Cheng Yujin hurriedly took a sip of tea to calmed herself down. She slowly regained her reason. Although Cheng Yuanjing was the crown prince, the only one who knew this fact and also with high enough identity was himself and the Emperor. Judging from the fact that he had spent almost fifteen years in disguise, he wouldn’t reclaim his identity until the time was right. But this would be a problem. Who knew when Cheng Yuanjing intended to go back. She was now fourteen. Did she have the time to wait for Cheng Yuanjing to return to the Eastern Palace and give her a marriage?
Cheng Yujin became a little depressed. Seeing Cheng Yumo’s actions in her previous life, at least until Cheng Yumo’s death, she didn’t know that the crown prince was Cheng family’s ninth master. There were two possible explanations for this: one was that Cheng Yumo was also unlucky and died before the crown prince reclaim his identity; another one was that the crown prince never recognized Cheng family publicly. When the time came, the crown prince was suddenly found and welcomed back to the Eastern Palace. Li Chengjing was Li Chengjing; Cheng Yuanjing was Cheng Yuanjing; they were two different and unrelated people, but Cheng Yuanjing was dead.
People who know the inside story were those whose standing was among the highest. Even if people below thought that the crown prince seemed familiar, no one would dare to clamor that the long-missing crown prince looked like another person. As long as the Cheng family was dealt with properly, no one would pierce this imperial family’s scandal.
Cheng Yujin’s intuition told her that it was mostly the latter.
She wanted to be a fox who wore the tiger’s skin but didn’t know whether the tiger would be willing to lend her even a shred of his fur. Cheng Yujin’s heart was unspeakably heavy. For a while, she weighed in all her options. In the end, Lin family’s rule about not accepting concubine prevailed. The family itself wasn’t weak, and Lin Qingyuan also had a promising future. After all, he was a youth whose talent entered the crown prince’s eyes. This feeling was similar to accidentally seeing the answer key before an exam. Even without any cheat, she could acutely see that Lin Qingyuan had a huge potential. How could she be willing to let go of such an excellent stock?
Cheng Yujin finally settled on her target for marriage: the zhuangyuan Lin Qingyuan. By the way, for a good future for herself and her husband, she also should spend an effort to please Cheng Yuanjing, this great Buddha.
No, it should be said, ‘shouldering the lord’s worries together.’
Cheng Yujin busily spent one night thinking about Cheng Yuanjing. The next day, she went as usual to pay respect to Qingfu Junzhu and found that Cheng Yuanxian was also there.
How surprising. Is the sun coming out from the west today?
It was clear that the servants in Qingfu’s courtyard were also unaccustomed by his presence. Their mood was as festive as in the New Year, serving fruits and pastries one after another. Wearing a red gown, Qingfu Junzhu also beamed in joy. Seeing Cheng Yujin coming in, she gave a rare smile: “Eldest girl, you are coming.”
Cheng Yujin also put on a smile skillfully and saluted the couple: “Daughter pays respect to father, to mother. May the two of you grow old together in an everlasting blessing.”
Qingfu Junzhu laughed happily at Cheng Yujin’s greeting. Each of her words poked Qingfu’s heart. Which women didn’t want to grow old together with her husband? In one month, Qingfu Junzhu usually only met Cheng Yuanxian several times. It was truly rare for him to visit her courtyard so early like today. So, when Cheng Yujin said ‘may you grow old together’ as soon as she came in, how could Qingfu didn’t feel pleasant. As for ‘everlasting blessing,’ of course it referred to children and grandchildren. Qingfu thought of her precious son and became happier.
Hearing auspicious words so early in the morning, Qingfu Junzhu was in a good mood, and even looked at Cheng Yujin more pleasant than usual. She carefully sized up the girl, feeling a shred of regret. If only Cheng Yujin crawled out of her belly, it would be a blessing to have a smart and beautiful daughter. It’s a pity that she was born from that slut in the second branch.
When Cheng Yuanxian saw Cheng Yujin coming, he asked, “Jin jie’er, how are you doing these days?”
Cheng Yujin silently glanced at Qingfu Junzhu and said, “Thanks to mother’s care, everything is fine.”
The satisfaction on Qingfu Junzhu’s face was visible to the naked eyes. Cheng Yuanxian also nodded to Qingfu in approval: “It seems that you really took good care of Jin jie’er. That’s good.”
He said to Cheng Yujin, “Your mother has many years of experience in managing household. Your age isn’t small anymore. You should learn more under her.”
Cheng Yujin quietly looked at Cheng Yuanxian. A man who had never cared about his children before suddenly pretended to be a loving father? But her smile remained the same: “This daughter understands. Daughter thanks father for your instruction.”
Cheng Yuanxian simply said a few words, but felt himself to be a good, responsible father. He was very satisfied. In contentment, he slowly revealed his real intention: “Jin jie’er, you left after everyone else yesterday. Did you hear your grandfather talked about something?”
Cheng Yujin almost gasped in surprise. Why does Cheng Yuanxian ask her this? Did he find anything?
Cheng Yujin answered calmly, “No. Yesterday, grandfather was asleep, and this daughter didn’t hear him saying anything. Why does father ask this?”
“It’s nothing.” Cheng Yuanxian waved his hand. After a while, he couldn’t help but say: “I heard that everyone left yesterday, Cheng Yuanjing went in. I don’t know what father said to him.”
Cheng Yujin instantly understood. There were many eyes inside the manor. The fact that Cheng Yuanjing came into the Old Master’s courtyard yesterday and stayed for so long was impossible to conceal. Some people must report this to Cheng Yuanxian.
Judging from Cheng Yuanxian’s words, her whereabout yesterday shouldn’t be exposed. No one in the Cheng family knew that Cheng Yujin was also there at that time. Otherwise, Cheng Yuanxian’s tone would be very different.
Holding this piece of information, Cheng Yujin said calmly: “Ninth Uncle went to see the imperial physician off yesterday, so he didn’t know that we have gone back. It was no wonder that he went straight back to grandfather’s courtyard. Does father have something to say to Ninth Uncle?”
“To him? Of course no!” Cheng Yuanxian snorted coldly with a look of contempt. “I’m just afraid that Dad has been too old and too confused to leave family properties to an outsider.”
Cheng Yujin finally knew that Cheng Yuanxian was worried about the Old Master’s property distribution. So he wasn’t doubting Cheng Yuanjing’s identity. Cheng Yujin was undoubtedly relieved, but a complicated emotion aroused inside her heart. When Old Master Cheng’s days were numbered, he used his last effort to make Cheng Yuanjing guaranteed his children and grandchildren’s future. But his good sons, even when he was still breathing, already setting their eyes on his properties.
Cheng Yujin suddenly felt sour. She clearly saw that the Old Master was deliberately using his illness and past gratitude to force Cheng Yuanjing yesterday. How was Cheng Yuanjing’s feeling yesterday? His biological father didn’t acknowledge him, and his half-adoptive father only cared about his own sons. How did Cheng Yuanjing bear to listen to those words?
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