Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 16: Personally Teaching
Chu Jin Yao blinked, not understanding. Qin Yi was really an unpredictable person. She was sincerely asking, so why did he laugh? She was somewhat unhappy and planned to question him after he finished laughing but the fellow laughed endlessly. As such, she could only interrupt him, “I am asking you properly. Be more serious about it and don’t laugh.”
With a relaxed smile on his lips, Qin Yi replied lightly, “It could be that the teacher that taught me was better.”
The Crown Prince had been specially taught by scholars since he was a child and these people must not only have profound knowledge, they had to have noble morals and prominent reputations too. In the entire court of civil ministers and Generals, it could be said that the Prime Ministers and important ministers throughout the dynasties who could be the tutor of the Crown Prince would be proud of it. It was not just normally good to be Qin Yi’s teacher.
However, Chu Jin Yao did not know the value of the teacher that Qin Yi mentioned. When she heard that the other party’s teacher was good, her thoughts paused. “It is said that famous teachers make valued students. If the teacher is good, then normal people would not be able to imitate them no matter how much they learn. It is better for me to honestly practice.”
Qin Yi took a step to the side, hooked his fingers to signal Chu Jin Yao to come closer. She hesitated, “This…” Qin Yi currently had the visuals of a young male. As it was improper for male and female to touch each other’s hand in passing objects, how could she be so close with him?
When Qin Yi saw that Chu Jin Yao had not moved, he stretched his hand out and pulled her directly over, “Hurry up. I cannot leave the jade pendant for too long. If one does not teach by hand, there would not be any result in practicing.”
As Chu Jin Yao’s wrist was being held, she could only see the other party’s slender fingers. Qin Yi was still in a spirit state, thus his fingers were still translucent, but even so, it did not prevent him from covering her wrist with only one hand. With just a little force, he was able to pull her over.
Chu Jin Yao strangely felt that this was a pair of hands that practiced martial arts. If one did not practice martial arts, their fingers would not be this long and powerful.
How long has Qin Yi been cultivating that he was this powerful in both martial and scholarly arts? As Chu Jin Yao was thinking about it in a daze, there was a sudden flick on her forehead. Even though it was not painful, it was enough to wake her up.
“What are you doing?” Chu Jin Yao clutched her forehead, displeased, she glared at Qin Yi.
Qin Yi raised his brows, “Oh, is reason at your side for being distracted? Hold the brush properly and write as I have spoken.”
Chu Jin Yao’s heart was set on learning and if she did not concentrate, her pigtail would be caught by Chu Jin Miao. She immediately retracted her thoughts and listened carefully to Qin Yi’s words. Standing beside her, he taught her how to handle the brush, move the brush, lift it up and when she was unable to do it well, he would directly reach out and hold the brush to correct her as he was of an impatient character. He was to her left, and every time he wanted to hold the brush, his arms would stretch out from behind her as he monitored her corrections. Chu Jin Yao was very uncomfortable. She told herself that Qin Yi was a spirit and did not have any sense of guarding against males or females so she should not be calculative with him on such matters. When such matters recurred often, she slowly got used to it. She let him hold her hand and move on the paper and her writing became smoother.
Chu Jin Yao had previously rarely written. She was very afraid of the brush and ink but now, with Qin Yi, she actually started to get used to it quickly. When he let go afterwards, she could write a few decent words. Chu Jin Yao was very happy in her heart and turned around to say, “Look, I can write by myself!”
Chu Jin Yao had forgotten that Qin Yi was standing behind her. Now that she had turned her head very quickly, it seemed to make the distance between them quite close. When she turned around like this, she almost hit his chin.
Qin Yi had to go around Chu Jin Yao to hold the brush, thus it was inevitable for him to stand closely. As he was much taller than her, he could only use one hand as support on the table and the other to encircle her and guide her calligraphy. Now that she suddenly turned around, she almost hit him.
When Chu Jin Yao saw that Qin Yi’s face was so close when she turned around, she was stunned on the spot but Qin Yi reacted very quickly and immediately raised his chin before lowering his eyes to look at her. “What are you doing?”
Chu Jin Yao felt embarrassed in her heart. This was her first time being so close with a male and at this moment, she clearly realised that Qin Yi was a male and she could no longer interact with him like before. Just as she wanted to speak to ease the atmosphere, she discovered that Qin Yi’s chin was much thinner than before and his face was so transparent that he almost melted into the air. It had a type of a fragile beauty to it, which made his features more exquisite.
