Aerial Rain
Translating Web Novel

GNU Ch 81 Part 2 – Watching the Lanterns (II)

Cheng Yujin was 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.

She lowered her gaze and whispered, “Thank you, Compiler Lin.”

Lin Qingyuan saw Cheng Yujin stopped by a lantern stall. He really believed that she was admiring a lantern just now, so he said: “There are so many lanterns with interesting shapes. Eldest Miss Cheng may as well stay here and have more look.”

“Okay.” Cheng Yujin nodded. People were coming and going on the street. Cheng Yujin glanced back and saw that Qingfu Junzhu and the others were still talking intently and did not pay attention to her.

A carriage passed by in the middle of the road, and when the carriage was gone, Cheng Yujin’s figure had disappeared.

Seeing Cheng Yujin’s figure suddenly disappeared, Zhai Yanlin frowned and subconsciously took a few steps forward. However, there were too many people on the street today. Zhai Yanlin looked around for a long time, but couldn’t find Cheng Yujin.

Zhai Yanlin’s frown deepened. Today, people of all ranks mingled on the street. Cheng Yujin only brought two servant girls with her, and it was too dangerous to be separated from her family.

He wanted to rush out towards Cheng Yujin’s last position immediately, but after taking just two steps, the event from two days ago burst out in his mind.

That day, he went out with his friends and colleagues as usual, but when he went out alone to sober his head, he was stopped by an unfamiliar face. However, as soon as the man spoke, Zhai Yanlin recognized his voice as a eunuch, and there was only one place in this world that employed eunuchs — the imperial palace.

Zhai Yanlin’s mind was instantly half-sobered by the shock. After giving a cold smile as a greeting, the imperial eunuch warned him with roundabout words, saying that some blessings were beyond him, and that he shouldn’t move his hand on something he couldn’t afford.

This time, Zhai Yanlin was thoroughly sobered.

He stood in the cold wind for a long time, and his complexion changed from flushing to pale. He kept thinking about the eunuch’s words. What was it mean by the blessing that he couldn’t afford? During this period, he hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary. The only difference was his plan to remarry.

When this idea hit him, Zhai Yanlin couldn’t believe himself. Cheng Yujin actually had a relationship with someone in the palace?

How could this be?

Zhai Yanlin no longer had the mood to drink. After leaving some words to his colleagues, he quickly went back home. At home, Zhai Yanlin’s mood was extremely ugly. After much contemplation, he finally confided to his mother and told her to temporarily put aside the marriage talk with the Cheng family.

When Old Madam Zhai heard that an imperial eunuch actually came to warn Zhai Yanlin, she was so scared that her soul almost flew out of her body. She didn’t dare to take a risk, so she immediately ordered Second Madam Zhai to cancel the marriage proposal with the Cheng family. However, they didn’t dare to offend the Cheng family, so they had no choice but to be very polite, almost begging the other party to let them dissolve the previous oral agreement.

There were still princes in the palace who had yet to marry. No matter how much courage Old Madam Zhai had, she didn’t dare to compete with the imperial family.

It just happened that the two families had made an appointment for the Lantern Festival. On the surface, it was the elders’ arrangement for the soon-to-be-engaged couple to familiarize themselves with each other. In fact, however, it was Zhai Yanlin’s one-sided decision. However, now that they had been warned by the palace, Cai Duke Manor didn’t dare to have any more thoughts. Old Madam Zhai was too old to go to the crowded street, so she sent her daughter-in-law to have a clear talk with the Cheng family.

Fortunately, there was no formal engagement yet, just the elders of two families exchanging a promise in private. As long as both sides kept their mouth shut, no one would know about this matter. Eldest Miss Cheng’s reputation wouldn’t be damaged, and Zhai family’s future wouldn’t be ruined.

Second Madam Zhai departed with a bitter face. Under such circumstances, Zhai Yanlin was obviously not suitable to see Cheng Yujin. But in the end, his unwillingness prevailed, and he watched Cheng Yujin stepped out of her carriage from a distance, separated by the hustle and bustle of the crowd.

She dressed up beautifully today. Although her dresses were all in white color due to the mourning period, when she stood in a pure white cloak under the lanterns, the light and shadow intertwined, as if the stars themselves were falling on her body and accentuated her brilliance.

Zhai Yanlin watched from afar, separated one world away. His hands clenched into fists. Unwillingness, shock, and indignation filled his heart.

At Xiangji Temple, Cheng Yujin hit his self-esteem severely. From birth to now, this was the first time someone had ever talked to him like that. All women flattered him and wished for his favor, but only Cheng Yujin alone regarded him as nothing.

Zhai Yanlin was stimulated to the extreme, which fueled his desire to take this woman as his own. Such was the way of the world. Even if Cheng Yujin was unwilling, could she refuse to marry him?

She totally underestimated Duke Cai Manor.

