Chapter 9: Pei Xiu Cai
A young male of his early twenties walked in from the outside. He wore a light robes and his features were straight. Even though his stature was slightly weak, one could tell that he was how a gentlemen should look like. He walked in and praised, “That was said well. There is also dignity in love and it should not be something to be mocked. Even though Guang Wen Tang is a pace for learning, it is also a place to practice one’s virtue.”
Every one of the students did not utter a single word.
Shen Miao stared closely at that young man.
Pei Lang, an accounting teach of Guang Wen Tang. He has both integrity and talent and was the only Xiu Cai in Guang Wen Tang that could teach accounting. Pei Xiu Cai had a gentle temperament and was patient, as compared to other strict teachers, he was more worthy of respect to the students. Even Shen Miao who was at the end of the spectrum was never scolded by Pei Xiu Cai as he explain patiently repeatedly.
If this was the case then this person was a good teacher. His moral character and talents were one in tens of thousands but unfortunately Shen Miao also know his other identity.
Fu Xiu Yi relied heavily on his aids and advisors and when Fu Xiu Yi ascended to the throne, he conferred him as the National Preceptor. National Preceptor Pei Leng was proud of one’s success, only beneath one person and above tens of thousands.
As an National Preceptor, he really did well. Shen Miao thought that Pei Lang was an intelligent and upright person but during the time when the Crown Prince was disposed, he however did not say anything.
Shen Miao’s and Pei Leng’s private friendship can be considered good. At the beginning the proposal of Shen Miao going to the Qin country to be a hostage was brought up by Pei Lang. Pei Lang said, “This is for the sake of the Empire of Ming Qi. If Your Ladyship is willing to go, it would resolve His Majesty’s desperate situation. In the future, there will be the Empress’s shadow all over the country and everyone will appreciate the grace of Your Ladyship.
But in fact when she return to the Palace after five years, there was an additional Mei Furen in the Inner Palace and Pei Lang’s people who previously respected her began to have precautions against her.
When the Crown Prince was abolished, Shen Miao went down to her knees to beg Pei Lang because Pei Lang was Fu Xiu Yi’s trusted aide and when Pei Lang speaks, Fu Xiu Yi will definitely listen to his views. But Pei Lang supported her up and say to her, “Your Ladyship, this official is also powerless on matters that His Majesty have decided.”
“Pei Lang! Could it be that you will watch as the Crown Prince is abolished? You are fully aware that the matter of the abolishment of the Crown Prince cannot be proceed!” She was extremely furious as she questioned aggressively.
“This is already ultimately inevitable. Your Ladyship should resign to one’s fate.” Pei Lang said with a sigh.
Resign to one’s fate.
How could one resign to fate? It there is a chance to repeat and one would still need to resign to fate, won’t it be too lamentable and hateful?
Shen Miao eyes was focus on the young man in front, he was straightforward and upright, would see one death without helping, has a gentle temperament and also callous and cold-hearted. As an official, everything was thought for the sake of the country, Pei Lang was a loyal official. But… As long as he stood by Fu Xiu Yi’s side, he would be opposing her endlessly in this life!
At this current period, Fu Xiu Yi should not have subdued Pei Xiu Cai so there was a possibility of pulling Pei Xui Cai to her side before that happens? Or just simply… Nib him in the bud (aka kill him).
Pei Xiu Cai only put down the book in his hands when he felt a pair of eyes on him. He look up and met Shen Miao’s eyes of unknown implication.
Shen Miao’s sitting position was at the back but even it was so, she still stubbornly look at him. This feeling was a bit strange and Pei Xiu Cai felt that there was a sense of judgement and scrutinising in that expression as if weighting the pros and cons before a decision. To go deeper there was also a critical look on her face.
He stopped his movements and wanted to see clearly what expression Shen Miao was having but he saw the young lady picking up the brush on the table and bowed her head. Pei Lang smiled in his heart and shook his head. How would a little girl portray a condescending look? As for passing the judgement and scrutinising, it would be even more impossible. Shen Miao is the most stupid and timid person in Guang Wen Tang.
