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Chapter 70

The painting demon harbored malicious intentions and was swiftly dealt with by Zheng Weiqi without hesitation. With this strange incident in the Chen residence coming to a close, Mr. Chen was quite grateful and specially invited the four of them to stay and rest in the mansion for a few days while also enjoying a celebratory feast.

“Young heroes may not know, but a few days ago, heavy rain caused mudslides, blocking the mountain roads and bridges leading out of the county. It’s impossible to leave Goose City for a while.”

Mr. Chen was a middle-aged man with a wealthy and affable appearance, always smiling when he spoke: “Why not stay in my mansion for a few days first, until the mountain floods pass, and then plan to leave the city?”

Ning Ning originally wanted to say that they could fly on swords. As long as they flew high enough, even if every grain of sand dared to challenge the horizon, it wouldn’t hinder them.

But to stay within the storyline, after exchanging a glance with Zheng Weiqi, she nodded and replied softly, “Then, thank you very much, Mr. Chen.”

After several days of continuous rain, the silent curtain fell, and a few rays of bright and warm sunlight appeared on the horizon.

The Chen Mansion was a scholarly family, and the celebratory feast was exquisite yet not extravagant, with a full display of colors, fragrance, and taste, carrying a sense of richness and diversity.

Ning Ning ate to her heart’s content, listening to Mr. Chen at the table laugh, “Thanks to the four young heroes’ assistance, my Chen family has escaped a disaster.”

After saying that, he smiled even more joyfully, scanning his gaze over He Zhizhou and Pei Ji. “I see that you all are talented individuals; I wonder if there are any marriage prospects?”

Chen Lubai, sitting next to him, was unhappy. “Father! Why do you always love to talk about matchmaking randomly!”

As Chen Yaoguang added more food to his wife’s bowl, unlike the fierce and sinister appearance of the painting enchantment, he looked like a handsome young man. He lowered his voice at this moment and said, “I’m sorry. If it offends you, I apologize on behalf of my father—he’s usually most concerned about my sister’s marriage, and now he’s probably just talking casually.”

“What’s wrong, still unhappy?”

Mr. Chen looked at his daughter seriously and said, “Don’t think that just because you’re not lacking in money now. What’s the use of having more money? You can’t take it with you when you die. It’s better to find a husband and have another child.”

Chen Lubai muttered discontentedly, “What, so when I die, I can still take my husband and child away?”

This logic was irrefutable, leaving Mr. Chen speechless for a while. After a while, he whispered again, “Look at how young your sister is already spending all her time with boys her age. You’re not in a hurry, but both Dad and your brother are worried for you.”

Chen Lubai was thoroughly upset. “Father! Yueming is only six years old and plays with a bunch of little rascals in the mud every day! Do you want me to roll in the mud too?”

Chen’s second daughter, Chen Yueming, a little bean sprout, was unhappy hearing this and retorted with a wooden face, “We’re not playing in the mud; Daddy and Mommy are cooking for the children!”

Mr. Chen chuckled. “See, even Yueming knows Daddy and Mommy! Yueming, are you Daddy or Mommy?”

Chen Yueming said, “Neither of them. I am the one called Wangcai, the family’s specialty foodie!”

—Isn’t that just a dog!

Chen Lubai’s eye twitched, finally stopping her continuous action of lowering her head to eat. It’s impossible! My little sister must be the ancestor! Who said you could become Wangcai? I’ll go confront them tomorrow!

Her sister’s eyes reddened. “The ancestor died a long time ago, sister. I don’t want to die; I want to live.”

“I think Lubai is fine like this now.”

Zhao Yunluo, freed from the painting demon’s devouring aura, no longer looked as pale as death as in the past. She was beautiful, with a faint smile on her lips, her smile reflecting a thin rosy glow, like a goddess.

Zhao Yunluo said, “Women don’t necessarily have to rely on their husbands’ families. Lubai lives under the same roof as us, living freely without any constraints and with family members nearby to take care of her. If she really gets married and leaves, we’d still worry about whether she’ll be mistreated.”

Chen Lubai cheered excitedly, “Sister-in-law is so good!”

Chen Yaoguang glanced at his wife and smiled helplessly, “You, always indulging her.”

Originally, it was a harmonious atmosphere. Ning Ning was eating, but she always felt like there was a lump of stone in her heart, making it hard to breathe properly.

After the celebratory feast was over, it was already dusk. Chen Lubai, who was outgoing by nature, volunteered to take everyone strolling around Goose City.

Goose City was a small county, not too large in territory. Although the name was not elegant, the scenery in the city was beautiful, resembling the charm of the Jiangnan water towns, with small bridges over flowing water and willow trees swaying on the banks.

“Strange, Goose City… I feel like I’ve heard this name somewhere.”

Zheng Weiqi thought for a long while, but in the end, she only frowned. “Where could it be?”

He Zhizhou had just bought a string of candied haws and was eating them while shaking his head. “Perhaps Sister Zheng is longing for goose delicacies and got her mind confused.”

Chen Lubai seemed quite familiar with the vendors in Goose City. As they walked on the main street, people started calling out to her one after another.

This young lady from the Chen family didn’t put on airs at all. From poetry and essays to philosophical discussions on life, from the blacksmith’s wife giving birth to a child to the Li family’s son passing the imperial exam, she talked more passionately than anyone else, her words able to be compiled into a half volume of “Characters of Goose City.”

Ning Ning listened with amazement, looking around with interest. At a darkened alley entrance obscured by buildings, she unexpectedly saw a familiar figure.

—Chen’s second daughter, Chen Yueming, was gathering with a group of children, stirring mud and wild grasses in a bowl.

They were shouting loudly, attracting the attention of everyone present. Although Chen Lubai was lively by nature, she still maintained some dignity as a young lady and wouldn’t play with mud in public. She immediately rubbed her forehead in exasperation. “Yueming!”

Chen Yueming, who looked six-point similar to her sister, raised her palm-sized face and grinned, “Sister!”

Seeing the four people behind her, she looked extremely proud and then turned to her companions beside her and said, “Look! That’s the immortal who came to our house to subdue demons and evil spirits!”

Then, without suspense, she elicited a chorus of exclamations, and the group of children began to chatter excitedly.

“Can the older brother and sister fly?”

“I want to see sword dancing!”

“Do immortals like candied haws too?”

Zheng Weiqi had descended the mountain multiple times and was already familiar with how to interact with children. With a faint smile, she exuded an aura of being unperturbed by favor or humiliation: “Since you all want to see, then I’ll perform a sword dance here; how about it?”


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