Mao Badou held back all morning.
In the meantime, Meng Xian Sheng1 was teaching scripture in the front, and he, who was sitting next to Xue TingRang, stared straight at him. Only after the bell rang and Meng Xian Sheng left did he hurry over.
"Hurry and tell me..."
Li Datian tugged at him from the side, looked around and said, "If you have anything to say, say it after we go back to our dorm."
Mao Badou grabbed Xue TingRang and left. Li Datian sighed helplessly. He helped clean up the case and his own things, and asked Chen Jian to go back to the dorm together.
When the two entered the door, they heard Mao Badou's impatient voice: "Quickly, tell me, the girl who came that day is your little fiancée?"
Xue TingRang knew that they would eventually discuss this, and looked at him helplessly: "So you pulled me out in a hurry, just to ask this!"
"You don't know I went back and thought about it for a whole day. Why did your fiancée wear men's clothes? Who was the man who came with her to pick you up? The day I saw your expression looked weird? Could it be—"
Mao Badou's expression turned horrified. It seemed that in his head, he, who had read countless scripts, had created a story based on what he had seen.
How would Xue TingRang know that he has this kind of ability, so he was still wondering how to explain when Mao Badou said: "Could it be that she is not your fiancée, but your sister-in-law and that person is your brother. You actually..."
Xue TingRang's face turned black on the spot, but Mao Badou didn't notice it at all. It was unclear what he was thinking of, but he actually patted Ting Rang on the shoulder with a sorrowful expression: "This is against the norm. You must hold it back, brother."
"Stop, stop, stop...what are you thinking about indiscriminately! That person is from our village. His father is good friends with my father. Zhao’er needs help for her business, so we asked him to help..."
In desperation, Xue TingRang briefly talked about the matter.
He didn't want to say too much, but the whole thing was too complicated. In the end he could only explain his own life experience and some things about Zhao’er.
In fact, he didn't want to hide from Mao Badou and the rest; he would have let them know over the years.
And Mao Badou followed his complaint, cursing Xue Qingshan and his wife.
"In that case, this Jiang Wu likes Zhao’er Jie2, but Zhao’er Jie doesn't know. You also like Zhao’er Jie, but Zhao’er Jie treats you as a younger brother?"
This was probably the most embarrassing moment in Xue TingRang's life. His face was stiff and he did not speak.
Mao Badou kept mouthing off. It was the first time Xue TingRang wanted to beat up a person, wanting to throw him out.
"Ai ya, and I thought it was some big problem. Leave it to me. I'm sure that from now on, Zhao'er Jie will only see you in her eyes and won’t see any good in Jiang Wu.
Xue TingRang looked at him with suspicion.
Mao Badou became excited: "Don't look down on me, I'm the one who reads all the stories on the market. I'm not good at learning, but when it comes to the relationship between men and women..." He chuckled wryly, patting his chest: "I am definitely better than you."
"Alright, alright. Ting Rang, don't listen to his nonsense." At this moment, Li Datian came over: "He is the kind of person who says that he is invincible in the world and has good intentions but no power to do anything. I don't know who it was who hid in the bed in the middle of the night crying when Xiaocao MeiMei3 from next door moved away." Honest man Li Datian said the truth again.
Mao Badou was so excited that he jumped three feet high, his face and ears were red, and he looked like he was going to cut off his friendly relations with Li Datian.
"Good! You, Li Datian. You actually look down on me. You guys wait for me. I will come back soon." After speaking, he ran away like a tornado.
This wait extended from when the three of them had their lunch, returned to the hall to rest for a quarter of an hour, and then got up to read a book for two quarters of an hour before Mao Badou returned from outside.
It wasn’t clear where he went, but he looked like a thief, and his chubby body was even fatter now. If it weren't because the three of them lived together, they wouldn't be aware of it.
Panting for breath, he picked up the teapot on the square table and took two sips, and then began to undress.
The loyal and honest Li Datian scolded: "It's in vain that you are a scholar. In broad daylight, you can take off your clothes in the bright sky."
"Pei! You, Li Datian, are always going against me today. I’m still gonna take it off, I’m gonna take it off..."
This guy proceeded to strip his 3 outermost layers, and then took off another layer before revealing a few books that were tied to his chest and waist with a mess of cloth inside.
No wonder this kid suddenly looked fatter. It turned out that there was something else there.
