Chapter 42: The search for one’s mom second spring 10/For the sake of my mother’s remarriage 10
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.
This is also a 5k Chinese character’s chapter…
Additional Info: There are three levels of Imperial Examination in this particular arc. County-level (Shengyuan) à Prefectural-level (Juren) à Metropolitan-Level (Jinshi).
“Mother is all right. It is just that mother is very happy right now.”
Meng Yu Niang quickly wiped her tears away. You might feel that her action was different from how it used to be. In fact, how could she not care when people had been telling her that she had wasted one tael of silver in order to pay the guarantor so that her son could sit for the examination.
And now unexpectedly her son was elected as the [Anshou]. She had never imagined such a day will appear before her.
Right now, all suffocating grievances that she had stored inside her heart was suddenly swept away and now she finally felt the so-called blowing off steam. That was probably the mood of Meng Yun-niang at that current moment.
In the future, who would dare to step on this widow and orphan? Who would dare to laugh at her son’s age and told her that he was not qualified to sit for the examination? Even if they tried to find it in this Jin Dynasty, it was probably difficult for them to find a similar seven years old prodigy like her son.
“The County’. You really went beyond my expectation. You are really my Da-lang; how can you be so smart?”
Meng Yun-niang really wanted to hug and kiss her son, however, they were currently in public. Even though her son was only seven years old, nevertheless, he was also the [Anshou]. Therefore, it will not be good for her to enact such action under the public eyes.
Since she can’t act on it, Meng Yun-niang can only use her own words to praise her son and express her excitement.
“That kid is the [Anshou]?”
“It should be, he is the only kid who currently eating a wanton.”
“I actually lost to a seven-year-old child!”
If it was other people who became the [Anshou], at this time, they will be surrounded by people raining him with congratulation. However, right now, when they look at Jiang Liu, who was still looking like a small child, the atmosphere ended up became awkward.
After all, for all these adults to actually congratulate the seven years old child for beating them down, they could not help but feel a little bit shameful. Hence, no one wishes to throw their face away.
However, for those examination candidates from the Jiang’s clan, they did not have such concerns. Jiang Liu was surrounded by them as he was showered with congratulations and praises.
It was also Jiang Fangzheng who expressed his happiness the earliest and the fastest.
He was a senior who had experienced all the three exams of the county-level, prefectural-level and the metropolitan-level. He knew the lesson of losing the momentum due to being arrogant. Therefore, after a round of happy toast, he took everyone back to the accommodation that they had previously rented. In the courtyard, he started to organize their belonging and prepared for their journey for the prefectural-level examination which will be held in Fucheng.
The gap between the county-level examination and prefectural-examination was not long. It will take them four to five days of journey time to Fucheng. Therefore, it was best if they could arrive ten days to half a month in advance. Otherwise, they might not be able to rent a suitable accommodation and ended up affecting their performance in the examination.
Candidates who are not going to take the test naturally had to pack their bags and go home. They still need to patiently prepare for the county test in the coming year.
But before they could set off, a messenger from their village came.
“This is not good. There is something wrong happening with the family.”
It was Jiang Fangzheng’s cousin. He came to meet them looking thoroughly anxious. When he finally found the small accommodation that they had rented, he was already out of breath.
“What’s the matter?”
When Jiang Fangzheng saw his cousin’s anxious expression, he quickly asked in confusion.
“We can’t talk about it outside, but uncle told me to let you and Jiang Liu quickly come back home.”
The man quickly swallowed the air and gasped.
“How could Jiang Liu went back now? He still needs to prepare for the Prefectural-level of Examination.”
Although being an [Anshou] guaranteed one place in the government by skipping both prefectural and metropolitan-level examination, however, the merit that was gained by this method was not as good as compared to those who actually sat for all levels of examinations. Furthermore, if Jiang Liu were also to take the first place in the prefectural-level examination, this will be a good boost of reputation towards the scholars of the Jiang family.
If it was not something that was particularly important, Jiang Fangzheng was not willing to go back and delay the time for them to arrive at Fucheng.
