BLL Chapter 12 Writing Letters

Leaving East Street, he walked toward the west. Passing the bustling downtown area, there were several food stalls along the street. A few simple tables and chairs surrounded the roadside. There was an endless stream of guests. The people who sold noodle soup and small wontons shouted loudly to the passersby.

Passing through the downtown area toward the county town’s residential area, the lively sounds disappeared like they were separated by a wall. The stone bridge he’d seen before appeared. The stone bridge wasn’t large, and it was already a bit aged. Motley traces showed on the bridge. The passerby said the place he was looking for was by the stone bridge.

Lin Lixuan stood at the center of the bridge and looked around. He didn’t see the place he was looking for, but he was discovered by someone.

The person he met there last time, Huang Yuan, still had a simple character hung up on his stall by the stone bridge. A few not so good looking calligraphy words hung on top of the stall. Huang Yuan looked at him like he was looking at his savior and pulled him over to have him help.

“Auntie Huang wants to write a letter to her son, but she isn’t satisfied with how I write it. I also have something urgent I need to do… Um…can you help Auntie Huang write the letter?” Huang Yuan didn’t wait for Lin Lixuan to reply before pulling him to his stall. He rubbed his hands together and smiled flatteringly at Auntie Huang. “Do you see this man? He’s a Xiucai. He’s much more knowledgeable than I am. Don’t worry, Auntie Huang. With him writing it for you, I guarantee you’ll be satisfied.”

Huang Yuan had been tormented by this Auntie Huang who had the same surname as him and was probably from the same family as him a couple hundred years ago. Wasn’t it just a simple letter to a family member? With such a nitpicky attitude, dealing with her was harder than taking the Xiucai exam. The detestable thing was that this person was illiterate! ! She only knew how to stand to the side and command him to write it this way and that. His thoughts changed faster than the weather in July. It took a lot of effort to write a letter for her, but she still wasn’t satisfied.

She wanted him to rewrite it!

Rewrite, my butt!

His Boss Huang didn’t agree.

Auntie Huang looked Lin Lixuan up and down. “Oh, Mr. Xiucai. You’re quite handsome. You look a lot better than that boy Huang.

Huang Yuan winked at Lin Lixuan, pulled him to the side and whispered, “What do you think? Help me deal with Auntie Huang. She gave me a lot of money. 100 wen per letter. We’ll split it 30-70. You 30 and my 70.” If it wasn’t for the fact that she was giving 100 wen, Huang Yuan would have refused this job. Usually, when he encountered a troublesome customer, he would have long quit.

But the poor must bend over backwards for money.

Lin Lixuan raised his eyebrow. “30-70?”

Huang Yuan was a bit embarrassed. “How about…You 70, and me 30? In any case, I’ll leave Auntie Huang to you…” He tilted his head and giggled before picking up the ink stained bruch from the table and putting it in Lin Lixuan’s hand. In a trail of smoke, he disappeared and hid.

Lin Lixuan didn’t want to bother with this at all. That Huang Yuan was merely an acquaintance and he asked others for help with no reason at all. However…what about the 100 wen? When he came to sell vegetables with Ger Yan last time, they labored to carry two baskets and only sold them for 93 wen…He fed Ger Yan a bun, and on the way back, he kept muttering that he wasn’t eating buns but copper coins.

100 wen equaled over 20 buns.

It would be a waste not to do this business!

Lin Lixuan sat down and asked Auntie Huang what she wanted written.

In fact, Auntie Huang wasn’t picky. Her eldest son followed a big businessman outside to do business. He hadn’t come back in over half a year. A few days ago, her eldest daughter-in-law gave birth and gave them a fat son. She wanted to deliver this news to her son as soon as possible.

If it wasn’t for such a happy matter…she would be reluctant to spend 100 wen to have someone write a letter to her son.

Regarding what to name her grandson and when her son would return…she needed to write all of this in the letter. This was Auntie Huang’s first time being a grandmother. She couldn’t help but ramble happily. As she spoke, she couldn’t help but get confused. She spoke and spoke. Lin Lixuan waited for Auntie Huang to finish her requests. After asking some things, he sorted out his thoughts, then spread the paper and picked up the brush to write.

After reading the letter to Auntie Huang, he asked her if she wanted to add anything. Auntie Huang shook her head and said there wasn’t anything. She and Huang Yuan had been going back and forth for a long time. She already thought of everything she wanted. She was very satisfied with the letter Lin Lixuan wrote. She praised, “Sure enough, Xiucai’s are all talents. Much more reliable than that brat Huang Yuan. Just look at the characters on the paper. Even I, an illiterate old woman, think it looks good.”

She took the few pages of the paper and looked all over it. That brat, Huang Yuan, is just a bastard. Just what kind of thing he wrote, and he was shameless enough to open a stall here. When he helped her write a letter, forget about the ugly scribbles, there were even black spots on the letter. Her son was working with a big and reputable businessman. If she sent him a letter like that, it would cause him to lose face if others saw it.

