December 23, 2021

Chapter 16: Ferule

Heling felt strange as she suddenly she felt comfortable at home these days.

It all seemed to have started from the sudden change in her sister’s attitude toward her the night before.

The little girl was very surprised by this subtle change that she could not tell. She repeatedly assured her sister that she would never spend money indiscriminately and would definitely keep it within the amount Yansheng gave her.

She originally wanted to go back to her room to unpack the new game console. However, the pocket money fell from the sky all of a sudden, so she threw away the thought of unpacking the game console.

Seeing Yansheng carrying a pile of bags to the cloakroom, she put down the game console first and followed over to help.

“Sister, did you buy new clothes?”

“Mm-hmm,” Yansheng replied indifferently as she cut the tags on the new clothes.

Heling handed the hangers to Yansheng and also helped her hang the clothes.

Heling was careful and she quickly discovered something. “Sister, the new clothes you bought are not the same style as your old clothes.”

Hearing that, Yansheng raised her eyes and scanned the clothes hanging in her wardrobe. It was indeed a very different style.

At this time, Yansheng was still a good girl so the clothes in her wardrobe were very fresh, pure, and youthful. But later on, she became a ‘bad girl’ with multiple tattoos on her body. Even if she didn’t want to go the old way anymore, her aesthetics were completely different from this time.

Today, she specially bought some clothes that match her aesthetic.

The new clothes were all brightly colored, publicity-seeking, and mature in design. It was completely different from the fresh style of the past.

She picked up a set of clothes, put them in front of her, looked in the mirror, and asked Heling, “Does it look good?”

“It looks good!“ Heling propped her elbows on the jewelry storage table in the middle of the closet, held her chin, and said, “Sister, I think you seem to be very different from before.”

Yansheng looked at herself in the mirror and smiled faintly.

She didn’t want to ask Heling what she was like in the past, nor did she want to think about what she would be like in the future. Since she had returned to this point in time, she wanted to overturn everything, start over, and be a brand-new her.

“Hey, Sister, what is this?” Heling suddenly bent over and pulled the paper bag, and took out a long flat bamboo stick from the inside. “Is this… a ruler?”

But there was no scale on it, instead, it was engraved with dense small characters. If you looked closely, the engraving was the ‘Three Character Classic’.1The Three Character Classic (Chinese: 三字经, 三字經), commonly known as San Zi Jing, also translated as Trimetric Classic, is one of the Chinese classic texts. This work is not one of the traditional six Confucian classics, but rather the embodiment of Confucianism suitable for teaching young children.

“What is this for?” asked Heling.

Yansheng hung up her clothes, stretched out her hand to take that thing from the little girl’s hand, and said, “Stretch out your hand.”

Heling was puzzled but she stretched out a hand obediently.

Zhang Yansheng turned her hand over to show the palm of her hand and patted that thing lightly on her palm. “To do this.”

Heling suddenly had a realization. “I see! This is—what is it called again? I’ve seen it on the TV!”

“Ferule.”2戒尺 jiè chǐ – teacher’s ruler for beating pupils.

Ferule – a flat ruler with a widened end, formerly used for punishing children.

TN: I can’t find any other equivalent term in English, so I will just use ferule to not confuse it with a ruler.
Yansheng lightly patted it on her hand twice just to test the feeling. “It’s especially use in punishing disobedient children.”

When she went to the sports club today to find her sparring partner, she saw this thing in the commissary downstairs. She felt that she could take advantage of it, so she bought one.

Heling took a breath and hurriedly said, “I do my homework on time every day.”

Yansheng was reborn for three days now and finally showed a smile that was not a sneer. “Don’t worry, the rule of this family is not to hit girls.”

“Does our family really have this rule? Who made it? That’s great then!” exclaimed Heling.

Yansheng held the ferule and raised her eyes. “I did.”

From now on, the rules of this family would be set by her.

She patted the ferule twice on the palm of her hand and asked in a deep voice, “Is Shuocheng asleep now?”