Zhai Yanlin followed his selfish intention and forcefully pushed through the marriage proposal. During this time, he was incredibly proud of himself. He had been thinking, what expression would Cheng Yujin show when she knew that everything was a foregone conclusion? When she finally married into Cai Duke Manor and became his wife, would she lowered her posture and came to beg him?

 

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Translator’s note:

I enjoyed reading the discussion regarding Lin Qingyuan’s ‘advantage’ against ninth uncle (although I don’t like when the comment section becomes too heated). Let me add my own analysis:

Cheng Yujin isn’t someone who shy away from difficulty. Her goal regarding marriage is the best possible within her reach. If she wants to have an easy life with wealth that at least can maintain her current lifestyle, she would have long targeted Xu Zhixian. That boy’s personality is simple, his mother likes her, and Cheng Yujin herself is confident that she can control Xu Zhixian. Moreover, Xu Zhixian’s father isn’t the heir, so even if the situation of his extended family may be complex, he will leave the duke manor sooner or later.

Lin family’s ‘no concubines’ rule is surely a very attractive point, but it isn’t the only reason why Cheng Yujin chose him. She weighted all candidates, giving them scores, and Lin Qingyuan merely win by the total score. For Cheng Yujin, concubines are just family properties. Their management might be tricky, which is why Lin family’s rule is attractive to her, but even if her husband has concubines (like Huo Changyuan in previous life), she is confident that she can manage them well. It is only later, after she heard from Lin Qingyuan that he hasn’t married yet because he hasn’t found his ‘Lady Right,’ that Cheng Yujin felt a pang of envy – an envy she didn’t know she had, or probably just never acknowledged.

Cheng Yujin also acknowledges that she had seriously considered Zhai Yanlin as a prospective husband before. The fact that he is widowed, has multiple concubines, and complex family situation (difficult mother-in-law and sister-in-law) is more than compensated by his status, wealth, and power. Cheng Yujin is sure that she is capable to overcome all those difficulties. However, Zhai Yanlin already has an heir. This makes all Cheng Yujin’s effort, if she married him, result in nothing. All the family’s properties will go to Zhai Qing, while her own children will get next to nothing. Cheng Yujin’s ultimate goal in marriage is to enjoy her old age in life, comfort, and power. She is willing to work hard, but only if the return is bigger than the effort.

Cheng Yujin never considers Cheng Yuanjing as a candidate because he is clearly out of her league. Logically, she understands the difficulty faced by Cheng Yuanjing’s future wife, but she never thinks about it from her perspective. Does Cheng Yujin think that the crown princess position is not worth the effort? Or is she willing to take the risk to achieve the highest status possible? Unfortunately, we still don’t know.

***

My rambling has turned into a mini-essay haha. Thank you for reading! You are free to discuss in the comment section, but please do not turn it into a screaming/sarcasm contest, and obviously, no spoiler.



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18 thoughts on “GNU Ch 81 Part 2 – Watching the Lanterns (II)”

    1. Many thanks

      Another factor that makes Yujin shy away I think is that she can’t charm Yuanjian as readily as she can others. She has also factored in her own confidence and charm into the equation and scores and she knows that it doesn’t work with him (cause he’s abstruse lol). That sort of thing. Honestly, if he showed a litttlllleee more willingness to play her games she might have considered him lolol but now he has to do it the hard way XD

      1. I like this idea very much, very in line with Yujin’s character. Translator’s Note seems correct too that Yujin never considered Yuanjing as an option, but one of the reasons was because he was obviously a tough meat to chew. It’d be different if he looked like someone she could charm into the direction she liked.

      2. i would also to add maybe besides him being a crown prince, Yunjin never thought about being a Wang Fei. she with her big scheme, words and brain won’t have such untoward thoughts to an imperial family, more or less towards this hot and cold Crown Prince. her dreams actually very simple for such an uphill battle: have a good family, rich and became old with money, respect and prosperity towards her future family. she could’ve reach those, its just her luck having Yumo as twin sister.

        I also cpuld be wrong but from my knowledge that usually a Wang Fei could or could not be an Empress. especially if the Crown Prince backing is lacking and Wang Fei background not that helpful. with enough context Marquis Chen manor is declining, dont hace good standing in court and all around useless besides their Second Branch Di Daughter marriage with Marquis Huo. True towards this story, Emperor Kai’s Wang Fei supposed to be his rightful Empress when he suddenly get the throne, was being schemed to death. really unfair. even his Wang Fei child was schemed until he need to cloak his own birth.

        Imperial family is so muddy, i honestly thought that Yujin with her might and cunning plan doesn’t like how imperial family work. cunning as she might be, i dont even want her going into that kind of hard life. her life already hard as it is, that Lin boy for me personally is a better choice.

