“Sounds good, Uncle Riley.”
Mr. Riley was about to leave when he caught a glimpse of a small fortune-telling stall on the side of the road not far away.
Aurous Hill itself is an ancient city, and most of the people here have the habit of seeking fortune-telling, so there are a lot of fortune-tellers on the streets and in the alleys.
During the spring season most every street in the old city is overrun with fortune-teller booths spaced every ten steps along the road.
In addition, there are also many fortune-tellers who run their business from their homes.
These kinds of tellers generally use the so-called gimmick of inviting the upper body of the gods, specifically to help people see gossip of their fortunes, and sometimes to help people drive away evil spirits.
They also do the most work to exorcise evil spirits from children. The older generation is much more superstitious, fearing their children will be frightened when they encounter the unclean of the world, and then cry uncontrollably. So they look for a fortune teller.
In general however, the younger generation does not believe in these superstitions. Some of the older intellectuals are also dismissive. Originally, Mr. Riley was dismissive.
He’d been abroad for so many years, and never cultivated a belief in superstition, but today his right eye kept jumping and twitching. With his daughter participating in a military operation in Syria, he was very anxious. Seeing the fortune-teller, his mind suddenly focused on a hexagram.
So he said to Charlie “Charlie, if you have something to do, please go ahead, I’ll take a look over there.”
Charlie saw him pointing toward the fortune-telling booth, “Uncle Riley, are you going get your fortune read?”
Mr. Riley nodded and sighed “I guess I know why so many people have strong religious beliefs. Feeling as helpless as I do know, I can only put my hopes in religion. If nothing else, maybe it will comfort my mind.”
Charlie smiled slightly and said “Well, my plans aren’t important, so I’ll accompany you.”
Mr. Riley nodded, and accompanied Charlie to the fortune-telling booth.
Sitting in front of the booth was a lean old man with leathery dark skin, thinning gray hair, and a beard. The old man looked to be in his 70’s or 80’s, rubbing his chin. He had a muted aura.
Mr. Riley came to him, but before he could speak, the old man asked him “Does this gentleman want to ask for guidance?”
Mr. Riley nodded and said, “I want to ask if my daughter is safe.”
The old man hummed, pushed a tube full of bamboo sticks over, and said, “Come on, hold your daughter firmly in your mind then shake a stick from the tube.”
Mr. Riley hurriedly grabbed the tube, and thought of his daughter while shaking it. Dozens of bamboo sticks rattled around the tube as he shook, until one of them fell out.
Mr. Riley opened his eyes and quickly picked up the bamboo stick. He looked down at the words on it, and said, “Tonight is a night of the Lantern Festival, with the silver lamp shining forever. An unprovoked storm will douse the lantern…? What does it mean?”
The old man smiled slightly, and said unpredictably “This is the 32nd fortune signed. If you need to cancel this fortune, then please pay five hundred. It will nullify the fortune you drew and grant a better fortune in your future.”
Charlie immediately concluded the old man was a liar.
Fortune-telling is a Taoist philosophy. As for randomness of blessings, this is a Buddhist saying.
It is impossible for a Tao Sect disciple to say words like rejoicing and blessing. This would be like a monk saying he donated money. The logic itself is problematic.
However, Mr. Riley didn’t know any of this. He heard the other party say it would cost five hundred to fix his fortune. Without hesitation he took out his mobile phone and asked, “Can I scan a code to pay?”
The old man took out a printed qr code and smiled “You can scan this, both WeChat and Alipay are acceptable. ”
Mr. Riley quickly scanned the code to pay the old man. Charlie wanted to stop him, but he understood Mr. Riley was very anxious, and would be unable to stop him. He could only quietly wait and see.
When Mr. Riley’s payment was processed, the old man heard a ‘WeChat pay five hundred” notification prompt. He smiled with satisfaction and said, “Your fortune states that ‘Tonight is a night of the Lantern Festival, with the silver lamp shining forever. An unprovoked storm will douse the lantern’ The meaning is very simple. It probably means that tonight was originally Chinese New Year’s Day. It was supposed to be a bright and lively festival. but suddenly there was a violent storm. 10,000 lights were blown out and the original festival of song and play disappeared.”
Speaking of this, he sighed and said: “This one really is the most unlucky fortune. When this lot is drawn, no matter what you want to ask, you can summarize it in four words. ”
In desperation, Mr. Riley asked “Which four words?!”
The old man shook his head and sighed, “‘Everything is not good!”