Modern Chinese Short Story: Strange divinatory symbols


There are also poor people in the capital. Even Zheng Ze, the scribe of the Ministry of rites, had to avoid debts at the end of the new year. It is not enough to support a family just by paying three Liang silver a month.

No, he owes Guo laocai, a big neighbor, ten Liang silver. When Guo laocai lends him the money, it’s natural that 24 people can rest assured. At least Zheng Ze eats in the Yamen. However, this loan is three years. Guo laocai, who loves money like a life, can’t stand it. Every evening, he comes to Zheng Ze’s house to ask for money.

Strange divinatory symbols

Zheng Ze’s heart was so sad that he saw that he had nothing to do this day, but he always stayed in the Yamen and didn’t want to go. As soon as I go home, I will meet Guo laocai who is looking for the door.

Zheng Ze went to the street with a lot of worries. Unexpectedly, a diviner pulled him up and shouted, “Sir, your look bodes well for a happy event tomorrow.”

Zheng Ze gave the old diviner a cold stare and roared, “you lie to the ghost.” then he took a step to go.

Unexpectedly, the diviner took another two steps and stood in front of him.

“I’m telling the truth. If you don’t believe it, we can make a bet. I won’t accept a penny of this divination. As long as you can do what I say, you’ll have good luck tomorrow.” the old man said solemnly with shining eyes.

Zheng Ze wondered, but the poor were naturally surprised when they heard that they could make a fortune. He stopped and told his work according to the requirements of divination.

The divinator nodded and said with a smile, “that’s it. Wait patiently for a good time to come. We’ll meet here the day after tomorrow. If it doesn’t work, I’ll pay you ten Liang silver instead. However, don’t go home for dinner tonight. One divination is broken, two divinations are happy, and three divinations are destroyed. Strange, strange, one divination is more strange than one.”

Zheng Ze promised. No matter whether the diviner deceived him or not, he didn’t want to go home anyway. He simply went back after dinner in the yamen, which can also avoid Guo laocai.

Having made up his mind, Zheng Ze returned to the Yamen again. Coincidentally, a colleague Mao saner didn’t go home because he didn’t finish the paperwork.

Knowing Zheng Ze’s embarrassment, Mao saner went out to buy some vegetables and invited Zheng Ze to dinner.

Zheng Ze is very sorry. He remembers that he once put a bottle of wine in the cabinet where he put the letters. Now Mao saner treats, Zheng Ze goes to get the bottle of wine.

At this time, it was time to hold the lamp. As soon as the cabinet door was opened, it just blocked the candlelight. Zheng Ze accidentally knocked over the bottle of wine and spilled it. Rao was Zheng Ze’s quick hand. Most of the wine had been spilled. Zheng Ze reached out to touch the letter and clicked in his heart. It turned out that the wine had wetted a letter.

Zheng Ze hurriedly took out the letter, which was settled in his heart. Because this document is only used by the etiquette department for filing. It can only be used when something happens. On weekdays, no one knows it for three or five years. He quietly put away the papers, took the small half bottle of wine and went out. He thought in his heart: good luck. If it’s an important copy wet today, he’ll be punished tomorrow.

Zheng Ze and Mao saner finished the small half bottle of wine, and neither of them had a good time. Mao saner patted Zheng Ze on the shoulder and said, “don’t worry, I’ll buy another bottle.”

Mao saner went out with his front foot and followed another man outside the door.

Because the place where Zheng Ze and Mao saner eat is the kitchen of the ritual department. That place is not an important place of the Yamen. Ordinary vegetable farmers can also come in. Zheng Ze calculated that Mao saner had not come back. Knowing that an outsider had come, he looked up and saw that the visitor was very big, with a high nose and deep eyes.

Zheng Ze was surprised. When he was about to speak, the man had bowed to him and asked, “are you Zheng Ze, adult Zheng of the Ministry of rites?”

Zheng Ze was stunned and smiled secretly. What kind of adult is he. This man is clearly not Han, and he came for his own purpose. I don’t know why. Zheng Ze nodded. The man immediately said with surprise and joy: “it seems that I’m looking for the right one. I’m the envoy of the island country. It’s urgent to find an adult.”

Island state envoy? Zheng Ze was surprised when he heard this. Not long ago, a war report came from the seaside, saying that there was war on the island, and the imperial court was about to intervene in this matter.

What is the purpose of the island country to find itself at this time? Zheng Ze said coldly, “please say something.”

The envoy of the island state bowed, which explained that the recent war was because the newly established monarch was ignorant and the people were miserable. The second prince really couldn’t stand it. Now the second prince has been defeated and will be supported as a new monarch. However, the new monarch must be established by the register of the Lord. Therefore, the new king sent an order to the island envoy to do it as soon as possible.

However, it is now the end of the year. It seems impossible to do it well in the shortest time. At this time, the envoy of the island state heard that the Ministry of rites had not reported the last document to the court, so his idea came to Zheng Ze. Because Zheng Ze is in charge of such documents.

