Chapter 28 – Talented Scholar of the Holy Front

Fang Yun picked up a chicken wing and put it in Nu Nu’s bowl, saying, “Go ahead and eat.”

Nu Nu immediately clasped its little paws together and bowed to Fang Yun in gratitude, then happily began to eat.

Fang Yun and his three companions were all amused by the polite little fox. Yang Yuhuan then picked up a piece of meat and put it in Nu Nu’s bowl.

Nu Nu immediately looked up warily at Yang Yuhuan, then sniffed the meat lightly with its nose before continuing to eat the chicken wing Fang Yun had given it.

After finishing Fang Yun’s chicken wing, Nu Nu licked its paws and mouth with its pink tongue, ignoring the meat Yang Yuhuan had given it. It just looked up at Fang Yun with a cute and pitiful expression, as if saying, “Give me another piece, just one!”

Fang Yun didn’t expect Nu Nu to refuse meat given by others, so he said, “You can eat that piece of meat with confidence. From now on, you should also listen to her.”

Nu Nu reluctantly lowered its head and began to eat the meat Yang Yuhuan had given it.

Fang Yun reached out and touched its head, and Nu Nu rubbed its head against Fang Yun’s hand before eating the meat in one bite, showing a satisfied expression and no longer feeling unhappy.

While eating, Fang Yun also fed Nu Nu. After finishing their meal, he realized that even though Nu Nu was not as big as a chicken, it had eaten a whole one and its small belly was bulging.

After the meal, Fang Yun put Nu Nu back in the bamboo basket and rested for a while before continuing to write “The Story of the Western Wing.”

After writing for a while, Nu Nu suddenly whimpered.

Fang Yun turned to look and saw Nu Nu pointing at his table with its little paws.

“Do you want to come up?” Fang Yun asked.

Nu Nu immediately nodded excitedly.

“Okay.” Fang Yun picked it up and carefully examined its paws. Its paws had pink pads that were very cute, and there was not a trace of dirt or dust on them, even though it had just been eating meat on the ground without washing its paws.

“Presented Scholars have the protection of talent, which can keep mosquitoes away from their bodies, while only becoming a ‘Hanlin Scholar’ can give them ‘a body that does not stain with dust,’ even if they don’t bathe for decades. Perhaps monsters also have a similar ability to keep their bodies clean, but their strength must at least be equivalent to that of a Hanlin Scholar. It is obviously a young fox. Could its status be extraordinary?” Fang Yun thought to himself, and then put Nu Nu on the table.

Suddenly, Fang Yun asked, “Do you really understand the language of our human race?”

Nu Nu reacted quickly this time and shook its head firmly.

Fang Yun put his hand on his forehead and said, “You are really too smart!”

Nu Nu immediately laughed happily, thinking that Fang Yun was really praising it.

Fang Yun smiled and continued to write “The Story of the Western Wing.”Nunu was leaning on the table, looking at the words on the paper. At first, her eyes were unfocused, but after a while, she became more alert and stared at the paper, her expression changing with Fang Yun’s words.

When Fang Zhiyun and Cui Yingying were talking about love, Nunu had a fascinated expression.

When Fang Zhiyun helped Cui Yingying out of danger, Nunu was very happy.

When Liu Zizheng plotted against Fang Zhiyun, Nunu suddenly yelled angrily and waved her paw at the words “Liu Zizheng.”

“What are you doing!” Fang Yun glared at Nunu.

Nunu looked angrily at Fang Yun, still not out of the story.

Fang Yun gently patted its head and said, “Be good, or I won’t let you read it.”

Nunu realized that it was too impulsive and scratched its head with its small paw, shyly smiling and showing a guilty expression.

“I never thought my first reader would be a fox,” Fang Yun laughed.

Nunu growled dissatisfiedly, as if asking what was wrong with being a fox.

Fang Yun wrote for two hours and felt tired, so he took some ink, paper, and inkstone and left the room. He wanted to teach Yang Yuhuan how to read and write during his break.

