Granduncle Dong sold weapons to Xu Jinzhong. Ling Buyi will let Granduncle Dong say goodbye to the Cheng family before being exiled to the frontiers.
Over the years, Cheng Shaoshang’s mother accumulated gifts until she could give them to Cheng Shaoshang. Cheng Shaoshang likes everything except books. To her parents’ horror, she is illiterate.
Unlike Cheng Shaoshang, Second Aunt’s daughter, Cheng Yang, is educated and well-mannered.
Granduncle Dong blames the Cheng family for his predicament, so he makes the farewell memorable by revealing some secrets. Old Madam Cheng mistreated Cheng Shaoshang because she hates Cheng Shaoshang’s mother. Second Aunt didn’t educate Cheng Shaoshang on purpose, and she stole all the money Cheng Shaoshang’s father had sent home over the years.
Xu Jinzhong is hiding somewhere, probably a place familiar to him. Since Xu Jinzhong comes from a family of blacksmiths, Ling Buyi dispatches guards to blacksmith shops to find him.
Second Aunt refuses to move out of the main quarters even though Cheng Shaoshang and her parents should live there because her father is the patriarch of the family.
Cheng Shaoshang is too hungry to memorize anything. Her father brings her food, but her mother forces her to study instead of letting her eat.
Cheng Shaoshang wants to study the mechanics of how things work in the real world, not the classics. Her mother fears that if she doesn’t teach Cheng Shaoshang right from wrong, a troublemaker like Cheng Shaoshang can cause the family’s downfall.
Cheng Shaoshang contemplates why her mother allows Second Aunt to live in the main quarters.
Cheng Shaoshang teaches Second Aunt how she can remain in the main quarters. If Second Aunt says living there is auspicious and helps her to conceive a son, Old Madam Cheng will believe her. Second Aunt takes Cheng Shaoshang for a fool. It seems Cheng Shaoshang will help an enemy to get back at her mother.
Cheng Shaoshang modifies brushes to write multiple words at the same time so she can copy books faster. Her mother scolds her for taking revenge on Second Aunt. Cheng Shaoshang has figured out that Emperor Wen will reward her parents for fighting in the war, so they will move to a better residence, which explains why her mother doesn’t care who lives in the main quarters.
Emperor Wen promotes Cheng Shaoshang’s father to Marquis Quling, responsible for 500 households.