Dragon Flies Phoenix Dances - 5
Chapter 5 – Sneaking Out
Someone was entering the kitchen’s front courtyard. At the same time outside the rear window, in the distance, a servant who was carrying an ax on his back walked into the backyard to chop wood.
Fengning’s reaction was swift. With a light tap of her toes, she flipped her body and flew to the roof inside the kitchen.
There is a saying – the most dangerous place is the safest place…….
The sentence suddenly popped up in her mind but she could not remember who told her this.
She hugged the big bowl and ate with enjoyment while she listened to the movements in the kitchen below her.
It turned out that Chef Tang was chatting with another kitchen helper.
First, the kitchen helper asked. “Chef Tang, it’s heard that the crab-roe dumplings were stolen. What are you going to use as a replacement?”
Chef Tang replied. “Fortunately, I have kneaded bamboo shoots and mushroom balls for dinner’s soup dish. The balls were simply coated with glutinous rice to form glutinous rice balls. The Second Master likes this snack as well.” As Chef Tang spoke, his anger rose again. “If I find out which bastard stole my food, I’ll kill him!”
Fengning who was sitting on the roof was taken aback. Then she hurriedly stuffed another rice ball into her mouth.
Before she is slaughtered, she must make sure she is full!
The kitchen helper said. “Don’t be angry anymore. This time, there shouldn’t be any problem. No one will steal twice in a row.”
Chef Tang let out a humph and said. “From now on I’ve learned my lesson. The moment I start to cook, I can’t leave the kitchen and I have to prepare two portions of snack ingredients as backing.”
When Fengning heard, she nodded repeatedly on the roof.
It’s good to have two portions prepared. If two portions are prepared, then one portion will be hers.
She felt a little happy with the thought that she will have snacks to eat in the future. Although the rice balls in her mouth were not yet fully cooked, she did not mind and felt the taste was exceptionally good.
A short while later, a roar suddenly sounded from the kitchen below.
“F**k, who is the scumbag who doesn’t even let go of the balls?! They were not even fully cooked yet! Eat, eat, eat!…….only knows to eat!…….what should I do now?!”
The kitchen helper stammered. “Or else…….Chef Tang, why don’t you try to steam the glutinous rice and then knead them into balls?”
Yi……will that taste delicious?
Fengning thought about it. However, it was a pity she never got to taste that dish and was not even given a chance because Chef Tang never left the kitchen again from then on.
As a result of this incident, it was heard that the Second Master personally went to the kitchen to investigate and finally found an empty bowl on the roof.
The next day, the portions of rice and vegetable dishes of Fengning’s three meals increased by two folds. Someone also instructed Xiaoqing to pass a message to her. “After eating your fill, don’t cause trouble.” It was only after a long time had passed before Fengning realized that Second Master Long had assumed his younger sister-in-law had deliberately snatched food from him.
However, it did not occur to her that the empty bowl exposed the fact she was skilled in martial arts. To the Long Family, her purpose in marrying into the Long Family became even more suspicious.
After being warned by Long Er, Fengning indeed became obedient for a while.
Every day Momo Yu would come to visit her. It was not known whether Momo Yu came to monitor her or torture her…….or to be tortured by her……..
Anyway, Fengning did not feel happy with just sitting down with her and felt that Momo Yu was also unhappy. Momo Yu did not show any interest in the topics she was interested in. For example, her previous trivial matters, her matters in the family, and her husband’s matters, and Momo Yu did not talk much about them. Apart from these, Fengning really could not find any topic to converse with her. Therefore, most of the time, the two people would just sit there.
But Fengning was not a heartless person because she still thought for Momo Yu.
For example……”Momo Yu, since you are old, don’t you feel tired just sitting down like this? Do you want me to accompany you to take a stroll?” She was thinking that taking a walk and looking at the scenery was much better than just looking at this momo.
As a result, Momo Yu said. “As a wife, you must have a stable temperament, so how can you show resentment for feeling bored just sitting for a while?”
Her resentment for feeling bored could be overlooked, but this Fengning even dared to mention she is old? Momo Yu felt unhappy and if it is said that she did not mind it would be a lie. In the past, Fengning constantly felt guilty, so she dared not speak up so blatantly.
Again Fengning asked. “Momo Yu, are you hungry after sitting for so long?”
If Momo Yu is hungry, then there is reason to ask for some snacks from the kitchen, right?
But Momo Yu replied. “It’s just a sichen after lunch, how will I feel hungry?” Fengning caressed her chin and knew she had asked the wrong question. She should have asked her whether she is gluttonous but to ask such a serious old woman whether she is gluttonous, isn’t that a bit unkind?
That won’t work.
Fengning could only turn back to the topic again. “Momo Yu, can you tell me what kind of thing is that treasure that might have been stolen by me? How does it look like? How big is it?”
