When Zhai Yanlin heard the words’ second wife’ from his mother, he was visibly shocked. Upon her idea, Old Madam Zhai suddenly became joyful and said cheerfully: “Yes, she is suitable to become Qing ge’er mother, why haven’t I think of her before!”
The more the Old Madam considered this idea, the more she was certain of its feasibility. Cheng Yujin was born in a marquis household, and her legal mother was Qingfu Junzhu, who came from the imperial lineage. Her identity was noble enough. With such a background, it wasn’t even a problem for her to marry into a duke household as the first wife1. Although Cheng Yujin was adopted and not considered real imperial blood, Cheng Yuanxian’s position as the heir was undisputed, and his adopted daughter was raised in accordance with the standards of an eldest di daughter. Whether it was in etiquette or household management, Cheng Yujin was excellent enough.
Thinking about this, Old Madam Zhai vaguely remembered that some time ago, Cheng family sent an embroidered screen as the congratulatory gift for the Emperor’s longevity feast, which received His Majesty’s appreciation. The Emperor even especially sent his close eunuch to commend Cheng family. It seemed that this eldest Miss Cheng was the one who embroidered the screen.
Old Madam Zhai was surprised. The situation of Cai Duke manor was unusual. She initially thought that finding a suitable woman to be her son’s second wife would be very hard. Unexpectedly, there was a perfect candidate here. Cheng Yujin had a noble status and now had the reputation of filial piety. Marrying such a person wouldn’t degrade the reputation of Cai Duke manor, and she was good enough to perform as a duchess. In addition, Cheng Yujin was gentle and sensible, virtuous, and filial. She had the ability to manage a big manor, and most importantly, was able to take care of Zhai Qing and would be a good stepmother.
The more Old Madam Zhai thought about it, the more confident she was. She said to Zhai Yanlin: “Duke, what do you think? Cheng family’s eldest daughter has enough status and a suitable personality. You are busy with outside affairs and have no time to discipline your son. I’m also getting older and weaker, so Qing ge’er doesn’t get enough attention. Cheng family’s miss is young, knowledgeable in literary skills, and patient. She is very suitable to take care of Qing ge’er.”
Zhai Yanlin finally realized what the idea that flashed briefly in his mind just now was. He had reached middle age and experienced many ups and downs. He was no longer a hot-blooded young man who followed his heart as he liked. His state of mind was like a pool of stagnant water. But at this moment, his mother’s words seemed to stir a wave in his mind. In a rare moment of awkwardness, Zhai Yanlin said: “It’s all up to mother. As long as mother thinks she is good, this son has no objection.”
Hearing this, Old Madam Zhai was a little surprised. Zhai Yanlin rarely praised a woman. As far as Old Madam Zhai knew, even Zhai Qing’s birth mother, Zhai Yanlin’s deceased wife with whom he had been married for years, has never been praised by him either. But today, Zhai Yanlin’s attitude was completely different. He agreed to her words and admitted that Cheng Yujin was an excellent woman.
After pondering for a moment, Old Madam Zhai roughly guessed the reason for his son’s unusual attitude. Right, Zhai Yanlin went to Yichun Marquis manor today for the sake of old friendship. During his visit, he met with eldest Miss Cheng. During their meeting, he must be very satisfied with this person.
The main reason for having Zhai Yanlin marry a second wife was to take care of Zhai Qing. It was fortunate that her son also liked the girl. This way, everyone was satisfied. Old Madam Zhai was happy. She said: “I have long heard that Yichun Marquis manor has an eldest daughter with an excellent reputation. But at that time, I simply listened with one ear and didn’t take it to heart. Although Cheng family has been declining over these years, after all, they are still a marquis family, and the title still can be passed down to another generation, which is precisely this eldest Miss’ father. After her father inherited the title, she would be the eldest di daughter of a marquis, and her status will be nobler. Because of this, I never considered the Cheng family. Their second miss was from the second branch and will eventually separate from the marquis manor. As for the eldest miss, she has both good talent and a good personality. Many madams privately treat her as their future daughter-in-law. If I snatch her from them, it will cause trouble. Therefore, I ceased my thought.”
There was no one else in the room, so Old Madam Zhai simply didn’t hide anything. It wasn’t that she never considered Cheng Yujin, but the probability was almost none. Cheng Yujin used to be too excellent. Her identity, family background, and reputation were all top-notch. Such a person would never have to worry about finding a marriage. She could easily choose any noble and reputable family to marry, so why should she enter Cai Duke manor to become a stepmother? Because Old Madam Zhai understood her family’s situation, she didn’t want to push things forward and put herself in an ugly position.
Hearing the Old Madam’s words, Zhai Yanlin was a little uncomfortable. But he had to admit the vast difference between the first and second marriage. Even for a man, second marriage meant that the criteria for the woman would have to be dropped a lot. Zhai Yanlin’s career in the court has developed very well over the years, and his growth in power complemented his disadvantage in age. Even so, among the daughters of the top-ranking families, he was still far from an ideal husband.
Especially because Zhai Yanlin also has a six-year-old son.
This week’s Tuesday regular post. Sorry for the lateness!!
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