Chapter 507 - Teacher Yu Discussing The Crown Prince ChouFleur's Thoughts

Bone Painting Coroner

Lin Shu’s objective was apparent. He intended to redress his grievances with Ji Yunshu. 

However, Ji Yunshu aimed to avoid any commotion. She continued to wear a smile as she said, “Young Master Lin, my humility is of no matter. You may express yourself directly.”

"I came with no grudges nor motive. It is just that… in my opinion, Teacher must be a very knowledgeable and talented person. Therefore, I wish to learn from you and I hope that Teacher is willing to give a few pointers,” he said as he bowed, showcasing his will to learn. He appeared to be rather genuine. 

Ji Yunshu pondered, ‘Should I pick up this hot potato of an issue?’

In the meantime, Tang Si, who had been watching from the side, skipped towards the duo. Appearing carefree, she spoke with her ringing voice, “Ah Ji, they are obviously here to look for trouble. Didn’t he say that he wished to learn from you? You should teach them a good lesson. Show the nerds that they will never be on par with you,” she said with her chin up, looking down arrogantly at them.

It was rare for the scholars to meet a woman within the academy. The group of boys turned to look at Tang Si. ‘This lady looks decent. She has delicate features and a petite body. Yet, her haughtiness is irritating.’ [1] 

Lin Shu studied Tang Si before he replied with a condescending sneer. “A lady is supposed to stay at home and learn the arts, literature and handcrafts. You set a bad example for the ladies, to stick around with a man, and worse, intrude into our academy. That is why people say that women are the source of trouble. We are scholars who are soon going to sit for the official examination. You should stay away to prevent bringing us bad luck."

Tang Si’s face turned green while she replied furiously, “What did you say?” 

“I’m saying that disaster originates from beauty; they who rejoice in calamity.” 

Tang Si did not understand what he said and turned anxiously to Ji Yunshu. “What are they talking about? What disaster? What calamity? What does he mean?” 

Her question triggered an explosion of contemptuous laughter from the scholars, mocking her ignorance. Lin Shu, the meanest of them, scoffed mercilessly, “So, you’re actually illiterate. But, that is fine. Nonetheless, a lack of talent is the best value a lady can carry.” 

Despite not fully understanding Lin Shu’s words, Tang Si could tell that he did not mean any good. She fumed, “I think that ivory can never grow from a dog’s mouth! You’re just looking for trouble.” 

As she spoke, she reached out for the silver whip on her waist with its handle exposed. However, Ji Yunshu promptly stopped her. Ji Yunshu gave Tang Si an inconspicuous head shake, “Don’t create any problems.” 

“But, they…”

“I repeat. This is not the right place for you to make a scene.” 

Anger flared in Tang Si’s eyes as she was breathing heavily. The resentment was stuck in her chest and she wanted to spit it in front of Lin Shu so badly. 

However, the scholars continued to mock her as their laughter grew louder. One of the scholars said bluntly, “Confucious was right. Women and petty people are the most difficult to support.” The group guffawed at the remark. 

Tang Si pointed at the group before she turned and asked Ji Yunshu, “What do they mean?” 

Ji Yunshu’s face dimmed. She stared at the scholars who were taught to be polite and gentle. Yet, they were acting spiteful, unkind and contemptible. Ji Yunshu was disappointed and slightly exasperated by their actions. 

Coincidentally, a boy passed by and witnessed the scene. He quickly went to Teacher Yu to report it. However, Teacher Yu was engaged in a casual chat with Jing Rong at the walkway of the backyard. 

The long walkway was decorated with red lanterns; light from the lanterns shone on the delicately sculpted pillars, the floor and the trees. Shadows from the trees made a misty out-of-focus, yet beautiful picture on the floor. The picturesque scene, coupled with the soothing noise from the swaying of the leaves, made a perfect place for chatting. 

There was a square platform at the end of the walkway. The platform was shielded by three exquisitely engraved screens. One side of the platform was not covered and fragrant tea scent wafted through the air. As the tantalizing aroma lingered, it created a comforting atmosphere.

Legs crossed, Jing Rong and Teacher Yu sat facing each other. A tea set, with a teapot filled with tea and two cups, was placed on a short table. Jing Rong took a sip from the teacup and leisurely savoured it before he said, "Teacher Yu, what an enjoyable life as you're living, to be able to spend your days in such a serene and quiet place. You're living a retired life that many desire. The word 'leisurely' describes your current situation perfectly."

Before Jing Rong, Teacher Yu was carrying a fan in his hand and gently waving it. His beard was so long, to the extent that a major part of his mouth was hidden behind the beard. Thus, it was impossible to study his expression.

Teacher Yu replied, "Indeed. This is a nice place. A peaceful place that is far from politics." 

"It seems like Teacher made the right choice to resign from the royal court." 

"The royal court is surrounded by rumours and gossip. Every word and decision made in the royal court is regulated and restricted. People say that one should always stay where he or she truly belongs. I agree with that and don’t see the necessity for one to strain for an official position in the royal court," Teacher Yu heaved a sigh. He had a habit of dragging the last syllabus of his sentence.

Despite his tone, he did not sound irritating. Instead, his words were rather intriguing in this relaxing environment. 

Jing Rong seconded, "Only the wisest men can be virtuous. I agree with Teacher. The royal court is flooded with politics and power struggles. It is undeniably a lofty place, but many get hurt or die. Teacher Yu made the decision to retire from royal court forty years ago and founded Mingshan Academy here. Yet, Teacher has not stopped nurturing and providing young talents for the royal court. A large majority of graduates from Mingshan Academy are now serving the people as upright and just officials that work diligently for the people. This is the result  of Teacher's hard work throughout the years." 

Teacher Yu, who was sitting opposite, continued to fan himself. "Nonetheless, the laws are set and everyone should adhere to the laws. The royal court resembles a battlefield. Everyone yearns for the highest place on the ladder. However, many fail to realize the fact that the higher they climb, the harder they will fall. But, if you are able to grab and cling onto a vine when you're climbing, when you fall, you will land safely as long as the vine stays intact for the whole time. I repeat this lecture to my students once every three years."

The official examination was held once every three years and he had to repeat his lecture to his students every time. That was the reason why Teacher Yu's students, who were serving the royal court, did a decent job and were all able to secure their positions. It was rare for his students to be removed or suspended from their official positions. 

Jing Rong nodded in acknowledgement to Teacher Yu's statement. 

A few moments later, Teacher Yu sighed once again before he continued, "In spite of my forty-year retirement, I am constantly updated about the latest incidents that are happening in the royal court. Some of my students write to me regularly to keep in touch with me. Not long before this, I heard about the incident that involved the crown prince. The cause of the incident is unclear, but it affects the entire country. There are only two possibilities: the crown prince had either spent many years planning planned many for the rebellion, or he was instigated by someone else. Crown Prince…" he ended his sentence with a prolonged syllabus once again. He took a sip out of the teacup nonchalantly before he continued, "He is a foolish person. The fire at the Chengqing Hall was caused by the metal wires that were painted with sulphur. Crown Prince doesn't look like someone who could come up with such a meticulous ploy. Ambush the palace and murder the emperor? That would cost him his life! He was already the crown prince and the throne would eventually belong to him. Was he in such a hurry to reign the country? From what I see, there must be someone else behind the scheme."

Teacher Yu panted slightly after his long speech and coughed twice. His audacity in talking about the crimes of the Crown Prince in front of another prince was staggering. He seemed uncaring of the fact that his words might be passed onto the Emperor.  

[1] Urgh. Men. 

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Hurhur some drama coming... 

Translator: YY Editor: King