Continuing from this

He doesn’t remember ever actually saying yes, but he is well aware he never actually said no.

He blames it, in part, on being overwhelmed in the moment by the whole thing. Nie Huaisang, his friend, was considered someone who might potentially be a man’s consort? Was considered someone who would be his consort? The matchmaker thought they would be good together? To say the idea came as something of a revelation was an understatement.

Before his brain had quite caught up, the old matchmaker was talking about initial overtures, how to handle this admittedly unusual case. How to approach Chifeng-zun with the idea. And at that point, Jiang Cheng thinks, surely Nie Mingjue will reject this out of hand, right? But in the meantime, he can enjoy a little peace and quiet before having to sort out this mess.

He can always explain to Nie Huaisang. They’re friends, after all. He’ll probably find it funny. They can have a laugh over it the next time they see each other.

So, based on this, but make it :

It had backfired spectacularly.

A month ago, Jiang Cheng had been in a room with his mother, her sister and several other older women who were maybe relatives and maybe professional matchmakers. They had been harrying him to pick someone from among the list of potential matches so overtures could be made to the potential bride's family.

His mother had started talking about finding a match for him almost as soon as he came back from the Cloud Recesses, but it had ramped up recently and culminated that after afternoon, with a long list of the cultivation world's eligible young women, complete with a plethora of portraits that made them all look the same, and Jiang Cheng feeling increasingly claustrophobic by their demands.