Little Cardamom - Chapter 11
Chapter 11 – Choosing a Husband
Don’t know what the little Miss of Ming family is going to pray for the blessing this time. The Buddhist temple is Ling Miao Temple, located three miles north of the city outside the Yun Xiu Mountain.
This Ling Miao Temple is far less prosperous than the Da Xian state Temple, and there is no reputation for being particularly effective in seeking marriage and children. Rather, it has a warm mountain, soft water, extraordinarily beautiful and quiet scenery, and a nickname of “delicious vegetarian meal” among the people.
Ming Tan is precisely interested in its seclusion and cleanliness, so that she can pray for a blessing and avoid the limelight. Also from time to time they bump into the noble women of the capital who came to offer incense.
Now the scandal of the Duke’s Mansion has already spread, Ming Chu and Shen Hua has no reason not to know it, and Aunt Liu is still her father’s pillow person. Therefore, it is possible that Ming Chu even knows about her being schemed on to fall into the water.
Originally, Pei had arranged for her to be sent off the next morning, and Ming Tan expected that Ming Chu would not miss the perfect opportunity to taunt and mock her when she was leaving the house.
Therefore, she did not intend to give Ming Chu this opportunity – at night she informed Mrs. Pei, and before the fifth night was over, she took Su Xin and Lu’e on the road in advance.
When she arrived at Ling Miao Temple, the monks were having their morning class. In the end, it is a Buddhist retreat, with the morning bell, the evening drum and the indistinct chants in Sanskrit. Being in this mountain, one cannot help but feel a lot of peace in the heart.
Because of Mrs. Pei’s advance notice, there was a courtier monk waiting for Ming Tan and her party outside the temple gate.
When he saw Ming Tan, the monk put his hands together and said, “Amitabha Buddha, female monk, please come with me.”
“Thank you, Master.” Ming Tan returned the salute.
The temple was quiet, and as they followed the monk, they saw ancient trees strewn along the way, and koi swimming in the pond, giving it a different kind of simplicity and quietness.
The room where the female guests are staying is not as fine and elegant as the Zhaoshui courtyard, but it is spacious and clean, so Ming Tan can barely accept it. But before she had a chance to take a closer look, a young monk brought in a rough green shirt.
Ming Tan paused and asked with a slight hesitation, “Master, this is ……”
The courtier monk replied gently: “The short stay guests in the temple all need to wear this shirt. There is no need to worry, the clothes are clean and new.”
Ming Tan: “……”
Is this a question of cleanliness and freshness?
Previously, under the reminder of Su Xin, she made some difficult choices, and reduced a lot of clothes and accessories, but no one even informed her that in the short stay at Ling Miao Temple they will also issue clothes, it was a bolt from the blue!
She was so stunned when the monk explained a lot of rules and regulations that the short stay guests should respect, and at the end, he also said kindly: “Master is tired of traveling, you can take a rest first, I will not bother much, Amitabha Buddha.”
Ming Tan was still a bit confused, and as an afterthought, she touched the clothes brought to her, and stayed silent for a long time.
The other things are fine, but this dress has wide shoulders and long sleeves, no belt, the color and material is not the best. Not to mention Su Xin, Lu’e, and the third-class maids of the Marquis Mansion are all wearing something a hundred times better than this, so how can she wear it?
Ming Tan sat there and stared, but she had no choice other than following the rules of the temple, she could not stay in the room and not go outside.
When the time came for lunch, all of them had to go to the dining hall to eat, no one was serving them, and they were not allowed to carry it out.
When it was lunch time, the little lady’s stubbornness was finally defeated by the five internal organs that had no energy left, and she reluctantly let Lu’e wait for her to change into this dress.
Since birth, Ming Tan has never been so plainly dressed. Her usual bed clothes are also made of soft fabric, embroidered with intricate patterns, and then tailored to fit her body. Sitting in her room in this outfit, she felt that nothing was quite right.
“So plain, how can I see people?” She was not very satisfied with the person in the mirror, and frowned.
Lu’e: “Miss, do not worry, no one can see. When I came here today, the servant girl paid attention to this temple. Not many incense worshipers come in a day.”
Ming Tan: “……”
Su Xin coughed lightly, and glanced at Lu’e.
Lu’e reacted, and smacked her mouth in annoyance, and then added: “And, and the servant girl observed that the rough green shirt shows the young lady’s slender figure and outstanding appearance. As the saying goes, ‘Water out of hibiscus, naturally carved and decorated.’, isn’t that you, Miss?”
Water out of hibiscus, naturally carved and decorated.
This is what clearly hits Ming Tan’s heart.
Forget it, she has always been exquisite and proper, and occasionally she is plain and light, but it also shows that she is clear and pure.
Thinking about this, her originally not very happy mood suddenly brightened up.