However, Chu Jin Yao no longer had the mood to appreciate Qin Yi’s outstanding appearance. She anxiously spoke, “What is the matter with you? Are you uncomfortable?”
Qin Yi put on an indifferent expression, “It is nothing. It has been too long since I stepped outside the jade pendant, so my soul cannot take it. It would be alright once I go back inside and rest.”
What alright once he goes back to it and rests? Were matters of the soul a joke? Chu Jin Yao was really furious, “Since you cannot come out for too long then you better go back quickly! It is all my fault. I was just focusing on practicing calligraphy and did not pay any attention to you.”
“I am fine.” Saying so, Qin Yi finished speaking, he could not help add, “Don’t think too much about it. It has nothing to do with you.”
“All right. I know. Quickly go back!”
Qin Yi was someone who could not stay idle since he was a child and hated being restrained the most. However, he was being restricted to the jade pendant, so there was an unspeakable boredom to it. It would have been alright if there was no other way out, but now that he could escape from its confines, he did not want to go back to it again. However, Chu Jin Yao was so anxious that she was almost in tears. As such, he had no choice but to return to the jade pendant albeit reluctantly.
Back inside, his weak soul immediately felt much better. Qin Yi sighed softly and immediately comforted the flustered girl. “I am fine. Don’t cry.”
Is this called fine? Chu Jin Yao was about to cry out of anger. How could this person not take his health seriously? She fell silent for a while, not knowing who she was angry with. Finally, she said, “Don’t do this the next time.”
“En. All right.” Qin Yi carelessly replied. He yawned lazily, “You should practice your calligraphy. This is a skill that requires milling. You cannot be lazy at all.”
“I understand.” Chu Jin Yao sat in front of the desk, picked up the brush and said while she dipped it into the ink, “I will be here practicing. If you are tired, then take a rest first. I will accompany you.”
Qin Yi laughed, “I am not a child, so why the need for accompanying?” Although he said this, the effect of his weakened soul was just too great. He could only hold on for a while before falling into a deep sleep.
Seeing that there was no more sound from Qin Yi, Chu Jin Yao moved even more carefully. One could only hear the rustling of the brush nib in the study.
As the night gradually turned deeper, the maids lit the lanterns along the long corridor. The many courtyards in the Residence of Marquis Chang Xing had all been brightly lit up. At this time, there were very few people walking around the house. Regardless of what was said or done during the day, those people who sat under the same lamp at this time, were the ones that were truly close.
Chu Jin Miao placed the lampshade onto the candle and asked, “Father is not coming here today?
“The time is such already. One fears that the Marquis will stay in that courtyard,” Zhang MoMo replied.
It stood to reason that Chu Jin Miao was a young lady and should not be asking about matters concerning her Father and YiNiangs. But she was very close with Madam Zhao since young, and as Madam Zhao had suffered grievances from YiNiangs, she liked to speak about it to Chu Jin Miao. Over time, the people around Madam Zhao became used to it.
Marquis Chang Xing had a wife and three concubines. Although Madam Zhao had a stable position as the official wife, it was actually only on the surface. The one that actually was favoured was Huang YiNiang.
Just like tonight, Marquis Chang Xing stayed at Huang YiNiang’s courtyard again.
When Madam Zhao entered the family, she was the Eldest Daughter-in-Law and was also the Marquis Furen. One did not know how many people were paying attention to her belly. She only got pregnant almost a year into marriage. However, even with everyone’s expectations, she was unable to obtain a male and gave birth to Eldest Young Lady instead. Even though Old Chu Furen was disappointed, she still gave Madam Zhao face and carried Eldest Young Lady away, strictly raising and grooming her as what an Eldest Di-Granddaughter should be. Even though, in terms of relationship, it was very much unfair to the mother to carry the child away upon birth, but in noble families, it was an honour for the elder generation to personally educate the granddaughter and it would highlight the mother and child’s position. After Eldest Young Lady was carried away, Madam Zhao was under the utmost pressure and had no other choice but to stop the medication for a few YiNiangs.
When Madam Zhao was pregnant with Eldest Young Lady, she was unable to serve the Marquis of Chang Xing, thus it was inevitable to take in concubines. Old Chu Furen had sent over a maid, Fu Rong, to serve Madam Zhao but who would not be able to know the real reason. Madam Zhao did not like her Mother-in-law interfering with matters of the bedroom and kept on suppressing Fu Rong and did not allow her to serve. When Old Chu Furen came to know about it, she did not say anything. A few days later, Marquis Chang Xing went out socialising and brought a female back. The female had the surname Huang and was given to Marquis Chang Xing by a TaiYuan official. It was said that she was brought over from YangZhao, was specially taught and to be given to officials.
