Zhong Zheng Lin narrowed his phoenix eyes.
After staring at her for a long while, a gentle smile formed on his lips.
His big palm softly stroked Mu Xi Yao’s face.
The fingertips lingered on her delicate outer ear.
The man spoke out in a voice as rich as a fine wine, “Jiao Jiao is again thinking about taking in a concubine”
When words “taking in a concubine” made way into her ears, a chill run up Mu Xi Yao’s spine.
She quickly went to hug Zhong Zheng Lin’s neck and buried herself in the dip between his collarbone and neck, expressing her goodwill.
This fast tongue of hers that never learns.
It has yet again stroke the tiger’s whiskers1! Mu Xi Yao’s heart quivered.
Boss, can you pretend not having heard the previous words How about letting her off this time and settle accounts with her once these cases of misdeeds get to accumulate more
Seeing that she has learnt her lesson, Zhong Zheng Lin mentioned no more of this matter just as she had wished.
The little woman was heavy with pregnancy.
Her body couldn’t bear any kind of torment.
He won’t be able to enjoy himself to the fullest.
The sixth Highness planned to eat the person dry and wipe clean2 at an appropriate time.
Anguo Temple was one of Great Wei’s ten ancient Buddhist temples.
Along with Zhaojue Temple, which was situated in the suburbs of Shengjing, it was a Buddhist temple with the most pilgrims in Shengjing.
Unlike Zhaojue Temple’s quiet and secluded location and peaceful atmosphere, Anguo Temple felt more serene, dignified and imposing.
The three hundred and seventy-eight Bodhisattva statues that were inside the temple, all of them had different postures; in particular, the two stone-carved statues of Buddha that stood over 15 meters tall in the Hall of Great Strength3.
They were extremely rare antiques, to be seen only in Great Wei.
Mu Xi Yao carried a solemn expression.
She observed in admiration all the small and big Buddhist statues.
As she studied the mottled oil colors and marblings on the sculptures, exposed stone lines, a wave of vicissitudes of the years greet her.
After returning to the main hall, she went to admire the standing stone statue of Buddha for a long time.
Though she did not perform a kowtow to the sculpt, her heart did harbor a reverence for it.
Being ignorant of fear was a particularly scary thing.
In this era, lucidness could be served as one’s boundary.
Only it could guarantee one a stable and everlasting life.
Mu Xi Yao held Mo Lan’s hand and walked in silence while watching the surrounding worshippers clasping their hands together and kowtowing sincerely.
Most of these Buddhist pilgrims contained of womenfolk and rich merchants.
The men, especially young men were few and far between.
“Mistress, why won’t you light incense and make a wish” Hui Lan felt regretful.
Mistress made a visit to Anguo Temple, yet she took it as a mere formality.
Mu Xi Yao’s eyes turned.
She poked fun at Hui Lan, “Oh Should we wish for an ideal husband for Hui Lan”
Hui Lan’s face reddened upon hearing her teasing.
She snorted softly.
Mo Lan giggled at the side.
However, she was also embarrassed.
Mistress was seriously….she had no sense of propriety even in front of Buddha.
As Mu Xi Yao watched two lovely orchids blushing charmingly, she abruptly came to realize that she, their mistress, was too irresponsible.
She had almost neglected the two maids’ marriage matter.
Women’s prime years mustn’t be wasted.
After they return, she needs to pay attention and find them a proper match.
How about asking the boss to find her suitable candidates first and then pick her few loyal and honest, ambitious and promising youths Her maidservants will just happen to be at a pavilion near the water4 and take this advantage.
“Master, please.” Zhong Zheng Lin grasped the black piece and moved first.
The head monk of Anguo Temple dropped gently his fingertips, the piece in between them landed lightly.
“This old monk needs to thank for your Highness’s protection during the return to the capital.
This old monk and cefei are quite congenial.” When he called to mind the appearance of that little girl raising her eyebrows and glaring at him, the great master stroked his beard and laughed.
Zhong Zheng Lin’s attention was focused on the chessboard.
The old monk’s words did not surprise him, “The great master must have been amused by her.” Zhong Zheng Lin was well aware of that woman’s flaws.
To be able to leave a deep impression on such an extraordinary person like a great master, she must have clearly stirred troubles.
“Your Highness made a wrong guess this time.” The head monk of Anguo Temple shook his head with a smile on his face.
“Cefei is a person of a bright mind.
She exhibits a deep enlightenment.
After a talk with her, this old monk has received her grace.”
“Oh” Zhong Zheng Lin was surprised.
That woman showed enlightenment When the sixth Highness thought of how she went to sleep after eating and fussed around as soon as she woke up, he was truly unable to tell from where did her enlightenment came.
“Your Highness focuses too much on a superficial outside.” The head monk of Anguo Temple put down the white piece, following which the terrific atmosphere on the chess game cleared up.
“Cefei is broad-minded.
All the outer appearance is merely a deception.”
The right hand of Zhong Zheng Lin’s that was pinching the piece halted for a moment.
Subsequently, it made a change of direction and softly fell down.
“Bendian has benefitted from the advice.”
