Chapter 46: School of Thought
Chen Miao Ping had sharp ears, and hearing him say that, lifted his head inquisitively,
“What did you just say?”
Xie Yu Zhi raised his eyes and remembering the stupid thing Chen Miao Ping did earlier, he threw the book aside and straightened up.
He pushed himself right up to Chen Miao Ping’s face and said,
“I said that you are a piece of garbage! Said that you were full of lies, and said that you are faker than that charlatan doctor Ruan!”
Chen Miao Ping smiled with a tiny little dimple showing up on his face.
He held onto Xie Yu Zhi’s ankle, not letting go, and felt that it was so much more delicate and thinner than a girl’s,
“And Second Master, do you know why I’m a piece of garbage?”
This side of him made him look fairly perverted, with the meaning of debasing Xie Yu Zhi.
But an action from this kind of man did not make others annoyed or unhappy.
Looking at his pair of eyes that were always smiling, your soul could be hooked away no matter what he did.
The feet was a very intimate part of the body and so Xie Yu Zhi immediately yelled at him in response,
“Let go now!”
“Second Master has already assigned me the role of a piece of garbage.
Someone like that must always do things not accepted by society.
How can I let go now?”
Chen Miao Ping’s hand continued to slide upwards.
His hand was very warm, and it was a direct contrast to the coolness of Xie Yu Zhi’s thin legs,
“Or is Second Master really afraid that I will chop your leg off?”
The fact that he had turned pale from his joking words earlier was very embarrassing.
Xie Yu Zhi held onto the hands doing such a naughty deed to stop them from moving.
He narrowed his eyes and snorted,
“You can try if you dare.
Let’s see who will chop off who first.”
Of course, in terms of strength, Chen Miao Ping would naturally be the one mashed onto the ground and turned into powder.
No doubt that would be his only role in that.
If it was not for Xie Yu Zhi not willing to make him concede, ten of him would not be able to hold back Xie Yu Zhi.
Chen Miao Ping said,
“This is not fair.
I am just a lowly weak scholar.
Second Master must hold back his strength for me.”
Xie Yu Zhi raised his eyebrows,
“Well I could possibly not move for twenty hits?”
Chen Miao Ping thought in his heart, who is looking down on who now? He reached out three fingers and waved them.
He said with a smile on his face,
“Not that much of a handicap.
Just let me hit three times first.”
Xie Yu Zhi nodded in acknowledgement,
When that time comes, don’t blame me and say that I am bullying you.”
Immediately he felt a weight on his shoulder and in a blink of an eye, he was pressed down onto the bed by Chen Miao Ping.
Xie Yu Zhi reached out his hand but was stopped,
“Ah, nah ah, you said you wouldn’t fight back until after I had my three hits.
This is only the first one.”
Xie Yu Zhi pursed his lips, and he felt that he somehow walked into a trap of his own accord.
Chen Miao Ping slowly undid Xie Yu Zhi’s waist belt,
“This is the second……”
Xie Yu Zhi covered his eyes with the back of his hand, not having the heart to look further.
Seeing him like this, Chen Miao Ping thought he was quite cute.
Unfortunately Chen Miao Ping was a naturally terrible person and did not want to treasure this.
He only wanted to tease him, tease him to death.
Xie Yu Zhi’s lips felt something warm touch him and beside his ear, a low voice chuckled,
“This is the third…… Second Master can stop holding back now…….”
The other had the technique down.
Slowly licking his lips.
Biting him occasionally, with the perfect amount of strength.
Not too lightly and not too strong.
His lips fell onto Xie Yu Zhi’s Adam’s apple and then slid to his ears.
Next was his neck where hot puffs of air seemed to be tickling something deep inside of him.
Xie Yu Zhi’s entire body started to shiver and his breaths began to quicken.
He was unconsciously opening up and meeting Chen Miao Ping, as if he was a fish out of water, drying up from the lack of water and doing anything to satisfy its yearning desire to return back.
But the other was purposefully ignoring his every wish.
Coming and going, back and forth.
He was caught in the middle, teased with the inability to let go or hold on.
An exercise to always challenge his control.
“Second Master, why aren’t you returning my hits?”
