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GNU Ch 81 Part 1 – Watching the Lanterns (I)

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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17 thoughts on “GNU Ch 81 Part 1 – Watching the Lanterns (I)”

  1. Lol he needs to move fasterrrr. Her future is unknown so she’s going to grab it at any chance she seesss
    Many thanks

  2. I think Lin Qingyuan would be a good pick too! Too bad her elders don’t listen to her 🙁

  3. Oh, please don’t say she is going to setup a compromising situation with Complier Lin to get out of the marriage that she thinks has not been cancelled?!?!!!

  4. No author…don’t do this…you can’t make the 2nd male lead so good…or else you have to give us the biggest plot twist in Chinese novels were the “ML” gives up the FL so that she can live a better life.

  5. I want her to marry Lin Qingyuan he will give her a happy comfortable life, and she won’t have to worry about concubines, nor in laws, she’ll be loved and I want her to be loved.

  6. I find it funny that the author has kind of set up Lin Qingyuan to actually be the better person to give our Female Lead exactly what she wants without all the problems that would come with marrying the crown prince. No concubines to compete with, no complicated internal life, and no complicated family matters (completely ignoring all the extra political aspects of being Empress). I feel kind of sorry for her for what could have been since 9h Uncle is likely to jump on this to prevent it from happening.

    1. I agree with you about Lin Qingyuan. The author did the same as with the cousin she already turned down. He was fun, playful, and lighthearted, and would have made her laugh a lot and have a very happy life. His mom really liked her, so they wouldn’t have had issues there, and he seemed completely besotted with her, which is something I think she needs in order to be certain enough of someone’s love to unclench and relax enough to accept. She would have had charge of most of their assets, and it would have been easy for her to prevent him taking other women.

      But, I think the author wants to emphasize that the MC is a very accomplished woman. She has worked very hard to perfect herself and grow her skills. Only with the 9th Uncle would she have the ability to truly show off all of her abilities and be fully recognized for them. With the other men, she’d be happy, but her talents would largely be unneeded and go to waste after a while. And I don’t think she’d know what to do with herself if she suddenly had no problems to overcome. It’s a bit like MC purposefully choosing to have a high powered, challenging career, and being fulfilled by that, even though she knows she could have an easier life with a lower-stress job.

      1. Too tired to add anything to this conversation, just gonna sip ona drink on the couch and say you both have given excellent analysis of the situation and I appreciate having read it.

        Thank you!

      2. That sounds like it, excellent insight. But as Cheng Yujin’s fan, this Lin Qingyuan looks like a huge warm and delicious creamy white bun just out of the steamer that’s so inviting that for a moment I feel like wishing the Uncle to go away!

  7. From all this comparison with Lin Qingyuan and the ML, I do agree that someone like the second ML is a nice option, but within that era, the ML is better.

    So far, it’s been shown that the thing going for him is his family’s tradition and his status and that’s already an amazing combo, but that would, in the end, still feel like a task for the FL. She already doesn’t rely on anyone but herself, risking doing so with the ML. If she did marry Lin Qingyuan, she’ll be back to self reliance. And just because the conditions of living is good doesn’t mean anything new would cause trouble for her. And by that time, she only has herself to rely on because even if the man was already unconventional, he still raised in an ancient era where women’s problems with the inner court are their problems.

    The ML already shown wanting to understand and adapt to the best possible marriage situation for the FL, but we don’t know how Lin Qingyuan will treat her down the line post-marriage. Her plan of marrying off is a temporary fix to escape her home and she’s relying on herself to deal with unexpected troubles in the future.

    If she marries the ML, at least she has someone on her side and will always chooses to side with her. She spent so long having to rely on her own strength, she deserves to have someone she can lean on when she’s too tired and show her most vulnerable side. Someone she trusts to handle a situation for her that won’t inconvenience her. Not to mention someone than can keep up with her pace than just an imbalanced power dynamic of being unaware that they’re being manipulated with charm.

    1. Exactly!
      Besides she is not her true self with Lin Qingyuan. Yujin is ambitious, independent, coldly analytic, selfish, manipulative, and ruthless. She is putting up a front of being a weak, pitiful and abused little girl when, although it is not entirely false, is far away from her whole self. Lin Qingyuan himself sometimes feels as though being eyed by a predator and eventually he would notice something’s off.
      On the other side, the ML is the exact male counterpart of Yujin, both lonely, self reliant, cold, heartless, selfish and self-centered and with amazing self-control. I think it shows more on him because in that era men were more free and with less restrictions than women, besides him being a Crown Prince gives him an edge and power she doesn’t have.
      I wholeheartedly believe that if their roles were reversed the exact same thing would have happened.

  8. Cheng Yujin is essentially manipulating Lin Qingyuan. They are definitely not a good match especially since Lin Qingyuan wants to have a love marriage while Cheng Yujin just wants to be in a marriage that is convenient to her. Although Lin Qingyuan will give his heart to her, she definitely won’t do the same instead she’ll do her best to portray a fantasy for him basically putting on a play her entire life. While the ML knows her personality and her goals. In their marriage she’ll be her true self around him.

  9. Honestly, this chapter has so many issues, I don’t even know which one to point out first.
    Firstly.. little Crown Prince, where are you lurking around again? Come out or your wife will get married away.
    – Compiler Lin, for what reason did you show up again? Why adding unneeded drama to the already unfavorable situation?
    – I can’t believe the severety of FL’s lack in trust in other people, that isn’t even sad anymore but outright tragic
    – little Crown Prince, have you grown mute? You know her habits and her mindset, if you don’t clearly tell her what’s going on, how do you expect her to figure it out? Moreover.. everyone in this novel is able to clearly tell their wishes, except for you. If you want her, tell her. *sighs*

    Aside from that there are too many foreshadowing hints … Cheng Yumo deliberately inviting Cheng Min to the lantern festival
    Compiler Lin appearing
    ML not attending
    Plus the 2nd madam Zhai…

    Don’t scold me for spoiler, I’m now just voicing my own guess:
    Don’t tell me Cheng Yumo prepared a trap to have FL loose her innocence (being attacked, falling into the water etc) in front of everyone. But if.. then I would guess the absent Crown Prince will show up at the last second to save the damsel in distress?!
    *smashing the “next” button to find out what conspiracy is taking place here*

  10. Ninth Uncle shouldn’t have left her hanging. If he had ANY understanding of her personality at all, he should have let her know what he would do to help her instead of leaving her anxious and insecure. That’s her second engagement that’s broken (though luckily it’s a private one – so far). It’s fine and dandy for him if her reputation lowers since he’ll have less competition, but how is Yujin going to feel about that? He should have moved faster so she wouldn’t have to go through so much hardship. Even though he’s by her side “protecting” her, she’s still having such a tough time. And yeah, it’s a novel so she has to go through ups and downs. But there aren’t really that many ups for our girl 80 chapters in T_T

  11. “On the contrary, Ruan-shi looked surprised, but also delighted, trying to suppress the smile on her face.” And she had no idea why Yujin denied being her child. I know we already established that, but I still want to pull out Ruan-shi stupid hair every time.

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