GNU sponsored chapters (3/5) by Anonkatt and anonymous sponsor and at ko-fi. Thank you for your support!
The first part of today’s sponsored chapters is Ch 59 Part 1.
“Harassing?” Zhai Yanlin raised his eyebrows in surprise: “I’m just talking casually with eldest Miss Cheng. It’s not harassing, right?”
“Duke Cai put on a posture of interrogating prisoners when facing a young girl, but still thinking that you are just talking casually?” Although Cheng Yuanjing didn’t show much expression on his face, whenever he spoke, there was a powerful coerciveness on his every word, much stronger than Zhai Yanlin’s deliberate pressure. “She is not your subordinate, nor is she your relative. Duke Cai has no right to use this manner and tone to speak to her.”
Zhai Yanlin’s expression instantly turned ugly. He stared at Cheng Yuanjing and said: “When I talked with eldest Miss Cheng, I was abiding by the manner. Eldest Miss Cheng doesn’t say anything, but Official Cheng hastily comes out to accuse me. On what basis do you think you can call the shot for Eldest Miss Cheng? Official Cheng should keep your nose out of other people’s affairs.”
“On what basis? Does it have anything to do with you?”
Zhai Yanlin was angry. Cheng Yuanjing’s eyes were equally cold and dangerous. Cheng Yujin sensed that Cheng Yuanjing was truly angry this time. She hurriedly pulled Cheng Yuanjing’s sleeve and said: “Ninth Uncle, today is second sister’s wedding. We are the hosts, and Duke Cai is our guest. We should prioritize harmony.”
We are the hosts, and Duke Cai is our guest. Hearing this sentence, Cheng Yuanjing’s heart trembled. He knew that Cheng Yujin meant that they were both surnamed Cheng, which represented Yichun marquis manor. But the word ‘we’ sounded like they were husband and wife.
Cheng Yuanjing couldn’t help glancing at Cheng Yujin. The icy aura surrounding him seemed to melt in an instant.
When Zhai Yanlin heard Cheng Yujin said ‘we’ to Cheng Yuanjing but referred to him as a guest, he became upset again. After placating Cheng Yuanjing, Cheng Yujin turned to look at Zhai Yanlin: “Duke Cai, here is Cheng family’s inner courtyard. Outsider males shouldn’t wander around. It is our negligence as the host that Duke Cai accidentally walked into the inner courtyard’s boundary. I will let the servants lead Duke Cai out.”
Cheng Yujin paused for a while. Then somewhat nonchalantly, she said again: “Duke Cai, the matter between me and my biao brother today is just about siblings of the same family chatting together. It was originally our family’s private affairs, but Duke Cai unexpectedly bump into us. It stands to reason that we did nothing wrong. But since it might affect two families’ reputation, it wouldn’t be good if other people knew about this matter. Once gossip spread out, my aunt would be put in a very difficult position. Biao brother and I grow up together and have a very good siblings relationship. I don’t want some unwarranted rumors to affect my relationship with my future biao sister-in-law. Therefore, this little girl will be grateful if you never talk to others about this matter.”
Cheng Yujin and Xu Zhixian? Cheng Yuanjing’s eyebrows twitched slightly. Without changing his expression, he glanced at Cheng Yujin calmly: What did they talk about? What was this girl planning to do?
Hearing Cheng Yujin’s words, the frown on Zhai Yanlin’s face deepened. He held back his anger and said: “Eldest Miss Cheng, you actually think that I will spread today’s matter? In your heart, am I such a person?”
No matter what kind of person Zhai Yanlin was, why did it matter to her? But on the surface, Cheng Yujin smiled politely and said: “If Duke Cai won’t, then it is the best. Many thanks for the Duke.”
Zhai Yanlin was seething with anger. He wanted to come up with a rebuke, but when he was just about to move, Cheng Yuanjing’s gaze swept over him like a warning. Cheng Yujin was also like a frightened deer, pulling Cheng Yuanjing’s sleeve and hid behind him.
Zhai Yanlin paused. His heart was burning with anger and jealousy. He was angry with Cheng Yuanjing’s overstepping the boundary, but he was also angry that Cheng Yujin didn’t trust him. On top of that, he was angry seeing Cheng Yujin subconsciously hid behind Cheng Yuanjing.
The flame in Zhai Yanlin’s heart almost burned through the sky.
Cheng Yuanjing patted Cheng Yujin’s shoulder in a soothing manner. He then lowered his gaze and said: “There is nothing to do with you here. Go back and take a rest.”
Cheng Yujin was anxious to leave, but she looked up at the two men and hesitated. Cheng Yuanjing lightly patted her hair and said again, “You don’t have to worry. Go back.”
Cheng Yujin knew that Cheng Yuanjing wasn’t a reckless person, and she even trusted Cheng Yuanjing more than she trusted herself. Hearing his words, Cheng Yujin was relieved. She smiled at him and said: “Okay. Ninth Uncle, I will go back first.”
When Cheng Yujin smiled, her expression was bright and tender. But the moment she turned to Zhai Yanlin, her smile faded almost instantly. She nodded politely across the corridor, then turned around and left.
Zhai Yanlin’s expression was extremely ugly. Cheng Yujin fully trusted Cheng Yuanjing and smiled so tenderly. When Cheng Yuanjing told her to leave, she left without hesitation. But Zhai Yanlin only moved a bit, and she quickly hid like a frightened deer. What most infuriating was that she subconsciously sought refuge behind Cheng Yuanjing.
Zhai Yanlin didn’t know when he started paying so much attention to Cheng Yujin. At first, he only considered her to be a good wife and a good mother candidate. Suitable to be his second wife. But when he began to hear about eldest Miss Cheng, his initial consideration gradually faded. On the contrary, he was attracted by the real Cheng Yujin, attracted by her smiles and every move.
Now, Zhai Yanlin knew that he wanted to marry Cheng Yujin, not because she would become a good wife and mother, but because of Cheng Yujin herself. Zhai Yanlin didn’t think that his proposal might get rejected. In his heart, he already regarded Cheng Yujin as his future wife. Only one formality separated them, but with one word from him and Old Madam Cheng, it would quickly be resolved.
Zhai Yanlin understood Old Madam Cheng’s character. That woman was snobbish and only had profits in her eyes. There was no way she would disagree with his proposal. Zhai Yanlin thought scornfully. Even if Yichun Marquis manor put on pretense, it was only to extort more betrothal gifts from him. Zhai Yanlin truly looked down at this kind of behavior. But who told them to be Cheng Yujin’s natal family? It was only a bit of money anyway. There was no harm in giving them a bit more.
Therefore, Zhai Yanlin would never tolerate seeing his future wife getting so close to another man, especially in front of his eyes. In fact, Zhai Yanlin was also a bit shocked. Just for a woman, why did he have such a big reaction?
When he was young, Zhai Yanlin also visited brothels. Among high-born and arrogant noble young men, only a few never went to such establishments. Some women in the brothels would deliberately fan the jealousy and rivalry between two men to secure their guests. Zhai Yanlin had watched many such dramas. But even when he was young and hot-headed, he never put himself in such emotional storms for a woman.
Zhai Yanlin secretly became alert. But even after he warned himself, the moment he looked up and saw Cheng Yuanjing, his jealousy flared up uncontrollably and burned down the mental fortress he had just built. After Cheng Yujin walked away with her servant girl, Cheng Yuanjing no longer bothered to put on a facade. The pretense on his body instantly disintegrated, like a sword got rid of the soft scabbard, revealing its cold and sharp blade.
Cheng Yuanjing at this moment was completely different from what Cheng Yujin usually saw.
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