Chapter 37: The search for one’s mom second spring 5/For the sake of my mother’s remarriage 5
T /N: This is MTL work. I tried to edit as best as I could, any mistake plz do put your comment and I will edit it ASAP. This is my first attempt on Chinese novel so please cheer me up! I hope you will find this novel as interesting as I do.
I am not sure if I can post more or not this month. I was suddenly swamped IRL that I was totally in a daze. Sadly, I’ve yet to have any stockpile…sob…sob… We will see about it. Please enjoy these 4 chapters.
“Patriarch, you meant to say that you wish for me to send Da-lang to school to study as soon as possible??”
Meng Yun-niang felt a little bit surprised. She didn’t understand why the patriarch personally came to see her to instruct her of this matter.
Jiang Chong nodded his head. Last night he and his son, had a lengthy discussion in regard to Jiang Liu’s outstanding performance. Jiang Chong felt that such a good seed should not be wasted.
You think about it. Just by listening to the other students reciting the three-character scriptures a few times outside the school and yet he could memorize it so easily. If he were to really put any effort into it, they did not know how far he will be able to go in his pursuit of knowledge.
It was actually difficult for students to sit for the Imperial Examinations. In fact, those people who had sat for the Imperial Exam knew that to become a tongsheng or a xiucai is easy. As long as they mastered the four books and five classics as well some other teachings, and know their deep meaning, they will basically pass the test. [T/N: Tongsheng: candidate who has not yet passed the county-level imperial exam; Xiucai: a person who has passed the county-level imperial exam (historical) / scholar]
However, to go beyond that, it was another matter, some people even died while studying for the exam.
But Jiang Liu has the
ability to remember everything that he had learned. Therefore, it will not be
difficult for him to pass the test with this ability of his. Jiang Chong also
felt that, with this skill, Jiang Liu will not need to study to death in order
to succeed. His future may be even far from what they could imagine. Even
farther than what they could expect from him.
Therefore, Jiang Chong had briefly explained the reason why he came to Jiang Liu’s house today. He also did not forget to add.
“If your family has some financial difficulties, I can help you to reduce the tuition fees by half.”
Although he is a patriarch, Jiang Chong could not fully supported Jiang Liu’s tuition fees. After all, Jiang Clan is large and there were still many children that were currently at the age of schooling. If he were too abolished the fees for Jiang Liu, the others might demand the same.
It should be noted, there was also a poor scholar who depended on the tuition fees for living. Even though he was the patriarch, he could not make such demand from the school.
But, reducing the fees was another matter. He also did the same things for his son’s tuition, and no one put any complaint about it.
“Patriarch, you meant to say that my son a genius who will never forget anything that had pass through his ears?”
Meng Yun-niang was shocked and happy. She never thought that his son was a genius.
To tell the truth, Meng Yun-niang had always assumed that her son was an idiot who is not only foolish but also quite a slow-witted. Even though she always said that she wanted to send him to school to take the scholar’s test and become an officer, but in fact, in her heart, she didn’t have much hope in regard to her son’s brain.
Meng Yu Niang’s greatest desire was for her son to learn more words, be more sensible, and inherit the tofu craft in the future. This should be able to pave a stable life for him in the future.
“Patriarch, you can rest assured. Da-lang is my son, even if I have to clench my teeth, I will absolutely send him to school.”
Meng Yun-niang never considered that the patriarch will lie to her. After all, that man willing to reduce half the tuition fees after telling her that her son has the talent to study. Even if she had to become shameless and return to her maternal house to borrow money, she willing to do it in order to send her son to study.
However, Jiang’s family situation was not that exaggerated.
Meng Yun-niang carefully thought about it in her heart. When her husband was seriously ill, it took a lot of money to find a doctor as well as buying the medicine. They had almost used all the money that they earned after their family become independent. Finally, in order to hold her husband’s funeral, she had borrowed some from the family. Even though not much money had been spent, they still owed some to others.
Later, she gave the original six-acre land belonging to the Jiang family to the clan in exchange for the food rations for her and Jiang Liu. And since the family was still in their three-year filial period, the two of them did not eat extravagantly as their daily dishes were made mostly using the tofu and the beans. Since they did not spend much on the food, she managed to save more money.
In the past two years, she also earned some money from selling tofu. Finally, in the last few months, she managed to settle all the debt that she had with the patriarch and friend. Now, the patriarch told her that he willing to reduce her son’s tuition fees to half. She began to calculate the asset that the family has. If she were to sell the old hen as well as the silver hairpin in her dressing box, she should be able to cover the cost of the tuition and give her son a set of Four Treasures of the Chinese Study. [T/N Four Treasures of the Chinese study is a set of ink brush, inkstick, paper and inkstone used in Chinese calligraphy and painting]
Thinking of that silver hairpin, Meng Yun-niang suddenly lost in thought, but she quickly awakened when the patriarch continued.
After he has done with what he intended to do, the patriarch did not linger long. After all, Meng Yun-niang was a widow. Although he was from the grandfather generation, he still will not be able to escape from those people’s malicious talk.
