Chapter 46: Scholar By the Lake

A wooden bird cut through the sea of clouds and fell from the sky, landed in that small lakeside courtyard in the academy.
When Liu Ye saw the wooden bird land, she hurriedly got up to take the letter from inside the wooden bird.

After Xie Nandu opened the letter and finished reading it, she mused for a moment and began replying.
She did not begin by asking about those things this time.
Instead, she asked whether or not he knew how to roast Tianqing County's roasted sweet potatoes.

Very soon, a letter was finished writing.
After the ink dried, she put it in the envelope and then passed it over to the maidservant Liu Ye.

Liu Ye took the letter and quickly found a place to mail it out.
It was just that when she returned, she learned some good news.

When she returned to the courtyard, Liu Ye yelled rather excitedly, “Miss, there's good news.”

Xie Nandu sat in front of the window, looking at the lake.
The lake waters were currently moving due to the wind, setting off ripples and making people feel peace of mind.
At this moment, hearing her maidservant yelling, she did not get angry either.
She just frowned and asked, “What news?”

Liu Ye hurriedly recounted everything that she heard and said excitedly, “Many tutors want to take Miss in as a personal disciple.
Right now, they are just waiting for Miss to make a decision yourself.”

She even gave the names of those tutors while she was at it.
Those names were all renowned in the academy.

Actually, not just in the academy, these tutors were first-rate great scholars in the entire Great Liang Dynasty too.
They might not hold any official rank or position in the Great Liang Dynasty, but who knew how many government officials originated under their tutelage in this entire Great Liang Dynasty?

Xie Nandu shook her head and said, “They are not teachers that I admire.”

Liu Ye was originally still extremely excited.
But very soon, a basin of cold water doused all her excitement.

“Does Miss have a teacher that you want to apprentice to?”

Liu Ye said, “I presume that as long as Miss wants to, the teachers in the academy are all very willing to have Miss take them as a teacher.”

Lord Dean had already used action to prove once that this young girl from the Xie Family was a genius.
The teachers saw it another time by relying on their own eyes over these few days.
Now, they naturally wanted to take this girl in as an apprentice.

Although they did not know where this young girl's upper limit lay, they were very clear that this girl's lower limit was nowhere low.

Xie Nandu did not answer her maidservant Liu Ye's words.
She just looked at the lake.

Wind started blowing again there.



The party traveled all the way north and crossed the Wei River very soon.
The prison wagon was still as bumpy as before.
Chen Chao was drowsy all day long, not because he did not want to wake up, it was just that every time he acted awake, that Weng Quan fellow would yammer non-stop.

He seriously could not take it anymore.

Only when that wooden bird appeared, would Chen Chao briefly perk up.

Opening his eyes, he opened the letter and quickly glanced at it.
But very soon, he furrowed his brows.
The contents of the letter were rather perplexing.

What was asking him whether he knew how to roast Tianqing County's roasted sweet potatoes? What was there to know about it?

Although he thought this way, he still finished reading that letter patiently, then he began replying to the letter.

“How's the situation in the Divine Capital? The commotion caused previously likely won't die down yet.
I'm about to arrive in the Divine Capital right away, I don't want to die in that dark prison cell.
You're asking about my background, but I'm sorry, I really can't tell you yet.”

“I'll remember how you're helping me in the Divine Capital.
When there's an opportunity in the future, I'll definitely repay you.
But this matter is too serious, if you get implicated, please cut ties with this…
I heard that the academy is beside South Lake.
You're already an academy student now, this is really great.
But I heard that being the Dean's disciple is what's truly incredible in the academy.
You're so amazing, I presume that you can definitely do it too?” “But if it doesn't work out, I definitely won't mock you either.
After all, we're friends now…”

The letter was brought away by the wooden bird.
Chen Chao raised his head to look at the sky and was somewhat in a trance.

A moment later, he decided to take the initiative to find that talkative guy to talk to, “What's the academy like?”

Weng Quan was taken aback and said with a frown, “You don't know the academy?”

Seeing that he was revving his engine, Chen Chao hurriedly said, “I've never been to the Divine Capital and I've never seen the academy.”

Weng Quan chuckled and said, “I've only been there once, it was when I was running errands in the Left Guard.
That academy is situated on the bank of the South Lake, occupying a huge land area.
As for the students, there are probably more than a thousand every year.”

More than a thousand people sounded a lot.
But, upon remembering that there were just a thousand plus people in the entire nation border of the Great Liang Dynasty, it was not considered a lot anymore.

When you're just trying to make great content at

“What about the Dean? How many disciples does he have?”

Chen Chao could not be bothered to hear about what he was not interested in, he cut straight in and asked the most direct question.

Weng Quan frowned and said, “Why? Do you want to be the Lord Dean's disciple? Even if you're not a criminal, you're not a scholar either, why would the dean take you in as a disciple? You have to know…”

“Okay, okay, I'm begging you, can you just answer what I ask, don't blabber about these…”

Chen Chao wished to give himself a slap.
If he knew earlier, he would not have asked.

