Home Post 1715-chapter-16


This chapter is sponsored by: The Queen Bee

After beating around the bush for a while, Madam Mao finally expressed her intention: she wanted the calligraphy sample of the Lan that Qing Shu had bought today. 

“Why would you want Qing Shu’s calligraphy sample? What’s the reason for it?” Without thinking much, Old Madam Gu refused, “We want to use this calligraphy sample ourselves.” 

Madam Mao was anxious and said, “Sister-in-law, it’s a complete waste for Qing Shu to use such a good calligraphy sample.” 

Qing Shu’s face darkened instantly. If Madam Mao had asked nicely, she would have considered giving the calligraphy sample to them. After all, this matter concerned Gu Hejie’s future. She didn’t want to make Old Lady Gu and Second Madam unhappy over a calligraphy sample. 

What did she mean by saying it’s a waste for her to use it? Did that mean it wouldn’t be a waste if she handed it over to Gu Hejie and Madam Mao? 

Old Lady Gu was also annoyed, “Whether it’s a waste or not is our concern, what does it have to do with you?” 

Madam Mao choked but quickly added, “Sister-in-law, this is related to Hejie’s future.” 

Old Lady Gu sneered. Gu Hejie isn’t her son; his future had nothing to do with her. Even if they passed the imperial examination and became officials, it would be Madam Mao who benefited, not her. 

Usually, Madam Mao would have just walked away, but this time, she was concerned about her younger son’s future. She had to suppress her anger and said, “Sister-in-law, when Gu Hejie becomes a Jinshi, it will be the glory of the entire Gu family.” 

“In that case, I’ll wait.” Old Madam Gu ordered the servants to serve the meal and then turned to Madam Mao, “I know you have important matters to attend to, so I won’t detain you for dinner.” 

Madam Mao left in a huff. 

Although Qing Shu also didn’t like Madam Mao, she was somewhat worried, “Grandma, is this okay?” 

“What’s wrong with it? If I don’t give it, can she snatch it?” Old Lady Gu looked at Qing Shu and added, “But if what she said is true, I’ll give them the calligraphy sample. But don’t worry, Dear, Grandma will buy you an even better one.” 

With relations already strained with the Third Branch, she couldn’t afford to have a falling out with the Second Branch. If Madam Mao had asked politely, she would have considered giving it away. However, Madam Mao’s arrogant attitude had rubbed her the wrong way. 

Qing Shu smiled and said, “Okay.” 

The grandmother and granddaughter enjoyed their dinner and weren’t affected by Madam Mao’s visit. 

When it was bedtime, Qing Shu nestled in Old Lady Gu’s arms and said, “Grandma, Chen Mama said that when you were young, you traveled around a lot. Grandma, is that true?” 

Old Lady Gu scolded with a laugh, “This old thing, why does she tell you everything!” 

“Grandma, please tell me, I want to hear.” She wanted to learn more about the world outside. 

Old Lady Gu naturally wouldn’t refuse and shared some interesting stories with Qing Shu. 

After about half an hour, seeing that Qing Shu was becoming more interested, Old Lady Gu smiled and said, “It’s very late now, time to sleep.” 

Although Qing Shu wanted to hear more, she didn’t insist and said, “Grandma, can you continue telling me tomorrow?” 

Old lady Gu would naturally not refuse, and picked out some interesting things for Qing Shu to listen to. 

After talking for half an hour, seeing Qing Shu becoming more energetic as she listened, she old lady smiled and said, “It’s getting very late, it’s time to go to bed.” 

Although Qing Shu wanted to listen again, she didn’t pester her endlessly: “Grandma, can you continue telling me tomorrow, okay?” 

Grandma Gu nodded her head in agreement. 

While sleeping, Old Madam Gu gently stroking Qing Shu’s forehead, mumbling to herself, “Sweetheart, I hope you don’t blame Grandma.” If she had a choice, she wouldn’t expose Qing Shu to these dark matters at such a young age. However, Gu Xian’s nature couldn’t be changed, and the Lin family was unkind. Given her advanced age, she worried that if something happened, both mother and daughter would be vulnerable to exploitation by the Lin family. 

People of advanced age usually woke up early, and Old Lady Gu was no exception. 

Seeing Qing Shu getting up too, Old Lady Gu smiled and said, “You can sleep a little longer.” 