Momo Yu took a sip of tea and did not answer. Fengning asked again. “Then is it possible for me to have an accomplice? Can I steal it by myself?”
Momo Yu’s hand that was holding a cup paused and she swept a glance at her. The slouching Fengning was holding up her head with a hand and using her other hand to fiddle with her cup dispiritedly. After playing for a while, she sat upright abruptly.
“Momo Yu, why don’t both of us solve this case together? Being suffocated like this, I also don’t know what had happened and my mood is not good. And you being so tired like this won’t solve the problem and your mood is also not good.”
This time, Momo Yu replied. “Hurry up and remember the past. That will be a great help. Now you’re like crazy but not crazy, stupid but not stupid, how can you solve the case?”
She did not trust this Third Madam, so it was impossible to give her a chance to mess around. “I’ve already sent someone to invite a high priest to hold prayers to exorcise evil spirits.”
She did not believe that with medicine poured down her throat, prayers to exorcise evil spirits, intense monitoring…….with such continuous torture, can she still not tear down this woman’s pretense and expose her true nature?
Exorcise evil spirits?
When Fengning heard, the feeling of boredom increased. She simply laid on the table and pretended to be dead. She felt unhappy and was not interested in putting on a pretense of being happy.
After suffering a few days of such torture, Fengning finally could not stand it anymore. She decided to strive for self-improvement.
If no one is willing to trust her then she will find out on her own what she had done in the past and find out the truth by herself!
She did not ask for anything else and even if she had done something bad, at least she could get a clear understanding. At present, she is confused and had to look at the faces of other people to live each day, so how can she tolerate it?
(Look at the faces of people means to observe other people’s mood fluctuations and act accordingly to avoid confrontations and ill feelings.)
When her request to return to her maiden home was rejected, she already had a clear understanding. Isn’t that just changing the rules and putting her under house arrest? If she had stolen their Long Family’s treasure and returned to her maiden home, they were afraid that she would run away.
She would not run. If she had really stolen it, she will find out the truth and return it to them. Although she had lost her memory, she was somehow involved in this, so, it still gave her a sense of shame.
During this period that she spent in the Long Mansion, she also felt that what Momo Yu said was indeed true. Although they did not like her, they did not let her go hungry and cold, they did not beat nor scold her but also let Xiaoqing, this kind of good girl, take care of her. She observed the behavior of the servants in the mansion and found they were all well-behaved and upright which showed that the Long Family was indeed an upright family.
Therefore, Fengning analyzed that what happened to her should indeed have a cause.
With this thought, her desire to unravel the mystery became even stronger. After thinking over it, she finally decided to take the first step and it was to take a good look at the place where she fell into the river.
One night when there was no moon and the winds were high, it was the right time to do some sneaky activities. Fengning avoided the night patrol guards, quietly sneaked to the wall of the mansion, and with a light leap, she jumped out of the mansion. She looked around then listened carefully and it seemed no one had discovered her. She paused for a while and thought about this kind of situation. It was indeed possible for her to steal that thing out of the mansion and flee with it.
She turned around and ran through the streets. After running down two streets, she leaped onto the roofs of the houses beside the street. After two vertical leaps, she found a high spot and stopped to look at the surroundings. The city was built up in a square shape and although the area was very big, she had headed in the right direction and the city gate was not difficult to find.
Fengning had long ago inquired about the place where she was found injured. It was in the southern suburbs, the upper stream of the Liang River. She wanted to go there to have a look and see whether she could recall anything or find some clues there.
She planned to go secretly and return secretly. If she can find some clues, she will find out the truth first before she tells the Long Family. Otherwise, no matter what she says now, the Long Family will only think she is playing tricks. If she can’t find anything, then she will just take it as she had never gone out of the mansion. In this way, it will prevent the Long Family from having unnecessary thoughts.
However, after having walked a long way and finally reaching the city gate Fengning did not expect to find the gate tightly closed. The soldier who was guarding the city gate told her that she had to wait until Mao Shi*, the time that the city gate would be opened for the farmers to go out and work on their farms.
(Mao Shi is the time sector between 5am to 7am.)
Fengning’s first thought was the situation was bad.
She quickly pleaded with the soldier and told him that her married elder sister who resides in a neighboring city had suddenly fallen seriously ill. The elder sister had no one to take care of her, so she had to rush over there to save her. However, the soldier could not help her.
“Miss, control is very strict nowadays. As you can see, I am not the only one guarding the gate here. Not to mention I can’t make the decision to let you through, but even if I can make the decision to open the gate to let you through, I may not be able to keep my job. Currently, it is already the Yin Shi*, so it won’t be long before the gate will open. Just wait a little longer.”
