GNU sponsored chapters (6/8) 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.
When Cheng Yujin got the news that the screen had been framed, she immediately went to Cheng Yuanjing’s yard. After seeing the finished product, she gave a sincere compliment: “It’s excellent. So much better than before.”
People relied on clothes, and horses relied on saddles; the old saying wasn’t wrong. Even the same embroidered screen looked completely different with a suitable frame and decoration.
Cheng Yuanjing ordered his men to put the screen away and asked: “I heard these past few days, the Marquess is in poor health, how is he?”
“Still the same old illness. Two days ago, he was exposed to the wind, and his cough hasn’t been receded until now.”
When talking about old Master Cheng’s condition, the two felt into a heavy silence. Two days ago, when the imperial physician came to see the old Master, he hinted that the Cheng family should be prepared. Even if no one in the manor dared to speak openly, they all knew that the old Master probably wouldn’t last long.
“How did he be exposed to the wind?” Cheng Yuanjing asked, sitting on the chair.
Cheng Yujin followed behind, and very naturally sat on his side: “Seeing the weather was warming, grandfather became greedy, and let people open the window. As a result, the weather still hasn’t been stabilized, and he caught a cold.”
Cheng Yuanjing frowned. Cheng Yujin saw that and immediately said: “We all tried to persuade, but ninth uncle also knows grandfather’s character. Unless you are the one who speaks, otherwise, our words are nothing.”
Cheng Yuanjing sighed, “I know. I will go to see him.”
During this period, Cheng Yuanjing was very busy. Even Cheng Yujin, a girl in the boudoir who didn’t touch the matter outside, knew that Cheng Yuanjing was extremely busy and rarely at home. Cheng Yujin was curious and asked, “Ninth uncle, what make you busy recently?”
“I’m checking the file records of the Bureau of Forestry and Hunting from previous years.”
Cheng Yujin’s instinct made her feel peculiar when she heard this: “Doesn’t the files always be kept? You can check them anytime. Why is ninth uncle so hurry?”
Cheng Yuanjing glanced at her appreciatively. Her knowledge was pretty good.
“I will be transferred next month. Once transferred, I cannot check the files of other bureaus at will, so I have to read it now.”
Cheng Yujin’s eyes widened: “Transfer? Why do you get a transfer? Ninth uncle should not make a mistake, right?”
“It’s just a normal transfer.” Cheng Yuanjing answered casually. He never had the habit of explaining to others, but when looking at Cheng Yujin’s eyes, he still added some words: “To the Bureau of State Farms, still in the Ministry of Public Works, it is not a big deal.”
Cheng Yujin still had some doubts. The most important thing for officials was stability. Who was willing to be moved back and forth between the six ministries and twenty-four bureaus? After spending only two months in the Bureau of Forestry and Hunting, Cheng Yuanjing had to be transferred away. Listening to his words, it seemed like he would have to go through all the six ministries.
Cheng Yujin didn’t know what was happening. She was afraid that something deeper was hidden, and, if she accidentally stepped on it, it would only make both sides embarrassed. Cheng Yujin quickly changed the subject and asked with a deliberately brisk tone: “The Dragon Boat Festival is coming soon, does ninth uncle have some plans?”
“Dragon Boat Festival.”1 Cheng Yuanjing smiled a little, and for some reason, his expression became indifferent. “That’s an unlucky day, why bother.”
“How can you say that.” Cheng Yujin was unhappy, “Dragon Boat Festival is a day to repel the evil and avoid misfortune, to guarantee our health and safety throughout the year.”
“Repel the evil and avoid misfortune……” Cheng Yuanjing laughed indifferently. “I was born on this day. They said the fifth of the fifth month is unlucky. Bringing forth the evil and poison.”
Cheng Yujin suddenly choked. The fifth of the lunar month was considered to be unlucky and also called the evil month. Many elderly believed that children born in the fifth month wouldn’t live long and would bring bad luck to their families. But Cheng Yuanjing was born on the fifth day of the fifth month, wasn’t it…
How uncomfortable should he be during the Dragon Boat Festival every year, when every family was busy removing five poisons and warding off the misfortune?
