Chapter 19 – Who The Hell Are You (1)
“Ah, I know that my daughter will not disappoint you.” Pei Shi said, grateful that someone of impressive academic credibility was to assist her daughter.
Being his friend, Lu Yaoyao knew that Mr. Shan was a born tactician, and he doesn’t invest time on people whom he knew would not be worthy of it. Also, he never finishes a work empty-handed.
Ye Zhen looked at Pei Shi, did she promised him wealth? But there were families in the capital who could offer him thrice as much gold the Lu family could provide!
Mr. Shan threw a fleeting look across Ye Zhen’s direction and nodded his head lightly. “Third miss Lu looks smart. I can tell that it will not be difficult to teach her.”
Even Pei Shi couldn’t say that her daughter looked smart, but one thing was for sure, books were her enemy. Ye Zhen bowed her head and acted obediently. The only person who knew her best in the world except her father and brother was Mr. Shan, who accompanied her for the longest time in the years before she became Wang Fei of the Qin Dynasty.
After a few exchanged words, Mr. Shan was personally escorted to Ye Zhen’s study. On the way, Pei Shi whispered to Ye Zhen. “Yao Yao, it will be tough being a student of Mr. Shan. Even if it is hard, you have to grind your teeth and endure it.”
“Well, mother I will.”
And she would. This is her only chance. She doesn’t want to miss it. Failing to enter the college means misfiring of her revenge and at the same time, tarnishing her sister’s reputation.
When they arrived in the study, Pei Shi left the two of them for she had other things to do in her courtyard.
Inside, Mr. Shan looked at Ye Zhen straight and upright as if he wanted to find someone’s shadow through her face.
“Sir?” Ye Zhen held her breath for a second, afraid that Mr. Shan would recognize her, though it was impossible.
“Have you lived in a border town since you were a child?” Mr. Shan’s eyes suddenly became sharp. The girl looked too much like her former student, except for some distinct difference, she was not at the least, a replica of his deceased student, Ye Zhen. He almost thought that Lu Yaoyao was indeed Ye Zhen.
Maintaining a cool countenance, Ye Zhen replied, “Yes, sir, I have lived in the border town since I was born.”
Noticing the books arranged at the shelves, he asked, “And what have you learned?” Mr. Shan’s face was indifferent, but his heart was in a storm. What on earth was his master thinking? It was he who told him to consider the idea of being a husband to Ye Zhen before and now, he let him grant Pei’s request that she come to teach this little girl of the Lu family.
Originally, he wondered whether his master knew the Lu Family or not. He only knew that his master was truly acquainted with the Ye Family.
Lu Yaoyao …Ye Zhen… What is their relationship?
“Aside from my mother’s medical teachings, I also studied Thousand Character Classic** and Biographies of Exemplary Women.” This is what Lu Yaoyao learned, but probably Lu Yao did not like reading such books, so she didn’t learn much at all.
**T/N: Thousand Character Classic is a Chinese poem that has been used as a primer for teaching Chinese characters to children.
“What’s the use of learning tho when surviving the college has become a matter of women’s competence in the Six arts… Don’t you have any talent to master?” Mr. Shan frowned and asked.
The women’s college requires the entrance examination to master six basic abilities: etiquette, music, archery, royal, calligraphy, and mathematics.
If one fails to execute at least one of these, then she definitely couldn’t step foot inside the college. For Ye Zhen, this wasn’t a problem as she passed this exam before. But for Lu Yaoyao, it was very difficult for sure.
“Please teach me, sir,” Ye Zhen made a courtesy and showed great respect.
Mr. Shan lowered his eyes and looked at her for a moment before he uttered in a resolute voice, “Write me a few words.”
Ye Zhen nodded, went to the bookcase and picked up the sheep hairbrush beside it. She was at first hesitant to scribble on the spread sheet of paper in front of her. Gripping the brush tightly and with her brows creased, she wrote the phrase that first came out of her mind in shaky strokes.
Clothes might change, but people do not.
Mr. Shan saw the words written by Ye Zhen when he first met his students in the Spring and Autumn** period flash before his very eyes.
**T/N : Spring and Autumn is a period in Chinese history that was marked by a decline in court power and a gradual increase in power of individual states.