That being the case, Cheng Yuanjing’s behavior yesterday gradually pointed to another possibility that made Cheng Yujin shudder in chill.
There was no difference between Zou Cheng and Cheng Yujin, except that as a woman, Cheng Yujin couldn’t marry more than one man. In contrast, men could marry a wife and have multiple concubines. If only the society allowed it, Cheng Yujin would also want to choose Lin Qingyuan as her main husband and take Zou Cheng as a reserve and investment, but unfortunately, she couldn’t.
Cheng Yujin’s throat gradually became dry. She had been soaked in freezing water for a long time, and her voice was hoarse. Now, the familiar cold and powerless sensation that she felt in that icy water seemed to be returning.
Cheng Yujin tried her best to make her voice as normal as possible: “Ninth Uncle, you were born noble and talented. Maybe you will never need to understand the hardships of life. For you, it may be just a momentary whim, but for me, it is fifteen years of hard work and all of my future.”
Perhaps the crown prince fancied her beautiful face and thus wanted to take her as his. For Cheng Yuanjing, that was just a whim, but for Cheng Yujin, that was her fate for a lifetime.
Legal wife and concubines were completely different. Even if the imperial family’s side concubines were called side consorts, they were still concubines.
Cheng Yuanjing kept looking at Cheng Yujin intently and didn’t miss the slightest changes on her face. She called him Ninth Uncle again, which was a disguised show of weakness. But her way of begging for mercy was extremely hurtful in his ears.
“A momentary whim?” Cheng Yuanjing paused and said slowly, “In your eyes, am I such a person? Or, do you always see me like that?”
Cheng Yujin lowered her head, as if thinking hard for a reply. Cheng Yuanjing was sitting while Cheng Yujin was standing in front of him. From his line of sight, he could see her slender and white neck.
Cheng Yuanjing’s gaze first fell on the beautiful neck, then slowly moved up and carefully lingered on her face. Cheng Yujin’s skin was truly excellent. It was white and delicate, which made her neck look even more slender. When she stood silently like this, she looked like an ephemeral beauty coming straight out of a painting, so beautiful that people wanted to take her away.
Cheng Yuanjing remembered the words she had just said, and his lips curled up in a smile: “Since you are so eager to maintain the proper distance between the ruler and the subject, then let me ask you, how do you plan to repay a life-saving grace from a ruler?”
Cheng Yujin seemed to be surprised. Her eyes widened for a moment, and then she took a quick glance at Cheng Yuanjing. Although she tried to conceal her emotion, her eyebrows were slightly furrowed. Those words were very blatant. Cheng Yuanjing had never shown such a display of power in front of her before, which made Cheng Yujin subconsciously always felt that this person was a calm, rational, and principled crown prince.
Cheng Yujin never thought that Cheng Yuanjing would actually say something like this. Changed to someone else, it was bordering rude to be so blatantly asking for repayment of a good deed committed.
Cheng Yujin was speechless for a moment. She wanted to muster the courage to talk reason, but this trick only worked against gentlemen, not rogues. If the other party had enough willingness to listen, it might be effective. But what if he didn’t have any scruple at all?
Even Zhai Yanlin could force her to submit, let alone Cheng Yuanjing.
Seeing Cheng Yujin’s complexion worsened, Cheng Yuanjing held out his hand and said, “Come here.”
Cheng Yujin hesitated for a long time and didn’t move. However, Cheng Yuanjing was very patient. He kept holding out his hand and waited.
But his patience also meant that he didn’t allow compromise.
Cheng Yujin couldn’t help but sigh inwardly. She finally took two steps forward and cautiously put her hand on Cheng Yuanjing’s palm.
As soon as her fingers touched his palm, they were wrapped in a powerful vigor. In an instant, Cheng Yujin was pulled to the chair. Cheng Yuanjing held her shoulders in a very natural manner and let her sit next to him.
The chair was originally for one person. Although it was spaceful, once another person was added, the chair suddenly became cramped. Cheng Yujin sat so close to Cheng Yuanjing that their body almost touched. She was stiff frozen, but Cheng Yuanjing didn’t seem to notice and began to check her condition. First, he checked the temperature on Cheng Yujin’s forehead, then he held her wrist for a while and finally said: “You are much better, but you should take a good rest for a few more days.”
Cheng Yujin didn’t dare to move, but she also didn’t dare to remain silent. Cheng Yuanjing had completely exposed his intention. If she kept silent and obediently let him did whatever he liked, who knew how far the situation would develop. Cheng Yujin’s eyes drifted for a while, and she finally asked: “Your Highness can diagnose the pulse?”
“Long illness makes a doctor of a patient. I was in poor health as a child, so I naturally picked up one or two skills.”
This topic involved two generations of imperial power struggles, and Cheng Yujin didn’t dare to continue the conversation. She paused for a while. After some deliberation, she chose to use flattery: “Your Highness is really smart. Your Highness is now very skillful in both scholarly and military skills. No one would expect that you were in poor health as a child.”
Cheng Yuanjing was used to Cheng Yujin’s sudden flattery. He didn’t say a word, but simply watched her for a while. He suddenly smiled: “Are you afraid of me?”
Cheng Yujin sighed. She put away her fear and chose to speak honestly: “Yes. With what Your Highness said just now, how can I am not afraid?”
Cheng Yuanjing declined to comment. He didn’t let go of Cheng Yujin’s wrist. Instead, he began to leisurely play with her hand. Cheng Yujin didn’t dare to resist and she could only stay frozen. Cheng Yuanjing was fiddling with Cheng Yujin’s fingers when he suddenly said: “Did you meet Zhai family yesterday?”
Cheng Yujin didn’t know why he asked this, but she replied honestly: “Yes. Yesterday, I went out to watch the lantern with mother and second aunt, and we happened to meet second madam Zhai. Second madam Zhai had something to say to mother alone, so I was told to go and watch the lantern stalls on the other side of the road. Later…Your Highness also knows what happened afterward.”
“So you didn’t hear what they were talking about.” Cheng Yuanjing understood, “No wonder.”
“Eh?” Cheng Yujin was confused. She looked at Cheng Yuanjing suspiciously.
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