However, it is bright only for a moment with Lu’e and her untimely comfort: ” The servant girl saw that this Buddhist temple is quite peaceful, so feel at ease to live here for a period of time, Miss also does not have to be sad.
“Shi …… that Liang Shizi looks like a good one, but he does not realize that he is so neglectful and ungrateful, he is really blind to miss such a beautiful woman for nothing. Do not worry, when you return to the capital, the marquis and madam will be able to choose a good husband for you!”
Ming Tan: “……”
She did not feel sad.
Liang Zixuan is not worth her feelings.
It’s just that the scandalous things that Liang Zixuan and Duke of Ling’s wife have done have caused her, an innocent person, to have to suffer some of the consequences, and she’s not happy about it.
If she is not happy, then no one can be happy.
Although this trip to pray for happiness, although prepared in a hurry, before leaving, she did not forget to make a good play for the Duke Mansion.
Duke of Chang’s Mansion, in Bai Minmin’s courtyard, Zhou Jingwan is standing in front of the desk, penning the words.
The Zhou family is a famous and distinguished scholarly family, for hundreds of years, the first branch of the family has produced many literary and famous officials. Zhou Jingwan’s father was a top-ranked scholar, and now he is a third-ranked Scholar of Imperial Academy , with an unlimited future.
With her family’s deep roots, Zhou Jingwan is now one of the most recognized scholars among the young ladies of official families who have not yet entered the palace. She is dignified and calm with hairpin flowers and a script with lower case letters. She just reads the content carefully——
“This sentence is too elegant, Wan Wan, you write it a little more straightforward, I went to the teahouse to listen to the words, those storytellers are not so implicit.” Bai Minmin stood to the side and pointed out.
Zhou Jingwan stopped writing and looked at it for a long time. She thought it was very indecent to mention such degrading things in such a subtle way. She was a bit embarrassed and asked softly, “How should I be straightforward?”
Bai Minmin: “This is not so simple, you can directly write that the Duke and the second house’s new mistress committed adultery! It can also be linked to the matter of Liang Zixuan, calling that the upper beam is not straight up and the lower beam is not straight down, ancestral fornication!”
Zhou Jingwan: “……”
Before Ming Tan left the city to pray for blessings, she had someone send a letter to the Duke of Chang’s house, in which she asked Bai Minmin and Zhou Jingwan to work together to embellish a story, and find a storyteller to talk about the scandals of the Duke’s house.
These scandals are the ones that Ming Tan asked Bai Jingyuan to inquire about earlier, and they are all related to the Duke and his wife, and were originally intended to be used to clean up the Duke’s house after he withdrew from the marriage.
Now that the smooth retreat failed, and the scandal spread, she will add more fire. First, it is for the anger of being schemed to be betrayed and accused. Secondly, it is also a fact that the family of the Duke of Ling and his family have a bad character. The third, it also allows her to defend her own reputation as a boudoir.
“Forget it, letting you embellish these dirty things is really a bit difficult for you.” Bai Minmin thought about it, “Let’s just leave it to the storyteller, and you can write a compliment to A Tan.”
Zhou Jingwan sighed with relief and nodded her head in response.
In her heart, A Tan is a thousand times better, she will naturally do this.
“Right, A Tan, that girl also explained, other things can be put aside, the most important thing is to praise her beauty.” Bai Minmin paused and muttered speechlessly, “Really shameless ah.”
Zhou Jingwan couldn’t help pursing her lips and smiling slightly when she heard the words.
But to her, A-tan is born beautiful, so it is not against her will to praise her. She put pen on paper and made a praise in no time at all.
While Bai Minmin and Zhou Jingwan were busy helping Ming Tan, Ming Tan also went to the temple’s dining hall without a hairpin and in a simple manner.
The dining hall does not distinguish between master and servant, all of them eat at the same table. Ming Tan has always treated her personal maid generously, and did not feel anything was wrong. But Su Xin and Lu’e did not dare to eat with their young lady, and insisted on guarding outside the dining hall, waiting for Ming Tan to finish before going in.
Ming Tan also did not force.
This morning, she did not have time to eat breakfast, and now she is really hungry. Hearing that the Ling Miao Temple has delicious vegetarian food, she sat down, with a few curious expectations in her heart.
But after she had a small mouthful of it, she couldn’t spit it out, and couldn’t swallow it, and really didn’t understand what the coarse rice and bland dishes had to do with deliciousness!
She wanted to leave the table, but a young monk came forward to stop her, admonishing gently: “Amitabha Buddha, monk, no food should be left behind during the meal.”
For a moment, she forgot that this rule existed.
The young monk looked at her gently, just like that, and watched as she reluctantly sat down and slowly took the chopsticks.
After she swallowed a small bite of rice, she looked at him and saw that he was still looking at her!
I know I am beautiful, but there is no need to look like that!
