Cheng Yujin had a bad hunch, but she didn’t show her feelings outwards. She greeted the guests one by one in a perfect manner. Cheng Yumo followed afterward and also made her greetings.
Although Cheng Yumo was married and already got a court title as Marchioness Jingyong, on such a public occasion, she was greatly suppressed by Cheng Yujin’s momentum and could only follow from behind. All the madams present obviously noticed this, including Old Madam Zhai.
Today, Old Madam Zhai specially came to chat with Old Madam Cheng was of course not for reminiscing the past. Because of their seniority, both of the old madams rarely had to leave their houses, and the chance of meeting at normal banquets or social events was close to zero. Therefore, Old Madam Zhai deliberately came today was to see Cheng Yujin in person. This was his son’s second wife candidate who would raise her most beloved grandson, a major task concerning both the future of their duke manor and Zhai Qing. Old Madam Zhai couldn’t be at ease to leave such an important matter to her second daughter-in-law, so she came personally.
With such a condescending thought, Old Madam Zhai came to meet the Cheng family. Unexpectedly, she found out that Cheng Yujin was taken by her mother, Qingfu Junzhu, to greet the imperial clan elders. In fact, Qingfu Junzhu only wanted to bring her baby son, but Cheng Yujin took the initiative to follow.
But outsiders didn’t know such a truth. What Old Madam Zhai saw was that Cheng Yujin was born in a marquis household, and her legal mother was an imperial clansman. She could even show her face in front of other imperial relatives, her vision and knowledge were surely extraordinary.
Old Madam Zhai opened the conversation, but Old Madam Cheng was also an expert in speaking in roundabout manners. The two elderly women were exchanging polite remarks one after another when a servant girl came in, announcing that eldest Miss was here.
Old Madam Zhai raised her head and saw a beautiful girl walked from the door, followed by another girl in a married woman’s hairdo and gorgeous dress. The two’s facial features were somewhat similar, but no more than ordinary sisters. Cheng Yujin’s facial features certainly were more exquisite, and her skin was also whiter and brighter. At a glance, Cheng Yujin attracted much more attention.
If not for knowing in advance, no one would ever think that they were twins. When Old Madam Zhai saw Cheng Yujin curtsied elegantly, she felt satisfied.
Her manner was excellent, and her conduct was also very good. It could be seen that this girl didn’t become arrogant because of her beauty. But when Old Madam Zhai saw Cheng Yujin for the first time, she subconsciously frowned. Cheng Yujin was too beautiful, far beyond Old Madam Zhai’s initial expectations. Of course, the future Duchess Cai couldn’t be ugly, but choosing someone as beautiful as Cheng Yujin might not be a blessing either.
The new wife was so beautiful and ten years younger. It was easy for an older husband to pamper a young wife, especially a very beautiful one. Zhai Yanlin might get his mind taken away by Cheng Yujin. No wonder Zhai Yanlin, who showed little interest in remarrying, suddenly changed his mind after seeing Cheng Yujin once at Yichun Marquis Manor.
Fortunately, Cheng Yujin had good manners, a calm temperament, a gentle disposition, and was likable. Old Madam Zhai had seen plenty of beautiful women, who were so spoiled that they became extremely arrogant. But seeing Cheng Yujin’s disposition, Old Madam Zhai was relieved.
Seeing two young girls came in, the madams in the room let them joined the conversation. Cheng Yujin was not shy nor obnoxious. She didn’t rush to get attention, nor did she become nervous when the focus turned to herself. If the person next to her were stunned and couldn’t continue the conversation, she would assist from the side, letting the flow uninterrupted.
In short, all the madams present were very satisfied with Cheng Yujin. Old Madam Cheng sat on the side, slowly turning the prayer beads in her hand with a smile on her face.
Old Madam Zhai watched with cold eyes for a while, but couldn’t find a single place to nitpick of. According to social rules, unmarried girls were usually treated as children, and they couldn’t speak a word in a gathering unless an elder talked to them. By any standards, Cheng Yujin’s younger sister, Cheng family’s married second daughter and the new Marchioness Jingyong, should be the madams’ peers. But when the two sisters were sitting at the same place, everyone subconsciously ignored Cheng Yumo, and all their eyes fell on Cheng Yujin so naturally.
Old Madam Zhai was originally very confident about this marriage, even contemptuous. Her son was Duke Cai; would a decaying marquis family refuse to marry their daughter to him? It was even proper for the other party to hurriedly came over and offered their daughter. But after seeing Cheng Yujin with her own eyes today, Old Madam Zhai was no longer so confident.
Could their Cai Duke Manor really afford such a woman?
Old Madam Cheng had waited enough. Now that the other side had seen her granddaughter, it was time to raise the price. She spoke: “Eldest girl, it is rare for you and second young lady to meet. You sisters should go on a stroll and have a good chat.”
Cheng Yujin knew that the Old Madam was driving them off in disguise. She stood up and smiled well-behavedly: “Yes, grandmother.”
Cheng Yumo also got up and followed Cheng Yujin out. Once she was outside, Cheng Yumo smiled bitterly. She thought that she could complain her bitterness to her natal family. But from the beginning to the end, Old Madam Cheng didn’t even ask a single word about her situation at Huo family.
It was ridiculous to think. In the whole Cheng family, the only one who was willing to listen to her grievances was Cheng Yujin.
One of Old Madam Cheng’s servant girls led Cheng Yujin and Cheng Yumo. She said to them: “Eldest miss, second young lady, Xiangji Temple’s plum blossoms are blooming right now. Do you want to go to the garden and have a look?”
Cheng Yujin had no objection. Cheng Yumo also didn’t want to return to Huo Xue-shi’s side, so she agreed.
The servant girl led them to the garden. They walked through several corridors and pathways. Suddenly, Cheng Yujin noticed that Cheng Yumo had disappeared, leaving her alone on the roofed corridor. Cheng Yujin immediately had a bad feeling. But before she could open her mouth, the servant girl who led her here suddenly hastened her pace and disappeared through a gate.
At the same time, a familiar voice came from behind: “Eldest Miss Cheng, how do you do?”
Cheng Yujin’s smile disappeared, and she slowly turned around.
It was Zhai Yanlin.
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