The atmosphere in the Guan family was lively.
People were coming and going, and it felt like a temple fair.
The sound of gongs and drums filled the air, and the chatter of the crowd was deafening.
People's heads were split into two sides, some holding name cards and queuing up, while others were huddled in groups whispering to each other. Some were gathered around two small stalls at the door, watching who knows what.
It was just like a temple fair!
But if you counted the days, the old man should have been buried by now, and the seventh day might have passed.
Yue Dingtang could only come and pay his respects to the old man's grave, but even if the funeral had been completed, the Guan family shouldn't be so lively, like a festival!
Looking at the expressions on these people's faces, some are smiling, some are beaming with joy. You might even think that the temple fair from Fengtian City has been moved to the Guan family's place.
Ling Shu looked around and headed towards the crowd on the left.
"Excuse me, sir, what is this line for?" he asked the elderly man in the double-ear cotton hat in front of him.
The man looked mysterious.
"Are you from out of town?" he asked.
Ling Shu replied, "Yes!"
"Well, you're in luck. Today is the day when Grandmaster Huang comes out to open the court. See that person in front with paper and pen? When he comes to you, ask him for a piece of paper and write down your birth date and time. Keep it with you and when it's your turn, go ask Grandmaster Huang whatever you want to know."
Ling Shu was confused. "After a moment, sir, isn't this household surnamed Guan?"
"Oh, you child, you don't understand no matter how much you say. That's Grandmaster Huang, the protector of the family. Do you understand? Asking for help to avoid disaster, drive away evil spirits, and dispel calamities. It's very effective. The Fourth Master Guan has a connection with the divine, so Grandmaster Huang chose him. My neighbor asked him once, and it was very effective!"
Ling Shu: ...
After asking for a long time, he finally understood.
The so-called Grandmaster Huang is actually a yellow weasel who has become a spirit and possesses a person with fate. Through them doing good deeds and accumulating virtue, they cultivate and accumulate Taoism.
In other words, the Fourth Master Guan, who was possessed by the yellow weasel, became a well-known immortal who helps people far and wide!
The old man with the earflap hat also listed for Ling Shu the various miraculous and effective things that Fourth Master Guan had done.
For example, there was a child who cried every night without stopping.
Not only did he cry and make a fuss, but he also spoke incoherently. He claimed that his family lived in a certain suburb of the city and that his father was a scholar in the Qing Dynasty who had been wrongfully executed. His spirit was restless and he could not find peace.
The family was terrified and sought medical help everywhere, but to no avail. However, when they brought the child to Fourth Master Guan, the next day he was back to his normal self, jumping and playing around.
Once upon a time, there was a family where the husband was murdered and the wife was suspected to be the culprit. Despite her protests of innocence, the police couldn't find any evidence and were ready to close the case.
However, the wife's friends and family sought the help of Fourth Master Guan to intervene. With his extraordinary skills, Fourth Master Guan took the suspect's relatives to the husband's grave at midnight and performed a ritual that brought the corpse back to life. The corpse spoke and revealed that the true culprit was the husband's brother...
As the story unfolded, the sound of cracking sunflower seeds filled the air.
The elderly man spoke with great enthusiasm, and Ling Shu listened with great interest. He even found a bag of sunflower seeds and shared them with him as they chatted away.
The old man took a liking to Ling Shu and offered to show him around here.
Ling Shu readily agreed, his words dripping with honey.
"You're such a kind man, sir. They say people from Northeast China are straightforward, and I can see that now," said Ling Shu.
The elderly mand was coaxed into grinning from ear to ear under his double-ear hat.
"Are you here in Fengtian for business or something else?" he asked.
"Visiting relatives. A friend of mine came to pay respects to his elders, and I came along to bow to them too," replied Ling Shu.
"Well, you're a good friend to come all this way. You must be very close," said the man in the hat.
Ling Shu popped a sunflower seed into his mouth and said, "We're pretty close, I guess."
"Where is your friend's relative's house? Have you found it yet? I don't know this city very well, but if you can't find it, you can ask me!" offered the man in the hat.
"We found it. We're actually visiting right now," said Ling Shu.
"What are you doing...visiting?" asked the man in the hat, looking puzzled before pointing to the plaque above the door.
"This? The Guan family?"
Ling Shu grinned, "Isn't it just the Guan family?"
The man remained silent.
"I'll tell you, my friend is a close relative of the Guan family, not some distant relative. Their family patriarch passed away, and my friend came to represent the family and take a look. I heard that the Guan family is a wealthy and powerful household, and now that I see it for myself, it's truly extraordinary. I mean, sir, look at your reaction, why aren't you even a little envious?"
The man retorted, "I'm not envious at all! The Guan family is a mess right now. Just take a look for yourself. They're not even a proper family anymore, with no distinction between upper and lower ranks. The patriarch of the Guan family just passed away not long ago, and their doorstep looks like a temple fair. Is that respectable?"
Ling Shu almost burst out laughing, "But didn't you just say that Fourth Master Guan is very effective?"
The old man with the double-eared hat exclaimed, "Oh, you child, you don't understand! I said that the one who is effective is Grandmaster Huang, not the Guan family! Fourth Master Guan has a spiritual connection with Grandmaster Huang, but the other members of the Guan family are not like that at all. Have you seen the stall next to yours?"
Ling Shu replied, "Yes, I saw it. I was just about to ask you, what's going on? Did the Guan family produce two immortal families?"
