GNU sponsored chapters (4/8) by CrankyReader, EmmaC-C and QiaoAn at ko-fi. Thank you for your support!
The first part of today’s sponsored chapters is Ch.19 Part 1.
Although Cheng Yujin didn’t hurry, the embroidered screen was an extremely important task, and she didn’t want to slack off. She kept embroidering for a few days and finally finished the whole thing.
It has been a long time since Cheng Yujin felt this happy. As soon as she cut down the last thread, before she even loosened her stiff neck, Cheng Yujin already called Du Ruo: “Du Ruo, is ninth uncle at home?”
Du Ruo hurriedly walked into the embroidery room and answered, “It’s raining today. I didn’t hear that ninth master go out.”
Only now Cheng Yujin found out that it was raining outside. Spring rain was rare. She got up, lightly stretched her stiff joints, and said, “Remove the screen from the embroidery frame. I will show it to ninth uncle.”
“Miss, the screen has not been washed yet.”
An embroidery fabric was held continuously by a bare hand, and inevitably would be dirtied by the skin’s contact. So, it would be shown to outsiders only after washing. However, Cheng Yujin couldn’t wait so long. She said: “It’s okay, you also know how many times ninth uncle has seen it before. Does he still care about such a thing? Just remove it now. We will take it with us.”
Cheng Yujin rushed to Chenming courtyard, but when she entered the door, she found a set of unfamiliar rain gear under the eaves. Cheng Yujin paused her steps, and a servant quickly reported: “Eldest miss, Compiler Lin is visiting.”
Lin Qingyuan? Cheng Yujin didn’t realize that her first reaction was to feel annoyed, as if the man had disturbed her plan. But soon, her rational brain immediately analyzed it to be a good chance.
The people inside had heard the movement, and a man’s clear voice called: “Cheng Yujin? Come in.”
With her servant girl’s help, Cheng Yujin took off her rain gear, put on soft-soled shoes, and stepped into the room. Cheng Yuanjing and Lin Qingyuan sat opposite each other, steeping tea. The place where they were sitting was an area separated by a wooden moon partition with zigzag patterns, that turned the inner space into one chamber altogether. Through the partition, one could see a low platform with cushions on it, a tea table in the middle, and two rows of tall windows on the side, which can be removed entirely. At this moment, it was raining outside, and tea was being steeped inside, filling the wooden chamber with an elegant fragrance.
Cheng Yuanjing looked at Cheng Yujin and waved. Cheng Yujin naturally walked over, carefully holding her skirt, and sat on her knees beside Cheng Yuanjing.
“What’s the matter?”
Since Cheng Yujin came over on a rainy day, it would never be on a whim.
Cheng Yuanjing didn’t expect to hear Cheng Yujin said with a smile, “Ninth Uncle, I’ve finished the embroidering.”
“Oh? So fast?” Cheng Yuanjing glanced at Du Ruo, who was holding a brocade box nearby. There was a visible smile in his eyes. “Do you bring it over?”
Cheng Yujin nodded. She looked at Lin Qingyuan a little hesitantly. The longevity feast was approaching, and all eligible families were busy with gift preparation, making sure that no one could copy or deliberately suppress their gifts. Cheng Yujin was confident that this screen would bring a benefit for Yichun marquis manor. Now to let Lin Qingyuan see it…
Cheng Yuanjing guessed Cheng Yujin’s thoughts at a glance. He said: “Don’t worry, Lin Qingyuan can be trusted.”
Lin Qingyuan still remembered this Cheng family’s eldest young miss. When he heard Cheng Yuanjing’s words, he smiled and said, “What did eldest young miss prepare? You can’t let me see?”
“Of course not, Compiler Lin.” Cheng Yujin bowed at Lin Qingyuan apologizingly, then said to Du Ruo, “Take it out for ninth uncle and Compiler Lin.”
With the help of another servant girl, Du Ruo slowly opened the screen. Lin Qingyuan was surprised when he saw it and couldn’t help but trying to observe the embroidery at a closer range: “Double-sided embroidery… and even a double-sided embroidery with different patterns. I thought these skills had been lost.”
Lin Qingyuan looked at Cheng Yujin incredulously: “This… is this thing really…”
Cheng Yujin nodded with a smile: “This little girl embroidered it. Many parts are still insufficient, ask Compiler Lin to please not laugh.”
Insufficient? Cheng Yuanjing glanced at Cheng Yujin with a smile, clearly seeing through her humbleness. Cheng Yujin also glared and signaled at him not to dismantle her performance.
Standing below the platform, Lin Qingyuan didn’t notice the silent communication between the uncle and niece. His praises became louder and more excited: “It turned out to be so! One side is calligraphy, and the other is mountainous scenery, what an incredible skill! The front side, is it Jingxing’s handwriting? No wonder eldest young miss Cheng came to find Jingxin last time to ask about calligraphy.”
Lin Qingyuan was so excited that he couldn’t find more words. Finally, he gestured at the two people sitting on the platform: “Good words, good writing, good embroidery!”
Cheng Yujin couldn’t help laughing, a bright light flashed in her eyes. It was rare to see her acted like a girl of her age. Cheng Yuanjing also looked at her with a faint smile in his eyes.
The embroidered screen was done after weeks of hard work. Cheng Yujin ordered Du Ruo to put it back carefully. Cheng Yuanjing saw it and said, “Just left it here. Tomorrow I will let people find good wood to make a frame.”
“Yes.” Cheng Yujin couldn’t help reminding, “I touched the fabric every day. Ninth uncle, don’t forget to wash it beforehand.”
So it still hasn’t been washed. Cheng Yuanjing replied helplessly: “I know.”
Lin Qingyuan looked at this scene with some interest and said: “I never see Jingxing this patient before. He was so impatient that he never even listen to someone speaking a bit long. At first, who knows how many people tried to talk about marriage with him, but he rejected them one by one. I thought he was really impatient with women. Now it seems that it’s all wrong.”
Cheng Yuanjing has not yet married, and it was indeed a bit strange. Cheng Yujin turned her gaze and suddenly asked, “How about you, Compiler Lin? Have you been married?”
Lin Qingyuan shook his head: “No, I’m a person who is still walking on a bachelor path, free and unfettered.”
It was too late for Cheng Yuanjing to stop it. Cheng Yujin took the opportunity to ask: “Compiler Lin is the zhuangyuan in the palace exam. You are young and promising, why still has not married yet?”
“My family are still living in Jinan, including my parents. I am living alone in the capital. Without elders to take care of this thing, my marriage naturally never come through.”
Cheng Yujin said again, smiling: “So Compiler Lin actually living alone in the capital. But you definitely have several people to take care of you. Otherwise, it will be too lonely.”
Lin Qingyuan shook his head again, more firmly this time: “No, there is an ancestral rule at our clan. A man can’t be married before he is twenty, and can’t accept a concubine unless he is sonless at forty. The book boy(1) take care of my daily matters.”
Cheng Yuanjing clearly saw Cheng Yujin’s eyes brightened. His expression changed, and he suddenly felt a sense of crisis. He knew that this time Cheng Yujin was truly tempted.
(1) Book boy: A servant boy, usually around the same age as his master, who help taking care of a young man’s study, like preparing ink and other study necessity, accompanying to class, etc.
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