Illusions, Lies, Truth Volume 3: In the Name of God, Part One
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 3: Existence’s Bane, Part 1—Natal Chart—translated by lucathia (proofread by Taffygirl13 & Trespasserby)
“Bane of blood, bane of husband, bane of brood; a natal chart that tells of existence’s bane?”
Lu Yang frowned.
Lin Zhixiang stared at Lu Yang. Then, she turned to look at Liu Yishi by the side, who even gave her a wink. Finally, she decided to turn and focus her gaze back on Jiang Ziya.
Jiang Ziya reassured her, “Don’t worry. Lu Yang is very powerful. His family runs a temple, and he’s even the temple’s successor!”
Lin Zhixiang’s expression was extremely odd, but Jiang Ziya completely understood her feelings. It really was an impossible feat to accept a monk with the looks of a model. Besides, there was even a foreigner dad sitting beside him. The oddity was practically enough to pierce the heavens.
She let her head drop and quietly said, “It’s okay. I’ve already asked tons of people. No one has dared to help change my fate.”
Jiang Ziya felt she really was pitiful. Both of her parents were deceased, her only brother ended up disabled, and her entire family chased her out. If not for her brother and one of her aunts financially helping her in secret, she would have had trouble even surviving up until this age. All of these many tribulations had come about from a fortune teller pronouncing her the bane of all existence. Whoever approached her would die!
“Lu Yang, is there really such a thing as bane of blood?”
Lu Yang said with a frown, “Yes, but it’s super rare.”
Just by looking at Lu Yang’s expression, Jiang Ziya could tell that he wasn’t being honest, but he didn’t question him further. If Lu Yang wasn’t clarifying it, it was most likely because it had something to do with the innerworld again, and Lu Yang didn’t want Lin Zhixiang to know. There was no going back after taking a step inside.
“Can my fate be changed?” Lin Zhixiang asked courageously, even though she had met disappointment after disappointment already. She had even considered whether or not she should just jump into a river before she caused her brother and aunt to die. If not for her brother stopping her again and again, tearfully saying, “Aside from my family, my little sister is all I have left,” she really would have done it.
“That depends on you. This will likely not be easy.” Lu Yang sighed as he said, “Do you know Qing Wei Gong?”
Lin Zhixiang shook her head.
“It’s on XX road. After you enter, look for Xiao Chun-sǎo. Tell her about your natal chart and ask to train at the temple. Then, make as much time as you can to recite scriptures there.”
“All I have to do is train?” Lin Zhixiang quickly asked.
Lu Yang nodded. “It will take a long time, but as long as you have the perseverance, Taishang Laojun will have mercy on you.”
“It’s fine no matter how long it takes!” For the first time, dawn was in sight. Perseverance was nothing when she had even had a death wish in the past. What’s there to be afraid of? “I-I’m going to head over right now!”
Lu Yang laughed. “The temple is already closed. You can go tomorrow.”
“Okay, can I go in the morning? I can get up early every day and go there.” Lin Zhixiang was so happy that she almost wanted to spin around in circles. She couldn’t wait to go home as soon as she could to call and tell her brother.
“You can.” Lu Yang nodded as he said, “Qing Wei Gong is already open by five.”
“Then, let me take you home. Having to go to Qing Wei Gong at five tomorrow is really early.” Jiang Ziya felt it was late right now, so it wasn’t a good idea to let a girl go home by herself.
“N-No!” Lin Zhixiang frantically said, “Don’t stay by my side for too long. It’s dangerous. Like last time! You already stayed too long in the club each time.”
“What’s fine? You nearly died back then at the supermarket because of me!”
Uh, I don’t think that can be blamed on Lin Zhixiang. It’s my family’s Xiao Xue who brought that trouble about.
“I’ll take you.” Lu Yang stood up and said, “I am Qing Wei Gong’s next…”
However, Lin Zhixiang snatched the bill and tossed out the words, “If either of you dare to follow me, I’ll shout ‘molester!’”
“…” Jiang Ziya and Lu Yang both expressed that they didn’t want to grace the pages of the social news and could only watch as the girl ran off with the bill.
Still seated and unruffled, Liu Yishi sighed. “Letting a girl foot the bill and even leave by herself in the middle of the night is not what gentlemen should do.”
Is that our fault? The two non-gentlemen were speechless.
“Sit.” Liu Yishi nagged at the two children and said, “You haven’t eaten much at all. The hot pot is still untouched. What a waste. Sit down and finish it.”
Just listening to Lin Zhixiang’s misfortunes and watching her try to keep the tears at bay, Jiang Ziya hadn’t had the appetite to eat anything. Of course the hot pot was still untouched. That no tears had fallen in as seasoning was already more than one could hope for.
The three of them could only begin finishing off the food. It was fortunate that it was hot pot; all they had to do was reheat it.
Lu Yang asked in confusion, “How’d you end up talking about natal charts out of nowhere?”
