Qingfu Junzhu and Ruan-shi have been married into the Cheng family for more than ten years. They gave birth and raised Cheng family’s children, but in front of the old Madam, they still had to stay standing. Whether it was a family or public banquet, there was no reason for the daughters-in-law to be seated. Old Madam Cheng pitied Cheng Yumo’s sick body and thus allowed her to sit on a stool. Cheng Yuanjing was also standing, but the old Madam said nothing. Yet the servants took the initiative to bring him a wooden chair.
It was evident at a glance, the difference between the strong and the weak.
Cheng Yuanjing glanced a bit but kept standing. He said: “No. I just come to visit the Marchioness and won’t stay long. No need for a seat, it will only be a hassle.”
The young man was taller than average. Standing in a room full of women, he was even more imposing, like a tall and slender bamboo, elegant and lofty. He stayed unmoved next to Cheng Yujin, giving her an inexplicable sense of security.
Cheng Yuanjing refused to sit down. For a moment, the room was filled with awkwardness. Qingfu Junzhu and the others secretly glanced at the old Madam Cheng. Her expression wasn’t pleasant, but she said nothing. Today everyone was gathering; it wouldn’t be good to spoil the atmosphere even more.
None of the womenfolks dared to speak. After a while, Cheng Yumo clenched her fist and coughed twice. She relaxed her hands and smiled: “Before I entered the door, I heard mother said that someone was different or so. What is this about?”
Of course, this brought back the focus to Qingfu Junzhu and Ruan-shi. Old Madam Cheng glanced at the two daughters-in-law with displeasure, annoyed that they let young girls hear this kind of quarrel. Fortunately, old Madam Cheng still had to keep her daughters-in-law’s face in front of other people: “It was nothing. Your eldest sister’s engagement was canceled, so your mother and eldest aunt were lamenting a bit.”
“Elder sister’s engagement was canceled?” Cheng Yumo turned at Cheng Yujin, her eyes filled with guilt. She hurriedly stood up and said, “I’m sorry, eldest sister, I don’t know…”
Inward, Cheng Yujin rolled her eyes coldly, but she kept a gentle and generous smile: “Why does second sister apologize? Did you do something sorry to me?”
Cheng Yumo stunned. It was because she told Huo Changyuan the truth that he canceled his engagement with Cheng Yujin. However, Cheng Yumo did not expect him to act so fast, so she reflexively apologized. Cheng Yujin’s sudden inquiry made her stammered.
In front of so many elders… how could she talk about the thing between her and Huo Changyuan?
Cheng Yumo refused to speak, Cheng Yujin already expected this. Previously, she didn’t know the entanglement between Cheng Yumo and Huo Changyuan. In the previous life, if Cheng Yumo told her the truth before she was getting married, she would not have to be a wicked woman who separated a pair of mandarin ducks(1), and the whole matter could be resolved perfectly. But Cheng Yumo kept her mouth tightly shut. She had to wait until Cheng Yujin got married and being pregnant before finally couldn’t bear the heartbreaking torment, revealing her feeling towards her brother Huo. Then they started the ‘you chase I run’ scenario. Indeed a true sadomasochism love story.
In this life, Cheng Yumo was reborn. Early on, she told Huo Changyuan the truth. In an instant, Cheng Yujin became a vicious sister and fake savior. Now Cheng Yujin gave her a chance to tell everyone about her and Huo Changyuan. Still, she suddenly became timid and shy, refusing to say anything.
Cheng Yujin was too lazy to pay any attention. Cheng Yuanjing noticed her slight change and glanced at Cheng Yumo quietly. He suddenly recalled the event he saw today when Cheng Yujin said, “Your sister Mo” to Huo Changyuan.
—It turned out to be this ‘Mo.’