Heling replied without thinking, “He must have not slept yet. I’m pretty sure that he’s still playing at this time.”

That was just right, so Yansheng said, “Come and follow me upstairs.”

Heling’s eyelids twitched and she had an ominous premonition—Shuocheng, the unlucky child, would he have to suffer twice in a day?

But Yansheng already walked out with the ferule and Heling didn’t dare to disobey, so the little girl went upstairs with her sister.

Shuocheng was only two years old when he first came to this house and still needed the care of a nanny. His room was a suite and Mrs. Wang was staying there with him.

Mrs. Wang happened to go to the bathroom at this time. When Yansheng opened the door, she saw Shuocheng sitting on the ground playing alone, with toys all over the carpet.

Shuocheng’s whole body was tensed when he saw her. When he got up from the ground, he wanted to jump into the room inside, but he was grabbed by Yansheng.

“What are you running for?” Yansheng asked.

Shuocheng shouted, “Help! I have finished my homework! I finished it!”

“Then why are you running? You know what your guilty conscience is.” Yansheng grabbed him and said to Heling, “Close the door.”

Heling hurriedly closed the door.

“Lock it,” ordered Yansheng.

Heling locked the door as well.

Yansheng said to Shuocheng, “I will let you go now but you’re not going to run out of this room. Even if you shout, your mother won’t be able to get in. In my hands, no one can save you, understand?”

Shuocheng remembered that this morning, when his mother was at home, he was still beaten up so he nodded.

Yansheng then let him go and asked him, “What did I tell you this morning?”

Shuocheng immediately exclaimed, “I have finished my homework!”

Yansheng snorted. “I asked you to finish it before noon, right? So when did you finish it?”

The little boy didn’t respond.

Yansheng turned her head and asked Heling instead, “What time did he finish his homework?”

Heling replied honestly, “It’s past one o’clock in the afternoon.”

Yansheng turned her head back and told him, “I asked you to finish it before noon. Why did you drag it until the afternoon? Put your hands out.”

Shuocheng immediately hid his hands behind his back and asked vigilantly, “What are you going to do?”

The ferule waved twice in Yansheng’s hand, making a sound of breaking through the air.

Yansheng explained, “This is a ferule which I specially bought for you. I will teach you how to use it. I asked you to finish your homework at noon but you finished it at one o’clock in the afternoon. You dragged it for an hour, so you’ll need to be hit at the palm of your hand. Stretch out your hands now!”

Shuocheng was nervous and shouted, “Mom! Mom!”

Coincidentally, because Huan promised to buy Yingying a Ferrari sports car, she was holding Huan arm greedily as they walked upstairs and wanting to make out. As soon as they arrived on the third floor, they heard Shuocheng’s yell.

In normal times, Yingying would be very impatient if Shuocheng screamed like this. There was a nanny, so why did he keep on calling her?

But in the past two days, she was also a little nervous and sensitive. When she heard Shuocheng calling her, she suddenly felt frightened. It gave her an intuition that her son would only yell like this because he couldn’t get rid of Yansheng.

She immediately let go of Huan’s arm and walked quickly to open Shuocheng’s door, only to find out that the door was locked.

“Shuoshuo! Shuoshuo!” She knocked on the door. “What’s wrong with you? Why is the door locked?!”

“Mom! Sister is going to hit me again!” Shuocheng shouted from inside.

He reflexively wanted to rush to the door. But Yansheng’s ferule was placed before him and blocked his chest. He had suffered a few times already, so he didn’t dare to rush forward and just stood still.

“Yansheng! What are you doing? Shuoshuo has finished his homework! Are you going to beat him again for no reason? Yansheng, open this door!” Yingying shouted from outside.

At this time, Mrs. Wang also hurriedly came out of the bathroom with her pants on. “What happened? What happened?”

Honestly, she didn’t know what was going on with the eldest miss in the past two days and she was beginning to worry.