She had no choice but to continue with the meal. Because the taste is really different from the usual, she did not chew much and swallowed it down.
“She only had a small appetite and had to stick with it, but there was still half a bowl left, so she raised her head pitifully: “Master, this meal, I really can’t eat anymore.”
The little monk saw that there was not much left, and she really had a hard time eating, so he folded his hands and said, “Amitabha Buddha, in that case, the monk will go to the small Buddha Hall to self-reflect for one incense stick.”
Ming Tan: “……?”
Punished by kneeling, right?
Well, she was also a little afraid of consequences from the Buddha because of her leftover food.
So she stepped out of the door under the watchful eye and guidance of the little monk.
However, the door pointed out by the little monk is not the main door of the dining hall, she walked out for a moment, but was confused, and the more she walked, the more confused she became. All around are the treasure halls dedicated to the Buddha, which one is the small Buddha Hall the master referred to?
No matter, self-reflection is important for the heart to be honest.
Thinking of this, she entered an unoccupied treasure hall in front of her and knelt on top of the mat in accordance with the rules.
This treasure hall is extremely wide, there are side halls on both sides. Ming Tan is unaware that there is also a quiet room next to the hidden scriptures on the left side of the hall.
In the quiet room, the famous young war god, His Highness King Dongbei, was having tea with Master Huiyuan, whose whereabouts were unpredictable.
“Buddha is above all, the faithful woman, A Tan from the Ming family, usually eats delicately and has a small appetite. She is not accustomed to eating your temple’s vegetarian meal by chance, and has regrets in her heart for the leftover food, so I hope the Buddha will forgive her and not bring down the retribution.”
In the quiet room this sound was suddenly heard, and the little monk who was about to leave said: “It seems that there is a mistake made by the monk entering into the self-reflection, I will lead her to the small Buddha Hall.”
This voice is very familiar.
And called herself A Tan of the Ming family.
Jiang Xu remembered something, but did not care much. He only lowered his eyes to focus on the game of chess and raised his hand to indicate that it was not necessary.
And Ming Tan who was kneeling outside, after a moment of self-reflection and silence, remembered what Lu’e had said earlier about finding a good husband, and thought: I’m already here, so I might as well pray together.
So she folded her hands again and said: “Buddha is above, in addition to self-reflection of food, I have another prayer. This time I withdrew from the marriage, because my betrothed’s character is not good enough to be a match, but this daughter was criticized and laughed at by others for it. This time, after returning to the capital, I hope the Buddha will bless the daughter and she will find a husband of her choice.
“The groom’s family background should be comparable, whether it is a royal relative, a noble family, or a prestigious family, but what I value more is talent and character. In terms of talent, being able to get into the first grade of the spring exams will be fine, and the appearance should be handsome, so as to be compatible with the daughter. Of course, if the family is richer, life will be more relaxed, if there is no family business like the marquis, it does not matter. You only need to ensure that the daughter can have bird’s nest congee all the time, can ask the embroidery workshop to have a few trunks of fashionable clothes tailored every season, can get any new jewelry timely, can have a saint physician from the Liang Chun Hall for a headache in time ……”
The female voice that kept pouring into the ears was so disturbing for a long time that Jiang Xu lost a piece. Master Hui Yuan has a light smile on his face, and the little monk is observing his eyes and nose, silently reciting Amitabha Buddha.
Half an incense stick later.
“…… body size is most appropriate if they can be taller than seven feet. The mother-in-law at home should also be a good natured person, and should not be allowed to set rules to torture the new wife, if there is no mother-in-law it would be excellent. Relatives are also preferred to be simple, and there should not be any cousins who have a strong relationship with each other during childhood. The daughter is not a jealous person, but it is still too early to have a concubine within three years of marriage, which is not good for the daughter and her husband to develop their love for each other, and it is not advisable to have more than two concubines after three years either, as the household will be crowded and be prone to trouble. Must not be lurking in the lanes of the prostitutes ……”
An incense stick later.
“…… body also needs to be strong, yet there is no need to be so strong also. If they encounter an accident, it is good to be able to withstand one or two. The best way to practice martial arts is to practice swords. The body posture should be dashing, and so that when dancing with swords, the daughter can play the piano to help, and the couple will be happy. Well …… just about it, I hope that the Buddha blesses, if the faithful daughter finds such a desirable husband, I will rebuild the golden figure for the Buddha, and burn incense again.”
After the conclusion of the words, Ming Tan kowtowed three times with devotion and respect.
With the slight echo of the kowtow, the little monk finally sighed with relief.
–The young lady’s requirements for choosing a husband are really too high.
I am not a native speaker of either Chinese or English. I basically MTL and edit the text, sometimes I also use some sites for reference. I can’t guarantee that everything here is accurate, But I try to stick to the author’s work as much as possible. Please feel to comment any mistakes🙂🤗.
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