“Didn’t Second Master say he would let me hit him twenty times? You can’t even last three?”
Xie Yu Zhi’s eyes were going red and in his heart he had never wanted to strangle Chen Miao Ping to death more than he did now.
It also did not help either that he was very sensitive to the sounds transmitting from outside; of the maids doing their daily duties, of the servants walking hastily outside in the corridors.
And it was in this kind of moment that Chen Miao Ping made Xie Yu Zhi sit on his legs.
Nonchalantly he even had the time to converse,
“I’ve read ‘Zuo Chuan Xuan Gong Jiu Nian’ and know a few lines here and there.
Has Second Master ever read it?”
Xie Yu Zhi tightened his arms around Chen Miao Ping’s neck, with his eyes reddened from excitement,
“You piece of garbage, only reading all these erotica books…..”
Chen Miao Ping asked in curiosity,
“Has Second Master never read this? In the midst of the morning……”
Xie Yu Zhi covered his mouth,
“You shut up!”
Chen Miao Ping curved his eyes from smiling and licked his palm lightly.
Successfully making Xie Yu Zhi take his hand back.
“I am giving Second Master the chance to hit me back.
If Second Master doesn’t move himself, then don’t blame me and say that I am bullying you.”
And then he pulled the covers over them.
The flower pattern sewn on top of the covers moved up and down, glimmering with colour as the light shone on it.
As if it became alive in this very moment.
The two of them have not been married for very long, and supposedly today was the day they completed a tea ceremony1 towards their elders.
However, there were only those few masters in the estate and a concubine’s position was not distinguished enough for them to bow to her.
The only person who could accept their bows was Chang Guo Gong, who has still not returned from the Imperial Palace Court Assembly since this morning.
After their vigorous activity, Xie Yu Zhi became deathly tired and was sleeping soundly away.
During this time, Chen Miao Ping decided to go on a walk for a breath of fresh air.
Without a plan or having anything on his mind, his feet took him to Fei Xin Pavilion.
This spot was quite high up, with a great view to see an artificial hill and flowing water as you lift your eyes.
If you continued to look farther beyond this view, your eyes would be full of the lush, blooming trees of this ancient era.
It was an exceptional sight for the eyes, but the most important thing of all, if you take a few steps to the side, the entrance to the treasury would be there to greet you……
If you open the window, you could see the countless piles of jewelry and gold, and even more boxes filled to the brim with glimmering weighty gold……
Chen Miao Ping’s eyes were staring in that direction, with a never before seen focus.
No matter what you put in front of him right now, he would not give it any attention.
But he had a mind to talk within his heart, to have a conversation with the system,
“Have you latched on to many people before?”
[ Ding! Oh this is a secret ~ ]
Chen Miao Ping did not mind its answer and continued to ask,
“Then how long do you usually stick to a host for?”
[ When my dear host has the ability to live by himself, when they have passed the judgement of the galactic judges, the system will automatically release the contract.
The length of time for this contract differs with each host~ ]
Chen Miao Ping finally asked the only question he was concerned about in his mind,
“How long do you think…… you could lock on to me for?”
If you continue to do things like this, then it is going to be for a very, very long time..
[ Probably a while~ ]
Chen Miao Ping tried to chase for a more concrete answer,
“How long is a while?”
The system tried to say it as gently as possible: [ Probably…… from life to death that kind of while? ]
His hand suddenly felt really cold, and Chen Miao Ping poured himself a cup of hot tea, looking as if he was as calm as ever,
“Could there be any accidental situations that, possibly, could make the system have to let go of its host?”
[ Yes…… If the host suddenly dies by accident, the system will automatically release its host~ ]
To be said plainly: you either be self reliant, or you could choose to die.
No matter how hot the tea from that pot in front of him could be, it could never warm up his slowly freezing heart.
Chen Miao Ping was not a perfect 10/10 good person, but he was also not a perfect 10/10 terrible person.
Transmigrating to such a place, to gain a second chance at life was a good thing.
But for him to be part of such a powerful family, and for him to not even be able to attain any benefits, from gold to authority or power, he was feeling a bit wronged.
His hands interlocked with each other in a position that said he was in a state of negotiation.