Jiang Ziya shrugged and said, “At first, she just wanted to treat me to thank me, but soon after we placed our order, her sister-in-law called her saying that her brother was hospitalized. Her face paled so much that I was nearly scared to death. Thankfully, he just went to get an IV drip for a bad cold. I thought to give her a lift to the hospital so she can visit him, but she said that she definitely couldn’t go, or else her brother would die. After that, she explained the entire thing.”
After saying that, he couldn’t help asking, “Lu Yang, is she really some bane of all existence?”
Bane of blood, bane of husband, bane of brood; no one close to her will have a good end. This kind of natal chart is just too much. Better to not be born in the first place!
“She’s not. That fortune teller was problematic.” Lu Yang said flat-out, “In all likelihood, Lin Zhixiang’s talent caught the fortune teller’s eye, so he wanted to take her away. That’s why he claimed that she’s the bane of all existence. Then, he led both of her parents to their deaths, so that after the child fell into despair, he could appear again with a new identity and take her in to raise as his own. This way, not only will no one ask after the child’s whereabouts, the child will also treat him as her savior and only relative.”
Jiang Ziya shuddered. So this is the actual truth? That’s way too evil!
But after thinking about it, he thought something was off and asked in confusion, “But Lin Zhixiang is already in college. No one came to take her away. If not for her brother and her aunt helping her financially in secret, she would have starved to death.”
“That guy probably kicked the bucket somewhere along the way, so he didn’t come to take Lin Zhixiang away. Those kinds of practitioners who dare to harm others always gamble big. Whether it’s getting bitten back by a demon, having an array backfire, or getting killed by a practitioner, none of those deaths would be strange.”
Jiang Ziya asked in confusion, “But later on, Lin Zhixiang even gave many examples of her classmates, friends, and even coworkers at her workplace—anyone who was somewhat close to her—all experiencing misfortune. There were even several times when someone nearly died, scaring her so much that she no longer dares to become close with anyone.”
“Child.” Liu Yishi, who had been engrossed in eating to the side, said in a gentle voice, “As long as someone believes they are unlucky, they will truly meet endless misfortune. That’s why everyone should have an optimistic outlook on life. Do you understand?”
Lu Yang nodded and said, “‘Belief’ is even more dangerous for someone with natural talent. Her parents’ demise and her brother’s disability were most likely the fault of the practitioner. But after that, it’s more likely that she was ‘cursing’ herself, especially with her entire family hating her and believing that she is existence’s bane.”
She’s cursing herself? Jiang Ziya’s eyes widened. He hadn’t considered that at all.
“She’s probably pretty powerful. Even if she’s come across one or two practitioners of some skill, they wouldn’t dare to help her, afraid to get dragged down by her.”
Jiang Ziya frowned. “Then, will telling her to train at Qing Wei Gong really have any effect?”
“As long as she believes it’s effective, then it will be. But if it’s too easy of a method, she won’t be able to believe that her existence’s bane natal chart of so many years is gone. That’s why we must make it take a long time, and the method has to be a bit more difficult, to allow her to slowly disperse her curse on herself.”
“Oh…” Jiang Ziya only understood some of it, but understanding it wasn’t crucial right now. He pressed on, “So, if she perseveres with training obediently at Qing Wei Gong, she will be fine in the end?”
Lu Yang nodded.
Jiang Ziya relaxed. That’s good. I was nearly to the point of tears listening to her misfortunes. And yet, with death hanging over any who approached Lin Zhixiang, he really didn’t dare to use his own life to make friends with her. He still had a sister at home who would cry buckets over him!
After relaxing, Jiang Ziya was finally in the mood to eat hotpot. At that moment, he took notice of Liu Yishi and realized that he hadn’t greeted him earnestly this entire time. He quickly said, “Sorry, Uncle, I didn’t really introduce myself just now. I’m Jiang Ziya, Lu Yang’s classmate.”
“Just call me Liu Yishi.” Liu Yishi said with a smile, “Or son, you can follow Lu Yang’s example and call me Daddy!”
After saying that, Lu Yang hit him on the head. His own son grumbled, “We’re not overseas. Stop randomly calling everyone your son. Obediently be an uncle!”
Liu Yishi rolled his eyes and said, “What, we’re not overseas? Is there any son as disobedient as you in the country that would hit his dad on the head? Why don’t you go and hit your grandpa on the head?”
Lu Yang indicated that he still wanted to live!
Liu Yishi knocked his son’s head and said, “Eat your hotpot already, disobedient son. Do you want your old father to eat such a large pot of food all by himself?”
Old father? Who would believe you with such a face! Lu Yang rolled his eyes at him, but he obediently began to eat hotpot.
Liu Yishi was already eighty percent full and didn’t continue eating. He simply smiled as he watched the two grown boys.
Lu Yang was very used to it and didn’t pay any attention to his father. Jiang Ziya didn’t find it odd either. His twin sister and his brother-in-law often watched him eat with smiles on their faces, too. It was exactly like feeding pigs.
