Chapter 47: The search for one’s mom second spring 15 part 2/For the sake of my mother’s remarriage 15 part 2
[T/N: It is a 10k chapter. I divided it into parts. Sorry for the delay.]
When he got home, the first thing that Jiang Liu did was to take out the piece of paper from his robe’s lapel and then pull out another pile of documents from the dark corner of his bookcase and neatly stacked them together.
These were Jiang Furong’s masterpieces. Some of them were her works, while others were something that she specially prepared to help Jiang Liu’s cheat. However, he never used any of them.
Although Jiang Liu can’t write a good poem, he still managed to nurture some appreciation ability. In his view, these excellent works are comparable to those of female poets like Xie Daojun, Hua Rui, and Li Qingzhao.
Jiang Liu, who was also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) believed that Jiang Furong’s works have a great significance to China’s modernisation and thus could bring great importance to the country’s transformation move in the future.
He felt that it would be a pity to let this poem buried in the passage of time. Therefore, Jiang Liu decided to collect all these poems silently and intended to pass them on to the future generation.
On the other side, Jiang Furong held into the bag of preserved candied fruit. Before she could enter her courtyard, she was stopped by Jiang Furen who had been looking for her. [T/N: Furen – Madam/Mrs]
“Did you went to the front yard again?”
Looking at the direction her daughter came from, Jiang Furen watched her daughter’s reaction while feeling upset about it.
Although this is their home, her daughter had made too frequent trips to the front yard to find Jiang Liu. She felt that Jiang Furong was not being reserved enough and thus needed to be more careful of her behaviour.
Jiang Furong hid her hand as she called out to her mother in shame.
“You, ah, you.”
Jiang Furen could only sigh. She and her husband had let their daughter accompanied their son to learn the four books and five classics as well as writing poetry and songs. They hoped that with this exposure, she would be able to see things clearly and understand the general situation. This era had too many constraints on women. Because of that, Jiang Furen wishes that her daughter could freely express herself at her own home yet her daughter still has to marry out in the future. Therefore, some rules still need to be learned early.
Every so often, she regretted that she had let her daughter learned too many things. Since her worldview had expanded, it will become more painful for her daughter when she was forced to constraint herself within her small courtyard and home in the future.
This daughter of her was too intelligent. Her husband had often lamented whenever they discussed their daughter. With her abilities, it would be nice if she is a man, but she is, after all, a woman, and not all men can accept a more intelligent and insightful wife than they were. Especially since their daughter also did not have an appearance that could confuse a man.
Often than not, being intelligent is the most significant error for a married woman. [T/N of course in the context of ancient times]
“Ah Fu, from today onwards, I want you to put away all those poems and songs. You should honestly start to learn from me on how to become a wife and manage your household. Furthermore, you should also learn the feminine arts like embroidery and needlework. This is the skill that a woman should learn.”
Jiang Furen paused for a moment before continued: “There are still about the front yard. I want you to go there less. In another year, you will reach marriageable age. Therefore, there are some things that you have to avoid.”
Jiang Furong was dumbfounded. She didn’t expect that her mother will say such a thing.
She was smart and quick-witted. She understands the concern that her mother’s had over her if she pondered on it a little bit.
Her appearance was average at most, and she already noticed it when she started to attend various banquets at the age of ten. The man in this world is fickle. Although the selection criteria for the main wife was always based on the family background, but still, which man doesn’t love beauty? Although she could become the main wife based on her moral character and upbringing, however, without a doubt, it will be challenging for her to get the sole love from her future husband.
In this era, it was rare to find a man who will refuse the opportunity to take in a concubine like how her father was. She also not a naïve person. She is afraid that the best ending that she could get after marrying is to have her husband’s respect while continued to help her husband managed the household as she watched him ushered in petite and young concubine into their home.
Jiang Furong is a woman with grand ambitions, how could she be reconciled to live so humbly behind that kind of man.
However, Jiang Furong felt that there is still a young man who might be different from other common men.
When Jiang Furong was very young, what she often heard from her parents was their lamentation on why she was not a man, and how that she could not display her talents in public. Yet, that boy was different.
Whenever she had a new work, he always showed his surprises over her abilities and solemnly told her that she had a great talent. So much that her poetry will surely be passed on to the future generation.
That boy did not feel sorry that she was born a woman, and recognised that even if she is a woman, she should have her ambitions.
Self-esteem, self-love, self-confidence, and self-improvement. These four phrases were something that the young boy had taught her. Jiang Furong thought that despite being born as a woman, as long as she followed this teaching, she will not be inferior to any man.
“What is in your hand?”
Jiang Furen looked at her silent daughter. She felt that her words just now were too heavy; thus, she could not help but feel distressed. Just as she planned to comfort her daughter, she found out that her daughter had been hiding something from her. Since the time she stopped her daughter, she had not seen her showing her hand to the front.
Jiang Furong’s sweet memories were interrupted suddenly. Jiang Furong’s heart was beating like a drum as her mother’s eyes bored into her.
Hearing the warning in Jiang Furen’s voice, Jiang Furong honestly passed the preserved fruit candy that Jiang Liu had given to her.
“It this from Liu’er?”
Jiang Furen guessed the origin of this candied fruit when she saw her daughter’s vigorous action. At this time, she couldn’t help but having a particular thought. This thought slowly magnified in her heart.
Jiang Furen returned to her courtyard and waved her maid away. She then sat on her bed, thinking.
When Jiang Liu was seven years old, he was accepted by her husband, and since then he had been the only disciple of Jiang Shendao. Naturally, being able to observe him carefully, Jiang Furen was already familiar with this child’s character. If her daughter were to be betrothed to him, she for sure would not be wronged by the other person.
