Dramatic Narration Beyond Belief
“From ancient times till to present, there have been many good men who have been presented with mysterious opportunities in the face of danger. Not only men, but married women are also entitled to this strange right.”
“Ti Qian1 saving her father was uncommon in ancient as well as modern times, and acting on behalf of her father in military affairs was even stranger. The strange woman I want to talk about today is the young wife of the Fang family’s master, the daughter of Zhongyi Qingtian Jun Yingwen, Miss Jun.”
The tea house was full of people eating food on the table while looking at the stage. The shop assistants carried the teapot through the tables and, because it was a new story, they also raised their heads from time to time to listen.
Miss Jun, who was no stranger to the people of Yangcheng, really was a strange woman.
Since coming to Yangcheng, this Miss Jun has added countless fun and conversation to everyone’s life, especially because the person related to her was also a person familiar to the people of Yangcheng and who they were most willing to talk about.
“… Miss Jun finally met Ning gongzi at the August 15th lantern festival. It was really shocking, and since then it became a disaster. She wrote countless poems at once…”
The storyteller folded the fan together, making the delicate women shyly ponder, and took up his pen to write a poem.
“A lamp in the east, a lamp in the west, hate not for the moon under the lamp, shine on the jade man’s head.”
There was a burst of laughter in the tea house.
With a snap, Madam Ning slapped the table again.
The servant woman who was talking stopped talking.
Third Madam Ning and Fourth Madam Ning also stopped laughing.
“How disgusting to be told that. She is not ashamed, but Yunzhao is still ashamed,” Madam Ning said with a cold face.
Third Madam Ning coughed softly.
“It’s true that the Fang family is trying to divert attention. They even brought up such a thing about their daughter-in-law. They are not ashamed from losing face,” she said disdainfully.
They can talk about their own family and say whatever they want, why bother with others.” Fourth Madam Ning also said angrily.
“Master, they can’t continue like this to drag in our Yunzhao.” Madam Ning said while looking at Master Ning.
Master Ning’s expression remained the same, and he raised his hand to signal the servant woman.
“Go on. I want to hear what else the Fang family has to say about this strange woman,” he said.
The servant woman answered yes. She timidly looked at Madam Ning, who closed her eyes and ignored her, and the servant woman continued to speak.
Miss Jun’s previous absurdities were not that unusual, nothing more than making a fuss because of a marriage contract, hanging herself, and going to the government office to make trouble.
These things were even more exaggerated by the storyteller’s description, causing a burst of laughter in the tea house.
“Hey, that’s not right, that’s not right.” Someone responded with a laugh and patted the companion near him, “This is to make fun of the Fang family’s Master’s young wife. The Fang family now has an Imperial Edict, how can this be done!”
The companion also reacted.
“Yeah. That’s a bit excessive,” he said, looking a little panicked. “The Fang family even killed the county magistrate when he tried to kill them, so let’s not suffer from the disaster of the pond fish2. ”
The laughter in the hall where the thoughts had turned around gradually fell silent, and only the high-pitched voice of the storyteller in the hall returned, which seemed a little strange.
This scene was somewhat familiar.
Not long ago, that Miss Jun was still a joke. When the Fang family was just a wealthy merchant family in Yangcheng, the most feared force in Yangcheng, the Jinyiwei, held a group of people hostage to celebrate their biggest patron in the capital, Thousand-Man Commander Lu. The storyteller preached about the marriage between Thousand-Man Commander Lu and Princess Jiuli in the restaurant.
Those who dared not rejoice in the congratulations had encountered inexplicable but logical misfortune afterwards.
This time, it seemed like they wanted everyone together to celebrate and laugh at the past of the young wife of the master of the Fang family.
The Fang master’s wife’s past was not so glorious.
A woman’s absurd and ridiculous past was being told, which was not a sign of goodwill.
So was this the intention of the Fang family or the Jinyiwei?
Should they be happy or sympathetic? This was really a problem.
“If this is the intention of the Jinyiwei, it means that they are not satisfied with the other family’s behavior previously mentioned.” Master Ning knocked on the table and said slowly.
The servant woman who was narrating stopped again and stood quietly in the room, listening to the words of Master Ning.