Chen Miao Ping lowered his eyes,
“I am not a person who understands how to benefit society and I can’t invent anything.
The only thing I know is how to talk out of my ass and I’m already forgetting almost everything I learned from school.
You want me to become self reliant and self sufficient, but what can I do? Go out and beg?”
[ Ding! No can do~ Begging can also be considered as being a kept man~ ]
Chen Miao Ping: “……”
“Don’t you think that these rules are too strict for me?”
[ Ding! Not strict at all~ Considering that my dear host and the mission target are married, I, the system, has graciously allowed some rule bending no~ Your food, shelter, clothing, everything you have received from this estate has not been counted into the rules~ ]
Chen Miao Ping’s face had plastered on the same kind of freezing smile that Xie Yu Zhi liked to show,
“Do I look like someone that needs to be greedy about just one bowl of food here?”
Without saying any more words, he walked out of the pavilion.
But what he didn’t expect was to meet someone just around the corner of the artificial hill.
The other man was dressed in a very light colored long robe, with quite a few similarities to Xie Yu Zhi.
Behind him was a Shu Tong2.
This must be the estate’s Third Master, Xie Ping Zhi.
The two of them almost bumped into each other, but thankfully Chen Miao Ping reacted quickly.
He immediately took a step back and once he steadied himself, he apologized,
I was not looking as to where I was going.”
“No no, it was me who was walking too fast.”
Xie Ping Zhi’s eyes were not focused on him, but once they were, he could see first hand the handsome face of Chen Miao Ping.
His heart immediately started beating with fervor, and his eyes could not take themselves off of him.
When his brain finally could process some logical thought, he immediately blurted out,
“I am the third in the family.
Name’s Ping Zhi.
That day I did not look carefully, but you are from yesterday, my second brother’s……”
Men do not really have a good title to be referred to, and so Chen Miao Ping smiled and said,
“You can call me Chen Da-Ge.”
He could see from the other’s eyes that he had some interest in him.
If it was a normal day, he would perhaps play around a bit, but unfortunately, today he had no interest in such a thing.
And looking at him closely, the other’s face and body were not as comparable to Xie Yu Zhi’s, especially when you factor in his seductive personality, that coldhearted but clear and clean charm.
Xie Ping Zhi was too ordinary in comparison.
His father-in-law, that he gained by luck, was quite pitiful.
With only these two sons and the both of them were cut-sleeves.
What did his father-in-law do in his previous life to deserve this?
Chen Miao Ping shook his head on the inside and pretended he did not see Xie Ping Zhi’s expression.
He said some general courtesies and then found an excuse to walk away.
Xie Ping Zhi stared at his back for a long while, before suddenly saying with some moodiness to his Shu Tong,
“Father is so good to my older brother.
He can find this kind of beauty……”
Xie Yu Zhi can throw away his reputation, but he could not.
For a son that is not of the main line to receive the ability to become the next Guo Gong was next to impossible.
If it got spread out that he was a cut-sleeve himself, then that slim possibility would flop to nothing.
One can’t have a cake and eat it too, but this was not easy to say out loud.
The Shu Tong could only duck his head and pretend he was a mute.
When Chen Miao Ping went back, Xie Yu Zhi was already awake.
He was sitting on a rosewood chair behind the desk of books, quietly dozing off.
After all, he was experiencing those certain night time activities for the first time, and perhaps he had been teased too harshly as his face was still a pale sickly white.
The more pale he was, the more it made his eyes look darker than ink.
Chen Miao Ping had a rare case of his conscience pop up and he went to squeeze himself beside Xie Yu Zhi on the chair.
He patted out the wrinkles on his robe before asking,
“What is it? Why do you look so out of it? It’s not because you recently lost to me that you are feeling shamed, is it?”
The corners of Xie Yu Zhi’s mouth discreetly hooked up in response.
But Xie Yu Zhi only audibly sighed lightly before slowly saying,
“Father just came back.”
Chen Miao Ping raised his eyebrow, questioning with his face, and?
“When the morning court assembly was adjourned, the Emperor had asked to see him privately.
And now Father has returned to the estate, he passed on word that you should go to Dian Yun Hall to find him.”
Xie Yu Zhi poked at Chen Miao Ping’s chest and concluded,
“You are in big trouble.”
