Chapter 18: So It Was You
The days were always gone too fast.
With the weather turning colder, the students of Guang Wen Tang also start to prepare for the academy examinations that will be held at the end of the month.
The young males did it so that they could be officials and the young females did it to show off their talents so that there would be more value when they marry in the future or that prospective matches would take a fancy to them.
This was what the noble children must do, even pampered females like Feng An Ning also started to work harder these days. Needless to say about Shen Qing and Shen Yue, Shen Yue especially compose poetry and play the Qin in the East courtyard all day long, looking forward to be in the limelight this time round again.
Shen Yue and Shen Qing were already fifteen and according to the traditions, it is the time where the two families would meet. The females in Ming Qi would be married around the age of sixteen so they can be engaged at the age of fifteen. Shen Qing and Shen Yue did not settle it for a long time because they set their eyes very high and look down on those of the same status but it would be somewhat not knowing what is good for themselves if they set it too high.
In the end these two household invariably fixed their sights towards Prince Ding.
Among the nine sons of the late Emperor, only the ninth, Prince Ding, has yet to marry. He was just in his early twenties and it was the perfect time to get married. But because of various reasons, the Imperial Consort decision was still hanging in the balance. Like a hanging piece of meat, Prince Ding would also be personally there as an examiner in the academy examinations. This made many young ladies put in more energy and effort as they hope to have a good impression in front of Prince Ding and wished that Prince Ding will fall for them at first sight.
Shen Miao however had no notion of doing that.
With another lifetime, she was still not a woman of romance. She did not know how to compose poetry or perform any dance. Obviously she cannot stand on the stage to talk about the major national issues. Moreover, she did not want to have any association with Prince Ding.
In her past lifetime, Prince Ding used her Shen family, harm her children and massacred her entire clan. This was debt that needs to be paid sooner or later. Since there was a blood debt, how can they be husband and wife?
Feng An Ning asked her, “Why are you not reading? Seeing that the end of the month is here and if you do not buck up, aren’t you letting others laugh off their teeth?” Shen Miao fell into the water and afterwards had quieten down a lot. She thought that Shen Miao started to understand things properly but from today it seems that there were no difference from how it was previously. She was still that stupid and ignorant student.
Shen Miao said, “Would anyhow do not understand, why waste additional time.”
Yi Pei Lan who was listening to the remarks at the side, laughed and sneered, “Its nothing more than mud not sticking to the wall.”
Shen Yue was talking to Shen Qing at that moment and pretended as though as she did not hear the words spoken here and did not come to her rescue. These days Shen Miao did not please them as she did previously so they were also not happy about it in their hearts and was anxious to see Shen Miao embarrassing herself.
Shen Miao however seemed not to have heard Yi Pei Lan’s words and stood up, “I will go for a walk in the garden.”
When she had left, Yi Pei Lan then curled up her lips, “Only escape when she has nothing to say, truly as timid as a mouse.”
“Have you said enough?” Feng An Ning’s brows pinched, “What good about having knowledge?” Since level two she was imposing and pampered at home. Yi Pei Lan did not want to create trouble with her thus she kept quiet.
Shen Miao reached the gardens and walked slowly around.
Guang Wen Tang was a place of elegance thus the garden’s greenery, pond, rock formation and construction were done up lovely. As one walk into the forest, one would able to smell the fragrance which make one’s heart feel refresh.
She only wanted some quiet time for herself. The people in level two were only young impetuous kids and she was already a mother in the past lifetime. Many times, as an Empress, other than receiving the greetings of various concubines, she would need to spend most of the time in her own Feng Yi Palace. After being accustomed to quiet isolation and emptiness, she was too lazy to deal with a group of kids making a din, be it be ridiculing or getting ridiculed.
In the end, she did not care about them.
As she was walking, she saw a snow white glutinous rice dumpling appear in front of her.
The small dumpling clad ivory satin robe was standing under the bamboo, the clothes should be very beautiful but was deformed by the round body shape. The hat on his head were creased and crumpled, making the entire look seem funny and ridiculous.
“Su Ming Lang.” She softly called.
When that dumpling heard it, he quickly turned around. When he saw Shen Miao, a flash of pleasant surprise crossed his eyes. He seems to want to rush off but stopped hesitatingly and did not speak as he look at Shen Miao.
This child really look like a four to five year old baby which made Shen Miao’s head ache. Could it be that he took her as a mother?
When Su Ming Lang saw Shen Miao, he pucker his lips like he wanted to say something but yet did not speak. Afterwards, his eyes started to redden as he softly cried, “I’m sorry…”
Sorry? Shen Miao was slightly blanked out and saw the dumpling’s mouth pursing together as he was about to cry with grievance.
The next moment, a lazy voice rang out.
“So it was you.”