Chapter 18 – Apprentice (2)
Shifting in her seat, Pei Shi put down her books and reached out to hold Ye Zhen’s hands. “Yao Yao, did the old lady oblige you to go? Or is this your choice?” Old Madam Lu could be very impulsive sometimes that Pei Shi was afraid she was forcing her daughter to follow the other Lu sister’s steps.
Lu Yaoyao was a carefree, willful girl of the border town, and Pei Shi would let her stay that way if it means her daughter’s happiness and contentment.
“I want to go, mother,” whispered Ye Zhen whil she squeezed Pei Shi’s hands, offering her reassurance.
“There was no Women’s College in border town Since you were a child, I didn’t restrict you to learn anything that you want to learn, but learning is far different in the college. It is much more complicated.” Pei Shi thought that her daughter’s decision to enter the college was for the sole purpose of having fun.
It seemed that her sister’s playful nature was giving Pei Shi doubts, so Ye Zhen remained undeterred and stood with her decision.
“Mother, we probably won’t go back to the border town in the future. Eldest brother is now the minister of war and will definitely continue to be promoted in the future. I can also see it that my elder brother will also enter the civil service in the future. He will eventually leave me here behind. I can’t still be like a wild girl and spend my days in rainbows and sunshine. I’m already 15 years old. I want to learn in the college, something that a 12-year-old girl does here. “
Ye Zhen looked at the pile of books near them. “ Besides, I learned medicine from you since I was young. It’s most appropriate for me to go to the medical center. I want to test my capabilities.”
Less than a month of stay in the capital and Lu Yaoyao already had new ideas in her head. Was there someone feeding her with these ideas?
“Did anyone told you of this? Has someone questioned your capabilities?” Pei Shi asked with a heavy voice.
Cold fear ran at the back of her spine; Ye Zhen had forgotten her sister’s character! Lu Yaoyao rarely had an opinion of her own. She was careless and never had an inclination towards her education.
“No one told me anything but … I seem to be a little out of place when I see my second sister and my fourth sister.” Ye Zhen reasoned out while looking on the floor beneath her.
Pei Shi laughed at this. She never saw her daughter’s simplicity as a shortcoming. But if she felt like this, then it was Pei Shi’s desire to relieve her of this self-doubt.
“The entrance examination for women’s college will not be easy. You don’t like to learn those things when you were still a child. What if you don’t pass the exam?”
“I plan not to. I have at least half a month to train and study.” Ye Zhen spoke in a determined voice. “Mother, didn’t you say I was smart? I’ll pass if I chose to.”
Pei Shi nodded her head, “Well then, I’ll find someone to train you.”
“Thank you, mother!” Ye Zhen hugged Pei’s arms, her face wearing a gleeful smile and cheeks red out of happiness.
“No matter how old you get, you are still a child for me.” Pei embraced her daughter. “If you want to read these books, let people take them to your Eastern compartment.”
“Yes, mother.” Stand Ye now needs to read more of these medical books. Although she has the memory of Lu Yaoyao, medical science is a broad body of knowledge.
Moreover, Lu Yaoyao didn’t devote herself hard in studying for she didn’t have much interest in medicine.
She summoned the servants, had them carry the books and kissed Pei Shi goodbye. Really, her sister was lucky; she had a doting mother. One thing that Ye Zhen didn’t have.
True to her words, Pei Shi didn’t let the days pass without accomplishing her mission of finding an instructor for Ye Zhen.
It was a man from the women’s college who resigned due to a certain disagreement with his boss. Rumors said that he would rather be a private teacher than continue working with people who didn’t share the same principles such as his.
Despite his resignation, he was still famous not only in capital, but in the entire Jin country also. How many ladies of noble families invited him to be their teacher and was turned down? Surely, a lot.
It felt like she was once again the young Ye Zhen who was about to meet her teacher — the stone cold faced, Mister Shan. The same teacher who taught her to ace the college before.
As soon as Pei Shi mentioned him, she was so stunned she couldn’t speak for a minute or longer.
But how? How come a teacher like him decided to teach someone such as Lu Yaoyao privately?
Not only that, Pei Shi arranged their first session immediately.
“The rules of Mister Shan will be handed over to you later,” said Pei Shi who appeared extra polite today.
Mister Shan was about 25 to 26 years old, tall, thin and handsome. Having an air of indifference, he looked unapproachable. Surprisingly, Pei Shi could get along with him really well; she even persuaded him to be Ye Zhen’s teacher quite successfully!
Ye Zhen went forward to pay her respect and saluted accordingly. “It’s my pleasure having you as my teacher, sir. Forgive me for I wasn’t able to prepare, even a small gift.”
“Miss Lu, you and I will be master and apprentice. Rise, we don’t have to follow the ritual**.”
**T/N: Ritual / Meeting rites – Guests and visitors salute by slightly bowing with their hands clasped in front as a salute. Giving gifts to visitors was also a common practice.
He just came to teach Lu Yaoyao how to pass the exam, not to be her husband. His indifference is expected for she knew him back in the college as a person of unpleasant temperament. When she was still his student, he was also aloof to her. But later on, their relationship gradually became that of friends.
But how could Mr. Gao Ru Shan, a proud man, promise to come to Lu Yaoyao’s aid? Ye Zhen knew how hard it was to invite him, let alone deal with him.
How Pei Shi did it baffled her to no end.