After the patriarch left, Meng Yun-niang also refused to organize her things and instead rushed to her son’s room with a joyous’ expression. As for Jiang Liu who had been practising writing words the whole night, he was yet to wake up from his slumber.
“Mother’s obedient child, ei, you really give me a big face ah! My darling baby, how can you be so good, that you have such ability?”
Meng Yu Niang pinched his son’s small round face. She kissed his left cheek and then his right. It seemed as if she felt that it was not enough with only that.
Jiang Liu finally woke up under such harassment.
“Da Lang, recite to me the article that you read to your uncle Fangzheng, let mother listen to what those scholars’ had learned.”
She had always felt that it was too dreamlike. Even if the patriarch just praised her son, she still wished to validate it with her own ears. After all, Meng Yun-niang still felt that her son was still a little unreliable. She was afraid that Jiang Fangzheng had admitted the wrong person and mistaken Jiang Liu with other kids in the family.
When Jiang Liu heard his mother’s chatter, he immediately became wide awake. He understood the reason why his mother had come to wake him up so early in the morning. It seemed that the result of his performance yesterday had already come to light.
“An article that I recite in front of uncle Fangzheng?”
Jiang Liu acted like a child as he rubbed his fist into his hand. He then squinted his eyes as he pretends to think about it.
“Man at birth is fundamentally good in nature. The nature is similar, the habit/appearance/the distance within oneself… one to ten, ten to hundred, hundred to thousand is a great number.”
“Regulation of a disciple, Sage teaching… you must respect the teaching of your parent… Do not keep any possession. I don’t understand some so I could not remember it.
Since he just woke up and yet to have a drink, his voice was a bit dry. Jiang Liu licked his lips, no longer reciting anything more.
Meng Yun-niang felt a bit embarrassed since she could not understand any of those words. She felt that this article was too literary. When she listened to it, especially having her baby son recite it for her, she felt that it sound even better than the people’s singing.
“Mother’s Da-lang is so good. Mother will count on you later in the future to take care of me.”
She took her son’s fat face into her hand and kissed his two cheeks before she clung into him and cried.
In these two years since her husband’s death, Meng Yun-niang’s hardships were actually far more difficult than what those outsiders had seen. Even if she was a widow, she still needs to put her feet down like a man. She even had to become powerful than the average man. She even needs to act as arrogant as a shrew.
Only by doing so will she be able to drive away those wolves who eyeing their family’s properties. She had to act as such in order to protect their own small home.
Someone always pointed at her back, accusing her of tempting other’s men. Saying that she was so thirsty for a man’s touch. Some people even said that she was too mean and harsh, fighting her younger brother in-law’s family, totally lacking the virtue of the eldest sister-in-law……
Those kinds of rumours… all kinds of gossip, Meng Yun-niang could only smile while facing those people.
No one had thought about it. She married into Jiang household at the age of 16. She gave birth to her son, Jiang Liu in the second year of her marriage. At the age of 20, her husband was seriously ill. By then, she already needs to prop the family all by herself. Now she was just a 22 years old lady, yet her immaturity had long gone.
At this age where she should be the brightest of flowers, she did not even dare to dress up and only adorned her hair with wood hairpin. She used her thin shoulders to pick up the family. She had to raise a young child and still need to drive away those wolves and tigers. She had no one by her side to voice her complaint and no matter how much bitter water that was drowned upon her, she had to swallow it into her stomach all by herself.
Even though she never look down on anyone, yet she ended up not been treated well by others either way.
Meng Yun-niang’s heart was too bitter. At this moment, with the joy in front of her, she can finally cry out all her greatest pain.
“Mother’s obedient baby.”
“My darling son.”
“Mother’s treasure baby.”
Even while crying, Meng Yun-niang was still muffled those sentences out. For her, Jiang Liu was her all. He was her only hope. All her joys and sorrows were gathered on him.
Listening to the cries of his beautiful mother, Jiang Liu’s heart also felt a little bit sour.
He didn’t know if this was his conscious sympathy or the emotional feeling left in the original body.
Subconsciously, Jiang Liu could not help but raise his hand and embraced the beautiful woman in front of him, wanting to pat her back and soothe her.
His mother’s tears abruptly stopped.
“The patriarch told me that you will not forget anything that you heard before. You were even able to memorize and recite every word of the article after hearing it a few times. This is not to say that when mother was quarrelling with others using those foul language, you have managed to learn all of it?”
Meng Yun-niang held her son’s face as stared at him while asking him in a serious and cautious manner.
Jiang Liu who was preparing to comfort his beautiful mother thought of the machete that she had held up that day. He couldn’t help but shudder before he decided to smile at the beautiful lady.
After all, you know, he is still her darling baby ah
The author has something to say:
Changed the setting, changed the death time of the original father to when Jiang Liu was four years old. I found out that a scholar cannot participate in the imperial examination during his three-years of mourning. Our Jiang Liu is a boy who wanted to become a child prodigy.
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