“I want to replace the original document and report it again, so I don’t have to bother the Minister of rites. If Lord Zheng agrees, I’m willing to give 200 liang of silver in return.” the envoy of the island state said earnestly.

Zheng Ze was overjoyed, because the letter wetted by wine was just the record of the new monarchs of various countries. I didn’t expect that things that I can’t use in ordinary days can turn into white silver at this time.

Zheng Ze thought in his heart, but quietly replied, “well, it’s really difficult to do this. 500 Liang silver is OK, and I need to help you up and down. It’s inconvenient to talk here. We’ll meet at the Dayue restaurant in the city tomorrow afternoon.”

The envoy of the island state heard 500 Liang silver, pondered for a moment, nodded and agreed, “as long as it can be done in the shortest time, 500 Liang will be 500 Liang.”

As soon as the envoy of the island state left, Mao saner bought wine and came back. At this time, Zheng Ze had put the letter into his sleeve. As soon as he was happy, the wine poured into his stomach unconsciously.

Even Mao saner noticed Zheng Ze with a sad face. In this short time, he changed himself, and his heart couldn’t help but wonder.

The next afternoon, Zheng Ze met with the envoy of the island state in the Dayue restaurant as agreed. He replaced the page of the original book of the island state and replaced it with a new one in front of the envoy. Because it is the handwriting of the same national envoy, I can’t see anything.

The envoy did not break his promise and handed the five hundred taels of silver to Zheng Ze. They each got what they needed and left happily. Zheng zehe, the envoy of the state, did not expect that another pair of eyes were looking at them not far away.

Zheng Ze, who got the silver ticket, went home first. He asked his wife to pay off Guo laocai’s debt first, and then buy some things for the new year. After explaining all this, Zheng Ze returned to the ritual Department yamen again. Waiting for him is Mao saner.

As soon as Mao saner saw Zheng Ze, he hurriedly pulled over Zheng Ze and said, “master Zheng, Shangshu is waiting to see the book that each vassal country has declared its canonization.”

Zheng Ze replied calmly, “OK, I’ll find it and send it to you right away.”

Mao saner smiled and said, “don’t look for it. Isn’t that booklet on you now?” Zheng Ze realized that Mao saner knew. His face darkened and he asked anxiously, “I dare say you know everything? What you said just now was also a lie to me? How much do you want?”

Mao saner lowered his voice and said with a smile, “I came back from buying wine last night and heard what you said to the man. Today, you go out with your front feet, and my back feet keep up. How about 1000 Liang, buy a safe place?”

Zheng Ze was annoyed, and the green veins on his forehead burst one by one. “One thousand Liang, dream. I only took one hundred Liang. If you want, I’ll give you fifty Liang.”

When Mao saner heard this, he stopped his hand bitterly. For a long time, Mao saner thought of something again. He smiled and said, “forget it, I can change your book again. Wait, I’ll go to the envoy and see if I can ask him for 1000 Liang. You, the poor are poor, and I can’t grasp the chance to get rich.” then Mao saner hurried out of the door.

Zheng Ze looked at Mao saner’s back in a daze. He suddenly realized that according to Mao saner’s practice, he would definitely cause trouble in the end. Anyway, he also got a fortune. He might as well take the 500 Liang silver back to his hometown.

Thinking of this, Zheng Ze asked his boss for leave, resigned and went home. Before leaving, he returned the letter to the cabinet.

Mao saner didn’t know that Zheng Ze had resigned. At this time, he was dazzled by silver and went straight to the envoy of the island state.

After hearing Mao saner’s intention, the envoy of the island country smiled coldly, “catch thieves, catch stolen goods, catch traitors and catch pairs. You missed the opportunity. Now if you want silver, it’s a daydream.”

Mao saner laughed, “you can change it, can’t I? To tell you the truth, I tore that page away. Don’t you draw water with a bamboo basket?”

The envoy of the island state was angry. He stretched out his hand and pulled out his sword. There was a sword on Mao saner’s chest. Mao saner never dreamed that the envoy would kill people. When he understood, he had become a ghost under the sword.

The next afternoon, the island envoy came to the street outside the ceremony department. There, he saw the old man who was divining. The envoy walked over and respectfully shouted, “brother.”

The divinator nodded and said, “let’s go. I’ve inquired about it. Zheng Ze has resigned and returned home. The man is very alert. It should be said that Mao saner died for him.”

The envoy smiled and said, “yes, I thought Zheng Ze thought the divinatory symbol was spiritual. We just killed him when we came here to find you today. Unexpectedly, a Mao saner came out on the way. It’s a pity that we did this.”

The divinator shook his head and sighed, “people are unpredictable. It’s good. Let’s go back like this.” then he and the national envoy glanced at the Ministry of rites and left together.

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