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Ruan-shi had the full intention to take advantage of this momentum to gain more benefit: “Father left Mo’er two thousand taels before he passed away, but Enci and Enbei have to study, and it costs money to supply their brush, ink, paper, and inkstone. Although Mo’er already has silver money, her wedding date is approaching very fast. If we rush to buy ready-made furniture and jewelry for her dowry, afraid the quality won’t be good. But dowry furniture precisely symbolizing a married girl’s prestige and cannot be sloppy. My natal family is weak, and I am also not as capable as eldest sister-in-law. All these years, I have been doing my best, but not much can be done. Our branch isn’t wealthy. When we need good materials to make furniture, we don’t have the wood, not to mention the connection needed to procure it. Mother, this daughter-in-law also doesn’t understand how to arrange the craftsmen to build cupboard, wardrobe, and other things. Like this, this daughter-in-law afraid that on the day we deliver the dowry, our Marquis manor’s name and Mo’er’s reputation might get smeared…”
Ruan-shi used so many roundabout rhetorics, first saying that her two sons needed to study, then claiming that her natal family was weak. Words were coming out from her mouth like a waterfall while avoiding the real topic.
Cheng Yujin secretly clicked her tongue. She could see Ruan-shi’s intention at a glance. Having said so much, wasn’t they simply eyeing Cheng Yujin’s dowry? Ruan-shi mentioned a similar thing before. At that time, Cheng Yujin simply said a few words in front of Qingfu and Cheng Yuanxian, and they immediately went over to make a fuss. Afterward, Old Master Cheng personally made his words, and Ruan-shi finally stopped creating trouble for a while. Cheng Yujin thought that Ruan-shi has given up on this idea, but unexpectedly, after Jingyong Marquis manor delivered the betrothal gift, Ruan-shi became so proudful that her courage grew bigger.
——She even dared to mention this matter again.
Old Madam Cheng was also clear of the meaning behind Ruan-shi’s words. But her gaze kept lowered, and she didn’t speak a word. Ruan-shi saw that everyone has been silent. She secretly nudged Cheng Yuanhan, then said again: “Mother, just say Mo’er’s mahogany trunk, this is something that she would use for a lifetime. Just this piece of item will greatly impact Mo’er’s face as a new bride. But now there is only one month of time, not enough to procure a good wood, let alone hiring a craftsman.”
After Ruan-shi finished speaking, she secretly glanced at Cheng Yujin. But the girl just sat there on an embroidered stool, sipping her tea calmly and elegantly. Ruan-shi was anxious and couldn’t help asking: “Eldest girl, you have come into contact with a lot of good things since childhood, what is your opinion?”
Cheng Yujin put down the porcelain teacup and nodded with a smile: “Second aunt is right. Just one month is indeed a bit too tight to make a good custom-made order.”
Ruan-shi looked at Cheng Yujin expectantly, but after waiting for a long time, no other words came forward. Ruan-shi blinked. Just this?
Normally at this point, a thin-skinned person would have no choice but to make a concession. Regardless of the real intention, a good pretense still had to be maintained. But Cheng Yujin didn’t play the card by the rules and didn’t make the supposed “Just use mine first,” offer. Therefore, Ruan-shi had no choice but to make her words clearer: “Eldest girl, getting married is the biggest event in one’s life. Mo’er’s wedding is approaching so fast, and it’s too late for us to order trunks and other items at the craftsmen. I wonder if you have any suitable furniture?”
Cheng Yujin’s smile became brighter: “Yes, I have another set of furniture. A babu bed, wardrobe, dressing table, chairs, screens, and other things are completely available. I heard from mother that the furnitures are all made from good wood. Each piece took almost half a year to make.”
Ruan-shi’s eyes lit up: “Then, let aunt buy yours first so that we can use it for Mo’er’s wedding. Afterward, aunt will slowly pay it back to you. Eldest girl, how about this?”
Ruan-shi said so, but in fact, no one in the room was ignorant of the fact that a woman’s dowry couldn’t be bought in just a few days. It took months, even years, to prepare a complete set. If the furnitures in Cheng Yujin’s dowry were taken away to make up for Cheng Yumo, let alone paying it back in one year, even finding good-quality wood for the raw materials would be very hard.
As for Ruan-shi’s ‘buying’, it was even more nonsense. Ruan-shi was Cheng Yujin’s aunt. Even if she came up with the money, could Cheng Yujin take it? It was no more than lip service. Ruan-shi’s so-called borrowing was actually taking away Cheng Yujin’s high-quality furniture, only to return inferior, cheap products one year later.
Or maybe, even never paid it back.
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