Nunu stayed honestly on the table. As soon as Fang Yun left, it immediately flipped through “The Story of the Western Wing” from the beginning, occasionally twitching its ears to listen to Fang Yun’s movements.

Fang Yun put the ink, paper, and inkstone on the table in the west wing and walked to the front door of the main house. He saw Yang Yuhuan tidying up the yard.

“Yuhuan, wash your hands and come in. I have something to tell you.”

“Oh.” Yang Yuhuan washed her face and walked up to Fang Yun.

“What’s up?” Yang Yuhuan looked up at Fang Yun with her beautiful face.

Fang Yun took her hand and walked inside, saying, “I’m here to teach you how to read and write.”

“Okay.” Yang Yuhuan felt Fang Yun’s warmth and determination on her hand and agreed softly.

Fang Yun brought Yang Yuhuan to the west wing, laid out white paper, and picked up his pen, but he didn’t write immediately.

In this era, the only study materials were “The Hundred Family Surnames,” “The Thousand Character Classic,” and some things compiled by local academies. There were no famous study materials from later generations, such as “The Three Character Classic,” “The Family Instructions of Yan,” “Expanded Collection of Wise Sayings,” and “The Thousand Character Classic of the Forest of Gems.”

Fang Yun also remembered his own study materials, which were just memorizing “The Thousand Character Classic” and “The Hundred Family Surnames,” and it took a long time to remember them. “The Thousand Character Classic” contained one thousand very basic characters, with neat and clear parallels, which were very suitable for children to learn.After Fang Yun finished studying the Thousand Character Classic and the Hundred Family Surnames, he left the Mongolian school and went directly to a private school to study all the classics of the saints. He did not have any transition and found it difficult to learn.

“Most children here, after finishing the Thousand Character Classic and the Hundred Family Surnames, directly study books like the Analects of Confucius. This is too hasty. They should study some Three Character Classic and Augmented Wise Sayings before studying all the classics of the saints. But Yu Huanjie cannot read, so we will start with the Thousand Character Classic.”

Fang Yun said, “I will teach you the content of the Thousand Character Classic. Today I will teach you the most basic eight characters, and gradually increase them later. Watch carefully.”

Then, Fang Yun wrote down the first eight characters of the Thousand Character Classic, “Heaven and earth are mysterious and yellow, the universe is vast and desolate,” and explained them to Yang Yuhuan one by one.

After Yang Yuhuan barely remembered them, Fang Yun let her write slowly, while he went back to the east wing room.

Back in the room, Fang Yun looked at the desk, everything was unchanged, only the slave girl was smiling, as if trying to please him.

Fang Yun touched its head, and it did not resist this time, but instead enjoyed it.

Fang Yun continued to write “The Story of the Western Wing.”

After finishing one page, Fang Yun was about to change the paper when the slave girl suddenly called out and then stretched out her furry paw and placed it on Fang Yun’s wrist.

“What’s wrong?” Fang Yun asked the slave girl.

The slave girl could not speak, so she pointed to the word “total” on the page with her paw and exclaimed, “Slave! Slave!” Seeing that Fang Yun didn’t understand, she became anxious.

Fang Yun took a closer look at the word and suddenly realized that he had been writing too fast at the end, and had missed a dot in the word “total,” so he added it with his pen.

“The word was wrong, it’s my fault,” Fang Yun said with a smile, quoting the saying, “The music is wrong, and Zhou Lang takes care of it.”

“Whimper!” The slave girl was extremely excited, and her furry tail swept back and forth behind her.

“In the future, you have to help me look carefully. The ancients had a red-sleeved companion reading, and I have you, adding fragrance. This book owes you a lot,” Fang Yun said.

“Whimper!” The slave girl became even more excited and tried to jump onto Fang Yun’s shoulder, but although she had gained strength from eating meat, she still didn’t have enough strength, so Fang Yun quickly reached out and put her on his chest, where she jumped into his arms.

