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Cheng Yumo was leaning on the bed. She was so skinny that her body was only skin and bones, and her pale face was tear-stained.
Ruan-shi also sat on the side of the bed, wiping her tears: “Mo’er, you and the Marquis are still young. There will always be opportunities in the future.”
This sentence poked into Cheng Yumo’s pain, and her already calm emotions were agitated again. These past two days, Cheng Yumo had cried too much. Grief and pain overwhelmed, and she seemed to have exhausted her tears. Her red eyes were so painful, almost as if she was going to be blind. Even now, she was wailing, but no tears came out.
Ruan-shi became even sadder seeing her daughter like this. She held Cheng Yumo’s hand tightly and said, “Mo’er, you can’t be like this. The Marquis didn’t mean to harm you. It must be the child’s fate for coming at such an untimely moment. No one knew that you had been one month pregnant, which is very tragic. Maybe the child is here to block catastrophe in your place. He is gone, and the catastrophe that was about to befall you has now been solved.”
“Mother.” Cheng Yumo clutched her chest tightly, as if she wanted to dig her heart out, “I know, but I cannot help but hate. My still unformed baby, gone just like that! I have been looking forward to him for one year!”
Ruan-shi cried again. Cheng Yumo let out another dry wail, still unable to shed a single tear. Her eyes were red and full of despair. She suddenly grabbed Ruan-shi’s hand. Caught off guard, Ruan-shi was startled: “Mo’er?”
“Mother, all is that wicked woman fault! I hate her!” Cheng Yumo grasped Ruan-shi’s hand violently. Her eyes were full of hatred, as if she couldn’t wait to devour her enemy. Ruan-shi looked both distressed and frightened. She hurriedly took her daughter’s hand and said, “Mo’er, mother knows that you feel bitter, but she is your mother-in-law. You can never say such things.”
It was precisely because Huo Xue-shi was Cheng Yumo’s mother-in-law that Huo Xue-shi could scold her openly when she failed to get pregnant. When Cheng Yumo was pregnant but unexpectedly miscarried, Huo Xue-shi scolded her again for losing the child. Cheng Yumo suddenly felt another cramp in her lower abdomen, and she couldn’t help bending down. Ruan-shi was frightened: “Mo’er, what’s wrong with you?”
Cheng Yumo clutched the bedding tightly. In just a few days, she had lost a lot of vitality because of the miscarriage, and she looked almost like a different person. Cheng Yumo opened her mouth, but was unable to cry. She could only hold her mother’s hand and repeated: “Mother, my child is gone, he is gone! But the wicked woman still refuses to give up, and she wants to give the Marquis a concubine!”
“My poor Mo’er!” Ruan-shi’s tears couldn’t stop falling. She hurriedly wiped her tears with a handkerchief. After quickly looking around, she leaned over and whispered to Cheng Yumo, “Mo’er, everything started from that vixen surnamed Su. She behaves timidly and speaks weakly, but who doesn’t know what she is thinking about? Mo’er, precisely because of her attitude that you cannot fall behind. If you become cold with the Marquis, isn’t it just what your mother-in-law and that surnamed Su want?”
When Cheng Yumo heard this, she was both sad and aggrieved. Obviously, she and Huo Changyuan were in love. Obviously, she was the one who had rescued Huo Changyuan in that snowy mountain. Obviously, she was Huo Changyuan’s first and only wife in this life. Why did things turn out like this?
“Mother, but Su-shi is Marquis’ maternal cousin, and she is backed by mother-in-law. I just lost a child and can’t even get out of bed. What should I do?”
Ruan-shi hugged Cheng Yumo distressedly. It was as if her heart was pierced by a knife, painful and bloody. Ruan-shi gritted her teeth, brought her lips near Cheng Yumo’s ear, and said in a low voice: “You can’t do anything to your mother-in-law, but there is still the Crown Princess.”
Cheng Yumo was shocked. Maybe Ruan-shi didn’t notice her daughter’s reaction, or maybe she didn’t care, but she continued: “You are Crown Princess’s younger sister. If Huo family doesn’t give you a face, it is equivalent to not giving the Crown Princess a face. Fortunately, the Mid-Autumn Festival is soon. We can tell your grievances to the Crown Princess after the banquet. Why should you fear that Huo Xue-shi?”
Cheng Yumo closed her eyes in despair. Seeing the lack of answer, Ruan-shi couldn’t help but urge: “Mo’er, mother is talking to you.”
Cheng Yumo paused for a long time. Her voice was as dry as sand: “…Okay.”
On the Mid-Autumn Festival, Cheng Yujin changed into the crown princess’ yanju formal dress and attended the Mid-Autumn Festival banquet with Empress Yang. Empress Yang wore the empress’ formal dress with a red juyi shirt inside, a bright yellow wide-sleeved blouse outside, and a red tasseled cape with gold embroidery on the outermost layer. Cheng Yujin’s attire was very similar to Empress Yang’s, except that she wore a blue juyi shirt, embroidered with Luan bird1 and auspicious cloud motif on the chest and back. Outside, she wore a red blouse, with sleeves wide enough to almost hang down to the ground. Her shoulders were draped with a dark blue tasseled cape, also embroidered with gold thread, very solemn and long enough that it almost touched the ground.
This kind of wide-sleeved blouse and long cape was very challenging to wear. If the wearer was not good enough, she would be overwhelmed by the attire’s grandness and look unpretentious. However, when such heavy attire was worn by Cheng Yujin, they looked elegant and grand. Different garments were layered on top of another, and from a distance, it looked as if she was wearing a stack of gorgeous clouds.
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