Cheng Yujin walked into the main building. First, she unbuttoned her coat and scarf inside the enclosed porch and changed into the indoor soft-soled shoes. Afterward, she headed into the western room. Unlike other courtyards in the manor, Old Madam Cheng’s Shou’an Hall was heated with earth dragon1, which was used as soon as autumn began. The warm and dry air circulated using buried-in pipes, and even the floor was warm. It was very comfortable to step on. People could wear spring or summer clothes inside the rooms.
Although Old Madam Cheng’s residence was as warm as spring, other family members didn’t have this kind of comfort. In other courtyards, including Cheng Yujin’s, normal charcoal burners were used. Even if they used the highest-grade charcoal and didn’t have to save on the fuel, it was still far worse than a large-scale earth dragon. At least, Cheng Yujin didn’t dare to wear light clothes inside her room.
Having been free from the heavy winter clothes, Cheng Yujin sighed in admiration. Being the old madam was truly comfortable. When a woman was young, she had to serve her elders in her natal family. When she got married, she had to serve her mother-in-law. Once she gave birth to children and had more standing, she had to worry about her children. The only time she would truly enjoy her life was when she finally became the old madam.
Like Old Madam Cheng. She seemingly didn’t care about anything, but the whole manor was still firmly in her hands. Her two sons and daughters-in-law must please her carefully. Every day, her young granddaughters and a load of servants would serve her everywhere. How comfortable. Cheng Yujin’s goal in this life was to be like Old Madam Cheng.
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However, all of these comfort and privileges were based on the fact that Cheng Yuanxian and Cheng Yuanhan were Old Madam Cheng’s biological sons, and that Cheng Yuanxian was about to become the next Marquis Yichun. If one of these two conditions were missing, Old Madam Cheng wouldn’t be able to enjoy such a nice life.
Therefore, the root of a happy old age ultimately lay in having one’s biological son in the position of power. Cheng Yujin stepped on Shou’an Hall’s warm floor, firming her determination towards her goal. She would marry a wealthy and promising husband, jumped into a higher social status, and finally living her old age in comfort.
Cheng Yujin entered the innermost room. Sure enough, Old Madam Cheng was leaning on the luohan couch, wearing a headband with a bean-sized emerald on the front. The light inside the room was dim. Old Madam Cheng looked listless, leaning on the soft pillow and having a servant girl massaging her legs.
Cheng Yujin walked in and smiled naturally: “Grandmother, good morning.”
Old Madam Cheng nodded her head listlessly. Seeing this, Cheng Yujin walked to the luohan couch and took over the servant girl’s task to pour a cup of hot tea for the Old Madam: “Grandmother, this granddaughter listens the servants say that you have a bad appetite today? This granddaughter wakes up late this morning and has no time to eat before going out, and was planning to come to grandmother’s place to have the morning meal. Grandmother, can you be accommodating, and let this granddaughter taste a skill of your kitchen’s cooks?”
Old Madam Cheng laughed. Seeing a beautiful young girl early in the morning made anyone happy. The Old Madam’s frowned brows unconsciously loosened, and she said: “Since you didn’t have your meal yet, let’s take it now.”
The servants on the sides saw how Cheng Yujin used just one or two sentences to convince the Old Madam to take a meal. They couldn’t help casting a grateful and admiration gaze. They had been persuading the Old Madam for a long time until their lips almost chapped, but the Old Madam didn’t response, and even became too impatient to listen. But when Eldest Miss came, she was being persuaded in just a few words.
Sure enough, Eldest Miss always had a way.
No one in the manor dared to be negligent when serving the Old Madam. Her morning meal had long been prepared, and now was kept warm in Shou’an Hall’s small kitchen. When they finally got the Old Madam’s order to prepare the meal, the servant girls immediately went busy. Various cups, dishes, and utensils filled the table. Old Madam’s meal was naturally the best, and even her morning meal was so lavish. There was everything here, from porridge, dim sum, and various side dishes, so much that the table was almost overfilled.
Cheng Yujin sighed. Having money was indeed the best. It was even better if the money was accompanied by power. She wondered when she would ever reach Old Madam Cheng’s level.
Cheng Yujin was a granddaughter, not a daughter-in-law. She could sit down and have the meal together. Cheng Yujin didn’t lie when she said that she hadn’t taken her meal yet. She raised her chopsticks and waited until the Old Madam began to move her chopsticks. During the meal, Cheng Yujin persuaded the Old Madam to try out the dishes. In the end, Old Madam Cheng didn’t eat much, but Cheng Yujin was full.
However, Old Madam Cheng was old and generally didn’t have much appetite. Today’s food intake had reached her usual average. The servants at Shou’an Hall looked at Cheng Yujin as if looking at the salvation Buddha. Cheng Yujin saw that Old Madam Cheng had almost finished, and put down her own chopsticks at the right timing. “Grandmother, may this granddaughter pour you a cup of hot tea?”
Old Madam Cheng nodded. Cheng Yujin took the teacup from a servant girl and handed it to Old Madam Cheng. Saying that Cheng Yujin poured the tea, but in fact, she was merely handing the teacup. In fact, there were very few occasions when she really needed to work.
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