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Published at 5th of March 2021 06:55:56 PM


Chapter 36

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Hearing what she said, Lu Yunshuang’s heart plummeted.

No wonder Grandmother’s attitude toward her had significantly dulled when she was back this time around. It turned out that this was the problem.

“Grandmother, I…”

“Do not listen to Weiwei’s nonsense. Although I’m at an elderly age, I still have the energy to walk to the Mansion Gate,” the Dowager Duchess interrupted.

Lu Yunshuang’s face turned pallor.

When the Dowager Duchess was young, she had traversed through the battlefields along with the Duke and was nothing short of prestigious. However, now that she was at an old age, she had to greet and pay respects to her granddaughter. She was sure to feel uncomfortable in her heart.

Now that she heard what the Dowager Duchess had to say, Lu Yunshuang felt immensely anxious and remorseful.

Before she came over today, she had consigned someone to hand Aunt Zheng a letter. However, she had forgotten to remind her to keep their plans simple in order not to startle Grandmother.

She only thought of it when she arrived before the gate of the Duke Mansion. However, it was already too late.

The Dowager Duchess did not express her vexation then, so she never took this incident to heart.

Nevertheless, being called out by Lu Liangwei like that highlighted her lack of understanding, making her seem unfilial as she appeared not to pay any heed to the Dowager Duchess.

She attempted to save the situation by saying something, but the Dowager Duchess had already begun to speak.

“It’s now March, the season of spring where the grasses are tall, the nightingales are high in the air and the willow trees are green while the flowers bloom a bright red. Both of you can use this as the main topic and compose a poem about it,” she said.

After a momentary pause, she sent a glance toward Lu Liangwei. “It does not have to be self-composed. If there are any good lines from the books you’ve read, you can write it down as well,” she added.

The instructions obviously benefitted Lu Liangwei.

Due to Lu Liangwei’s usual capricious behavior, she had never done well in her studies.

Feeling extremely disdainful, Lu Yunshuang shot Lu Liangwei a condescending stare.

The Dowager Duchess’s good intentions might all go to waste.

Other than her face, which was still somewhat useful, Lu Liangwei was a lowly educated and unskilled dimwit.

1

Even if she was assigned the task of copying lines of a poem word by word from a book, she might not know how to do so.

Lu Yunshuang remained silent as she smiled subtly. Holding up her sleeve with one hand and using the other to raise the brush then dip it in the ink, she appeared to ponder on her thoughts momentarily, then raised her head and proceeded to write on the paper right away.

Her finesse stunned Long Chi, whose eyes glimmered in fascination immediately.

He could not help but leave the audience seat and make his way to stand behind Lu Yunshuang.

As his gaze fell on the paper, he could not resist reciting the words aloud. “The prettiest scenery capable of arousing my poetic heart lies in the start of spring, where the willow leaves have just emerged in unevenly colored pale yellow buds. If we waited till the flowers in Shanglin came to full bloom, we’d see people admiring the flowers everywhere once we stepped out of our rooms.”1

2

Long Chi recited each of the sentences word by word. Coupled with his clear, melodious voice, the poem was capable of touching the hearts of many.

After reciting, Long Chi mused upon the imagery described in the poem. He could not hide the glint of admiration in his eyes. “Shuanger, what a good poem!” he exclaimed.

The Dowager Duchess also nodded. “Shuanger’s poem is fascinating. The words she used emanates the dignified style of a noble person,” she commented.

Upon hearing her daughter receiving praises from the Crown Prince and the Dowager Duchess, Aunt Zheng felt delighted, even more so than being on the receiving end of praises.

She was high-spirited and extremely pleased.

Lu Liangwei was not the slightest bit affected. To begin with, she did not know how to compose poems, but she had read a few classical poem books back in the present. Therefore, it would not be difficult for her to copy down a few good poems.

Anyway, the Dowager Duchess had told them that if they did not know how to compose poems, they could always copy lines from other poems.

She noticed the cherry blossoms in full bloom in the courtyard and pondered for a while before writing down a poem on the paper.

“On this very day, last year at this very gate, faces and cherry blossoms both bloomed red. The faces are now in places unknown, yet the cherry blossoms still beam in the spring wind.”1

5

Her voice was soft. When she recited the poem, her intonation had the soft and tender hush used by those who came from Jiangnan.

Furthermore, her expression was exceptionally serious when writing the poem. As she raised her head, her hair slid off her shoulder to expose her graceful, fair neck under the sunlight.

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