Cheng Yujin’s words made Cheng Yumo so embarrassed that she didn’t dare to lift her head. The others didn’t know what Cheng Yumo said to Cheng Yujin yesterday or why did she feel guilty of, so they thought that Cheng Yujin simply vented her anger on the innocent Cheng Yumo. Ruan-shi’s face became sullen, but Cheng Yujin was nominally Qingfu Junzhu’s daughter. She had no right to reprimand her. Old Madam Cheng glanced at everyone present and gloomily said: “It’s alright. Just a few unintentional words.”
Then she looked at Cheng Yujin: “Eldest girl, tell me the truth. Do you really not know what’s going on with this engagement? You tearing up the marriage contract greatly offended Jingyong marquis manor. Later, Marquis Jingyong also chased after you outside, what did he say to you at that time?”
Cheng Yumo was shocked when she heard this. What, brother Changyuan chased after the eldest sister? No, wait, eldest sister even tore up her marriage contract? Wasn’t it suppose to be Huo family coming to withdraw their marriage proposal? Why did it look like that eldest sister was the one who rejected Huo family instead….
Being interrogated by so many people was extremely uncomfortable. Everyone’s eyes were staring at Cheng Yujin. Yet her expression remaining the same: “Nothing. Marquis Huo just wanted to apologize to me. He felt very honored to tie up the marriage with Yichun marquis manor. But that day, it was heavily snowing, so he made a mistake in recognizing his life-saving benefactor and thought that it was me. He personally compensated me and asked to convey his apology to grandmother. Marquis Huo also promised to visit again later to apologize.”
“Really?” Cheng Yujin’s rhetoric was perfect, but old Madam Cheng truly doubted whether Huo Changyuan really felt guilty. His conduct today didn’t seem to be like that, and his expression when he chased Cheng Yujin out… also didn’t seem to be amiable.
Old Madam Cheng frowned: “Eldest girl, you have been sensible since childhood. You should know what to do in this kind of situation, right?”
Today, Cheng Yujin was repeatedly pressured by her elders. She lowered her head and was about to shift the focus by showing some weak face. Suddenly Cheng Yuanjing spoke: “What eldest girl said is true.”
Cheng Yujin looked at him in surprise. Cheng Yuanjing’s expression was still faint, and no one could discern his emotion. But his voice was clear: “When I returned to the manor, I accidentally bumped into eldest girl and Marquis Jingyong. The situation was exactly like she said.”
Cheng Yuanjing’s voice was delightful to listen to. It didn’t have a strong vigor, nor was it extremely eloquent. But it had a kind of calm and invisible coerciveness that made the listener unconsciously wanted to bow their heads and submit to him. He didn’t say anything specific, simply let them know that Cheng Yujin’s statement was true and that she didn’t lie.
However, only one sentence was enough. Qingfu Junzhu smiled. Old Madam Cheng also didn’t continue to pester and simply nodded lightly at Cheng Yujin: “Since nothing was wrong, let’s put this matter aside. You also can’t act like this in the future. You are a woman and shouldn’t be alone with an outside man. ”
Cheng Yujin bowed her head: “Yes.”
Old Madam Cheng’s words put the closing seal to this matter, and no one dared to disobey her. They quickly changed the topic. Cheng Yujin quietly sighed in relief.
Cheng Yuanjing only listened to one or two sentences and set off to take his leave. Before going out of the door, he suddenly Cheng Yujin: “Don’t you still need to do the thing Marquis asked you?”
Cheng Yujin was utterly stunned. When did old Master Cheng tell her that? Cheng Yuanjing’s voice wasn’t small, and now the others were looking at her. Cheng Yujin could only pretend to just remember: “Many thanks for ninth uncle’s reminder. I almost forgot. Grandmother, mother, I’ll leave first.”
The servant girls hurriedly moved. They helped Cheng Yujin to wear her outer coat and changed her boots. When she was doing this, Cheng Yuanjing stood at the door and waited. After she dressed neatly, he lightly glanced at her: “Let’s go.”
(1) Mandarin duck : a loving/affectionate couple.
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