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Published at 26th of February 2018 10:09:20 PM

Chapter 10
Book 1 The Immortals by the River

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Chapter 10 Winter Plum Will be Fragrant in Bitter Cold Place (unedited)

The wording is a bit different but the title should be part of the idiom “Sharp sword comes from forging many times; plum flower can exudes fragrance after surviving the cold winter . ”
The motto that indicate that only diligence and tenacity can bring someone the success .

Mount Xiangmiao was beautiful and graceful, Hanmei nunnery was located halfway up Guangming Feng Road of Mount Xiangmiao . The temple was not big at all, hidden inside dense forest, merely had a row of bluestones to pave the way of the winding footpath .

Han means cold, mei means plum flower

Sese came down from inside the litter and walked slowly on the narrow path . Above her head, there were sounds of unknown bird flapping its wings and flying over . Sure enough, the mountain is more secluded while the birds are singing .

It was part of a verse in a poem “The forest is more peaceful while cicadas are chirping, the mountain is more secluded while the birds are singing . ”

Inside the nunnery, the mist lingered on, the nunnery unique construction and atmosphere causing people to forget about worldly matters .

Sese closed her eyes and meditated . She lighted the candle, burned the incense stick, and stood before the Buddha . However, she didn’t have any wish nor pledge, merely blankly stared at the Buddha .

The Buddhas of the times, how could they receive and take care of the daily gratitudes and grudges of so many people around the world? Sese believed that each just had to fight for their own fate .

I’m not an expert by any means, but I’ll try to explain based on my superficial knowledge and research . (Please correct me, if I’m wrong)

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Apparently there was 2 kind of the Three Bodies of Buddha in Chinese Buddhism . One was referred as “horizontal” and the other was “vertical” . The “horizontal” one was differ by places (east, center, and west), while the “vertical” one was differ by times (past, present and future) .
The one Sese referred here was the vertical one (time) .

Qing Mei followed closely behind Sese, took out 20 liang of silver to donate as incense and oil money .

Incense and oil money: voluntary donations given to the temple

Sese got up, yet she didn’t ask for (inscribed) bamboo stick, instead she walked over to the back of the temple .

Hanmei nunnery wasn’t big at all, the front yard was for worshipping to Gods and Buddha, the rooms in both side of the wings were the place for the nuns to spiritually practice and listen to sermon, the middle yard was a big open courtyard, the irregular arrangement with charming effect of the several fine lodgings were for the benefactorswho ask for (inscribed) bamboo stick to stay . In the courtyard, grew several winter plum tree . It was early spring, the winter plums were starting to bloom, the faint fragrance lingered inside the courtyard .

Benefactor: term used by a monk to address a layperson

A black clad young nun came forward, Sese went up and ask for a meet with the Abbessof the nunnery .

Abbess: a woman who is the head of an abbey of nuns .

The young nun put her palms together, very politely lead Sese to pass through Yuelianggate and to the Abbess’ side room .

Yueliang: the moon

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Abbess Yue Yuan was an elegant and peaceful nun . Twisting Buddhist prayer beads with her hand, she calmly stared at Sese .

“Benefactor is seeking for this penniless nun, can it be something the matter?” Yue Yuan indifferently asked . Perhaps because she had been a nun for a long time, her voice didn’t have any worldly grief nor joy, it was vacant and calm .

“This humble woman came to find Abbess, wants to leave home to become a nun!” Sese softly spoke with a flat tone .

Having heard what was said, Yue Yuan however wasn’t surprised at all, yet it caused Qing Mei a great shock .

“Young Lady, do you really want to be a nun?” Qing Mei anxiously asked, with a cry in her voice . It seemed that the incident this time affected Young Lady greatly . Thinking about it, which woman could withstand such a blow? Even though since Young Lady had been young, she was tougher than any ordinary woman, she was still a maiden after all .

Qing Mei was unable to bear anymore, she was sobbing and crying .

Sese took a glance at Qing Mei, did not speak, once again turned her face toward Yue Yuan, firmly stated: “A moment ago, this humble woman encountered a misfortune, have given up hope, only wish to take refuge in religious life, to recite Buddhist scripture everyday for the rest of the life, hope that Abbess will fulfill it!”

