Noble Daughter | Chapter 13: Light Like Water

Chapter 13: Light Like Water

Mu Jin glanced at Wei Heng and said, “What do you have to talk about with Yuan Ruyu over there? The way she talks, it’s as if she’s bullied every time she says three words. You two seem to get along surprisingly well.” Mu Jin gave Wei Heng a sidelong glance.

Mu Jin’s words could really offend people. If it weren’t for the fact that her aunt was the queen, most of the noble ladies in the room probably wouldn’t bother acknowledging her.

Wei Heng approached and whispered in Mu Jin’s ear, “Sister Jin, I really appreciate you speaking up for me and rescuing me from there.”

Mu Jin didn’t expect Wei Heng to say such words. They had always had a strained relationship, and Wei Heng never treated her well. Now, hearing her express gratitude caught Mu Jin off guard. She could only make a sound of acknowledgment and then turned away, ignoring Wei Heng. However, she refrained from making further comments, and her eyes shifted to the lively scene on the other side.

At this moment, a group led by Princess Yurong’s granddaughter, County Princess Zhang Rong, proposed a new activity: forming a poetry club.

Princess Zhang Rong said, “In the future, the poems we create for this poetry club should be compiled into books.” This was a golden opportunity for the daughters to make a name for themselves. The noble ladies present were eager to try. Princess Zhang Rong continued, “Because of this, there should be a threshold for joining the poetry club. Otherwise, if someone who can’t write poetry joins, it would be embarrassing when the books are published.”

The logic was sound, and everyone nodded in agreement.

“The poetry club should not have too many members. Otherwise, it will be troublesome every time we gather. Either someone is missing or something is lacking. In my opinion, one leader each month, with a total of twelve members, is enough,” suggested Zhou Yue’e, the granddaughter of Prime Minister Zhou.

Although noble families were esteemed, they couldn’t compare to the actual power held by the Prime Minister. Therefore, when Zhou Yue’e spoke, everyone readily agreed.

“Then, how do we select these twelve members?” asked Lu Yizhen.

Princess Zhang Rong stood by the window, looked at the snow falling outside, and said, “Today, those willing to join our poetry club will compose a poem with ‘snow’ as the theme. We’ll set a limit of one incense stick. Afterward, someone will transcribe it and send one copy to the ladies in the front and another to our brothers over there for evaluation. The top twelve selections will be our poetry club’s founding members. How about that?”

This method was fair, and all the young ladies were eager to participate. Princess Zhang Rong added, “The poetry club should be a joyful and elegant activity. When we hold our meetings, we can invite other sisters to join us. Each month, we’ll choose the top twelve poems for publication.”

The plan received unanimous approval.

Eldest Miss Lu, being the host, ordered her maid to prepare ink and paper and light some incense.

The room was filled with young ladies strolling, admiring flowers, watching fish, and discussing poetry. Everyone was eager to compose, hoping to enter the poetry club and not be left out.

Wei Heng also wanted to join the poetry club. “Spring Snow Society” became a popular poetry club among noble ladies in the later years. Entering it was a source of pride, and the girls inside were considered the core circle among the capital’s elite. They held significant influence.

Even female students were not as popular as the girls from the “Spring Snow Society.” The girls in the society had an extra layer of brilliance that ordinary female students lacked.

In her previous life, Wei Heng couldn’t enter the “Spring Snow Society.” Although she had a bit of pride and disdain for it this time, when she thought of her mother’s face, Wei Heng felt that one had to do worldly things to deal with mundane matters.

Writing a poem about snow, Wei Heng had already done it in her previous life. The poems she had spent decades creating were far better than the ones she wrote when she was ten years old. Wei Heng’s face flushed slightly, feeling a bit like cheating, but these were still her own poems, just used in advance.

After lighting the incense, Wei Heng pretended to ponder, looking at her cousin, Wei Xuan who was writing a poem. She saw that her cousin’s face was calm and composed. Wei Heng felt a little ashamed but sighed. 

Wei Xuan happened to pass behind Wei Han and glanced at her writing, saying, “Zhuzhu’er’s writing has improved a lot, and her poetry is excellent.”

Facing Wei Xuan’s scholarly tone, Wei Heng felt stifled. However, she could only express a dry thank you. Wei Xuan did have the qualification to be her teacher.

“Let me have a look.” At this moment, Mu Jin, who also received praise for her poetry, leaned over to see Wei Han’s work. After examining Wei Heng’s writing and poetry, she murmured, “How is it that after a few months, you’ve improved so much, like you’ve taken an elixir?”

Wei Heng, feeling increasingly ashamed, had a sense of defeat in the face of Mu Jin’s words.

