“Second grandmother, did you go to the storyteller’s yesterday?”

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“No, it was dark and I was afraid I’d trip over something.”

“Then I’ll take you to tonight’s session.”

“No need, if the old woman living in the north room finds out, she’ll call you out for being unfilial when your parents.”

So that’s why her mother and sister still cared for Mrs.
Ho even though they clearly hated her.
It turned out that they both wanted to avoid having a reputation of being unfilial.

“Second grandmother, if I became a storyteller, what do you think about that?”

That was the only thing on Mo Yan’s mind right now.

Her second grandma laughed at this, revealing her missing teeth, “I’m afraid you’ll be laughed at if you become a storyteller!”

Mo Yan stood up and pouted, “Second grandma, you’re laughing at me.
Why can’t I become a storyteller? I know more stories than the storyteller that’s been coming here recently, and all of them haven’t been heard of in the village!”

“Yes, yes, yes, our Yan’er is extremely smart, she’s smarter than all of the boys!” Mo Yan’s second grandma couldn’t help but laugh.
It seemed like this was really funny to her!

At the dinner table, Mrs.
Liang gave a steamed salted egg to each of the three children.
Mo Feng immediately cracked open his and ate it.
Meanwhile, Mo Ling handed hers to Mrs.
Liang without saying anything.
She rolled her eyes at her daughter, “Don’t say I treat you harshly.
I’m not that mean!”

Muling picked up the egg and peeled off its shell swiftly as she replied sarcastically, “Yes, yes, my mum is very mean.
All she does is yell at people all day every day!”

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“Even eating can’t shut your mouth? Who’ll marry you in the future!”

Mo Yan also handed over her own egg, “Mum, you can have mine!”

Liang rolled her eyes at her younger daughter as she sneakily suppressed a smile, “You’re a growing girl too.
Eat quick and grow quicker!” [1]

After she said that, Mrs.
Liang glanced at Mo Feng, whose egg had disappeared without a trace.

As she ate, Mo Ling said, “Mum, you should have one for yourself.
One salted egg isn’t going to make a big difference.”

Mo Feng interjected as well, “That’s right, you shouldn’t have given two to the storyteller yesterday.”

Liang replied, “Having others’ respect is more important.
I don’t need that egg now do I!”

After dinner, they still went to the storyteller’s, but no one cared too much whether it was good or bad.
They just went to enjoy the cool air and save some money on lamp oil.
But today, Mrs.
Liang didn’t give salted eggs to the storyteller.
Instead, she gave the wheat that had been sitting on the roof of the house.

Mo yan didn’t want to go, but she was afraid of being alone at home, so she followed them.

Today, the storyteller talked about the Warring States Period, but he talked about all the different people messily and it was impossible to know any of the details.
It wasn’t long before the first person yawned, and there started to be sounds of snoring from the crowd.

Mo Yan heard someone say, “Hey! Da Qiang, I have a good wife candidate for you!”

It turned out that the person who was snoring was the Cao family’s long-time worker Da Qiang.
When he heard that someone was telling him about a potential wife, Da Qiang said in a daze, “Who? Is she prettier than Mo Ling?”

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Someone else said, “So he wants to marry Mo Ling! Then you have to ask Mrs.
Liang if she will agree!”

A cacophony of laughter muffled the storyteller’s voice.

The group of men just kept laughing, and Mo Ling was too embarrassed to speak up.
Mu Yan was just about to stand up for her when her sister pulled her back.

Liang started loudly, “You bunch of lazy pigs are talking about my Mo Ling for entertainment? Do you have any conduct? Do you have any shame? You’re getting too big for your britches, daring to think about marrying my daughter.

How could Mo Yan forget that they had a mother who was very good at insulting other people?

When the story was interrupted, even Mr.
Tian and Cao Zhang, who were dignified and elegant, could not help but cover their mouths and laugh.

The governing official coughed and stood up, “Stop yelling! You can’t even hear the storyteller anymore.
Da Qiang, if you want to sleep, go home and sleep!”