Weng Quan glanced at Chen Chao resentfully and did not continue talking nonsense.
Instead, he went straight into the topic, “Lord Dean had once said that he wanted to imitate the deeds of sages.
That Confucianism saint was known to have 3000 disciples, with 72 idlers.
Who knows what's the use of having idlers…”

The corners of Chen Chao's mouth twitched and he said softly, “It's 72 idols.”[1.
Chinese wordplay, it's actually virtuous people, not quite idols.
My best attempt to translate it.]

“It's idlers.”

“Forget it, continue.”

Weng Quan glanced at Chen Chao again, a little dissatisfied, but he still continued, “Lord Dean felt that he doesn't have so much energy, so he won't take in 3000 disciples.
He's only prepared to take in 72 disciples.
At present, he seems to have already taken in 71.”

Chen Chao asked, “Which is also to say that there's only one last spot remaining?”

Weng Quan nodded his head and said with vicissitudes of emotion, “Everyone says that this one last is the most important one.
Otherwise, Lord Dean also wouldn't have left this spot empty for so many years.
I reckon that he wants to find a peerless genius to groom properly.”

Chen Chao was absorbed in thought.

“You wouldn't think that you'll receive that dean's show of favor, right?”

Song Lian came over again at some unknown time.
He seemed to have heard Chen Chao's conversation with Weng Quan previously.

Chen Chao mumbled, “I think that there's still a chance.”

Song Lian did not refute it either, he just said, “If that dean takes a fancy to you, this problem of yours naturally wouldn't be called a problem anymore too.
But the question is, is it possible?”

Chen Chao did not speak.
It was just that his thoughts raced.



“If it doesn't work out, I definitely won't mock you…”

Xie Nandu read these crooked words on the paper.
Picturing how that boy looked like holding in his laughter when he was writing the letter, she felt a little angry.
She wrote to ask him what he wanted to do.
In the end, this guy was actually laughing at her.

Getting angry, she did not even care about the wind blowing from the lake to move the wind chimes, let alone find that sound pleasant.

The maidservant Liu Ye was standing far away.
Seeing her missus like this, she was also speculating who wrote that letter.
He could actually make Miss who had always been calm have a rare transformation to become like this.

Although she wanted to know the contents of the letter too, she did not dare to move closer to look.
As a maidservant of the Xie Family, she had been strictly trained since young and knew that no matter how good one's relationship was with their master, the rules could not be disregarded too.
Otherwise, the outcome would be very tragic.

After calming down and writing a letter to send out, Xie Nandu stood up and wanted to go out for a walk.

“Miss, it's raining, you need an umbrella.”

It was drizzling a little today in the Divine Capital.
Presumably, it was because spring was about to pass and they would be entering early summer right away.
The willow leaves on those willow branches beside the lake gradually turned a darker color.
At this moment, there were many students walking on the stone slates next to the lake, walking slowly and enjoying the scenery.

The oiled paper umbrella covered Xie Nandu well.
When she came out, no one else knew.
Hence, along the way, no one paid attention to the young girl who was wearing an ordinary gray long shirt either.
The maidservant Liu Ye held the umbrella and whispered, “Miss, we should come out and walk more in the first place.
Reading books all day in the academy, I feel stifled to the max on Miss' behalf.
This lake scenery is so nice, Miss should have come out to look at it more.”

Xie Nandu did not speak, she just looked at a small path in the distance that led to the pavilion in the center of the lake.
At this very moment, there was only a kind-looking scholar standing by the path in the rain.
There were no students on that small path.

She thought of going to the pavilion in the heart of the lake, so she came to the path.

The scholar looked at Xie Nandu.
After confirming that this young girl wanted to go to the heart of the lake, he said apologetically, “My teacher is currently drinking tea and chatting with a close friend there.
Miss, if you must go to the pavilion in the heart of the lake, can you come back again after half a day?”

The students who wanted to go to the heart of the lake previously were probably persuaded by him to leave like this.

It was just that there were many descendants of high-ranking officials and nobles in this academy.
One also did not know what method this scholar used to make those people all willingly leave.

Xie Nandu stopped and was silent for a moment after hearing the scholar's words.

A moment later, she shook her head and said, “I'm not going to the heart of the lake, I'm just going to look at the lake scenery on the trail.”

The scholar thought about it and nodded as he said with a smile, “Since Miss insists, very well.
However, Miss please walk by yourself.”

It was just a moment and the scholar remembered the story before and knew this young girl's identity.
He thought that since there was this affinity, what else could he still say?

Hence, he no longer stopped her.

Liu Ye lifted her head and was just about to ask how was there such logic in this world.
But before she could speak, Xie Nandu shook her head, reached out to take the oiled paper umbrella, and said, “Go back.”

Liu Ye did not dare to object and could only agree.

However, she still looked at Xie Nandu who was already heading to the heart of the lake very worriedly.
Looking at her missus' back view, her face was full of worry.

Miss' identity was not ordinary, if anything were to happen to her here, what would she do?

The scholar saw through her worry and said with a slight smile, “Don't need to worry, I'm here.”

The scholar looked ordinary, but it seemed like there was really something special about him.
All in all, the moment he spoke, it made people feel inexplicably at ease.

Liu Ye felt a little relieved, but she still could not resist saying, “Nothing can happen to my Miss.”

The scholar still smiled slightly as he said, “Why would anything happen to her in the academy?”


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