Seeing his chess game style abruptly change, the head monk of Anguo Temple nodded with a smile.
“Your Highness’s chess skill is advancing.”
The two played chess at the Buddhist hall, surrounded in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.
Above their heads, the bodhi three stood in seclusion, its treetop lush and flourishing.
“Miss, this time, you must draw a fortune stick and request for a sign.
Otherwise, madam will moralize you.”
He Lian Wei Rui tapped the servant girl’s forehead, “You’re becoming increasingly misbehaved.
You dare to even lecture your mistress.”
As soon as the group of people passed the main hall, they saw a luxurious procession in front of them that was quite dazzling to the eyes of the beholder.
The woman in the middle wore an elegant bun at the back of her head that was adorned with two dangling hairpins made of crystal and jade.
They shone with a bright light.
“Who is that person” He Lian Wei Rui had sharp eyes.
They were separated tens of feet away, yet she knew that the other’s identity was unusual just based on the person’s back.
She took steps forward but saw that maiden take her people and turn a corner.
She just happened to glimpse briefly half of her lotus-like face.
She had barely caught a glimpse of the passing beauty.
“Little monk, what are you dazed for My miss wishes to draw a fortune stick.
Pass us the bamboo cup.”
The little monk was still recovering himself.
He quickly calmed his mind and let go of bewilderment.
He Lian Wei Rui knelt on the praying mat and performed a sincere prayer.
Subsequently, she shook lightly the bamboo cup.
Once the stick fell down, she has again kowtowed to pay Buddha respect.
When the little monk saw the attitude of this one, and then recalled the other who just left, uh, they truly cannot be compared.
The other benefactress has taken the bamboo cup in curiosity.
She shook it with one hand and at the sound of a bump, a stick dropped down.
As soon as she picked it up, she walked away.
Her movement was so fast…..he’s been on duty at the hall of Bodhisattva of Compassion for more than five years, yet he’s never seen any benefactor who was as nimble as her.
Just as he was pondering, the maiden before him picked up the stick and softly inquired him, “Little monk, where can I read the stick”
The little monk stood with a blank expression for a long time.
He looked at the stick number on her hand, dumbstruck.
“Go out and take a left turn.
The side temple in east wing.”
How come two extraordinary sticks were consecutively produced
Just as the chess game between Zhong Zheng Lin and the head monk of Anguo Temple was in full swing, the prior of West Temple turned up unsolicited and disrupted the two’s leisure atmosphere.
“Great Master head monk, just now there were two benefactress who have shaken extraordinary sticks.
They’ll have to trouble great master to read sticks for them.” The prior of West Temple respectfully performed him the greeting ceremony.
“Oh” The Snow white eyebrows of the head monk of Anguo Temple slightly rose.
An extraordinary stick that hasn’t been produced for hundreds of years, when it appears in the world, there are actually two of them
“In that case, ask the two benefactresses to go ahead first.
Would your Highness mind”
The sixth Highness possessed a prominent status since birth.
How could he allow other person to grant him convenience He waved his hand and took tea, “Be my guest, great master.”
He Lian Wei Rui was waiting for the reply of the guest-master5.
Instead, she saw a novice monk approach her, “Please follow this little monk to Buddhist Hall, benefactress.
The head monk will personally read stick for benefactress.” Subsequently, he turned to conduct Buddhist rite, “This little monk will have to trouble senior brother to go to the back hall and seek for the other honored guest.”
He Lian Wei Rui followed the little monk out.
She took a step to cross over the doorstep.
When she turned around, she glimpsed the rear of that a bit older monk.
Honored guest Was it perhaps, her
The Buddhist Hall was peaceful with light sandalwood lingering in the room.
When He Lian Wei Rui saw the person who was casually playing chess, she immediately recognized his identity.
“This servant greets your sixth Highness and great master the head monk.” He Lian Wei Rui bent her knees to perform the greeting.
She did not expect the sixth Highness would be here and, what’s more, so familiar with the great master.
In that case, the woman just now, her identity was as plain as daylight.
“Mistress, don’t you constantly hold the stick and sway it before your eyes.
You have to be mindful of your steps.” Zhao momo was too scared of her temper.
She was truly unable to watch her anymore.
“Rest assured, momo.
Your mistress, me, is careful.” Mu Xi Yao chuckled.
“As a matter of fact, your mistress is checking the bamboo stick.
They’re obviously all the same.
Yet, when your mistress throws them several times, do you think that the one your mistress draws would be always the same” It can clearly be seen that its reading was unreliable.
When Zhong Zheng Lin heard the familiar female voice, he put down the chess piece and quietly waited for her to enter the courtyard.
It turns out that the second person was actually Mu Xi Yao whom they were about to look for.
A coincidence, indeed.
When Mu Xi Yao stepped into the small courtyard, both of her eyes immediately brightened.
“Great master, your place here is too comfortable.
Would you allow qie to make a frequent visit and play two chess games on the way” Mu Xi Yao couldn’t help but praise greatly.
“Benefactress has a deep affinity with Buddha; can naturally pay a visit whenever benefactress would like.”
