The flower in Fu Zhi’s hands was a herb specifically cultivated to make pills for damaged vocal cords. She was going to participate in the Chu Family’s entrance examination with the pill as well.
Pills were more efficacious than other herbal remedies. The downside was that the herbs had a pungent smell, and their appearance was ordinary.
This was not in line with her aesthetic sense, so she left the flower in Li Nanli’s office.
They had somehow confirmed their relationship yesterday. After hearing from Liu Mi that there was a Yue Lao Temple nearby that was very effective at granting wishes, the first thing Li Nanli did in the morning was take Fu Zhi there.
The Yue Lao Temple had been built on a hill in Suizhou not far from the capital. It took about one hour to get there, but they needed to climb the mountain.
Fu Zhi was speechless. She instinctively made the first move and pulled her phone out.
Li Nanli and the Taoist in the temple looked at her in confusion. She used her phone to snap a few photos of the surroundings, acting like a person who was ignorant and ill-informed to disguise her true intention. After she put her phone away, she changed the topic and said, “Wow! There’s a Lue Yao statue in the Yue Lao Temple!”
The Taoist was stunned. That said, as the head of a temple, he was very professional. Therefore, he offered Fu Zhi a fake business grin and said, “Of course there’s a Yue Lao statue. After all, you’re in a Yue Lao Temple!”
Then, keeping that fake business smile on his face, he turned to Li Nanli and said, “Well, I guess that’s enough talking. Let’s get down to business. You’re here for the lottery poetry, right? Follow me then.”
Lottery poetry was very common in temples across their country. All of them had a bamboo tub that contained red-tipped, flat sticks with written oracles made of bamboo.
Yue Lao was the god of love, so it went without saying that everyone that came to the Yue Lao Temple did so to ask for a good marriage. The Taoist flung his fly-whisk and said in a poised manner, “The most important thing about lottery poetry is having a sincere heart. Since President Li has donated 10 million yuan, your sincerity has been well received. Now, please put three incense sticks into the incense burner. Then, raise the tub above your head, and after you ascertain what you want to ask, shake the tub lightly.”
Li Nanli did what the Taoist asked him to do. However, Fu Zhi leaned her body back, looked at Li Nanli with teary eyes, and asked, “You donated 10 million yuan? I can predict the future as well. I can tell you anything you want to hear. As long as you give me enough money, I can try to be superstitious and make you happy!”
Li Nanli did not know what to say.
‘Is it the same?’
The corner of Li Nanli’s eyebrows twitched.
He was standing on a futon right now. He had put on a white shirt and black pants today, the hair in front of his forehead was a little messy, and his facial features were delicate.
While holding the bamboo tub, he lowered his head to look at the young lady standing beside him. He pressed his lips firmly and said weakly, “Don’t be ridiculous. This temple is pretty reliable.”
Li Nanli had a sincere heart. The moment he finished speaking, a stick fell out of the tub.
It was a bad lot.
Even though Li Nanli was standing very far away, he could still see the word “bad” on the stick.
Fu Zhi, who failed to notice the dark expression on Li Nanli’s face, squatted down to take a look at the stick. “Well, this is not a good omen. It seems to me that you’re going to have a bumpy relationship filled with ups and downs.”
Li Nanli did not know what to say.
He just wanted to find something to stuff into her mouth. He pressed his lips firmly, picked the stick up, and threw it aside. “That doesn’t count. Let me shake it again.”
Very soon, a new stick fell out of the tub. Fu Zhi hastily picked it up from the ground and said, “It’s another bad lot!”
She paused for a moment, and then said in a serious voice, “Maybe even the god of love thinks we’re not meant for each other.”
Li Nanli was speechless.
He turned his head and shot daggers at the Taoist, causing the latter’s hair to bristle up in fear.
The Taoist’s brain spun fast like a top, and then, an idea sprang into his head. “Don’t worry, don’t worry. Our temple is different. We use the best-out-of-five method.”
He regretted that he had not prepared a tub full of “good lots” in advance. The silver lining was that there were only six “bad lots” in the tub, and he was certain that Li Nanli would not be unlucky enough to get three “bad lots” in a row.
