Novel Name : After Rebirth, the True Eldest Daughter Starts Brewing Green Tea

Chapter 18 - ARTTEDSBGT Chapter 18

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Chapter 18 - ARTTEDSBGT Chapter 18

The next morning, after Li Zhizhi had washed up, she went to the dining hall as usual, and Li Xingzhi was already there. She greeted him with a smile, saying, “Good morning, brother.”
The servants brought tea, and Li Xingzhi handed a cup to her before asking, “Have you learned all the books you need to memorize today? Any gaps?”
Over these days, Li Zhizhi had been consulting him every morning about her studies, and it had become a habit between them. They chatted comfortably, and Li Suwan was extremely jealous but couldn’t do anything about it.
Li Zhizhi remembered something and asked, “Does sister like those date cakes?”
Upon hearing this, the smile on Li Xingzhi’s face faded slightly, but he quickly replied, “She does.”
This subtle change did not escape Li Zhizhi’s notice. She thought to herself that something unpleasant must have happened last night. Unfortunately, she wasn’t there at the time.
As they continued their conversation, Li Suwan arrived. Her almond-shaped eyes were slightly red, as if she had been crying. She said to Li Xingzhi, “Brother, I was wrong. Please don’t be angry with me.”
Li Xingzhi sighed softly and said, “As long as you know you were wrong, don’t do it again in the future.”
Li Suwan clenched her lips tightly, nodded in agreement, and cast a resentful and disgusted glance at Li Zhizhi.
Li Zhizhi was in a cheerful mood. She took a sip of tea and casually said, “Sister, have some tea. This Mingqian Longjing is quite good.”
In the evening, Li Zhizhi finally found out what had happened the previous night. Yulan stormed in angrily and said to Madam Wang, “The Second Miss is really too much!”
Madam Wang was busy mending shoes and replied without looking up, “Who is the Second Miss? Call her Miss Wan’er.”
Curious, Li Zhizhi, who was reading a book, asked Yulan, “What did she do this time?”
Yulan hurriedly said, “Yesterday, didn’t you ask Young Master to bring a plate of jujube cakes to Ziteng Garden? The servant heard that Miss Wan’er didn’t eat them at all and had them thrown away. Young Master even caught her.”
On the side, Haitang exclaimed, “How could she do that? Miss Wan’er didn’t want to eat those jujube cakes herself; she wanted to give them to her.”
Wang Pozi, while sewing, sneered, “Some people, they like to act one way in front of others and another way behind their backs. Just wait and see, she’ll get what’s coming to her sooner or later!”
“Exactly,” Yulan said indignantly, “It’s a waste of our Miss’s efforts.”
Li Zhizhi turned the page of her book, smiled and shook her head. Waste? Not at all. Li Suwan had clearly played her part very well.

On the thirteenth day of March, during the Spring Festival outing, the weather was quite nice. Li Zhizhi got up early, and Yulan and Haitang helped her with her makeup and attire. She wore a newly made outfit, a light goose-yellow short jacket and a pale turquoise pleated skirt. Although the fabric wasn’t top-notch, it was comfortable to wear. She looked delicate and charming, like an unopened orchid in the spring.
Yulan was quick-witted and sweet-mouthed, saying, “Miss looks really beautiful. This servant has never seen anyone prettier than you.”
Haitang was a bit clumsy with words, and at the moment, she couldn’t come up with anything flattering. She simply said, “Miss’s hair is so smooth; this servant will make a peach blossom bun for you.”
Yulan opened a jewelry box, picked through it for a while, and muttered, “This doesn’t even make a complete set of hair ornaments.”
Haitang was puzzled, “Why not? I see quite a few.”
Li Zhizhi glanced at them. These ornaments were brought over from the main courtyard by Wang Pozi yesterday, and Mrs. Li didn’t skimp on them. On the contrary, she gave quite a few, made of gold and silver, adorned with agate silk flowers, and they were dazzling to look at. At first glance, they appeared very exquisite.
“Quantity isn’t the issue, but can Miss use them?” Yulan complained while taking out a gold hairpin. “Look at this, a longevity character hairpin. It’s so old-fashioned and worn. Which young lady would wear this? Going out like this would only invite ridicule.”
The two longevity character hairpins were among the few pieces of gold jewelry. The rest were silver, and none of them were quite suitable. They either looked old-fashioned or too plain. Most importantly, they couldn’t be assembled into a complete set and didn’t match well when put together.
Li Zhizhi looked at Haitang sifting through the box and indeed found very few usable items. It was the same in her past life. At that time, she didn’t have these two maids to help her dress up. She had to do it herself, and Wang Pozi assisted with her hair. The old lady, being of advanced age, naturally found all these gold and silver pieces beautiful and filled her hair with them, praising her for being beautiful. Li Zhizhi herself didn’t understand these things, so she went to the Spring Festival outing with a head full of pearls and jade. In the end, people whispered behind her back, making fun of her for being rustic, a country bumpkin…
That experience had left a significant shadow on Li Zhizhi. As a result, she was reluctant to appear in front of strangers for a long time. If she had to go, she would instinctively lower her head, pretending not to see the disdain and mockery in their eyes.
It was from that time onwards that she became timid, self-deprecating, and lacking in confidence.
Recalling those malicious and mocking gazes and gestures, Li Zhizhi took a deep breath and rummaged in the box, picking out two silk flowers. She said, “Let’s just use these two.”
Yulan, quick-witted and quick-spoken, said, “Is this too plain… simple?”
She initially wanted to say “plain,” but changed her words at the last moment. Li Zhizhi smiled at her and said, “Simple is good, we’re not here to attract attention.”
Haitang picked two more pearl hairpins and said, “They look great with the silk flowers.”
Her hands were skillful, and she created a beautiful hair bun for Li Zhizhi, adorned with silk flowers and pearl hairpins. It might not be luxurious, but it had a unique and elegant charm.
Li Zhizhi was very satisfied, but Madam Li was not pleased. She furrowed her brows and examined her, saying, “Why are you dressing so modestly? Didn’t I send you jewelry?”
Li Zhizhi replied in a soft voice, “Those valuable jewelry, I’m afraid I might lose them.”
Li Suwan, who was standing nearby, flashed a mocking look. She was indeed from the countryside and lacked exposure to the world. Her actions seemed too naïve. Seeing that Madam Li was about to say more, she quickly reminded, “Mother, it’s getting late. We should go.”
Madam Li looked at the sky, then instructed the servants to prepare the carriage. The group then headed to Qionglin Garden.