Very obviously, the Emperor has reported his wrongdoings to Chang Guo Gong, your son-in-law cheated on the exams, go take care of him.
Chen Miao Ping blinked his eyes quickly in response and felt a sudden pain in his teeth.
He said to Xie Yu Zhi,
“Are you coming with me?”
This time it was Xie Yu Zhi who raised his eyebrows and he said,
Father only wants you to go, not me.”
Chen Miao Ping suddenly found himself surrounded by silence.
For a second, Xie Yu Zhi’s eyes held an indiscernible trace of laughter.
Then he disinterestedly and disingenuously comforted him,
“Father may have been raised in the military, but privately he’s not that strict.
No matter what, you won’t die.”
Chen Miao Ping was not scared off by him,
“No, it’s not that.
Miao Ping is not someone who is scared of death.
It’s just that if His Majesty takes away my ranking, what should I do if Father-In-Law believes that I am not worthy of you, Second Master, and chases me out the door? Should I agree or should I not? …… Whatever, I should agree.
I shouldn’t bring down Second Master’s future.
If one day we do separate, we should be happy.”
Hearing him pulling things out of his ass the more he opens his mouth, Xie Yu Zhi scowled and said,
“Stop talking nonsense.
Who said Father is going to kick you out the door?”
Chen Miao Ping ignored him and paced back and forth in front of Xie Yu Zhi, muttering,
“I think my crime is not that serious to warrant the death penalty.
If I must return back to my hometown, to Jin Zhou, I should buy a plot of land.
Probably get myself a wife and spend the rest of my life like that.
No more than that.
The official courts are too murky, not suiting the kind of me who is too clean for those kinds of activities……”
Before he even finished muttering to himself, Xie Yu Zhi laughed out of anger.
He threw a book from the table right at his head,
“You bastard, everyday you just talk nonsense.
If you dare to marry another woman, you can believe that I will castrate you and send you to the Imperial City to become an eunuch!”
And then he sighed after his outburst.
He stood up from the chair and spilled everything he knew,
“There was also the Imperial Secondary Aide Liu Gong-gong3 that came back with Father.
Word from my elder sister said that His Majesty wants to test you in private, to test your actual intelligence.
If you can answer well, then your Flower Seeker rank is solid.
But if you do not……”
Chen Miao Ping closed his eyes in silence and he could feel an actual clot of blood stuck in his throat.
He leaned on the desk for support and said to Xie Yu Zhi,
“Everything has its shortcomings and its strengths.
Each question on the examination is different, and it’s a matter of luck.
If I get something that I am not good at……”
“If you get a question you are not well versed in, then there’s nothing you can do.
In the end it’s just your rank being taken away…… Regardless of anything else, you will still be mine, the husband that married into Xie Yu Zhi’s family, the Er Gu-Ye of Chang Guo Gong Estate.”
Xie Yu Zhi looked at him,
“With this, are you still worried?”
Chen Miao Ping paused and muttered under his breath,
“I was never worried……”
The morning court assembly had just been filled with ministers yelling back and forth at each other.
Debating about the entire issue and the problems that erupted from the cheating scandal.
From the actual scholars who cheated to the families with authority abusing their power, and to the rotten ministers and even to the lack of punishment from the Emperor.
Someone was raging against the greedy officials, some others were raging against the power some families held, some against the officials and ministers, and let’s not forget the Grandmasters of Censors4, those were people who did not fear death.
They directly raged out towards the Emperor, even comparing him to the previous dynasty’s clouded and useless Emperor Chen Guang Yi.
Saying that the Emperor let families with power and authority get away with too much, letting officials and ministers be corrupted by greed.
Commoners were at the point where they don’t have enough clothes on their body, don’t have enough food to fill their stomachs while powerful and wealthy families were dying in their sleep and dreams as they buy prostitutes and leisure.
His Majesty would not be that far away from Chen Guang Yi’s ending, the end of his dynasty was right in front of his eyes.
In response to their claims, the Emperor had fought with them to the point where his face had turned a burning red.
He was almost angered enough to pick a sword up himself and chop their heads off.
