Edited by Kiskaiya
Updated on 8 Aug 2019
Chapter 10: Little Xie Marquis
Guang Wen Tang’s academy examinations were held every year during the tenth month.
The academy examinations were a test for every student in the academy, especially for the outstanding students who would be showcasing their talents. Most importantly, that day there would be many high ranking officials watching and princes looking from the side. If there were any good students, perhaps career opportunities would be available.
In short, one would show off one’s talent for others to see in order to be famous. This was why in every academy examination, everyone would use all their energy and effort to achieve titles.
In grade two, Shen Yue’s talent was the most extensive and she would always stand above the crowd during the academy examinations. Although Shen Qing was not as good as Shen Yue in terms of poetry, her calculation skills were among the best and she would usually get a few top rankings.
If one were to talk about those lacking accomplishment, the one at the bottom would be Shen Miao. She did not know any of the four scholarly arts and her arithmetic was the worst. In every academy examination, she would always embarrass herself. Not to mention showcasing her talents, it would be very hard to even pass the tests. The Shen Miao in the past lifetime was most afraid of the yearly academy examinations as she could see Shen Yue and Shen Qing being proud of their success while she could only be very envious in her heart.
Now when she looked, she only felt that it was merely jealousy amongst kids. What kind of battle had she not seen before, the academy examinations were really nothing in her eyes.
She peered at Feng An Ning and said, “What about academy examinations? I never thought of fighting for whatever top or bottom ranking. What is there to contend for?”
Feng An Ning was slightly surprised as she did not think that Shen Miao would be so magnanimous to say the truth of the matter. She looked carefully at Shen Miao and asked, “You must have hurt a lot, else there would not be such a great change in temperament, right?”
Shen Miao seemed to have a personality change overnight from a dull person to a magnanimous and confident person. It was not a manner one should have at this age. Because they were sitting at the same table, this change in temperament was even more obvious.
“Yes.” Shen Miao smiled and no longer said anything more.
Perhaps because of the age of the young females, their instinct was to either respect or envy others who were more mature than themselves. Shen Miao’s gestures turned Feng An Ning’s attitude towards her imperceptibly better.
After the accounting lessons were completed, the students headed to the garden outside Guang Wen Tang to play. The females were all in the academy playing chess or discussing new poetry until they heard the sound of a horse passing.
“What is that?” Yi Pei Lan turn her head over.
“Let’s go outside and take a look at what it is,” Jiang Cai Xuan proposed as she pulled Shen Yue up.
Shen Miao had no intention of joining in the fun. It was Feng An Ning who turned back after taking two steps and grabbed Shen Miao’s hands after thinking for a bit, “Lets’ go and see!”
Shen Miao was somewhat surprised as Feng An Ning usually didn’t like her so she wouldn’t display such an intimate move. She was puzzled but she was already being dragged out of the academy by Feng An Ning.
There were many students standing outside by the door chatting. When they saw Feng An Ning pulling Shen Miao over, they all wore a surprised look. Shen Yue’s eyes flashed imperceptibly but she did not make a sound. It was Shen Qing who saw it and scoffed. Ever since she realised that Shen Miao was also in love with Prince Ding, she no longer bothered to hide her disdain or put up any pretence.
But what was surprising was not this. Cai Lin just squeezed out from the crowd and called out, “Little Xie Marquis!”
Little Xie Marquis? Shen Miao glanced over.
Outside Guang Wen Tang’s red cinnabar door there stood a red steed. The horse’s coat was bright and smooth and with one look, anyone could tell it was a good steed worth thousands of gold. The horse haughtily kicked forward as it’s elegant body attracted everyone’s attention.
But in the end, it was not as dazzling as the person on horseback.
The youth sat on the horse’s back, wearing a black embroidered robe with a dark purple mink coat worn on top. His right hand lazily played with the horse whip. Hiis facial features were sharp and handsome, the corner of his lips was slightly hooked up, as if smiling yet not, and the gaze is his eyes was very cold.
There was a young female in the crowd who immediately blushed and, disregarding where she was, courageously threw a silk handkerchief folded into the shape of a blossom at the youth. Ming Qi was a liberal country, so it was tolerant to the rules between young males and females.
The silk blossom fell into the arms of the youth and he twisted it in his hand as the corner of his lips hooked up into a smile. The young female who threw the handkerchief immediately flushed, already becoming silly in love.
In the next moment the stubborn and obstreperous youth’s smile fleeted away. The silk blossom fell onto the ground and landed under the hooves of the red horse, crushing it into an unrecognisable mess.
He lazily straightened up, as if there was a naturally born strong evasiveness, but because of his handsome face, it only magnified his attractiveness. He had the innate ability to let one not move their eyes from his presence.
What a cold and nasty person.
Yi Pei Lan murmured, “It’s the little marquis of the Xie family.”
Shen Miao raised her eyebrows. Little marquis of the Xie family, Xie Jing Xing.
Most of the old aristocratic vassal families in Ming Qi accompanied the late Emperor in the founding of the country and achieved meritorious services. After several generations, the aristocratic titles were just empty names. However, some families became more prosperous and lived splendidly.
Like the Feng family who were literary officials, there were also those like the Shen family’s generals. If one were to say that the Shen family had a military lineage, it would be because they all led troops to fight in wars and were recognised as honest people. Then there was the Xie family who had military power in their hands but always drifted along. Even His Majesty was powerless towards the Xie family.
Most likely there was a rebellious streak in the Xie family’s bones. All of their deeds were absolutely disgraceful, such as ignoring the capital command to retreat thousands of miles away and instead continuing to pursue the retreating enemy. At the end, they still glorified it as ‘a general should judge and act according to the real situations on the battlefield and thus does not need to obey all orders’. But the Imperial family was helpless towards the Xie family, as they were invincible in battle.
The Shen family and the Xie family had an opposing relationship. This,of course, was deliberately provoked by the previous Emperor so that there would be checks and balances to stabilize the court. Shen Xin’s and the Xie Marquis’s views were never aligned as Shen Xin disapproved of Xie Ding’s strange tactics and unorthodox methods. Xie Ding could not understand why Shen Xin still depended on military books during battles and was so conservative that he was inflexible. Both families did not have any interactions besides quarrelling in court, thus the late Emperor was happy to see such an arrangement.
After Xie Ding’s wife passed away, he did not marry another wife and the only concubine in the household had two sons. This meant that Xie Jing Xing had two Shu brothers from the same father. Perhaps Xie Ding was distressed that the Di son’s mother died young and wanted to make it up to him, so he doted Xie Jing Xing since young, making Xie Jing Xing develop an undisciplined and out of control temperament.
Even so, Xie Jing Xing was a brilliant person. Other than his indifferent nature, he excelled in his studies and had noble features which were well-known in Ming Qi, else many females would not secretly admire him.
It was such a pity, Shen Miao’s heart sighed. This kind of outstanding young man, in the end, had arrows shot into his heart and his body hung out after his skin was peeled off, such a tragic ending.
Perhaps her pitiful gaze was too obvious causing the young man to suddenly look over and his eyes, which were as deep as the stars, flashed as though as he did not understand her gaze.