[TYCDTN] Chapter 26 Part 1

Translated by: Jellylynn

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Edited by: Evening & Lynn

This novel is to be only hosted on Foxaholic; copies found elsewhere are stolen or worse, plagiarised. 

Names mentioned in this chapter (which can also be found in the glossary):

-虞襄(yú xiāng )- Yu Xiang, the female lead

-虞品言(yú pǐn yán)- Yu Pin Yan, the male lead

-马嬷嬷(mǎ mómo)- Ma Mo Mo

-老太太(lǎotàitai)- Old Madam

-苦海和尚(Kǔ huì héshang)- Master Ku Hai

-镇国寺(zhèn guó sì)- Zhenguo Temple, the temple Master Ku Hai is from

-天竺国(Tiānzhú guó)- Country Tian Zhu

-广济寺(guǎng jì sì)- Guang Ji temple, the temple Master Ku Hai was in 70 years ago. 

-皇帝圣祖(huángdì Shèngzǔ)- Emperor Sheng Zu, the founding Emperor 

Ever since Yu Xiang was startled awake from her nightmare and knelt in the Buddhist hall for a day and a night, the Old Madam felt that life had started to become more difficult. Every day, from the moment she opened her eyes, she would ask whether there were any war reports sent to the capital from the North West battlefield, and whether the Marquis had sent any message. 

They could do nothing except to shake their heads.  

The Old Madam would then turn to ask Yu Xiang what dream she had. Yu Xiang would just press her chest and cry that she was in pain. Her miserable expression made the Old Madam question whether it was true or not, but she just had to give up and hurriedly summoned a physician. 

Just like this, half a month had gone by. Finally, the Old Madam’s attention was occupied with by another matter——Master Ku Hai, a monk from Zhenguo Temple, returned from his journey and placed a Chien Tung[1] for people who were brought together by fate. And in at least three to five days and at most ten days, he would sail back to Country Tian Zhu to improve his spiritual cultivation. 

Speaking of Master Ku Hai, he was the most legendary figure in the Han Dynasty. Seventy years ago, the founding emperor, Emperor Sheng Zu, was just a small Marquis in one of the thousands of households. He was lucky enough to draw the ‘Emperor stick’ of Master Ku Hai in Guang Ji temple and had a conversation with him. Before he left, Master Ku Hai presented him with a piece of wild grass, which had two sentences stating “dragon travels in the nine heavens and the five continents under the earth are the same.” 

This poem wasn’t very good, but the words were auspicious. Emperor Sheng Zu mounted it and hung it in in his room until the day of his ascension to the throne, then he understood. This was the consultation he had where he had earnestly asked for the meaning, yet Master Ku Hai didn’t want to tell him——Ninth-five plan[2], the most respected of the land under heaven. No one would have thought that a small household Marquis would become the master of the vast land after a few years. 

After that, the Guang Ji temple was renamed to Zheng Guo Temple by the Emperor’s edict. Master Ku Hai’s Chien Tung became an object of worship in the Han Dynasty. Since then, seventy years have passed, Master Ku Hai’s appearance was still the same, it seemed that time had forgotten to age him.

Because of all this, his status became more unapproachable and more desirable. 

Once the Old Madam received this news, she immediately sent someone to prepare the carriage to head to the Zheng Guo temple. 

“Let the maidservant put on more clothes for Xiang’er. Don’t let her catch a cold on the way there.” She uneasily urged. 

Ma Momo stood on the porch and looked up at the sky. She hesitatingly said, “Old Madam, it’s raining cats and dogs outside. The road is muddy and hard to walk. It’s better to go another day.” 

“We have to rush over to attend the opening ceremony of the altar. Otherwise, we won’t be able to squeeze into it when people start to go visit in  a few days. Today, the Crown Princess would definitely be going there. We can take advantage of this.” The Old Madam beckoned her. 

Ma Momo had no choice, so she ran to the west chamber in the heavy rain and asked Yu Xiang to prepare quickly. It was also strange, the torrential rain that was so powerful as if it wished to pour out all the water for nine days, Yu Xiang who had just recently recovered straightened up and looked out of the door, the rain stopped. Rays of golden sunlight pierced through the layers of clouds and shone down her head, her originally pale face was even more pure and holy, and the dust particles floating around her added a bit of liveliness to her. 

Ma Momo stood there staring at her blankly for a long time, until Yu Xiang strangely raised her eyebrow at her. Then, she hurriedly pushed her out.  

When they arrived at Zhengguo Temple, they saw the Crown Princess’s carriage had stopped outside the temple with many imperial bodyguards armed with swords and halberds patrolling around. Whenever the guards saw idle people, they went to dismiss them. 

Yu Pin Yan was now fighting far away in the North West. If he returned victorious after the battle, he wouldn’t only inherit the mantle of the old Marquis Yongle, but also become a General of Valiant Cavalry and in charge of millions of troops. He was the Crown prince’s most trusted subordinates and the most reliable aid. In terms of personal relationship, his status wasn’t any less compared to that of a legitimate brother. As a result of this relationship, the Old Madam had just passed a message and the Crown Princess sent someone to welcome them. The Madams who couldn’t enter were so envious that their eyes turned red. 

After greeting each other, they sat and talked to each other. 

