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Chapter 33-Part 1

(T/N: hi..some of you must be confused as to why I sometimes translate Jiang Xiurun as he and sometimes as she. It is not because I mistakenly translated it as “he” or “him”, but because sometimes the sentences are in terms of the Crown Prince POV, and of course Feng Liwu considers Jiang Xiurun as a man, so his POV also reflects on this assumption….)


Even Jiang Xiurun herself hadn’t expected the academy to be so poorly divided.

That “Ding” character was straightforward, mocking them as ignorant peasants?

But for those who could enter the Ding class, how could they be ordinary? Before Jiang Xiurun could retort, a tall and sturdy youth behind her sneered, “What’s wrong with the Ding class? Tell us what’s so unbearable about it.”

When Jiang Xiurun turned her head, she couldn’t help but be startled. She hadn’t expected the tall and sturdy youth behind her to be so familiar; he turned out to be the future famous general, Dou Siwu, who would shake the court and the public.

Dou Siwu came from a family of generals. However, it was said that he was naturally dull-witted and hadn’t read well since childhood. He dropped out of school halfway through his studies at the academy, but fortunately, while accompanying his father on an outing with Emperor Qi, he intercepted an assassin’s arrow aimed at His Majesty, thus earning himself a second chance.

I forgot to mention that he’s also a strong rival of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince in the court and a staunch supporter of the current regime.

Jiang Xiurun had only known that Dou Siwu and the Crown Prince were at odds but had thought they were acting independently. Now, seeing him still studying in the academy and even entering the Ding class, she immediately understood.

So, in the future, General Dou would also be expelled from the academy hosted by the Crown Prince—what a great humiliation in life, truly intolerable!

Dou Siwu was known in Luo’an City as someone not to be trifled with; a punch from him could knock out a pair of front teeth. Seeing him glare and speak up, the students who were about to continue mocking Jiang Xiurun immediately fell silent.

Jiang Xiurun clasped her fists towards Dou Siwu and said, “In the future, as fellow students, please take care of me!”

Dou Siwu wasn’t much of a talker, so he also clasped his fists toward Jiang Xiurun.

Although the students were divided into different classes, some lessons had to be attended together.

For example, Mr. Mufeng’s classes were only four times a month, each time assigning homework for the students to read and comprehend at home, and then in the next class, Mr. Mufeng would test them. There was no single correct answer; everyone could express their own views, and Mr. Mufeng would comment on the best ones.

Speaking of which, Mr. Mufeng’s homework was more practical, mostly related to governing the country and securing the state, discussing historical precedents, or current affairs. It wasn’t boring to listen to attentively.

Although Jiang Xiurun was a girl, she had always been mindful of her reputation. Even though she knew she wouldn’t be studying in the academy for long, the words of ridicule from her peers that day had struck a chord with her. She was determined to regain her dignity; even if her academic performance wasn’t  outstanding, she wouldn’t fall too far behind.

That’s why she even declined her brother’s offer to help her with her homework.

The first lesson Mr. Mufeng assigned to the students was about managing floods. When the students submitted their homework for the first time, they gathered the scrolls according to their respective classes and submitted them together.

The students from the Tiangan class were outstanding, constantly impressing Mr. Mufeng. But those from the Dizhi class were disappointing, some of them were too rigid and unimaginative.

When it came to the Ding class, Mr. Mufeng felt his temper rising. Not only were the characters twisted and unreadable, but the content was also indescribably nonsensical!

However, when he flipped through the last scroll, Mr. Mufeng’s eyes suddenly lit up.

The characters on these scrolls are written with such powerful strokes! It takes years of accumulated skill to achieve this level of mastery.

Setting aside the discussion of handwriting and looking at this scroll again, although it lacks the charm of eloquence and reads straightforwardly, it is simple and plain. However, its content is profound yet easily understandable, straightforward, and clear.

It begins by stating the adage, “Misfortune is what fortune depends on, and fortune is what misfortune conceals.”

Throughout the ages, people have suffered from floods. If managed properly, not only can the losses be reduced and the people reassured, but it can also increase agricultural production and win the hearts of the people. It then elaborates on how to inspect river channels, build embankments, dig canals for drainage, and even explains how to deal with major disasters to avoid epidemics…

Mr. Mufeng looked at it for a long time before looking at the signature… When he put down the scroll, he suddenly felt he had been too hasty in his judgment. Since the young man could become the Crown Prince’s tutor, he must have extraordinary abilities; it’s just that his eloquence isn’t very good, and he was too nervous during the initial examination.

Although his writing lacks literary flair, it reveals a practical side. And by the Crown Prince’s side, officials who are down-to-earth like this are needed!

Therefore, on the second day, during the academy’s major class, Mr. Mufeng showcased Jiang Xiurun’s article as an exemplary piece and recited it to the entire academy.

While reading the article, Jiang Xiurun was actually quite surprised. She hadn’t expected Mr. Mufeng, who had previously barely spared her a glance, to appreciate this piece that she had patched together.

Her so-called patchwork wasn’t plagiarism, but rather, she wrote about the methods her homeland, Bo State, and the neighboring Liang State used to deal with floods.

Floods have always been a stubborn problem in Bo State. In comparison, the neighboring Liang State has done exceptionally well by ensuring crop yields through the construction of water channels.

When she left the laundry bureau, there was a major flood in Bo State, while Liang State remained unscathed. Therefore, she had quite a lot of feelings about it at the time.

And this time, Mr. Mufeng’s exam question happened to be on a subject she was familiar with.

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