Who Cares – Chapter 22
Chapter 22 Talented Woman
After Ye Zhen walked slowly into the palace, she was helped by Emperor Sheng Yuan before she could salute, and said warmly, “It’s a cold day, why you don’t stay in Ganquan Palace but come out instead? Be careful of catching cold.”
Ye Zhen waved her hand and was about to say a few words, but suddenly coughed, and her pale cheeks were stained with a layer of crimson, which looked really pitiful. Emperor Sheng Yuan hurriedly pulled her onto the couch and ordered Baifu to add another brazier. After coughing for a long time, Ye Zhen finally regained her breath, saw the box placed at his feet, and smiled, “Your Majesty, are you reading a book? The candlelight is dim at night, which is not good for your eyes. Why don’t this concubine help you read a few paragraphs.”
“Aren’t you afraid the candle light will hurt Zhen’s eyes, so are you not afraid of hurting your eyes? Besides, you’ve been coughing for a while, you should protect your throat.” Emperor Sheng Yuan took the cloak from Baifu’s hand, draped it over Ye Zhen’s shoulders, and put a heater into her arms.
Under the meticulous care of this person, Ye Zhen’s heart was as sweet as honey, and her voice became softer, “Your Majesty has been reviewing memorials all day, and his eyes are very tired. This concubine is lying down everyday, and it seems like a crippled person, so she should study and keep her mind active. Your majesty, don’t worry, if this concubines’s throat is uncomfortable, she will stop.”
Emperor Sheng Yuan felt sorry for her frail body and worried about her, felt it would be helpful to find something for her to do. So he handed over the ‘Bamboo Annals’ in his hand, “Well, just read these two pages. If you feel depressed and unhappy on weekdays, you can call your mother into the palace to talk, don’t just lie down and thinking about nothing.”
“Thank you Your Majesty for your compassion.” Ye Zhen smiled extremely sweetly. After receiving the book, she looked at it and said in surprise, “What kind of book is this? I have never heard of it before.”
“A history book, seems relatively obscure.” If Guan Suyi didn’t mention it, Emperor Sheng Yuan didn’t know that there was such a history book. If he wanted to study history, the Central Plains scholars around him would only recommend ‘Classic of History’ or ‘Records of Grand Historian’, as if these two books were the orthodox books.
“Why doesn’t Your Majesty read ‘Classic of History’?” Ye Zhen only mentioned it casually, and soon opened the pages of the book to read, “Yao’s last year, his virtue decline, and he was imprisoned by Shun…” After reading only a short paragraph, she shook her head and laughed, “Your Majesty, it’s no wonder that this history book is so obscure, it actually distorted history.”
“How do you know it distorted history? Who can tell the real history was?” Emperor Sheng Yuan asked in a deep voice.
“This is the first time that this concubine has seen such a comment in a history book. In the ancient times, resources were scarce and life was difficult. From the common people to the chief, they all had to slash and burn and drink blood to survive. What’s more, the chief also needs to set an example and take the lead, life was even more difficult. The harvested food and the prey were evenly distributed according to the population, and no one would have more or less. Therefore, the world only knows what is collectively owned, and not private, and so the system of renunciation came into being. The ‘Records of Grand Historian: The Chronicle of The Five Emperors’ stated: ‘The world’s virtuous virtue all began with Emperor Yu.’ This shows that in the ancient times, there were fewer disputes and practiced virtuous governance, and such a well-know thing through the ages was slandered into such an unbearable appearance, it’s really annoying and hateful.” Ye Zhen put down the book and sighed, “Your Majesty, the writing of historians are different from ordinary scholars. If there is a slight error or omission, they will kill the glorious years and the cognition of our ancestors for the future generations.”
Emperor Sheng Yuan fixedly looked at her for a while, then smiled, “No wonder when you were in Liaodong, all the generals in the army praised you as the number one talented woman in the Central Plains. As expected, you are very knowledgeable.”
Ye Zhen waved her hands to humbled herself, put the ‘Bamboo Annals’ into the box, and then took out a copy of ‘Classic of History’ to read. When she thought about it, His Majesty who advocating Confucianism, would definitely favor the works of Confucius more, and she could also make comments and show off her talents while reading. Wouldn’t it kill two birds with one stone? These days, she hasn’t been idle at all. All the books related to Confucianism have been thoroughly studied over and over again, she was not afraid to having nothing to talk about with His Majesty. Talking and talking, maybe she could stay in Weiyang Palace and truly become His Majesty’s woman.
