GNU sponsored chapters (7/7) by AmberCrosby, carthun, jessfromthefuture, caro, RAL and anonymous sponsor at ko-fi. Thank you for your support!
The first part of today’s sponsored chapters is Ch.36 Part 2.
Cheng Yujin nodded obediently. Inwardly however, she thought: if she did nothing and waited for Cheng Yuanxian to finally offend the crown prince, wouldn’t she also suffer with them? Besides, who said that she came for Cheng family’s sake?
Cheng Yujin put this point forward as tactfully as possible: “Women obey their father, their husband, and finally their son. According to ancestral teaching, this is a natural order. But when one has to listen to father in one time, then to husband in another time, sometimes it’s really hard to tell who to follow.”
Cheng Yuanjing raised her eyebrows and looked at Cheng Yujin deeply. Listening to her boldness, a smile appeared in his eyes. Cheng Yuanjing slowly tapped the table with his fingers and asked in a leisurely manner: “Then your opinion is?”
“Of course this little girl dare not violate the three obediences and four virtues1, but sometimes, this teaching is a bit chaotic. In women’s life, there are always times when these three men overlap. Father also can have more than one daughter, and husband does not necessarily have only one wife. A woman has to serve as a role model for the family. But if the father, husband, and son exist at the same time, to whom should she give priority? The relationship between people ultimately isn’t dictated by rules and teachings. No matter who the woman chooses, it would chill her relationship with the others. That’s why it’s better to leave the choice and its subsequent consequences to their own, so as to not souring the relationship between a woman’s natal home and her husband’s family.”
Cheng Yuanjing listened to Cheng Yujin’s rhetoric with a smile. After she finished, he chuckled softly. Cheng Yuanjing casually flipped a folding fan into his hand and knocked Cheng Yujin’s forehead: “Bold.”
The knock wasn’t light, but Cheng Yujin didn’t dodge. Of course she understood that her words were extremely bold. Since ancient time, women’s merits has to be recorded under men’s names. Before they married, the merits were given to father and afterward, to husband. Even if the women in the palace bestowing rewards, those were issued under the whole family’s name. There was no way it would be given directly to the woman.
This was precisely one of the things Cheng Yujin afraid of. She worked hard and did so much, but she definitely didn’t want Cheng Yuanjing to note her efforts and gave the rewards under Cheng family’s name. Whether it was Cheng Yuanxian or her own husband’s promotion, it has nothing to do with her. Cheng Yuanxian only cared about his own child, and her husband still has to be filial to his parents and elders. What good would it bring her?
So, why should she give her credits to others? No matter what benefits she might get, they should be given to her directly. If her natal or husband’s family wanted a share, they should come and ask her.
Cheng Yujin knew that her thoughts were too bold. This was a clear violation of the three obediences and four virtues. Replaced with any man, they would never tolerate this thinking from a woman.
Similarly, Cheng Yujin also would never say these things aloud to another person. For some reason, however, in front of Cheng Yuanjing, Cheng Yujin always had an inexplicable boldness. Other men would be furious when they heard these words, but Cheng Yuanjing would not, even though he obviously had a higher status.
Cheng Yujin couldn’t tell why. It was as if Cheng Yuanjing was another her. Their experience growing up was similar to a certain extent, and even Cheng Yujin felt that their personalities were very similar. They were both extremely self-centered, and equally rational and calculating. The only difference was Cheng Yujin showed it out, while Cheng Yuanjing didn’t.
Often, Cheng Yujin felt that she could understand Cheng Yuanjing’s choice, and in the same way, Cheng Yuanjing could also understand her. For example, although Cheng Yujin’s forehead was knocked so hard it was painful, but she knew that Cheng Yuanjing appreciated her opinion.
Cheng Yujin guessed right, so she shed off even more pretense and became bolder: “Ninth Uncle, in the future, if you are in a good mood and wanted to bestow reward randomly, then you should clearly write that it is given to me. Although I have not yet married, my future husband and I are one in thought and mind. Since there is no yours and mine between a married couple, it wouldn’t make any difference if the rewards are written under my name.”
Cheng Yuanjing glanced at her coldly: “You are a little girl. What kind of nonsense are you talking about?”
Cheng Yujin didn’t care: “Isn’t it just a matter of time? Since I have to marry sooner or later, having it clearly be explained now will save much trouble in the future.”
When Cheng Yujin said ‘my future husband,’ the words somehow felt piercing in Cheng Yuanjing’s ears, especially when she said that she and her future husband was one in thought and mind.
Cheng Yuanjing thought that a woman should be more reserved. She still hasn’t been engaged yet, but already speaking so blatantly. No wonder it made him uncomfortable. Cheng Yuanjing glanced at Cheng Yujin coldly and said with a low tone: “Still dare to say more?”
Cheng Yujin quickly shut up. She found that this crown prince was really hard to predict. He was completely amiable just now, but suddenly became angry. She has said so many things that violated the women’s principle, and Cheng Yuanjing didn’t care. But she only said one or two words about her future marriage, and he instantly turned cold.
So the crown prince was such an old-fashioned person?
Cheng Yujin couldn’t understand, but she secretly sighed. A high ranking person was indeed different, and a ruler’s mind was truly unpredictable.
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- (1) Three obediences and four virtues: The most basic set of moral principles and social code of behavior for maidens and married women in East Asian Confucianism, especially in Ancient and Imperial China (source: Wikipedia). Three obediences are: obey one’s father before married, obey one’s husband after married, and obey one’s son after widowed. Four virtues are chastity, modesty in speech, neatness of appearance, and hardworking.