Had She Sold Herself
When Yu Youyao heard this, she was speechless.
Anything could be lost, but never ones dignity.
It did not take long for her, who was used to being slack and undisciplined, to be tricked by Nanny Xu into agreeing to learn a whole lot of things. This caused Chun Xiao and Dong Mei, who were watching by the side, to gaze at Nanny Xu with admiration in their eyes.
It was simply too amazing!
As expected of someone from the palace, using a soft cane to produce resounding effects.
Nanny Xu said, “Ive already made arrangements for you. From tomorrow onwards, youll get up at five in the morning every day and take etiquette classes for two hours. During the day, youll learn how to cook, prepare incense, tea, medicine, and so on. From eight to nine, youll have a bone molding session and youll soften your body. Then, for two incense sticks of time, youll soak in a medicinal bath that will nourish your body. At nine, youll be right on time for a rest.”
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There were also some other miscellaneous skills to be learned, but were less crucial, so she could pick those up slowly. Yu Youyao was used to being lazy in the past, but she would be turning ten very soon, so time was rather tight for her to learn everything now.
She had a numbing headache. Nanny Xus words floated around her ears, but only buzzed back and forth without entering.
She had absolutely no idea that she had already sold herself.
About ten minutes later, the bone molding session finally ended. Yu Youyaos entire body ached, and she lay motionlessly on the bed. Nanny Xu poured a cup of tea and fed Yu Youyao a few mouthfuls. Then, she pulled her up to learn more body sculpting exercises.
There were a total of twelve movements, each of which greatly mobilized the muscles and bones in the entire body.
Yu Youyao sprawled onto the bed. Nanny Xu held her ankle and pushed it forcefully towards her back, until the tip of her foot was against the curve just below the back of her head.
Yu Youyaos waist was about to crack. The entire courtyard could hear her howling and wailing pitifully.
“Eldest Miss, your body is flexible. Its only the first day and you could already get into the position. After enduring for a few days, it will no longer hurt much.” Nanny Xu knew the moment she laid hands on Yu Youyao, that the girl was born with a naturally flexible body, and that she was a rare potential talent.
Yu Youyao was in too much pain to speak.
After about ten minutes, shed finally finished practicing the Flexible Body Technique. Her entire body was covered in sweat, and she lay on the bed like a lump of mud, not even wanting to move her fingers.
Nanny Xu had personally brewed some medicinal brew early in the morning. Dong Mei and Chun Xiao ordered someone to prepare a bath, and they immediately asked one of the old maids to carry Yu Youyao to the bathroom.
Yu Youyao quietly added a drop of Spirit Dew into the medicinal bath. After soaking in it for a while, the soreness in her body eased a little.
The next morning, she was sleeping soundly when Nanny Xu pulled her out of bed and covered her face with a cold handkerchief, startling her. “Nanny, its still dark outside…”
Nanny Xu smiled. “You promised me yesterday that you would get up at dawn today, to learn etiquette from me.”
When had she agreed Why didnt she remember anything Yu Youyaos eyes widened in shock as she turned to look at Dong Mei and Chun Xiao.
Dong Mei and Chun Xiao said in unison, “Young Mistress, you indeed agreed. We heard you.”
She suspected that they were both in cahoots with Nanny Xu, but had no evidence. Yu Youyao looked like she was about to have a breakdown. “Is it too late for me to go back on my word now”
Go back on her word There was no way she could do that.
Nanny Xu decided to use a concrete example to show Yu Youyao that a promise weighed a thousand pounds. She asked Chun Xiao to pick out an intricate nine-layer outfit, then began to put it on her layer by layer. Next, she covered her whole body with many gold and silver jewelry accessories.
Yu Youyao gulped. “Wouldnt it be exhausting if I learned while wearing such clothes”
Nanny Xu said, “The rules of learning etiquette are a little stricter and harsher. Wearing nine layers of clothings is just right for your age. When youre older, youll have to wear twelve layers of clothes. It wont be too exhausting.”
Twelve layers Yu Youyaos eyes grew wide in shock. She had really learned something new today.
When they reached the embroidery pavilion on the second floor, Nanny Xu placed a book on her head. “Eldest Miss, show me how you walk.”
Her body was still sore from last nights torture, so at this point in time, Yu Youyao only wanted to walk as steadily as she could, trying not to fall. She had no energy to take note of her walking posture at all.
When Nanny Xu saw this, her expression did not change. She merely walked a few steps forward herself.
As she walked, her waist moved and her hips swayed. She was graceful and beautiful. When she took each step, only the tips of her shoes could be seen under her skirt, making her look even more elegant and poised. The top of her skirt did not move, but the bottom swayed and rippled. Every step was a sight. Yu Youyao was simply stunned.
So, she began to take it seriously, but still fell countless times. Nanny Xu neither scolded her nor looked annoyed, but only asked her to do it again and again until she got it right.
Yu Youyao lay on the ground and cried, “Nanny, you lied. Learning this is so tiring, I could fall to death…”
After learning for about an hour, Yu Youyao could finally walk properly, and Nanny Xu revealed a long-lost smile. “You have quite a good foundation, so youll be great after a few more days of practice and some additional guidance. However, when you walk, you must also remember to manage your facial expression, such as joy, laughter, anger, sorrow, in deep thought, and so on. You have to pay attention to all of them.”
When it was time, Yu Youyao freshened up and carried her tea to the North Courtyard to greet her grandmother. She threw herself into her grandmothers arms and whined.
However, she didnt complain or say anything about not wanting to learn anymore.
After she dragged her feet and left the North Courtyard very reluctantly, Old Madam Yu finally couldnt help but twist her handkerchief and burst into laughter. “Yao Yao has always had a big ego. She once fell from a tree when she was younger. And when she saw that some people in the Residence had witnessed it, she buried her head in my arms and cried, not even wanting to show her face anymore. Thats why I say that everyone has a weakness.”
Nanny Liu also laughed. “But it depends too, and theres still more to discover about her temperament. I heard from Dong Mei that she has been learning humbly from Nanny Xu, since she heard that Nanny Xu was specially invited into the Residence by you.
Old Madam Yus smile widened.
She had always wanted Yao Yao to learn more, but every time Yao Yao sulked, she couldnt bring herself to be strict, and it had allowed Yao Yao to develop a lazy personality.
Now that she had Nanny Xu, she was finally at ease.
Back at the Jade Courtyard, Nanny Xu brought out a book calledMedical Classics that was thicker than a brick, and handed it to Yu Youyao. “Im skilled in medicinal cuisine, medicinal fragrance, medicinal tea, and other means of nourishment. If you want to master cooking, incense, tea, and medicine, you need to first have some knowledge of medicine. Once you become skilled in these, itll be great because you can also take better care of your elders to show your filial piety.”
Initially, she had thought that Yu Youyao would have no interest in these things. However, Nanny Xu quickly realized that Yu Youyao could remember a medicinal concept or theory after reading it just once or twice. As for the more difficult ones, it would take her only about three readings to be able to memorize it.
Moreover, she was extremely talented in pharmacology. She could draw inferences after learning just one pharmacological theory, and apply it in many other ways.
After two hours, Nanny Xu looked ambivalent.
Having interacted with Yu Youyao these past few days, she found that although Yu Youyao was pampered and weak at enduring hardship, she had a certain tenacity within her. No matter how loudly she yelled in pain or how miserably she sobbed when her bones were being shaped and molded, she still grit her teeth through it. No matter how hard or often she fell while learning the proper etiquette and manners, crying and declaring that she wanted to quit it all, she still managed to brush herself off and emerge standing tall.