The tea on the stove was still gurgling and bubbling. Cheng Yuanjing glanced down through the water vapor and said: “It seems that you were very preoccupied when I came in. Sit down and pour me a tea.”
Cheng Yujin’s eyebrows jumped, and she quickly instructed Du Ruo to remove the boiling tea. Cheng Yujin sat next to Cheng Yuanjing in an obedient manner, like a good little girl. She raised her head and smiled flatteringly: “Ninth Uncle, this tea has been brewed for a long time and already old. Ninth Uncle is a man of both literary and military talent, truly a peerless of your generation. I admire Ninth Uncle so much. How can I let you use inferior things? Du Ruo, change to new water.”
Du Ruo was also very frightened. She moved very quickly to change the boiling tea with fresh water. Cheng Yujin readjusted the fire, boil the water, and put in a new tea leaf. Her each and every movement was extremely serious, with a professional technique that was several levels higher than when she brewed tea for Lin Qingyuan just now.
The difference was obvious to the naked eyes. It could be seen that this was Cheng Yujin’s true level. One was to achieve absolute perfection, and the other was done in a casual manner.
Lin Qingyuan saw this and finally knew that Cheng Yujin didn’t use her real ability just now. He watched for a while and said sourly: “Sure enough, there are differences between a close person and an outsider. With Jingxing here, eldest miss Cheng is willing to come out with the best thing.”
Cheng Yujin glanced at Cheng Yuanjing and continued to flatter without blinking her eyes: “This is natural. I admire Ninth Uncle the most. Of course the things I prepared for him must be different from others.”
Lin Qingyuan listened on the side and clicked his tongue. Fortunately, he knew that these two were niece and uncle. Otherwise, both his arms would be filled with goosebumps.
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Cheng Yuanjing felt a little better after hearing Lin Qingyuan comment about the difference between a close person and an outsider. Cheng Yujin quickly replied in affirmation, which improved his mood even more. However, just relying on these little tricks was still far from enough for her to get through this time.
Cheng Yujin was paying close attention to Cheng Yuanjing’s expression. After she finished speaking, Cheng Yuanjing still didn’t speak up. She knew that it was truly hopeless. Cheng Yujin sighed sadly. She took several cups, skillfully poured the tea, and served the first cup to Cheng Yuanjing.
Cheng Yujin raised her head. She blinked her eyes and called out softly: “Ninth Uncle.”
Her tone was deliberately softened. With just the two words ‘Ninth Uncle,’ she seemed to have suffered multiple grievances. Cheng Yuanjing was determined to give Cheng Yujin the cold shoulder, but seeing the look in her eyes, he couldn’t bear to embarrass her in front of an outsider.
Cheng Yuanjing took the teacup Cheng Yujin served. Cheng Yujin sighed in relief. After that, she poured the second cup of tea and handed it to Lin Qingyuan.
After Cheng Yuanjing came in, Lin Qingyuan felt somewhat uneasy, as if there were thorns pricking his back. However, he dismissed it as his imagination. Seeing Cheng Yujin’s obvious difference in treatment made Lin Qingyuan a little baffled, but thinking that Cheng Yuanjing was Cheng Yujin’s uncle, it was understandable.
After all, family members should always be closer than outsiders. It was normal for Cheng Yujin to treat Cheng Yuanjing better than Lin Qingyuan.
In fact, Lin Qingyuan wanted to continue the previous topic. But with Cheng Yuanjing here, there was no way he could continue saying the words that were cut off just now. Moreover, now that the atmosphere here had changed, it was harder for him to bring back the conversation. Lin Qingyuan felt a little regretful, but for the time being, he could only swallow the remaining half of the sentence.
With Cheng Yuanjing present, it was improper for Lin Qingyuan to talk to Cheng Yujin directly, so he could only turn aside and said to Cheng Yuanjing: “Jingxing, why were you absent from home for so long? Did something happen at your official job?”
“No.” Cheng Yuanjing’s tone was insipid, “It’s just a personal affair.”
On the side, Cheng Yujin pursed her lips slightly. Personal affair? Right, it was just a personal affair that greatly affected the whole country.
Since Cheng Yuanjing said it was a personal affair, it was impolite for Lin Qingyuan to delve further. Moreover, he also had an inexplicable trust in Cheng Yuanjing. It seemed that no matter what happened, as long as it was handed over to Cheng Yuanjing, there would be no problem. Lin Qingyuan’s tense mind relaxed, and he gradually talked about trivial daily life.
Cheng Yuanjing listened to Lin Qingyuan for a while, then casually asked: “It’s still the New Year. Even if the Lin family’s ancestral home is not in the capital, your residence should still be busy with welcoming and sending off guests. Why are you coming to Cheng’s manor?”
“Oh, this.” Lin Qingyuan replied honestly. “Actually, it’s not a big deal. I was bored at home, so I wanted to borrow books from you. After hearing that you were absent, I was about to go home, but happened to meet eldest miss Cheng on the way.”
Cheng Yujin lowered her head even more. Cheng Yuanjing glanced slightly at her and smiled: “What a coincidence.”
“Yes, what a coincidence.” Lin Qingyuan didn’t notice the subtle and unusual atmosphere between the two, and continued to talk without the slightest restraint: “I’m here to borrow the Linyuan Poetry Collection and Jiuzhai Essay Compilation. Eldest miss Cheng said that these books are happened to be in her place. She sent her servant girl back to fetch them. Because waiting is boring, she kindly prepared tea for me.”
Cheng Yujin wanted to stop Lin Qingyuan, but she was powerless. After he finally finished, Cheng Yujin really wanted to dig a hole and bury herself down.
She was very embarrassed. Cheng Yujin quietly glanced at Cheng Yuanjing. Cheng Yuanjing brushed the porcelain teacup with his fingers. There was a thin smile on his lips: “Linyuan Poetry Collection and Jiuzhai Essay Compilation?”
With a smile in his eyes, he turned to look at Cheng Yujin: “Those two books are with you?”
Obviously not. Cheng Yujin just used it as the reason to lure Lin Qingyuan. She sent a servant girl to fetch the books, but of course they couldn’t be found. In fact, there was no need to really find the books Lin Qingyuan asked. She was prepared to give him different books, using mistake as the reason. When Lin Qingyuan came to return the books, he would naturally look for her. By going back and forth, she would use the chance to ensnare him further.
Cheng Yujin raised her head and looked at Cheng Yuanjing with weak, innocent, and pitiful eyes: “Ninth Uncle.”
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