Second Marriage [Chapter 10-onwards] - 11.1
Chapter 11 Part 1
Xiao Youning stayed at Qingfeng Daoist Temple. On the first day of her stay, she asked the people there to find a reliable person to go into the city to inquire about her father and brother.
For two days in a row, it could be said that there was no progress.
“Young Miss, there is still a war in Da Tong. It may be a good thing that the Government Cabinet and Imperial Censors pressed the Emperor to convict the Marquis.”
Xiao Youning sat by the window. There was a lotus flower picked from the pool on the windowsill.
At the peak of summer in June, the lotus flowers were in full bloom. And now a single flower was inserted in the vase like a lonely, but graceful beauty.
She reached out and gently touched the petals. She watched it tremble and said with a sad expression, “It’s not necessarily a good thing. I don’t know what’s going on in the Imperial Courts, and I cannot guess the thoughts of the Emperor. However, I know that the war is urgent, and convicting my father and brother at this time will definitely affect the morale of the army. Now, the army at Da Tong is still being led by Uncle Wei.”
Wei Yan was her father’s long-time friend. The soldiers under him were all trained by her father.
The Emperor did not move at this moment. He was mostly afraid of affecting the morale of the army. The whereabouts of her father and brother were still unknown, which could also give Wei Yan’s soldiers the motivation to fight with all their strength. So, over the past few days, she had been afraid to think about whether her father and brother were really dead.
Her father and brother’s unknown whereabouts were only the first step used by the Emperor to stabilize the army. If the morale of the army in Da Tong fell again and they were destroyed in battle, there could be bad news about her father and brother’s disappearance.
By that time, Wei Yan would be affected. The enemy would easily seize this opportunity. Then, this would be followed by…
“No misfortune is worse
Than underestimating the enemy.
Underestimating the enemy,
I risk losing my treasure.
When equal armies battle,
The grieving one will be victorious.”1
This, she has read.
She must think in this way because she still had not received a letter from Wei Yan after her father and brother had an accident like that for so long. It must be that his side had no way to send a letter or that the letter could not reach her.
Xiao Youning suddenly felt disheartened. There was a surge of energy from her chest. She covered her mouth as she coughed a few times.
When Yuan Guo saw that her whole body was quivering, she quickly stopped speaking about this subject. She looked away and thought of one more matter that she had not told her.
“Young Miss, do you know what the people in the capital are saying about the Second Branch and the Li Family now? Brother Chen inquired about this information and said that the common people are scolding the Second Branch every day. They are saying that the Second Branch actually sent Young Miss to Da Tong and after, they still went to the Li Family to demand the dowry.”
“They were scolded as black-hearted villains, and the Li Family were also scolded. The Li Family deliberately approached the magistrate for the dowry list in order to take their own family out. They said they must see you in person before giving the dowry to you. The Imperial Censors have been sending their accounts to the Emperor. Serves them right!”
Yuan Guo put her hands on her hips and was beaming as she spoke. She was very delighted in her heart.
Looking at her exaggerated appearance, Xiao Youning’s lips could not help turn into a slight smile. She also recalled what the Daoist Nun had said about Wu Ye.
He traveled everywhere and did not have a fixed Daoist Temple.
She also had to repay the life saving grace.
Right when she thought her little life was finished in that village, she had found a glimmer of hope. Now, she was still alive and well.
So as long as there was no definite news about her father and brother, there was hope!
She quickly picked up her spirits again. It was time to start planning the repayment of the life saving grace, and maybe one day she would see the Daoist Priest again.
“Yuan Guo.” She faced the sun and looked out of the window at the row of green trees. On her delicate face was a smile. “Have Brother Chen tell the others when he comes down the mountain tomorrow that we’ll be staying at Qingfeng Daoist Temple.”
Yuan Guo was shocked. “Young Miss, why?”
While Xiao Youning instructed Yuan Guo about these things, it was two days since Ye Shen had returned to the palace. He was listening to Jian Yin’s news that the common people were criticizing the Ye Family’s involvement.
Jian Yin spoke for a while, then stopped to look at his master’s complexion.
But it didn’t matter if he said that the Ye Family took advantage of their position to bully the little girl, or that Ye Shen was cold-blooded to join in the bullying. Ye Shen had an indifferent expression. His deep, dark eyes did not have any sadness or joy. He really looked like a monk jumping out of the mortal world2 with the Daoist robes on him.
“Fifth Master, should we take care of those lowly people? If it were not for us, the Young Miss from the Xiao Family would have been eaten to the bone.”
Ye Shen still had no reaction. He was solemnly copying calligraphy in a copybook.
Seeing that the master did not respond, Jian Yin tactfully shut his mouth. In any case, what was said about his Fifth Master over the years was much sharper than what was being spread now.
He would take care of the news or his Fifth Master may lose status.
Jian Yin held his sword and prepared to go out. Ye Shen stopped writing and slowly said from behind him, “Have people spread the news of her return to the capital.”
Jian Yin turned around unexpectedly. “Fifth Master, is it to clarify this matter? And tell them that we saved the Xiao Family’s Young Miss?”
“Only spread the news of her return to the capital.”
Ye Shen carefully turned his wrist to write a vertical stroke and an upwards stroke. The thick, black ink marks stood out on the paper. It formed a word with the previously finished strokes. He stared at the calligraphy and put the brush down. His mind flashed to the look of trust and a little bit of dependence as she pulled on his sleeves under the tree.
His mother was right. Send the Buddha to the West3 and help her again this time. When she leaves Qingfeng Daoist Temple, she would have nothing to do with him.
It was not convenient for her to stay there. In the end, it would give his mother trouble.
- This is a teaching that comes from Laozi’s Dao De Jing. Laozi is the founder of Daoism and Dao De Jing is a fundamental text for the philosophy of Daoism. Credits and detailed explanation.
- 跳出凡尘 (tiàochū fánchén) – give up on worldly affairs
- 送佛送到西 (sòngfósòngdàoxī) – metaphor that means do good things to the end.