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Cheng Yumo was restless, but in Jingyong marquis manor, Huo Xue-shi treated Huo Changyuan words perfunctorily and secretly inquiring about unmarried daughters from other prestigious families.
Cheng family’s daughters weren’t the only girls left in this world. Couldn’t she find a daughter-in-law worthy of her son? Cheng Yumo’s father wasn’t the heir of Yichun marquis manor. As soon as the current Marquis passed, the title would belong to her uncle. What did it have to do with her family? They would have been branched out. Moreover, her father’s official position wasn’t high, and his ability was also mediocre. That kind of family’s daughter, dared even to seduce Changyuan. Huo Xue-shi was reluctant to choose her as a daughter-in-law.
Huo Changyuan occasionally asked, but Huo Xue-shi simply answered perfunctorily and taking her time. In private, she was choosing other people.
Cheng Yujin had no intention to pay any more attention to the Huo family and Cheng Yumo’s affairs. To her, Huo Changyuan was no different than a dead person. Her eyes were already aiming for the next husband candidate, and she also had the important task of embroidering the screen. She has practiced copying Cheng Yuanjing’s handwriting for half a month. Yesterday Cheng Yuanjing finally gave his approval. Cheng Yujin asked her servant girl to take out her embroidery frame and prepared to start the embroidery in a few days.
This task was not trivial. Cheng Yujin’s embroidering skill was excellent, but she still practiced for several days to ensure that she could copy Cheng Yuanjing’s style perfectly before carefully making the first stitch.
The screen Yichun marquis manor was going to send for the Emperor’s longevity feast wasn’t large. It was a small table screen. Cheng Yujin took one part she had embroidered and showed it to Cheng Yuanjing. Cheng Yuanjing saw it and raised his eyebrows in surprise: “Are you going to embroider it yourself?”
“Of course.” Cheng Yujin understood Cheng Yuanjing’s surprise. Usually, when a person from a prestigious household was going to ‘personally’ do something; in fact, they simply gave orders and supervising. The ones who actually moved their hands and feet were the subordinates. Needlework was tedious and hard. A pampered young miss was even more unable to bear it. Even the first meeting gift sent to the husband’s family was usually done by servant girls with good embroidery skills. When the master only made one or two stitches, it was enough to claim it as her own.
Old Master Cheng obviously had the same intention. So, no wonder Cheng Yuanjing was surprised when knowing that Cheng Yujin actually moved the needle herself.
Cheng Yujin smiled: “Since this work is going to bear my name, I must do the best. I’m not at ease to leave it to the outside embroiderers, better do it by myself.”
Cheng Yuanjing chuckled lightly. This girl was really confident. He glanced at Cheng Yujin, opened the semi-finished product, and took a look. He didn’t have high expectations. Cheng Yujin was still young, yet she had so many skills and tried her hands on almost anything. In this case, how good her needlework would be?
But when Cheng Yuanjing touched the embroidery, there was a trace of surprise in his eyes: “Double-sided embroidery?”
“Yes.” Cheng Yujin’s smile widened, “To be precise, double-sided embroidery with different patterns.”
Cheng Yuanjing had heard about double-sided embroidery with different patterns before. The embroiderer would stitch the patterns for both the back and front sides at the same time. There wouldn’t be any visible thread ends on either side, which was why it called double-sided embroidery. Double-sided embroidery with different patterns, however, was even more impressive. Since the patterns on the front were different than the back, the difficulty was increased several folds.
Cheng Yujin amazed Cheng Yuanjing. Double-sided embroidery required excellent ability with needles that usually could only be gained after decades of experience. Due to its extreme difficulty, only a handful of double-sided embroidery products were available in the market. Most of them were sent to the palace as tributes, making it even more scarce. But double-sided embroidery with different patterns was on a whole different level. It could be called the highest embroidery technique, and purely based on talent. It wasn’t something that could be mastered simply by stacking years after years of experience, no matter how long. However, considering Cheng Yujin’s young age, seeing her able to do this kind of extreme embroidery was beyond incredible.
Cheng Yuanjing looked at Cheng Yujin for a moment and said, “No wonder.”
No wonder she dared to claim her own embroidery to be the best. Sure enough, she had the skill to be confident.
Cheng Yujin didn’t understand: “What?”
Cheng Yuanjing never repeated his words. He didn’t answer, and suddenly became a little curious: “How did you learn double-sided embroidery?”
“Ninth Uncle probably forgot, my maternal grandfather’s fief is in Jiangnan(1). I was taught by the embroiderer master carefully selected by my maternal grandfather for my mother’s dowry when she was married into the capital.”
Cheng Yuanjing had some impression about Ning Wang, who had been a hereditary prince in a fiefdom in Jiangnan for many years. The embroiderers he gave to his di daughter must be of the highest skill. At the age of fourteen, Cheng Yujin had mastered the most powerful needle skill that a professional embroiderer did for a living. Looking at her, she probably already even more skilled than her needlework master.
Cheng Yuanjing asked: “Why no one ever mentioned your double-sided embroidery?”
Based on Cheng Yujin’s calculative mind, she must have learned it to gain people’s recognition.
“That won’t do. If everyone knows that I can do double-sided embroidery, wouldn’t they all come to me? I don’t have a mother to stop them, why should I do things that benefit others and make myself tired.”
Cheng Yuanjing paused for a moment and smiled. Sure enough, she was still her. It wasn’t that she didn’t calculate, but her calculation was bigger.
People like her could live well no matter who she marries in the future. Seeing just one of her work already made him surprised. Wouldn’t her future husband feel surprisingly happy after knowing that she can do double-sided embroidery?
This thought somehow made Cheng Yuanjing a bit displeased.
(1) Jiangnan: Geographic area in China referring to lands immediately to the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
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