“President Li, let’s try again. Don’t worry, the relationship between you and this young lady will surely last until the end of time.”
Li Nanli picked the tub up and began shaking it emotionlessly again.
A thin stick dropped out of the tub.
This time, before Fu Zhi could go forward to look, he squatted down and picked the stick up from the ground.
Fu Zhi looked at him, and when she saw the “bad lot” in his hand, she clicked her tongue and lamented. “You’re right. This temple is really reliable.”
The corner of Li Nanli’s eyebrows twitched again.
The Taoist felt as if the world was ending. This was the first time he had come across such an unlucky person as well. “May… Maybe Yue Lao is taking a break today…”
The stick snapped into two pieces right in the center.
The Taoist also felt that it was time for him to say goodbye to his fortune god.
The good thing was that Li Nanli was able to calm himself down very soon. While he was talking to Fu Zhi, his voice was calm and soothing. “Come on, let’s go back.”
Fu Zhi thought about the 10 million yuan that Li Nanli had donated to the temple. She did not want him to spend money in vain, so she asked, “Shouldn’t we ask the Taoist to interpret the written oracle for us first?”
Li Nanli then replied emotionlessly, “We should believe in facts and science, not feudal superstition. Zhizhi, you should open your eyes wider and increase your awareness.”
Fu Zhi: “???”
When Li Nanli and Fu Zhi came down from the mountain, Liu Mi was waiting for them at the foot of the mountain. As soon as he saw Li Nanli, he went up to him and reported, “President Li, Jiang Jinshu asked me to remind you that he made an appointment with the Ouyang Family for you this afternoon. He’s asked you to go there in person.”
It was only then that Li Nanli remembered that the Ouyang Family was holding its annual shooting competition, as well as a series of internal family competitions, such as wilderness survival, at a training camp in the wilderness today.
Truth be told, the elite families in their country were ranked hierarchically.
Several larger families, such as the Fu Family or the Li Family, were considered the top amongst the most elite families, followed by the Jiang Family and the Ouyang Family. As for the Lu Family that had adopted Fu Zhi, they were nothing in the capital.
Most people thought that the Fu Family was the strongest family right now due to their connection to the government, but in reality, the Fu Family’s foundation was not as firm and deep as the other three families’ foundation, especially the Ouyang Family’s.
The Ouyang Family had the deepest and firmest foundation. They had built their family fortune by designing and manufacturing firearms for the country. 30 years ago, under the leadership of Ouyang Zhui, the Ouyang Family had been so powerful that they’d nearly annexed the other three families.
Ouyang Zhui was the youngest and the greatest firearms designer. The variety of rifles that he designed had a long range and great power, and they were much more efficient and powerful than the firearms manufactured by other countries.
However, the world was like a stage, and every person had their exits and entrances. Ouyang Zhui had dedicated all his life and effort to designing firearms, but unfortunately, he had died at a young age by overstraining himself.
He did not have any daughters or sons, so no one could inherit his wonderful genes.
Honestly, an elite family like the Ouyang Family put a lot of emphasis on bloodline heritage.
Every generation before Ouyang Zhui in the Ouyang Family had produced a genius with unique insight into machinery!
However, after the passing of Ouyang Zhui, the Ouyang Family had not produced a genius like him in the past ten years.
As a result, the Ouyang Family had started to go downhill in the past two years. The adopted daughter of the Ouyang Family, Ouyang Ya, had shown some promising potential in firearms design. She had designed a number of firearms, and she had been embraced and valued by a few members of the Ouyang Family, who wanted her to become the next head of their family.
However, a certain group of hardliners in the Ouyang Family refused to acknowledge her, saying that she was an outsider because she did not have their blood flowing in her veins.
Jiang Jinshu had gotten such an opportunity because the younger generation of the Ouyang Family was disappointing. They did not have the capability to carry their family forward, so when the Li Family offered an olive branch to them, they had no other choice but to accept it if they wanted to return to their former glory.