Wei Luo slept for a long time without waking up. She continued sleeping even when the sky had darkened.
Because Liang Yu Rong and the others were worried about her, they didn't stay in the peach tree grove for a long time and had rushed back. Zhao Jie had explained to Jin Lu before leaving with Wei Luo. Jin Lu had an understanding of propriety. In order to protect her Miss's pure reputation, she couldn't say the wrong words. So, Liang Yu Rong and the others only knew that Wei Luo was feeling unbearably painful and since Zhao Jie coincidently passed by the peach tree grove and was going back to Qian Temple, he conveniently brought Wei Luo with him on his way back.
In fact, most of this was true. Other than what Zhao Jie had done at the corner gate, everything that was witnessed by other people was done according to proper standards.
After Liang Yu Rong returned from the peach tree grove, she wanted to visit Wei Luo. Unfortunately, Bai Lan said that Wei Luo was still sleeping, so she could only return to her own room. Wei Chang Hong also came a few times. During that period of time, Wei Luo's door was closed every time, so he didn't go inside to bother her and only repeatedly told Bai Lan to take good care of Wei Luo.
Early next morning, Wei Chang Hong came over again when Wei Luo was getting out of bed.
At this time, Wei Luo's pain had already eased a lot. Her complexion had also regained its glossy rosyness and she wasn't as pale as yesterday. She took the moist towel that Jin Lu handed her to wipe her face. After she finished washing her face, she sat down at a round, Chinese cedar table, greeted Chang Hong, and invited him to eat breakfast with her.
The temple only offered vegetarian dishes. A single glance showed that there were only tofu buns, turnip cakes, vegetarian congee, and a few picked vegetables as side dishes on the table. Wei Luo picked up a tofu bun with her chopsticks and put it into her mouth. The fresh and soft tofu bun was filled with shitake mushrooms, various other mushrooms, and pine nuts. When it entered her mouth, there was a strong aroma and it left a rich aftertaste.
Although it was only temple food, it had been prepared more finely than common simple foods.
Wei Luo wasn't picky about this food. The food that she ate in her previous life was significantly worse than this, so she could accept and adapt to eating simple meals or culinary delicacies. In addition, she had been too tired climbing up the mountain yesterday to eat dinner. As soon as she woke up this morning, her stomach felt extremely empty. So, how could she be picky right now? She would eat even a bowl of vegetarian congee with great relish.
Although she was comfortable eating this food, it didn't mean that everyone else would feel the same way.
At the same time, in another room, Wei Zheng was very dissatisfied.
Wei Zheng was staying at the end point of the eastern verandah. There were three to four rooms between her and Wei Luo. Currently, she was very angry with the servants and had driven two servant girls out of her room.
After the two servant girls left the room, they passed by Wei Luo's room.
Wei Luo coincidentally heard this part of their conversation.
One of the servant girls wearing a purple top and a white skirt complained, "Fifth Miss is really making it difficult for us. How could there be eggs at temple? But, she's insisting on eating eggs stir-fry with yuqian…”
(T/N: Yuqian is a type of Chinese fruit. Below is a picture of it.)
The other servant girl was wearing a silver hairpin and also felt very vexed, but she shook her head and said, "Never mind. It can't be helped. We're servants. We have to figure out a way to get that dish for Fifth Miss."
The two gradually walked farther away and disappeared. Their voices also faded away.
Wei Luo dipped the turnip cake in sauce, placed it in her mouth, and noisily ate it.
Wei Zheng was unreasonable. What was so bad with eating one meal of temple food? Temples were naturally a place to eat vegetarian foods and pray to Buddha. She came here, but wouldn't follow this place's rules. Wasn't she deliberate trying to find faults? If the abbot found out, he would definitely expel her from here.
As expected, the two servant girls came back with empty hands. With lowered heads, they humbly apologized to Wei Zheng. Wei Zheng only criticized them for being useless, then she stared at the verdant vegetarian congee, frowned in dislike, pushed the dish aside, and said, "I won't eat it. Bring me some pastries to snack on."
Pastries made in Duke Ying's residence had been brought along this trip. Originally, they were to be eaten on the road. Unexpectedly, they had a use at this moment.
After speaking, she saw the two servant girls standing there and not moving. She asked, "What happened?"
The servant girl lowered her head and said, "To respond to Miss, you ate the rest of the pastries last night..."
So, actually, as it turned out, Wei Zheng wasn't happy with eating the temple food last night either and had eaten the last few pieces of the buttery pastries with pine nut filling. Since it was already gone, how could they bring anything to her? Hearing this, Wei Zheng became even moodier. She didn't want to eat the vegetarian congee, so with an empty stomach, she left her room after changing into a moon white silk top and a crepe skirt.
Passing by Wei Luo's door, she saw her holding a tofu bun and biting into it. She immediately snorted disdainfully and walked away.
Inside the room, Wei Chang Hong frowned unhappily, put down his chopsticks, stood up, and said, "I'll go talk to her."
Wei Zheng and Wei Luo had never gotten along. Wei Zheng had always looked down at Wei Luo. They had grown up during the past two years. Wei Zheng's cleverness and tolerance had increased. She had gradually become calm and collected in front of Wei Luo and wasn't as fickle and impatient. She hid her thoughts inside her heart. She knew that she couldn’t compare with Wei Luo. Wei Kun and Wei Chang Hong would always side with Wei Luo. And Wei Luo also had Princess Tiangji and Prince Jing supporting her. So, she wouldn’t openly provoke Wei Luo the way she did as a child and leave behind evidence that could be used against her. She would only look at her with cold eyes of a bystander and occasionally say a few words of ridicule at her when she was in a bad mood.
Wei Luo stopped him. She smiled and quietly said, "Why do you care about her actions? If she doesn't want to eat, that's her business. Not only must we eat, we must eat until we're full." As she said this, she added a radish cake to Wei Chang Hong's bowl. She thoughtfully advised, "Eat this to fill your stomach."
They would definitely descend the mountain today and would have to walk for a long time. How could it be okay to not eat until they were full? If Wei Zheng didn't eat anything, she would faint on the side of the road and there would be no one to carry her.
Around 8am, first madam arrived at the main hall.
She stood in front of the bamboo cylinder that contained the drawing lots. There was a total of 228 bamboo sticks inside. The one that was marked 228 was the winning bamboo stick that would give a person the opportunity to meet the senior monk. She held the servant girl's hand, took a deep breath, and hesitated with her decision on which bamboo stick to selected until the monk next to her urged her to pick. She closed her eyes and selected a bamboo stick. Without even looking at it, she handed it over to the monk at her side.
The monk took it from her and calmly told her, "It's marked 113."
First Madam's heart suddenly sunk to an all-time low from the disappointment.
It seemed that she wouldn’t be able to meet the senior monk today.
Mawkishly, she turned around and walked towards outside. Seeing her like this, the servant girl at her side softly comforted her, "It's not that bad. Madam, at worst, we can stay here another night and come here to pick another bamboo stick tomorrow. If we don't succeed tomorrow, there's the day after tomorrow... Eventually, there will be a result. Eldest Young Master's legs have already been like this for so many years. There's no need to be impatient over a few days now."
While those words were true, First Madam couldn't control the grief that showed on her face. It was exactly because the cure for Wei Chang Yin's legs have been delayed for so long that she felt so impatient. She didn't want to give up even if there was the slightest amount of hope.
First Madam tried to show a more cheerful expression and barely managed a smile, "Ah Luo, why did you also come here this early? Is there something on your mind?"