“Have the Crown Princess drawn the ‘Emperor stick’?” The Old Madam inquired curiously. 

“No, none of the hundred and ten people who came with benggong today had picked the Emperor stick. It can be seen that I have no chance to meet with Master Ku Hai. Thus, I would wish for blessings and listened to the scriptures in the hall and returned back when it’s time.” The Crown Princess shook her head and laughed bitterly. 

Master Ku Hai was a divine monk in the Han Dynasty. Anyone who was associated with the word “divine” had an unrestrained aura in his bones, his behaviors and speech reflected his own preference. Master Ku Hai’s face reading was very accurate, and he could foretell the future of life and death. However, it wasn’t up to anyone to receive a reading from him, it was up to fate. 

Master Ku Hai asked a craftsman to make a huge rotatable Chien Tung, which was divided into two layers, and the centre was blocked by a partition board, and the box could hold 50,000 sticks in total[3]. The person who wanted to draw from the lot would have to first spin the Chien Tung, then remove the partition. Once the lots fell to the bottom layer, one would randomly pick up a stick. If the ‘emperor stick’ was chosen, it would signify that the person who picked the stick was predestined to meet with Master Ku Hai.  He  would have a chat with the said person and answer any question they asked. 

There were fifty thousand sticks in and there was only one chance. In the 70 years since the founding of the Han Dynasty, only Emperor Sheng Zu was lucky enough to draw the ‘Emperor stick’. Thus, every time Master Ku Hia returned to the capital for meditation, there would be waves of people who would visit Zhen Guo temple to pick out a stick. A few days ago, it was naturally the royal family that came, and the next few days after was the noble’s turn. If a commoner wished to enter, they had to wait until all the dignitaries in the capital had been there. 

The Old Madam and Crown Princess both sighed at once. Seeing that Crown Princess’ and the Empress’ families had already drawn the lot, she then brought Yu Xiang in. 

“I’m responsible for turning the Chien Tung, and you are responsible for picking the sticks. When the sticks drop, do not hesitate and just pick up one that looks good to you. This is about whether we are predestined to meet him or not, don’t hope for too much.” The Old Madam reminded her softly. 

Yu Xiang nodded in agreement.

They put their hands together and chanted “May the Bodhisattva bless me” to themselves. The Crown Princess and a group of noble madams stood to the side anxiously waiting.

The Chien Tung was very heavy, and the Old Madam had only spun twice before she was already sweating all over. She managed to turn it the third time before pulling out the partition. There was a burst of clatter, when the bamboo sticks dropped like raindrops. A young monk extended his hand and said, “Please choose one within two breaths. If you choose after two breaths, it would mean that you are not predestined to meet Master.” 

It was impossible to cheat if you choose one between two breaths. Yu Xiang didn’t wait for all the bamboo sticks to fall, she grabbed one from the air and passed it to the young monk. 

At first, the young monk was still smiling. When he saw the two words “Emperor stick” carved in Sanskrit on the bamboo stick, his facial expression immediately changed. He rushed to the backyard and yelled, “Master, someone has drawn the emperor stick!”  

As soon as he said this, the hall was immediately filled with excited chatter.  Initially, the Old Madam came with a hesitant attitude. She never thought that Yu Xiang would have chosen the Emperor stick. Now, she was dumbfounded. She looked at the stick and then at Yu Xiang. She was a bit befuddled as if she was in a dream.

The Crown Princess stared fixedly at Yu Xiang, and secretly thought, “This di[4] Miss of Yongle Marquis Manor is really a spiritual person. The whole family of Yongle Marquis manor are deeply blessed, no wonder the Crown Prince could escape death twice.”

Because this stick was only about whether one was fated to meet with Master Ku Hai, and it wasn’t a stick to tell one’s fate. The person who drew the ‘Emperor stick’ could only be said to be lucky and was predestined with Master Ku Hai.  However, the spread of malicious slanders remarks and rumors could not be stopped. The Old Madam met the madams who had arrived to give their congratulations and also conveniently pat Yu Xiang to get some of her luck. They chatted about the weather for a period of time. Then, she walked into the back hall under the guidance of a monk. 

Several young monks gathered and put the bamboo sticks back to the upper layer. 


[1] 签筒(qiān tǒng)- Chien Tung, also known as Kau Chim or lottery poetry, is a fortune telling practice that originated in China in which the querent (person asking the questions) requests answers from the sacred oracle lot. 

[2] 九五(jiǔ wǔ)-Within ten in the yang number, nine is the highest and the largest, symbolizing status. Five occupies the center and symbolizes orthodoxy. Therefore, nine and five symbolize the authority of the emperor, which is called the “Ninth-Five Supreme”.

[3]

-Drawn by Evening (after pestering her many times to draw it *cough* since I can’t imagine how it looks like). This is probably how it looks like. This is where it has two sections and it is separated by a partition board that is below. Thus once the partition board is removed, all of the sticks would fall.

[4] 嫡 (dí) – Legitimate. In this context, it would mean children of formal wife as distinguished from concubines

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2 Comments

  1. The Vir

    Til now, I’m still amazed with how the author came up with the 400 years worth of the monk’s cultivation as an explanation for Xiang er’s wondrous luck and skills 🎉