Chapter 7: Guang Wen Tang
Guang Wen Tang was Ding capital’s academy.
Ming Qi’s officials and wealthy would often place their sons and daughters into Guang Wen Tang as Guang Wen Tang’s teachers were perhaps genius or reputable scholars of the four scholarly fields. For young noble females, they could also enter Guang Wen Tang with pride.
Shen Miao also studies in Guang Wen Tang.
Unfortunately Shen Xin and Shen Furen were from military families and Eldest Brother, Shen Qiu was someone who will have headache of he were to study. Shen Miao was brought up by Old Shen Furen and she was a songstress who did not know any words. Shen Miao was taught by Third Shen Furen, Chen Rou Qiu. Chen Rou Qiu came from a family of scholars and at the beginning taught Shen Miao books that were difficult to understand. Kids would normally prefer to play so after much teaching, Shen Miao completely hate reading and writing.
Chen Rou Qiu saw that Shen Miao did not like studying and did not force her and started to teach her to pay attention to food and clothes, living the life of a delicate young lady. After when she was of age to go to Guang Wen Tang, Shen Miao was unable to keep up with the lectures from the teachers and her knowledge was worst off then those at level one, thus became the bottom of the class. Since Shen Miao did not like studying, she became infamous for being stupid and ignorant in the entire Ding capital.
Among the three Di young ladies of the Shen family, Shen Yue was the famous one. She was learned in the four arts, Qin, chess, calligraphy and painting, and there were not one thing that was not perfect. Even though Shen Qing was not as outstanding as Shen Yue, she also did a good job, especially in embroidery and was considered as first class in calculations. As for someone who would be married and become the mistress of a family, the better one have for calculation, one would be able to increase the favour’s from the in-laws so Shen Qing was also able to get a reputation of being competent.
The more outstanding Shen Yue and Shen Qing were, the more Shen Miao would appear as nothing. Even incomparable with the Shu daughter of the Second household, Shen Dong Ling.
In the carriage, Jing Zhe asked, “Young Lady, why not travel together with Eldest Young Lady and Second Young Lady?”
On usual days, Shen Miao would always want to take the same carriage as Shen Qing and Shen Yue as Shen Miao felt that having her older sisters with her would boost her courage. As for Shen Yue and Shen Qing, the reason was most probably because with a stupid and foolish sister as comparison, they would naturally look better.
But now Shen Miao did not even want to put up the pretence of compliance.
“To begin with, these peoples are not from the same household, living under the same roof but are walking on roads that are poles apart. So tell why travel together?”
Jing Zhe did not know why she stuck her tongue out. The more her Young Lady spoke, the more she did not understand but she felt that this was also good. Shen Miao’s character had been too weak and would always let the Second and Third household make the decision. This time on the matter of her falling into the water, it seems that she had her own ideas. This was correct, the status of the official Di daughter of the First household was not short of anyone so why be like a maid.
In the other carriage, Shen Yue pulled the curtain apart and secretly look behind and softly said, “Eldest Sister, Fifth Younger Sister is following behind.”
“She is purposely throwing a fit at me.” Shen Qing coldly scoffed. In front of Shen Yue, she never conceal her contempt of Shen Miao, “Let her be, anyways the person who would be disgrace would not be me.”
Shen Yue said worriedly, “But she was infected with a cold and the matter with His Highness Prince Ding is also…”
“Shen Yue?” Shen Qing said, “How could I not know what your heart is thinking? Don’t pretend to be a good person here. If you are really concern about her then you should go and sit in her carriage and not spout principles.”
Shen Yue bit her lips as she looked down and did not say anything more.
The carriage travelled for almost half a shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours) before finally reaching Guang Wen Tang.
It was still early so the teachers have yet to start the class. The second level students have almost all arrived and were sitting at the classroom chatting. Shen Yue and Shen Qing just reached and immediately there were some females that went up to greet them warmly.
In Guang Wen Tang, Shen Yue was number one in terms of talent in the females, she was pretty and her temperament was gentle and naturally was sought after by everyone. Even though Shen Qing was not as outstanding as Shen Yue’s talents, she was also capable and handled things smoothly thus the circle of noble young ladies liked her a lot.
A pink clad young female said, “Yue Niang, why is Shen Miao not seen today?” Usually Shen Miao would be like a maid following beside Shen Yue and Shen Qing but it was somewhat unusual to not see her today.
“Most likely is that she did not have any face to show up.” The young lady who said that looked charming but her voice was somewhat loud and she had some ridiculing expression on her face. “Heard that she fell into the water while stealing a look of His Highness Prince Ding. Was it because she has yet to recover from her cold or she did not have any face to see anyone.”
“Pei Lan, it is not like that…” Shen Yue shook her head.
“You are too protective of your younger sister.” Yi Pei Lan said, “That kind of stupid and foolish person would just simply not come out from your Shen’s residences. You should always keep an eyes out on her. But she really open the eyes of everyone in the world. Usually she look timid and sticky but once she meets His Highness Prince Ding, she would be so brave. Those who do not know would wonder what sort of small family taught such a poor mannered young lady.”
These words were somewhat serious. Shen Qing heard it and laughed, “Fifth Younger Sister was only mischievous for that moment.”
“I think it is because General Shen and Shen Furen are not by the side teaching.” Another young female with a horse styled bun said, “The lack of discipline meant that even the etiquette and manners of a female are not known.”
“Cai Xuan’s words are not right,” Shen Yue softly spoke, “Even though Eldest BoFu and Eldest BoMu are not in Ding capital, Fifth Younger Sister was brought up by Zu Mu and my mother and Second Shen also constantly taught her and there was no lack of discipline.”
The unspoken implication was all about Shen Miao’s no sense of shame and honor.
Sure enough, when Shen Yue’s words came out, Yi Pei Lan spoke out, “This is strange. With the same set of parenting, Yue Niang and Qing Niang, you and Shen Miao are as different as skies and the earth. This is probably what the teacher was saying: mud will not stick to the wall (aka she is worthless).” As she say she starting chuckling and the surrounding noble females also started laughing and even some young males could not help but look over.
In the next moment, they heard someone shouting, “Look, Shen Miao is here!”
Everyone were holding the hope that there was a show to watch and looked towards the doors.
They saw a young female walking slowly from the door, wearing a dark red outfit with clouds and geese embroidered with a dark blue embroidered cloak. This kind of colours would be too old for females especially since Shen Miao was a little rounded. If she was not careful, she would look like a child who has stolen an elder’s clothes to wear.
Her footsteps were slow and the corners of her skirt did not move as each steps was very light but had weight. One did not know why but felt that there was a kind of graceful air of magnanimity. Her chin was slightly raised as her eyes was naturally placid as if one was unable to see the bottom of her eyes but all the energy was confined inside like beast that have kept all its claws and teeth.
Her five facial features were still loveable because it was round and adorable but now there was no trace of stupidity. Because she has yet to grown up and coupled with her dignified manner, it was unexpectedly not out of sorts.
It was not like a young female but was like… Those noble furen with high status or a firm and decisive master of the entire family or residence.
The classroom gradually quieted down.