Every spring, the rivers would thaw. This was the time when the trade routes began to flow again, and it was Canglong Prefectures busiest period. Caravans from all around moved through this place, circulating all kinds of goods throughout the country.
Besides commercial movement, there was another kind of movement that also started at this time: student movement.
Although Basking Moon Academy only started in the summer, the land was vast. Afraid of delays on the journey, many students began their preparations for their journey far in advance.
This year, Tang Jie was sixteen, Shi Meng was fifteen, and the third young master was fifteen and a half. Once-ignorant and -immature brats had grown up into handsome young men, tall enough that they could almost match adults. They had also become much more mature and tactful.
Today, the Wu home was very lively.
As soon as Tang Jie came in, he saw the Wu couple carrying out various bundles from the house: cotton blankets, clothes, and shoes were being piled up.
Tang Jie was astonished. “Dad, Mom, what are you doing?”
“Hey, arent you headed off to school tomorrow? We have to prepare your winter clothes,” Granny Wu answered as she continued to move things around.
“But the winter just passed, didnt it?”
“But you still have to go through next years winter, right? And the year after that, yes?” Granny Wu rolled her eyes at her son.
Tang Jie helplessly said, “We can talk about that next year. If its really no good, I can just buy some clothes.”
“You think that will work? Things in the capital are expensive! The clothes in our home are perfectly serviceable, and it will be a great pity if theres no one to wear them,” Granny Wu said as she waved around the small lined jacket in her hand.
Old Wu couldnt watch anymore. “My dear wife, Xinger wore that when he was little, so its best not to give him that. Young people these days dont wear old clothes.”
“Its still rather new! Its a pity that no ones going to wear it,” the old lady muttered. But she still put the jacket down and took out several more for Tang Jie.
A small package appeared in her hand, and she stuffed it into Tang Jies grip. Holding Tang Jies hand, she said, “There are 23 taels of silver and four strings of cash in here. Put it in a good place so that you have some money to spend in the capital.”
Tang Jie drew back his hand. “Mom, what are you doing? I dont lack for money, and the Wei Estate pays a monthly stipend.”
After becoming servant students, both Tang Jie and Shi Meng had experienced a change in status. Each month, they received ten taels of silver, the equivalent of ten thousand yuan every month—the salary of a minor white-collar worker. And this wasnt even considering that the Wei Clan was paying for all their basic school expenses.
“Aiya, whats the use of that monthly stipend? Dont think your mother doesnt know how expensive those cultivator academies are! All the young scions of big clans complain about lacking money. Xinger even sent us a letter about it!”
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