Chapter 16: Gentleman Gui Debuts (part 3)
Bai Xi rubbed her ears and glanced at the person across from her, her eyes widening slightly. The third princess' mouth was open wide enough to fit an egg inside. Was such an expression really necessary? Wasn't it a bit too exaggerated? She wondered if her eardrums had been damaged. Ai, it was not necessarily good for her to be so infamous, much less having a terrible reputation that preceded her.
Behind, two palace maids watched, their envious faces shifting to disdain. They had originally thought that this woman was young general Bai's beloved, but it seemed she was actually the Bai residence's very ugly young miss! Yet the second young miss did not live up to the rumours. She was not ugly at all.
"Sorry to bother you. Master, please lead the way," Bai Xi said and moved to depart with the abbot. If she remained here, someone would damage her eardrums.
Before she could walk 100 metres, jade hands caught her arm and tugged. She looked down to see the third princess. "Sorry, older sister Xi. Excuse me for my impropriety."
Bai Xi frowned. What did this princess want with her? Also, what was the relationship between this princess and her older brother?
"Princess does not need to apologise because it is a fact."
"But I feel that older sister Xi is not that ugly at all, and is completely different from the rumours." Despite Bai Xi's efforts to extricate herself, Ye Zi Yu1
did not let go and only clung to her more.
"…" The corners of Bai Xi's mouth twitched. This princess was really clingy. They had only just met, and the princess was already acting like this. The next time they met, would the princess jump right onto her back and stick to her like an octopus?
"Older sister Xi, can we go together with the abbot? I have not seen older brother Jie for a long time and everyone has missed older brother Jie," inquired Ye Zi Yu as her cheeks flushed prettily.
"Can I say no?" It didn't seem like the third princess was a two-faced schemer; rather, for all intents and purposes, she appeared to be a sincere and lively woman. Or so she hoped.
"You can. However, I will go anyway. Hehe." Ye Zi Yu said cutely, "Older sister Xi, you can call me Zi Yu, or maybe even Yu'r is fine."
The two maids shadowing them stared at Bai Xi, their guards up, as if they were wary of Bai Xi being at odds with their princess.
While en route, Bai Xi tried to shrug off the princess' hold, but each attempt ended in failure. If the princess had not been a kind-hearted person, she could have been straightforward about it. But in the face of this open and cute woman, she gave up. She was too nice.
"Did older sister Xi come to Fo Yin Temple because of Prime Minister Feng?"
Bai Xi kept her mouth shut. She wished the abbot would hurry up and take them to the temple so she could remove this koala.
"I heard that there are many people, more than half of whom are women, at the foot of the mountain here for Prime Minister Feng. Prime Minister Feng is the ideal lover in the hearts of women," Ye Zi Yu said to herself. "Prime Minister Feng is also beautiful, so it's not unusual that he is so popular."
"Are you also among these women?" Bai Xi didn't know where the question came from, but it felt like a natural thing to ask.
"Mm. Today I came here to confess to Prime Minister Feng." Ye Zi Yu nodded confidently.
"Oh? You really like him?" She recalled that this princess had mentioned her older brother with rosy cheeks. Did she misinterpret it? Perhaps she guessed incorrectly.
"Yeah, second older sis encouraged me to express my feelings to Prime Minister Feng." It had taken a great deal of her courage to decide to come here to confess to Prime Minister Feng. If she was rejected here, nobody would know.
"Then I wish you the best."
"Hehe. I know that older sister Xi is a good person. I will definitely make an effort." Ye Zi Yu leaned her head against Bai Xi's shoulder as she smiled happily.
A good person? Bai Xi smirked. These words did not suit her well, but there was the princess, thinking she was a good person anyway.
A sudden clatter of footsteps interrupted them. "Princess, this servant heard that Prime Minister Feng has arrived at Fo Yin Temple and is currently in the Nan Yuan2
room in the backyard."
"Really?" Ye Zi Yu released Bai Xi's arm.
"This servant doesn't dare to lie to the princess."
Ye Zi Yu inhaled deeply, turning around to say goodbye to Bai Xi. She then sped off to Nan Yuan with her palace maids. Bai Xi smiled faintly. Ye Zi Yu was very cute. She hoped that she would succeed.
She then followed the abbot to the front courtyard, the Qian Fo3
Hall. However, she did not see her older brother inside Qian Fo Hall. She was the only person inside the huge hall. Even the abbot who had just led her here had disappeared. What was going on?
Bai Xi looked at the statue of Buddha inside the hall. She had never believed in fate and Buddhism, but she had been reborn here. In some ways, this was like fate. In acknowledgement of fate, she lit a joss stick.
After the joss sticks had burned down, she prepared to leave, but paused when a figure emerged from the inner hall.
"Buddha be praised4
," he said.
"You are the Great Master Abbot," Bai Xi stated instead of inquiring. Although she did not believe in Buddhism, she could still recognise the Great Master of the temple from the kasaya5
"This one is just a humble monk."
"Why has Great Master Abbot come to find me?"
"Young general Bai had an urgent matter to attend to and has already left Fo Yin Temple. However, young general Bai said that young general Bai would go up the mountain before leaving. If patron Bai does not mind this simple temple, then patron Bai can stay here for a night. If patron Bai wishes to return to the capital, this monk will assign some people to escort patron Bai back to the capital."
"That's troublesome." She also wanted to go back to the capital immediately, but she recalled that she still had something she needed to confirm. She would stay one night.
"Buddha be praised."
The abbot disappeared. When Bai Xi turned to leave, she heard someone behind her say, "Patron, in this world, everything is predetermined. For patron to be able to come here is fate, and choosing to stay is also fate. Patron should cherish this life."
1.(夜紫玉) - Ye Zi Yu. Ye means night. Zi Yu is purple jade.↩2.(南苑) - Nan Yuan. Nan is south. Yuan refers to something like a park or area.↩3.(千佛) - Qian Fo. Thousand Buddha.↩4.(阿弥陀佛) - e mi tou fo. This is sometimes translated as 'amitabha'. Another English translation of this phrase is 'may Buddha preserve us'. I just chose one, but if another is more correct, let me know and I will change it.↩5.(袈裟) jia shi - these are the robes that fully ordained Buddhist monks wear (thanks, Baidu).↩