One of the Grandmasters even directly tried to throw his head into a pillar to kill himself right there and then in the Imperial Court, yelling that if he needs to die for the Emperor to wake up with clarity, it is worth more than his life.
It took more than a couple of guards to pull him back to save him.
Chang Guo Gong could be considered as one of those families with power and wealth, and it did not help that his son-in-law was the Flower Seeker.
The amount of spit washed onto his face from those old ministers could almost clean the dirt off.
They kept chasing him with continuous questions like how did your family’s son-in-law rank Flower Seeker? Did you also bribe those corrupted examiners? If you did, you should be honest about it.
You could be spared with a light punishment.
Chang Guo Gong hit his chest so many times in anger.
He has never done such dirty things and he almost swore to the heavens to prove his innocence.
But his face couldn’t have been slapped fast enough.
He just promised he didn’t do anything, and in the next moment, he was being asked to stay behind to talk to the Emperor privately.
Such is life……
Sitting across from Xie Yan Ping in Dian Yun Hall was a personal aide of the Imperial Palace.
His face was painted in white, but it did not hide that he was a middle aged man.
He had in his hands a long brocade box, which contained the test questions that His Majesty had created.
Since he had entered into the estate, that box had not left his hands.
Xie Yan Ping stroked his beard and smiled,
“I have already ordered someone to retrieve Miao Ping.
It may take a while, in which case during this reprieve, I must invite Gong-gong to try the tea from my estate.”
To be able to reach this age in the Imperial City, they must be intelligent, in more ways than one.
Liu Gong-gong smiled and bowed at the waist,
“Guo Gong-Ye is torturing this servant.
To be such a bother is my shame.
How could I leech on to this estate to taste this tea? Everything can wait until the Flower Seeker has arrived.”
Can’t even catch him off guard! Xie Yan Ping could only feel a headache suddenly pulsing in him and it was at this moment that a maid from outside with a voice that was all too enchanting sounded out,
“Gong Ye, Gu-Ye has arrived.”
Her words, however, only made his headache worsen.
In response, he said,
“Tell him to come in.”
The door opened up and Chen Miao Ping walked in.
With a composed and collected demeanor, he slightly bowed with his hands towards Xie Yan Ping,
“With respect to see my Father-In-Law……”
And then turned his gaze to see Liu Gong-gong beside him, with a questioning face,
Liu Gong-gong, taking the advantage, stood up from his seat.
With a smiling face and a weird high and delicate pitch, he said,
“This me is a close servant to His Majesty, surname is Liu.
Flower Seeker, you can call this me Liu Gong-gong.”
Chen Miao Ping’s face lit up with recognition,
“Oh Liu Gong-gong, please excuse my manners.”
Xie Yan Ping changed the subject and said,
“Ah Miao Ping, His Majesty today was met with something quite difficult.
There’s a certain set of strategies His Majesty wants to test you on, and purposefully sent Liu Gong-gong here.
You must answer- very- care-ful-ly, hmm?”
Although he brought this trouble upon himself, even daring to drag the Emperor with him into this mess, his knowledge pool was drier than the Sahara Desert.
He really did not know anything.
Whatever history, whatever literature, his brain was empty inside.
But, if nothing else, he’ll just have his rank taken away and be mocked by everyone under the sun.
He has thick skin, so he was not too scared and even prepared himself to get a big fat zero on this test.
So he was very nonchalant when he heard Xie Yan Ping,
“Miao Ping has only scratched the surface of knowledge and Miao Ping is afraid that he will be of no help to His Majesty.
But Miao Ping will try with the limited ability he has to do his best.”
“A great attitude.”
Liu Gong-gong, with his ever smiling face, complimented him.
He then opened the brocade box and took out a scroll.
He rolled it open on top of the yellow rosewood table in the book room they were currently in,
“This is the question His Majesty has given to the Flower Seeker.”
On a delicate and special yellow paper of the 12 royal emblems5,there was a set of characters written with confidence, power and boldness.
What was the reason for the demise of the previous dynasty’s ruler, Emperor Yong Zhao? What does it mean to be a ruler? A minister? A commoner?
Just from this single scroll of paper, Chen Miao Ping could feel the Emperor’s inner turmoil, of his suspicion and doubt that arose from the scandal.
