Good Luck
Good Luck Chapter 1

Chapter 1  

“In the Mountainous Region of Heyang County”

The Heyang County area is filled with mountains and forests, adorned with green peaks and clear waters. Even in the month of June, it remains cool and pleasant.

As the sky began to brighten, Feng Yuanyuan quietly opened the door, went to the woodshed to fetch dry firewood, and started cooking.

She stuffed a thick tree root into the stove, letting the porridge simmer slowly. Seizing this opportunity, Feng Yuanyuan picked up a wooden basin and went to the riverside in front of her house to wash clothes.

Old man Li was a bricklayer, always covered in specks of mud, utterly dirty. After finishing work last night, he went off to who knows where to have a drink, ending up in a messy state.

Holding her nose with one hand, Feng Yuanyuan soaked Li’s jacket in the water, and when the smell was somewhat diminished, she began scrubbing.

“Yuanyuan, why are you up so early?”

Next Door, Mrs. Wang Also Came Out to Wash Clothes

Seeing Feng Yuanyuan, Mrs. Wang smiled and greeted her.

Feng Yuanyuan: “Yes, today Grandpa is going to Guan Village to repair the roof, so we have to set out early.”

Mrs. Wang nodded in understanding.

There were stone steps more than three feet long along the riverbank. Feng Yuanyuan occupied one end, and Mrs. Wang took the other.

Washing clothes was a tedious task. After a while, Mrs. Wang’s gaze shifted to the young girl beside her.

Feng Yuanyuan was a very likable child, fair-skinned with almond eyes and rosy cheeks. When the children from the nearby streets gathered, Feng Yuanyuan was considered the most beautiful.

However, this child had a tough fate. Her mother died soon after her birth, and when she was three years old, her biological father died in a flash flood while trying to save Old Man Li. On his deathbed, he entrusted her to the care of Old Man Li and his wife.

Old Mrs. Li was devoutly religious, and to repay the debt of saving Feng’s father, she treated Feng Yuanyuan as dearly as her own granddaughter. Whatever delicious food the family had, it was always reserved for Feng Yuanyuan. They raised her into a plump and beautiful girl, resembling a child from a New Year’s painting.

However, last year, Old Mrs. Li fell seriously ill and passed away.

Old Man Li refused to cook, leaving all the household chores of washing and cooking to Feng Yuanyuan.

Mrs. Wang carefully examined Feng Yuanyuan’s face.

Last year, this child still had baby fat, but this year she had slimmed down to a melon seed face, indicating how Old Man Li treated her.

Although it’s common for children in poor families to take on responsibilities early, Feng Yuanyuan was only seven years old!

“Yuanyuan, does Old Man Li make you work every day? Do you resent him?” Mrs. Wang quietly asked while patting her clothes.

Feng Yuanyuan, vigorously scrubbing a stubborn oil stain, glanced at Mrs. Wang and a hint of a smile appeared on her fair little face. “No resentment. If it weren’t for Grandpa and Grandma adopting me, I would have become an orphan long ago.”

Most orphans would end up as beggars, without proper clothing or even a shelter.

Now she lived with the Li family. Despite having to do some rough work, her life was much better than that of the beggars outside.

“You are indeed content,” Mrs. Wang said with a complex expression in her eyes.

At the tender age of seven, Feng Yuanyuan wasn’t sure how to engage in conversations with adults. Seeing Mrs. Wang had nothing more to say, she continued washing clothes with concentration.

Once the clothes were washed and hung on the clothesline in the yard, she checked the pot and found the porridge was ready.

Arranging the bowls and chopsticks, Feng Yuanyuan went to the eastern room to wake up Old Man Li.

Still a bit tipsy and with a headache, Old Man Li lingered in bed, reluctant to move.

Feng Yuanyuan urged, “Grandpa, they’re waiting at Ziyun Temple.”

Ziyun Temple?

Old Man Li suddenly became alert. The temple’s abbot was generous, and this deal couldn’t afford any mistakes.

Fifteen minutes later, Old Man Li sat at the dining table, sipping the porridge and biting into a dry cake, relieving his stomach discomfort. His gaze then fell on Feng Yuanyuan’s face. “The mountain road is tough. Later, you’ll come with me.”

Feng Yuanyuan nodded obediently.