  1. HAHAHA. i thought the crown price would do some manipulation in his end. Turns out he did it so crudely. 🤣🤣🤣

    I agree with everything you said translator-san! Yujin hasn’t considered being a crown princess because it’s too high up. She knows that he’ll be the future emperor so she only sees him as a great benefactor and nothing more. Good luck 9th uncle. You have a long way to go. 😅

  2. chinesefanreader

    I was confused at first when the story suddenly jumped to the Duke seeing Yujin disappear, wasn’t she there with Compiler Lin🤯… until the explanation that followed 😅 So many shots to his ego that his s.o.b. plan to force her didn’t work

    Thanks for the chapter 🙏

  3. Thank you for your update.

    I hope the scumbag Zhai Yanlin gets double in return for the pain he wants to inflict on her.
    Maybe it is time the Duke Cai manor disappears.

  4. I agree with you, but you forgot one point that I think was important. The difference in status between her and the prince is high, so she can not marry him as a main wife but as a concubine and that is definitely a no no for Yujin.

    Thanks for your great efforts❤️

  5. I’m agree with you. Even if he crown prince success his ‘rebellion’, he needs to strenghten his power, one of the options is married a lady with strong household. And that isnt the cheng

    1. I think I’ve read before in a book the emperor only had the empress and no concubines. He was pressured by his court officials to take concubines but he refused. He said the only reason for the emperor to take on concubines is because he is not capable enough and need the support of a woman’s family. But Cheng yuanjing is clearly not like this. The man has been living outside for so long and everything he has accomplished till today was of his own doing. So i think our crown prince is going to take back his rightful position with his own capable hands. That’s also why his choice for his princess is Yujin even though he knows his father might have other options for him with strong backgrounds.

  6. Thanks for the chapter. Such an intriguing story! One underlying current for Cheng Yujin and Ninth Uncle is how they both have honed their skills not to impress others (although they do) but to fill up the empty places within themselves. They are self starters. Seriously, every time Cheng Yujin remembers how she handled her mother-in-law in the past, I can see her handling a palace.

    1. Imo the reason why she has never considered yuanjing is just that – she hasn’t considered him at all.

      I mean, originally they had an uncle-niece relationship. Not only is that not a socially acceptable relation for romance, there’s also that one comment she made about ‘uncle lin’, and if you think one step farther, there is no benefits for her to marry him at that time.

      Then, he turned out to be the crown prince, and she was worried for her life. Yuanjing then made a slight, but pretty much unavoidable, blunder by making her call him ‘Ninth Uncle’ because I think the way people are addressed also affects her the way she thinks it affects others.

      So, due to these mental barriers, she has never had the thought to even consider him.

  7. To Yujin, the imperial family is like a star in the sky. I think she hasn’t considered Ninth Uncle because he’s so far out of her reach. She called him a living buddha before, right? He feels that far away from her. With all his touching, her sixth senses might give her an inkling, but remember that she also wants a husband/family she can handle. She constantly says she can’t get a read on him, I think her evaluation of him as a husband would go down. There would also potentially be a lot of danger in her life and fighting off families who want the crown princess spot. Sure, her usual pros would be on a greater scale, but the weight of the cons are pretty great, too. I’m curious how the author will spin her “pragmatic” thinking in regards to Lin Chengjing as a husband.

  8. I think another reason Cheng Yujin never really considered Cheng Yuanjing is because she has the feeling they were alike in temperament…she felt they both went into situations considering the costs/benefits, not emotions, so if she were in his shoes, she would pick someone who could help her achieve her goal (his goal being to return to being the Crown Prince and take the throne)…she knows she cannot help him achieve his goal in terms of the benefits she brings, so she figures he would never consider her in that light…and Cheng Yujin is not one to waste her energy where she has no chance…

  9. Exactly that what I thought too. I agree with the translator’s rambling. She nwver consider Yuanjing just because she thinks she is out of his league… Considering her family status and her own at the moment, she might only be qualified as a side consort.
    With that status, her goal to have a comfortable old life is hard to achieve, the probability is very low close to none.
    Yuanjing is doomed to have a risky position in the palace which also make all women in his harem in the same danger.
    So, if she is not the mainwife, it is not really worth it to face all those risk.
    How could she dare to dream that Yuanjing fell hard on her and would put his utmost effort to marry her?!

  10. I’m kinda tired of this Lin compiler plot line. It’s pointless cause we all know it won’t happen. The guy seems like a genuinely kind guy. He deserves someone that’ll love him and cherish him and Yujin is not that person. He’s being manipulated into thinking she could be that sort of person and it’s not fair to him.
    The most Yujin can offer is loyalty and some form of companionship. I think she can eventually grow to have some type of love for him after years of him treating her well but that love won’t be the kind of love Lin compiler seems to want. If he was heading into the marriage aware that ‘love’ was not necessarily on the table, it’d be a different story. Quite frankly, unless the author fucks his character up, Yujin doesn’t deserve Lin Complier. He’ll most likely spend the rest of his life settling for the minimal love she can give him and he’ll keep convincing himself that it’s enough because of the ‘peace’ that comes along with it. But deep down, he’ll always have that hollow feeling of knowing that he’s not a priority to her and that she can never love him the way he loves (the image of her) her.

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