Mao Badou began to pull the books from his body, and the few people sitting cross-legged behind the table saw one book, two books, three, four books being taken out. In the end, Mao Badou had untied a dozen books from his body.
He patted the stack of books with his hands, and then pulled off the cloth strips on his body and threw it on the ground. While wearing clothes, he said: "This is my collector's edition. I never let anyone borrow it. Ting Rang, I’m letting you take a look since we are brothers4."
Xue TingRang was confused by his action, and Li Datian gave him the answer: "Badou, you wanna to die? You actually dared to bring these scripts in. You forgot what the curator told you!"
Mao Ba Douhun didn't care and waved his hand: "It's nothing. There are only four of us in this house. If you guys don't tell, I won't tell, then who will know?"
At this moment, a bell rang outside.
Mao Badou picked up the notebook, climbed up the bunk and stuffed it into the cabinet. But his cabinet was too messy. The socks and clothes he had worn were piled up, and in the end the books could only be stuffed into the cabinet of the other three people.
Meng Xian Sheng finished the "University" in ten days, and today he started to speak "Xue Er", the first chapter of "The Analects". He is very particular about the principle of gradual and orderly teaching, and he also follows the Zhuzi reading method that most scholars nowadays use.
Zhu Zi has said: The method of reading should be sequential and constant, unremittingly, calmly read between the text and meaning, and experience the actual practice, and then with calm and reason, you will gradually see the true meaning.
Zhu Ziyou said: "The Daxue" is the gateway to morality. Scholars are the first to give lectures. Knowledge is the scale of the degree of study. You should read "The Analects", "Mencius" and "The Doctrine of the Mean". First see the general use of the source in the principle of justice, and then test the scriptures and you will see some results in your understanding. The scriptures are different, and the skill is vast. If you don't read "The Daxue", "On", "Meng", and "The Doctrine of the Mean" first, then it will not be easy to gain enlightenment.5
Generally, no lectures are given in the afternoon, and time is left for the students to self study, that is, to integrate the chapters learned in the morning. Of course, if it is not the first time to learn the Analects, you can also learn other things, but you must study in the lecture hall.
Meng Xian Sheng is sometimes there, sometimes not, but don't think that because he is not there, you can do whatever you want because you never know when he will appear suddenly. The rules in Qingyuan Academy are extremely strict. If the homework assigned by the Xian Sheng is not completed, or it is noisy in the lecture hall, they will be reprimanded and punished, or sometimes with heavier consequences, they could even be expelled.
So all afternoon, the lecture hall was very quiet. Every half an hour, there is a rest time lasting for one burning incense stick. The students either go to the concierge room or drink to quench their thirst, and then return to the lecture hall when it is over. They are usually very self regulated.
After the bell rang, everyone was relieved. The students dispersed, some went back to their dorms to organize their things while others went straight to the dining hall.
After the meal was over, the students went to the shower room to wash up. Candles were lit in each room, and they all planned to read a while before the lights were turned off.
Only then did Mao Badou find out the previous scripts and pile them up in front of Xue TingRang.
"You will know what to do after reading these."
Xue TingRang looked at him helplessly, and said, "Badou, I don't need it anymore. Towards these..." He paused before saying, "I'm not too interested."
Whether it was a dream that lasted for more than 70 years, or the ten or more years of Xue TingRang's life, he had never read this so-called script, and he knew that these things could be classified as pornographic material. It's just for the less educated people to read and pass the time.
The whole story is narrated in vernacular, telling some short stories of strange phenomena, gods and monsters, koans, legends, etc. He also knows that these are some unscrupulous scholars who wrote in order to support their families, and these stories are not true.
So when Mao Badou told him that after reading these books he would understand what he needed to understand, Xue TingRang listened but didn't take it to heart.
"Just take a look."
"But I'm really not interested in these."
When the two were pushing and pulling, Li Datian leaned over, picked up a copy and said: "alright stop, Ting Rang doesn't want to read it, so just show me one."
"Datian, how come you want to look at this."
Li Datian honestly smiled at Xue TingRang: "Just to pass the time. I feel dizzy from studying and reading these will help me clear my head." He said to Mao Badu again: "Hey, this is all new? Why haven't I seen it before? How much did you spend to buy it."
"This is not a new release. I specially picked out these books from my collections to help open Ting Rang’s eyes. Look at his inattentiveness. It really angers me."
Things already became like this, so Xue TingRang could only pick up a copy: "I will try one first."
