I am on my vacation at the moment but since COVID is still around, I am not travelling. That means translating and posting!!! Finally I have time to do what I want…
Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 15: The Beauty in the Jade (Part 1)
When Chu Jin Yao returned to her courtyard, Jie Geng, who had followed her, patted her chest. “Young Lady, I was scared to death today! Fortunately, you were able to write in the end, else we would have been thoroughly discredited!”
Chu Jin Yao nodded, “Yes.” Jie Geng was excited and yet felt a lingering fear as she spoke loudly, “And the verse that you wrote. It seemed to be ‘distance tests a horse’s strength’. It was simply brilliant! Not only does it prove one’s strength but also slap their faces viciously!”
‘Distance tests a horse’s strength, time reveals a person’s heart’. Chu Jin Yao had written these words in front of everyone and not only had it cleansed her from all the dirty water that they splashed but also secretly expressed her honest heart and instead criticized Chu Jin Miao and the others.
Jie Geng asked happily, “Young Lady, how did you think of writing that?”
Chu Jin Yao sighed “It is not what I thought. It was just too dangerous today.”
Chu Jin Miao and the rest had guessed correctly. Chu Jin Yao actually did not know how to write. At least not with a brush.
She was after all raised in a poor farmer family. Which farmer family would bear to send their daughter to read and write? Chu Jin Yao only knew most of the characters and that itself was considered extremely rare in the village.
Although the Su family was poor, that year when Chu Jin Yao and Chu Jin Miao were born, Madam Zhao stayed the night at the Su family and gave them a box of golden hairpins as rewards. Not mentioning how much the craftsmanship of the hairpins was worth, just relying on a few taels of gold was already enough for the Su family to not worry about food and clothing for a long time. However, Mother Su was a born miser and would treat Su Hui and Chu Jin Yao exceptionally stingily, saving whatever that could be saved. Even the clothes had to be worn by the elder till it was worn out before letting the younger one wear it. However, towards the only son, Su Sheng, Father Su and Mother Su were very willing to spend. They even grit their teeth and sent him to a private school in the township, hoping that they would be able to nurture a scholar.
Chu Jin Yao did not think that Su Sheng, that straw bag, would achieve any scholarly merits. He was spoilt by the family, behaved lawlessly and only knew how to command his two elder sisters. After spending all the money in the private school daily, he would not even flip a page of the books. Instead, it was Chu Jin Yao who was only one year apart from him that borrowed his benefits and recognized some characters. However, even though she could roughly recognize most of the characters, she did not know how to write at all. Obviously, the Su family would not give her any opportunity to practice writing. She would hide away from her family when young and practice on the sand instead. However, how could writing on the sand be the same as writing on paper?
Moreover, the brushes that were used in the Residence of Marquis Chang Xing were all made of superior rabbit hair with soft tips. Without years of practice, how would one be able to use the brushes?
It was all thanks to Qin Yi that Chu Jin Yao was able to write the five words ‘distance tests a horse’s strength’. Qin Yi really did not have the patience to watch her do needlework and her time in her boudoir was just too boring. He could only chase her into the study room and teach her to write. Those five words were handed to her for self-defense, in case things happened. Who knew that it would actually be used?
Jie Geng brought the sewing basket over and asked, “Young Lady, will you be doing needlework today?”
“No. MoMo has lectured a lot today so I want to review it in the study.” Chu Jin Yao stood up and walked towards the study rooms at the East. She specially instructed the maids, “I will be reviewing books in the study, don’t come in and disturb me.”
After the doors were closed, Chu Jin Yao immediately turned obedient and softly called out, “Qi Ze. Qi Ze. Are you there?”
“You are usually very impatient in practicing calligraphy. Why the sudden change in attitude now?” Qin Yi responded softly.
Towards Qin Yi, Chu Jin Yao’s skin would be exceptionally thick. “Aren’t I thinking you right now! If it was not you that often urged me, I would have made a fool of myself today! But one can only hide it for a moment and not forever. I can only write these five words, this will be disclosed sooner or later! When the time comes, and Fourth Young Lady seizes this flaw…” Chu Jin Yao was fighting a chill as she thought about it before continuing. “I don’t want! I have mocked Chu Jin Miao severely today and if she finds out that I cannot write in the future, she would definitely return it to me three or four times! Qi Ze, Qi Ze…!”
Towards the end, Chu Jin Yao’s words were stretched out, leading to a coquettish tone of ‘it would not do if you don’t promise me’.
Qin Yi sighed. Coquetry was truly a female’s natural talent. Chu Jin Yao was born to wear him down. Without another choice, he said helplessly, “All right, I will not leave you alone. Go and prepare the ink.”
With a crisp “En”, Chu Jin Yao ran over to prepare the ink happily. Just as she laid the paper out, she suddenly heard Shan Cha calling her from outside. She could only put aside what she was doing and go out to see what happened.
Chu Jin Yao spoke to Jie Geng and the rest as she headed inside, “It is hot these few days. Go and wash these jackets and put them away. Oh yes. It is easy for fur clothes to get damp so they must be absolutely dry before they are stored!”
“Yes.” Jie Geng and the rest went out carrying the clothes and Ding Xiang followed Chu Jin Yao.
Chu Jin Yao passed the dazzling door frames and said, “I do not need you to wait upon me. Go and keep yourselves busy with other matters. I will be in the study reading. Don’t let the rest of the maids come in to disturb me.”
Ding Xiang complied and turned around to leave obediently. Pulling the yarn curtain, Chu Jin Yao looked up unsuspectingly before seeing a male standing in front of her desk.
She was so shocked that she took a step back and knocked her back against the cupboard. At that moment, her legs went soft.
Chu Jin Yao opened her mouth slightly and was unable to make a single sound for a long time. Ding Xiang had not gone far and upon hearing the noise, she quickly ran over to ask, “Young Lady, what happened?”