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Mother Makes Her Move
I wrote this in response to aldersprig's first prompt of "More Nai."

After the police had left, Madam Sung cornered her husband in his study.  Cornered is perhaps too aggressive a term, he was reading a scholarly journal and she brought him tea.  When he looked up from his reading to thank her, she asked him, “Sung Kao, do you remember who introduced us?”

“Wasn’t it Pun?  That fellow from the park exercise group?”  Her husband picked up his cup.

“But it wasn’t my father, or your father for that matter,” she pressed on and he looked at her oddly before she added, “so, when does Nai get to have fun?”

“I beg your pardon?”  He was clearly puzzled.

“After I finished my secondary exams, my parents sent me to the seaside for a holiday, then the following year I started tertiary school.  I went to parties, made friends, studied, fell in love and had my heart broken then, after two years, I met you.”  She smiled fondly at her husband and the father of her children.  “If we go forward with your plan, when’s Nai going to get to do all those things?”

Scholar Sung put down his tea and his journal.  “We meant to do everything we did for the others for her too, and yet,” he made a helpless gesture.  “I can’t see any other way to make it up to her.”

“At the expense of giving her time to finish growing up?  I’ve seen the list of characteristics you’ve drawn up to aid your search for a suitable husband.”  She smiled gently at him, “It sounds like you’re trying to find a friend for yourself to discuss poetry and play go with, not a husband for a young woman.”  The smile turned sad and pained, “She doesn’t need a husband who doesn’t think she’s important, she’s had enough of that from us.  Mightn’t it have been better to give her a party for the end of her exams, even if it was late, and then work out how we could help her get into the course she wants next year?”

“It’s too late to get her into a good school for next year,” Kao said pettishly.  “She’s the great-great granddaughter of a reincarnated scholar and the sister of one, if we could only identify which of her brothers it is.  There are only a few universities she should go to.”

“Then perhaps we should let her have her road trip,” suggested his wife, “and enjoy time with her friend and their teacher?”  Something else occurred to her, “How could you arrange for this Master Que to teach her without meeting him?”

“I didn’t arrange for him to teach her,” Kao carefully put down his cup.  “I thought you arranged it.  I merely made some enquiries once I received his first account.  So who did arrange it?”

“Oh dear,” Nai’s mother sat down heavily on a vacant chair.  “She did.  She was six.  She must have thought that going around to a gi school with a plate of biscuits or treats for the teacher was how you got a gi teacher, because that was what she saw.  The poor little mite, it would have been when I was sick having Jin.”  She covered her face with her hands.  “Whatever must he think of us?”

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*applause* good mom, Good mom, now dad... ack.

A buddy for my father would NOT be a good husband for me!

And Nai's still only seventeen...

This, yes. Ack!

Hell of a thing to pull of when you're six, too. How did she even find a gi school as lightly populated as that? It's presumably within walking (biking?) distance of their house (since she's also been getting herself there since she was six?), but tagging along with an older sibling to their school would be a lot easier than finding one you've never been to before. I wonder whether Master Que saw her potential then.

Good thing she's gotten good at doing things for herself instead of just doing without?

I've kind of wondered how she ended up the one left out, actually.

She's quieter than the others, will go away when she's told to and as she doesn't have any talent, that her family knows of, that makes her stand out from the others. Plus an inconvenientky timed birthday.

/judges her parents unkindly anyway/

Yes. Plus she's sort of in the middle of thirteen.

It wasn't the first one she fronted...

Wasn't the first gi school she visited, or wasn't the first time she had to do something major for herself?

It wasn't the first gi school she went to that day.

Read "Mother Makes her Move"

User aldersprig referenced to your post from Read "Mother Makes her Move" saying: [...] Read "Mother Makes her Move" [...]

How bittersweet. At first I was happy seeing that Mom is being very sensible and honest with herself and even confronting her husband. But when I read that the one thing I had thought they did right for her, get her a gi teacher, was just another thing they messed up... Oh poor Nai.

Although, now I'm curious about why children would ever bring cookies to gi teachers. If I'm understanding correctly, Mom is implying that there is a tradition of doing that for some reason.

-Friendly Anon

Sort of a "Thank you for taking me on" ritual. The sort of thing a six year old might mistake for a "Please teach me" bribe.

But how adorabubble! ^_^

On a different note ... I wonder what the odds are of Nai being the reincarnated scholar. Or of his having swapped out with someone else and her being the reincarnation of a powerful sorceror ...

It's not her. We have briefly seen the brother concerned and I plan to get to that later...

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