Madam Su had no objections about leaving Su Feng Nuan at the Grand Secretariat Manor. After lunch, she quickly left without her.
Leaving behind Su Feng Nuan who was looking at Madam Su’s backside as she left, those expressions, even Madam Wang could not bear to watch.
Wang Lu was steel-hearted on educating Su Feng Nuan in ettiquites, and sent someone to invite to the Grand Secretariat Manor the now retired old Mo-Mo who had once taught the Empress Dowager and the Queen.
This old Mo-Mo was already eighty, although a slave, but because of training two Queens, her seniority was high. The entire court, all royalties and officials, even the Empress Dowager and the Emperor, all paid her some respects.
The old Mo-Mo arrived at the Grand Secretariat Manor on the same day, with servant supporting her along the way, trembling each step she took.
Wang Lu called Su Feng Nuan to come in front of the old Mo-Mo. Afterwards, he said to Su Feng Nuan. “Liu Mo-Mo is old, not to say bumping into even if just angered, you’d be in big trouble. So, don’t think about horsing around, be a good student, and when Liu Mo-Mo says that you have passed, that’s when you don’t have to learn anymore.”
Su Feng Nuan’s face collapsed quickly.
Wang Lu instructed for Madam Wang to arrange Liu Mo-Mo to the reside in Su Feng Nuan’s quarter, to teach her from clothing and food to ceremonial etiquette, not separating from her side.
Su Feng Nuan looked at Liu Mo-Mo. To teach her, Wai-gong found a Mo-Mo of such old age who could be blown down by a cast of wind. How can she not listen and dare to act up? She’d even be afraid of talking loudly and not able to afford any thing happening to this Mo-Mo.
Thinking in her heart, Wai-gong1Grandfather – mom’s side is worthy of being a high-ranking official for this many years, someone that even Guo-zhang2Queen’s Father need to pay respect to. Really is a crafty old man.
After Madam Wang settled down Liu Mo-Mo, she saw Su Feng Nuan standing pitifully at the door. Smiling, she said to her, “Liu Mo-Mo lived in the Palace for most of her life. She moved out of the Palace only because she was old. The entire court, only your Wai-gong has the merit to invite Liu Mo-Mo. You should pay attention to learn the etiquette with her, Liu Mo-Mo’s knowledge is very rich, perhaps even unable to use it all up in your life. Your Wai-gong is well-intentioned.”
Su Feng Nuan could only nod.
Madam Wang again ordered the servant serve attentively and left.
Liu Mo-Mo waited till after Madam Wang left, sitting on a chair and stretched out her dry hands at Su Feng Nuan.
Su Feng Nuan could only walk over carefully and stood three steps in front of her.
Liu Mo-Mo smiled lovingly, “Xiao Ya Tou3Addressing a younger lady or girl come closer, my eyes are blurry, let me take a closer look at you.”
Su Feng Nuan took two more steps.
Liu Mo-Mo looked at her for a moment, smiled and said, “Xiao Ya Tou is a blessed person.”
Su Feng Nuan lifted the corner of her mouth, “There was a old bull-nosed Taoist that once said that too.”
“Oh? Has anyone said that too?” Liu Mo-Mo asked with interest. “Which old bull-nosed Taoist? Does he have a name?”
Su Feng Nuan thought for a moment, “His name was Qing Feng.”
“Oh him, I know him.” Liu Mo-Mo smiled. “He has a big nose, and when he is angry it looks like a cow’s nose, you call him bull-nose, is the most appropriate.”
Su Feng Nuan blinked her eyes.
Liu Mo-Mo smiled and grabbed her hand, asking lovingly, “I heard that you have learned martial arts from your father? You know martial arts?”
Su Feng Nuan nodded, “Learn a little, flowery acts of sword and knives.”
“Xiao Ya Tou4Little girl is modest, I heard it today, you fought in front of the Empress Dowager, more than a dozen imperial guards have been defeated by you. How is that just flowery acts?” Liu Mo-Mo smiled and looked at her, “It is still early today, let’s go outside, you show Mo-Mo a few tricks, let Mo-Mo experience it too.”
Su Feng Nuan was shocked and was quickly shook her head. “I don’t dare to swordplay in front of Mo-Mo.”
Liu Mo-Mo smiled, “It’s because you think my old bones are no good anymore? You listened to your Wai-gong and afraid something will happen to me? You don’t need to worry; nothing will happen to Mo-Mo by a little sword play.”
Su Feng Nuan still shook her head.
Liu Mo-Mo smiled while looking at her, “I’ll sit at the doorway and you’ll be in the courtyard, far away from me. I also like to watch swordplay. If do it well, these etiquettes, we’ll keep the trainings to a discreet.
Su Feng Nuan’s eyes lit up upon hearing so, “Liu Mo-Mo you really mean it?”
