Published at 20th of February 2017 02:33:16 AM

Chapter 17.1

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After that chaotic day, the Madame and the young misses to the maids in the household redouble their respect for Governess Kong’s training class. No one dare to have the slightest irreverence for her, especially Molan who practically hid her tail. After going through Governess Kong’s education class, Sheng Hong’s rationality prevailed against his emotions for the time being. He slept at Wang shi’s for half a month continuously, letting Concubine Lin, mother and daughter to clear their mind. Spring was on Wang shi’s face everyday, she was so happy that she nearly set off firecrackers. Have to say, Sheng Hong was determined, at least showing Governess Kong something and resolutely rejected Concubine Lin’s request to see him.


Concubine Lin saw that the situation is not right and finally used the ultimate move. Taking advantage of the time when Sheng Hong tutors Changfeng, she made her son hand over a soft green fabric. On it she wrote a poem of grief using gorgeous cinnabar. What ‘thinking about the lord till the heart breaks in the morning, crying tears of blood as if it was rain in the evening’. After Sheng Hong read it and suddenly had a myriad of tender feelings. On a certain day, in the middle of the night, he finally could not resist and went to see Concubine Lin.

After Wang shi found out, she got very angry “Just afraid that little concubine has culture!”

But after this lesson, Sheng Hong realised that he cannot overly indulge Concubine Lin and Concubine Lin cleverly exercised restraint over the limelight. Molan was also the same and became well-behaved. Governess Kong then gave detailed instructions for more than half month, until Changbai successfully passed the county examinations and Governess Kong said goodbye. Sheng Hong added many chests as payment, Governess kept half and returned the remaining half “A person who is half buried, others would think I looted it bringing along this many things, others will think I looted it.”

In the last few days, Wang shi tactfully expressed that she hopes Governess Kong to write a letter to her old friends in the capital. To praise her daughter, as a consideration to be building a qualification for Hualan’s days ahead. Unexpectedly Governess Kong declined with a smile “First Young Lady is not going there to be a guest, she is to stay in the capital for a long time. With time, whatever reputation is all created by one. If I were to praise First Young Lady to the skies, the household of Count Zhongqin will have high expectations and that would not be assuring.”

This words can be translated to the Martian tongue as: Do not place the expected value as too high, it is easy to be disappointed if it is too high. When you lower it a little, it would actually be easier to highlight Hualan. Also do not know if Wang shi understood and only saw that she was trying hard to cover up her disappointment. Thus Governess Kong added “First Young Lady is a living sign of her reputation. Once she bear and raise children and established herself, if I am still able to jump, I can use my two cents worth of voice for the remaining young ladies.” Wang shi thought of Rulan and gave thanks with a huge smile.

After Governess Kong left, the girls returned to their usual routine. Old Madame Sheng caught Minglan to read and study again and added a new subject— needlework with Mama Fang as the temporary instructor. Mama Fang is a first class maid who accompanied as part of the dowry. She has a reputation as the number one in needlework in the Marquis household, perfect in everything such as weaving, sewing, embroidery, shoes and hats, plaiting. Although she is old and her vision dimmed and the needlework is not as meticulous but she has enough to spare when teaching a rookie like Minglan.

Based on these two living examples, Old Madame Sheng and Concubine Lin, who understood literature without much explanation, Mama Fang became very worried that Minglan is also only fond of poetry and dislikes the needle. Who knows Minglan was very cooperative from the start and was more enthusiastic in learning the needlework than learning to read. Mama Fang was shocked and also happy, she immediately took out all her skills to train Minglan. Thus Minglan will learn to read with Old Madame Sheng in the morning and in the afternoon, she will learn from Mama Fang about needlework and the Old Madame will happily watch from the side.  

She let Minglan practice stitching on a small cloth, first stitching narrowly, perfectly straight for the straight and round as a ball for the round ones. The needle must be fine, as if it was like stepping on a sewing machine. The gap must be well-distributed and completely identical. These were the fundamentals, the practicing alone used up a month of Minglan’s month. A month later, Mama Fang picked a bright afternoon for Minglan to take an exam. She barely passed.

Mama Fang was a little baffled “Young Lady is this diligent in learning, why is learning the needlework not as fast and good as you learning to read?”

Minglan silently said: A fraud and one who starts from scratch is naturally different.

Old Madame Sheng was also very baffled “You really like the needlework that much? Compared to studying, you are serious and really putting out your energy.”

Minglan silently shed tears: Only the ghosts will like needlework! In the past, she does not even play with cross-stitches okay.”

The exam-oriented education system has one very big characteristic. For example, learning Mathematical Olympiad, piano or even painting are for extra credit. Studying well was to get into XX university, passing XX university was to find a good job to earn a fortune. To put it nicely, there is a clear-cut goal and direct operations. To put in badly, it was not willing to be at a disadvantage when handling things. Being someone who came from there, after completing the《Thousand Character Classic》Minglan began to examine a problem.

As a woman in the boudoir, highly skilled in all kinds poetic essays and songs and the four arts, for what use? She also cannot take the books as rice to eat because she cannot take the imperial examinations or obtain a talented woman reputation among the nobility?

Old Madame Sheng who was a legitimate daughter will naturally say: Educated nature, harmonised heart raises the character. A halo fills the capital, thus the clan is lighted.

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But Minglan is not a legitimate daughter and the Sheng family is not the Marquis household. She basically cannot enter that top-notch nobility’s social circle.

And Concubine Lin will probably say: On my pathway of success, poetic essays and songs and the four arts were of great help to me.

But Minglan does not want to be a mistress.

Until this time, Mama Fang said something without thinking. After she heard that a medium class Ruyi embroidered good can be sold for two three taels, Minglan suddenly found a direction to work hard towards— no matter how good your studies is or extreme finance management, all of these can be denounced by this society. Only needlework can insure financial security. It can obtain a good reputation and there is a skill to support the future just in case.

Minglan polished her thinking a little and then answered her grandmother in this way. “Needlework is practical. Can make warm caps for Grandmother, shoes for Father, embroidered perfume bags for Mother and Older Sisters and also sew handkerchiefs for Old Brothers.”

Old Madame Sheng was so touched that her eyes was warm and she hugged Minglan for a long time. “Good child, it is hard on you!”

Minglan was confused. Old Madame Sheng understood it as: Studying is merely benefitting oneself but needlework benefits the whole family. Granddaughter at such a young age knows how to care for the family already.

In order to increase the fun in learning, Old Madame Sheng traced out a few simple plum blossoms for Minglan to embroider. Minglan sew it with all her strength and after she had embroidered half a flower, it was already the spring plum blossoms were already falling and the peach blossoms were about to burst open. Mama Fang sighed, might as well add a few more strokes on the flowers and let Minglan sew peach blossoms instead.

“Plum blossoms and peach blossoms are not the same, how to change it?” Minglan protested in a small voice.

“It is alright, the difference in your embroidery is not big.” Old Madame Sheng comforted her.

Minglan “……”

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