After the class, Su Li was called away directly by the elder teacher, which made everyone in the classroom envy her.
They came to a four-sided ventilated teahouse. The approachable elder teacher just let Su Li sit down then he laughed and said, “Little girl, you’re Su Li, aren’t you?”
“Yes, teacher.” Su Li sat in a respectful manner and said gently, “It was my sister who was expelled by you. She was spoiled by my mother since she was a baby. Please don’t mind her.”
Su Li was so frank that the elder teacher did not want to ask about the book basket any more. Instead, he picked up another topic and asked, “I saw the annotations you made on the Dictionary of Dahan. Every word you wrote was meaningful. And some insights even I cannot understand. So, you must have a good teacher before. Can you tell me who he is?”
“My teacher’s first name is Xianqing, and his last name is Qi. He is the doctor of the Baicao Tang in our town. I don’t know exactly where he came from.”
Su Li asked tentatively, but she still stupefied the elder teacher. He murmured, “It is him. I knew it...”
The elder teacher came back to his sense, and his attitude was immediately different. He even said in an equal way, “Little friend, what do you call that person, is Mr.... or master?”
Su Li frowned. The old guy seemed to know a lot, but now she could not ask too many questions. Therefore, she could only answer honestly, “Master.”
Qi Xianqing, that old guy, would not let her conceal that, so she just told the old teacher everything so as to coax some information out from him.
The elder teacher was more shocked at once. He looked at Su Li back and forth, as if he wanted to see the unknown background of Su Li thoroughly.
Su Li pretended to be confused and then she whispered, “Teacher, what are you looking at? Can you tell me who my master really is and why you are so surprised?”
The elder teacher shook his head at once, “Since your master didn’t tell you, I don’t dare to say more. But, you shouldn’t be here anyway. Why do you come here now that you have become so talented under his guidance?”
“Teacher, there is something that you don’t know. It’s my family that sent me here.”
Su Li signed lightly and said, “My master left two months ago, and I don’t know where he has been and when he will be back. When I finished reading the books he left, my grandma happened to sign up for me to come here, and I wanted to see how good the book collection was.”
The elder teacher laughed embarrassedly, “I am afraid that my little friend will be disappointed. How could the book collection of the Muyang School compare with that of Imperial Tutor…Mr. Qi?”
It’s Imperial Tutor Qi, not Miracle-working Doctor Qi! It seemed that the old guy had other identities.
Su Li was satisfied in her heart with what she learned. She chatted with the elder teacher for a while before leaving alone.
After Su li left, the elder teacher’s eyebrows frowned together. If Su Li wasted her time here, he would disappoint Qi Xianqing!
“Daddy, what are you thinking about?”
At this time, a woman came in. It’s Lecturer Ning who collected Admission Letters in front of the gate.
“Qing, you’re here in the right time.” The elder teacher beckoned her, “I saw Su Li today, and she is talented and learned. I could not help but ask her who she has learnt from. Unexpectedly, she is the last disciple of Qi Xianqing.”
Ning Qing said in surprise, “Isn’t she your junior sister apprentice? It shouldn’t be. How could Imperial Tutor Qi still be alive? You were only 16 when you took him as your master, and he was 60. Now it has been 60 years. How could a man be 120?”
The elder teacher was serious at once, “Master is a real immortal among us. How could we doubt him?”
Ning Qing disagreed with him. Although her father had told her countless times that Imperial Tutor Qi was a real immortal and he was the most talented and learned person in the whole Dahan Country, she had never seen him with her own eyes, so how could she believe it?
She always thought that it was her father who worshipped Qi Xianqing too much and deified him deliberately.
“Daddy, you are Ning Yunzhi, famous in Qinghe Province, the headmaster of the Muyang School. What you just talked to me, it doesn’t matter for me to know, but please don’t spread this humor. It’s bad for the reputation of the school.”
Hearing that, the elder teacher could only sigh in his heart and didn’t said anything.
Su Li came out of the teahouse and immediately got lost since it was her first time in the Muyang School. After the first class, she was called to the teahouse by Ning Yunzhi. She had no time to get familiar with the place.
“Su Li, what are you looking for?”
Su Li heard a clear and melodious voice behind her. She looked back and found that it’s Mei Ruohan who was sent to the Class Bing before.
“It’s you, Mei Ruohan. I can’t find my way.”
Su Li smiled gently and answered in a mild tone. Mei Ruohan flushed and was too shy to say louder.
“My maid went to ask for the key of the yard. I…I’ll take you there!”
Then Mei Ruohan walked ahead and looked back at Su Li from time to time. She saw Su Li smile to her gently, so she also relaxed herself unconsciously. They had a short chat and grew closer to each other.
“By the way, Ruohan, isn’t the Muyang School great? It even provides accommodation to everyone with a separate yard.”
“Of course not!” Mei Ruohan waved quickly, “If you want to live in the yard, you have to pay extra silver, but I don’t know how much is it each month. Didn’t your family tell you that?”
Su Li squinted her eyes and said in her usual voice, “No, let’s go and have a look together.”
