Under the bright lights of beautiful lanterns, Cheng Yujin looked dazedly at the man in front of her, wondering whether it was a fate’s will or a man-made encounter.
Lin Qingyuan had actually seen Cheng Yujin from a distance away. Wearing a white cloak, the girl was standing in front of a stall, looking at the lanterns displayed around. Although he only saw her back figure and couldn’t see her face, Lin Qingyuan felt a sense of familiarity and was inexplicably sure that she was Cheng Yujin.
He tried calling Cheng Yujin’s name. Today was the Lantern Festival. People of all rank went to mingle in the street, and there was a constant flow of people coming and going. He wasn’t sure whether Cheng Yujin would like to see him on this occasion. Unexpectedly, the girl actually turned around and called him back.
Lin Qingyuan quickly squeezed himself out of the crowd and came over to Cheng Yujin’s side, smiling brightly: “I was not sure just now, but it is really you, Eldest Miss Cheng.”
Cheng Yujin didn’t move nor smile, and just stood there quietly, watching Lin Qingyuan struggled to get out of the crowd and cross the street. When he arrived, she finally smiled slightly and said: “I see the lanterns in this stall are very beautiful, so I stopped by and took a look. There were too many people just now, and I didn’t see Compiler Lin. Please forgive my rudeness.”
Lin Qingyuan waved his hand quickly: “Nothing. There are so many people on the street, so how can you see me? Eldest Miss Cheng, you are too polite. Between you and me, there is no need to apologize.”
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Hearing this, Cheng Yujin’s mood that had been tense all evening was finally relaxed a bit. The string in her heart loosened, and her expression also eased. Those changes were visible to the naked eyes, which brought inexplicable joy to the person she conversed with.
Lin Qingyuan had never been the one who stiffled himself with formalities. He didn’t have many relatives in the capital, and came out to the street today just to join the fun. Now that he met Cheng Yujin, he thought that since they were acquaintances, why didn’t they enjoy the festival together? He immediately put this suggestion forward: “Eldest Miss Cheng, do you have any plan after this? If not, why don’t we go together? There are lantern riddles over there; should we go and see it?”
Hearing Lin Qingyuan’s invitation, Du Ruo and Lian Qiao’s expressions changed slightly. The capital city was the territory of nobilities and other dignitaries, and it had the most rules. It was very bold for a young man to invite a girl like this.
Cheng Yujin didn’t care much. If another man said this, it would undoubtedly be offensive, but Lin Qingyuan was not native to the capital city, and it was normal for him to be unfamiliar with the local etiquette. Besides, Lin Qingyuan’s temperament was originally broad-minded and not the one who bothered with trivialities. Cheng Yujin smiled, didn’t mind this small rudeness: “Alright. I will trouble Compiler Lin to accompany me.”
Lin Qingyuan was overjoyed and immediately offered to lead the way. Cheng Yujin turned her head slightly and looked back. Qingfu Junzhu and Second Madam Zhai were still standing together, seemingly were talking about something. Qingfu Junzhu’s enthusiasm gradually faded from her face. On the contrary, Ruan-shi looked surprised, but also delighted, trying to suppress the smile on her face.
Of course Cheng Yujin couldn’t hear what they were talking about from such a distance, but although Qingfu’s expression showed surprise and displeasure, there was no anger. It could be seen that although Second Madam Zhai’s words made her unhappy, they didn’t step on her bottom line. In other words, it was unlikely about canceling the marriage proposal.
Qingfu Junzhu has no feelings toward Cheng Yujin, but they were still nominally a mother and daughter. If Cheng Yujin’s marriage was broken once again, Qingfu would have long exploded in anger. There was no way she could stand still on the street and listening to Second Madam Zhai so calmly.
If it was not about canceling the marriage, could they be talking about the wedding or the betrothal gift? This would be Zhai Yanlin’s second marriage. According to rules and etiquette, a second wife was of a lower status than the first wife. Not a single aspect in the marriage ritual could surpass the first wife, including the betrothal gift from the bridegroom family. Maybe Zhai family took this rule into consideration and came to negotiate terms with Yichun Marquis Manor.
Cheng Yujin couldn’t say what she was feeling in her heart. She stared at the lanterns in front of her and laughed at herself. When did she become like this? She actually relied on someone else to save her?
In this world, no one would be more concerned about this matter than herself. Although Cheng Yuanjing promised to help, he was busy with his own affairs and couldn’t take care of everything. In the end, this was her problem, and she had to rely on herself.
Rather than praying to the Boddhishatva, it was better to use her own effort. This was the truth she had understood at the age of seven. Why was she still being muddleheaded?
Lin Qingyuan walked and chatted for a while, but didn’t hear the response from the person walking behind. When he turned around, he saw Cheng Yujin was still standing in place, staring at a lantern intently. The young man was puzzled, so he asked: “Eldest Miss Cheng, what’s the matter?”
Cheng Yujin returned to her senses and realized that she had accidentally neglected Lin Qingyuan. She coughed slightly and answered: “Nothing. I’m sorry, Compiler Lin. I was mesmerized by this lantern and forgot to follow you.”
Lin Qingyuan waved his hands casually: “It’s okay. Eldest Miss Cheng doesn’t have to apologize. I’m taking you to have fun, not to make you apologize to me. I’m happy if you enjoy it.”
When Cheng Yujin heard this, she once again was ascertained by Lin Qingyuan’s magnanimity. This young man had a pure and innocent heart similar to Xu Zhixian, but was more capable and independent. Such a person, if she married him, she would have a very comfortable life in the future.
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