After Cheng Yujin walked away from Zhai Yanlin, she quickly ran into Cheng Yumo who ‘accidentally got separated’ just now.
Cheng Yumo probably guessed what had just happened and didn’t ask anything. Neither of them spoke, and they walked silently towards the garden.
The place they ran to was already very close to the plum blossom garden. After passing through two gates, Cheng Yujin smelled the winter plum blossom fragrance.
Cheng Yumo naturally smelled it too. After enduring all the way, she finally couldn’t help it anymore. Taking advantage of this moment, she secretly turned her head to look at Cheng Yujin.
Cheng Yujin’s face was as calm as usual, with a hint of indifference, making Cheng Yumo unable to read her emotion. Cheng Yumo pursed her lips, and finally asked in a low voice: “Eldest sister, I seemed to have seen the servants of Cai Duke Manor just now.”
Cheng Yujin knew that she couldn’t hide what happened earlier, so she nodded and openly admitted: “Yes. I accidentally ran into Duke Cai just now. Duke Cai was going to find Old Madam Zhai. Hearing that Old Madam Zhai was visiting grandmother, he came over and asked a few words to me by the way.”
This answer sounded justifiable and reasonable, but Cheng Yumo knew that it was merely a pretense.
Cheng Yumo hummed softly, and did not delve further. She lowered her head, trying to figure out the matter by herself, but she couldn’t help but take another look at Cheng Yujin.
Today, Cheng Yujin wore a white upper jacket with gold thread decoration, coupled with a pale red pleated skirt underneath. Since they were coming to accompany Empress Dowager repaying the gratitude to the Boddhisatva, Cheng Yujin couldn’t wear a pure mourning white, so she made a compromise between mourning and festivity. Although the dress she wore was plain in colors, its design and quality were top-notch. She didn’t look shabby at all. Instead, she looked like a white plum among the snow, elegant yet eye-catching.
Cheng Yumo was walking next to Cheng Yujin. From her perspective, Cheng Yujin’s side profile was dainty, with tender and white skin like fine porcelain. Her dress was originally elegant enough, but it became even more dignified when worn by Cheng Yujin. Slowly walking through the Xiangji Temple with voices reciting sutra as the background, she was like a solemn and esoteric scene depicted in the famous painting.
Cheng Yumo suddenly felt sour again. Originally, Cheng Yujin was supposed to be Marchioness Jingyong. Later, Cheng Yumo was reborn. She revealed the truth earlier, and the position of Marchioness Jingyong fell to her. Cheng Yumo always felt that this was the price Cheng Yujin should pay. Cheng Yujin replaced her in the previous life and caused her so much suffering. In this life, it was Cheng Yujin’s turn to become hopeless and couldn’t get another good marriage. Everything was justified, no?
But Cheng Yumo didn’t expect. Even after things became like this, Cheng Yujin could still turn around the tide. At the beginning of this year, her marriage contract was broken by Jingyong Marquis Manor. Yet, just a few months later, she received personal praise from the Emperor. On the sixth month, Old Master Cheng passed away, but Old Madam Cheng immediately announced to the public, saying that Old Master Cheng wanted Cheng Yujin to observe his mourning with the ritual of the eldest grandson. Cheng Yujin, who supposedly could no longer become a marchioness, now had a duke family came forward, wanting her to become their duchess.
This comparison was truly infuriating.
Cheng Yumo truly couldn’t understand. After a broken marriage contract, a woman should be abandoned. No matter what the reason, no decent person would want to marry her. High-ranking families valued face the most. Who would take a woman discarded by others?
Originally, Cheng Yumo thought that Cheng Yujin’s life was definitely going to be dismal.
But Duke Cai actually wanted to marry her?
Cheng Yumo’s mind was in chaos. A duchess was one level higher than her, a marchioness. If Cheng Yujin really married into Cai Duke Manor, wouldn’t she, Cheng Yumo, had to salute when meeting Cheng Yujin?
Cheng Yumo was extremely vexed. In the future, Cai Duke Manor would be far worse than Jingyong Marquis Manor. Although it was unthinkable now, in a few years, Huo Changyuan’s service would be valued by the crown prince, and his official position would advance by leaps and bounds. Huo family’s status in the capital would also rise significantly. Whenever Cheng Yumo went out to socialize, all the official and noble family madams, even imperial relatives and wangfei, were very polite.
Cheng Yumo knew well that even if Cheng Yujin really became Duchess Cai, she wouldn’t be as good as Cheng Yumo in the future. But even so, Cai Duke Manor was an old prestigious clan. With a hereditary duke title, even if they were declining, they wouldn’t fall too low. For Cheng Yujin, marrying into Cai Duke Manor was equal to a total transform, like a rebirth from nirvana. Thinking this way, Cheng Yumo felt as if a fishbone was stuck in her throat, making her very uncomfortable with each second passing.
The two people had their own thoughts. No one wanted to talk, so they walked silently all the way in the garden. The plum blossoms in the garden were blooming splendidly, releasing the refreshing fragrance. But it was a pity that neither Cheng Yujin nor Cheng Yumo had the mood to admire the flowers.
The two pretended to take a stroll among the sea of flowers for a while before moving to a pavilion nearby and sat down to warm themselves. Cheng Yujin was busy planning her next move. Zhai Yanlin was humiliated so thoroughly that he definitely wouldn’t want to see her ever again, let alone marrying her as a second wife. However, marriage was a contract between two parties. Although she had resolved the Zhai family’s side, she still had to take care of Old Madam Cheng.
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