After tidying up some things, he started with today’s class.
The entire level two students were a little drowsy.
One would easily feel bored during accounting lessons and no matter how marvellously Pei Xiu Cai teaches, they were all fourteen or fifteen year old young male and females who were at the age of jumping around and so how would they even listen. Coupled with the good cooling weather of autumn, there were many who had taken a nap.
If it was other teachers, they would have taken a ruler out to reprimand but Pei Lang was the most gentle person and would never punish the students. So everyone would have the courage to misbehave in his class. Other than Shen Qing, who was always the first in accounting, listening seriously, the others were so bored that they did their own stuff.
The Shen Miao today was different.
She stared at Pei Xiu Cai without blinking and sat upright as if she was seriously listening. This was something incredible as she usually hates to study and had no interest in accounts. It was already a miracle that she was not asleep but she actually listening seriously in class?
The beautiful young female who was sitting with Shen Miao on the same table was wearing a thin chrysanthemum embroidered dress and looked somewhat haughty. Seeing Shen Miao seriously listening to the lesson, she could not help to reveal a surprise look as her eyebrow raised from time to time.
Why would Shen Miao care that much? In the last lifetime she had no interest in books but after becoming the Empress, the foundations were not stable and she need to maintain the life in the Inner Palace carefully. She as the Empress also need to reduce the cost of living and after doing all that personally, she felt that books was no longer that difficult. Every matter of the Inner Palace from the big matters like the cost of each ceremonies to the smallest matter like the cups and snacks of the concubines were all included in the accounts which were so many and messy. She had looked each one individually so how can these calculations in the books matter?
She only want to work harder to see clearly what kind of person is Pei Xiu Cai actually was.
Only with this method she can then know what kind of methods would be appropriate for this person.
When her focused look was seen by the young female beside, it was already very unusual. Only when after the calculation lesson was finish and Pei Xiu Cai left then Shen Miao retrieve back her stare.
The young female tugged her as she spoke with a tone of surprise, “Shen Miao, are you possessed by evil spirits?”
“Why do you say that?” Shen Miao asked. The young female in front was Di daughter of Minister of Attendants, Feng An Ning.
Feng family was initially one of the capitals meritorious and rich officials and Feng An Ning had be raise with an arrogant and wilful temperament. But in the previous life, Old Feng Master supported the wrong team and when the new Emperor ascended the throne, he was dismissed. In order to save this daughter from harm, he could only marry her off early to a distant cousin. After Feng family collapsed, Feng An Ning who was married off also did not have a good ending. That cousin had a gilded exterior but was shabby and ruined character, Feng An Ning was not even married for a year and he had a concubine outside with a son born. He still scold her as the burden that the Feng family left. How could Feng An Ning take such a grievances? She immediately picked up a scissors and killed the concubine and herself.
All the various things that happen in her past life was now like a cloud floating by. Looking again at the young female with haughty expression in front of her, how would she have thought of the sad ending in the future?
Shen Miao now look at the youths in Guang Wen Tang and she felt that she was like looking at kids like Fu Ming and Wan Yu and she could not muster any feeling of rage or annoyance. Other than Shen Qing and Shen Yue who were double-face villains, most of the people were children that were spoilt. And all these young man and ladies that were spoilt, would also encounter the cruel fate in the next ten years’ time.
Seeing that she did not speak, Feng An Ning was somewhat dissatisfied as she said, “Are you disregarding me on purpose? Shen Miao, you are so hardworking today because of the academy examination in a month time correct? Your older sister mentioned that you want to take the opportunity to shine so that Prince… Others will be able to see you.”
After all she was a child. After listening to Pei Xiu Cai’s words, she did not speak the words being in love with Prince Ding.
“Academy examinations?” Shen Miao raised her eyebrows.