“Jiang Liu was elected as the [Anshou]?”
When other people listened to Jiang Fangzheng, they already knew that Jiang Liu was going to sit for the county-level examination. However, they could not imagine that Jiang Liu did not only passed the examination but he was also occupied the first place.
However, the joy on his face was fleeting. When he saw the curiosity on his face, he took Jiang Fangzheng to a side as he said.
“There is a man in this village who announced that he was in a relationship with the Yun-niangzi and wanted to take her in as his concubine. ”
“He kept saying that he was already in an intimate relationship with Yun-niangzi and even have her inner cloth. If this was passed out around, this will surely bring down the tofu lady’s reputation. Therefore, how could Jiang Liu ever continue to participate in the examination?” Due to this the patriarch told me to bring you people back to settle this matter once and for all.”
For a scholar, reputation was the utmost importance. If it was made known that Jiang Liu’s widowed mother had a bad reputation, his official career will definitely ruin. It was because the patriarchs value Jiang Liu that they immediately wanted to bring their mother and son back to clear things up.
Jiang Fangzheng was shocked, this was not a trivial matter.
However, according to his observation during this time and looking at the relationship between the mother and child, Yun-niangzi was indeed a very cautious person and definitely not like the kind of woman who will involve in such a scandal.
Besides, with Jiang Liu bright prospect, she should not be the kind of person who frets over trifles and eager to become someone else’s small concubine.
“You all go to Fucheng first. There is something wrong within the family. I have to go back with Jiang Liu and his mother to wait for the matter to be finished. We will rush to join you after that.”
Jiang Fangzheng thought about it twice and decided to go back. No matter whether it was true or not, you can’t let this thing continue to ferment.
In addition to Jiang Liu who had been prepared for it for a long time, Meng Yun-niang was very confused with the sudden change of plan she did not even guess that this matter was related to her.
When the Jiang Fangzheng explained it halfway throughout the journey back, Meng Yun-niang almost snapped off the handle of the horse carriage.
“I confessed to being a widow and I have been following the rules of being one. In addition to making and selling tofu, I have never said anything extra to any other man. Even the chickens at home, I only dare to raise hens and dare not to raise cocks. When all is said and done, what kind of wretched people wanted to frame me in the end?“
Meng Yun-niang was really livid. Her reputation was not only related to her own, but also to her son. Seeing his son’s bright future to be smeared by this random bad man, she really could not stand this injustice.
“The main thing was related to your little uncle’s family. Both of them insisted that the man had your underwear and was showing it off in front of so many people. Even if the patriarch wanted to stop them, he could not do so. We cannot block the mouth of so many people. Therefore, the patriarch could only ask Yun-niangzi to confront that person personally.”
If there were only a few people presented at the time of the incident, the patriarch could still control the rumours, but so many people were there at that time, some even those who already married outside of their village. The mouth of those women was not something that can be blocked easily.
Instead of making people speculating about Meng Yun-niang’s sin, it was better for them to clarify the matter in front of everyone.
“I know that there must be the work of those two shit. They just can’t see our life is good.”
Meng Yun-niang was struggling for breath. She could probably guess the man who was involved in this scandal with her. Really, this face of hers was really a disaster. Anyway, she does not intend to remarry, she should just ruin this troublesome face in front of all those relatives. She wanted to see which man still willing to look at her with that kind of face.
Meng Yu-Niang clenched her fists and decided to ruin her face for good. With that, others should believe that she had never thought about remarrying from beginning to end. With this, her son’s reputation could be preserved.
No matter what, she can’t drag her Da-lang down.
Those four people quickly rushed back to Qingyang Village. Jiang’s ancestral hall at the moment had gathered a lot of people who came to watch the fun, while Jiang Erchun and steward Liu stood in the middle, waiting for Jiang Liu and her mother to come over.
“Come on, people are coming.”
“Oh, I didn’t expect that Meng Yun-niang really couldn’t stand the loneliness.”
