Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 22: Meticulous Fabrication (Part 1)
After classes were dismissed, Deng Momo suddenly realised that she had left something behind and could only turn back to pick it up.
When she walked to the open corridors, she unexpectedly found Chu Jin Miao too.
“Fourth Young Lady?” Deng Momo was surprised, “Classes have been long dismissed so why are you still here?”
Chu Jin Miao closed the book, “Today, Momo has taught well and I felt some emotions. There is still a lingering fragrance in my mouth, I could not calm down for a long time, thus I stayed back and read for a while.”
Deng Momo stepped forward and when she saw Chu Jin Miao’s words on the books, she said in amazement, “Young Lady has also read [New accounts of the tales of the world 世说新语]?”
“One does not dare. I have only flipped through a few pages during my spare time.”
Deng Momo pointed towards the words in the books, asking, “You have written all these?”
“I have read it before and thus casually wrote it.” Chu Jin Miao was somewhat embarrassed and with a turn of a hand, closed the book and stood up. “One has let Momo see a joke.”
Deng Momo, however, shook her head before picking up Chu Jin Miao’s book and roughly flipped it through. She saw that there were ink markings scattered at different parts of the books and some of them were old. From the first look, it was a book that was frequently read and there were even insights written. Deng Momo smiled and nodded her head after she saw them, “Fourth Young Lady has surprised me. These books do not appear in the Imperial examinations and thus males would rarely read them. One did not think Fourth Young Lady has read them many times. Fourth Young Lady’s wide literary readings have made this old servant ashamed.”
“One does not dare. May Momo not speak like that.” Chu Jin Miao waved her hands as she smiled, “I would only read it playfully and need not participate in examinations, so how could one compare with older brothers’ skills and efforts.”
“Fourth Young Lady is being too modest.” Deng Momo smiled. She was used to hearing others speak of Fourth Young Lady’s talent, but it was today that she witnessed it. She suddenly felt the feeling of appreciation of talents as it was difficult to find such an intelligent and studious young lady. Deng Momo asked gently, “Fourth Young Lady, it is getting late, it is time to have a meal at Old Furen’s. Why is there no one looking for you?”
Chu Jin Miao smiled bitterly, “What status do I have? How could there be someone who will look for me?”
Deng Momo suddenly understood. Even though Fourth Young Lady had a young lady title, her real identity was not a young lady of the Chu family. This young lady was indeed pitiful. She had stayed in the family for thirteen years but suddenly found out that she was not a member of this family and the real one was someone else. Deng Momo felt sorry about it as the lives of talented females would always be very miserable. The more she thought about it, the more she felt upset, “Fourth Young Lady does not need to be this depressed. With your talents displayed, it is only a matter of time that it would shine. Even if a pearl is covered in dust, as long as it is a pearl, there will be a day when one would meet someone with knowledge!”
“Thanking Momo for your comfort.” Chu Jin Miao bowed to Deng Momo but the smile on her face did not stay long and it was filled with sadness and worry, “I too wish to meet a person with knowledge, like what Momo mentioned. However, I have an awkward identity and live in the Marquis residence with unclear status, thus I fear that I would not be able to encounter that person. I too had not once thought that I was wrongly carried away and had occupied the identity of other’s status and position in life. It is already a great kindness for the Marquis residence to retain me and I would not dare to ask for more. Those few words that others complained about, I have deserved it since I am guilty since birth. I had originally felt that if there was a place that allows me to read, it would be alright but unfortunately, it was only my extravagant hope.”
Deng Momo frowned when she heard those words, “Fourth Young Lady, could it be that Fifth Young Lady is secretly targeting you?”
When Chu Jin Miao heard these words, she kept her head down and was silent. After a while, she shook her head, “May Momo not speak about it as she does not like to hear these. It is after all me who stole other’s stuff. She did not live well outside so it is alright to throw a temper upon returning. ZhuMu and Father are both committed to making up with her and since I am not a genuine daughter of the Chu family, it is already a good thing that they are willing to raise me. How would I dare to speak of the genuine daughter? It is anyway alright. It will be over after some toleration.”
