Chapter 509 - A Slap in the Face ChouFleur's Thoughts

Bone Painting Coroner

You want me to jot it down? 

Lin Shu snorted. “Come on then, tell me. What exactly can’t be found in our literary texts?” He was awaiting Ji Yunshu’s fall from grace!

Ji Yunshu spoke carefully, “It was recorded in the Military Annals that the late Emperor began to traverse the country in the third year of his reign. He commanded mighty troops, fought in the harsh North with the Yue Army, and eliminated thirteen cities in his wake. His flag flew high across the land, hanging from the city towers for a staggering nine days, fluttering proudly in the winds. His brave general Liao Wei was titled there, earning his place as the Great Lin General who has conquered the most number of cities, but it wasn’t because of his bravery and wits, it was because he had the help of a female strategist named Zhao Ye - she could read by age three and had already devoured tens of thousands of military scrolls by age five. By ten, she stood on the battleground, offering advice and tactics. She was responsible for the retreat of the South Liang army and she returned to the Great Lin, emerging victorious. She published ‘The Art of War on Land’ under the pen name ‘Bai Zi’ when she was only twelve years old, detailing everything from preparing troops to conquering a city to a myriad of strategies. The original copy is still preserved in the Imperial Palace’s library. Zhao Ye spent her entire life on the battlefield and her accolades speak for themselves. She passed away at the age of sixty-five in the thirtieth year of the late Emperor’s reign.”

As soon as she finished speaking, everyone’s jaws dropped in disbelief.

Ji Yunshu had no intentions of stopping there and continued, “Taking things slightly further back, the Emperor before that, Ping Sheng Emperor, ascended to the throne at twenty-four, but passed away of illness only a year after. The Empress Dowager, Xiao Zhuang Empress, assisted her young son as he took his rightful place as heir. Just three months later in the same year, East Ju came pushing across the border. In order to prevent civil unrest, the Empress Dowager could only take up the mantle of command and ordered thirty thousand soldiers to defend the North as they headed South. Another ten thousand were deployed to attack the East from the West - it took no more than six months before East Ju surrendered to the Great Lin’s name. The next July, there was an internal revolt - Marquis Lian submitted two petitions for impeachment. The Empress Dowager had no choice but to bring her young son to seek refuge at the South Tower Temple. She delivered a secret letter to the outstations at all four borders and single-handedly coordinated a siege against her enemies. Without her, we would not have the Great Lin that we know today.”

A deafening silence blanketed the hall. It was as if Lin Shu were struck by ten thousand punches as he staggered back from the weight of it all, his lower lip quivering as he tried and failed to speak.

Ji Yunshu’s gaze turned cold as she took on a harsher tone, “We have the warrior Ping Tian of old, and the advisor Zi Jun thereafter, and Princess Ming An ruled the people in the stead of her husband. Xi’zi was named General for her wit and Jia’zi was renowned for her teachings - as long as you are capable, does it matter if you’re male or female? Do you still want to hear more? If you do, I can continue.”

Bang! She advanced forward as Lin Shu retreated further, slamming right into the door frame with a loud thud, jolting everyone out of their daze.

Looking at Lin Shu’s pale lips, Ji Yunshu could not help but secretly snigger. Hmph, small fry - did you think you were a match for me?

Ever since transmigrating five years ago, Ji Yunshu had read every scroll in the yamen from cover to cover, especially those about women and their deeds. The examples she recounted were but the tip of the iceberg; she could be considered an archaeologist herself, and she knew a thing or two about history - it would not be hard to weave a convincing story if she had to, coupled with what she overheard from Ji Li and Ji Heng’s discussions about war back home. 

Lin Shu did not give up. He pursed his lips. “You… this is utter rubbish - I’ve never heard of this!”

“As I said, this is knowledge that does not exist in your poems and texts.”

“If so, then you must be making all these up.”

Dear child, are you nuts? Ji Yunshu was just about to rebut the fool when Shang Zhuo walked out from the crowd. He had distanced himself from Lin Shu’s shenanigans, but it did not mean that he had not been paying attention; he had to admit that Ji Yunshu’s words had impressed him immensely. 

Shang Zhuo spoke, “Teacher Ji is neither lying nor fabricating stories; I’ve read about the Empress Dowager and Princess Ming An’s achievements in the ‘Annals of a Hundred’. They didn’t go into great detail, but it was surely true.”

“The ‘Annals of a Hundred’?” Lin Shu wrecked his brains - the piece did sound familiar, and he was stripped of all grounds for any argument. 

Ji Yunshu gave Shang Zhuo a courteous nod, accompanied with a small smile. She next turned to Lin Shu, “I’ve said all there is to say, and I’m sure you’ve learned something from today. I hope Young Master Lin will consider reading ‘The Art of War on Land’ and the ‘Annals of a Hundred’ when you have some spare time.” She then gave him a curt bow. “I’ll now take my leave.”

Ji Yunshu did not want to stay any longer than necessary and sketched a quick bow to the rest of the room before she pulled Tang Si away. “This one will take his leave.” 

Tang Si looked at her, full of admiration. “Ah Ji, I didn’t quite understand everything you said just now, but I could tell that you were just awesome. You’re the best, Ah Ji. From today, I’ll stick to you no matter what you say - you’re mine!” Her eyes practically had red cartoon hearts popping out from them. 

Ji Yunshu smirked, as a voice cried out from behind her, “Hold up.”

Lin Shu was not content; he was ridiculed by his own peers in front of a mere stranger - he had to save his face somehow! He grabbed Ji Yunshu firmly, declaring, “Even if what you just said were true, you were simply just reciting what you’ve read - this cannot be considered applying your knowledge.”

Ji Yunshu questioned, “What more do you want from me?”

“Our Academy holds a competition every three months; you can pick anything from chess, calligraphy, poetry, song, or philosophy. We’ll compete in any of these categories, how about it? Do you dare take up this challenge?”

“Why should I agree?”

“You can choose not to, but I can’t stop you if you want to be a coward.” Lin Shu snickered confidently as if he had the upper hand.

This idiot is really too infuriating! Ji Yunshu’s initial reluctance slowly turned into annoyance; she had seen many thick-skinned people in her lifetime, but never one quite the likes of him. 

Tang Si came forth at this point, as she jabbed a finger at Lin Shu. “Ah Ji, just take up the challenge. I don’t think this rascal has any more tricks up his sleeves; since he hasn’t learned his lesson, then give him another beating!”

Lin Shu scoffed, “Woman, think before you speak.”

“You dare insult me?”

“What? Haven’t you heard that only women and bastards are difficult to feed? Can you even understand what I’m saying?”

I. Don’t. Know! Tang Si pouted huffily.

Ji Yunshu knew that if she did not lose to this mule-headed fellow once, she would hear no end from him. She finally nodded. “Fine, you can choose. I’ll compete against you in whatever you pick.” You’d better pick anything apart from painting; she would likely, no, definitely suffer an overwhelming defeat in anything else but painting!

However - “Then, I’ll pick painting!”

Painting? Ji Yunshu took a double-take - did this fellow just say that he wanted to compete against her in painting?

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Hahaha Lin Shu oh Lin Shu... how many times do you want to stick your foot into your mouth before you're satisfied? 

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten the chapters I owe you guys... slowly working through them. 

Translator: Tzegeek, Editor: Dray