Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 11: Prince Residence’s Luck (Part 2)
Old Chu Furen carried on from Chu Zhu’s words and put on a serious face, “Even though the Prince Consort wants to choose two young ladies from our family, these words are not confirmed. There are so many families in TaiYuan and if there are suitable young ladies in other families, the Prince Consort would definitely choose the other. In a few days time, when the Residence of Prince Huai Ling holds a banquet, the Prince Consort will choose the most suitable two among all of the unmarried daughters. So you must not be complacent and slack. The County Princess is twelve years of age and since the study companion is to accompany the Princess to study, then the age difference must not be big. So Eldest Young Lady and Eighth Young Lady need not have to participate.”
Eldest Young Lady, Chu Jin Xian, stood up and bowed to Old Furen to show her compliance. She was already seventeen years of age and the Eldest Di-daughter of the family clan. As her family position was noble, even if she was of suitable age, Old Furen would not let Chu Jin Xian to be a study companion for others. It was not a study companion of a noble Princess, so why the need for Eldest Di-daughter? As for Eighth Young Lady, Chu Jin Zi, she was only six this year and thus was not possible for her too. Therefore, the suitable people were concentrated between ages twelve and fifteen, the ideal being twelve and thirteen like Chu Jin Yao.
Old Chu Furen paused before speaking, “I have found two MoMos for you all. From now on, you all can no longer be as relaxed as before and must learn the rules and regulations from the MoMos and do not lose our Residence of Marquis Chang Xing’s face. Understand?”
All the young ladies stood up and answered seriously, “This child understands.”
Old Furen then let the two MoMo come out to meet the young ladies. After the introduction, the MoMos took the young ladies towards the courtyard at the back of RongJingTang to educate them on the rules and regulations.
Of the two MoMos, one had the surname Hua and the other Deng. Hua MoMo taught etiquette while Deng MoMo painting, calligraphy and needlework. Hua MoMo said to the young ladies, “Young ladies have already heard just now. Old Chu Furen has requested us here to teach young ladies rules and regulations. It is said that without rules, nothing can be accomplished. The saints have also preached- spare the rod, spoil the child. We are strict with young ladies and it is all for your own good. May young ladies forgive us.”
“One does not dare,” Chu Jin Yao said softly with the other sisters.
Hua MoMo was very satisfied with the Chu Young Ladies’ obedience. She gave a few more pointers before instructing the young ladies to demonstrate their greetings.
Performing greetings was the most basic and common etiquette for noble families and the Young Ladies of the Chu family had been doing it since young, it was as natural as drinking water and eating. However, Hua MoMo was a MoMo released from the Palace and extremely strict. During the demonstration, she constantly used the ruler to hit the young ladies’ waists and hands.
“Waist has to be upright, do not lean forward.”
“Crouch down a little bit more, do not wobble.”
“Hands!” Hua MoMo hit the back of Seventh Young Lady’s hands fiercely. She looked down and spoke impolitely, “Seventh Young Lady, I have reminded several times. Why are your hands always not in the correct position?”
Seventh Young Lady was the Second Household’s Di-youngest daughter, Chu Jin Jiao. With Madam Yan’s shrewish and shielding personality, she was raised to be arrogant and lawless. Among the sisters, only Chu Jin Xian was able to criticize her while the rest would not provoke this devil incarnate. She had always been competitive and wanted to be the best among the sisters in everything. So for Hua MoMo to hit and scold her in front of everyone, she almost could not stand it and rebuked back. Only when she thought about her future position as a study companion in the Prince Residence, did she manage to suppress her anger and replied, “I understand.”
Hua MoMo looked at Seventh Young Lady indifferently before walking away. Chu Jin Yao was by Seventh Young Lady and when she saw MoMo coming over, she was secretly sweating. One did not expect Hua MoMo to stop by Chu Jin Yao’s side and look up and down and smile faintly, “Fifth Young Lady did a good job. Did you especially learn from a Palace MoMo when you were young?”
Chu Jin Yao could not hide her surprise. Hua MoMo was actually praising her? Chu Jin Yao did not have the time to think if Hua MoMo was seeing things wrongly and quickly replied, “MoMo has overpraised. One has not been taught.”
