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Even if old Madam Cheng suppressed the news about Huo family’s visit to propose to Cheng Yumo, it still quickly spread out in the whole manor. Gossiping about romantic affair has always been the favorite topic for idle chatting, but this time, it even involved the two young misses of the marquis manor. In private, the gossipy servants chew up the news gleefully.
Although Huo family acknowledged all the faults on breaking off the engagement were on them and even sent Cheng Yujin a formal apology gift, but people still making up stories in private. They were secretly saying that Marquis Huo was initially engaged to the eldest miss, but she always looked dignified, like a wooden beauty. Marquis Huo found her boring, so he turned to marry the second miss. Cheng Yujin has always been perfect and indifferent; the servants were all afraid, respect, and faintly jealous of her. Now that something has happened, of course people took the side of Cheng Yumo, who wasn’t as capable as her.
This was human nature.
When Lian Qiao heard these rumors and gossips, she became angry. In just a few days, she had scolded dozens of low-ranking servants who dared to gossip behind their master’s back. Today, Lian Qiao came back angrily again, which made Cheng Yujin smiled: “What use are you angry with them? They can only hide and talk behind my back. If they are really capable, let them come to me, let’s see who still dare to say even one word.”
This was true. Cheng Yujin’s prestige in the manor was very high, second only to old Madam Cheng, and even exceeding Qingfu. Those long-tongues servants were like mice, only dared to hide in the dark. In front of Cheng Yujin, they were always flattering and currying favor to no end.
Lian Qiao felt a little better, but still angry: “Only because Marquis Jingyong proposes to the second miss, they dare to talk about miss like that. They also said that miss is dull and boring, Marquis Huo dislikes it, and so changed the engagement to the second miss. Let me spit! It is clear that our miss is the one who looks down on him, why did it become Huo family’s turn to pick and choose? If there is someone who truly deserves our miss, that must be from the imperial family!”
Du Ruo quickly muffled Lian Qiao’s mouth, the smile on Cheng Yujin’s face was also disappeared, and she looked around alertly: “Do you want to die? No such words will be allowed in the future.”
Lian Qiao also knew her mistake. However, she still angry and was sullen for a while: “Miss, you will definitely marry a perfect husband in the future, so that all those who watch the jokes today will have to lick back every single word they said.”
Cheng Yujin laughed, but Lian Qiao was serious. The master and servants were happily talking in the room, but suddenly a servant girl ran from outside. Her hairbun almost fell apart, and she was breathing heavily: “Eldest miss, the old madam is calling you. Please be hurry. People from the palace are coming to bestow rewards!”
Cheng Yujin was surprised. People from the palace are coming to bestow rewards? It wasn’t the new year nor other festivals, and the Cheng family also didn’t have anyone in the inner palace. Why did the palace suddenly bestow rewards? Cheng Yujin did not dare to be careless; she immediately stood up and went out.
When she rushed to the front courtyard, the main hall of Yichun marquis manor that was only be opened for marriage and funeral has been full of people. When everyone saw her coming, they gave way.
Through the gap between the crowds, Cheng Yujin saw a yellow-clothed imperial eunuch standing in the middle of the hall.
Cheng Yujin calmed herself down. She carefully walked past the crowd and saluted the people one by one: “This subject’s daughter greets master eunuch, greets grandfather, greets grandmother, father, mother, second uncle, second aunt, and ninth uncle.”
Such occasion wasn’t the old Madam’s turn to speak. The old Master gestured to Cheng Yujin: “Hurry up and kneel down to receive the imperial decree.”
Cheng Yujin knelt as was told. The yellow-clothed eunuch symbolically helped her, then smilingly asked: “Is this Cheng family’s eldest young miss?”
The eunuch’s gaze quickly swept over her. He lived in the imperial palace, and the concubines, consorts, and other noble ladies of various ranks he had seen were countless. His eyes were sharp, and his standard was high. Even so, his eyes lit up when he saw Cheng Yujin walk over.
He thought to himself: Cheng family was useless, but this eldest miss had a pleasant appearance and good manners. After a while, the yellow-clothed eunuch stopped his thoughts, cupped his hand to the north, and said: “The Emperor speaks: Zhen did not want a big celebration for this year’s longevity. But Yichun marquis manor’s gift is unique, and zhen especially likes this embroidered screen. Zhen heard that the Marquis’s granddaughter personally embroiders this one, and didn’t waste any resource or manpower. Truly a good model for women. Cheng family’s eldest daughter is still young, but her heart is full of sincerity, good-looking, and intelligent. Bestow four bolts of Yun brocade, eight bolts of silk, and golden embroidery tools as rewards.”
The yellow-clothed eunuch finished the message, smiled, and said: “Eldest miss Cheng, receive the rewards and show your gratitude.”
Cheng Yujin usually was steady, but this time, she had to be pushed by someone before realizing what had happened. Cheng Yujin finally reacted and found that the imperial eunuch was smiling at her. The other Cheng family members were either envious, jealous, or regretful, but all were looking at her while kneeling. Among so many figures, Cheng Yujin saw Cheng Yuanjing at one glance. He was also in the crowd, his eyes were calm, and he lifted his chin slightly to her, signaling her to quickly showed her gratitude.
Cheng Yujin returned to her mind and kowtowed: “This subject’s daughter thanked the Emperor’s grace.”
The other members of the Cheng family were in a mixed mood, especially Ruan-shi and old Madam Cheng. They always feel that Cheng Yujin’s life has been over after her engagement was canceled, so they would rather offend Cheng Yujin to make arrangements for Huo Changyuan and Cheng Yumo’s marriage. However, not too long after, Cheng Yujin was praised by the Emperor as a role model for women.
Old Madam Cheng felt that her face was swollen.
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