Even he didn’t dare to say anything against Mrs.
After all, she was currently in the right!

The crowd had only just quietened down when someone in the back said, “This storyteller is so bad he’s making people fall asleep.
I think someone else should tell this story instead.”

It was Lu Junming’s voice! Mo Yan turned around and saw Lu Junming standing at the back of the crowd.

Another person replied, “But who should tell it? It’s too late to find someone now!”

“There’s someone here who’s a better storyteller!”

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Everyone was discussing this statement and looking around, but they didn’t find any strangers.
On the other hand, the person speaking looked unfamiliar.

They thought he was talking about Mrs.
But although her cursing technique was exquisite, that didn’t equate to being a good storyteller!

“Who is it then?” someone asked impatiently.

“It’s Mrs.
Liang’s younger daughter, Mo Yan.”

It took a moment for everyone to realise he wasn’t joking.
He actually thought Mo Yan, the girl who had been sickly since she was born, would be a good storyteller.

Unsurprisingly, there was another round of laughter.

“Mo Yan? What would she tell a story about? How to eavesdrop on Mr.
Tian’s lectures, or how to raise ducklings?”

“How about that essay her brother wrote! He wrote a bunch of nonsense.
How will he ever become a scholar in the future?”

Laughter rippled through the entire crowd.
Mo Feng stood up in anger and roared at Mo Yan, “It’s all your fault, you troublemaker!”

Lu Junming sneered at him and said indifferently, “She’s not the one laughing at you, so why are you yelling at her?”

Mo Feng didn’t show any weakness and yelled at Lu Junming, “I don’t need you, a bastard cared for by a mistress, to meddle in my affairs!”

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After he said that, the crowd shut their mouths in shock and the threshing field fell silent.

Everyone in the village knew that the Lu family was a military family, and Lu Junming’s grandfather was a distinguished veteran.
His son, Lu Junming’s father Lu Hong, was part of the Upper Valley military camp.
They called him a general of some sort, but he had just married an ugly shrew and got a position as an official thanks to his father-in-law, who was also an official.

His wife had been married to Lu Hong for seven or eight years, but she had only given birth to two daughters without a single son.
Later, Lu Hong had a mistress who gave birth to Lu Junming.

Lu Hong was very fond of Lu Junming, and he made his and his mother’s lives as luxurious as he could.
However, his wife Mrs.
Liu didn’t allow Lu Junming’s mother to enter the family, and she did not allow Lu Junming to be part of the official family tree.

However, Lu Junming’s grandpa really wanted a grandson, so he added him to the family tree as the eldest son of the main branch of the family.

When Mrs.
Liu found out about this, she went and beat up Lu Junming’s mother, calling her a slut and worse names.
Lu Junming pushed Mrs.
Liu in a fit of rage, and the shrew cried to her father for help.

An official could naturally see the bigger picture better than a shrew.
After being persuaded by her father, Mrs.
Liu agreed to let Lu Junming into the house, but he had to call her mother.
This wasn’t too much to ask.
After all, a concubine-born child should call his father’s wife ‘Mother’.
However, Mrs.
Liu refused to give his biological mother the position of a concubine and forced Lu Hong to abandon her.

A mistress didn’t have any rights or reputation.
An abandoned mistress even less so.

Lu Hong wanted to take Lu Junming home, but Lu Junming refused and he ran away to Chenzhong Village, where his grandpa was born.

The story had been spread around the village, but no one had insulted Lu Junming outright like this before.

Post-edit notes: This Mo Feng just gets dumber and dumber doesn’t he.
Also, Lu Junming has a decently interesting backstory.
[1] So she cares after all! She’s not that bad of a mother.
[2] So some people in Ancient China practiced polygamy, and a man had an official wife and sometimes a concubine or two.
However, Lu Junming’s mum wasn’t even that.
[3] So basically he’s slated to inherit everything from his dad.
Yeah I could see why Mrs.
Liu would be mad, he’s basically stealing everything from her future son (if he’s born).

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