Third Madam Ning and Fourth Madam Ning both showed some joy.
“However, there was no such meaning from second brother.” Master Ning frowned again.
“Jinyiwei’s actions are inherently the kind that shouldn’t be seen by people, so it is normal for second uncle not to know,” Madam Ning said.
Master Ning did not answer as he pondered for a moment.
“If it’s not the Jinyiwei’s intention, it is the Fang family’s intentions.” He said, “The Fang family…”
He knocked on the table.
“The Fang family doesn’t want this Fang master’s wife anymore.”
Ning Yunyan’s eyes, which had always been well-behaved and docile as if she didn’t exist, lit up suddenly.
Is that vicious and lowly Jun Zhenzhen finally going to be kicked out the door by the Fang family and thrown away like a used rag?
“The point is that this Miss Jun was making a lot of trouble, and even hanged herself with a rope at the inn, but fortunately people found out in time and saved her life.”
“Old Lady Fang rushed to hug Miss Jun and cried, I lost my husband and lost my son and my daughter. Only you and Chengyu are left. Chengyu can’t live and you don’t want to live.
“Whatever whatever, life is not controlled by heaven. I recognize that it is the fate of this white-haired person to see off the black-haired first. Die if you want. If you can’t cross through the Ning threshold in this life, when you die, I will send you to the Ning family’s grave.”
The storyteller stood on the high platform like an old woman pounding her chest and feet, complaining to the heavens, helpless and sad.
Even though the people in the audience were silent and nervous, they couldn’t help but feel a little broken-hearted.
A white-haired person sending off a black-haired person is indeed the saddest thing in the world, and those who want to live but can’t live, and those who can live but don’t want to live are also the most painful things in the world.
Both the sorrow and the pain were encountered by Old Lady Fang, and it was also bad luck that she could not do anything about it.
But it was obvious that this feeling of grief was often only felt by people who had nothing to do with the matter. For Madam Ning, not only did she not have the slightest feeling of grief, she only felt anger.
“What send her to the grave of my Ning family?” She raised an eyebrow, “When will it be my Ning family’s turn to have the upper hand?”
“It’s not necessarily impossible for them to do it.” Master Ning said, “The Fang family has an Imperial Edict.”
It was impossible to raid their Ning family’s home with the edict, but it was not impossible to force the Ning family to accept a marriage contract with the edict.
After all, the marriage contract was real.
Madam Ning was at a loss for words. She took the fan and shook it vigorously.
“What else? What else did they say?” She looked at the servant and her voice, which had always been soft, became a little anxious.
“The next thing is that at this cry of Old Lady Fang was the first thing Miss Jun, who had returned from the Yellow Springs, heard when she woke up. She thought of her parents who both died, and thought of her only grandmother in the world, so she gave up her obsession and stopped pestering the Ning family.” The servant woman said, “Then afterwards, just like that, she decided to marry her cousin Fang Chengyu. A marriage of one’s own relatives fulfilled the hearts of her grandmother and aunt, and also served to make her cousin happy.”
“And then what?” Fourth Madam Ning sneered and said, “They probably also said that virtue has its rewards and the heavens have eyes, from then on the Fang family’s sorrows have turned to joy. They achieved vengeance against their great enemy and young master Fang has also recovered from illness, and is this all due to the powerful Miss Jun’s contribution?”
“After talking for half a day, they still preached about how blessed by heaven their Fang family is and how meritorious and fortunate they are.” Third Madam Ning also said mockingly, “Why bother to expend so much effort this way, and let the monks directly say that their Fang family is the reincarnation of the heavenly star blessed by the gods. It wouldn’t be any less convincing.”
“It’s absurd.” Madam Ning shook her fan and smiled, “I look at the Fang family as crazy demons.”
Footnotes and Idioms
1 – Ti Qian is the youngest of the sisters in a story about a father who is facing punishment from the emperor and has no sons to help him. Ti Qian writes a letter to the Emperor and stops his carriage on his way to a hunt. The Emperor reads the letter and is moved by Ti Qian’s filial piety, and he pardons her father.
2 – 池鱼之殃 – chí yú zhī yāng – “calamity of the pond fish”;
be involved in a disaster not of one’s own making