“How can you think like that. If you have a face like her, you are also not willing to be widowed so young.”
Meng Yu Niang squeezed through the crowd and walked toward the centre. She stared at the Jiang Erchun couple in disgust. She used to be soft in her heart. Otherwise, she already directly smashed these two evils. Now she had nothing to worry about.
When Liu Guanshi saw Meng Yun-niang stared at him with straight eyebrow and anger in her eyes, he could not help but felt that Meng Yun-niang looked really cute right at that moment and he was really itching to become intimate with her at once.
“Steward Liu, I am an innocent woman and had no relationship whatsoever with you. Why did you team up with that Jiang Erchun’s couple to come and frame me out of nowhere?”
Meng Yun-niang pointed her hand towards Jiang Erchun and his wife as she voiced out her complaint.
“Yun-niangzi, you already know of my love and affection towards you. We have long vowed and this doudou was the proof of sentiment that you already sent to me.”
Liu Guanshi took out a small doudou embroidered with peony flowers from his pocket. He showed the surrounding people the bright red colour’s cloth.
It had not been a long time since the end of Jiang Dachun’s mourning period, and yet Meng Yun-niang already wore such doudou.
Liu Guanshi naturally heard the voice of the people around him. His heart was so happy that he felt that this time this woman could no longer escape from his hand.
However, he did not expect that beneath the serious appearance of Meng Yun-niang lay a woman who was so coquettish. He had never seen any women, even in that kind of low-grade brothel, ever wore this kind of doudou. If Meng Yun-niang were to wear this kind of doudou, he wonders how beautiful she will be.
“Wait a minute, you said this thing was the proof of our love?”
Her original indignant face and her determination to ruin her face in order to prove her innocence halted when she looked at the clothes in Liu Guanshi’s hand as she asked in a weird tone.
“Yes, this is exactly the things that you sent as a pledge for our love.”
Liu Guanshi only thought that she was shocked to see her doudou accidentally fall into somebody hand, therefore he didn’t think much about her weird expression.
“Oh, don’t you dare to deny it. If this doudou is not yours, then whose is it? When we are yet to be separated, I already saw you dry this thing in the yard.”
When Su Panyun saw that Meng Yun- Niang was planned to deny it, she ruthlessly interjected. Anyway, this doudou was something she personally took out from Meng Yun-niang’s closet so it should not be a fake one.
“Steward Liu, are you sure that you are in a relationship with the owner of this cloth?”
Jiang Liu pulled his beautiful mother aside and pointed to the cloth in Liu Guanshi’s hand.
“That is natural.”
Liu Guanshi did not put Meng Yun-niang’s son in his heart. Anyway, Meng Yun-niang’s small reputation was already stinking. Even though he heard that this kid was a little talented but his reputation was already in ruin. There will be no school willing to accept such a student.
“I would like to ask the patriarch; what is the punishment for someone who frames a scholar?”
Jiang Liu was waiting for the other to answer.
“What constitutes a scholar, who is framing who?”
Liu Guanshi’s eyelids suddenly jumped. He looked at the young boy who seemed to have a mature mind and suddenly felt that he had jumped into a pit.
“I guess everyone did not know yet about this. This time during the county-level examination, Jiang Liu was placed first in the ranking. So he could be considered as a scholar.”
Jiang Fangzheng who was standing at the side announced it to the people around him.
County-level examination’s first rank, Jiang Liu!
He looked at the boy who was only seven years old. Even those who become a scholar at the age of seventeen or twenty-seven, their merit could not be compared to him ah. They are all from one clan. If Jiang Liu were to succeed in the future, all of them will also be benefitted from it ah.
The patriarch who also just heard the news suddenly flashed with a bit of enthusiasm. The value of Jiang Liu was currently even better than before. No matter what, they must preserve Jiang Liu’s reputation.
When Liu Guanshi heard that Jiang Liu was placed first in the county-level examination’s ranking he already knew that things had turned bad. He was just a steward. His prestige was way below to the point where he could easily offend this kind of talented scholar. However, since they already went this far, rather than retreating, it was better for him to completely ruin this seedling.