As soon as Madam Huang entered, she displayed her strong skills in fighting for favour. Madam Zhao did not take it seriously, thinking that Marquis would tire of it soon but as she watched as Madam Huang’s power grew, Madam Zhao felt restless. She could only quickly let Fu Rong serve so that she could divide Huang YiNiang’s favour. After Madam Zhao gave birth to Eldest Young Lady, she did not get pregnant for a long time. She could not tolerate the pressures from her in-laws and reluctantly stopped the medication for Madam Huang and Fu Rong.
In the courtyards of the nobles, the YiNiangs’ positions were that of half a servant. As long as the official Furen did not agree, they had to drink the pregnancy prevention soup after serving at night as the Shu-bloodline was not allowed to disturb the hierarchy of the family clan. The Eldest Son and Eldest Daughter could only be born from the official wife’s womb.
When Madam Zhao stopped the medication for the YiNiangs, that meant that there was a possibility that the Eldest Son could be Shu-born and this was not a decent thing for the official wife. However, Madam Zhao had too much pressure and only gave birth to Second Young Master with great difficulty. However it did not take too long for Huang YiNiang and Fu Rong to become pregnant one after the other and give birth to Shu-sons. Madam Huang was favoured and now that she stopped taking the pregnancy prevention soup, she gave birth to Third Young Lady, Chu Jin Chan, the year after having a short rest from giving birth to Third Young Master.
Madam Huang had given birth to a son and daughter and her status in the Inner Courtyard had risen a lot, she became more arrogant. After Madam Zhao gave birth to the second Di-daughter, there were no other movements. Other than the first and fifteenth of every month, Marquis Chang Xing would seldom come over to the main house to stay overnight. Even if he was to stay overnight, he would only sit down to talk. Madam Zhao saw that there was no other way to continue the Di bloodline, thus Zhang Momo gave Madam Zhao an idea to let the dowry maid, Bai Ling, serve. As long as Bai Ling was able to retain Marquis Chang Xing, it was considered as remaining at Madam Zhao’s place.
Madam Zhao had very reluctantly let her dowry maid, Bai Ling, serve and raised her officially to a YiNiang. However, Bai Ling was no opponent of Madam Huang’s. It took several years before she gave birth to twins, the current Seventh Young Master and Eighth Young Lady, who were six years old at the moment.
In the Inner Courtyard, Huang YiNiang was truly the one who had the sole monopoly. Fu Rong was after all Old Chu Furen’s people and thus for the sake of face, Marquis Chang Xing did not treat her coldly. After all was said and done, the most deserted place was Madam Zhao’s.
Chu Jin Miao had always been close with Madam Zhao and knew about the bedroom matters here. When she heard that Marquis Chang Xing went to Huang YiNiang’s again, she was so angry that she almost slammed the teacup onto the table, “Why is Father always unable to differentiate the degree of severity? What kind of person is Madam Huang and how can she be worthy of such respect?”
An unmarried young lady could not speak of such matters of YiNiangs and it was just unsightly. However, there were no outsiders present and thus Zhang Momo and the rest just closed the other eye and let it pass.
Madam Zhao continued, “That is exactly so. Madam Huang is used to putting up an act. Look at her waist and legs. She cannot even sit properly and is so foxy but men always fall for this trick.” Madam Zhao got angrier as she thought about it and could not help but scold, “All are sluts to the bones.”
Madam Zhao’s words were not appropriate but Zhang Momo and Chu Jin Miao remained silent as they did not know how to persuade her. After a while, Chu Jin Miao comforted her. “Mother, don’t be angry with them. No matter how favoured they all are, can they supersede you? No matter how confused Father is, he would not allow matters like annihilating the official wife.”
Zhang Momo also said, “Yes. Furen, men’s favour in the Inner Courtyard is all temporary. Children are one’s true support. You still have Second Young Master!” Zhang Momo wanted to say that you have Second Young Master, Eldest Young Lady, and Fifth Young Lady, but she remembered that Chu Jin Miao was still present and it was not good to mention Chu Jin Yao and thus omitted all the young ladies.
Zhang Momo had instantly changed her words and thus Madam Zhao had not heard it but Chu Jin Miao had. Her expression did not change but she coldly looked at Zhang Momo.