Chapter 4 Wind Crane: Familiarization
In the days that followed, Feng Luodi obeyed the doctor’s orders and rested for half a month in her room. She made full use of this time to gather information regarding the original Feng Luodi, the Feng household, and the Xuan Dynasty.
The original Feng Luodi was the prime example of a proper “lady”. She was raised within the four walls of her household, rarely stepping outside of the front gate, resulting in no friends from the outside world and a reserved demeanor. Her mother was weakened by her birth, and rarely took care of her, while her father was always busy with courtly matters and rarely interacted with her. For the past 17 years of her life, Feng Luodi spent her days in her room with her zithers, expressing her emotions and venting her frustrations through music. With only the company of two servant girls, this was the only world the sheltered 17 year old knew.
After learning about Feng Luodi’s past, Luo DI could only remark at the fate that brought them together. She was 24 years old, and had spent 2 years in the workforce after a major in Economics in the university. She loved the zither, underwent proper lessons and tutelage under a famous teacher, and even won a competition at the national level once. Despite the fact that most of her relationships being superficial, there were still a few people that she held dear to Her parents were healthy and loved her, and work was always relatively smooth for her. In these aspects, there were barely any similarities between Feng Luodi and her, except for their mutual love of the zither. Sadly, fate was truly ironic as Feng Luodi passed away at the young age of 17.
Then, there was the Feng household. She discovered that the Chamberlain of Justice was pretty high up in the ranks; the system of governance was very much like the “Three Dukes Nine Chamberlains” system of the Han Dynasty she knew. The Chamberlain for Justice, much like the name suggested, was in charge of the Judicial Bureau, and was the highest authority in charge of upholding the King’s law in the Xuan Dynasty. Other than the few sensitive cases that had to be judged by the King himself, the Chamberlain for Justice had the last say. The Judicial Bureau mostly took care of the nationwide political cases in the kingdom, and functioned slightly like the Supreme Court of her world. As a result, many visitors came by every day to pay their respects, but the Chamberlain was righteous and uncorrupted, rejecting visitors most of the time, to ensure there were no baseless accusations of corruption.
In the two weeks she spent learning about the world, Feng Luodi had already committed most of the traditions of the Xuan Dynasty to memory, and could hold her own in daily conversations and interactions. To see what the culture was truly like, she needed to step out to see for herself.
When the rain stopped and the sun finally came out, Feng Luodi decided to head out with Scarlet and Jet. Remembering the look of surprise on the two girls’ faces when she announced her plans to head out for the day, she inwardly cursed the original ways of Feng Luodi.
Walking along the streets, Scarlet and Jet, who were younger than Feng Luodi, were much more excited than she was, rarely having any opportunities to go out in the past. Being orphaned at a young age, they were sold to the Feng household by their relatives and assigned to serve Feng Luodi.
The streets of Chang’an were safe and prosperous; the streets were lined neatly with shops, while restaurants, teashops, tailors and musical parlors vied for attention. However, her objective here wasn’t to admire the streets of Chang’an. She had spent all the patience she had waiting for her soul to adapt to the new body, and now was time for action. Now was the time to find the ten famous Guqin.
The trio walked along the streets, and soon Feng Luodi found what she was looking for – a zither merchant.
“Why don’t you two go explore the streets, I’m going in to buy resin for the maintenance for my zither.”Feng Luodi handed them a purse filled with silver, and wanted to head into the shop alone.
The two servant girls looked at each other, and shook their head in unison. “Young miss, it’s best if we follow you. It’s your first time out on the streets, and there are many things you’re not familiar with. If anything happens to you while you’re alone, the two of us won’t be let off so lightly.”
Feng Luodi sighed, “Now you’ve jinxed it. Alright, come along now.” She turned and entered the shop with the two girls happily in tow.
“Sir, do you sell protective resin for zither?” Feng Luodi went straight to the point.
“Of course we do.” The owner shopkeeper was an old man, and the attendant took out the resins in his stead. Laying the selection they had on the table, the attendant explained each resin in detail as Scarlet and Jet leaned closer in curiosity. Feng Luodi patted them on the back and instructed, “The two of you can choose them for me, I’m counting on you.”
The duo nodded their head, and put on a serious expression, staring intensely at the attendant.
Having instructed the duo to their tasks, Feng Luodi began to look at the selection of Qin hanging on the wall. She went through each one carefully, before asking the shopkeeper standing at the side with a pipe in his hand.
“Sir, do you sell Guqin in this shop?”