Only then did Mao Badou smile satisfied, and went to ask Chen Jian if he wanted one. Chen Jian looked cold, but he was actually honest. Finally, he had made a few friends, and everyone treated him well, so because he didn't want to disappoint, he also picked a copy at random.
Since then, four teenagers in a room seemed to be sitting cross-legged and reading at night, but they were actually doing private things.
During the night, the school official who was in charge of the night patrol, took a look through the open door, and then nodded before moving on to the next room.
Until the sound of the bell rang out at the second quarter of the hour, as if they were awakened from a dream, the few people blew out the oil lamp, undressed, and laid down.
Xue TingRang laid on the bunk, still thinking about what he’d read in the script.
Mao Badou didn't make any false statements. This script was really about the relationship between men and women. It's like the book "Return to Thinking of Dreams" he had read before. It was about a scholar who lived in a temple and studied hard. He met the nun Wangchen in the nearby nun's nunnery by chance and was shocked at first sight. He, regardless of the norms, pursued her and embraced the beauty.
This Wangchen had beauty that could overwhelm the city. She was originally a girl from an important family, but because of the chaos in her home, she had no choice but to escape under the protection of the ancient Buddha. But even after surviving, some people still wanted to take her.
In order to win Wangchen's favor, the scholar climbed over the courtyard wall, chanted poems and talked about qin6. He showed his talents vividly and tried his best to please her. The little nun was teased so much that she couldn't sleep well at night, and finally in a favorable situation, the two received each other’s love.
Xue TingRang only read until the part where Wangchen injured foot when she was going down the mountain and carrying the water. When the scholar saw her, he wanted to carry her back to the nunnery. Unfortunately, there was a heavy rain at this time. There was a cave halfway, and the two went to the cave to shelter from the rain. The little nun's clothes were soaked, and the scholar lit a fire to keep her warm, but he himself was shivering with cold. He, being a gentleman, turned his back, not daring to look around.
Unexpectedly, the little nun screamed behind him. The scholar thought that something happened to her, but he happened to see the little nun half undressed. It turned out that it was Wangchen who mistakenly regarded the straw rope as a snake.
What will happen next?
Xue Tingtang was itchy, but was forced to turn off the lights.
He turned over, still thinking.
Suddenly, he saw the fire light next to him and was shocked, only to realize that the fire light was shining from under the blanket on Mao BaDou’s side.
"Badou, what are you doing?"
Mao Badou bent into a shrimp shape and wrapped himself in a quilt, but an oil lamp was lit inside his quilt.
"Are you not afraid of burning the bedding?"
There was a low muffled laugh from the side, but it was Li Datian from Mao Badou’s side who spoke.
"Ting Rang, don't worry about him, he is super skilled. He used to hide in the quilt and read a book every time after the lights were turned off. He has never burnt the quilt and was never caught by the night patrol school official."
Xue TingRang looked over there, and saw that there was another faint light in the darkness over there, and it came from the usually well-behaved Li Datian who was now doing bad deeds.
"You guys really are!"
"I'm having an itch, and I can't sleep without finishing the story."
Xue TingRang laid down again, but the scene of the scholar pursuing and seducing the nun appeared in his mind.
All scholars have read the phrase "a beautiful lady matches a proper gentleman", but it is the first time that Xue TingRang learned that there is such a method of pursuit.
In the darkness, there was a whirring sound.
Xue TingRang knew where he put his own things. He touched the oil lamp and took it into the bed. He did not learn from Mao Badou or Li Datian. He happened to be next to the wall, so he turned his back like this, put the quilt on his shoulders, lit the fuel lamp, and carefully held it in one hand, illuminating the small print on the book.
- Xian Sheng: gentleman; also the phrase for teacher in ancient china (since academy teachers were usually scholars or gentlemen) ↑
- Jie: older sister, also a polite way of addressing an older female who you are close to ↑
- Meimei: younger sister; polite way to address a younger female ↑
- not biological, but as in really good friends ↑
- This was so hard to translate. I apologize if it was hard to understand my translation. Honestly, I only understood about 70% of it since it was written in poetic language used in ancient china.
After reading this paragraph for the first time all that was going through my head was ????????? (haha!) ↑
- this translates to piano, but it isn't the western piano. It is Gu qin, a stringed instrument that is one of the 4 ancient arts that scholars and nobles should know.
The other arts are chinese chess (Go), painting, and calligraphy ↑