After all, the other party was only a half-scholar and not yet a true scholar, right?
Liu Guanshi was contemplating how he should continue making a fuss, but Jiang Liu did not give him time to think about it.
“Steward Liu said that he and the owner of this cloth had promised for a lifelong relationship. However, I dare to say that Steward Liu and I are both men, what’s more, I am also only seven-years-old. So, how could I promised to live with Steward Liu for a lifetime?”
Jiang Liu pointed at the cloth and asked him loudly.
“Da Lang, are you stupid? When steward Liu said promised for a lifetime, obviously the other partner was your mother.”
Su Panyun who was shocked by the news of Jiang Liu being the [Anshou] was brought back to reality in the middle of a conversation before she quickly interjected.
She really could not understand his such a stupid kid who could not even read the situation could ever receive the first place in the ranking. Even her son was much smarter than him. Since the other person can do it, it seemed that her son could also do it.
“When Xiao Shu and Xiao Mu sneakily entered my home and searching for things to implicate us, you must have thought that this cloth belongs to my mother. In fact, this cloth is not my mother’s doudou, but my baby bib. If you don’t believe it, you can look at the petals of the peony flower. At first glance, you will be able to see my name Jiang Liu being embroidered on it.”
Jiang Liu has long waited for this. The last timeline, these two people are the one who sneakily entered Jiang Liu’s house and stole Meng Yun-niang close-fitting cloth. With that, they drove Meng Yun-niang to a corner and let her become disfigured.
This time before leaving for the examination, Jiang Liu specially placed his baby bib in the most conspicuous place, so that it will become the first thing that Su Panyun will see.
Meng Yun-niang was also shocked at this sudden turn of event.
This baby bib was actually bought by Jiang Dachun. At that time, he has just become a dad. He was so stupid that he took the money from selling tofu to the embroidered house and bought a baby’s bib specially meant for the noble children.
The silky baby bib was too good and the embroidery was too fine. Since it was too good, Meng Yun-niang did not want to spoil it, so she ended up leaving it be. So it had never been used by Jiang Liu. Some time ago, Jiang Liu dug out this bib saying that he wanted to have it as a souvenir from childhood and asked her to embroider his name on it.
Unexpectedly, the name on this bib has now become the evidence to prove her innocence.
Such a delicate object, also a small cloth with a few thin straps, so it was easy for some people to think of it as a female doudou, especially Su Panyun who found it in such position.
“No, that is impossible, how could this be a baby bib?”
Su Panyun grabbed that piece of cloth and carefully looked through it. In the cluster of peony flowers, there was indeed a petal embroidered with two small words. If you don’t take a close look at the little words, you will not know the meaning of those words. You will not find out that it was Jiang Liu’s name.
Such a good looking cloth, how could it not be a doudou but actually Jiang Liu’s baby bib?
Su Panyun did not believe it.
“It was indeed Jiang Liu’s name.”
One of the literate people looked at it and confirmed that it was indeed the name of Jiang Liu.
After hearing the declaration from Jiang Liu, the surrounding people suddenly realised that such cloth was indeed too small to actually act as a doudou however, the size was good enough for a baby bib.
It was just that they had never seen such a delicate bib before, so they unable to associate this piece of cloth with the normal baby bib.
The truth was now very clear. They would like to ask, is there any mother who will take out her son embroidered bib to be exchanged as a love token? That was totally unreasonable, ah.
Liu Guanshi was stunned and felt that he seemed to have fallen into the trap of others.
Some people were looking at Jiang Liu who still possessing the innocence of childhood yet at the moment putting a solemn expression that they could not help but start to imagine how he will look with that bib on his neck.
This kind of a wimpy brat, how did he manage to become the [Anshou]?
The author has something to say: I really don’t want to buy it, but a bunch of beautiful scarves, gloves, cashmere socks, down jackets and big cotton jackets crying to me that they wanted to warm me in the winter, wanted to care for me, that I can only add them to my cart.
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