As they set out, Old Man Li pushed a single-wheel cart loaded with the tools needed for the job. Feng Yuanyuan carried a water jug beside him.

A weathered, lean old man and a fair, pretty girl walked side by side, looking more like family than mere acquaintances.

Almost every passerby couldn’t help but glance curiously at Feng Yuanyuan.

Old Man Li was used to it.

He thought that if he raised Feng Yuanyuan for a few more years, by the time she was thirteen or fourteen, he could surely secure a handsome dowry.

Ziyun Temple was located on Ling Mountain east of the county town.

Old Man Li tied a rope to the front of the handcart. As they ascended the mountain, he pushed from behind, and Feng Yuanyuan pulled from the front.

Pulling the cart was tiring, but Feng Yuanyuan couldn’t afford to slack off. If Old Man Li noticed, he would surely scold her.

Feng Yuanyuan wasn’t afraid of work; she feared Old Man Li’s temper. He used to get drunk and even hit Old Mrs. Li. Those memories were almost like nightmares for Feng Yuanyuan.

Finally, they reached the gate of Ziyun Temple. Feng Yuanyuan was drenched in sweat, her hands red from the strain of pulling the cart.

A young monk led them directly to the building that needed repairs.

Ziyun Temple, standing for over a century, had undergone countless renovations. Recently, a storm had broken trees, damaging two houses where the monks lived. Luckily, no one was injured.

The mud-brick temple was ready, and Old Man Li arranged his tools, rolled up his sleeves, and got to work.

Feng Yuanyuan whispered, “Grandpa, do you need my help?”

Old Man Li snorted, “Little girl, what do you know? Go play on the side.”

He could order the girl to do chores like washing and cooking, but when it came to repairing roofs, such significant tasks were strictly off-limits for women, in his deep-seated prejudice.

Feng Yuanyuan didn’t understand the deep bias in Old Man Li’s mind. She was just secretly glad to have a chance to explore Ziyun Temple.

After bidding farewell to Old Man Li, Feng Yuanyuan went off on her own.

Ziyun Temple was quite large. Feng Yuanyuan ran to the gate, touring the interior one by one. When she first entered, she had followed Old Man Li without paying much attention.

Lingguan Hall, Sanqing Hall, Jade Emperor Hall…

Amid the worshippers, Feng Yuanyuan glanced around and found that these immortals all looked quite similar—bronze faces with imposing expressions, intimidating her.

As she wandered, it unexpectedly started raining!

A vast expanse of dark clouds covered the sky, with a faint glimpse of sunlight around the edges.

Feng Yuanyuan could see that once this dark cloud drifted away, the rain would naturally stop.

Without any hurry, Feng Yuanyuan sought refuge in the nearby Sanxing Hall.

Sanxing Hall was dedicated to the three immortals of Fortune (Fu), Prosperity (Lu), and Longevity (Shou).

In the center stood Fu, dressed in a red official robe, adorned with a majestic official hat. His left hand rested on a dragon-embroidered belt around his waist, while his right hand held a long ruyi scepter. While the other immortals had stern features, Fu had a kind and friendly expression, making him approachable.

On either side of Fu were Lu, a handsome figure, and Shou, an elderly figure with a cheerful white beard.

Perhaps due to the festive symbolism of these three immortals, Feng Yuanyuan instantly liked this place.

Sanxing Hall was a side hall, and at the moment, Feng Yuanyuan was the only one there.

Although it was just a passing shower, the rain was quite heavy. The raindrops drummed on the ground, creating bursts of mist.

Feng Yuanyuan bowed to the three immortals and, with nothing else to do, sat on the cushion in the center, facing away from the statues, looking out at the rain.

Suddenly, she heard an unusual sound.

Curious, Feng Yuanyuan stood up, circled around the statues, and carefully observed. Soon, she spotted the issue.

There was a leak in the roof, and raindrops were hitting Fu’s official hat.

Feng Yuanyuan climbed onto the altar, tiptoed for a closer look, and noticed that the hat had rusted, a large green patch confirming that the roof leak here was no recent problem.

However, the spot was too high and located on the backside of the bronze statue. Unless someone climbed up like her, nobody would notice.

After the rain stopped, Feng Yuanyuan found a Taoist priest and informed him about the leak in Sanxing Hall.

