Ruan-shi’s eyes watched Zhang Mama’s every steps attentively. The old servant came out from the inner room, holding a red carved lacquer box. With each step closer, Ruan-shi’s eyes lit even brighter. When the box has finally arrived before Old Madam Cheng, the Old Madam opened the box easily, and Ruan-shi’s eyes almost popped out of their sockets.
Not to mention its content, even the lacquer box’s craftsmanship was already very valuable. Old Madam Cheng opened the wooden box, then put it on the table. Inside the box was layered with soft brocade, with a pair of jade bracelets placed on it. The jade was radiant enough, but after reflecting the box’s red and black color, they became even shinier. Cheng Yujin has seen many jades over the years, but not a single thing was nearly as good as these. Her eyes flashed in admiration.
Old Madam Cheng especially showed it out for everyone to see. After seeing the stunning expression and apparent greed in their eyes, she cleared her throat unhurriedly: “These bracelets are the dowry from my mother, and also the most precious ones. Just this pair of bracelets alone is more than one thousand taels of gold. Gold and silver harmed people, but jade nourished the body. I originally planned to bring them along with me to the coffin, so I can look more decent after passing. But both my granddaughters grow up prettier and prettier day after day. So I changed my mind and wanted to give them to eldest girl and second girl, one bracelet per person, to seek a good fortune.”
Hearing the first half of Old Madam’s speech, Ruan-shi couldn’t hide her excitement. Her eyes were glued to the pair of the jade bracelet, couldn’t wait for the Old Madam to finish so she could hold it on her hands immediately. However, Old Madam’s authority was so high. Ruan-shi could only endure her joy, and impatiently waited for Old Madam to continue speaking.
Cheng Yujin suddenly felt an undescribable hunch. She felt that the Old Madam was going to name her again. Sure enough, after the Old Madam told about her intention to give the bracelets to the two sisters, she deliberately paused for a long time before continuing her words slowly: “However, the servants underneath reminded me that these bracelets are originally a pair. Parting them apart is unlucky. I also agreed. At first, since second girl is about to marry, I thought to give this pair of bracelets to her first, then I could give something else to eldest girl later. But, today’s matter reminded me that elders should never be partial. Even if the intention is good, in the eyes of younger generations, it might be seen as an injustice, which might become a knot in the heart. Eldest girl is the first branch’s eldest di daughter. Based on identity, based on the order in seniority, she should always choose first. Eldest girl is sensible and loves her siblings dearly. Especially since she knows to distinguish between relatives and outsiders, and knows who to be filial to. Out of all my grandchildren, I love her the most. But, her fate is also the most unfortunate one. Her marriage has so many twists and turns. Eldest girl, grandmother is already old, and I can’t help you anymore. At least, I will give you more wealth to protect yourself.” Old Madam Cheng closed the lid gently. “Eldest girl, come and take this box. The jade bracelets are fragile and can’t stand any bumps. Be careful.”
Cheng Yujin inwardly thought: sure enough. This was Old Madam Cheng’s favorite trick. Whenever she wanted to teach someone a lesson, she always used another person as a shield. One would get admonished, the other would get praised. One would be trampled, the other would be raised on the pedestal. This way, the person getting scolded wouldn’t resent Old Madam Cheng, but instead would transfer all the hatred towards the person who was praised. Because of her identity and age, Cheng Yujin has been the Old Madam’s most used shield for years.
Cheng Yujin sighed. This time, Ruan-shi probably hated her to death. Even if she wanted to be filial to the second branch, afraid they would be no longer willing to accept. Cheng Yujin’s mind quickly thought of a countermeasure. She maintained her calmness, didn’t show any excitement nor eagerness. Instead, she glanced at Ruan-shi and said: “Grandmother, I can’t accept this. It’s not proper.”
“Why not.” Old Madam Cheng slowly said. “We are one family. There is no outsider here. No need to mind the cumbersome things. After all, it is my own dowry. If I want to give it to my most beloved granddaughter, who will protest?”
Alright, Cheng Yujin knew that today’s matter had been set. It was impossible to change. Anyway, Ruan-shi’s resentment has reached the max, and the Old Madam has turned Cheng Yujin into a hateful target. Since it was so, there was no need to push away the benefit she should get. This pair of bracelets was probably the most valuable item in Old Madam Cheng’s dowry. Such priceless items, why should she refuse?
As if being put in a dilemma, Cheng Yujin finally said: “Then, this granddaughter will follow grandmother’s words and will keep these bracelets for grandmother temporarily.”
From surprise to disbelief to extreme anticipation, in the end, Ruan-shi was thoroughly beaten and had to watch all the benefits entering Cheng Yujin’s pocket. How far Ruan-shi fell could be imagined, especially since the Old Madam also said that the bracelets were initially intended for Cheng Yumo.
The most painful word was obviously: ‘originally.’
Check this page for the status of sponsored chapters.