Yansheng ignored these people and only spoke to Shuocheng, “If you stretch out your hands now, I will only hit you once. If you don’t stretch it out on the count of three, I will hit you three times. If you make trouble and your mother comes in, I will hit you thirty times.”

She stared at Shuocheng. “One, two… three!”

Shuocheng stretched out his hands nervously.

Very good.

Yansheng didn’t want to spend a lot of time and waste her energy with a little brat every day. She wanted to clean up Shuocheng as soon as possible. She wanted him to know how to be afraid, so he could be obedient.

It started to have an effect now.

She held the little boy’s hands and raised the ferule.

Shuocheng was so scared that his mouth was so deflated, but he was unable to cry.

Mrs. Wang could easily grab Yansheng’s hands, but she didn’t dare to stop her.

Only Heling couldn’t bear it and begged for Shuocheng’s favor, “Sister… be gentle…”

Yansheng originally wanted to give Shuocheng a hard time, but when she heard Heling’s plea, her heart suddenly moved.

She raised the ferule high, with the wind, but paused before it fell, and gently patted Shuocheng’s palms.

Both Mrs. Wang and Heling breathed a sigh of relief.

Shuocheng was too stunned to speak. Eh?

“It doesn’t hurt, right?” Yansheng let go of Shuocheng’s hands. “It’s because I didn’t exert more strength, but do you know why?”

Shuocheng shook his head.

“Because your sister pleaded for you,” said Yansheng. “I will forgive you this time for the sake of your sister’s face. But in the future, I will put her in charge of checking your homework every day and you have to listen to her. If you make a mistake, she’ll tell you, so you have to listen to her. Do you understand? If you don’t listen to what I say, then it’s not easy for anyone to plead for you again, do you understand?”

Outside the suite, Yingying couldn’t hear Shuocheng’s yell anymore, so she slammed the door even more anxiously. “Open the door! You open the door for me! Huan, tell your daughter to open the door!”

Inside the suite, Shuocheng nodded. Yansheng said, “Repeat it to me, who will you listen to in the future?”

“I’ll listen to my sister.”

“Which sister of yours?”

“Sister Hehe.”

Yansheng slapped a big plush toy on the ground with the ferule, which made a loud noise.

So Shuocheng trembled with fright.

“Which sister will you listen to?”


She slapped the toy with the ferule and it made a loud noise again.

“Which sister will you listen to?”

Mrs. Wang hurriedly reminded Shuocheng, “Both! Both!”

Shuocheng suddenly had a realization. “I will listen to both of you!”

“Remember what you said, okay?” Yansheng was finally satisfied and said to Heling, “Open the door.”

Heling had been standing by the door and she was so nervous when she heard her own mother yelling and knocking on the door. Finally, Yansheng gave her an order so she quickly opened the door.

When the door was opened, Yingying pushed Heling away and rushed in. She hugged Shuocheng in her arms, like a protective hen.

“Huan! Huan! You still don’t want to control your daughter?! Shuoshuo is so good today! He did his homework all morning! Why did your daughter hit him?” screamed Yingying.

Huan was there in front of them, so he couldn’t just leave this matter alone. He glanced at Yansheng, walked over, and asked his son, “Have you been hit again? Does it hurt?”

However, Shuocheng replied calmly, “It doesn’t hurt!”

Yingying was taking a deep breath and preparing to perform a wail, but was choked directly on her trachea.

“Ahem, ahem, ahem, ahem, ahem!”

  • 1
    The Three Character Classic (Chinese: 三字经, 三字經), commonly known as San Zi Jing, also translated as Trimetric Classic, is one of the Chinese classic texts. This work is not one of the traditional six Confucian classics, but rather the embodiment of Confucianism suitable for teaching young children.
  • 2
    戒尺 jiè chǐ – teacher’s ruler for beating pupils.

    Ferule – a flat ruler with a widened end, formerly used for punishing children.

    TN: I can’t find any other equivalent term in English, so I will just use ferule to not confuse it with a ruler.