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Published at 25th of March 2018 10:14:47 PM
Chapter 2
Posted on November 25th, 2017

SRGGD: Chapter 2

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Hit on the Head by a Clay Buddha (1)

To thank Buddha for protecting her health, grandma wants to bring her to the mountain top temple to pray .

In the last life, she didn't go .

Now, she wanted to be different from the past, to go against it . So she'll go to the mountain top with her grandma .

The mountain top temple is still the same as what Yang ZiMei had seen when she was 3 years old . A bit run down, even the walls have the marks of the past strike down the old ideas, destroy the Four Olds in big red letters and long live leader XXX on a poster . (1)

But the feel of this place is really nice!

The surrounding growths are towering ancient pines and cypresses with unperceivable years, lush and full of life . Its tree tops filled with many small birds chirping cheerfully . The fresh air makes one feel like their pores are open and their mood to become pleasant .

After entering the temple, grandma's expression promptly changed into one of solemn and devout .

But Yang ZiMei curiously sizes up the place . She found that although the temple is a little run down, the interior murals are very refined, its colors vivid . If it wasn't ruined by those repugnant posters, it could've become a cultural heritage .

She remembered that when she was six years old, the temple suddenly caught fire and was burned down . The blaze of that day illuminated more than half the sky . The villagers were terrified and worried if it would call upon a calamity . She also heard that the temple's only caretaker, an old priest, was burned to death .

Thinking of this, her vision falls onto that same priest who is now helping her grandma place her offerings onto the alter .

This priest had on a robe that looks like it's been patched countless of times, a priest's topknot, his hair and beard completely white, void of any color . His face didn't carry any of the wrinkles that her grandma had, instead, it had a soft ruddy glow . Instead of cloudy eyes, they were clear and bright . This made her unable to guess how old he was but she felt this very much suited the sage like image an old priest would have .

Would such a sage like person also be burned to death?

Thinking of this, her heart is full of sorrow .



Before, when she was a swindling charlatan, she would often run into people who liked to inquire about their destiny and future .

Now, she discovered that if someone really could foretell the future but lacked the strength to change the course of that fate, how agonizing it would be .

"Sweetie, hurry over here to kowtow to Buddha, to thank his blessing for protecting you from harm . " Her grandma had seen her spaced out and beckoned with her hand . (2)

She went over .

The old priest turned his head to look at her, his calm face showed a little surprise and he gave her a careful look over .

Getting observed like this, Yang ZiMei got a feeling like he could see through her soul . She slightly dropped her gaze to avoid the old priest's eyes .

***



Grandma brought her before the Buddha to kneel and kowtow .

Yang ZiMei knelt on the praying mat . Even though she was a swindler in her last life and didn't believe in the supernatural, however, now she was reverent .

She sincerely prayed for Buddha to bless her family to be safe and sound . For her not to become an orphan again, with no one to depend on . For her to be able to rewrite this life and avoid the pitiful fate of having her life grasped by others .

As she earnestly prayed, one by one, she kowtowed three times .

After her three kowtows, when she lifted her head to look at the clay Buddha, the jade gourd in its hands suddenly fell and struck right on her forehead……

Ouch!

The severe pain caused her to feel dizzy and then she fell onto the ground .

***

When she opened her eyes, she found herself lying on an unfamiliar bed . The bedding was simple, on the wall hung an old portrait, nearby was a big ancient looking bookshelf, and on it were many old thread bound books .

1) refs the Cultural Revolution

2) Kowtow = knocking your head on the ground, usually for thanking or begging . There are other situations too .

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