Chapter 27: As pale as a Chrysanthemum

When he got to the upper floor, he felt as if there were specks of light dancing everywhere, and there was a vague figure in the depths of the room. The figure had the shape of a woman. Song Qingshu couldn’t enter a lady’s room so abruptly, therefore he had to cough lightly to let her know that someone was coming up.

“Who?” Although Ling Shuanghua was alarmed, she didn’t show any other reactions, and just casually asked.

Feeling the indifference in her tone, Song Qingshu secretly sighed, this was a beautiful woman who was devastated to death.

“Under the entrustment of Master Ding, I have come to visit Miss Ling.” Song Qingshu couldn’t think of anything better than this. It was the best way to attract her attention.

He then heard a thump, which seemed to be the sound of a stool hitting the ground. Sure enough, when Ling Shuanghua heard the news of Ding Dian, she hurried out, opened the gauze curtain, and looked at Song Qingshu anxiously, “Which Master Ding?”

He saw a young woman in a light yellow dress run up to him. Although her face was covered by light gauze, it couldn’t hide the anxiety on her face. When he looked closely, he noticed some red scars on the edge of the looming veil. Song Qingshu secretly sighed when saw this woman with such a graceful figure. What a beauty she must have been before her disfigurement!

“Master Ding has ordered me to come here and ask Miss Ling a few words.” Song Qingshu respectfully bowed.

“Is he…is he doing well these days?” Ling Shuanghua’s voice trembled a little.

“Uh… I’m afraid his situation is not so good.” Song Qingshu thought to himself, if their bone was pierced, the tendons were picked, and then tortured in prison for several years, no one would be considered living a good life. “But he won’t die for the time being.”

Ling Shuanghua smiled sadly, “I am to blame for all the suffering of Big Brother Ding…”

“Miss Ling, since these things have already happened, it’s no use talking about this,” Song Qingshu remembered his intentions for coming here and hurriedly asked, “Why didn’t you want to run away with Master Ding?”

“Young master must have seen it too. My shameful appearance. I pray to God and worship Buddha every day, and I only hope that Big Brother Ding can be safe and live a peaceful life.” Ling Shuanghua gently lifted a corner of the veil, and a few hideous lines lay across her snow-white face.

“Miss Ling, I have always admired the love between you and Master Ding. Do you really think Master Ding cares about your appearance?” Song Qingshu frowned. The scars were a bit…somewhat eye-catching, but this shouldn’t be the reason.

“Of course I know he will not despise me” Ling Shuanghua sat down slowly at the table, and fiddled with the pot of flowers in front of her, with a gentle smile on her lips, “It’s just that I don’t want him to marry such an ugly wife.”

She was obviously not speaking from her heart, and Song Qingshu was too lazy to initiate a debate with these foolish men and women, so he directly asked, “I heard that Lord Ling forced you to make a poisonous oath, saying that if you see Ding Dian again in this life, your mother’s soul will suffer in the afterlife. Did Miss Ling know that even if you didn’t make this vow, your father wouldn’t kill Master Ding for the sake of Liancheng Swordplay Manual?”

Surprisingly, Ling Shuanghua’s expression didn’t change much, but she just turned around and stared at Song Qingshu, “Just now, this lady was anxious, and I haven’t asked the young master’s name…”

“This lowly one is Song Qingshu” This scheme of his put all the scheming Song Qingshu performed in his previous life to shame. Seeing her look, he knew that she had doubts in her heart, so he confessed his plan to work with Ling Tuisi on the surface, but actually secretly reached an agreement with Ding Dian and came to speak to her.

After listening to the secret codes that only Ding Dian and she knew, Ling Shuanghua finally let go of her reservations and softly sighed, “I won’t hide it from Young Master Song, when I learned about Liancheng Swordplay Manual, I had already realized my error.”

“Swearing such a solemn thing, since it was caused by a lie, naturally it can’t be true.” Song Qingshu comforted her.

Ling Shuanghua smiled slightly. Although her appearance was ruined, Song Qingshu still felt the remnants of her beauty from her gestures, “But when I made that oath, I really did that with utmost sincerity. I don’t want to take the risk of making my mother suffer in the afterlife.”

Seeing that Song Qingshu was about to open his mouth to speak again, Ling Shuanghua raised her hand to stop him, and continued, “In fact, there is another very important reason, I also haven’t spoken of this to Big Brother Ding. At the beginning, the person my father betrothed me was to the family of his immediate superior, the prefect of Xiangyang and the governor of Xi’an in the capital. But, because I fell in love with Big Brother Ding and refused the marriage, I have embarrassed both my father and the Lu family. If I really leave with Big Brother Ding, I am afraid that I will really offend the Lu family to death. No matter how cruel my father is, he is still my father after all. I don’t want to get him into such a big trouble.”

“Lu Wenhuan?” Song Qingshu’s heart jumped, this was something really troublesome. He had been traveling around in this world for a while now, and he had slowly figured out many situations. Xiangyang had been fighting against the Mongolian army for many years. Although it held on with the help of Guo Jing and his wife Huang Rong, the prefect Lu Wenhuan was also a huge contributor. Lu Wenhuan currently managed Jingxiang and was in control of heavy armoured soldiers. His brother Lu Wende guarded the two Huaihe Rivers. These two brothers, together with the Sichuan Xuanyu envoy Yu Jie, were known as the three biggest vassals in the Song Dynasty.

Although Ling Tuisi could be regarded as a member of the same faction, compared with Lu Wenhuan, he was still not at the same level. If he offended the Lu family, Ling Tuisi would be finished without a doubt.

She really was a filial daughter. Her father was so vicious, but she was still thinking about his safety. Song Qingshu shook his head, it seemed that in order to untie the knot in Ling Shuanghua’s heart, he still had to start from her father.

“May I know if Miss Ling is a believer of Buddhism or Taoism?” Song Qingshu suddenly asked.

“Well… I believe in Buddhism.” Ling Shuanghua didn’t know his intentions for suddenly asking this, and answered questioningly.

“Then Miss Ling must be clear about the concept ‘Six Reincarnations’, can you explain one or two of them for this lowly one?”

Seeing Song Qingshu humbly asking for advice, Ling Shuanghua hesitated for a moment, but still softly spoke, “All beings are drawn to the Six Realms of the cycle of life and death, being bound by karma, just like the turning of a wheel. If you don’t seek liberation, you will always be in the Six Realms. Life and death are perpetual, and never ending…”

“The Six Realms are divided into three higher realms and three lower realms. Then what determines whether one will enter the higher realms or the lower realms during reincarnation?” Song Qingshu suddenly asked.

Ling Shuanghua already understood what Song Qingshu was trying to imply a little bit, she slightly smiled, and continued, “For committing the ten evil karma, you will fall into the three lower realms of Hell, Hungry ghosts, and Animals. On the other hand, by performing the ten good karma you shall be born into the three higher realms of Gods, Asura and Human world.”

Song Qingshu gave a look of praise and said, “I heard that Miss Ling’s mother was well-known for her virtue in the city during her lifetime. She must have been doing good deeds her whole life, and it should be impossible for her to fall into the three lower realms. I have never heard of someone virtuous falling to the lower realms. If she doesn’t receive the Shura realm, the only ones remaining can be the Human realm and the God realm. No matter which realm, her soul won’t be suffering. Miss Ling’s oath was, ‘If I meet with Big Brother Ding again, my mother’s soul will surely suffer in the afterlife day and night’. Therefore, may I ask Miss Ling, do you think she will suffer in the afterlife for the good deeds she had done before or after she was alive?”

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