The priest followed her to inspect, reported to the responsible Taoist, and finally told Feng Yuanyuan, “Senior Master said the issue is not significant, no need to address it for now.”

Feng Yuanyuan felt disappointed.

Perhaps because Fu looked too benevolent, she couldn’t bear the thought of such a good immortal living under a leaky roof, constantly wearing a hat covered in green rust.

Feng Yuanyuan went to find Old Man Li and asked if he could fix the leaky roof while he was at it.

Old Man Li: “Is the temple paying? If they pay, I’ll fix it.”

Recalling the attitude of the Taoist priests, Feng Yuanyuan guessed they were probably not willing to take any extra measures.

She tried to convince Old Man Li, “That’s Fu, if Grandpa helped Fu, and Fu will surely take good care of you.”

Old Man Li: “Dream on. I’ve been worshiping the God of Wealth every year, and he hasn’t shown any favor.”

Feng Yuanyuan was left speechless.

Sitting under the eaves, she watched Old Man Li sling mud with his arms and glanced at the neatly stacked green tiles nearby.

Suddenly, an idea popped into Feng Yuanyuan’s mind.

While Old Man Li wasn’t paying attention, she playfully gathered some useless scraps and put them in a small bucket, then carried the bucket with a clatter as she ran away.

Old Man Li saw but didn’t bother. Kids wants to have fun, and as long as they don’t cause trouble, he turns a blind eye.

Feng Yuanyuan ran all the way to Sanxing Hall.

Small in stature but bold, she climbed onto the roof of Sanxing Hall, carrying the small wooden bucket.

With no one around, Feng Yuanyuan, using skills she had learned from watching Old Man Li, diligently fixed the leaky roof.

Once done, she climbed down and placed the small bucket under the eaves. Entering Sanxing Hall, she climbed onto the altar again.

Holding a small shovel, she painstakingly scraped off the rust on Fu’s hat, ensuring not a trace of green remained, revealing the shiny new copper underneath.

With a few beads of sweat on her forehead, Feng Yuanyuan wiped them away. Tilting her head to see Fu’s gentle smile, she smiled too, thinking, “Fu, you can rest assured, you won’t get wet in the rain from now on.”

The tasks at Ziyun Temple would take three days. Come evening, Old Man Li, accompanied by Feng Yuanyuan, descended the mountain, leaving the unicycle and tools temporarily at the temple.

On the second day, Old Man Li set off alone, leaving Feng Yuanyuan in charge at home.

After hanging the freshly washed clothes, Feng Yuanyuan noticed some weeds growing in the courtyard vegetable patch. Taking advantage of the not-so-high sun, she went to pull them out.

Crouching on the ground, fully absorbed, she only noticed a woman in silk standing at the open gate when she moved to the end of the vegetable patch, ready to cross to another.

The woman, with painted face resembling a dumpling skin, squinted at her.

Feng Yuanyuan: “Who are you?”

Woman: “Where’s your grandpa?”

Feng Yuanyuan: “He’s working at Ziyun Temple and will be back in the evening.”

The woman disappointedly pursed her lips, flicked her handkerchief, and swayed away with a hip-wiggling walk.

Feng Yuanyuan found the person strange but didn’t dwell on it.

Having a simple lunch alone, Feng Yuanyuan lay down on the wooden bed in the west room to rest as the midday weather turned hot.

In this nap, Feng Yuanyuan dreamt.

She rarely dreamt, and if she did, she usually forgot upon waking. However, this midday dream was exceptionally vivid in her memory.

In the dream, Old Man Li, on his way back from Ziyun Temple, encountered the peculiar woman seeking him. The woman claimed to be the madam of the local Yihong Courtyard and wanted to buy Feng Yuanyuan for twenty taels of silver.

Old Man Li was tempted but hesitated due to conscience and reputation. The woman told him to think about it and give her an answer in three days.

Three days later, Old Man Li drugged Feng Yuanyuan’s bowl and, under the cover of night, discreetly sent her to the brothel!

1 comment
  1. IamNobody has spoken 6 months ago

    i think your web page’s format is not friendly to mobile users. A fifth of the page has been cut. Literally, you can’t even zoom in to make the text fit the screen. The text on the left side has gone out of frame.

    Reply

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