The Lin family had been practicing medicine for many generations. Each son and daughter was named after medicine.
The eldest young master was named Yuquan, the second young master was named Kongqing, the third young master was named Shiying, and the fourth miss was named Dansha.
Both the eldest and second young masters were already married. The third young master was seventeen this year and engaged. The fourth miss, Dansha, was fourteen, and would be reaching marriageable age in the coming year. The matchmakers had already started to wear out their doorstep.
Old Master Lin rarely diagnosed patients himself. The three young masters were already capable enough to take up the responsibility of the family business. The fourth miss had also achieved success in her medical skills.
However, it was not convenient for a daughter of such a family to show her face in public, so she had taken over some of the back hall matters of Yaoling Manor. Everything was very well-organized, and so she was deeply favored by Old Master Lin.
This night Yaoling Manor was brightly lit. There first had been a thief who had dared barge into the manor, and right after that Yaoling Manor had received an express delivery from Wangjing city.
Old Master Lin was first angry, then surprised. Thinking about the four children under his knees and about the future of the manor, he could no longer go back to sleep. Translated by The Novelst
His mind followed several twists and turns for a long time.
The eldest young master Yuquan went to take a look at Mo Ruofei’s servant boy. He had a back palm strike wound, and he came to the study to report: “Father, that servant’s injury is fine now. But no matter how I question him, he is unwilling to speak of his master’s origins. He only said that his master’s surname is Mo.”
“Have the people who went out to look for Hua Buqi returned? Is there any news?”
Father was unconcerned about the thieving servant boy, but rather worried about Hua Buqi leaving the manor?
Lin Yuquan found it strange but responded honestly. “There’s no news yet.”
Old Master let out a sigh and turned around to shake his hand, “Continue to look for her. Call Shiying and Dansha to come over. I have instructions for them.”
After a while, they all gathered in the study.
Lin Dansha let out a yawn. “Father, why did you call us so early in the morning? If there’s anything important you can leave it to my brothers to handle.”
Old Master Lin spoke in a deep voice, “If I don’t tell you this now I’m afraid that you will treat Hua Buqi rudely once she returns to the manor. That young master Mo is skillful in martial arts. Even Steward Liu was not his opponent. In just an instant he managed to get through Steward Lui and leave him behind.
“It’s only because his servant was taken into Yaoling Manor that he went out to chase Hua Buqi. Surely he will be able to bring her back.”
“What does it matter if that dog-bred girl leaves? Keeping her inside the manor will just let people laugh at us, saying that our Lin family of Yaoling Manor kept someone raised by a dog. It just damages the reputation of the family! Keeping her for seven years can be considered too kind for her already,” Lin Dansha said, remembering the words her best friend said.
If it wasn’t because the Lin family’s reputation was to be kind, she might have demanded Hua Buqi get lost earlier than that.
Old Master Lin smiled bitterly. He looked tenderly at his daughter and said gently, “The reason I gathered you all here is to inform you that once Buqi returns, you must all take her as a younger sister, and treat her like a miss of the Yaoling Manor.”
“I plan to let her move into Dansha’s yard. Words like being raised by a mother dog should not be brought up ever again.”
“What?!” The children shouted in unison.
Lin Dansha looked very pure and innocent, like a jasmine flower. Her lips were like cinnabarite. Because she was the youngest daughter of the family, she was normally favored by her father and brothers.
Hearing her father’s words, she puffed out her cheeks angrily: “I don’t agree! I don’t want to smell the dog scent on her, what if it suffocates me to death!”
Lin Yuquan had already begun to leave the manor to practice medicine, so he had already seen various aspects of society and was more mature than his siblings. He spoke out quickly, “Sister, don’t be in such a hurry. Let us hear what father has to say first. He must have a reason.”
Old Master Lin gave a praising glance to his eldest and took out a painted scroll, “This is the painting that was given to us by the imperial censor. They delivered it urgently. All of you come and take a look at this.”
It was a painting of a beauty enjoying a glorious full moon. In the painting, the bright moon was full in the sky, heady fragrance of laurel blossoms wafting through the fresh air, a beautiful woman raising her head to the sky to watch the moon, smiling. The portrait was very expressive, the skirt of the beauty fluttering up slightly thanks to the evening breeze, just like Chang’e flying to the moon.
“Do you notice anything?” Translated by The Novelst
The siblings stared at the painting for a long time, all shaking their heads. They weren’t sure what was so special about this strange woman. She was indeed beautiful, but that was it.
Old Master Lin pointed at the woman’s face and said, “Look again, closely. Who does she resemble?”
The eldest young master Lin Yuquan thought of his father’s sudden concern for Hua Buqi and let out a ‘huh’ and answered, “She seems to resemble Hua Buqi’s face when she smiles. But Hua Buqi is nowhere as beautiful as her.”
Old Master Lin looked at his eldest son with pride. He stroked his beard in satisfaction, smiling, “I kept having a hint of familiarity when looking at this painting. No matter how I tried to think of it I couldn’t suss it out. Hua Buqi is only a servant working in the vegetable garden. If it wasn’t because she was the one to discover the thief, I wouldn’t have thought of her at all.”
Proofread by: Hannah
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