expected, she started to dislike that little b*stard.
“If Qiao Ruoshui wins that little b*stard’s favor, considering how powerful her father is, she is almost certainly going to be the crown princess.”
The more Fulu listened, the angrier she was. She walked around the artificial hill and confronted Li Lingling. “Great, how dare you call Tuan’er a b*stard. I must report this to my imperial cousin!”
Qiao Jinniang was stunned when she heard “Tuan’er”.
Li Lingling said disdainfully, “Apart from you, who else has heard it? I can say that you are framing me!”
Princess Fulu looked behind and pulled Qiao Jinniang out. “Jinniang heard it too. You framed Qiao Ruoshui with such a dirty trick. Duke Anyuan won’t let you off easily!”
Li Lingling said “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and left.
Princess Fulu spat. “No wonder Tuan’er dislikes her.”
Seeing Qiao Jinniang stunned, she asked, “Qiao Jinniang, what’s the matter with you?”
Qiao Jinniang asked in a hoarse voice, “Princess Fulu, you just said that the young master of the East Palace is called Tuan’er, right?”
Princess Fulu nodded. “Yes, Tuan’er is his pet name, but my imperial uncle hasn’t given him a formal name yet.
“My imperial cousin said that a Taoist priest in the South once told him not to give Tuan’er a name until he was three.
“He’s called Tuan’er because he was born on the Mid-Autumn Festival and looks like dough. ”
When Qiao Jinniang heard this, there seemed to be thunder rumbling in her ears. How could there be so many coincidences!
The Crown Prince was missing for three years in the South, his son was two years old, Tuan’er was two years old too, and they both had a pair of phoenix eyes.
The Emperor’s grandson mistook her sister for his mother…
Their birthdays were both on the Mid-Autumn Festival…
Seeing Qiao Jinniang’s strange expression, Fulu hurriedly asked, “What’s wrong with you?
“Why do you shed tears as easily as Qiao Ruoyun?
“Okay, okay, I won’t force you to be my friend anymore.
“I’m most afraid of girls that cry. Don’t cry.”
Qiao Jinniang reached out and touched the corner of her eyes.
No wonder he gave her a divorce letter. How could she possibly make the Crown Prince marry into her family?
But if Tuan’er was the Emperor’s grandson, how could she snatch him back?
“Princess Fulu, I want to be your friend, but can you do me a favor? I’d like to see the little imperial grandson. I just want to see him.”
She just wanted to confirm whether the little imperial grandson was her Tuan’er.
Princess Fulu took a look at Qiao Jinniang. “Huh? Do you want to be the crown princess too?”
Qiao Jinniang shook her head in denial.
If the Crown Prince was not that jerk, she was not worthy.
But if the Crown Prince was that jerk, then she was even more unlikely to marry into the East Palace.
Not only would she not marry into it, she would also have to hide her identity.
What if that b*stard wanted to kill her to silence her?
“Then why do you want to see the little imperial grandson?”
Qiao Jinniang said, “As your friend, I’d like to remind the little imperial grandson to be careful of that vicious woman just now.”
“Oh, that’s good. I will take you to see the little imperial grandson in the spring hunt.”
Then Fulu suddenly smelled the fragrance on Qiao Jinniang’s body. “What kind of perfume do you use? It smells good.”
Qiao Jinniang replied, “It’s fresh jasmine from the South. If you like it, I’ll have my maid to give you some. You can make tea with it or put it in your sachet.”
Girls’ friendship could start from talking about sachets, rouge and gossip in Lin’an and Chang’an.
At the end of the day, she and Fulu were like very good friends who had known each other for a long time.
After Qiao Jinniang returned to her room, she counted with her fingers how many days were left before the spring hunt. When the spring hunting started, she would be able to see the little imperial grandson.
Then she could find out whether that Tuan’er was her Tuan’er.
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