Qing Shu shook her head and said, “Grandma, I want to get up and study.” 

When a child was willing to learn, as an elder, one would be delighted and not obstruct them. 

Qing Shu recited the idiomatic stories she had learned once and then wrote several large characters. It was time for breakfast. 

Qing Shu looked at the food on the table: rice porridge, sweet potatoes, fried dough sticks, boiled eggs, and a few side dishes. “Grandma, can you prepare a bowl of goat’s milk for me in the morning from now on?” 

Old Lady Gu was somewhat puzzled and asked, “Didn’t you used to dislike goat’s milk?” 

Goat’s milk was nutritious, and she had prepared it for Qing Shu before. However, Qing Shu had taken one sip and then refused to touch it again. 

Qing Shu didn’t know why she hadn’t drunk goat’s milk before and quickly found an excuse, “I heard from Chen Mama that goat’s milk is good for digestion.” 

Old Lady Gu laughed, “Alright, I’ll have the kitchen prepare it for you at lunchtime.” 

After finishing breakfast, Old Lady Gu said, “Qing Shu, I’ll call Zhong Mama to come and teach you to recognize characters.” 

A quarter of an hour later, Zhong Mama arrived. She brought a book, which was the “Children’s Enlightenment Book” that Old Lady Gu had bought the day before. 

Zhong Mama taught Qing Shu twenty idioms, and when she remembered them, she wrote down these twenty idioms. 

When Qing Shu saw the characters written by Zhong Mama, she exclaimed, “Zhong Mama, your handwriting is so beautiful!” 

Zhong Mama smiled and said, “Young Miss, this is Zan Hua Xiaokai. In the future, you should practice by copying this style.” 

After a pause, Zhong Mama explained, “Zan Hua Xiaokai is a script created by Wei Furen1 during the Jin Dynasty. It is elegant, graceful, and delicate.” 

Qing Shu didn’t know who Wei Furen was, but she could tell from Zhong Mama’s words that she was a famous figure. “Zhong Mama, the characters I practiced at home are in the Yan style.” She believed in sticking to one style rather than frequently changing. 

Zhong Mama said, “Miss, most of the good schools require the use of Zan Hua Xiaokai during the entrance exams. If you are used to the Yan style, it may be a disadvantage in the future.” 

Qing Shu asked, “Are you saying that the girls’ schools in the capital all use this script?” 

Zhong Mama nodded, “Not only the girls’ schools in the capital, but also those in Jinling, all use Zan Hua Xiaokai.” 

Although Qing Shu had lived in the capital for more than ten years, she rarely left her home, so she didn’t know this. 

Seeing Qing Shu not saying anything, Zhong Mama said, “Miss, if you plan to go to school, please listen to my advice. If you don’t plan to go to school, practicing the Yan style is also good.” 

“I want to go to school.” She didn’t have the chance to attend school in her previous life, so she definitely wanted to make up for that regret in this life. However, she had to wait until she was six years old to enter school, and she had just turned three years old a couple of months ago, so there was still some time to go. 

Today, the Second Branch of the Gu family didn’t send anyone. However, the next day, while Qing Shu was practicing calligraphy, she heard a maid say that Gu Xian had come. 

Qing Shu put down her brush and left the study. 

Gu Xian held Qing Shu’s hand and said, “Did Grandma buy you a calligraphy sample the other day?” 

Qing Shu knew what she was getting at but still said, “Yes, the shopkeeper said it was a masterpiece created by a famous calligrapher. Mom, I won’t practice the Yan style anymore; I’ll use it as a model for my calligraphy.” 

Gu Xian said, “Qing Shu, that calligraphy sample is very useful for your uncle. Qing Shu, we want to give that calligraphy sample to your uncle.” 

Seeing that Gu Xian had decided without asking for her opinion, Qing Shu became angry. “No, I won’t give it.” 

Gu Xian coaxed Qing Shu, “Qing Shu, this is related to your uncle’s future. You can’t be stubborn.” 

Qing Shu was furious, “I won’t give it. Why should they take it just because they want it?” 

Old Lady Gu’s words from the previous day had already prepared Qing Shu to give up the calligraphy sample, but now she wouldn’t even think of giving it away.

  1. The term “fu’ren” can be used generally to refer to any woman who is married.