Published at 17th of June 2017 06:11:33 AM

Chapter 21.1

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Chapter 021 - Chapter 21

Part 1

"Remember, write from left to right, then from top to bottom; when you start a stroke, make sure to pull your brush to the right and then to the left. When you end a stroke, make sure to pull up slowly, when you press the brush down to write, make sure to lift your wrist up slowly, this way your brush head will look nice...” Minglan and little Changdong were sitting side by side in front of a chimney, with Minglan demonstrating stroke by stroke, Cui mama came from the outside while carrying a small tea tray that was engraved with black painted flowers, on top of it was two white porcelain cups with colorful flowers engraved.

“Thank you Cui mama, causing trouble for you, it’s all my fault, making you have to work more.” Chengdong’s face blushes a little as he took the porcelain cup that Cui mama passed to him while saying a gentle thank you; when he was at Wang Shi’s place, he would not dare to move around; he had only talked to Concubine Xiang the whole day but still didn’t say much either, after several days since Minglan started teaching him, not only did his learning improved; he can also finally speak neatly.

“Oh Buddha, my little boy, why would you say this, it’s all thanks to you coming or else I will have to work a lot harder just to wake this lady up!” Cui mama laughs as she scolds Minglan but Minglan choose to ignore what she heard and only lowers her head and blow the porcelain cup in her hands, Cui mama looks towards Changdong, “Fourth young master you better drink the tea; this is stewed from the new mahogany and plum brown sugar to become a sweet tea; it moisten the lungs and warms the stomach, this is best to drink in the morning, it can also serve as an appetizer for breakfast.”

Changdong holds the cup with his two hands and took a sip of the tea, his little mouth was covered in red because of the smoke [1], he puffed his white cheeks out and tasted the sweetness of the tea with all his heart and shyly says, "It really tastes good, thank you mama... But if I would be drinking this every day, then wouldn’t it be hard in your pockets, you don’t have to do this for me in the future, I do not need to drink this..." his words getting softer and softer.

Cui mama laughingly says: "Fourth young master is actually worrying for us, how could this small amount of tea be hard on us? If you come every morning, then I shall serve you tea every day! Just that we don’t know, whether you sixth older sister would have the will..."

Saying in all laughter and smiles, she looks at Minglan; Minglan forced a hearty smile. Which book said that time traveling to the past to be a young missy would let her sleep the whole day, all lies!

Outside the cabinet with pears engraved, Danju was tasked to help Minglan pack up her bags and put out papers to be used for calligraphy in a bamboo case, Xiaotao who was helping her from a side, stupidly asks: "Older sister Danju, fourth young master coming here is a good thing, but our young lady looks very tired, look at her; yawning with all her might, I would rather let her sleep more, why can’t she teach fourth young master at noon?”

Danju’s frowns with her delicate eyebrows, and gave a hand signal to Xiaotao to shut her mouth and softly says: “Don’t gossip! This prefecture is the house of young masters and young ladies, nobody is better than anyone else, the old lady is also having a hard time, having to make sure that she is not biased to anybody, we have the blessing of getting to live by following the old madam and being safe because of concubine Wei who did not say any bad thing to the head, that’s it, you have no idea how much terrible thing happened! Minglan’s flatteries and the secret slandered is just one of the many, we should not spread baseless rumors, but fortunately, our lady has a big heart, and never put these things on her heart.

If she continues to be so close to the fourth young master and make him keep on walking in and out of Shou’An Hall, at that point it would be something else different. One can see that fourth young master looks really pathetic; the young lady is not easy to take care of and the old lady doesn’t seem to care and now that he is yearning to learn new words, it is just right."

Xiaotao was dazed for a moment and her small face which was filled with freckles suddenly looks so lost: "...Older sister Danju, our young lady is polite and had never fought with her sisters, but the old madam pities her and treats her better, if so how would these be gossips?”

Danju gently laughs and says: "You do not have to worry about that, not only our household have so many happenings, at least our household have a master and old madam that makes sure everything is peaceful, you are an outsider of this household; living freely and easily, initially not know these twists and turns, just adapt and you will be fine. Do not be afraid, kind people gets bullied, when you should take credit, take credit, shaming yourself is a small matter but shaming our lady would be a big matter."

Xiaotao nods seriously, then looked down and started working again but then suddenly says: "Oh yeah, I better go and tell those four plants [2] not to gossip about our lady teaching fourth young master!”

