Old Madam Cheng carefully looked at Cheng Yujin’s face. The girl who had always been so perfect and smart now was showing a dejected expression. Old Madam Cheng couldn’t bear seeing it and finally revealed her trump card: “Besides, this is just the worst ‘if’ plan. You may not really fall like this. Do you remember Zhai family’s little shizi who came to our house on the day of your grandfather’s forty-ninth day ceremony?”
This was Cheng Yujin’s real purpose. She said so much before, was just to pave the way for this.
Cheng Yujin hurriedly walked out of the room, no longer bothered to play a mother-daughter’s loving act with Qingfu Junzhu. She went straight to Old Madam Cheng’s Shou’an Hall. The servant girl who was guarding the door was very surprised upon seeing her and asked: “Eldest Miss, you just came to pay respect in the morning, why are you here again? Did you forget something behind?”
It was no wonder that the servant girl thought this way. Cheng Yujin came in empty-handed and with a solemn face. It was not like she was coming to show filial piety to her grandmother. On the contrary, it seemed like…
The dowry mama knelt on the side. Seeing Qingfu Junzhu’s emotion slowly calmed down, she asked: “Madam, what is it that makes you so angry?”
“An outside tailor sent a few brocades today, and I took a fancy at the fabric with a golden phoenix on the peony branch motif. No matter what, in status, I should be the first one to choose the fabric. As a result, before I could speak, she hurriedly asked for the phoenix on the peony branch brocade. I couldn’t bear it and said a few words to her. Yet, she dared to talk back and rebut me!”
Cheng Yujin and Cheng Yuanjing walked side by side. Perhaps Cheng Yuanjing deliberately did so, but their pace was very slow. It took them a long time to walked over this section of the road.
When Cheng Yujin was finally back, the news about their meeting with the Emperor at the garden had been spread among the womenfolks.
The Emperor didn’t ask why Huo Changyuan’s wife had already been married while her elder sister was still unmarried. The Emperor didn’t care about such trivial matters. He asked enthusiastically: “Huo Changyuan, your wife is twins. Wouldn’t it be easy for her to give birth to twins children in the future?”
Cheng Yumo was extremely embarrassed. For a woman, these kinds of words were not a blessing, but a blatant pressure. Everyone looked forward to her giving birth to twin sons. But what if she gave birth to no twins?
Cheng Yuanjing was made very helpless by the Emperor’s words. Both of them knew well his current situation. Now that Cheng Yuanjing was so nearby, the Emperor looked like an old father. He said with emotion: “Zhen doesn’t know whether the crown prince has been married or not.”
Whether he was married or not, wasn’t the Emperor knew it well?
Today was the closest distance the father and son had ever been in these fourteen years, and could even be said to be their only direct meeting after being separated.
The Emperor listened to Cheng Yuanjing’s last sentence, “May Your Majesty be blessed with healthy body and peaceful era,” which was the congratulatory message he sent for the longevity present this year. Now he said it again in person as a late congratulation for his imperial father. The Emperor was happy, but also felt sour. Especially when he heard his eldest son introduced himself as ‘Cheng Yuanjing.’
Huo Changyuan’s group bowed their heads in a formal salutation. Feeling the Emperor’s procession was getting nearer, they lowered their postures even more. When the Emperor walked in front of Cheng Yuanjing, Cheng Yujin sensed the Emperor’s footsteps paused for a while.
Cheng Yujin lowered her head and stared silently at the cracks on the ground, avoiding seeing the golden dragon embroidery patterns with open teeth and claws that were fluttering before her eyes. The attendant eunuchs had re-arranged the pavilion. All the things that belonged to Cheng or Huo family were removed and replaced with a set belonged to imperial yellow.
The Emperor suddenly appeared in the temple’s plum blossom garden, and everyone instantly became panicked and excited. Meeting the Holy One was the most honorable glory a subject could ever get. During the palace exam, the palace would even prepare a preventive heart medicine for older candidates, so that they wouldn’t pass out of excitement when finally seeing the Emperor.
Cheng Yujin stood in the pavilion, but her sight was blocked by a cluster of plum trees. She didn’t immediately saw Cheng Yuanjing approaching until she heard Cheng Yumo exclaimed in surprise: “Ninth Uncle, you are also here?”
Cheng Yuanjing? Cheng Yujin was also taken aback. She immediately handed the hand warmer to Du Ruo, held her skirt, and walked down the steps quickly. The hem of her pure white cloak swept across the steps, taking a few red petals with it.