However, she imagined it very beautifully, but the reality was just the opposite. After only a quarter of an hour, Emperor Sheng Yuan waved his hand and said, “Zhen is tired, you go down.” After the words fell he put his hand on his forehead, looking very tired.
Ye Zhen’s breathing was stagnant, her expression changed into shock, but it returned to normal in just an instant, she stood up and said goodbye graciously. Walking the long way out, her mind was still reconstructing the meeting in Weiyang Palace, broke apart every word she said and shattered it into pieces. After careful consideration, she didn’t find any mistakes, so she felt relieved.
At the same time, Emperor Sheng Yuan picked up the ‘Bamboo Annals’ she had dropped, turned to the previous page, and smiled inexplicably.
Baifu saw that His Majesty never called to lie down with concubines, even Ye Jieyu, the most beloved, could not stay overnight. Seeing that he was twenty-seven or twenty-eight, almost thirty but without heirs, he couldn’t help being a little anxious, but he didn’t dare to persuade him. Just euphemistically said, “Ye Jieyu deserves to be the number one talented woman in the Central Plains. This slave just didn’t understand a word of what she said. Counting all over the palace, she is the only one who can converse with His Majesty, relieve fatigue and save you from being overwork and hurting your body.”
Emperor Sheng Yuan turned a page and pondered, “The culture of Central Plains is extensive and profound, even the market slang reveals mystery within mystery of life wisdom. What is that saying? A bucket of water, half a bucket of water…”
Baifu said with a smile, “Enlighten Your Majesty, ‘A bucket of water doesn’t make a sound, half a bucket of water jingles’.”
Emperor Sheng Yuan nodded, “It’s exactly this sentence.” At the end, there were no other words.
Bai Fu waited for a long time but there was no follow-up. He couldn’t help but look up, and saw that His Majesty was focused, his face was cold, and there was no sign of being pleased. Only then did he realize later that the phrase just now was a subtle mockery of Ye Jieyu for being a half-assed talented woman.
Baifu quietly wiped off the cold sweat on his forehead, wondering to himself, did he thought wrong? How could the emperor look down on Ye Jieyu? In the whole palace, only Ye Jieyu has the most beautiful appearance, the most talented, has gentle and supple temperament, and heart as pure as orchid. If the emperor even look down on her, who else would he look up to?
While speculating wildly, he heard a lazy voice from above, “Back then, my Jiuli tribe was defeated by the Huaxia tribe. All the tribesmen were imprisoned as slaves. They shed blood and sweat only to survive. The food they planted and the prey they brought were used to worship the leaders of the Huaxia tribe. I don’t know the history of your Han people, but I know the history of the Jiuli. Slaves has appear since ancient times. The tribe leaders have the most slaves, so how can they work by themselves? When the common people saved some money, the first thing that comes to mind is to buy a slave as a livestock servitude. The so-called “only know as collectively owned and not as private” has been a joke since ancient times, but some historians use their own ideas to forcibly distort history and cover up the ugly, get rid of the rotten ones, and leaving only what they think is beautiful. The so-called “winner become the king, loser become the bandit” is made aptly. History is often compiled by victors, and losers become thieves and bandits, even death cannot wipe out their crimes. ”
Baifu didn’t dare to speak, and the cold sweat that had just been wiped off came out again. No wonder His Majesty would ridicule Ye Jieyu, it was her words that stabbed His Majesty’s sore spot. Just as the hall fell into a deadly silence, there was a burst of light laughter from the top, “What Zhen said to you, you wouldn’t understand. Search the works of the Zuo family, Zhen want to look.”
“The Zuo family?” Bai Fu was frightened just now, his mind couldn’t turn around for a while.
“Zuo Boxiong that Zuo family.” Emperor Sheng Yuan’s tone was slightly impatient.
“Ah, Zuo! Zuo from a family of historians!” Bai Fu suddenly realized, and hurriedly stick out his butt to rummaged the box.