In particular, the two children had known each other from their childhood, and with this sentiment, even if Jiang Liu could not avoid taking in a concubine, he surely will not be the kind of person who will indulge the concubine and let them stepped on the main wife.
However, there were still other two things that Jiang Furen was hesitant about.
The first point was that Jiang Liu is still a Xiucai [T/N: Scholar] with the ordinary family background while her husband is an Imperial tutor. Her husband is also simultaneously holding a post at Imperial Hanlin Academy as a second-grade official. In terms of status, this pair of children seemed to be very unsuitable to be paired up.
Jiang Furen is not a person who favours the rich and disdain the poor. Instead, many people around the world have their perception of status and family. If she were to betroth her daughter to a poor and humble family, she was afraid that some people would speculate that her daughter had some unmentionable illness for the family to let her marry into such lowly position.
[T/N: Unmentionable illness = Venereal disease. Typically come from sexual intercourse. So people might assume that the person had that disease from having a relationship with a man before marriage thus losing her innocence and had no other choice but to marry a humble person = poor person]
For the sake of his daughter’s reputation, she still needs to consider the thought of the masses. Therefore, she did not dare to act as a matchmaker for these children hastily.
Her second concern was regarding Jiang Liu widowed mother.
Jiang Furen did not have many contacts with Meng Yun-niang. However, she knew that Jiang Liu’s mother was a tenacious and frank woman. Yet, Jiang Furen did not dare to assume that such a woman will not have the feeling of pettiness and possessiveness over her children.
Even Jiang Furen, who was known for her open-mindedness, after her eldest son married his wife, she also inevitably harboured some hatred towards her daughter-in-law. If this were to be changed to Meng Yun-niang who had dedicated her entire thought and effort to this one son of her, it might have worsened. In the future, her daughter will need to face her mother-in-law day and night. Therefore, there might be many disagreements between them on the account that Meng Yun-niang was the one who had given birth to Jiang Liu.
The world values filial piety. Even if her daughter came from a family with a higher status, but the other party could also use her position as the mother-in-law to suppress her daughter to death. Everything depends on her mother-in-law’s eye.
Because of these two points, Jiang Furen hesitated and could not make up her mind.
But in this world, which marriage is perfect? Especially for her daughter. She couldn’t appear to be excellent in the eyes of others. Since Jiang Furen loves her daughter dearly, she wishes to put much consideration into this matter. It just that her daughter was fond of Jiang Liu and this point alone enough to cover up many of Jiang Liu’s shortcomings.
When Jiang Shendao came back from the front yard, Jiang Furen could not hold back and decided to discuss the feasibility of this marriage with her husband.
“You said that you wanted to act as a matchmaker to both Liu ‘er and A’ Fu?”
Jiang Shendao drank hot tea and thought about this match.
“The two children had been innocent playmates, Liu ‘er also had been my sole disciple. It could not be better than to match-make them.”
Jiang Shendao was the kind of person who will defend the person he favours despite knowing that that person was in the wrong. If he liked it, no matter how good or bad it was, he will intentionally and unintentionally indulge that person. If not, how could Jiang Furong, in this era which was so strict in regards to the interaction between men and women, could be so bold as to enter the front yard and developed such deep feelings with Jiang Liu?
“Moreover, our daughter’s beauty is matchless, with her behaviour and appearance, these two children will match each other well.”
Jiang Shendao laughed out loud. If these two outstanding talents were to be paired together, his grandchildren in the future would certainly be cute. Then, if he were to cultivate them carefully, every one of them will be able to become the candidate for the Tanhua, won’t they? [T/N: Tanhua or flower snatcher. The third place in the Imperial examination. Usually given to a handsome and talented man.]
When she heard her husband’s boast, Jiang Furen could only sigh.
Even if she loves her daughter, she can’t put the word “beauty” on her face.
In general, in regard to his countenance, Jiang Liu is indeed an excellent candidate to become her daughter’s spouse. In the future, her daughter’s children’s appearance will not be too ugly as long as they were to follow their father’s gene. Therefore, for the sake of the next generation’s appearance, her worries about Jiang Liu’s disadvantages also could be overlooked.
“But I am not in a hurry. I have agreed for him to participate in this year’s imperial examinations. Therefore, we will until the end of the examination to proceed with this matter, lest he will become distracted and thus might affecting his performance in the examination.”
Although he already had this idea in his heart, Jiang Shendao felt that they didn’t need to act so urgently. His disciples will be fifteen this year, and his daughter is yet to reach the marriageable age. He can wait until the end of the imperial examination to discuss this matter.
“Liu ‘er are going to participate this time around?”
This came as a surprise to Jiang Furen. This time, Jiang Liu is going to participate in the imperial examination. Even if only managed to become a Juren, there will be no problem for her to match-make Liu ‘er with her daughter. After all, are there any people who managed to become a Juren when they were only at the age of 15 years old? With this kind of talent worth of training, what’s more, he is still the disciple of her husband, who dare to quip if she were to bind her daughter with him? [T/N: Juren = Successful candidate if the Imperial Provincial Examination]
Jiang Shendao sipped his tea comfortably. This time, his disciples will be able to help him bring the flower back.
[T/N Flower = Tanhua. I’m not sure if anyone able to guess. Yes. Jiang Shendao has a particular obsession over Tanhua [3rd place/ flower snatcher] He felt that he is handsome so he should get the Tanhua position. He actually despised getting the champion/ 1st place. One of the reasons why he picks Jiang Liu is because he is a talented and BEAUTIFUL child. He felt Jiang Liu would be able to help him redeem his failure. LOL.]
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