Where is eldest girl?
Upon Cheng Yuanjing’s question, people in Shou’an Hall finally noticed that Cheng Yujin was missing.
Many people sighed. Cheng Min just remembered that she hadn’t seen Cheng Yujin’s figure for a long time. She stood up and looked around: “I remember Jin jie’er1 was standing here just now. When had she been gone?”
Cheng Min’s eyes swept across the hall and found that Cheng Yujin was really not here. She frowned and beckoned at the servant girls around, asking: “When did eldest girl go out?”
The servant girl guarding the door stepped forward and answered: “Eldest Miss took her personal servant girl out just now. She said that Old Madam’s kitchen is very busy, so she went back to get something.”
“How long has it been?”
The servant girl frowned and thought for a while. She said vaguely: “Probably half an hour ago.”
Hearing this, Cheng Min became angry: “Eldest Miss has been away for so long. Why any of you doesn’t report it?”
The low-ranking servant girl lowered her head by this rebuke, not daring to argue. She actually felt wronged. Eldest madam, second madam, and two ladies were chatting happily. How dare they stepped forward and interrupted?
However, she didn’t dare to say this aloud. Second young lady was in the limelight now. For Yichun Marquis Manor, Cheng Yumo was a shiny object. How dare a mere servant girl said that the second young lady was wrong?
Cheng Yuanjing’s gaze silently went through the openwork floor-reaching panel towards the group of elegant women clad in golds and silvers. Anger suddenly began to burn in his heart.
Cheng Yujin had been gone for half an hour. Not only was nobody noticed, but even after being told, Qingfu Junzhu and Ruan-shi were still indifferent. Even Cheng Yumo just raised her eyebrows slightly, not in the least looked worried. Obviously, they all felt that there was no danger inside the manor. Cheng Yujin was cautious. Even if she went out alone, nothing would happen.
On the contrary, only Cheng Min, this married paternal aunt, came forward to question the servant girls. However, Cheng Yujin’s biological mother, adoptive mother, younger brothers, and sister were all unmoved like a stone.
Cheng Yuanjing remembered what the gatekeeper had just told him, that everything was okay these two days, and that the family was celebrating New Year happily. Was this what he meant to be ‘everything is okay’?
No one noticed Cheng Yujin’s absence for half an hour. It could be seen that before Cheng Yujin left, no one was talking to her or even paying attention at all. Otherwise, why nobody noticed such a big living person had been disappearing for so long?
Cheng Yuanjing remembered the previous family gatherings. Each time, Cheng Yujin would come to find him and talk. Cheng Yuanjing originally thought that Cheng Yujin was tired of socializing and came to hide quietly for a moment. Thinking about it now, wasn’t it actually because she had no place among her family?
A fire seemed to be ignited in Cheng Yuanjing’s heart. The spark fell on the dry grass and burning rapidly with a bang. He was anxious and angry, but more than anything, he felt a deep heartache.
How did she spend the whole New Year like this? Could it be that she has been alone these two days?
Just as Cheng Yuanjing thought, Qingfu Junzhu and Ruan-shi didn’t feel Cheng Yujin’s absence to be a big deal. Even Old Madam Cheng just nodded calmly. They began to speak a few sentences randomly, trying to return to the previous topic interrupted by Cheng Yuanjing’s sudden appearance. However, when they saw Cheng Yuanjing’s expression, they all fell silent.
Cheng Yuanjing did not deliberately exert coercion. However, his aura was so cold that nobody dared to speak. He looked at the servant girl who spoke just now and asked chillingly: “Who did eldest girl take when she went out? In which direction did she go?”
Cheng Yujin said that she was going back to get something, but Cheng Yuanjing didn’t believe it. Cheng Yujin used too many deceptive words that he could only believe fifty percent of anything she said.
The servant girl frowned again, thinking hard: “Miss took Du Ruo, and she seemed to walk westward.”
That was indeed the direction of Cheng Yujin’s Jinning Courtyard. Cheng Yuanjing finally felt slightly relieved. He turned around and was about to leave when Cheng Yuanxian and the others happened to come in.
Cheng Yuanxian and Cheng Yuanhan took Huo Changyuan and Second Master Xu into Shou’an Hall’s gate. Seeing Cheng Yuanjing came out, they were all stunned.
“Why are you back?” When Cheng Yuanxian saw Cheng Yuanjing, he blurted out in surprise. Right after speaking, he felt it wrong, so he hurriedly tried to rectify: “Why do you only come back today? Where did you go these days, even forgot to give mother a New Year’s greeting on the first day of New Year?”
In response, Cheng Yuanjing merely gave them a cold glance. Cheng Yuanxian became even more flustered by that gaze. Without waiting for Cheng Yuanjing’s reply, he quickly gave an excuse for his own accusation: “Although you are busy outside, you cannot forget your home. You must be tired on the road, go back and take a rest.”
Huo Changyuan watched Cheng Yuanxian making an accusation before rounding it up in an instant. Without others helping, he skillfully performed a one-person series of the complete process of being surprised, questioning, finding reasons, and finally rounding it all up.
Cheng Yuanxian clearly had done this exact process many times before.
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