My Princess Has Been Reborn - Chapter 20.1
Chapter 20.1 – Strangers on First Meeting, Kin on the Second (1)
The conventional way to become an official was via the imperial examination, but it had never been the only way.
In various ministries in the whole dynasty, there was no lack of people who became officials via backdoors and recommendations. Only Hanlin Academy was untouched by such things; most people did not want to go there, and only few people could blend in. As a result, it had become a rare “pure land1”.
But recently, this tradition was broken. The imperial decree personally appointed a little-known junior here, and even granted him the position of compiler that could only be obtained by the number one scholar. This immediately attracted the attention of the whole academy.
The noble scholars’ house door was about to be broken into. Unfortunately, no one could find out who the Lu Qipei on the imperial decree was, no matter how they tried to inquire. Even Scholar Jiang himself, the one in charge of the academy, didn’t know. He was also confused by the sudden imperial decree.
Since they couldn’t find out any information, they had to hold back for a while and wait for the person to come…
Don’t get it wrong; no one welcomed Lu Qipei. This group of scholars in Hanlin Academy did not like outsiders, let alone this Lu Qipei whose background was totally unknown. Even if a top scholar came to Hanlin Academy, he would get the cold shoulder for a long time – which they would euphemistically call polishing his temperament. Only those who understood how to act and do things would have a chance to climb up. As for those who only knew how to study but not how to be an official, they might spend the rest of their lives trapped in Hanlin Academy!
In general, Hanlin Academy was not an easy place to navigate, but this was nothing to Lu Qipei. After all, she spent several months in Hanlin Academy in her previous life, and she was also a careful person. She had long understood the temperament and preferences of those bigshots.
Even so, when Lu Qipei reported in as was scheduled, she still became somewhat exhausted physically and mentally after spending a whole day there.
In the evening, Lu Qipei came out of Hanlin Academy wearing a brand new blue official robe, rubbing her shoulders as she walked. God knows how many people she had to run errands and carry books for today. It was much harder than when she got a cold shoulder when she came here in her previous life.
But what could she do about it? Although she was capable, it would still take some time to show. It seemed that she would still have to keep doing this for a while.
Lu Qipei frowned as soon as she left the gate of Hanlin Academy. She looked up and saw a carriage parked not far ahead, but didn’t care about it. Although she left a bit late due to some trivial matters, there were always some colleagues who would leave even later than her. It was normal to have a carriage pick you up outside the government office.
The Lu family also had a carriage come to pick her up, but Lu Qipei wanted to take a breather first, so she told them to park the carriage a little further away and didn’t let the servant follow her. Right now, she was regretting it a little – her legs were very sore from running errands for others. Right now, she really wanted to just collapse inside the carriage. Unfortunately she was the one who had the carriage stop so far away herself, so now she could only drag herself there with heavy steps.
Just after taking a few steps, when she passed the carriage parked outside Hanlin Academy, a clear and familiar voice suddenly sounded in her ear. “Lord Lu, it has been a while. How are you doing recently?”
Lu Qipei turned his head in surprise, and saw the beautiful smile of the young girl inside the carriage.
Qi Yang was looking at her from her carriage’s window. She had a bright smile on her face as usual, but her eyes weren’t smiling.
Lu Qipei looked at her with a guilty conscience. She silently looked away, remembering that she had left without saying goodbye last time. “I’m doing well here. Thank you for Your Highness’s concern.” She wanted to explain but couldn’t find the words, so what came out was instead, “Why is Your Highness here today?”
Qi Yang also didn’t show her temper with Lu Qipei; when she heard the latter’s words, she hooked her fingers signaling Lu Qipei to approach.
Lu Qipei didn’t understand why, but she still walked over. As a result, as soon as she got close to the carriage, she was immediately dragged inside… The coachman quickly jumped onto the carriage, waved his whip, and the horse started moving. Soon, they disappeared from the street, as if no kidnapping had happened.
Lu Qipei had been abducted by Her Royal Highness The Princess again!
Strangers on first meeting, kin on the second2. Somehow, she felt that this was natural and didn’t panic at all.
Qi Yang looked at her quietly, wanting to say something. But seeing the fatigue between her eyebrows, she still held back in the end – in fact, based on their current friendship, she wasn’t really in any position to complain. Although Lu Qipei didn’t say goodbye to her personally that day, she did give her farewell to the servants in the courtyard. It was not really a breach of etiquette, it just made her a little disappointed.
On the other hand, Lu Qipei was sitting relaxedly in the carriage. She didn’t feel distant although they haven’t seen each other for more than a month. Seeing that Qi Yang didn’t speak, she said, “Did Your Highness especially came here today to look for me3?” She acted like an official, having clearly recovered. “I wonder why Your Highness came to find me?”
The word used here is a reference to the concept of “pure land” in East Asian Buddhism.A literal translation for this idiom would be ‘raw on the first try, cooked/ripe on the second’. This is usually used to describe relationships; you’d be strangers when you first meet, but you’d be acquainted by next time – relationships will grow as you meet more. Sometimes it is also used to describe how you’ll get more familiar/better at something as time goes on. The punchline at the end of the chapter fits the first and more common usage more, so the translation is based on that meaning.Lu Qipei is using the “This Minister” self-address, now that she’s an official.