Chapter 15 – Love of Beauty (1)
The two Lu sisters looked at Ye Zhen at the same time; one with a disdainful look and one with a discreet forced smile. It will be such an honor if someone from Lu family will be on the field of medicine. But, with just a few compliment from the Old madam in her hands, could she really get pass the exam and be a student of the prestigious women’s college?
Many women of noble families have tried multiple of times and failed. Moreover, these women started studying and preparing themselves for the college at an early age! Lu Yaoyao was already 15, too old to be admitted as a freshman in the college.
Aside from that, it was the medicine school they were talking about. People say that it was the hardest field in the college One should be naturally talented and break bones in order to succeed!
Students of the college must learn the Six Arts**.
**T/N : Six Arts of China – To promote all-around development, students were required to master six practical disciplines called the Six Arts (liù yì in Chinese): rites, music, archery, chariot racing, calligraphy and mathematics.
For one to survive in the medicine school, one naturally has to master its craft. Relying from her sister’s memory, Lu Yaoyao learned some useful medical skill from Pei Shi. But, Pei Shi was not a woman of high birth nor an alumni of the college. Her ways were not sophisticated enough to earn a key to the school.
Lu Yaoyao would be simply a hillbilly who can’t get on the table! She has no self-knowledge at all, and she had a wishful thinking about entering the women’s college. Does she really think her eldest brother can now call the shots and she can get directly into the college?
Second and Fourth miss Lu shared the same feelings this time. Old Lady Lu did not think so much about what her two other granddaughters would feel about this. They’ve spent years pleasing the Old madam Lu. Giving Ye Zhen her education after a month from acquaintance was a hard slap to their faces. As much as they hated it, Ye Zhen had earned the Old madam’s favor in such a short time.
Old madam Lu was just a businesswoman. When she sees an potential opportunity, she grabs it without thinking twice. After all, if Ye Zhen succeeds, she will bring great honor to the family, and some powerful individual might ask her hand in marriage! “Wait until your eldest brother comes back and I will have him support you!”
Ye Zhen happily replied with a grateful bow.
Seething in anger, Fourth Miss Lu wanted to reprimand Ye Zhen for being overconfident but she could see the happiness of Old madam Lu. So, she decided to hold her tongue and waited for the perfect moment to strike.
She was only a miss of the family, daughter of a concubine even, who had won the respect of the Old madam because of her achievements in the college. Having the Old Madam get tired of her theatrics and eventually, lose her favor would put her years of hard work into waste.
Old Madam Lu also mentioned that there will be a flower appreciation meeting in the capital in three days time. Once a year, the flower appreciation meeting was held in the royal garden, which is different from the imperial garden located at the heart of the imperial palace. It was near the women’s college, where imperial court ladies often hold a banquet to admire the flowers.
Lu Family was not qualified to go to Baihua Garden before, but now everything was different.
Old Madam Lu has decided to bring her three granddaughters to the party to show those who despise the Lu family that they, despite being a family of merchant, were also capable of teaching sensible girls.
“Flower Appreciation Festival?” Ye Zhen looked at trance upon hearing these three words. A replica of a past unforgotten. She and Mo Rongzhan met at the flower appreciation festival when she was only seven years old. He was the unpopular prince and was also blind. She was the first daughter of Ye Family, a prominent family in the capital, loved by thousands of people.
“The nobles in the capital will be there and you, my dear, will attend with us.” Old Lady Lu said with a gleam in her eyes. Hearing the excited in the madam’s voice, Ye Zhen’s eyes stooped low and the corners of her mouth became tight. “Grandma, I’m afraid I’ll embarrass you when I go.”
“Nonsense!” Old Lady Lu rebuked. “We are the Lu family and they are nowhere near us.”
Fourth miss laughed in her heart at the old lady’s preference for Ye Zhen due to her eccentricity. What’s the point of her preference for Ye Zhen who was tanned and thin?
Ye Zhen touched her face and said, “I don’t look good.”
Old Madam Lu laughed, reckoning Ye Zhen’s words as foolishness, “Who said you were going to attend all tanned from the border town? Just a bit of tonic and you will be a great beauty! In fact, you already are a beauty, no doubt.”
This was a losing battle, Ye Zhen thought. Old Madam always had her ways to have all her wishes and desires be granted. If she wanted Ye Zhen to attend the festival, then she will.
Putting on a compliant smile, Ye Zhen appreciated the madam’s compliment. “If Grandma says that I am a beauty, then I shall believe it. I will be glad to join Grandma and my sisters at the festival.”