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Old Madam Cheng was going to discuss the wedding with Huo Xue-shi. It wasn’t proper for Cheng Yumo to stay and listen, so she ran out secretly. After she came out, she didn’t know where to go, so she hid in the garden and played with the water. Unexpectedly, she encountered Cheng Yuanjing and Zhai Yanlin here.
Cheng Yumo lifted the hem of her skirt and ran to the bridge, then quickly curtsied to the two men: “Niece pays respect to Ninth Uncle. Ninth Uncle, this person is…”
“Duke Cai, Zhai Yanlin.” Cheng Yuanjing gestured to Zhai Yanlin, “This is Yichun marquis manor’s second Miss.”
Zhai Yanlin vaguely knew that Yichun marquis manor had twin sisters. He heard that the eldest one was smart, beautiful, and had a wide reputation. Zhai Yanlin saw that the girl before him had a pair of bright eyes, a face like spring flowers and autumn dawn, and an innocent and charming expression, so he guessed that she might be the famous elder sister.
For the first time, Zhai Yanlin felt that rumors could also be true. Women judged others by their own looks, so it was easy for half-falsity to mix in. But this rumored Cheng family’s eldest Miss was indeed a rare beauty.
Zhai Yanlin said: “I have long heard Cheng family’s outstanding reputation. Seeing it today, you are truly worthy of the virtuous and beautiful name personally commended by His Majesty.”
Cheng Yumo’s smile stiffened. She raised her hand to put aside the hair on her temple and said with a smile: “Duke Cai recognizes the wrong person. I am the Cheng family’s second daughter. It was my eldest sister who got the Emperor’s reward.”
“Oh?” Zhai Yanlin was really surprised. Seeing that this girl had a beautiful face, he confidently concluded that she was the elder sister who was famous for her beauty. But actually, it was only the younger sister?
This girl was already so beautiful, yet her name was unknown. How beautiful her twin elder sister could be?
Zhai Yanlin was surprised, but also feeling awkward. It wasn’t an honor for any woman to be mistaken for others. He apologized to Cheng Yumo: “Second Miss Cheng, I am sorry. I’ve never met Cheng family’s daughters before, so I made a mistake.”
Zhai Yanlin’s apology was insincere. Rather than apologizing, it was better to say that he was merely justifying his behavior. Hearing Zhai Yanlin’s words, Cheng Yuanjing frowned again. Initially, he thought that the girl across the water was Cheng Yujin, and didn’t want to disturb her with an outsider male. But when the other party stood out, he noticed that she was Cheng Yumo. Anyway, it was not Cheng Yujin, so Cheng Yuanjing introduced Zhai Yanlin casually, but didn’t expect that Zhai Yanlin would mistake the wrong person.
When Cheng Yuanjing heard the words’ virtuous and beautiful’ came from Zhai Yanlin’s mouth, why did he feel so uncomfortable? But the person who was being mistaken was Cheng Yumo, and as an uncle, it didn’t make sense for Cheng Yuanjing to rebuke on her behalf.
Cheng Yumo smiled. She wasn’t feeling offended by Zhai Yanlin’s insincere apology, and blinking her eyes playfully instead: “It’s okay, I don’t care. Duke Cai shouldn’t take it to your heart. If the one you meet is my eldest sister, she wouldn’t react like me.”
“Oh?” No one disliked a beautiful girl. Zhai Yanlin was curious and asked cooperatively, “Then, how will she react?”
Cheng Yumo took back her smile, imitated Cheng Yujin’s movement to clasp her hands, meticulously put it forward, and put on a cold and dignified tone: “There is no need to be so polite. Things cannot happen thrice. It’s alright as long as Duke doesn’t mistake people again.”
Seeing the girl’s vivid imitation, Zhai Yanlin was smiled amusedly. His mind has been sketching out an image of the so-called famously beautiful eldest Miss Cheng. It seemed that she was just another dignified and solemn young lady, as dull as a wood. No wonder, such a personality would indeed give her a good reputation among the madams.
Zhai Yanlin felt bored. Just a wooden puppet who adhered to rules and etiquette perfectly. No matter how beautiful, it was meaningless. The young girl before him now was much better: lively, charming, and affectionate.
Sure enough, half of the rumor was false. Instead, the real beauty was being overlooked.
When Cheng Yumo imitated Cheng Yujin, Zhai Yanlin felt she was cute, but it was extremely repulsive in Cheng Yuanjing’s eyes. Of course, Cheng Yumo’s imitation was very clumsy. Cheng Yujin’s demeanor was elegant and perfect. Cheng Yumo couldn’t even imitate ten percent of her sister, but it was Cheng Yumo’s behavior that disgusted Cheng Yuanjing.
In his heart, Cheng Yujin was Cheng Yujin, and Cheng Yumo was a different person. Although the two were twins sisters, their appearance wasn’t exactly the same. The reason lay in the fact that they were the same as dragon and phoenix twins1, except that dragon and phoenix were of boy and girl, while Cheng Yujin and Cheng Yumo were both girls. Seeing Cheng Yumo imitated Cheng Yujin’s words and movements gave Cheng Yuanjing the illusion that she wanted to replace Cheng Yujin.
Cheng Yuanjing felt very repulsive, even disgusted.
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