When Cheng Yujin heard these words, she only paused for a while and then continued walking into the main hall without hesitation.
The servant girl who stood outside the screen reported: “Old Madam, eldest Miss is here.”
Hearing that Cheng Yujin was here, Ruan-shi’s expression instantly stiffened. These past few days, the manor was busy with the Old Master’s funeral, and people were coming and going everywhere. However, no matter how busy they were, Old Madam Cheng and Qingfu Junzhu firmly held small and big matters in their hands, and nothing was left out for Ruan-shi. Having nothing to do, Ruan-shi couldn’t help worrying about her daughter’s marriage. According to her, after the Old Master’s death, the first branch got many properties and made a fortune. The only one being harmed was her little daughter, Mo’er.
Ruan-shi contemplated for several days, afraid that Cheng Yumo’s marriage would be delayed too long, letting other women take advantage. Today, she finally found the opportunity to talk to Old Madam Cheng about Cheng Yumo’s marriage. Ruan-shi had just finished speaking, and the Old Madam still not responded yet. Hearing Cheng Yujin was here, both women stopped talking.
Cheng Yujin pretended not to hear anything. She walked into the room with her usual smile and politely greeted the two elders: “Yujin pays respect to grandmother, to second aunt. The wind was heavy last night. I hope grandmother didn’t catch a cold.”
Old Madam Cheng replied dimly: “I’m fine. I’m old and don’t like being cold. But you children should pay attention. Don’t sleep with the windows open at night. Make sure to let the servants check before going to bed.”
“This granddaughter understands. Many thanks for grandmother’s reminder.” Cheng Yujin replied with a smile. Her expression was too calm, as if she didn’t care about the things she just overheard. In this way, however, she made the Old Madam and Ruan-shi even more uncomfortable.
When Ruan-shi saw Old Madam Cheng and Cheng Yujin chatted amiably like benevolent elder and filial granddaughter, she couldn’t help feeling anxious. Ruan-shi didn’t care how the Old Madam and Cheng Yujin put on a facade, but Mo’er affairs couldn’t be delayed any longer. A wedding during the mourning period had to be finalized in a matter of days. Now it was only halfway through, and Ruan-shi finally had the chance to mention this matter today. If the talk didn’t get through, Mo’er would have to wait for a year.
Ruan Shi was anxious and couldn’t help interrupting the Old Madam’s talk: “Mother, you see, can we go back to what I said earlier…”
Old Madam Cheng secretly glanced at Ruan-shi in contempt, despising her stupidity. Look at her unsightly impatience. Really couldn’t be shown to the public.
Cheng Yujin sneered inwardly, but her expression didn’t change. She deliberately said, “It turns out that I interrupted grandmother’s conversation with second aunt. It’s my fault. Yujin apologizes to second aunt. Please continue your talk, don’t worry about me.”
In a rare moment of guilt, Ruan-shi stammered. She and Old Madam Cheng had secretly discussed the matter of letting Cheng Yumo married during the mourning period. The Old Madam didn’t object, only saying that they would talk in detail after the Old Master’s 49th days of passing was over(1). Since the Old Madam has said so, Cheng Yumo’s hasty marriage was almost set in the stone. However, although this matter has become a consensus, it has not been officially announced yet, and thus Cheng Yujin still didn’t know about it.
Unknown to Ruan-shi, Cheng Yujin actually overheard her conversation with Cheng Yuanhan that day, and Old Madam Cheng also didn’t know that Cheng Min has told Xu Zhixian about this matter, and was also happened to be overheard by Cheng Yujin. All in all, on the surface, Cheng Yujin should still be in the dark.
Ruan-shi was bold and confident, but all she did was for her daughter’s sake. Being born, growing old, getting sick, and passed away were out of human’s control, but did it make getting married and giving birth to children less important? A girl’s best age was short enough, and now there was another one full year delay. How much would Mo’er lose? If Marquis Hou had a concubine who gave birth to the eldest son during this period, the impact would affect her daughter’s whole life.
So, what’s wrong with her doing this? Ruan-shi has always been self-justified. But at this moment, facing Cheng Yujin’s clear eyes, Ruan-shi tried to move her lips several times, but no words came out.
The second branch of course had no problem having Cheng Yumo married earlier, but what about Cheng Yujin? As an older sister, she was skipped by her younger sister. What would outsiders think about Cheng Yujin?
It was not Ruan-shi never thought about this problem. But every time this issue popped up in her mind, she simply dismissed it casually. Ruan-shi kept deceiving herself to the point of being ridiculous. Anyway, Cheng Yujin didn’t know anything, so just stop thinking about it. Let the matter went naturally, and there would be a solution eventually.
However, both Old Madam Cheng and Ruan-shi knew that there was no solution. They wanted to win over Huo Changyuan, this talented youth with unlimited prospects, so they had to let Cheng Yumo give birth to his eldest son. However, for this, they had to sacrifice Cheng Yujin. Anyway, Cheng Yujin’s reputation has been damaged by her broken engagement. Her future was dim and unknown. But Jingyong Marquis manor provided a ready-made and tangible benefit. It was evident who would the Old Madam choose.
(1) 49th day of passing: Praying would be held for the deceased every seven weeks until the 49th days (seventh of the seven days). A final ceremony, signifying the end of the mourning period, may be held after 100 days.
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