The slave girl happily rubbed her head against Fang Yun’s chest, looking very happy.

After playing with the slave girl for a while, Fang Yun patted her butt and said, “Okay, I’ll continue writing the book.” Then he put the slave girl on the table.

However, the slave girl blushed and covered her eyes with her little paws, and lay on the table, no longer looking at what Fang Yun was writing.After Fang Yun wrote a dozen words, the little fox perked up its ears and secretly looked at Fang Yun. Seeing that he was fine, it slowly raised its head and continued to watch “The Story of the Western Wing”, its furry tail gently swaying.

Three days passed in the blink of an eye, and Fang Yun finally finished the entire “The Story of the Western Wing”.

When he finished writing the last stroke of “The Story of the Western Wing”, Fang Yun’s heart moved, and he closed his eyes and recited it in the Palace of Literature.

There were two changes in the Palace of Literature.

There were now six stars in the sky of the Palace of Literature, one of which was much larger than the others, representing the poem “Early Departure from Ji County”, which was the national poem.

The six stars emitted a faint light that shone on Fang Yun’s statue. A strand of literary talent, originally only three inches tall, now stood at six inches!

Once it reached ten inches and went through further tempering, and went to the Holy Temple to pay homage to the saints, the literary talent would expand like a needle, becoming a Talented Scholar.

“While other people’s literary talent needs to be promoted by paying homage to the saints at the Holy Temple, I have these famous works of literature and stars to nourish it. Perhaps I can become a rare Talented Scholar before the saints. It is said that the Talented Scholar before the saints is the limit. Except for Confucius’ personally taught students, no one can become a Presented Scholar before the saints.”

Fang Yun left the Palace of Literature and quickly read “The Story of the Western Wing” again, making a few changes and officially finalizing it.

Fang Yun found that the word count of “The Story of the Western Wing” was far less than that of the Four Great Classical Novels, but it was already a long novel in this era. However, if it were to be published as a book, the number of pages was still too few.

So Fang Yun picked up his pen again and wrote a famous work from the Tang Dynasty, “Dream Record of the Pillow”. This novella gave rise to an idiom that was more widely circulated than the title of the book, “A Dream of Red Mansions”.

“Dream Record of the Pillow” tells the story of a poor scholar who meets a Semi-Saint who travels the world while staying at an inn. The Semi-Saint sees that he has talent but is obsessed with official positions, so he gives him a literary treasure, a pillow. After the scholar receives the pillow, he falls asleep and dreams that he has a successful career and becomes a high-ranking official, enjoying all the glory and wealth. However, he is falsely accused of treason by another high-ranking official and is imprisoned for several years by the emperor. His wrongful conviction is eventually overturned, and he becomes a high-ranking official again with a large and successful family.

In the end, when he grows old and wants to resign, the emperor does not allow it, but he sees through everything and writes a petition to resign. He dies not long after.

After the scholar wakes up, the Semi-Saint is still by his side, and the inn is still steaming the glutinous rice. The scholar has a great realization and no longer pursues fame and fortune, but instead focuses on the Path of the Saints, eventually becoming a great scholar of his time.Fang Yun felt that “Dream Record of the Pillow” was more in line with the mainstream ideology of Holy Origin Mainland, so he made some changes and turned it into a suitable short story.

Both novels were punctuated and divided into paragraphs, and the page count increased to more than one hundred and fifty pages in total.

When he finished writing, it was already afternoon. Fang Yun took a nap and after dinner, he had Fang Daniu drive him to Zhou Prefecture.

The State Academy and Prefectural Government were at the same level, and the highest-ranking officials were all third-rank officials. Although Zhou Zhubu was only a sixth-rank official, he was in charge of institutions such as the Academy of Literature and had real power. He was also responsible for some affairs in the entire state, and his power was no less than that of a fifth-rank governor.

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