The weather was getting colder day by day, and in a blink of an eye, the leaves in the Forbidden City were turning yellow. As the autumn wind blew, the trees gradually became sparser, and the gaps between branches looked very wide against the red wall background.
After another month, the first snow fell in the capital. Red walls and white tiles — the winter made the palace even more solemn and silent, and so were its residence.
Cheng Yujin clad in fur collar jacket. The sky was getting dark. Having been reading the small writings for a long time, she felt somewhat dizzy. Cheng Yujin put down the booklet in her hands, rested her eyes, and asked, “What time is it?”
“Replying to the Crown Princess. It is the hour of the rooster1.”
“Already the hour of the rooster.” Cheng Yujin turned to look out the window and muttered to herself, “His Highness should be back anytime soon.”
Lian Qiao was coming in to light the lamp. When she heard this, she commented: “Now that His Highness is receiving more and more responsibility in the court, he returns late every day. Fortunately, Crown Princess takes good care of Crown Prince. Otherwise, His Highness will be too tired and get thin of overwork.”
Cheng Yujin glanced at the servant girl coolly: “If you don’t speak, no one will think you are mute.”
Du Ruo was serving next to Cheng Yujin and burst into laughter. After failing to flatter, Lian Qiao was not at all deterred. She made a face at Du Ruo and came to laugh as if nothing happened: “Crown Princess, you have been reading the gift list all afternoon. Reading in the dark is not good for your eyes. You might as well take a rest and loosen your body a bit.”
Cheng Yujin shook her head, “There’s not much left. Other jobs are still waiting tomorrow, so we should finish what should be finished today.”
Lian Qiao knew that she could not persuade Cheng Yujin, so she didn’t say more. As Lian Qiao quickly tidied the table, she changed the topic: “This servant has slipped her tongue. Crown Princess is very thoughtful and naturally will listen if the suggestion makes sense. Now, who doesn’t know that Crown Princess is very virtuous and capable? Both inside and outside the palace, no one can say anything bad about you. This servant even heard that the madams outside the palace make Crown Princess the standard for teaching their daughters.”
Hearing this, Du Ruo commented lightly: “What’s surprising with that? Crown Princess has long been the model young miss in the capital even before she left the boudoir.”
“This is not the same.” Lian Qiao said in a hasty tone, “In the past, high-ranking madams used Crown Princess as the standard for choosing daughters-in-law, but they now used her as a model for their own daughters. How can this be the same?”
Seeing the two servant girls join together to make her happy, Cheng Yujin couldn’t help but smile. The gloominess from the afternoon was swept away. “Alright. Both of you really have a glib tongue. Even parrots cannot be compared to you. Be quiet a bit.”
Although Lian Qiao and Du Ruo deliberately chose their words to make Cheng Yujin happy, they were right about one thing. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of the Eastern Palace indeed had an excellent reputation among imperial subjects. When it came to the inner palace or outer court, many people unanimously praised the couple’s virtue.
Cheng Yujin and Li Chengjing both came into light suddenly, with no prior achievements, no name, and no allies. Li Chengjing was still better than Cheng Yujin, as he returned to his status half a year earlier. However, the foundation Li Chengjing could build in merely half a year was still too shallow to overpower the Second Prince’s more than ten years momentum.
Fortunately, both Cheng Yujin and Li Chengjing were extremely intelligent and well-mannered, and they were also good-looking. When the two stood together, they looked exactly like the appearance of a crown prince and crown princess people imagined to be. Because their foundation was not stable, the two were not suitable to be too high profile, but every time the Eastern Palace couple appeared in public, the impact was always very effective.
At first, most people thought this was only the couple’s pretense, so the public had a wait-and-see attitude. However, during the six months of the marriage, the couple’s behavior was always flawless, and the story of an immortal-looking couple’s strong union swept throughout the capital’s high society in no time. Slowly, both the outer court and inner palace accepted this setting of a perfect couple as truth, and the Eastern Palace’s reputation was growing day by day.
After Cheng Yujin made an amazing show at the Mid-Autumn Festival banquet, Empress Yang became on guard and never gave Cheng Yujin another chance to show her skill again. Governing the inner palace was not the Crown Princess’ responsibility. Cheng Yujin was happy enough to be light and easy, so why should she bother with Empress Yang?
However, during this time, Li Chengjing’s progress in the court was much smoother than Cheng Yujin’s. After one year since he was ‘found,’ Li Chengjing never made mistakes when handling governmental affairs, nor did he ever claim credits for any achievement either. However, whenever the Emperor asked him questions, Li Chengjing was always able to give constructive and direct opinions every time. Although the cabinet ministers couldn’t openly express their position, everyone except for the Grand Senior Secretary Yang was mostly satisfied with this Crown Prince.
In the six months he spent in the Ministry of Public Works, the Crown Prince had cleaned up the ministry from top to bottom. Various projects were progressing in orderly manners, and old cases that had been ignored for many years had also been sorted out. The Head Minister of Public Works admired the Crown Prince so much that he often praised His Highness in private.
It took time to see a person’s quality. Since others didn’t trust them, Li Chengjing and Cheng Yujin simply had to prove themselves little by little. The Eastern Palace never strived for merit, but as long as they took over a task, they would make it done well.
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3 thoughts on “GNU Ch 113 Part 1 – A Long Way (I)”
Oh they didn’t let us know about the autumn festival thingy?
The couple is slowly beginning to shine. Looking forward to the next arc of the story!
Thank you for the chapter!
Thank you for updating!!!!