When he had attended school, his teacher had said, to do reading comprehension, there’s a few things you must do first.
The first one is obvious, what is the question? From this, there was no doubt that the Emperor wanted to see the understanding Chen Miao Ping held towards the demise of the previous dynasty.
And then he needed to answer what the relationship was between the Emperor, the officials and the common folk.
And at this time, as this lesson has been said and learned by millions of people before, there are a million things one cannot say outright.
His answer cannot be repeated from the answers of before or be what most people would say, and he must balance himself on the fine line of showing his own personality and opinion, his own understanding, and line up to the concept of loyalty towards the Emperor.
The second is to read between the lines.
He needs to understand and feel for what the entire question is about, to understand the meaning of the person who created this question.
And it was another obvious guess.
Due to the cheating scandal, there was a very high possibility that the Emperor was deeply doubtful towards his own leadership skills.
By being so directly confronted by his own ministers and officials, he needed some kind of chicken noodle soup to soothe his soul.
And then in the conclusion, link between the two, provide some alternate points of view, match up some anecdotes from his life, and construct a firm middle point to drive it all home.
Chen Miao Ping stared at the question for a long while, and finally in the expectant eyes of Liu Gong-gong, he pulled up the brush and started to write a set of characters that was not well aligned……
Chen Miao Ping looked like he was not too satisfied and changed his sheet of paper.
He turned towards Liu Gong-gong and showed off his right hand which had gauze wrapped around it,
“Today Miao Ping had clumsily injured his hand, so Miao Ping must apologize……”
Liu Gong-gong quickly said,
“No worries, His Majesty will not punish for that.”
Only after his confirmation did Chen Miao Ping continue to write.
Use brass as a mirror, could then straighten up clothes; Use history as a mirror, could then avoid repetition; use humans as mirror, could then learn from mistakes…… 6
An appropriately used famous saying as a hook is to help raise up the image of what is to come, letting the teacher who is marking the test have a desire to keep reading.
The downfall of the previous dynasty, is contained with three reasons: the first, when Emperor Yong Zhao took over the throne, it was not built on stable foundations.
He had immediately started to build a road by the Chang He River, which made the Imperial Treasury dwindle to emptiness.
Millions of acres were left abandoned, with farms being forcibly taken away to use their farmers for building.
This dissipated any possibility of belief and trust in the country in the commoners.
The second, is that there were still those eyeing the country.
The south had Bai Yue, the north had Hui Zhou.
And there were even more envious and greedy eyes on side with the barbarians……
First degrade, then compliment.
This will make a very well rounded essay, with reason and evidence.
Although Emperor Yong Zhao was indeed uncaring of his country and lacked responsibility and care, one cannot think he was worthless.
The road on Chang He River opened up new business trades and routing, directly connecting the two sides, between the north and the south.
Because of this, there was a certain boost to the economy, and this country has benefitted all the more for it.
So in the midst of this, the real success was……
And in regards to the relationship between the ruler, ministers and common citizens, Chen Miao Ping forced buckets and buckets of chicken noodle soup to heal the wounded soul,
Above the thousands and thousands of citizens, there is the leader, and underneath the leader, are the ministers, and underneath those are the citizens.
The three are deeply linked and inseparable, one cannot be missing from the equation……
The previous dynasty had lost its citizens’ hearts, directing many common folks to pick up their pitchforks and start protesting.
It was at this time that this current dynasty started to build itself up.
Chen Miao Ping felt that he had bullshitted enough words out and finally started his conclusion.
……The ruler is the boat, the citizens are the water.
Water can hold up a boat, and it can overthrow the boat.
This is what it means when one grasps the hearts of the citizens, one rules the world.
His penmanship was very slow, and Chen Miao Ping was considering character by character, word after word, so about two Shi Chen had passed before he finished this test.
When he was done, Liu Gong-gong carefully placed his answers and the scroll back into the brocade box before smiling at Xie Yan Ping,
“We have bothered the Flower Seeker for his efforts today.
It is quite late, and this servant must return back to the palace for his duties.
Gong-Ye, this servant will ask you to leave the courtesies behind and allow this servant to walk back by himself.”
Xie Yan Ping was too lazy to play the courtesy game with this fellow who hides his dangerous personality under a smiling facade.
