OMF V1C47 Just Wanted to Have a Look

Mister Zhong sighed contented, when he and his family finally settled into the room. It was really a lucky coincidence, that that other guest came today, too.
Madam Zhong brought Jing Yi to bed and then sat down next to her husband. “How are we going to find your cousin’s stall? The room was probably quite expensive. We can’t stay here for long.”
Mister Zhong nodded. “We could stay some days, but I’d rather we find Ah Gang’s stall tomorrow. We can’t spend too much money and he’s waiting for us to arrive, too.” He sighed. “It’s a pity I’ve never been here before or knew at least something about the stall.” He took out the letter, his cousin had written, and unfolded it, staring at the characters. He couldn’t read, so it was pointless, but he still had the slight hope, that somehow a miracle would happen. “In hindsight, maybe it would have been better to ask Mister Pi to read it to us.”
“What are you talking about? You’re not really still thinking, that something is wrong with that daoist master, are you? Ah Lei, he saved your life! Our lives! Could he really be a bad man?”
“I don’t know.” Mister Zhong shook his head. “I just don’t understand all of that. Mister Pi might be a gossip monger, but at least I know what to expect. Don’t you also think, that a lot of things have happened, after that man came by?”
“What are you talking about?” Madam Zhong furrowed her brow. She had also thought a lot about that daoist master, but always because she feared to lose her son to him in the future, not because she didn’t trust him to keep Jing Yi save.
“Have you never thought, that a lot of things wouldn’t have happened, if he didn’t come by? Those rumors back then …”
“And isn’t that the only bad thing? He helped stopping them, too. You can’t really fault him. He already turned immortal. He probably didn’t think about how he looks. If not for Lian Mei, nothing would have happened.”
“That’s true, but —”
“No! No but. Think about it: How often has he helped us? Saving me and Jing’er back then, diffusing the rumors, bringing Jing’er back, when you lost him in the woods, reading that letter to Jing’er, saving you from the first bandit, saving us from the bandits after that, escorting us the whole way to the capital. He did all those things. We’re incredibly lucky to have his protection.”
“Aren’t you the least bit afraid?”
Madam Zhong smiled wryly. “Of course I am.”
“Me, too. I just … I’m afraid what will happen in the future.”
His wife nodded. “I don’t know what to think. I believe he is a good man. And without him, maybe neither me nor Jing Yi would be alive. But I’m afraid, that he’ll take Jing’er away one day. He is our only child. I … don’t want him to go. Though, it might be good for him.”
“Becoming a daoist … is it really that great? Look at Qiguan Cheng Da. He couldn’t do anything. Is that really better than working in the fields?”
Madam Zhong shook her head. “Certainly not, but if Jing’er could follow that master, he’d certainly learn much more.”
“How long … How long do you think, he’d leave him with us?”
Madam Zhong could only shake her head once again. “I don’t know, I just hope, it’s not too soon.”
Qiu Ling, who had sat at Jing Yi’s bedside the whole time, sighed. “So that was, what you’re worried about? You don’t have to be. I won’t take him away, if you don’t want me to. I could just move in with you. What’s so bad about being a live-in son-in-law?” Seriously, he didn’t mind. Madam Zhong was a good wife and mother and she liked him, he was sure about that. And while Mister Zhong was still a little skeptical, he was a way better father-in-law, than that grumpy heavenly emperor.
Mn. I should help my in-laws to dispel their doubts.
Qiu Ling stood up, straightened his clothes and combed through his hair with his fingers. To make sure, he made the best possible impression, he even summoned a water mirror and made sure, he looked great.
Mn, handsome, he evaluated himself, put down the water mirror and let the spell hiding his figure fall.
The Zhongs sprang to their feet. Madam Zhong shrieked and grabbed her husbands arm, nearly darting behind him. Qiu Ling’s gaze roamed around.
That … probably wasn’t the best way to appear? He lifted his hand and coughed.
“I’m sorry. I was worried, you might not be able to adapt to the capital, so I swung by to have a look.”
“Have … have a look?” Mister Zhong gulped. This man’s way of having a look was … too terrifying. He clasped a hand over his chest and took a deep breath, to calm down his heart.
Madam Zhong dared to step out from behind her husband, when she saw, that it was the daoist master, they had just spoken about. “Thank you very much for worrying so much about us.”
Mister Zhong nodded. “Yes, yes. But we’re alright.”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling glanced at Jing Yi. The boy had stirred at Madam Zhong’s shriek, but he was probably too tired, so that he only turned around in his sleep and didn’t wake up. Qiu Ling’s glance wandered further, seemingly taking in the room. “This seems like an inn?”
“That … yes”, Mister Zhong confessed. “We’re a little early, so we didn’t want to inconvenience my family.”
Madam Zhong threw him a glance and took the letter, he had crumpled at the shock Qiu Ling gave him. “Daoist master, in fact, more than not inconveniencing him … we couldn’t find their place. We’ve never been here. Was there something in the letter you could tell us?”
Qiu Ling extended his hand. “Let me have a look again. I didn’t read properly the last time.” Indeed, he had just skimmed the letter and not cared any further.
Madam Zhong didn’t mind and handed it over. Qiu Ling read it carefully this time, then considered, where they were right now. “You’re at the wrong place indeed. What your cousin owns, isn’t a food stall, like you imagine, but a restaurant in one of the smaller streets right next to the main road leading into the capital.” Reading this and having to say it out loud, he felt like apologizing to his in-laws. They had actually passed said restaurant this afternoon, when they left the main street! Why didn’t he remember the name?!
Mister and Madam Zhong exchanged a glance. No wonder, they hadn’t found anything …
“Thank you, daoist master.” Mister Zhong nodded and fell silent again.
Qiu Ling just murmured an acknowledgment, but didn’t say anything else. Of course, he had heard every word the Zhongs said before, but it wasn’t for him to start that topic. He could only wait.
Madam Zhong looked at her husband and then at Qiu Ling. She knew, her husband wouldn’t ask. He would just hope, that the daoist would disappeared and never contact them again. But they both knew, that that wouldn’t happen. Instead of always waiting and being worried about the future, why not make sure once and for all?
“Daoist master, I … would like to ask you a question, if I may.”

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