She swept her gaze over the nearby people. They were all real men that had Adam's apples. In this era, was there any man that took care of children?
These people were really doing their absolute best during this competitive job interview.
Not willing to accept this, Ji Man stood on her tiptoes to raise her hand higher.
Surprisingly, Ning Yuxuan actually smiled. He got up and brought Haohao over. Pointing at the group of people, he asked, "Which one do you like?"
Holding onto his little wooden figure toy, Haohao blankly looked at the crowd for a while, but as soon as his little feet touched the ground, he headed towards Ji Man.
Overjoyed, Ji Man crouched down and held her hands out.
Seeing this sight, the people near her became nervous. One of them hastily said, "This one heard that the marquis has high requirements for his heir's teacher. This one had previously taught at the Imperial College of Supreme Learning, and some of my students had passed the imperial exam to be officials in the imperial court..."
Another person said, "This one's paternal grandfather had been the late emperor's imperial tutor, and this one has inherited all of his teachings. It's only that this one's family fell on hard times."
Since they had lost in affinity, they could only compete with scholarly merits. All of the scholars started to talk about their qualifications and work experience. There was even one person here that had come second in the imperial examination several years ago. Unfortunately, his path as an official hadn't gone smoothly, and he was still an unimportant minor official. He had come here hoping to rely on Marquis Moyu's status to rise up in the ranks.
As soon as Ji Man heard this person's introduction, she almost blushed in shame. In this era, she didn't even have a diploma. Everyone else here was more qualified than her.
Haohao had already walked to her. Ji Man couldn't resist her impulse to hug him and rub her face against his soft, rosy cheeks and little face.
Marquis Moyu's gaze fell down on her. Not showing any favoritism, he directly asked, "What about you?"
Ji Man awkwardly laughed. Holding Haohao, she stood up and said, "This one doesn't have everyone else's excellent family background and accomplishments. However, several years from now, this one can declare a good reputation for myself."
"En?" Ning Yuxuan raised an eyebrow. "What kind of reputation?
"Marquis Moyu's heir's teacher."
If they were competing to see who was the most shameless, Ji Man wasn't scared of losing. Even if she didn't have a diploma here, she still had her mouth.
"If the heir follows this one, he'll read and re-read until he's familiar with the Four Books and Five Classics and comprehend the importance of propriety, justice, integrity, and honor, as well as accepting of new ideas and knowing how to do more than just fawn over other people. The heir is still young. He needs to be slowly taught. This one believes that this one is more patient with young children than anyone else here. This one wouldn't mistreat a child. When the heir grows up, he'll achieve laudable goals. When that time comes, this one will naturally gain a famous reputation."
(T/N: The Four Books and Five Classics are classical texts that serve as an introduction to Confucianism and further understanding of Confucian ideals.)
Marquis, the most terrible thing when trying to find a teacher for your young child was unintentionally hiring a pervert!
Ning Yuxuan contemplated for a long time before pursing his lips and saying, "In order to choose a teacher for my heir, I've tried my best. I naturally need to choose someone that my heir likes and can communicate easily with him. I also need that person to share my burden in taking care of my heir. Everyone here is pretty good, so it's difficult for me to choose. How about just letting the heir choose for himself?"
Everyone's gaze fell on Ji Man. The heir was already in that person's arms. Hadn't he already chosen?
One of the scholars questioned, "Could it be that he has something on his body that attracts children?"
The chosen person didn't look like he had any strong background, and Marquis Moyu hadn't shown any favoritism towards this person. The heir had been the one that chose. How could a two to three year old child be allowed to make such an important decision? There was definitely something off about this.
Clutching the lapel of Ji Man's robe, Haohao giggled.
It had started off as stringent and rigorous process for selecting a teacher, but it ended with Ji Man officially becoming Haohao's teacher just because Haohao was holding onto Ji Man and refusing to let go.
People that entered Marquis Moyu's household would all have their backgrounds thoroughly investigated. Fortunately, very few people in the capital knew that Ji Man was Zhangjun Prince's advisor. In addition, Wu Yong had pulled a few tricks, so Ji Man entered the household under the identity of an "erudite and multi-talented grain merchant proprietor".
There were masters in the palace that had inquired about this matter too, but everyone had said that the selection process for choosing a teacher for the heir had been very strict, and that grain merchant had just gotten lucky. Since he was an unimportant person that didn't have a strong background, no one cared enough to ask further questions.
Once again, Ji Man returned to this familiar estate. Steward Qian, who was as honest as always, led her to a room in the western courtyard. Ji Man carried Haohao the entire way there without letting go. She looked like a weird uncle figure as she laughed and said, "Hehe, we're going to spend all our time together in the future."
Haohao blinked, and his long eyelashes briefly shook.
Right after Ji Man had settled down in her new room, Steward Qian came back to inform Ji Man that everyone would be having dinner in the western courtyard tonight. It could be considered as introducing this new teacher to the rest of the household.
She glanced at herself in the mirror. Seeing that she still had that disguised face and even her own mother wouldn't be able to recognize her right now, Ji Man was completely at ease as she headed to the dining room.
Some things have remained the same, but the people had changed. A year had already passed since the last time she was here, and it seemed that there were less people in the household now. Only three other women came over to eat dinner: Wen Wan, Liu Hanyun, and Mu Shuiqing.
Remembering the courtyard that had been full of women's laughter when she had first come to this world, Ji Man sighed as she sat down.
Wen Wan raised her head to look at this new teacher and warmly smiled. Wen Wan's face was as beautiful and pleasant to see as always.
Next to her, Liu Hanyun quietly said, "We'll have to depend on you to teach the heir in the future."
Ji Man cupped her hands and made her voice rougher as she answered, "This one will do his best."
Quietly standing behind Marquis Moyu, Mu Shuiqing repeatedly glanced at this new teacher.
Ning Yuxuan turned his head and said to Liu Hanyun, "When Xi-er reaches a suitable age, I'll find a teacher for him too."
Liu Hanyun nodded, but she still looked a bit troubled. "Xia-shi... My lord, are you really going to have a teacher take care of the heir? The heir is still young and doesn't have a mother..."
Ning Yuxuan interrupted her, "Did you forget? Xia-shi had already died from an illness." As he stretching his chopsticks out to start the dinner, he added, "A teacher can do a good job with taking care of Haohao too. You don't need to worry."
Ji Man thought it was unexpected that Liu Hanyun could become the main wife. She didn't know what had happen in this household during the days that she had been gone.