Deng Momo sighed. Fourth Young Lady was originally a proud daughter and to suddenly be told that she was a farmer’s daughter, how would any young lady be able to bear such a drastic change of identity? Not to mention that Fourth Young Lady still had to often face her former sisters and servants. One feared that after her identity had been revealed, the previous servants would dare to openly neglect her. Deng Momo had only felt that Fourth Young Lady was quiet and talented, but she had never expected that she was living such a life in secret.
Deng Momo felt pity in her heart but she could only say, “Young Lady do not need to complain. It would be better in the future.”
“Hopefully.” Chu Jin Miao smiled bitterly and sighed, “One does not know how long this Marquis residence would tolerate me until. Since I am like a duckweed, it does not matter at all.”
Deng Momo could not speak. She also felt that the Marquis residence was not a place to stay long term for Fourth Young Lady. However, it was not her decision on the matter of the Prince residence’s study companion. Deng Momo felt that it was good to find a talented and studious young lady to accompany the County Princess, but her words did not matter as it required the Prince Consort’s and Old Furen’s agreement! If Deng Momo could decide, she would have comforted Chu Jin Miao, but she was unable to do so, thus she did not give Chu Jin Miao any hope. Finally Deng Momo could only say, “May Young Lady rest assured, there will be someone that will recognise how precious you are and marry you in the future.”
Chu Jin Miao smiled, “Thanking Momo for the auspicious words.” She quickly wiped away her tears and gave a pretentious strong smile. However, such a pretence would only make others feel more distressed. Chu Jin Miao spoke as if she did not know it, “I feel that I am particularly fated with Momo. I have liked Momo since the first time I saw Momo but did not dare to speak about it, fearing that you might find me flattering. I have a collection of poems that I have previously written randomly. How about me gifting this to you as a first encounter gift?”
Deng Momo was somewhat hesitant, “It is Young Lady’s collection of poems, how could…”
When Chu Jin Miao saw that Deng Momo wanted to refuse, she quickly spoke, “Momo does not need to refuse as this is from my heart. With this farewell, one fears that I would no longer see you, thus gifting you my collection of poems can be considered as fulfilling my wish.”
Upon seeing Chu Jin Miao speaking as such, Deng Momo had no choice but to accept, “Alright. This old servant has overstepped.”
Chu Jin Miao immediately pulled out a collection of poems under the pile of books and handed it to Deng Momo with both hands. Deng Momo flipped a few pages and suddenly heard Chu Jin Yao’s shocked voice. Deng Momo looked up, “What is the matter Young Lady?”
“Momo, I almost forgot that there are some poems that are composed by my older brother inside. If it was all written by me, then it is fine that I can gift it to you directly. However, since it contains my Second Older Brother’s poems, I do not know if he has another copy, so it is not good to give it you. How about I make a copy tonight and gift you tomorrow?”
Deng Momo smiled, “Yes, it is naturally so.” Deng Momo could not help but add after speaking, “Fourth Young Lady does not need to rush. We only leave tomorrow noon. You can copy it slowly and should not let such a thing play your sleep.”
“I understand.” Chu Jin Miao pursed her lips to a smile. Just as she and Deng Momo were talking, a voice was suddenly heard outside, “Fourth Younger Sister, are you there?”
Chu Jin Miao’s heart thumped. Why did she come? However, Deng Momo was still present and thus Chu Jin Miao could not remain silent, so she smiled reluctantly as she replied, “I am here.”
As soon as Third Young Lady Chu Jin Chan entered, she saw Chu Jin Miao and Deng Momo standing, looking as though they had been talking for a long while. Third Young Lady’s eyes flashed and she cursed in her heart, but there was a smile that formed immediately on her face, “What is Fourth Younger Sister doing here? It was not easy for me to search.”
Thanks for the chapter 😊
Thank you for your translation!
I juste discover this story and I really like it!
This Miao is really something!