The other sisters had also revealed expressions of dissatisfaction and disbelief, while Hua Momo’s eyebrows raised as she continued questioning, “You have not specifically learned from someone from the Palace?”
Old Chu Furen’s maid was sent over to watch over the few young ladies when she saw this scene, she stepped forward to speak. “Momo might not know about it, but Fifth Young Lady was mistakenly carried away when young and raised outside all these years. She only returned two months ago.”
“Really?” Hua MoMo was suspicious of what she heard, “You only returned two months ago? Then why do you perform the Palace etiquette?”
She was performing Palace etiquette? Chu Jin Yao was also astonished. She had been practicing what Qin Yi had taught her and how would she know what was Palace etiquette? Chu Jin Yao pretended to think for a while before she finally shook her head with a frown, “I do not know either.”
Hua MoMo was also unable to think of a reason and could only say, “Perhaps you have hit the mark by a fluke. The etiquette used in the Palace looks no different from the outside but is much more detailed. Among all the etiquette under Heavens, the Palace one is ranked first. The teaching MoMos who have not studied Palace etiquette would not be able to come out to educate young ladies on rules and regulations.”
Chu Jin Yao showed a posture of listening obediently as being taught. When Hua MoMo left, she then secretly loosened the breath she had been holding in her heart.
When Hua MoMo turned around, Seventh Young Lady glared fiercely at Chu Jin Yao. Chu Jin Yao half-crouched steadily as she watched from the corner of her eye, Seventh Young Lady teetering and constantly getting hit by the ruler, her heart felt very refreshed.
By the end of the class, everybody had taken a hit by the ruler several times. Only Chu Jin Yao came out unscathed and even won MoMo’s praise. Seventh Young Lady was standing beside Chu Jin Yao, the two of them were a sharp contrast- Seventh Young Lady suffered a few more hits. Once the class was over, Seventh Young Lady’s maids quickly came over to support their young lady. With the help of the maids, she could stand straight as she glared at Chu Jin Yao angrily.
It did not hurt to be glared at by anyone but the hits on Seventh Young Lady’s palm were real. Chu Jin Yao thought as she rejoiced in other people’s misfortune that it was her that did not do well in etiquette, so how could one still blame the person beside for being correct? Yesterday, Seventh Young Lady deliberately spilled water on her dress, Chu Jin Yao was holding back that anger. Upon seeing her being punished by MoMo today, it was truly that Heavenly principles were clear and transparent, retributions were refreshing.
Chu Jin Yao went to RongNingTang for the meal comfortably as if the soreness in her legs was nothing. She was accustomed to farmwork since young, so even though her legs were thin, her muscles were firm. Even though it was somewhat sore and painful with this level of exercise, it was something that she did not care about.
After the meal, a number of young ladies gathered around Old Chu Furen to whine that they were aching all over, thus Old Chu Furen could only cancel the etiquette lessons for the afternoon.
One could not be fat in one meal. They had to take their time.
Chu Jin Yao did not care about it. Now that everyone was sitting with Old Furen, it was difficult for her to leave and find an opportunity to talk to Qin Yi. She had been thinking of how to carve out some time to ask Qin Yi about why MoMo said that she learned Palace etiquette when his voice sounded.
“Chu Jin Yao.”
Chu Jin Yao was taken aback. She looked around vigilantly before asking softly, “There are so many people around, why did you suddenly talk?”
“There is no time to explain. Go and follow that Lin family’s kid. I have things to do.”
Chu Jin Yao had no more complaints. Qin Yi was recently facing a life and death crisis, so if Qin Yi said that something was happening, then that would be a major event, as such she chose to trust him without reservation. She told Chu Jin Xian that she wanted to change clothes, and the latter nodded saying, “All right. Remember to bring the maids. They are talking outside, so when you leave, call the maid along.”
“All right.” Chu Jin Yao replied. However, when she exited the doors, she slipped away quietly.
She could not bring a maid for the matters she wanted to do.
When no one was around, Chu Jin Yao panted slightly as she asked Qin Yi, “What happened to ask me to come out suddenly?”
The few Furen’s eyes were brightly lit and the young ladies turned their heads to whisper with their personal maids. Old Chu Furen looked at the entire audience and coughed lightly, “Quiet down.”
The young ladies suddenly stopped talking and looked up at Old Furen.