Meng Huan dipped the ink stick into the ink, confirming that the two words had been memorized, and said, “Teacher, I have memorized the words and can re-dictate them.”
The little old man had a stern face and spoke in measured tones.
“Goose, duck, chicken……”
Wiping the sweat from his forehead, Meng Huan was nervous, inexplicably remembering the private teacher in Lu Xun’s Three Flavors Bookstore*.
Was the atmosphere also this scary?
The memory in his head began to blur again.
Meng Huan quickly swatted away the random thoughts to avoid forgetting how the word should be written.
*Three Flavors Bookstore appeared in Lu Xun’s poem <<从百草园到三味书屋>>.
Meng Huan’s fingers paused when he arrived at this word, and his back chilled.
The little old man frowned.
Meng Huan resisted the urge to cry and left a space.
“Sir, read the next one.
I’ll think about it later.”
Thinking about it again was to delay the time.
Repeatedly unable to write it, Meng Huan’s mood became extremely bad.
His handwriting became more dismayed, and his lips turned downward with a miserable look.
But at that moment, there was a movement at the door, followed by the voice of a maid.
“Greetings to the prince.”
Meng Huan turned his head sideways.
The remnants of the slanted light fell right to the courtyard door, dim and hazy, staining the tall youth at the door with shadows with a kind of oil painting-like beauty.
Lin Bozhou had changed out of his mangpao and wore ordinary white-jade clothes, appearing extraordinarily handsome and elegant.
When he saw Meng Huan’s little bitter face, he couldn’t help but smile.
…… Why is he here?
Meng Huan was about to be nervous, but the little old man’s cold voice rang in his ears.
“……” Meng Huan hurriedly bowed his head.
Before Shan Shu could get up to bow, Lin Bozhou said first, “Uncle, no need to be formal.
You can do what you ought to do.
This prince just came over to stroll around.”
Then, the voice turned to the overhead.
The shadows fell about two or three steps apart.
Meng Huan noticed that Lin Bozhou had come up to him, blocking the heat of the setting sun, and was looking down at the words he had written.
The afterglow of the heat penetrated the sandalwood fragrance of his body.
It was a hot and penetrating scent, making Meng Huan uncomfortable all over.
Meng Huan’s handwriting was already ugly.
Being looked at by him and thinking of his high level of cultural literacy, the brush in his hand became heavier.
He slowly wrote with terrible handwriting, each stroke uglier than before.
Lin Bozhou’s laugh rang in his ears.
Meng Huan blushed and lowered his head; his heart tensed up tightly.
There was an uncomfortable feeling full of unspeakable shame.
Letting him see he couldn’t write, and the handwriting was also ugly.
So dejecting ah QAQ.
He steeled himself and continued to write.
The little old man gave him time to check after reading.
Meng Huan’s hand holding the brush paused in an empty space.
He scratched his hair but still couldn’t remember, looking distressed.
“What word?” Lin Bozhou finally asked.
“Turle.” Meng Huan reluctantly replied.
“Madam doesn’t know it?”
Meng Huan said sullenly, “Hmm.”
The end trailed off a bit in a mushy tone.
Lin Bozhou looked at Shan Shu and patiently asked, “What will happen if he can’t write it?”
“Hit the palm of the hands ten times.”
The little old man had given him face.
He should have been beaten the first time, but he had given Meng Huan two chances, and this time he would really beat him if he couldn’t write again.
“Really hit the palm ah……” Lin Bozhou trailed off and looked at Meng Huan’s hand.
His wife truly could not use a brush.
His white, clean hands were stained with ink on the back of his palms and hands, painting everything black.
Lin Bozhou wanted to laugh as he raised his eyes to look at Shan Shu again.
Shan Shu was very strict in teaching students.
Even with Lin Bozhou’s academic qualifications, he was also punished when he was young, facing the wall with a review on his head, standing for half an hour in shame before being allowed to go down.
Although he had not experienced being hit on the palm of his hand, he had seen Shan Xing, his son, with his palms swollen from being hit.
If you replaced it with Meng Huan, he would probably be hit until his hands turned red.
When the time came…… wouldn’t he cry again?
Lin Bozhou was quiet, looking down at Meng Huan, and slowly said, “Do you not remember the word at all or do not remember some parts?”
“Huh?” Meng Huan looked up.
His expression was a little dazed.
“Asking you, can’t remember at all?” In Lin Bozhou’s voice, the hint was extremely obvious.
Meng Huan sucked in a breath, and a “Your Highness—” sounded in his ear.
Shan Shu also noticed, his expression stern.
“Uncle does not need to be nervous.
This prince won’t tell him how to write the word,” Lin Bozhou smiled and pointed his finger at the draft paper, gesturing to something, only speaking to Meng Huan.
“Recall what a turtle looks like: the head, the shell on the back, and the feet.”
Meng Huan hung his head, his gaze following Lin Bozhou’s finger.
He seemed to be drawing a small turtle, but the strokes or something vaguely made Meng Huan feel familiar.
Meng Huan’s scalp tensed, and he suddenly snapped.
“I remember now!”
“Smart.” Lin Bozhou smiled.
“Write it down.”
Meng Huan hurriedly wrote down the word “turtle” and found that Shan Shu’s face was blue after writing it, obviously not knowing what to say.
It appeared to be a violation but not a violation either, but to say it was okay, he had a pang in his heart.
With a smile, Lin Bozhou had already taken Meng Huan’s draft paper and sent it to Shan Shu.
“Uncle, this prince has read it first.
Madam has written these dozens of words correctly.
There is nothing wrong with it.”
Shan Shu: “……”
Meng Huan blushed, a little embarrassed, and stood up hesitantly.
Shan Shu seemed helpless and held back for a while, saying, “Good.
Madam will copy each word ten times tonight and give it to this old man to check tomorrow.” After saying that, he left the courtyard.
Finally finished dealing with the teacher, Meng Huan turned his head at Lin Bozhou, realizing the key point of the matter.
The atmosphere was a bit silent.
As he scratched his hair, his gaze became clear.
“Why did Your Highness come?”
“This prince can’t come?” Lin Bozhou looked at him.
Meng Huan did not see him for several days in a row, nor was he summoned.
His mood did not seem unhappy or hollow; he just looked at him, scratching his hand, somewhat at a loss.
Meng Huan was quiet after a while and meekly said, “I thought I had lost favor.”
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