By the thirteenth, the servant girls in the manor began to become antsy, and at the fifteenth, they all changed into new, bright clothes. Everyone was very lively. In Cheng Yujin’s courtyard, Du Ruo and Lian Qiao were very eager to dress their Miss to be on par with a celestial fairy. Today was a rare day without restrictions. Their Miss must surprise the crowd and capture the heart of the future male master. It would be best if a new marriage proposal came immediately after.
On the contrary, Cheng Yujin didn’t have much enthusiasm. These days, she had been secretly worrying about the problem with Cai Duke Manor. After Cheng Yuanjing told her to leave the matter to him, there was no other news. Cheng Yujin was anxious, and she especially wanted to know what Cheng Yuanjing’s so-called solution was.
Under the festive hustle and bustle, the sky slowly darkened. Yichun Marquis Manor’s people took the evening meal early today, and after that, Qingfu Junzhu and Ruan-shi took female family members and servant girls to watch the lanterns on the streets.
Even so, the only female junior in Cheng family right now was Cheng Yujin. Thinking about spending time under the double watch of Qingfu Junzhu and Ruan-shi, Cheng Yujin totally lost interest and felt very gloomy.
But it was not only that. She had just stepped out from the carriage when she saw Qingfu Junzhu looked around and waved her hand towards another carriage. When Cheng Yujin saw the insignia on the carriage, her face instantly turned cold.
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It was Duke Cai Manor again. Needless to say, this must be Old Madam Cheng’s arrangement.
Second Madam Zhai had actually seen Yichun Marquis Manor’s carriage a long time ago, but she turned her face away and pretended not to see it. Now that Qingfu Junzhu directly waved her hand, Second Madam Zhai could no longer pretend, so she bit the bullet and stepped forward.
“Eldest Madam Cheng, Second Madam Cheng, what a coincidence to meet here. There are so many people here, and I didn’t see you just now.”
Regardless of what Qingfu Junzhu was thinking, she didn’t rebut Second Madam Zhai’s words and greeted the other party warmly. When Ruan-shi saw that it was Cai Duke Manor’s madam, her eyes lit up, and she immediately stepped forward to greet Second Madam Zhai.
Only Cheng Yujin stood still, looking at the group of people in front of her with an indifferent gaze.
Second Madam Zhai smiled brightly, but she couldn’t stop sighing inwardly. She casually raised her eyes and glanced towards Cheng Yujin. She had just seen the girl standing not far away, illuminated by the various lanterns nearby, and staring at them quietly.
Second Madam Zhai’s heart suddenly missed a beat. She immediately remembered her mother-in-law’s instruction before she went out today, and her heart turned heavier with worry.
When she learned that her mother-in-law had taken a fancy to the eldest miss of Yichun Marquis Manor and wanted the girl to become eldest brother-in-law’s second wife, Second Madam Zhai was extremely unwilling. However, Cai Duke Manor was controlled by mother-in-law and eldest brother-in-law. What right did her, a mere second madam, have to oppose their decision? She could only put on a smile and listening to her mother-in-law and eldest brother-in-law’s discussion.
It was just a second wife, but listening to their arrangements, the marriage was even grander than marrying the first wife! Second Madam Zhai was very upset. When she thought that she would have to hand over the household management right after the new Duchess Cai entered the family, she became even more distressed. Second Madam Zhai inquired about eldest miss Cheng in private. When other madams mentioned her, they all unanimously praised her. The consensus was that this eldest miss Cheng was brilliant, smart, capable, and virtuous.
The more Second Madam Zhai listened, the more upset she became.
Second Madam Zhai originally thought it would be bad enough to have a little girl standing above her head. Unexpectedly, this was not over yet.
One day, eldest brother-in-law suddenly came home with a gloomy face. Everyone in the manor instantly became alert. Old Madam Zhai tried to ask, but Zhai Yanlin just shook his head without saying a word. Zhai Yanlin was the pillar of Duke Cai Manor. When his expression was bad, other family members also became anxious.
Second Madam Zhai didn’t know what happened afterward, only that Zhai Yanlin had a conversation with Old Madam Zhai. After mother-in-law came out, her expression was extremely complicated. Then, she instructed Second Madam Zhai to go and courteously take back the marriage proposal from the Cheng family, taking advantage of the cover under the Lantern Festival’s crowd to do so.
It was not a problem to go out during the Lantern Festival. Cai Duke Manor had made an appointment with Cheng family beforehand. The matter of taking back the marriage proposal was also understandable, but what did it mean to do it courteously?
Second Madam Zhai was extremely bitter. Especially when Qingfu Junzhu enthusiastically pulled her aside, smiling and laughing with intimacy, her mouth was full of words about becoming a relative. Second Madam Zhai suddenly felt a headache.
Second Madam Zhai was dragged by Qingfu Junzhu to look at five or six lantern stalls. Qingfu Junzhu was full of excitement that her nominal daughter was about to climb high into Duke Cai Manor. In contrast, Second Madam Zhai was full of anxiety that she had no mood to admire the lanterns. Second Madam Zhai struggled for a while, and finally made up her mind. She said: “Eldest Madam Cheng, I have something to tell you.”
Qingfu Junzhu smiled: “Why is Second Madam so polite? Just say it directly.”
Second Madam Zhai sighed inwardly. She then glanced at Cheng Yujin, who was following behind. Although Second Madam Zhai didn’t put it out, Qingfu Junzhu understood her meaning. Qingfu Junzhu cleared her throat and said to Cheng Yujin: “Eldest girl, I have something to talk with Second Madam Zhai. You go to the stall next door to watch the lanterns.”
Cheng Yujin’s eyes quietly swept over Qingfu Junzhu and Second Madam Zhai. Seeing that kind of gaze, Second Madam Zhai felt her breath stopped inexplicably. Fortunately, Cheng Yujin didn’t say anything. She nodded obediently, then turned and left.
Only then did Second Madam Zhai let her breath go. She was in a great dilemma; no matter what she did, the result still wouldn’t be good. Second Madam Zhai hardened her heart and began to tell Qingfu Junzhu her mother-in-law’s instruction.
Meanwhile, Cheng Yujin was standing in front of a lantern stall just across the street. Although her eyes were looking at the lanterns, there was no joy in her expression.
The stall owner was frightened by Cheng Yujin’s expression. He stepped forward, smiled, and said: “Miss, which lantern do you like? Do you want this humble one to take it off for you?”
Cheng Yujin wasn’t in the mood to watch the lantern. She knew that the stall owner was hinting her not to stand there and block his business. She was going to step aside with Du Ruo and Lian Qiao when a voice suddenly came from the side: “Eldest Miss Cheng?”
Cheng Yujin stopped. She turned sideways and glanced around. The other party noticed that and quickly pushed himself out of the crowd: “It really is you. I thought I see it wrong.”
Cheng Yujin was stunned for a long time. She couldn’t tell whether this was fate’s will or a man-made encounter.
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