Edited by Larkspur
Chapter 29: Scales of Deviation (Part 1)
Second Young Master laughed at himself, “Because of my poor health since young, I like reading these light books to escape the present and do not like the ways of Confucius and Mencius. One had not thought that the Crown Prince was the same. The Crown Prince is Empress Yuan’s Di-son and was taught and raised as a Crown Prince since birth. The cabinet ministers would watch him attentively and the high-ranking officials in court would constantly remind the Crown Prince. As a mighty son of Heavens like him, I really cannot figure out why he would like the same things as me.”
“Perhaps the Crown Prince grew up in the Eastern Palace and is under too much pressure, thus likes books that allow him to escape from the present?” Chu Jin Miao felt it was right the more she thought about it, “That is so. One fears the Crown Prince is a talented and sensitive person at heart and does not like the mundane happenings but was unable to change his identity. This is using books to express one’s emotions.”
“This is something I do not know.” Second Young Master said, “Not only have I never seen the Crown Prince, I also do not know what type of person he is. However, hearing that he dared to kill the Empress’s maid in front of all the officials and was also very disrespectful to the her, this kind of person shouldn’t be like that.”
Chu Jin Miao, however, still persisted on her own opinion, “A lot of the rumours outside are often inaccurate. However, when the Crown Prince arrives, we will know then.”
“Father really hopes that the Crown Prince would come.” Second Young Master smiled bitterly, “He even especially reminded me to revise the books that the Crown Prince likes so that he would view me kindly. I have no intention for fame and fortune, but it is that the Marquis of Chang Xing is at the third generation with Father. Looking at our family’s current situation, one fears that the Emperor would not approve Father’s memorandum and since our family does not have any connection in court, it would be difficult for anyone to mediate it. ZuMu and Father have always been thinking of ways. It is really for the sake of the family that they do this.”
Chu Jin Miao was somewhat surprised. She had grown up in the Marquis residence and knew a few things about the matters in court. She asked curiously, “If the the Emperor does not agree to making Older Brother ShiZi and disagrees with continuing the title of Marquis of Chang Xing, then the Chu family would no longer be a Marquis residence?”
“Yes.” Second Young Master said, “If the younger generation fail to live up to expectations, our Marquis Chang Xing, the Chu family would completely decline and end up as a commoner within two generation.”
Chu Jin Miao sighed but was surprised. If this was the case then there would not be any difference between Chu Jin Yao’s and her identity. If Second Young Master was unable to assume the Marquis title, then both of them would be daughters of commoners.
However, Chu Jin Miao overturned this thought. A lean camel was still bigger than a horse. No matter how much the Chu family had declined, they were still noble and many times better than the poor farmer family, the Su family.
“You don’t have to worry about this. Our family has been in TaiYuan for three generations. Although ZuFu’s generation is declining a little, it is still better than an ordinary official family.” Second Young Master looked at Chu Jin Miao tenderly and said, “Father and I are working on the title inheritance matter so you do not need to worry about it and just be a young lady of a Marquis family.”
Chu Jin Miao exerted a smile, “How could I be a young lady of a Marquis family? It should be Chu Jin Yao.”
“What are you talking about!” Second Young Master frowned as he did not like hearing such things, “Even though there was a mistake between yours and Fifth Younger Sister’s identity, you are the younger sister that I watched grow up and she is the younger sister that shares the same blood. Both of you are equally dear to me.”
“I just knew that Second Older Brother treats me well.” Chu Jin Miao raised her head and hugged Second Young Master’s arm, “Second Older Brother, you are this good to me, so in the future I too will be very very good to you. Aren’t you worried about the Crown Prince and the title inheritance? Talk to me more and maybe I can even help you!”
Second Young Master did not take it to heart after listening and smiled indifferently, “You are a young girl, how can you help?”
Chu Jin Miao only smiled but did not say a word. In this period, there existed a feudal view esteeming men above women, and females would be treated extremely harsh. However, females could do things that many males could not. The Crown Prince had to see many officials daily, thus even if Chu Jing and Second Young Master were to go, it was a matter if they could enter his view. However, she was the type of woman that the Crown Prince liked. One could not say for sure that the future of the residence of Marquis Chang Xing might even fall on herself.
Second Young Master saw that Chu Jin Miao’s eyes were lowered lost in thought that she did not hear him calling her. He could only repeat, “Fourth Younger Sister.”
“Ah? What is the matter Second Older Brother?”
“It is getting late. I have to go to Father.” Second Young Master said, “Do you still want to read that book?”
Chu Jin Miao seemed to be in difficulty. The New Account of the Tales of the World that she showed to Deng Momo was not her book but Second Young Master’s. It also carried traces of frequent reading and old ink marks. Second Young Mater was a gentle and thoughtful older brother and would always agree to no matter what Chu Jin Miao asked for. Thus, her calligraphy since young was taught by him. Therefore, Chu Jin Miao’s words and Second Young Master’s looked very similar, making one unable to differentiate them at first glance. Chu Jin Miao depended on this point and impersonated Second Young Master’s effort as her own and deceived Deng Momo. She even impressed the image of a diligent and studious person in Deng Momo’s mind.
In actual fact, how would Chu Jin Miao have so much time to read, let alone to skim through the New Account of the Tales of the World, such an obscure selected work? Most of her time was spent fighting together with Madam Zhao against the YiNiangs, being jealous with Seventh Young Lady and chatting and laughing with her maids. She was able to gain the talented title thanks to the ways of the time that a woman’s virtue was not to have talent and the comparison with the sisters of the residence. On the contrary, Second Young Master had been frail since young, thus he had to put a lot of effort into these literary stuff.
Chu Jin Miao reckoned that Second Older Brother doted on her the most anyway, so he would not mind if she borrowed his books to use. Moreover, she lived in the inner courtyard and even if she were to impersonate Second Young Master, there would not be any impact on him. It was a win on all sides, so what was wrong about it?
It was for this reason that Chu Jin Miao did not want to return the book to Second Young Master. What would she read if he took it? She still had familiarise with these book so that she could use it to get closer to the Crown Prince. She asked, “Second Older Brother, are you in a hurry to use it in these few days?”
Second Young Master paused before asking, “What do you mean by that?”
“I felt that this book is interesting and want to copy it. Second Older Brother, why not wait till I copy it before returning it to you?”
It turned out to be like this. Second Young Master smiled, “You are a lady of the boudoir, so why would there be a need for you to copy? Give me the book and I will instruct someone to send it over when it is copied.”
Chu Jin Miao was somewhat hesitant. The handwriting would be different! But she too was unwilling to do it herself as it was such a thick book and would require a lot of effort. She thought about it before finally saying, “Alright. But retain the notes, I want to write them myself.”
“Alright. Will comply to everything.” Second Young Master patted Chu Jin Miao’s head and smiled warmly.
Second Young Master had another small conversation with Chu Jin Miao before leaving. Chu Jin Miao stayed in Madam Zhao’s Xi Hua Yuan and when Second Young Master stepped out of the courtyard, he coincidently saw Chu Jin Xian, who was going out.