Mu Xi Yao greeted him and expressed her thanks.
Afterward, she sat down.
Her gaze met with Zhong Zheng Lin’s.
She delicately poked fun at him.
“Has your Highness won this Buddhist monk the great master Could this be considered as to fight a one-sided battle”
As the two listened to her teasing, they smiled without words.
“This servant greets cefei.”
Mu Xi Yao turned her head to size up the maiden standing at the side.
She leisurely nodded, “Please, rise.”
He Lian Wei Rui.
She has long looked forward to meet her.
“The two benefactresses.
Who of you will have your stick read first” The great master the head monk asked He Lian Wei Rui to take her seat first.
His question was blunt, having no intention for other people to duck out.
“Huh Great master, aren’t you going to take a book such as interpretation booklet to compare a bit Old monk, it’s hard for qie to believe you with all the talk but no cider.
Mu Xi Yao looked at him in a puzzled way, very curious.
“Cefei still has such unusual thinking.” The head monk stroked his beard and laughed heartily with an amiable expression.
“Although this old monk’s skills are shallow, it is still sufficient for deciphering the stick interpretation.” This little girl has an eccentric way of thinking.
Even if it was an ordinary monk reading stick, he, too, only needed to calculate the divinatory symbols.
From where did her interpretation booklet come from
Seeing her bent on getting to the heart of the matter, Zhong Zheng Lin handed over to her Anguo Temple’s unique double-well white bud tea6 to attract her attention.
Mu Xi Yao took a light sip, generous with praises, “Monastery can indeed bring one peace.
The water is insipid yet it develops a fragrance of tea.
A good tea!”
A fragrant scent spread in one’s mouth upon its consumption.
This tea helped to produce saliva and relieve summer heat.
After a moment of intoxication, Mu Xi Yao modestly spoke out, “What does miss He Lian think”
“Cefei goes first naturally.”
“Then, qie won’t be polite.” Mu Xi Yao looked at Mo Lan.
Where is the bamboo stick
Mo Lan sighed.
She respectfully passed her the stick.
The way mistress asked about the bamboo stick showed not only insincerity but also disinterest.
When mistress saw that the Buddhist hall was to her liking just now, she had stuffed the bamboo stick into her hand in passing.
Take a look at miss He Lian who is sitting on the seat next to mistress.
She, on the other side, has it in her hand and is sitting there in a quiet and graceful manner.
Zhong Zheng Lin and the head monk of Anguo Temple were more or less accustomed to her behavior hence they weren’t surprised by her acts.
Merely, the servant girl behind He Lian Wei Rui looked at it all with her big eyes wide opened.
Mu Xi Yao lifted the fine tea and savoured it in a particularly serious manner.
As for the great master reading the fortune stick, she took it for an amusement.
“Cefei’s stick is extraordinary.
There’s only stick name but no interpretation.”
Mu Xi Yao was taken aback.
There’s only a stick name but no interpretation
“Cefei’s bamboo stick interpretation cannot be deciphered by this old monk.”
It was Mu Xi Yao’s turn to be surprised.
Could it be the old monk has actually discerned the oddity in her birth chart, that it did not belong to this world
“What’s the name of the stick” Zhong Zheng Lin’s face turned solemn.
Little woman has just freed herself of accusations.
No billows must arise again.
“Phoenix stick – – The Emperor’s Swallow.”
Apart from Mu Xi Yao who was as calm as ever, everyone was shocked by the news.
The Emperor’s Swallow
He Lian Wei Rui’s face changed.
Lady Mu was only Zhong Zheng Lin’s cefei.
How could it be a phoenix stick Moreover, if this stick came true, then it would mean…his sixth Highness would ascend to the throne
He Lian Wei Rui pacified her shock.
Her eyes were deep and unfathomable.
The Empress position of He Lian House will be snatched by this woman
“Be it the stick interpretation or birth chart, it was the man who proposed.” Mu Xi Yao didn’t care at all.
As long as she followed boss, even if conditions were bad, he could still get himself an “imperial” title.
What was there to be surprised
“Miss He Lian, please.”
He Lian Wei Rui respectfully passed him the bamboo stick and waited sincerely for the reply.
The head monk of Anguo Temple had his eyes closed for a long time.
He made the reading yet again.
“Miss He Lian’s stick, this old monk can decipher, yet cannot say.
However, the stick name can be told.” The head monk of Anguo Temple returned the bamboo stick.
His gaze stopped on Mu Xi Yao for a moment.
These two lasses were truly extraordinary.
“Please speak out, great master.”
The great master the head monk once again picked up the white paper.
“Phoenix stick – – The Emperor’s Swallow.”
 To stroke the tiger’s whiskers is a Chinese idiom that means to do sth very daring
 Eat dry and wipe clean is a Chinese idiom that means to benefit at others’ expense, yet taking no responsibility for the act
 Hall of Great Strength is the main hall of a Buddhist temple containing the main image of veneration
 A pavilion near the water is a Chinese idiom that means to use one’s proximity to the power to obtain favor
 Guest-master is a monk in charge of monastery reception
 Double well white bud is a kind of oolong tea