Cheng Yujin understood the old Master’s meaning. It was too ostentatious to directly send calligraphy for the emperor’s longevity feast and might offend other court officials. However, it wouldn’t be the case if the calligraphy was turned into an embroidered screen. A large item would attract the emperor’s attention. Just by hanging it into a decoration, the emperor could always see the calligraphed words, and even reminded him about Yichun marquis manor. Wouldn’t that be better than just directly presenting written calligraphy?
Preparing the emperor’s birthday present was a significant matter, and there was no reason for womenfolk to intervene. Obviously, the manor couldn’t just send a single item. But, the main present was obviously on a different level than the supplemental. There were only one or two main presents. If the old Master really wanted to send a calligraphy screen, then he could let Cheng Yuanjing write the congratulatory words, and then commissioned the screen to the best embroiderers outside. There was no need to take the risk by allowing Cheng Yujin to do it. She was just an unmarried girl. Although there was no gender distinction when preparing the emperor’s birthday present, it might be possible that her ability wouldn’t be high enough, ruining the entire present.
Cheng Yujin was clearly aware that old Master Cheng was elevating her status. She knew very well that she could do better work than any embroiderers outside, but the old Master didn’t, and he also didn’t have to take such a risk.
Cheng Yujin immediately stood up to thank old Master Cheng. But the old Master was probing out Cheng Yuanjing’s response.
He planned this thing, the main reason was to help the crown prince. The emperor knew that the crown prince was in the capital, yet couldn’t see him. His Majesty must be secretly feeling sad. Taking advantage of such a good cover like this longevity feast, old Master Cheng was going to ask the crown prince to write a congratulatory calligraphed words and send it under Yichun marquis manor’s name. When the emperor saw the son whom he had been missed for many years celebrating his longevity, it must bring him a little comfort.
Old Master Cheng did not dare to send the crown prince’s work directly. Although the crown prince had been ‘missing’ for more than ten years and had been forgotten by many people, it would be disastrous if Senior Grand Secretary Yang ever to find out about his whereabouts. Therefore, after much consideration, old Master Cheng finally could only make a compromise. The crown prince would still personally write the words, but it would be sent as an embroidered screen instead of a calligraphy scroll.
There was another selfish reason for the old Master’s arrangement. At first, he had planned to invite the best embroiderers to create the screen, but the other day, he happened to hear that Cheng Yujin’s engagement had been canceled. After a woman’s engagement failed, no matter how excellent her talent was, it would be difficult for her to find another good marriage prospect. Old Master Cheng wanted Cheng Yujin to be the embroider, was simply to let her take the merit, but in actuality, the professional embroiderers would do the majority of the work. The Cheng family wouldn’t clearly tell others whose needle actually stitched which part. As long as the embroidered screen was valued by the emperor, naturally, Cheng Yujin’s worth would also rise.
Maybe this would give her a chance to find another good husband.
This arrangement benefitted both the crown prince and Cheng Yujin. Old Master Cheng wanted to pave the way for the crown prince and also wanted to use the crown prince to raise his granddaughter’s reputation.
But it depended on whether the crown prince was willing or not.
Cheng Yujin was thanking the old Master, but for an unknown reason, the atmosphere turned silent. Somehow she turned to look at Cheng Yuanjing. At the same time, Cheng Yuanjing’s head also moved, and his gaze fell into a pair of beautiful eyes that were filled with confusion.
His heart seemed to be scratched by a feather. Cheng Yuanjing unexpectedly remembered Cheng Yujin’s situation. Because she was adopted at a young age, she was very sensible. Weighing out other people’s words and expressions had almost become her reflex. She always had to please people who were in a higher position.
It was truly a hard way to live.
Cheng Yuanjing withdrew his eyes and spoke with a casual tone: “Alright. Let’s just do what Marquis said.”
Old Master Cheng was overjoyed. He drowned in happiness for a moment before finally remembered Cheng Yujin: “Since the ninth boy agreed, you should work diligently. After this, go and observe your uncle’s writing, then take it back to copy carefully. Immediately ask your uncle if you found a part difficult to embroider. Anyway, work hard, and don’t forget to ask for guidance, understand?”
Cheng Yujin obediently nodded: “Yes.”
They have been sitting here for a while. At this time, a servant called from outside: “Marquis, the old Madam’s person came to tell that the evening meal had been ready. They are waiting for you.”
The old Master stood up. Cheng Yujin quickly stepped forward to help. Old Master Cheng looked to be in a good mood: “What a joyful conversation. We even forget to pay attention to the time, almost missing the mealtime. Let’s go.”
When the old Master arrived, the hall was filled with people. All immediately stood up and greeted: “Marquis.”
“It is a family feast. No need for courtesy. Everyone, sit down.”
After old Master Cheng arrived, Cheng Yuanxian and several other people hurriedly came forward to help the old Master. Cheng Yujin stepped back and went to the womenfolk seats. Seeing Cheng Yujin came together with the old Master and helped him on the way, many people looked at her with an envious gaze.
Of course Cheng Yujin noticed their gaze. Her expression remained unchanged, but inward she was thinking: the higher her position, the more people wanted to see her fall hard. How many people were happy when her engagement canceled? Now she was still at home, inside the manor, people wore the mask of a relative, pretended to avoid mentioning it. But once she appeared in front of the outsiders, who knew how many sarcasms and jokes would she get.
All this time, Cheng Yujin kept pondering but still didn’t know what kind of wrong had she done. Perhaps, her biggest mistake was going up to the mountain to find Cheng Yumo that day. She shouldn’t enter that cave and shouldn’t save Huo Changyuan. Because she saved him, she had to lose her life and her son’s life.
Even if she was lucky enough to get the prophecy dream, others were still scolding her for personally canceling the engagement. Scolding her for not gentle enough, offending Marquis Huo. Cheng Yujin smiled lightly. So what? She just wanted to throw the marriage contract to Huo Changyuan’s face. She also didn’t want to leave a good face to Cheng Yujin. She would show everyone that in this lifetime, Cheng Yujin would never fall from the cloud.
Cheng Yujin’s gaze swept over the bustling crowd and finally stopped on Xu Zhixian, who was talking with his sisters.
She never thought that since she married to Huo Changyuan in her dream, then she also had to keep herself for him in this life. That kind of crooked man, just left him to anyone who wanted. Two-legged men were everywhere. She, Cheng Yujin, was famous and beautiful, and could easily find the next one.
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