Cheng Yujin rarely fell ill since she was a child. Unexpectedly, her illness this time came fiercely. Although her fever had been controlled, her temperature didn’t return to normal for several days, making her feel very weak and groggy.
Falling into the river during the winter was truly not a small incident. Cheng Yujin was so listless that she couldn’t do anything except for staying on the bed. Servants in the yard didn’t dare disturbing Cheng Yujin’s recovery and were very cautious when talking and moving, trying to be as silent as possible. The yard was so quiet that people could even hear the sound of a feather falling on the floor.
After seven or eight days, Cheng Yujin’s spirit gradually improved, and the yard became alive again.
The few days when Cheng Yujin was sick, she had no appetite to eat. Her two servant girls and the yard’s small kitchen exhausted their means to improve Cheng Yujin’s appetite. The food was changed day by day, trying to get her to eat more. Today, Cheng Yujin felt very refreshed, and even her tired body was much more relaxed, as if some intangible burden had finally left her. When Du Ruo and Lian Qiao noticed Cheng Yujin’s changes, they were overjoyed. In less than two hours, the small kitchen delivered a complete set of meals, trying to make up for Cheng Yujin’s lost nutrient over these few days.
Holding a hot-water bottle, Cheng Yujin leaned on the luohan couch and slowly stirring the almond barley porridge. She didn’t know whether this was her first meal today or not. Anyway, she didn’t have much appetite. While waiting for the porridge to cool down, she asked her servant girls to talk about anything new.
Cheng Yujin didn’t ask about the news of these seven or eight days she had been bedridden. If she didn’t take the initiative to send a messenger, people outside wouldn’t be able to contact her. She completely cut herself off from the outside world and was able to recover in quiet and peace. At first, it was because of her lack of energy, but later, Cheng Yujin was too lazy to take care. She also hadn’t seen Cheng Yuanjing these few days. He didn’t come, and she didn’t ask. All her attention was spent on recuperation.
Said to be recuperating, in fact, Cheng Yujin had been very comfortable these few days. Everyone in the house revolved around her. She only needed to say what she wanted to eat, and the small kitchen would deliver the meal after a while. She didn’t need to deal with anyone she didn’t like, and she didn’t need to put on a mask to deal with incoming guests and elders. On top of that, she didn’t need to ask other people’s permission for anything she wanted.
This had never happened in her past fifteen years of life. Although she lived in an independent courtyard in the Cheng family’s manor, there was basically no privacy or secrets in her every move. She was an adopted eldest daughter. She had no biological mother who would fend off troubles for her. She dared not act like a spoiled daughter to Qingfu, let alone brazenly asked for everything. The servants in her courtyard were people arranged by Old Madam Cheng and Qingfu Junzhu, and they basically were there to monitor her. Knowing who these people actually were, yet Cheng Yujin’s only choice was to accept with a smile and put them in important positions.
The only people she could trust were the two personal servant girls who had been by her side for more than ten years. In fact, Du Ruo and Lian Qiao were also not her people initially, but after a long time, she had firmly gained their loyalty.
No matter what happened to herself, as long as she still had a single breath left, Cheng Yujin had to deal with relatives with their various minds and also had to go to Qingfu Junzhu and Old Madam Cheng to express her gratitude. If she were not careful, she would become Ruan-shi’s knife to attack Qingfu Junzhu. In short, it was a very tiring life. Over the years, Cheng Yujin didn’t dare to let herself fall sick.
But the past few days she spent in Cheng Yuanjing’s private residence, Cheng Yujin finally felt what it meant to be protected tightly. The servants here were naturally Cheng Yuanjing’s people, but when Cheng Yuanjing was not here, Cheng Yujin had the final say. It was extremely rare for Cheng Yujin to enjoy such a comfortable moment, and she devoted all her mind to properly recover from the illness.
The porridge in her hand had gradually cooled after some stirring and was now warm enough to be eaten. Cheng Yujin scooped a spoonful, listening to the servant girls while sipping the porridge. Du Ruo and Lian Qiao deliberately told a joke to make Cheng Yujin laugh. Cheng Yujin couldn’t hold back and smiled slightly. The two servant girls were overjoyed and were about to continue when suddenly there were sounds of crackling firecrackers outside.
The sounds of firecrackers were so loud that everyone in the room was startled. Even Cheng Yujin put down the bowl and looked out the door. A clean-faced manservant guarding the courtyard’s gate was very angry. He yelled with his squeaky voice: “The New Year is almost over. Who is putting on firecrackers outside? If Miss is shocked and fell ill again, do you think you can hold the responsibility?”
This person dressed as an ordinary servant, so Cheng Yujin didn’t pay much attention. But at this moment, he spoke with a strong palace accent. But Cheng Yujin pretended not to notice it. She asked: “What’s going on?”
“I don’t know; maybe a family is celebrating a happy event.” Du Ruo answered. She also had no clue.
Cheng Yujin didn’t think so: “I don’t think it’s just one family setting off firecrackers. It’s not an auspicious day, and there is no reason for so many people to have happy events simultaneously.” Cheng Yujin called Lian Qiao and ordered: “Go outside and take a look.”
Lian Qiao took the order and left. Cheng Yujin thought it would take only the time needed to go back and forth, but unexpectedly, Lian Qiao returned after a long time. When she came back, the expression on her face was…very indescribable. There was an obvious surprise, shock, and trance, but also seemed to be mixed with great joy.
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