It was currently March, a sunny morning in early spring. Qionglin Garden was the royal imperial garden, built against the mountains, with a multitude of picturesque pavilions and towering buildings, red walls and green tiles, terraces and pavilions, all exuding grandeur. At the foot of the mountain, there was a lake shaped like a crescent moon, hence its name, “Embrace-the-Moon Lake.”
At the center of the lake’s shore, a beautifully crafted pavilion stood tall with exquisite eaves and intricate carvings. Many people were coming and going, as this was the location for today’s Spring outing feast.
Li Zhizhi, Li Suwan, and others followed Madam Li towards the pavilion. Occasionally, they encountered familiar faces, and Madam Li greeted them with a friendly and amiable smile. She then introduced Li Suwan and Li Zhizhi, saying, “This is Lady Jiandu, whom you’ve met before. Say hello quickly.”
Li Suwan and Li Zhizhi followed suit. Lady Jiandu had a somewhat plump figure, and her eyes narrowed when she smiled. She was in high spirits and praised, “These two children of yours are really handsome and well-behaved. They’re nothing like my unruly child, who’s always mischievous. Chuan, come and greet Lady Li, Chuan?”
Her personal maid whispered softly, “Madam, the young master just left.”
The air fell into an awkward silence, but soon, Lady Jiandu smiled again and explained, “He’s probably delayed by something.”
Lady Li smiled and nodded, indicating her understanding. Lady Jiandu maintained her smile and leaned slightly to the side, lowering her voice to her maid, “Go find the young master immediately and tell him that if he embarrasses his mother at the banquet later, he won’t have an easy time.”
A maid quickly retreated, and the two ladies exchanged smiles, continuing their previous conversation. After a while, Lady Jiandu noticed Li Zhizhi beside her, glanced at her, and said in surprise, “I haven’t heard that you have another daughter.”
Lady Li’s expression froze briefly, but she quickly regained her composure and explained with a smile, “This is not my daughter; she’s a distant relative’s child.”
She sighed lightly and added, “Her parents passed away not long ago, and I felt sorry for her, so I persuaded my husband to adopt her and bring her to the mansion. We treat her like our own daughter every day.”
Upon hearing this, Lady Jiandu’s gaze towards Li Zhizhi became more compassionate, and she sighed, “She’s still so young, indeed, she’s very pitiable. You are truly a kind-hearted person.”
Lady Li straightened her back and modestly said, “It’s just a small effort. Seeing such a young child with no one to rely on, I couldn’t bear it.”
Lady Jiandu smiled and said, “It’s clear that you have a soft and compassionate heart. This is a good thing; in the future, you’ll have another daughter to be filial to you. It’s a blessing that others can’t even beg for.”
Li Zhizhi watched them converse without speaking, quietly laughing in her heart. Lady Li received praise and felt quite proud, her face radiating with even more brilliance.
Li Xingzhi glanced at his mother, then at Li Zhizhi, wanting to say something but hesitating. He felt the sun today was unusually scorching, making his face burn, and he was restless in his seat.
Li Zhizhi suddenly looked at him and asked, “Brother, why are you sweating?”
For a moment, the two ladies in front stopped their conversation, and Lady Li asked, “Is it too hot for Xingzhi?”
Lady Jiandu laughed heartily and said, “The sun is indeed strong today. We still have some time before leaving the banquet. How about letting the children go and play on their own?”
“Sounds good, all of you go play,” Lady Li said with a caring smile, instructing them, “Zhizhi is here for the first time. Xingzhi, be sure to take your sister with you, and don’t let her get lost.”
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