Yue Yuan stared at Sese, put her palms together and said: “Amitabha Buddha, winter plum will be fragrant in bitter cold place . The calamity of beautiful woman, hoping that Benefactor will faces it calmly .  Benefactor still have unfinished worldly karma, it would be better to temporarily stay here for several days, meditating for Buddha . If —after several days— Benefactor still determined to be a nun, it would not be late for this penniless nun to shave Benefactor’s head . ”

Amitabha Buddha: may the lord Buddha preserve us!

Sese agreed with a nod, she didn’t really want to leave home, merely wanted to put up the ‘be a nun’ facade, so that the imperial household would cancel the marriage without a hitch . The magnificent Wang ye would definitely not marry a nun .

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Things had reached to this state now, in people’s eyes, she had long been a woman without virtue . To return home now, would only cause Daddy and Mother —who didn’t know the truth— to be broken-hearted . Therefore, to temporarily stay at the nunnery is the best policy . This had been well-planned by Sese earlier before climbing the mountain .

Sese thanked Yue Yuan, dragged away the still sobbing Qing Mei, and under the guidance of the young nun, went to the middle yard and finally to the last row of the lodgings .

The room had been tidied up very clean, Sese took a seat in the simple and crude room, watching the daylight gradually fade away until the cold moon rose and the night came .

This translation belonged to otomeruri . wordpress . com please do not host it elsewhere .

Sese turned around and looked at Qing Mei who already stopped crying until exhaustion and was laying on the couch, soundly slept . She briefly put on a disguise, it was Gentleman Xianxian’s appearance . She put on the robe and step out of the door, passing through the luxuriant but well-spaced plum trees of the middle yard . The elegant figure jumped over the roofs . The posture was graceful, handsome and wonderful . The green, lined robe dashed through the wind . It really was a casual and elegant bearing .

Living in the nunnery, there was another advantage for Sese, namely more freedom to go out .

Tonight she wanted to go out and find Feng Nuan to settle the score . At the place where Feng Nuan often went, Sese didn’t find Feng Nuan, she then thought that he was captured by Ye Wuyan . She stayed to look for Bei Dou and Nan Xing, wanted to find out of his whereabouts .

After Nan Xing saw Sese, both of his eyes brightened, he informed Sese that her instructed matter had been done .

Bei Dou however murmured that actually they were not the one who accomplished it .

Sese naturally very clearly understood about the course of the matter . She was currently too lazy to care about them, only asked for Feng Nuan’s whereabouts .

“Feng Nuan went to Yanzhi Lou . ” said Nan Xing with a shriek . Although he also quite interested in Yanzhi Lou, however since following Sese, by Sese’s strict order, can not go to the places of wind and moon . Tonight, Feng Nuan had the audacity to go to Yanzhi Lou, he naturally wanted to file an accusation .

Yanzhi Lou: literally means “rouge building” .

the places of wind and moon: red-light district

“Yanzhi Lou?” Sese coldly laughed, today, Feng Nuan had indeed given her a great deal of surprise ah .

“Both of you, follow me to Yanzhi Lou to broaden one’s horizons!” Said Sese with a cold voice .

Bei Dou and Nan Xing immediately widened both of their eyes, wondered whether they had misheard or not . After determining that they weren’t wrong, Nan Xing suddenly jump up in excitement, Bei Dou however looked at Sese puzzlingly, he felt that today, both Boss and Feng Nuan were somewhat strange . They obviously had succeeded in ruining the virtue of Jiang family’s young lady, shouldn’t Boss now be by Young Lady Jiang’s side, to show his true feeling toward her? Did he really want to take them to visit the places of wind and moon? But even though very puzzled, they still obediently accompanied Sese to go to Yanzhi Lou .

Yanzhi Lou was the name of a building, however not an ordinary building, rather it was a place where the imperial capital’s aristocratic gentlemen seek pleasure .

A lake of green water, flowers spreaded out by the lake, a winding colourful bridge, meandering up to on the middle of the lake, on the island stood a high multi-storeyed building with eaves which exactly was Yanzhi Lou .

The billowing water of the lake, the moving stream of stars, the moon on the water reflected the cold mist .

The music instruments sounded, filled with allure .

Night is the time to soundly sleep, yet Yanzhi Lou was bustling with noise and excitement .

The hall of the first floor was jam-packed with guests . On the tall stage, a beautiful woman dressed in colours, accompanied by music instruments, beautifully sung with the sound like moving water .

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