After Cheng Yumo’s wedding and her first visit on the third day, Yichun Marquis Manor’s biggest celebration of this year was also over. Everyone in the Cheng family was in the mourning period. As for Cheng Yumo, she was already a Huo family member. The mourning ritual no longer restricted her, but it wasn’t the case for the rest of Cheng family members.
Qingfu Junzhu and the others also put down their mind and stayed inside the manor obediently to observe the mourning for Old Master Cheng.
In a blink of an eye, the calendar entered the eleventh month. The weather became cold and harsh. Outside, the temperature had dropped so much. Cheng Yujin wore a fur scarf around her neck and a silver-pink velvet jacket, preparing to go for her daily greetings to Old Madam Cheng.
These past few months, she stayed at home peacefully, cultivating herself. Both Linlang Pavilion and Yunyi Shop’s business was getting on the right track. At the end of each month, the shopkeeper would send the shop’s account books to Cheng Yujin, who then prepared the next month’s new designs and marketing strategy based on the current sales. Afterward, she would go to Cheng Yujin’s courtyard and asked Liu Yi to help deliver her message to the shopkeepers.
Knowing that she didn’t have any reliable manpower outside the inner courtyard, Cheng Yujin put special attention into establishing a good relationship with the people in Cheng Yuanjing’s courtyard. These men ran outside all day long. They were well-informed and smart. Cheng Yujin stayed inside all time without leaving the manor. If something happened, it would be too late when she received the news. Therefore, she tried her best to win over these people, so she could use their help when she needed it.
It’s a pity that Cheng Yuanjing was about to leave. Soon, she wouldn’t be able to use these people again. She should utilize this remaining period well.
In the past few months, Yunyi Shop and Linlang Pavilion gradually gained fame, having their names spread among the womenfolks of high-ranking families. The first to get famous was Yunyi Shop, which was located on the most prosperous street. The passerby shoppers were first attracted by Yunyi Shop’s brand-new storefront. After trying the ready-made garments sold there, they later found out that Yunyi Shop’s designs were very clever. Even using the same fabrics, other shops couldn’t imitate the beauty of Yunyi Shop’s garments.
On top of that, Yunyi Shop regularly launched new styles every month. Words passed from mouth to mouth, and in no time, they had more and more repeating customers. Yunyi Shop’s reputation also spread from the middle-ranked circle to the high-nobility circle where the Cheng family was part of.
Linlang Pavilion’s growth was a bit slower than Yunyi Shop. After all, clothes had to be changed every season, but jewelry could be used for a long time. However, women’s love for beauty could never be underestimated. Some women started to wear Linlang Pavilion’s jewelry and went out to socialize. After a time, more and more people knew about Linlang Pavilion’s jewelry.
When Cheng Yujin inspected the account books at the end of each month, she was very satisfied. Now she no longer had to worry about money, Cheng Yujin focused on solving her marriage problem. Lin Qingyuan, her husband target, hadn’t appeared for a long time.
Perhaps it was not that Lin Qingyuan hadn’t visited Yichun Marquis Manor at all, but Cheng Yujin never ran into him again. During this period, Cheng Yujin used the reason of borrowing books to run to Cheng Yuanjing’s courtyard frequently. However, no matter how many times she went back and forth, she never encountered Lin Qingyuan even once.
Cheng Yujin couldn’t understand. She deliberately chose the time when Lin Qingyuan often visited Cheng Yuanjing. Logically, it was impossible to have zero encounters. Why didn’t she saw him even once?
Of course, Cheng Yujin didn’t suspect Cheng Yuanjing at all. Liu Yi and the others were close attendants, who earned their living upon their ability to serve and please their masters. They were the most skillful in arranging this sort of thing. If they didn’t want two guests to meet, even if both sides were walking across the same place at the same time, these people still had a way to make them never went into each other.
Peaceful and regular days could easily make people lose the sense of time. Cheng Yujin’s plan hadn’t progressed for a long time. She should have been anxious, but maybe because her current life was too peaceful and comfortable, she actually didn’t feel rushed at all. Cheng Yujin paid respect to the Old Madam every morning, took a short break in the noon, then went to Cheng Yuanjing’s courtyard to read, waiting for Lin Qingyuan in disguise. If she didn’t finish reading the book during the day, she would borrow it back. After some time, this became her routine, and she became very familiar with Cheng Yuanjing’s courtyard.
Cheng Yujin wore her fur winter coat and went out. As soon as she entered Old Madam Cheng’s courtyard, the servant girls there saw her coming and hurriedly came out to open the curtain, greeting joyfully: “Eldest Miss is here!”
Cheng Yumo had been married, and thus Cheng Yujin was the only one who came to Old Madam Cheng every day. Gradually, the servants at Shou’an Hall became used to it. When the Eldest Miss arrived, the new day officially began.
Cheng Yujin nodded and smiled, asking: “Where’s grandmother?”
“The Old Madam is inside. The Old Madam just said that she has no appetite today. But the Old Madam likes Eldest Miss the most. If Eldest Miss is here, the Old Madam may be willing to eat.”
“Oh, grandmother has a bad appetite?” Cheng Yujin glanced at the inner room and said: “I’ll go and see grandmother. Thank you for reminding me. Lian Qiao, prepare some rewards for this sister.”
Lian Qiao stepped forward and stuffed a few broken silvers into the servant girl’s hands. The servant girl laughed and pretended to refuse: “It is just a small thing.”
“Grandmother needs people to serve. Thanks for sister and the others for taking care of her. This is just a bit of gratitude from me. You can use this to have a cup of hot tea, okay?”
After some more refusal, the servant girl accepted the broken silver. This was the reason why people serving in Shou’an Hall liked Cheng Yujin. Eldest Miss was kind and very generous. As long as they had a sweet mouth and quick feet, they could get her rewards every time.
Like this, many servants liked to do errands for Cheng Yujin. They also rushed to inform her of anything that happened in Shou’an Hall, just to get another reward.
Cheng Yujin watched the servant girl took the broken silvers with bright eyes. Her smile turned softer. She now earned a lot of money every month. Just the monthly profits from Yunyi Shop and Linlang Pavilion were already large enough. Yichun Marquis Manor provided her with basic necessities, and these few months, due to the mourning period, she didn’t have to go out to socialize either. Her income greatly exceeded her expense. Now in Cheng Yujin’s eyes, these few pieces of broken silver were not money at all.
With just a small amount of money, Cheng Yujin could make the servant girls next to Old Madam Cheng like her more, and whenever she wanted to do something, she would get twice the result with half the effort. Both sides were happy, and there was no reason not to do this.
Just like now. Cheng Yujin hasn’t entered the room yet, but already knew that Old Madam Cheng had just got up, have a bad appetite, and didn’t want to eat anything. It was clear that her sleep last night was not pleasant. Knowing this information beforehand, Cheng Yujin knew what to say later.
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