There was a trace of doubt flashed in Mei Ruohan’s beautiful eyes. She was extremely clever and had already realized something. But Su Li was so talented and learned… shouldn’t her family have good conditions?
It’s known that ordinary people couldn’t afford to hire a teacher.
Soon after, they came to a black-tile house. Su Li saw Su Zipei in the room getting a key from the administrator.
“Miss, why are you here?”
A lovely and active maid in a light yellow dress skipped to them with a key and said, “Miss, I’ve got the key. Let’s go!”
Just looking at the active maid, Su Li knew that Mei Ruohan must treat her very well in ordinary times, because she was not like a maid at all.
“Guo, wait a minute. Let me go in and ask if there a key for Su Li.”
Mei Ruohan pulled Guo and wanted to go in, while Su Li walked in front of her and stopped her. Su Li shook her head when Mei looked at her in doubt.
“Oh! My dear Second Sister, what are you doing here?”
Su Zipei walked out of the door with a smile and shook the key in her hand. She was filled with resentment in her heart. She didn’t expect that...it’s only been a few months for them not seeing each other, but Su Li was so bold that she embarrassed her in the first class, which made her fall into the Class Gui for four or five-year-old children!
What a shame!
Su Zipei, who was used to bullying Su Li, wanted to retaliate against her immediately. However, when she thought of her grandma’s plan, she suppressed her resentment and pretended that nothing happened.
Mei Ruohan looked at Su Zipei and Su Li in surprise. She only guessed that there was a grudge between them, but she didn’t expect that they were sisters.
Su Li didn’t have the key of the yard, but Su Zipei, who was the worst, got one. The elders of the Su Family...was there a problem in their mind?
Mei Ruohan looked at Su Zipei with disgust showed on her face. She pulled Su Li’s hand and said, “Su Li, live with me. The yard is spacious enough for two girls, and I’d like to ask you some questions on our learning.”
Su Zipei got angry instantly when she heard that. But, there were too many people and she could not give vent to her anger. She could only hold herself and said proudly, “Su Erya! Mother said that you should live with me. You must not live in her yard!”
Mei Ruohan stopped herself. It turned out that the two sisters would live together. She was about to release hold of her hand, but heard Su Li’s magnetic voice.
“Sister Ruohan, let’s go.”
Mei Ruohan was stunned for a while. Then she realized something excitedly and ran with Su Li.
She was extremely obsessed with learning. The teacher hired in her family had taught her in the beginning. Later, she became more and more talented and learned and she couldn’t learn anything from him. So she came to the Muyang School, and she did not expect that there would be a girl who had so much more knowledge at her age. There was no doubt that she would seize the opportunity to learn from her!
Su Zipei looked at them like a fool and didn’t know what to do.
Su Li even didn’t listen to our mother!
The yard Mei Ruohan rented was at an excellent location. It was only a few hundred meters away from the school and the terrain was high. If they went up to the second floor and overlooked, they could see the whole picture of the Muyang School. From a distance, they could see a high wall. Mei Ruohan said that there was a boy’s school on the other side of the wall.
“Miss Su Li, you don’t know that the Muyang School had a dirty side.”
The maid, Guo, looked around then stuck out her tongue and said, “The rent of the yard depends on its location and ranges from one hundred taels to thousands taels for each month. Our miss rents the best place. It costs three thousand taels a month!”
Su Li was surprised when hearing that. Mei Ruohan must have had a high status in her family. Otherwise, even the merchants were not necessarily willing to pay the rent of three thousand taels a month.
“Guo, you talk too much.”
Mei Ruohan rebuked her and had a rough understanding of Su Li’s situation. She was afraid that Su Li might be uncomfortable.
“By the way, Su Li.” Mei Ruohan hesitated then asked, “Your sister was going to live in the yard with you. Why don’t you live with her?”
Then Mei Ruohan suddenly felt it’s inappropriate and then she waved her hands, “Ah...I just asked without thinking. Forget it if you don’t want to answer me.”
“That’s ok.” Su Li smiled lightly, “If I lived with her, I would live in the wood house. I don’t care if I am in poverty, but I don’t want to ask for trouble by myself.”
“I see.” Mei Ruohan was so shocked that she covered her mouth, “How can your Su Family do this? If you were in my family, you would surely be regarded as an apple of the eyes of our family and cultivated as best as possible. What about your parents? Don’t they care about you?
“Maybe, who knows?”
Su Li’s answer was ambiguous, but it made Mei Ruohan more distressed. Compared with Su Li, her troubles were too insignificant.
“Let’s skip this. I know you have been curious about the Dictionary of Dahan. I will lend it to you and you can give it back when I leave. How about that?”
“Really? Su Li, how kind you are!”
They burst into laughter which was clear and melodious like a ringing bell. And the laughter ran from the yard, floated into the forest and drifted far away.
Thousands of meters away from the yard, Su Zipei was standing alone in the yard. She looked at the messy weeds and was so furious that she wanted to put the hoe in her hands on Su Li’s head.
“Su Li, just wait! I will certainly let you suffer all kinds of humiliation and be driven out of the school like a stray dog!”