Cheng Yujin was silent, unable to speak for a long time. Cheng Yuanjing didn’t seem to care about these things. Everyone said that he wouldn’t live long. Years ago, the Empress Dowager specially invited powerful monks to cast spells and exorcised evil spirits in the palace. Unfortunately for them, he lived to reach adulthood.
He didn’t die at birth when his mother had a difficult delivery, didn’t die of typhoid at the age of two, and the ‘natural disaster’ when he was five also did not kill him. If the Empress and Empress Dowager knew, how regretful would they be?
When Cheng Yuanjing was deep in thought, his hand was suddenly pulled. Cheng Yuanjing lowered his gaze and saw Cheng Yujin taking out a five-colored silk thread and tied it around his wrist: “Insects like mosquitoes are starting to appear in the fifth month, and disease is rampant. If a child is weak, they are most likely to get sick and die, so old people say that the fifth month is unlucky. But no matter which month, there’s no such thing as lucky or unlucky. Tie this longevity rope firmly on your hand, so even the ox head and horse face2 will not be able to take it.”
Cheng Yuanjing did not expect that someone would dare to tie a rope to his wrist, and subconsciously wanted to evade, but Cheng Yujin held his hand firmly and said: “Don’t move. The longevity rope must be tied properly.”
After she finished, Cheng Yujin smiled and showed it to Cheng Yuanjing: “When fate never expects us to stand, we should strive even more. You see, now that the longevity rope is properly tied, ninth uncle will live a long life. ”
—When fate never expects us to stand, we should strive even more.
Cheng Yuanjing looked at Cheng Yujin’s smiling face. Some unknown emotions suddenly hit his heart. Both of them were the same; fate never expected them to stand. From outside, they looked glamorous, but in actuality, no one ever genuinely cared about their life and death. It was as if he saw his fourteen-year-old self through Cheng Yujin.
From a crown prince to a shameful illegitimate child. From the heir of the whole country, he fell to the stage where he had no choice but to use the imperial exam to pave his way out.
Cheng Yuanjing’s expression slowly opened with a smile: “Okay, let me borrow your auspicious words.”
Borrow her auspicious words, and return to the Eastern Palace3 to reclaim his birthright. He would live until a hundred years, see Yang family collapes, and start the arrival of a prosperous era.
The Emperor’s longevity feast was approaching, and there was an apparent restlessness in the capital, with people busily preparing everywhere. The Ministry of Rites carefully probed the Emperor, who expressed his intention to keep the celebration at minimum, saying that he shouldn’t let his people toiled so hard. It would be enough to set the table for a family feast in the palace.
Since the Emperor had made his words, people below didn’t dare to disobey. Yet they also didn’t dare to let others suppress them, and poured even more attention to the gifts. Cheng family’s gift list had been handed over to the palace. The men were uneasy, but matters in the outer courtyard would not shake the womenfolks.
They were concerned about something else.
“Eldest young miss, bad news!” Granny Zheng ran in, gasping for breath. Who knew whether it was because of exhaustion or being too excited, she even forgot her manner. “Huo family… Huo family comes to propose to second young miss!”
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- Dragon Boat Festival: A traditional holiday that occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese calendar. Originated from evil-warding superstition, since the fifth lunar month is considered an unlucky month. People believed that natural disasters and illnesses are frequent in the fifth month. To get rid of the misfortune, people would put calamus, Artemisia, pomegranate flowers, Chinese Ixora, and garlic above the doors on the fifth day of the fifth month. Since the shape of calamus forms like a sword and with the strong smell of the garlic, it is believed that they can remove the evil spirits. There is also saying that the fifth of the fifth moon at noon was the most poisonous hour for the poisonous insects. –Wikipedia
- Ox-head and horse face: Asian demons charged in delivering souls to the afterlife.
- Eastern Palace: The crown prince’s palace. May not be the palace’s real name, since any primary residence of the crown prince was called ‘eastern palace.’