Chapter 1 That Sharp, Sassy, Severe, Little Disciple
Bai Qingqing raised her head, three giant characters came to her sight—Prime Minister Mansion.
Red gate, majestic stone lions and eight family retainers standing proudly at the gate.
She took the trouble of crossing the mountains and rivers, coming all the way from Lin’an County to the capital city. Finally, she made it here.
“Excuse me, gentlemen, is here the mansion of Qin Zizheng the Prime Minister?”
The young bunch of family retainers raised their eyebrows high. When they saw it was just an eighteen- or nineteen-year old girl in simple and coarse clothes who was talking to them, a glimpse of distain streaked through their eyes.
The family retainer who stood closest to her replied with a sneer, “That’s correct, this is the Prime Minister’s mansion. Who am I speaking to?”
“Please inform the Prime Minister that Bai Qingqing from Lin’an is paying a visit on her master’s request.”
“Bai Qingqing from Lin’an?”
The family retainer looked her up and down critically. She was a slim girl of average height. Her features were appealing, her skin fair, her eyes big, her nose prominent and her lips cute, she was quite pleasing to the eye.
With that being said, her clothes were just way too shabby, and the little cloth bag on her shoulder was even covered with quite a few patches.
People who despise the poor and curry favor with the rich are not uncommon since ancient times. The girl standing right in front of these family retainers was appealing to the eye, but she was obviously of humble origin just by the look of her outfit.
With that in mind, the family retainer lifted up his horn, “Young lady, are you playing dumb with us? The Prime Minister is the first-ranked official in the Great Yan Kingdom, only second to His Majesty, do you reckon he is someone to be visited by a nobody like you?”
That family retainer waved his hand at Qingqing, “Shoo, shoo, don’t stay here be an eyesore.”
Bai Qingqing, who was just being expelled like a fly, replied with a smile instead of anger, “Sir, was I not making it clear? You are speaking to Bai Qingqing from Lin’an, who’s paying a visit on her master’s request. That means before I made it here, my master and the Prime Minister had corresponded already, the Prime Minister is aware of my arrival, but you are taking such liberty here to throw me out without even informing him, aren’t you worried that you won’t hold your position any more once your doings to me is known?”
A little-known figure Bai Qingqing might be, her forceful words still resonated in everyone’s ears.
Being scolded by a young girl, the family retainers felt they’ve lost face.
The family retainer in charge yelled with rage, “The Prime Minister is swamped with work, even the influential officials have to get in line to visit him, let alone a little girl like you.”
Bai Qingqing sneered at him, “Are you implying a girl of humble origins like me is not good enough to pay the Prime Minister a visit?”
“You know yourself well after all.”
“Correct me if I’m wrong, the Prime Minister himself is also of humble lineage, he was a penniless scholar before he made it to the political arena. Your utterance just now means you are looking down upon your own master—-the Prime Minister?”
The family retainer flew into a rage, he would have punched at her so hard that she’d lose one tooth or two if Bai Qingqing weren’t a little girl.
Bai Qingqing crossed her arms around her chest, being so blunt, “Me? What about me? Am I not allowed to state the truth? Go ask all the folks in the Great Yan Kingdom, who isn’t aware that Prime Minister Qin was just an impoverished bumpkin before? His achievements are built on both his hard work and the folk’s support and esteem. If the Prime Minister knows he keeps such a snobby doorman around, I’m afraid he will order to scalp you like a dog.”
“You… damn you little girl…”
The family retainer was about to swear when he saw Bai Qingqing glance at a dark blue sedan chair not afar. With a foxy smile, she said, “Prime Minister Qin, you’ve watched enough drama, please show up, otherwise your doorman is going to be annoyed to death.”
Bright laughter came out from the sedan. Momentarily, the sedan chair curtain was lifted, from which stepped out an old man in his late sixties or early seventies.
He was in a dark purple robe which was his official uniform. He had a black mole in the middle of his forehead, and the grey flowing beard, the benevolent countenance and the poised manner all resembled the God of Longevity in Chinese mythology.
The family retainers all hurried their way to pay respects to the Prime Minister.
The old man was no other than the first-ranked official of the Great Yan Kingdom—-Qin Zizheng.
He fondled his beard, speaking to Bai Qingqing with a smile, “Child, how can you be so sure it’s me who is in the sedan, wouldn’t you be making a fool of yourself if it’s somebody else?”
Bai Qingqing replied with a snort, “Prime Minister Qin, you are treating me like an ignorant boor. To start with, by law, for all the sedan owned by officials above the third rank, there are two tigers embroidered by golden thread on the curtain; Secondly, before I left Lin’an, my master had repeatedly told me that Prime Minister Qin of the Great Yan Kingdom is so easy to recognize, it must be him when you see an old man with a set of grey flowing beard and a black mole in the forehead.”
“Child, who is your master….”
“The Divine Physician, Mo Shoude!”
In astonishment, Qin Zizheng asked, “You are that sharp, sassy, severe little disciple that Lao Mo mentioned in the letters?”
Bai Qingqing, “I’ll say yes to the sharp part, a half yes to the sassy part and it depends when it comes to the severe part.”
Qin Zizheng burst into laughter by Qingqing’s eloquence, “Your temper is just to Mo’s liking, no wonder he hadn’t had one single disciple for half his life, and he had you as his disciple when he is halfway to meet Yama (King of Hell). Come on, come on, child, don’t stand outside like a wood stick, let’s get inside.”
The family retainers saw that instead of giving her a lesson, the Prime Minister escorted her into the mansion. It occurred to them immediately that this little girl must have some powerful connections.
Bai Qingqing smiled gently at them deliberately when she walked past them, it was just that gentle smile was filled with provocation that one could not ignore.
Daring not to rebuke, the family retainers kept that anger within themselves. How come a little girl was accorded such a courteous reception from their esteemed master baffled them.