 Danju covers her laughs and mimicked Minglan and says: “Very good, very good, you pick up things fairly fast.”

Studying like this, about three to five days have passed, Mrs. Zhuang tidied everything up then suggested to old madam, that she would teach the girls the arts of music (guzheng [3]), old madam Sheng did not agree at the beginning, afraid that she would exhaust everybody but Mrs. Zhuang confidently promised her that she would bring results. Minglan, who was resting inside the cabinet that had pearls engraved, overheard this conversation, came to a realization; no wonder Mr. Zhuang school fees are so high, it was worth every cent buy one get one free.

But free gifts aren’t all that good either; Mrs. Zhuang is a lot stricter than Mr. Zhuang; Mr. Zhuang didn’t assign homework and they could just sit through the lessons without being called up to answer questions but Mrs. Zhuang is petty about everything, in front of the girls is a seven string guzheng, Mrs. Zhuang would teach the ladies patiently one on one and they had to go through exams.

Having to learn all Do, Jiao, Shang, Wei and Yu [4] had caused Minglan to feel dizzy, both ears are hearing echoes, She finally understood that her body doesn’t even have half a bit of cells that have musical talent, This guzheng class also made Rulan suffer, especially since she does not have the patience like Minglan and could only pluck a few strings since morning, on the other hand, Molan has natural talent, she was quick to learn, played smoothly, after Mrs. Zhuang praised her, she practiced even harder, causing birds within ten miles radius to fly away.

But the guzheng has its highs and lows, in this era, the ultimate goal of most people is to have food to eat and clothes to wear, a number of people that appreciates the art of guzheng would most likely be lesser than the number of pandas in the ancient China, Minglan reflected about her identity has a daughter of a sixth grade official and thought that in the future, as long as her husband doesn’t critic her, not clingy and is accepting and observant then that’s enough to make her happy, then she would not need to ask him to be able to appreciate this kind of high-class art.

About a month later, Hualan sent the Sheng Household her first letter from the capital, old madam Sheng’s cannot see clearly, Wang Shi's is illiterate and there are rumors going around the young masters and servants of what the letter is actually is, so Rulan and Minglan worked together and roughly worked the letter out.

This was a peace letter, it is said that her married life is very happy, Yuan Wenshu is also quite considerate of her, but the original room has only two rooms for young maidservants, it made Hualan’s felt very uncomfortable but ever since she had married Yuan Wenshao she started to ignore it. Her father-in-law Count Zhongqin was happy and dotes on his new daughter, but then her mother had not much reaction, only spoiling the older daughter-in-law. Later then she had known, that the original daughter-in-law was the master’s cousin’s young lady, no wonder she can’t get friendly with her but because Yuan Wenshao is quite famous outside in that low-key Bo Household she still had to give face, Old Woman and the palace stewards did not dare look down on Hualan, living here is still okay.

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Minglan while feeling good, reads at the side, father-in-law is a powerful man in the Bo household, in the end, having his likes is definitely a good thing, normally, when a father-in-law likes his daughter is a good thing as long as he doesn’t take her to Tian Xiang Lou [5]!

After listening to everything, Wang Shi only let out a long breath, she knew that Hualan has always been picky; she would boast about one good thing when there are three benefits, now to say that it is estimated that her every day after the marriage would be very good.

"Parents relying on the eldest son is common, paying attention to the daughter is even more common, do not take it personally what the eldest lady said, had a good day with her filial piety in-laws, serving the husband..." Old Madam Sheng could not help but nags.

Wang Shi sighs and says: "I know this is the reason, but Hua’er since little was in the home of the head of the family, never called people over the past, and now... ah, to be divided later, after just coming to a new home, Anyway, Bo Household is a big place, Hua'er [6] –the couple to live their own day is also good, state son is also capable.”

If it’s the usual, old Madam Sheng will certainly say a few, 'parents in the absence of home' like the big reason, but she in the end also have a heartache since she also raise the small Hualan, a heart will just pass along, says: "Whether if one follow the elders and learn their rules or not, after the person part ways from his family, they would be on their own, but if one can send home some peace letter is much more important"


[1] There’s tea where its smoke can color your mouth.

[2] cause the four new maids Minglan has had names of plant.

[3] Chinese zither

[4] Guzheng notes; like those piano notes.

[5] Hotel, I think I don't need to explain what some people usually do in a hotel...

[6] endearment


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