Zhai Yanlin didn’t make a comment, but Old Madam Zhai recalled old memories and began to talk about past events: “If I mention it before, I would only invite trouble. That Old Madam of Cheng family isn’t a fuel-efficient lamp1 and has a big ambition. When she was still in the boudoir, she was restless. After the Xue family incident, she got a big windfall and married into the Yichun Marquis manor. She strived for advancement and fought hard for the better half of her life, but both of her sons are disappointing. However, when it comes to the third generation, there is a very outstanding granddaughter. She wholeheartedly wants her granddaughter to marry high and fetch a good return. How can she be willing to let this promising granddaughter become a second wife and break the road of future wealth? If not for this eldest granddaughter to have her engagement broken and has to lower their criteria, Old Madam Cheng surely would still set her eyes higher than the sky.”
This was what Zhai Yanlin most concerned about. He might never have this kind of interest before, but now, he very much wanted to know why exactly Cheng Yujin had her engagement canceled. “Mother, do you know the situation behind eldest Miss Cheng’s previous engagement? Who her former fiance was, and why did he back off from this engagement?”
Regarding this, Old Madam Zhai indeed knew quite a bit. She said: “Isn’t it because of Huo family’s ridiculousness? They proposed marriage to eldest Miss Cheng because of her life-saving grace to Marquis Huo. In the end, Huo family claimed that they had admitted the wrong person and change the engagement to the second Miss. What a mess.”
Zhai Yanlin was surprised and couldn’t help asking: “Huo family? That Marquis Huo Changyuan, the one who made military achievements last year and whose family title’s inheritance was personally taken care of by His Majesty?”
“Precisely him.” The Old Madam nodded, “Originally, such a talented and beautiful girl has a countless choice for her marriage. Who knows that Marquis Huo would do such a thing? He arbitrarily changed the engagement from the elder sister to the younger sister. They are originally twins, and it wasn’t strange for them to be mistaken for each other. But a perfectly good girl has her reputation ruined as a consequence. Even I, an outsider, couldn’t help being angry.”
Zhai Yanlin couldn’t utter a single word. He was dazed for a long time before finally sighed: “Huo Changyuan is a talented young man. At first, I was very optimistic about him, but I never expect that he handles his personal affairs with such a mess. Even a marriage contract can be broken by him, let alone other things? Such a person cannot be placed in an important position.”
Old Madam Zhai didn’t understand court matters. However, looking at Zhai Yanlin’s attitude, people in the court should detest this kind of promise-breaking action. Zhai Yanlin slowly figured out the events he witnessed today and said in surprise: “That means Huo Changyuan is going to marry the second Miss of Cheng family? And that second Miss is replacing her sister’s engagement?”
“Yes.” Old Madam Zhai said disdainfully. “This kind of shameful thing must be done by Old Madam Cheng. As a fellow elder, I am embarrassed for her.”
Zhai Yanlin finally understood. No wonder Cheng Yumo, who initially looked relaxed and happy, had her complexion turned bad the moment she saw Cheng Yujin. So there was such entanglement in the background.
Zhai Yanlin immediately understood the reason behind Cheng Yujin’s attitude. Recalling her words and actions at that time, Zhai Yanlin’s heart was full of pity. Her fiance canceled their engagement and replaced her with her own younger sister. No wonder she spoke so harshly to second Miss Cheng.
Originally, Cheng Yujin’s qualification was too high to be a second wife. However, now that she had an engagement canceled, being married as a Duchess would be her good fortune. Zhai Yanlin knew that this marriage has basically been set on the stone. Except for having a disobedient son, all his other qualifications were excellent. He didn’t lack a candidate for his second wife, and Cheng Yujin might never be able to find another marriage as good as this one.
Zhai Yanlin suddenly felt an indescribable feeling. When he went out today, it was only a normal, dull day. But unexpectedly, the day turned out to be full of surprises and might even affect the rest of his life. When he first met Cheng family’s second Miss, he thought that Cheng Yujin was nothing more than a boring woman with a high reputation. But after seeing the real person, he was stunned. Cheng Yujin’s each and every Cheng Yujin word surprised him. And now, this fascinating girl was going to be his new wife.
This thought made Zhai Yanlin happy from the bottom of his heart. He finally realized that from the beginning, he had a high favorability towards Cheng Yujin. However, Zhai Yanlin was accustomed to take the lead in everything. Women always came to fawn over him, and he never bowed his head to please a woman. Zhai Yanlin calmly suppressed his joy and said: “I have no specific requirements. Except for the basic things: she should keep her duty, understand her role, take good care of Zhai Qing, and never have a thought that she shouldn’t have.”
Old Madam Zhai nodded deeply in agreement: “Exactly. In the future, the title will belong to Qing ge’er. If she fulfilled her duty and raised Qing ge’er properly, we can distribute more family properties to her son. What’s worrying me if she got fascinated by wealth and honor, and harbored the idea of competing with Qing ge’er for the title.”
This week’s Thursday regular post.
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