ROHYX Chapter 139 : Taoran House (4)

When Zijin heard that the Deng sisters had gone back, she immediately sought out Yuxi while saying that she still wanted to continue to learn martial arts with Deng Niangzhi. "Miss, this year's tuition has already been paid, so if I don't go learn now, then, in that case, we won't get anything from the money that has been spent."

Yuxi couldn't get herself to laugh or cry. She didn't expect that Zijin would also be a money-grubber. "All right, if you want to go, then go! But you should go after lunch."

Nearing the time for Zijin to leave, Yuxi handed her two hundred taels of silver, "I don't have anything to give you here. So this money can be considered as my portion for the sisters' dowry." Qiu Shi had given the sisters such great portions of gifts. So this was all Yuxi could do to save some of her faces.

After lunch, Zijin left the residence with a bundle on her back.

Zisu sent Zijin off, then she turned to Yuxi and said, "Miss, Zijin took all the silver that she had saved with her." Zijin was very frugal. She never brought money with her to the Deng family in the previous two years she went there. However, this time, she took all of her savings with her, which Zisu found very unusual.

Yuxi didn't think much of it. She just said with a smile, "She's probably bringing the silver to buy a gift for Deng Shuang too!" She had added a bit to the sisters' dowry, and Zijin surely didn't show any indication of it at all.

Zisu felt something amiss with this matter, but she couldn't tell what was wrong.

Yuxi truly felt that Zisu had eaten till she had a full belly, that she was even free to think of something so foolishly. "How can you not know what kind of person Zijin is? Even if she took all her silver out, she wouldn't do anything out of the ordinary. You're worrying for nothing." Even if Zisu had been with her for more than six years, her temperament of wishing copper coins to be broken in half had not changed.

When Zisu heard what Yuxi had said, she also felt that she was overanxious.

The next evening, Han Jianye brought two boxes of books for Yuxi. All these books were selected by Yuxi for Han Jianye to buy, including medical books, travel notes, agricultural books, etc. She looked over them all and found that there were all kinds of books, but there was no history book that she wanted. "Er Ge, where is the «Book of Han» that I asked you to buy? Why didn't you buy it?"

Han Jianye responded with some words, "Not so fast. It'll take another two months to get that book." Books like history books wouldn't be available in average bookstores, and only available in a big one like the one Yuxi had visited last time, Songyun Pavilion. [+]

Yuxi was depressed. Two more months? How would she spend the next two months? She used to read history books every day, and she always felt out of sorts when she didn't read them.

The original draft of the Zizhi Tongjian (Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government) by Sima Guang of the Northern Song Dynasty is located in China's National Library. - Wiki
Han Jianye smiled at the situation and said, "I have the «Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government» in my hand. If you want to read it, I'll have someone send it over for you." The «Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government» in Han Jianye's hand wasn't something he personally bought. It was Han Jianming who gave it to him for him to read. Han Jianye had no problem with practising martial arts from morning to night, but once one asked him to read quietly, it was the same as killing him. So he only put all the books Han Jianming had given him as displays in his study!

Yuxi's eyes lit up. She had seen this book, «Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government», at Yuchen's place. It was Teacher Song who recommended Yuchen to read it. According to Yuchen, this book was the first book on written general history in chronological order, compiled in 294 volumes.

Yuxi also wanted to buy this book when she went to the bookstore, but unfortunately, the publishing house didn’t publish it anymore. Thus she couldn't buy it. She didn't want to go to the trouble of asking someone to help her find it, and since she already had books to read, she gave up and didn't continue her search. If she had known that Han Jianye had this book in his hands, she would have come over a long time ago. "No need to ask for a maid to deliver it. I'll just follow Er Ge there and take it."

Han Jianye became speechless. "Yuxi, this kind of book is hard and difficult to understand. I even fall asleep whenever I read it. Why do you like to read this kind of book so much?" Han Jianye didn't understand Yuxi. Wasn't a girl supposed to embroider, play the qin and tease birds? How come Yuxi's preferences stood out from the masses!