He did as Liu Gong-gong wished and had instead directly called a higher ranked Mo-mo in the room to send him out.
Seeing this, Chen Miao Ping also took advantage of this to excuse himself away.
The sky was already almost pitched back when he walked out of Dian Yuan Hall.
But he did not immediately head back and started looking left and right, as if he was trying to find someone or something.
It was at this time that a dark shadow dropped silently down from the rooftop.
A voice that sounded like Xie Yu Zhi called out behind him which made Chen Miao Ping turn his head around.
He asked out of curiosity when he saw Xie Yu Zhi with his hands behind his back,
“Where did you come from?”
Xie Yu Zhi laughed and pointed up at the roof,
“I was waiting up there.
I saw everything that you wrote down.
Chen Miao Ping said,
“How did you see it?”
And then added,
“Pried open up a shingle?”
What kind of powers of sight does he have?
Xie Yu Zhi nodded his head and explained,
“When I was at the window, Father found out.
So I went up on the roof.
Your essay probably won’t have a problem.
Your writing is really not bad at all.”
Chen Miao Ping couldn’t hold it in and lightly pinched Xie Yu Zhi’s face,
“…… Only you would think that it is not bad.”
Any literary arts students from the future could slaughter him in a second.
Xie Yu Zhi said in a prim and proper tone,
“I always think that you are not bad.”
Chen Miao Ping lowered his voice and asked,
“In which way? On the bed?”
Xie Yu Zhi: “……”
*1 Tea ceremony: A very integral part of a wedding (which is still in practice now, but generally less rules, and varies between families).
It has a very deep-rooted history and has a lot of meanings depending on the dynasty/location, but the overall meaning here is to officially change the couples’ call to their parents as a symbol of now being officially part of the family.
The order is the husband first, then the wife, kneeling and bowing to their parents and changing how they call their parents/in-laws while handing them a cup of tea (once again, male first then female).
There are a lot of variations depending on when/which time period/dynasty you are in and which area you are in, from how much you bend/how you kneel, what the design of the tea cup needs to be, what kind of tea, where you stop in distance from the parent/in-law, who else gets to be handed the tea and so forth.
And after they complete this, as an end to signal that completion/acceptance into the family is being gifted something like jewelry or red pockets.
*2 Shu Tong: a male attendant for a young master who is usually someone of poor background.
They take care of their master and also get to study along with them.
It’s a fairly vied for position between those with poor backgrounds as even though they do need to serve a master with a lot of the duties of a servant, they themselves are able to study because of that servitude(free education!).
They usually are in charge of making things easier for their master to study such as clean up the book room/scrolls, etc.
*3 Gong-gong: kind of like a male version of Mo-mo, but this servant title is reserved for an eunuch who works at the Imperial Palace/City
*4 Grandmasters of Censors: A group who maintains disciplinary surveillance over the country and the officials, having the ability to impeach any official for public or private misconduct, including as you have read, the Emperor (or at least try).
You can think of them as like the advisors/checks to (try and) keep the Emperor focused on leading the country in a good way for its countries and citizens
*5 The 12 royal emblems: Basically signals it’s the Emperor’s.
These royal emblems consists of the image of sun, moon, stars, flowers/birds, dragon, mountain, rice, algae, fire, a pair of ritual wine cups (mostly known to depict images of a tiger and a monkey but depends on the dynasty), axe, and a special, squiggly pattern (the third one counting from top left on the first row).
Each of which is to represent some of the basic elements that form the foundation of a country.
Some of which you can see below but they would be put together in one single robe and sometimes the royal yellow color (there’s also variations between different countries, not just for ancient china which you may see if you search it up):
*6 The quote that Chen Miao Ping uses in the beginning of his essay is from the “Old Book of Tang” which is part of a collection of historical documents and events, “The Twenty Four Histories” and for the most part, documents the history/events of the Tang Dynasty
There was an interesting comment on chp 44 where we are in an anonymous secret book club and I thought that sounded very fun to be in. Plum came up with a name to call all of us Galactic Judges (to reference the system there haha).
Let me know your opinion (or possibly another suggestion)? o(〃＾▽＾〃)o
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