“Really, really.” Liu Mo-Mo smiled.
Su Feng Nuan saw that although she was old, but was full of energy, throwing such a big bait, not short for being a old Mo-Mo from the Imperial Palace. She had confidence in her maneuver of her martial arts that she would not rashly hurt her. She nodded firmly.
A servant guided Liu Mo-Mo out of the door, moved over a stool, and she sat down by the doorway.
Su Feng Nuan untied the soft sword5a sword that is thin and good for flexing, kinda bouncy from the waist. This soft sword was like a silk satin, wrapped around her waist. When she entered the Palace, the guards of the Palace did not recognize that it was a sword, but at the time she still did not dare to reveal it in front of the Empress Dowager.
As soon as she removed it, Liu Mo-Mo praised, “This really is a good sword, most suitable for self-defense, soft as satin.”
Su Feng Nuan said smiling, “This was stolen from the old bull-nosed Taoist.”
Liu Mo-Mo merrily said, “He has been traveling for many years, bound to have many good things. If you will see him again later, ask for some more.”
Su Feng Nuan nodded and started dancing with the sword.
The afternoon sun was very hot, non-stop requests came from
the courtyard. The serving maids, chefs all hid far away, holding up their
sleeves to block the sun.
Su Feng Nuan was displaying different flowery acts with the sword, the shadows of the sword danced as the silhouette moved, and the light and shadows are mixed together, clothing fluttering, dazzling to the eyes that almost are unable to distinguish between the sword and the person, it seems that the sword and the person have merged.
Completing one swordplay act, Su Feng Nuan retraced her stance, looking refreshing, not a single sweat dripping, where she stood, even the wind seems to be cool.
“Good!” Liu Mo-Mo clapped her hands. “Xiao Ya Tou6Little girl dances very well.”
Su Feng Nuan put away the sword and asked her, “Is Mo-Mo satisfied?”
“Satisfied, satisfied.” Liu Mo-Mo nodded.
Su Feng Nuan then continued to ask, “Then those etiquettes…”
Liu Mo-Mo smiled and said as promised, “We’ll learn them discreetly.”
Su Feng Nuan beamed as a smile adorned her face, no longer that afraid of the old Mo-Mo, and volunteered to support her back into the room.
After returning to the room, Liu Mo-Mo really did as she said, and did not ask Su Feng Nuan to learn the rules, but instead rested on the kang7A heatable brick bed that you can heat up straws under it. A common type of bed for winter time in Northern China. and chatted with her.
Su Feng Nuan originally wanted to just make the Old Mo-Mo happy as a way to deal with not learning those annoying rules but did not expect that after chatting with her for a while and found out, as Madam Wang said, Liu Mo-Mo is very knowledgeable. Although old, but not muddled at all, so chatting with her was very enjoyable.
In these years, Su Feng Nuan although haven’t traveled to the ends of the world, but at least have traveled the most of the South and North. So she thinks herself of knowing quite a bit. Although she had quite some smug satisfaction, but hearing it from Liu Mo-Mo was also interesting and refreshing.
Unknowingly, they’ve chatted for half a day.
When it got dark, Liu Mo-Mo was tired. After eating, the two fell asleep and were very safe and sound.
The next day, Liu Mo-Mo ordered people to bring strings and needles, wanting to do some needlework by herself, and let Su Feng Nuan do whatever she pleases.
Su Feng Nuan had nothing to do, can’t think of what she can do, so she stayed with her. Yesterday she spoke too much and now her throat felt uncomfortable, so today did not feel like talking. Since she could not chat, she suddenly felt extremely bored.
She rested her chin on her palms and at watched Liu Mo-Mo’s embroidery. After watching it for a while, she asked, “What is Mo-Mo embroidering?”
“After three months, is Xiang Xiang’s8Ye Xiang’s nickname birthday, it’s an embroidered piece of clothing for him.” Liu Mo-Mo said.
Su Feng Nuan looked at the embroidery. This piece of embroidery is not a big piece. She was able bundle it up in one hand, so couldn’t help but ask, “Is this a piece of clothing? This small? I don’t think he can wear it?”
Liu Mo-Mo said with a smile, “This is brocade9rich fabric of raised embroidery pattern, it’s supposed to be made a small piece of cloth at a time and then all sewed onto a robe.”
“But the color is too bright and patterned.” Su Feng Nuan said.
Liu Mo-Mo was instantly laughed, “Not too bright at all, its to be worn for his wedding.”
Hi everyone! Sorry for the lack of update the last 2 weeks. I am now done with my work trip, so I have freed up time for translating again. Unfortunately I will only be able to update once a week on Fri or Sat each week now since it is a busy season towards end of the year. If I have extra time I will post an extra chapter.