Chapter 6: Sunrise (2)
In Chen Ping’s memory, the young Daoist who wandered fro and to here for five to six years had not changed at all. His appearance then looked the same. He always had the same kind and carefree attitude to all those who passed by. Usually, he’d help people to treat their wounds, draw divinatory lots, and occasionally write letters on their behalf, but what was interesting was that there was one hundred and eight bamboo lots on the table. Even after all these years, neither man or woman in Muddy Bottle Lane had yet to draw any lots nor had anyone seen a look of it.
Therefore, if it was a new year, the townspeople could accept spending ten taels for the mere thought of winning a prize. However, when they felt troubled with life, none were willing to come here and try their luck. If one were to say that the Daoist was a complete swindler, he’d only be wrongly accused. Though Muddy Bottle Lane was big, it was small at the same time. If the Daoist priest only knew how to deceive, he’d have long been kicked out. Therefore, it was safe to say the Daoist priest was legit.
Moreover, when one caught some minor ailments, they’d find themselves recovering quickly after drinking a bowl of the Daoist’s holy water.
The Daoist shook his head. “This humble Daoist acts in a fair and proper manner. If I said that I’d pay you once I understand the signings and find that your luck is good then I will abide by it.”
Chen Ping retorted in a low voice. “I’ll pay three taels only for the yellow paper inscriptions.”
The Daoist laughed. “If I were to draw a lot, it’d be equivalent to fifty taels of silver.”
Chen Ping made up his mind and reached for the box. Then, he suddenly raised his head and asked, “How does the Daoist know that I happen to have fifty taels of silver on me?”
The Daoist sat upright. “This humble Daoist has always been very accurate in judging people’s fortune.”
Chen Ping thought for a moment. He picked up the box.
The Daoist smiled. “Young man, don’t be nervous. There will always be things in life. Don’t force yourself to ask for it when there’s nothing in life. The first method is to always look at the unexpected with a calm mind.”
Chen Ping once again placed the box back in the table, and with a serious expression, he asked, “Daoist, I will give you five taels but I won’t draw any lots. I just want you to write inscriptions. Is that okay?”
The Daoist’s smile remained the same. After some thought, he nodded his head. “Yes.”
On the table, a brush, ink, and paper were already prepared. The Daoist carefully asked Chen Ping’s birthplace and his mother’s birthplace then he took out a yellow paper inscription and wrote it down in one go.
As for what he wrote, Chen Ping was at a loss.
Putting down the brush and looking up at the inscription, the Daoist blew on the ink. “After you take it home, stand at the threshold and burn the yellow paper outside. This should do.”
The youth solemnly received the inscription. After carefully storing it away, he did not forget to place five copper taels on the table and bow in thanks.
The young Daoist waved his hand indicating to the youth that he should go back to his own business.
Chen Ping spread out his legs, breathed deeply, and ran to deliver the last letter.
The Daoist leaned back lazily in his chair, glanced down at the copper taels then bent down and took them.
At this moment, a small and exquisitely cute yellow sparrow flew from the sky to the table and pecked on a certain copper coin. Soon, it lost interest, flapped its wings, and flew off into the distance.
“The yellow sparrow wants to pluck the flower but the peach blossom has yet to bloom…” The Daoist leisurely finished reciting a poem and gently waved his sleeve and sighed. “If your life is eight feet, don’t ask for ten feet.” 
While waving his sleeve, two bamboo sticks fell to the ground. The Daoist cried out and quickly picked them up. Anxious, he sneakily looked around and found no one paying attention to him.
He coughed, his face becoming stiff as he waited for the next guest.
He was slightly emotional. As expected, it was easier to earn money from women.
In fact, the two bamboo sticks hidden in the Daoist’s sleeves were the best kind. Both were used to earn a lot of money.
Chen Ping naturally did not understand such profound mysteries. His steps were light and graceful as he arrived outside the school. The bamboo forest nearby was dense and green.
He slowed down his pace hearing the deep and mellow voice of a middle-aged scholar resounding loudly in the room. “The sunrise is dazzling and the lab’s fur is as wet as the rain.”
Soon after, a clear and net young voice rang out. “The sunrise has a radiance that shines and the lamb’s fur is as if it’s been soaked in water.
Chen Ping raised his head and looked toward the rising sun.
The youth was lost in thought.
When he came back to his senses, he shook his head. Following the teacher’s instructions, he skillfully recited an essay, “When the time comes, heaven and earth will rise and all living things will prosper. To sleep early in the night, to journey freely and wifely, to walk slowly, in order to have a mind of its own…”
Chen Ping stood at the school gate hesitantly.
The middle-aged scholar with frost on his temples turned around and walked out of the gates.
Chen Ping handed over the letter with both hands and respectfully said, “This is Sir’s letter.”
After the scholar dressed in green tunic received the envelope, he gently said, “In the future, when you have nothing to do, you can come over and listen in.”
Chen Ping felt somewhat awkward. He might not have the time and means to listen to the scholar’s teaching so he was unwilling to deceive him.
The man smiled and said in a considerate manner, “It’s alright. The principles and reasons are all in the book, but the person is outside the book. Go on.” 
Chen Ping heaved a sigh of relief and left.
After the youth ran for a long while, he suddenly turned around and looked back.
From afar, he looked like a son of the gods standing at the doorway, basking in the sunlight.
Chen Ping heaved a sigh of relief and left.
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 “Life is eight feet, don’t ask for ten feet…” This is a kind of outlook on life or attitude to life, which means that everything is destined and cannot be forced. From a certain point of view, this outlook on life has a certain positive significance–no desire, life will be much simpler. However, we should still face it with a positive attitude.
 “The principles and reasons are all in the book, but the person is outside the book…” States the wisdom of a man. A figurative way of telling that the wisdom of being a human being is a pearl of ancient wisdom and an open-minded attitude towards life. Those who know how to behave in a low-key manner are mature people. They speak modestly, behave in a restrained manner, and do not show up wildly, but they are advancing and retreating in interpersonal relationships, and ultimately achieve their own goals. A person who knows how to behave seems to be weak. In fact, it is a more powerful survival strategy than a strong one. It is a kind of wise expression. Life is awkward and things are difficult. Everyone has to go through countless bumps and twists and turns in their own lives.