Cheng Yujin was deep in her thought, seemingly in a daze. Cheng Yumo was also looking down at the carving on the railing, thinking about who knew what.
Their respective servant girls noticed that the two mistresses were not in a good mood, so they didn’t dare to make any noise. For a long time, there was a strange silence in the pavilion.
Suddenly, a sound of footsteps and people’s talking voices were coming from a distance, breaking the silence.
Cheng Yujin quickly returned to her mind. Xiangji Temple’s garden was a public area, not the Cheng family’s private garden. Of course, other guests could also come here. The approaching voices were clearly of men’s. Judging from the footsteps, it was a group. Cheng Yujin was still in the boudoir and was observing mourning on top of that. She couldn’t let herself be seen by outsider males and added troubles to herself.
When Cheng Yujin stood up, Cheng Yumo also reacted. She originally planned to avoid the group as Cheng Yujin did. But when she saw Cheng Yujin was about to move place, Cheng Yumo’s mind suddenly changed. She beckoned to one of her servant girls and ordered: “I don’t know which family’s men are coming. You go and tell them that Marchioness Jingyong is here, and let them change their direction.”
After giving the order, Cheng Yumo sat straightly, trying to put on an aloof and noble aura. However, her eyes couldn’t help but secretly taking a glance at Cheng Yujin, unable to hide the triumphant look.
Cheng Yujin saw it clear. Cheng Yumo was deliberately showing off to her. Cheng Yumo thought that she was the Marchioness Jingyong and refused to move place to avoid the coming men. Instead, she ordered them to change their directions. In fact, there was nothing wrong with this. Status and position determined one’s strength, and those in power had the strength to be arrogant. However, looking at Cheng Yumo’s triumphant look, Cheng Yujin felt a bit funny.
Cheng Yujin chuckled, but did not say anything. Of course it was better that she didn’t have to move. She was quite happy. It wasn’t her who embarrassing others anyway. The servant girl received Cheng Yumo’s order and went out of the pavilion. After a while, a smaller sound of footsteps came towards them.
Cheng Yumo was taken aback. She didn’t know what was going on. But when the person was getting closer, she discovered that it was Huo Changyuan.
Cheng Yujin couldn’t help but chuckle again. The water dares to flood the dragon king’s palace1, Cheng Yumo actually drives away her own husband?
Cheng Yujin managed to hold back her laugh. She stood up to greet the upcoming group. When Cheng Yumo saw Huo Changyuan, she was surprised, but soon delighted. She held her skirt and rushed towards Huo Changyuan. Before she ran, she glanced at Cheng Yujin, seemingly inadvertently.
Then in front of Cheng Yujin, she greeted Huo Changyuan happily: “Marquis!”
Huo Changyuan subconsciously caught Cheng Yumo. Cheng Yumo took Huo Changyuan’s hand and hugged his arm in a natural manner. Cheng Yumo’s intimacy was nothing. Having his wife depended on him like this also boosted Huo Changyuan’s ego in front of people. But when Huo Changyuan raised his head and met Cheng Yujin’s eyes, he suddenly felt awkward.
Huo Changyuan moved his arms to straighten Cheng Yumo’s posture, letting her stood by herself. He didn’t quite know what to say, and just nodded stiffly at Cheng Yujin: “Eldest Miss Cheng.”
Cheng Yujin also nodded back with a polite smile: “Marquis Huo.”
Their greetings were polite and distant, which was a standard between in-laws who were not close. Huo Changyuan felt a strangeness from the bottom of his heart. Cheng Yumo was too sticky to him, but Cheng Yujin was cold to the end. For some reason, Huo Changyuan felt upset, but he didn’t know why he felt so. After exchanging greetings with Cheng Yujin, he didn’t know what to say next, and could only remain silent.
For a moment, they fell into an awkward silence.
At this time, the people behind seemed to hear something and also came forward.
Of course Huo Changyuan was not alone. The voices they heard earlier were more than one man. After Cheng Yumo sent her servant girl to let the group change their direction, Huo Changyuan knew that Cheng Yumo was also in the garden. The servant girl who delivered Cheng Yumo’s message was so scared that she twisted her tongue and could only stammer: “The Marchioness is in the pavilion ahead” without mentioning Cheng Yujin at all. As Cheng Yumo’s husband, Huo Changyuan couldn’t walk away without saying a word to his wife. But the person he was with seemed to have no interest in seeing Marchioness Jingyong, so he stopped and waited.
But at this moment, the other man brought the rest of their retinue and walked straight towards the pavilion.
After Cheng Yujin greeted Huo Changyuan, she also had no intention to say more. She stood with both hands folded in front of her body. Her expression was calm and dignified. Standing on the pavilion steps with red plum blossoms in the background, winter cloak on her body, hand-warmer in her hand, and a group of servant girls surrounding her, Cheng Yujin looked like an image depicted from a palace painting.
When Cheng Yuanjing arrived, he saw such a scene.
Cheng Yumo was still snuggling next to Huo Changyuan when she heard the footsteps. She turned her head, and was surprised to see Cheng Yuanjing: “Ninth Uncle, you are also here?”
Huo Changyuan finally found the opportunity to speak. He silently stepped back a bit and explained: “I met Jingxing in the front hall. We chatted a bit while taking a walk, but unknowingly entered the plum blossom garden.”
It turned out that the person who talked with Huo Changyuan was Cheng Yuanjing. Cheng Yuanjing heard that Marchioness Jingyong was in the pavilion ahead. He had no intention to exchange a talk with Cheng Yumo, so he stopped and didn’t come over until he heard Cheng Yujin’s voice just now.
Cheng Yumo also saw this. She felt embarrassed and angry. She was also Cheng Yuanjing’s niece, just like Cheng Yujin, but Cheng Yuanjing’s partiality was too blatant.
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