Who Cares

Who Cares – Chapter 74

Chapter 74 Rakshasa

 

Since Zhao Luli met Ye Fan who looked like his ex-wife that night, subconsciously he had been avoiding her. He went to the West Mansion every day to greet his mother, accompanied Madam and the children for breakfast, and then went out to handle the business. He was good at planning, although he had never learned to do business, he quickly mastered it. With the name of his younger brother behind him, he had recovered a lot of losses. Even if he missed his official career in this life, being a rich man was more than enough.

Zhao Chunxi and Zhao Wangshu were repentant and sincere, and Guan Suyi, as a “virtuous wife and mother”, could only pinch her nose and admit it, and taught them the things that should be taught one by one.

On this day, Zhao Wangshu came to the main house on time for the morning class, and saw that his stepmother holding Mu Mu in her arms, reciting the stories in the “Classic of Mountain and Sea”, and his sister came earlier than him, holding an embroidered frame in her hand, seriously thread the needles, ready to make a purse.

“Mom, son is late.” He wiped the oil stains from the corners of his mouth and said in shame.

Guan Suyi was not a person who would deliberately makes things difficult for others, especially if the other person was a child who hasn’t done anything. She glanced at the sky and said indifferently, “It’s not too late, there is still a quarter of an hour until chenshi (7-9am), sit down first and memorize the book. After memorizing, recite the chapters that will be learned today one hundred and twenty times, and I’ll come back to explain the essence later.”

“Son understand.” Zhao Wangshu quickly put down the book case, walked to the window, shook his head at the morning light to wake up his brain. Zhao Chunxi glanced at him, and then looked at her stepmother who was holding her adopted brother. She only felt that the years were quiet and the world was stable. This was the day she dreamed of, and this was the scene that a happy family should have.

Mu Mu was getting along very well with his brother and sister now, and gradually he talked more and more. He tugged at the sleeve of his adoptive mother and whispered, “Mom, can Luo fish* really fly? What does it look like? Son cannot picture it.”

“You want me to draw it for you?” Guan Suyi pinched the tip of Mu Mu’s nose, and then picked up the brush to draw it carefully. Her vision was extremely wide, and the strange things that others couldn’t think of were already vivid in her mind with only a little thought, coupled with her superb drawing skills, with only a few strokes an exquisite and vivid painting was already finished.

Mu Mu was stunned, poking here and there with his fat and short fingers, secretly thinking that the Luo fish was actually alive. Zhao Wangshu also forgot to memorize the book, secretly glanced at his stepmother, and complained in a low voice, “Mom, why do you only tell stories and draw pictures for Mu Mu, but you always punish me with a ruler?” His face turned slightly pale after he said that, and hurriedly added, “I, I don’t mean to blame you, I also want to listen to your stories and watch you draw.”

Did I tell you less story in the previous life? I have painstakingly compiled the philosophy of life and the essence of Confucianism into the story, to guide you from hate learning to eager to study, then to be able to study by yourself. How do you repay me? The story has already been told in the previous life, so in this life, you can recite it by yourself.

Of course, Guan Suyi couldn’t say these words outright, she tapped on the table and said, “How to teach and educate people is also a kind of knowledge and has its basic principles. My Guan family is a Confucian family and an educator family, since the ancient times it has passed down a legacy, one is to teach without distinction, and the other is to teach according to aptitude. Teach without distinction means anyone can be taught, there is no distinction between noble or lowly, old or young. Teach according to aptitude means the treatment of the people shall use their compatible methods, not everyone follows the same mold or shaped into the same shape. You are the eldest son of the Zhao family, and in the future you will inherit the family business and revive the lintel. The burden on your shoulders is heavier than anyone else, and you must never slack off, so I discipline you in a strict way and polish your will. However, Mu Mu is young, sensitive and introvert. In the future, he may enter an official position, or maybe wander around, or maybe study some specialty, or even become a merchant, and learn ingenuity craftsmanship. It’s up to him to decide, so I discipline him loosely and let it develop freely.”

Guan Suyi looked directly at him and said cautiously, “You two have different backgrounds, different fates, and different responsibilities on your shoulders. If your words to win honor for your father are just casual words, then I will tell you stories every day.”

Zhao Wangshu blushed with shame, and waved his hands quickly, “No, no, no, son will no longer listen to the story, son must study hard, take the exam in the future, become a high-ranking official, be a superior person, protect mom, grandmother, second aunt, and sister. ”

Zhao Chunxi originally thought that her stepmother doted on Mu Mu and treated her brother coldly, favored one over the other. After hearing this, she realized that she had her own reason for doing so. In the future, her brother would bring honor to the family, how could he still playing around? The stepmother treated him not only without fault, but also with great dedication.

It was said that the Guan family is honest and upright, this statement was not false. If there was some misunderstanding towards their stepmother, it must be pointed out in person, do not keep the resentment in the heart, which would eventually ruin the mother-child relationship. This kind of reciprocal, frank, and without reservation way of getting along made Zhao Chunxi felt very fresh and touched. She thought, looking at the whole of Wei Kingdom,  afraid she would never find a stepmother better than her stepmother.

While she sighed, Jinzi walked in with a gold-rimmed post, and whispered, “Madam, this is a post from the Department of Internal Affairs, inviting you to attend the palace banquet tomorrow.”

“Palace banquet? It’s not a festival now, why the palace held a banquet?” Guan Suyi slowly scraped off the red clay seal.