Fortunately, Huang Yuan had a reliable friend. Auntie Huang willingly took out the money and gave it to Lin Lixuan. She then folded the letter and left with a smile on her face.

Lin Lixuan checked the copper money in his hand. All he had to do was move a brush and he earned 100 wen. Making money as a scholar was really easy, but… He also knew that Auntie Huang’s case was special. If it wasn’t for the fact that she had a grandson and wanted to spread blessings for her grandson, they wouldn’t have spent so much money. Usually, one could only make five to ten wen writing a letter for someone.

He picked up the letter that Huang Yuan wrote for Auntie Huag, curious about it. After casually reading it, he could only agree that Auntie Huang was right to be picky. How could this kind of letter be sent… Huang Yuan’s handwriting was just too ugly. It was one thing if it was ugly, but he was too careless and had corrections all over the place. How did this person work in his line to survive…

Huang Yuan should be grateful there weren’t many scholars in this world and could still mix in this industry.

Lin Lixuan packed up the paper and brushes. He didn’t know when Huang Yuan would come back. When he was about to leave, he saw a bunch of aunties and shuang’ers rushing over… In this group, there were fat, skinny, tall, and short people. When they saw him, they gathered around him like he was a meat pie that had fallen from the sky.

Since Auntie Huang left with the letter, people had been saying there was a handsome and talented Xiucai at Huang Yuan’s stall. These aunties and Shuang’er were usually idle and bored everyday, so they liked gossip like this. They especially liked handsome men. They pulled their daughters and Shuang’er over to try and play matchmaker…

“That lady Huang didn’t lie. He really is a handsome Xiucai…”

“A distant relative of mine said…”

Lin Lixuan didn’t know if he should cry or laugh as he tried to ward them off. Most of the aunties were snobbish. When they heard he was a poor Xiucai from the village, their matchmaking desires retreated eighty percent. After they learned he already had a Shuang’er as a wife, they completely lost interest in him.

However, since they’re already there, they would feel bad if they didn’t do something. They heard this Xiucai wrote beautifully. They also wanted to write a letter to their distant relatives. Why not…have him help them write one.

When one person had this idea, the next person instantly came along.

Lin Lixuan unintentionally attracted business for Huang Yuan and made another 100 wen without doing anything.

Was this…buy one get many free???

“Say…you’re too amazing…” Huang Yuan’s face was full of confusion. He couldn’t earn this much money even after a few days. Lin Lixuan earned it in a single day. And all the surrounding people wanted to look for Xiucai Lin to write for him. Would he be able to continue this business to make money in the future…It was true that constantly comparing yourself to others would make one angry.

Seeing Huang Yuan looking like he was facing a great enemy, Lin Lixuan smiled. “Don’t worry. I won’t compete with you for this job.”

Huang Yuan’s ordinary-looking face was full of pleading. “You absolutely cannot…”

Lin Lixuan gave him 30 wen. Holding the pile of copper coins, Huang Yuan felt his soul being comforted.

“Since it’s your stall, you take care of it… By the way, I’m looking for a place. Do you know where it is?” Lin Lixuan remembered the destination he wanted to go to for his trip and asked Huang Yuan, who was extremely familiar with the area around the stone bridge.

“You’re asking about this place?” Huang Yuan pointed diagonally across. “Go around that bend and you’ll see if after going through the door.”


Chu Zihang was an ordinary scholar at the county town’s academy. He was kind and simple and studied hard, but his family was poor. The boss of Songyun Bookstore loved talents. Seeing that he was a real talent in learning, and that he was kind and motivated, he had him work at Songyun Bookstore during the days to make some extra money for his family.

Chu Zihang was extremely thankful to the owner of Songyun Bookstore, and even offered to do things for Songyun Bookstore for free.

To Songyun Bookstore, it didn’t matter whether he made money or not. After working at Songyun Bookstore, he could read books in the store for free. He was a person who cherished books. He didn’t dare mess around. When he had time, he would pick up the brush and copy books as well.

On this day, when he was copying books in the bookstore, he happened to overhear Lin Lixuan and the shop assistant. After Lin Lixuan left, he looked up and watched the man leave. The other party had a refreshing temperament, like orchid and bamboo. He wondered what his manuscript would be like? He was curious and picked up Lin Lixuan’s manuscript. At first glance, he was shocked at the other party’s good handwriting.

It was like a flying dragon hooked by the silver painting. There was a unique elegance hidden between the lines. His calligraphy was like stars in the sky with infinite power. It was really pleasing to the eye. Chu Zihang regretted not going forward earlier and missing a fellow calligrapher.

After praising the handwriting in his head, Chu Zihang began reading its contents. It was even more amazing. He instantly tossed aside the good handwriting he was boasting about earlier and indulged in the plot of the story wholeheartedly…

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