Yan could see Cao Zhang’s face.
He was around the same age as Mo Feng, but he had a dignified and elegant temperament, and looked more like what she thought a scholar should be like.

Mr.
Tian nodded his head, “Cao Zhang’s correct.
However, the important part of education is to both possess knowledge and wisdom.
If you know all the knowledge in the world, but don’t have a lick of common sense, it’s impossible for you to repay the country.”

Mo Yan scanned the classroom, but couldn’t see Mo Feng.
She didn’t know if he had been listening, or if he understood what the teacher was talking about.

It was break time.
The students went outside for a walk, to have a chat or go to the toilet.
Mo Feng also exited the classroom, saw Mo Yan and turned his cheek.

Another person called Mo Yan again, and she smiled and nodded her head again.
The youth called Cao Zhang walked out last.
He didn’t call Mo Yan’s name, and just nodded at her.
Mo Yan nodded back.

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Everyone here was male except for Mo Yan.
As the only female there, Mo Yan was a bit uncomfortable staying there, so she quickly left.

On the road home, she saw a horse dragging a cart filled with wheat passing through.
They had no livestock or carts, so all the harvested wheat must’ve been transported by her mother and sister.

When she thought of her sister, who wasn’t much taller than her, and her mother, who had a persistent cough, had to do that much heavy labour, Mo Yan couldn’t help but feel guilty about the half-bowl of porridge she had every meal.

Right now, the most important thing is to earn money.
If possible, she’d like to buy an animal like an ox, and if they had even more money, extra land.
As farmers, they could only live good lives with enough land.

It was useless even if she went to the school every day; after all, it wouldn’t change anything if she knew a few more words.
Additionally, Mo Yan was probably the most knowledgeable person in the village right now, so there was no need for her to go.

When she arrived back home, neither Mo Ling nor Mrs.
Liang was at home, so she started cooking lunch by copying what they cooked for the previous two meals.
Then, as her home was currently empty, she decided to search the house and learn more about her new family.

Mo Yan opened Mrs.
Liang’s wardrobe.
Inside were a few sets of everyday wear, but they had been cleaned thoroughly and folded neatly.

In the corner of the wardrobe was a small wooden box, and inside it was a contract for the two acres of land they had.
There was also a document, claiming that Mrs.
Liang and to give Mo Zhenian’s mother Mrs.
Ho at least two thousand taels, 50 kg of wheat and 50kg of other foodstuffs every year.
[4]

There was also a small cloth bag inside.
Inside was a pair of silver bracelets, a silver pendant and some silver bells.
There were a total of twelve silver bells, and each of them had a different animal of the zodiac engraved on it.
Mo Yan didn’t know what they were used for.

Mo Yan weighed the bag in her hand and guessed it was about a quarter of a kilogram.
She didn’t know how much that was here, and whether or not it’d be enough to buy an ox.

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These were probably the most valuable items in their entire home.
There was no way Mo Yan’s dad gave these to her mum to sell, so this was likely Mrs.
Liang’s dowry.

While eating lunch, Mo Yan asked Mo Ling, “Sis, would you dare to handle an ox?”

Mo Ling nodded and replied, “Of course, but there’s no way we could afford one…”

“How much does one cost?”

“Well, someone in the village just sold an ox for a kilogram of silver.
That price would be costlier for a horse and cheaper for a donkey.”

Mo Yan fell silent.
The difference between a kilogram of silver and a quarter of a kilogram was just too vast.
Not to mention that silver was probably her mum’s dowry, so there was no way she’d be willing to sell it.

After lunch, Mo Yan’s second grandma took her to the pond to make the clay birds she was talking about this morning.
Mo Yan didn’t have much interest in that, but decided to follow her anyway.

Post-edit notes: Mo Yan’s second grandma seems to be a very nice lady.
[1] I’m pretty sure girls couldn’t go to school in Ancient China, period.
[2] There are two of them now?!
[3] Keep an eye on this guy, he might be important in the future.
Or maybe not.
[4] If only the author said the old woman’s name was ‘Mrs.
Ho’ earlier…

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