Guan Suyi returned to the Marquis Mansion to catch up with dinner. After Mingfang set the dishes, she said mysteriously, “Miss, just after you left the mansion, the next moment Liu shi came here. First, she went to see the injured young master, she bawl a lot, and then brought lord marquis to the side to talk. This servant did not dare to approach, just vaguely heard a few words, saying something like ‘sister-in-law’, ‘taking concubine’, ‘dowry’, ‘don’t worry’ and so on. Miss, does the Ye family want to send a daughter in here to be a concubine for lord marquis?”
Mingfang was not stupid, on the contrary, she was too smart, so her heart would become bigger and bigger. Guan Suyi glanced at her appreciatively and smiled, “Take concubine then just take concubine, I will accept them all.”
Mingfang looked shocked, however just when she was about to give strong advise, she heard the voice of little maid from outside, saying Lord marquis and the eldest miss were here, and they wanted to have a meal with madam. Guan Suyi hurriedly asked Mingfang to go to the kitchen to pass a few more dishes, and repeatedly told her to cook a pot of turtle soup.
Mingfang couldn’t compute, so she had to go with head full of thoughts.
The dishes were quickly prepared, and the three of them put on a happy appearance of persuading each other to eat. After a long talk, Zhao Luli came to the point, “I heard from my mother, she has given you the dowry left by Zhen…my late wife? Xi’er will soon started discussing marriage, why don’t you give the dowry to her? So that she can practice her hands early.”
Of course it could be handed over to Zhao Chunxi, but it couldn’t be too straightforward, lest Zhao Chunxi would come and cry to ask for help in the future because of her poor management, and it would not end well, but instead, like in her previous life she would be accused of unwarranted crimes. How to deal with this dowry, Guan Suyi already had rules in mind, so she smiled, “The dowry belongs to Xi’er, so she should take care of it herself. But mother left it to me to take care of it, and she trusted my performance. If something goes wrong, I will not be able to explain it even with ten thousand mouths. I can give Xi’er the dowry list first. If she is not at ease, she can take someone to the warehouse for inspection now. However, before the official handover, I have to take the liberty to ask, does she know how to do arithmetic, how to look at the accounts, examine the accounts, and how to manage subordinates? Does she know how to inspect the quality of goods, measure the price difference of goods in various places, and estimate the profit and loss?”
Zhao Luli didn’t understand it, so how could his daughter? For the treatment of this child, who was eight point similar to Ye Zhen, it could be said that he devoted everything he could to cultivate according to Ye Zhen’s model. Therefore, when she was thirteen years old, she only knew zither, chess, calligraphy and painting, and knew nothing about common affairs. His cheeks flushed, his eyes wandered, and he was speechless for a while.
Zhao Chunxi was very unconvinced, and was about to refute, when Guan Suyi brought out an exquisite little abacus, and slowly said, “One plus one, plus two, plus three, add up to ninety-nine, you can calculate it for me. If you can calculate correctly, I will immediately asked people to carry the dowry to your courtyard. If added wrongly, from today onwards you will follow me to learn about management and. This dowry list, the old madam has a copy, your maternal family should have a copy. Now I will make three more copies, and we will each have one. So you can rest assured that I will not take any advantage of your Ye family.”
Zhao Luli was embarrassed by her frank remarks, and hurriedly explained. “Madam misunderstood…” And Zhao Chunxi was holding the abacus, her fingertips trembled.
Guan Suyi raised her hand to interrupt the other person, with a very cautious tone, “Don’t secretly complain that I. I am not a villain, but I’m also afraid of being misunderstood, especially his kind of terrible misunderstanding of coveting the previous madam’s dowry. I am the second wife, originally has to walk with difficulty, if I make a mistake, I will be criticized in the Marquis Mansion, furthermore the Guan family will also be discredited. Guan family is now the example of morality and learning of the world, a model of virtue, the white jade without flaw, and cannot be defiled. Therefore, I care about my words and actions more than you, and I understand the principles of self-denial and courtesy, and being kind to others.”
Zhao Luli became more ashamed and couldn’t even lift his head.
Guan Suyi didn’t look at him, tapped on the table, and whispered, “Let’s start the calculations.”
Zhao Chunxi deeply felt that every time she came to Guan Suyi, she was humiliating herself. She determined she would be fully prepared the next time she come.