"Master, am I really destined to have no daughters?"
A man in a bright yellow robe knelt on the futon with a dignified expression. He put his hands together, looked at the huge golden statue of Buddha in front of him devoutly, and spoke to the monk behind him.
The great monk was the head of the national temple, and his Dharma name was Dao Ji.
Dao Ji's cultivation was extremely high and he was good at divination. Ten years ago, he had divined the fortune of the country, Dong Chu. In the past ten years, his predictions had come true one by one, so he was highly valued by Emperor Yong Ning.
Today, Emperor Yong Ning brought his concubines to the national temple to pray for blessings. On the surface, they prayed for good weather in the coming year, for the country to be prosperous and for the people to be safe.
However, in actuality, Emperor Yong Ning had some selfish intentions. He wanted to ask for a daughter.
He already had eighteen sons, but he did not have a daughter.
Because of this, he was repeatedly ridiculed by the monarch of the neighboring country, who had both male and female children. He was told that he had a prosperous life with many sons and that many were certainly jealous of him.
These words seemed to be flattering, but Emperor Yong Ning felt uncomfortable every time he heard something like that.
He had just sent away the visiting monarch of the neighboring country and he had come to the national temple to meet Master Dao Ji. He was already in his forties; could he still have a daughter? He wanted an accurate answer.
After Dao Ji used the tortoise shell to divine the answer, he closed his eyes and said, "Your Majesty, you do not need to worry about this. Your Majesty, you are destined to have a daughter."
"Really?" Emperor Yong Ning's impassive eyes suddenly brightened, and he sounded very excited. "When, when will my daughter come? I... I can make some arrangements..."
He wanted to build a luxurious palace for the little princess, and find the best craftsmen in the country to make furniture, curtains, and beddings. He wanted to send people to the south to acquire legendary fine and smooth natural silk that gave off a muted fragrance. He also wanted...
He wanted to prepare too much for his princess. He wished to find the best things the world had to offer, no matter the cost.
"Your Majesty, the princess was born long ago."
"She's already born?" Emperor Yong Ning was dumbfounded. "Master, could you be mistaken? I only have eighteen sons and no daughters. "
Could it be that he had fathered a daughter without realizing it?
It was impossible!
He had always loved daughters. From the birth of the eldest prince to the eighteenth prince, he had been vigilant for he had hoped for a daughter. However, in the end, they were all sons.
Therefore, him not knowing about the birth of his daughter was impossible.
"Your Majesty, you currently have seventeen sons and one daughter." Dao Ji corrected Emperor Yong Ning.
Emperor Yong Ning pinched the bridge of his nose and thought carefully. "My eighteenth son died when he was born. He didn't even live for a day. I have seventeen sons, but I definitely don't have a daughter."
However, Dao Ji was very insistent. "You definitely do."
Emperor Yong Ning waved his hand. "No, no, no, I don't."
No matter how much Emperor Yong Ning denied it, Master Dao Ji stood by his divination. Emperor Yong Ning did have a daughter.
Where was his daughter now? When had she been born? How old was she now? His divination yielded no answers to these questions.
The only thing he could tell Emperor Yong Ning was that this woman's fate was complicated. Although she had experienced hardships when she was young, she had an auspicious and noble aura. When she grew up, she would be extraordinary.
Wherever this woman was, she would bring forth good weather and a peaceful country.
After Emperor Yong Ning left the national temple, Dao Ji's words echoed in his mind.
He believed in Dao Ji's divination abilities, but it was also true that he did not have a daughter!
His eighteen sons all had a pair of handmaidens. There was no way that he was mistaken.
Could it be that he had a daughter who was stranded among the common people?
This... did not seem impossible.
In the ten years since he ascended the throne, he had made several trips to the south and visited many dancers and singers on the way. Although he had settled things with them after, he could not be absolutely certain that he had been thorough enough.