The carriage galloped along, and Su Li and Su Zipei arrived at the Muyang Town around 8 a.m. Muyang Town was three times larger than that of the Dasu Town. The former was a real big town, and its prosperity was far greater than that of the latter. This was also the reason why the Muyang Girls’ School became the first girls’ school in the Qinghe Province.
Su Zipei gingerly opened the curtain, and she looked curious, like a village woman going to town. Pedestrians couldn’t help laughing when they saw her expression.
Su Zipei realized this and put down the curtain in hurry, her face turning very red. She pretended that nothing had happened and peeked at Su Li, and she saw Su Li’s eyes closed.
“Fortunately, Su Li didn’t see the scene…” Su Zipei thought.
The coachman’s voice suddenly rang from outside, “Miss, we have arrived at the girls’ school.”
Su Zipei quickly put on a nice dress. Then she opened the curtain and went down. Su Li looked at the book basket in front of her and slowly took out all the items from the book basket. Then she walked out of the carriage with the empty book basket.
A square came into view. Flowers were in full bloom, and red bricks and green tiles could be seen between dense trees.
“This is the Muyang Girls’ School, it is so beautiful!”
“There are so many flowers that I’ve never seen before. I am so lucky to be able to attend the Muyang Girls’ School!”
In addition to Su Li and Su Zipei, there were many well-dressed misses in the square. All of them looked classy. At the moment, they were talking in low voices, and all their topics were about praises for the Muyang Girls’ School.
Su Li was carrying the book basket in her hand, and her dress was not very expensive. Many maids held book baskets in their arms and subconsciously treated Su Li as a maid like them, whispering in private, “Who is she?” She doesn’t look like a maid from her dress.”
“But why is she carrying a book basket in her hand? I am afraid she is the maid of the miss next to her.”
Hearing the discussions, Su Zipei became happy. Su Li, however, did not change her expression and still looked around with the book basket in her arms.
After a little while, a middle-aged woman wearing a navy-blue palace-style dress leisurely came. She had a good figure and a clear voice, “I am Lecture Ning of the Muyang School. Students who are enrolled today, come here and hand in your admission letters.”
Then a bevy of young girls rushed to Lecture Ning. Su Zipei wanted to get ahead, but Su Li slowed down. The former had a pale face because of anger. But she could only slow down because the book basket was still in Su Li’s hands.
The speed of checking admission letters was very slow. By noon, only a smaller part of the queue was checked. A group of spoiled young misses showed impatience on their faces. Several of them asked their maids to inquire, but they were stopped by the administrators of the school.
Su Zipei was furious. If it hadn’t been for Su Li’s, she might have gone in already. There was no need for her to suffer from basking here under the sun. Her skin was going to be tanned!
The impetuous misses did not see that Lecturer Ning had glanced at them. The test had already begun since they entered the Muyang School, but most of the ignorant misses had not noticed it.
In the end, Lecturer Ning took a look at several of them and nodded slightly. Because Su Li took the book basket and was mistakenly treated as a maid, Lecturer Ning’s sight didn’t fall on her for a moment.
After looking them up and down, Lecturer Ning speeded up, and the queue was quickly shortened. Soon it was Su Zipei’s turn.
Su Zipei took out a well folded admission letter from her arms and handed it over with respect. Lecturer Ning slightly nodded. She thought that although the girl was impetuous, she was modest and polite, which was not bad.
The administrator shouted while making room for Su Zipei to enter the gate. Suddenly the former frowned because Su Li did not go in fast enough. The former couldn’t help reproaching her, “Don’t be absent-minded. Go in with your miss!”
Su Zipei saw the scene on the inside, and she laughed happily. She expected Su Li to annoy Lecturer Ning lecturer with her anger, but she was disappointed.
Su Li smiled and shook her head. She did not change her expression and said, “Administrator, I’m not a maid, but a student to be enrolled.”
The administrator was speechless hearing what she said. Seeing Su Li had taken out her admission letter, the former’s face was paler. Then the administrator cursed in the heart, “Why did you come to school without a maid? Which family could have such an embarrassed miss?”
But Lecturer Ning was also inwardly surprised. She took the admission letter and opened it up. She was Su Li of the Su Family.
So it was her!
Lecturer Ning frowned. Before the misunderstanding, she didn’t pay attention to the girl’s expressions and reactions. She was wrong.
“Go in. Next time let your sister take her book basket personally.”
Being insightful, she looked back at Su Zipei, who was gloating. She immediately learned the ins and outs. Su Zipei was narrow-minded and liked playing tricks as the rumors had said. It would be difficult for her to ascend the place of refinement.
Su Li chuckled and exposed the inside of the book basket instead of hiding it. She said, “Don’t blame me, it’s my sister’s.”
Lecturer Ning felt more surprised when she saw the empty book basket. Immediately her eyes flashed with appreciation. She would never teach the weak and incompetent. People should immediately retaliate when they were bullied. It was obvious that Su Li’s way was... to be admired!
After the enrollment, guided by the administrator, Su Li and others quickly came to a classroom. The first lesson of the Muyang School had begun.
A grey-haired elder teacher sat behind the teacher’s desk with a wooden ruler in his hand and looked serious.
“You are all the misses of the rich and influential families of the towns nearby. Today the first class is the basis of literacy! It is also the first test. According to different literacy levels, you will be assigned to different classes. Now, open the Dictionary of Dahan!”
