The few of them made some small talk before continuing the rest of the journey wordlessly.
When they arrived at Precious Peace Temple, it was already ten oclock.
The Precious Peace Temple looked grand and solemn. It was built in the era of the previous dynasty. There were countless incense offerings in the temple, and most of those entering and leaving the temple were the prominent families in the capital.
Old Madam Yu was helped down the carriage by Nanny Liu. She then led Madam Yao, Madam Yang, the young mistresses, and the servants into the temple.
The monk who greeted them had a string of prayer beads around his wrist. He stepped forward and welcomed them. “Dear guests, this way please.”
The Precious Peace Temple had built many small courtyards, making it convenient for the ladies of various families to rest their feet. In the small courtyard where the Yu Residence ladies stayed in, there was a cluster of purple bamboo and a Bodhi tree that was neither too tall nor short. There were stone tables and chairs under the tree. Although it was rather simple, it was great because it was clean and quiet.
There were five rooms around the courtyard. Old Madam Yu slept alone in the main room in the north. There were two rooms each on the east and west sides. Those from the main house and second house each occupied one side. There were just enough rooms for them.
Old Madam Yu held Yu Youyaos hand. “Yao Yao shall be with me!”
Madam Yang and Madam Yao also brought Yu Jianjia and Yu Shuangbai along with them respectively.
Yu Qingning occupied one room alone, and she could not hide her smug expression. It was more convenient for the two concubine daughters of the second house to share one room after all.
After settling down, Old Madam Yu led the group to the Hall of Great Strength to offer incense. She paid for the incense oil and headed to the side hall to pay her respects to Manjusri Bodhisattva.
Yu Youyao saw a lot holder at the entrance of the treasure hall. Out of curiosity, she held the lot holder and shook it, causing one bamboo stick to fall to the ground with a thud. She bent down and picked it up. “A desire for success seems difficult and marriage preparation is consuming. Ultimately, itll result in a missed arrow and a noble guiding another noble home. What does this mean”
Old Madam Yu took the lot from her hand and looked at it. “It looks like a good lot. There are monks explaining the lots outside. Lets go over and well know.”
Outside, they saw an old monk in a gray robe sitting on a futon. There was a small table in front of him with a few decoded lots on it.
Old Madam Yu handed the lot to the old monk.
The old monk took it and looked down at it. His gaze then landed on Yu Youyao. “This is a good lot. It references “The Legend of Jiang Wei”, and is an extremely good lot.”
Delighted, Old Madam Yu asked, “What does it say”
The old monk closed his eyes. “Fortune and misfortune are intertwined, and one can lead to the other. This divination signifies a blessing in disguise. Pursuit of greater development will end well because of help from a benefactor.”
“Thank you for the enlightenment.” Old Madam Yu understood what he meant. This divination meant that Yao Yao was destined to get close to her benefactor, who would help her turn misfortune into fortune, and achieve success.
At this moment, Yang Shuwan came out with Yu Jianjia and Yu Qingning. She asked with a smile, “What lot did Yao Yao draw”
Yu Youyao said, “A good one!”
Yang Shuwans smile froze. She held the handkerchief and pressed it against the corner of her mouth. “Yao Yao has been a blessed child since she was young. By the way, when Jia Jia and Qingning saw her drawing a lot, they also picked theirs.”
When distinguished families came to the temple to offer incense, they didnt often draw lots unless they had a specific divination to seek. However, Yu Youyao and the others were just children, so they were not so strict about it.
When she heard that Yu Youyao had picked a good lot, Yu Jianjia pursed her lips. She was about to hand hers over, but she drew her hand back. She couldnt help but look down at the stick again. There was only a simple picture engraved on it, so she couldnt tell what it meant. She needed to ask for its explanation.
She gripped the stick tightly and hesitated.
Yu Qingning seemed especially excited. She looked at the lot in her hand and couldnt resist craning her neck to peek at Yu Jianjias lot.
Yu Jianjia was annoyed and blocked her gaze. Yu Qingning pursed her lips. Seeing how Yu Jianjia just stood there and seemed to have no intention of seeking an explanation for her lot, she said with a smile, “Third Sis, why dont you ask about your divination Could it be that youre worried that the lot you have drawn isnt as good as Big Sisters, so you dont plan to know about it”
These words stabbed at Yu Jianjias heart, making her furious. She covered his handkerchief and coughed twice. Just as she was about to speak—
Yu Qingning continued, “Since Third Sis isnt seeking her divination, Ill do it first.”
Early this morning, a bird had landed on the pomegranate tree outside her room. It was chirping and making a din, annoying her. She was about to ask a servant girl to chase it away when her mother said that it was a good omen.
When she was shaking the lot holder earlier, she had recited the Heart Sutra in her heart. She was sure that she drew a good lot.
Yu Jianjia felt an itch in her throat, and she coughed for real this time. She couldnt be bothered to cover with her handkerchief and merely said hoarsely, “In that case, Fourth Sis, you can go first. Ill ask later.”
Just as Yu Qingning was about to step forward, she noticed Yang Shuwan staring at her. Yu Qingning frowned and unwillingly said, “Theres order in seniority. Third Sister should go first!”
There was hierarchy in seniority, and in status!
It was the principle that always applied no matter in the Residence or outside.
Yu Jianjia nodded. Feeling nervous and uneasy, she handed her lot to the old monk. “Please, Grandmaster.”
The old monk looked at the simple picture on it. “This is a bad lot. It is the image of a swallow with mud in its mouth, braving the wind and rain to return to its hometown. Its body is being weighed down by the mud, despite constantly trying its hardest, even using all sorts of tricks, and all kinds of schemes, day and night, without resting.”
Upon hearing that it was a bad lot, Yu Jianjias pale lips could not help but tremble, and she looked delicate and heart-rending.
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The old monk added, “If your mind is at peace, everything will go smoothly, but if youre not content, you will be restless at heart and body.”
“Thank you, Grandmaster.” Yu Jianjia thanked him and couldnt help but glance at Yu Youyao.
She was holding her grandmothers arm and talking to her in a low voice. She said something that made her grandmother smile widely. Neither of them were paying attention to Yu Jianjia at all.
Yu Jianjia couldnt help but cough several times.
“Oh no, Third Sis drew a terrible lot,” Yu Qingning exclaimed. She appeared to be shocked, but her gloating expression could not be hidden.
Yang Shuwan almost couldnt stop herself from slapping Yu Qingnings face and beating her to a pulp.
She supported the faltering Yu Jianjia, holding her hand and comforting her softly.
At this moment, Yu Qingnings lot was also decoded.
She had also drawn a bad lot. The meaning of her divination was that retreating was easy, but advancing would be difficult. She could only hold on to the old, but not expect for more.
Yu Qingnings face was filled with disbelief. Her eyes widened as she stared at the old monk, unwilling to accept it. “Grandmaster, are you sure you didnt understand it wrongly I clearly picked a great lot, so how did it become a bad one Help me read it again…”
The old monk closed his eyes. “Amitabha!”
Yu Qingning was furious and wanted to continue speaking, but Yang Shuwan saw the opportunity and said sternly, “Qingning, how can you speak to the grandmaster like this All the manners and rules youve learned in the Residence—have you fed them to the dogs”