Yuxi smiled happily. "Some prefer radish, but others prefer cabbage." At this moment, it was still a time of leisure and carefree, but it wouldn't be like this in the future.

Yuxi followed Han Jianye to his courtyard.

Entering Han Jianye's study, Yuxi looked at the lonely twenty books on the bookshelf and said, "Er Ge, can you let me have all these books? It's a waste to leave them with you anyway."

Han Jianye smiled and said, "That's fine, but you can't touch the books on the desk. Those are the books that I want to read." The books placed on the bookshelf were just something to fill the place. Hence, it was all right to give them all to Yuxi.

A little curious, Yuxi walked over to the desk and looked at the few books piled up. Seeing the titles of these books, Yuxi knew why she could not borrow these books. These books were all about the arts of war, including «Thirty-Six Stratagems in Sun Tzu's Art of War», «Wu Zi», «The Methods of the Sima», «Wei Lao Zi», «Six Secret Teachings», «Three Strategies of Huang Shigong», and «Questions and Replies between Tang Taizong and Li Weigong».

After Yuxi looked at all the books, she asked, "Er Ge, how many of these books have you read?" These books were all ancient, and one could see at a glance that they had been kept for a long time. There was no need to even think about it. She knew these books must have been from the collection of rare and valuable articles in the Duke of the State Residence.

Han Jianye embarrassedly touched the back of his head and said, "I'm still reading «Sun Tzu's Art of War». But, Master said that learning «Sun Tzu's Art of War» is already enough."

Yuxi said, "Er Ge, when you have free time, you should study more about these books since you can use them later on." There would be plenty of battles in the future as there would be many turmoils everywhere.

Han Jianye said with a smile, "Yuxi, if you asked for my say on whether reading «Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government» is better off than reading books on the arts of war. For me, reading these books thoroughly is much more useful than reading history books."

Yuxi smiled and stated, "I don't have to lead troops to fight. Isn't it going to be useless if I read books on the arts of war?" She didn't want to waste her time on things she didn't need.

Han Jianye picked up «Thirty-Six Stratagems in Sun Tzu's Art of War»?"

Yuxi knew about «Sun Tzu's Art of War», but she had never heard of the «Thirty-Six Stratagems». It was mainly because she had never come across such books. "Thirty-Six Stratagems? Which Thirty-Six Stratagems?

Han Jianye showed off the only things he had learned from the book, "The Thirty-Six Stratagems for the arts of war are 'cicada sheds its carapace', 'throw a brick to attract a jade', 'lend somebody a knife to kill someone', 'wait at one's ease for the exhausted enemy', 'to capture a thief, capture the King first', 'loot a burning house', 'catch a thief by closing his escape route', 'to fish in troubled waters, 'to beat the grass and startle the snake', 'cross the sea by a trick', 'sowing discord among one's enemies', 'a dagger hidden in smiles', 'lead away a goat in passing', 'lure the tiger out of the mountains', 'the plum tree withers in place of the peach tree', 'to point at the mulberry and abuse the locust', 'to watch the fires burning across the river, 'the ruse of self-injury', 'to create something from nothing', 'beauty trap'…."

Han Jianye looked at Yuxi's stunned appearance and smiled smugly, "With so many tricks, there will always be a time to use them, don't you think?"

Yuxi sincerely said, "It's beneficial. Er Ge, if you can, please lend me this one for me to read for a short while!" She didn't know if 'the raw rice was now cooked' belonged in the 'Thirty-Six Stratagems'. But even if it didn't, she decided to learn it. For example, these tricks such as 'lend somebody a knife to kill someone' and 'creating something from nothing' could even be used in the inner courtyard. [+]

Han Jianye was in a bit of a dilemma. These books weren't something that money could buy. They were either handed down from his ancestors or given to him by his Dage. But seeing Yuxi look at him expectantly, he couldn't refuse. So finally, after he gritted his teeth, he said, "Alright, you can have what you want to read! I have a few more books on the arts of war, which are enough for me to read."