Then a uniform sound came out. All the misses put the Dictionary of Dahan on the table one after another. When Su Li took out her Dictionary of Dahan with a black cover, a burst of laughter immediately came.
“What is this?”
“The Dictionary of Dahan?”
“It seems that there is no such a version. Did you buy a fake printed in the street?”
The classroom was immediately noisy. Seeing the scene, the elder teacher frowned and then thumped the table and shouted, “Keep quiet!”
The classroom was immediately quiet, and everyone kept quiet out of fear. They almost forgot that they were no longer at a school of the family.
The elder teacher snorted and looked at Su Li coldly, “You, stand up and answer my question. I asked you to take the Dictionary of Dahan. What have you taken out?”
Su Li stood up and said in a respectful and fearless tone, “This is the official edition of the Dictionary of Dahan, whose cover was dyed by ink. There is no pollution inside. I was reluctant to throw it away, so I took it with me.”
Then Su Li opened the first page, which was densely covered with footnotes in small size. The miss of the rich family next to her stared at it with wide eyes.
The elder teacher found something unusual, and he was also curious. He couldn’t help but say, “Let me have a look.”
Su Li immediately handed it to a manservant. The elder teacher got the Dictionary of Dahan, and his blurred eyes became bright. He turned page by page and found that every page was full of footnotes. Only in the last page did he feel that the footnotes were sparse.
“Good!” the elder teacher smiled and did not hesitate to praise her at all. “What is your name?” he asked.
“I’m Su Li. Su comes from the place gusu, and Li comes from the phrase linli (meaning free from inhibition).”
“Good! You can directly register in the Class Jia without taking this test.”
Su Li raised her eyebrows. How decisive the elder teacher was!
Others were stupefied.
Class Jia was the best literacy class for cultivating girls of the Muyang Town and half of them in it could become female officials of the imperial court. Why was Su Li assigned to the class only because of a black book?
What was the difference between the black book and others?
Seeing the scene, Su Zipei felt jealous and regretful. If she had known that Su Li’s book had such an effect, she would have grabbed it. Damn it!
“Why? Teacher, it’s unfair!”
After a moment of silence, someone couldn’t help but stand up and shout. Treated as pearls in the palms of their families, how could they allow someone doing nothing to be superior to them?
“This is my class. You’re in the Muyang School, not your home!” the elder teacher stared and was obviously angry. He said, “If you don’t like my lessons, just leave!”
Then the face of the miss who stood up and disagreed with the teacher was extremely pale.
At this time, Su Li spoke:
“Teacher, I don’t want to be criticized by others. I believe I can get into the Class Jia by my own ability. Teacher, please make no distinctions here.”
When the elder teacher heard it, he immediately beamed with smiles and said, “Okay! I agree. Sit down and go back to the exam.”
The miss who stood up was relieved and sat down slowly. Although Su Li helped her solve the problem, she felt no gratitude at all. On the contrary, she felt that Su Li was hypocritical and annoying.
After that, Su Zipei looked around and found that everyone used the same Dictionary of Dahan as Su Li which was not the latest version. She immediately felt happy. She opened the book basket and put her hands in.
Then Su Zipei’s smile disappeared instantly, and her face was pale.
The book basket...When was it empty?
“What are you doing?”
The elder teacher’s harsh words instantly appeared in her ear. Su Zipei shivered and looked up, only to find that the elder teacher was standing in front of her. She was so frightened that she stepped back and fell directly from her seat.
The elder teacher felt strange, so he bent down to pick up the book basket, but the book basket in his hand was light. Surprised, the teacher opened it and became angry.
“How dare you! I’ve been teaching for years, and it’s the first time that I’ve seen a student who comes to class without a book! Get out! You can’t take the exam. Go to the Class Gui tomorrow and start from scratch!”
Gui was ranked in the last of the ten Heavenly Stems.
Su Zipei was muddled due to the scolding. Her mind was in a state of confusion, and she remembered that she had filled up the book basket. Why was it empty? All the way Su Li took it... Wait a minute!
“Su Li! You set me up!”
Su Zipei’s scream rang like a ferocious ghost. The elder teacher was shocked and angrily asked the manservant to drag Su Zipei out.
“There is no such a rule! There is no such a rule! A loud student in the school? Who was the one enrolling her? She is mouse dung!”
The elder teacher was so angry that he even used “mouse dung”. He was so mad at Su Zipei’s barbaric behavior that he fainted.
Su Li sat in her seat. She set her mind at rest and waited for the exam patiently.
Next, the whole class was quiet. Every time the manservant asked for pages and lines of the Dictionary of Dahan, Su Li had always been the first to give the right answer. The elder teacher’s anger was almost gone. When he looked at Su Li, he smiled again.
There were good and bad students intermingled this year. But there were also surprises. The little girl Su Li was talented. When she went to the Class Jia, he would teach her seriously.
“Then, let’s announce the placement list!”
“Su Li, Class Jia!”
Mei Ruohan, Class Bing!”
Only Su Li was in Class Jia. No one was in Class Yi. There was only one in Class Bing. It was the girl who sat beside Su Li and showed shock. The rest were mostly in Class Ding and Class Wu…
“What a big gap between her and me! She looks younger than me...” Mei Ruohan’s eyes were shining and her sight fell on Su Li’s flawless side face. There seemed to be worship in her eyes.