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After Old Madam Cheng asked, second Madam Zhai said: “For this matter, I have no say. All depends on our Old Madam’s intention. However, the Old Madam had said several times that Qing ge’er lost his mother before he was five and had no one to rely on in the inner courtyard. If his future stepmother isn’t virtuous and deliberately mistreated her stepson, how can such a young Qing ge’er defend himself? The Duke has also said that Qing ge’er is the shizi. This Duke Cai title must be his in the future. If the new wife is young and has her eyes blinded by wealth and prosperity that she even eyeing the duke title, it will bring chaos to the family. Since both the Duke and Old Madam have this intention, they will either wait until Qing ge’er is older or find a girl with an outstanding character, pure heart, and ability to take care of the whole duke manor to become the Duke’s second wife.”
Cheng Yujin sneered inwardly. They asked a girl to be capable of taking care of the duke manor and family properties, willing to work hard without any complaint, did her best to raise the child of her husband’s deceased wife and served the elderly mother-in-law wholeheartedly. Finally, after a lifetime of hard work, the girl shouldn’t be greedy. She must hand over all the family’s properties to the stepson and forbid her own children to compete with him. Oh, if such a bodhisattva existed, Zhai family should give birth to her by themselves.
Cheng Yujin suddenly felt unhappy. Of course she wanted to marry a wealthy husband. Her lifetime effort and the appearance she created were all for this goal. However, this didn’t mean that she wanted to marry a widower.
A stepmother of a five-year-old child? Cheng Yujin suddenly felt offended.
However, she was a person whose reason was better than emotion. Cheng Yujin quickly controlled her emotion and began to evaluate Duke Cai objectively. Zhai Yanlin has inherited the Duke title, so his wife would be a Duchess right after marriage. At the same time, Zhai Yanlin was different from the young people who were still paving their future. He already has some influence on the court. Although his power wasn’t that big, only a few people wouldn’t give him a face. These points were very strong. However, the disadvantages were also very fatal. First, he has married once and has concubines, and second, he already has a five-year-old son.
The family loved Zhai Qing so much. The Old Madam treated the boy as her life root. Zhai Yanlin also determined to leave the family property and duke title to his eldest son, and probably wouldn’t want his second wife to give birth to a second son that might compete with Zhai Qing.
Before the new wife even made a marriage contract, the husband’s family already guarded against her as a vicious stepmother. After she got married, Duke Cai, as the person on her pillow, also guarded against his new wife. Old Madam Zhai protected her grandson fiercely, and second Madam Zhai was unwilling to delegate the power in her hand. With so many obstacles, her life would be very hard.
So, Cheng Yujin thought: why did she have to give up Lin Qingyuan, who has a bright future and wasn’t allowed to take in concubine, and chose a middle-aged widowed man with many concubines, suspicious mother-in-law, and unkind sister-in-law? Zhai Yanlin was indeed powerful now, but Lin Qingyuan was valued by the crown prince. After Cheng Yuanjing returned to the Eastern Palace, in a few years, Lin Qingyuan would be able to climb to the same height as the current Zhai Yanlin. Knowing that she would only become a second wife and even stepmother, why should she rush over to Zhai family?
Cheng Yujin would never put herself so lowly.
After adding and subtracting Zhai Yanlin’s scores, Cheng Yujin crossed out this person without hesitation. In her heart, Lin Qingyuan still sat firmly in the first place.
Since Cheng Yujin has made her decision, she no longer cared about Old Madam Cheng’s calculation. Parents indeed decided on the marriage matter, but as long as Cheng Yujin was unwilling, she has ways to make it impossible.
After second Madam Zhai finished talking, the madams sighed and responded: “Yes, shizi is still young. The family should be more cautious when choosing the new Duchess.”
However, even though the madams said that, they were all feeling contemptuous. Cai Duke manor was too greedy. The woman’s family background must be worthy for Duke Cai; her character must be capable of raising an unruly five-year-old child and also can manage a duke manor and its family industry. All the criteria have to be the best. In the marriage market, each additional demand was multiplication, not addition. A girl who could meet all those conditions would have a combined score exceeding everyone else. If she was that good, she could become an imperial consort. Why should she marry Duke Cai as a second wife?
No wonder Old Madam Zhai was busy seeing people for a year but still couldn’t find a candidate.
The madams curled up their lips secretly, but on the surface, they still responded second Madam Zhai well. Amidst the sigh, only Old Madam Cheng was silent, because she knew that a person who met all the above criteria was truly existed, and even in her family.
Cheng Yujin matched everything.
As if finding a good bargaining chip, a smile appeared on Old Madam Cheng’s lips. She did not hurry. The old madam slowly squinted her eyes. Women should be sought after, not chasing. They must let Cai Duke manor to take the initiative to ask. Being too eager would only lower Cheng Yujin’s value.
This matter would take a long time, so just took it slowly.
Old Madam Cheng didn’t say anything. Her eyes narrowed, and she smiled: “Old Madam Zhai is right to be cautious. Towards this matter, indeed have to choose carefully. It seems that for the time being, the duke manor’s matter has to trouble second Madam Zhai to take care of.”
Second Madam Zhai’s smile didn’t reach her eyes. She hoped that Duke Cai never remarried, so she wouldn’t have to relinquish her power over the manor. Second Madam Zhai waved her hands modestly and said: “It’s nothing.”
I wonder if anyone remembers, but Duke Cai has appeared once before…
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