After Old Madam Cheng learned that Cheng Yuanjing’s real identity was the Crown Prince Li Chengjing, she wondered if Cheng Yujin knew something and thus approached Cheng Yuanjing in advance. Old Madam Cheng secretly tried to probe, but found Cheng Yujin’s eyes to be firm. She also answered without thinking, not at all looked like to be lying. Old Madam Cheng was in doubt. She couldn’t be sure whether Cheng Yujin was hiding too well, or whether the girl really didn’t know anything, and everything was just a coincidence.
Cheng Yujin looked at Old Madam Cheng and suddenly smiled: “So, grandmother is suspecting that His Highness and I have a relationship in private?”
Old Madam Cheng’s complexion instantly changed. Even if she indeed harbored such a suspicion, she couldn’t say it aloud. It was already bad enough for any woman to be suspected of having a private relationship with a man, but Cheng Yujin was already a formally recognized quasi Crown Princess. Unless Old Madam Cheng was crazy, how could she dare to pour dirty sewage on the Crown Prince and Crown Princess?
Old Madam Cheng hurriedly said: “Of course not. His Highness the Crown Prince is benign and openhearted, excels in both virtue and talent. How can you two do this kind of thing? Crown Princess, you misunderstood this old woman’s meaning.”
“Good if it’s just a misunderstanding.” Cheng Yujin said with a gentle smile. “When I heard that Ninth Uncle is the Crown Prince, I was also shocked. I also don’t understand why His Majesty appointed me as the Crown Princess. With my value and virtue, I am unworthy of that position. However, it is our duty as subjects to obey the Emperor’s order. So, even if I am unworthy, I cannot betray the Emperor’s trust. The imperial palace has announced the edict, and what we should do is to follow and obey. If we ask too many questions, we aren’t loyal to the imperial power. Grandmother, don’t you agree?”
Old Madam Cheng’s expression gradually stiffened. She forced out a smile and said: “Crown Princess is right. This old woman was careless.”
Cheng Yujin’s meaning was very obvious. Regardless of the matter of the Crown Prince being fostered by Cheng family or the reason behind Cheng Yujin’s appointment as the Crown Princess, Old Madam Cheng had no right to inquire. Now that all the dust had settled and the official statement had been released, no matter how much doubt they felt, there were no other facts acceptable, and Old Madam Cheng and the others could only swallow their doubts in silence.
For her to come to Cheng Yujin and ask directly, it was even more brazen.
Old Madam Cheng was used to being obeyed by others for so many years, and no one ever dared to rebut her so blatantly before. Who knew that she would one day be warned by a little girl who was younger than her by two generations? Old Madam Cheng was fuming inside, but she had to hold back and kept smiling at Cheng Yujin.
Cheng Yujin listened to Old Madam Cheng’s plesantry, and smiled meaningfully. She then raised her eyes and glanced at the sky outside. Old Madam Cheng caught her meaning and immediately said: “Blame me, I am too happy seeing Crown Princess again and forget the time. Crown Princess has just recovered from illness, so you should take more rest. I will let the servants send you back.”
“Grandmother, please stay. No need to send me off.” Cheng Yujin stood up. Holding Old Madam Cheng’s arm, she said: “Grandmother is an elder, how can I dare to trouble you? I can go back by myself. I have just been sick and don’t dare to affect grandmother. After I get better, I will come to pay respect to grandmother.”
Old Madam Cheng nodded with a smile and sat back on her seat, not insisting on sending Cheng Yujin off. Cheng Yujin took the hand warmer handed by a servant girl, adjusted the corners of her skirt, and suddenly smiled at Old Madam Cheng again. “By the way, grandmother. I have not been conferred yet. Until the Ministry of Rites sends the gold foil book edict and Crown Princess’ formal court attire, I cannot be called Crown Princess. Grandmother, please do not remember wrong.”
Clearly a rejection, but it was also a reminder. Old Madam Cheng didn’t take back her smile as she watched Cheng Yujin walked out of the door. She came in great fanfare and left in an equal grandeur. After confirming that everyone had left, Old Madam Cheng’s smile faded. Over the years, she had been putting on a matriarch posture, and no one dared to put on the air in front of her. Cheng Yujin’s attitude was too arrogant.
However, Old Madam Cheng quickly changed her mind. She knew that this was just the beginning. Cheng Yujin hadn’t officially been married, so she still kept it simple. After she married the Crown Prince, just her entourage alone would be enough to fill the entire street.
The real battle had not yet begun.
Old Madam Cheng stroked her forehead with a headache. Had she known today, how could she give up on Cheng Yujin and completely annoyed this one? Cheng Yujin was different from Cheng Yumo. Cheng Yumo was naive and ignorant. Although she was sensitive, petty, and definitely held grudges and complaints, Old Madam Cheng knew that such a person would be easy to be lured by family love and affection.
If today’s incident happened to Cheng Yumo, Cheng Yumo would definitely put on a cold face in the beginning. Taking full advantage of the Crown Princess’ prestige, she would question Old Madam Cheng for the injustice she suffered over the years. But Cheng Yujin was different. Since she returned to the manor, Cheng Yujin had always been smiling. Her tone was gentle as usual, and she was still attentive and thoughtful. It was as if her biological mother and adoptive mother’s negligence and exploitation over the years and Cheng family’s decision to sacrifice her and support Cheng Yumo following her broken engagement had never happened.
In plight, she never showed dejection. In glory, she never showed arrogance. Did such a person really have an affection towards her family? Just thinking about this possibility, Old Madam Cheng felt a chill ran down her spine.
Even more distressing, she and her two sons had always shown bad attitudes towards Cheng Yuanjing, offending the Crown Prince. If only they knew…
But in this world, the most worthless phrase was ‘if only.’
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