Yuxi couldn't help but laughed, "Er Ge, I was just joking with you. You can lend me this book for now, and when I've finished copying it, I'll return the original to you." It wasn't like Yuxi didn't know everyday matters. At a glance, this book looked like it had been around for years. Thus it was bound to be a family treasure. So how could he just give it to her? One should know that one couldn’t buy this kind of book on the market.

Han Jianye let out a sigh of relief and said, "Then that's done. You should return it to me in a couple of months." After saying that, he felt embarrassed again and explained, "These books on the arts of war were given to me by Dage. I'm afraid that it won't be easy for me to answer if Dage asks." If any other book, such as the «Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government», he could have directly told Han Jianming that he had given it to Yuxi. But sharing a book on the art of war with Yuxi would result in him receiving a scolding from Dage when the time came.

Yuxi smiled and emptied the books on Han Jianye's bookshelf, then sandwiched the book on the art of war between them. Next, she said to Han Jianye, "Er Ge, only you and I know about this, so don't let a third person know about this too." She didn't want anyone to know about her reading history books, let alone the book on the art of war.

Han Jianye waved his large hand and said, "Don't worry, I won't say anything to anyone." He was a very loyal person, and he would do what he had promised, which was his greatest virtue.

She put more than twenty books on the shelf, yet they could not even fill a single case. Finally, Yuxi looked at it and said, "After a while, once it is peaceful outside, I need to buy more books." For other things, she would be reluctant to spend money, but when it came to purchasing books, she was extremely willing to pay. The money came and went quickly, and one may lose one's rare treasures in an instant. Only what one learned was the only thing one owned, and no one could take it away.

That night, Yuxi read «Sun Tzu's Art of War». However, she didn't expect that she would be fascinated by it.

The candle burned out, and the room went dark instantly before Yuxi came back to her senses. It was good that the tung oil lamp at the door was still on, or else the house would have been dark.

Zisu, who was outside, noticed something wrong. Hence, she took the candle and went inside. When she saw Yuxi sitting in front of her desk, she asked, "What kind of book is Miss reading? So absorbed that Miss didn't even notice that the candle had burned out." After she said that, she lit the room with the candle in her hand.

Yuxi just laughed but didn't respond.

While Yuxi laid in bed that night, she was still thinking about those stratagems. If one learnt them well, one wouldn't need to be afraid of other people's schemes anymore.

For the next two days, Yuxi stayed in the study reading books all day long, and she did not even leave the door. This situation caused Zisu to complain all the time, thinking that Yuxi had been possessed.

After three days in a row, Zisu couldn't help but ask, "Miss, what exactly are you reading? Why are you reading it so obsessively?" Zisu was five years older than Yuxi, and she knew what she was doing. It didn't matter if Yuxi was only obsessed with reading books. She was just afraid that Yuxi was reading some dirty books. Mainly because Han Jianye gave Zisu the impression that he was not very trustworthy. [T/N]

Since there were only two people in the room, Yuxi didn't hide it, as she said, "I'm reading «Sun Tzu's Art of War» with the «Thirty-Six Stratagems». After reading this kind of book, it truly broadened my mind." If one used the stratagems one after another, one could truly trap people for life. Yuxi felt a bit of a pity, though. How come she only discovered such a good book right now?

Zisu didn't know what expression she had on her face. In the end, she dropped her head and didn't speak. She might as well not care about it. Forget it. A book of war was a book of war as long as her Miss did not read those forbidden books. Whether it was reading a book of war or a book of history, to Zisu, it was all just a book her Miss read to pastime, which didn't have any difference to her. But with this incident, Han Jianye was becoming more and more unreliable in Zisu's heart. For him to let her Miss read a book on the arts of wars was a speechless thing to do!


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