The old man with the double-eared hat said, "Of course not. The five brothers of the Guan family, except for Fourth Master Guan, are all ordinary people. However, the eldest son of the Guan family has always been obsessed with Buddhism, eating vegetarian food and reciting Buddhist scriptures all day long, and performing rituals..."
"Wait a minute, old man!" Ling Shu had to interrupt him, "This eating vegetarian food and reciting Buddhist scriptures, and performing rituals, Buddhism and Taoism, are they not incompatible?"
The elderly man said, "You may think it doesn't match, but he thinks it's compatible. Just look at him, he even found some monks and Taoist priests to help her compete against Fourth Master Guan. They claimed to be local high-ranking monks and Taoist masters, but I've never even heard of them. They were performing rituals and blessings, giving out peace charms with the word 'Fortune' written on them, and even offering healing water. It is all a mess!"
Ling Shu asked, "Do they sell these peace charms for a high price?"
The elderly man replied, "No, they give them out for free!"
As he spoke, he showed Ling Shu a glimpse of his sleeve, revealing a yellow corner that looked like a piece of charm paper.
Ling Shu thought to himself, "This guy is really hedging his bets and not losing out on either side, isn't he?"
The elderly man chuckled, "You don't understand. It's free, so why not take it? Who knows, it might actually work? Of course, I believe in Fourth Master Guan. Don't tell anyone else, or else Grandpa Huang might think I'm insincere and won't let me see him!"
Ling Shu asked, "What do you want to ask Fourth Master Guan?"
At this, the elderly man's enthusiasm suddenly waned.
"My grandson is sick and no matter how many doctors we see, they all say it's not good. We're desperate, so I thought I'd try this. I have many grandchildren, but this one is the most lively and likable. I pray that he'll get better!"
The smile on the elderly man's face disappeared, and he clasped his hands together, muttering to himself. The passion he had just shared with Ling Shu was gone.
"Ling Shu." A familiar voice came from not far away.
Ling Shu turned his head.
Yue Dingtang had already turned a circle from the crowd on the right and was accompanied by a middle-aged man in a gray robe.
Ling Shu rubbed his nose.
He was actually interested in checking out Fourth Master Guan's abilities.
"Ling Shu, come here."
Seeing that he didn't respond, Yue Dingtang shouted again.
Ling Shu had to bid farewell to the elderly man and walked over.
"What were you chatting about while standing there for so long?" Yue Dingtang frowned. "I called you several times but you didn't hear me."
Ling Shu truthfully replied, "I was waiting in line to ask Fourth Master Guan about something."
Yue Dingtang twitched his mouth. "Do you have any difficult problems?"
Ling Shu laughed, "I want to ask when I can become successful, and when my sister can become gentler, especially towards me."
"Don't be ridiculous!" In a soft voice, Yue Dingtang reprimanded Ling Yue and introduced the middle-aged man beside him. "This is the steward, Mr. He, who has been working for the Guan family for generations. He will take us inside."
As Yue Dingtang spoke, Mr. He also observed the two of them. Both were tall and imposing figures, with the young master of the Yue family slightly taller than Ling Shu. They were both talented and impressive individuals.
The Yue and Guan families had not had much contact for many years, with occasional polite and distant letters exchanged.
The Guan family was located in the northeast and knew little about the Yue family, except that they were doing well in Shanghai. Although the previous generation had passed away, the three young masters of the Yue family were all outstanding individuals, rising to the top of society.
Now, looking at Yue Dingtang's demeanor and appearance, it confirmed this statement. In comparison, the peers of the Guan family were far inferior. The place was more than just inferior.
Mr. He sighed inwardly, but smiled on the surface.
"Master Yue and Mr. Ling, please follow me. The entrance is chaotic today, and it's embarrassing for our family. We should have gone to the station to pick you up yesterday, but there was a family emergency, so..."
Yue Dingtang and Ling Shu followed him through the side door.
It wasn't that the Guan family was intentionally neglectful, but the main entrance was crowded and impassable.
The interior was spacious and open.
The courtyards were numerous and the specifications were not lower than those of the former family. Although there were occasional cracks in the corners of the steps and the red paint on the pillars was gradually fading, the wealth of the Guan family when they moved to Fengtian was still visible.
However, many modern people were no longer willing to live in such a house, even the Yue family lived in a detached small western-style house.
As Ling Shu and Yue Dingtang walked through the estate, they saw people rushing about and shouting, making it far from peaceful. It wasn't until they passed through the central courtyard that the crowds thinned out, giving them a chance to take in the surroundings.
However, as they entered the flower hall, they found themselves amidst a noisy crowd, seemingly arguing and shouting at each other. The voices rose and fell like a dramatic opera performance.
Ling Shu couldn't resist stopping and reaching for the melon seeds in his pocket.
But before he could even grab a handful, Yue Dingtang grabbed his wrist, giving him a stern look.
Ling Shu looked back at him innocently.
"What's going on?" Yue Dingtang asked the steward.
He gave a bitter smile. "It's the Eldest Master and the Fourth Master. They seem to be having a disagreement. Let's go inside, the Second Master is waiting for you."
Not only were they arguing, but Ling Shu also saw one of them throw a punch at the other's face.
Are they really brothers? Someone who doesn't know might think they have a vendetta against each other.
It's like what the old saying goes: "Chaos, too much chaos, it's a complete mess!"