“You look very much like Jiang Shang.” Liu Yishi opened his mouth and spoke only after he glimpsed the bottom of the hotpot.
Jiang Ziya stilled and asked, “You know my dad?”
“Yes, but we’re not close. He and your mother are both practitioners. It’s just that it’s already been a long time since I’ve heard anything about him.”
“It’s already been a long time since you’ve heard anything about him?” Jiang Ziya began wondering if practically his entire life was a problem, yet he couldn’t find anyone to confirm it. He was completely frantic, but he had to suppress it, so that he would not affect his sis and the twin girls at home.
Liu Yishi quietly thought back about their last encounter. Jiang Ziya didn’t dare to disrupt his thinking, inwardly frantic as he waited.
“Eight years ago, we brought Lu Yang back to enroll in school and settle down. We stayed in Taiwan for a period of time. We had thought to seek Jiang Shang and Yang Jiayin back then, but we received no news of them, so we didn’t specifically go out to find them.”
When there is no news of a practitioner, there’s an eighty to ninety percent chance that it’s bad news. Liu Yishi hadn’t wanted to hear of a loss, and since he hadn’t been that close with Jiang Shang and his wife, he’d given up in the end after asking around for a bit.
“It was even earlier than that, possibly before the two of you were even born.” Liu Yishi frowned, trying hard to remember as he said, “The last time we met, it might have been when the two of you were still in your mothers’ stomachs. I recall that Lu Yang’s mom and your mother joked around about how if you were both the same sex, you’d become sworn siblings, and if you were opposite sexes, you’d get married. Your mother laughed so much that she hugged her stomach and cried that it hurt, making your father glare at me several times.”
Lu Yang rolled his eyes exaggeratedly. Pledging your children to each other in this kind of age? No wonder she laughed so much that her stomach hurt.
Jiang Ziya frowned as he said, “Our family suffered a traffic accident. My mother passed away then.”
“What?” Liu Yishi froze and shouted, “Yang Jiayin got in a traffic accident and kicked the bucket?”
Lu Yang clobbered his dad on the head again.
Liu Yishi quickly amended his words. “Um, I mean, she passed away? When did this happen?”
“I don’t remember. It was when I was very young.”
Liu Yishi asked in detail, “Then, were you in elementary school yet? Or were you in kindergarten?”
Jiang Ziya furrowed his brows and said, “I don’t think I was in either, so it might’ve been when I was five or younger?”
Though, nowadays, there are plenty of kids who are sent to kindergarten before they’re even three.
“We can’t be certain. Lu Yang didn’t go to kindergarten. It’s not strange for people like us who are always on the move not to send their children to kindergarten.” Liu Yishi continued asking, “Then, what about elementary school?”
Jiang Ziya thought it over and said with conviction, “Yes, by then, Mother was no longer around, but my dad was still at home. After we grew up more, he would leave for extremely long periods of time before returning. In the end, he pretty much stopped coming home.”
“When was the last time you saw him?”
Jiang Ziya froze and said uncertainly, “High school, I think?”
Seeing how uncertain he was, Liu Yishi frowned and said, “I will investigate the matter of your parents, but before that, don’t think about it too much. Learn more about the matters of the innerworld from Lu Yang.”
Jiang Ziya could only nod.
At this time, an unfamiliar ring tone sounded. Liu Yishi fished out his cell phone and glanced at it. He immediately said excitedly, “Your mom is calling me. I’ll be on the phone.”
Lu Yang rolled his eyes at him.
After Liu Yishi bounced out of the private room, Lu Yang immediately apologized to his friend, “Sorry, my dad’s always like this. He’s a bit insensitive. Don’t hold it against him.”
He actually blurted out that someone’s mom got in a traffic accident and kicked the bucket. Lu Yang felt utterly defeated by his father.
Jiang Ziya shrugged and said, “Your dad is pretty amusing. That’s good, it’s more relaxing.”
“What’s good about it? He’s always so silly and even boasts about being an amazing exorcist detective.”
Jiang Ziya smiled and asked, “Lu Yang, you have your parents’ numbers, right?”
Lu Yang blinked. “Yeah.”
“Earlier, when I was thinking back, I suddenly realized that I don’t even have Dad’s number.”
When he heard that, Lu Yang fell silent. He had guessed this a long time ago, or else wouldn’t everything be cleared up if he just made a call?
“Say, under what sort of circumstances would a father not even leave his phone number to his son and daughter?”
Jiang Ziya felt that he should be prepared for the worst.
But, what exactly had happened to their family for it to become like this? And how was it that he had never even thought about it in the past?
Lu Yang patted him on the shoulder and said, “Your dad is a practitioner. Anything could have happened. He might even just be hiding from a demon or familiar, not wishing to get the two of you involved.”
Jiang Ziya forced himself to smile.