“I heard that some of the sacred orchid trees planted by the Empress Dowager has bloomed. The fragrance can drift for hundreds of miles, the color is colorful, and it changes when it meets the light, she has always been generous and magnanimous”

“So that’s the case. Empress Dowager niangniang personally invited me, so how can I, a subject woman, not go?” Guan Suyi closed the post and asked tentatively, “Will you enter the palace with me tomorrow?”

Zhao Chunxi was moved at first, but then firmly refused, “No, mom can go by yourself. You are still a first-rank madam, and you are also the descendant of Emperor Teacher and Chief of Ceremonies, the true proud daughter of heaven, but what am I now? There’s no noble blood, no prominent family background, just like a chicken trying to drill into a group of cranes, in addition to self-humiliation, can I still get touched by immortal spirit? Mom, you are right, people needs some self-knowledge. It’s enough to be an ordinary rich girl and marry an honest man of the right family. The high place are not necessarily beautiful, and it may also be cold to the bone.”

Guan Suyi looked at her in astonishment, she never expected that these modest and open-minded words came from Zhao Chunxi’s mouth. Shouldn’t she focus on climbing high? How in this life she was like a completely different person? However, looking closely at her face, she couldn’t find any trace of reluctance, that was her sincere thought.

But this was  not surprising. In the previous life, she had never experienced life and death disasters, and she had never been framed by her grandfather to the brink of family destruction, so she could not understand the true meaning of ordinary life. Her ideals were completely destroyed, and she slowly repaired herself, and in the process, she inevitably absorbed the strengths of those close to her and assimilated.

Guan Suyi was this person, so she tried to get closer to her, tried to imitate her actions, and carefully figured out her methods, so it was only natural to became like this.

The world was indeed impermanent, a small change could determine success or failure, shape good and evil, destroy a person or save them. Guan Suyi thought a lot of thing, but in fact it was only for a moment, she patted the back of her stepdaughter’s hand, and sighed, “You are more sensible and smarter than I thought.”

Zhao Chunxi smiled lightly, and seemed to be calm, but in fact she was both excited and a little proud. Getting a compliment from her stepmother was not easy.

The next day, Emperor Sheng Yuan walked in the imperial garden in civilian clothing, followed by the grand princess with a saber in her hand.

“Why do you even carry a saber to enjoy the flowers? When entering the palace to face the saint, people must remove their weapon. You know this is knowing the law and break it.” Emperor Sheng Yuan frowned.

“Habit. Even if it’s not removed, what can you do to me?” The grand princess was tall and straight, and her face was like a crown jade*. At first glance, she had the appearance of Pan An. Several passing palace maids were fascinated by her, and knelt down to greet her with flushed cheeks.

“Forget it, Zhen allows this outlaw thing and let you go this time. Last time Zhen asked you to check the Miao expert, have you done it? Didn’t you say that you sent someone to pick up Madam? When will she enter the palace?” Emperor Sheng Yuan was quite anxious.

“Guizhou is a long way, how can you get the news so quickly? Just wait patiently for a few months. Madam over there, This Palace has sent an imperial carriage to pick her up, and it will arrive in less than a quarter of an hour.”

The two walked out from behind the rockery and saw several children standing in front of them, ranging from three or four to eleven or twelve years old, all dressed in rich and noble clothes, surrounded by palace maids, laughing and joking. One of them seemed to have a particularly distinguished status, there were always inner attendants around him, shouting without a word, “Little Highness, slow down, be careful of falling!”

The young boy didn’t listen to the advice, instead became more violent, suddenly he looked at Emperor Sheng Yuan, and exclaimed, “Rakshasa* is here! The man-eating Rakshasa is here, everyone, run!”

The joking expression on the grand princess’ face faded in an instant, she watched helplessly as these princes ran away as if they had encountered a man-eating monster, and fled in all directions. A tall, luxuriously dressed woman ran over while lifting up the hem of her skirt, without paying attention to her manners, she immediately bent down and picked up the leading young child, patted his back to comfort him, “Imperial son, don’t be afraid, mother concubine is here, imperial grandmother is also here. Rakshasa won’t dare to eat people!”

“I’m afraid, mother concubine, let’s go back quickly!” The young child choked.

“Alright, let’s go back. There are gods enshrined in the imperial grandmother’s palace, and the gods will protect us from being murdered by Rakshasa.” The woman lowered her eyes and did not dare to look at Emperor Sheng Yuan, but her words contained poisonous thorns, which was unbearable.

The grand princess pulled out her saber halfway through, and the murderous golden roar was enough to make her shut up, and then she quickly walked away with a group of children and palace servants. When they disappeared at the end of the path, the eldest princess said quietly, “Hunnar, it’s time for you to have children, or sooner or later your throne will fall into the others’ hand. Although the eldest, third, and sixth are dead, but their children are all raised by the Empress Dowager’s side, and they are also serious dragon sons and grandsons. When they grow up, if you are still alone, I am afraid that your head will fall from your body, and you will not end well.”

Emperor Sheng Yuan’s jaw tightened and his tone was cold, “Children, can a Rakshasa like me have children? I won’t give anyone a chance to conceive a child. Imperial sister, you don’t need to say anything more.”

The grand princess fixed a look at him and asked, “What if that person is Madam? Can she come and give birth to you?”

Emperor Sheng Yuan was shocked, but quickly dismissed this delusion, and said bleakly, “She is even more impossible, imperial sister, don’t hurt her!” When the words fell, he flung his sleeves and left, looking like a sorry figure.

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