When the New Year came, Cheng Yujin’s one-month confinement was over, and she was finally allowed to go outside for a short time. The time coincided not only with the New Year’s Grand Assembly but also the twins’ full month ceremony — both demanding Cheng Yujin’s attendance.
Early in the morning, Cheng Yujin was ready to change her children’s clothes. She deliberately woke up earlier than usual and said to Li Chengjing, “I cannot find my hairpin. Can you go to the dresser and fetch me the gold-plated hairpin with sapphire inlay?”
Having said that, Old Madam Cheng was slightly annoyed when she thought of the worry and anxiety she suffered until a short time ago. Qingfu Junzhu also lowered her voice and said, “That one dares to be so arrogant because of her strong backing. In my opinion, His Majesty is way too filial. The matter of disaster relief in Jiangnan is obviously the Crown Prince’s credit, but such great achievements were robbed by others in the end. His Highness’ months of hard and dangerous work have now become futile. This matter has become quite a topic in the female circle, and many felt sorry for him.”
After Old Madam Cheng exchanged the usual pleasantries, she glanced at Qingfu Junzhu. Qingfu Junzhu was very good at socializing and immediately came up with a few caring questions, to which Cheng Yujin replied with a smile.
After Qingfu Junzhu and Cheng Yujin had finished the required mother-daughter interaction, Old Madam Cheng said slowly, as if in passing: “Today, the second child’s wife actually also wants to attend the ceremony. However, I am worried about leaving the manor empty with no one in charge and thus let her stay behind to watch the home.”
During the morning court, the Emperor personally instructed grand ceremonies to be prepared for his new grandchildren. Naturally, the Eastern Palace spared no effort in preparing the first of the ceremonies — the third-day wash ceremony — ending up in an extremely grand scenery.
The moment she saw the wrinkled baby bundled in the swaddle, Cheng Yujin’s eyes widened in surprise as she turned to look at Li Chengjing in horror.
Healthy and good-looking? Looking like her?
What exactly were Li Chengjing’s criteria for ‘good-looking’?
News always flew fast in the imperial palace. Not long after the Emperor’s eunuch arrived, the people sent by Empress Yang and Empress Dowager Yang also came.
The one sent by Empress Dowager to inquire about the news was a senior mama. She had just entered the courtyard when the Emperor’s eunuch shouted excitedly, “Dragon and phoenix twins are auspicious. Now that they have landed in the imperial family’s Eastern Palace, it must be a sign of heavenly favor. Heaven blesses our dynasty!”
At this moment, Cheng Yujin was trapped in the hazy confusion between a past and present life. The voice was still roaring with all its might: “Don’t you want the child of your previous life? As a mother, how can you be so irresponsible?”
Cheng Yujin had been in pain for hours, and her consciousness gradually blurred. She couldn’t distinguish between hallucination and reality at this moment, and couldn’t tell whether the person in front of her was an illusion born from her imagination or the regret she buried deep under her reason.
Huo Changyuan walked alone in the roofed corridor, feeling the cold, bitter wind whistling through the night sky. Rationally, he knew that he shouldn’t have this kind of thought, but he couldn’t help thinking — if Cheng Yujin was in Cheng Yumo’s position today, how would she handle the situation?
If it was Cheng Yujin, she definitely wouldn’t bring up words like ‘separation’ or ‘divorce.’ Once she brought it up, it meant that she had prepared everything and was fully determined to go through with the separation. She wouldn’t attack her husband with the loss of her child, wouldn’t curse her mother-in-law in front of her husband, and wouldn’t let her husband return to a cold, dark room after a day of tiring work, not even preparing a pot of hot tea…
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Cheng Yumo’s momentum suddenly weakened. She had no intention of getting a divorce and only deliberately said so to make Huo Changyuan soften. How could she expect that he would actually tell her to leave!
Cheng Yumo stopped the ruse, but cried even more aggrievedly as a result, “Have you forgotten when you asked me to marry you and what you promised me back then? No wonder mother-in-law kept mentioning concubines again. It turns out that you have this intention!”
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Cheng Yujin’s contraction began late at night. Once the night servants were alerted, the main hall immediately lit up again. Lian Qiao quickly ran out, not even bothered to tidy her clothes as she shouted, “Go and call the midwives! Also, run to the kitchen and tell them to boil water. The Crown Princess is about to give birth!”