The clever servant girl, who had neatly transcribed the stack of poems, quickly copied them and sent them to the front yard and the male guests at the other end of the Vermilion Cloud Tower.

After this, although the young ladies continued chatting, it was evident that their hearts were not in it, as they were all waiting for the evaluation results. Only a few confident ones could still chat and laugh freely.

Wei Fang, knowing well Wei Heng’s prideful nature, pulled her by her side, afraid that when the results came out, Wei Heng might lose her composure and become the subject of ridicule.

The evaluation results were not long in coming, and the conclusion was uncontroversial.

Wei Xuan was undoubtedly the leader, and if she wasn’t, it would be surprising. Zhou Yue’e’s poetry ranked second, which was also well-deserved. However, what shocked everyone was that Wei Heng’s poetry unexpectedly secured the third position.

“How is this possible?!” Mu Jin exclaimed in disbelief.

Mu Zhen quickly pulled Mu Jin back, giving her a stern look.

The one who brought the evaluation results was Huang Shi, the eldest daughter-in-law of the Lu family. She used to be a female student as well. She smiled and said, “There was indeed some controversy over Miss Wei’s poem. Third Young Master ranked Miss Wei’s poem as ‘Tan Hua,’ but Aunt-in-law initially proposed her as the first in the second class. After showing Third Young Master’s ranking to Aunt-in-law, she thought about it and eventually agreed to Miss Wei taking the ‘Tan Hua’ position.”

The “Third Young Master” in Huang Shi’s words referred to the eldest son of the Duke of Qi’s residence, Lu Zhan, and the “Aunt-in-law” was Lady Chu, Lu Zhan’s mother. The rankings proposed by these two were naturally acknowledged by everyone.

Mu Jin somewhat awkwardly explained, “I meant to say that her poem getting fourth place would have been decent.”

“Mu Jin!” Mu Zhen scolded Mu Jin in a low voice. Mu Jin spoke too much and made too many mistakes. Mu Zhen looked at Wei Heng and saw her composed and calm expression. She sighed inwardly, understanding why Lady Mu said that the refined elegance of the capital’s daughters had all gathered at the Wei family.

The final top twelve rankings were announced, and the most remarkable achievement was that both of the Wei family’s sisters entered the Spring Snow Society together.

Among the Lu family’s girls, only the eldest daughter of the second wife, Lu YiYuan, entered, while Lu YiZhen, despite being Lady Chu’s daughter and Lu Zhan’s sister, did not.

The most unexpected thing was that Wei Heng’s and Wei Xuan’s poems were both selected for the Spring Snow Society.

After winning the top spot, Wei Xuan was unanimously elected as the head of the society, and it was up to her to set the rules. Wei Xuan did not decline.

“In my opinion, although our poetry society only holds one gathering each month, rotating the leadership among twelve members, composing poetry should be a joyful and elegant activity for everyone. When we gather each month, we can invite all the sisters to participate. We can select the top twelve poems each month for the collection,” Wei Xuan suggested.

“This idea is excellent. Although our society only meets once a month, we can still invite all the sisters to join when we gather. We can select the top twelve poems each month for the collection,” Zhou Yue’e echoed.

However, Wei Xuan and Zhou Yue’e’s proposal conflicted somewhat with the system set by the Princess Changzhen earlier. Gu Rong’s face looked somewhat unsightly, but seeing everyone nodding, she could only go along with it.

Wei Xuan continued, “In this way, among our twelve members, if someone voluntarily withdraws or if a sister cannot serve as the society head for some reason, we can invite other sisters from outside the society to be the head.”

“There is no better arrangement than this. Sister Xuan is indeed a meticulous person, considering everything from all aspects,” praised Lu YiYuan.

With the matter of the poetry society settled, others were eager to participate in the monthly gatherings. They began discussing various details, such as when the first society gathering in the first month would be and who would be the society head.

In the first month, the plum blossoms were fragrant, and Wei Xuan loved plums. As it was the first poetry society gathering of the year, who could be more suitable than her? Thus, the decision was made that the first gathering of the Spring Snow Society would be held in the residence of the Marquis of Jingning.

Wei Heng originally thought she could participate in the first poetry society gathering. However, her little uncle was eager to return to the south, and even before the fifteenth day of the first month, he set off. Wei Heng had to ask for leave from Wei Xuan, pack her things, take her Flame, and her master Li Yong, and left for Hangzhou. She spent two years studying at the White Crane Academy in Hangzhou until she returned to the capital in December of her twelfth year.

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3 thoughts on “Noble Daughter | Chapter 13: Light Like Water”

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