GNU sponsored chapters (1/5) by Amber Crosby and several anonymous sponsors at ko-fi. Thank you for your support!
This is the first part of today’s sponsored chapters.
The bride’s first visit to her natal family was an important event. Besides the first and second branches, several other relatives also came today. The servants needed some time to prepare the noon meal, so the guests and relatives sat in the hall and chatted freely. Although they seemingly sat at random, the division was clear at a glance. Old Madam Cheng was at the center, and her servants, children, and grandchildren gathered around to make fun. Cheng Yuanhan took Huo Changyuan and sat together for a chat. Ruan-shi and Cheng Yumo also came over, interrupted their conversation harmoniously from time to time.
Cheng Yuanxian glared at Cheng Yuanhan scornfully. What did he want to show off? Look, he merely found a son-in-law who was also a high-ranking official and so impatiently wanted the whole world to know. Cheng Yuanxian was unhappy. Qingfu Junzhu obviously also didn’t want to see Ruan-shi’s triumphant look. The couple tacitly chose another place to sit and let the wetnurse brought Cheng Enbao to them.
And thus, people who were left behind naturally were put in an awkward position. Cheng Yujin didn’t want to watch the first branch and the second branch’s happy family scene, so she sneaked out to find Cheng Yuanjing. It couldn’t be helped. Cheng Yujin was adopted, and her identity was particularly awkward. Cheng Yuanjing, who lived outside since childhood and rarely visited Cheng family’s home, was not much better. At this kind of family gathering, both of them were often left behind.
Cheng Yujin found Cheng Yuanjing outside and sat opposite him: “Ninth Uncle.”
“I have read the essay collection I borrowed from you, but there are some parts I don’t understand.”
“Of course. That essay collection is curated by Zhao Ming and is very profound. Even people who are preparing for the imperial examination may not understand it, let alone you. Which parts do you not understand?”
Cheng Yujin asked one by one. Cheng Yuanjing listened and nodded, then began to explain. Cheng Yujin listened attentively, asking questions from time to time. The two were immersed in their discussion and ignored the surrounding. None of them noticed that Huo Changyuan glanced in their direction from time to time.
Maybe they did notice, but was simply too lazy to bother. In the end, Huo Changyuan couldn’t hold it anymore. Taking advantage when the Old Madam called Cheng Yuanhan for a chat, Huo Changyuan left Cheng Yumo and walked towards Cheng Yuanjing and Cheng Yujin.
As he approached, the two people who were immersed in their conversation suddenly stopped talking, as if having eyes on their back. Huo Changyuan saw the tacit understanding between them, and an unnamed flame burst in his heart.
He took a deep breath, then said in a casual tone: “You two look so focused. What are you talking about? Other people are gathering inside the hall, so why are you still sitting outside and not joining in?”
Cheng Yujin didn’t want to talk to Huo Changyuan at all and naturally ignored him. So, it was Cheng Yuanjing who answered: “It’s a bit hot inside, so I took Yujin out to get a breeze.”
Huo Changyuan was displeased hearing Cheng Yuanjing called ‘Yujin’ so naturally. A woman’s given name couldn’t be known to the public. Among men, only father, brothers, and husband might use the given name to call a woman. Of course it was not an absolute rule, but when they were still engaged, Huo Changyuan was qualified to call Cheng Yujin by her name, and he still subconsciously regarded this privilege as his own. Now he heard Cheng Yuanjing did the same, it was as if Cheng Yuanjing robbed what was his, which made him irritated.
“Yujin’s body easily gets cold. How can Jingxing take her out and expose her to the wind?”
After Huo Changyuan spoke, the place fell into a silence. Cheng Yujin has been enduring, but now she couldn’t bear it anymore. Huo Changyuan was a scum without any sense of responsibility. It was him who wanted to broke the engagement. After they were no longer engaged, he left his newly-married wife to talk to her. This kind of person, unless being punched in the face, wouldn’t know when and how to stop.
Cheng Yujin put down the teacup in her hands before raising her head and smiling at Huo Changyuan: “Many thanks for Marquis Huo’s care. But it’s me who come to find Ninth Uncle, and you shouldn’t blame Ninth Uncle. Besides, I know my body the best. I am not as weak as Marquis Huo said. I am not going to catch a cold by just sitting at my own home.”
Seeing Cheng Yujin finally spoke to him but only to defend Cheng Yuanjing, Huo Changyuan’s face darkened. However, Cheng Yujin completely ignored his mood and spoke again casually: “Ah, I forgot, Marquis Huo is already married to second sister. Calling you ‘Marquis Huo’ seems too distant.”
Huo Changyuan’s expression immediately warmed. He was about to say “You can call me by my name,” but Cheng Yujin was one step faster. With a smile, she said: “Because you and my younger sister are married, Marquis Huo is no longer an outsider. Since we are a family, you should follow the second sister generation and call me ‘Eldest Sister.’ Marquis Huo, surely you won’t mind?”
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