(Yin Shi is the time sector between 3am to 5am.)
Fengning stared at the city gate with a pitiful expression. When the soldier saw the look on this great beauty, his heart softened and he comforted her.
“Don’t worry, your elder sister’s condition will certainly not be any different within this sichen. You’re a woman alone and to leave the city at this time is not safe for you. You should find a warm place to sit for a while. Later when the city gate opens, the first person I let out will be you.”
When Fengning saw the soldier was placed in a difficult situation, she sighed then nodded her thanks and turned around to leave.
After walking for a distance, she saw a young swordsman standing not far from her with his arms folded across his chest. Thinking that he was also waiting to leave the city, she kindly shouted out to him.
“No one is allowed to leave the city at this time! Not to worry, just wait until Mao Shi!”
The young swordsman seemed surprised.
Fengning thought he was just as ignorant of the rules as her and seemed to be a foreigner. She waved her hand at him as a gesture of goodbye, then lowered her head, and continued to walk while thinking.
Now, should she return to the Long Mansion first or wait for the city gate to open?
She pondered for a while. The Long Mansion was monitoring her very strictly, so it was not easy for her to come out. Moreover, every time she can only sneak out in the middle of the night and the city gate will always remain closed. Now even if she goes back, the problem cannot be solved. Anyway, since she had already come out and had walked such a long way, this trip cannot be made in vain. Therefore, she must get things done today and then only go back.
As she was thinking about this, she walked and walked and came to the front door of an inn cum restaurant. The inn’s lantern was still lighted up. All the door panels of the inn were already put up, leaving only half a panel space uncovered. It was to let the people, who wanted to eat or drink or looking for a room to stay in the middle of the night, know that the inn was still opened for business.
Fengning rubbed her stomach and swallowed her saliva but she had no money on her and could not go in. She let out a sigh, then sat down and leaned on the corner of the steps of the inn to wait for the city gate to open.
As the night breeze blew, she sat alone on the long dark street while the light from the lantern overhead projected a lonely shadow of her.
Fengning looked at the shadow beside her and a feeling of sadness rose in her heart. She buried her head on her lap, hugged her knees, and turned herself into a human ball. After a while, just as she was feeling a little drowsy, suddenly a heavy scent of alcohol drifted over and the rough voices of two men sounded near her.
Fengning was still alert and instantly jumped up. After taking a good look, it turned out that the two drunk men had just come out of the inn and saw a woman sitting on the steps of the inn. They laughed and stretched out their hands with disrespectful intentions.
Fengning retreated two steps back and avoided their dirty claws. She frowned and wanted to swear at them but upon thinking deeper, she decided it was best to leave. So, she gave them a fierce glare before she turned around and walked towards the city gate. Unexpectedly, the two men were able to catch up with her and they blocked her path with one in front of her and the other one behind her.
This time, Fengning was truly angry and with her eyebrows lifted, she shouted. “What do you intend to do?!”
The drunk man in front of her had a grinning flushed face and his eyes were extremely vile. “Miss is wandering the streets alone in the middle of the night, isn’t this a show of loneliness?” The man behind her laughed gleefully and added. “That’s right, that’s right. Let us keep Miss company.”
Fengning sneered. “Look at your virtues. Even the sow doesn’t like the looks of you.”
When the drunk man was scolded, he became angry. “Damn! Rejects the face given to you? Even dare to scold this old man? Do you know who this old man is?”
“F**k your mother!” The drunk man clenched his fist and struck Fengning in the face. His fist was as big as a water dipper and his strength was as strong as the wind. The next instant, he was in front of Fengning’s eyes. It turned out he was skilled in martial arts. The moment his fist moved, Fengning also subconsciously moved and pivoted on her foot. When the fist came up to her face, she turned her head away sharply, then lifted her hand as fast as lightning to pinch the drunk man’s pulse.
The drunk man felt a sharp numbing pain shoot through his arm tendon and then his whole arm could no longer move. With a twist from Fenging’s hand and a kick from her, the huge drunk man was sent staggering to the ground.
She shouted. “F**k your grandpa!” The huge man was fiercely thrown to the ground and was unable to get up for a long while.
When the other man saw what was happening, he became half-awake from his drunken state and shouted. He put on an open-fisted stance and walked a half-circle around Fengning before he leaped sharply at her. He threw two punches at Fengning, one fist aimed above and the other aimed below. Without thinking, Fengning bent according to her instinct and bonelessly twisted her waist and body, and pivoted on her foot. Surprisingly, she was able to leap away and avoided the fists. Following up with the opponent’s offensive moves, she flipped her wrists around the opponent’s wrists, locked her grip over his wrists, pulled him forward, and at the same time, lifted her foot to aim a kick at his abdomen.
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